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So realistically, how do DIY flat kits sound compared to high dollar retail finished products? - Page 6

post #151 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skerlnik View Post

beastaudio, thanks for the advice! I put together a quick list at PE (Crown XTi 2002, Dayton Titanic, etc), and came out with about $990 in parts *after* a business discount, and before shipping. It looks like I may just purchase the ULS15 after all. cool.gif I know that's guaranteed to perform as expected.
Sorry for the thread mini-highjack, OP! tongue.gif

Well duh, the crown amp is 2/3 of all that cost!!! Cut that out of the equation and go with one of these:

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/13813361865686884331?hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=behringer+ep4000&oq=behringer+ep4000&gs_l=hp.3..0l4.1449.4790.0.5051.16.9.0.3.3.0.1266.2806.1j3j3j1j7-1.9.0.les;..0.0...1c.1.baDKIwX9fkI&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=d5cc8ec388d3fe40&bpcl=37189454&biw=1218&bih=637&tch=3&ech=1&psi=MBaUUMrdDImJ8gHh6YCoBw.1351882289254.1&wrapid=tlif135188228925410&sa=X&ei=NhaUUPPGDuKo2wWXjYCwAg&ved=0CJkBEK0E#scoring:tp

You can find them even cheaper than that and they are true workhorses. Battle tested and awesome for sub duty. Then you could end up with a couple 15's and have a system performing at reference to below 20hz
post #152 of 325
Look at mine for $300...add a plate amp for $200: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1433137/from-endless-contemplation-to-fruition-james-first-diy-18-sub-how-low-can-you-go-wise/180

Now, find me one ID or commercial subwoofer that can meet or beat it for anywhere near $500, shipped.

hint: you won't.

James
post #153 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

Well duh, the crown amp is 2/3 of all that cost!!! Cut that out of the equation and go with one of these:
http://www.google.com/shopping/product/13813361865686884331?hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=behringer+ep4000&oq=behringer+ep4000&gs_l=hp.3..0l4.1449.4790.0.5051.16.9.0.3.3.0.1266.2806.1j3j3j1j7-1.9.0.les;..0.0...1c.1.baDKIwX9fkI&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=d5cc8ec388d3fe40&bpcl=37189454&biw=1218&bih=637&tch=3&ech=1&psi=MBaUUMrdDImJ8gHh6YCoBw.1351882289254.1&wrapid=tlif135188228925410&sa=X&ei=NhaUUPPGDuKo2wWXjYCwAg&ved=0CJkBEK0E#scoring:tp
You can find them even cheaper than that and they are true workhorses. Battle tested and awesome for sub duty. Then you could end up with a couple 15's and have a system performing at reference to below 20hz

I don't know what to think about Behringer. It seems that so many people complain about how loud their fans are, how hot they get under any kind of load, and not to mention clipping while driving a single 18" sub. Their super inflated power ratings certainly don't instill any confidence in me. That's the only reason I was looking at Crown amps...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

Look at mine for $300...add a plate amp for $200: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1433137/from-endless-contemplation-to-fruition-james-first-diy-18-sub-how-low-can-you-go-wise/180
Now, find me one ID or commercial subwoofer that can meet or beat it for anywhere near $500, shipped.
hint: you won't.
James

I would love to look at yours, but for some reason no images are coming through (maybe my proxy at work). Can you tell me what components you ended up using in your build? Also did you make it down firing?
post #154 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skerlnik View Post

I don't know what to think about Behringer. It seems that so many people complain about how loud their fans are, how hot they get under any kind of load, and not to mention clipping while driving a single 18" sub. Their super inflated power ratings certainly don't instill any confidence in me. That's the only reason I was looking at Crown amps...
I would love to look at yours, but for some reason no images are coming through (maybe my proxy at work). Can you tell me what components you ended up using in your build? Also did you make it down firing?

