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So realistically, how do DIY flat kits sound compared to high dollar retail finished products? - Page 2

post #31 of 325
Where do you live Cow? Maybe there are enthusiasts in your area where you could demo some nicer DIY efforts, to give you a better idea of the quality than can be expected. Myself, getting high end performance for less money was the #1 factor for me taking on DIY - but I do like building things too.
post #32 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

I was planning on waiting to sell my JTR until I had my new speakers built, but I priced them to a guy today and now they are sold. I need my new speakers finished by mid December or I will be without.

Same guy want some more T12's?????...Also, are you following me around??? Lol biggrin.gif
post #33 of 325
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Where do you live Cow? Maybe there are enthusiasts in your area where you could demo some nicer DIY efforts, to give you a better idea of the quality than can be expected. Myself, getting high end performance for less money was the #1 factor for me taking on DIY - but I do like building things too.

I'm in Colorado, north of Denver.

After doing even more reading I'm going to have another try at describing what I'm after. Somewhere I read a description of the Seaton Submersive that pretty accurately describes the performance I'm trying to achieve. It described it as not being discernible from the sound mix, but simply bringing a warmth and energy to the music.

I'm not a home audio guy, I really know nothing about it. But I am a guitar amp guy. For years being a broke teen with broke friends, I only had exposure to cheap solid state amps. I didn't know to consider anything else. Kept trying to chase more and more power on the cheap. The first time I was exposed to a tube amp, I couldn't believe what I'd been missing. The tone just made you want to listen in a way that draws you in, leaves you wanting more, never wears out your ear.

Now, you don't have to spend millions of dollars to get extraordinary tube amp sound. You just have to quit chasing power, stop assuming dials on 10 are better than on 4, and appreciate the tone that comes from smaller, hotter tubes and 30 year old speakers.

So relating that to subwoofer, I don't want to get drawn into recommendations where the glowing reviews come from the fact that there's simply more thump power, impressive paper stats, or equivalent parts to high dollar setups, but just misses out on that tonal quality that opens a flood gate of endorphins. I'm really suspicious of a bunch of measurements with a probe being able to properly predict a human biological response.

So here's where all this leaves me. Looks like I could get a Seaton Submersive and confidently get what I want for $2,500. I could get the Epik Conquest (which appears to be the same design as the Submersive using less expensive components) and either have what I want, or a Harbor Freight knock off of something nice. OR, I can gamble with DIY and buy quality components in the hope of doing a better job than Epik of imitating the Seaton design.

I'd love to gamble on a $1,500 savings if there's reason to believe the odds of beautiful final result are high. I can't see why that would be hard to do since we're talking a bunch of electronics and a box, not honed craftmanship skill. Just a matter of fettering out the right design.
post #34 of 325

Hi MOC,

 

The conquest and SubM are Quite different.  Do you mean the Empire?


IDK how the Conquest was rated for music listening but the SubM seems popular for that.  DIY is a better value/performance but you have to do the work and be happy with your craftsmanship.  There are several well documented builds on here so you wouldn't leave it to chance so much if you decided to go that route.

post #35 of 325
Thread Starter 
Yes, I mean the Empire. I've got more woof information running around in my head than I can keep organized.

I've got no reluctance to build something, I just am having trouble evaluating the zillions of reports on the various designs. Most notably, how can I tell if reviewers are putting a priority on tone? And when people report good results, does that mean good for the money? Good based on the graphs they look at? Good because of pride of personal accomplishment?

The reports on DIY are necessarily going to have more enthusiastic reviews imo simply because there's a natural tendency to set the bar lower for something home built, and more caution to be positive about evaluating something with the creator present in the thread. I can't tell how to evaluate the reports of DIY results, there is very little review that directly speaks to the sound quality without the context of DIY pride value.
post #36 of 325
Hola, big Bronco fan here. Anyway, follow my thread if you like, I should be done in couple of days and will post results. At about $275 for the build, I'm betting I will be in pretty darn good shape when it's over.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1433137/from-endless-contemplation-to-fruition-james-first-diy-18-sub-how-low-can-you-go-wise/150

And I feel your "pain" regarding ID vs DIY: I for one think ID subs offer extremely competitive products for those who never want to plug in a saw or tighten a clamp.

