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  1. #1

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    Default Why no love for JL?

    Ok, I'm new to the forum and love Polk Audio. But surfing the threads shows a common theme - a great disdain for JL Audio subs here. What gives?

    This is the only place that I've read or heard that JL Audio sucks. Frankly I've run a 10W3v2 for several years now and it is one of the best sounding subs I've heard for the money. I'm very pleased. And it definitely goes low for a 10".

    What's the deal with JL Audio?

    Tim

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmundsauer View Post
    This is the only place that I've read or heard that JL Audio sucks.
    Tim, you need to get out more. Clubpolk is far from the only place without a ton of love for JL. You'll find distain for pretty much any product, on any board - including Polk products.

    If you like your setup, what do you care what other people think?

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  3. #3

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    Amen bro. I've never seen so much buyer's remorse or need for confirmation that what I bought is really a good product. All those folks who buy Bose love their systems. I certainly ain't going to rain on their parade.
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  4. #4

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    Yes, I don't get out much. I bought what I thought was decent equipment some years ago. Now that I'm doing some maintenance, I've been researching and was thoroughly surprised to read the angst against JL Audio. So, I'm curious if there's a bona fide reason behind it or is it just baseless mudslinging. You're not going to hurt my feelings by telling me the real deal, I just simply want to know if there's something I'm missing.

    Yes, I'm pleased with my JL sub. So, again, what's the criticism of JL Audio? Or is it all just innernet smack talk?

    Thanks,
    Tim

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    Price to performance. The JL stuff is very expensive and I can think of at least 10 brands that cost less, often much less than most JL products that will outperform them.

    That and the incessant fanbois carrying on about how great JL is and how much everyone else sucks.

    If you feel what you have is good and works for you then why does it matter what everyone else thinks?

    I find it funny though that time after time, people come to a Polk Audio forum and ask why no one likes JL Audio. I thought it was obvious?
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    I can think of at least 10 brands that cost less, often much less than most JL products that will outperform them.
    can i please have those 10 :)
    2013 Toyota Prius - Planning this one out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    If you feel what you have is good and works for you then why does it matter what everyone else thinks?
    If it's just opinion, then it doesn't matter. If, however, it's because JL simply doesn't perform as well as others and is technically overrated, then I'm all ears. Which is it?

    Tim

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    All brand/product loyalty aside, JL is expensive. And you can find products that perform better for less money, especially web based dealers/companies.

    But, you are paying for high end QC and product quality. If everyone knew how much of thier beloved speakers were made in Taiwain, they would cry... You pay a premium for JL because of where and how they are made.

    Don't get me wrong though, I'm not a JL fan, though I have only owned a few of thier subs over the years, including a 13W7.

    This may shed some light on thier prices-

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  9. #9

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    I have a 12" JL sub in my car, love it. I'll have to edit my sig to display my car audio set up...as soon as I remember what the model #'s for everything are :)
    The reason I went with JL was basically just my ears. I thought it sounded nice, added a good amount of warmth and punch w/o being boomy. Of course, I'm sure there were equal performers out there amongst competitors. I won't let that stop me from liking my sound though :)
    The Home Theater Setup:

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  10. #10

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    I ran a 10W6v2 for a few years...I prefer my current Polk SR124 DVC over the W6 in may ways though, but I do like the performance of the JL W6v2 and W7 series in general.

    I couldn't in good conscience call them a "bargain", and if I hadn't gotten a deal on my W6v2, I would have gone a different route at that time too- half price from an authorized retailer that was going out of business made the sticker easier to deal with. I was initially considering a 12 or 13W6v2, but after realising one of those would set me back almost $750 locally (after some wheeling/dealing), I jumped on a deal from a Club Polk member instead when he was selling one of his new SR subs (Thanks Todd ;)). I haven't been disappointed, and saved a bunch over the price the JL product would have commanded.