Eh, 5 minute fan mod, which I am a COMPLETE noob to something like that, and it still only took me 10 minutes cover off to cover back on. I have not had my EPX4000 overheat a single time, and it has run two lilmike f-20's, two 35cuft LLT's and now a quad jbl 2226h setup just fine. I can certainly get to it's limits, but for a dual pair of 15's you really should be concerned more for the driver at the amp's max output than the berry. If you still arent convinced, take a look at the crown drivecore line, also very capable and versatile units.
post #155 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

Eh, 5 minute fan mod, which I am a COMPLETE noob to something like that, and it still only took me 10 minutes cover off to cover back on. I have not had my EPX4000 overheat a single time, and it has run two lilmike f-20's, two 35cuft LLT's and now a quad jbl 2226h setup just fine. I can certainly get to it's limits, but for a dual pair of 15's you really should be concerned more for the driver at the amp's max output than the berry. If you still arent convinced, take a look at the crown drivecore line, also very capable and versatile units.

I've been eyeballing this Dayton Audio SA1000 Subwoofer Amplifier. I can get it for $299. made in China vs. made in South Africa (Behringer)... rolleyes.gif

With that amp + the Dayton HO 18", the build would cost about $676. That is definitely cheaper than the Hsu, but I'm just not sure how they would compare. Shame I can't have a listen first!
post #156 of 325
"Their super inflated power ratings certainly don't instill any confidence in me."

the ratings are burst. in the most recent brochure, they list rms ratings, which have been confirmed.
post #157 of 325
Crown builds a nicer amp. Can you hear the difference between a Crown and a Behringer? Not really. Do I own Crown amps instead of Behringer? Yes. Have I ever owned a Behringer amp? Yes, an iNuke 6000DSP. The RMS power specs are accurate, the marketing specs can be ignored. If anything the bass coming from the iNuke was a bit more intense - 'brutal' said one person - than what I get from the Crown XTi-2002, which is my main amp. The iNuke certainly had more power at 4 and 8 ohms... but the XTi-2002 has more finesse. And yeah, the fan mod is super-easy and works wonders. No doubt about that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skerlnik View Post

I don't know what to think about Behringer. It seems that so many people complain about how loud their fans are, how hot they get under any kind of load, and not to mention clipping while driving a single 18" sub. Their super inflated power ratings certainly don't instill any confidence in me. That's the only reason I was looking at Crown amps...
I would love to look at yours, but for some reason no images are coming through (maybe my proxy at work). Can you tell me what components you ended up using in your build? Also did you make it down firing?
post #158 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsOlearysCow View Post

I'm ending up with a $300 investment and will spend about 3 hours total building. I've found the construction to be very easy, and see no need for pre-cut kits. The only real drawback I see is I'm certainly limited by my own craftsmanship ability as far as creating a visually appealing product. But as far as functional goes . . . 3 hours and $300 seems to offer a real solid result. I of course can't compare to a high dollar retail product because I'm not going to buy one. But I can tell you I'm super happy with $300 and can't imagine I'll be disappointed with the sound results considering there's only a driver and an amp, and both are highly recommended products that are regularly used together.
Fundamentally the retail folks are doing the same thing. They're buying a driver and an amp, then building a box around it. The key for retail is they're trying to figure out how to make it sound as good in a small box as it would without size constraints. That's been my reasoning in going DIY.

Does this mean you are finished? I'm glad you through away the "kit" idea now that you realized your wood cutting skills are better than you thought. I'd like to hear your opinion on the sound quality of that dayton driver. My first time firing it up was like, "wow I didn't know it would sound THAT good" smile.gif
post #159 of 325
My installer constructed two "Big Maxx" subs for my neighbor rousing system using Dayton Audio SPA1000 1000W plates (950 watts), Dayton RSS390HF-4 15" Reference HF 4 Ohm drivers, and cherry SWC3-CH 3.0 ft cabinets. These things are freakin LOUD and very clean at high volumes. I simply love them and would delight in side-by-side comparisons with almost any other sub.
post #160 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skerlnik View Post

