Shoebox Sub history

Here are the earliests messages from the Insight Owner's Group proposing what became the Shoebox Sub:

From: "Geoff Shepherd" <GeoffS1@G...>
Date: Tue Sep 26, 2000 4:30 pm
Subject: RE: CD Changer, etc


I received your pics - thanks! Your installation looks very professional with excellent attention to detail. I hope you can get your Sniffer page up soon, or at least for the interim upload these pics to the file section on the group's web site.

Since you are using your own DC-to-DC converter, what have you discovered regarding the battery module and high voltage contactor? When the ignition is turned to accessory or off, does the contactor take the whole battery module off-line, or is it just the systems down-stream such as the motor voltage converter and TDK DC-to-DC converter? Does your DC-to-DC converter work even with the ignition turned off?

Another question for you... do you think it would be possible to design a small sealed box (or otherwise) sub enclosure to fit in that "cavernous"
space to the right of the storage bin (where you have your electronics stuffed)? This might be a nice way to have a "micro sub" without taking up
any existing cargo space.

It looks like my installation of the JVC 12-CD changer to the left of the bin will work out, although my mounting cage is so tailored to the JVC's dimensions that it will not be reusable for a different changer should the JVC need replacing in the future. I'm not using the plastic brackets supplied by JVC as they take up too much room.

Thanks for your posts...
--Geoff Shepherd

From: John Wayland <dat1200@e...>
Date: Sun Nov 19, 2000 4:00 pm
Subject: Re: [honda-insight] Re: Installing a Subwoofer in the Insight

Hello Insight fans,

e_rosenbaum@h... wrote:

> >Very well explained John, only thing if I may add would be the
> >recommendation of a excellent 8" sub for the small space enclosure
> >would be the Eclipse 86080.4 unit.

Hey, this a great that others are getting into this subwoofer thing! It would be helpful though, if when recommending a raw subwoofer driver, that you give its recommended type of enclosure, how many cubic feet of air space it needs, its power
handling ability, and hopefully, its frequency response characteristics. In the case at hand when were're trying to design a small cabinet for the right rear corner space adjacent to the recessed storage well, my guess is that we will be looking for an 8 inch driver that will perform well in a .3 cubic foot this close to what the Eclipse 86080.4 needs? I know you mentioned that it is designed for a small space enclosure, but what does Eclipse describe as small? Also, again because of the space and location of this enclosure, it will most likely be a sealed box type, so is the
Eclipse 86080.4 designed to work in this type of design? If it is, then this is great. If not, and it is designed for a ported type enclosure, then it may not be the best choice....let us know. The '8W6' eight inch bass driver that is used in the 8.1 Micro Sub is a perfect match for the 8.1's ported small cabinet, that's why the 8.1 Micro Sub sounds so good, however, this same driver placed in a smaller 1/3 cubic foot, sealed enclosure,
or on the other extreme, place in a much large cabinet, would sound horrible. Good news...JL Audio has a new line of raw drivers, and their '8W3' eight
inch driver looks like a good match for this proposed small sealed enclosure for the Insight. The 8W3 is designed for a sealed enclosure of 1/3-1/2 cubic feet and will handle 125 watts of continuous power, I don'r know what the frequency response is, but knowing
JL Audio as I do, it will probably play very low into the 30 Hz range. I am doing some final wiring on Sniffer's sound system today and will have
the rear area apart again....I'll take some measurements and report back.

See Ya.........John Wayland

From Honda-Hybrid digest #683

OK, now, since you (Mario) have brought up the kit, I'll respond.

Yes, the pricing is all up to date, though the model numbers of the Eclipse speakers and the Eclipse amps, are not. Both these items have had major model number changes, and though the door speakers (now model number SE8262) have had subtle refinements, the amp is virtually identical, other than the weirdo model number change from a 36401 to the current EA3422 (how'd it go from that, to that?).

The amp model number thing has really, never been right on the web page. The first amps offered were the Eclipse model 3640, a 4 ch unit with 40 watts per ch. X 4, or 120 watts mono bridged for the sub and 40 X 2 for the front speakers. The amp was subsequently revamped and improved, and although it still had the identical chassis, footprint, and mounting holes, the heat sink was slightly different looking and the power rose to 50 watts per ch. X 4, or 140 watts mono bridged for the sub and 50 X 2 for the front speakers...the model number became the 36401. To add to the confusion, we have this amp listed as a model 30401...this is a typo and needed to be corrected for some time. Recently, change number three came along where the 36401 became an EA3422. This latest version is in all respects, identical to the 36401, other than the goofy model number change...same size, same heat sink, same footprint and mounting holes pattern, same price, same's identical other than a model number change.

