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Hesitant to take the plunge...

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
But looking at the jump in price/performance, I can't really justify not getting all the info available. I have been reading through threads for about 4 hours now and while it is all a bit jumbled at the moment, I definitely have more understanding than I did before shadyj pointed me to the DIY forum to solve my subwoofer problem.

Quote from original topic that got me pointed here:
Quote:
Greetings! First I would like to say that even after I post this, I will continue to do independent research on the topic but that I feel I would be silly not to spread my feelers and include any potential help out there in the interim until I find "the sub" for my room.

Budget for the total system is technically $5k, but I can stretch that out if I have a good enough reason/supporting argument to bring to the 'boss'. The budget includes all equipment. I figure I would allot about $1k for the subwoofer and have been searching in that area.

Room size is just a touch over 3,000 cu.ft at 15x17x12 and will primarily be used for movies/big sporting events (60%), with games (20%) and music (20%) comprising the rest.

(edit: I do love my bass. I definitely want to feel every explosion, every drop in dubstep/whatever music.)

I have been looking at the HSU VTF-15H and the Rythmik FV15HP. The premium on the Rythmik does concern me a bit, but I don't mind paying for quality. Any extra I spend here will have to come out somewhere else, so I obviously have that to deal with. I am tentatively aiming at a JVC DLA RS46 which will eat about half of that, so you can see why I want to keep the cost around $1k if possible.

I have no qualms with a DIY approach as I have seen many people suggest that you can do this (possibly twice over) for the same price and get much more value. I have zero experience in this part of it, but I do have experience with woodworking as well as the tools I would need (I think, I can't imagine not having what I would need). I don't want to sacrifice quality for cost, and building enclosures etc is all new territory to me, so that part is my main concern with this route.


Thanks in advance and I look forward to any suggestions you all have.

I do have glass in the house, as well as things mounted on the walls/etc, so going absolutely nuts isn't an option. I do want to be able to let the bass massage my body and impress the random visitor, though.

I have some amount of experience in working with wood/tools and members of my family can certainly pick up any slack I have there. I am completely new to this idea, though, and that scares me a bit. I could certainly use some guidance here if anyone is willing to hold my hand a bit for the preparation, or at least point me to what I will need.

SI 18" D2 seems to be a good option for getting huge bang for your buck. Given my budget, what do you guys think my options are? If I don't have to spend all of my allotted money, well... let's just see what is available to me before I worry too much about that I guess. biggrin.gif
post #2 of 42
If you are only going to have one sub, I would go with a better driver than the SI 18. I would be looking at the Mach 5 UXL 18. I think the SI is better for multiple driver systems, and its cheap enough to do that easily anyway. The UXL 18 is a bit more than twice as expensive, but it does offer a bit more output. More than that, its robust motor may give you tighter bass as well.

If you would rather not cut your own wood, you can order flat packs for the cabinets for some of these drivers. For instance, here is a flat pack for a sealed cabinet for the SI 18 and also Dayton RS. Supposedly the UXL can fit in this cabinet too, when the rubber surround is removed.

An iNuke 3000 would be enough to power either driver, and also have enough juice to power an additional one if you wanted two. Add a MiniDSP to equalize the bass and add some protection for the drivers. It can equalize multiple subs if you want more than a single subwoofer.
post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 
I am not totally against the idea of having more than one sub, but I don't want to take up massive amounts of space either if possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

The UXL 18 is a bit more than twice as expensive, but it does offer a bit more output. More than that, its robust motor may give you tighter bass as well.

When reading this, my mind screams buy the SI 18" and have the potential to add another (for basically the same cost) later. This is no doubt partially due to my ignorance of what "a little more output" means and just how much tighter it would be.

I don't have any issues making the cuts, I guess I just am nervous about the whole thing, big picture. If it is really as simple as picking a driver, amp, getting the wood and making the proper cuts, then I guess I just need to line out the parts and figure out where the cuts need to go. I would definitely want to save the money (and get the experience) of building my own box, then putting that elsewhere to end with a better home theater.

