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post #1 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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So I'm thinking of making my first foray into the world of DIY subs. I had been contemplating a JTR Captivator S1 but I got to thinking that, eventhough ID brands have a much higher value than b&m brands, the DIY route will get me more performance for the money. I have a few questions before I begin:

1. How realistic is it for a first time DIYer to either exceed the performance of the JTR for the same price/meet the performance for less?

2. Can I achieve #1 in a similar or smaller cabinet? WAF is an always present force...

I haven't chosen specific part numbers yet, but just in general, I was thinking dual opposed 15's with a plate amplifier (can't do separate amplification, WAF again)
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post #2 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 04:28 PM
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http://www.avsforum.com/t/1387178/archaeas-kansas-city-blind-subwoofer-shootout-2012/0_100

That's a good thread for you.

I'd guess a DIY option for $2000 (assuming your building) would still be better.

Depends on the parts you use.

For $2000 you can spend $800 on an AMP and $1200 on parts. That's going to be pretty serious bass IMO. You could do multiple drivers too and just get stupid with a DIY option.

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post #3 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 04:49 PM
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http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=293-662

+

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-NU3000-Ultra-Lightweight-High-Density-3000-Watt/dp/B005DUR7U8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1373410089&sr=8-2&keywords=inuke

That's like under $1000 so you could build 2 of them if you wanted and remain under $2000.

That's essential flat to 16hz.

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post #4 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I enjoy stupid biggrin.gif

One of the initial problems I'm running into is understanding the enclosure and driver relationship. I've been playing around with this enclosure calculator:

http://www.diyaudioandvideo.com/Calculator/Box/

but interpreting it's measurements has me a bit confused. For example, if I put in this 18" driver here:

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=295-472

and it's corresponding numbers from the spec page, it gives me a f3 of 35.5hz. does that mean my lower 3db limit will only be 35h? that cant be right
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post #5 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post



http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=293-662

+

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-NU3000-Ultra-Lightweight-High-Density-3000-Watt/dp/B005DUR7U8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1373410089&sr=8-2&keywords=inuke

That's like under $1000 so you could build 2 of them if you wanted and remain under $2000.

That's essential flat to 16hz.

what enclosure calculator is that? also, is it really that noticable having a ported vs sealed enclosure? I've heard arguments that you cant really tell, but I've also seen FR graphs show slower roll-off in sealed designs
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post #6 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

[IMG ALT=""]http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=293-662 + http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-NU3000-Ultra-Lightweight-High-Density-3000-Watt/dp/B005DUR7U8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1373410089&sr=8-2&keywords=inuke That's like under $1000 so you could build 2 of them if you wanted and remain under $2000. That's essential flat to 16hz.

Only problem with that amp is that I really need to use a plate amp to keep wife happy
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post #7 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 05:06 PM
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the driver in the jtr sub is pretty nice.

probably $400-500 if you want to buy something
comparable.

then you need a MASSIVE plate amp.
http://www.speakerpower.net/order.html

probably about $1200 retail.

then you need an enclosure and some sort of eq.

i'm not sure that you are going to save much
money, if any building a comparable design.

there are other designs that easily beat the jtr
for the money, but they use more cost effective
drivers and outboard amplification that is a much
better bang for the buck than plate amps.

one option would be 4 stereo integrity ht18's
or 4 dayton 460ho drivers and a cerwin vega
cv5000 amplifier.

that would beat the jtr $ for $ no problem, but
it doesn't fit your goal of small sub and plate amp.

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post #8 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

Only problem with that amp is that I really need to use a plate amp to keep wife happy

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-809

No problem wink.gif

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post #9 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

the driver in the jtr sub is pretty nice.

probably $400-500 if you want to buy something
comparable.

then you need a MASSIVE plate amp.
http://www.speakerpower.net/order.html

probably about $1200 retail.

then you need an enclosure and some sort of eq.

i'm not sure that you are going to save much
money, if any building a comparable design.

there are other designs that easily beat the jtr
for the money, but they use more cost effective
drivers and outboard amplification that is a much
better bang for the buck than plate amps.

one option would be 4 stereo integrity ht18's
or 4 dayton 460ho drivers and a cerwin vega
cv5000 amplifier.

that would beat the jtr $ for $ no problem, but
it doesn't fit your goal of small sub and plate amp.

