JL Audio 12TW1-4: 12-inch (300 mm) Subwoofer Driver, 4 Ω
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TW1 12-inch Subwoofer Driver (300 W, 4 Ω)
Built on JL Audio's patented thin-line subwoofer technology, the 12TW1 delivers a powerful combination of shallow mounting depth and excursion capability, while operating in insanely small enclosures (0.65 cu.ft. / 18.4 liters). This, combined with a special cast alloy frame design, makes the 12TW1 capable of operating in extremely tight spaces. These include under-seat installations in trucks, 2-seat sports cars and many other creative applications requiring a compact, low profile subwoofer design.
JL Audio's patented thin-line woofer technology compresses the architecture of the 12TW1 using a "concentric tube" structure built into the injection-molded cone body. This structure supports the voice coil and a full annular spider, while permitting the placement of a large motor structure further forward in the speaker than with conventional designs.
The 12TW1 also features a clever frame design that minimizes the frontal clearance required for the excursion of the driver. This is accomplished by recessing the suspension attachment surface, so that most of the forward excursion occurs within the frame's dimensions. Thanks to this feature, the 12TW1 requires only 0.87 inches (22 mm) of frontal clearance, even with its grille installed. This allows for more efficient use of space and increased enclosure volume within a given overall depth.
Even though the 12TW1 is optimized for an enclosure much smaller than any other JL Audio twelve-inch subwoofer driver, it never sounds like a big woofer struggling in a tiny box...instead, it delivers all the rich, deep, controlled bass you have come to expect from a JL Audio subwoofer system.
- Very shallow mounting depth (4.62 in / 117 mm)
- No pole vent: permits mounting close to rear wall of enclosure
- Extremely small sealed enclosure volume requirements
- Long linear excursion capability (0.40 in / 10 mm, one-way)
- DMA-optimized motor design
- Patented "concentric tube" architecture
- Patented "floating cone attach method" technology
- Cast alloy frame with flat edges for tight driver grouping
- Injection molded, mica-filled polypropylene cone
- Rubber surround
- Steel mesh grille included with each driver
- Precision-built in USA at JL Audio's Miramar, Florida factory
Dynamic Motor Analysis - DMA Optimized Motor
JL Audio's proprietary Dynamic Motor Analysis system is a powerful suite of FEA-based modeling systems, first developed by JL Audio in 1997 and refined over the years to scientifically address the issue of speaker motor linearity. This leads to vastly reduced distortion and faithfully reproduced transients... or put simply: tight, clean, articulate bass.
Since 1997, JL Audio has been at the forefront of Finite Element Analysis-based modeling of loudspeaker motors and suspensions. This research is aimed at decoding what we refer to as the "Loudspeaker Genome"... a project aimed at understanding the true behavior of loudspeakers under power and in motion. A major component of this integrated system is DMA (Dynamic Motor Analysis). Starting with the 15W3 and the W7 Subwoofers in the late 1990's and early 2000's, DMA has played an important role in the design of all JL Audio woofers sold today, including our component woofers.
DMA is a Finite Element Analysis (FEA)-based system, meaning that it takes a large, complex problem, breaks it down into small solution elements for analysis and then assembles the data to form an accurate, "big-picture" solution. DMA's breakthrough is that it actually considers the effects of power through the coil as well as coil/cone position within the framework of a time-domain analysis. This gives us a highly accurate model of a speaker's actual behavior under real power, something that the traditional Thiele-Small models or other low power measurements cannot do. Because DMA does not rely on a steady-state model, it is able to consider shifts in the circuit elements being analyzed. These modeling routines are intense, requiring hours to run for a whole speaker.
DMA is able to analyze the real effects of fluctuating power and excursion upon the magnetic circuit of the motor, specifically the dynamic variations of the "fixed" magnetic field. This delivers intensely valuable information compared to traditional modeling, which assumes that the "fixed" field produced in the air gap by the magnet and the motor plates is unchanging. DMA not only shows that this "fixed" field changes in reaction to the magnetic field created by current flowing through the voice coil, but it helps our engineers arrive at motor solutions that minimize this instability. Analyzing this behavior is critical to understanding the distortion mechanisms of a speaker motor and sheds light on the aspects of motor design that determine truly linear behavior:
- Linear motor force over the speaker's operational excursion range
- Consistent motor force with both positive and negative current through the coil
- Consistent motor force at varying applied power levels
Our ability to fully analyze these aspects of motor behavior allows our transducer engineers to make critical adjustments to motor designs that result in extremely linear, highly stable dynamic loudspeaker motor systems.
