So realistically, how do DIY flat kits sound compared to high dollar retail finished products? - Page 11 - AVS Forum
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post #301 of 325 Old 11-11-2012, 02:31 PM
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I think you got lost a while ago. I think everyone else has left the room. You should start your own thread, instead of relying on this one. Enjoy your new sub whatever it ends up being.

Building subs, not about proving anything. It's about enjoying music and movies.
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Originally Posted by Puppetboy View Post

You lost me. I thought you were going to outdo the subwoofers I had discussed. So now I don't know what "claims" you're talking about.
If you were talking about competing with Hsu or Rythmik dollar for dollar, I'd be interested in seeing that. If you're just building a supersub for $2000, I'm not sure what you're trying to prove anymore.

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post #302 of 325 Old 11-11-2012, 07:34 PM
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puppet,

to the best of my knowledge, there are no flat pack kits that are fully finished and will outperform your choices for the same money.

just stop and think about what you are asking for a second. where would the savings come from? the time that it takes to assemble the enclosure and the shipping of the larger enclosure relative to a flat pack. with a medium small sub, that would be something like $30 (which is a whopping 3% of $1000).

since you don't want to do any of the work and are interested in a mainstream product, internet direct is your best choice.

my best advice for you is to order a copy of this:

http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reproduction-Acoustics-Psychoacoustics-Loudspeakers/dp/0240520092

if you are hoping to buy a sub, plop it in your room, and get good results, don't count on it.

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post #303 of 325 Old 11-12-2012, 09:05 AM
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just stop and think about what you are asking for a second. where would the savings come from? the time that it takes to assemble the enclosure and the shipping of the larger enclosure relative to a flat pack. with a medium small sub, that would be something like $30 (which is a whopping 3% of $1000).

Exactly. That has been my question all along.
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since you don't want to do any of the work and are interested in a mainstream product, internet direct is your best choice.

Oh, no, I'm willing to do some of the work! I just don't have the ability to transport and precisely cut up a sheet of MDF. Assembly and finishing is no problem. But if I'm not going to save much money...

Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll definitely look into that. I know that room placement is critical, and I've done plenty of experimenting and measuring with a db meter, graphs, averages, etc. The spot I have for my sub is pretty good. I do love Audessy EQ, too.
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post #304 of 325 Old 11-12-2012, 09:21 AM
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Puppet,
The issue is that there are only a few subwoofer kits available and these really aren't DIY since all you are doing is assembling them the design is made by someone else using the modest components put into the kit and you don't really save all that much money over the commercial completely finished option like SVS/HSU. Essentially these are just commercial subs that you assemble yourself in an effort to save maybe $150. As John says you haven't left any room for savings in there.

The number of raw enclosure kits that you can order as a flat pack are even more limited currently. There are usually only a few sizes or designs unless you go true custom which gets very expensive. Typically the flat enclosures will need some modification to suit your particular needs as well. Building your own enclosure is a huge part of the process and savings.

In other words these options are very generic while real DIY is completely custom or as much so as you need it to be to fit your exact situation. However this requires either money or lots of work. Sometimes both. You have a very specific set of requirements including very small size, a price cap, use of a plate amp. very nice finishing, etc. Also you do not wish to make the enclosure yourself which limits you to the pre-rolled kits available or the pre made cabinets which often don't fit into your criteria. Something quite good could be put together for $1000 but it will require a lot of effort on your end and the finishing quality would depend on you.

These are the places that DIY typically saves(Not kits)

#1. Use more drivers, more powerful drivers, bigger drivers etc...
#2 Use larger or more enclosures (efficiency and deep bass output increase substantially)
#3 Build the things yourself.
#4 Use pro amps instead of plates (Much higher watt per $ return)
#5 adapt the system to your exact situation or desires.

Commercial manufacturers have a lot of things to consider including shipping costs, warranty, looks, size and manufacturing costs which in a lot of cases end up defining how the unit takes shape long before considering how it performs acoustically. When you apply all of those same restrictions to a kit or DIY effort you will find that it is much more difficult to realize substantial gains over the commercial unit.

