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Roberto Giannini
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well I finally got around to installing a sub woofer in my esprit.

To start I am an audio guy, always have been, even though I love the engine sound sometimes have cool tunes playing puts a smile on my face :)

I know that this topic has been asked a few times so I thought I will make the best effort to answering any and all questions by Doing It Myself.

I started my search first and foremost by looking at where one can put a powered all in one subwoofer in an Esprit. I was able to find 3 possible locations
Behind passenger seat
passenger footwell
Between both seats by your ears just below rear window.

I hate loosing space so when I examined behind the passenger seat it was going to loose to much valuable room imo. I have tall friends so that wouldn't do.

Second was passenger footwell, that was a better choice as it has a long stretch and an area where you can mount it up a little bit.

The third choice seemed best to for 2 reasons, it was nice and close to access, plus only thing you might loose was the silly holding pocket that I never use.

So that was my choice I began to measure what I could not only fir but what would look esthetically pleasing as well. Measurements were 13"w X 14.5"h X 4"d

I then began a week long search practically all over the world looking for a small enough self powered subwoofers. To my surprise I found 3 that would work, 2 better than the 3rd but it still had potential. Now please understand that these will not snap your head off with Bass but they do make the system sound 100 X better than stock. As we all know the system in the Esprit are all mids and highs so any bass is welcomed.

first choice was this Kenwood 150 watts

Now it says it's an 8" sub but no way in hell thats true, it is barely a 6", very very tiny, I was not expecting much but I was very pleasantly surprised. This is a little power house, decent tone and low freq response, remote volume dial, looks good well built, easy install.
I hooked it up to a spare battery and plugged it in to my Esprit system to see sound quality and where to place it. It sounded incredible underneath passenger footwell, it gain deeper bass and freq response, it is a natural sub box under there. I then placed it between the seats, and wouldn't you know it it looked great up there, in fact it actually fit inside the cubby box, looked like it was made for it. Unfortunately the sound was not as deep as it was underneath. So give up sound quality for aesthetics was my dilemma.

Back to my choices, the second was this Pioneer 150 watts
[ame]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pioneer-TS-WX210A-8-inch-Underseat-Subwoofer/dp/B0036YEWHO[/ame]

This is a true 8" sub, it looks great with cool design, it is definitely bigger than the Kenwood, also comes with remote but with this you get not only volume but freq control on the fly.
Again I hooked it up to my system to test it out, I first placed it under footwell, the bass was richer than the kenwood, very low thump good response. I then moved it between the seats and it did not sound as good as the Kenwood all of a sudden ??? it looked good between the seats but with this you would need to remove the cubby pocket thingy lol.

The third is only worth while mentioning because it can fit under the footwell easily, it is also a Kenwood 150 watts
Kenwood KSC SW11 150 Watt Compact Slim Powered Subwoofer w Bass Remote | eBay
Good design, well built, also with remote volume and freq response. This looks like a 6"X9" sub, decent tone and low freq response, sounded like the smaller Kenwood but it is slightly bigger. I decided not to use this one for the Esprit.

So my choices are the Kenwood 6" powered sub or the Pioneer.

Here is what they both looked like in between the seats and underneath the footwell.

Pic#1-6" Kenwood under footwell
Pic#2-8" Pioneer under footwell
Pic#3-Kemwood in between seats
Pic#4-Pioneer in between seats
Pic#5-size betwenn Kenwood and Pioneer, notice the larger woofer on the pioneer.
 

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Roberto Giannini
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
WAIT !!!!! I'm not done yet :D

Before I continue I must give warning that for whatever stupid reason both the Kenwood and the Pioneer to best of my knowledge were not available for sale in US or Canada, I had to order them from UK and AUS :mad: maybe you guys will have better luck than I, but for me If I can't find it within 2 hours of searching then my time is worth more to me than $$$$ lol. The Kenwood 6X9 is available though.

OK lets continue :facepalm

So we now stand at my dilemma of what sub to use and where to place the sub in the Esprit. But before I go to my ultimate decision and conclusion this thread is to help some of you make a choice on what you would like to do or buy.

I will give you my honest Opinion based on several observations and conclusions.


