In the world of car audio there have been few names that have stood the test of time like Cerwin-Vega. With a few dips and valleys here and there, Cerwin-Vega have, in the grand scheme of things, stayed relevant, probably in large part due to their involvement in pro audio.

If you’ve gone to a concert in the last 50 years it’s more than likely that you’ve heard Cerwin-Vega’s pro audio gear hard at work punching out good volume with clarity. That same expertise spills down to their automotive speakers and amps.

Gene Cerwinsky started Cerwin-Vega in 1954 and the company made its fair share of subwoofers before he came up with the Stroker sub. This sub was initially used for pro audio monitors for clubs and concert sound, but it was a natural progression to make it to home and car audio gear. Cerwin-Vega’s red surround made it quickly identifiable and the volume that emanated from it shook trunks and license plates everywhere.

The Stroker 12 is a 33-pound dual 2-ohm voice coil subwoofer that will handle 4,000 peak power watts, 2,000 RMS. Just looking at the unit and its build quality you have to know that it will handle just about anything that you can throw at it. The mounting gear itself is quite robust, featuring large plates and allen-head bolts to ensure a firm hold.

Cerwin-Vega sent an EXL-1200D amp to run the sub and an EXL-400.4 to run the front coaxials. We had a 1.15 box built with the sub shooting toward the floor of our test vehicle. We mounted the sub volume knob on the center console and fired up the system and held on for dear life.

With the sub receiving 1,200 watts of power, we were certain that we’d have the mirrors vibrating. We went for the Ice Cube CD, Laugh Now/Cry Later and went to “Chrome and Paint.” The whole car shook like a heroin addict trying to quit cold turkey. This is the Cerwin-Vega that we’ve come to know and love and it didn’t disappoint, delivering car-shaking bass. We threw in some jazz and rock just to see where the sub was at with something that has a quick attack. The sub kept up nicely with a surprising amount of musicality. Cerwin-Vega certainly has a hood pass with us, waking up fools in neighborhoods everywhere. At a street price of about $450 for the sub, it’s certainly not one of the most expensive ones on the market or even on their roster.

One complaint that we did have about the amps is that there are no audio outputs, leaving us to split our rear inputs with one set going to the rear of the four-channel and one to the sub amp. Most four-channels have a through with a crossover so you can run a set of RCAs to the sub amp. A lot of today’s head units do have separate sub outputs so we’re guessing that’s why there isn’t a through, but having one on the amp would have been a nice touch. At about a street price of $425 this 1-ohm sub amp is still a good deal.

All in all, we were happy with the sub and amps, and we’re sure that you will be too. Check out for video of the Stroker 12 doing its thing.