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Now that you've gone DIY, would you ever buy a sub another way?

Poll Results: Now that you've gone DIY, would you ever buy a sub another way?

 
  • 1% (1)
    Yes, DIY isn't worth it
  • 27% (16)
    Maybe, for the right product
  • 71% (42)
    No, once you go DIY, you never go back
59 Total Votes  
post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Loving my two Daytons I built a month or so ago. If the itch for more sub ever strikes again, I don't see myself buying another ID/retail brand sub. Wondering how everyone else feels.
post #2 of 24
voted,

once you see what you can biuld yourself and save money and get the best of the best you will never got back to retail
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by benunc View Post

Loving my two Daytons I built a month or so ago. If the itch for more sub ever strikes again, I don't see myself buying another ID/retail brand sub. Wondering how everyone else feels.

You mean, WHEN it strikes, right? biggrin.gif
Just finished a sealed Zv3 18" and already planning a pair of FTW-21's.
It's an addiction..
post #4 of 24
I voted 'no', for obvious reasons... I mean, let me know when walmart starts selling complete kits of LMS-18's nationwide for $400. That will be the day I change my mind. LOL tongue.gif
post #5 of 24
If I found a sub or subs for sale that had performance that equalled or exceeded the DIY design for similar cost I might be tempted. Even then however, a commercial product of equal performance might not have a useful form factor for my room. So the answer is ; possibly, but unlikely.
post #6 of 24
Sure, I could see myself buying commercial for the right system. I see two big potential reasons to go commercial.

1. Cost. For a low budget build, it makes a lot of sense to let the economies of scale make things cheaper for you. You can go buy a commercial subwoofer for 80$ brand new. It's not great, but it's pretty darn acceptable for low volume, near field, music listening. And I'm not sure you could build something better for the same price. The value of DIY kicks in at higher price points. Not all systems can be or even should be high dollar.

2. Cosmetics. I am not an accomplished wood finisher. I can make things sturdy. And I can make things smooth. But put a paint brush or a can of stain in my hand and a disaster is on the way. My DIY subwoofer is outside my house, so I didn't care what it looked like. But if I ever moved somewhere that infinite baffle was for some reason not a good option, I'd have to look at box subs. I doubt my skills at making a wooden box pretty will ever approach those of some of the nicer commercial offerings.
post #7 of 24
I agree with pitviper.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsnasty View Post

You mean, WHEN it strikes, right? biggrin.gif

What??...Why do you say that? Just the fact that I was sitting around at work thinking about subwoofers, browsing the forums, and posted a poll about subs? ...Haha, fine I admit if I could sell my Epiks for a decent amount, I'd build two more Daytons now. But I'm sure at that point, I'd be happy forever. wink.gif
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitviper33 View Post

Sure, I could see myself buying commercial for the right system. I see two big potential reasons to go commercial.

1. Cost. For a low budget build, it makes a lot of sense to let the economies of scale make things cheaper for you. You can go buy a commercial subwoofer for 80$ brand new. It's not great, but it's pretty darn acceptable for low volume, near field, music listening. And I'm not sure you could build something better for the same price. The value of DIY kicks in at higher price points. Not all systems can be or even should be high dollar.

2. Cosmetics. I am not an accomplished wood finisher. I can make things sturdy. And I can make things smooth. But put a paint brush or a can of stain in my hand and a disaster is on the way. My DIY subwoofer is outside my house, so I didn't care what it looked like. But if I ever moved somewhere that infinite baffle was for some reason not a good option, I'd have to look at box subs. I doubt my skills at making a wooden box pretty will ever approach those of some of the nicer commercial offerings.

I think these are the only two scenarios that would make sense to me too. If my BIC H-100 that's in my living room gives out, I might replace it with another budget sub since that system is really just used by my wife for tv watching and for casual background music. Then again, I could move my Epik Legend down there and replace that with another Dayton. smile.gif

My theater room is a dedicated room so cosmetics aren't an issue but I wouldn't want anything too big and ugly in my living room; not sure I'd even want the Legend in there to be honest.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Wondering how everyone else feels.

you know the answer wink.gif
post #11 of 24
Bah, even on the dirt cheap side of things, I know I can design and build a more competent sub then something like a polk psw10... These budget commercial subs are just 50hz boom boxes

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/50-6268&green=20476546786

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/55-2421&cid=prodCrossSell

A sheet of MDF, a can on bed liner or duratex (which costs will carry over to other projects), and a $2 walmart pillow
post #12 of 24
I am considering this topic right now. I was planning on building another sub this summer using the LMS 18 with the speaker power plate amp. When you start adding up the costs:

LMS 18 - $925
Speaker Power sp12400 - $1200 (yes I could use a pro amp for less but I prefer a plate)
Cabinet materials, veneer, etc - $250
Minidsp - $125

I am right at the cost of a Submersive HP. From other people here who have owned both, I think the LMS would probably out perform the Submersive, but by how much? Not to mention the Submersive being fairly bulletproof given Mark's work on the limiters/compressors. I am competent at making cabinets and they will end up looking decent, however I am sure that the ones coming out of Mark's professional cabinet shop would look better and I wouldn't have the 50+ hours in the cabinet. Now the plus side on doing it myself is I generally enjoy the process of building.

