Wanted BIG BASS: Big room open to an even bigger room with lots of windows! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey there bass fanatics! Been reading through this forum for many months, drooling at the many impressive DIY subwoofers, thinking about/designing/modeling my own, and through the process coming up even more confused with what I should do.

So what should I do with $1500 bucks to buy drivers, amps, and wood to give me all sorts of tight, impacting bass that'll fill my 23' x 25' (6000 ft.³) room for home theater use, but still maintain some musicality while I'm jamming to some tunes. The speakers these will be enhancing are Bowers & Wilkins 801 Series 2. Although not the highest SPL/most efficient speakers in the world they sound marvelous and I want my new subwoofers to match the musicality of these while having plenty of headroom for home theater use.

I've bounced back and forth between multiple dual opposed 15s, sealed LMS Ultras, multiple ported 15s, THT or F20 horn designs. I really can't figure out which gives me the best combination of SPL, sound quality, and ultralow frequency bass.

What would you do for my room?
Budget: $1,500
Desire: Musicality, Impacting Bass, Good looks
Room size: 23' x 25' (6000 ft.³) with double doors separating an adjoining 10,000 ft.³ room

Thanks guys!

How about a few pictures to put this all into context. Notice all the windows and that the room overall (except for the messiness) looks kinda nice. I don't want the subwoofers to too much overpower the visual awesomeness of my room.
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post #2 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 11:13 AM
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Good new? .... Killer room


Bad news? .... Killer room

What a cool space,...however windows do pass some LF energy, could be good in the time domain (nice tight well delineated decay), however less of the benefits of Pressure Vessel Gain.

If you had access below the space, and you were so inclined to pursue an IB, you could really shine for $1500. Four IB3-18's from Fi, an EP4000 from Behringer, you could hit some serious dBSPL @20hz@1m, ... perhaps 120-125dB@1m. All this is within your budget and aesthetically doesn't disturb the space. Your mains acoustic output capability will dictate what you may need regarding your subs max output. If needed for additional headroom, you could high pass the IB in steps, limiting the excursion, and substantially raising the IB's capability above the infrasonic range.

There's certainly other methods to achieve your goals, just my 2 cents.


btw; I like the B&W's, that loudspeaker revolutionized the genre.



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post #3 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 11:30 AM
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+1 on the infinite baffle approach - I've even seen IB projects that vent to the exterior of a house, negating the need to find an adjacent enclosed (interior) space.

If you're interested, there are some great project ideas at the Cult of the Infintely Baffled @ http://ibsubwoofers.proboards.com/index.cgi

As an aside, I love the color of your walls - so many people are afraid of bold colors and stick with bland off-white rooms. Very cool!
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post #4 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 11:36 AM
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First off, f'n cool room. Second, how 'bout a location, thats some nice scenery. Third, love the dog bed and big dog dishes, i had a Great Dane that had some big dishes.

Is that your bottom line as far as budget. I'm thinking some dual opposing 18's. Some ( meaning ) at least two cabs for a total of four drivers. Amps will be up in the air till we narrow down that budget a little. Set aside $175.00 for a balanced MiniDSP shipped. You have a wide sweetspot there and its gonna be tough to fill in the FR at the LP's you have. Maybe another $300 for an OmniMic !

This is just a brainstorm session, more will chime in for sure.....
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post #5 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! Really appreciate that you dig my room!

Figured what the hell and really went after it with the color, Benjamin Moore Tequila Lime. Was a little shocking at first, but it makes for a very happy/energizing space.

I'd say $1500 is where I'd like to be, but if another $500 really made that much of the difference, well… might as well do it right, eh!

FOH… I've followed your posts over to "The Cult" a number of times and am very fascinated behind the theory/realization of IB systems. The only problem for my particular situation is the floor is on top of 8 inches of radiant concrete, and I live in a very cold region of Northern Maine so an infinite baffle system ported in from the outside is probably not a possibility. Would love all the clean base without the boxes to mess up my interior, but I'm sure the -40°F temps would wreak havoc on the drivers and probably screw up the oil bill. So an IB is probably out.

As far as multiple sealed 18s, I'd be willing to consider this, but I've always been more of the impression that more smaller drivers (i.e. 15's) make a tighter/more musical system for similar or less money.

Would I be seriously underwhelmed with just a straightforward pair of dual opposed Dayton RSS390s? Seems like an approach many folks quite enjoy, although most of them with a much smaller more sealed off room.

