Subwoofer Build - Suggestions appreciated - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you in advance for your input.

 

I am going to build a subwoofer to pair with a set of North Creek Rhythm Signature speakers, which I built 8-10 years ago (http://www.northcreekmusic.com/NorthCreekKits.html).  I am sure that I am biased, but I really like the speakers.  However, they could use a bit of bottom-end assistance.  The frequency response of the Rhythms are 45 Hz - 22kHz with 90.5dB sensitivity.

 

I would like tight bass extending to below 15Hz.  I am partial to quality as opposed to quantity, but may let'er rip every once in a bit.  This is for a vacation home living room (photo attached), which has a high ceiling.  The room is fairly large, has hard surfaces and opens into the kitchen.

 

From a design perspective, I would prefer a sealed enclosure with a downward firing subwoofer.  My SAF (spousal approval factor) limits me to approximately 7 cubic feet max and will use a plate amplifier.  This will be a subwoofer masquerading as a side table with a soapstone top.  I am not concerned about the enclosure build, as I have reasonable woodworking skills and equipment.  I am likely to put a lot of effort into creating a furniture quality enclosure and only want to build this once.  So, I will not be overly concerned about the transducer and plate amplifier cost.

 

So, based upon the above, what drivers would you recommend I look at for a downward firing, ~7 cubit foot (200l) max, sealed enclosure?  (Dayton 18" HO, TC Sounds Axis 15Q1 15", TC Sounds LMS Ultra 5400 18" DVC and many others look interesting).  If consensus is that downward firing is not advisable for any of the best drivers, I would be open to other suggestions include dual opposing drivers.

 

I have assumed that I would be using a plate amp such as Dayton Audio's SPA1000.  However, I don't need the low pass functionality so could easily go with a mono block if something larger is needed or if better quality is advised.  My general feeling has been that the plate amps offer a lot of bang for the $.

 

Cheers, Randall

 

 

 

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post #2 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:07 PM
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Rythmik has kits for sealed downfiring subwoofers, they go down to 14 hz and is regarded to be very tight for music applications, they also have ported designs for HT. I use the 15 inch kit for both Audio ahd HT applications and I am very happy, even their ported designs excel in audio applications smile.gif
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post #3 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:16 PM
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Actually, the plate amplifiers offer the least bang for the buck. You pay twice as much for half the power and a lot less flexibility.
The only positives is the convenience of auto-power on and fan-less operation.

You can pick an inexpensive pro-amp that can give you 1500-2000 watts (depending on voice coil and driver configuration) for under $300.

Having said that, if you REALLY want the best sounding sub and are not concerned about cost..two 18" LMS-5400 Ultras in a dual opposed setup would be killer or two B&C 21SW152-4 in dual opposed would be potent as well.
Either can take all the power you can dream of sending them and do it very cleanly.

If you want to see some data regarding the drivers and performance, head over to data-bass.com and peruse there.

I know the LMS well, as do many here, arguably the best driver at any price.
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post #4 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:21 PM
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Another option is 2 smaller subwoofers to even out the bass response
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post #5 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qguy View Post

Another option is 2 smaller subwoofers to even out the bass response
Absolutely, if you have space and are not limited to a single enclosure, multiples are the way to go.

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post #6 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by qguy View Post

Another option is 2 smaller subwoofers to even out the bass response

Thanks for the suggestion.  I would prefer a single subwoofer vs. multiple, as I am disguising it as a piece of furniture. The room is definitely not a dedicated listening room or HT.

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post #7 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jpmst3 View Post

Actually, the plate amplifiers offer the least bang for the buck. You pay twice as much for half the power and a lot less flexibility.
The only positives is the convenience of auto-power on and fan-less operation.

You can pick an inexpensive pro-amp that can give you 1500-2000 watts (depending on voice coil and driver configuration) for under $300.

 

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  I will need to keep this family friendly, so whatever amplifier I use needs to be auto-power on.  I guess that I could always find a way to build a slot in the bottom of my enclosure to hide a pro-amp as long as it can be vented.

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post #8 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallSG View Post

Thanks for the suggestion.  I would prefer a single subwoofer vs. multiple, as I am disguising it as a piece of furniture. The room is definitely not a dedicated listening room or HT.

