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View Full Version : Reasons to have my sealed box custom built



ckunke002
12-30-2011, 01:21 PM
whatsup guys, I'm just about to buy a sub that seems to work well in sealed enclosures so that's what I'm going to get. The recommended enclosure volume is 1 cubic foot.

I feel like I could walk into just about any car audio shop and get a pre built sealed box at 1 cubic foot for a lot less then it would cost to have them custom built. My question is, are there any other things that they do special for custom builds that wouldn't be included in a prebuilt box? If I walk in and show them my sub, what will they do special to the box that they build for me that would NOT be a part of a box they could give me off the shelf? I know for ported boxes there's lots of different port tuning options, but I don't see the reason for paying the extra money with a sealed box.

Thanks for any feedback!

brandinooooo
12-30-2011, 01:26 PM
The prefab would be 1 cu ft gross, where as the custom would take into account the displacement of the sub itself

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 01:29 PM
Is the volume of the sub not supposed to be a part of the cubic foot?

Falcons
12-30-2011, 01:31 PM
That's what sub displacement means. It's probably gonna be like .1 in displacement for the sub, so you alreally want to get a 1.1 cubic foot box

sacsking916
12-30-2011, 01:33 PM
for a sealed box it really doesnt matter as much as a ported box. the difference is slight, but make sure there is enough space and seal the corners up good and you'll be fine

pro-rabbit
12-30-2011, 01:35 PM
A sealed prefab is "ok" to work with. You will have to reseal all edges to ensure it is sealed though. They are also basic in sizes. Which means it may not fit or look right in your application, but it will be ok in most..hints a prefab. They typically use cheaper materials as well in their enclosures to help cut costs down. Most are just glued and pressed together with light pressure and sent down the line for carpet. This again works for most, but if you have decent power it can become an issue.


Perks to custom enclosures are it fixes all those issues. You can also have what ever wxdxh you might need to make it work/look better and you can also do flush mounting or other custom options.

Bottom line is if you are broke and need to cheap out you are ok with a prefab. You will upgrade later on anyway as you will want something bigger/better.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 01:36 PM
for a sealed box it really doesnt matter as much as a ported box. the difference is slight, but make sure there is enough space and seal the corners up good and you'll be fine

So you suggest I get a pre-built one? And sub displacement is only .1 cubic feet? I feel like subs are a lot bigger than that lol.

What is used for sealing box corners?

pro-rabbit
12-30-2011, 01:38 PM
So you suggest I get a pre-built one? And sub displacement is only .1 cubic feet? I feel like subs are a lot bigger than that lol.

What is used for sealing box corners?

Sub displacement is different for each driver. Not knowing which one you have selected to use will not allow us to determine the displacement for it.

For sealing..you can use just about any silicone based product for that.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 01:38 PM
A sealed prefab is "ok" to work with. You will have to reseal all edges to ensure it is sealed though. They are also basic in sizes. Which means it may not fit or look right in your application, but it will be ok in most..hints a prefab. They typically use cheaper materials as well in their enclosures to help cut costs down. Most are just glued and pressed together with light pressure and sent down the line for carpet. This again works for most, but if you have decent power it can become an issue.


Perks to custom enclosures are it fixes all those issues. You can also have what ever wxdxh you might need to make it work/look better and you can also do flush mounting or other custom options.

Bottom line is if you are broke and need to cheap out you are ok with a prefab. You will upgrade later on anyway as you will want something bigger/better.

Good insight, thanks man. If I was going the ported route I would certainly get a custom box just because it seems practical, but I'm going for SQ mainly and a sealed box seems to be the way to do it.

pro-rabbit
12-30-2011, 01:39 PM
Good insight, thanks man. If I was going the ported route I would certainly get a custom box just because it seems practical, but I'm going for SQ mainly and a sealed box seems to be the way to do it.

Sealed does not mean better SQ.


Enclosures size and type are based on the driver itself and application. The sound reproduced is based on the same things.

If you get it wrong you will know. If you get it right you will also know. LOL

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 01:39 PM
I'm not allowed to post links in here yet apparently but the sub I have is a single Boston Acoustics 12 inch G3

Why So Cereal?
12-30-2011, 01:40 PM
depending on the sub, if it really likes about 1 cube sealed and youre not really running much for power, then you should be fine with the prefab IMO.

What sub are u running?

