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JL Audio 12W3v3-2

W3v3 Series 12" 2-ohm subwoofer

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  • JL Audio 12W3v3-2

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  • JL Audio 12W3v3-2

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Our take on the JL Audio 12W3v3-2

by Dominic Devito
JL Audio

What's a component sub and why would I want one?

A component sub is simply a speaker that's designed to reproduce bass once it's installed in a compatible enclosure. Think about the impact of a movie soundtrack in a big theater or even in your own home HDTV setup. A component sub can add the same kind of power to the music in your car. And a car sub is not all about the boom that you hear on a street corner (although that's cool too) - you can pair a component sub with your choice of enclosure to get bass just the way you like it, from tight and punchy to fat and loose. And once you experience music in your car with a well-tuned subwoofer, you'll never go back.

Remarkably realistic bass

JL Audio designed their W3v3 subwoofers to deliver powerful, accurate bass with a medium-power amplifier. Their extensive motor assembly research resulted in a design that ensures smooth, precise cone movement at any power level. Exclusive cooling features shunt heat away from the sub's internal motor structure for long term durability and reduced distortion. The W3v3 sub works well in a sealed or ported enclosure.

JL Audio W3v3 exploded view

Read more


Well-rounded performance

JL Audio W3v3 interior

The 12W3v3-2 subwoofer boasts a 12" mineral-filled polypropylene cone with a distinctive metallic JL Audio medallion. A patented design eases the stress felt by the rubber surround during cone movement, for increased reliability and consistent bass output. The removable, customizable trim ring accepts optional JL Audio grilles, and can be painted to enhance your installation.

To drive this single subwoofer, we recommend a mono amplifier rated between 375 and 750 watts RMS at 2 ohms. For more information, please refer to our article on How to Match Subwoofers and Amplifiers.

Highlights:

  • 12" 2-ohm subwoofer
  • mineral-filled polypropylene cone with nitrile-butylene rubber surround
  • power range: 100-500 watts RMS
  • peak power handling: 1,000 watts
  • frequency response: 22-200 Hz
  • sensitivity: 87.15 dB
  • top-mount depth: 6-5/8"
  • sealed box volume: 1.25 cubic feet
  • ported box volume: 1.75 cubic feet
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Priced per speaker

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Size 12 -inch
Impedance 2 ohms
Cone Material Mineral-filled poly
Surround Material Rubber
Ideal Sealed Box Volume (cubic feet) 1.25
Ideal Ported Box Volume (cubic feet) 1.75
Port diameter (inches) N/A
Port length (inches) N/A
Free-Air No
Dual Voice Coil No
Sensitivity 87.15 dB at 1 watt
Frequency Response 22 - 200 Hz
RMS Power Range (Watts) 100-500
Peak Power Handling (Watts) 1000
Top Mount Depth (inches) 6 5/8
Bottom Mount Depth (inches) N/A
Cutout Diameter or Length (inches) 10 7/8
Vas (liters) 79.47
Fs (Hz) 27.97
Qts 0.5
Xmax (millimeters) 13
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 12" Subwoofer
  • Black plastic trim ring
  • Owner's Manual

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Enclosure Compatibility

Features

Dynamic Motor Analysis (DMA): DMA is JL Audio's proprietary method aimed at improving dynamic motor behavior. As a result of DMA optimization, W3v3 motors remain linear in motor force over a very long range of excursion, and also maintain a highly stable fixed magnetic field in the gap over a wide power range. The result is vastly reduced distortion, faithfully reproduced transients, and tight, clean, articulate bass.

Floating Cone Attachment Method (FCAM): JL Audio's patented FCAM technology is an innovative method of bonding the surround/cone assembly to the voice coil/spider assembly. This assembly technique ensures proper surround geometry in the assembled speaker for better excursion control and dynamic voice coil alignment.

