First time DIY - Speaker/sub recommendations? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-26-2016, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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First time DIY - Speaker/sub recommendations?

So I'm looking at possibly building my own speakers for both cost and wife's concern about ugly speakers in her living room reasons. Of course, I'm very new to this and so am still trying to read FAQs and other DIY resources to learn as much as possible before getting started.

In all this, I had an idea that I wanted to bounce off people with much more knowledge and experience to see if it's 1. doable, and 2. something that may already exist in some form.

Is is possible and not a completely stupid idea to have a cabinet that combines a floor level Sub with the raised front speakers on a home theater setup?

As I mentioned, one of the biggest concerns and drivers in my exploring a DIY project is my wife's aesthetic concerns of ugly speakers in the living room. I've seen some nicely camouflaged subwoofer enclosures and surround bookshelf speakers, but I was wondering if there was something that already exists that might combine the 2? Since I don't have any experience building speakers, I definitely don't have a skillset required to design something myself from scratch.

Maybe if something doesn't already exist, something along the lines of a Sub enclosure plan and then a front speaker plan that could be combined. Possibly even something like the sub integrated in the bottom with a media cabinet (or shelving) above it, and then the front speakers concealed at the top?

besides the space savings in using the sub enclosure to help raise the front to the proper height, by having them in a shared cabinet I could see some wiring advantages by keeping the connections for the sub and front in a single location near the bottom where they are easier to conceal and keep tidy, and then running the wiring to the fronts inside the cabinet.


Thoughts? Recommendations? suggestions on where I might look for such things or gain the knowledge needed to frankenstein something?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-27-2016, 09:03 AM
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I'll bite,

Putting a subwoofer in a media cabinet is possible and won't vibrate IF you read the fine print! I have a pair of subwoofers in my garage that shake the structure from sound pressure but the cabinets themselves don't vibrate. I use a PPSL enclosure or push-pull slot load to prevent vibration. Basically, one sub is mounted in phase with the cone pointing out as normal and the other sub is mounted magnet side out and wired out of phase. In operation, one cone goes out and the other goes "in" which cancels vibration from the drivers.

The other trick is to make the box heavy--I use 1.5" thick slot/top/sides and front to do this. The sub itself weighs 185 pounds with 8.7 cubic feet internal air space. Push-pull subs are commonly used in arena sound where they hang sub boxes and don't want vibration or inertia to make them move--good idea!

If you want to integrate speakers into the cabinet--don't! The best way to do that is to figure out what speakers you wish to use and make shelves and a space to place the speakers inside. This will allow you to aim them correctly to fit your needs now and adjust them later as needs and life make changes to your room. Give them about 4 to 6 inches of space to allow changing the angle or adding spacers to raise them if/when the need arises.

To stealth them in is easy--make a speaker grill to completely cover the space that the speaker occupies. Use grill cloth that matches the cabinet or it can be dyed to the correct color. Heck, you can get white grill cloth and have pictures printed on it and frame the thing to cover the speakers location.

Using the shelf idea with a grill covering it all not only allows for complete stealth while offering the ability to make critical angle and height adjustments--it allows for a very important factor for the beginning DIY'er... the speakers can be butt ugly and you'll never see them. If you have a decent enough size space to place them, it allows for modifications to the speaker by enlarging the cabinet etc. without screwing up the furniture.

Being successful in DIY speakers is like being successful in the bar scene...go ugly early. Your first build should be performance oriented so hiding them would allow you to concentrate on sound quality and setup and not worry about pissing off the wife. If you find DIY is a fun and rewarding hobby, then you can learn the woodworking aspect of your quest. Best to have that large grill covering up your learning experience--you can pull the grills off to show people your prowess after you gain...prowess. You can line the space you place the speaker with denim/polyfill/OC 703 to keep sound reflections down then slap the grill to cover.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-27-2016, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Hurts View Post
I'll bite,

Putting a subwoofer in a media cabinet is possible and won't vibrate IF you read the fine print! I have a pair of subwoofers in my garage that shake the structure from sound pressure but the cabinets themselves don't vibrate. I use a PPSL enclosure or push-pull slot load to prevent vibration. Basically, one sub is mounted in phase with the cone pointing out as normal and the other sub is mounted magnet side out and wired out of phase. In operation, one cone goes out and the other goes "in" which cancels vibration from the drivers.

The other trick is to make the box heavy--I use 1.5" thick slot/top/sides and front to do this. The sub itself weighs 185 pounds with 8.7 cubic feet internal air space. Push-pull subs are commonly used in arena sound where they hang sub boxes and don't want vibration or inertia to make them move--good idea!

If you want to integrate speakers into the cabinet--don't! The best way to do that is to figure out what speakers you wish to use and make shelves and a space to place the speakers inside. This will allow you to aim them correctly to fit your needs now and adjust them later as needs and life make changes to your room. Give them about 4 to 6 inches of space to allow changing the angle or adding spacers to raise them if/when the need arises.

To stealth them in is easy--make a speaker grill to completely cover the space that the speaker occupies. Use grill cloth that matches the cabinet or it can be dyed to the correct color. Heck, you can get white grill cloth and have pictures printed on it and frame the thing to cover the speakers location.

Using the shelf idea with a grill covering it all not only allows for complete stealth while offering the ability to make critical angle and height adjustments--it allows for a very important factor for the beginning DIY'er... the speakers can be butt ugly and you'll never see them. If you have a decent enough size space to place them, it allows for modifications to the speaker by enlarging the cabinet etc. without screwing up the furniture.

Being successful in DIY speakers is like being successful in the bar scene...go ugly early. Your first build should be performance oriented so hiding them would allow you to concentrate on sound quality and setup and not worry about pissing off the wife. If you find DIY is a fun and rewarding hobby, then you can learn the woodworking aspect of your quest. Best to have that large grill covering up your learning experience--you can pull the grills off to show people your prowess after you gain...prowess. You can line the space you place the speaker with denim/polyfill/OC 703 to keep sound reflections down then slap the grill to cover.

Good luck!
OMG! Thank you!

I hadn't even thought about the bookshelf / grill camo solution to the problem. That would be perfect as I could give my wife the bookshelves she is always asking for, and the speakers could be completely hidden, potentially even behind a grill that is designed to look like more books on the shelf.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-27-2016, 01:16 PM
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-27-2016, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dctootall View Post
Is is possible and not a completely stupid idea to have a cabinet that combines a floor level Sub with the raised front speakers on a home theater setup?
You can't have optimal placement of low frequency and high frequency sources if they share the same footprint, or even close to it in most cases.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-27-2016, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all the input. Given me a lot to think about. Now to start taking a close look at budgets and what type of project I want to take on.


Its looking like my first build may actually be a bookcase. It'll give me someplace to put my speakers and act as an extra little WAF bribe.
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