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Seeking Guidance -- Update: 2 x FTW-21 + 2 x UXL-18

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 

Greetings all,

I'm hoping to tap into the brilliant minds of AVS for guidance on a DIY subwoofer build. My area of expertise resides elsewhere, so I apologize in advance for any seemingly stupid questions/comments. I like to think I have some knowledge, but I'm definitely not on the same level as many of you fine folks.

In 2008, I purchased my first real subwoofer - a HSU VTF-3 MK3. It was a nice upgrade over what I previously had, but I wasn't quite satisfied. In 2010, I added a HSU VTF-15H and have been running with the pair ever since. Unfortunately, I find myself, yet again, unsatisfied. Seeing as the total cost of this system was ~$2500 (shipped to Canada; 2008 exchange rate was terrible), I think it's time for me to explore other options.

My "theater" is in the basement of a bi-level home. It's not dedicated or sealed, but it's more or less a single-purpose room. Until recently, I had no acoustical treatments, however over the past month I've added bass traps to the front corners and a few acoustical panels on the front and side walls. I haven't taken any measurements, but to my ears they've made a substantial improvement to the overall system.

The room is approximately 11 x 23 x 8.5', corner fireplace in one rear corner, completely open in the other. The opening leads to a set of stairs to the upper floor and, as previously mentioned, is not sealed. Placement options will be controlled more by space restrictions than WAF (she lets me get away with just about anything).

My initial thought was a couple high-powered sealed subs up front, flanking the center, then adding a third, lower-powered fill-in sub closer to the LP at some point down the road, if necessary. I could potentially accommodate four boxes, though the two rear boxes would need to be smaller as I have less space. The fronts can be around 24" cubes, give or take a few inches in each dimension. I'll have to do some measuring before I can provide max size options for the rear. I can draw up a quick room layout if deemed useful.

I don't really have a concrete budget, but $3000 seems like a decent starting point. I'm pretty much starting from scratch and currently have no means of amplification or EQ. Being from Canada, Mach5/iST is definitely attractive as I can avoid costly shipping/duty/brokerage fees, but I'm absolutely open to other options. I'm seven hours from the border so a road trip/cross-border pickup is a nice option as well. I'll be building the boxes and those costs will be over and above the budget.

I've toyed with the idea of grabbing a JTR Cap S or two (to go with my T12s), but DIY keeps drawing me back in. All I know is, I'm tired of throwing money at subs and ending up unhappy, and I'm hoping a nice DIY system will put an end to that. I'm favoring multiples for better EQ across the room and wouldn't mind actually feeling the bass - something my system currently lacks.

At any rate, hopefully this is enough information to garner some input. I apologize for the length of this post and genuinely appreciate any feedback, suggestions, and insults you may throw at me. Please let me know if you require more detail as I'm sure I forgot something amidst my ramblings. I can't seem to find my pictures of the room so I'll have to take more tonight.
LL


Edited by VEXXD - 9/8/12 at 11:57am
post #2 of 74
You can do a lot with $3k to make you satisfied. Two of my signature plus amp plus MiniDSP is only half that, and would give you more than enough SPL (but roll off at 15Hz).

I'd definitely go shopping with Mach 5 on that budget.
post #3 of 74
If dual VTF-15 didn't satisfy you then you need something with LOTS of spl.

Four of these
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1329971

or something with a different form factor
http://www.billfitzmaurice.com/THT.html
post #4 of 74
I don't know if this would be of interest to you but I am building a dual opposed sub based on the Infinity Reference 1262w driver and Behringer iNuke DSP amp.

The drivers in the U.S. have been as low as $46 shipped (Amazon). You could potentially get 8 drivers for 4 subs. Sealed design would be the easiest for you to build. 20Hz at 118dB in room (not counting gain). Your 80hz would be ~128dB

$400 in drivers, $800 in amplification.
post #5 of 74
^^^^^

Just did a model with these. Awesome value with performance to boot! However, they model perfectly in a 40liter per driver sealed box with 300w each so with eight you're looking at 115dB @ 20hz but still, pretty nice. Perfect match with a Behringer ep4000.
post #6 of 74
I have the t-12's as well, no WAF, and space restrictions. Ive also had the lilmike's f-20's (pair) and while they still had the most SPL in their passband, I too wanted to "feel" the bass more and went with some uber driver sealed subs. My suggestion to you, start building some sealed boxes, that way you can keep adding more speakers if you want. Either a pair of 18" LMS ultra's or the route I went, XXX18's would be killer with one of the labgruppen clone amps (4400 watts per channel at 4 ohms) one of those per two drivers would be about right. the XXX18 will need bigger boxes, but I will say they are some friggin BEASTS for movie playback. They do get a little inefficient up past 40hz, and i listen to a lot of music too so im currently augmenting that area of the Freq response, but for most folks, it wouldnt be necessary for mostly movie watching.

The other route to go would be dual opposed in multiples, say 8 cheap drivers in 4 cabinets where one speaker faces you and the other faces away on the opposite side of the speaker cabinet. this has been proven to be a very successful way of getting that "feel"
post #7 of 74
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for your input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrkazador View Post

If dual VTF-15 didn't satisfy you then you need something with LOTS of spl.