    JL products are available discounted online (unauthorized, with no manufacturer's warranty) and now authorized on Crutchfield.com (at retail B&M-type pricing), but that takes some of the sweetness out of the deal for me. I won't say JL doesn't make a quality product- for subs and amps they're pretty good...their component speakers aren't my cup of tea (too "sterile" sounding), their amps aren't terribly efficient, but the whole product line is well-made and well-designed. Just not very cost-effective IMO.
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  11. #11

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    So, I'm seeing that the biggest complaint against JL Audio is not that their products suck (as I've read elsewhere) but that they are just priced at a premium.

    I will say that one thing I do like about the JL W6v2-series versus the Polk SR-series, is that the driver displacement is less with the SR's. Now don't get me wrong. I like a good looking backside, it's just that these things are supposed to fit into compact enclosures and I'd rather not have unnecessary bulk. I forgive the large magnet but think the basket among other things needs to remain trim.

    One thing that I can't figure out about the SR's is what size enclosures they are really intended for. The website says one thing; the SR white paper says another. They are darn fine subs but I want 'em to go low in a small enclosure. What's the real deal?

    Tim

  12. #12

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    i love my sr124-dvc's, but jl audio makes great gear period. you cant discount that at all. i still have 3 10w6 subs in my girls car, the originals for over 15 years and they still sound great! i do like my sr124-dvc's over my 12w7 sub i used to have, but jl makes solid equipment period.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmundsauer View Post
    So, I'm seeing that the biggest complaint against JL Audio is not that their products suck (as I've read elsewhere) but that they are just priced at a premium.

    I will say that one thing I do like about the JL W6v2-series versus the Polk SR-series, is that the driver displacement is less with the SR's. Now don't get me wrong. I like a good looking backside, it's just that these things are supposed to fit into compact enclosures and I'd rather not have unnecessary bulk. I forgive the large magnet but think the basket among other things needs to remain trim.

    One thing that I can't figure out about the SR's is what size enclosures they are really intended for. The website says one thing; the SR white paper says another. They are darn fine subs but I want 'em to go low in a small enclosure. What's the real deal?

    Tim

    thats a huge problem with polk, the website says one thing and the withe paper another, also in the withe paper, says that you need the size enclusure plus the displacement of the driver.

    i have it at 1.4 plus the driver (0.14) so i have 1.54 in total, and 1.4 net.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinetic View Post
    thats a huge problem with polk, the website says one thing and the withe paper another, also in the withe paper, says that you need the size enclusure plus the displacement of the driver.

    i have it at 1.4 plus the driver (0.14) so i have 1.54 in total, and 1.4 net.

    Its 1.2 minimum not including the drivers displacement. I've had that confirmed by Polk. .88 was a misprint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradimusMaximus View Post
    Its 1.2 minimum not including the drivers displacement. I've had that confirmed by Polk. .88 was a misprint.

    yes its from 1.2 to 1.5, and i have mine at 1.4
    /////Alpine CDA-9887 HU
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    /////Alpine PDX-4.100
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  16. #16

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    Im a huge JL Audio fan and have been for over a decade now and think their products are excellent especially their subs and really like their amps too. The W6 is one of the best sounding subs out there and the W7 was a benchmark for subs forever.

    As for them being expensive - hogwash.

    You take anything from their line and put it up against a comparable product from another manufacturer and youll see their prices are in line. We've had this debate here ad nauseam but it never does any good.

    I think the reason so many people hate JL is the same reason people hate the Yankees or the Patriots. When something or someone reaches the top and stays there for a long time its not long before all the haters start coming out of the woodwork and JL was THE standard for subs thru most of the 90's and I guess people got tired of them.