That said, I'm much less in the DIY realm because I need the satisfaction/praise of building something myself (no offense at all to those who are, but I've already done and do stuff for that wink.gif), but, much more imperatively to me, that I can STILL soundly beat the hell out of it from the performance angle...

Epik Empire (prolly one of the better BfB's out there in the ID world) for $950 shipped?

Well that will cover TWO of my builds and a very nice amp to drive them.

And no disrespect intended towards Epik, but I'll put my cab up against just about anything in the build quality and fit and finish depts for anywhere near the price and time expenditure.

Big win/win for me, then.

But good luck to you, regardless of what road you choose...I of course don't know your abilities or experience, but with a decent level of skill and patience, there's no need to break the bank, I can assure you.

EDIT: didn't notice the conversation had evolved to the Submersive. ONE of these are a bit of a joke next it, then, but, FOUR for around $1500 with a capable 2 channel pro amp?

James
Edited by mastermaybe - 10/19/12 at 11:28am
post #37 of 325
What type of mains are you running? I saw you stated they were about $600 but considering a LOT of speakers overstate their bottom end capabilities you are more than likely missing those last few octaves. Any sub will fill and improve this area, but a sub done right will do exactly what you are looking for and sound better doing it.

The Seaton is a wonderful and beautiful sub, and is basically an all-in-one unit as you know. The Submersive is a sealed dual 15" subwoofer of which you could easily build something that looks similar. Will it sound similar? depends. You want the amount of output that the SubM can do? You need some good drivers and a good amount of power. IF you feel the subM is overkill, you won't have to go quite the distance and can get some decent drivers for a lot less coin and still be happy. Your budget has already seemed to have inflated a shade smile.gif So I will suggest looking at the Mach5 uxl18's. get a pair, build two sealed boxes, or a single and put a driver on either side of the box for an opposed build, then go out and get some power to run them, and you are still at MAX $1500. If that is too much, just scoop a single 18" and decide if it is enough...If not get another!!!
Edited by beastaudio - 10/19/12 at 11:39am
post #38 of 325
^ Wait, The Seaton is a dual-opposed 15", correct? But I like your thinking, nonetheless.

James
post #39 of 325
Just to throw another option out there, I believe Danley is once again selling their DTS-10 kit: http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/products/subwoofers/specialty-subs/dts-10_kit/

Add a Behringer amp and you'd be looking at around $1600 with shipping (I think).

I'm in Southeast Aurora, so you can always come down for a demo if you want to hear one.
post #40 of 325
You keep mentioning "tone." and the reason you dont run into that a whole lot is the most important aspect we deal with around here is the ability to achieve a flat response once the speakers are in the room. Coloration or bad response is usually considered to be a bad thing. I too once played the guitar and my eyes were opened by my Fender HotRod Deluxe after playing crappy crate SS amps for years. The difference here is subs are meant to do one thing, and that is produce a nice, flat response. This is where the tweaking comes into play. Speaker designers can measure and tweak their designs to have a perfectly flat response when measured anechoically (Or outside even, with no walls close by in any direction), but this does not promise you anything once you get the speaker into your room. Your room plays a bigger part in the response of the sub frequencies than the sub itself. This is why everyone on here tweaks and understands it takes a little work to get everything to perform to it's maximum potential. If it were easy enough to just pop the "perfect" speaker into every single room and press the play button, there would be a lot less of us around here, but it's never that easy. Subwoofer placement is still going to be something that you will have to experiment with. Just tossing the sub in the corner might yield the best results and give you more than you could ask for, but it also might be the absolute worst place for it to go. When my subs are in the corners, they sound aweful and "boomy" but when I move them out to about 1/4 distance between the walls, the response is perfect and they require very little EQ or tweaking, if at all.