Four of these
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1329971

or something with a different form factor
http://www.billfitzmaurice.com/THT.html

I've glanced at these designs in the past, however my space constraints restrict me from pursuing them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

I don't know if this would be of interest to you but I am building a dual opposed sub based on the Infinity Reference 1262w driver and Behringer iNuke DSP amp.

The drivers in the U.S. have been as low as $46 shipped (Amazon). You could potentially get 8 drivers for 4 subs. Sealed design would be the easiest for you to build. 20Hz at 118dB in room (not counting gain). Your 80hz would be ~128dB

$400 in drivers, $800 in amplification.

Doing 4 x dual opposed with lower cost drivers has definitely crossed my mind. I'll be following your build with great intrigue.
post #8 of 74
How big of an enclosure can you use?
post #9 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

I have the t-12's as well, no WAF, and space restrictions. Ive also had the lilmike's f-20's (pair) and while they still had the most SPL in their passband, I too wanted to "feel" the bass more and went with some uber driver sealed subs. My suggestion to you, start building some sealed boxes, that way you can keep adding more speakers if you want. Either a pair of 18" LMS ultra's or the route I went, XXX18's would be killer with one of the labgruppen clone amps (4400 watts per channel at 4 ohms) one of those per two drivers would be about right. the XXX18 will need bigger boxes, but I will say they are some friggin BEASTS for movie playback. They do get a little inefficient up past 40hz, and i listen to a lot of music too so im currently augmenting that area of the Freq response, but for most folks, it wouldnt be necessary for mostly movie watching.

The other route to go would be dual opposed in multiples, say 8 cheap drivers in 4 cabinets where one speaker faces you and the other faces away on the opposite side of the speaker cabinet. this has been proven to be a very successful way of getting that "feel"

I've been subscribed to your build thread for a while now and your system looks fantastic. The 18" LMS-U and XXX18 are both drivers I've looked at and considered. A pair of either with a FP14000 clone looks nice. I was also considering something based around 4 x UXL-18s and an FP10000Q but I'm not sure which would provide better value.
post #10 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrkazador View Post

How big of an enclosure can you use?

24-26" cubes at the front of the room, even less along the side walls near the LP.
post #11 of 74
If you go with the infinity subs, even dual opposed, the boxes will be even smaller than that. So good for you with those!

Most other choices will fall in line with a 24" cube, easy.
post #12 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

^^^^^

Just did a model with these. Awesome value with performance to boot! However, they model perfectly in a 40liter per driver sealed box with 300w each so with eight you're looking at 115dB @ 20hz but still, pretty nice. Perfect match with a Behringer ep4000.

Did you model the 1260 or the 1262? The 62 has 3dB wired 2ohm in it's favor.
post #13 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by VEXXD View Post

24-26" cubes at the front of the room, even less along the side walls near the LP.

With the dual opposed Infinity your box is 19X19X19 for 80 liters. Make it 19.5 all the way around and you can account for bracing pretty much.
post #14 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

Did you model the 1260 or the 1262? The 62 has 3dB wired 2ohm in it's favor.

Yeah, I modeled the 1262w which is listed as 2ohm on the Infinity site (it's dual 4ohm apparently) so with two in series that end up with an easy 4ohm load. 600w for two drivers @ 4ohm is perfect for an ep4000. You can power four 12's off a single amp.
post #15 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by VEXXD View Post

I've been subscribed to your build thread for a while now and your system looks fantastic. The 18" LMS-U and XXX18 are both drivers I've looked at and considered. A pair of either with a FP14000 clone looks nice. I was also considering something based around 4 x UXL-18s and an FP10000Q but I'm not sure which would provide better value.

I think any of those 3 options would be KILLER. Me personally I'd go with the 4 UXL's since you're in Canada.
post #16 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

Yeah, I modeled the 1262w which is listed as 2ohm on the Infinity site (it's dual 4ohm apparently) so with two in series that end up with an easy 4ohm load. 600w for two drivers @ 4ohm is perfect for an ep4000. You can power four 12's off a single amp.

Hmmm. Bassbox has the 1260w at 105dB at 20Hz. The spec sheet on the 1262 would lead me to believe another 3dB/ driver. Is my reasoning off on this?
post #17 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

Hmmm. Bassbox has the 1260w at 105dB at 20Hz. The spec sheet on the 1262 would lead me to believe another 3dB/ driver. Is my reasoning off on this?

Sorry but I think you got some numbers mixed up. Though you are only off by 3dB so not too bad.

I model up actual displacement at power so ... I'm sure these are pretty accurate.

Add 6dB to this chart for eight (I can only model up to four drivers at a time)





These are 40liter/300w per driver.
post #18 of 74
Well you could just build 6 of these

http://www.creativesound.ca/details.php?model=Quartet12

A single one is good for 113db to 30hz and 106db at 20hz. Six should get around 15db over a single, and one would think room modes could be handled with that many subs.
post #19 of 74
I plugged in the 1262w parms into BassBox Lite 6.0 and it will not model correctly... Hmm.
post #20 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

Sorry but I think you got some numbers mixed up. Though you are only off by 3dB so not too bad. [/IMG]

These are 40liter/300w per driver.