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 01:41 PM
Sealed does not mean better SQ

Well I've heard unanimously that sealed means tighter more accurate bass instead of more booming air pushing bass, which to me means SQ

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 01:42 PM
And again it is the 12 inch G3, it is rated at 375 RMS but I've heard it can handle more so I'm throwing 500 watts RMS to it.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 01:43 PM
Where can I get a good silicone sealer?

pro-rabbit
12-30-2011, 01:44 PM
And again it is the 12 inch G3, it is rated at 375 RMS but I've heard it can handle more so I'm throwing 500 watts RMS to it.

1.1-1.3ft3 sealed with around 300-400rms should do just fine. With a setup like that(I have done a few in the past), most say they want SQ but I had each customer come back wanting to go bigger in 3-4 weeks haha.

They did sound good though and are a good driver.

---------- Post added at 11:44 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:44 AM ----------


Where can I get a good silicone sealer?

Just about anywhere.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 01:46 PM
1.1-1.3ft3 sealed with around 300-400rms should do just fine. With a setup like that(I have done a few in the past), most say they want SQ but I had each customer come back wanting to go bigger in 3-4 weeks haha.

They did sound good though and are a good driver.

---------- Post added at 11:44 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:44 AM ----------



Just about anywhere.

Go bigger as in bigger box or sub or what?

whitedragon551
12-30-2011, 01:46 PM
Prefab sealed is fine. Just seal the corners well. Also if you need 1.1 cubes look at grabbing a bag of polyfill. It helps tame the impedence rise as well as would help you get to that magic box size without rebuilding. It makes the sub think its in a larger box. Ported is where you run into huge issues with prefabs.

I run about what you are considering to my substage and have had no issues so far.

Why So Cereal?
12-30-2011, 01:51 PM
Prefab sealed is fine. Just seal the corners well. Also if you need 1.1 cubes look at grabbing a bag of polyfill. It helps tame the impedence rise as well as would help you get to that magic box size without rebuilding. It makes the sub think its in a larger box. Ported is where you run into huge issues with prefabs.

I run about what you are considering to my substage and have had no issues so far.

This.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 01:53 PM
Prefab sealed is fine. Just seal the corners well. Also if you need 1.1 cubes look at grabbing a bag of polyfill. It helps tame the impedence rise as well as would help you get to that magic box size without rebuilding. It makes the sub think its in a larger box. Ported is where you run into huge issues with prefabs.

I run about what you are considering to my substage and have had no issues so far.

Are you suggesting using polyfill if I can't find a 1.1 and can only get a 1 cubic foot box? Or should I use polyfill in any scenario with a box? What does it do exactly? And what is impedance rise?

Why So Cereal?
12-30-2011, 01:57 PM
Are you suggesting using polyfill if I can't find a 1.1 and can only get a 1 cubic foot box? Or should I use polyfill in any scenario with a box? What does it do exactly? And what is impedance rise?

Polyfill, from my understanding, slows down the waves, thus making the sub think its in a larger box.

Impedance rise: the resistance u read with a DMM is with the sub at rest, as the sub moves, the magnetic field in relation to the magnet and the moving coil (motor) causes increased resistance as the back pressure changes due to changing back pressure

I'm no expert but thats how I've come to understand those.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 02:01 PM
Polyfill, from my understanding, slows down the waves, thus making the sub think its in a larger box.

Impedance rise: the resistance u read with a DMM is with the sub at rest, as the sub moves, the magnetic field in relation to the magnet and the moving coil (motor) causes increased resistance as the back pressure changes due to changing back pressure

I'm no expert but thats how I've come to understand those.

So do I still want just a 1 c. foot box with polyfill or try to factor in displacement and then throw in polyfill? Also how much of it do I want to put in the box?

Why So Cereal?
12-30-2011, 02:07 PM
So do I still want just a 1 c. foot box with polyfill or try to factor in displacement and then throw in polyfill? Also how much of it do I want to put in the box?

I would, its pretty cheap at walmart in the crafts section, you can always take it out and see which way you like it best as well.

As for how much, I've heard about 1lb to 1.5lbs per cube.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 02:10 PM
I would, its pretty cheap at walmart in the crafts section, you can always take it out and see which way you like it best as well.

As for how much, I've heard about 1lb to 1.5lbs per cube.

You said "I would"....was that in response to "do I still want just a 1 c. foot box with polyfill or try to factor in displacement and then throw in polyfill"??

