The wait is over and the ICON review is here! Thanks go to Aaron, aka denim, and to Mark,aka SSaudio, for making this possible. Thanks again for having enough faith in me to do this. I really appreciate it!
Again, the test mule is my 2004 Silverado extended cab. Power will again be supplied by a Memphis Memphis Belle, MCH1300, at 1ohm nominal. Roughly 1100wrms, with the gains set with an o-scope to just clipping. Electrical is the big three in 1/0, a yellow top under the hood, and 1/0 Memphis wire throughout. Source unit is a Clarion DXZ955MC with HPF at 120hz and LPF set to 80hz. The enclosures used are a 1.25ft^3 net sealed affair and a down firing 2.0ft^3 ported box with a 4Ē port tuned to 34hz.
SSA ICON 12d2 MSRP $369
ďAt the heart of the ICON line up, we have the ICON 12D2. With a perfect
mixture of output and sound quality the ICON 12D2 is pure sonic joy. With
a dual spiders and a powerful motor, you can be rest assured you will
have excellent linear excursion from the ICON 12D2. If you really want
to move some air without losing any bit of clarity, the ICON 12D2 is a
Build quality is excellent. Using a tried and true 12 spoke basket, hefty 12 gauge tinsel leads with felt pads on the cone and push pin style terminals, itís got everything one would expect from a subwoofer at this price. The triple stack motor looks industrial without a boot and itís a touch I like. And with only a bit of excess glue around the spider, it looks like the builders take pride in their work. From the tasteful logo on the ďboobĒ style dustcap, to the pulp paper cone and the fat foam surround, there isnít anything I would change about this sub.
If all you want is a flat response from your sub in a sealed box, then this sub works. If you want output from your sealed sub setup, this isnít your woofer. While the sub can handle anything musical thrown at it, itís not going to overwhelm anything in a sealed box. From Dimmu Borgirís double kicks to the heavy lows from Lil John and everything in between, nothing seemed to trip the sub up. However, as nice as it sounds, as quick as it is, it just doesnít get loud. Some might like that, it should blend brilliantly with just about any setup, especially if crossed over low. But just donít expect record sealed box numbers.
As night is to day, this sub performs that much differently ported compared to sealed. While still a very clean sounding sub, the output is finally there. As the specs hint at, so does this sub do. Itís a ported box subwoofer. Lightning quick with little delay, dropping low with ease, yet with enough force to tickle the ears even on subtle bass lines, this thing is a pleasure in a ported box. Listening to Ozzyís ďParanoidĒ, I was startled at the impact of the kick and double kicks in the song. Switch to the Lil John remix of ďMy HumpsĒ and the truck shutters, hearing rattles I havenít heard since I pulled the s18x out of my truck. Now the output is nowhere near that, but it is the perceived loudest under the seat setup Iíve had to date. And to top it off, in this ported box, the sub is a ďpure sonic joyĒ to listen too.
Term Lab testing;
Done DB Drag style, mic on dash, truck sealed up, engine off.
As noted above, this sub simply doesnít have overwhelming output in this particular sealed box. It achieved a so-so best of 126.9db at around 40hz. Move up to around 78hz, and it drops 5db. It got beat by both the Maw12 and Classic 12 previously tested, and they had half the power.
Again, it came alive in the ported box with just over a 5db jump over sealed, recording a best of 132db flat @ 40hz, yet again. Yeah, this thing is a SUBwoofer, lol
*special note* TL numbers were taken with a brand new sub. No break in was done. I will update the TL testing soon.
What more is there to say? This thing pounds down low, is extremely quick and agile for a sub and is **** to boot. It can handle any kind of music tossed at it and do it with a grin on itís face. Itís got so much going for it, that itís hard not to overlook itís output on the meter. The upside to the weak showing on the meter, is the fact that itís best numbers came so low, 40hz, both ported and sealed. I mean this thing is a bass racerís dream. And itís hard to call itís showing weak, but I guess I was expecting more, even though no where does SSA claim this to be a high output sub. And 132db @ 40hz isnít exactly a quiet, or weak, single 12 setup.
In the end, this thing does everything that Aaron and Mark claims it will do. Play low, play clean, snap crisp kicks and thunderous booms, and handle every bit of power the Belle could throw at it. Toss in itís great looks and build, and at $250, youíll be hard pressed to find a sub that does what this one does. SSA has a winner here and a product they should be proud of.