Yep, 115dB. Just trying to figure out BBL 6.0. Bob Saget!
post #21 of 74
Thread Starter 
Did some quick calculations and box designs and came up with a few options.

4 x FTW-21
1 x FP10000Q clone
MiniDSP (Balanced 2x4 w/ 4-way Advanced)
4 x (24 x 24 x 24) boxes - ~5.9 cu. ft. not including driver volume
~$4150


4 x UXL-18
1 x FP10000Q clone
MiniDSP (Balanced 2x4 w/ 4-way Advanced)
4 x (21 x 21 x 20) boxes - ~3.5 cu. ft. not including driver volume
~$3550


2 x LMS Ultra 5400
1 x FP14000 clone
MiniDSP (Balanced 2x4 w/ 4-way Advanced)
2 x (21 x 21 x 20) boxes - ~3.5 cu. ft. not including driver volume
~$3550


Any input on the above systems? I see a quite a few people with variations of these that seem genuinely happy. Did I overlook anything that I'll need but didn't include? Any glaring mistakes? I'm wondering if 5.9 cu. ft. is too low for the FTW-21s, but I can't really make the boxes any bigger. Three of four positions could go bigger, but the other would impede into a high traffic area. The FTW-21s are getting pretty high budget-wise, but if it's worth it over the other options, so be it. I don't want to be looking to upgrade a year from now. The UXL-18s or LMS 5400s would probably suffice, but.......

I haven't priced out a system with the RE XXX 18s, but my room dips around 40hz (last I checked) so that concerns me slighly. Are there any other drivers I should be looking at?

Again...much appreciated biggrin.gif
post #22 of 74
Thread Starter 
Here we are, three months later. Decisions have been made, equipment has been ordered (some delivered), and boxes have been built (mostly).

Nothing really new and exciting that hasn't been done several times over, but I thought I'd share anyway.

And we begin...





The braces are dadoed 1/4" into all four sides.




After three coats of Duratex (four on the tops)




Decided to flush mount the flange-style speakON connector




Went with a 1/8" roundover on the front/back and 3/8" on the sides. I'm hoping to have the grilles done within the next few days



A closer (better) look at the Duratex finish. I really like how these turned out. Initially, I used the blue textured roller that's sold with Duratex but found it too aggressive. I switched to a 3/8" nap 6" roller and like it a lot better



One last group shot. I used Titebond for assembly but decided to reinforce all of the joints with PL for good measure. Triple baffle on the front (2 x mounting + 1 flush). Double baffle on the back.



Now all I need is some drivers biggrin.gif
post #23 of 74
OMG VEXXD,
Didn't notice you had a thread already...
Your cabs look fantastic! They will be more solid then mine for sure!
I love what you did with the way you flush mounted the speakon...beautiful.
I may have to do that.

Just curious why you didn't go with 4 21's...I'm sure there's a reason for that.
Like you...I can't wait to get my drivers now...

Don't forget...I'm dying to hear your impressions once you've installed them and had a listen.

Thanks
post #24 of 74
Good man! Looks very nice. Got the drivers yet?
post #25 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatshaft View Post

OMG VEXXD,
Didn't notice you had a thread already...
Your cabs look fantastic! They will be more solid then mine for sure!
I love what you did with the way you flush mounted the speakon...beautiful.
I may have to do that.
Just curious why you didn't go with 4 21's...I'm sure there's a reason for that.
Like you...I can't wait to get my drivers now...
Don't forget...I'm dying to hear your impressions once you've installed them and had a listen.
Thanks

I like how the flush mount turned out for sure. As for four 21s, I wanted to but one of my locations can't accommodate a box that big frown.gif You'll have to let us know how 4 sound.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

Good man! Looks very nice. Got the drivers yet?

Not yet, coming up on 6 weeks since I ordered. Were supposed to ship out last week but... smile.gif
post #26 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by VEXXD View Post

.
Not yet, coming up on 6 weeks since I ordered. Were supposed to ship out last week but... smile.gif

VEXXD,

It's Wednesday...any news regarding your drivers?
post #27 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatshaft View Post

VEXXD,
It's Wednesday...any news regarding your drivers?

I was told they were on a pallet waiting to be shipped on Monday. I haven't heard anything since so who knows. Everything is wired up and ready to go, but I'm skeptical I'll even have them for the weekend at this point.
post #28 of 74
Thread Starter 
And so it begins biggrin.gif


post #29 of 74
BBBwwwwwwAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

http://inception.davepedu.com/

Do it.
post #30 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by VEXXD View Post

And so it begins biggrin.gif


OMFG!!!! eek.gif
You lucky devil !!!!!!!!!!!! Are those the 18's??? Man they look so small next to the 21's!!!

Can't wait to hear your impressions!!!!
Popcorn is ready...
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