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First timer DIY and I'm made my mind up on a DIY

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I bought a PA-150 2 months ago that replaced a HTIB yamaha cheapo. Whent from 50rms 100 peak to the 15" pa 250rmw Bash amd and 1000 peak(if it really gets there.) I've been loving it, I didn't do calibration when I first got it I had an old Yamaha 371, so everything was manual, no SPL meter or any software used just a tape measure. After recently upgrading to the Denon 3312 and running Audyssey I realize I was way over "gaining/volume" my sub's knobs. After MultEQ XT I have a much flatter (imo) and more controlled base which I love. That said I must have really had it way over set because I would notice after 10 minutes of demoing my ears would start to notice it and actually maybe some pain. After calibrating, at first I thought I lost all my bass but that was due to me running hot (Going from a 6ish volume on the sub to 2.5ish setting to be within Audyssey's +-12 range). The bass I get now I love, but I'm missing the lower extension and I think that is my real problem. Also, I felt like the bass was non existent because the fact I was running way above a calibrated subs volume and I''m missing some lower extension, even if it was distorted.

The only tools I have is a power drill/driver as well as some stabilla levels. I think my next sub upgrade with be a DIY.

Goals in this order:
1) lowest frequency possible with usable output.
2) I want something I can feel, I can feel my current sub if I raise the volume on the sub after running Audyssey. I know I shouldn't be doing this, I also raise the -9db to about -1 or 0db to increase the output as well.

I say I don't listen to music, it will be done, but consider this a 100% HT setup. I'll probably start with one. Like I said before I have almost no tools, I don't think I can cut my own boards, So I'll either need a kit or a pre-assembled enclosure.

What I would like to know if I can get advice and direct links to DIY kits that I can buy all together or at least purchase known compatible parts and piece them. I'd prefer to buy a completed enclosure and not have to build it, this is last case scenario and I know I could save money here, thats the next project.

I need to know what DSP or calibration software I need for the new sub. I'm open to any suggestions, I'd prefer a cut and dry answer suggestion amp, enclosure, speakers. I like my Pa-15o, but I am shooting for my best opportunity to get non distorted lows at the loudest possible output without running my sub hot (maybe +2-4db after EQ) and never touching the volume on the sub itself.
Edited by clanmjc - 12/3/12 at 6:34am
post #2 of 17
DIY sound group offers some really hard to beat flat packs and kits. For someone like yourself with minimal tools, these will be a hard option to ignore.

http://www.diysoundgroup.com/flat-packs-1/subwoofer-flatpacks-2.html

The 15" kit and/or flatpacks are really awesome paired with the Dayton drivers at PE that are on sale.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Gorilla83 thanks for the response. Through my research I've been looking at that website considerably a lot. Sometimes I'm not sure what I'm looking at. Some of the descriptions look like I get a kit, that I will then put together with hardware I will need to purchase as well as glue and what not. I'm a complete noob in this area. Sometimes it also appears like they have completely finished enclosures, maybe those are just pictures of what the finished assembled enclosure would look like?

We had some wine last night and we usually don't have any, it was a special occasion my wife just beat cancer so I was sloppy to my original post and well I think I missed out on some details that I should have included to help all you expert DIY out.

My living room which is the home theater is adjacent to a dining room and kitchen and it is completely open to these rooms. There is a 4 1/2 foot wall separating the living from dining, no such wall for the kitchen and said wall is just that a 4 1/2 foot, it's completely open above that all the way to the 10' ceiling.

Entire dimensions L x W x H 30'x24'x10'. The width of the living room is divided by that "half wall" on the living room side it runs 16', the dinning side i 10'. I only have the one sub pa-150 in there now, it does the job for everyone that has heard it, they are non-enthusiasts though.

Because I ran it so hot before, reference level calibration doesn't have the impact I was looking for and I attribute this to the limitations of this sub in the lower frequency range, It probably really rolls off bad sub 30hz. I know that a sub 1 million times more powerful (and for fun sake lets say rolls off at the same as my current) will sound no different by itself after calibration, that is, they would both be calibrated for reference so actual output heard/felt will be the same at least in the upper frequency.

I want to fill in that lower frequency, I think this will complete me.. for now. If I could build something that could hit close to the teens @ 20hz (Mind you my current has been tested to only do 93db @ 20hz with the volume at 12 oclock or 50% or 5, which is the actual number on the knob for this sub). That said I'm running mine at 2.5ish, so I'm guessing my 20hz is actually not even hitting that 93db peak). In addition to good output in 20, I'd love if I could get some respectable outputs even further down the range, my sub wont even produce anything below 20 at all. Can I get to 16hz in the upper 90 or low 100db(I'll take more if I can get it) or even go lower... 12.5hz maybe 10 hz.?

