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post #1 of 46 Old 10-26-2011, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello DIY'ers!!

I just recently browsed this portion of the forums and have become very intrigued, many neat projects here!!

I am looking for some opinions and direction from those who are willing.

I am currently very happy with my audio setup, however browsing the DIY forum has given me the itch to build something!! So I figured a subwoofer would be a good starter project to introduce myself to DIY.

After searching, reading, browsing, trying to learn for the last week I had come to the conclusion that the THT or F20 would be good choices and pretty equal with maybe the F20 getting the nod being easier to build and playing a tad deeper. I was all set to order parts and then I read the posts from the subfest regarding the F20 and it didn't seem very well received even with a dual setup!!! So now I am as confused as ever!

Here is my current setup:

Room: 17'x12'x9'
Energy C-300's, CC-100 for front sound stage
Energy CR-10's Sides
Energy C-100's Rears
Bic F12 Sub
Pio VSX-21 into Emo UP7

Currently no Acoustic treatments (I know, I will be making some panels about the same time as the sub)

Budget is really no more than $400.00
Use 95% HT, 05% Music

So as I have said, I am happy with the BIC's performance It plays plenty loud enough and sounds good to me, I am not driven to replace it out of dissatisfaction but out of want to build something new and to improve my theatre. However I know that I am "missing" out and will be able to appreciate what a better Sub could provide.

What I would like to get out of a DIY Sub is the satisfaction of building something my self for a reasonable price that in the end when I plug it in to the system in place the F12 I will get a big grin on my face as I realize what I have been missing that I never knew I was!

Additionally WAF is not a factor (She is awesome!) and size wise I can fit the subs mentioned.

So my main questions are:

1. Am I right thinking about the THT and F20 as my best options?

2. If so which one (All things being equal I like the simplicity of the F20)?

3. What kind of improvement would I really get over the F12

4. Would I be better off just buying a second F12 for $190.00

5. Whats going on with all the low reviews of the F20 from subfest? They seemed glowing everywhere else in the DIY forum.


Thanks in advance to any and all input!!
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post #2 of 46 Old 10-26-2011, 06:19 PM
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if you are happy with the extension of the bic, just buy two more. two more drivers, two more amps. that will give you ~10db more spl. 10db in the bass is a smile factor. :-)

that other thread has some problems. i'd be cautious about reading too much into it.

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post #3 of 46 Old 10-26-2011, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply LTD02!

Lol I don't think I can find space for three Bic's unless I stack them....

I know my first post was really long but I wanted to give all the info I could.

Any other input on the THT vs. F20 and improvement over the single BIC would be appreciated!!!!
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post #4 of 46 Old 10-26-2011, 07:10 PM
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"Lol I don't think I can find space for three Bic's unless I stack them...."

then where are you going place an f-20? :-)

the f-20 is a decent sub. it can be improved with a little more bracing and that is simple enough. with a decent amp, it will play about the same spl as three of your bics, but with a 20hz corner vs. around a 30hz corner (i'm not sure exactly where the bic rolls off).

i'd think that you could do an f-20 with amp for around your price target.

don't discount the idea of adding more subs. 10db is a big difference.

it is better to get high spl and have no power compression and low distortion over a limited operating range than to have a large operating range that distorts and compresses every time that you turn up the volume. once you have clean spl above what you need, then go as low in frequency response as your budget and other constraints allow. there are other opinions on this, but this is mine.

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post #5 of 46 Old 10-27-2011, 08:52 AM
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Being an f-20 owner, well dual f-20 owner, ill speak to the upper midbass that some of the folks in the shootout were hearing. MKtheater will also concur, but this sloppy and heavy upper-end can be eq'd down a shade to compensate where the sound gets much smoother and not quite as "droning". getting to 20hz with one of these guys is the point and that additional extension over your bics could really be something to experience. Where ya from cheezit? perhaps someone close-by has an f-20 that you could demo.

my experience with home theater subs is still limited but having heard my f-20's and a dual pair of dts-10's, while the DTS's definitely dig deeper, for a fraction of the cost, the f-20's stood their ground pretty well from 20hz and up. Once again, EQing is key.

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post #6 of 46 Old 10-27-2011, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

it is better to get high spl and have no power compression and low distortion over a limited operating range than to have a large operating range that distorts and compresses every time that you turn up the volume. once you have clean spl above what you need, then go as low in frequency response as your budget and other constraints allow. there are other opinions on this, but this is mine.

