Author Topic: Sunfire True Sub Modification  (Read 6285 times)

Offline Reverend

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Sunfire True Sub Modification
« on: October 22, 2012, 10:35:23 AM »
Since the 12" replacement worked out so well, Tom and I found a pair of 10" JL subs and thought we'd give them a shot in a True Sub or pair of ALiii's.  I'm not a sub heavy guy and my Silver's do a good job of getting pretty low.  I usually have my Sunfire set at 35Hz cutoff with the volume barely on.  It just adds a nice low rumble and you feel it more than anything.

INSTALLATION: I installed one in my True IV yesterday.  Bolt pattern is exactly the same and it took a few minutes to swap it in.  Make sure you have a set of standard hex wrenches.  The only modification I had to make was to remove the clips from the end of the lead wires.  My first impression in comparing the OEM driver was the JL driver is much lighter and the surround is twice as thin.  Having slight OCD, there is a logo on the front/bottom of the driver that I was hoping would be able to line up perfectly with the housing but because of the bolt pattern, it is slightly askew.  Not really an issue, just a little annoyance.

TEST: Previously, Laurie Mayer was the go to gal to test your sub or drivers but this time I wanted to start with something that would have a little more bass definition and not a single ringing note.  I went with the Torch Song album "Toward the Unknown Region" played through my CD-80.  I did not change any settings on the back of my sub from what I had them set at before.  (Crossover Frequency: 35Hz, Phase: normal 90d, Volume: under 0db, right around 8:00).

  • First Round: I was not getting the low rumble I was expecting but at the same time I was getting definition I had not heard before.  After two songs I decided to play around with the controls.  I changed the crossover frequency to 65Hz and raised the volume slightly pass 0db (around 10-11:00).  I sat back down and played track 4 which is one of my favorites on the disc.
  • Second Round:  What a difference.  The definition was a 100% improvement, the throw around the room was 10x better.  To explain this, I have my sub sitting behind and slightly to the left of one of my Silvers.  Because of the location, even if the sub was hidden completely, it was obvious that it was in that location.  You could pinpoint the location of the sub very easily.  This always annoyed me and has pushed me into wanting to purchase a second sub.  Now, the low end filled the room and it was difficult to tell where the sub was coming from.  The detail was greater.  It wasn't just adding low rumble anymore, it was like an additional driver that was working perfectly in unison with my speakers.

CONCLUSION: Besides the sound, what impressed me as well was the air movement from the driver.  Putting your hand in front of JL, it felt like a fan there was so much air coming off the driver.  Now, I will say that the only thing I cannot be sure of is if the JL has as low a Hz rate as the OEM driver but it sounds like it does.  I'd have to do further listening/testing to confirm/deny.  Where the stock Sunfire was like a tank rumbling through your neighborhood, the JL driver sounds/feels like a barrage of artillery flying in and exploding around you.  I think this sub is a great substitute for a blown driver, or in the case of a mod, a great improvement in clarity for someone running a pair of CRM-2's or looking for more defined base.

There are much beefier drivers in this JL Series.  The ones we purchased were jl w3v3-4 which when compared to the replacement driver they sell at Parts Express, has pretty much the same specifications.  That and the Sunfire enclosure is almost the exact size that is spec'd for the driver.  Plus, the driver is actually cheaper then the Parts Express one new and can be found on epay or CL used for around $125-150.  A very cheap mod I would recommend you try.  And if you decide you don't like it, swap your old driver back in and sell the JL to the kid down the street with monster stickers all over his rice burner.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2012, 10:59:24 AM by Reverend »

Offline Kingman

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2012, 11:09:27 AM »
Good review Rev!!! Where did you purchase the driver?
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Offline Reverend

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 11:48:39 AM »
Tom bought them off of epay.  There is a brand new, Buy it Now driver on there for $165 + $5 shipping from FL.  Quite a bargain.

Offline OCCD

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2012, 12:02:28 PM »
 8) 8) 8) 8)
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Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 12:56:35 PM »
This is a great write up - I am planning to do this upgrade on mine as well. 

I am working on recapping my RealisticDX-150A shortwave receiver so need to finish that before playing around w the Sunfire though.