I think to make the decision on when it makes sense to DIY, you really have to look at your goals (performance, cost, appearance) and what the commercial competition is that also meets those goals.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by djarchow View Post

I am considering this topic right now. I was planning on building another sub this summer using the LMS 18 with the speaker power plate amp. When you start adding up the costs:

LMS 18 - $925
Speaker Power sp12400 - $1200 (yes I could use a pro amp for less but I prefer a plate)
Cabinet materials, veneer, etc - $250
Minidsp - $125

I am right at the cost of a Submersive HP. From other people here who have owned both, I think the LMS would probably out perform the Submersive, but by how much? Not to mention the Submersive being fairly bulletproof given Mark's work on the limiters/compressors. I am competent at making cabinets and they will end up looking decent, however I am sure that the ones coming out of Mark's professional cabinet shop would look better and I wouldn't have the 50+ hours in the cabinet. Now the plus side on doing it myself is I generally enjoy the process of building.

I think to make the decision on when it makes sense to DIY, you really have to look at your goals (performance, cost, appearance) and what the commercial competition is that also meets those goals.

Well, you could make better choices as far as amp and woofer costs are concerned..
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by djarchow View Post

I am considering this topic right now. I was planning on building another sub this summer using the LMS 18 with the speaker power plate amp. When you start adding up the costs:

LMS 18 - $925
Speaker Power sp12400 - $1200 (yes I could use a pro amp for less but I prefer a plate)
Cabinet materials, veneer, etc - $250
Minidsp - $125

I am right at the cost of a Submersive HP. From other people here who have owned both, I think the LMS would probably out perform the Submersive, but by how much? Not to mention the Submersive being fairly bulletproof given Mark's work on the limiters/compressors. I am competent at making cabinets and they will end up looking decent, however I am sure that the ones coming out of Mark's professional cabinet shop would look better and I wouldn't have the 50+ hours in the cabinet. Now the plus side on doing it myself is I generally enjoy the process of building.

I think to make the decision on when it makes sense to DIY, you really have to look at your goals (performance, cost, appearance) and what the commercial competition is that also meets those goals.

What about the other guys who say their dual daytons or dual SI's are as good as a submersive? That is $400 for drivers so now you are $600 cheaper and you don't need as much power now so cheaper amp required too.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Well, you could make better choices as far as amp and woofer costs are concerned..

Sure, but I already have a Maelstrom-X, a dual opposed AE AV15, A sealed Rythmik 15", and a Paradigm Reference servo 15 so I am looking to go above the performance level of where I am today. So you are correct, there are cheaper amps and drivers but as I mentioned, it is all about the goals for your speakers and how best to meet them.

So for a sub

How loud do you want it to play
How low do you want it to play
How low do you want the distortion to be
How big do you want it to be
How much can you afford
How do you want it to look (furniture grade, truck bed liner)

Figure these out and then start looking at build vs buy. I agree that in many cases DIY is the best option, but depending on your goals/skills it may not always be the best choice.

Regards,

Dennis
Edited by djarchow - 4/25/13 at 10:00am
post #16 of 24
I voted "maybe".
I am specifically thinking about used budget market. we are not talking about great performers here. but if, say, Epik Legend could be had for $250, I doubt going DIY would offer much savings or better performance in the size/money category.
post #17 of 24
I voted maybe... I have been trying to build a subwoofer cabinet but keep running into issues... It all boils down to if you have or have access to the right tools... Here are the numerous issues I have gotten into (I am trying to build two cabinets):

1. I had my MDF pre-cut at the local hardware store, only to find out their saw was offset... Boards were 1/8" off on one end to the other.
2. Making circle cuts is nigh impossible without a router
3. the second cabinet I built had warped MDF, so the box would not come out square...
4. Unless you have a table saw, it is difficult to cut the MDF perfectly to the right dimensions
5. T-Nuts are a pain when they spin in the baffle and you can't get the bolts out.
6. staining veneers is be difficult with certain woods (like cherry and maple), they tend to come out blotchy even when pre-conditioning them (walnut is the easiest).
7. painting MDF is a real pain. You have to use a filling primer like KILZ or Zinsser.

I ended up buying a LOT of power tools... A router, jigsaw, Jasper circle jig, rip fence for a circular saw, orbital sander. If you nevenr had the experience in woodwork, it can be frustrating. Once you build the cabinet, you kind of pick up some useful tricks to help you avoid issues down the road.
post #18 of 24
Maybe. If the costs and form factor came out the same to something I could build, I would absolutely buy commercial again. Problem is, that is very unlikely. DIY seems to be where the true audio lovers end up at some point.