One of the main reasons I built another monster tapped horn this year. Though I had enough SPL before, I was running the amp into clipping powering Wolfhorn II off only one channel. Bridging the amp didn't really give me much more SPL, so the box was running at its limits in my room.

Now that I have two 16Hz monsters, 120dB+ at listening position sounds better than it did before and the amp doesn't clip at all. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the pair of them countering room modes as well as not pushing them into distortion land...

WRT the F-20, I'm sure lilmike would be the first to tell you it's not for everyone, nor is the THT. These designs are intended to get you serious SPL down to 20Hz or so on a very restricted budged. And they fill that role rather nicely, IMO.
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post #7 of 46 Old 10-27-2011, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response Beast.

I am in the Central Valley of California......

I guess if I go with the F20 I will most definitely need to EQ it right away which sounds like about a $200.00 investment in a minidsp, mic, soundcard etc.. I know that was something I would want to do any way. Was trying to budget to just build the sub now and maybe be a livable improvement over the BIC until after the first of the year then EQ.. but that "drone" might not be good for the WAF even if I could tune it out. What about the THT compared to the F20 does it have the same drone issues???? Am I correct in the differences between the F20 and the THT is that the THT doesn't go quite as low and is a little more effort to build?

Thanks again for all your response so far as I embark on this journey!
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post #8 of 46 Old 10-27-2011, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Oklahoma Wolf.

I do understand that I am playing around in budget land which is fine as I am no Audiophile,but I can appreciate an improvement or step up when I hear it. I guess now I need to figure out what it is that I really want from a subwoofer. As I said my BIC gets "Loud enough" for me right now (although It would be fine if my new sub is louder.) So is the improvement I am seeking more along the lines of being more "Accurate" and playing deeper as opposed to louder? I understand that the F20 or THT give me the loud and low, but what about being more "accurate" than the BIC?
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post #9 of 46 Old 10-27-2011, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezit73 View Post

I understand that the F20 or THT give me the loud and low, but what about being more "accurate" than the BIC?

Can't comment there, as I've heard neither of the three.

However, what I would probably do is build the F-20, see if it even needs EQ, and then address that situation as needed. You can always EQ by ear... there's no need to spend money on measuring gear unless you're obsessed with getting it to look like a straight line at listening position.

A lot of people don't even like perfectly flat response. I'm a little weird there... I like it flat as a pancake at a commercial theater, but at home I run the LFE hot on purpose because I like making stuff shake on concrete floors
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post #10 of 46 Old 10-27-2011, 10:55 AM
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I am not here to defend the F-20 or anything like that. It is a good sub design for what it was meant to be. I know what it can (and can't) do.

People have their preferences, and one size does not fit all. There are a LOT of different ways to make bass. To each their own. Design and build something cool, measure the results, compare it to what you know, and share what you learned. That way we can all be smarter at the end of the day.

I never EQ'd my F-20. I just crossed it at 75 Hz or so. I'll be honest though - currently, there's no F-20 in my listening room....just 2 T-6s.

Though I certainly have the capability to do so, I do not EQ my T-6s either - they are flat enough without the added effort. Multiple subs and proper placement FTW.

Placement is KEY, measurements will help a lot with that.

I'd suggest that you spend the money to get yourself measurement capabilities before worrying about EQ - Knowing what you have is far more important than EQ to fix it, because placement and phase adjustments can solve a lot of problems. You can go a long way towards some decent measurement capabilities and maybe even have change left out of $100. You will need to know which end of the soldering iron to hold on to, but there is a ton of information available to help.

PC (chances are you have one already)
REW (free)
Sound Card (UCA202 - ~$30)
SPL Meter (RS 33-2055 - ~$50, even cheaper on Ebay)
Impedance Jig (~$10 in cables and parts)

You can certainly add to this, but I think that the point of diminishing returns is met pretty quickly after you pass this point. I could see adding a more accurate mic, but there are $10 options that work very well, they just require a bit of DIY effort.

Be ready though - measurements may be a Pandora's box you never wish you had opened....
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post #11 of 46 Old 10-29-2011, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply lilmike!

Ok well I have decided to either build a tht or an f20 and see how I like it. I figure if I don't like the sound I can use the driver and amp and build a more traditional sub enclosure.

