First DIY subwoofer project! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 12-14-2012, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I am about to embark on my first subwoofer build and I cannot be more excited. I recently bought an Onkyo receiver and Pioneer BS22 bookshelf speakers to use with my computer audio setup in my room. I was planning on upgrading the speakers in the near future and adding a sub, so I wasn't too upset when I first heard these speakers and found their empty bottom end. I was going to buy a sub, but I ran into a bunch of DIY ones and heard that in many cases, building your own enclosure saves money. I love building things anyways so I decided building my own was definitely the way to go.

Now I have looked at the whole list of projects on subwoofers and found some interesting ones but have come to the conclusion that I'm not sure what would be the best for me. My room that needs this additional bass is 12 x 13 feet. I don't want my bass to be too boomy. I had a Logitech system in here in the past and I found its ported subwoofer to be quite boomy and still not hit low enough. I want super punchy clear bass.

With that in mind, I was thinking I should go to a sealed box. But I found a build thread on here (http://www.avsforum.com/t/1238398/reed-exodus-anarchy-25hz-tapped-horn) about a small tapped horn. I am very intrigued by the idea because of how clear the bass out of a tapped horn is supposed to be? So I'm wondering if that would be good for me? Or how could I change it to be better for my situation? Or is sealed going to be crisper and punchier?


I care about clarity above all... not so much how loud it can get. My neighbors in the room next door don't like it very loud haha.


P.S. - I am fairly decent with woodworking, and from what I can see about the tapped horns, they don't look like they would be too difficult for me.

Any help would be greatly, greatly appreciated. I would like to keep my total build to about $500 or less. I want it to be a sub that can grow with my system. I do plan on either building or buying some better bookshelves (or floor speakers). But this total system will probably always be for an office or bedroom. So I want something that will be great for music in a room of about this size.


Thanks!
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post #2 of 43 Old 12-14-2012, 09:55 PM
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Don't like the boom, treat the room.

Sorry, couldn't help myself. smile.gif

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post #3 of 43 Old 12-14-2012, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I suppose I set myself up for that. Hahaha to be honest, my past sub placement wasn't ideal. I just want it to be punchy all the way down to 35hz or whatever and not sound icky.
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post #4 of 43 Old 12-15-2012, 12:07 AM
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Hi drewDOOM,

In a small room with a relatively low SPL requirement due to neighbors, you're going to be hard pressed to find a DIY option that isn't really "good" if not overkill for your needs. Any 0.5-2ft^3 sealed box with any driver with a bit of displacement and enough watts to hit the stops will probably be more than enough. You can venture into more sophisticated box designs if you please, but will probably not be able to exercise their capability while sharing a wall with a neighbor anyway. I absolutely love adding box sophistication and size to get more output because I find it to be an interesting practice with good return on cost. However, I would argue that if you are in a small room to begin with, the available floor space may be of higher value than anything box sophistication can buy you. I would suggest attacking the problem with raw displacement and wattage in a small sealed box for now until you have more space to "fill."

Probably the most cost effective DIY you can do with the best result, would be to slap an Infinity 860w (about $50 shipped), into a ~0.5-1ft^3 sealed box. Provide a ~200W plate amp (~$100-150 depending on features/power/quality), and be done with it. You'll be able to play any typical musical frequency in that room at "normal" listening levels with low distortion, and even be able to drop some movie magic 20hz content at a reasonable level without any fears of busting something.

This solution could have some room to grow, but not a ton, but it is apt to come in far under budget, even after considering unseen costs. When you have a "place" to grow into, that would be the time to sell this or gift it to someone and build a proper sub for a larger "venue."

The sealed solution is not normally my first choice, but with your small room situation, and lower spl requirement, the sealed box is easily the winner. The simplest solution to the problem is often best. In your case, the problem and the solution are both simple. Enjoy.

Best of luck,
Eric
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post #5 of 43 Old 12-15-2012, 12:29 AM
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I would probably build a pair of sealed subs. Multiple subs will help smooth your room related "boom". A room your size will have no issues maximizing the low end of a standard sealed box, so stuff like horns really arent needed, as you can have issues with an overabundance of low frequencies without heavy eq.

