Subwoofer(s) Ideas While I Rebuild My Music System - AVS Forum
Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers > Subwoofer(s) Ideas While I Rebuild My Music System
Valtyr's Avatar Valtyr 03:50 PM 08-03-2013
Hello everyone,

In as few words as possible I'd like to define what I'd like to do, room dimensions, listening tastes, current setup and hopefully everything else.

Current Setup
Bedroom - SVS SB1000 with Cambridge Audio S30's (Powered by a Denon 1713)
Living Room - Monitor Audio - RS 6, Infinity PC 153, Infinity P163, and a BIC F12 :-\ (Powered by a Yamaha RX V565)

I just upgraded Infinity P363's with the Monitor Audio - RS-6's and I LOVE them. With that said, I am replacing my Infinity bookshelf speakers with Wharfedale Diamond 10.2's (soon) and I'm trying to find a Monitor Audio Center. That part is pretty well determined. Based on some advice I received in my introduction thread I tried to put my SVS SB1000 in the living room and I couldn't hear it, nor could my lady friend. It is such an amazing sub for my bedroom the way it is now, it would be a complete waste of a perfect musical subwoofer. Although the F12 may work well for some people, mine sounds like it is playing in a muddy puddle and I abhor it. I cannot see a possible reason to not upgrade this subwoofer; it may even be my next upgrade.

About me/my home/my tastes:
My Living Room is 16' x 27' x 8'
I would estimate the living room will be used equally for Television, Movies, and Music
My budget is flexible... I'm thinking under $600 - $700 for one high quality Subwoofer maybe under $1000 for two
I do prefer a sealed subwoofer's performance (between a BIC and SVS) but am incredibly open to both Ported/Sealed designs
My musical tastes are (in no order) - Thrash, Black Metal, Rap, Hip Hop, Rock, Classical, Jazz, Indie, Folk and Pop
Movie taste is even more diverse than musical tastes
I live alone in a single-dwelling home so output isn't a problem and aesthetic design is only mildly important (something in Rosenut would be cool).

That is it for my needs.

Here are some of the ideas I've considered so far:
A single SVS PB-1000 and add a second one later
A single SVS SB12-NSD (I'd be annoyed if I had to get a second one but I could)
A single PB-12-NSD (Probably wouldn't ever add a second one)
A Single PB-1000 and a Single SB-1000 (Does this even make sense?)
Two Klipsch 12RW-D subwoofers.
Merlin recommends I get the SB13 or the PB13 Ultra and it just isn't going to happen...

I am not limited to SVS but I really do appreciate everything they bring to the table.

rnatalli's Avatar rnatalli 04:04 PM 08-03-2013
I think dual PB-1000s are your best bet for $998 shipped.
rnatalli's Avatar rnatalli 04:08 PM 08-03-2013
Actually, I miscalculated the room size. At 3,500cuft, the SVS PB12-NSD, PSA XV15 (maybe the XS15), HSU VTF-3, and Outlaw are all excellent options.
Valtyr's Avatar Valtyr 04:10 PM 08-03-2013
Noted. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

So one PB 12 will have better output than two PB 1000's at this room size? Interesting, I thought it would have been the other way around.
Valtyr's Avatar Valtyr 04:13 PM 08-03-2013
I looked at the VTF-3 MK4 and I like that it has a Rosenut option. It would match my speakers well.

Do you consider HSU on par, below, or above SVS's quality?
rnatalli's Avatar rnatalli 04:21 PM 08-03-2013
Someone asked Ed at SVS that very question, and he basically said two PB-1000s will yield about a 3db gain.

All the brands I mentioned are excellent with their own strengths. The PSA and Outlaw have the edge in output, whereas the SVS sacrifices a little output in favor of a very linear response.
Valtyr's Avatar Valtyr 04:27 PM 08-03-2013
Thank you for your replies again.

I looked at Outlaw and it is significantly less than the other options. Any thoughts on why?

I looked at the LFM-1 EX and it looks respectable.

Also, do you know the db gain of the PB12 over one PB1000?
rnatalli's Avatar rnatalli 04:33 PM 08-03-2013
The Outlaw price doesn't include shipping smile.gif. Ed actually answered your other question too. He said a single PB-1000 is roughly 3db behind the PB12-NSD.
rnatalli's Avatar rnatalli 04:37 PM 08-03-2013
Since you favor sealed designs. I would take a hard look at the XS15 too.
Valtyr's Avatar Valtyr 06:10 PM 08-03-2013
It looks like the XS15 is better than the SB12 in almost every category I can see...

