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Alpine SWE-12S4

Type-E 12" 4-ohm subwoofer

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Item #: 500SWE12S4
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Alpine SWE-12S4

by John Pollard
Alpine

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.

Alpine Authorized Online Dealer

Nice price, big bass

Alpine's Type-E subwoofers will fill up your ride with big bass without draining your bank account. These low-profile subs handle plenty of power, and still use the same tried-and-true design that's made this line so popular with budget-conscious bassheads. You'll get an amazing amount of rumble when you add one or two of these to your ride.

Side view of Type-S 12

Built tough

The SWE-12S4 12" subwoofer handles up to 250 watts RMS. Alpine treats the pulp cone with Kevlar so it won't buckle or distort under heavy use, while the tough rubber HAMRS surround allows for maximum excursion while keeping the cone under control for more accurate bass. Extra venting maximizes air flow through your speaker, dissipating heat and increasing the sub's reliability. The heavy-gauge, stamped steel cage holds its shape through the most relentless pounding, so the bass stays tight.

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Highlights:

  • 12" subwoofer with 4-ohm voice coil
  • Kevlar reinforced pulp cone with HAMRS Santoprene rubber surround
  • heavy-gauge stamped-steel cage
  • frequency response: 28-200 Hz
  • power handling: 50-250 watts RMS
  • peak power: 750 watts
  • sensitivity: 87.9 dB
  • top-mount depth: 5"
  • sealed box volume: 0.69-1.04 cu. ft.
  • ported box volume: 1.04-1.54 cu. ft.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

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

Features and Specs
Size
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12 -inch
Impedance
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4 ohms
Cone Material
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Pulp-Kevlar
Surround Material
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Santoprene
Ideal Sealed Box Volume (cubic feet)
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0.9
Ideal Ported Box Volume (cubic feet)
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1.45
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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87.9 dB at 1 watt
Frequency Response
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28 - 200 Hz
RMS Power Range (Watts)
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50-250
Peak Power Handling (Watts)
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750
Top Mount Depth (inches)
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5
Bottom Mount Depth (inches)
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5 9/16
Cutout Diameter or Length (inches)
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10 5/8
Vas (liters)
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52
Fs (Hz)
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36
Qts
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0.59
Xmax (millimeters)
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10
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

  • One 12" Single voice coil subwoofer
  • 1 Rubber concealing ring (installed)
  • Type-E Subwoofer Application Guide (English/ French)
  • On-line product registration information (English/ French/ Spanish)
  • Warranty information (English/ French)
  • Important Notice! (English/ French)

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

Kevlar Reinforced Pulp Cone: This Alpine Type-E subwoofer uses a parabolic cone structure, with a Kevlar reinforced pulp cone and a Poly-Mica dust cap. Kevlar adds strength and tear resistance to the woofer cone while maintaining the benefits of a pulp cone design. The oversized, inverted poly-mica dust cap increases rigidity and virtually eliminates cone distortion at extreme volume levels.

HAMRS: The woofer features a High Amplitude Multi Roll Surround (HAMRS), made of Santoprene, that allows a large linear excursion and greater SPL. The HAMRS design allows extreme excursions without sacrificing valuable cone area.

Progressive Spider: The progressive Conex spider ensures reliability and helps avoid interference typical of many high-excursion designs.

Voice Coil: The oversized (65mm) 3-layer voice coil offers power handling up to 250W RMS / 750W Peak. The high-temperature voice coil is wound on a spiral cut aluminum former.

Compound Radius Curve Pole Geometry: Alpine's patented Compound Radius Curve pole geometry ensures a symmetrical magnetic field, while optimizing flux density to reduce distortion and further improve power handling and output.

Airflow Management System: Alpine's patented Airflow Management System combined with Perimeter Venting actively manages the outer voice coil temperatures by forcing air directly across the heatsink system.

Vented Pole Piece: The vented pole piece is flared at both ends to maximize air flow from inside the motor structure. The Airflow Back Plate combined with the Compound Radius Curve Extended Pole Geometry ensures that hot air is not trapped inside the motor structure.

