Small sub in an open floor plan (DIY assistance requested) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Small sub in an open floor plan (DIY assistance requested)

In a “previous life” and in land far far away I was a custom high end car audio installer… Time has passed but interest is rekindled. Nothing beats the satisfaction of doing something yourself and having the finished product “yours”.

I want to break back into the mix with a small sub for my “TV room”. This is a very simple system and will continue to be the main system until the dedicated theater is complete (not started yet). We just moved into a single story (with basement) house and it has a VERY open floor plan. I am not chasing reference level in this space. I am after a very high performance / small form factor sub to pair with my Mains (JMLab Chorus 2 ways). I imagine the cross over at approx. 80.

I would like this to have some deep extension down beyond 20hz. Music / TV / BD movies etc are all enjoyed in this space. I am not looking for multiple subs. I simply want to complete the bottom end in the room and then move to constructing the dedicated room; having much more / bigger / MORE / BIGGER fun there.

As stated I have been out of it for a long while and forgotten most of what I knew for speaker specs etc. I have the wood working tools needed and am looking for a recommendation for a solid performing driver for a small (1 cubic foot(ish) +/-) sealed enclosure. I would like to power this with a traditional plate amp built into the box. Type / output will be determined once driver and specs are sorted so that I pair the recommended driver with the best amp and box (type and size) possible. I would also welcome recommendations for the plate amp.


Doubtless I have forgotten some key info that will be needed to offer a solid recommendation. Ask away.


Thanks for the help and expertise offered!

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post #2 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 08:39 AM
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What's your budget?

1 cu ft is not very big at all...

Is that the max size allowed?


I was going to suggest an 18" (or 15"?) LMS Ultra for the fact it operates well in a small box and can take lots of power, but that would probably require something like 3 cu ft, which is still quite small.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 09:39 AM
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Hoffman's Iron Law: Low, small, sensitive. Pick any two, but you can't have all three. In a car you might get 20Hz from a 1 cu ft sealed box with sufficient sensitivity to give adequate output, thanks to cabin gain, but that's not going to happen in even a small room. In a large room you need to either quadruple the box size or give up an octave of response. As for not wanting to use multiple subs, that's the room's decision. Depending on the room and the size of the LP you might get away with one sub, but you also may find it sounds different throughout the room. The only cure for that is multiple subs. However, that does offer the potential to use smaller subs to achieve the desired output level and LF extension.

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post #4 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both...

I was hoping to keep the build under $300(ish) dollars. This room (open expanse of many rooms) is far from ideal for critical listening of any sort. I am replacing an old Sony 12inch ported sub handed down from father in law. It has a small foot print and I would like to maintain similar. I had it in my mind that a 12inch DIY sub with a solid plate amp could easily best it and let me get back into the swing of things.

I am willing to go up to approx 2 CF as long as the volume is achieved with height, maintaining a width not to exceed 14 inches and a depth of no more than 16 inches (external). Perhaps a ported solution would help a bit on the power required and thus amp cost.

The room may well make it clear that I could have deeper bass and resolve some peeks and valleys with multiples but it will only have one sub cabinet. The dedicated theater room is mine to do with what I want and I can play more there.

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 01:39 PM
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Infinity 1260w in a sealed 14d by 16w by 25h with plate amp of your choice. Almost 108db at 40hz, drops to 104 at 30hz with 400w before it hit xmax

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post #6 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 01:50 PM
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The 1260 in a ported box would have a super long vent and would only gain you a few db. Hard to stay sub300 and get much with that small of a box. Get Winisd and find some drivers you like and start simming.

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 02:44 PM
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Since you need to stay small for enclosure size I would go sealed with the best 12" driver you can afford and then the most watts you can get your hands on. Parts Express has the Dayton line and there drivers do well for the money.
I have used this driver several times over the years and was always impressed with the end result. It is on sale for $104 right now.

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...oofer--295-185

The end result is you will get a nice system that will fill out the bottom end smoothly and will extend down low just not with lots of output.
Not every sub project needs to be able to shake the house down..

Most of us think 4 cubic feet is the smallest you can go with good results for a sealed 15 or 18.
Ported subs are just super they really are but they get big real fast. 8 cubic feet is where most of us end up at.
You can go down or go bigger based on your requirements.


Good luck!
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Doing some research based on some of the recommendations. I like the price of the Infinity but think I will probably step up. I am considering the Dayton Ultimax 12 in a sealed box.


This is a general purpose TV room for the family. I will get to play with proper subs and box volumes in the theater. Where sound can be better contained.


Looks like I am going to be in for some downloading of software and playing around to figure out how to model options.


Keep em coming.

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post #9 of 9 Old 08-20-2014, 02:46 AM
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If you're restricted in width and depth but not in height, why not do a discreet, tall tapped horn build?

- Get a cheap driver ($145+shipping for an SI HT15 http://stereointegrity.com/index.php?id=57#)
- buy and build with some MDF/plywood at low cost,
- paint it the same colour as the walls (probably the cheapest way to finish a box, bar bare wood finish)
- find a low-cost amp with only a couple of hundred watts (so therefore cheap)

You will still have crazy output and a form factor that can blend into the room:

e.g. http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/subwo...pped-horn.html
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