I have a Behringer 8000, REW, and the necessary measuring equipment. There are a few challenging room modes I'll have to deal with at some point, but the most obvious thing right now is my POS Klipsch 15 inch subwoofer is nowhere near up to the task.

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post #6 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 12:32 PM
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What about a pair of long, low, ported subs running along the back wall in each corner? I dont think sealed is the way to go for your situation
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post #7 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 12:41 PM
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Ported will save you money on amps, either way the MiniDSP is a killer processor....
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post #8 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 01:01 PM
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I don't know how high that window is from the floor, but I'm thinking something like these "easy button end tables" facing the inside of your room, that would be 24"H x 21"D x 36"W. The LMS-R 15 models really well in that enclosure.
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post #9 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 01:20 PM
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i have an easy button max (maelstrom 18), and im rattling windows in rooms that are in other areas of the house! i cant even imagine what kind of rattles you will be having to deal with, if you get some serious bass in that area.
just keep it in mind. i am sure on the low stuff you will want to hear whats coming out of the speakers instead of the entire room rattling around you.
also i like my easy button max, but if you have the room and are big on music, i dont know why you coudlnt build a nice horn sub for much much (much) cheaper.

easy button cost me around 1 grand after driver, electronics and wood.
i think u could get away with 500 bux total on one horn (whatever is the flavor lately) and come out with more spl where it sounds like you want it.
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post #10 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnzm View Post

i have an easy button max (maelstrom 18), and im rattling windows in rooms that are in other areas of the house! i cant even imagine what kind of rattles you will be having to deal with, if you get some serious bass in that area.
just keep it in mind. i am sure on the low stuff you will want to hear whats coming out of the speakers instead of the entire room rattling around you.
also i like my easy button max, but if you have the room and are big on music, i dont know why you coudlnt build a nice horn sub for much much (much) cheaper.

easy button cost me around 1 grand after driver, electronics and wood.
i think u could get away with 500 bux total on one horn (whatever is the flavor lately) and come out with more spl where it sounds like you want it.

I think any real sub is going to give the op those kind of issues. All he has right now is a wimpy 30hz klipsch sub. He did say

Quote:


combination of SPL, sound quality, and ultralow frequency bass

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post #11 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 01:50 PM
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Two of my signature plus an EP4000 plus MiniDSP should do it if you're absolutely limited to that budget. Otherwise, that's a rather large amount of space to fill on such a low dollar amount.

I'd probably want to hide them in the basement and fire them up through the floor somehow so they don't ruin the decor. That's one nice looking room, there.

Also, my design does model better using the Seas L26ROY... that driver is more expensive, but may be the only way you'd be happy with the musical performance of my design. I designed it to get loud enough for movies in big spaces before anything else. Problem is, four of the Seas driver might end up being over budget.
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post #12 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

I think any real sub is going to give the op those kind of issues. All he has right now is a wimpy 30hz klipsch sub. He did say


i guess i fail at reading

the horn subs wont really do ultra low stuff as well as IB. i wish i had heard ib compared to horn and my easy button endtable max. so sadly my only experience is with my current sub, which is killer, but i think in your room might not be as awesome as it is in mine.
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post #13 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 02:26 PM
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I'm thinking multiple f20's. 4 of them would fill the room nicely and still come under budget as well as making a statement in the looks department. No you won't get ultra low, but you'll still get some good tactile response and you will have gobs of headroom. To me, everyone can have nice looking rooms, but can everyone have a conversation piece like "those subs that just put a smile on our faces, I built them." Not something that's hid in a corner, but something that stands out in a room and makes people a little uneasy when they first find out they are subwoofers.
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post #14 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

I think any real sub is going to give the op those kind of issues. All he has right now is a wimpy 30hz klipsch sub. He did say

Actually unhooked the piece of crap The 801s drop much lower/sound much better without it. That being said I know I'm leaving plenty off the table without a decent subwoofer.

As far as the windows rattling... I'm really not too worried. If they rattle, they rattle and then I'll try to do something to fix the rattle, but for right now what I really want is for them to rattle!

Some ideas I played around with:
1. Wide dual opposed or ported rectangular boxes to act like window seats
2. Two dual opposed 15" Dayton RSS390 at the corners, and two more across the back wall if that's not enough.
3. A single LMS Ultra with lots of power
4. THT Horns in each front corner.

