Need opinions/have questions on 12W7 and JL 500.1 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Need opinions/have questions on 12W7 and JL 500.1


Well-Known Member
April 15, 2002
Reaction score
City, State
Pittsburgh, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'99 Explorer XLT AWD V8
Ok, as some of you may remember, I've had my mids and highs installed now for over a year and I finally went a got a sub and amp about a month ago.

Link to original post with pics

Anyway, I added a JL Audio 12W3v2 sub and a JL Audio 300/2 amp. Now the first couple of days I was very pleased with the sound(after all i've gone almost 2 years without any bass at all). But I've decided that the 12w3v2 just wasn't cutting it, especially when driving on my way to work on the highway and my windows cracked to let some fresh air in, I noticed that I just don't have the sound/amount of bass I was looking for.

Now, my question is I just ordered a 12W7 and a JL 500/1 mono block amp to run it and will be installed in a 1.2 cubic foot slot ported box, which to my understanding is on the small side for this sub. I know that the sub should really have alot bigger amp running it but will it still sound pretty good and distortion free until i have more money to upgrade my amp? Keep in mind i'm not trying to win any competitions here and I listen to all types of music so I don't need to hit 150db's. I went to JL's website and they show the the 12W7 WILL work with 500watts rms, but it is just on the very low end of the scale.

What does everyone think of my situation? Thanks.

Oh, and here is a pic of the current setup before the changes are made. I'll post pics after I get the new stuff installed, probably next weekend.

EDIT: One more thing, and i'm not trying to be rude at all, but if you post a suggestion as i'm sure some of you will, could you please explain and not just type i think you should get a BF12200.5sd and not say what that is because i don't know alot of the model numbers you guys use to refer to certain products. THANKS!;)


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IMO, I would get the 12w7 and a jbl1200.1.

That tiny box is going to kill output, so give it as much power as you can. If you really want to go with a small amp, build a larger box and port it. I built a ported enclosure for a 10w7 that previously was in a sealed box. It was power by a 500/1. There was a world of difference afterwards.

i dunno if u would really want to port a box for a jlw....anyhting... that sub has superd sound quality so tossing it in a ported box would kind of shoot it in its preverbial foot wouldnt it?? CQ...Expo? ewf?

i have a 10" w7 with a 500 JL amp working off a pioneer premier head unit, i think she sounds awesome!

i have a pic of the speaker in the is a rather large box that is the reaches pretty much side to side on the back end of the ex, and it is as high as the back seats. if you want to see um


Originally posted by mhn3773
i dunno if u would really want to port a box for a jlw....anyhting... that sub has superd sound quality so tossing it in a ported box would kind of shoot it in its preverbial foot wouldnt it?? CQ...Expo? ewf?

There is no loss of sq going ported. Here is the box I did for a friend.


So, most of you think the amp will be o.k., it's the box i need to change? Because I can change to a sealed enclosure if I need to. Basically i want to make sure the box is correct so when I do decide to upgrade the amp to a 1000.1 or whatever, it will have the optimal setup already as far as sub/box goes and i'll just do a quick amp swap.

I'm heading over to JL's sight to see what size sealed box i would need.

Please, keep the input coming.

Kelli, post the pics or you can email them to me and I can post them for you.
also i don't want the box to take up too much more space than the one i already have.

A ported box BUILT TO SPECS will be just as tight as sealed, and net more DB. The tradeoff is volume. The box will need to be a little bigger.

thanks for the help guys.


I've heard/seen that box before only it had a 8W7 in it. I believe it is the JL power wedge slot ported box right? Anyway, we installed the 8W7 in my X running off my JL 300.2 amp and it slammed! I can only imagine what a 12W7 sounds like. Anyway, that box is WAY too big for what i'm looking for. I've decided to go with a 1.5 cubic foot sealed box for my 12W7. i just hope the 500.1 will run it o.k. until i can afford to upgrade to the 1000.1

keep the amp, have someone build you a better box

do sealed to spec unless you don't mind losing a little more room then you should do something with a pretty long port. I don't know if you've solved this yet, but i can figure out the port length and size etc. when i get home from vacation if that helps?

I had a 12W7 in a slot ported box(built to JL Specs) and a 500/1 in my '01 Sport. I hit a 144.6 at a sound competition and took first place in my class. I now have a 1000/1 powering the same W7 and box in my '03 XLT NBX. I have not had it metered or been to any sound offs yet.

really guys, thanks for your help.

expo5.0, i really appreciate the offer of specs for a ported box but i think i'm going to stick with a pre-manufactured sealed enclosure for right now. I know what everyone is thinking,..."what, is Holty stupid?"
The reasoning behind my madness is this: I'm spending so much money on this amp and sub, right after i just blew a bunch of cash on the 12w3 and 300/2(which the shop is letting me trade in and giving me almost what i paid for it in credit after they gave me a really good deal to begin with) so I can't really afford to spend a ton on a custom box. I really suck at wood working and don't want the hassle of building a box myself, and my shop can get pre-manufactured boxes really cheap and pass the savings on to me. That is why i'm leaning towards that scenario. Also, space is VERY important to me, i can't have a box that is much bigger than the one i poseted here in the pics. That's really not debatable. But, then i think to myself, why spend this much money on a top quality sub and put it in a crap box. This is my dilemma lol.

expo5.0 here is a box that i found on the net that looked cool and is to JL spec so let me know what you think.


12" (1) JL W7
Sealed - 1.65 cubic ft
17 1/4" h X 17" bd X 14" td X 20 1/4" w


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that will work very well, i almost always go with sealed boxes simply because they are smaller and simpler. You won't be disappointed with that set-up for the music you listen to.

I went ahead and had my audio shop order that box for me today. I should have ordered it myself even though they are not charging me anymore than what i would have paid for it, they said it won't be here until next week, where i probably could have gotten it to me by friday of this week. oh well, they said my 12W7 hasn't came in yet anyway, but will probably be here by tomorrow. looks like i'll be dreaming about my system for another week or so until it gets installed. damn! this sucks! lol

i'm just curious as to what db's i'll hit with this setup? and if i'm going to be rattling around town? next will probably be a high output alternator and some dynamat for the rear gate. i'm assuming that's where it will need it most right?

Now I'm thinking I want more than the 500/1 LOL. I spent all this money on a awesome sub and box, I shouldn't short change it with a small amp right? I don't have room for the 1000/1 from JL or that is what I would have got already. I finally decided on a 500/1 since my audio shop has one in stock and it fits perfectly where I want to mount it, but now i'm thinking I want something more powerful than the 500/1. The space requirments of where this amp will be mounted are a max. of 14inches long. I want to know what everyone thinks of the MA Audio amps for my setup? I was thinking possibly the HK-2000D. Which one would be best? How does there quality compare to JL amps and such? I'll be doing the installation tomorrow night. Thanks.

Since you're having second thoughts about the 500/1, here's my two cents.

I have a 12w7 in a JL ported box, powered by the 500/1, and it is PLENTY loud. I knocked my rearview mirror off the first night I had the system out. Sure, the 1000/1 is recommended by JL, and I would love to have it, but like you, the 1000/1 will not fit in my Explorer.

However, for my needs, as both an audiophile and a showoff, the 500/1 is plenty.

Check out my site for pictures of the setup.

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I don't know if it's been said yet but the W7's are supposed to be in a box that is the same size as the one it's shipped in. If you are going to port the box you need to build it to JL specs.