DIY vs PL-200 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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DIY vs PL-200

Long time lurker and soon to be first time DIY speaker builder. I am currently working on building my new theater room. I have just finished framing. the new room is 16'w x 20'l x 8'h.

I am curious how my current acoustech pl-200 12" sub compares to some of the popular DIY sub designs(vbss/marty/others). I am usually always about the best bang for the buck. The pl200 was ok in my last theater room that was 16' x 16' that opened into another room. I am now able to understand why you want 2 or more subs. Because the right side of the room(the sub was on the right side) had a completely different listening experience that that of the left side of the room.

How does the pl200 compare to a single or dual v.b.s.s. subs? I keep reading that that sub is more for the upper freq range of what a sub can do. I am looking to build this theater in stages as money comes in over the next year or more. So I am wondering if the 2 18" vbss subs will blow away what I currently have. That in the end I might be completely happy with 2 of the vbss subs.

I ask because in my grand scheme i would have ultimetly liked 2 - vbss subs, then 2 - um18s in a minimarty box. All of this being run from a single inuke 6000dsp. But in my nature of being cheap. If the 2 vbss subs are great and I am happy then there is no reason to buy/build the um18s. I would likely then possibly add 2 more vbss subs for 4. Then just buy a inuke 3000 to run all 4. Or will adding 2 minimartys just add that next dimension of awesome? I also realize I am asking the wrong group of addicts/forum members

Is there possibly better 15" or 12" sub designs that I may like better that I am not aware of?

Can you all please poke holes in my logic?
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 06:40 AM
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How does the pl200 compare to a single or dual v.b.s.s. subs?
Doesnt. Its like comparing 7-11 or Marathon Sushi to a 4 Star Japanese Sushi restaurant IN JAPAN....

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So I am wondering if the 2 18" vbss subs will blow away what I currently have. That in the end I might be completely happy with 2 of the vbss subs.
Yes they will, but only you can answer if it will be "enough". Most find that one you start down that path, you keep going lol.

But 2 VBSS will provide a very decent amount of midbass slam and still have MUCH better output down low than your PL200. You "may" be happy, or decide to as you mentioned, build two more subs to help bring up the low low end of things....

But, yes go VBSS. Dual if you can, or even use 4 as some have done as the drivers are cheap, wood is fairly cheap (if you can do it yourself, or find someone to cut it for you for a low enough price).

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post #3 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 07:17 AM
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I currently have a HSU VTF15H which is about $1k, and I have decided to replace it with two VBSS (and likely four if I can get away with it) which will be less expensive than a second HSU.
I LOVE the HSU, it really is a GREAT subwoofer, but bang for the buck DIY dominates.

I will sell my HSU to fund the other two VBSS and I am going to wager I will be under $1k for all 4 built.
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post #4 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 07:19 AM
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i went with 2 Dayton Ho 18's in sealed enclosures powered by an Inuke 3000 DSP all under 1k and i am extremely satisfied...im also very thrifty..
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post #5 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 07:39 AM
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Putting a 18" sub into your theater space will be a game changer. You will never be able to go back once you try some 18's and get it right.
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post #6 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 07:42 AM
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Take some time to find the right spot to place the sub. Subs are very sensitive to placement. Your ears will tell you when you have found the right spot.

Due to the size of the cabinets subs usually have to go in one or two spots in the room and they may not be the best.
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post #7 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 09:39 AM
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Also look at tactile transducers, they really improve the movie viewing experience. No matter what you do, you still have a lot of time to research and get it right, definately use existing designs or use software like winisd to compare spl and figure out proper volume and ports. Take your time, rushing it can ruin the entire experience.
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post #8 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeTRON250LM View Post
I currently have a HSU VTF15H which is about $1k, and I have decided to replace it with two VBSS (and likely four if I can get away with it) which will be less expensive than a second HSU.
I LOVE the HSU, it really is a GREAT subwoofer, but bang for the buck DIY dominates.

I will sell my HSU to fund the other two VBSS and I am going to wager I will be under $1k for all 4 built.

