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JL Audio 13TW5-3

Shallow-mount 13.5" 3-ohm subwoofer

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  • JL Audio 13TW5-3

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  • JL Audio 13TW5-3

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Item #: 13613TW53
 

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Original price $599.99
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Our take on the JL Audio 13TW5-3

by Gabrielle Thorndyke
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.

Fit huge bass into tight spaces

You can get great-sounding, big bass in your sports car, truck, or any other compact vehicle. JL Audio rises to the challenge of compact spaces with their TW5 thin-line subwoofers. Engineered for use in extremely small boxes, these subs fit in places where only 6-1/2" or 8" subs would previously go, for astoundingly deep, resonant bass without the large enclosure.

13TW5-3 exploded

A super-thin sub that rivals bulkier speakers

13TW5-3 thin profile

The 13TW5-3 13.5" subwoofer handles up to 600 watts RMS with a 2.5-inch mounting depth that makes it ideal for tight spaces. The cast-alloy frame provides a rock-solid platform for the mica-filled polypropylene cone and its resilient Santoprene™ rubber surround — you'll enjoy consistent, full-bodied bass output that won't distort under heavy excursion.

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Highlights:

  • 13.5" 3-ohm subwoofer
  • radical shallow-mount design with extremely small airspace requirements
  • mica-filled polypropylene cone with Santoprene rubber surround
  • cast alloy basket
  • top-mount depth: 2-1/2"
  • power range: 100-600 watts RMS
  • peak power handling: 1,200 watts
  • frequency response: 20-200 Hz
  • sensitivity: 85.87 dB
  • sealed box volume: 0.8 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
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13.5 -inch
Impedance
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3 ohms
Cone Material
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Mica-filled IMPP
Surround Material
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Santoprene
Ideal Sealed Box Volume (cubic feet)
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0.8
Ideal Ported Box Volume (cubic feet)
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N/A
Port diameter (inches)
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N/A
Port length (inches)
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N/A
Free-Air
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No
Dual Voice Coil
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No
Sensitivity
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85.87 dB at 1 watt
Frequency Response
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20 - 500 Hz
RMS Power Range (Watts)
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100-600
Peak Power Handling (Watts)
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1200
Top Mount Depth (inches)
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2 9/16
Bottom Mount Depth (inches)
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N/A
Cutout Diameter or Length (inches)
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12 1/4
Vas (liters)
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59.47
Fs (Hz)
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27.52
Qts
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0.489
Xmax (millimeters)
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9.7
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 13" Thin-Line subwoofer
  • 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

Thin-Line Design: The patented thin-line woofer technology compresses the architecture of the JL Audio 13TW5-3 subwoofer and allows it to deliver great bass performance in the tightest space applications that are only 2.5" deep. Central to the technology is the "concentric tube" structure that supports the oversized voice coil and the suspension attachments. This permits placing the motor of the woofer much further forward in the speaker than with conventional designs, while maintaining excellent linear excursion capability. Equally important is the fact that the 13TW5-3 design is optimized for extremely small box volume applications. Whereas a typical "small-box" 12-inch driver operates in well over one cubic foot, the larger 13TW5-3 is optimum in only 0.80 cu.ft. (significantly less volume than any other JL Audio 13.5-inch woofer).

Concentric Tube Suspension: The challenge in any low-profile woofer design is to permit enough mechanical clearance for the speaker to handle power and generate good output at low frequencies. JL Audio's patented solution employs a molded structure which spans over the edge of the motor system, supporting the spider on the outside of the motor's boundaries and the large diameter voice coil on the inside. The large voice coil permits the magnet to sit inside it, rather than surrounding the coil as is typical in most woofers. The concentric tube structure and the elimination of a conventional top-plate helps JL Audio to place the motor system higher up into the cone body's space to further compress depth, while still permitting excellent mechanical excursion.

Mica-Filled Polypropylene Woofer: The JL Audio 13TW5-3 subwoofer features an injection-molded, mica-filled polypropylene cone woofer with a santoprene rubber surround for added durability, woofer excursion and bass response.

