LMS 5400 Ultra Couch Sub (Nearfield) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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LMS 5400 Ultra Couch Sub (Nearfield)

A few years ago I built sealed enclosures for (2) 18" TC Sounds LMS 5400 Ultras. I was always very impressed with what these subs were capable of. Each had a QSC RMX 4050hd rated 4000 watts @ 4ohm powering them. I had them nearfield behind my couch and they were firing into my back from about 3" away. The tactile sensation from this was insane!

Right after I finished them I had builders remorse though......I was questioning if I should have gone with ported enclosures instead! At the time I had a hutch behind my couch so I couldn't build ported anyways, but after a furniture rearrange I had a ton of room. I made the decision to build some ported boxes and make them into a couch table, you know something to put junk on, and somewhere to install beers while watching movies.....

Not knowing much on how to design a ported enclosure, I sent @LTD02 a PM. Told him what I had to work with and he thankfully helped my out with a box. It is loosely based off of another design of his....the Cyclops.



Here is a SPL chart for (1) I have (2) of these so add 6db. The chart shows the difference between sealed and ported. Also this chart is at 1m outdoors. They are 3" away of my back, and inside. Not sure how to calculate SPL gain for being so close, and room gain (is there room gain when they are so close?)........ but I can tell you they freakin pound



The original PM to John was just about a year ago, and everything was finalized then. Unfortunately between kids, work, and life in general I didn't have any time to build them. About a month ago I decided to make it happen, and the following is the process.

Its kinda funny that in the last month I've seen at least 2 other couch table sub builds. I used to hang out a lot in the DIY forum, but not much lately. I have also noticed ported is the new cool thing to do. A few years ago it was sealed......guess im jumping on the band wagon.
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post #2 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I was explaining to LTD02 that I had up to 9'Wx2'Dx3'H to work with, and that I wanted it to have a decorative top. In classic fashion LTD02 came up with a rendering that shows pretty much perfectly what I was envisioning.



I chose to go with the drivers in the middle of the box.......

My idea was to build the boxes out of MDF and put something like a 2" thick butcher block on top stained to a color I liked. I ended up building the entire box out of maple ply, and just staining the top of it. The rest was painted with duratex. I didnt feel like dealing with the dust or weight of MDF. The day I went to Home Depot the only thing reasonable was the maple ply. It was not my first choice, but I wanted to get started on the build and didn't feel like driving around to find some birch ply. I was not too happy with the maple ply.....it was 5 ply, had some small voids and I didnt think the structural integrity was that great. I ripped a 3.5" x 48" piece for the port brace and with me just bending the piece the laminations broke apart. It just snapped....the same thing with the bracing that is 1.5" wide. Makes me worry a bit since the Ultras are going to beating away in there. I'm sure it will be fine, but I would have rather worked with some 11 or 13 ply birch. So far no weird noises.

So again everything except for the top is duratex, and I stained the top a color called "Gunstock" it was a varthane product. The clear I used for the top was varathane water based satin poly. This stuff was great to work with. I was hesitant because it was water based, but i was really happy with the way it finished. It laid down flat with no brush marks and it seems really durable. Plus the clean up was super easy. The brush rinsed off with just warm water in like 20 seconds. Faster than cleaning a brush that has latex paint on it.

One thing that I will pay more attention to next time is how I make the cuts and where I put them on the box. For example the tops........I was working so fast and cut the tops out of 2 different sheet of ply. I should have cut both tops from the same sheet so the color and grain matched better. In the raw form you can see the difference, but once stained it is not as noticeable. Also what side of the ply......one side had a more refined finish to it and when I put the top on i got the sides mixed up. Oh well.......next time.
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post #3 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Now for what everyone is here for.........Pics:


















You can see good examples of what I was talking about in regard to different sides of the ply. The picture showing both boxes from the front the color is off and you can see imperfections on left side. Also you can see the voids in a few of the pics, especially the one with a close up of the driver cutout.

I wanted to build these fast so I didn't use clamps, or a brad nailer. Usually I would clamp the pieces together, then shoot a few brads to hold, then remove the clamps. This time I got some "spax" screws that pilot as they go in. They had trim heads so no counter sinking, and the hole was small. I then filled and sanded.

Obviously I cut the bracing out where the driver goes. It was easier to just cut a bunch the same size and slap them in.
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post #4 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Just some black rattle can for the port and the driver recess.














Posting the pics in multiple posts because im afraid that the "token" will expire or I will go over the size limit per post. I tried to post this thread the other day, and I tried to do it all in one post. I seriously spent over an hour and a half on it. When I hit the submit new thread button.....it said that my token had expired. I was pissed I say it every time.....the way you have to post pictures on this site is so annoying!

In some of the pictures you can see the top looks kinda like burl, or blotchy. Although I like the look of it, its actually some sun sails I have. Its the shade cast on the tops by them.

