Factory built in-floor subwoofer options? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-25-2013, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there: I'm helping a friend get his living room home theater together. They're re-doing their whole room, down to the studs, which opens up lots of nice options. On the downside, the wife is adamantly opposed to boxes on the floor, so no floorstanding speakers or subs has been an issue. So my usual standby recommendation (pretty much anything from SVS, depending on budget) won't fly.

Their contractor recommended the Polk Audio CSW100 in-floor sub, which I wasn't familiar with. My knee-jerk reflex was to say no, because, frankly, I'm not a huge fan of Polk, due to some bad experiences in the past. Not sure if they've cleaned up their act or not, but I'm some biased anti-Polk, so I wanted to look into other options. It's also a somewhat larger space (exact details coming when I get them), so a 10" sub didn't seem likely to cut it, although I can be convinced otherwise. I did turn up an example of a relatively high end system built using the Polk subs, but (a) I'm not sure we have the budget for two, and (b) I'm not sure how much extra work went into tweaking)

A little Google-Fu turned up The Velodyne SC IF/IC In-floor Subwoofer. The Velodyne name, of course, leaves me with a lot more warm and fuzzies, for subwoofers.

One thing I'm uncertain of is how one would determine the optimal position for the sub, when you can't move the sub! Further, since the front of the house interior is still stripped to the studs, there really isn't any way that I can think of to test or measure room response with REW or anything like that. That's one advantage to the Velodyne, which includes EQ gear that will at least attempt to compensate for room response. (This article seems to speak well of them, although it's about the SC600, an earlier/discontinued model).

Are there other good in-floor subs I should suggest considering? My friend is not going to be building anything himself, so I'm trying to stick to factory models, and brands that have a reputation I can sell him on. We may end up going with the Polk in the end, who knows, but having some more options to discuss would be helpful. Thanks!
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-25-2013, 06:30 PM
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I would attempt to talk them into a custom built IB system. I'm sure you could find resources in LA that can design build and install it. This could get them a much better system for a comparable price. Or build it yourself with the help from the DIY forum. From what I've seen, an IB is very simple to build.

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post #3 of 19 Old 10-25-2013, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Ransac! I've read a little about IB (infinite baffle, so no enclosure, right?) systems, but have a LOT more reading to do before I could give a cogent recommendation.

That said, I'm pretty sure a DIY IB system is not in the cards for them. They'll want a name they can refer to. They're into it enough to want "good" but not into enough to want custom, and they're name-conscious enough that they're going to want a name they can brag about.

As for me building it, perhaps for myself at some point, but I'm not close enough to volunteer to do the work. wink.gif And he can't afford me at my normal billing rates, certainly not for a sub. LOL
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-25-2013, 06:56 PM
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Bulit 2 seal 4 cu boxes with dimension accordingly to the floor and splug 18 sub per box. Wire it to an amp and put flooring on with sub openings. Finish
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-25-2013, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by datranz View Post

Bulit 2 seal 4 cu boxes with dimension accordingly to the floor and splug 18 sub per box. Wire it to an amp and put flooring on with sub openings. Finish
Let's be clear. This is more "a guy I know", a friend of a friend, and a casual acquaintance of mine. NOT a close friend. I'm giving him some advice, I'm not building him jack. wink.gif He's all thumbs, so won't be doing it himself. The contractor can run wires and bolt a box in place, but he's no finish carpenter and won't be building anything like this for him, either.

I appreciate the help, but let's stick to factory options, please? I didn't post this in the DIY forum for a reason. biggrin.gif
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-26-2013, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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A chat with my local high end shop pointed me towards the JL Audio Fathom IWS-SYS-1 as the best of the best. Unfortunately it's way over budget ($4.5k). Also the Paradigm RVC-12SQ, which will probably be about $2k... much more of a possibility, but still double the cost of the Polk that the contractor recommended. I'm still poking around and checking options. Meeting at the house tomorrow morning, so hopefully I've got some solid options by then. smile.gif
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-26-2013, 02:07 PM
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My favorite quote "The wife said NO". LOL it is just unbelievable. Anyway, could do an AT screen and have all the speakers and subs behind the screen hidden away. With that option the possibilities are endless for a guy that takes no for an answer.
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-26-2013, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

My favorite quote "The wife said NO". LOL it is just unbelievable. Anyway, could do an AT screen and have all the speakers and subs behind the screen hidden away. With that option the possibilities are endless for a guy that take no for an answer.
Not my wife, not my fight.