If you were in my position would you try to get a 1 cube box or a 1.1 or maybe 1.2 cube box?

---------- Post added at 10:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:09 AM ----------

i'll use polyfill either way to test it out.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 02:11 PM
And do you know what the DC guy was talking about how all his customers come back for something "bigger"? I don't want to buy the wrong thing the first time so I want to take his advice, but I have no idea what he's talking about lol.

Do bigger sealed boxes get louder or something? Should I go a bit above what is rated?

Why So Cereal?
12-30-2011, 02:12 PM
You said "I would"....was that in response to "do I still want just a 1 c. foot box with polyfill or try to factor in displacement and then throw in polyfill"??

If you were in my position would you try to get a 1 cube box or a 1.1 or maybe 1.2 cube box?

---------- Post added at 10:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:09 AM ----------

i'll use polyfill either way to test it out.

Oh, read the question wrong. whether you calculate the driver or not wont really make much difference. it's still roughly 1 - 1.5lbs of polyfill.

In response to what I would do in the position, I personally would just get a prefab closest to 1 cube or maybe a little more if you can find one and still try the polyfill.

Why So Cereal?
12-30-2011, 02:14 PM
And do you know what the DC guy was talking about how all his customers come back for something "bigger"? I don't want to buy the wrong thing the first time so I want to take his advice, but I have no idea what he's talking about lol.

Do bigger sealed boxes get louder or something? Should I go a bit above what is rated?

By bigger, I think he meant more subs, more power, louder in general. But, you'd have to have him answer that for sure.

Bigger sealed boxes, in my experience increase efficiency (to an extent). But no need to go crazy with a huge sealed box. Just use the site recommendation.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 02:16 PM
Oh, read the question wrong. whether you calculate the driver or not wont really make much difference. it's still roughly 1 - 1.5lbs of polyfill.

In response to what I would do in the position, I personally would just get a prefab closest to 1 cube or maybe a little more if you can find one and still try the polyfill.

Great, thanks for all the wisdom! I'm off to set up a system!

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 02:20 PM
Just give me your personal preference on this.

I have a subaru wrx, no trunk, the whole car is the cabin. I want noticeable bass that that sounds musical, but isn't quiet either. Basically I want a tight bass over a booming bass, but I want it to be able to stand out a lot in bass heavy songs.

Would you go the route that I'm going with just 1 500 watt sub in a sealed box, or wait until I can afford a 2nd sub and get 2, or do something else?

pro-rabbit
12-30-2011, 02:21 PM
Yea, what I meant by bigger is that you will want louder/better.

This "hobby" is very addictive to most and once you get used to a setup you want to take the next step.

pro-rabbit
12-30-2011, 02:24 PM
Just give me your personal preference on this.

I have a subaru wrx, no trunk, the whole car is the cabin. I want noticeable bass that that sounds musical, but isn't quiet either. Basically I want a tight bass over a booming bass, but I want it to be able to stand out a lot in bass heavy songs.

Would you go the route that I'm going with just 1 500 watt sub in a sealed box, or wait until I can afford a 2nd sub and get 2, or do something else?

That all would be subjective to you and all though we can all answer that, it is still all dependent on what you want.

However, typically I suggest to my customers to go a little bigger then you think you will need/want. You can always adjust the level of bass down in a variety of ways. However, you can not increase what you can get past the maximum performance level of what you purchase.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 02:25 PM
Okay I see. My issue is that I would like to get a 2nd sub, but I don't have the money to upgrade my electrical system and that's exactly what I would need to do if I got another.

I have 1 300 watt amp running right now, and was going to get this sub powered with 500 watts from my new amp running 800 total. From my research it seems that 800 is doable on stock electrical (I would rarely play with too high of power) but 1300 would be over my battery/alternators limits.

---------- Post added at 10:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:24 AM ----------

^^ That was in response to an earlier post, thanks for the feedback though DC

destined2race
12-30-2011, 02:26 PM
1. If its easily available to you, just grab a prefab around 1cu.
2. Go to a hardware store and grab liquid Nails and put a nice bead where all the boards meet (corners).
3. Grab some polyfill and stuff some in there and test it out. Add more or less as needed for the sound you like.

DC was probably meaing they came back for a bigger ported box. I run my eclipse ported and my w7 ported and they both sound very good imo. Sealed does have the rep for being better on SQ (and maybe true in alot of sub apps) but ported can sound very good if done correctly.

