Lightning Audio X1.12.VC2
By Frank Pilcher
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2003

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The Lightning Audio LA Storm X1.12.vc2 is a 1-inch cast aluminum frame subwoofer with dual two-ohm voice coils. It features a large roll surround, dual 9 1/2-inch spiders, a 3-inch aluminum voice coil, and an aluminum cone. Electrical connections are made through spring-loaded binding posts. Power handling is listed as 1000 watts RMS and 3000 watts Max.

My first glimpse of this monster made my jaw drop. This speaker is massive! It weighs in at about 40 pounds — just moving this baby around is a chore. (I thought aluminum was supposed to be light.) The frame of this brute is so beautifully constructed, you hate to hide it by dropping it into a wooden enclosure. The mounting flange has a rubber cover, which eliminates the need for a gasket to get an airtight seal. The stacked magnet also has a rubber cover. You cannot help but notice the over-sized surround. It overwhelms the cone so much that my friends would ask me if it were a 10-inch sub.

Dual two-ohm voice coils seemed to be a good choice for this subwoofer. Wiring them in parallel makes your amp see a one-ohm load, which works well with a lot of high current or class D amps. Wiring them in series makes your amp see a four-ohm load, which works with the majority of amps out there. Realizing the power requirement of this sub, I feel the majority of installs will have an amp dedicated to each woofer.

The folks at Lightning Audio supplied me with two different enclosures; both were plain uncovered MDF but very well constructed. The first was a very small sealed enclosure measuring only 14 inches H x 14 inches W x 10 .5 inches D on the outside. This comes out to be about .79 cubic feet of air space. Take away the .384 cubic feet that the speaker displaces means this sub is operating in only about .4 cubic feet of air space! Going in the totally opposite direction, the second enclosure was a ported design measuring 16 inches H x 17 inches W x 20 inches D with a slotted port measuring 1.5 inches H x 15 .5 inches W x 14.5 inches L. Total air space for this enclosure came out to be a little over 1.7 cubic feet after subtracting for speaker and port displacement.

User Evaluation
My test amp is rated at 800 watts at four-ohms, mono. For the first test, I chose the sealed enclosure. I hooked the system up, popped in a CD, and WOW! How could so much deep bass come from such a small enclosure? Further testing confirmed my first impression. Frequency response was very smooth all the way down to the 20 Hz. Bass notes on my music tracks were very detailed and accurate with no coloration. Of course, I had to crank it up to see how loud it would go. I took a reading of 134.8 dB at 37 Hz in my sealed vehicle. A 10 Hz tone was then played to listen for any mechanical noise or air leaks. None were found. In fact, I could not find any faults with this sub except, maybe, that it wants more power.

Then came the ported enclosure. What can I say about it besides "SPL!" Sound pressure jumped to 143.3 dB at 48 Hz. There was some huffing noise coming from the port at higher volume levels. You had to get close to hear it. By then, my hat was blowing off and pages were flapping on my note pad.

The guys & gals at Lightning Audio have really outdone themselves with this subwoofer. It has proven it’s versatility by playing smoothly and accurately in either the smallest of sealed enclosures or the booming ported designs. I must say that the LA Storm X1.12.VC2 is truly the Beauty and the Beast.

Price & Contact: $674.95; Tel: 480-966-8278 Web: www.lightningaudio.com

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