I have used/ran many different subwoofers for over 15 years now - most recently I conducted a test of a small sampling of different subwoofers a couple years ago (Boston Acoustics G2, Cerwin Vega Vmax, Alphasonik 400-Series, Pioneer TS standard). The Pioneer in that study did OK (not the best, but far from the worst, so I decided to give the Pioneer a shot when I was in the market for a shallow mount for installation in a Mistubishi Raider/Dodge Dakota quad cab (I also purchased a MB quart shallow mount 10 which fried during break-in...still plan to test eventually). This sub met my goal in terms of mounting depth and enclosure recommendations/requirements. I was a little concerned going into it about the frequency response of the sub (Fs is around 40 Hz).
First impression, the sub is relatively sturdy - noticeably heavier than the MB Quart and the basket is well built. Overall construction is pretty good - no excess glue was visible on the cone and it looks relatively clean. I broke the sub in with a 45 Hz test tone at about 50% capacity (free-air) ran for about 30 minutes. The enclosure I ended up with is about 0.45 ft^3 (sealed), with about a 8 oz of poly fill. I typically prefer the output and performance of a ported system but lack the space in this application. I first tested this indoors and then in the vehicle (installed directly behind the back seat of the drivers side of the cab). Indoors, it provided decent OK low frequency response, with lower tones getting muddier and less impactful (as expected - sub 35 Hz type tones). In vehicle, the frequency response drop-off was less noticeable, and played as well as some larger non-shallow configurations. For a single 10, it plays very well - better than I anticipated from a frequency response and output perspective. Based on my prior experience, I would argue that it plays as well as a lot of entry-level single sub systems - if you did not know it was a shallow mount, you probably would not be able to tell based on how it plays. It's relatively quiet in terms of cone noise and has very good impact on rock tunes. It's slightly muddier on extended note rap music (but, it doesn't detract very much from the music - it's better than a lot of subs I have heard and may be related to the amp that I have chosen for this setup and it's poorer dampening factor). It's power requirements aren't crazy high, and in the 2 ohm config, you can use a smaller class D and be able to easily power it (for not very much). I'm overall very pleased with this sub. The MB quart (while working) seemed to go a little lower (indoors) but was not as 'loud' (i.e., efficient) as the Pioneer. I may still test it at some point in time, but right now this is fulfilling what I wanted it to do. My only complaint with the sub is it's overall mounting thickness is higher than I would like, which will require some cushion modifications to accomodate the box/sub (it's got a pretty thick mounting flange/gasket - this seems to be something that Pioneer has moved to in recent years). It's about 6 mm thicker than most other gaskets.
If you're looking to add bass and have limited space constraints, this is a pretty good option given the cost/value. I think you'll be hardpressed to find something with this overall thickness with this capability (I think you'd end up having to jump up to the $180 range to start seeing significant differences - given the overall thickness of the sub). Some of the 'thicker' shallow mounts may be a little better, but in my opinion, they are not really shallow mount subwoofers if the enclosure size requirement starts to creep up to the 0.7 range (for a 10). If you can give up the space, obviously this sub is not going to outperform every "thick" sub in this price range, but it will perform as well as quite a few in this price range given a sealed box.
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