Vented Reinforcement Collar (VRC): The Vented Reinforcement Collar is a composite structure that addresses two issues related to reliability. By reinforcing the critical junction between the cone, voice coil and spider, the VRC greatly reduces failures due to glue breakdown or material weaknesses. It does this by greatly increasing adhesive contact area and providing stress relief to the spider material at excursion extremes. the VRC also feature slots that facilitate air flow directly onto the voice coil windings to reduce thermal compression effects and enhances reliability.

Spider/Lead Wire Assembly: The W3v3 features a unique spider, coil and terminal subassembly which is assembled prior to installation in the speaker frame for optimum alignment and glue-joint integrity. The spider is insert-molded into a composite carrier tray which also incorporates the terminal assembly and lead wire strain relief features for enhanced reliability and optimal alignment of parts. The flying lead wires are carefully controlled and strain-relieved without resorting to woven-in lead wires, which can degrade spider performance.

Elevated Frame Cooling: The elevated frame design of the W3v3 delivers high-velocity air flow through slots directly above the top plate to the voice coil of the speaker. This not only enhances power handling, but also sound quality by minimizing dynamic parameter shifts and power compression.

Surround Stress Relief: By creating a radiused feature on the edge of the cone, stress is relieved from the surround material at maximum forward excursion, resulting in longer life and more consistent surround behavior.

Customizable Trim Ring: The woofer comes with a removable ring made of black ABS plastic which can be painted to match the installation theme and create a personalized look. You can purchase optional grille mesh inserts which are specifically designed to fit into the inner diameter of the trim ring.

Enclosure Compatibility

Recommended Sealed Box Volume: The sealed box size recommended by JL Audio is 1.25 cu/ft. A diagram is provided in the owner's manual for a sealed box with external dimensions of 23" W x 14" H x 10" D, assuming 3/4" thick material. (If you are using 5/8" thick materials, you should subtract 1/4" from each dimension.)

Recommended Ported Box Volume: The ported box size recommended by JL Audio is 1.75 cu/ft. A diagram is provided in the owner's manual for a sealed box with external dimensions of 29" W x 14" H x 12.625" D, assuming 3/4" thick material. (If you are using 5/8" thick materials, you should subtract 1/4" from each dimension.) A slot port is recommended with the following dimensions:

  • Slot Width=1.375"
  • Slot Height=12.5"
  • Slot Length=26.125" (a right angled port with a 13.5" extension)
 
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JL Audio 12W3v3-2 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

21 people say:

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4 out of 5

great speaker

Written By luis, key west, fl on Thursday, April 17, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
great speaker, nice looking also, sounds great
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"Coolness Factor"
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5 out of 5

Nice

Written By Keith, Moberly,Mo on Friday, February 28, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very nice easy to hook up and they sound great most people can't handle the bass they put out :-)
Pros:
Everything
Cons:
Non
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"Coolness Factor"
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5 out of 5

amazing!

Written By Dustin, kaiserslautern, Germany on Monday, December 30, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sub worth every penny!
Pros:
Crisp sound Deep bass Can handle punishment
Cons:
Heavy High cost Doesnt come with screws
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"Coolness Factor"
Build Quality
Ease of Use
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5 out of 5

Great Sub

Written By Nick, Fort Worth, TX on Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I wanted a clean, quality setup. I paired this sub with a JL Audio JX500 amp, all JL wires, and a ported box to JL specs. Sounds great. I've gotten great feedback so far. More than enough if you are looking for a basic setup. The installer was actually reminded on how keeping the entire setup the same brand (JL), makes a difference. A lot of people will mismatch the setup. Keep it clean, keep it simple!
Pros:
Everything
Cons:
None
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"Coolness Factor"
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Ease of Use
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5 out of 5

Thumping

Written By Trey donna, Asheville on Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This sub is the best you can get for the price. I have one 12 in a band pass box in my focus hatchback powered by a jl a 1400 d series mono block amp wired for 2 ohms and it will literally take your breath away. I have friends running two 12 that can't come close to the knock I pull with my set up!
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5 out of 5