Robert 2001
12-30-2011, 02:27 PM
The poly fill def works in smaller boxes I had 2 cvrs 10s .6cuft each and polyfill made a huge difference in the low notes. Definately reseal the box if u buy prefab. Hd and wallmart both sell the caulk. I used a self leveling roofing sealant for mine but I dont reccomemd unless you can air your ride out for a day or 2 for the smell.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 02:28 PM
1. If its easily available to you, just grab a prefab around 1cu.
2. Go to a hardware store and grab liquid Nails and put a nice bead where all the boards meet (corners).
3. Grab some polyfill and stuff some in there and test it out. Add more or less as needed for the sound you like.

DC was probably meaing they came back for a bigger ported box. I run my eclipse ported and my w7 ported and they both sound very good imo. Sealed does have the rep for being better on SQ (and maybe true in alot of sub apps) but ported can sound very good if done correctly.

This is what I'm sorta torn between at the moment, sealed vs. ported. Both definitely have their perks and drawbacks, the major drawback of ported being I would be spending around 200 for a custom built box.

It's a bit easier for me to turn down a second sub because of all the extra investments that come with it that I cannot afford hahaha

Why So Cereal?
12-30-2011, 02:29 PM
Okay I see. My issue is that I would like to get a 2nd sub, but I don't have the money to upgrade my electrical system and that's exactly what I would need to do if I got another.

I have 1 300 watt amp running right now, and was going to get this sub powered with 500 watts from my new amp running 800 total. From my research it seems that 800 is doable on stock electrical (I would rarely play with too high of power) but 1300 would be over my battery/alternators limits.

---------- Post added at 10:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:24 AM ----------

^^ That was in response to an earlier post, thanks for the feedback though DC

with around 800-1000wrms you could probably do just fine with just the big 3. I ran about 1200rms total (800subs, 400 mids n highs) on bone stock electrical at one time with no issues. (stock 100a alt). even though my subs were at 2ohms final at the time which is easier on the electrical than 1ohm.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 02:33 PM
with around 800-1000wrms you could probably do just fine with just the big 3. I ran about 1200rms total (800subs, 400 mids n highs) on bone stock electrical at one time with no issues. (stock 100a alt). even though my subs were at 2ohms final at the time which is easier on the electrical than 1ohm.

I am going to be at 2 ohms as well. Dual 4 ohm coils hooked up to a 500 watt 2 ohm load.

But if I were to get a 2nd sub that probably wouldn't be the case hahah

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 02:35 PM
On a side note, once I get the sub and amp, how can I find the amount of gain that I can safely have the amp powering at? On my last setup I believe I was always underpowering my sub in fear of overpowering it and blowing it lol. Is there a quick and easy way to finding the amount to have it set?

IonRL205
12-30-2011, 02:41 PM
On a side note, once I get the sub and amp, how can I find the amount of gain that I can safely have the amp powering at? On my last setup I believe I was always underpowering my sub in fear of overpowering it and blowing it lol. Is there a quick and easy way to finding the amount to have it set?

You can use a DMM

Take the RMS of the amp x the ohm load you want to run it at. Take the square root of this number (ex. 1500w @ 1 ohm = 1500 x 1 = 1500. Sq rt of this 1500 = ~38.6

Unplug your speaker wires from your amp, turn the gain on the amp down, LPF to about 80, SSF to 25, make sure the eq settings on your deck are set to flat. Put in a 0 db 50 hz test tone and put the volume on your deck the loudest you would play it (and before it clips). Turn your DMM to AC volts and adjust the gain until the DMM reads the number you got from square rooting, in my example would be 38.6. Back the gain off just a hair and you'll be good to go.

pickup1
12-30-2011, 02:43 PM
Home depot or wal-mart.

kushy_dreams
12-30-2011, 02:49 PM
Put that G3 in a ported box! All Boston subs really wake up in ported boxes. I was amazed at the difference between sealed and ported for my G5s.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 02:53 PM
You can use a DMM

Take the RMS of the amp x the ohm load you want to run it at. Take the square root of this number (ex. 1500w @ 1 ohm = 1500 x 1 = 1500. Sq rt of this 1500 = ~38.6

Unplug your speaker wires from your amp, turn the gain on the amp down, LPF to about 80, SSF to 25, make sure the eq settings on your deck are set to flat. Put in a 0 db 50 hz test tone and put the volume on your deck the loudest you would play it (and before it clips). Turn your DMM to AC volts and adjust the gain until the DMM reads the number you got from square rooting, in my example would be 38.6. Back the gain off just a hair and you'll be good to go.