Having a sub that blends well with your mains isn't rocket science, but it does take just a shade of legwork at the beginning to get it all mixed in right, then you wont have to touch it again until you go to make changes. Most of us "tweak" all the time because we are making slight changes to the system, or just want to try different things out. Those of us that have found a perfectly flat response from the lowest 5hz rumble to the highest sheen of glass shattering dont tweak anymore. I'm just not there yet... biggrin.gif
post #41 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

^ Wait, The Seaton is a dual-opposed 15", correct? But I like your thinking, nonetheless.
James

You are correct, I had to double check that and I was going to come back and edit it. thanks for the correction though. Same still rings true that a sealed dual opposed could be easily built as it has been done many times around here smile.gif
post #42 of 325

Seaton and Co are also loading and selling old MFW boxes with the new turbo kit for somewhere close to 1K which is a nice sub for the $$ too.

post #43 of 325
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

What type of mains are you running? I saw you stated they were about $600 but considering a LOT of speakers overstate their bottom end capabilities you are more than likely missing those last few octaves. Any sub will fill and improve this area, but a sub done right will do exactly what you are looking for and sound better doing it.
The Seaton is a wonderful and beautiful sub, and is basically an all-in-one unit as you know. The Submersive is a sealed dual 15" subwoofer of which you could easily build something that looks similar. Will it sound similar? depends. You want the amount of output that the SubM can do? You need some good drivers and a good amount of power. IF you feel the subM is overkill, you won't have to go quite the distance and can get some decent drivers for a lot less coin and still be happy. Your budget has already seemed to have inflated a shade smile.gif So I will suggest looking at the Mach5 uxl18's. get a pair, build two sealed boxes, or a single and put a driver on either side of the box for an opposed build, then go out and get some power to run them, and you are still at MAX $1500. If that is too much, just scoop a single 18" and decide if it is enough...If not get another!!!

I've just received Energy Veritus 6.2 towers that I bought heavily discounted from Vanns, I think they are rated 225W. I've got a 60W Energy subwoofer from a tiny bedroom set that is currently trying to do the job, and doing it miserably. I've just finished my basement and am trying to provide a quality sound system for the first time. The acoustics of the room are incredibly good compared to what I'm used to, and the new speakers sound fantastic. But it's sorely lacking a subwoofer support.

It's apparently a big room according to what I read. 20' x 30' with 9' walls. I'm not after loud, I'm after quality at non ear piercing listening levels, plus solid HT performance. Consistently the reviews that describe what I'm looking for end up being for sealed dual driver unit. I'm happy to build, but the more I spend the more I want to be sure of the results. $1,000 is a hell of an experiment, but would be worth it if I don't feel the need to upgrade afterwards. I don't like to buy twice, so I don't want to save 30% and be left feeling just short.

I also don't want to buy/build something that's really loud, but vaguely obnoxious. (That's how I'd describe a solid state guitar amp, btw).
post #44 of 325
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

You keep mentioning "tone." and the reason you dont run into that a whole lot is the most important aspect we deal with around here is the ability to achieve a flat response once the speakers are in the room. Coloration or bad response is usually considered to be a bad thing. I too once played the guitar and my eyes were opened by my Fender HotRod Deluxe after playing crappy crate SS amps for years. The difference here is subs are meant to do one thing, and that is produce a nice, flat response. This is where the tweaking comes into play. Speaker designers can measure and tweak their designs to have a perfectly flat response when measured anechoically (Or outside even, with no walls close by in any direction), but this does not promise you anything once you get the speaker into your room. Your room plays a bigger part in the response of the sub frequencies than the sub itself. This is why everyone on here tweaks and understands it takes a little work to get everything to perform to it's maximum potential. If it were easy enough to just pop the "perfect" speaker into every single room and press the play button, there would be a lot less of us around here, but it's never that easy. Subwoofer placement is still going to be something that you will have to experiment with. Just tossing the sub in the corner might yield the best results and give you more than you could ask for, but it also might be the absolute worst place for it to go. When my subs are in the corners, they sound aweful and "boomy" but when I move them out to about 1/4 distance between the walls, the response is perfect and they require very little EQ or tweaking, if at all.
Having a sub that blends well with your mains isn't rocket science, but it does take just a shade of legwork at the beginning to get it all mixed in right, then you wont have to touch it again until you go to make changes. Most of us "tweak" all the time because we are making slight changes to the system, or just want to try different things out. Those of us that have found a perfectly flat response from the lowest 5hz rumble to the highest sheen of glass shattering dont tweak anymore. I'm just not there yet... biggrin.gif