I don't know what to think about Behringer. It seems that so many people complain about how loud their fans are, how hot they get under any kind of load, and not to mention clipping while driving a single 18" sub. Their super inflated power ratings certainly don't instill any confidence in me. That's the only reason I was looking at Crown amps...
Quote:

Thats why you don't think and look up the facts. Dollar for Dollar, they are the performance leader by a fairly big margin. TONS of people have them, the ones that are having thermal problems likely didn't install a proper fan and went for something with lower cfm's to make sure it's nearly silent (thats a bad idea) They only really tend to clip on the higher cost subs (LMS, Mal-x, ULX etc) and those subs that are stuffed in small boxes and need gobs of power. The eP4000 could rip your titanic in half with 1 channel, let alone what it's capable of bridged. Against the dayton you listed, there is no contest, the eP is in a class above what the dayton can do for the money.
post #161 of 325
Thanks for the tip on the Rhythmik SWs. They really look interesting. I'd appreciate any comments on the box design and in particular what was given up by going from the 2 cuft to the 1 cuft enclosure. My application is in a fairly large "great room" of about 5,000 cuft but we rarely listen above -10 db below ref. I also don't think freq. below 25 Hz are present in most of my listening (And being older, may not miss them if they were!) with most of the energy of interest being in the 35 to 60 Hz range. The signal will be provided by my Denon 4308 that has Audyssey MultEQ XT which should substantially reduce room mode effects and time alignment issues. What kind of SPLs (1W/1M) do you think your Rhythmiks are capable of above 35 Hz, and how to the Rhythmiks behave when they are driven too hard? Thanks for any insights and advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by genesound View Post

I built a couple of the 12" 350W servo feedback subwoofers from Rhythmik Audio:
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/
They are awesome, I'm a soundman and have the Smaart Live analyzer and mic that I use to set up large systems. These were easy to tune flat to 16Hz in a pair of 1 cubic foot (real small!!!) airtight boxes made of 1" MDF and stuffed with Dacron. I had the cabinets built by a guy Brad @ Woodstyle products 626-968-2830 that did it for reasonable money and finished piano black. They look about like the ones in the first picture on this page:
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/reviews.html
This was the first time I ever really saw 16 HZ low end response so easy to get out of a 1 cubic foot box!. Using the extended setting on the amp, there wasn't a lot of external EQing to boost it or anything. They also have a 15" version, but my room was small (14x18) and space was at a premium.
These really are concussive on explosions and even just good car door closings. And the musical SQ is very transparent. Once you feel the bottom octave that's usually mostly missing or over-compensated for in the next octave, you'll never want to go back.
I used a Berringer Feedback Destroyer Pro for it's parametric EQing ability so between that taking out the standing wave room modes, and the servo feedback amplifier controlling the cone and system response, it's just right.
post #162 of 325
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodoobutter View Post

Does this mean you are finished? I'm glad you through away the "kit" idea now that you realized your wood cutting skills are better than you thought. I'd like to hear your opinion on the sound quality of that dayton driver. My first time firing it up was like, "wow I didn't know it would sound THAT good" smile.gif

I glued the last panel Friday and gave it it's first run this morning. People will no doubt enjoy how much of a total novice I'm going to betray myself to be in the rest of this post. Anyway, I hooked it up, let the receiver do a speaker balance, and then played with the knobs. First of all, while it will kick out tons of body pounding base if you turn it up, it only sounds right in balance without any additional gain. With that said, I can turn my speakers up to intolerable volume and the Sub just does it's thing with the 250W amp. So I guess I'm not clear as to why I might need a bigger amp, since it seems to me I'd just be cranking the sub even further out of proportion with the other speakers.