More finishing pics to come............
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post #5 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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post #6 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Previous nearfield subs....


Forgot how freakin heavy these drivers where!








It looks like I took a bunch of pictures of the same thing, but I put 4 coats of poly on. So there are pictures in between coats.
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post #7 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Impressions

I am so glad I went to the dark side! I feel like there is WAY more thump, punch, slam with these compared to sealed. Now don't get me wrong the nearfield sealed subs were no joke, but the ported are a different league.....and I haven't even put a DMM on the amps to see what the voltage is. So far all I did was reset my mini dsp Open DRC-an, put a 12db bw HPF at 20hz, re-ran Audyssey XT32 (actually I just got a Denon 4300h installed) and bumped the sub trim up 8db from where XT32 set it. Just with that it freakin bumps hard! I was smiling ear to ear when I first turned it up.

I put the HPF at 20hz just to be safe for now. I plan to break out REW and use the signal generator to see where the final tune is. Once that is figured out I'll set the HPF 1hz lower than the final tune.

Also I plan to set the gains so that when I max out I will be at 113v (3200 watts I think?) Right now by bumping the sub trim 8db it doesnt even sound like they are breaking a sweat. I'm going with 113v based off of @notnyt and his build using the same LMS 5400 drivers and similar sized boxes.

I have 2 Crowson shadow 8 transducers feed off of a inuke 3kdsp and adding those into my system was the biggest improvement that I have ever made, up until now with the couch sub. The Crowsons added so much punch to the sealed system, but with my new sub I haven't even turned them on yet and im getting better punch/slam etc. I still need to set up my new 4300h for the Crowsons, but im am interested in what they will add to these ported monsters!.

It is INTENSE!

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post #8 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 01:04 PM
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Very nice! You may have a cure for deafness.

Pics should be a sticky for the recurring "how do I brace my box?" question.
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post #9 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 01:31 PM
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The subs look great and everything, but my question is what is that space you were working in??? How much I would love a gigantic open space to work in!
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post #10 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I updated some of the above posts......
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post #11 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to thank @LTD02 !

He is a huge presence in this forum and helps so many people with builds. He knows what he is doing and has no problem helping those who have no clue (Me).

Thank you John!
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post #12 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtsdig View Post
The subs look great and everything, but my question is what is that space you were working in??? How much I would love a gigantic open space to work in!
See updated posts above. I have a big area behind my couch
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post #13 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekingNirvana View Post
I am so glad I went to the dark side! I feel like there is WAY more thump, punch, slam with these compared to sealed. Now don't get me wrong the nearfield sealed subs were no joke, but the ported are a different league.....and I haven't even put a DMM on the amps to see what the voltage is. So far all I did was reset my mini dsp Open DRC-an, put a 12db bw HPF at 20hz, re-ran Audyssey XT32 (actually I just got a Denon 4300h installed) and bumped the sub trim up 8db from where XT32 set it. Just with that it freakin bumps hard! I was smiling ear to ear when I first turned it up.

I put the HPF at 20hz just to be safe for now. I plan to break out REW and use the signal generator to see where the final tune is. Once that is figured out I'll set the HPF 1hz lower than the final tune.

Also I plan to set the gains so that when I max out I will be at 113v (3200 watts I think?) Right now by bumping the sub trim 8db it doesnt even sound like they are breaking a sweat. I'm going with 113v based off of @notnyt and his build using the same LMS 5400 drivers and similar sized boxes.

I have 2 Crowson shadow 8 transducers feed off of a inuke 3kdsp and adding those into my system was the biggest improvement that I have ever made, up until now with the couch sub. The Crowsons added so much punch to the sealed system, but with my new sub I haven't even turned them on yet and im getting better punch/slam etc. I still need to set up my new 4300h for the Crowsons, but im am interested in what they will add to these ported monsters!.

It is INTENSE!
I don't have any limits set, just FYI. I only have a 24db/oct bw hpf at 13hz.
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post #14 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 02:51 PM
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post #15 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 02:53 PM
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SeekingNirvana,

Super nice work on these.....I'm liking the way the stained tops contrast with the black.
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post #16 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 05:37 PM
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As a side business you should charge folks to get rid of kindey stones lol..... Let em sit on the couch and run some sine waves at high SPL through it and bam, they will just break up.....

Great justification for your new subs to the significant other lol....

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post #17 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 05:57 PM
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Awesome build! I do have a question, why didn't you have the port also front? It's not a critique, I'm just curious. Having been doing NF for 10 years, the port and driver right in the back is a pretty substantial gain in tactile feel vs the port anywhere else.

Though I'm guessing that the extra dB gain probably makes up for it. Lol

Blasting brown notes for 10 years and counting!

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post #18 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 06:09 PM
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Fantastic build. I'm sure they provide just enough sensation.

Where was that big empty room you were building these in?