Thanks again, shadyJ!
post #4 of 42
If I was starting over fresh (and lived in the lower 48) this is probably similar to what I would build with the si 18

Here you can see the box layout. What you cant see is the two shelf braces that would be placed equally along the cabinet's depth. The front baffle is 1.5" thick (the rear is not). This box uses three 4" x 25" ports for a 21hz tune. Note the panel cut list at the bottom of the image shows for building 2 subs


This is showing with 650 watts and a 20hz high pass filter from using a NU3000DSP amp. If you do not feel that is enough output you can simply purchase a second amp and run each one in bridged mode. The woofer will handle 2000 watts to xmax, and port velocity wont be an issue. Basically this setup would allow you to upgrade the output if needed. You could also just start out with an NU6000DSP amp, which is literally a pair of NU3000's bridged in one case.


Not sure about the Si's true thermal power handling. but this would put you in a similar performance category with a sub like this

http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/captivator/

Except you get two for $1k
Edited by Jay1 - 8/5/13 at 9:46pm
post #5 of 42
the captivator employs a serious driver. big motor and 30 mm xmax. a little more than the si.

that said, the op states, "I have zero experience in this part of it, but I do have experience with woodworking as well as the tools I would need (I think, I can't imagine not having what I would need).'

that is no problem!

an inuke 6000 dsp will get you about 2200 watts per channel (kind of) and all the digital signal processing that you will need.

the stereo integrity 18" ht drivers are among the best value right now. dual 4 ohm drivers wired in series give 8 ohms per driver. two drivers wired in parallel give 4 ohms net per amplifier channel, which would be 1100 watts per driver on an inuke 6000dsp.

ported cabinets like the captivator or round ports like the one jay mentioned are good options. if you have about 8-10 cubic feet external for each sub, then you can create an absolute badass subwoofer system for under $1500 plus wood.

the cabinets are very easy to model and design in winisd software, which you could get yourself setup with or somebody can model up what you need. but roughly, 8 cubic feet or so tuned to about 17-18hz or so, i'd say is a sweet spot for maximum spl vs. extension.

the shape of the sub is really up to you and all that is really required is to ensure the port is large enough, the bracing is sufficient, and the cabinet is air tight...all things that are easy enough.

jay, i, or several of the other folks here can help you figure out the simple stuff such as port length/enclosure size/tuning once you get a rough idea of what you want to build.

definitely go for it!
post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 
Let's say I do build two, what about placement and direction? Can they fire at each other, or at the wall (I have a cabinet that is about 22" deep that spans the front of the room)? If I run them with a single amp, is there a practical limit on how far apart they can be placed?
post #7 of 42
quad set of 4 stereo integrity 18" ht drivers (dual 4 ohm) in 8 cubic foot ported enclosures tuned to 17.5hz each. inuke 6000dsp amp, 2200 watts per channel rms (kind of), 2 drivers in parallel for 4 ohms net per channel.

bass = huge.




Edited by LTD02 - 12/10/13 at 4:26pm
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sockfoot View Post

I am not totally against the idea of having more than one sub, but I don't want to take up massive amounts of space either if possible.
When reading this, my mind screams buy the SI 18" and have the potential to add another (for basically the same cost) later. This is no doubt partially due to my ignorance of what "a little more output" means and just how much tighter it would be.

If you go to data-bass.com, you can compare the drivers performance directly, as both have been tested there. You don't get a huge amount of extra output with the UXL, about 3 to 4 dB depending on the frequency. That is a significant advantage, but not huge. I don't know how they compare SQ wise exactly, as I have heard neither. The specs suggest that the UXL would have an edge, with greater magnetic force and less mass to move, so it has an easier time moving the cone. How big of a sound quality edge that gives it, I don't know, but there are other guys here who have heard both and could answer that.
post #9 of 42
"Let's say I do build two, what about placement and direction?"

you'll have to experiment, but a good rule of thumb is to keep the driver itself closer than 1/4 of a wavelength to a boundary or you can get a cancellation (i.e. just place the subs near the walls).


"Can they fire at each other, or at the wall (I have a cabinet that is about 22" deep that spans the front of the room)?"

yes.


