After rereading your posts, I do not see mentioned whether you are thinking sealed or ported enclosure. Most subs either lean one way or the other, with a few falling in the middle. I would decide on the enclosure type, then go with the sub that is best suited for that enclosure type. The enclosure location will come into play now. The boat may dictate to some degree, which way you can go.
Just trying to offer Eric some application advice, independent of brand, before he puts forth all the effort and makes a mistake. Mike is right in that the brand is irrelevant if the execution is poor.
I've also been to plenty of open/outdoor concerts, with elevated stages, and no amphitheater, and the bass was awful away from the stage regardless of the number of woofer cabinets.....despite the best efforts of the sound engineers. They can only take what the venue gives them. And that scenario actually has benefits that a pontoon would never have.
If you are placing four subs overhead for the sole benefit of those on the upper deck or on the lower deck it would be passable, but if your expectations are to generate bass away from the pontoon you are going to be sorely disappointed proceeding this way.
Ever heard the exile big 12 Eric? It won't disappoint you either. Just throwing it out there.
^^^^ talk about going off topic and an unrelated plug.
IMO, the Exile BIG 12 is just an okay woofer for what you pay after discount. But there is nothing unique about it. Made in a N. Calif. build house that designs and makes many other brands. Nothing proprietary about the parts other than the Exile dustcap. Some of the specs are useless like peak to peak Xmax (who cares what the maximum uncontrolled excursion is).
Paper cone. Very high resonance for a sound quality sub (absolutely trades off low frequency extension for more peak output over a narrower bandwidth). A 3-inch 4-layer voice coil is going to be hungry so don't expect this sub to rock until you put a ton of power on it. So when you combine this woofer cost with the required amplifier, this will be a long way from bass on a budget.
if you look at the op thread, he wants to add 2 on top and 2 on the bottom. I would think any of the 12's mentioned would add some bass to the system for just chillin on the lake. I put a kenwood 10 in a box on my sis tooner that came out of my old supra and it does a decent job of providing some bass, but like david mentioned, it can't be heard 100yards away. not the goal tho and I'm sure it's not the goal of the op.
at the prices mentioned, I'd pull the plug and play around with them. heck, if the 2 on top do no good, sell them on cl and recoup 75% of your $150 outlay :)
he did mention that jl is out of the price range for his intended application and so would exile-should leave it at that:)
Thanks sandm. A reasonable voice.
Originally I was trying to offer Eric some advice with a degree of substantiation but without getting too technical. There is much more here than just 'boundary loading' or other regurgitated stuff that someone read on the net.
Think this through. This is real. There will be a test.
The speed of sound is 1128 feet per second. So let's say we gladly sacrifice all really deep base knowing we are in an open field environment without reinforcing planes. But if we are running a party barge with four 12s we at minimum expect some good Michael Jackson Thriller type bass. Good ole punchy bass. So let's focus on 55 Hz. You are not going to get deeper bass anyway in this situation. Okay, that constitutes a 21 foot long waveform. At half that length (10.5 ft.) when the perception point (your ears) is close to one group of woofers then the output of the two woofer groups are out of phase and directly cancel one another. The cancellation is not as steep on either side of the 55 Hz frequency but the negative impact is still impactful. Does that 10.5 ft. distance sound somewhat coincidental to the distance between the upper and lower decks? Then compound that with the comb filter (cancellations) effects of the water plane and various points of perception. All variables and 90 percent of them are bad. Again, reflected energy out of phase with the direct energy at a given point of perception. The woofers and driving amplifiers will work against a huge acoustic handicap over their entire range where you expect a contribution. Soooo, I recommend a single and collected woofer position as close to the water level as possible (lower deck). Make a controlled compromise. Change the design model a bit and you will be far happier in the end. Seems simple enough to me.
It was a joke to the OP no need to rip me or Exile David! Sorry you felt the need to rip me, I'll pray for you. Thanks.
Wow! didn't mean to for anyone to get any feathers ruffled, MLA and David both gave me some great guidance with picking out my Moomba's amps, HU and help design my sub-enclosure (which I will finally finish covering this week!) and it sounds great!!
That's why I posted my question for our pontoon boat as I want to get the stereo installed before this next season (April?) and thought that at those rediculously low prices compared to the JL W6s I would just get four - but I am NOT an audio engineer by any means and that is why I do listen to others' input. I am a structural engineer who grew up as a carpenter and I can build (and take apart) anything.
So let's actually get this design started, since I am starting with a blank sheet as I have, well nothing! No amp, no HU, no speakers, no idea what I am doing...
The boat is currently getting repowered (a new 150 4-stroke California friendly Merc) and we are going to replace the front soft canvas cover with a hard deck for more room up top. We can easily have 15 teenagers on a trip.
Anyway throw me some suggestions...
- Go with one JL W6 in a ported enclosure?
- Use 2 or 4 of the Sonix cheapies?
- Keep the enclosure on just the lower deck?
- Bolt the enclosure to the bottom of the upper deck?
- 2 subs next to each other under a seat on the bottom deck?
- Go get some Pork to throw in the WFO (wood fired oven)? (in the backyard not on the boat)
And yes, I have fixed the windshield on the Moomba since that pic was taken!
Thanks, and I look forward to your guy's input, Eric.
Just kidding. I couldn't stop myself.
It has to begin with the supply.
How about starting with the available amperage supply of the outboard motor alternator/stator.
Considered a Gen? How long will this pontoon be playing in the course of a day?