JL Audio 12W3v3-2

Written By Blaine, Lake wales on Friday, April 26, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sub, have it powered by jl xd 700/5 and it hits really hard.
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5 out of 5

no distortion. crazy loud. NICE SPL

Written By MikeT, Phillipsburg, NJ on Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
im running 2 of these in 2 ohm load attached to a JX1000/1 2ohm amp and at max volume on the stereo and the gain turned 1/4 of the way up these subs can almost take your breath away the SPL is rediculous to the point that your arm hairs vibrate at a 40hz drop. AMAZING quality and they really sound good even in a ported box.
Pros:
they barely take up 1/4 of the amplifiers gain that means they dont require nearly as much power as they are rated at to get the job done
Cons:
none.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Sub

Written By Rob, Guam on Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This sub is awesome. I have been driving a friend's car while he is deployed and he has 2 15" I think they are called "punchers" and this one 12" hits harder than both of his. The JL is running on 500rms and my friends 15's are running off about 320rms a peice. Bottom line I am a fan of this company, they have impressed me with this sub.
Pros:
Build quality, sound
Cons:
cost
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"Coolness Factor"
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5 out of 5

Great Sub

Written By Emilio I, Santa Cruz, CA on Friday, April 27, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have this sub hooked up to an Alpine MRP500 amp and put it in ported S/O box in the back of my tacoma extra cab. I am more than impressed with this set up. It hits hard and also sounds very clean and not distorted at all. I am definitely a JL fan now.
Pros:
Solidly made Sounds Great basically just an awesome sub.
Cons:
The only con i could possible think of right now is that if i turn up the bass all the way it is overpowering in my truck. But seriously I don't think there are any.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Fantastic

Written By Ants, boston on Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very impressed with the quality of sub. Double ported box with a jl x 500/1 mono. When this sub gets broken in; and actually starts to flex...it slams, not only slams but it sounds good on all types of music. I have it hooked up to kenwood indash; which gives you all the little controls for your amp and speakers. Crutchfield has been one of the best places to sell electronics at a fair price. I will not buy my car electronics anywhere else. Also 2 day shipping for free!!
Pros:
everything
Cons:
none
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Amazing sound quality

Written By Gunther, Miami, FL on Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought this sub along with "Alpine MRP-M500 Amplifier" and "Sound Ordnance BB12-125S Enclosure". These were installed to add some bass to my stock radio in my Honda Civic. I must say that I am completely satisfied with the level of bass this produces in this setup and would highly recommend it to anyone interested.
Pros:
Everything
Cons:
Nothing
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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"Coolness Factor"
Build Quality
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5 out of 5

Boom for your buck!

Written By Jeremy, Tucson, AZ on Sunday, July 31, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased this subwoofer to replace my JLw3v2 after I blew out a 4" hole in it. To compensate for the slightly larger enclosure requirements of the v3, I added about 16oz of pollyfill in my custom downfiring enclosure. I am pushing the sub with my MTX 421D amp and the difference in the v2 and v3 is amazing! It hits not only harder, but also lower- with zero distortion at full volume. This is one heck of a sub!
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Exactly what I wanted

Written By Jamie, Denver on Friday, May 27, 2011
 
I recently got this sub. I only got half my system done today so for now I literally only have the sub hooked up. I have it hooked up to a Fosgate T400-2. The amp is 2 ohm stable bridged. I have it in the larger ported box which Crutchfield sells. Dimensions are about spot on for what JL recommends. It is ported very closely as well. Anyways, this sub just pounds. I mean that is exactly what I was looking for. The 12w0 I had for a month in my truck was nice. But this thing blows it away. Get it.
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5 out of 5

believe the hype

Written By RonH, Mcdonough NY on Wednesday, January 19, 2011
 
after going through 3 subwoofer and amp setups in about 3 months i found one that fits my needs. I am driving this with a jl audio jx 500 amplifier for the perfect match of rms power. I have had this sub for over a month now and it continues to improve constantly, and it was great out of the box! DO NOT waste your money, get jl the first time around.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Amazing

