The Bottom Line: You just can't find a better speaker at this price. This is definitely the perfect starter speaker.
There is no greater thrill in the world to me than getting into a vehicle and hearing one deep throaty bass hit after another. I love to hear the treble rolls, the bass vibration, and this doesn't mean I need to have super loud music, it just means that I love the quality and crispness that a top of the line audio system can truly provide.
My Qualifications in car audio Far too often I see individuals writing about products and giving them high ratings when in reality, they are horrible by comparison. A five star subwoofer to someone that has only experienced one subwoofer, didn't install it themselves really doesn't say much to me besides that this subwoofer is better than the factory system they had before.
To really grasp the quality of a subwoofer, you have to be able to compare it to other ones, because head to head comparisons can truly tell you which subs are going to give you the best performance for your dollar. And the only people that can truly help you with that, are the people that are involved in the industry on a daily basis.
As a second job to my full time job as a jet mechanic, I am a custom fabrication specialist for a car audio shop in town. This means that I put together custom applications for car audio setups. I plan out custom molded boxes that are created for the perfect form within a vehicle, taking into consideration air flow, heat, accessability, style/design, and of course performance and quality sound production. I have installed thousands of speakers over the last few years, tried countless amplifier/speaker/wire/capacitor combinations, and have truly tested the limits of every setup that I install. Whenever I do an install, I do a 'cap test' which is when I run the system past it's limits to ensure that the setup I have created can handle the peak power and regular performance over a period of time. This helps to show where a system will breakdown and how well it's going to hold up.
Being in this industry, I have seen countless speakers brought back from cone failures, melting cones, blown cones, you name it, I've seen it. I know what holds up for the long term and what people bring back most often.
With that in mind... I would hope that you can read through my car audio reviews with the peace of mind that you are getting top notch knowledge from a competition tuned professional.
Alpine Type E SWE-1042 10" Subwoofer Yet another Alpine subwoofer, from yet another great alpine line of products. I'm not sure what it is that I love about the Alpine products, but I'm sure it has something to do with their extreme dependability, excellent pricing, and sound quality, that really can't be beat in it's category.
This particular speaker, the Alpine Type E, 10" Subwoofer is a 750 watt peak power subwoofer that is great for the consumer that is just looking for some high quality sound, with a good amount of bump. This of course means that it is perfect for the high school student that just got their first vehicle, or for someone that is looking to add some depth to their driving audio experience. Regardless of the application, the Type E is a highly qualified speaker to accomplish your objectives in car audio.
Sound Quality The Type E, is one of the highest quality speakers on the market. With virtually no distortion, super crisp bass, and high quality lows and mids, you just can't beat this speaker without spending substantially more. The speaker while not being super powerful is perfect for the large majority of consumers, allowing for high levels of bass if required, but giving an average bass output that is more than you could ever need for your day to day driving needs.
The bass is high quality, with little rattle, and is a deep quality bass that you would expect to get with a high quality speaker such as made by Alpine.
Durability Because this speaker isn't super high wattage, you can easily beat it up without having to worry about the structural integrity of the speaker itself. I have seen many a person beat up on these speakers time and time again, but I don't ever see them blow out, even if they are overpowered. These subs are made out of high quality materials that hold up extremely well to the pressures of high performance.
Side by Side comparison I think the most important aspect of speakers is the side by side comparison to other equal products. Unlike many other products there can be a fairly substantial different from one product to the next that can hugely effect the overall performance within your vehicle.
Personally for the price, I don't think that you are going to find a better speaker. You could try out a Lanzer and get more power for the price, but you aren't going to find one that is going to offer the pure sound quality that you are going to get with this Alpine Type E. If you have the extra money, you could always go for a Rockford subwoofer for added sound quality, but the difference would be so nominal, that it realistically wouldn't be worth it. In fact, I doubt you would notice the difference unless you physically had them running up next to one another.
Assembly Suggestions If you are looking to get the most out of this particular speaker, I would suggest mounting it towards the middle rear of the vehicle, and cutting a slight hole through the hard part of the backside of your rear seats. This will allow for just enough sound to enter into the cabin of the vehicle, without effecting the overall aesthetic styling of your vehicle. Just make sure that you aren't cutting fabric, because that could end up looking tacky while at the same time placing a big hole in your seat.
I would also make sure that you take rubber coating and line the inside of the box and outside of the box, including underneath the carpet to ensure that you have as little vibration as humanly possible. Make sure that you also take the time to dynamat the trunk to truly add to the car audio experience.
Where to purchase While a great deal of shops carry the Kicker product line, many only carry so many different varieties of speaker in their shops at a time. It's far cheaper for them to buy 100 of a particular speaker style than it is to try and carry 4 speakers of 25 different styles. So a lot of times you will find yourself trying to order speakers through the shop itself, paying a premium in the process. Generally your local shops are going to be substantially more expensive anyway.
The best method of purchasing subwoofers is to go online and purchase them through a company such as crutchfield.com if you are inexperienced and are going to attempt to install them yourself. They will give you all of the product information that you need to adequately install the products that you purchase with relative ease. The experts that they have are also extremely knowledgeable and can guide you through any issues that you might have with trying to put together 'your' perfect system. Plus rather than trying to force you into something bigger and better, they will generally get you exactly what you are looking for by listening to your needs.
If you are more experienced with car audio, then I suggest going through the MUCH MUCH cheaper onlinecarstereo.com, which features car audio equipment at half the prices of crutchfield. Just keep in mind that the large majority of what they sell is lower end power. So make sure that you read reviews on products that you don't know much about or you could end up with a low quality cone, that could end up costing you more in the long run after you have to replace it.
Final Thoughts This is a great 10" subwoofer that is fairly low cost at just $75 per subwoofer. They provide high quality sound, with a decent amount of bass, which is more than enough for the large majority of consumers.
This is an excellent high end starter speaker for the high school student or college student. You probably aren't going to find anything much better than this at the price. Just slap on a decent amplifier and you are going to be extremely satisfied with the sound that these subs will product as a group.
Amount Paid (US$): 70
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Clacky McSnackins (alaskacobalt)
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Affordable Alpine Type-E subwoofers add a solid shot of bass to your system without draining your bank account. These subs handle up to 25% more power than previous Type-E models, but still use the same tried-and-true design that's made this line so popular with budget-conscious bassheads. The SWE-1042 10 subwoofer uses a pulp cone reinforced with Kevlar that responds quickly, yet is very durable. A Santoprene rubber surround controls the cone's extended movement for powerful and accurate low-frequency response. Alpine builds the heavy-gauge, custom-stamped steel frame to stand up to the demands of hard playing, while the sub's extended pole piece is vented to dissipate heat and control distortion.