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    Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    Hello everyone:

    I just removed a couple of 12" Kicker C12A subwoofers from my 2001 Acura CL Type S vehicle. These hoary subwoofers have had a long and interesting journey. They were originally purchased in 1996 and installed in a stand-alone box enclosure which was placed in the trunk of a Volvo. Then when I upgraded to a 1998 Honda Accord coupe, the same enclosure was installed in the trunk of the Accord. Finally, I purchaed the 2001 Acura CL Type S and the subwoofers were removed from the enclosure and installed in a custom enclosure in the spare tire well. They were powered by a JL Audio 500.1 amp and have served me well for 16 years. The rest of the stereo system (old school German-made MB Quarts powered by ancient school - circa 1996 - Lanzar Optidrive amp) will remain the same.

    Today, I removed these subs from the enclosure because they were no longer throwing the same punch that they used to. I hear that subwoofers often lose their punch within 4-5 years after good use. Is there any truth to this?

    In any case, there is a point to the story above. I am replacing the C12A with the Kenwood KFC-W3013PS and plan to install the new subs in the same enclosure. Here are my questions:

    1) Unless I'm mistaken, car subwoofer technology has progressed significantly since 1996. If the C12A were brand new today, how would they compare with the KFC-W3013PS? Would the Kenwoods throw a bigger punch than the Kickers? The C12A were one of the best subwoofers in their time and I was wondering if the budget subwoofers of today are equivalent to the top-of-line subwoofers from mid-1990s due to the technological progress?

    2) Would the Kenwoods fit in the same enclosure as the Kickers? I have not yet compared the dimensions of the Kenwoods but I am assuming that they are bigger even at same cone diameter?

    3) Should I upgrade the rest of the system as well? The German-made MB Quart tweeters and mids were purchased in 2000 and I'm not sure if they will wear out over time like a subwoofer.

    Any advice and comments are welcome.







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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    Come on guys, some advice or any comments would be helpful!




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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    kenwood subs and amps are total junk, don't waste your money on them



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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    If I were you, Id ditch everything you have and start over. Keep in mind, you can buy a true 1500wt amp for $125 nowdays, so its not "as bad" as what you may remember. Not that Im saying to buy them, but there are also the no name ebay subs what I read were taking 800wts for, what, like $50 shipped?




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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    The 1500w amp and sub the guy above me is talking about has highly questionable build quality and reliablity, but technology has greatly advanced over the years and it is possible to get quality equipment without breaking the bank.



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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    Quote Originally Posted by kharvel View Post
    Hello everyone:

    I just removed a couple of 12" Kicker C12A subwoofers from my 2001 Acura CL Type S vehicle. These hoary subwoofers have had a long and interesting journey. They were originally purchased in 1996 and installed in a stand-alone box enclosure which was placed in the trunk of a Volvo. Then when I upgraded to a 1998 Honda Accord coupe, the same enclosure was installed in the trunk of the Accord. Finally, I purchaed the 2001 Acura CL Type S and the subwoofers were removed from the enclosure and installed in a custom enclosure in the spare tire well. They were powered by a JL Audio 500.1 amp and have served me well for 16 years. The rest of the stereo system (old school German-made MB Quarts powered by ancient school - circa 1996 - Lanzar Optidrive amp) will remain the same.

    Today, I removed these subs from the enclosure because they were no longer throwing the same punch that they used to. I hear that subwoofers often lose their punch within 4-5 years after good use. Is there any truth to this?

    In any case, there is a point to the story above. I am replacing the C12A with the Kenwood KFC-W3013PS and plan to install the new subs in the same enclosure. Here are my questions:

    1) Unless I'm mistaken, car subwoofer technology has progressed significantly since 1996. If the C12A were brand new today, how would they compare with the KFC-W3013PS? Would the Kenwoods throw a bigger punch than the Kickers? The C12A were one of the best subwoofers in their time and I was wondering if the budget subwoofers of today are equivalent to the top-of-line subwoofers from mid-1990s due to the technological progress?

    2) Would the Kenwoods fit in the same enclosure as the Kickers? I have not yet compared the dimensions of the Kenwoods but I am assuming that they are bigger even at same cone diameter?