I got tired of turning knobs after about 5 minutes, so I put it back on neutral and stuck in The Thin Red Line (blu ray). I was only going to watch ten minutes or so to see if the sub made any difference. Anyway, needless to say it was an entirely different experience, and I ended up watching the whole movie. So I'm plenty satisfied with the sub, I suspect I'll dive into sound balancing and room placement etc. eventually, but I'm headed to the mountains for a couple of weeks for now. So anyone is invited to hijack the thread or start a big fight about flat frequencies or what ever while I'm gone.

In any case I can confidently say that I haven't got any regrets on spending $300 going DIY instead of the $1,000 I was debating.
post #163 of 325
congrats on your build.
post #164 of 325
I'm glad you let everyone talk you into it :P
post #165 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsOlearysCow View Post

With that said, I can turn my speakers up to intolerable volume and the Sub just does it's thing with the 250W amp. So I guess I'm not clear as to why I might need a bigger amp, since it seems to me I'd just be cranking the sub even further out of proportion with the other speakers.

So anyone is invited to hijack the thread or start a big fight about flat frequencies or what ever while I'm gone.
In any case I can confidently say that I haven't got any regrets on spending $300 going DIY instead of the $1,000 I was debating.

Congrats on your build and your initial positive impressions.

Scott, LTD or anyone of the other ULF advocates can speak better to the technical terms, but to sum it up, more power equates to more capability in the ULF fq's. Without proper measuring equipment, we can't tell exactly how your sub is reacting to your room.

As mentioned before, you will need a dedicated EQ/DSP to supplement your AVR. This will allow you to boost/cut where you need for the highly sought after "flat response." I'm sure your subs sounds great at the moment, but even with the right tools (Onmimic to measure and miniDSP to EQ) you will need more power to boost your low-end for optimal results given your sealed application.

Something to think about when you are in the backwoods...
post #166 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Crown builds a nicer amp. Can you hear the difference between a Crown and a Behringer? Not really. Do I own Crown amps instead of Behringer? Yes. Have I ever owned a Behringer amp? Yes, an iNuke 6000DSP. The RMS power specs are accurate, the marketing specs can be ignored. If anything the bass coming from the iNuke was a bit more intense - 'brutal' said one person - than what I get from the Crown XTi-2002, which is my main amp. The iNuke certainly had more power at 4 and 8 ohms... but the XTi-2002 has more finesse. And yeah, the fan mod is super-easy and works wonders. No doubt about that.

Thanks for that insight. If that iNuke wasn't $475, I'd be considering it. I'm trying to keep my total budget under $800, but sound better than a ULS-15. I'm currently considering down firing a Dayton Audio RSS460HO-4 18" ($228) mated to a Dayton Audio SA1000 Subwoofer amp ($299, 950 watts into 4 ohms) inside a 4.5 cu ft box. That seems like enough power right? In the future I may add a 2nd 18" as well, but I'm just not sure if that amp will have enough headroom to drive 2... I wish someone would weigh in with some SA1000 ownership experience wink.gif

Edit: Duh, looks like I overlooked marcuslaw's post... I imagine those plate amps are probably the same guts as the rack mount.
Edited by Skerlnik - 11/5/12 at 9:49am
post #167 of 325
I had the plate amp version of the SA1000 (Dayton Titanic 15" kit - my first "real sub"). The sub-sonic filter is a deal-killer for those of us wanting to go deep. I prefer the amplifier-as-raw-muscle paradigm. I don't want anything but gain knobs, ie, my EP4K. I do all my shaping with a MiniDSP.
post #168 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsOlearysCow View Post

I glued the last panel Friday and gave it it's first run this morning.
In any case I can confidently say that I haven't got any regrets on spending $300 going DIY instead of the $1,000 I was debating.

Congrats on the finished product. Out of curiosity, what did you end up with for a box? There seemed to be several suggestions throughout the thread so I was wondering what you decided on.
post #169 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by enterthedragon View Post

Is it me, or is this thread somehow spawing new members to post super random stuff (myself uncluded)...