Spring Terminals: The spring post terminals are located on one side of the woofer. The terminals will accept pin connectors, single banana plugs, dual banana plugs (with standard 3/4" width), or bare wire up to 8 gauge.

Gasket Cover: Alpine uses a Concealed Mount Gasket System to cover the mounting screws for a clean look. The black rubber gasket ring comes already installed on the woofer and needs to be removed before installing the mounting screws (not supplied). The gasket ring then snaps back into place once the woofer is mounted.

Enclosure Compatibility

Sealed Box: Alpine recommends a sealed enclosure with an internal volume between 0.69 and 1.04 cubic feet, with an ideal volume of 0.9 cubic feet. Sealed enclosures provide the most control over a woofer, will handle a lot of power, and provide accurate sonic reproduction, making them suitable to all types of music.

Ported Box Volume: The recommended ported box volume ranges from 1.04 cubic feet to 1.54 cubic feet, with the ideal size being 1.45 cubic feet, using a slot port measuring 12.5" (W) x 1" (H) x 18" (L). This recommended enclosure has a tuning frequency of 36 Hz.

 
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Alpine SWE-12S4 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

32 people say:

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5 out of 5

Great hitters!!!

Written By Kyle, Brecksville ohio on Friday, December 06, 2013
 
I had just bought these subs yesterday with a slot ported box and hooked them up with a crunch 1500 watt amp and man do these things pound for the price, alpine is and always will be a great product. I still have yet to play with my amp settings (they are set low as i am breaking it in still) and they hit hardd would highly recommend to anyone looking for a good system.
Pros:
Great sound quality and overall great build, i do not think i will be undersatisfied with these and would recomend to many
Cons:
No complaints great subs
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5 out of 5

Great subs for the money

Written By Roger B, Wareham, MA on Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sound in the Sound Ordnance Bass Bunker ported box. Nice deep base
Cons:
none
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5 out of 5

Hard Hitters

Written By Nathanial, Plant City, FL on Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I got these subs because I wanted to add bass to my car. I put two of these in a 3.06 cubic foot box tuned to 36 hertz. These things pound hard. They take peoples breath away, literally.
Pros:
Hard hitting. Great price. Easy to install.
Cons:
Too Flashy.
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5 out of 5

Reviews for the Alpine SWE-12S4

Written By JEBAAY, Murrieta,CA on Sunday, August 11, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
A really great sounding woofer for an excellent value!!
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5 out of 5

just what i wanted, and i' very piciky.

Written By tom e, stellite beach, fl. on Monday, August 05, 2013
 
i was impressed with to all around sound, morning, noon and night
Pros:
it would fit in my car.
Cons:
but i have a truck
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5 out of 5

Unbeatable for the price

Written By Deez, Yuba City, Ca on Sunday, August 04, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very surprised how good this sub sounded for the price. The only reason I bought it was so I would have some bass while my JL Audio W3 got repaired. But after hooking it up I wondered if there was really a need for the W3. It was supposed to be a scratch n dent but mine came in mint condition.
Pros:
Great sound for the price!
Cons:
Rubber surround that covers screws doesn't stay on very well.
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5 out of 5

all I can say is wow

Written By bass lover, california on Monday, July 29, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
man, I bought these subs for a temporary fill while I waited for the new JL Audio thin subwoofers to come out and man, there is no reason to replace them, the bass is so tight and it pounds, best of all these were open box and I got both for less than $100.. to my door. I see no reason to buy the JL's now.
Pros:
sound is awesome
Cons:
hard to find since they are dis-continued
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4 out of 5

respectable sound

Written By Anonymous, martinsville, va on Saturday, July 06, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These speakers have respectable sound thought they would stand lower frequencies with supposed kevlar coating, but they are ok
Pros:
Pretty good sound
Cons:
Kevlar made little difference with durability
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5 out of 5

great sound on this subwoofers

Written By julio77803, camden sc on Friday, July 05, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This subs has a great low end and sounds absolutely great. I love how hard it hits and I have had no issues with it.
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5 out of 5

quality

Written By bwsrodder, Texas on Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sub for the price! I paid less for this sub than my local big box store sub and got the superior quality from an alpine product. Very happy with the sub.
Pros:
Quality
Cons:
Limited
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5 out of 5