I know I need more than 1 sub in my 7200^3foot room, I want to do this the right way. I'll build the best I can for the money now, reaching the requirements/hopes I've listed above and then add another... and another... and another... later haha.

I will consider maybe doing a lesser build with closer to these speaks if it could net a 2 subs right off the bat that at least can do strong 20hz and maybe respectable 16hz.

The fact that I haven't even heard below 20hz (or maybe it's only felt and not audible), is it something that will wow me?

As far as tools this is what I have:
Power drill/driver.
Stabilla levels

I don't have any clamps, would cutting saws or any saws to speak of. However, I have many neighbors that have an assortment of tools, do any of them have the required tools for the job? I would have to ask them.

I'm complete at a loss to what hardware (screws/washers) etc I might need some tips here (or maybe that's after I pick something I can come back and ask about).
I don't know what kind of glue I need. I don't know what kind, if any, glue/poxy I use to get a seal around the driver and enclosure.

I've read things mentioning REW, after this post I will go research what that is/how to use it. I've also read mentionings of DSP or mini DPS, I'm totally at a loss here, could someone point me to some research info (I'll search these forums after the post for this, but if anyone has what they consider the defacto standard reading material I'm all "eyes").

I didn't mention budget. I know this is a broad range but lets say $500 max (which I'm sure will be inflated based on suggestions and lets keep the inflation to under $700). Literally thought $500 is the max because it's going on a non-wife known card... Shhhh.

I'll probably sell my pa-150 once this is complete, or possible keep it around and run duels for the mid range of that sub. That is if someone doesn't come up with a 2 sub setup within my budget(or inflated).

If you need any more info from me I'm all ears. I really want reference level quality LFE. I think after listening to my setup right now calibrated for reference my ears will forgive me for running way to hot and thinking there is no bass. This way when I do upgrade to something that can put out the lower bass I should be very pleased. I'll attach a picture of my theater setup.

I noticed there are a fair amount of choices for the flat packs. Is that dual opposed 1.5 cu foot box something that may work for me. Heck I'm eyeballing that 4.5ft enclosure for the 18".

I'd love to see some recomendations on amps as well. Maybe this cant be suggested until I narrow down on enclosure and driver? Totally understandable.
I have see mentions Behringer ep4000 / ep2000 they seem to be valued/price performance. Are there also choices with smaller output possibly even cheaper (Or maybe I want something like this).

If anymore info is required of me don't hesitate to ask. I appreciate all the enthusiasm and help this forum has allowed me to enjoy reading and receive.
post #4 of 17
Good information - that is helpful. That is a large sized room and you will definitely need some large output to match. I would for sure plan on using multiple large subs in the 15-18" variety. There are a number of fantastic value oriented options in that size range too. At a starting point, I would build two 15 or 18" sealed or vented enclosures. Sealed are a bit easier to design and build, so that may be a good starting point.

For a DIY'er, here are the typical tools required IMO: something to do rip and cross cuts (table saw, circular with guide or track, panel saw), drill and drill bits, jigsaw, screwdrivers, various length parallel or bar clamps, level, carpenters square, pencils, and measuring tape and ruler. A plunge router and jig is an easy way to make the driver cutouts but a jigsaw will also work fine. For finishing some sand paper and/or orbital sander and a paint roller and brushes work well.

If you go with a flat pack kit, you won't need the ability to rip/crosscut the wood OR a jigsaw router. You can really get by with just clamps, wood glue, and the finishing supplies mentioned above.

Amps - The EP4000 is awesome for the price and a great starting point for you. Wally world has had these recently for around 275 which can't be beat.

Check out my recent build thread on here - it may help answer alot of other questions you haven't asked yet. smile.gif

BTW big congratulations to your wife on beating cancer. That is a major ordeal and definitely worthy of celebration.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your kind words.

Eventually when I build my garage out I'll add the necessary tools/equipment for a complete cut and build but I wont be able to do that for my first build. It sounds like great fun though, I enjoy a good weekend (or 2) projects of mine own that aren't mandated by my better half. tongue.gif As for completed enclosures or at least ones that are complete cut for me and all I have to do is assemble them, I'm up for the task I'll just need a few more materials and a bunch of clamps (I'll search more on those later).

Keep in mind I don't know the numbers or what I'm even looking for the technical details with building a sub, proper excursion, xmax or any of the terms I've seen on these forums I'll have to "learn" myself on all of that as I go. I pick up on things quickly though. Let me bounce a couple of ideas off you.