Will it have enough output to be heard in my system in a room this size?
rnatalli's Avatar rnatalli 06:16 PM 08-03-2013
The SB12-NSD is rated for rooms up to 3,000 and the XS15 has more output so it may squeak by, but 3,500 is a bit of a stretch. It depends on your listening habits.
basshead81's Avatar basshead81 08:36 PM 08-03-2013
For your room and budget I would be lookin at a pair of Rythmik LV12's for 1070.00 shipped. According to Jim Wilson it is the sub to have under 600.00 and is another level above the PB-1000. It would be more comoarable to the PB-12NSD..
shadyJ's Avatar shadyJ 08:45 PM 08-03-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valtyr View Post

I looked at the VTF-3 MK4 and I like that it has a Rosenut option. It would match my speakers well.

Do you consider HSU on par, below, or above SVS's quality?

Hsu is as good as any of them. The Outlaw subs are good too, but they are essentially previous generation Hsu VTF designs. Although they are ported designs, they will not resemble the sound of your BIC sub at all. They will also have far deeper bass capability than any of your other choices. If it were me I would go for the VTF3. If you can handle a larger and heavier sub and can stand to do just a little bit of assembly yourself, you might check out this kit from parts express. I think there is a good chance it will be quite a bit better than the SVS, Hsu, Outlaw, and PSA subs. It would be very easy to put together, so don't consider that some kind of big project, all you would need is a screwdriver, some glue, and maybe an hour of assembly time.
Valtyr's Avatar Valtyr 01:02 AM 08-04-2013
Thank you both for your comments.

Basshead81 - I read Jim's review on the product but when I viewed their page it had a broken link on the sub so I couldn't find it. I'll check again tomorrow but it was one I was considering.

shadyJ - When I look at VTF3, PB12, and the others I notice their extension goes down to 16/18hz where this sealed design only goes down to 22. That is lower than the SB1000 that I have but less than what a ported woofer can do. I wouldn't imagine I'm losing much in the last two audible hz ears can supposedly process; do you? Do you have any idea what size room this Dayton can fill? It looks easy enough for me to build. Is everything pre-wired or would I have to solder? I have every tool imaginable (except a soldering iron) to build things with and assembly is not offensive. I cannot even begin to fathom building my own though.

What exactly does having two drivers like this do? Does it simulate dual subwoofers? What do you feel this one can accomplish that the other options cannot?
steve nn's Avatar steve nn 01:50 AM 08-04-2013
Quote:
It looks easy enough for me to build. Is everything pre-wired or would I have to solder? I have every tool imaginable (except a soldering iron) to build things with and assembly is not offensive. I cannot even begin to fathom building my own though.

The kits are very easy to put together. I would say it would take you about 1-1.5 hr. to put it together. No soldering just a allen wrentch which might be even provided. It wont give you the performance in the lower frequencies that some of the other options mentioned though. For what it's worth I have no doubt it’s a great sub though.. a lot of output. I have a hard time believing it actually weighs 167lbs. It does sport 1” and 2” MDF though. 3/4 MDF comes in at 80-100lbs a sheet depending on quality, so it can ad up fast.
shadyJ's Avatar shadyJ 02:11 AM 08-04-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valtyr View Post

Thank you both for your comments.
shadyJ - When I look at VTF3, PB12, and the others I notice their extension goes down to 16/18hz where this sealed design only goes down to 22. That is lower than the SB1000 that I have but less than what a ported woofer can do. I wouldn't imagine I'm losing much in the last two audible hz ears can supposedly process; do you? Do you have any idea what size room this Dayton can fill? It looks easy enough for me to build. Is everything pre-wired or would I have to solder? I have every tool imaginable (except a soldering iron) to build things with and assembly is not offensive. I cannot even begin to fathom building my own though.

What exactly does having two drivers like this do? Does it simulate dual subwoofers? What do you feel this one can accomplish that the other options cannot?

Yes, the dual dayton sub won't have quite as much output as the VTF3 and PB12 at around 20 Hz, where the ported subs get a big boost from their ports, but above that and below that it will offer more output. Not only that, it's drivers are likely better, so in every other respect it will best them as well, distortion, compression, linearity, cone control,etc. Overall it should offer better sound quality. Also, due to its opposed design, it will have just about zero cabinet vibration or cabinet resonance. The SB1000 can not be compared to it, a single one of its drivers alone nearly weighs as much as the whole SB1000, which means higher excursion so more output, and also tighter cone control. Like Steve said, assembly would be a cinch. And no, it doesn't simulate dual subs, it still behaves as a single sub, but a very high quality single sub. The only real disadvantage it has against the other subs is its sheer weight.

