Tang Band W69-1042 6"x9" Subwoofer Review *Pics & Vids*
This is a hefty little sub. Heftier than I expected. It's not a normal oval shape like a normal 6x9. It's more like an elongated circle (more on this later). It's very solidly built. No excess glue, everything's centered, aligned and ship shape. It's a very "no-BS" speaker. No frills, nothing cute. Everything has a purpose.
Upon taking them out of the box, my first impulse was to hook 'em up to the reciever and free-air them. I used my crappy HTIB subwoofer out, which could be 30w, could be 50w. It doesn't say. I did a few sweeps from 10hz-80hz, played some 0db sine waves- 10hz, 20hz, 30hz, 45hz and 60hz. It performed very well, no bottoming out, minimal mechanical noise (because I was free-airing it, I suspect)
They're installed in the doors of my 05 Dodge Caravan. The downside of that is that the doors look like swiss cheese. I'm too broke to afford any sound dampening, and the doors are only sealed by the factory.... stuff. This is where their odd shape comes into play. Putting the subs in the doors is like sticking a square peg in a round hole. I had to hack up the doors a bit to fit 'em. I know this next point is my own fault, but the subs are too deep for use in doors. My window only rolls down half way. I think you'd be better off using them as rears. But hey, I've gotten used to it. They're crossed over from 40hz to 250hz at -18 db/oct. Powering them is a Lightning Audio X1.800.4, which is 100w x 4 @ 4 ohms, and since it's an 8 ohm driver, I can pretty safely assume that they're recieving 50w RMS.
So how do they sound, you say? Well I'm glad you asked. Never has the performance of these puppies let me down. Right now, my van is subless, and I've had them crossed over pretty low, and they have played very flat down into the mid 30's, despite the fact that they've been bodged into half-sealed doors.
They really kick like a mule, and their output is very tight and punchy. On songs like "Feel Good Inc." by the Gorillaz, coming out of the chorus, there is a very distinct, clear-cut drum beat. When I had my Explorer, and I heard that on my L7, it was pretty soft and fuzzy. Over the Tang-Bands, it is razor-sharp, quick and precise. Tang Band has done a great job on giving them a very quick sound.
On longer, synthesized bass lines, they really shine, too. "Trapped in the drive-thru" by Weird Al (yes, you heard correctly), the Tang Bands are LOUD! The output seriously caught me by surprise. "Dracula" by The Gorillaz is a great example of it's ability to perform on complex bass lines. The bass line in that song is constantly changing, and tone to tone, the TB hits every note well. Sometimes, they're too loud for their own good, though. When used in doors like mine, on rap music, they literally start to shake my doors apart. Everything capable of rattling in the doors.... rattles. That's why I recommend using them in a rear deck or in rear panels. Fewer moving parts around.
I've come to the conclusion, though, that the W69's true love is the bass guitar. On songs like "Freeway Jam" by Jeff Beck, bass lines that would otherwise be ignored are really brought to the surface. In the bass solo in "Heart of the Sunrise" by Yes, the Tang Bands are very rhythmic and full, and blend in with the mids seamlessly.
All I can say about the sound of these is great job, Tang Band. Y'all have outdone yourselves. But as for mounting, they really need to stick to a more traditional shape that will drop into factory locations.
Sorry for the length. But, enjoy :D
Re: Tang Band W69-1042 6"x9" Subwoofer Review *Pics & Vids*
Update: I sealed up my doors yesterday using 2 layers of Second Skin Damplifier and the speaker kit. Mad props to Ant at Second skin!
Anywho, I just sat down for a nice listening this afternoon to see what these things could really do now that I have the doors properly deadened and sealed as best as I coulg get em. For the test, the equalizer on the head unit was flat, and my Kicker KQ9 was disabled to allow all notes to flow naturally. The subwoofer was also deactivated to allow me to hear the TB's fully.
I thought these were impressive at first.... but I can't even begin to convey how big the difference is now that the doors are deadened, and they're in a more friendly environment. The difference isn't just night and day. It's summer and winter, cat and dog, Ford and Chevy, paper and plastic... The W69-1042s are completely different animals.
I listened to a wide variety of music for the test:
1: Yellowcard- Three Flights Up, leading into Lights and Sounds
Three Flights Up is a very gentle track, with piano and violin. Never were the TB's overbearing or absent. Just right. But, as Lights and Sounds starts up, there's a distinct drum beat, and the TBs nail it. When they bust out with the guitars and drums and bass and violin and all, the music is very full and rounded out. No complaints here.
2: Yellowcard- Two weeks from twenty
This song has a very prominent drum beat and bass line. The drum beat really leaps out at first, and is very punchy. But once the bass guitar comes in, the clarity seems to drop. It all kind of blends together into a punchy.... droning. Eh...
3: Emerson Lake and Palmer- The Three Fates
Lots of Organ work in this song. The TB's had excellent output and added great fullenss to the music. And while it was pleasing to the ear, when the organ went low, it seemed flat and unnatural. It wasn't something the average ear would notice in an everyday situation, but when you really listen to it, you'll notice. Could be the recording, though.
4: Roper- Red Eye to Miami
Excellent bass guitar line in this song. The TBs carry themselves with composure, never seeming out of place or unnatural. Theres a distinct seperation of the bass and the drum in this song, though. High marks.
5: Jeff Beck- Freeway Jam
More great bass guitar work in this song. On a normal stereo, like when I just had 2-way components in the Explorer, the bass guitar was there, but it wasn't there. With the TBs, the bass guitar is there in force. It's very defined, very clear, and very realistic.
6: Chumbawamba- Outsider
This song starts out with a sysnthesized sound that plays around 60hz, if I had to guess, then drops low, maybe even into the 20hz region. This is where the Tang Bands surprised me: they went low with no complaints. No funny noises or harmonics, just low and clean. I was wowed. I couldn't believe that was coming from two 8" midbasses on 50w!
7: Some rap.... Yung Joc or something.
Yeah, I'm no rap fan. In fact, I hate rap. But yeah, they were loud.
Re: Tang Band W69-1042 6"x9" Subwoofer Review *Pics & Vids*
I'm happy to see I'm not the only one into Tang Bang speakers. I've included a short clip of my T/B experiment. These puppies love to play low and complement my factory speakers. I original powered them off an Audio Art 400.2XE but the amp was to big to hide under the seat so I swapped it out for a Kenwood I got in trade. The low notes output is amazing, I was constantly surrounded by bass. I even caught my self adjusting the sub out just to confirm the bass was coming out of the T/B 5 1/4" subs. I'll post a full review when I get a chance.