Alpine SWE-12S4

Written By Anonymous, New Orleans , LA on Saturday, June 08, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This has got to be the sweetest sounding sun ever!
Pros:
Nice round sound
Cons:
I wish I had the capacity for two of them, but I simply don't have the space
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5 out of 5

very nice

Written By Tom P., Folsom, CA on Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Picked this sub from Crutchfield scratch and dent. Looks perfect. Nice clean, hard hitting base. Plays upper base very nice so it has a very good sound quality. Very sturdy construction that looks really cool. Running with a sound ordinance 4 channel amp with bridged mono sub at 240 watts. More than enough power and sound to fill my car and any car next to me.
Pros:
price, construction, deep clean sound
Cons:
are you kidding me @ this price and free shipping....none
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Very Good Sound

Written By StevenS, Tyler, TX on Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very well built, easy to install. Got this hooked up to a older Sony Xplod Amp and that is being fed from a Pioneer AVH P4400 Head Unit. The sound is great for the music I listen to and I can really tweak everything and make it how I like it.

Would definitely recommend this to someone else!
Pros:
Price, Sound, Looks
Cons:
None
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

good

Written By jc5767, ohio on Sunday, May 26, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
So good so far bought in the outlet store for pretty cheap. They are good for some added bass but aint going to shake your car or anything but very nice sound quality.
Pros:
SQ,price
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4 out of 5

Alpine SWE-12S4

Written By Kevin H, Helena Al. on Saturday, May 25, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Sound is pure and clean.
Pros:
Fits perfect in the vehicle it was designed for thru crutch field.com
Cons:
Nothing as of yet.
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5 out of 5

cant beat em

Written By Joshua A, Gaffney S.C. on Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
SO FAR THEY SOUND GREAT. I HEARD THEYRE EVEN BETTER AFTER THEYRE BROKEN IN A LITTLE.
Pros:
SOLID DEAL. GREAT SOUND QUALITY. SO FAR IM HAPPY.
Cons:
NONE SO FAR
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5 out of 5

Get it now

Written By AustinC, Chattanooga, TN on Saturday, May 11, 2013
 
If you are looked for an entry level sub woofer just to get your system bumping, this is the one to get. I only have one in a ported box in an SUV, and it will absolutely pound!

It will take some abuse also. I originally had it underpowered, and now I am overpowering it, but it is taking it like a champ. I am currently running 380 watts rms to it, and it is doing just fine. Of course, I am careful with it and have the amp adjusted accordingly (as much as is possible when overpowering by this much power).

That's all I really need to say. Another great Alpine product. Just get it.

Pros:
Loud Price Quality of materials Sound Quality
Cons:
None.
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5 out of 5

Alpine SWE-12S4

Written By Anonymous, Hawaii on Friday, May 10, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This budget friendly sub is tops for what you pay hands down. The lows come easy and power handling is superb for an entry level product. The sound quality is great. Not only does it play low & loud in a sealed setup but it hits the upper bass just as well! Not many 12's can lay claim to that in this price range. I can't imagine what alpine's higher end product would do to my ears! This is the best product out their for the price! Awesome value.
Pros:
Lightweight, yet still a performer. Hits the upper bass just as well.
Cons:
No grill available?
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5 out of 5

Cruthfield still #1

Written By 92 chevy, Kingston , TN on Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Alpine goes without saying. I ordered a sub box from ebay. Mistake. i ordered the sub from Crutchfield. I ordered the box 4 days before the sub. the sub from Cructhfield arrived 3 days before the box. i should have used Crutchfiled for the whole set up. Flawless transaction great products.
Pros:
everything.
Cons:
none.
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4 out of 5

Wow!