My ShoeBox Subs are still the same price, but now have the newest 8 inch bass driver from JL Audio, the 8W3-v2, that is the replacement for the venerable model 8W3-D2 I've used for so long. I was worried at first, that they might have ruined a great thing, but somehow, they made it even better! The driver has a silver basket color, an inverted dust cap, a better surround, a bumped-out magnet pole piece for even longer cone excursions, better power handling and greater sensitivity...all this, without losing the terrific bass sound of the original 8W3-D2. I've also recently changed the way I do a couple of things to make the enclosure perform slightly better, too. To date, 53 ShoeBox Subs are pumping out deep bass in Insights all over the US and Canada.

The limited edition Super ShoeBox Sub (SSS) is improved over the earlier versions and instead of the Kicker L7 square bass driver, they now use the Kicker L5 model. Both Ryan Fulcher and Clayton Saffell recently gave their reviews on these. I may not be offering any more of these, once # 7 goes out the door (I'm keeping #8 for a future Insight).


The Super ShoeBox Sub (SSS) has very high output from a tiny enclosure, and in generic terms, is a tweaked version of the standard ShoeBox Sub, but it is 'really' an all new cabinet.

Ricky's correct, the standard ShoeBox enclosure cannot accommodate the Kicker L5 squarebass driver. The driver itself, though an 8 inch size (cone area), is about an inch wider, and will not even fit in the baffle hole, even 'if' the cabinet had the internal air volume to support it.

The regular ShoeBox Sub has .33 feet of internal volume, a perfect match to the JL Audio 8 inch bass drivers, the original 8W3D2 or the newest version I now use, the 8W3v2. It was fairly difficult to design the regular ShoeBox to get that much internal air volume without resorting to hacking and cutting of metal parts in the car (arrgghh)...the Kicker L5 square bass driver needed even more internal air volume, so the SSS design was even more of a challenge.

By slanting-out the cabinet's rear panel, and adding a bumped-out, square-shaped baffle extension to hold the square Kicker L5 extreme bass driver, I was able to squeeze out just enough extra internal volume to make the SSS cabinet come in at .42 cubit of internal volume...exactly what the L5 bass driver needs to produce its level of performance. The Kicker 'L5' square 8 inch driver has a huge cone excursion and has a lot more cone area than any standard round shaped driver, so it pumps enough air to almost match a pair of 10's! It was a daunting task to design the SSS, believe me! The square baffle extension had to be offset, so that its lower edge hangs down about an inch past the bottom of the cabinet. It only fits the car, because as you slide it over and into place, at the last moment, the Insight's body floor dips down where it goes around the muffler. To make it even possible to slide the SSS over and into place (like one does to mount the standard ShoeBox Sub), the rear cabinet bump-out had to be shortened in height by a 1/4 inch...this doesn't sound like a big deal, but it really was, and along with the square baffle bump-out and that slanted back panel, these changes required an all new CAD redesign. The standard ShoeBox Sub can be placed on the car's floor, then easily slid sideways, as it's rear cabinet bump-out just barely squeezes under a factory bracket. With its dropped-down square baffle extension, the SSS sits slightly cocked on the on the car's floor (until it drops down at the last moment), so as it is slid sideways over into position, the the rear cabinet bump-out , had it not been shortened, would run into that bracket. I lost a small amount of internal volume by shortening the rear bump-out, but gained internal volume with the front baffle extension and largely, from that slanted rear panel. I also had fits with one corner of both the cabinet and the square driver. The solution was to remove part of the speaker's 'ear' and to cut an angle into that portion of the square baffle. The SSS is also wired with heavier gauge conductors, and had an increase in the amount of Polyfill damping material...whew, the whole project was lots of work!

The SSS was aimed at all out car stereo nuts who wanted MORE power with car quivering bass, and who did not mind spending the extra money for it and an additional powerful bass amp required to push it to high performance levels. As Clayton wrote about, the SSS moves so much air, he had to deal with stuff in the car vibrating!

I usually did not recommend the SSS over the my regular ShoeBox Sub for most folks, as the standard ShoeBox delivers deep bass response and can be driven (along with a pair of front speakers) off just one, affordable 4 ch. amp, like the Eclipse EA3422.

The regular ShoeBox Sub is a tough act to follow for it bass-for-dollars ratio, it's stealth installation feature, and the way it plays deep and smooth...I think these reasons make it the best choice over an SSS.

I had originally decided to make just three of the SSS, but the last one out the door, unfortunately, met its demise at the hands of UPS! My customer 'really' wanted his SSS, so my offer of a full refund was not acceptable, nor was my offer to give him a standard ShoeBox Sub and some dollars back. So...I asked my cabinet maker to 'hit the button' on the CNC machine, and punch out an extra three SSS (they would not bother with lower quantities). On a hunch, they made five for me, instead of the three I had asked for, so that's why there has been a total of eight made.

Hope this was of some interest....

See Ya......John Wayland