I realize my budget is tight for a room this large, but let's be realistic I just finished building a house that went at least 15% over budget. I'd love to spend whatever it takes to do this the best bu, the money only comes in so fast. That being said I realize there are compromises all the way around, if I need to give up a little bit of lowend excursion to get enough SPL well that's just the nature of the beast. One thing I don't want to compromise on is sound quality. My BW801s deserve a subwoofer that won't muddle up there incredible accuracy!

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post #15 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Oklahoma Wolf View Post

I'd probably want to hide them in the basement and fire them up through the floor somehow so they don't ruin the decor. That's one nice looking room, there.

Oklahoma Glad to see you responding! I followed your thread and lilmike's f20 with envy and have deeply considered building one of your horns. The only place I could put one is on the right wall behind the couch underneath my plasma. I would probably finish it to match the color of the wall with a stained top to almost look like a wooden mantle.

I would most certainly do two if I had a basement or second place to put one.

As far as the 4 F20's, as much as I'd love what they could do you're not going to sell me on them making a statement that would add anything to the aesthetics. My room is so much more than a home theater, it's my office where I meet with clients, a beautiful sunroom, and the place where I always hang out. Plus there is the whole me navigating life in an electric wheelchair. Gigantic boxes no fun me run into :-)

Whatever we come up with must somehow blend in with the decor... make a statement absolutely, but I don't want my office to look like an MDF scattered college dorm room.

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post #16 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 02:44 PM
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8 of these work well in small enclosures
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=295-469

2 drivers in one 100l sealed enclosure which is roughly 21x21x21"
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post #17 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chassmain View Post

1. Wide dual opposed or ported rectangular boxes to act like window seats

This is exactly what I was thinking when I first looked at your pics... You could trim them out and paint them to get them to blend into the room reasonably well and gain some functionality out of them too as window seats like mentioned or a place for your dog to lay and look at the birds outside...

You could even build your center into it to get the soundstage down to where it would sound better too at the same time.

Nice place... Only thing that would improve it was if there was an ocean out the window.
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post #18 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chassmain View Post

Oklahoma Glad to see you responding! I followed your thread and lilmike's f20 with envy and have deeply considered building one of your horns. The only place I could put one is on the right wall behind the couch underneath my plasma. I would probably finish it to match the color of the wall with a stained top to almost look like a wooden mantle.

I'm about 95% sure one wouldn't do it in that much space. Not without running it wide open, anyway. Too bad there's no basement... they're shallow enough to fit between standard floor joists
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post #19 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chassmain View Post

Actually unhooked the piece of crap The 801s drop much lower/sound much better without it. That being said I know I'm leaving plenty off the table without a decent subwoofer.

As far as the windows rattling... I'm really not too worried. If they rattle, they rattle and then I'll try to do something to fix the rattle, but for right now what I really want is for them to rattle!

Some ideas I played around with:
1. Wide dual opposed or ported rectangular boxes to act like window seats
2. Two dual opposed 15" Dayton RSS390 at the corners, and two more across the back wall if that's not enough.
3. A single LMS Ultra with lots of power
4. THT Horns in each front corner.

I realize my budget is tight for a room this large, but let's be realistic I just finished building a house that went at least 15% over budget. I'd love to spend whatever it takes to do this the best bu, the money only comes in so fast. That being said I realize there are compromises all the way around, if I need to give up a little bit of lowend excursion to get enough SPL well that's just the nature of the beast. One thing I don't want to compromise on is sound quality. My BW801s deserve a subwoofer that won't muddle up there incredible accuracy!


I attached a model of the sub I recommended against a dual 390HF sealed box. It's Max SPL, which shows maximum rated power of the drivers (1000W), vs their xmax limit. You be the judge.
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post #20 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

I attached a model of the sub I recommended against a dual 390HF sealed box. It's Max SPL, which shows maximum rated power of the drivers (1000W), vs their xmax limit. You be the judge.


Hardly a fair fight don't you think? Model 3 HO's instead of HF (price equivalent and smaller box size) plus factor in likely exaggerated xmax of the LMS, plus room response given single sub versus 3, and then decide which one wins that argument. I'll take the HO's though for the price, extra 25% displacement of 3, and placement options.

Chassmain what is the height to the bottom of the screen wall windows? You absolutely have to do something that doesn't detract from the view/design. This may not be a popular suggestion, but depending on height you could do 8+ Alpine 1243's (four dual opposed) and still have money left over (or look at their SWR 15" for another low cost moderate xmax option). I would encase them in stain matched wood to appear like a window bench. I'm usually all for painting, but I definitely wouldn't ruin the appearance of the room by painting them.

