Originally Posted by Hopinater
This might be the most educational thread I've ever read regarding high quality high output subwoofers as well as placement. Then nube kicked it up a notch farther with the DIY and AIY post. Great information guys.
Since nube brought up the topic of DIY and AIY I'd like to ask a question who's answer might be something the OP would be interested in as well. I've stayed away from DIY in the past simply because of the concept of speaker engineering. It always seemed to me that the reputable companies spend a lot of time and money on R&D and then make compromises to hit different price points. And yes, I understand the concept of marketing hype. That said, I have seen enough posts to begin to believe that a DIY sub can beat a manufactured sub. But speakers seem to be a bit more involved.
So here's my question, how do these SEOS waveguide speakers compare to other speakers out there? I guess what I'm asking is where do they stack up against the manufactured speakers on the market, what are they comparable to in performance, sound quality and price point? I have an idea about what a Dayton DIY sub is comparable to in the sub market but I am clueless when it comes to speaker DIY kits (I'm assuming the OP might be in the same boat). I'm asking this here instead of on the DIY Forum only because I thought the OP might be interested in the answer since nube brought it up as a good option (I may take this to that forum as well).
Thanks again guys.
That's pretty much the beauty of these AIY kits or pre-designed recommendations from recognized DIY speaker designers. They've got years of experience and have designed the kits or the bill of materials for a very specific purpose, target response, and room size. This is essentially what the retail companies do, too, but these DIY folks have volunteered their time and expertise to do it because they love doing it. And, make no mistake, they're really, REALLY good at what they do!
Never having used an AIY kit, but having built some DIY SEOS speakers that were designed/specified by bwaslo (a pretty well-respected speaker designer here), I'm of the opinion that these things can be world class for a lot less money. I built mine for ~$550ish each, all-included (still need to get the magnetic grills built), and A/B demo'd them against my friend Pete's B&W 804's in his room, un-EQ'd. He has a really, really good room and pretty serious equipment, and my DIY speakers pooped all over his B&W's. When I say that, it's his words, not mine - they were just magnificently better at essentially everything. The difference was astonishing, to say the least. Here's a direct quote from Pete:
I did some two channel listening last night with the subs engaged and crossed at 60Hz. I don't think I've ever heard a better sounding system. The demo room my dealer used to have with five B&W signature 800's might have topped this, but I'm not sure (acoustic memory being what it is). The demo room must have sounded better since the power cables cost more than my whole system.
You can view the build thread and read both our comments about the demos here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1481313/ae-td12x-ported-mains-build
. Disregard the first few posts in that thread modeling the cabinet, but do keep in mind that this was with my own cabinet design, so not nearly as easy or bullet-proof as the AIY options from DIY Sound Group. You can also look up the various build threads of many of their AIY options in that same DIY forum. As far as I've seen, they're all unanimously positive. My experience mirrors everyone else's as far as I can tell.
As for subs, well, they're a lot easier than speakers. The reason why good off-the-shelf speakers & subs are expensive is because the manufacturers gotta eat. Profit is OK, but when everything's done for you, as it is with DIY Sound Group's AIY flat pack speaker kits and sub cabinets, there really is almost no time or work involved. See below.
Originally Posted by Romans828
Hopinater, you read my mind. That was my next question as well. Since I've never been able to hear any of these manufactured subs, I would always think in the back of my head that my DIY sub was kind of a cheap option...not in the same league/quality as the well known manufactured subs/speakers. Even if it sounded good, I would be wondering how much better it would be if I went with a proven sub/speaker. By the way, everyone...feel free to post anything useful on this thread. I sure won't mind. The goal is to gain knowledge.
I realize you wouldn't know without having experienced them yourself firsthand, but your assumption couldn't be farther from the truth.
The reality is that DIY can be significantly higher quality than any retail/ID option, but it requires you do some work. The amount of work is based on what you want in a finish, mostly, and whether or not you get the cabinets premade for you, as is the case in AIY options. With a simple AIY option that's painted with truck bed liner or flat black paint, you might have a total of 3 hours worth of your own time to get them from the shipping packages to completely built and setup in your theater/room.
I was pretty much a complete newb to DIY subs (besides car subs I built years ago), but with a friend's help, made two shockingly beautiful dual-opposed subs that are individually close to the output of a single Submersive HP, for about $600 EACH. Here's my complete DIY sub build thread. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1428124/ssd-15-dual-opposed-vertical-sub-build
The pics are at the beginning, but the whole thread chronicles the build, step-by-step.
That's essentially it, but there is some minutiae that I'd hate to leave out, lest people be led astray thinking that's all. It's pretty easy, but there are a few other steps most people take.
You'll basically need wood glue (Titebond II is great!), some clamps to hold the cab together while the glue dries (though this can likely be accomplished with straps or some brad nails), maybe a sheet of 220grit sandpaper (likely unnecessary), paint or whatever you want to finish the cab with, speaker terminals, some el cheapo Walmart $3 pillows or polyfill batting, a strong stapler or a hot glue gun, a drill/driver, and some 12ga lamp cord or speaker cabling (really cheap at Monoprice). It's likely you already have or can borrow a lot of that stuff.
When the glue is dry, fill any holes with spackle/drywall filler and paint the cabinet. Add polyfill batting (or pillows) to the inside of the cabinet with hot glue or staples - about 1lb/1 pillow per cubic foot of internal space. Then, add wires to the driver (make sure it's the proper wiring for the impedance/load you want to present to the amp) & connect the leads to the speaker terminals that you will have installed into the cabinet.
Install the driver with some 1/8" thick x1/2" wide foam gasket tape (for door/window sealing) underneath it to seal, using relatively strong zip ties to lower it into the box so you don't crush your fingers, and drywall screws with holes pre-drilled. Add a separate amp that has very little signal roll-off. The EP4000 (with a modded fan) is a good option for small builds, but there are other bigger options should you decide to size up.
Unless you have a receiver with Audyssey Mult-EQ XT32, the rest you'll need to do whether or not you have a retail sub or a DIY/AIY sub: buy a miniDSP Balanced 2x4 EQ kit, a measurement mic to connect to your laptop or PC, download REW for free, hook it up, and goto town. I prefer the separate EQ & measurements route compared to the Audyssey route, simply because it's much cheaper and gives a ton more flexibility and options for manual control.
That sounds like a lot, but it's really unbelievably simple and inexpensive once you do it. There's essentially no woodworking required, at all.
Originally Posted by Avgass
femi - Add to that list of things required - a microphone that works with REW (such as a UMIK-1), a device for EQ (eg. mini DSP), accessories (feet, cable, connections) and finishing (paint etc.). I don't consider any of these items to be optional. I'm running a couple of sealed SI HT18 D2s in custom 4cuft boxes run off a CV-5000 at the moment and it's pretty epic in 4000cuft. I could add a couple more drivers to that amp but a) I'm not sure I need to and b) I don't currently have the space.
Yep, all good info. Edited by nube - 11/20/13 at 2:25pm