Pepe

Spkr: Harbeth 30.1 on Sound Anchor 4 post stands
Pre: Rogue 99 Magnum
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo 203
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub:

Offline Reverend

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2012, 03:14:56 PM »
Here's a little more info I found comparing the two subwoofers.  Again, this is comparing a replacement HiVi driver to the JL.  I don't have any specs on the OEM driver in the Sunfire.  Every other spec is the same or very close to it.

HiVi: Power Handling is 500watts RMS/700watts max
JL: Power Handling is 500watts RMS/1000watts max
HiVi: Frequency range: 35-150Hz
JL: Frequency range: 25-250Hz

HiVi Specs: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=297-460
JL Specs: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_13610W3V34/JL-Audio-10W3v3-4.html?tp=111#details-tab

Offline OCCD

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 10:26:22 PM »
This is a great mod. Listening to one right now.


  8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
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Offline Reverend

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2012, 09:03:42 AM »
This is an amazing mod.  I've had two days now to listen to this and i'm blown away.  There are several improvements over the original driver.
  • It is cleaner sounding, less distortion and there are so many levels of low end that you hear.  Even thou my speakers go below 30Hz, I kept my crossover point at 65Hz.  Just amazing the detail you hear in the low end spectrum.
  • The question was, "does it get as low as the OEM driver?"  Absolutely, it drops well below the original.  I was listening to "Welcome to the Machine" by Pink Floyd and heard a low end presence I had never heard before.  I had to drop my volume level below 0db because the posters/shelves on my walls were shaking so much.
  • It seems to work beautifully in conjunction with the passive driver.  We're using a "3w" series driver which matches the HiVi replacement spec's but would an even beefier "6w" of "7w" series do a better job?  In a stand alone cabinet I have no doubt (JL uses a 7w in the fathom) but with the passive driver, I don't think it's needed.
  • As I mentioned in my first post, the throw around the room is crazy.  You literally cannot pinpoint the location of your sub if you closed your eyes.  It fills the room completely.  Just the most amazing presence.

If you have a true or signature sub, I would definitely recommend this mod.  You will not be disappointed.  I can't wait to have a couple of these at CF next year, it's going to blow peoples minds and probably shake cabin 11 down the side of the hill.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 09:10:06 AM by Reverend »

Offline thuffman03

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2012, 09:19:53 AM »
This sounds like a great upgrade.  I will have to wait because if I do this, I will loose my Bob Carver signatures on the driver.
Got Carver?

Offline OCCD

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2012, 12:52:57 PM »
This sounds like a great upgrade.  I will have to wait because if I do this, I will loose my Bob Carver signatures on the driver.

You can proudly display it in the corner of your room like me.  Get the JL's  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
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Offline Kingman

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 06:01:59 PM »
This sounds like a great upgrade.  I will have to wait because if I do this, I will loose my Bob Carver signatures on the driver.
...I would just lose $$$$$$  :'(
IN REALITY IT ONLY MATTERS WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE TO YOU!!!!!

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2012, 06:59:24 PM »
Searching for one - hard to find one for less than $188 on ebay.  Rev - how much did you pay? tree fiddy?

Spkr: Harbeth 30.1 on Sound Anchor 4 post stands
Pre: Rogue 99 Magnum
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo 203
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub:

Offline Kingman

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2012, 03:13:58 PM »
Bought 2 off eBay yesterday. Seller wants to cancel transaction!  :o Here is why.....
Quote
Additional information from seller: I went to ship the subs this afternoon and stopped at a local shop to make sure they were all good before you got them since its been so long that I played them and one of the subs began popping soon after they hooked them up. Only 1 was working.   
IN REALITY IT ONLY MATTERS WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE TO YOU!!!!!

Offline Kingman

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2012, 04:57:12 PM »
Second response when asked about just buying the good one ...
Quote
[They are gonna repair the one 10 for 125. I rather not because I never pushed them to have the one do this and with my luck the good one could go bad and I rather not chance it. I'm glad I stopped there cause if you would have gotten them like that I would not have been happy. /quote].... I smell something..... >:D
IN REALITY IT ONLY MATTERS WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE TO YOU!!!!!

Offline Reverend

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Re: Sunfire True Sub Modification
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2012, 08:22:54 PM »
Smells like monkey ass.