I think my number 1 choice would be the 4.5 cu foot enclosure on DIY soundgroup, however, it appears the cutout is for the TC Sounds 18" LMS, which is by itself over my budget (Can the Dayton Dayton Audio RSS460HO 18" or the Dayton Audio DCS450 18" be used in this enclosure?). With this setup I would power it with the ep4000 (which would leave me room to add another sub down the road correct?)

If that doesn't work then I was thinking Dayton Audio DVC385-88 15" in the 3.5 cu foot flat pack from DIYSG, using the same ep4000. Maybe since the Dayton 15's are so cheap i could get 2 and dual oppose them? I don't see any flat packs for those though, are there other websites/forum members that make them?

Or do I really need to get accustomed to WinSD now and play around with my own enclosures. Also, lets say I learn the software, get feedback from you guys, are their places that I can give the specs for the enclosure to and have them make all the cuts and then I would just need to assemble? I think I even heard somewhere on these forums someone had Lowes do the cuts for them something like .25 a cut!?

Then do I purchase miniDSP and REW or is REW free?

Thanks again
post #6 of 17
From what Ricci said the same 18" box can be used with the Dayton driver as well as the UXL-18, etc. BTW look for a baltic birch box in a similar size very soon from those guys at DIYsound. The EP4000 is a great option for powering 1-4 of the Dayton 18's, so there is plenty of opportunity for 'expansion' there. tongue.gif As for the dayton 15's they are a great buy too but I'm not aware of any flat pack dual opposed boxes just yet, although Erich alluded to some being in development. cool.gif

As for WinISD and the cuts - see the FAQ thread I just started in this section. Lowes/HD will make the cuts for free if you bring them a cut sheet. BE SURE to check each measurement before they cut it though.

REW - the software is free, but you will need a mic and appropriate cabling. The minidsp is a great option for EQ (I use it also). It's relatively inexpensive and very powerful.
Edited by Gorilla83 - 12/3/12 at 12:15pm
post #7 of 17
Keep in mind you are going to need DSP if you start integrating more subwoofers. With your size room, you may want to consider ported subwoofers, but that said, those flat packs are an awesome option for folks that don't have a lot of tools that need good looking subs.

I just picked up the $99 15" Dayton DVC drivers (the sale ends today) and am most likely building 4 5 cu ft enclosures (ported) with a tune at 20hz, and powering all four with a Behringer iNuke3000DSP amp that was recently on sale at Amazon for under $300. For a room your size you could build a pair of these caliber subs and they would most likely integrate pretty well with your existing PA-150 if you wanted to keep it.

You could certainly go sealed and buy the 15" drivers and power them with the iNuke with DSP as well.
post #8 of 17
Considering your enclosure handicap, and budget, you're pretty much limited to sealed box with a boosted plate amp. Your ultra low extension goals will not be reached without heavy eq, but honestly you dont really know what you need. The PA150 is an output monster, but it starts to roll off at 60hz... so really any sub with strong extension below that point will seem like an impressive upgrade.

Here's my simple solution

18" flat pack $115
http://www.diysoundgroup.com/flat-packs-1/subwoofer-flatpacks-2/4-sub-flat-pack.html

Yung 500W boosted ON SALE FOR $125 ENDS TONIGHT
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=301-514

Dayton RS 18 $250
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=295-472

Here's the output you would achieve before compression.


Monster difference over your PA150, being flat to 25hz, -6db at 20hz.

edit: I'm pretty sure if you contact Eric he can make a cutput for the plate amp in the enclosure flat pack
Edited by Jay1 - 12/3/12 at 9:06pm
post #9 of 17
If you're looking for 18" subs I have some IXL 18.4's BNIB listed in the classifieds here that are proven performers. Many builds done here at AVS with these subs that are no longer available. These would work in those flat packs too. Good luck with your build though, whichever route you choose.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Considering your enclosure handicap, and budget, you're pretty much limited to sealed box with a boosted plate amp. Your ultra low extension goals will not be reached without heavy eq, but honestly you dont really know what you need. The PA150 is an output monster, but it starts to roll off at 60hz... so really any sub with strong extension below that point will seem like an impressive upgrade.
Here's my simple solution
18" flat pack $115
http://www.diysoundgroup.com/flat-packs-1/subwoofer-flatpacks-2/4-sub-flat-pack.html
Yung 500W boosted ON SALE FOR $125 ENDS TONIGHT
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=301-514
Dayton RS 18 $250
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=295-472
Here's the output you would achieve before compression.