If I could make one design suggestion I would paint your screen housing Tequila Lime. The white is the first thing that draws my attention. Aside from your french doors, it is the only white object in the room. Ok I'm done hopefully I didn't offend
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post #21 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgse3 View Post

Hardly a fair fight don't you think? Model 3 HO's instead of HF (price equivalent and smaller box size) plus factor in likely exaggerated xmax of the LMS, plus room response given single sub versus 3, and then decide which one wins that argument. I'll take the HO's though for the price, extra 25% displacement of 3, and placement options.

Chassmain what is the height to the bottom of the screen wall windows? You absolutely have to do something that doesn't detract from the view/design. This may not be a popular suggestion, but depending on height you could do 8+ Alpine 1243's and still have money left over (or look at their SWR 15" for another low cost moderate xmax option).

That single ported box was half the size of the dual opposed HF box, you're right it's not a fair fight Even with inflated xmax specs, you were looking at 24mm at 9hz and 21mm at 22hz with a 13hz HPF.

It's up to the OP how many boxes he wants to try to integrate, this is a simple 2 box solution with manageable enclosure sizes.
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post #22 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 04:55 PM
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you might take a look at the jbl w15gti woofer. it has a very clean response. for the big room, ported cabs tuned to around 18-20hz might be a decent tradeoff for depth vs. spl. that is really something that you have to decide on though. right now the driver is $300 shipped. it has oddball dual 6 ohm voice coils. wired in series, each driver will have 12 ohms and three drivers in parallel net to a 4 ohm load. 4 ohms is a common value for bridged amplifiers. that should get you about 120-123db or so from your tuning frequency on up. the minidsp is quite flexible and popular for eq. a behringer amp ep2500/4000 or one of the inukes should be fine. the 6000 can't be bridged though.

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post #23 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oklahoma Wolf View Post

I'm about 95% sure one wouldn't do it in that much space. Not without running it wide open, anyway. Too bad there's no basement... they're shallow enough to fit between standard floor joists

No doubt, if there was a basement it would definitely between two of your horns and a quad 18 infinite baffle set up. That being said I quite enjoy/appreciate all the solar gain these black tiles soak into the concrete on a cold, winter day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrkazador View Post

8 of these work well in small enclosures
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=295-469


2 drivers in one 100l sealed enclosure which is roughly 21x21x21"

Been thinking about doing something along this line, although with probably only 3 enclosures, 6 Dayton RSS390s total. I could place one at each corner of the front of the room, and the remaining one near field behind the couch. In such a big room with this give enough output/pressurization?

And beyond that, are these relatively inexpensive Dayton subwoofer's at a sound quality level where they wouldn't diminish my 801s?

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post #24 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

I attached a model of the sub I recommended against a dual 390HF sealed box. It's Max SPL, which shows maximum rated power of the drivers (1000W), vs their xmax limit. You be the judge.

They definitely have more SPL down low, but what about the sound quality? I've always been worried about the sound quality of ported systems, but then again when I look at my mains I see a great big port staring at me!

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post #25 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tgse3 View Post

Chassmain what is the height to the bottom of the screen wall windows? You absolutely have to do something that doesn't detract from the view/design. This may not be a popular suggestion, but depending on height you could do 8+ Alpine 1243's (four dual opposed) and still have money left over (or look at their SWR 15" for another low cost moderate xmax option). I would encase them in stain matched wood to appear like a window bench. I'm usually all for painting, but I definitely wouldn't ruin the appearance of the room by painting them.

Windowsill is right about 19 inches. I think that would give me just enough room to do 15's, but I'd be willing to consider the Alpines if they modeled well enough. What do you think, should I build the boxes so that they are essentially built into the wall, painted tequila lime, with the stained trim going around the bottom (just like it is below the windows) and a stained bench/seat on top.

I could possibly even build in a place to get my center channel down from way above. Definitely not a fan of having it way up there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgse3 View Post

If I could make one design suggestion I would paint your screen housing Tequila Lime. The white is the first thing that draws my attention. Aside from your french doors, it is the only white object in the room. Ok I'm done hopefully I didn't offend

As for painting the scream housing... I hear you there! I've been toying with the idea of building a false wall that comes out to completely hide/contain it or possibly just boxing it in with the stained pine. Painting tequila lime could work as well. Definitely something is going to happen there! And no offense my friend Thanks for all the input!

