InCar Entertainment  - - AUDITION -


Within the com­pe­ti­tion arena, 40 year old Amer­i­can com­pany JL Au­dio, col­lo­qui­ally known as JL, is ei­ther the crown upon your head or the thorn in your side de­pend­ing on which side of the fence you’re seated on. Te­na­cious own­ers of early JL prod­ucts still rave about them, and I too har­bour fond mem­o­ries of th­ese weapons from decades past.

The first gen­er­a­tion W6 – ret­ro­spec­tively called W6v1 – was a hearty beast. The ab­so­lute pin­na­cle of sound qual­ity sub­woofers in its day, it was a se­ri­ous force to be reck­oned with. Af­ter years at the top JL chose to re­work the W6 range, much to the dis­may of many in­clud­ing this au­thor. Not to say the evolved W6v2 didn’t im­prove upon its pre­de­ces­sors short­com­ings; it’s just that some of the nos­tal­gia and avant-garde pres­tige seemed to van­ish with the orig­i­nal de­sign. Yet de­spite the en­su­ing suc­cess an ever-proac­tive JL took the de­sign back to the gar­den shed.

Af­ter spend­ing many a late night with ham­mer and tong reworking the de­sign JL Au­dio has now emerged with the pow­er­house love­li­ness that is the new third ver­sion; the mighty W6v3! The W6v3 range is com­par­a­tively sparse com­pris­ing of only a 10in and 12in model, the lat­ter of which we’ve opted to re­view. On the sub­ject of di­a­met­ri­cal girth it ought to be men­tioned that while it’s nom­i­nally a 12-inch driver, in ac­tu­al­ity it’s around 12.5-inches – rest as­sured that this is no ac­ci­dent.

If you ex­am­ine your stan­dard large sur­round 12-inch sub­woofer you’ll dis­cover its cone can mea­sure as small as 8.5-inches. Given the cone is the pri­mary phys­i­cal el­e­ment ex­cit­ing the air mol­e­cules, this presents a unique hur­dle to de­sign­ers. The most com­mon way of com­bat­ting this co­nun­drum is to use what’s called an EROM sur­round which with its ex­tended height al­lows for fur­ther ex­cur­sion with­out im­pact­ing the cone’s work­ing di­am­e­ter. How­ever many would ar­gue that EROM sur­rounds don’t of­fer as much ra­dial in­flu­ence as tra­di­tional semi-cir­cu­lar shapes. There­fore if you want high out­put, while at the same time re­tain­ing some sem­blance of con­trol, you’re only left with one re­al­is­tic so­lu­tion; you need to make your sub­woofer a tad big­ger. This is ex­actly what JL has done and to that end the 12W6v3 of­fers an ef­fec­tive cone area of 75.3-inches2. Let’s con­tinue with the de­sign in­tri­ca­cies. JL is an ab­so­lute mas­ter of its trade and the vast tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments it’s achieved – many of them patented – can be found here in abun­dance. How­ever, rather than fris­bee­ing a heap of acronyms at you, let’s ex­plain this su­perb piece of sub­sonic en­gi­neer­ing in plain English.

Start­ing at the bot­tom; the 12W6v3 be­gins with an enor­mous matt black cast al­loy frame which has been metic­u­lously ma­chined in or­der to be as aero­dy­nam­i­cally-trans­par­ent as pos­si­ble. As men­tioned, its some­what over­sized pro­por­tions mea­sure 318mm wide with a healthy mount­ing depth of 191mm. Se­cured to the bot­tom is an enor­mous 178mm dou­ble stacked, Y35 grade stron­tium ce­ramic mag­net. JL has paid con­sid­er­able at­ten­tion to the mag­net shape and its po­si­tion­ing in re­la­tion to the DMA op­ti­mised mo­tor struc­ture.

Dy­namic Mo­tor Anal­y­sis, or DMA for short, is a pro­pri­etary sys­tem de­vel­oped by JL dur­ing 1997. It sci­en­tif­i­cally analy­ses the mo­tor’s in­trin­sic re­la­tion­ship with the magnetic flux and, through this tech­nol­ogy, JL has care­fully scru­ti­nised the real world ef­fects of fluc­tu­at­ing power and lin­ear ex­cur­sion upon the magnetic

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