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post #19 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 06:46 PM
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Turned out great!!
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post #20 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post
Awesome build! I do have a question, why didn't you have the port also front? It's not a critique, I'm just curious. Having been doing NF for 10 years, the port and driver right in the back is a pretty substantial gain in tactile feel vs the port anywhere else.

Though I'm guessing that the extra dB gain probably makes up for it. Lol
Got me curious now, why such a substantial gain with the port front firing along with the driver?
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post #21 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notnyt View Post
I don't have any limits set, just FYI. I only have a 24db/oct bw hpf at 13hz.
Good to know.......I thought I remember you saying in your thread you were giving them 6200 watts per cab, maybe that was what you modeled it with?

So no fear of bottoming them out with more than 3200 watts? You still running clones or did you move to speaker power?
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post #22 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Dang man...very impressive!
Thanks! But your one with impressive builds
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post #23 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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SeekingNirvana,

Super nice work on these.....I'm liking the way the stained tops contrast with the black.
Thanks! I too like the contrast. Too bad it can't be seen behind the couch.
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post #24 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SeekingNirvana View Post
Good to know.......I thought I remember you saying in your thread you were giving them 6200 watts per cab, maybe that was what you modeled it with?

So no fear of bottoming them out with more than 3200 watts? You still running clones or did you move to speaker power?
Running speakerpower now. with clones I was running one woofer per channel at 4 ohms with no limiter. I added a highpass around 11hz or so when it was sealed. I moved with the same config to ported with the 13hz 4th order bw hpf and also ran without limiter. Each driver would see 4kw bursts with that config. They were never really in a setting to see more. Now, each enclosure is run off of a single channel on an SP2-12000 wired at 2 ohms, so each pair will receive about 6kw. I gained a bit of sustained output potential, but lost a little bit of burst potential in the change, but I got what I was after, which was silent cooling.
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post #25 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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As a side business you should charge folks to get rid of kindey stones lol..... Let em sit on the couch and run some sine waves at high SPL through it and bam, they will just break up.....

Great justification for your new subs to the significant other lol....
lol yea this build had WAF written all over it. When I was done she said "Nice job honey, now I need to go shopping for stuff to put on top".
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post #26 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 07:30 PM
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lol yea this build had WAF written all over it. When I was done she said "Nice job honey, now I need to go shopping for stuff to put on top".
Mine didn't the same.... I built a sofa table to go OVER the sub and she put things that could rattle on it.... like pictures propped against the wall, some vases, etc lol..

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post #27 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 07:32 PM
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Got me curious now, why such a substantial gain with the port front firing along with the driver?
It's just in the feel though. I guess the extra coming out of the port? Lol I dunno but if you ever give it a try, you go oooooooh! Lol

Blasting brown notes for 10 years and counting!

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post #28 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Running speakerpower now. with clones I was running one woofer per channel at 4 ohms with no limiter. I added a highpass around 11hz or so when it was sealed. I moved with the same config to ported with the 13hz 4th order bw hpf and also ran without limiter. Each driver would see 4kw bursts with that config. They were never really in a setting to see more. Now, each enclosure is run off of a single channel on an SP2-12000 wired at 2 ohms, so each pair will receive about 6kw. I gained a bit of sustained output potential, but lost a little bit of burst potential in the change, but I got what I was after, which was silent cooling.
Ok Ok......not sure what my amps can actually do, they claim 4K, so I should not have to worry that much.

I hear ya on the silent cooling my 4050's are loud enough to bother me for sure. I did a fan mod on them too, before the fan mod they were like airplanes.

I've thought about selling both my amps and getting a SP2-12000. I think I would still need to come out of pocket though. I paid $1100 each for the 4950's. Been awhile since I looked at the SP2-12000.
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post #29 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Mine didn't the same.... I built a sofa table to go OVER the sub and she put things that could rattle on it.... like pictures propped against the wall, some vases, etc lol..
Yea not sure how well the knickknack thing is going to work out. Not unless she uses 3M double sided tape. I have the inuke 3k on top of the subs for my Crowsons. That thing moves around like it has ice skates on lol.

Actually the sub doesn't vibrate too muck. I mean if I have it cranked to 11 it does a little, but it's pretty solid.
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post #30 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome build! I do have a question, why didn't you have the port also front? It's not a critique, I'm just curious. Having been doing NF for 10 years, the port and driver right in the back is a pretty substantial gain in tactile feel vs the port anywhere else.

Though I'm guessing that the extra dB gain probably makes up for it. Lol
Thanks!

I actually did think about the port facing the couch. I wasn't sure if it being so close would mess with it though, like it couldn't breath?

On the next one.....after seeing what @eng-399 is doing I may do it on my 21" nearfield couch build seriously though, I've thought about selling my Ultras and getting a few of those 21" subs....that is "if" I would gain anything. Don't know how to find out if (2) of the 21" subs are better than my 2 Ultras.
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