To Each His Own (driver size) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 76 Old 06-26-2018, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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To Each His Own (driver size)

Sometimes I think there is too much emphasis in this forum on 18" (or bigger) drivers. And too much derision for smaller drivers. Sure big subs are great, lots of output, good bang for buck.
But MANY people just don't want or need drivers that big. Big drivers mean big boxes. Big boxes means loss of space. I live in a small house - 1000square ft. And that space is precious. I got lucky and was able to build something big, but most people with limited space just don't have that option. Most people have many other considerations and a smaller driver fits their purposes MUCH better. 15" driver, 2 cu ft box, or less even, is much more ideal and realistic for a lot of people, so just because someone wants to use a 15", 12" or 10" driver doesn't mean squat. That is just what works for them.
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post #2 of 76 Old 06-26-2018, 08:18 PM
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You felt the need to talk down on big drivers, yet you built one.
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post #3 of 76 Old 06-26-2018, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I've just noticed a lot of comments along the lines of "why not just build an 18" DIY cab"; "15"? why so small?"; "Don't bother with that 10"or 12" sub, just throw it away"; "18 or bust!"


I don't think I've ever said anything like that. And yes I did build an 18", that was due to my personal desire for extreme bass. Not everybody has THAT desire, some people just want GOOD bass.


It's just really easy to throw those comments out but to me it feels like a put down on people who choose (for whatever reason) to use a smaller driver. That's not encouraging or helpful. Maybe I could have worded it better, but I think we can all be more careful about those kinds of comments.
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post #4 of 76 Old 06-26-2018, 08:36 PM
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I think it really comes down to the fact that almost everyone who builds DIY subs is doing it to get maximum bang-for-the-buck and/or maximum performance. 18" subs happen to be the happy medium that checks both boxes, especially factoring in that the other costs involved (tools, wood, glue, labor) are pretty similar regardless of size.

If I'm sacrificing performance for size to the point that I can't even manage to build a sub that fits an 18" driver in a footprint that works for me (such as building vertically to gain size in a small footprint, or building a sealed cube) then performance is obviously not all that important to me. After all, most people who really care about performance are building multiples, which kind of flies in the face of prioritizing space.

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post #5 of 76 Old 06-26-2018, 08:38 PM
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Why a 15 in a small cabinet?

Why not just do a 24 in a really small cabinet? Or dual opposed 18s in a small cabinet?

Or a Sealed 21?

Have you considered the 1899s OP?
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post #6 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 12:57 AM
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To Each His Own (driver size)

Reason being you aren’t really saving much space. The actual sizes themselves don’t change that much unless you see people recommend a full Marty or LLT or horn. But compare a sealed 3cu/f 15 with a sealed 18 in 4cu/f you aren’t saving anything other than a little money and losing lots of output.

Floor space is another. Some can get away with taller subs and save on floor space, you can get more cu/f that way.

Also not a lot shy away from 12’s when it comes to bass, at least mid bass that is. But it still benefits some to go large which is why you see a lot of questions like “can you go bigger?” Why? Because it’s worth it. A 10” or 12” sub won’t do much for you in the bass department, I think of you are hurting that bad then it’d be better to just get larger towers and some external amps.


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post #7 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 03:44 AM
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I really like the sound from the 12” magnum drivers there perfect for my family room we’re I can’t have big boxes. I currently ran into a deal and bought some 15” stereo integrity HT-15’s that I’m going to use my Titan bottom boxes for them in the family room in the corner. I like having big drivers but 12’s and 15’s are nice to for different situations and applications. I’m looking forward to maybe trying to veneer the boxes for the first time to that should be fun.
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post #8 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brazle View Post
Sure big subs are great, lots of output, good bang for buck.
This really isn't what it's about. The bigger drivers drop to lower frequency ranges than smaller drivers, which is very important to home theater.

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post #9 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmon1 View Post
This really isn't what it's about. The bigger drivers drop to lower frequency ranges than smaller drivers, which is very important to home theater.
Any size driver can hit whatever frequency you want. It is the bigger drivers that have less excursion for the same spl at that ULF<20hz. So in other words it requires less excursion for an 18" to hit said spl at 10hz than it is for a 8" sub for the same frequency and spl.

Value seems to be in 18" sizes for budget minded people. Hence the popularity. There has been a lack of other sizes also because of this. Not sure how well Nick's HT15's sold but I would have bought a few if they had not gone away. That being said his 18DS4 was the best value to me which I had looked at getting until those were gone also.
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post #10 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brazle View Post
Sometimes I think there is too much emphasis in this forum on 18" (or bigger) drivers. And too much derision for smaller drivers. Sure big subs are great, lots of output, good bang for buck.
But MANY people just don't want or need drivers that big. Big drivers mean big boxes. Big boxes means loss of space. I live in a small house - 1000square ft. And that space is precious. I got lucky and was able to build something big, but most people with limited space just don't have that option.
I think most that have found AVS forum started with wanting to find answers. Like most it normally starts with a system that at the time sounded good, a home theater in a box. We came to avs maybe searching for answers on a new tv or review of one. Leading to HeH lets see what this other sub section on woofers and speakers has to say. We end up reading about rav reviews on this speaker that sub woofer and lo and behold we see a new SVS sub in the driveway. First thing that comes out of your mouth is Holy Crap this thing is Big. Nothing like the plastic cased sub I have now. We bring it in and say it looks pretty and can fit in this corner. Hook it up and that is when the Line is set. We now are in hook, line and sinker. Wife puts some doilys on the top with flowers and life is good. But in the back of our minds and our continued reading on avs, the little devils is saying "1 is good 2 must be better, that is what everyone is saying" What you know a week later another svs subs shows up and this time the wife says "Where the H*** are we going to put that big thing?" This leads us to the diy section searching for answers.