For example you can buy a compact 15" vented powered sub with a rather nice finish for under $400. If you give a guy around here $400 and ask him to produce a sub system that outperforms it sonically that wouldn't be too hard. Now ask a second guy to do the same thing but he also has to keep the sub the same size or smaller and it must be finished just as well. I doubt he will be able to do it all. The economies of scale afforded by the manufacturer simply can't be competed with at that level IME.


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post #305 of 325 Old 11-12-2012, 11:17 AM
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Ricci,

Thanks for the info. I think you've put it very nicely.
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Commercial manufacturers have a lot of things to consider including shipping costs, warranty, looks, size and manufacturing costs which in a lot of cases end up defining how the unit takes shape long before considering how it performs acoustically.

I think ID companies change this model a little. They can afford to put acoustic performance higher on the list of priorites. These guys are audio enthusiasts who are free to create whatever they want as long as they can find customers for it. For mid-fi and lower hi-fi, they take some of the incentive out of DIY, do they not?

I saw pictures on the forum here of some subs with incredible cabinet work. It really inspired me to try something nicer-looking than a shiny black cube.

I know this is OT, but on you mention plate amps vs pro. It seems like car sub amps would be a good bang for the buck, wouldn't they? And they could be mounted on/in the sub?
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post #306 of 325 Old 11-12-2012, 12:45 PM
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You're not likely to find a car audio amp that has the same options something like the rack amps with built in DSP. Plus, you'd need to convert power.
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post #307 of 325 Old 11-12-2012, 01:50 PM
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"Oh, no, I'm willing to do some of the work! I just don't have the ability to transport and precisely cut up a sheet of MDF. Assembly and finishing is no problem. But if I'm not going to save much money..."

then get a behringer inuke3000dsp amp $400 and two rss460ho 18" drivers $250 ea and wait for the 3.5-4.0 cubic foot flat pack kits from erich at around $125 ea.

now you have two enclosures with higher sensitivity, flexible eq, more power per cab, etc. all you have to do is the finishing work--duratex or birds eye maple, it is up to you.

performance would be equal to about 2.5-3.0 of one hsu uls15.

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post #308 of 325 Old 11-12-2012, 08:05 PM
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I appreciate the suggestion.
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then get a behringer inuke3000dsp amp $400 and two rss460ho 18" drivers $250 ea and wait for the 3.5-4.0 cubic foot flat pack kits from erich at around $125 ea.
Has anyone built this?
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post #309 of 325 Old 11-13-2012, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puppetboy View Post

The super high-end is fun to dream about, isn't it? Let me offer a challenge to the guys who say they can save money with DIY. I'm Mr. Average Joe with caviar tastes in audio. But reality puts a few limitations on what I want. I know, I know, you guys are going to tell me my priorities are all wrong, but that's just where I am in life. For my 27 years of marriage my wife has suffered with ugly black boxes and huge entertainment centers. I'm also, I guess, growing out of that stage in my life. I just don't want my AV system to dominate my livingroom or my life, for that matter. But... I love high-end performance, too.
Right now I have a Hsu TN1220HO hooked up to a bridged Adcom GFA555. The Adcom is probably 25 years old? and I think it's failing, so I'm looking for a new sub. Yeah, I'm the only person among our friends who knows what a subwoofer is, so our friends already think I'm nuts. They're fine with their iDocks.
So show me how DIY can help. I looked at the Hsu ULF15 and Rythmik F15. They both claim output down to 10hz, they're both said to be very clean, and they'll fit in the space I have. They're shorter than 5', so they're less visible than the TN1220.
So I guess my design limitations are:
1. self powered (I'm tired of cables)
2. Footprint approx 18"x18" or less
3. max height 24"
Can I do better than these retail options for less money? The savings/performance advantage has to be significant or I'd rather not mess with it. I don't mind assembling something, but I don't have a table saw and if I've got to hire a cabinet maker, my savings go out the window.
So you guys who said "give me $X and I'll beat the HSU in every way" does that still stand accepting size limitation?