FOR THOSE WHO WANT BEST SOUND QUALITY:
I would recommend getting the Pioneer 8" powered subwoofer and mounting it under passenger footwell, it does not take up much space maybe 4", it looks good underneath like it belongs because of the grey and black colors on it, it sounded the best with full deep bass and a good thump.

FOR THOSE WHO WANT BASS AND ESTHETIC'S:
I recommend the kenwood between the seats, when installed it looks like it belongs there from the factory, you do not have to remove anything, slight work involved but easy for you to do or any stereo shop can easily do this install.

FOR THOSE WHO WANT BETTER BASS AND DO NOT WANT TO SEE A SUB:
I recommend the Kenwood under the passenger footwell, the Kenwood sounds better underneath, takes up barely over 2" of space, easy install. Most would be pleased with this set up> As well you could use the other Kenwood 6X9" subwoofer underneath it is slightly bigger sounds a bit better than the 6"

FOR THOSE LIKE ME WHO WANT IT ALL :cool: best sound quality and esthetic's:
Install both -eek- so I did :D I put the Pioneer under the footwell and the Kenwood between the seats for looks and mid range sound. System really thumps as good as most in factory car stereos, great bass response, deep bass, mid range, now you finally have a good system for a dream machine.

Incidentally the remote units you get are wired system, I installed them where I can adjust them on the fly as all songs are recorded different, some more Bass some less, I like to adjust for optimal sound quality. I used double sided tape and hid all the wires along the gaps, easily reversible. Now you do not have to do this you can set them and hide them if you wish.

Here is the final install and look on both in my Esprit

Pic#1-Kenwood in between seats and inside cubby box
Pic#2-Pioneer underneath footwell
Pic#3-Kenwood lit up
Pic#4-remote units for both subwoofers
Pic#5-shows size of both subwoofers but also shows the L bracket I attached on Pioneer subwoofer so I could attach it underneath foot well properly so it does not budge.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Subscibed!


Nice work. Appreciate that you shared. :bow:
 

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Very nice - thanks for posting!

One quick point is that if you get a very slim subwoofer behind the passenger seat, it does't affect the seat travel at all (i.e. the seat can still travel all the way back to it's farthest point without the sub stopping it), as I did here: http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/subwoofer-install-tutorial-103858/

But your method would allow for a much larger sub.

Have you thought about adding rear speakers (tweeters or mids)? That's the one thing I think I'd really like to do next - I miss the "surround sound" feel of a normal car.

Again, nicely done with the sub! :)
 

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on my SE with the stock seats, they definitely went all the way back, left an imprint in the carpet on the firewall too. Now with Elise seats, I have the seat back against the firewall, and the seat base on the carpet... No room for anything!
 

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Very nice - thanks for posting!

One quick point is that if you get a very slim subwoofer behind the passenger seat, it does't affect the seat travel at all (i.e. the seat can still travel all the way back to it's farthest point without the sub stopping it), as I did here: http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/subwoofer-install-tutorial-103858/

But your method would allow for a much larger sub.

Have you thought about adding rear speakers (tweeters or mids)? That's the one thing I think I'd really like to do next - I miss the "surround sound" feel of a normal car.

Again, nicely done with the sub! :)
Before I put 6.5" free air subs in the doors recently (granted free air are not near as efficient as those in a box) I had a sub like you suggested and just was not enough bass IMHO.. and I was not looking for audiophile level BTW..

As far as speakers, rear speakers are not well suited for placement of tweeters as rear should be mid range and lower. Rear should be "sensed" but not "heard" if that makes sense, as they are for "fill" only.
 

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Hey that is really cool! I like the look of the sub between the seats.

Thanks for sharing!
 

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Roberto Giannini
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Very nice - thanks for posting!

One quick point is that if you get a very slim subwoofer behind the passenger seat, it doesn't affect the seat travel at all (i.e. the seat can still travel all the way back to it's farthest point without the sub stopping it), as I did here: http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/subwoofer-install-tutorial-103858/

But your method would allow for a much larger sub.

Have you thought about adding rear speakers (tweeters or mids)? That's the one thing I think I'd really like to do next - I miss the "surround sound" feel of a normal car.