Hey I took the hint and started my own thread and I'm not new! Lol...
post #170 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodoobutter View Post

Thank you for your sense of humor, most would have turned that into an argument smile.gif
oh not to worry, I'm here for the sheer enjoyment of speaker building. Why, wanna make something of it? biggrin.gif
post #171 of 325
"If that iNuke wasn't $475, I'd be considering it."

it is not the best match for the 18ho subs in my opinion.

the amp is 4 ohms per channel (it is essentially two bridged 3000's in one enclosure) and the driver is 4 ohms, but can't take that kind of power one per channel.

ideally something that gives you 1000 watts per driver, however configured, would be a better bet.

the only inuke that does that is the nu1000 bridged, and that kind of takes out most of the bang for the buck.
post #172 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

"If that iNuke wasn't $475, I'd be considering it."
it is not the best match for the 18ho subs in my opinion.
the amp is 4 ohms per channel (it is essentially two bridged 3000's in one enclosure) and the driver is 4 ohms, but can't take that kind of power one per channel.
ideally something that gives you 1000 watts per driver, however configured, would be a better bet.
the only inuke that does that is the nu1000 bridged, and that kind of takes out most of the bang for the buck.

What amp would you suggest for a 18ho initially, then possibly a 2nd one later? I'm kind of leaning towards the Hsu at the moment since I wouldn't have to worry about amp matching, finishing a box, etc... maybe laziness? tongue.gif
post #173 of 325
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleek1116 View Post

Congrats on the finished product. Out of curiosity, what did you end up with for a box? There seemed to be several suggestions throughout the thread so I was wondering what you decided on.


Sealed box, about 5.5cf interior. Here's a couple of pictures I took during the build. I haven't photographed the working result, and it doesn't yet have an exterior finish.



post #174 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsOlearysCow View Post

I glued the last panel Friday and gave it it's first run this morning. People will no doubt enjoy how much of a total novice I'm going to betray myself to be in the rest of this post. Anyway, I hooked it up, let the receiver do a speaker balance, and then played with the knobs. First of all, while it will kick out tons of body pounding base if you turn it up, it only sounds right in balance without any additional gain. With that said, I can turn my speakers up to intolerable volume and the Sub just does it's thing with the 250W amp. So I guess I'm not clear as to why I might need a bigger amp, since it seems to me I'd just be cranking the sub even further out of proportion with the other speakers.
I got tired of turning knobs after about 5 minutes, so I put it back on neutral and stuck in The Thin Red Line (blu ray). I was only going to watch ten minutes or so to see if the sub made any difference. Anyway, needless to say it was an entirely different experience, and I ended up watching the whole movie. So I'm plenty satisfied with the sub, I suspect I'll dive into sound balancing and room placement etc. eventually, but I'm headed to the mountains for a couple of weeks for now. So anyone is invited to hijack the thread or start a big fight about flat frequencies or what ever while I'm gone.
In any case I can confidently say that I haven't got any regrets on spending $300 going DIY instead of the $1,000 I was debating.

Glad you are stoked about the sub. and excellent workmanship from what I can tell on the box building and bracing!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by smprather View Post

I had the plate amp version of the SA1000 (Dayton Titanic 15" kit - my first "real sub"). The sub-sonic filter is a deal-killer for those of us wanting to go deep. I prefer the amplifier-as-raw-muscle paradigm. I don't want anything but gain knobs, ie, my EP4K. I do all my shaping with a MiniDSP.

