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JL Audio ZR800-CW

Evolution™ ZR Series 8" component woofer (midbass driver)

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  • JL Audio ZR800-CW

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Our take on the JL Audio ZR800-CW

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.

JL Audio's Evolution™ ZR series component speakers will make your music sound its very best, whether you like rap, rock, reggae, or classical. JL Audio obsessed over every little detail of their ZR series components, so these speakers will reproduce the most complex musical passages with lifelike accuracy, even in the unforgiving mobile environment.

The ZR800-CW 8" component woofer can perform one of two roles in your car's audio system — you can use it as a powerful midbass driver in a 4-way component system with bass, midbass, midrange, and high frequencies amplified separately, or employ it as a subwoofer for tight, accurate deep notes. The ZR800-CW works in both sealed and vented enclosures, as well in free-air applications as a rear deck or door speaker. JL Audio designed this versatile speaker to deliver the best sound reproduction possible, with plenty of detail within its supple low tones.

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The ZR800-CW features a cast aluminum woofer basket that incorporates JL Audio's advanced cooling technologies to keep the heat out during heavy play. The sub's mineral-filled polypropylene cone and Santoprene™ surround work to deliver sonically neutral performance without sacrificing strength. The optimized motor structure ensures reliable linearity for pristine sound, and high-temperature voice coils allow this speaker to plumb great depths without melting down or introducing distortion. JL Audio includes a stylish grille to protect the driver and give your system a classy look.

To drive this single subwoofer, we recommend a mono amplifier rated between 120 and 225 watts RMS at 4 ohms. For more information, please refer to our article on How to Match Subwoofers and Amplifiers.

Highlights:

  • 8" 4-ohm component woofer
  • mineral-filled polypropylene cone with Santoprene surround
  • cast aluminum basket with Elevated Frame Cooling
  • mesh grille included
  • power handling: 75-150 watts RMS (225 watts peak power)
  • frequency response: 50-500 Hz
  • sensitivity: 87 dB
  • top-mount depth: 3-3/8"
  • sealed box volume: 0.75 cubic feet
  • ported box volume: 1.125 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 8 -inch
Impedance 4 ohms
Cone Material Mineral-filled poly
Surround Material Santoprene
Ideal Sealed Box Volume (cubic feet) 0.75
Ideal Ported Box Volume (cubic feet) 1.125
Port diameter (inches) 2
Port length (inches) 5
Free-Air Yes
Dual Voice Coil No
Sensitivity 87 dB at 1 watt
Frequency Response 50 - 500 Hz
RMS Power Range (Watts) 75-125
Peak Power Handling (Watts) 225
Top Mount Depth (inches) 3 3/8
Bottom Mount Depth (inches) N/A
Cutout Diameter or Length (inches) 7 3/16
Vas (liters) 22.29
Fs (Hz) 46.27
Qts 0.662
Xmax (millimeters) 8.6
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 8" Woofer
  • Trim ring (installed)
  • Grille
  • 8 Self-tapping screws
  • 8 Speed-clips
  • 2 Female quick-slides
  • Dum-dum
  • 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

Overview: The JL Audio ZR800-CW is a powerful 8-inch component woofer designed to operate in automotive sound systems reproducing the frequency range between 30Hz and 400Hz. It can be used in infinite-baffle or enclosed applications as a dedicated mid-bass speaker or as a subwoofer.

Polypropylene Cone: The cone and suspension elements were designed and manufactured by the world-famous Dr. Kurt Müller & Co of Germany. The speaker features a low-mass, mineral-filled polypropylene cone woofer with a santoprene surround. The cone and surround are inherently well damped to deliver an uncolored, neutral midbass without any coloration. The woofer is also equipped with a progressive roll spider.

DMA-Optimized Motor System: Within the DMA (Dynamic Motor Analysis) optimized motor structure, the CNC-machined back plate, pole piece, and top plate elements offer a degree of precision not possible with conventional forged or stamped parts. The ultra-thin gauge voice coil (1.75") is treated with proprietary, high-temperature adhesives and wound on an aluminum former to further improve thermal transfer, reliability, and linearity at high power levels.

Cast Alloy Basket: The ZR800-CW features a proprietary cast alloy woofer basket, designed to provide maximum rear open area while also incorporating JL Audio's patented "Elevated Frame" cooling system. This cooling technology, also found on W7 and W6v2 subwoofers, allows air to flow directly across the top plate and onto the voice coil windings to greatly improve linearity at all listening levels.

Mounting Ring and Grille: The JL Audio ZR800-CW comes supplied with an ABS mounting ring and metal mesh grille.

Enclosure Compatibility

Infinite Baffle: The JL Audio ZR800-CW can be installed as a free-air driver in a infinite baffle application. As a dedicated mid-bass speaker operating above 50Hz (with active filtering), the ZR800-CW can be safely operate at power levels momentarily exceeding 200 watts. When operating below 50Hz as a subwoofer, power should be limited to no more than 125 watts per woofer in infinite baffle applications.

Enclosed Operation: The ZR800-CW can also be used in a sealed or ported enclosure. Power should be limited to no more than 125 watts if being played below 50Hz. More power can be used if appropriate active high-pass filtering is applied.