Dynamic Motor Analysis (DMA): DMA is JL Audio's proprietary method aimed at improving dynamic motor behavior. As a result of DMA optimization, the 13TW-3 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.

Extra Large Voice Coils: To counteract the efficiency tradeoff of small box volumes, the 13TW5-3 is designed to handle very high power levels thanks to the use of a very large 7-inch diameter voice coil.

Enclosure Compatibility

Recommended Sealed Box Volume: The sealed box size recommended by JL Audio is 0.800 cu/ft. A diagram is provided in the owner's manual for a sealed box with external dimensions of 19" W x 15" H x 7.75" D, assuming 3/4" thick material. (If you are using 5/8" thick materials, you should subtract 1/4" from each dimension.)

Shallow Mount Design: The JL Audio 13TW5-3 only requires a mounting depth of 2.5" when top mounted.

 
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JL Audio 13TW5-3 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

15 people say:

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Filter by rating:
5 out of 5

Best shallow sub on the market, period.

Written By GREGINFLA, Holiday, FL on Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought this sub for its small enclosure requirement. I built a custom enclosure to go in the spare tire well of my car. I then built a false floor to enable me to keep my spare tire. I have my entire system running off a JL HD900/5 with a Tsunami 5 farad cap.I built this system for sound quality and have not been disappointed with T5's ability to blend in with the highs and mids. I can also pump up the bass when desired with the remote bass knob for the HD900/5. The sub hits very strong and tight low bass notes. It is hard to believe that this sub as thin as it is can produce such powerful low bass. I know that I would not win any DB contests and I knew that when I bought this sub. People who want concusion style bass should look into the JL W6V2 or JL W7 subs. I highly recommend to anyone who puchases this subwoofer that if you do not have box building skills have one built by a professional. Also use a high quality amp that has at least 300 to 600 watts. Bottom line is that I could not be happier with the choice to purchase this sub. I have a slamming sound quality system and still have a usable trunk space.
Pros:
I loved the thin profile and small enclosure requirement.
Cons:
No dislikes.
8 out of 9 people found this helpful
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"Coolness Factor"
Build Quality
Ease of Use
Sound Quality
Value
 
5 out of 5

Hardest hitting system i ever had.

Written By Jaysen2584, Amarillo,Tx on Wednesday, July 27, 2011
 
Best system i have ever had. I am currently running 3 right now and i have never been more proud of my system!!! I am running 2 alternators and 3 amps. I blew away my friend and his 2 15 inch L7's. I plan on buying more of these speakers for my other trucks. Keep up the great work JL Audio....
6 out of 9 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

JL Audio 13TW5-3

Written By Willi D, Fayetteville, NC on Tuesday, June 28, 2011
 
Had mine for I year now and couldn't be happier. Hits like a beast after breaking in. Not something you would expect from a 2 1/2 inch 13. Expensive sub so I went on and got the Stealthbox version to go in my 2009 F150. Well worth it. Fits like or better than custom, less hastle.
7 out of 8 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

AWESOME

Written By Joey, Las Vegas, NV on Sunday, June 26, 2011
 
awesome subs!! people complaining on here probably didn't have the box built to the specs in the manual. They are incredibly strong.
6 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

JL Audio 13TW5-3

Written By JNP, MD on Monday, May 30, 2011
 
The TW5 13.5 sub surprised the heck out of me it plays loud and hits hard, I had to get the box built and tuned at an audio shop(custom work is pricey) the amp is a HD750/1JL,I mostly listen to rap music and for a sealed enclosed sub it plays very good in my station wagon and I get to keep my cargo area win win bass and utility.
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

There is simply no other.