Monster difference over your PA150, being flat to 25hz, -6db at 20hz.
edit: I'm pretty sure if you contact Eric he can make a cutput for the plate amp in the enclosure flat pack

It doesn't help that I had been running my PA-150 extra extra hot either, such that now that I'm reference calibrated it feels like no bass. I'm getting my ears used to it though. We watched MIB3 last night and some scenes from Transformers and I got to experience some bass again. That said, you are right, the low extension I'm missing is really the problem which is why I want to, for the money, get the lowest frequency I can get. I missed the sale on the amp (Just saw this today). My plan is to build 1 or 2 now (most likely 1 with my budget), besides the boost @ 25hz wouldn't something like the ep4000 give me more headroom to expand e.i. add more subs later?

I think I have no choice but to wait and see what new flat packs will be up for sale, it must be getting close soon huh?

What did you use for that graph? It doesn't look anything like the graphs I see in WiniSD (Beta). Which by the way is that the correct version of WiniSD to download, I noticed they had several download links.
post #11 of 17
I would not use a boosted plate amp. All you will hear is 30hz up to where the room resonates. Your post indicates that you want to go lower and it can be done, but it will need to be incremental if your budget is $500 for now.

The 18 flat pack is a good idea and so is the reference HO or the SI 18 if it ever ships. Add a pro-amp to that for power that is at least 1kw per side at 2 ohms. Later once you get set up with REW you can add a DSP and build subs 2, 3 and 4 running off that same amp.

Good luck and congrats to your wife!
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by nograveconcern View Post

I would not use a boosted plate amp. All you will hear is 30hz up to where the room resonates. Your post indicates that you want to go lower and it can be done, but it will need to be incremental if your budget is $500 for now.
The 18 flat pack is a good idea and so is the reference HO or the SI 18 if it ever ships. Add a pro-amp to that for power that is at least 1kw per side at 2 ohms. Later once you get set up with REW you can add a DSP and build subs 2, 3 and 4 running off that same amp.
Good luck and congrats to your wife!

I'm confused by what you mean with the bolded part? The system I posted will act just like the graph shows until you go above that output level, at which point you will have an extra 6db above the boosted region. OP is in a 30'x24'x10' room, which means until he has some kind of boost, a basic sealed system will act just like his PA150. So until he actually adds a DSP, and sets up an EQ, there wont be much if any noticeable difference between what he currently has

OP, the question is how serious are you about your budget? Obviously four 18"s with 500 watts each is better then one, obviously that isnt close to $500. Adding a second sub with a plate amp is as simple as buying another plate amp. In the long run the pro amp route can be better, but they can also provide you with a whole range of headaches. How deep into this are you really trying to go?

The modeling program is the latest winisd, through their facebook page.
Edited by Jay1 - 12/4/12 at 11:09am
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

I'm confused by what you mean with the bolded part?

Just my experience with the boosted Yung in room is all. OP states that his current sub rolls off hard at 30hz and that he wants to get flat to 20hz. With my Yung 300-6 I had lots of content from 30hz to 40hz but it then dropped off like a rock below 30 and about 12db down above 40. The OP will need a boost to get flat response, but not one as narrow as what the Yung amp provides. The boosted Yung will get the same response as what he already has.

Response above that 40hz or so point is improved with distributed subs. That will be step 2. wink.gif

DSP is the way to go, though it may not be in the budget for the OP at this time since that would also require measurement equipment. You don't have to go pro-amp, but you will need more than 1 sealed sub to get reference level in that room. In the long run a pro-amp will be cheaper.
post #14 of 17
Not sure how accurate the yungs boost specs are but the 500 is supposed to have 6db at 25Hz, while the 300 is at 30Hz. OP's sub isn't close to flat at 30Hz, that subs been measured by databass.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Not sure how accurate the yungs boost specs are but the 500 is supposed to have 6db at 25Hz

Don't assume anything based on PE's specs. All the boosted Yung's appear to have the same pre-amp board.

I had no idea what a PA 150 was, but looking at the databass, it does have an ugly 12db/octave rolloff starting around 70 which is likely indicative of an undersized box. However, the knee of the port tuning/hpf isn't until 17hz indicating that it is high passed lower than a Yung plate amp. The under sized port is a glaring defect too. It's just a bad choice for HT and a sealed 18 HO with dsp will be night and day different.

In fact, you could put an HO 15 in the PA box, plug the port on the back and have a good sub. Add a mini dsp and you you've made serious progress for only $300.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nograveconcern View Post

The under sized port is a glaring defect too. It's just a bad choice for HT and a sealed 18 HO with dsp will be night and day different. In fact, you could put an HO 15 in the PA box, plug the port on the back and have a good sub.

What would I plug it with... and would I be using the same 250w bash amp? (I might give this a try lol)
post #17 of 17
When/if you open the box to replace the driver, knock out the port tube put a piece of MDF or plywood over the hole from the inside. 4 wood screws in the corners will hold it in and a bead of hot glue or caulk will seal it.
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