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Fi BTL 18 Review


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#1 tejcurrent

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 05:51 PM

I got my first BTL 18 about 5 months ago, fully loaded dual 2 ohm version. It was the fist 18 I'd purchased or even heard in person, so I was a bit skeptical because of the mixed things people say about larger drivers as far as quality go.

The last two setups I had owned were a kicker L7 15 in 5cubes tuned around 32hz, and and alpine type-x 12 in 1.1cube tuned around 32hz. I had been trying to find a very loud woofer that still sounded half decent, and while the alpine sounded nice, and the kicker got loud, neither did both very well. The kicker was very loud though, so I was really trying to find something that could out-do it.

When I started trying to find out about the Fi products, I was extremely surprised to find out that I, the lowly consumer, was able to talk to the men behind the product, and that was amazing to me. The customer support was great from day one, and the interaction with scott/nick/shawn on everything was so helpful, I knew I was in for something good.

I built a box 8ft^3 tuned to 35hz for daily with about 115sqinch of port area, but tuned a little high so I could put up a bit better score. There was a double thickness of 3/4inch mdf for the baffle, and 3/4 for the other sides. I couldn't wait to put my Hifonics bxi2006d on it, run with 1/0stinger wire from the 3 batteries and 200amp alternator. I have an alpine 9831 head unit, and CDT components, all I needed was that sub to strengthen the low end.

I noticed upon arrival that the packaging was very good, and even though the weight was somewhere near 70lbs everything was intact. The sub looked great, beefy in all aspects, and was huge to say the least! I put the sub in the box and put it in my 99 yukon with adrenaline pumping in anticipation.

I kept the volume low, and put in some rock to see how it would handle the kick drums. Whoa, it was articulate and crisp, and sounded DEEEP. After playing with it a while, I put in some rap, Jeezy I believe, and was taken back at the output. A normal listening volume is between 5-7 notches, but I kept cranking the nob, and at a volume of 10 it passed the output of the alpine (when at full tilt), at 13-14 it passed the Kicker L715 (when at full tilt), and it just kept going. At a volume of 20, I could still not hear any distortion, and the volume was incredible. I cracked my drivers window open and felt the air gushing in, actually blowing my hair - which had never happened with my other subs. It sounded controlled and deep, unlike any sub I'd heard before. So much for the 'sloppiness' of larger woofers, this was clean and simply amazing in output. I stepped out of my yukon and looked at the flex of the body. The lock on my trailer hitch was jumping, and my rear doors were moving like they wanted to come open. Getting back in, the bass in Young Dro-Jackie Chan hit so hard it took your breath away, and the lows in hypnotize by Jeezy made the air move in and out of my lungs like nothing else. A few days later I went and got metered.

I knew it was louder than the low 140s I was hitting with the l7, but not sure how much. I put in some test tones and went to work on it, finding the peak to be at 42hz. I hit 148 and change, and still 145 and change at 32-34hz. I built a new box a few days later, CRX style with 7.5cubes tuned to 35hz w/ 115 sqin of port. This time I hit over 149.
Since then I've purchased a 2nd sub and amp to match, and hit ~149 at 32hz, and a little under 151 @ 42. It stays loud from the low lows up, instead of dropping off where many others do.

Now about 3 months since I've had both going, they've had time to break in. The SPL is still rediculous, they pound all day without a problem. After breaking in some of the initial tightness of them is gone, but that can be expected. I would say the SQ is not quite that of an alpine type-x- but close, and MUCH louder than average. I have a 4kw+ amp on the way, and plan to get another to give them a grand total of 8000+ watts, so I will update when I get this done. Being that this is my daily driver I do not plan on tuning higher, but I am very very satisfied with the sq that this spl driver can maintain.
I've had people with 'competition' setups get in my car and have a shocked look on their face. I've had people who brag to be hitting in the 160s with 6 12's get in my car, and jump back out saying how ungodly loud it sounds -especially on the lows.
Overall they are the best subs I've ever owned, great all around.

Hope this helps with someone when trying to find a great sub, for a great price, that really belts out the power and sounds good doing it.
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#2 Godsmack

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 08:30 AM

Good review man!!!