Something as simple as an Infinity 1260w in a 1.5 ft3 box for each sub would do the trick

http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Reference-1260w-1200-watt-High-Performance/dp/B0028AVGEO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355559311&sr=8-1&keywords=infinity+1260w

With a pair of these 200 watt plate amps

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=301-504

Adding something like a miniDSP and measurement mic is also recommend if you're really serious about having absolutely no boom, which would cost you $200

http://www.minidsp.com/applications/auto-eq-with-rew
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post #6 of 43 Old 12-15-2012, 01:43 AM
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bass addict's comment was that what often makes a subwoofer sound boomy are resonances in the room itself. these resonances are equally excited by a sealed and by a ported sub. since they decay slowly, they can make the bass sound muddy or slow.

a properly built ported will be just as clean as a sealed.

the 1262w mentioned is down 6db at 30hz in a sealed enclosure, so might need some eq.

if you don't want to fart around with a mini-dsp, grab a simple 31 band graphic equalizer off ebay.

two enclosures are better than one. since you aren't going for max spl, both can be run off the same plate amp if you get the impedance matched up properly.

2 drivers at $60 ea. + amp at $100 + eq at $50 = $270 + cabinets

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post #7 of 43 Old 12-15-2012, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm sure this I'd a super noob question-but how do you "tune" a sub? Like with the equalizer and whatnot. Would that just be adjusting the gain knob on the back or something?

Would buying a fancier driver than the Infinity be overkill or make any difference?

Thanks so much for the quick help you guys!
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post #8 of 43 Old 12-15-2012, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh and what difference would double vs single voice coil make? (I.e. infinity 1260 vs 1262)
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post #9 of 43 Old 12-15-2012, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewDOOM View Post

Oh and what difference would double vs single voice coil make? (I.e. infinity 1260 vs 1262)

that just defines how you wire the driver to the amp, not how much actual power etc there is in in said driver.
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post #10 of 43 Old 12-15-2012, 05:38 AM
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"Oh and what difference would double vs single voice coil make? (I.e. infinity 1260 vs 1262)"

with most plate amps, you want a net 4 ohm load.

depending on how many drivers you will be using will determine which is the correct driver to choose.

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post #11 of 43 Old 12-15-2012, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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So for a single driver box, would I want a single voice coil?
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post #12 of 43 Old 12-15-2012, 12:48 PM
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Depends on the amp you plan to use and how much power you need. A single 4ohm driver would work well with all plate amps, they usually deliver their max power at 4ohms. A dual 4ohm voice coil can only be wired at 2 or 8ohms. Most plate amps won't work at 2ohms and at 8ohms, there will be less power compared to 4ohms.

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post #13 of 43 Old 12-15-2012, 12:54 PM
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Infinity Reference 1260W Infinity 12" Single 4 Ohm Reference Series Subwoofer

^^ is the one you want if going with one driver on one amp.

Listen. It's All Good.
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post #14 of 43 Old 12-15-2012, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

bass addict's comment was that what often makes a subwoofer sound boomy are resonances in the room itself. these resonances are equally excited by a sealed and by a ported sub. since they decay slowly, they can make the bass sound muddy or slow.
a properly built ported will be just as clean as a sealed.
the 1262w mentioned is down 6db at 30hz in a sealed enclosure, so might need some eq.
if you don't want to fart around with a mini-dsp, grab a simple 31 band graphic equalizer off ebay.
two enclosures are better than one. since you aren't going for max spl, both can be run off the same plate amp if you get the impedance matched up properly.
2 drivers at $60 ea. + amp at $100 + eq at $50 = $270 + cabinets

I think given the 12' x 13' room it would be perfect. The corner to corner distance of his room is approximately the half wave length of 32hz, so significant PVG should take place.
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post #15 of 43 Old 12-15-2012, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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So should I go for a single sub or make 2? I figured my room was small enough that 2 wouldn't make a difference.


And also, would there be any significant improvement if I bought slightly more expensive drivers?
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post #16 of 43 Old 12-16-2012, 12:06 PM
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Two subs will help smooth the in room response, and improve integration with your mains. A more expensive driver might be cleaner at the top end of its response, but whether or not its worth it to you is hard to say.
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post #17 of 43 Old 12-16-2012, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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What drivers do you think would be a logical upgrade over the Infinitys? Just for comparison's sake. =]


Another noob question--but if I build 2 subs (in 2 enclosures), would I connect them to the same plate amp? or how would I connect both of them to the single pre-out on my receiver?
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post #18 of 43 Old 12-16-2012, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Also, does the enclosure have to be a cube? I have noticed that most of the sealed box builds on here are pretty much perfect cubes, but I kind of like the idea of a taller rectangle maybe? Is there any reason other than simplicity to choose the cube?


