Anatomy of a Compact Powered Subwoofer
Fill your vehicle with bass, not equipment
Want to restore the bass in your music without a lot of boxes and loud booming? Maybe a compact powered subwoofer can do the job for you, and bring some fun back to your ride. Getting a single, all-in-one unit instead of having to deal with a separate sub, amp, and enclosure will save you cargo space and simplify your wiring requirements.
Sound Ordnance's new B-8PTD powered subwoofer is small enough to fit under most car seats, or in an out-of-the-way location in the cab of a truck, and powerful enough to pump out bass that can keep up with almost any factory or aftermarket stereo. This little workhorse will surprise you with its impressive bass and its ability to mesh perfectly with the rest of your system.
We took one apart to show you the separate components and how they fit together into a unified subwoofer system.
Strong cone for tough play
The sub's stiff 8" aluminum cone holds its shape even when playing hard, helping to keep the lowest notes clean, and ensuring a long life for the sub. A tough, yet supple butyl rubber surround allows the cone the freedom to move in and out reliably, while holding it aligned and under control, so it can pump out lots of distortion-free bass. This component subwoofer is driven by a sensitive motor assembly that pushes a lot of air and sounds louder than what you'd expect from 120 watts RMS.
A practical feature of the B-8PTD is a built-in line-output converter circuitry, which gives you the option of using speaker-level inputs — getting the signal from your car's existing speaker wiring instead of running long RCA cables to and from the receiver. This also makes it simple to add a B-8PTD to almost any factory stereo system. With a sub like this, there's no excuse for not adding a little bass to your system.
Sealed enclosure produces deep, precise bass
The B-8PTD's tough outer casing of molded ABS plastic serves as the sub's sealed enclosure, so it has to withstand some pretty extreme internal pressure changes without reverberating, buzzing, or falling apart. The bottom is held tight to the upper case with an abundance of furniture-type screws and an airtight gasket system. Every little nut and bolt inside has also been locked down with glue, to prevent anything from vibrating loose. It was not easy taking this unit apart to show its construction. (We couldn't remove the front and back panels without breaking them, so we decided to leave them intact for the photo.)
Dialing in bass that blends perfectly
It starts with setting the Level and Bass EQ controls to match your full-range system's output to take advantage of its full range of power, and to ensure no distorted bass will ever occur. You then adjust the low-pass filter Freq knob to eliminate the higher notes, like vocals, you don't want the sub to play. The adjustable Phase control produces the amazing feat of virtually moving the sound wave of each bass beat for you to place precisely where it makes the most impact in your vehicle.
Big bass from this little amp
The 120-watt RMS amplifier that powers the woofer lives on a compact circuit board mounted inside the enclosure. Class-D amplifier technology, which consists of digital power switching and special output transistors, lets this amp be so small yet so powerful. The little heat it does generate easily dissipates by way of the block-like heatsink just visible under the amp's circuit board. A vibration-resistant bracket holds the amplifier assembly to the sub's shielded steel plate bottom, so the ensuing pounding of bass will have no ill effects on the tiny components.
Sound Ordnance™ B-8PTD 120-watt compact powered subwoofer
See our entire selection of powered subwoofers