If you can take on more challenging projects, there are even greater value subwoofers out there that you can have for around 1k. You could build a subwoofer based around the UXL-18 for around 1k, but you would have to build your own cabinet and set up some EQ settings.
Valtyr's Avatar Valtyr 10:17 AM 08-04-2013
Okay, great! Thank you both for your replies.

I think building my own cabinets is probably out of the question, I do not understand the graphs well and I have no real understanding what I need to tweak when I do it.

I think I read one of your other posts where you had recommended the same sub to another member and you mentioned another option for a pre-fabricated enclosure. That is probably doable but I'm guessing this Dayton is right up my alley.

Are any of these other Dayton kits up to par with what I'm looking for? I with the assembled box on the dual one was slightly more attractive. The others in the kit section seem to be more boxy and what I'd be used to looking at.

I was also curious, I read in a post possibly even my own thread. Someone mentioned that the amp is not limited like the SVS subs are. Does that mean I can destroy the amp? I really don't think I'll use the sub to destroy walls or at their maximum capacity I do listen to music at high volumes though so I just want to ensure that I cannot destroy these with reasonable listening. Also, are the Yamaha receiver or the Denon receiver powerful enough to power one of these DIY kits? I guess with an amp it would be powering itself and simply processing audio waves as the receiver sends them. Thoughts?
steve nn's Avatar steve nn 11:34 AM 08-04-2013
Ok so your saying you want to go with the kit. One thing I would suggest first is to check out the cost over here http://www.powersoundaudio.com/collections/power-x and then proceed. The kit SW comes with it’s own powered amp so no need to worry about that. The amp has HPF so it has a limiter of it’s own design although more capable than the SVS.
Valtyr's Avatar Valtyr 01:09 PM 08-04-2013
Steve nn,

I read about the PSA XS15 by reading JimWilson's blu-ray forum review. I am fascinated by the product and think I would rather have it than the PB12/SB12 but I'm not sure which is better in my room.

I know the Dayton plays lower, costs more, and is uglier.. Do you think the XS-15 will fill a 3500sq ft room?

Any thoughts why the SB12-NSD plays lower frequencies than the XS-15? What are the advantages/disadvantages of both beyond the stats I read about?
steve nn's Avatar steve nn 03:05 PM 08-04-2013
The SB SVS has a flatter response but then rolls off faster than the XS, it does not play lower frequencies, actually I would suggest just the opposite. I can’t say with your room gain what you would achieve, but I have no doubt the XS would have more to give in total output than the SB.. If you decided to incorporate DSP, you would have more headroom to work with running the XS imo. Can the XS-15 fill your 3500 cf room? Well that depends on what your goals are. I would suggest no, just like the PB wouldn’t or SB. The XV-15 is more on par with the 12+ and the LVR is considered close to the PB-NSD by many.. so that might give you a idea of what your looking at with your different options. In a room your size I would recommend a vented option myself, that's just me though.
shadyJ's Avatar shadyJ 05:00 PM 08-04-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valtyr View Post

Okay, great! Thank you both for your replies.

I think building my own cabinets is probably out of the question, I do not understand the graphs well and I have no real understanding what I need to tweak when I do it.

I think I read one of your other posts where you had recommended the same sub to another member and you mentioned another option for a pre-fabricated enclosure. That is probably doable but I'm guessing this Dayton is right up my alley.

Are any of these other Dayton kits up to par with what I'm looking for? I with the assembled box on the dual one was slightly more attractive. The others in the kit section seem to be more boxy and what I'd be used to looking at.

I was also curious, I read in a post possibly even my own thread. Someone mentioned that the amp is not limited like the SVS subs are. Does that mean I can destroy the amp? I really don't think I'll use the sub to destroy walls or at their maximum capacity I do listen to music at high volumes though so I just want to ensure that I cannot destroy these with reasonable listening. Also, are the Yamaha receiver or the Denon receiver powerful enough to power one of these DIY kits? I guess with an amp it would be powering itself and simply processing audio waves as the receiver sends them. Thoughts?