Gives people (like me) who are window shopping now a good look inside of the performance of these, new and obveously amazing woofers.

A+++


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#3 toolfan91

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 10:18 AM

VERY good review man! Kinda makes me want to pick up a Memphis 4kw and a pair of BTL 18"s for the fucus... But then I come to realize I can pick up the other 3 MJ18s and Orion 2500D for what I would be paying for the 4kw alone, lol.
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#4 tejcurrent

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 07:33 AM

Thanks for the compliments! The SS 10000d is supposed to arrive today, and once it is hooked up I'll post an update to the review. I'm going to compare how it sounds with the SS 10k against a memphis 4k, but I might just get a second SS and call it a day.
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#5 tez4life

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 01:25 PM

Nice review, what did you have your crossover set too? Just curious.
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#6 tejcurrent

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:57 PM

^^
The SS never worked out, so I just go 2 memphis 4ks. I'm extremely pleased with them. #s coming early July.
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#7 ThomasG

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 11:37 PM

Awesome review loved it

Edited by ThomasG, 26 June 2007 - 11:37 PM.

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Vehicle: Civic HATCH
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#8 Frostedflakejake

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:01 AM

Thanks man, great review. I'm looking to get one of those myself. if it fits!!!! otherwise going with the 15', either way, that was one of the most helpfull reviews i've ever read on the BTL. I'm probably going to go with that amp too cause it fits into my budget =]
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#9 j-till

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 06:38 AM

I just traded my 2 15" mtx 9500's for 2 18" Fi BTL's fully loaded. I have a dodge magnum so I think i'll only be able to get 1 sub in the back cuz i refuse to build a wall in my car. Unless I could get 1 sub to fire down into the spare tire sport and have the other face the hatch. I could lie and tell people it's just one sub :shrug: the only amp i have right now is my mtx te4001d. i'm pretty sure that won't satisfy both subs even though it's over 3750 rms @ 1 ohm. Thinkin about goin with sundown amps. i've heard nothin but good about those amps.

Edited by j-till, 08 November 2009 - 06:41 AM.

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#10 heyshawty445

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 06:36 PM

I want to get one of these and a alpine mrp- m2000 to power it not sure yet though

#11 spencers

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 03:44 PM

Agreed the btl is a bad mo fo. I bought 2 18s for my infiniti a few months ago and they only seem to get louder by the day. I am ugrading my amps cuz these monsters thrive on it.
06 infinit g35 coupe 6mt fully loaded
220 amp iraggi alt 3 hc2400's 1 yellow top
2 fi btl 18's f/l d2
2 aq3500's
re-q sound processor

#12 tejcurrent

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 12:48 AM

Just an update, with 3 yellow tops and 2 Memphis MCD-4KWs on my factory alt I did 152 and change @ 42hz at the first competition I attended. I upgraded to the point that it wouldn't be relevant to discuss in this review, but I'm still pleased with my BTLs.

I now have the 2 subs on one American Bass 1000.1, about 5000wrms each. I still have to upgrade from my current dual alt setup to get the full power of this amp, but they are doing great on the power they are getting. The current box is 10ft net tuned to 36hz, and while it still sounds good it does not have the output of the larger boxes. I still have some power left to go, but I will hopefully get this setup metered before I rebuild again.

Here's a link to a short video of a paper trick, though I haven't had time to test and tune. I zoomed on the sun roof because it flaps open about 1/4 inch, and the gap of light was not there before I started shooting vid. It's short so I wouldn't get neighbors angry at me.

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#13 relentlessonez

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 06:46 PM

This is a amazing review thank you

#14 Ohjay

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 06:56 PM

Just in case you didn't catch it, this thread is 2 years old and the subwoofers discussed are last generations BTL, not the new N2 model.

:WELCOME: to SSA btw
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#15 ford302redneck

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 02:41 PM

Just in case you didn't catch it, this thread is 2 years old and the subwoofers discussed are last generations BTL, not the new N2 model.

:WELCOME: to SSA btw

Troy had the first gen BTL's actually.
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