I think you are missing the point. Flat packs aren't diy, and don't really save you money. And you don't get to customize the design and squeeze out every last bit of performance. But to answer your question... if you have an attic, just put a couple of folded horns up there, with the mouths pointing through some fake heating vents. Can't beat that with $2000 retail. Got a basement? What about an infinite baffle setup. With these options, you don't even see a little sub in the room, you see nothing. Maybe this has already been suggested though, I can't keep track of this thread...
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post #310 of 325 Old 11-14-2012, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Puppetboy View Post

I appreciate the suggestion.
Has anyone built this?

Someone is in the process of building something very similar, so you should have your answer shortly.
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post #311 of 325 Old 11-14-2012, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

that's not where i was going james. i was just a little surprised that is what he said.
if you drive a ferrari and live in a malibu mansion, i'll go along with the sub2 idea...in multiples. :-)
If you drive a Ferrari and live in a malibu mansion, just get a Thigpen Rotary sub and end it there smile.gif
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Originally Posted by datranz View Post

You will not spend less with DIY, I repeat, you will not save with DIY, you just get more performance, and then upgrade, rinse, repeat.
I believe you get more performance for less, then you upgrade (or add more), again for less. Who says commercial buyers don't upgrade? And when they do , they more than likely sell the old stuff for a large loss...
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what i am trying to say is once you start diy, and sees its plus side (no restrains such as size and tuning and eq). you will want to out do yourself over and over again. onto my third reiterations from 10"s to 15"s, now 18"s. when will it end?biggrin.gif
LOL! I am sanding my 2nd DIY now, and have another in the hopper!
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Originally Posted by mjaudio View Post

I personally never use t-nuts anymore, there a pain in the a$$, I just drill a pilot hole and use wood screws to mount the drivers. Make sure you seal the driver well like beast mentions and you will want to use a speaker gasket like this: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=260-542 you can also use weatherstripping from your local hardware store but they generally don't have the same adhesive strength the one I just linked to does but it is not a huge difference.
T-nuts are definitely not the best choice for MDF. Hurricane nuts are most likely the better choice. I use threaded inserts since they come with my kits and I use gorilla glue with them. As for the comment about the weatherstrip from local hardware store, I disagree. My drivers and PRs are REAAAALLY stuck on there with closed-cell weatherstrip. I had to pry them off slowly with a lot of force. (3/8" wide, 1/4" thick)
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Originally Posted by doodoobutter View Post

Haha. I can assure you, that you have never heard anything like that driver. Since you are going the diy route, do you have your plans for your box finalized? We can help you model with the software.
Some tips for building. It looks like you're going the sealed route. Someone can jump in and correct me if they have tips better than mine. When you go to put your panels together, it's easiest to lay down your line of pl construction adhesive pretty thick, you can always wipe away the excess later. Secure glued panels together with clamps. Then predrill the holes for the screws, using a step bit so that the holes are recessed. Then screw the piece together. It's as simple as that. Once it's all put together, bondo works great for filling the holes. Then sand the bondo and any irregularities. Then you can prime and paint.
That's the absolute most simple way. Some people really want that retail quality finish. They sand and paint and sand and paint to get it really shiny. If you want to put in the time and do some reading, you can get a really good finish. I personally like the look of a stain finish on decent quality plywood. I'm sure you've already been reading up on this stuff extensively though, haven't you?
Since you have decided on something, please feel free to ask as many questions as you want, to finalize your design.
The simple way and proven as well!! You don't even need screws, as long as you have the patience to wait a day between each panel (for the glue to dry). No priming needed if you use Duratex as well, which also does a good job at hiding imperfections.

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post #312 of 325 Old 11-14-2012, 09:03 AM
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^^ good advice. The only reason I recommend screwing the panels together is that you can throw a box together on your day off, and finish it the next day. If you have the usual sat and sun off, it just takes a weekend and a little bondo. If you use real wood and want to stain it, it would certainly be easier to skip the screws rather than deal with trying to match wood putty with the stain.
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post #313 of 325 Old 11-14-2012, 10:16 AM
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I always glue and screw. Heh. Countersink those screws and get a putty close enough and even though in daylight it is a little clear where you did the putty, once I got the boxes down in the theater, you could see them at all from even a foot away smile.gif

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post #314 of 325 Old 11-14-2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

"I don't find any discussion on this forum comparing DIY results to commercial full build products. I'm becoming suspicious that this is more an exercise in the joy of creation than it is a cheaper way to great results."
you may be jumping a little too quickly to conclusions.

i came across this thread that does just that!

