Can someone explain this odd subwoofer design?

markboris

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So last night I was finishing up my sound deadening project on the car and only had inside the rear quarter panels left to do. After removing the right side loadspace trim panel, I found the very cheap looking 6x9 paper cone woofer in a very small plastic enclosure just large enough to hold the speaker. I needed to remove it to get to the area behind so I could apply the dynamat and dynaliner back in the quarter panel and wheel well. After removing the subwoofer I found it was ported. Here is the issue and question. It is ported to the OUTSIDE of the vehicle. There is a rectangular opening in the wheel well and the subwoofer port attaches to it. On the other side of the port is the fiber liner that you see when you look up inside your wheels well opening.

I have worked on many car audio systems for over 50 years and have never seen a one where the subwoofer was ported to the exterior of the car. If anyone else has seen this or has a good explanation as to why Ford has designed it this way, I certainly would like to know. Do they want people to hear the bass from this car on the outside? That cheap paper cone certainly is not doing much to produce deep bass inside the car especially when it's ported outside. I am satisfied with the basic sound of the system in this car especially the placement of the tweeters that are in the sounder in the dash that face the driver and passenger instead of being side firing in the doors or A pillar but the deep base in this car is sadly lacking. Looks like one of my next projects will be to add a JLAudio sub and separate amp like I have done in the last three cars I've owned. Below is a photo of the subwoofer in it's enclosure, the hole in the wheel well the enclosure port attaches to and the huge (sarcasm) B&O amp which sits right above the sub.

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So last night I was finishing up my sound deadening project on the car and only had inside the rear quarter panels left to do. After removing the right side loadspace trim panel, I found the very cheap looking 6x9 paper cone woofer in a very small plastic enclosure just large enough to hold the speaker. I needed to remove it to get to the area behind so I could apply the dynamat and dynaliner back in the quarter panel and wheel well. After removing the subwoofer I found it was ported. Here is the issue and question. It is ported to the OUTSIDE of the vehicle. There is a rectangular opening in the wheel well and the subwoofer port attaches to it. On the other side of the port is the fiber liner that you see when you look up inside your wheels well opening.

I have worked on many car audio systems for over 50 years and have never seen a one where the subwoofer was ported to the exterior of the car. If anyone else has seen this or has a good explanation as to why Ford has designed it this way, I certainly would like to know. Do they want people to hear the bass from this car on the outside? That cheap paper cone certainly is not doing much to produce deep bass inside the car especially when it's ported outside. I am satisfied with the basic sound of the system in this car especially the placement of the tweeters that are in the sounder in the dash that face the driver and passenger instead of being side firing in the doors or A pillar but the deep base in this car is sadly lacking. Looks like one of my next projects will be to add a JLAudio sub and separate amp like I have done in the last three cars I've owned. Below is a photo of the subwoofer in it's enclosure, the hole in the wheel well the enclosure port attaches to and the huge (sarcasm) B&O amp which sits right above the sub.

IMG_42701900.jpg


IMG_42721900.jpg


IMG_42731900.jpg


IMG_42711900.jpg
I know almost nothing about sound systems, automotive or otherwise, but I wonder if the exterior-facing porting is part of the audible pedestrian warning function of the vehicle, to help boost the legally required signal? {Jonathan}
 
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markboris

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I know almost nothing about sound systems, automotive or otherwise, but I wonder if the exterior-facing porting is part of the audible pedestrian warning function of the vehicle, to help boost the legally required signal? {Jonathan}
Interesting thought but no it is not. I disconnected the speaker for the audible pedestrian warning and there is no other noise coming from the car now. Maybe it has something to do with the propulsion sound when it is turned on?
 

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Not to get back on the "but the gas Mustang does it differently" train, but I actually liked how when you bought the "Shaker Pro" system on the Mustang, you got the huge subwoofer that was proudly displayed in the trunk.

Sure, you had to buy a different part number cargo mat for it if you had the Shaker Pro, but it looked good and sounded WAY better than Mach-E system does. I hope they didn't downgrade the gas Mustang when they moved to "B&O" like we have.

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Interesting thought but no it is not. I disconnected the speaker for the audible pedestrian warning and there is no other noise coming from the car now. Maybe it has something to do with the propulsion sound when it is turned on?
Funny enough it's not the first time I've seen this. If you ever used software for box design for very small subwoofers an infinite baffle is recommended which is impossible but in this case if you ported outside, it would be possible. If you ever watched the west coast custom series they actually do this for one of the clients.
 
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Not to get back on the "but the gas Mustang does it differently" train, but I actually liked how when you bought the "Shaker Pro" system on the Mustang, you got the huge subwoofer that was proudly displayed in the trunk.

