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6.5" free-air subwoofers

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6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby jfrolang » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:42 am

I'm keeping my options open for a future audio upgrade, and one of the ideas I have is to use small free-air subs in the rear speaker locations. If I have to build an enclosure I'll do something else. So what options are out there? I was only able to find one free-air sub in the 6/6.5" range; it's built by Kicker. Surely there's something else out there.
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby BlackIce » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:02 pm

Digital Designs has just released a 6.5" sub which would be suitable for your application.. I'm having trouble finding it on their website, you might have more luck: http://www.ddaudio.com/caraudio/default.aspx

They're designed as a subwoofer rather than mid-bass, so will deliver the bass punch you'll be wanting. You can option it up with carbon cones and stuff if you want bling factor.

JL also does a 6.5 sub: http://mobile.jlaudio.com/products_subs ... ries_id=29
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby jfrolang » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:52 pm

I found the DDW6.5 on DD's website, but based on the limited specs it looks like it requires an enclosure. DD definitely doesn't do a good job of selling me on their products, with generic catchphrases like "state of the art cone technology." I am a man of details, and they are sorely lacking in that department.

Just to clarify, SQ and stealth are the intents here, I don't care for high SPL or bling. I'm aware of JL's subs but their 6W3 is not a free-air sub. Mounting depth is also an issue for the factory rear speaker locations. JL Audio does make an 8" free-air component woofer that is otherwise exactly what I want, but an 8" speaker would be a custom install. That is my second idea actually, I just wanted to see if there are any other options for a legitimately free-air 6.5" subwoofer besides the Kicker 10CVT654.
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby daveb91 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:45 pm

"free air" subs still have to a nice sealed off baffle to work with....my opinion is they sound like crap.
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby jfrolang » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:00 pm

The speakers that are in the rear speaker brackets have no baffle, and they don't automatically sound like crap. I am always after quality which is why I brought this up... frankly Kicker is just not good enough. It seems that decent mid-bass without an enclosure is too much to ask for.

I guess a "component midbass driver" is what I'm really looking for, but trying to find a good one is like trying to find a needle in a stack of needles. JL Audio's ZR800 is the only one I've seen worth mentioning, but it's too big for the stock brackets. Oh well, it's all speculation for now.
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby Honkyracer1 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:44 pm

why not build a bass tube out of pvc, it would build up more bass/mid for your needs.


you can make them like the "JDM" Tubes.

anything in a box is going to have better acoustics then something hanging out, you catch the drift.
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby mithuth » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:20 pm

I'm interested in this idea myself. I'd like something a little nicer for rear fill and low end without hacking the car or taking up the trunk.

The tubes sound OK with some upgraded speakers, but I'm not sold on the idea.
Of course I'm not 100% sold on the 6" subs either, but I imagine the speaker technology has come a long way since I was into the car audio scene *cough* 10 years ago *cough*... :lol:
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby stokxn » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:34 pm

"free air" subs died in the early 90s. I've spent many hours studying this exact setup and what I came up with is to double Dynamat the baffle,inside the rear plastic and body area behind the speaker, damping most of the resonation you can expect without an enclosure. DLS makes an excellent 6.5 mid/sub that I think will fit with just a 1/2" spacer and still clear the grill.

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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby Shadow_d15 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:21 pm

Yea I keep waiting to see someone come out with knockoff JDM bass tubes. If they were any good that'd be sweet.

I've been considering the CVT 6.5 for quite a while, just always had other priorities when I went to buy them, need my car to run first lol!
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby rex2nr » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:22 pm

There have been fiberglass repro's of the bass tubes
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby crxblues » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:35 pm

try partsexpress.com i think theres a tangband 6" sub on there somewheres.
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby Shadow_d15 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:32 pm

rex2nr wrote:There have been fiberglass repro's of the bass tubes


Really? any idea where I can find them?
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby daveb91 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:52 pm

eBay here and there.
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby crxpablos » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:29 am

I'm in a similar position as I cant give up my boost space. I would like to go for the JL Audio one as its a brand I know, but it does look like its too deep to fit in the rear space. Digital designs is most likely the one I'll go for, as it will fit and looks quite well built. Shame people dont rate the kicker one cos that looks like it would go in too.
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby mithuth » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:38 am

What is an acceptable mounting depth for the rear speakers with stock covers and stock mounting brackets?
I've been kicking around the idea of a custom fiberglass box in the corner of the trunk area, but if I could put a single 6.5 in the stock speaker location and get the same low end without shaking the car apart, I'd be very happy.
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby LSVTIEG » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:21 pm

if you want a bass tube then sas (bazooka tubes) is what you want. they been makin tubes since the 80's as far as i know. http://www.bazooka.com/
as far as DD goes, they are the sh** when it comes to bass. & they're based right here in oklahoma city. I bought my first DD sub(DD3500 12 dual 1/2 ohm) last year & couldnt be happier. It is the loudest single sub i have ever owned & i been doin car audio for over 20 years. But thats just my personal opinion. only downsides to their subs are the price & the large enlosures they require.
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby mithuth » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:30 pm

Those aren't the tubes we're talking about.
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby imawakenow » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:21 pm

I've been considering sourcing the JDM tubes, replacing the drivers with something more up to date, and pushing some wattage to them with an outboard amp. Seems a good way of getting some bass into the picture while keeping the trunk accessible and not full of a giant speaker box. Obviously the driver size isn't conducive to gut-punching bass, but with two of them, the enclosures, and some decent current, should be effective. I wouldn't expect woofers hanging in space to work all that well.
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Re: 6.5" free-air subwoofers

Postby Kiesonin » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:28 am

I apologize for a bump...just my two cents

Thanks for all the responses.

Finding subs that are actually designed as "free air" units is difficult. Very few are made. After doing a lot of searching, finally found some.

Kicker has two models, a 6.5 and an 8.0 that their specs list as 'free air" units, so that is what I'm going to use.

System will be an Alpine 7874 HU, CDT Audio CL-61 https://atfulldrive.com/best-car-subwoofer component set for fronts (mid woof/tweeter) and the Kickers in the package shelf all powered by a US Acoustics USX4085 4x85 watt amp in the trunk.

If you've never heard speakers by CDT, you are missing a great treat. They are a small company with very talented engineers and have won award after award in competitions here and abroad. Their speakers are most notable for their musical sound, very natural and open, and the robust construction. Yet, they are very affordable.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoPwR5oikFQ
There are a lot of useful videos on this subject on Youtube, I'll leave one here, Hope this helps someone. Good luck!
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