Thanks so much you guys, I'm feeling like I'm almost ready to start getting some parts together!
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post #19 of 43 Old 12-16-2012, 03:54 PM
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You can make the enclosure whatever you like, it doesn't have to be a cube, it just has to have the correct enclosure volume and space on the baffle to mount the driver.

"Half the world is looking for Jesus, and the other half is looking for more bass..."
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post #20 of 43 Old 12-16-2012, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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So my only questions are: What drivers do you think would be a logical upgrade over the Infinitys? Just for comparison's sake. =]


And: If I build 2 subs (in 2 enclosures), would I connect them to the same plate amp? or how would I connect both of them to the single pre-out on my receiver?

After that I should be pretty much set I think!
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post #21 of 43 Old 12-16-2012, 07:02 PM
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I don't have any personal experience with the Infinity sub but it seems to be well regarded. For the price the Infinity is hard to beat but off the top of my head maybe the new Stereo Integrity 18" at it's pre-order price of $162 + shipping? I really like using multiple subs subs though and depending on were you live the SI 18" sub will probably cost at least $200+ which means you can get 3 of the Infinity's.

If you want to run the Infinity's off a single amp then get the 1262W dual voice coil version and hook it up like this:



I think the Infinity's are a good choice for your first DIY project.

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post #22 of 43 Old 12-16-2012, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I am liking the Infinity's too I think for my first project. But the Bash 300S probably wouldn't have enough power to run the 2 Infinity's though right? If I was going to do the single amp, 2 sub option.

I'm still just taking in the idea of having 2 subs... I figured my room was small enough that 1 was plenty. But I can see how having 2 would help distribute the sound better in the room or whatever.
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post #23 of 43 Old 12-17-2012, 08:15 AM
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In your situation I would do this:

2 1262w's in sealed boxes 1.5-1.75 cu ft each.

Make the boxes down firing.

Put them in opposite corners of the room.

They are 8 ohm each so you can run them off one bash 300. If you want a slight upgrade then go with a 500w amp. Until you get up to/over 500w each there is no upgrade to the infinities, but if you want go there look at the Dayton HO and TC epic.

2 subs is always better than 1. 3 is better than 2, 4 better than 3 with diminishing returns after that. biggrin.gif

Down firing will make them more stable and clean up some of the even order harmonic distortion. Opposite corners of the room will get them as far apart as possible without mounting one to the ceiling. This will smooth out the room modes as much as possible without dsp.

If you want to upgrade this later you can just double it. One 12 in each corner of the room.
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post #24 of 43 Old 12-17-2012, 08:25 AM
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Those 200 watt Yung amps are on sale for $90ea, so picking up a pair to power your subs is really a no brainer.
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post #25 of 43 Old 12-18-2012, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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How limited in volume would the subs be with only 200W each? I mean, I don't care about getting to ridiculous volume... but aren't these subs rated to like 300W and 1200W max?
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post #26 of 43 Old 12-18-2012, 09:53 AM
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In a 1.5 cu ft sealed box the infinity can take over 300w at 20hz before running out of linear travel. With program material not being a single frequency sine wave you could easily run 4-500w per driver.
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post #27 of 43 Old 12-18-2012, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I thought that a 200W amp like that Yung would max at 200; would it actually go over that?
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post #28 of 43 Old 12-18-2012, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Are there any pros and cons to having 1 amp for both subs as opposed to 1 amp for each sub?
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post #29 of 43 Old 12-18-2012, 10:26 AM
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I'm talking about what the speaker can take. A 200w amp is a 200w amp.
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post #30 of 43 Old 12-18-2012, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
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How limited in volume would the subs be with only 200W each? I mean, I don't care about getting to ridiculous volume... but aren't these subs rated to like 300W and 1200W max?


At 40hz with 200 watts a single 1260 in 1.5 ft3 is hitting 105 db. More power will gain the following vs 200 watts

300 watts + 1.5 db
400 watts + 3 db
500 watts + 4 db


A second 1260 sub with its own 200 watt amp gains 6db in output when co-located.

The benefit of each sub having its own amp, is you can control the gain and phase of each driver, specific to the location you place it.
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