Then you just need to decide how far you want to take this. There are creative ways to make the enclosure furniture. I chose to make mine endtables, but credenzas, couch tables, etc. all work well.

You can downfire the LMSs as well despite the fact that it is not recommended. I have done it without issue and I know others have as well.

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post #9 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RandallSG View Post

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  I will need to keep this family friendly, so whatever amplifier I use needs to be auto-power on.  I guess that I could always find a way to build a slot in the bottom of my enclosure to hide a pro-amp as long as it can be vented.

There are numerous ways to make the pro-amp power on automatically as well. I do it with smart power strips and other devices that take a 12v relay signal from your other gear. It is just the fact that it is not built in like plate amps is all and there are of course reasons for that. There are threads dedicated to auto-powering pro-amps with DIY relays as well.

If you go with a sealed enclosure you will want to add and EQ of some sort as well.

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post #10 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jpmst3 View Post

Having said that, if you REALLY want the best sounding sub and are not concerned about cost..two 18" LMS-5400 Ultras in a dual opposed setup would be killer or two B&C 21SW152-4 in dual opposed would be potent as well.
Either can take all the power you can dream of sending them and do it very cleanly.

If you want to see some data regarding the drivers and performance, head over to data-bass.com and peruse there.

I know the LMS well, as do many here, arguably the best driver at any price.

 

Ouch!  Two 18" LMS-5400 would be just under $2k w/ tax, unless you know of someone offering deep discounts.

 

Yes, I also looked at the B&C 21SW152-4.  I have to say that a 21" driver is tempting and at only $1.5k a veritable bargain compared to the LMS-5400!

 

I will take a look at the data-bass.com.  It would be interesting to see if these would fit into my enclosure.

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post #11 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:44 PM
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If its for audio only why the need for such a large box ? I reckon a single 12 would be enough. I use to have a sealed 12 inch, 70 watt M&K subwoofer and it was already loud enough for 2 channel audio. The LMS 5400 is a great driver, but if your using for 2 channel audio, I dont think you would be able to use it use its full potential.
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post #12 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by RandallSG View Post

Ouch!  Two 18" LMS-5400 would be just under $2k w/ tax, unless you know of someone offering deep discounts.

Yes, I also looked at the B&C 21SW152-4.  I have to say that a 21" driver is tempting and at only $1.5k a veritable bargain compared to the LMS-5400!

I will take a look at the data-bass.com.  I would be interesting to see if these would fit into my enclosure.

Yes, they are not cheap by any means! There are much cheaper drivers out there that offer very good performance. But, the LMS is damn fine, hence the price.

And they will definitely both fit in your desired enclosure volume.

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post #13 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by qguy View Post

Rythmik has kits for sealed downfiring subwoofers, they go down to 14 hz and is regarded to be very tight for music applications, they also have ported designs for HT. I use the 15 inch kit for both Audio ahd HT applications and I am very happy, even their ported designs excel in audio applications smile.gif


The Rythmik's do look nice.  Thanks for the suggestion, I will read through the reviews.

 

I had a good experience with the North Creek Rhythm build.  My deciding factor with those was the cross-over.  I am quite proficient at woodworking, but really didn't want to tackle the electronics.

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post #14 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:48 PM
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If you want to the kit route and save some $, I would definitely recommend the Rythmiks as well.
They have some very nice options and sound quality to match.

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post #15 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 02:59 PM
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If its for audio only why the need for such a large box ? I reckon a single 12 would be enough.

Size of the subwoofer required is linked to the size of the room and how low you want to go. It's not a question of "audio only".

I would go with an 18 in the 7 Cu ft cab, with ported being a more efficient option

explore the music
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post #16 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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If its for audio only why the need for such a large box ? I reckon a single 12 would be enough. I use to have a sealed 12 inch, 70 watt M&K subwoofer and it was already loud enough for 2 channel audio. The LMS 5400 is a great driver, but if your using for 2 channel audio, I dont think you would be able to use it use its full potential.

 

The sub-woofer enclosure will be an end-table, which has a max 200l volume.  So, it is not that I need such a large box, that is just the space I have available.  I can easily scale down the volume, but for design purposes can't go much larger.