Yep, this is a good point as if you are going sealed and towards eventually in multiples, the SS filter kills you off at right below 20hz anyways...bad bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skerlnik View Post

What amp would you suggest for a 18ho initially, then possibly a 2nd one later? I'm kind of leaning towards the Hsu at the moment since I wouldn't have to worry about amp matching, finishing a box, etc... maybe laziness? tongue.gif

maybe, amp matching isnt a big deal at all, you just want to get something that will work for two, assuming that is going to be your end result. Optimally you would run a single channel on your single sub until it came to to add the second, at which point you would then already have the amp, you would just have to build the second box and throw it into the system. You have those options before you, but it just makes sense to bite a little more off right now as opposed to having to sell one amp to get another when you inevitably decide you want another sub biggrin.gif Did I sound like I learned that the hard way? wink.gif
post #175 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

Yep, this is a good point as if you are going sealed and towards eventually in multiples, the SS filter kills you off at right below 20hz anyways...bad bad
maybe, amp matching isnt a big deal at all, you just want to get something that will work for two, assuming that is going to be your end result. Optimally you would run a single channel on your single sub until it came to to add the second, at which point you would then already have the amp, you would just have to build the second box and throw it into the system. You have those options before you, but it just makes sense to bite a little more off right now as opposed to having to sell one amp to get another when you inevitably decide you want another sub biggrin.gif Did I sound like I learned that the hard way? wink.gif

Definitely spoken from experience cool.gif

Since I won't be able to make a decision on the 2nd sub until after I have the first one installed and tuned, I'll probably end up buying one with a plate amp. Maybe a single 15 is more than enough for my room? Who knows, right? Thanks for the advice as always...

OP-- that box looks nice and solid! I look forward to your completed pics!
post #176 of 325
Build looks great smile.gif

I went with a sonosub build a few years back. No regrets. It's a beast, especially for what I spent on materials. I was lucky to get the sonotube for free too.
post #177 of 325
Okay, but back to flat kits vs DIY... does anyone have direct comparisons of assembled flat kits vs commercial products? I'm glad that guys like their homemade subs. I'm not interested in engineering a sub from scratch, I just want to build a kit like the thread title says. Can anyone direct me to a KIT that will outperform a HSU 15" sub in sonics and aesthetics. No, I'm NOT interested in floor to ceiling sonotubes or massive boxes.

I looked at the Rythmik kits - they're not exactly "kits" since you have to supply your own materials for the cabinet. As near as I can tell, the closest match to the Hsu ULS15 is the E15 - roughly the same price retail. $1174 for the finished sub. It looks like the kit to build that sub runs $799. That leaves me with $375 for materials. The MDF, veneer, adhesives, finish, consummables etc will run - what? $150? So now I've saved $225, and I probably have an inferior cabinet and finish. Sounds like a break-even situation to me.

Oh, and if we're talking about the Hsu ULS15, it's a little cheaper than the Rythmik - $1099 WITH wireless! Now we're talking a savings of only $150 for DIY. And they advertise -1db @ 15hz in an 18" cube package!

There have been a lot of reads on this thread, so a lot of guys must be interested in the topic of DIY flat kits. To make it worthwhile, though, it looks like you'd have to go to a Dayton kit to save any significant bucks, and the question is, how does the sound compare with ready made subs like Hsu or Rythmik? The point of a flat kit is to come out with a finished product just as nice looking and compact as the factory finished product.
Edited by Puppetboy - 11/7/12 at 9:25am
post #178 of 325
Oddly enough, I can't find a good LLT-style kit/flat-pack anywhere. If I were the energetic type, I would try to get together a big enough group to spread the cost of a CNC run. But alas, I'm a dad of a 6 year old and otherwise notoriously lazy. Too bad the Super-Spud isn't available as a flat-pack anymore mad.gif. That thing is a freakin beast!
post #179 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by smprather View Post

Oddly enough, I can't find a good LLT-style kit/flat-pack anywhere. If I were the energetic type, I would try to get together a big enough group to spread the cost of a CNC run. But alas, I'm a dad of a 6 year old and otherwise notoriously lazy. Too bad the Super-Spud isn't available as a flat-pack anymore mad.gif. That thing is a freakin beast!

I thought the DTS-10 was a kit again, when did it end?
post #180 of 325
Don't hold your breath for a LLT flat pack, too big to ship and the cost would be prohibitive. Danley was the exception for a large flat pack with their Super-Spud but it wasn't exactly inexpensive.
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