"If I run them with a single amp, is there a practical limit on how far apart they can be placed?"

not a problem. place them wherever they sound the best. dsp in the amp will take care of any time delay mismatch between channels as well as between the subs and the mains.

dsp in the inuke6000dsp is easy to setup so don't let that be an intimidating factor either.
post #10 of 42
I'm not sure what the Cap's max output is, but the 2m ground plane posted on data bass for the sealed Si sub is pretty good, 2000 watts should be a few db behind that based on what winISD shows (I realize there's no compression with that)..Factoring the ported box gain, it should still be in a similar league with the Cap. Not saying it's equal to it. The Si is also only at 22mm excursion with 2000 watts and 121db (in the setup I spec'd above), so the Cap having 30mm isnt really important.

OP, you can place the subs however you like, as long as you're giving the ports and driver a few inches from a wall
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sockfoot View Post

If I run them with a single amp, is there a practical limit on how far apart they can be placed?
No
post #12 of 42
Thread Starter 
This might be a really stupid question, but if I am running them both off of the same amp, do I need my receiver to be 'x.2' (5.2/7.2) compatible? Or will 'x.1' work?
post #13 of 42
yeah, that sounds about right jay. the cap has a lower tune, around 17-18hz, and has that 4000 watt amp option. i guess that was what was in my head. that one models up to right around 30mm excursion at full power, roughly.
post #14 of 42
"This might be a really stupid question, but if I am running them both off of the same amp, do I need my receiver to be 'x.2' (5.2/7.2) compatible? Or will 'x.1' work?"

not a stupid question.

x.1 will work just fine. the signal goes to the amplifier, which then can send a different signal to the subs on each channel if you need it to or it can send the same signal to both channels.
post #15 of 42
Thread Starter 
Ok, that's how I thought it would work in my head but I just wanted to make sure. I think I have settled on the Denon AVR-3313 which has 7.2 anyway, but better to know for sure!

How much difference will there be between the 3000DSP and the 6000DSP? Just curious what my ~$100 will actually net me there. I doubt I will ever get the opportunity to add two more, so expandability isn't really a concern past 2 18" subs.

With regards to the building material, does plywood or MDF typically work better?
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sockfoot View Post

Ok, that's how I thought it would work in my head but I just wanted to make sure. I think I have settled on the Denon AVR-3313 which has 7.2 anyway, but better to know for sure!

How much difference will there be between the 3000DSP and the 6000DSP? Just curious what my ~$100 will actually net me there. I doubt I will ever get the opportunity to add two more, so expandability isn't really a concern past 2 18" subs.

With regards to the building material, does plywood or MDF typically work better?

You will want to use MDF.

The 6000DSP can give you 3 dB more output from any driver since it is twice as powerful. Remember that you have to limit the lower frequencies more strictly as it will be easier to bottom out the sub. Either amp is more than enough to squeeze all the available low frequency output out of any of these drivers, what more power really offers you is higher output in upper bass frequencies.

The Denon 3313 has two sub outs, but this doesn't make it 7.2. The media is what determines the .1 or .2 subwoofer channels, and thus far very few types of media have more than one mix for the subwoofer. Some receivers can independently calibrate more than one subwoofer, but your Denon isn't one of them. It basically treats any subs connected to it as one subwoofer. It's no different than having a single subwoofer output and putting a Y splitter on it. The Denon 4311 is able to calibrate two subs separately.
post #17 of 42
I prefer plywood over MDF, but this is purely personal and does not indicate that I think it is better. To me ply is easier to work with because it is stronger, MDF is easy to damage an edge. Again, I move a lot so weight and durability are stronger consideration than for a normal person.
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWCgrad View Post

I prefer plywood over MDF, but this is purely personal and does not indicate that I think it is better. To me ply is easier to work with because it is stronger, MDF is easy to damage an edge. Again, I move a lot so weight and durability are stronger consideration than for a normal person.

I would agree with the vote for ply. Ply is much more rigid than MDF. MDF makes for a nice smooth surface on the box. That's really it's only advantage to ply.