Right, I recognize that a guitar amp and audio speaker system are trying to do different things. I'm just pointing out that there's a huge pleasure difference between "almost" and "got there". When I say "tone" I just really mean whether your ear registers full pleasure from listening, or a nagging "I can't tell what's wrong, but something is". Like when one musician is missing the beat by just a fraction.
post #45 of 325
Quote:
I also don't want to buy/build something that's really loud, but vaguely obnoxious. (That's how I'd describe a solid state guitar amp, btw).

the "Loud" part is what your subwoofer gain control is for, so it doesnt over-power the rest of the system or something, you adjust it to blend volume-wise with rest of the speakers and to what sounds best to you. Many play their systems flat where if the speaker is playing at 90db's the sub is also playing at the same range. I run mine close 5 db's hot in the sub range for movies and closer to 10db's for music, sometimes even more, but that is just personal taste.

The "obnoxious" part is more than likely due to faulty or poorly executed designs. You can't just throw a driver in a screwed together box, shove a piece of PVC in there for the port and expect it to sound awesome. You have to carefully ensure the box is fully sealed, know what type of tuning you want and cut the port properly, and take your time getting everything right.

A flat or slightly house-curved sub system will not be either of the two things above, and once again it is quite easy to get there smile.gif No one will know for sure what it takes to make you happy. As I stated before, some folks are pleased as punch with a single 12" and 300 watts that just helps a little in the bass range, but then you have guys like Notnyt that has 8x18" and a virtual power plant to run them all and is finally content and upgraditis-free. I'm somewhere in between with 2 18's and 4 15's but still wish I had a little more...

Even with your size room, a pair of 18's should be ample, and this is why I suggested doing that, and going sealed. They will sound awesome, and will sound even awesomer if placed in the right spot. If you start listening and are worried about clipping your amp or blowing a driver, it is not the fact that you made a bad decision on your subs, it's purely the fact that you just need more output to make you happy. That is when you go out and buy 2 more, and build it identical to the first, get another identical amp to power the second pair, and THEN see if you are happy. If you still arent, rinse, and repeat. If you get past 16 speakers, then something is wrong with you...
post #46 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsOlearysCow View Post

Quote: your ear registers full pleasure from listening.

 

I'm still looking for "Full Pleasure."

 

I think the key advice here is something beast touched on.  Legwork.  It takes a lot of work to get it "right" especially if you use pro power.  You mentioned this is a small hobby for you, Do you enjoy building speakers and tweaking settings?  If not DIY might not be your cup of tea.

 

Since your a musician I will make a similar reference.  A fender DIY tweed kit can be made for about $300-500.  However, commercial(although antique) fender tweeds go for 2-2.5K.  Same sound possible but building a DIY tube amp is a lot of legwork, trouble, and possibly frustration, Especially if you don't enjoy that kind of work. 

 

Also consider DIY resale value can be a bit fickle as most want to buy the drivers/amps/etc and build their own and save shipping.  You may or may not find someone local that wants the design you liked with the form factor, driver, and power complement you chose, probably not.

 

If you get good advice and/or go with a proven design the possibility for failure is prob equal to buying a commercial offering without the opportunity to demo. 

post #47 of 325
"The reports on DIY are necessarily going to have more enthusiastic reviews imo simply because there's a natural tendency to set the bar lower for something home built"

nope. if anything there is more scrutiny put on performance around here.

as for tone. what you are likely hearing is the soft clipping of the tube amp. if you like that great. all it really tells us is that you were running your other gear into clipping and didn't like the way that all that nasty high order harmonic distortion sounds. the easiest fix is to build a system that will not be running into clipping. :-)
post #48 of 325
Cow, I think when you say "obnoxious", you may be referring to your former experience with low cost retail subwoofers. What I call obnoxious, is that 50 to 60hz distorted rumble that they put out with music and movies. Once I finally got a subwoofer into my system that can play down to the edge of human hearing, bass heavier music changed for me. I feel like I'm listening to bob marley and sublime albums for the first time of my life. Gone is that honda civic boomy sound that my old sony speaker used to emit. Now I hear nice smooth low bass sound that blends in with my mains. When I crank it a little, it doesn't overpower the other speakers, but you get a sense of power from the vibrations in your clothing, while not being able to "hear" which direction lower sounds are coming from. My girlfriend said something like, "It's weird, it feels like the bass is coming from the main tower speakers, even though I know it's not."