Sure, you had to buy a different part number cargo mat for it if you had the Shaker Pro, but it looked good and sounded WAY better than Mach-E system does. I hope they didn't downgrade the gas Mustang when they moved to "B&O" like we have.
Yes actually they did downgrade the ICE Mustang when they moved to the B&O system at least in the subwoofer department. While it does have a 10" B&O sub, it is a very cheap paper cone in a non-ported small box which basically produces almost no bass at all. This has been discussed a lot on Mustang6G forum. In my ICE Mustang I installed a JLAudio stealth box with a 12" woofer and added a separate amp. Most likely going to do something similar in the Mach E.

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kdryden99

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On a side note how hard was it to remove all the trim to dynamat the whole car
 

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You're a wizard at finding the relevant threads.

@markboris it's indeed part of the sound system design. "An Externally Coupled Subwoofer (ECS) also uses the cabin’s unique shape to produce powerful bass performance, despite being around half the weight of a traditional subwoofer and taking up around 80 per cent less space."

That port doesn't go outside the vehicle, but into cavities in the body panels where the sound resonates and is amplified.

It's more complex than it looks!
To me, the bass sounds great. I am a very mild audiophile... The source makes s huge difference here.
 
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markboris

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I read through the entire article and still do not understand why it is ported outside. Am I missing something here?

You're a wizard at finding the relevant threads.

@markboris it's indeed part of the sound system design. "An Externally Coupled Subwoofer (ECS) also uses the cabin’s unique shape to produce powerful bass performance, despite being around half the weight of a traditional subwoofer and taking up around 80 per cent less space."

That port doesn't go outside the vehicle, but into cavities in the body panels where the sound resonates and is amplified.

It's more complex than it looks!
To me, the bass sounds great. I am a very mild audiophile... The source makes s huge difference here.
That rectangular hole I show in one of the above photos goes OUTSIDE. If I were to take off the fiber wheel well liner behind the right rear tire, you will see that whole and can look straight up into the woofer enclosure through the port. If you want, I can take a photo of that too from the outside behind the fiber liner.
 

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I find the bass response to be pretty good. Of course, if you’re an EDM aficionado, looking to recreate the Las Vegas nightclub experience, the Mustang Mach E sound system, particularly the amp and bass, definitely aren’t for you. 😀
 

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I read through the entire article and still do not understand why it is ported outside. Am I missing something here?


That rectangular hole I show in one of the above photos goes OUTSIDE. If I were to take off the fiber wheel well liner behind the right rear tire, you will see that whole and can look straight up into the woofer enclosure through the port. If you want, I can take a photo of that too from the outside behind the fiber liner.
You would have to remove the fiber wheel well liner to see the bass enclosure and port opening, correct? They do not duct directly into the wheel well, do they?
The theory of the case is that they are using the body cavity (closed) as a resonating chamber and have done some kind of acoustic tuning (whether by DSP or “magic”, I have no idea) to produce a “high quality bass response”. Go figure.
 
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You would have to remove the fiber wheel well liner to see the bass enclosure and port opening, correct? They do not duct directly into the wheel well, do they?
The theory of the case is that they are using the body cavity (closed) as a resonating chamber and have done some kind of acoustic tuning (whether by DSP or “magic”, I have no idea) to produce a “high quality bass response”. Go figure.
That is correct. You have to remove the fiber liner up under the wheel well. That liner is not sealed to the wheel well. Is is held in by a few clips. Remove those clips and the liner falls down out of the wheel well. So the port is pushing the sound between the wheel well and the fiber liner. Still not sure how that creates bass INSIDE the car but like you said, maybe there is some magic going on. I have tried to search for systems where bass enclosures are ported to the exterior of the car and haven't come up with anything so far.
 
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One other note, as with the B&O sub that was in my ICE Mustang, disconnecting it and listening to the system makes very little difference in the bass output. Most of the bass in this system is coming from the 6.5" speakers in the four doors which accounts for the reason there is no low frequency bass in the B&O systems. This also has been well documented (the lack of deep bass the B&O sub puts out) on the audio forum at Mustang6G. Bottom line is, I will be removing that sub and installing a real sub in the area where the styrofoam container is that holds the charging cords and electric air pump.
 

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To me it looks like more like a traditional Bass Reflex port that adds bass to relativ small woofers. Doesn't matter where the exit is, as long as the port has a certain length and shape (tube - rectangle in this case). The port does not really produce sound, it produces an air flow.

Beside that, premium sound systems are always just a minor upgrade (and sometimes even a downgrade) from the standard audio. In case of most Bose systems, there's a complete spectrum missing in the mid, it's mostly a lot of bass and high tones. If you really want great sound, you need to upgrade with more serious amplifiers and speakers, that'll set you back $2000 or more. And that's not what the B&o system in the Mustang cost.
 
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