Wow, that is exactly what I was looking for hahah. Thanks a lot! Couple quick questions, are you referring to plugging the multi meter into the speaker wire terminals on the amp? And what is SSF?

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 02:55 PM
Put that G3 in a ported box! All Boston subs really wake up in ported boxes. I was amazed at the difference between sealed and ported for my G5s.

Damnit... you're making this decision a lot harder! hahah I think a ported box COULD be the better choice, but to have my shop build me one for 150 more than a prefab one makes it a tough call.

What did your's sound like in a sealed?

IonRL205
12-30-2011, 03:09 PM
Wow, that is exactly what I was looking for hahah. Thanks a lot! Couple quick questions, are you referring to plugging the multi meter into the speaker wire terminals on the amp? And what is SSF?

Yes, the positive rod into the positive terminal and negative rod into the negative terminal. And SSF is the subsonic filter.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 03:12 PM
Yes, the positive rod into the positive terminal and negative rod into the negative terminal. And SSF is the subsonic filter.

Okay cool. And what's a subsonic filter exactly? My last 2 amps didn't have that..

JoshC
12-30-2011, 03:59 PM
I just switched my jbl from ported to sealed and i will NEVER do that again. Honestly just have a ported box built for the sub, most all subs will do better ported...

Shinju
12-30-2011, 04:21 PM
Sealed does not mean better SQ.


Enclosures size and type are based on the driver itself and application. The sound reproduced is based on the same things.

If you get it wrong you will know. If you get it right you will also know. LOL




Kind of a double edged sword here, You rarly see ported enclosures in SQ cars because the port pulls the bass back and making it easy to pin point were the sub is located and with a ported enclosure you have more boom and less woofer control. I got dinged every time because I had a ported box and the ported enclosure kept pulling the stage back no matter how much I dialed it down.

With a sealed enclosure you have much more accruacy and control and the boom factor is less, I have ditched my DD1510's in a tuned ported enclosure and I am now going to be using a MB Quart PWE-352 15", This sub is ment for sealed enclosures only. As you know in SQ the point is to not to be able to locate were the sub is and the sound stage is not being pulled back due to sub bass blah blah blah.

But I will agree that just because you have a sub that is in a sealed box that it does not mean its a Sound Quality driver or will even sound good.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 06:08 PM
Kind of a double edged sword here, You rarly see ported enclosures in SQ cars because the port pulls the bass back and making it easy to pin point were the sub is located and with a ported enclosure you have more boom and less woofer control. I got dinged every time because I had a ported box and the ported enclosure kept pulling the stage back no matter how much I dialed it down.

With a sealed enclosure you have much more accruacy and control and the boom factor is less, I have ditched my DD1510's in a tuned ported enclosure and I am now going to be using a MB Quart PWE-352 15", This sub is ment for sealed enclosures only. As you know in SQ the point is to not to be able to locate were the sub is and the sound stage is not being pulled back due to sub bass blah blah blah.

But I will agree that just because you have a sub that is in a sealed box that it does not mean its a Sound Quality driver or will even sound good.

Thanks for the response. So are you suggesting one way or the other, or just presenting some opinions? Do you think for the setup I'm going for I should do ported or sealed?

CAT MAN
12-30-2011, 06:13 PM
build a ported and be done... also i have the wire outta my car.. pm me your addy

mylows10
12-30-2011, 06:26 PM
Because you have no idea ,what the hell you are doing !!! Thats why!!!

Why So Cereal?
12-30-2011, 06:50 PM
Damnit... you're making this decision a lot harder! hahah I think a ported box COULD be the better choice, but to have my shop build me one for 150 more than a prefab one makes it a tough call.

What did your's sound like in a sealed?

see if you can find another shop. seems pretty high for a single 12 sealed. I paid 150 for my single 18 box sealed. Paid 105 for my current aeroported 2 10s box and he even supplied the ports.

Why So Cereal?
12-30-2011, 06:53 PM
Thanks for the response. So are you suggesting one way or the other, or just presenting some opinions? Do you think for the setup I'm going for I should do ported or sealed?

if youre not looking to compete SQ, I'd go ported, you'll get more sound and you can always turn down if its too loud but cant necessarily crank up without clipping and whatnot.

even some SQ competitors have been successful with ported boxes, every car/ install is different.

