When it comes to adding BASS to your ride, nothing is more frustrating than trying to decide what’s right based on your budget and how big you want to go. In this post, I will go over three options from the budget baller, up to a pretty stout ground-pounding setup. These picks will include the subwoofers (pair), amplifier, and wiring kits I recommend. These are my picks for what I would recommend, and other opinions may differ. Please read this post in its entirety. It will contain important information about the equipment recommended at the end of the post. Without further chit-chat, let’s dive into this.
The Budget Baller
To get your bass fix, or to begin your journey into car audio, you don’t have to be a millionaire to get a pretty nice setup. There are tons of options out there that will give you some serious bump without breaking the bank. Here is my personal pick for the “Budget Baller.”
Let’s start with the subwoofer(s). For my low-cost option, I would recommend the Incriminator Audio I series 10 ” subwoofers. The reason I chose these? Incriminator Audio is one of the most slept-on brands of car audio. They produce high-quality products that can take a beating and produce the sound and bass you want. The I series subs feature 2.5” voice coils and are rated at a pretty nice 500 watts RMS. The best part? These killer subwoofers are priced at only $139.99! At that price, the competition is just selling you subwoofers for looks, not performance.
The amplifier is the next choice for this “budget” build. For this, I chose to recommend the Sundown Audio SFB-1000D*. This is a fairly new amplifier in the Sundown Audio lineup, but that doesn’t mean it’s a slacker. This full-bridge amplifier is exactly what you need to push those Incriminator I series subwoofers to their peak. Being full-bridge, the SFB-1000D is not only super powerful, (outdoing its rated power) but its smaller footprint allows you to install this amplifier almost anywhere with ease. As of writing this post, the SFB-1000D is currently on sale for $151.99 on the Down4Sound Shop website.
Just as important as the subs and amp, is the wiring kit needed to get everything installed and beating down the block. For the SFB-1000D, the best amplifier kit would be the SHCA 4 gauge OFC kit. This kit includes everything you need to get set up.
The Equidistant Basshead
So, you want some bass but you want to stay in that “middle ground?” Nothing too big, yet, nothing too entry-level? This recommendation is for those who want to step up from the “budget build” and start getting a little more serious about car audio. This may also be for those who have a little more in their budget and want to skip the “Budget Baller” phase.
For this setup up, I’m going to have to recommend a pair of the tried-and-true Sundown Audio SA v2 Series subwoofers. Why? Well, simply because the SA series has been a pinnacle of bass setups for a long time. They are truly built to be everyday bangers and can handle it very, very well. The updated version, the v2, is even more capable than its predecessor. The v2 offers a nice bump in overall RMS handling, and at 1000 watts RMS, they are definitely nothing to sneeze at. Also, To make life even easier for you, Down4Sound Shop now carries preloaded D4S ProFab boxes with SA series subwoofers already installed for you. You can check those out HERE.
A perfect pairing for the SA v2 subwoofers would be the Sundown Audio SFB-2000D*. Yes, another SFB series amplifier. Why? Because they are just that good. The full-bridge topology gives these amps the ability to shell out the power you need, yet keep the amp small for ease of installation in almost any spot in your vehicle.
For wiring, I would recommend the D4S 1/0 gauge OFC amplifier kits. These kits provide everything you need to get your setup wired up properly. You’ll be slamming in no time flat.
The Big Boy’s Club
Welcome to the “Big Boy’s Club.” Here you will find everything you’d need to be heard from several blocks away. This realm is not for the faint-of-heart. This is the beginning of the major leagues in regard to car audio.
The subwoofers I would recommend for the “Big Boy’s Club” are the Sundown Audio NS (Nightshade) series. I’ve talked about these in a previous post, but here’s another quick rundown of why these subs are such beasts. They feature a long 3” diameter flat-wound voice coil, can be customized to meet your needs, and boast a 2500 watt RMS power rating, which is very conservative. So, needless to say, the NS series is no joke.
The amplifier that I’d choose for the NS series would be the Sundown Audio SALT-6. Sundown cut absolutely no corners on the SALT series amplifiers. The SALT-6 is a work of art as much as it is a workhorse. This 6000 watt RMS amplifier is one of few that’ll get the job done for you time and time again. This amplifier features 4 gauge, yes, 4 gauge speaker outputs. It also features a remote “status” light for those of you who run multiple amp setups. This feature will alert you, should you have an amp go into protect.
For wiring the SALT-6, I would highly recommend getting yourself a spool of D4S 1/0 OFC cable. This amplifier features triple 1/0 battery input and ground terminals. This is basically going to be a build-your-own wiring kit. You would also need to get yourself some great RCA patch cables, fuse holders (such as the SMD), and fuses, just to name a few things.
Things to Consider
- NOTE: The SFB series amplifiers cannot be wired to an impedance load less than 1 ohm. Failure to follow this suggestion WILL cause damage to the amplifier(s).
In addition, some of these setups will require other components not lists in this post. Some of those components may include extra AGM or lithium batteries, high-output alternators, etc. Please do your own research before jumping into a car audio install. Do not go into this blind. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration when planning and installing a car audio system. If you are unsure, please consult a professional.
Adding some bass to your ride can be an intimidating task, but I hope this post has given you some insight as to what can be created with just a little help and some research of your own. Keep in mind, these recommendations are only that, recommendations. I am only speaking from my experience with specific products. Yes, there is a lot of Sundown Audio listed here, but their reputation speaks for itself. Your opinion and the opinions of others may differ, and that’s totally cool.
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** Please note that this article provides general information on choosing equipment for a car audio system. Keep in mind that not all vehicles are the same and may require different installation methods and techniques to ensure a safe and effective install. By no means, am I a professional mechanic or car audio installer, and D4S and I, are not liable for any damages caused to your person or vehicle by following these instructions or recommendations. Please consult a professional if you have any questions or concerns regarding your own vehicle and how to perform modifications such as the one explained in the previous statements.