    Dont get me wrong, there are several brands out there just as good and even better than JL, but JL is still top tier gear and can hold its on against pretty much anything out there.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
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  17. #17

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    IMO JL makes good products. I doubt their premium price has much difference from a margin standpoint from most other products. A 30 or 40 percent markup on a product is pretty average. JL costs more just because its more expensive to make for one reason or another. I think they have excellent build quality...and I also think I just don't like the sound of them. JL subs sound like JL subs and its just never suited my tastes. It doesn't matter how much your speakers cost or who makes them, so long as your pleased with how they sound. If you think you might want a JL sub listen to one first..and then listen to 3 or 4 other woofers. Maybe 750 dollars for JL is fine because they sound just the way you like it. Maybe you like the sound of a 200 dollar MB quart sub instead. Kind of a beauty is in the eye of the beholder thing.
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  18. #18

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    I wasnt into car audio in the 90s.... i didnt drive, i mean dont get me wrong ive been into electronics since i was like 8 years old... taking apart stuff and putting it back together.... but i would imagine that JL was the fad of the 90s... that and mullets...
    but seriously, my brothers best friend's brother used to steal gear and he picked anything he wanted and loved jl and kicker... kicker amps and jl subs...... price doesnt matter hes going with jl, now hes got polk in his car :)
    2013 Toyota Prius - Planning this one out.

  19. #19

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    I like JL Audio subs a lot, at least the older higher end ones. Good quality stuff. Its been years since I've been deep in the car audio stuff though and things could have changed. Lots of people just don't want to pay the $$ and that could be some of the dislike.
    madmax

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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by eloplayspolo View Post
    can i please have those 10 :)
    Why do you need a list? You can see it yourself. There are plenty of brands, big name and small name out there. Some of them aren't around anymore like Adire Audio which would wipe the floor with pretty much anything from JL Audio. IIRC, they were the ones that brought the XBL2 technology to market along with a few other innovative designs.

    Hell, you're posting on a forum owned by company that is widely regarded as a direct competitor to JL Audio and many view Polk Audio as the better choice in quite a few ways. Just because the JL Audio fanbois will rail on and on about how great JL is and how much Polk sucks doesn't mean the industry as a whole shares the same views.

    Then you have some smaller companies with big followings like Image Dynamics or RE Audio. Both of which have power house subs meant to blow your windows out with not a whole lot of power. They also have the heavy hitters that handle thousands of watts. RE Audio has a big following in the SPL realm and they do perform, without a doubt.

    Then you have the likes of Eclipse and Alpine both of which have been around for a looooong time and IIRC, when JL started, Alpine was the goal they set out to beat. They can compete very well with Alpine but I don't ever recall them actually beating Alpine at the game.

    Of course, JL Audio doesn't just make subwoofers. They make amps and full range speakers and other electronics too. There are many companies out there with much more bang for the buck. One of the biggest drawbacks to JL Audio amplification is regulated power supplies. The jury is out on how good or bad it is but there are gains and drawbacks to a regulated power supply on an amplifier. It's good because the amp puts out the same power regardless of voltage supplied...to an extent. It also helps prevent clipping and equipment damage. But there are those out there that say the regulated power supplies kill dynamics and can actually cause clipping due to harmonics in the power supply when the voltage drops low enough that it can't support the current draw of just the regulation circuit. If you want serious amplifiers, there are companies out there that have both been around a long time, long enough to have had problems in the past, and have decent products. Orion, MTX, Soundstream, Hifonics and even Profile are all considered has-beens but if you actually look at the products they are producing, they have very favorable specs for prices that are hard to believe. Then you have the newer players like Polk Audio which makes some very nice amps.

    As far as full range speakers, that's one thing from JL Audio that I never though met the standards. The component sets are priced quite high and even the entry level sets from companies like Rainbow, Focal, SEAS, CDT and Morel will sit head and shoulders above JL Audio's offerings. If you want to beat the price and get the performance, again, Polk Audio's Signature Reference series of components is one of the best buys you can get on the market right now. You can also find ample examples from Rockford Fosgate, Phoenix Gold, Infinity and even Boston Acoustics which is sold at Best Buy now.