My dual SI w/ minidsp has the same sound signature that my SubM had (that I loved), but came out to half the price. Its not as pretty and has a much bigger form factor than the SubM, but there is more visceral output from the bigger woofers.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

I voted maybe... I have been trying to build a subwoofer cabinet but keep running into issues... It all boils down to if you have or have access to the right tools... Here are the numerous issues I have gotten into (I am trying to build two cabinets):

1. I had my MDF pre-cut at the local hardware store, only to find out their saw was offset... Boards were 1/8" off on one end to the other.
2. Making circle cuts is nigh impossible without a router
3. the second cabinet I built had warped MDF, so the box would not come out square...
4. Unless you have a table saw, it is difficult to cut the MDF perfectly to the right dimensions
5. T-Nuts are a pain when they spin in the baffle and you can't get the bolts out.
6. staining veneers is be difficult with certain woods (like cherry and maple), they tend to come out blotchy even when pre-conditioning them (walnut is the easiest).
7. painting MDF is a real pain. You have to use a filling primer like KILZ or Zinsser.

I ended up buying a LOT of power tools... A router, jigsaw, Jasper circle jig, rip fence for a circular saw, orbital sander. If you nevenr had the experience in woodwork, it can be frustrating. Once you build the cabinet, you kind of pick up some useful tricks to help you avoid issues down the road.

Unless you are already an experienced wood worker with a decent shop, getting into the hobby is definitely expensive and challenging. If you are planning something like a 5+ channel speaker build in the future you will easily make it worth your while when you compare your results to the retail equivalent.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

I voted maybe... I have been trying to build a subwoofer cabinet but keep running into issues... It all boils down to if you have or have access to the right tools... Here are the numerous issues I have gotten into (I am trying to build two cabinets):

1. I had my MDF pre-cut at the local hardware store, only to find out their saw was offset... Boards were 1/8" off on one end to the other.
2. Making circle cuts is nigh impossible without a router
3. the second cabinet I built had warped MDF, so the box would not come out square...
4. Unless you have a table saw, it is difficult to cut the MDF perfectly to the right dimensions
5. T-Nuts are a pain when they spin in the baffle and you can't get the bolts out.
6. staining veneers is be difficult with certain woods (like cherry and maple), they tend to come out blotchy even when pre-conditioning them (walnut is the easiest).
7. painting MDF is a real pain. You have to use a filling primer like KILZ or Zinsser.

I ended up buying a LOT of power tools... A router, jigsaw, Jasper circle jig, rip fence for a circular saw, orbital sander. If you nevenr had the experience in woodwork, it can be frustrating. Once you build the cabinet, you kind of pick up some useful tricks to help you avoid issues down the road.

- the better hardware stores make accurate cuts

- you can make a jig to cut circles with a jigsaw.

- epoxy T-nuts in and they wont spin

- Duratex goes right over MDF just fine

biggrin.gif
post #21 of 24
Yeah, a jigsaw can work just fine. I just cut 6 holes (2 woofer, 4 PR) with a compass and a $35 Skill jigsaw. I've got a Dewalt router, this was just a lot faster and less messy biggrin.gif
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

I ended up buying a LOT of power tools... A router, jigsaw, Jasper circle jig, rip fence for a circular saw, orbital sander. If you nevenr had the experience in woodwork, it can be frustrating.

That's why I ended up buying a flat pack from Erich. I have very few power tools so I figured it would cost me hundreds of dollars for tools that I might not use again. The only tools I had to buy were clamps which cost me $50-100 total.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitviper33 View Post

Sure, I could see myself buying commercial for the right system. I see two big potential reasons to go commercial.

1. Cost. For a low budget build, it makes a lot of sense to let the economies of scale make things cheaper for you. You can go buy a commercial subwoofer for 80$ brand new. It's not great, but it's pretty darn acceptable for low volume, near field, music listening. And I'm not sure you could build something better for the same price. The value of DIY kicks in at higher price points. Not all systems can be or even should be high dollar.

2. Cosmetics. I am not an accomplished wood finisher. I can make things sturdy. And I can make things smooth. But put a paint brush or a can of stain in my hand and a disaster is on the way. My DIY subwoofer is outside my house, so I didn't care what it looked like. But if I ever moved somewhere that infinite baffle was for some reason not a good option, I'd have to look at box subs. I doubt my skills at making a wooden box pretty will ever approach those of some of the nicer commercial offerings.

I agree with this. also id consider buying something like an Orbit Shifter if i had the space for it vs building someithing with that kind of output
post #24 of 24
Having just gone the commercial route to the DIY route I voted no.

That said, I already owned a table saw, jig saw, router, sander, clamps, etc. I did buy a circle jig (which I could have made). The thing about DIY is that you can really shape the box to your liking and space and not worry about shipping costs. I spent roughly $1000 to build, and power 4 Dayton DVC385-88 subs and, accoding to my measurements two of them would outperform the Hsu VTF-15H ($1020 shipped) that I owned at the time. It would take about 3 VTF-15H subs (over $3K) to outperform my $1000 in DIY subs.

It would be hard to go back... In fact I am thinking about upgrading to 18" drivers (I made the boxes large enough to support them)...

There is also something to be said for making something with your own hands and having pride of ownership. Something I don't get by buying commercial.
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