Thanks for that reality check. any suggestions on a driver to use? the 15" from parts express looks to have the power, excursion, and size i'm looking for. I could probably get past the external amplification issue if necessary and if that would allow me to keep it within budget. size of the enclosure i guess is most important.

How would dual opposed drivers effect the enclosure design?
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post #10 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 05:26 PM
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@ OP-

The science behind a subwoofer is where you get the sound quality. Theoretically you would want 4 subwoofers. One in each corner. Two on the floor. Two on the ceiling. That's not always feasible but that's theoretically going to give you the best bass.

For $2000 I'd take 4 x 15" $500 subs flat down to 20hz with optimal placement over one or two monster subs anyday. It's really no contest at all.

If you looking for max SPL- multiple drivers would also smoke a single sub (but you would give up flat response for SPL in tuning)

DIY is not about getting better than that $2000 MFG made sub you are looking at for $2000 but rather getting nearly the same bass for $1000 which is possible with a proper design. If you double up your efforts and put one on front wall and another in the rear they will improve each other. Two subs on opposite sides of the room sound better than one sub wink.gif They also play louder too. So I would not blow all my budget on one monster sub, rather than spread it out over two subs if you can. 4 is even better, but wife might object. eek.gif

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post #11 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

Thanks for that reality check. any suggestions on a driver to use? the 15" from parts express looks to have the power, excursion, and size i'm looking for. I could probably get past the external amplification issue if necessary and if that would allow me to keep it within budget. size of the enclosure i guess is most important.

How would dual opposed drivers effect the enclosure design?

I used a big cabinet in my design and a tune of 17hz to get low. Shrinking the cab and tuning for 20hz would likely still get you amazing results.

There is also a bunch of drivers about half the price of that driver I used that would get you very close to same results if you want to tighten your budget a bit.

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post #12 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

@ OP-

The science behind a subwoofer is where you get the sound quality. Theoretically you would want 4 subwoofers. One in each corner. Two on the floor. Two on the ceiling. That's not always feasible but that's theoretically going to give you the best bass.

For $2000 I'd take 4 x 15" $500 subs flat down to 20hz with optimal placement over one or two monster subs anyday. It's really no contest at all.

If you looking for max SPL- multiple drivers would also smoke a single sub (but you would give up flat response for SPL in tuning)

DIY is not about getting better than that $2000 MFG made sub you are looking at for $2000 but rather getting nearly the same bass for $1000 which is possible with a proper design. If you double up your efforts and put one on front wall and another in the rear they will improve each other. Two subs on opposite sides of the room sound better than one sub wink.gif They also play louder too. So I would not blow all my budget on one monster sub, rather than spread it out over two subs if you can. 4 is even better, but wife might object. eek.gif


while that may be ideal for sound quality, it is not ideal for keeping a wife tongue.gif I really can't do more than one sub right now. Maybe, but very unlikely, I could do 2 but only if I can keep the cabinet size down and manage a good finish on it. Even so, it would have to be one at a time to show that I can make one that she's ok with having in the room.

for the amps, going from the wife friendly 1000w plate amp to the external 3000 watt amp should net a difference of what? 4 or 5 db? I've said this elsewhere, max spl is of little importance to me. extension and accuracy are far more important. If anything, I usually run my mains a little hot in comparison to my sub.
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post #13 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 06:13 PM
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Make a sealed sub then. 2 small sealed subs. You can go smaller on the boxes- and they get more musical and punchy. Also great power handling and great low frequency extension. You will give up SPL of course- but you seem ok with that.

How big is that sub you are looking at ?

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post #14 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Make a sealed sub then. 2 small sealed subs. You can go smaller on the boxes- and they get more musical and punchy. Also great power handling and great low frequency extension. You will give up SPL of course- but you seem ok with that.

How big is that sub you are looking at ?

the sub is the jtr captivator S1 which is 21x21x16.

http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/captivator-s1/

Does anyone have any experience using the pre-made enclosures for the dayton drivers like this one here?