Written By Josh B, Denver, CO on Friday, December 31, 2010
 
This is such a clear and durable sub. Iv'e had the Sub for three years now and have never had to re-solder any connections like u find in the Alpine subs nor have i had to do anything to take care of it. bottom line It's a beast!!!
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Kickin

Written By 64Malibu09, California on Sunday, September 05, 2010
 
Let's just quote 40water for this review
"Got Van Damme kickin' in the trunk"
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Your Sub Search Ends Here

Written By newby, Denver, CO on Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This thing flat out beats any sub in this price range. Now I know JL is more SQ oriented which is why I purchased this sub. I also like the bass to get LOUD so I threw this puppy in a ported box built to JL specs and it booms. Like really booms, but still sounds great at the same time not muddy or distorted. I have it running off the sub channel of the Kicker ZX700.5 which puts out about 400W-500W on the sub channel. One 12w3v3 is more than enough bass for even the most bass hungry of listeners. BUY THIS SUB period
9 out of 9 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Amazing

Written By Greg, NOVA on Monday, June 22, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Installed in a sealed box and being powered by a Alpine M-500 amp and the bass is perfect. We knew the 6.5" speakers would not produce enough bass so we wanted to add a sub but worried that a 12" sub in a small Integra would overwhelm it so we went with a sealed box. The bass is amazing and the statement I think that describes it the best was my son after the first drive - "You can hear the bass but you can feel it even more"
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Solid bass for the money

Written By myriad1973, Toledo, OH on Friday, March 20, 2009
 
This subwoofer is rock solid! I have it in a 1.5 cubic foot sealed enclosure, powered by an Infinity Kappa Five amp (300 watt sub channel). The enclosure is slightly oversized, but it brings out a little more depth that is solid down to 30 Hz, with flat response. I primarily listen to progressive rock, which usually involves the use of bass synthesizers. When you turn it up, this sub is capable of giving you a back massage! I would recommend this sub to anybody looking for quality sound with depth and excellent transient response.
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

An Excellent Product

Written By William, Waltham, MA on Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After trying to solve my vehicles bass issues with smaller or lesser subwoofers, I finally solved my issue by purchasing the JL Audio 12W3v3-2, had a custom enclosure made for the set-up and powered the sub with a single channel JL Audio Amp. I listen to primarily alt rock and the solid bottom complete with car vibrating bass now fill the interior of the car. Make sure the speaker is properly powered and enclosed and you will be very happy with the selection of this incredebly well built speaker. The box needed for the speaker is surprisingly small and truck space is not an issue. I'm a big fan of this product.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

WoW!!! Tremendous Bass!!!

Written By Nick, Columbus,GA on Monday, April 14, 2008
 
WoW!! I couldnt believe my ears when I turned this thing up. I have a kenwood Excelon Reciever with a Mtx 1000 watt amp at half power and these subs pound!! My rearview mirror cant stay straight at 10 out of 50 % volume!! I love them and deff reccomend to beginner car audio buyers!!!
11 out of 14 people found this helpful
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1 question already asked

I have 1 jl 12w3v3-2 subwoofer and the jl audio jx500 1d amplifier. I am running this setup on a 2014 mustang with ssheer 500 system. I have a kenwood ddx470 hu. I am not getting any sound from my subwoofer. Please help with my wiring options. Am I supposed to negate the 2 8 inch subs in the doors? I'm a newbie and really have no idea what I'm doing [ Brian  Jan 16, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer. You can also post your question in our forums: http://community.crutchfield.com. Or try our online support center: http://crutchfield.custhelp.com/app/answers/list/kw/. [ Jeff Staff  Jan 16, 2014 ]

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the JL Audio 12W3v3-2, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_13612W3V32/JL-Audio-12W3v3-2.html ).