    I can go on and on and I know I'm not covering everything. There are tons of higher end stuff out there priced more than JL Audio stuff but you will get what you pay for out of them. Companies like Xtant, MBQuart and the uber high end stuff from the companies I mention earlier can still be considered a better buy even if they are more expensive. Then there is the underdog stuff from JBL, Kicker, Panasonic, Audiobahn and even Sony. All of which many people have fairly low and totally undeserved opinions of...well, except for Sony. They all have a few sparkling jewels that will serve to impress.



    JL Audio makes nice stuff, no doubt about it. But for what you're gonna pay for a JL Audio system you could do much better with the money. JL Audio, when they first came out, was all about hype and attitude. The one thing they have going for them is innovation. They adapted a good number of ideas from other companies like Cerwin Vega and Acoustic Research and applied them to car audio problems. They were able to come up with some ingenious stuff that led to trends in designs from other companies. For that they should be proud and recognized. But they aren't the only innovators out there. Even monkeys like the Elemental Designs guys have been innovative to an extent and there are giants out there like Polk Audio and Pioneer and Kenwood that have brought real interesting and creative stuff to market too. JL Audio is a player. Even when they first started out they were a player. But does that warrant the price points and arrogance with which they market their product? No, it's artificial hype. Maybe the manufacturing processes they use are full of fat and waste and they need to sell at those prices to support it, I don't know. But for the performance they offer, they are asking a little too much. You do get a ton of performance from JL Audio stuff just not as much as the price they are asking for it.

    I've been messing around with this stuff for a loooong time. I've heard all kinds of opinions and facts about all kinds of stuff both for and against JL Audio. The more and more I hear though, the more and more I liken it to Bose but not any where near as bad as Bose. At least JL Audio puts out a quality product that performs and competes effectively in the marketplace. But with JL Audio, you are paying for a name that doesn't have an undeserved reputation of quality.

    But think of it this way. Wrangler and Levis both make and sell jeans. You can go to say Sears, and buy either Levis or Wrangler jeans. They both sell blue jeans with riveted and double stitched seams with some fancy patterns on the butt pockets and everything. Both are made with cheap labor in China. Both are sold at the same stores right next to each other on the shelves. But the Levis cost you $30 and the Wranglers cost you $15. Why? What are you paying for in the Levis? Both brands are known for tough, long-lasting clothing that is stylish and comfortable. So what's the difference? Levis is a bigger name so you pay a premium for a company with a similar product and reputation as Wrangler but it's more popular and recognizable through advertising, product placement and essentially hype. JL Audio is like Levis. Why buy a pair of Levis 501 Blues when you can get the same kind of product for half the price if you buy something like Wrangler Roughnecks (not made anymore but only reference I could think of)? Why buy a JL Audio W7 when you can get something like an RE Audio XXX for $200 less and likely get better performance? That's why I'm not a fan of JL Audio. I know I can do better and it won't cost me as much.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  21. #21

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    That was the longest post I've ever read. For those who want to have it summarized...

    I'm not a fan of JL Audio.
    JL Audio makes nice stuff, no doubt about it.
    JL Audio is a player.
    You do get a ton of performance from JL Audio stuff just not as much as the price they are asking for it.
    I don't know.
    I know I can do better and it won't cost me as much.
    Buy wranglers.

    All copy and pasted...except buy wranglers..thats just what I got out of the post...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Why do you need a list? You can see it yourself. There are plenty of brands, big name and small name out there. Some of them aren't around anymore like Adire Audio which would wipe the floor with pretty much anything from JL Audio. IIRC, they were the ones that brought the XBL2 technology to market along with a few other innovative designs.

    Hell, you're posting on a forum owned by company that is widely regarded as a direct competitor to JL Audio and many view Polk Audio as the better choice in quite a few ways. Just because the JL Audio fanbois will rail on and on about how great JL is and how much Polk sucks doesn't mean the industry as a whole shares the same views.

