View Full Version : Sundown SD-2 : Beefy 8 inch sub. Heavy on base light on the wallet

05-23-2013, 09:57 AM
Review of 8" Subwoofer:Sundown SD-2

First off thanks to sundown audio for giving many of these out for us lucky guys to review!

linky to original thread (http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/sundown-audio/145391-sundown-sd-2-8s-testers.html)

Product Page Sundown Audio SD-2 (http://www.sundownaudio.com/index.php/products/subwoofers/item/sd-series.html)

So what are these exactly besides from being huge, handsome and intimidating? Well these are sundown audio's offering for small box beefy 8's. Looking at them, the last thing one would think of would be small box subs. Indeed they look monstrous and they also look like they would be expensive. After man handling them a bit I have to say I am surprised at the hardware provided for the price (in a good way).

These reached me in Canada pretty quickly... wowzers.

First impressions were when I took the box from the fedex office... ouch, heavy! These were certainly not going to be standard issue 8's...not at over 15lbs each.

Let's get on to some pics

A few things come to mind. Huge, bulky, handsome. But also look at the surround on these guys! It certainly eats up what could have been more cone area. The cone looks small but this is ,in part, because of just how bulky this sub is. No matter form what angle you look at it, this screams testosterone hehe.


More shots, here we can see how easy it is to take pics of them on their sides. Also notice no back vent.
From the web site
To clarify though the rating for the 8 is 300 watts.


Here is a good shot showing some of the build quality we can expect from this line. Everything is neat and tidy, nothing is flimsy. from this shot you can see the push terminals (always a plus) that are solidly mounted and also the thick basket. The basket is no joke and I wouldn't expect this kind of hardware at this price range.


Here we can see the cone from behind. I always like to try and see just how solid or flimsy a cone is and I can assure you this is one hell of a stiff cone.


So to get back to just how small the cone is? From my measurements it's about half way in between a 6'5 inch and a regular 8. So it's not to bad considering how big that surround is. But that big surround isnít just for show, it has the capability of moving close to 1" one-way without being damaged (not within linearity but it can do it).

Here are some comparison shots.


And finally here we have a shot next to a small sealed box that they are suppose to go in. That's a small box for such a big sub. Can't wait to hear how they sound!


Another nice touch is the stitching of the surround to the cone. Some might find it a bit tacky, others like me might find it a really nice touch. Either way it blends nicely as it is black like the rest of the hardware. Cosmetic only it is not however, it does add strength to an area where SPL guys might appreciate as it is a place known to rip when pushed to hard.

---------- Post added at 08:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:56 AM ----------

No way to not come out of this impressed. I have been using them with MS8 and they integrate into every genre (thanks to tuning) without a problem. These are fantastic. Super punchy and detailed once tuned.

Right now I have just one of these in a 2012 santa fe. I am not a big basshead so I am not looking to be heard or feel the bass more than hearing the music.

Having said that

This single woofer, in a tiny box certainly delivers the bass. More than I need. Itís interesting to think that sometimes itís not 100% about performance but other aspects come into play such as keeping room for groceries and such. The box is so small and takes so little room yet, I can get it to shake my SUV, annoy the neighbours and give me a back massage. I get a lot more bass then needed for music listening.

With MS8 tuning disabled, the sub part becomes truly unleashed and no matter how much I push it it just keeps on delivering more and more bass. I am truly impressed. And this seemingly effortlessly. It is not too surprising as Jacob said that these being an underhung design, the motor will run out of steam before these guys run out of travel. They can move no doubt about it.
Currently I use them LP at 90hz 24db running off about 400watts in a .35cubic foot enclosure.

I measured in car response no tuning
80hz 75db
63hz 82db
50hz 94db
40hz 85db
31hz 85db
25hz 78db
20hz 69db
Man even at 30hz this thing is going on strong. Crazy.

Even without tuning, in this particular enclosure, they are nice and punchy and certainly fun to listen to. They do need a fair amount of power to get going though compared to another 8 I have been using. However power is cheap so to me it seems like a great compromise.