Written By Brandonra, California, United States on Friday, April 08, 2011
 
There is simply no other sub like this. I was hesistant because of the price at first, but I still bought 2 of these and let me just say, I have never heard a more pure woofer in my lifetime. I have a JL 1000 powering these bad boys and I can blow my friends 15" dual alpines out of the water. These are a must buy!!! You can't go wrong with JL. Keep in mind you are paying for the quality. I play these at max all the time and they haven't blown out, my friend has replaced his alpines 3 times in the last 2 month and he plays them around medium.
7 out of 11 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Simply the best shallow sub on the market!

Written By Severedthumbz, Lafayette, LA on Monday, March 21, 2011
 
Trust....no other shallow compares or even comes close! After two weeks of testing shallow subs this is by far the best sounding shallow that we tested. it hits harder and deeper and plays louder than all the others. Setup in a Ford F-250 crew cab, installed behind left side of rear seat. Tested Pioneer, MTX, Kenwood Excelon, Kicker, Fosgate, Alpine, and Sony. Get this and put it in a proper box and you will be very impressed.
14 out of 16 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Thin is in!

Written By RonBoy, Minneapolis, MN on Thursday, March 10, 2011
 
This is a rocking sub, hits way low and hard, if you are limited on space this is your best option. I replaced 2 - 10" JL's with a single 13.5" and it is louder and lower, the sound quaility is incredible. Very worth the extra few bucks to do it right the first time. Look to put a minimum of 500W to enjoy.
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

JL Audio 13TW5-3

Written By Denis, Winnipeg, MB Canada on Thursday, June 10, 2010
 
I was very impressed with the build quality. I built the box to the JL specs and connected to my bridged 400 watt amp. According to my ADC sound meter this thing responds down to 22 Hz (-3 db). The bass is great sounding and really hits. I am very happy that I chose this to replace the sub that came with my '05 Mustang.
11 out of 14 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Ok sub

Written By loccs, Monterey, CA on Thursday, March 25, 2010
 
i ordered this sub and paid the hefty price i put it in and i thought it was the best i could get for a shallow mount to fit behind my 07 f250 crew cab seat but after a few months of having the base set on high it blew out, i replaced with the much cheaper 12" they offer, the 12 hit harder and cost way less, for this 13.5" u pay for the fact that they are and made and have newer tech but in reality you are much better off saving money with the 12" and it hits better and has been lasting me for over 2 years strong now, there 12" is the best shallow on the market by far!
11 out of 48 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Very Picky Sub

Written By Doug, Northern Illinois on Thursday, February 12, 2009
 
I made a custom hybrid box that was sealed under the rear seat of my F-250 crewcab. The sub fit great in a box that was only 3" deep. I was very excited to fire up the sub for the first time and when I finally did, I was very very dissapointed. It had no punch, just some very boomy lows. I spent a long time tuning only to find that I couldnt tune it any better.

After some research I thought I would try to build a different box. This time it was to go behind the rear seat which is what I was trying to avoid all along. I built the box to JL's exact spec (.75 cu ft) and stuffed it behind the rear seat. I Jumped up front hoping for some really good results, thankfully, I got it, it sounds much much better now. It is very tight, controlled, and responsive. It plays the lows real smooth and overall, the sub plays very flat (That is good).

I will be honest and say that even though I didnt have to pay full retail, its not worth the high cost. The pioneer, at less than half the cost, sounds similar, not AS good but for the cost difference it sounds just as good. I am happy with the JL but would not have bought it having what I know now. A friend of mine has the pioneer 12" flat sub and it doesnt hit as hard but it plays real low. Granted he is using his factory radio through a line out converter but it still sounds great. FWIW, he has the same truck as I do.

