Re-engineer a Klipsch RSW-12 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 08-22-2013, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I currently use an Accoustec H-100, which causes an adequate amount of seismic activity. However, through some dealings, I've wound up with all of the parts for a Klipsch RSW-12 subwoofer except the cabinet.

I do have a second HT system that could use a sub. My first thought is to replicate a closely as I can, the original design of the RSW-12.

To that end, does anyone here happen to have a RSW-12 that has been opened? The electronics give me no hint of what plugs in where, and I don't want to use trial and error. Also, it would be nice to have pictures of the inside that shows what mounts where.

Another option is to purchase a box. I'm very tempted by this one: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=302-845. I'm assuming I could add contents to displace the volume difference.

I don't have much wood-working experience at all, but I'm a perfectionist, and I have friends I can draft, if necessary. Is this likely to turn into more of a can of worms than it's worth?

Also, maybe the factory cabinet was made with compromises that I don't necessarily need to make. Should I consider scrapping the original design and build/have built something completely different?

Jamie
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post #2 of 25 Old 08-22-2013, 08:56 PM
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Parts Express box should be good. If the box is too big, add braces to stiffen the box and arrive at the same volume as the original box. By Adding braces you would be getting a enclosure that would surpass the original box. I would assume the original enclosure would have compromises and braces in the enclosure is one of the easiest to cut cost as; 1. Not seen by the customer and 2 It does not change the specification of the subwoofer.
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post #3 of 25 Old 08-23-2013, 10:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JamieHankins View Post

Is this likely to turn into more of a can of worms than it's worth?

Yes, yes, yes it will.

Get yourself a 2.5 cu ft box, install the Amp and the speaker. Stuff the box with some poly-fill and make sure you don't cover up an electronic parts, leaving enough room for the driver and amplifier to breath. Just saying, Klipsch uses a really weak subwoofer in their lower end subwoofers; that's why their subwoofers are so cheap.

Do you have room measuring capability? If not, nothing you do matters as you won't be able to measure and see what's happening. Hopefully, if you don't already have room measuring capability, you'll take the time to download a freeware copy of REW and get it up and running.

BiGGGGGGGG can of worms. Good-luck.

...biggrin.gif

Is it worth it? For the education yes. For the results, maybe/depends......on how low your expectations are. If your output expectations are high, your disappointment will be great. If your expectations are to gain a learning experience, you'll be highly rewarded.

Been there, done that, ended up on the darkside of midnight or the willingness to spend far to much on a subwoofer sound reproduction system in which to alleviate the pain and suffering.

"Oh please, free me from the bonds of anemic bass!"

Once given to the darkside, nothing but excessive flat reference will do.

P.O.D.: "Boom"

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post #4 of 25 Old 08-23-2013, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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BeeMan,

Thanks for the great info. I wasn't aware of REW. I've been playing around with WinISD, but that's something totally different.

I have to say, though, that if you think the RSW-12 is cheap, then you and I file very different tax returns! :-) I believe the RSW-12 was over $1,000 new, and if you can find one used, it's around $600. I know that there's a lot more expensive stuff (Klipsch and otherwise) out there, but there's a lot cheaper stuff, too.

Jamie

P.S. I prefer a click click before my boom... :-)
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post #5 of 25 Old 08-23-2013, 01:09 PM
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Been there, done that, ended up on the darkside of midnight or the willingness to spend far to much on a subwoofer sound reproduction system in which to alleviate the pain and suffering.

+1

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post #6 of 25 Old 08-23-2013, 02:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieHankins View Post

I have to say, though, that if you think the RSW-12 is cheap, then you and I file very different tax returns! :-)

If I might suggest, look at a "decent" driver. Compare a decent driver and it's specs to that of what one finds in a RW-12d.

As I've written, due to my experience with the Klipsch, RW-12d, I have gone to the darkside. In truth, I'm not proud of where I've gone, all I can do is say, this is where I've gone. I use to hold the RW-12d in very high esteem, I now hold the RW-12d in less than high esteem when compared to what one can buy. I was happy and then had my eyes opened. Now I'm sad because I can never go back.

(ignorance is bliss and I use to be blissful)

This is the driver that killed my love for the RW-12d. As you can see, my change of heart is not due to winning the lottery. It was my experience, upgrading/playing with the the RW-12d that opened my eyes.

(nice link biggrin.gif)

Replacing the drivers and stuffing the boxes with poly-fill, all the while letting REW guide the efforts, I succeeded in obtaining a flat (+/-3dB) 20Hz performance. Once one achieves this goal, because of reading threads like this, one becomes aware of there being so much more and because of this awareness, becomes aware of the limitations of their system and how there's so much being missed out on and once one's eyes (ears) are opened, they become a prisoner of the darkside......never able to return.