There are projects out there with pre-made cabinets, not quite as simple to assemble like the dayton sub and are a bit more involved, but they wouldn't be really hard. There is this cabinet pack that can be ordered to fit the SI 18" drivers which can be ordered here. This Behringer amp could power that easily, and it could power another if you wanted to make two subs. You will want some kind of limiter or EQ on that thing and there are a lot of options in that respect (here is an good solution for that). A single sub made from those parts wouldn't cost more than $1k for everything, including a nice finish or veneer. Since you could use the same Amp and EQ for an additional sub, you could have two 18"s for maybe $1300 overall. That kind of performance wouldn't come close to being matched for that price by any commercial subwoofer, and you can make them look as nice as you want since you are doing the finish. That even blow away the Dayton dual driver sub, but, like I said, a bit more work is involved. You would probably need to spend 2.5 to 3k to get a performance matching commercial system.

Tweaking the subs are not that hard, just ask for help in the DIY forum, you will get a lot of assistance there. There is a wealth of resources available for anyone going in this direction.

As for the other Dayton kits, this one wouldn't be so bad, it would be about on the level of say an SVS SB12 NSD, but probably more mid and upper bass output I am guessing. The only other kits which are interesting, the Titanic driver kits, are not in stock.

As for the limiters on the amp, the Dayton kits will all have limiters, but if you went with something like the 18" SI drivers, you would need to configure the EQ for a limiter. It wouldn't be that hard, just set up a high pass filter in there. They can play as safe as any protected commercial subwoofer, it just depends on the way you set it up.

And yes, these solutions are all self amplified, your receiver isn't needed to power these subs.
Valtyr's Avatar Valtyr 05:53 PM 08-04-2013
Thank you both again for your answers...

I think that ported would be the better option for the living room with all things considered.

shadyJ, My biggest fear with DIY is that I won't know if it doesn't sound good. It is upgrading from a BIC F12... I'm sure a guy yelling the bass lines as they happen would probably closer to true sound than the BIC.

steve nn - You'd pick the XV over the PB12? They seem comparable other than cost and appearance.

Anyone reading and capable of sharing opinions: opinions on the Dayton dual sealed box versus the XV versus PB12?
steve nn's Avatar steve nn 06:37 PM 08-04-2013
Quote:
steve nn - You'd pick the XV over the PB12? They seem comparable other than cost and appearance.

That’s it in a snapshot. I have had 5-6 different PB12+’s in the past not to mention different Ultra’s, PCi and the PB1000 for the computer room. I’m always about saving $$ where it makes sense biggrin.gif All this talk about DIY kind of intrigues me though. It’s a mixed bag. I think I have built enough to know. One thing I would ad to what shady has said is that it is very satisfying if that’s what you like to do. Now that flat packs are available it has become a much more viable option and the finished product has a very good chance of looking good but I have never used a flat pack. Vented flat packs are pretty much non existent, so if you ever opted for that rout it’s a different story.. gonna take a liiittle more work. wink.gif
shadyJ's Avatar shadyJ 07:05 PM 08-04-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valtyr View Post

Thank you both again for your answers...

I think that ported would be the better option for the living room with all things considered.

shadyJ, My biggest fear with DIY is that I won't know if it doesn't sound good. It is upgrading from a BIC F12... I'm sure a guy yelling the bass lines as they happen would probably closer to true sound than the BIC.

steve nn - You'd pick the XV over the PB12? They seem comparable other than cost and appearance.

Anyone reading and capable of sharing opinions: opinions on the Dayton dual sealed box versus the XV versus PB12?

If you don't trust your own ears, you should get a SPL meter to confirm what you are hearing. I would get one regardless of what kind of sub you end up with, just to see what is going on in your room. Room correction software can only do so much.

Ported subs would only have an advantage around their tuning point, which is typically around 20 Hz for these subs. Against an adequately powered SI driver, they would have hardly any advantage even around the ported tuning point, and would be at a pretty sizable disadvantage throughout the rest of the frequency range. There is measurements up for the PB12, XV15, and a sealed SI 18" sub. You can compare them all directly here at data-bass.com, courtesy of Josh Ricci. If you want something really superior, check out the Mach 5 UXL 18 driver, which is also at data-bass.com. It's twice as expensive as the SI driver but it's performance is much better. There isn't a convenient flat pack cabinet out there for it though. It blows everything else mentioned here away.

If you would rather not bother with DIY at all, my sub of choice in this price range would be the Hsu VTF3.
Valtyr's Avatar Valtyr 07:17 PM 08-04-2013
Please forgive my understanding of subwoofers when I ask this...