Again, nicely done with the sub! :)

Yes I have thought about adding rear speakers as well, I did in my Lambo and made huge difference, might do that in the future, as is now it's time to drive my work is completed :panic:
 

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I finally broke down and got a powered subwoofer.. My plan is to stick it behind the passenger seat tho. It claims to only be 3" thick so we'll see how that really works in practice. Really need some bottom end, it sounds like the radio I had in my 1979 Datsun pickup..
 

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Roberto Giannini
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I finally broke down and got a powered subwoofer.. My plan is to stick it behind the passenger seat tho. It claims to only be 3" thick so we'll see how that really works in practice. Really need some bottom end, it sounds like the radio I had in my 1979 Datsun pickup..
Before you do any install test where the best sound is, I found behind the seat was the worst sound quality. You have to imagine even though Bass is omni directional these powered subwoofers work in mid range as well and you are eliminating that behind the seat.

Place it under footwell, place it between the seats and behind the seat to see the sound difference between all 3 positions.
 

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I finally broke down and got a powered subwoofer.. My plan is to stick it behind the passenger seat tho. It claims to only be 3" thick so we'll see how that really works in practice. Really need some bottom end, it sounds like the radio I had in my 1979 Datsun pickup..
If yours has the door speakers, try first putting some 6 1/2" free air Kicker subwoofers in the doors powered by their own amp. This is what I did and it did the trick MUCH better than an enclosed powered sub behind passenger seat
 

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Excellent write-up Roberto. Time to get out and enjoy the car! Really like the Kenwood; might just give that a try.

Kenny, do you have your Kicker model numbers handy? I installed a pair of Kicker free air units in my BMW M6 and was also really pleased with the result. It never occurred to me until now that I should remove one and trial fit it in the pod located behind the seat, it might fit with a ~1" spacer ring. I guess I would have to get a five channel amp or re-wire my four channel. Anyway, just curious if you used the same Kicker's I have, as the model numbers change so often it is dizzying!

Stu
 

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Excellent write-up Roberto. Time to get out and enjoy the car! Really like the Kenwood; might just give that a try.

Kenny, do you have your Kicker model numbers handy? I installed a pair of Kicker free air units in my BMW M6 and was also really pleased with the result. It never occurred to me until now that I should remove one and trial fit it in the pod located behind the seat, it might fit with a ~1" spacer ring. I guess I would have to get a five channel amp or re-wire my four channel. Anyway, just curious if you used the same Kicker's I have, as the model numbers change so often it is dizzying!

Stu
They are the KICKER 10CVT651

Got them off ebay for $58.95 each
 

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Thanks Kenny. Those are similar to the set I used.

Stu
 

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So based on Roberto's excellent write-up I decided to try the Kenwood KSC-SW01 Sub-woofer. I also found this unit was only available in Europe or the Far East; I went with a new unit from an eBay seller out of Japan. Only wrinkle was the instruction sheet was in Japanese; found an English version online here:

http://images.kenwood.eu/files/prod/1677/5/KSC-SW01(EN).pdf

I opted to install the speaker in the pocket behind the passenger seat. Wiring for me was pretty easy as my head unit has a control box and a bunch of other stuff mounted under the passenger seat. The Kenwood unit has both speaker level and sub-woofer RCA connections, and only requires a 10 amp supply, ground, and a trigger wire.

I like the additional bass, and was able to raise the head unit High Pass filter for the other speakers to 120 Hz; they sound a lot better and less overtaxed. The Kenwood has an adjustable Low Pass (50 to 120 Hz). The seat is probably muffling the sub a bit, but I am OK with it.

All and all, pleased with the results.

Stu
 

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Roberto Giannini
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
For the size of this little woofer, it does a good job to fill in the missing bottom end.

If you put that under the passenger footwell you won't believe the difference in low end gain.
 

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I really like it between the seats. Does anyone know if the sleeve/pocket for the S4 are the same as the V8 pictured?
 

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Not sure if the pockets are the same, but here are the unit's dimensions for reference. Have to allow for the RCA plugs on the bottom when placed in the pocket. The cord for the volume control takes up some space at the bottom of the pocket as well; it is 19 feet long and not easily shortened.

Did some more fiddling with the head unit and sub tuning and very pleased with it's performance.

Stu
 

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