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Beginner subwoofer building question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
First, I am a beginner so please excuse any dunce cap wearing, appears to be drooling general dumbness. I saw the Dayton Ultimax front page thread and it got me thinking which also raised some questions. Let me explain what I was thinking about doing and I would appreciate it if you more experienced members would point out what I have wrong or, by luck, right. Can I take a subwoofer driver, install it in a pre-made box that is readily available on the internets, solder the driver to the binding posts, connect a pro amp like a Crown to my Onkyo receiver via the LFE output and hook the sub up to the amp via speaker wire? The receiver would set the low pass filter by Audyssey calibration and everything would be set to go... right? I appreciate your time and any feedback.
post #2 of 10
Yes you can. You just have to make sure the box is the correct size.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I really appreciate it. Does a cylindrical enclosure work well? This shape enclosure seems like it would be more space efficient as I could place it behind a chair in a corner. Lastly, the main sticking point I have been mulling over is controls for the sub. I guess I wouldn't need a crossover control but how about phase and volume? I think I read or heard that phase is not important unless you're running two subs but I have to fiugure that I'd want a volume/gain control right? Ideally this would be something easily accesable in the front or even remotely controlled. Any such devices? Again, I appreciate your time.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Any input on external sub control systems? Also need feedback on enclosure shapes- is cylindrical ok? How about a triangular enclosure?
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tongr View Post

Does a cylindrical enclosure work well?

Sonosubs are fairly inexpensive and easy to build. You can find a few builds around here.
Quote:
I think I read or heard that phase is not important unless you're running two subs but I have to fiugure that I'd want a volume/gain control right? Ideally this would be something easily accesable in the front or even remotely controlled. Any such devices? Again, I appreciate your time.

Phase can be important depending on positioning and interaction in relation to the mains.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tongr View Post

Any input on external sub control systems?

There are quite a few to choose from. SMS1, Mini DSP, DEQ2496, BFD, XT32, etc. Each has it's pros and cons.
Quote:
Also need feedback on enclosure shapes- is cylindrical ok? How about a triangular enclosure?

I would definitely stay away from triangle due to extra complications of building and the like.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I appreciate your response and I've been checking out some of the Sonotube subwoofer information. The controller information you left was mostly DSP products. If I do this build I intend to let Audyssey do the DSP processing. What I was talking about was something much simpler- just an in line volume/gain control and possibly phase as well. Any such thing? Also, you discourage a triangular box. Is this just due to build challenges or is that shape sonically deficient? Thanks again.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tongr View Post

I appreciate your response and I've been checking out some of the Sonotube subwoofer information. The controller information you left was mostly DSP products. If I do this build I intend to let Audyssey do the DSP processing. What I was talking about was something much simpler- just an in line volume/gain control and possibly phase as well. Any such thing?

I guess I don't understand what you are trying to accomplish. Most modern receivers will allow you to change phase, and once it is set properly, why change it? The same with volume control. You want to calibrate your subs to your mains, whether that be even, cold, or hot. I do understand the need on rare occasions to bump the output a bit for certain movies, but that doesn't happen a lot. The only thing I could think of there is either use an SMS1 which has a dedicated sub volume control and DSP function; thereby killing 2 birds with one stone, or setting up a macro in your remote that would allow you to access the speaker levels in your receiver bumping them up or down as you see fit.
Quote:
Also, you discourage a triangular box. Is this just due to build challenges or is that shape sonically deficient? Thanks again.

Well a square is a lot easier to build than a triangle for sure. There are a lot of angles to figure to get the joints to line up properly.

Also keep in mind a triangle will need to be a little bit larger in all dimensions to match the cf of a standard square cab. If only going with a single driver it's probably not a huge deal but for reference; a 4.29 gross volume square cab will need to be 21" cubed whereas a triangle one will need to be 26.5" cubed. You also have to take driver mounting depth into consideration based on the triangle shape.

Other than that, go for it. smile.gif
Edited by bass addict - 2/10/13 at 10:47am
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manic1! View Post

Yes you can. You just have to make sure the box is the correct size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tongr View Post

Does a cylindrical enclosure work well?


The overall shape of the box does not matter. It's all about the internal volume of the box. I agree that you should stick with a square, rectangle, or cylinder for this build.

As for DSP - I would build the sub box to the correct size and specs for your driver (which we can help with here), hook it up to whatever amp you are choosing to go with (again we can suggest options here) - and see how it turns out before you start adding things that you may not need. I agree that Audyssey (along with most receiver low pass settings) should take care of most of the work for you as far as DSP goes. Depending on the build you choose you my need a high pass filter on the low end. But again, let's see what you decide to go with. Which leads me to my next point - BUDGET. What is your budget for this overall project and what are the room dimensions? Also, what is your main purpose for the sub (movies, music, video games, etc.)? Is there a WAF we need to worry about (size restrictions)?


Let's get this thing built! wink.gif

dbl
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I like your attitude- just do it. If I worked with that mindset I'd get a lot more things done. As it is I'm more of a procrastinator and I go over things in my head until my "plan" is pretty well set. At this point my issues are more hypothetical because we expect to move soon and I don't yet know about the room the prospective sub would be used in. WAF is a factor which is why I was looking at alternative shapes that could go behind a chair or couch in a corner. Bass addict, if the receiver handles phase that's great- one less thing to worry about. However, I do frequently find myself turning down the volume on my Def Tech Supercube 2 when listening to music otherwise things just don't sound "right" and I figure that would still apply. The remote control macro might be a great (and ingenious) solution if my remote has that capability. Otherwise, can I just install some kind of volume knob maybe on top of the cabinet where it can be easily accessed? Again, dbledare- I love your "get it done" spirit as well as your willingness to help while I draw my mental plans and, if you are still feeling so helpful when the time comes, I will appreciate your help with the specific calculations for the build. Thanks again.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tongr View Post

Bass addict, if the receiver handles phase that's great- one less thing to worry about. However, I do frequently find myself turning down the volume on my Def Tech Supercube 2 when listening to music otherwise things just don't sound "right" and I figure that would still apply.

Well there could be a couple reasons behind this that are easily remedied. First off; have you ever calibrated your sub to your mains? I'm assuming you have never calibrated the FR of your sub either.

If your sub is setup really hot in relation to the mains, it could definitely lead to overpowering everything, hence you wanting to turn it down. Placement could also have a lot to do with it. It might be sitting in an area which is creating some nasty peaks that are lending to a boomy feeling. A small 8" single driver is hardly going to play that low, or loud, and can lead to erratic FR. You push the volume to make the lower tuned stuff sound better, and at the same time increase the upper frequency SPL too much.

Needless to say, just about any DIY sub will be a huge improvement over what you are currently working with. Keep us informed about your current progress and we will help out as needed to get you going with a great sounding LFE setup.
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