That is the best way I can explain going from a crappy speaker, to a subwoofer that covers down to the limits of the hearing range. The obnoxiousness that I used to associate with bass is finally gone.

I wish I could help out more with retail offerings, but everyone else here is much more knowledgeable than I. Maybe someone lives near you so you can demo their projects.
post #49 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsOlearysCow View Post

...

The reports on DIY are necessarily going to have more enthusiastic reviews imo simply because there's a natural tendency to set the bar lower for something home built, and more caution to be positive about evaluating something with the creator present in the thread. I can't tell how to evaluate the reports of DIY results, there is very little review that directly speaks to the sound quality without the context of DIY pride value.

So, get on down to Best Buy then.

I think you'll find more DATA about actual performance in any of my design or build threads, as well as most of the rest that are shared here than on ANY commercial sub, period.

Best of luck, whatever direction you choose to go.
post #50 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsOlearysCow View Post

The reports on DIY are necessarily going to have more enthusiastic reviews imo simply because there's a natural tendency to set the bar lower for something home built, and more caution to be positive about evaluating something with the creator present in the thread.
I design speakers for a living, for both commercial manufacturers and DIYers. When I do a design for a manufacturer these are their priorities, in order of importance:
1. Minimize labor costs
2. Minimize materials costs
3. Maximize performance so long as it doesn't interfere with priorities 1 and 2.

Since DIYers have no labor cost, and there's no profit margin to consider when calculating materials cost, when I do a DIY design #1 and #2 are moot, leaving only #3 as a consideration.
Quote:
Looks like I could get a Seaton Submersive and confidently get what I want for $2,500.
You can DIY a better result for no more than half that. That takes nothing away from the quality of the Seaton, it just points out the reality that Mark has to pay people to make his cabs, he has to cover the costs of marketing and distribution, and with luck have something left over to live on.
Edited by Bill Fitzmaurice - 10/19/12 at 2:59pm
post #51 of 325
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicksHitachi View Post

I'm still looking for "Full Pleasure."

I think the key advice here is something beast touched on.  Legwork.  It takes a lot of work to get it "right" especially if you use pro power.  You mentioned this is a small hobby for you, Do you enjoy building speakers and tweaking settings?  If not DIY might not be your cup of tea.

Since your a musician I will make a similar reference.  A fender DIY tweed kit can be made for about $300-500.  However, commercial(although antique) fender tweeds go for 2-2.5K.  Same sound possible but building a DIY tube amp is a lot of legwork, trouble, and possibly frustration, Especially if you don't enjoy that kind of work. 

Also consider DIY resale value can be a bit fickle as most want to buy the drivers/amps/etc and build their own and save shipping.  You may or may not find someone local that wants the design you liked with the form factor, driver, and power complement you chose, probably not.

If you get good advice and/or go with a proven design the possibility for failure is prob equal to buying a commercial offering without the opportunity to demo. 

Using the hobby built amp as an example, I'm 100% confident in the ability of hobbyists to get first rate results on the first try using well established design and at least medium quality components.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I design speakers for a living, for both commercial manufacturers and DIYers. When I do a design for a manufacturer these are their priorities, in order of importance:
1. Minimize labor costs
2. Minimize materials costs
3. Maximize performance so long as it doesn't interfere with priorities 1 and 2.
Since DIYers have no labor cost, and there's no profit margin to consider when calculating materials cost, when I do a DIY design #1 and #2 are moot, leaving only #3 as a consideration.
You can DIY a better result for no more than half that. That takes nothing away from the quality of the Seaton, it just points out the reality that Mark has to pay people to make his cabs, he has to cover the costs of marketing and distribution, and with luck have something left over to live on.
Bill, do you have a recommendation on a DIY design (including driver and amp recommendations) with a priority on music listening, solid HT performance, and first timer level of difficulty? I've got some enthusiasm for the dual opposed designs. I'm open on budget (thinking $750 +/-), would like to stop spending at the point of diminishing returns.
post #52 of 325
sometimes one has ears but cannot hear.