Written By Dave, Battlefield, MO on Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I was extremely surprised at the level of bass and the sound of these. Great sub for the price.
Pros:
Sounds and Looks
Cons:
None yet
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5 out of 5

AWESOME SUBS

Written By javier, grand rapids mi on Friday, May 03, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The best subs I been listened great punch awesome
Pros:
great quality great price great sound
Cons:
none
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5 out of 5

Alpine SWE-12S4

Written By AC, Columbus, OH on Sunday, April 14, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
You can never go wrong with Alpine...
Pros:
price; great sound; no delays in the speakers sound
Cons:
none
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5 out of 5

Alpine SWE-12S4

Written By James, phoenix, arizona on Saturday, April 06, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
it was my first setup of alpine and i was very pleased with the performance with that of 2 of these 12's running on an alpine mono channel v power amp. sound quality was excellent for the price.
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5 out of 5

Great sub for the $$

Written By Jim, Charlotte, NC on Friday, April 05, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have been a big Alpine fan for many years, and I needed some bass for my Durango. I picked this one because I have been a big fan of Alpine sound, and this sub is exactly what I expected. I have it in a sealed box 1.0 cu size, and I am pushing it with channels 3/4 bridged at 225 watts, and it fills my suv with great deep base. In this price range I feel it is one of the best options!
Pros:
Alpine name behind it, and it looks like it is built well. The bass is incredible for a single woofer running off a 4 channel amp.
Cons:
NONE!!!!!
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4 out of 5

Alpine SWE-12S4

Written By SD guy, South Dakota on Friday, April 05, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sub for the price, picked it up on the outlet for $50. Cannot match it for sound to price ratio. Replaced an aging clarion sub in my wifes 350z. Hits alot harder than the old sub and looks better also. Powering it with a Sound Ordinance sub amp and they pair great. Good sound for the price.
Pros:
Easy attach spring terminals for speaker leads, generally a good looking speaker. Great value.
Cons:
Rubber ring that hides screw heads is a pain to get in place and does not like to stay put if bumped.
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5 out of 5

The missing link!

Written By Mike O., Mt. Vernon, WA on Friday, February 22, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This sub sounds great! I am pushing it with a Boston amp bridged for 160 watts and it fills my Silverado with nice tight deep base. I replaced the stock head unit with a Kenwwood HD receiver but was not happy with the base response from the stock speakers. After getting this sub and building the recommended size sealed box, WOW, what a difference. It is what was missing from the total sound of the stereo. I am more than pleased with the end result. Buy this sub and give it enough power and you won't be disappointed!
Pros:
Great looking smooth cone. Excellent value. Tight base.
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5 out of 5

Solid sub

Written By Kevin, Greenville, NC on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sub at a great price! I am running this in a bandpass box with a 250 watt amp and it hits hard and low.
Pros:
Great look on top of the great sound. I particularly like the gasket on the outside to hide the screw holes, nice touch.
Cons:
None
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5 out of 5

Bang for your buck!

Written By max g, atlanta GA on Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Let me first say that i am not a pro woofer guy. i had a pair of kicker comp 12s in a sealed truck box for my 07 ranger with a cruch amp and yeah it was alright. i only got it because it was cheap from craigslist. i knew being how i am, i always like new stuff from high quality makers, that i would upgrade. little did i know if would be a week after my kicker set up :P i bought 2 of these with an alpine mrp 500 amp and a SO dual ported box. let me start by saying they build quality was exelent! the motors are way more girthy in person than in the picture. the basket was thick and strong and i really like the air port behind the motor. the only reason i took one star off of build quality was becase i felt the metal where the screw mounts were was a little week, but its not going anywere for sure. when i first hooked them up i was blown away by their sound and their SPL capabilities! holy crap! that mrp 500 powers these bad boys no problem. they arnt broken in yet so i havnt ben blasting music through em but when i do its only for a few seconds to see what they can do. One other thing i noticed was the rubber ring that covers the screw holes comes off easily and is kind of a pain to get back on but its really not that big of a deal just kind of an inconvenience when your putting something in there and it accidentally snags it. over all i would say i love this system way better than my kickers and if you want affordable bass that will impress anyone... definately go with alpine
Pros:
affordable SPL and SQ, cool diaphram color/style.
Cons:
nothing really worth noting.
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5 out of 5