    3) Should I upgrade the rest of the system as well? The German-made MB Quart tweeters and mids were purchased in 2000 and I'm not sure if they will wear out over time like a subwoofer.

    Any advice and comments are welcome.

    Working backwards because I feel like it is important to start there..........

    3) Don't change those components man. If they haven't been abused I would imagine they are probably still in good working order. If they weren't it seems like it would be very apparent as they are the speakers closest to you and reproducing most of the spectrum.

    2) The kenwoods would probably fit but you should be looking for something else. The kenwoods may very well be an upgrade from those old kicker subs because subwoofer technology has definitely improved but for that same money or a tad more you could get a much nicer sub. I would look for a different sub if it was me.

    1) In my opinion many of the budget woofers of today are as good if not substantially better than what we had in 1996 for the most part . I don't believe you would have a hard time finding a sub that exceeds the performance of those kickers for much less than you probably paid for them back in the day. Very few subs are built in the US anymore which has driven down the cost substantially. Many people would argue that the quality is lacking from what we had back then but I don't buy into that. Sure there is a ton of chinese made junk out there but at the same time there are some great products being produced over there as well. We can do a lot better than those kenwoods though. They may very well do better than those kickers you had but for the same money you can do better for sure. Whats your budget for subwoofers? How much airspace is in that enclosure you have? Do you plan to keep the JL Amp? Just a few little questions we need answered before we start pointing ya in some directions.




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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    Quote Originally Posted by kushy_dreams View Post
    The 1500w amp and sub the guy above me is talking about has highly questionable build quality and reliablity, but technology has greatly advanced over the years and it is possible to get quality equipment without breaking the bank
    Right, thats all I was getting at. Although I like my lil ap, no matter what anyone says. If it wasnt so power hungry all the time though...




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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    Quote Originally Posted by fannin88 View Post
    Right, thats all I was getting at. Although I like my lil ap, no matter what anyone says. If it wasnt so power hungry all the time though...
    apsm1500's arent very power hungry, they only have 100a fuse



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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    Quote Originally Posted by kushy_dreams View Post
    The 1500w amp and sub the guy above me is talking about has highly questionable build quality and reliablity, but technology has greatly advanced over the years and it is possible to get quality equipment without breaking the bank.
    Thank You, we agree on a couple of things, I see...lol....not everyone who comes here is looking for the absolute cheapest product they can find.




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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    Let me rephrase that. I guess what I kinda ment by "If they wernt so power hungry", I moreso ment "if my car didnt have ELD, Id love mine" (Basically, ELD is a huuuge fail from Honda)




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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    & not all of us wipe our ass with 100s eather
    Just making a point. If he hasnt looked into audio for 12 years, things may seem alot different to him.




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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    Quote Originally Posted by kharvel View Post
    Hello everyone:

    I just removed a couple of 12" Kicker C12A subwoofers from my 2001 Acura CL Type S vehicle. These hoary subwoofers have had a long and interesting journey. They were originally purchased in 1996 and installed in a stand-alone box enclosure which was placed in the trunk of a Volvo. Then when I upgraded to a 1998 Honda Accord coupe, the same enclosure was installed in the trunk of the Accord. Finally, I purchaed the 2001 Acura CL Type S and the subwoofers were removed from the enclosure and installed in a custom enclosure in the spare tire well. They were powered by a JL Audio 500.1 amp and have served me well for 16 years. The rest of the stereo system (old school German-made MB Quarts powered by ancient school - circa 1996 - Lanzar Optidrive amp) will remain the same.

    Today, I removed these subs from the enclosure because they were no longer throwing the same punch that they used to. I hear that subwoofers often lose their punch within 4-5 years after good use. Is there any truth to this?

    In any case, there is a point to the story above. I am replacing the C12A with the Kenwood KFC-W3013PS and plan to install the new subs in the same enclosure. Here are my questions:

    1) Unless I'm mistaken, car subwoofer technology has progressed significantly since 1996. If the C12A were brand new today, how would they compare with the KFC-W3013PS? Would the Kenwoods throw a bigger punch than the Kickers? The C12A were one of the best subwoofers in their time and I was wondering if the budget subwoofers of today are equivalent to the top-of-line subwoofers from mid-1990s due to the technological progress?