So questions I have are is there any one who has heard both and has an opinion?

I have the space for either one however that space is only in one spot and that is the back right corner of my room, in either case I have enough room to place the mouth within about 15 inches or closer to the back wall. Being as I won't have the luxury of moving this thing around to different positions would one design lend itself better or more flexible in that respect. Right now the bic is in this location and I did do the "sub crawl" and this was the best spot.

Thanks again for all your responses so far!
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post #12 of 46 Old 10-29-2011, 07:43 PM
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In that size room go with two to 4 sealed. You will get plenty of room gain that an f20 won't matter and also deeper extension and more articulate sound quality

Two Mach 5's or titanics or two dual opposed dvc 15 Dayton's. All run off 1 ep4000 that way you don't need to upgrade your amp ever again...
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post #13 of 46 Old 10-29-2011, 08:05 PM
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mpray, did you read #11?

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post #14 of 46 Old 10-30-2011, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezit73 View Post

Thanks for your reply lilmike!

Ok well I have decided to either build a tht or an f20 and see how I like it. I figure if I don't like the sound I can use the driver and amp and build a more traditional sub enclosure.

So questions I have are is there any one who has heard both and has an opinion?

I have the space for either one however that space is only in one spot and that is the back right corner of my room, in either case I have enough room to place the mouth within about 15 inches or closer to the back wall. Being as I won't have the luxury of moving this thing around to different positions would one design lend itself better or more flexible in that respect. Right now the bic is in this location and I did do the "sub crawl" and this was the best spot.

Thanks again for all your responses so far!

I have heard both THT and lilmike's first F20. They are more similar than different. It basically boils down to a 36"x36"x24" box vs the F20's nicer dimensions and footprint. I run two THTs....F20 didn't exist when I built mine...

The F20 gets a few more Hz extension, the THT is a tiny bit more efficient.....

They are both excellent budget subwoofers. As Mike said above, measuring what you have is the best thing you could do. Proper implementation is key for any sub.

JSS
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post #15 of 46 Old 11-01-2011, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Maxmercy thanks for the input.

Ok so I am going to go with the F-20 as it seems to be an easier build than the THT as well as fitting my space constraints better.

Now here is my next dilemma!!!

I was planning on using the PE Bash 300 amp due to it being configured properly out of the box with its HPF setting working well with the F20 and the price seems reasonable. Only problem is that it is on back order until the 28th of November. Now being honest with myself I believe I would not have the sub built and ready for the AMP until almost the weekend of the 19th (or the next weekend lol). So do I just be patient and wait a week after completion or is there a recommended alternative out there in the same price range and specification????

Also I may venture into the mini DSP and EQ in a few months but not right away..

Thanks again for all of your guidance!!!
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post #16 of 46 Old 11-01-2011, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezit73 View Post

Maxmercy thanks for the input.

Ok so I am going to go with the F-20 as it seems to be an easier build than the THT as well as fitting my space constraints better.

Now here is my next dilemma!!!

I was planning on using the PE Bash 300 amp due to it being configured properly out of the box with its HPF setting working well with the F20 and the price seems reasonable. Only problem is that it is on back order until the 28th of November. Now being honest with myself I believe I would not have the sub built and ready for the AMP until almost the weekend of the 19th (or the next weekend lol). So do I just be patient and wait a week after completion or is there a recommended alternative out there in the same price range and specification????

Also I may venture into the mini DSP and EQ in a few months but not right away..

Thanks again for all of your guidance!!!

Oaudio makes a 300 and Dayton makes a 240
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post #17 of 46 Old 11-01-2011, 10:25 PM
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might want to add some simple 1" x 2" bracing in order to cut down on panel vibrations.

http://lwww.avsforum.com/avs-vb/show...&postcount=383

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post #18 of 46 Old 11-01-2011, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

might want to add some simple 1" x 2" bracing in order to cut down on panel vibrations.

http://lwww.avsforum.com/avs-vb/show...&postcount=383

Working on an update to the bracing - just have not had the time to draw it up. This will also include an approach to retrofit some bracing in those that are already built.
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post #19 of 46 Old 11-01-2011, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmmmmmm... Maybe I will just order the driver while it's on sale and then build the sub after lilmike rolls out the update for the bracing and by then the bash amp will be available!
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post #20 of 46 Old 11-01-2011, 10:51 PM
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that would be a good bet cheezit. you aren't going to beat the f20's for spl per $ and build simplicity (even after lilmike's updated bracing strategy).

