Friday, February 25, 2011

Massive Audio TW-12 12" Car Subwoofer Review

It is exciting to see all of the car stereo options when designing or adding to your car stereo. One excellant way to improve the sound is to add a subwoofer. But for some, just having a subwoofer is not enough. It needs to play loud! When I saw their booth at CES, I was impressed with the quality of the products for Massive Audio. When given the opportunity to review a pair of their TW-12's, I jumped at the opportunity.

The Massive Audio TW-12's are a mid-range line of their subwoofer models. Some of their features are typical for a midrange product, such as a typical stamped basket and 500 watts RMS power handling. There are other features that was a pleasure to see in this midrange product, such as the inverted Kevlar cone. I also really liked the overall design. The design of what they call Cone Finger "V" Ultra Light is pretty cool. It supports the inverted Kevlar cone, and its finger cut reduces some of the mass. This in turn reduces weight and resistance. The end result yeilds a more sensitive woofer and gives a better SPL response.

The features of the Massive Audio TW-12's are:
Weight 28.00 Pounds
Size 12
Watts 1000
RMS 500
Cone Finger "V" Ultra Light
Voice Coil 2.5" Dual 4 Ohm
Surround 1" Tall Santoprene
Magnet 80oz Flux Ferrite Y40
Terminals Push-In for 8 AWG
Basket Stamped Steel
Tinsel Leads Woven Silver Plated
X-Max 24 mm peak to peak
SPL 93.7 dB

The quality of the Massive Audio TW-12's are also very good. The magnets have a nice chrome finish, with plastic Massive Audio cover over the rear vent, with slots to allow the air to vent through. It adds a nice look for reverse mounting, and worked sufficiently well. While I also prefer a cast aluminum basket, the 500 watts RMS didn't warrant it. The stamped basket was sufficient for the design demands and power handling of the subwoofer. The spider was good with excellent quality stitching of the tinsel leads. The common spring terminals also worked great and were well labeled. It's Cone Finger "V" Ultra Light design under the cone looked pretty cool. The inverted Kevlar cone was excellent, and very stiff for no distortion from cone flex. It is also extremely durable to last for years of abuse. The surrounds seemed a tad thinner than I have seen on other models, but allowed for easy cone movement. The Massive Audio TW-12's did have a great amount of excursion, and air movement.

To test the end result, I turned to a traditional sealed enclosure, giving 1.25 cu ft per subwoofer. Reference gear included a Kenwood Excelon KDC-X991 receiver, Rockford Fosgate 25 to life Power 1000, Vibe Audio Space 6 3D 3-way component system and Alpine SPX-13PRO components. I also torture tested them with a variety of tracks. I started with Backbusters - Tocatta and Fugue. The Massive Audio TW-12's provided excellent depth, was very clean sounding, and actually sounded quite musical. Next up was Justin Timberlake FutureSex- Sexyback. The bass was very nicely tight and punchy. It was a chest punch that you could't help crank up the volume to get more of it. And the Massive Audio TW-12's enjoyed being blasted to deliver more of it! Dead or Alive- You Spin Me Right Round is a good challenge with it's fast beats. For a 12 inch subwoofer, the Massive Audio TW-12's did well on the fast beats, and was just a tad muddy when listening for it. But it was not overly so to where it brought attention to itself. Last but not least was No Doubt- HellaGood. This track was full of bass energy, and was played with lots of authority.

Overall I was impressed with the Massive Audio TW-12's. At their price point MSRP of $249.95 each, they they provided great output and extension with good sound quality. At their price point the resolution was good and they were also pleasantly musical. Based on their quality and performance, the Massive Audio TW-12 has earned our Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at: