Help with making a HT sub that will rock the ceiling off my dedicated theater. Pics and info inside. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-18-2013, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I apologize for the crosspost from Subwoofer forum, but since this is a custom set up - I felt I may get more feedback here.

This is going to be kind of long - so forgive me. I originally stumbled upon Bill Fitz Maurice's plans and his forum after searching for a viable solution for my hunger for bass in my dedicated home theater. I was not familiar with horn technology used in subwoofers and after researching it a bit, there were other options mentioned to me - Speakerplans.com among others. I want to take the plunge. My current set up just isn't delivering what I want.

My biggest concern venturing into this project is really the fact that I've never done it, mainly because I didn't know it was something available and done within the home theater realm. In the past, I would simply purchase a subwoofer made by a manufacturer that had been tried and tested by other consumers. Most of the time it worked out fine - but of course, it comes at a cost. I've built car/boat stereos with other peoples' help before, and never considered this to be a possibility with home theaters. I just want to make it clear, that I didn't come here to start any type of flame war about Bill Fitz Maurice's products. The only reason I brought it up was because it was my first exposure to building a home theater speaker. Looking on the website, I found it fairly easy since everything was written from the type of driver to use, to the amplifier. After posting on a few other forums, I see that there's more options for me, and one of those presented was this forum. So if anyone can give me more information or help me out with plans or advice on what direction to go - that would be most appreciated.


The room is roughly 20 ft. x 20 ft, with a small approximately 8 x 8 enclave where the AV rack is located along with two stools along a raised bar area behind the platform seating. I've included pictures to show you.


So I come here looking for advice on appropriate placement and help with creating a subwoofer for my current application. Bill Fitz's Tuba HT has two versions available. A standard 24 x 36 x 36, and then a Low Profile version at 72 x 15 x 18. Sticking to either of these dimensions will work in different parts of the room.


Location 1) For the 72 x 15 x 18 - the ONLY location this will work is the closet. This closet contains the water heater, and a HVAC unit for that side of the house. My question is - will I have to remove the door, or will I have to retrofit the door with some sort of speaker cloth to allow proper output. If this is like any speaker that outputs sound, I imagine that sound needs to readily escape into the listening room, so I don't think this will work without extensive modification to that closet door. However, I could be wrong and the output on this subwoofer is great enough, and the frequencies low enough that it can do find behind a 1.5 inch thick wood door. Likely, I'd like to stay away from this area since the doorway entry is roughly seven feet, and the closet is carpeted, so moving the subwoofer in and out of that closet in case of repairs may be difficult.


Location 2 (More likely): This will be for the 36 x 36 x 24 standard size. There is some additional room along the back wall in the sort of small 8 x 8 enclave next to the AV rack. This will probably jut out and take up some room, but it's not dead center of the room and if need be to get around it to walk to the back of the AV rack, it can still be moved. The flooring in this enclave is wood. My question here is - there any problem with putting the subwoofer BEHIND the audience? I understand that the placement is critical for subwoofers, and on Bill Fitz's website, he mentions it is made for corner placement. As I've displayed in the pictures, this likely isn't possible because it would ruin the aesthetics of the room. So, does the subwoofer have to fire to the front of the audience, or can it be located behind them.



On each side of the "stage" my Left and Right speakers are actually true cabinets that are installed into the wall. They are not true wall mounted speakers like the thin ceiling surrounds we have. The same goes for the center, and the two little squares on each side are two 10 inch subwoofers. The home theater was initially constructed with all the AV equipment we own when we built the home in 1999-2000. All the speakers are RBH.



About four years ago, we decided to remodel the room, and upgrade the projector, screen, switch to a blu-ray player, etc.. It was at this time, the room got the full theater treatment. During this time we also had a 12 inch Triad Subwoofer Silver Inwall/15 installed. The thing with this subwoofer is - it was initially bought with the intention to have it installed in the wall - actually to the right of the closet seen there (before the cabinet you see there was installed). After making the first cut into the dry wall, we realized that there was heavy wiring behind run behind this wall. At this point we had already bought the subwoofer, so decided to scrap that idea and go with something else. The cabinet you see to the right where the subwoofer and fridge are located along the wall was actually nonexistent when the home was built. When we had the cabinet maker make it - we had him leave room for a subwoofer on the left and room for a fridge on the right as you can see. Wish we had discovered having a custom subwoofer made then, because this would've been a PERFECT place!



Here is the thing - that cabinet where the current Triad Subwoofer is located is 22 deep x 22 wide x 18 tall. Current wiring is as follows: The AV rack contains a Triad Bash 500 watt amplifier. Simple wiring is being ran from the AV rack behind that cabinet into the subwoofer.



Two questions here:

1) Can we reuse that Triad Bash 500 watt amplifier? My understanding is, it may be overkill for how efficient these horn loaded subwoofers are, but I'd rather not purchase an additional amplifier if we already have this.



2) Is there a current subwoofer application that can be made to fit in that cabinet of 22 x 22 x 18? Obviously, bigger is always better when it comes to moving air within a subwoofer, but if I went with this location - how much output will I lose?



I just wanted to add, since I'm sure it may be a suggestion - the attic is not useable for this. Lugging a large subwoofer through the small attic crawl space would be a nightmare, and there are simply too many studs/joints going every which way so this is not the route I'd like to take.



Lastly, as much as I'd like to take on the project myself, I'm not comfortable taking on a project of this size on. I will likely be hiring a cabinet maker/carpenter who has done some work around our home. I had originally inquired about having it constructed from a recommended speaker builder in our area from Bill Fitz's website, but their price was well out of my budget. Part of building and owning a custom speaker setup is the fact that it is an incredible value for what it delivers. After seeing that people are able to build entire subwoofer set ups for under $500 - I couldn't stomach paying someone double or triple that (which is what they quoted me).




Again, my apologies for a really long first post. Thank-you in advance for all your help!




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post #2 of 7 Old 12-18-2013, 07:15 PM
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nice room.

the screen appears to mount on a wall. what is directly behind that?

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post #3 of 7 Old 12-18-2013, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

nice room.

the screen appears to mount on a wall. what is directly behind that?

Thanks!

Behind the wood treatment is dry wall. Then roughly 24-36 inches of space where the cabinet speakers are sitting in the studs. Then cement opening to the outside of the home.

It isn't a viable option to mount the subwoofer behind the screen. If I were creating the room from scratch, it may have been something to consider. Though, if I were creating the room from scratch again, there would be a lot of things I would do differently. You live and you learn.

So this is what I'm working with now.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-18-2013, 08:49 PM
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"It isn't a viable option to mount the subwoofer behind the screen."

ok...because with even 24 inches of depth all that area behind your screen could be used for subwoofer cabinets and the driver exits could be fired to the sides of your screen...that would put your subs completely out of sight and at 1/4 distances from the walls, which greatly helps with normalizing bass response across the seating positions.

another option since you have an attic is some sort of infinite baffle setup. have you looked into something like that?

i'm just trying to kick in a few ideas that wouldn't monkey up the aesthetics of the room if possible.

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post #5 of 7 Old 12-18-2013, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

"It isn't a viable option to mount the subwoofer behind the screen."

ok...because with even 24 inches of depth all that area behind your screen could be used for subwoofer cabinets and the driver exits could be fired to the sides of your screen...that would put your subs completely out of sight and at 1/4 distances from the walls, which greatly helps with normalizing bass response across the seating positions.

another option since you have an attic is some sort of infinite baffle setup. have you looked into something like that?

i'm just trying to kick in a few ideas that wouldn't monkey up the aesthetics of the room if possible.

Those are great suggestions. I wouldn't touch anything behind the screen, mainly because it would require having to call up the local company who did all the theater accents. Extra cost involved there.

I wanted to keep it as cost effective as possible. If that means, only calling one guy to come in and build something, and then leaving it to me to do the wiring.

I had not considered an infinite baffle subwoofer. It's simply not mentioned enough. I did some quick reading about it - and it does seem quite effective. I've never heard a system with it. I am a little off put about cutting holes in my ceiling, but it does seem the easiest as far as getting adequate bass to the front of the room for the viewers.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-19-2013, 12:22 AM
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what is under the theater room?

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post #7 of 7 Old 12-19-2013, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

what is under the theater room?

The laundry room and garage. I'd be more likely to crawl around my attic since there's room to work there than pulling back carpet and cutting into the floor. While there is attic crawl space above the garage - so this makes me think that there's some room to work between the garage and the floor of the theater, running the wiring would be much easier through the attic, since this would follow the same route of wiring back to the AV rack at the back of the room. Much easier than running wiring through a small crawl space in the floor and then guestimating where to pull the wiring UNDER the AV rack. Plus - the garage attic space is awkward - off to one side, so it's doubtful that I would be able to put the subwoofers in the perfect position that I'd want.
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