Anyone who has cut and routered MDF and coughed up the dust for hours afterwards and found their entire workspace covered in the fine dust will appreciate how much nice ply is to work with.
post #19 of 42
"How much difference will there be between the 3000DSP and the 6000DSP?"

twice as much power. the 6000 is essentially two 3000's in the same enclosure, which is why it can't be run bridged.
post #20 of 42
"With regards to the building material, does plywood or MDF typically work better?"

personal preference. assuming that it is designed correctly, air tight, and well braced, either material works fine performance wise.
post #21 of 42
has anyone ever compared the UXL and IXL in a physical / listening test? In winISD the differences just seem so small for nearly doubling the price.
post #22 of 42
The cap driver is in a whole other league vs the SI. It's more on the lines of the UXL than the SI. SI's are great for multiples but it would not be my choice if I was going with a single driver. 2 x SI's pretty much equal 1 UXL with the same power.
As for the UXL vs IXL, Ive had had both playing at the same time, in the same room etc. There is no right answer. I'm not going to say that either sounded totally different at normal listening volumes but at high excursion, the UXL is the clear winner.
I know most of you guys haven't heard a sub like a ixl or SI vs a UXL or LMS i a head to head battle so me saying anything is really moot. You have to see for yourselves first hand to understand.

As for wood, if the box s under 4CF, I use MDF with a plywood mounting baffle. Over 4Cf I use BB. IMO a BB box under 4CF is much to light and will walk around and is never inert enough vs MDF of the same size. That only my preference but after building a crap ton of boxes, thats what I feel works best.
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post

The cap driver is in a whole other league vs the SI. It's more on the lines of the UXL than the SI. SI's are great for multiples but it would not be my choice if I was going with a single driver. 2 x SI's pretty much equal 1 UXL with the same power.
.

It is completely application dependent. The Cap 2400 uses a 2400 watt amp in a box tuned to 17.5hz, in that configuration having 30mm xmax is needed. If the Si box I spec'd above (8 ft3 21hz) gives up 3 hz extension but handles 2000 watts, it will be within a 1/2 db from the Cap all the way down to the low 20hz range. Whether the driver is in a whole other league or not, the end result will be in the same league.
post #24 of 42
"It is completely application dependent. The Cap 2400 uses a 2400 watt amp in a box tuned to 17.5hz, in that configuration having 30mm xmax is needed."

actually, i don't think it really is. the very strong motor is actually less sensitive around the 30 excursion rise than i thought. with 2400 watts it only gets up to about ~22mm or so, which is what the si is rated for, so the 30mm xmax in that application wouldn't really provide any additional spl. of course that is just a guesstimation. then again, more linear max tends to afford more linear prior to max, so even if not pushing the limit, there could be advantages.
post #25 of 42
LTD, do you have the parameters for the Cap woofer?
post #26 of 42
This is a pic of the cap driver 0dddbbd4_vbattach242149.jpeg
It's made for JTR only by Eminence. That being said, I know the BL is in the low 20's and have heard them on a few occasions and had the driver out and in my hands. The DSP is tuned so that the driver won't bottom or compress to badly. Does anyone even have any experience with a cap or are you guys going on paper only?
post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post

It's made for JTR only by Eminence. That being said, I know the BL is in the low 20's and have heard them on a few occasions and had the driver out and in my hands. The DSP is tuned so that the driver won't bottom or compress to badly. Does anyone even have any experience with a cap or are you guys going on paper only?

None of that has anything to do with anything.

2m ground plane measurements show the Si woofer is capable of 122db @ 2m

http://www.data-bass.com/systems
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

None of that has anything to do with anything.

2m ground plane measurements show the Si woofer is capable of 122db @ 2m

http://www.data-bass.com/systems

How so, that would be a reason why it may not use it's full 30mm of excursion. I just like that it always ends up being a paper cowboy rodeo up in here biggrin.gif
I can make a civic go 130mph but that doesn't make it the same as driving a corvette.

We all know what the SI driver will do, but you don't know what the cap driver will do, thus a nice pic, a bit of experience and someone possibly having taken some measurement's and may you will be enlightened.... or maybe not, I dunno tongue.gif
post #29 of 42
The driver's already been vetted, from max performance to accurate ts parameters, it's up to the builder to make it happen though.

It's not like I'm pumping up some manufacturers spec sheet. If that was the case we would only be looking at the Si with 600 watts wink.gif
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

None of that has anything to do with anything.

2m ground plane measurements show the Si woofer is capable of 122db @ 2m

http://www.data-bass.com/systems

Lol, that was with a 10 kW amplifier. Most people are going to give it 500 to 1500 watts. I would be interested in seeing what it can do with a more realistic amplifier.
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