Lightweight bass options...


Senior Member
May 24, 2001
Okay, Im not a huge basshead, but I like my subs to "be heard".
On the flip side, I hate taking the box out whenever I go somewhere I think I might benefit from the weight reduction.
Im gonna break my back one of these days.. im no big guy and the thing weighs about 55-60 lbs ( I think). Maybe more....
The box is built for 2 JL 12w0's at about 1cubic ft per side, out of MDF.
Anyone want to share some options for good sounding bass on a diet??
Something I can just leave in the trunk permanently, or something that weighs less and can be removed by one person without a lot of trouble...
I too have always wanted something light weight but with the strength and acoustic properties of MDF without the weight. Aluminum or carbon fiber comes to mind but it would have to be ridgid enough not to flex (lost energy) under excursion and still maintain good acoustical properties. I would find some 3/8" aluminum sheets and cut them to fit and weld them together to see how it would sound with a single subwoofer. Not sure on its sound but would be lighter than the MDF.
lightweight materials

Divinyl sheets: (company that makes it)

Ultra light wieght MDF is about 1/3-1/2 the weight of normal MDF.

When using the ultra light people usually say to brace the box well since its not quite as strong.

Other alternatives are to build the enclosure completly from fiberglass or carbon fiber. But doing it this requires you do a lot of bracing (and most importantly in the right spots) to get a stiff enclosure.

Lightweight = MORE $$$$$$$, so it may or may not be feasible for you.
a few years ago I was doing some audio consulting for a custom airplane company. They would take big planes (727, 747 etc...)and convert them to custom coaches for sheiks, rockstars, movie get the idea. Well I'm checking out this plane and this ONE guy walks by with this sheet of "something". The piece was 12' long and about 2 feet wide and 3/8" thick...and I notice this piece being carried by ONE GUY isn't flexing at all...I mean ZERO. So I grab one of the people I'm consulting for and I say "What's THAT!"

He took me into their interior construction shop and gave me a full demo. If I remember right he called it NOMEX. The stuff comes in sheets 4'x12' and was absolute rigid over that area. This stuff was amazing. Hard as a rock and you couldn't bend it and light as a feather. It was a fine aluminum honeycomb (inside) surfaced with thin sheets of some composite material. Oh yeah...a 12x4 sheet weighed in at just under 7LBS! I wanted to get some, I could see a sub box made of this stuff that basically weighed little more than the subs them I asked if I could buy some, he said "sure...It runs about $1000.00 a sheet, how many do you want?"

Needless to say, I never used it...
Originally posted by zam70
It runs about $1000.00 a sheet, how many do you want?"

It just goes to show ya that lightweight + strength = $$$$$$$ I think I will stick to good old MDF :D .
lightweight bass?

whats wrong with using the trunk for an enslosure? seems too many people "think " bass needs a box!...the best sounding car in carauido history..a buick GN..has NO! box in the trunk!..a good "free air" type set up is the way to go... if you dont want to add the weight of a properly bilt enclosure!...flame gear on!;)
Joe, I am with ya buddy. Might take a higher quality speaker but my JBL's GTI series play louder than I need. I even called JBL and they said no problem free air, just give them a bit more power.

I didn't even do that.

Just my .02.
Re: lightweight bass?

Originally posted by Joe Tiano
"whats wrong with using the trunk for an enslosure?
it seems too many people "think " bass needs a box!"

Nothing wrong with using the trunk as a woofer cabinet (i.e. AP membrane and free-air) but as a personal choice and opinion, I prefer the sound and power handling of an enclosure :)

"the best sounding car in carauido history..a buick GN..has NO! box in the trunk!"

This is true but Richard Clarks GN is using an aperiodic membrane which technically has a partial enclosure but that is due to one of the many designs of an aperiodic membrane.

My best buds Buick is the current IASCA & USAC World Champion running an aperiodic enclosure which sounds good at low to medium levels but if you try to throttle it, it will bottom and distort (APs are not made for SPL) but that is not what he design the car for.

"a good "free air" type set up is the way to go... if you dont want to add the weight of a properly bilt enclosure!"

I agree, but I still prefer a properly built MDF enclosure over free-air or AP design and don't mind sacrificing weight to achieve this :D. (just my humble opinion)

Here is a link for SilverSleeper and anyone who is interested on what an aperiodic membrane is and how to build one because if it is not designed and built properly, you will not be happy with the sound.


Hey I was just surfing my web tracker and came across your forum. Thanks for the compliments. I am still trying to add other information but my time is limited because I work too damn much. Anyway. If you guys have any suggestion on how to improve my site, please e-mail me. I am just happy that people are getting something from my site.



BTW cool forum. :)

PS If you guys are looking for other ways to make light weight boxes, build it out of fiberglass. it will definitely weight less than any wood box and with the mods I use will sound as good or better.:D
Welcome to the board Paul! I am glad to have another audiophile onboard :) . BTW, nice install skills :cool: .