Agreed. I was somewhat happy with a BIC F12 (PL-200's little brother) until I heard my son's dual HSU VTF15H setup. I also love the HSUs, but I am now building a DIY pair that should easily best them (if I ever get it finished) .
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post #9 of 18 Old 04-23-2017, 05:06 AM
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I went from a PL200 to an ultimax 18 sealed kit. Beware, it'll open up your ears to what you've been missing.
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post #10 of 18 Old 04-23-2017, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by te1221 View Post
I went from a PL200 to an ultimax 18 sealed kit. Beware, it'll open up your ears to what you've been missing.
Thank you for this post. I'm getting ready to make the same exact upgrade, so that's great to hear.
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post #11 of 18 Old 04-24-2017, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I went from a PL200 to an ultimax 18 sealed kit. Beware, it'll open up your ears to what you've been missing.
So since your in the same boat. I am toyed with considering going sealed due to size as well. I will probably only do this if I dont use an acoustic transparent projector screen. Would you think that I will be plenty happy with a pair of um18s sealed sealed in my room? Knowing what I am coming from? Again ignorance is bliss.
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post #12 of 18 Old 04-24-2017, 07:36 AM
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I would almost bet that the majority of the people here at some point were in your position, I know I was. I did not have the PL-200 but I had a couple of JBL's 1 was a 12 w/ 700w peak the other was a 10 w/ 400w peak and I thought there is no way. If you look at all the posts there is a lot of people who have done this and gotten great results. The biggest problem with DIY once you finish the first sub or subs have the amp hooked up and you hear stuff you have never heard before the addiction starts all of a sudden 1 turns into 2 and so on. I went from 1 18" and a nu3000DSP to 4 18"s 4 12"s and enough amperage to go deaf.
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post #13 of 18 Old 04-24-2017, 09:29 AM
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I would almost bet that the majority of the people here at some point were in your position, I know I was. I did not have the PL-200 but I had a couple of JBL's 1 was a 12 w/ 700w peak the other was a 10 w/ 400w peak and I thought there is no way. If you look at all the posts there is a lot of people who have done this and gotten great results. The biggest problem with DIY once you finish the first sub or subs have the amp hooked up and you hear stuff you have never heard before the addiction starts all of a sudden 1 turns into 2 and so on. I went from 1 18" and a nu3000DSP to 4 18"s 4 12"s and enough amperage to go deaf.
The real takeaway is that I don't think I have ever read that once someone goes DIY they go back to retail, especially for subs.
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post #14 of 18 Old 04-24-2017, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I think based on what I have read I may just start with two vbss subs.

Seems to me that I can add more or always later get the um18's. I know these dont have the xmax of the ultimax's or go as low however, I think coming from what I have I will be plenty pleased. The other thing I have learned is to spend the money to buy an inuke 6000dsp to start. Then there is lots of room for more.
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post #15 of 18 Old 04-24-2017, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpolachak View Post
I think based on what I have read I may just start with two vbss subs.

Seems to me that I can add more or always later get the um18's. I know these dont have the xmax of the ultimax's or go as low however, I think coming from what I have I will be plenty pleased. The other thing I have learned is to spend the money to buy an inuke 6000dsp to start. Then there is lots of room for more.
I think that is a good idea.
Just be sure to google for Parts Express Coupons to save more money.
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post #16 of 18 Old 04-24-2017, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeTRON250LM View Post
I think that is a good idea.
Just be sure to google for Parts Express Coupons to save more money.
I started out with the PL-200. It worked well in a smallish room and is better for movies, not so great with music.

I gave the PL-200 to my dad, where it is still going strong but was not enough even for my old man in is larger room about the same size as yours... Just upgraded him to a 11 cuft ported si-18 with the PL-200 in addition. With the 2 new Aura Butt Shakers and the new sub he has a big smile on his face and we don't even have it dialed in fully. Two 18's ported would be better, but I think he is happy.

DIY is a whole different world and even at the higher end is normally over twice the savings.

I think your plan for 2 is a great start and may satisfy you. I think for a good home theater this is the sweet spot.
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post #17 of 18 Old Today, 10:48 AM
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I'm also in this boat, soon to be moving from a pair of the oft-suggested entry PL-200's to some Marty's (no more townhouse common walls). May keep the PL-200's around for some nearfield punch.

Seems a logical, and likely popular path from PL-200 to DIY to me based on the fact that us "frugalists" are drawn to the value proposition of the PL-200 and subsequently want more bass without breaking the bank. Looking forward to the giddy reaction post at the end of all this when OP fires up his DIY's and says:
Spoiler!
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post #18 of 18 Old Today, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavakv View Post
I'm also in this boat, soon to be moving from a pair of the oft-suggested entry PL-200's to some Marty's (no more townhouse common walls). May keep the PL-200's around for some nearfield punch.

Seems a logical, and likely popular path from PL-200 to DIY to me based on the fact that us "frugalists" are drawn to the value proposition of the PL-200 and subsequently want more bass without breaking the bank. Looking forward to the giddy reaction post at the end of all this when OP fires up his DIY's and says:
Spoiler!
I'll try and get a pic of the PL-200 next to a 11 cuft ported box this weekend.

Super mini-me!

No replacement for displacement comes to mind. Though a few sealed 21" + woofers work well! Along with 3,000 + watts each

Then double, then double, then echo?
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