I rated 3 stars for the pickyness of the sub and high cost.
16 out of 32 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Subs

Written By John, Medina, MN on Wednesday, December 24, 2008
 
I got one of these subs and even though it wasn't recommended for a ported enclosure that is what it came in and let me tell you this thing THUMPS! I have a Kenwood kac8104d powering it and I can't even turn my volume up a fourth of the way without blowing out my ears and basically making all of my mirrors useless. Great sub even though it's a bit on the pricey side JL won't let you down.
11 out of 13 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

JL Audio 13TW5-3

Written By hector, fullerton, CA on Saturday, December 13, 2008
 
i got a pair of these subs last sunday they are the subs that i was waiting
4 all my life. these subs are great i mounted them under my seats of my
chevy silverado and they hit really hard. i had my old box that i had 2 12in
kickers cvrs and i modified my box to mount the 13.5 in subs. i could not be
happier i got them with a jl1000v2 and the bass is amazing. there a little
pricesy u could get some better subs 4 less money but if u dnt have the
room 2 mount some big subs these is the path 2 go. the brand says it all. jl
has never let me down and i recomend these subs.
9 out of 9 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

JL Audio 13TW5-3

Written By Edgar, Ft. lewis, WA on Friday, August 22, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
i bought two of these subs and put them under that back seat of my 05
crew cab canyon, with two alpine MRP-M1000 amps i really expected more
for the price and from alpine, i spent over two grand on just the subs and
the amps i had a friend who spent 500 on his system and blew mine out of
the water, i decided to return these subs and get some better ones, so i
went with the Alpine Type X subs, maybe the JL subs were just not for me,
but they do sound really good, just not loud enough for me, my amps
werent even turned up half way cus the subs wouldnt of been able to
handle the power from the amps
16 out of 59 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great shallow sub in my 2007 1500 Chevy.

Written By AzMarine, Phoenix AZ on Saturday, June 21, 2008
 
We the saying is true that you get what you pay for. This sub is great, if your looking for kick drum you got it. If you looking for bass you got it. I run a JL Audio 500/1 just for this amp and it sounds great. I have also heard another install with a smaller amp and can tell you it wants the power. You will be very happy with the performance. For pictures of my install and others check out the JL Audio web site and look at the customer pictures.
91 out of 108 people found this helpful
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Add accessories for the JL Audio 13TW5-3

It's critical to have good wire, and none is included with the sub. See all categories & accessories

T-Spec 16-gauge Speaker Wire Black/white jacket — priced per foot
11 people say
Your Price: $0.69
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T-Spec 12-gauge Speaker Wire Black/white jacket — priced per foot
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Your Price: $1.99
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Stinger PRO Series 16-gauge Speaker Wire Black jacket — priced per foot
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Your Price: $0.39
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Dynamat 19100 License Frame Kit
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Your Price: $14.99
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Dynamat Xtreme Wedge Pack 1 sheet, 4 square feet
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Dynamat SuperLite Tri-Pak Triple package — 3 sheets, 12 square feet (Model #10612)
17 people say
Your Price: $69.99
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Dynamat Xtreme Trunk Kit 5 sheets, 20 square feet
12 people say
Your Price: $169.99
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Dynamat Dynaliner One 54" x 32" sheet (1/8" thick)
6 people say
Your Price: $69.99
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JL Audio SGR-13 Grille for 13.5" W3v3, W1v2, and TW5 subwoofers
1 person says
Your Price: $25.99
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Metra Box Carpet Carpet roll (54" x 5 yards) — available in 3 colors (Black)
23 people say
Your Price: $39.99
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Polyester Fiber Stuffing Make your subwoofer think it's in a bigger box (1-pound pack)
34 people say
Your Price: $12.99
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Metra Speaker Terminal Round terminal cup with binding post connectors (for do-it-yourself box builders)
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Your Price: $9.99
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5 people say
Your Price: $9.99
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4 people say
Your Price: $5.99
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Metra Speaker Terminal Round terminal cup with spring clip connectors (for do-it-yourself box builders)
5 people say
Your Price: $3.99
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Metra Speaker Terminal Square terminal cup with binding post connectors (for do-it-yourself box builders)
7 people say
Your Price: $9.99
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2 people say
Your Price: $9.99
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Metra Speaker Terminal Square terminal cup with spring clip connectors (for do-it-yourself box builders)
7 people say
Your Price: $3.99
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the JL Audio 13TW5-3, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_13613TW53/JL-Audio-13TW5-3.html ).