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-7082

they are cheap if you buy them same time as the driver (you get them for 50% off) might save a lot of time and effort with little to no financial hit. Only issue I can see is it might be hard to find a place to put a plate amp.
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post #15 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 06:28 PM
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"How would dual opposed drivers effect the enclosure design?"

dual opposed minimizes cabinet vibrations and the attendant
spl losses. it is literally two sealed subs back-to-back
with the common wall removed (or put another way, two drivers
in a single enclosure twice the size that you would use for
one enclosure).

...


plate amps also tend to have a high pass filter built in.
in some cases you can change it, but i'm not sure what the
dayton 1000 w plate has.

the plate amp used in the jtr has digital equalization built
in to bring up the low end response, but you can't even
buy that model. it is oem.


...


how large is your room (as that will affect greatly how
much room gain that you get)?

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post #16 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 06:35 PM
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21″x21″x16.25″ (HxWxD) = JTR Captivator S1 with MSRP of $2999 and MFG direct price of $2199, and street prices lower.

versus

15"x15"x15" TC sounds LMSR-12" for $369 + amp
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=293-658

with a 19.30hz tune they are nearly flat @ 18hz and would also make 112db SPL at 20hz. I think that should be good enough for "extension" for you, and smaller package and- Oh yeah it would be under $800 with a plate amp. You could make two of them in place in opposite sides of the room and still be under your budget. It's easier to make two subs identical at the same time- so if you think you could do that then just do it all at once IMO.

You could get nearly the same results with a $199 12" EPIC and nearly the same size box as the JTR Captivator S1 (5.5cube feet). So if the size of the JTR was ok- you could remain at that size with a $200 driver and a 500 watt plate amp versus a $369 driver with a 3.0cube feet box and a 1000 watt plate amp.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=293-650





Here is the two- 1000 watts on the smaller box and 500 watts on the bigger box.

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post #17 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

"

plate amps also tend to have a high pass filter built in.
in some cases you can change it, but i'm not sure what the
dayton 1000 w plate has.

the plate amp used in the jtr has digital equalization built
in to bring up the low end response, but you can't even
buy that model. it is oem.

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-809
Dayton Audio SPA1000 1000W Subwoofer Plate Amplifier
Quote:
Specifications: • Rated power output: 497 watts into 8 ohms, 950 watts into 4 ohms with 0.92% THD (based on one-third power duty cycle) • S/N ratio: 98 dB (A-weighted) • Low-pass crossover: 30 ~ 200 Hz, 24 dB/octave • Parametric EQ: Frequency: 18 ~ 80 Hz; Bandwidth: 0.1 ~ 1 Q; Level: -14.5 dB to +6 dB • Phase Adjustment: 0° (NOR) or 180° (REV) • Input impedance: 12K ohms • Input voltage: User switchable 115V/230V (Euro cord available) • Stand-by power rating: 115V 24W; 230V 18.4W • Efficiency: 86% • Net weight: 17 lbs. • Dimensions: 11-15/16" W x 11-15/16" H x 5-1/4" D; Cutout dimensions: 10" W x 10" H.

He could easily tune it for flat response or even bump up 6db for some extra SPL.

30hz and +3db would be really nice.

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post #18 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

"How would dual opposed drivers effect the enclosure design?"

dual opposed minimizes cabinet vibrations and the attendant
spl losses. it is literally two sealed subs back-to-back
with the common wall removed (or put another way, two drivers
in a single enclosure twice the size that you would use for
one enclosure).

...


plate amps also tend to have a high pass filter built in.
in some cases you can change it, but i'm not sure what the
dayton 1000 w plate has.

the plate amp used in the jtr has digital equalization built
in to bring up the low end response, but you can't even
buy that model. it is oem.


...


how large is your room (as that will affect greatly how
much room gain that you get)?

I understand thedriver configuration for a dual just not the implications for cabinet size. If i kept the enclosure about the same size but did a dual opposed driver, would I gain anything without the added cabinet volume?

looks like that plate amp has a filter around 17.5 hz. no good.

the room is fairly small, 10x12x8 approximately, but leads into front hall, living room and kitchen. I'd say about 3500 cubic feet total. I know it may not happen, but I'm trying to buy for the last time for a long time so this room will be major overkill when I'm done with it all. idea is to not need to start all over when I buy a bigger home.
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post #19 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

I understand thedriver configuration for a dual just not the implications for cabinet size. If i kept the enclosure about the same size but did a dual opposed driver, would I gain anything without the added cabinet volume?

looks like that plate amp has a filter around 17.5 hz. no good.

the room is fairly small, 10x12x8 approximately, but leads into front hall, living room and kitchen. I'd say about 3500 cubic feet total. I know it may not happen, but I'm trying to buy for the last time for a long time so this room will be major overkill when I'm done with it all. idea is to not need to start all over when I buy a bigger home.

Are you asking about an Iso-Barik enclosure ?

I'd keep them in separate boxes myself.

17hz filter is actually perfect to protect your speakers if you tune to 18 hertz. A sealed would not need a filter but a ported would and 17hz is ideal IMO if you are looking for flat to 18hz with good SPL. I am not sure why really would want 10hz; I think a lot of people chase that as the promised land but in reality there is no signal in music at that frequency and very little in soundtracks. Having good flat response to 18hz is more important IMO than being able to hit 10hz down a bunch of db. Real world you'll just appreciate it better I think.

But if you wanted say 10hz you could tune lower and use a different amp. Problem solved. That's the beauty of DIY eek.gif

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post #20 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Are you asking about an Iso-Barik enclosure ?

I'd keep them in separate boxes myself.

17hz filter is actually perfect to protect your speakers if you tune to 18 hertz. A sealed would not need a filter but a ported would and 17hz is ideal IMO if you are looking for flat to 18hz with good SPL. I am not sure why really would want 10hz; I think a lot of people chase that as the promised land but in reality there is no signal in music at that frequency and very little in soundtracks. Having good flat response to 18hz is more important IMO than being able to hit 10hz down a bunch of db. Real world you'll just appreciate it better I think.

But if you wanted say 10hz you could tune lower and use a different amp. Problem solved. That's the beauty of DIY eek.gif

not really sure what that is? I was thinking of two drivers on opposite sides of the cabinet, similar to something like the epik empire.

why would a ported design need the filter but not a sealed? anecdotally, i seems to prefer sealed subs

what should I really be looking for in a driver to help me judge sound quality? I know a lot has to do with the enclosure but what am I lookig for in their specs? still trying to keep SQ as close to a top notch ID sub as possible.

As far as tuning is concerned, if i understand correctly the size and length of the port determines the tuning for a vented enclosure. what about tuning a sealed enclosure?
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Quote:
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not really sure what that is? I was thinking of two drivers on opposite sides of the cabinet, similar to something like the epik empire.

why would a ported design need the filter but not a sealed? anecdotally, i seems to prefer sealed subs

what should I really be looking for in a driver to help me judge sound quality? I know a lot has to do with the enclosure but what am I lookig for in their specs? still trying to keep SQ as close to a top notch ID sub as possible.

Ported designs tend to "unload" below their tuning point. Basically get floppy, have potential to bottom out and cause damage, and it sounds pretty bad. Sealed subs essentially have an "air cushion" inside the enclosure that prevents this from happening the same way.

How about a pair of sealed UXL-18's with an iNuke 6K dsp? If I had $2000 to drop on a DIY setup I'd probably take this route.

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As far as tuning is concerned, if i understand correctly the size and length of the port determines the tuning for a vented enclosure. what about tuning a sealed enclosure?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

As far as tuning is concerned, if i understand correctly the size and length of the port determines the tuning for a vented enclosure. what about tuning a sealed enclosure?

You're basically correct with ported designs.

Sealed enclosures don't have tuning points, they simply..are. Using a driver in a sealed enclosure typically gives it a slower roll-off and the ability to extend down to super low frequencies.

If I still had winisd installed I'd show you a quick comparison graph of a ported vs. sealed enclosure.