There is an existing fireplace (sigh) that they're working around, so a false wall isn't an option, either.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-26-2013, 09:45 PM
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Should have your friend join the forum. We'll straighten him out. biggrin.gif heh heheh
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-27-2013, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

My favorite quote "The wife said NO". LOL it is just unbelievable.
+1. There's only two ways to address that problem. Grow a pair, or build a Man Cave. If you compromise an HT install with the caveat that what it looks like is more important than what it sounds like you might as well not do it at all.
From a technical standpoint in-floor subs require a very high skill set from the installer, who must first determine where they have to go to give a good result. Most installers don't possess that skill set. You can spend a whole lot of money and end up with a sub install that just doesn't work.

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post #11 of 19 Old 10-27-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

+1. There's only two ways to address that problem. Grow a pair, or build a Man Cave. If you compromise an HT install with the caveat that what it looks like is more important than what it sounds like you might as well not do it at all.
From a technical standpoint in-floor subs require a very high skill set from the installer, who must first determine where they have to go to give a good result. Most installers don't possess that skill set. You can spend a whole lot of money and end up with a sub install that just doesn't work.
Not my wife, not my house, not MY problem. That said, married people need to compromise, and there often isn't a "spare" room available to turn into a man cave. I'm sure all those men appreciate your implication that they have no balls.

I concur with the technical nature of the in-floor subs, however.

I'm surprised no one here knows of any other factory in-floor subs, however, other than the ones I've already found.
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post #12 of 19 Old 10-27-2013, 09:58 AM
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post #13 of 19 Old 10-27-2013, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kalani View Post

Not my wife, not my fight.

There is an existing fireplace (sigh) that they're working around, so a false wall isn't an option, either.
I read that. Just saying
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post #14 of 19 Old 10-27-2013, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Met with the couple today at the construction site (aka house), and I'm please to report I was able to convince them to go with a standard box subwoofer instead. Fortunately there was a design change and there is now a space for a normal sub. biggrin.gif

On the downside, I think they're really wanting (a) only one (so dual subs are out), and (b) the box to be no bigger than a 24" cube. They want to put a table over it, with a table cloth, to hide it. I don't think I see any issue with that, other than I did warn them not to expect anything put on the table to stay in place with a powerful sub right underneath!

Currently I'm looking at the SVS SB13 Ultra. Would one of those do a decent job of pressurizing the room? The room in question, unfortunately, it pretty big as it's kitchen-dining room-living room in one big 29'x17' space (with 9' ceilings), giving us about 5500 cf to pressurize. Would the sealed sub do ok there, or should I be trying to convince them that the extra inches taken by the PB13 Ultra are worth it?
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-27-2013, 07:17 PM
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Definitely want ported and even then a single PB 13 ultra will most likely not pressurize that size of room. You also are not going to want to put a tablecloth over the ports...
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post #16 of 19 Old 10-28-2013, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by walke108 View Post

Definitely want ported and even then a single PB 13 ultra will most likely not pressurize that size of room. You also are not going to want to put a tablecloth over the ports...
Ugh. What do people do in these situations?

What would a table cloth do to a port, other than flutter a bit? (assuming a loose enough weave)
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post #17 of 19 Old 10-28-2013, 09:04 AM
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If the buyer was willing to satisfy waf with in floor speakers than he is obviously willing to compromise. Just get a great sub that will do a solid job for the space even if it doesn't fully pressurize the room. The Rythmik D15se looks like a furniture piece and won't need to be covered over.
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post #18 of 19 Old 10-28-2013, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Kalani View Post

Ugh. What do people do in these situations?

What would a table cloth do to a port, other than flutter a bit? (assuming a loose enough weave)
I have seen some people do cutouts around their subs that made it look nice. I will search for an example when I get a chance.
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post #19 of 19 Old 10-28-2013, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeffbar View Post

If the buyer was willing to satisfy waf with in floor speakers than he is obviously willing to compromise. Just get a great sub that will do a solid job for the space even if it doesn't fully pressurize the room. The Rythmik D15se looks like a furniture piece and won't need to be covered over.
The downward-firing aspect is interesting (since that might help it, under a table/table cloth, and the size is in the right ball park, but in terms of sheer output (considering the very large space), comparing two 15" sealed subs, one of which (rythmik) has 370w of power, and the other (svs) has 1000w of power, I think the SVS is going to fill the space better. Active servo subs have some very nice attributes, and Rythmik is definitely on the list of possibilities, but again, I don't think the two models can compete in a room this large. Smaller room would be a VERY interesting comparison, I'd agree.

At this point, I think I'm settled somewhere between the SB15U and the PB15U. The ported PB would fill the room a little better, but it's a question of budget ($400 more) and space (PB is larger than the 24x24x24 max size, while the SB is comfortably within the parameters).

I'll likely present both options and let him decide.
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