Amazing sound quality, huge bass for little money

Written By ZachL, Oklahoma City, OK on Sunday, December 30, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This was my first Subwoofer, and after hearing other subs, I was completely amazed at how clear the music is, considering how loud the bass is. After tuning it and breaking it in, you won't get a better sound quality for the price. It's truly a subwoofer to be proud of! I highly recommend this as a starter or mid entry level subwoofer.
Pros:
Durability, sound CLARITY, nice range of bass, looks good.
Cons:
the bass evens out at higher volumes, but still beats extremely hard.
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5 out of 5

big bass small price

Written By brianh, seattle,wa on Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
For the small price I was blown away by the sound.It's not even broken in yet so it'll just get better.
Pros:
cost
Cons:
none
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5 out of 5

Alpine Rules for Price vs What you get in Return

Written By MgKenny, Ft. Laud., FL on Sunday, September 16, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have used Alpine Subs (Most of them 12") EXCLUSIVELY since I used to work as an Authorized Alpine Installer 30 Years ago. It never ceases to amaze me the quality and "Grin Factor" you get for such a reasonable price with Alpine Products. I am running these in Parallel from the 5th Channel of an Alpine 5 Channel Amp (300 Watts). Again, my system sounds awesome. I also used the previous model of these (Still E-Type) in my son's pickup with the same amp and they pound there as well. I have yet to blow any Alpine sub up. They sound incredibly warm and real (Probably due to the pulp cones) and the new surrounds on them make for great excursion. Mind you, I have never overpowered any of this series of sub and as long as you keep them in the 300 +/- Watt RMS zone you will be grinning for years! Add to that the killer price you get from Crutchfield and I really can't see you going wrong. If you are on the fence with these, put them in with the idea that you will "Upgrade" at a later time and I think you will find that you will have them forever.
Pros:
Price, Sound, Cool Graphics on Sub
Cons:
Space for a box (But that is a factor for any good sub)
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

great subs!

Written By Tyler.S, Ninnekah, OK on Friday, June 29, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
i didnt know what to expect when i ordered these because no one had written a review on them,but i got them today and wow they are a huge upgrade from the two old memphis's i had in there before and there not even broke in yet
Pros:
everything
Cons:
i havent found any yet
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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Add accessories for the Alpine SWE-12S4

We've verified that these enclosures are a good match for this subwoofer. See all categories & accessories

Sound Ordnance™ Bass Bunker Sealed single 12" subwoofer enclosure (Model BB12-95S)
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Your Price: $0.39
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Dynamat SuperLite Tri-Pak Triple package — 3 sheets, 12 square feet (Model #10612)
16 people say
Your Price: $69.99
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Dynamat Xtreme Wedge Pack 1 sheet, 4 square feet
6 people say
Your Price: $39.99
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Dynamat 19100 License Frame Kit
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Your Price: $14.99
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Dynamat Xtreme Trunk Kit 5 sheets, 20 square feet
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Your Price: $169.99
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Dynamat Dynaliner One 54" x 32" sheet (1/8" thick)
6 people say
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Polyester Fiber Stuffing Make your subwoofer think it's in a bigger box (1-pound pack)
33 people say
Your Price: $12.99
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Metra Box Carpet Carpet roll (54" x 5 yards) — available in 3 colors (Black)
21 people say
Your Price: $39.99
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Metra Speaker Terminal Round terminal cup with binding post connectors (for do-it-yourself box builders)
12 people say
Your Price: $9.99
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5 people say
Your Price: $9.99
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Metra Speaker Terminal Square terminal cup with binding post connectors (for do-it-yourself box builders)
6 people say
Your Price: $9.99
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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 spring clip connectors (for do-it-yourself box builders)
7 people say
Your Price: $3.99
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Why choose SquareTrade?

The #1-Rated Protection Plan

Thousands of people have reviewed SquareTrade Protection Plans — and made us #1.

5-Day Service Guarantee & Free Shipping

We'll repair or replace your item in five business days or less after we've received it, or your plan is free. And, as always, we pay for all shipping.

Protection from Normal, Everyday Use

Repairing your average mechanical or electrical failure can cost as much as buying a new device. With SquareTrade, you're covered — including parts and labor.

3 Year Protection Plan
3 Year Protection Plan
Your Price: $10.99
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Alpine SWE-12S4, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_500SWE12S4/Alpine-SWE-12S4.html ).