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post #7 of 25 Old 08-23-2013, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieHankins View Post

{snip}... However, through some dealings, I've wound up with all of the parts for a Klipsch RSW-12 subwoofer except the cabinet.

I do have a second HT system that could use a sub. My first thought is to replicate a closely as I can, the original design of the RSW-12.

To that end, does anyone here happen to have a RSW-12 that has been opened? The electronics give me no hint of what plugs in where, and I don't want to use trial and error. Also, it would be nice to have pictures of the inside that shows what mounts where.
{snip}

I think the term you meant to use was "reverse engineer". smile.gif

When you say you have the parts. You have an amp control panel, amplifier, driver, and passive radiator, correct? If so, based on the published dimensions and assuming .75" material, you need an internal cabinet with ~2.55 ft^3 gross volume. The P-E 3 ft^3 box is a bit on the large side IMO, but you could add bracing and/or solid objects to eat up the extra .5 ft^3 of space. It's highly likely the RSW-12 cabinet had only has a small cross brace at most, given the driver and PR consume two entire faces of the cabinet. The volume is critical to making sure the PR is tuned to the right frequency since the amp/driver/PR were designed as a system. A smidge +/- won't matter, but .5 ft^3 too large could have potentially disastrous results for the driver and/or PR by allowing too much excursion.

If you don't have the PR, you can't just throw the driver/amp into a sealed box of the same size and call it a day. Sealed boxes generally need roughly half the volume of a ported box for the same driver, assuming the driver has parameters that make it suitable for either alignment. The RSW-12 woofer may be biased heavily towards a ported alignment such that a sealed alignment will be very unsatisfying in a home setup, even in the appropriate sized sealed cabinet.

However, if you don't have the PR, all is not lost. I found a thread over at the 'Shack where someone had put a RSW-12 driver on a WooferTester. You could run his parameters through something like WinISD to calculate an appropriate tuning frequency for the driver in 2.55 ft^3. The s/w will also tell you the appropriate port length/diameter for the volume. Then just port the P-E cabinet accordingly. PRs and ports behave nearly identically so the amp's EQ and protection filters will still be appropriate.

As for hookup, you could post pictures of everything and we could probably help you work it out. I would be surprised if there's not some labeling on the circuit boards to guide you. ReconingSpeakers.com has photos of both the control panel and amp...hopefully you have all of the cables pictured. Looking at the controller photos, I'm guessing the driver gets connected to the controller instead of the amp. Photo 5 of the controller has the best view...the red/black pair in the top right corner probably go to the driver. The yellow/white pair near the top center probably go to the led on the front panel. The top left multi-conductor cable connects the control board to the amp itself.

It's also possible the driver is a dual coil version. If so, you'll probably want to use a DMM to check the resistance of the coils. If the coils are 8 ohm, you'll connect them in parallel to the amp. If they're 4 ohms each, you'll want to connect them in series.

HTH.

-Brent
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post #8 of 25 Old 08-23-2013, 07:29 PM
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Jamie, as a quick follow-up. DIYSoundgroup has flat pack cabinets that are considerably cheaper than P-E's cabinets. Of course, they're raw MDF and you have to put them together yourself... This cabinet looks especially promising, but is out of stock at the moment. Probably wouldn't hurt to email and ask when/if coming back. You'll also want to measure the RSW-12 driver/passive to make sure they'll fit the DIYSG's cutouts. The cabinet I linked is cut specifically for P-E's Reference Series 12" drivers, which tend to be on the small side for a 12", IME.

-Brent
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post #9 of 25 Old 08-23-2013, 10:26 PM
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One thing you don’t want to do is put it in to a sono with to much juice. I always laugh at this pic when I see it.. the poor guy wink.gif


Klipsch RB-75
Klipsch C-7
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post #10 of 25 Old 08-24-2013, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow Brent, great info. By the way typing on a tablet sucks. I just lost a half hour response. Let's see if I can recreate it.

I have the driver, the PR, the control panel, the volume control, and the cables. The only things I'm missing are the cabinet and the power LED.

I found a comment online that's interesting: "I looked in the RSW12 cabinet and Klipsch has a strange looking x shaped brace in the center and the guts of the amp are on the brace as i recall."

One uncertainty about cabinet size is that I don't know if Klipsch used fiberfill.

I hadn't really closely studied the wiring. Things were easier than I thought to wire up. However, when I hooked it up and applied power, all I got was a pop, pop, pop at a little more than one a second. The volume control works (at least to control the volume of the pops). I'm guessing that means the amp is shot. Hopefully it can be repaired. Worst case is a buy a BASH amp.