These certainly come highly recommended.


Door mounting: doesnít seem like it would be possible without a lot of door work. Just when you think you could maybe fit one inside your door, you will realise that you need a lot of clearance in front of it because of its thick surround and excursion capabilities. No way this would fit behind a stock door card speaker grill.

Rear shelf IB: It seems to me that simply because of how much travel they can do, that they would do alright in this configuration. Since these arenít really expensive, it wouldnít be a costly experiment. That being said. These require and perform so well in such a small enclosure I believe it would make more sense to mount them on the rear shelf but with their tiny enclosure. This way you get guaranteed performance and maintain the practicality and room in the trunk.

Music listening: One of these is sure to satisfy anyone looking for added low end for music listening that doesnít want to take up a bunch of room but yet will still be able to turn it up and loosen up some body panels.

1 or 2?: If room is no concern and money either then the more the merrier. It can be louder but it can also simply help bolster the really low end via EQ. Personally I am satisfied with 1, I donít find myself wishing for more bass however, another one will be going in hehe

05-23-2013, 09:58 AM
After one month of use

More time with these makes me love them even more… euuu makes me love IT even more. I have just stayed with the singular sub because I really don’t feel the need to add another one.

I have used many what I will refer to as “standard” 8’s and none of them come close to this “serious” 8. It plays everything gracefully, the low gut wrenching stuff doesn’t come out with authority like it would from a larger sub but it plays it and always sounds good doing it: unlike standard subs that bottom out or start to sound akward and strained. I haven’t ever had to pull back on the volume with the SD-8 and it has always sounded composed and up to the task.

I have listened to a variety of stuff, mostly dragon force, metallica, killswitch and bucket head but some rap like jarule and some pitbull that has lots of heavy overemphasized base.

On the weekend I had to haul some stuff so taking out the sub was a breeze since it is so small, definitely ups the convenience factor… and it also reminded me how better off all the songs sound with the sub hehe.

05-24-2013, 12:20 PM
In regards to underhung benefits

My thoughts are that within its linear travel (Xmax) the differences would be pretty small. Underhung would benefit from being pushed past it's limits (Basically this particular sub cannot reach its physical excursion limits (xmec)). This translates to... outside of its comfort zone, the underhung sub should sound better.... for instance you won't be able to hear the woofer bottoming out. Of course it would still be prone to overheating.

Aviation Jones
07-07-2013, 09:44 PM
Thanks for this write up. I too am considering something small and punchy to put in the back of my Chevy Malibu. I need to save some weight and the older I get the more I value actually having functional trunk space. Right now I have a monster ported box with a JL Audio 12W7. It was recommended to me to try out a Sundown SD-2 and I was initially thinking about going with the 10" (better pairing with my JL 500/1). You seem to enjoy the same type of music as me, heavy metal and rock requiring some punchy drums and smooth bass guitar tones. I'm sure that Metallica kick drum is pretty amazing. A song I've always enjoyed listening to (even on my ported beast) is "Underoath - There Could Be Nothing After This." The intro to that song always woke me up a bit. Anyway, good write up. I've been hesitant to sell the W7, but this gives me a little more courage.

07-26-2013, 11:37 AM
That would be quite the change from a 12 to an 8 especially since your 12 is ported. I would expect a lot less low end and less output, all around less... at least less potential output, perhaps you don't like exessive loud base, like me, and wouldn't really notice much besides low low end not being as strong. Of course you do get benefits of more space, lighter... these work to in a small ported box.

The 10 isn't underhung, it's not really the same subwoofer.

09-20-2013, 08:05 PM
Ive had the Skar MA=8's in a ported box tuned to 36hz with 1200w of ED power and recently switched to a IAD Reign 12in in a smallish ported box on 800w but now im considering some of these SD's...originally I was thinking 3 of the 10's in a sealed box but now after reading this im thinking 3 8's in a sealed box since it would be even smaller and take up less space in my jeep. Of course then there's the new X8's coming out soon...although I don't know the sealed box requirement's on those yet lol.