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post #26 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 06:14 PM
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Dont worry about hipassing at 20hz, a MiniDSP would be perfect, whether or not you go sealed or ported. Four cabs with 2 drivers each would be great.

8- 15" daytons 1,300
4- Behringer EP4000. 1,200
Mini DSP 175
4 cabs ( unknown )

It adds up.........
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post #27 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 06:34 PM
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Lovely room! I think we're all extremely jealous.

I'd be inclined to do a series of tapped horn modules that go across the front wall, their height matching the sill height and running all the way across. Drivers chosen to suit the profile, whether that be 10,12,15" drivers, ideally dual opposed for the reduction in vibration. I'd shoot for 20 Hz and run an active crossover and do some measuring to assist with combining the existing bass with the subs. Could be a fun project.

F20 is a good one (I've built one) but I think it would partially block the window and excursion tends to shoot up at 25 Hz so that becomes a bit of a bottleneck. So I think this could call for a new design if you go down the horn path. In this room you won't be expecting room gain to help down there so you want a design that keeps excursion low down to 20 Hz (if that is the extension target). I wouldn't try to get lower in this room.

What is the height of that front window sill? Looks like about 400mm. Perhaps you could do 3 or 4 20 Hz tapped horns across (coming in a bit from the door on the left). Possibly with the CSS trio or Dayton RS 12" sub drivers.

Another consideration is subs placed in other locations - the multi sub approach. Smaller helper subs to smooth out room response, especially useful for a seating area rather than just one sweet spot.

Before going ahead I'd want to measure the room transfer function with different sub positions. So you can end up with one or a number of horn subs mixed with smaller sealed "helper" subs elsewhere in the room to smooth things out. They don't need to go down as low.
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post #28 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chassmain View Post

windowsill is right about 19 inches. I think that would give me just enough room to do 15's, but i'd be willing to consider the alpines if they modeled well enough. What do you think, should i build the boxes so that they are essentially built into the wall, painted tequila lime, with the stained trim going around the bottom (just like it is below the windows) and a stained bench/seat on top.

I could possibly even build in a place to get my center channel down from way above. Definitely not a fan of having it way up there!

i attached a quick jpeg of what i had in my head (hopefully it makes sense). Bench seating spanning the length of the front wall with thin crown stripping to hide the joints and transition paint to stain. Trim at bottom so as not to disrupt the rest of the room scheme. In order to do this design you would have to use 12's though. You could easily do sealed dual opposed on the corners, hide your center channel, and either incorporate more dual 12's throughout the room or along the front wall depending on room response.

Keep in mind the alpine 12's dual opposed would only require 2cu ft of internal space. You could also look at the dayton ho dvc 12 but it has 14mm xmax compared to the 20mm of the alpine.

Modeling 8 alpine 12's to xmax at 5hz (no music i know plays that low) gives you 120db at 25hz on up to 130db at 100hz. This is nearly identical response to the dayton 390's because of their limited xmax



as for painting the scream housing... I hear you there! I've been toying with the idea of building a false wall that comes out to completely hide/contain it or possibly just boxing it in with the stained pine. Painting tequila lime could work as well. Definitely something is going to happen there! And no offense my friend thanks for all the input!

if you were going to box it in you could maybe try a creative stained valance combining crown and finish grade 1" bys. I think if it were me i would try the paint route first and see if it needs anything else after that.

:d
LL
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post #29 of 146 Old 04-06-2012, 10:03 PM
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Mini DSP
4- 15" daytons
2- Behringer EP4000
4- cabs: 2x of the biggest FH you can make for <50hz in the back and 2x Ported for >50hz up front

That should give you all the SPL and deep bass you can tolerate.
[ and if still not enough, double it ]

Someone model this beast...
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post #30 of 146 Old 04-07-2012, 11:36 AM
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Nice space you have there. I owned a pair of B&W 801 sII for about a decade - very nice speakers.

My HT room is pretty similar size to yours and I have a single DIY tapped horn with a low x-max (8mm) 15" driver. Not enough sub for that sized space unless I run it at -6db or so with bass heavy movies.

Not sure if you realize it or not, but if you have set up your AV processor to 'no sub' it will redirect the movies LFE channel to your main speakers, but at -10db.
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