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post #11 of 25 Old 08-24-2013, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
I found a thread over at the 'Shack where someone had put a RSW-12 driver on a WooferTester. You could run his parameters through something like WinISD to calculate an appropriate tuning frequency for the driver in 2.55 ft^3. The s/w will also tell you the appropriate port length/diameter for the volume. Then just port the P-E cabinet accordingly. PRs and ports behave nearly identically so the amp's EQ and protection filters will still be appropriate.

+1.......that is the best OP can do. If somehow you get hold of the required t/s parameters; you can replicate rs-w12 exactly as it is supposed to be in its original cab. How close you get to the original box; depends on your wood working skills. WinISD is almost dead on; provided T/S parameters are correct. You can cross-check the sims in Unibox also.

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post #12 of 25 Old 08-24-2013, 06:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieHankins View Post

One uncertainty about cabinet size is that I don't know if Klipsch used fiberfill.

Klipsch is not big of foam or fill. Our experience with the SW12 and SW12 II which both used passive radiators, Klipsch used two pieces of one inch thick by 12"X24" gray foam, placed loosely inside the cabinet (one on the top half and one on the bottom half with slight overlap of the two pieces at the middle of the sides) and called it a day.

In the case of the RW-12d, nothing but an empty box with a vent tube and an open back amplifier.

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post #13 of 25 Old 08-24-2013, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieHankins View Post

One uncertainty about cabinet size is that I don't know if Klipsch used fiberfill.
If they didn't they should have. Ported and PR cabs should be lined with two inches of foam, polyester batting, or Type 700 fiberglass, to absorb internal midbass and midrange harmonics, which are created by the movement of the cone. Sealed cabs should be stuffed with sufficient polyfill to result in a Qtc of 0.7 to 0.8.

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post #14 of 25 Old 08-24-2013, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JamieHankins View Post

Wow Brent, great info. By the way typing on a tablet sucks. I just lost a half hour response. Let's see if I can recreate it.

I have the driver, the PR, the control panel, the volume control, and the cables. The only things I'm missing are the cabinet and the power LED.

I found a comment online that's interesting: "I looked in the RSW12 cabinet and Klipsch has a strange looking x shaped brace in the center and the guts of the amp are on the brace as i recall."

One uncertainty about cabinet size is that I don't know if Klipsch used fiberfill.

I hadn't really closely studied the wiring. Things were easier than I thought to wire up. However, when I hooked it up and applied power, all I got was a pop, pop, pop at a little more than one a second. The volume control works (at least to control the volume of the pops). I'm guessing that means the amp is shot. Hopefully it can be repaired. Worst case is a buy a BASH amp.

Do you have a known good driver you could test with to make sure it's the amp and not the driver? Any clues to the fitness-for-duty in how you acquired these parts?

It makes sense the amp module would have to be mounted to something...the cross brace is just as good as a cabinet wall.

Regarding fill. If they did use some and you don't, the PR would end up tuned *slightly* higher than Klipsch intended. With enough stuffing, you can change the apparent volume by as much as 25%, but that still wouldn't alter the tuning frequency of 2.5 ft^3 by more than a couple of Hz.

You don't have to go with a BASH amp if you end up needing to replace it. You're just looking for something capable of 500-600 watts into 4 ohms. Most critical with a 3rd party amp will be making sure a rumble filter is in place. Klipsch likely applied a pretty aggressive HPF below 20-25Hz to reduce warranty returns when someone turned it up to '11'.

-Brent
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post #15 of 25 Old 08-24-2013, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by riverwolf View Post

With enough stuffing, you can change the apparent volume by as much as 25%, but that still wouldn't alter the tuning frequency of 2.5 ft^3 by more than a couple of Hz.
That's not actually the case. Stuffing a sealed cab will lower Qtc, but it's not the same as what happens with a larger box, which does lower Qtc, but also lowers Fb and increases low frequency sensitivity. Stuffing a vented or PR cab will upset the tuning and lower sensitivity. It's explained fairly well here:
http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=content&id=79

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post #16 of 25 Old 08-25-2013, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

That's not actually the case. Stuffing a sealed cab will lower Qtc, but it's not the same as what happens with a larger box, which does lower Qtc, but also lowers Fb and increases low frequency sensitivity. Stuffing a vented or PR cab will upset the tuning and lower sensitivity. It's explained fairly well here:
http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=content&id=79

I don't see anything in Ricci's article that disagrees with what I said. Fill alters the frequency response of given cabinet as if the cabinet is effectively larger...up to a point. Ricci's testing is just a variation on Nousaine's, Dickason's, and Kantor's (probably others I'm forgetting) work done many moons ago. It's a welcome contribution to the overall knowledge bass, but doesn't alter the fundamental premise.