The payoff is reduced distortion, improved transient performance and stellar sound quality.
Engineered Lead-Wire System (U.S. Patent #7,356,157)
Carefully engineered lead-wire design and attachments ensure controlled, quiet lead-wire behavior under the most extreme excursion demands.
Managing the lead-wires on a long-excursion woofer is one of the trickier aspects of its mechanical design. To address this, many long-excursion woofers today rely on a simple solution that weaves the lead-wires into the spider (rear suspension) of the driver.
The biggest problem with this approach is that spider limiting behavior plays a hugely important role a woofer's performance. Lead-wires that are attached or woven into the spider material can alter the spider's "stretching" behavior. The tinsel wire naturally has less 'give' than the fabric material of the spider leading to asymmetrical spider behavior and non-uniform stress distribution around the spider circumference. The wire attachment points can also cause localized pulling and tearing forces at the spider's excursion limits. As such, longevity becomes a major concern and makes the woven-in design less than ideal for very long-excursion designs.
While a traditional 'flying lead' design does not compromise spider linearity or radial stability, it creates its own challenges on a long-excursion woofer. Managing the 'whipping' behavior of the wire and making sure it does not contact the cone or spider is one challenge. Another is ensuring that the leads do not short one another or the frame of the woofer.
To overcome these issues, JL Audio's engineered flying lead-wires work in conjunction with carefully engineered entry and exit support structures molded into the terminals and the voice coil collar. Some models also feature jacketed lead-wires to further reduce the likelihood of shorting and fatigue. The result is flawless high-excursion lead-wire behavior, with outstanding reliability and none of the compromises inherent to a woven-in lead wire system. Building woofers this way requires much more labor and parts complexity than the simpler woven-in approach, but the payoff is in reduced distortion, reduced mechanical noise and improved reliability.
Tab-Ear Frame Design
This frame design feature facilitates mounting the subwoofer driver in tight spaces.
By employing a tab-ear mounting system, the driver's overall outside dimensions are reduced, permitting it to be mounted in a space that is very similar to that required by the next smaller round woofer frame.
In this example, the “Tab-Ear” frame design allows a 13TW5 13.5-inch driver to fit in a space only slightly larger than a conventional 12-inch woofer requires (only 0.44 in. / 11.2 mm bigger)
Concentric Tube Suspension (U.S. Patent #5,734,132 & #6,095,280)
Our patented Concentric Tube Suspension™ technology delivers unprecedented excursion in a low-profile woofer.
The biggest challenge in any low-profile woofer design is to create enough mechanical clearance for the speaker to generate enough excursion to meet its output and low-frequency extension goals. Since these goals were very ambitious in the development of JL Audio's low profile woofers, achieving them required development of a new suspension architecture.
JL Audio's patented solution employs a molded structure which spans over the edge of the motor system, supporting the spider on the outside of the motor's boundaries and the large diameter voice coil on the inside. The large diameter voice coil permits the magnet to sit inside it, rather than surrounding the coil as is typical in most woofers.
The concentric tube structure and the elimination of a conventional top-plate helps us place the motor system higher up into the cone body's space to further compress depth, while still permitting excellent mechanical excursion.
Built in U.S.A. with Global Components
JL Audio's Miramar, Florida loudspeaker production facility is one of the most advanced in the world.
At a time when most audio products are built overseas, JL Audio’s commitment to in-house loudspeaker production continues to grow. To pull this off in a competitive world market, our production engineering team has created one of the world’s most advanced loudspeaker assembly facilities and established a global network of quality component suppliers who build to our specifications. This, combined with our commitment to state-of-the-art assembly technology, allows our skilled workforce to efficiently build JL Audio products to extremely high quality standards, right here in the U.S.A.
Since most of our premium loudspeakers incorporate proprietary, patented technologies requiring specific assembly techniques, we find it is vital that the people who designed them have close access to the people manufacturing them. The following JL Audio products are built in our Miramar, Florida factory, with global components:
- Subwoofer Drivers: W7, W6v3, TW5v2, TW3, TW1, W3v3
- Enclosed Car Subwoofers: Stealthbox®, PowerWedge™, ProWedge™, H.O. Wedge™ & MicroSub™ Enclosed Subwoofers
- Marine Loudspeakers, Marine Subwoofer Drivers and Marine Enclosed Loudspeakers
- Home Subwoofers: Dominion™, E-Sub, Fathom® and Gotham®
12 Inch Subwoofer