Are 3 12” sub setups good or just a weird gimmick

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Spooklorky

CarAudio.com Newbie
I was trying to find some info about 3 12” sub boxes and setups but I couldn’t find much info on if they are good or just a waste of money. I want to slowly upgrade my car audio system and one of my main concerns is that I listen to a lot of different music that is mastered very differently (think bob dylans original albums and Motley Crue to Yung gravy and $uicide boy$) and I want the old songs with no bass to play well and sound good with bass but also I want to be able to rumble the neighborhood when I listen to bass heavy music. At first I was thinking maybe do 2 12” and a 10” but after a little research I found it would be very hard for someone like me to tune it perfectly so the subs don’t interfere with each other and cancel out each subs benefits. Now I’m thinking maybe do a 3 sub box with 3 mono amps and maybe like 2 different kinds of subs. I heard maybe something about splitting rca output from my hu might be hard to do without distortion but idk I’m pretty new to this kind of stuff. Basically I want to be able to have both nice tight punchy bass for some songs and big smooth bass for others. Am I just being a stupid amateur and should get better components (I will upgrade the components and amp for them anyways if I do I get different subs) for inside my car or is this not a terrible idea for some high high end sound? Obviously I don’t want to spend and arm and a leg but I’m doing this over time so it could be a little pricey and that’s ok. Also I know power will be a little more than a standard wire to the back with a fuse and a distribution block but I’m sure I can figure it out and will go as far as replacing my alternator

for a baseline I have 2 12” kicker compr in a sealed box with waaay to little power for 4 ohms (like 300 watts rms I think is what my amp does at 4 ohms) and some jbl components with a random old 2 channel amp my gfs dad gave me for free. And finally jbl 6x9 3 ways in the back running off the hu :/

sorry for long post if you don’t like reading I just wanted to make sure I got as much info out as possible
 
you are over complicating things. Do not mix two different kinds of subs, thats the biggest car audio taboo, Phase cancellations equals negative bass or **** sounding bass.

Your biggest and only problem right now is you just are not loud enough plain and simple. You can start by getting a custom ported box built tuned to 35hz or so. Then upgrade your amp and get a bass knob, Then you'll need to find two safe levels of tuning for you, one for modern rap/trap and the other for your classics. They have different levels of strength in the bass so they need different settings. For example motley crue has -12 db bass levels in the recording while suicide boys has -5. Thats a giant jump in the amp gain settings for you to achieve similar bass strength.
 
Yea you are definitely complicating things. Do not mix subs and or sub sizes.

I think you would be best off adding some cone area, but adding much more power. You could do 3 12s, 3 10s, etc in a built to spec sealed box, on like 1500 watts and it would play most music flat. This would allow you to play pretty much whatever music you throw at it, and it will sound good.

You could go ported as well, which will add SPL, but it will create a peak in the frequency response. (Unless you tuned very low) With that being said, you need more power. You may even like your current setup more with more power.
 
Now I’m thinking maybe do a 3 sub box with 3 mono amps and maybe like 2 different kinds of subs
That is a recipe for disaster.

Fewer subs is always better and size (of subs) should not effect what sort of sound you get out of them provided you have the correct box built. My brother runs 3 12s in his Civic because the physical dimensions of the baffle make that the easiest option to build around and 3 coils allows the system to hold more power. Then again it was running 6000W when we built it and is at 9000W now.

Assuming you're not trying to go over 2000W you do not need more than 1 driver (unless you have some sort of shape/space limitations). Tell us how much space you have to work with, how much power you're looking to run, and how much money you're looking to spend and we can point you in the right direction. Space makes bass, so the more volume (in cubic feet) you can spare the easier it is to get loud and low.
 
Assuming you're not trying to go over 2000W you do not need more than 1 driver (unless you have some sort of shape/space limitations). Tell us how much space you have to work with, how much power you're looking to run, and how much money you're looking to spend and we can point you in the right direction. Space makes bass, so the more volume (in cubic feet) you can spare the easier it is to get loud and low.

The idea of different kinds of subs was just a random thought because maybe you could use some sort of a crossover but now I see that would be just as hard as mixing sub sizes and I’m not a sound engineer that can tune that stuff that crazily. I guess I’ll cross that off the list of ideas. As for what kind of power I want to run its kind of up in the air for now. I get a bit nervous when people mention ported boxes because that makes me think sloppy bass. Maybe I need to do more research about ported but what people seem to be telling me is that I can get just some more powerful subs and they will still be punchy but also play low in a ported box? I think getting lower would be the main concern right now as my subs are decently punchy but lacking in the low areas. As far as space I have the trunk of my 2009 Toyota Corolla. I have lots of depth that can be filled up but not a ton more width. I think it can fit a 3 12” box but unsure for now it would probably be a close fit. The budget is not too crazy I don’t want to spend a fortune I’m thinking maybe 1500-2000 but I don’t need to spend it all. If I can spend less I definitely will. I just want the lower frequency’s to actually show up.
 