    Then you have some smaller companies with big followings like Image Dynamics or RE Audio. Both of which have power house subs meant to blow your windows out with not a whole lot of power. They also have the heavy hitters that handle thousands of watts. RE Audio has a big following in the SPL realm and they do perform, without a doubt.

    Then you have the likes of Eclipse and Alpine both of which have been around for a looooong time and IIRC, when JL started, Alpine was the goal they set out to beat. They can compete very well with Alpine but I don't ever recall them actually beating Alpine at the game.

    Of course, JL Audio doesn't just make subwoofers. They make amps and full range speakers and other electronics too. There are many companies out there with much more bang for the buck. One of the biggest drawbacks to JL Audio amplification is regulated power supplies. The jury is out on how good or bad it is but there are gains and drawbacks to a regulated power supply on an amplifier. It's good because the amp puts out the same power regardless of voltage supplied...to an extent. It also helps prevent clipping and equipment damage. But there are those out there that say the regulated power supplies kill dynamics and can actually cause clipping due to harmonics in the power supply when the voltage drops low enough that it can't support the current draw of just the regulation circuit. If you want serious amplifiers, there are companies out there that have both been around a long time, long enough to have had problems in the past, and have decent products. Orion, MTX, Soundstream, Hifonics and even Profile are all considered has-beens but if you actually look at the products they are producing, they have very favorable specs for prices that are hard to believe. Then you have the newer players like Polk Audio which makes some very nice amps.

    As far as full range speakers, that's one thing from JL Audio that I never though met the standards. The component sets are priced quite high and even the entry level sets from companies like Rainbow, Focal, SEAS, CDT and Morel will sit head and shoulders above JL Audio's offerings. If you want to beat the price and get the performance, again, Polk Audio's Signature Reference series of components is one of the best buys you can get on the market right now. You can also find ample examples from Rockford Fosgate, Phoenix Gold, Infinity and even Boston Acoustics which is sold at Best Buy now.

    I can go on and on and I know I'm not covering everything. There are tons of higher end stuff out there priced more than JL Audio stuff but you will get what you pay for out of them. Companies like Xtant, MBQuart and the uber high end stuff from the companies I mention earlier can still be considered a better buy even if they are more expensive. Then there is the underdog stuff from JBL, Kicker, Panasonic, Audiobahn and even Sony. All of which many people have fairly low and totally undeserved opinions of...well, except for Sony. They all have a few sparkling jewels that will serve to impress.



    JL Audio makes nice stuff, no doubt about it. But for what you're gonna pay for a JL Audio system you could do much better with the money. JL Audio, when they first came out, was all about hype and attitude. The one thing they have going for them is innovation. They adapted a good number of ideas from other companies like Cerwin Vega and Acoustic Research and applied them to car audio problems. They were able to come up with some ingenious stuff that led to trends in designs from other companies. For that they should be proud and recognized. But they aren't the only innovators out there. Even monkeys like the Elemental Designs guys have been innovative to an extent and there are giants out there like Polk Audio and Pioneer and Kenwood that have brought real interesting and creative stuff to market too. JL Audio is a player. Even when they first started out they were a player. But does that warrant the price points and arrogance with which they market their product? No, it's artificial hype. Maybe the manufacturing processes they use are full of fat and waste and they need to sell at those prices to support it, I don't know. But for the performance they offer, they are asking a little too much. You do get a ton of performance from JL Audio stuff just not as much as the price they are asking for it.

    I've been messing around with this stuff for a loooong time. I've heard all kinds of opinions and facts about all kinds of stuff both for and against JL Audio. The more and more I hear though, the more and more I liken it to Bose but not any where near as bad as Bose. At least JL Audio puts out a quality product that performs and competes effectively in the marketplace. But with JL Audio, you are paying for a name that doesn't have an undeserved reputation of quality.