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post #24 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Ported designs tend to "unload" below their tuning point. Basically get floppy, have potential to bottom out and cause damage, and it sounds pretty bad. Sealed subs essentially have an "air cushion" inside the enclosure that prevents this from happening the same way.

How about a pair of sealed UXL-18's with an iNuke 6K dsp? If I had $2000 to drop on a DIY setup I'd probably take this route.

would fan noise be any issue with PA amps?
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Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

would fan noise be any issue with PA amps?

Maybe with the iNuke series. But I have a Crown amp and my external hard drives make more noise than the fans on my amp. Pro amps are typically really quiet.

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post #26 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

not really sure what that is? I was thinking of two drivers on opposite sides of the cabinet, similar to something like the epik empire.





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isobaric_loudspeaker


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Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

why would a ported design need the filter but not a sealed? anecdotally, i seems to prefer sealed subs

what should I really be looking for in a driver to help me judge sound quality? I know a lot has to do with the enclosure but what am I lookig for in their specs? still trying to keep SQ as close to a top notch ID sub as possible.

You can damage a sub if you power it hard below the tune frequency on ported enclosures. That's the trade off. You get really great power handling and increased SPL at the tune frequency but poor SPL and power handling below it. You would need to either tune it lower, or use a sealed design to avoid damaging your sub if you plan to push it very hard below 20hz usually.

Sealed has less SPL than a ported design but is often the easiest to design and get flat response with. The box is simpler to build. Just make sure it has no leaks and it's the size you want. Sealed have very good power handling and very good low end extension at the expense of SPL.

Based on what you are saying yes- You would enjoy a sealed sub. Sealed boxed are usually smaller too.

If you want :

Good low end extention
Good power handling
Small box

Then a sealed sub makes sense for you. Many people prefer a ported design with a tune because it will make more SPL at more usable frequencies.

Here is two options for you:




A ported 12" in a 3.0cube feet box tuned at 13hz (You would need to get an amp to match it well )
versus
15" Sealed sub with same size 3.0 box.

Both smaller than the sub you are looking at, and both cheap enough to build 2 of them and still cost less. I am guessing that 13hz @ 106db on the 12" is better than that sub you are comparing it too for $2000 at the same 13hz; so if very, very low extension is your thing that is an option for you. The sealed always has less roll off at the low end, and you could easily boost 18hz 6db with most amps. That brings the sealed bottom end up quite a bit.

Here is the 15" with 6db of boost at 14hz and 30hz. Kinda crazy IMO but if that's what you wanted and you did not need very high SPL it's an option for you.



Under 20hz you won't really hear but it should shake the crap out of your house and really travel to annoy people eek.gif You can feel it.

I think most people would rather have the extra SPL in the 18hz to 40hz range where it is much more useful than sacrifice it in exchange for more SPL at 13hz where you won't really use it much.

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post #27 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 07:30 PM
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Oops looks like you guys beat me to it tongue.gif

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post #28 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Under 20hz you won't really hear but it should shake the crap out of your house and really travel to annoy people eek.gif You can feel it.

I think most people would rather have the extra SPL in the 18hz to 40hz range where it is much more useful than sacrifice it in exchange for more SPL at 13hz where you won't really use it much.

funny you should mention that, my mains actually go pretty low (martinlogan montis). In fact, a few days ago I was playing around with a signal generator my upstairs neighbors found out that they can actually hit 22hz with decent authority biggrin.gif
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post #29 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 07:35 PM
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Didn't realize you wanted plate amps. It would be tough to find beefy enough plate amps, IMO.

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post #30 of 158 Old 07-09-2013, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Louquid View Post

Maybe with the iNuke series. But I have a Crown amp and my external hard drives make more noise than the fans on my amp. Pro amps are typically really quiet.

a bit off topic but stil related to amps and speakers. So looking at the inuke series, I was just thinking: I can get an iNuke NU6000DSP 2 channel amp with 1500w per channel into 8 ohms, will fully double down to 3000w into 4 ohms, weighs almost nothing, and has built in DSP capabilities for $500. A 1200 mcintosh monoblock is something like 20 grand. Explain confused.gif
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