Your biggest and only problem right now is you just are not loud enough plain and simple. You can start by getting a custom ported box built tuned to 35hz or so. Then upgrade your amp and get a bass knob

My amp right now has a remote knob with the phone line lookin wire. I was thinking maybe unplug that and put in a rca one because some of my friends don’t have the amp knob thing and they have a much broader range they can turn that rca knob to. I don’t like the idea of having more than one knob to control bass levels. If what you said I need to do is manually adjust in between songs I think it would be a lot easier to have less adjustments to make on the fly. Just a quick idea/question do they make a little level controller that I can set preset levels on (with like buttons or something) but also choose to use a knob if I wanted to roll it around?
 
The idea of different kinds of subs was just a random thought because maybe you could use some sort of a crossover but now I see that would be just as hard as mixing sub sizes and I’m not a sound engineer that can tune that stuff that crazily. I guess I’ll cross that off the list of ideas. As for what kind of power I want to run its kind of up in the air for now. I get a bit nervous when people mention ported boxes because that makes me think sloppy bass. Maybe I need to do more research about ported but what people seem to be telling me is that I can get just some more powerful subs and they will still be punchy but also play low in a ported box? I think getting lower would be the main concern right now as my subs are decently punchy but lacking in the low areas. As far as space I have the trunk of my 2009 Toyota Corolla. I have lots of depth that can be filled up but not a ton more width. I think it can fit a 3 12” box but unsure for now it would probably be a close fit. The budget is not too crazy I don’t want to spend a fortune I’m thinking maybe 1500-2000 but I don’t need to spend it all. If I can spend less I definitely will. I just want the lower frequency’s to actually show up.

Ported does not equal sloppy bass. Prefab ported boxes is sloppy bass, you know the ones you buy on ebay or amazon, all garbage and will sound like garbage. Seeing as you have a 2009 corolla i know the acoustics of the corolla very well since i had one. You will not get any kind of deep bass with a sealed box because the vehicle resonant frequency is very high in the 47hz range and sealed boxes will always peak high, you have no means to fix this issue in the frequency response at all. Which is why you need a custom ported box designed properly for bandwidth and sound quality. You'd want a lower tune to flatten out the frequency response along with having a box with good group delay(accuracy) which can be controlled which people dont understand and have huge misconceptions about ported boxes.

For your trunk though, you only have space for two 12s. Again, build that ported box and do a proper two 12s setup and have a proper amp to power it.

As for your amps for 3 12s. You can just run a single amp as long as you are wired above 1 ohm, you are good. so three dual 4 ohm subs wired in series parallel would be 2.66 ohms, you are fine, while three dual 4 ohm subs wired in parallel would be 0.66 ohms which is only fine for korean amps known to handle half ohm loads along with you having electricals to back it up. three dual 2 ohm subs wired in series parallel would be 1.33 ohms which is completely fine for most monoblocks. Always have one amp, not multiple, Gain matching and getting the phase correct with multiple amps will screw your output over vs having a single amp.
 
I definitely need more power but don’t want to go buy a bigger badder amp if I end up completely changing my system. I could always give my old stuff to my gf if a bigger amp doesn’t solve the problem though.
you can use the amp for any system even if you change it up completely. Best to just get the biggest amp your electrical system can support.
 
I think it can fit a 3 12” box
You can fit ONE proper 12 in there and that's all you should need. Modern high output subs are almost all designed to function well in ported box. The trick to making ported box sound good is using a well designed sub and having the proper box volume and port dimensions. This is the trunk of my Corolla this box is 3 cubic foot net.
23472


How does he power the subs? Does he have 3 mono amps or something?

One large amp. Figure out what amp you're going to use and buy appropriate coil configuration subs. You can hook up any amount of subs you like to a one channel amp.

23475
 
btw this is whats achievable with a single 12 on 500 watts. Box is everything. One properly done 12 on 500 watts can utterly destroy three 12s on 3000 watts in sealed boxes. Space makes bass. Whatever you thought you knew about getting loud and sounding good is completely different than how things actually work in the competitive level.
 
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Spooklorky

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