Shinju
12-30-2011, 08:38 PM
Thanks for the response. So are you suggesting one way or the other, or just presenting some opinions? Do you think for the setup I'm going for I should do ported or sealed?

If you want output go ported, nothing wrong with sealed if you want a tighter response. Sounds to me like you would rather have more output.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 08:42 PM
Because you have no idea ,what the hell you are doing !!! Thats why!!!

What was that supposed to be in response to...?

pro-rabbit
12-30-2011, 08:47 PM
What was that supposed to be in response to...?

The amount of questions you have asked that with little research would have been answered. Most people view newer people to audio to be lacking the ability to do somethings on their own. If you do not take the time to do your own research to figure out the best possible solution, you will more then likely end up with one you are not happy with or one that you can not do on your own correctly.

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 08:52 PM
I've actually googled and searched the forums for this exact question, every result I found was of people discussing prefab or custom boxes already knowing all the pros and cons of both of them. People talk a lot less about the benefits of custom built sealed boxes then you might think

pro-rabbit
12-30-2011, 08:54 PM
I've actually googled and searched the forums for this exact question, every result I found was of people discussing prefab or custom boxes already knowing all the pros and cons of both of them. People talk a lot less about the benefits of custom built sealed boxes then you might think

Most of the time custom sealed enclosures are just for those that want something that they 100% for sure is what they want. Most are willing to pay a few extra bucks to have it be exact instead of being a guessing game with anything "prefab".

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 08:55 PM
Most of the time custom sealed enclosures are just for those that want something that they 100% for sure is what they want. Most are willing to pay a few extra bucks to have it be exact instead of being a guessing game with anything "prefab".

Yeah I realize that now. Now that I asked the forum... Lol

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 08:59 PM
I'd still like to know exactly which post the "Because you have no idea ,what the hell you are doing !!! Thats why!!!" was in reply to lol. Such a funny comment considering I never asked any question regarding *why I don't know anything*

Why So Cereal?
12-30-2011, 09:09 PM
I'd still like to know exactly which post the "Because you have no idea ,what the hell you are doing !!! Thats why!!!" was in reply to lol. Such a funny comment considering I never asked any question regarding *why I don't know anything*

probably replying to the title of the thread

ckunke002
12-30-2011, 09:13 PM
probably replying to the title of the thread

Hahah a very real possibility. I'll be sure not to ask any more questions in this forum from here on :cool:

SMFJ
12-31-2011, 01:52 AM
Honesty man I started this viscous Audio cycle when I was 16 and I'm now 19. I've had 4 systems in two cars in about a two years period. First one cheap ish entry level $20 hifonics in a slanted sealed box with a cheap American pro amp free from friend. I thought it was loud as crap yet crystal clear until I heard a louder system. The next one was 2 powerbass midlevel 15s large sealed box and a audiopipe 1500.1d. That second one was by far my most expensive system do to the fact I did the big 3 got a 280A alternator for a JAPANESE IMPORT, not cheap, and all that zero gauge. Left for college and sold it all. Got to college bought another system off someone else, mtx 12 5500s in a cheap ported prefab mtx box with earthquake amp got it all for $100 from another student. Totaled that car about 3 weeks later and sold it all to my roommate for $90. 8 or so months I was carless, got a car in September got a system in November, cheap insignia kit w/ night prefab ported box, off craigslist that I overpaid for because i didn't research, sounded decent but it wasn't enough sold it all 2 weeks ago bought and reconed an AB HD15 just bought a AB GOLD 150.1 today that I plan on attempting to repair.
I said this basically to say I don't think it's possible to be satisfied with the system you have forever so buy stuff, sell stuff, buy more stuff, try everything and maybe just maybe one day you'll find your perfect system or you'll have grown out of the hunt. So upgrade that alt and grab some batteries a go for really loud sound quality as it was mentioned earlier "you can always cut back the power, but you can only go up so high without distorting." It almost tax time so hold out and go hard. DIY is a big money saver.

Out of all those setups though I really loved my sealed ones especially my 15s whom I so deeply miss...tear. Sealed fairs well with all types of music. Truly enough my ported boxes were never tuned to their drivers, they didn't really like the lows. Everything below 50 to 45 sounded and felt really flat couldn't even feel it in my chest. Sealed to me does well on both ends of the low spectrum.

This is not professional advice but it is personal experience.