Right now I have a Klipsch KSW-15 sub that I've been using since around 2002 and It's been decent so far, but I'm ready for something new and thinking about the DIY route. Ultimately I'd like to stay in the 15" range at around $200 or less per sub. I've looked at the Dayton HO in a small sealed, but I just don't know what else is out there! Ideally I'd like to stay on the smaller side of the enclosure and would like something sealed or ported as long as it's not huge.
So what suggestions do you have for a driver under $200? Do you think I would see a nice improvement with something like the HO driver versus the KSW?
If you want the smallest enclosure I'd make it somewhere between 2.5-3.5cft and feed it 500w's of power. Should get down to 20hz before it starts dropping off. Roughly a 21" cube externally.
If you want more output then I'd go ported in the 5cft range with 300w of power and tuned to the low 20's but not sure of the exact port length/size.
With either of those subs you'll see a big difference in that Klipsch sub, especially in sound quality. The biggest reward will be in building it yourself. Sealed is definitely the easiest way to go for a first build.
I've built sub boxes several times for my cars and it's fairly simple when doing a sealed enclosure, for sure. I'm more than willing to look into ported and go that route, but I just don't know enough about how to figure out the tuning part. I need to do some reading I guess. But 5cf might be too large for the space since it's actually in a living room. The 21" cube is a perfect size since the Klipsch is 19 1/2" x 17.5", so it would be near the same size. I can live with that, but I'm not sure wife would like something more than twice the size, lol.
So does anyone have recommendations on subs in that price range?
You can do a ported HO 15 in a 21" cube, you just have to take a little extra effort with the ports. Something like a pair of 4" x 34" long ports would be needed to tune you in the low 20's without port noise being an issue. All you need to do is place 90 degree PVC elbows in the back of the cabinet
So you run PVC pipe from the port opening to the elbows on the back wall, and then up from the elbows, leaving 4" clearance from the interior port opening to the top of the cabinet. This setup will be a perfect match for a 500 watt plate amp like the ones PE sells. This is what the sub would be capable of.
Very cool and great information. So is the advantage of tuning the box with a port is the ability to go lower? Curious as to what the difference would be in a sealed enclosure at 21" cubed and the benefits of the port.
The difference is much greater output and flatter response near the tuning point. You can eq a sealed box to be flat, but that will kill your headroom. It's basically free output, since a plate amp has a high pass filter limiting your low end whether you go sealed or ported, there's no reason not to go ported unless you absolutely cant fit a box of the required size to port.
Oh ok, very interesting and I appreciate the information. I can certainly fit a sub that size and honestly I really want two, but I just got a new projector, screen and a in-wall built-in entertainment center to hold everything. So I'm not going to spend a lot right now, but I'd like to get two drivers and two BASH amps and I'll build the enclosure myself. Very doable and I love the idea.
So am I to assume that the HO/HF is a good buy in that price range? Sticking around that size case, is there any other recommendations?
Good point. The room is actually a living room and one reason why I'm trying to keep the box size to a minimum. The room itself is probably 25 x 17, but it opens up to the breakfast area and kitchen, so from a space perspective it's much larger and is an open floor plan. We haven't been disappointing in the KSW-15, but I'd like a little more and something tighter. The KSW is a little sloppy when it goes low. If that makes sense. That is one reason why I'm considering 2 subs but may wait to see what 1 higher quality sub produces first.
I checked out the f20 and there's no way I could get away with a 4 foot wide sub in the living room. I doubt my wife would go for that. lol Looking for something smaller
What if it was only 16 1/2"w x 32"d and 92" tall? Small footprint right? It would be seriously louder than any ported sub you are contemplating....but I'm thinking your wife might get that look on her face when she saw it.
You'd probably be better off building 2 seperate enclosures for your space, even based off of 12" drivers. Better frequency response across your listening area.