"Its never easy"


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post #315 of 325 Old 11-14-2012, 12:14 PM
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Yep, I read that one. Very interesting. I would have kept things a little more equal - they were auditioning single subs and multiple subs together. It's a little hard to get a fair comparison that way.
Quote:
Got a basement? What about an infinite baffle setup

Yeah, I'd thought about that.
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post #316 of 325 Old 11-15-2012, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

I always glue and screw. Heh. Countersink those screws and get a putty close enough and even though in daylight it is a little clear where you did the putty, once I got the boxes down in the theater, you could see them at all from even a foot away smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodoobutter View Post

^^ good advice. The only reason I recommend screwing the panels together is that you can throw a box together on your day off, and finish it the next day. If you have the usual sat and sun off, it just takes a weekend and a little bondo. If you use real wood and want to stain it, it would certainly be easier to skip the screws rather than deal with trying to match wood putty with the stain.

I glued my first one, and for the one I just finished, I glued & screwed. I found you get progress faster this way, especially since the wood shop is only open 3 days/week.

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post #317 of 325 Old 11-15-2012, 01:55 PM
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When I build I use either screws or a braid nailer. Screws for big boxes and the nailer for the smaller ones. Clamping and waiting to dry is not possible as it's much to slow.

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post #318 of 325 Old 11-16-2012, 09:22 AM
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I don't like the big sub comparison thread because there's not a good DIY LLT entry. The dual-daytons would have been much more impressive in 400 liter ported cabs.
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post #319 of 325 Old 11-16-2012, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post

When I build I use either screws or a braid nailer. Screws for big boxes and the nailer for the smaller ones. Clamping and waiting to dry is not possible as it's much to slow.

It is slow, but since I did not have much time, but could steal a few minutes at a time. I did not use any fasteners for my last three boxes. Took me nearly a week to glue them up, but I am to the finishing stage now. smile.gif

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post #320 of 325 Old 11-16-2012, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smprather View Post

I don't like the big sub comparison thread because there's not a good DIY LLT entry. The dual-daytons would have been much more impressive in 400 liter ported cabs.

How about these buddies?

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1388343/how-easy-to-source-parts-and-build-a-quick-llt

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post #321 of 325 Old 11-16-2012, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smprather View Post

I don't like the big sub comparison thread because there's not a good DIY LLT entry. The dual-daytons would have been much more impressive in 400 liter ported cabs.

Because it's realistic to throw a LLT in the back of your ride and transport it anywhere, muchless a long way from home.

Wait? Nevermind, that's not very realistic at all...
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post #322 of 325 Old 11-16-2012, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by enterthedragon View Post

Because it's realistic to throw a LLT in the back of your ride and transport it anywhere, muchless a long way from home.
Wait? Nevermind, that's not very realistic at all...

Whatchu talkin' bout Willis?




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post #323 of 325 Old 11-17-2012, 09:34 AM
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Whatchu talkin' bout Willis?
Hahaaahahaha....

Touche. That is the best one up I've ever seen.
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post #324 of 325 Old 11-20-2012, 02:04 AM
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Not my intent to beat a dead horse, but here is another glaring example...

DIY Dayton HO $400 + $300(amp)

vs

Velodyne DD18+ $5,000
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post #325 of 325 Old 11-20-2012, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puppetboy View Post

I appreciate the suggestion.
Has anyone built this?

i will be once erich has the boxes out, i might use a EP4k but the result will be similar

Gorilla83 built 2 dual opposed cabs running on a Crown XLS 5k Here

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1435795/first-diy-project-for-a-guy-looking-to-upgrade-multiple-sealed-18s/0_100


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