bfm is going to suggest his variety of a front loaded horn. nothing wrong with that. he has spent many years farting around with this stuff and has some idea of what he is doing.

the f20 mentioned back in post #2 is...a front loaded horn, but with a little lower tuning frequency. lilmike and i were farting around with some horn ideas and ended up with almost identical plans. at the end of the day, horns are math. the math is complex and fortunately mr. mcbean (the guy who programmed hornresp) has made it available to all.

if you want a super clean dual opposed sub, option 1 is dayton rss390hf.

if you want more spl and have more money, option 2 is jbl w15gti.

if you want the best bang for the buck, go back to the f20 in post #2.
post #53 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsOlearysCow View Post

I don't find any discussion on this forum comparing DIY results to commercial full build products. I'm becoming suspicious that this is more an exercise in the joy of creation than it is a cheaper way to great results.

Are you for real Mrs. Oleary???

Take your suspicions to the bank and buy a commercial product to go nicely with your Energy Veritas 6.2. Doesn't sound like DIY is for you... rolleyes.gif
post #54 of 325
he is new aaron, give him a break... :-)
post #55 of 325
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Smith View Post

Are you for real Mrs. Oleary???
Take your suspicions to the bank and buy a commercial product to go nicely with your Energy Veritas 6.2. Doesn't sound like DIY is for you... rolleyes.gif

Um yeah, I can see these forums are cluttered with people who's ego's interfere with their ability to offer useful opinions. In my mind DIY is an option, not a cure for cancer and reason to go to church on Sundays.
post #56 of 325
MrsOlearysCow, from you description you may want to look into a Rythmic kit. Well tested and received. Easy sealed build. Very clean transparent sound. Two of them should fit your needs well, placing them properly in your listening room will bring a big grin to you and your friends. Welcome to DIY.

Be careful not to kick the lamp over. This place could be flamable.
post #57 of 325
I think another point to bring up is that when people overdrive cheaper speakers to try to keep up with their louder mains they get that obnoxious sound that's being referred to in this thread too. Having something well built with plenty of headroom is key. When I was in the planning stage I narrowed it down to a Tuba HT or an F20 and decided to go with the F20 because it fit into my stage better and have been extremely satisfied with it. In the world of budget subs that will blow your socks off the horns are king. You would be happy with either one. FYI I built my F20 in a weekend. You just have to get all of the glue set the first day to cure overnight.
post #58 of 325
Hey, CowDude! biggrin.gif Love the screen name. It has so many possibilities...

I feel your pain on the range of options in the DIY world. It can be monumentally confusing. I've spent the last 5 years following this and other DIY forums and will offer the following observations:

1. The biggest benefit and downfall of DIY is that you can do anything. Its all about trade offs and...
2. Having a very clear idea of what you want to do. This is critical. If you can't considerably narrow your requirements, you will be forever lost in the trade offs.
3. There is a HUGE amount of design experience and testing in the DIY world.
4. There are some very talented hobbyists out there who are more than willing to share experience and proven designs
5. DIY takes a bit of skill with, and access to, power tools (and the space to use them).

If I were you, I would take some time to spec. out in detail what you want your sub(s) to do. Look at:
1. room size (and room interaction)
2. Content ie: movies vs music (what music and what that translates to in frequency range)
3. Budget. You mentioned ~$750
4. quality of sound and in what frequency range.
5. Just what do you mean by 'not that loud'?

