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New at DIY; looking for advice on my first sub (1st round of questions)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Howdy,

I am thinking about taking the step down the DIY road to build a subwoofer. I have started to read Gorilla83's "New to DIY? FAQ's" sticky and it has a lot of great info (thanks!). As I am starting this path, there are a lot of questions and info to digest (obviously). This post is not to circumvent me learning on my own but to rather point me in the right direction while I dive into simply learning about this project and my options.

For example, I do not even know what type of questions to ask. I am a complete newbie to not only DIY speakers but sound systems in general. That said, I do enjoy building things and appreciate fine craftsmanship.

Currently I have a Klipsch RW-12d (the only sub I've ever own). My room is 20' long x 12' wide x 7.5' high and would mainly be used for home theater.

Should I even an bother making a sub that will match well with my Klipsch RW-12d? Is that one benefit of a DIY sub (ability to match an existing sub)? Is there a general rule of thumb on saving money through a DIY project vs buying from a retailer? I homebrew and know full well that getting into homebrewing to save money is a futile (you'll spend far more money on equipment, time, ingredients, etc. than buying a couple cases of good craft beer). Can the same be said for DIY speakers (wood working equipment aside)?

Thank you in advance,

p.
post #2 of 9
On a price vs. performance basis, you will definitely save money with DIY. Determine your budget, the maximum size and number of subs you intend to run (2 subs are much better than 1, 3 - 4 are nearly optimal, and 5+ is insane...eek.gif), and how much amplifier power you can afford to send into your subs. Once you answer these questions, we can give you more useful recommendations.

In general bigger is better, and more is more better! Bigger enclosures, bigger drivers, more subs and definitely more power !!

Horns are most efficient, then ported and finally sealed enclosures (less efficient subs require more power to produce the same loudness). Size goes from large to small respective to the enclosure types. Low end extension falls off fastest below the enclosure tuning point in the order above as well, with sealed enclosures having the most gradual fall in output below tuning.

These are generalizations, and there are many exceptions, but they should help frame your thinking. DIY also allows you to spread out your expenditures so there can be less of a dent in any given pay period. On the other hand, it can be addicting...tongue.gif

Mike
post #3 of 9
To follow the homebrew analogy, plan to spend considerable effort upfront in the education and planning stages because dumping everything and starting over isn't much of an option. Attention to detail is critical since you can (should?) build them to last many years and you will always know what you could have done better.

So relax, grab a homebrew, and keep reading.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Mike DIY also allows you to spread out your expenditures so there can be less of a dent in any given pay period. On the other hand, it can be addicting...


And if you do find it so over time you will have amassed a few amps, drivers and tools where building a new sub/s is much cheaper than what it was at the start. You might elect to use a amp on hand or a driver or two in a different alignment. The cost can come down to just incidentals actually.

Welcome to DIY P.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pieper53 View Post

Should I even an bother making a sub that will match well with my Klipsch RW-12d?
Setting your sights way too low you are.
First off, do not go DIY with the idea of making the equivalent of a $300 commercial sub for less than what you can buy it for. You can't, because you cannot buy anything that goes into a $300 sub for anywhere near the price that manufacturers do. Whether its the driver or amp they buy thousands of units at a time factory direct, you're buying one at a time from a retail source. OTOH $300 and less commercial subs are, frankly, junk that you don't want to have anyway.
What you can do with DIY is build a sub for $300-$400 that would cost you at least $600 to buy, and depending on the design, perhaps much more than that.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies.

My initial thoughts are going with a ported design, 12’, with a powered amplifier. My budget is around $300-$350.

After reading a handful of post about DIY subs I see there are a lot of plans but there isn’t a list of equipment needed and why. Part of this project for me is to learn about acoustics and the workings of equipment (amp, driver, crossover, etc.). I know that matching each piece of equipment is a very important piece of the equation but am not sure what I should be looking at. Is there a beginners post around that sort of thing that I just haven’t found yet? (e.g., where I can find what drivers work well with certain amps?)

Thanks,

p.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi folks,

A few questions as I continue my research...

1) How do folks go about choosing an amp? I assume that I want a powered amp (external) so that I could hook up more subs in the future (I get the feeling I'll want to build a second soon after the first!).

2) Cost of driver... should I spend more money on a quality driver - and not the highest end amp (within my budget)? My thought there is that I can always upgrade an amp but upgrading a driver would be nearly impossible.

3) How many watts should I be looking at? I know I can get a dozen different thoughts on this questions but I really don't know where to start in this area.

Thanks again for the time,

p.
post #8 of 9
post #9 of 9
Quote:
My initial thoughts are going with a ported design, 12’, with a powered amplifier. My budget is around $300-$350.

for reference:
My DIYSG flat pack 4 cu ft 12" Ultimax sub ported box build is at $652.
If you went with 500w plate amp ($210 Dayton) you could reduce that just slightly to $610.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1502689/diysg-flat-pack-4-cu-ft-12-ultimax-sub-ported-box-build#post_24013553
Quote:
Total running cost of project: $652
$200 driver + $140 flat pack + $240 amp + $40 ports + $12 fan mod + $10 magnetic grill guides + $6 binding post cup +$4 Neutrik NL4FX Speakon connector
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