Great SPL, but does not cut it for true SQ
2015 Honda Accord
Ease of Use
I will make this review as clearly stated and accurate as possible. To start, I have installed car audio systems for 15 years. I am an engineer, piano player, and musician with a very discerning ear and a passion for testing, comparing, and reviewing very high end car, home, and studio audio equipment. The 12w6v3 has a rep for being sort of a SPL/SQ crossover, giving the listener the best of both worlds. So I decided to test that reputation for my fellow true audiophiles out there that may be thinking of buying this subwoofer. I think the JL Audio 12w6v3 does a really great job at giving the average listener what they want - pretty accurate bass and great efficiency per watt. Boy does this thing get loud. It gets loud and it does not distort when turned up to extreme listening levels. This is great for bass heads. If you are looking for good SQ and great SPL, this is the sub for you. But, it did not meet my strict expectations in terms of SQ, even after the break in period of 60 hours at 500-600 watts RMS, with a couple of true SQ subwoofers that I own from the early-mid 2000s during A/B tests. There is simply no comparison. The 12w6v3 lacks the tonal clarity needed to take the listening experience from really great to "Eargasmic". This more than likely will only occur to those who have extensive listening experience with true SQ subs that were not manufactured with SPL in mind as the 12w6v3 was. For those who have not experienced true SQ, these will be
Pros: SPL - They get plenty loud Build Quality - Top notch
Cons: Price - completely overpriced. The ROI is great, but not $599 great. This sub should be priced at $399. SQ - They may beat a lot of the current competition out there. But that is because the industry is in a poor state. I own and have experienced much cleaner sound out of two specific subs, the Audiobahn Alum12Q and Planet Audio VC12D, both built specifically for SQ. There truly is no comparison. The entire Diamond Audio subwoofer line has noticeably cleaner tonal quality than the 12w6v3.