Room response and why it is important. I live in a concrete bunker aka a poured concrete apartment. I have a very modest sub that starts to roll off from a flat response at around 40Hz, reaches its -3db point ad 27 Hz and does not produce meaningful sound below 20Hz (I believe it is -9db at 20Hz). Because of my room, I get a flat response at reference (peaks of 115 db) all the way to 20Hz. I find that very satisfying and 'good enough' for movies for now. If my room was wood frame and drywall construction, I may well have lost anything below 25Hz. That would not have affected music, but would probably have made the movie experience less than satisfying for me.

Perspective: My sub cost me all of $700 at the time and, while not the best for movies is good enough for me. That was 7 years ago. You could do better than me for that money now.

Final thoughts:
Little Mike and other DIY designers here are very modest. Sure, its only math, and programs like Horn Response make it easy to work with the numbers, but there is still considerable skill involved in choosing the right driver for the design and making magical things happen with the design software. There is huge talent on this board.

Horn subs are the elephant in the room. They offer huge savings at the trade off of huge size. Build a cardboard mockup of the f20, put it in your room and decide if you can live with the size.

If you really don't feel like going through the exercise of precisely defining what you want, and not everyone does, then look at LTD2's post #53 and go with one of those. He has probably figured out your basic goal and made some solid recommendations. If you are still not sure about DIY, buy a commercial sub. There are some good ones out there. This is not a church and you're not going to hell (honest) for picking a commercial offering.
post #59 of 325
I myself have been thinking of subs. In the store bought subs home theater recommends difinitive tech. supercube. I think this is worth the checkout and has a remote to fiddle with EQs. I built a pair of Bob Brines FT-2000 MLTL with the foxtex fe206en which will easily get to 40hz. ( main stereo speakers) Your feelings about you want = mine though my space to fell is smaller.. good luck and I will continue to watch
post #60 of 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsOlearysCow View Post

I'm just pointing out that there's a huge pleasure difference between "almost" and "got there". When I say "tone" I just really mean whether your ear registers full pleasure from listening, or a nagging "I can't tell what's wrong, but something is". Like when one musician is missing the beat by just a fraction.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsOlearysCow View Post

Most notably, how can I tell if reviewers are putting a priority on tone? And when people report good results, does that mean good for the money? Good based on the graphs they look at? Good because of pride of personal accomplishment?
The reports on DIY are necessarily going to have more enthusiastic reviews imo simply because there's a natural tendency to set the bar lower for something home built, and more caution to be positive about evaluating something with the creator present in the thread. I can't tell how to evaluate the reports of DIY results, there is very little review that directly speaks to the sound quality without the context of DIY pride value.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsOlearysCow View Post

It's apparently a big room according to what I read. 20' x 30' with 9' walls. I'm not after loud, I'm after quality at non ear piercing listening levels, plus solid HT performance. Consistently the reviews that describe what I'm looking for end up being for sealed dual driver unit. I'm happy to build, but the more I spend the more I want to be sure of the results. $1,000 is a hell of an experiment, but would be worth it if I don't feel the need to upgrade afterwards. I don't like to buy twice, so I don't want to save 30% and be left feeling just short.
I also don't want to buy/build something that's really loud, but vaguely obnoxious.

Well here, have a listen for yourself. I've been using subwoofers for almost 12 years now, I used to own Velodyne Digital Servos, I know what quality sound is.
To get the same results from my DIY as a commercial product, I'd have to buy $23,000 worth of JL Fathom subs. (I paid a mere fraction.)

I'm 100% about sound quality. As far as "obnoxious/loud" goes, that can be kept in check by turning down the volume knob and applying some EQ.

My room has a 29% smaller cubic volume than yours. It's 32x15x8.
This is what two 21's, one LMS Ultra 18, four Dayton Pro 18's and two SDX-15's sounds like on a low volume, idling with ~25-35kilowatts of power behind it. It sounds nearly flawless.




It wouldn't really be fair to compare my system/results with yours, your budget is ~$750, and I have no upper budget limit. My middle-class paycheck is my only limit, I'm a dedicated-sole to this hobby smile.gif

I will say though, the sound quality and performance of DIY gear increases exponentially with budget, starting at around $750 and flattening out around the $3000 mark. At which point, diminishing returns starts to clamp down hard.
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