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Shallow subs for big bass in a tight space

Ken Nail has written about car audio for Crutchfield since 2003, after four years as Crutchfield Sales Advisor, and 10 years as a music teacher. He's an avid music listener, whose favorites are classical and film music. When not chained to a desk, Ken spends most of his time training for triathlons and marathons, and likes getting outside for backpacking, downhill skiing, and bicycle touring. He attended West Virginia University, where he received a Master's Degree in Music Performance and a Bachelor's Degree in History.

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With subwoofers, size matters. If you want big bass in your system, and you've got plenty of room in your vehicle, it's a good idea to start with a large sub. But subcompact cars and trucks present a dilemma when you want to build a system with great bass. With these vehicles space for bass is at a premium.

I've experienced this first hand as the owner of a small pickup truck - I've only got room behind the seat for an 8" sub in a truck box. For my listening tastes that's fine. But if you're looking for more bump in your ride, you may be looking for more. But since I added the sub into my system a whole new range of special, shallow subwoofers have come onto the market. The slim profiles of these subs, and the small enclosures they fit into, have opened up a variety of subwoofer options for vehicles with limited space.

Pioneer TS-SW2501S4 shallow-mount subwoofer

Pioneer TS-SW2501S4 shallow-mount subwoofer

These new slim subwoofers sport some innovative technologies. JL Audio's TW5 thin-line subwoofers use a completely new design that places the spider outside of the magnet.

In contrast, Pioneer's Air Suspension Control System -- used in the Pioneer 10" sub  -- support the woofer cone on a thin cushion of air. This results in subs that are much shallower than conventional subwoofers.

And these subs, along with other shallow-mount models, are optimized to work in small sealed boxes, saving even more space when you're mounting in tight location.

The benefit is clear. If I wanted to upgrade from my 8" subwoofer, I could put a couple of these Pioneer shallow-mount enclosures with a pair of shallow 12" subs in the space I have available. That's more bass than I need, but it may be just right for you!

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