  • Recommended Sealed Box Volume: JL Audio recommends mounting this woofer in a sealed enclosure made out of 3/4" MDF with an internal volume of 0.75 cu/ft.
  • Recommended Ported Box Volume: JL Audio recommends a ported enclosure made out of 3/4" MDF with an internal volume of 1.125 cu/ft using a 2" diameter x 5" long port.
 
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JL Audio ZR800-CW Reviews

Average Customer Review:

4 people say:

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5 out of 5

This is a midbass driver, not a sub folks

Written By sirbOOm, Atlanta, GA on Wednesday, August 27, 2014
 
I'm posting to note that the not so great reviews below seem to be comparing this 8" MIDBASS driver to a SUBWOOFER. It is suited to play about 63 hz to maybe 350 tops - that's where it rolls like a champ. People say the woofer is clipping. Clipping is a term associated with the signal. If the woofer is bottoming out, that means it is being fed either a clipped signal (a not clean signal) or its crossovers are set free range or allowing it to do sub 63Hz duty, which means it may attempt to operate beyond its mechanical limits - or "bottom out" as they say. Clipping would mean your amplifier gains are not set right and you're sending a dirty signal.
Pros:
Excellent midbass driver for a 3-way system, NOT a 2-way system.
Cons:
Equally as good drivers for less money but usually have a deeper mounting depth or other better/comparable drivers have a larger mounting depth.
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5 out of 5

Good in 3-way

Written By si, jax on Thursday, May 30, 2013
 
Have two running off a slash 300v2/2. Very clean sound. Running IB. Work well paired with c5 6.5's. Note theyre not full range. Some people don't seem to understand that
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3 out of 5

Expected Better

Written By DB, Schenectady NY on Saturday, February 09, 2013
 
I've had a pair of these in my '07 Trailblazer for almost a year now and have really mixed feelings of them. One blew within a month and had to have it warrantied. I was ticked because I was only feeding them 1/2 their rated power (60-70 watts checked with meter) for break-in. I am a proffesional quality installer and the doors are modified correctly with a solid plate (1") w/sound deadner both mat and spray. I even had the local stereo shop (JL dealer) help me to eliminate any flaws in the installation that may have caused the failure and they could not (checked signals with ocilloscope even!). These drivers should blow me away for the $$ I spent on them but they fall far shy of my expectations. I like to keep all my systems matched and this one is all JL (W3V3 sub, C5 61/2" components up front (kicks and dash) with the 8's in the doors, HD 600/4 powering them, and an XD 600/1 on sub duty rounded out by a pair of 61/2's in the rear door-deck powered for a little rear fill) sourced by a Kenwood DNX-9990. The other reviewer is correct. ...They clip really easy (when playing rock/metal especially), but do have a nice sweet spot for classical and Santana style music. I listen to a wide variety of music and this is the biggest negative for these drivers; There inability to dynamicly handle a wide range of conditions. This spring I will be replacing them with a set of Rockford PPS4-8's (for 1/2 the price!) and will update the review with the results.
Pros:
Sound warm and powerful when the right music is played Look cool, but looks ain't everything
Cons:
Clip easily, Over rated power handling (I feed them 95 watts now peak at 90hz 24db cutoff-130 hz 12db cutoff; they should be able to drive at 125 peak) OVERPRICED and causes me to be unconfident of their other equiptment even though the rest of the gear help to produce sonic nirvana
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Not Bad for an 8" mid-driver setup free-aired

Written By Rich, PA on Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
It sounds good for an 8", but I wish it could handle a higher wattage. The bass is just okay. Its not comparable to even a poor quality 10" or 12" when it comes to bass. But I guess for a free-air setup, its pretty good. It clips easily. I find myself adjusting the subwoofer level on my OEM headunit often so as to not clip the driver. (I listen to a wide variety of music, some with deep bass). It's was way too expensive for what it is, but it is a JL Audio speaker so it should last me a long time.
Pros:
- The sound from the driver is good. - It's JL Audio
Cons:
- Expensive! Not worth the money for a free-air setup. - Bass is lacking, but okay to good for an 8 mid driver. - Clips easily, even following Crutchfield's way to setup a subwoofer.
5 out of 13 people found this helpful
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2 questions already asked

could this product be used with the j l 900/5 on the fifth channel and respond properly as a mid bass driver? [ Ricardo  Apr 14, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: That amplifier would be over powering the subwoofer quite a bit. It's putting out 500 watts while the sub is only rated at 150. If you're looking for Mid-range drive, this Rockford would be a better fit. http://www.crutchfield.com/p_575PPS410/Rockford-Punch-PPS4-10.html?tp=49590 If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy Staff  Apr 16, 2014 ]
could the zr800 used without enclosures? [ Ricardo  Feb 27, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • The ZR800 can be used in Free-Air (without a box) applications. [ Jeff Staff  Feb 27, 2014 ]

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Dynamat Xtreme Trunk Kit 5 sheets, 20 square feet
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Dynamat Dynaliner One 54" x 32" sheet (1/8" thick)
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Polyester Fiber Stuffing Make your subwoofer think it's in a bigger box (1-pound pack)
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Metra Speaker Terminal Round terminal cup with binding post connectors (for do-it-yourself box builders)
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Metra Speaker Terminal Round terminal cup with spring clip connectors (for do-it-yourself box builders)
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Metra Speaker Terminal Square terminal cup with binding post connectors (for do-it-yourself box builders)
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Port Tube 2" diameter, 4-1/2" long
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Port Tubes (2" diameter x 2-1/2" length)
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