Hi everyone my name is Mike and I'm a bassaholic.... wait is that not how we start here ? lol...
Ok needless to say I've been bitten by the DIY bug, and I'll be leaning on this forum and DIY for my entire speaker package and bass solution for my dedicated theater build that's is starting up in the fall. I've learned a tremendous amount from the awesome people of this forum and for that I'm sincerely grateful! So huge thanks for that! I'm hoping for a little help once again and looking for great ideas and suggestions for a bass solution.
My theater is going to be 36' long by 25' wide with soffits on the sides starting at 8' ceiling height, and the center ceiling extending up to about 10 feet tall. Technically the ceiling is going to be stepped, and coffered but that's for another thread. This theater will be on top of a garage (new construction). The walls and the room will be properly treated, with thick treatments on the walls behind fabric frames, and bass traps in the corner. It will feature double or triple layers of DW+GG, and will be designed for a low noise floor. I don't care about bass escaping the theater though. It's going to be a big space and I'd like big output! But here comes the problem... $$$$ !!! My wife and I just had twins, and we are doing a home remodel as part of this project. My wife is out of work and we are tight on funds. I've already committed to doing my room right and not compromising so I can chase this hobby for decades in my space, even if that means I'll be sitting in folding lawn chairs to start because I can't afford theater seats yet.
Most of the time you hear people complain about size, or space... or WAF. NOT HERE! This isn't going to be some pussified WAF factor build. My screen wall will be at least 3 feet deep and I'm totally ok with designing the room around my bass solution, even if that means I need to vaneer and stain finish a 80 cubic foot sub box in the back as part of the room. NO RESTRICTIONS ON SIZE, WOOD COSTS, OR COMPLEXITY OF BUILD ! Now that I'm clear about that... we can continue.
I don't think IB or sealed subs are the right solution for me. I've been looking at ported subs vs horns or possibly integrating sealed + ported + horns, but I also understand the reasons you might not want to do that (phase issues and all that).
Ideally I'd like 10db over reference output, and I'd like some degree of ULF too. But I don't need flat to single digits, nor do I plan to make my system sound crappier by artificially boosting the bottom excessively for bragging rights on the forum to say I'm "flat to 8hz" or any of that nonsense that goes on around here. I'm most interested in actual sound quality at the LP and I full realize that 15hz is "enough" to get what I want without over-driving and stressing my amps, drivers and all that. I'm somewhat reasonable in my expectations for both SPL and ULF and realize it's a trade off between them, especially when you are limited on budget. I'm hoping to maximize value first and foremost. I don't have a strict budget, but let's just say it's like a firm $2000 in drivers so we can all stay on the same page. No limit on wood, glue, screws, build difficulty, effort or time required, or space consumed.
My initial thought before I learned about the phase issues of mixing ported with sealed with horns was this:
4 horns (high passed where appropriate)
4 ported subs tuned at 14hz
8 infinity 1260's sealed in each column base for "smoothing subs"
Each sub or bank of subs/amp would be fed an output from something like a miniDSP. I'm not super knowledgable about these yet (I'm going to buy one this week and just play around with it) but I'm generally strong at learning stuff like this.
As I started to learn more doing the research for this project I realized that mixing different types of subs might not be a good idea. So now I am wondering if I stick with the plan, and if I do how would I theoretically integrate all that ? Or should I abandon the plan and do something else?
My backup plan was to just start with 4 ported subs (think marty style) in a custom designed box. I'm fairly comfortable using WINISD to design a ported box, tune it, build it etc.. this part isn't too scary for me. Then just add on more as funds allowed over time.
The two most important things to me are: #1-
VALUE. The maximization of the ratio of how much bass and the quality of that bass to the cost. and.... #2
-UPGRADE PATH. I want my solution to have a clear option to add more over time to get really excessive and stupid with it. I can't afford that now, but years from now.. who knows? I'd like my solution to have this in mind so if 5 years from now I want to add more I can.
One idea I had was to fold some monster horns under my riser. My riser probably would be 16 feet long by 23.5 feet wide, basically the entire back half of the room. I could go 10 foot walls to begin the soffit and 12 foot in center if I had to do it, if I needed a little extra riser height for something crazy. Could I fold 8 crazy horns in this space? Or 6? 4?
I'm really only interested in going this route if it can be over the top. Otherwise, it's not worth the trouble to me. I'm ok using the attic space above the room too if needed, and I can fit a horn that's 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide behind my screen wall (I could fit a couple or more actually) but my problem is designing something like that. My hornresp skills are lacking, but again I'd be willing to learn.
The design that interested me the most is the GHORN so far. But I also had an idea of tuning higher (seems like that works with horns well) and then HPF the horns to remove ULF and use a low tuned ported sub for that. I'm debating if it's better to tackle this project from that angle and worry about the miniDSP settings to mix a 14hz tuned ported subs with higher tuned horns -or- If I should just use the available space I have and I am willing to use for a horn that's just bigger and tuned lower ??
I don't have a serious preference for one kind of sub over the other but generally I've favored the sound of a horn. It just sounds better to me, clean, effortless, high efficiency, low distortion. Plus it seems like when you pound a horn you don't hear the mechanical distress because the driver is burried inside, where as with sealed or IB you do as soon as the driver protests, especially when you chase single digits loud. Ported at tune and near it always sounds great to me too, but away from tune sometimes they seem muddy to me, at least compared to that super clean bass from a horn. So I guess I favor horns slightly, and I'm a tad biased against sealed and IB because they aren't loud enough and the ULF extension doesn't translate well in real life as being impressive. It's mostly for bragging rights with a chart, which isn't at all my goal. I want to shake chair apart and scare people with a demos. I won't listen that loud, but I'd like to be able to show off when I want.
WHAT SAY YOU? Am I just crazy ?