Try to stick to the thread topic, if you can. This isn't an exploration of fill theory. In summary, Jamie's got the parts for a Klipsch RSW-12 minus an enclosure and would like to know how to recreate the cabinet. He expressed concern that Klipsch might have used fill in the RSW-12. I'm simply trying to alleviate this concern since Klipsch would have needed to add significant fill to alter the tuning to a point that matters. Model a driver/PR of choice in 2.55 ft^3 and then increase the volume by 25%...tuning frequency changes less than 2Hz. Seriously doubt Klipsch would have used even that amount of fill, let alone made an effort to reach the ~40% increase that Nousaine's testing suggests is the upper delta limit of a smaller box.

-Brent
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post #17 of 25 Old 08-25-2013, 10:41 AM
 
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Below is a combined graph. The blue line is of two 12" subs (passive radiator) with no poly-fill, the red lines are three subs (2 12" w/passive radiator and 1 12" ported, all with added poly-fill.

The subs are spec'd to 28Hz and 24Hz. Room was EQ'd using Anti-Mode, 8033S II and Audyssey, MultEQ XT. The final setting was guided by REW measurements.

Room is a 3,300 cu ft, cathedral ceiling that would qualify as a "lively" room with no room treatments, window curtains and laminate flooring with three area rugs and normal, large stuffed furniture pieces.



Having and using an upgraded/stuffed SW-12, upgraded/stuffed SW-12 II and an after market stuffed RW-12d, it's a safe bet that Klipsch didn't stuff the RSW-12.

The most I've found inside was a couple of two foot long, one inch thick, gray, foam pads as if an after thought. This as opposed to purposefully being added with thought in mind.

With the above experience in mind, I would highly recommend taking the effort to assemble and measure the output of the Frankenstein subwoofer. Frankenstein subwoofers will teach the assembler much about basics, subwoofer placement, drivers, boxes the benefit of stuffing a box and learning to measure and read graphs. An excellent 101 course (pre-requisite) to Subwoofer 1A and "maybe," if enough effort is put forth, qualify as a 1A/1B course in basic subwoofers. Anything more and one's setting their expectations to high.

Not quite reference but close enough to get a cigar. Any Cubans in that box? tongue.gif

(last nights movie was "Life of Pi," We listened at -37 MCV and at no time did we feel that anything was being lost as from beginning to end, we found the dialogue and impact bass to be engaging and not distracting or overwhelming.)

The point, in my opinion, Home Theater is about the entertainment factor. To us, Home Theater is not about blowing windows out or seeing if one can crack the stucco of the house next door. Because of daily reading this forum, it is soooooo hard to keep one's eye on what's important and maintaining perspective of what's important, one poster's opinion/ideal to the next.

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post #18 of 25 Old 08-25-2013, 11:51 AM
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To us, Home Theater is not about blowing windows out or seeing if one can crack the stucco of the house next door. Because of daily reading this forum, it is soooooo hard to keep one's eye on what's important and maintaining perspective of what's important, one poster's opinion/ideal to the next.

+1................Thought of the day.

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post #19 of 25 Old 08-25-2013, 11:52 AM
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Clear RSW-15

not really that informative, necessarily

I think I fixed the link

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+1................Thought of the day.

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post #21 of 25 Old 08-25-2013, 11:57 AM
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Just to add something off topic, I've heard this sub at a friend's place about 3 years ago. While it was a fantastic sub back in its days (In fact the only sub from Klipsch that was worth buying); it is by no means up to the challenge of modern day sub 20Hz LFE. It is very musical sub and hits very hard; but nothing much there for movies below 25Hz

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post #22 of 25 Old 08-25-2013, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverwolf View Post

This isn't an exploration of fill theory.
There's nothing theoretical about it. Measured and modeled results both confirm that the lowering of Qtc that stuffing results in does not duplicate what happens when the box is made larger. Tom's original article was incorrect in that assumption, as he didn't collect enough data to reveal this fact. Vance accepted Tom's article without confirming its accuracy, he now acknowledges the truth of the matter. I haven't seen Tom comment on it lately, but there's no doubt that if he re-did his experiment, measuring all the pertinent data, he would confirm that lowered Qtc alone does not equate what happens with a larger box.
Quote:
Try to stick to the thread topic, if you can
The OP asked a question, I answered it with accurate information. That is hardly OT.

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post #23 of 25 Old 08-25-2013, 02:33 PM
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lowering of Qtc that stuffing results in does not duplicate what happens when the box is made larger.

+1. I experimented and found it to be very true.

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post #24 of 25 Old 08-25-2013, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

Clear RSW-15

not really that informative, necessarily

I think I fixed the link

That's awesome. Seeing the inside is informative.
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post #25 of 25 Old 08-25-2013, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by riverwolf View Post

Do you have a known good driver you could test with to make sure it's the amp and not the driver? Any clues to the fitness-for-duty in how you acquired these parts?

I tried the woofer on a known good amp, and it was fine. There was some doubt about the amp, so it's not a huge surprise.
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Reply Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers



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