How well do you think I could do if I just took out the driver and amp from the BIC subwoofer and put a Dayton 12" in it with a better driver... Is that a horrible idea? What else about the BIC makes it so terrible? If the cabinet design is sound maybe this would work?

steve nn - if I were building I'd go with the kit for sure. It is sealed. I am just having troubles processing what I want to do. It sounds to me like everyone agrees that the DIY double driver dayton kit from PE is the best sub. All the others from these great companies seem interchangeable in every aspect. I'd get one ported PB12, one XV15, or the HSU one in rosenut whichever became the best deal. It seems like a very competitive area of the industry with a ton of great options I guess the customer wins!
basshead81's Avatar basshead81 07:25 PM 08-04-2013
Also note the XV15 has a shallow roll off after the tuning point of 12db per octave...which is alot shallower than most other ported subs. It will dig much deeper than its tuning point. Josh Ricci measured 94db @ 12.5hz in room 2m rms at only 18% thd. thats pretty solid performance for a 800.00 sub shipped. smile.gif
Valtyr's Avatar Valtyr 07:35 PM 08-04-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

If you don't trust your own ears, you should get a SPL meter to confirm what you are hearing. I would get one regardless of what kind of sub you end up with, just to see what is going on in your room. Room correction software can only do so much.

Ported subs would only have an advantage around their tuning point, which is typically around 20 Hz for these subs. Against an adequately powered SI driver, they would have hardly any advantage even around the ported tuning point, and would be at a pretty sizable disadvantage throughout the rest of the frequency range. There is measurements up for the PB12, XV15, and a sealed SI 18" sub. You can compare them all directly here at data-bass.com, courtesy of Josh Ricci. If you want something really superior, check out the Mach 5 UXL 18 driver, which is also at data-bass.com. It's twice as expensive as the SI driver but it's performance is much better. There isn't a convenient flat pack cabinet out there for it though. It blows everything else mentioned here away.

If you would rather not bother with DIY at all, my sub of choice in this price range would be the Hsu VTF3.

Thanks for your candid thoughts shadyJ, I've appreciated your guidance through my amateur questions.

SPL meters are available on Amazon. Is there anything in particular I am looking for in an SPL meter? It seems their models are about $20 (some more some less) and they read db levels. Right? How does this help me identify problems if I were to build the Dayton (I don't think it will have problems, the kit looks super easy to build).
shadyJ's Avatar shadyJ 07:37 PM 08-04-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valtyr View Post

How well do you think I could do if I just took out the driver and amp from the BIC subwoofer and put a Dayton 12" in it with a better driver... Is that a horrible idea? What else about the BIC makes it so terrible? If the cabinet design is sound maybe this would work?

You do not want to do that. The Dayton driver works best with a certain amount of internal spatial volume, pressure, and power. The BIC box was made for that particular driver, it would not be optimal for a different driver, especially a heavy duty driver like a good Dayton. The Dayton drivers all have their recommended cabinet volumes within their product descriptions, it is probably best not to deviate from that.
shadyJ's Avatar shadyJ 07:47 PM 08-04-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valtyr View Post

Thanks for your candid thoughts shadyJ, I've appreciated your guidance through my amateur questions.

SPL meters are available on Amazon. Is there anything in particular I am looking for in an SPL meter? It seems their models are about $20 (some more some less) and they read db levels. Right? How does this help me identify problems if I were to build the Dayton (I don't think it will have problems, the kit looks super easy to build).

Most of those meters will work fine for casual measuring. One feature that I like is an RCA output so I have the option of connection it to my computer and capturing those measurements with a program called REW. The model I use is this one, which seems to work fine. The way you can identify problems is by using the meter while running frequency sweeps and if you get a lot of fluctuation, that can be indicative of a problem. The problem will much more likely be due to room acoustics than the sub itself. You won't get a perfectly even frequency response no matter what, but you will want to tame the peaks and lift up the nulls. Your receiver's room correction equalization will assist you with that. It's also a good way to find the best place for your sub. You will want to place the sub in the spot where the measurement remains as steady as possible, with the least amount of fluctuation.
steve nn's Avatar steve nn 06:46 AM 08-05-2013
Modeling the driver in a different size enclosures with different power schemes is one of the first things done over in DIY generally. What is suggested by PE for example is usually a higher tuned SW in a smaller enclosure. For many drivers, loading them in a larger enclosure with a lower tune works out quite well or better.
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