    But think of it this way. Wrangler and Levis both make and sell jeans. You can go to say Sears, and buy either Levis or Wrangler jeans. They both sell blue jeans with riveted and double stitched seams with some fancy patterns on the butt pockets and everything. Both are made with cheap labor in China. Both are sold at the same stores right next to each other on the shelves. But the Levis cost you $30 and the Wranglers cost you $15. Why? What are you paying for in the Levis? Both brands are known for tough, long-lasting clothing that is stylish and comfortable. So what's the difference? Levis is a bigger name so you pay a premium for a company with a similar product and reputation as Wrangler but it's more popular and recognizable through advertising, product placement and essentially hype. JL Audio is like Levis. Why buy a pair of Levis 501 Blues when you can get the same kind of product for half the price if you buy something like Wrangler Roughnecks (not made anymore but only reference I could think of)? Why buy a JL Audio W7 when you can get something like an RE Audio XXX for $200 less and likely get better performance? That's why I'm not a fan of JL Audio. I know I can do better and it won't cost me as much.
    Brevity is the soul of wit.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
    MECA SQ Rookie of the Year 06 ~ MECA State Champ 06,07,08,11 ~ MECA World Finals 2nd place 06,07,08,09
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  23. #23

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    in '95, just about when polk was starting to get into mobile audio, I got 2 JL 12w1's new for $90 each run in a custom sealed(gorilla glue FTW) 3ft common box off a used pioneer gmh100 2x50 bridged mono run parallel and registered 134.9db. What are you guys hitting with your newer more expensive stuff? Seriously,I want to hear what the market is like now.
    JL had the best material quality's also,last I knew.And they sounded as good after 2 years than they did new. So I wouldn't talk about JL's price to performance too much.
    Last edited by MarcLazarek78; 02-12-2008 at 10:31 PM.
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    to the guy who said "I've heard all JL subs and just don't like them"
    well,this goes along with the fact that polk dont give you the enclosure measurements.
    When I bought my JL's,the shop owner showed me the book he got from JL that lists the various enclosure types and sizes with ratings for a handful of quality's each. I heard the general public isnt rly supposed to see this book and that its for the installation shop er whatever. But their website does post the best one and one I picked.(If I remember correctly).
    Sealed boxes will make your speakers last the longest IMO.Company's want you to need to wear them out and come back and buy more,better ones.That could be a reason they make the backs look so good. otherwise mount them backwards and reverse the fire direction,but thats not really how it should be done I don't think.
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    The only thing I think Jstas was right about was Eclipse and Orion. Orion had a nice 1/2 ohm stable amp back in the day. Remember Zapco,that 50w amp was probably the best amp I heard on my subs.

    And don't get me wrong,Polk knows they have the best mids and highs.And when it all comes down to it,I guess the enclosure makes the sub.

    May be JL started their speaker design with a sealed enclosure up. and/or I'm really good at building boxes / following a few instructions.
    Last edited by MarcLazarek78; 02-12-2008 at 11:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcLazarek78 View Post
    in '95, just about when polk was starting to get into mobile audio,...
    What?

    You're gonna sit there and throw three posts up and tell everyone that they are wrong and offer no proof of your statements at all and then try and tell us that Polk Audio was "starting to get into mobile audio" in '95? Dude, go check your facts then look up the Mobile Monitor series. Polk Audio has been in the mobile audio field since about 1983.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradimusMaximus View Post
    That was the longest post I've ever read.
    What do you want? A cookie?
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    What?

    You're gonna sit there and throw three posts up and tell everyone that they are wrong and offer no proof of your statements at all and then try and tell us that Polk Audio was "starting to get into mobile audio" in '95? Dude, go check your facts then look up the Mobile Monitor series. Polk Audio has been in the mobile audio field since about 1983.
    well,you are right about me not knowing about Polk, but your wrong again if you think that isn't proof.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradimusMaximus View Post
    That was the longest post I've ever read.

    try this one,lol.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63626

    took forever to write.
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  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    What do you want? A cookie?
    yes...next time just post a cookie
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