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post #21 of 46 Old 11-01-2011, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok done!

I placed the order for the Dayton DVC385-88, speakons, and the gasket tape. So now the patient wait begins, I will begin construction once lilmike implements the updates for bracing.

@ lilmike the way the bracing will be.....could I start the build and leave the second side off then add the bracing once you release the plan for it and then add the last side? Or would it be better to just wait?

Thanks guys the wheels are in motion!
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post #22 of 46 Old 11-12-2011, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Proof of first step!!

The DVC Woofer has arrived and it is awesomely large!!!!



Looks like I will be building the cabinet next weekend!!

So now I am unsure weather I should buy the Dayton 240 AMP which is on sale right now for $99.00 and could have on hand next week when I complete the build or wait for the PE Bash 300 to come in which means I wont be using my new sub until the second week of December.

So realistically am I going to notice anything between one or the other.. Is the stock HPF in the Dayton ok? At $50.00 less and available now the Dayton looks really good but I don't want to sacrifice anything important just for being impatient!

Please let me know your opinions on the AMP dilemma!!

Thanks!!
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post #23 of 46 Old 11-12-2011, 05:44 PM
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Either amp will work fine. The highpass modification is not that big a deal, but if you don't want to do anything, just be sure to get the amp without any boost.

The difference between 240 and 300 watts is negligible, less than 1 dB.

Don't know if you caught it it not - bracing update was posted.
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post #24 of 46 Old 11-12-2011, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Lilmike!

Yes I did see the bracing update, that is great! Cant wait to get started with the build, I wanted to this weekend but I just did not have the time.

I am comfortable with a soldering iron, would I be better off getting the Dayton AMP with bass boost and doing the HPF mod on it?

Thanks again for all your help I am going to place the order for the amp tonight once I hear back from you or others on boost vs no boost amp. Also If you recommend the boosted one can you point me to the filters and such that I would need so I can order that too?
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post #25 of 46 Old 11-12-2011, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezit73 View Post

Thanks Lilmike!

Yes I did see the bracing update, that is great! Cant wait to get started with the build, I wanted to this weekend but I just did not have the time.

I am comfortable with a soldering iron, would I be better off getting the Dayton AMP with bass boost and doing the HPF mod on it?

Thanks again for all your help I am going to place the order for the amp tonight once I hear back from you or others on boost vs no boost amp. Also If you recommend the boosted one can you point me to the filters and such that I would need so I can order that too?

As near as I can tell, they are the same amp except for the two resistors.

I'd just get the one without boost, and I'd run it stock. It should be fine. If for some reason, it does not work, I'd change things based on the instructions here. The stock settings of this amp and the Bash 300 I have are pretty similar.
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post #26 of 46 Old 11-12-2011, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok,

Just ordered the Dayton 240 non Boosted and the hurricane nuts as well!!

I am sure it will be just fine and hopefully if all goes well then I will be listening to the awesomeness of the F20 in my theatre this time next week!!!!
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post #27 of 46 Old 11-16-2011, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

Next question!!

Regarding the plywood, I found the Arauco ply @ Lowes for $41.00

There is also this "Birch Hardwood Plywood" for the same price


Then HD has this "Cabinet Grade" Plywood for $25.00 that seemed like it looks nice.


Would I be ok to use the Cabinet Grade ply from HD, it is priced substantially less than the others and would like to save the money if it will work just as well.

Thanks Again!
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post #28 of 46 Old 11-17-2011, 06:42 AM
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Arauco is a proven choice
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post #29 of 46 Old 11-17-2011, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
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Hey guys,

Next question!!

Regarding the plywood, I found the Arauco ply @ Lowes for $41.00

There is also this "Birch Hardwood Plywood" for the same price

Then HD has this "Cabinet Grade" Plywood for $25.00 that seemed like it looks nice.

Would I be ok to use the Cabinet Grade ply from HD, it is priced substantially less than the others and would like to save the money if it will work just as well.

Thanks Again!

The cabinet-grade ply from HD is Arauco, there should be a sticker on it clearly stating that. I just bought 3 more sheets.
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post #30 of 46 Old 11-17-2011, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks lilmike!

This is the tag that was with it:


I will be picking it up tomorrow and my buddy is going to come over and we will start building!!
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