Question about Jl Audio 12W3 Car Subwoofer

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12w3v2 Started making distorted bass noise at low volume

I recently installed a single 12" JL 12w3v2 in my vehicle. It is powered by an Alpine MRP-M450 amp wired to run @ 4 ohms with a rated 220w single channel. I have been running the sub hard, but not to the point of distortion. This afternoon I noticed that the sub was making some odd almost distorted noise at low volume. When I turn it up, the sub puts out good bass. I am worried that I may have blown one of the coils. How do I check to see if I in fact damaged the speaker, and if so, what could have caused this. Thanks for any information. Michael

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Re: 12w3v2 Started making distorted bass noise at low...

Sounds like you have damaged a voice coil, one way to check is push the woofer inward with your hand, if you feel rubbing then your coil is bad...sounds like it got hot.

Posted on Jun 26, 2009

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Re: 12w3v2 Started making distorted bass noise at low...

The distortion noise could be from a change in the gain setting on the amp. If you have an amp rated at different ohms than the sub you might have to turn it down. Also if you have it wired in 'bridged' pattern if you have a 2 channel amp then you will diffinitely have to change the gain. So all i can say is play with the gain setting with the volume low and that should fix your problem.

Posted on Jun 16, 2009

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Re: 12w3v2 Started making distorted bass noise at low...

Connect each speaker coil one at a time to a square 9 volt battery and watch for the cone to move.

Also try hooking another speaker to your amp just to make sure the noise isn't in the amp.

You can use a 9 volt battery to test wire polarity also. Hook up the + wire of the speaker to the + terminal of the battery and the - speaker to the - battery terminal. If the speaker moved UP or OUT then the wiring is correct. If it moved IN or DOWN then the + and - wires are backwards on the speaker.

Also if you have two or more speakers hooked together test all the same way while they are hooked to each other. ALL of the speakers need to move in the same direction at the same time.

Clipping causes more speaker damage than anything. "Dirty Power" can happen in good quality amps too. The gain control is to match the voltage between the headunit and the amp. It is NOT a volume or boost knob. If you overdrive the first stage of the amp and then clip it damage will occur to the amp and speakers at some point.

Hope this helps.

Posted on Jan 04, 2008

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Car Sub JL 12w3 low sound

So I am assuming that you have just setup/wired this up recently? Have you had this working before?
You can have a look at the gain control on the amp & see if this have been set really low. This will help if the signal coming from your stereo is weak. The other thing I would suggest is to make sure that the amp can actually push this sub. I know what the specs say:

  • 1 channel audio amplifier
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  • S/N >104 dBA at full power @ 0.1% THD
  • >80 dBA at 1W/1M
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but I don't believe most of these. Many manufacturers embellish what their products can actually do! With the bigger more established brands such as JL Audio you will have no problems, their products have been tried & tested so much on the competition circuit.

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best way to do this to preserve your amp and speaker is to wire the speaker Voice coils in series.

VC1 = Voice coil 1

AMP + to VC1 +
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VC2 - to Amp -

Set you amps bass gain down very low. Crank up the volume with a bass test audio track. Turn the switch to LPF or Low pass filter. Adjust a LPF to about 60 hz Adjust the bass gain up until your Sub begins to sound sitorted or choppy. Then tune the bass gain just below where it distorts. Then you are set.

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