    2) Would the Kenwoods fit in the same enclosure as the Kickers? I have not yet compared the dimensions of the Kenwoods but I am assuming that they are bigger even at same cone diameter?



    3) Should I upgrade the rest of the system as well? The German-made MB Quart tweeters and mids were purchased in 2000 and I'm not sure if they will wear out over time like a subwoofer.

    Any advice and comments are welcome.
    what is the net volume of the enclosure you intend to use and what type is it, Second Order Acoustic Suspension or Fourth Order Bass Reflex?
    Keep the Opti...that is likely a Zed amp and they are rare. Same with the Quarts...MB Quart is not what it used to be and you will be hard pressed to match their quality as well these days.

    I can't tell, but are you looking to upgrade the JL amp too?




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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    Thank you everyone for your great responses and sorry for the delay in checking back. Let me respond to your comments and questions one by one in the next few postings. I WAS a big-time car stereo enthusiast in high school and college but haven't been in the scene for nearly 2 decades so you can think of me as a blast-from-the-past newbie.




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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    Quote Originally Posted by kushy_dreams View Post
    kenwood subs and amps are total junk, don't waste your money on them
    Are they junk compared to the Kicker C12A? This is the only comparison that is relevant for me since I already bought the Kenwood subs.

    By the way, I paid $47 for each of the Kenwood subs for a total of $93 with free shipping. Would you still rate them as junk at this price?




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    Re: Ancient school subwoofers: Kicker C12A

    Quote Originally Posted by Spooney View Post
    Working backwards because I feel like it is important to start there..........

    3) Don't change those components man. If they haven't been abused I would imagine they are probably still in good working order. If they weren't it seems like it would be very apparent as they are the speakers closest to you and reproducing most of the spectrum.
    I don't intend to change the components. But suppose that I could afford to replace them if I wanted to - has the technology progressed since the mid-1990s that I could get better sound quality from mid-grade tweeters and mids today than the German-made MB Quarts I have in my car now?


    2) The kenwoods would probably fit but you should be looking for something else. The kenwoods may very well be an upgrade from those old kicker subs because subwoofer technology has definitely improved but for that same money or a tad more you could get a much nicer sub. I would look for a different sub if it was me.
    I paid $47 for each of the Kenwoods for a total of $93 shipped. Given this price, would you still recommend I spend more for a nicer sub or would I have gotten the best value possible for the Kenwoods?

    1) In my opinion many of the budget woofers of today are as good if not substantially better than what we had in 1996 for the most part . I don't believe you would have a hard time finding a sub that exceeds the performance of those kickers for much less than you probably paid for them back in the day. Very few subs are built in the US anymore which has driven down the cost substantially. Many people would argue that the quality is lacking from what we had back then but I don't buy into that. Sure there is a ton of chinese made junk out there but at the same time there are some great products being produced over there as well. We can do a lot better than those kenwoods though. They may very well do better than those kickers you had but for the same money you can do better for sure. Whats your budget for subwoofers? How much airspace is in that enclosure you have? Do you plan to keep the JL Amp? Just a few little questions we need answered before we start pointing ya in some directions.
    The enclosure is a custom enclosure in the spare tire well. The spare tire was removed and the whole bottom of the trunk became the enclosure. In the trunk, you would notice the two subwoofers in the middle of the trunk facing upwards with the amps placed further inside the trunk (also facing upwards). Both the subs and the maps are flush with the surface of the enclosure which is carpeted to match the trunk interior. Subs are protected by a metal grille. A trunk mat is placed over them so when you open the trunk, you don't notice anything unusual (such as a custom stereo system) except that the trunk capacity seems smaller than expected.

    I do plan to keep the JL amp. Why do you ask? I bought it in 2001 and it cost $500 or $1 per RMS watt and it was top of the line Class-D amp. Has technology progressed in 12 years to the extent that a no-name eBay 500W for $50 is just as good as the JL 500.1 amp?




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