 

Also, given my personality, I need to be careful not to go completely overboard.  I could easily build something far bigger and more expensive than I really need and as you say not be "able to use it's full potential".  You should see the bath room I am diy renovating (travertine tiles, radiant heat floor, steam shower, frameless glass wall, heated towel rack, etc.).  It will probably end up costing more than the rest of the house is worth!  :)

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post #17 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 03:17 PM
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Not unless you play at insane levels, audio does not require the same output as compared to HT at Reference levels. Besides, I dont think the mains would be able to keep up with an 18 subwoofer. I am a basshead and have a 15 inch sub and Iam barely using half of what my sub is capable of for music listening
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Size of the subwoofer required is linked to the size of the room and how low you want to go. It's not a question of "audio only".

I would go with an 18 in the 7 Cu ft cab, with ported being a more efficient option
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post #18 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Not unless you play at insane levels, audio does not require the same output as compared to HT at Reference levels. Besides, I dont think the mains would be able to keep up with an 18 subwoofer. I am a basshead and have a 15 inch sub and Iam barely using half of what my sub is capable of for music listening

 

 

I suspect that I can meet my audio design goals with a 15" driver, and likely exceed them with an 18".  Multiple 18" or 21" drivers would certainly be fun, but overkill for my purposes

 

From an aesthetic standpoint, I think that I still prefer a downward firing sub.  The Rythmik Kits specifically suggest not using downward.

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post #19 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 04:25 PM
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I would suggest contacting Rythmik about the downfiring design as the one I got could be used for downfiring or front firing
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Originally Posted by RandallSG View Post

I suspect that I can meet my audio design goals with a 15" driver, and likely exceed them with an 18".  Multiple 18" or 21" drivers would certainly be fun, but overkill for my purposes

From an aesthetic standpoint, I think that I still prefer a downward firing sub.  The Rythmik Kits specifically suggest not using downward.
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post #20 of 25 Old 01-23-2014, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I would suggest contacting Rythmik about the downfiring design as the one I got could be used for downfiring or front firing

 

Just checked again, and it appears that there are new versions of the DS1500 drivers.... it was specifically the DS1510 driver which was not recommended for downward firing.

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post #21 of 25 Old 01-24-2014, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
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I suspect that I can meet my audio design goals with a 15" driver, and likely exceed them with an 18".  Multiple 18" or 21" drivers would certainly be fun, but overkill for my purposes

From an aesthetic standpoint, I think that I still prefer a downward firing sub.  The Rythmik Kits specifically suggest not using downward.

If a single driver and down firing is preferred, I would opt for the UXL-18. It can be down fired and is very capable and will hopefully exceed what you need, giving you extra headroom.
That is always my goal, use less than 50% of the capability of each component leaving plenty of headroom on tap.

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post #22 of 25 Old 01-24-2014, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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If a single driver and down firing is preferred, I would opt for the UXL-18. It can be down fired and is very capable and will hopefully exceed what you need, giving you extra headroom.
That is always my goal, use less than 50% of the capability of each component leaving plenty of headroom on tap.

 

I agree about the "extra headroom". 

 

What are the attributes of the UXL-18 that would make it better for down firing versus another driver (such as the LMS-5400 Ultras)? 

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post #23 of 25 Old 01-24-2014, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
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I agree about the "extra headroom". 

What are the attributes of the UXL-18 that would make it better for down firing versus another driver (such as the LMS-5400 Ultras)? 

There is a formula you can use to determine if downfiring is applicable. http://www.parts-express.com/resources-woofer-mount-up-down

I also confirmed that with the manufacturer of the UXL.


The Ultra is on the fringes and many do use it in a downfiring orientation, so you could do it without issue. I have one being down fired as well.

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post #24 of 25 Old 01-24-2014, 10:26 AM
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Placement is also a concern, do you plan on putting the end table next to one of the couches?

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post #25 of 25 Old 01-24-2014, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Placement is also a concern, do you plan on putting the end table next to one of the couches?

 

Yes, it will likely be next to one of the couches.  However, planning on placement will be futile.  This is for the living room in our vacation home, not a dedicated listening area or HT.  Even if I did plan, my wife would rearrange the furniture the next week. 

 

I won't be "SeekingNirvana", just good enough. :)

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