And here are my answers.: Get a sealed 18
Pictures in order: Size of a flat pack, then size of svs sub then a comparison.


Bottom line is not all 12 inch drivers and boxes are that small.

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post #11 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 05:06 AM
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There are 3 reasons why they may want to buy a smaller subwoofer:
1) Can't afford an 18
2) Don't have the space for an 18
3) Don't want an 18 for aesthetic reasons. (The silliest reason of all, but ok...)

Let's talk about each one:

1) If you are down to your last package of ramen, then you probably shouldn't be buying AV gear at all (or cigarettes or alcohol or lotto tickets etc).

2) Is what it is.
Most 8's can fit in 8x8x8, and many 18's can fit in 18x18x12 (sealed min-box).
If you use low-profile drivers, even smaller.

Will it be as good as a 30cuft horn? Well no...

3) Do whatever you want dude. But evidence has shown that bigger drivers perform better at bass, with few exceptions; and 18's are in the Goldilocks-zone. (Maximum Boom/SQ, per dollar.)

Most of the richest people I know, are also the stingiest/nastiest people I know.
Like all the people on my street, pretty much. They are mostly all, millionaires, or well-off at least...
(Unfortunately they didn't get rich by being Mr.NiceGuy or giving their money to the disenchanted.)

Do 8inch subwoofers work? Yes
Is it a good idea? Depends...
Is it the best option/deal/boom-per-dollar? Probably Not!
Is it the best driver that exists? Hell No!
Is it at-least an acceptable driver? If you say so... hehe!

1899's used as Atmos Heights are highly-impractical in every regard, although it is close to "Best-possible" as far as heights go.

The-Best is rarely the Most-Practical.

They have been lying to you, we have been able to get a human to Mars within 7 days since like the 60's now, but the rocket acceleration will kill you within 30 seconds. The thrust alone will turn you into a pancake before you even leave Earth-orbit.
Imagine this:
But without all that air "slowing" it down. hehe!
Bro: We got "all the speed you can withstand", and then some...

You think your commute to work is bad now... just wait until 2030 when all the mouthbreathers are all driving Tesla's, everyone being capable of 0-to-60 in 1 second with a top speed of 400mph. (This will not end well! )

Not always practical, but all the chocolately/warm/detailed/tight/loud/fast that you can withstand.
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post #12 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 06:25 AM
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nothing wrong with 16 12s in 1.3cuft boxes....oh.

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post #13 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 07:27 AM
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If you want to build a 15", 12" or 10" sub then by all means do so, but countless guys come here and mention they want to build a 15", 12" or 10" only to end there post with something like "Suggestions would be appreciated"

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post #14 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 07:36 AM
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Chalk me up as one of those guys that thought I'd be fine with a pair of high-powered 12s in my small room. Then with ample outside influence and a better understanding of physics I realized that a pair of 18s (double the cone area) provides results far and away better than the 12s.

And I had a good lack-of-footprint problems too; as mentioned I have a small room. The solution? Custom built boxes that fit in with my setup perfectly, but still are capable of getting every last drop of performance out of the drivers.

But in the end, yes, to each his own driver size.
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post #15 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 08:14 AM
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Yea, once you order the first nu6000dsp you kind of get away from thinking 1 or 2 12's is enough lol.
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post #16 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 08:16 AM
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I went from a single Polk PSW505 to a pair of SI HT 18's in ~4.2 cu ft boxes. That was quite the space change in my livingroom at the time but was well worth it. Since then, I bought another pair of HT 18's when they were being closed out the first time, then bought another pair when they were "definitely" being closed out the second time, haha. Then, for future planning , I bought 6 more from an AVS member. That makes 12 in my house of which I have still only used 2 of but I have my bas(s)es covered for a future dedicated room build, a first floor music system for hang outs and such and one more for a future outdoor sub for the patio/pool.
I have definitely spent less on 12 subs than many other guys have for fewer, and I understand that the SI HT's are far from being the best of what's around, but for me, they will work nicely and satisfy all of my requirements. And that's what counts.
Guys are welcome to build all the 10's, 12's and 15's of their dreams. I just hope we can each achieve our goals whatever they may be!
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post #17 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
There are 3 reasons why they ....

They have been lying to you, we have been able to get a human to Mars within 7 days since like the 60's now, but the rocket acceleration will kill you within 30 seconds. The thrust alone will turn you into a pancake before you even leave Earth-orbit.

........

You think your commute to work is bad now... just wait until 2030 when all the mouthbreathers are all driving Tesla's, everyone being capable of 0-to-60 in 1 second with a top speed of 400mph. (This will not end well! )
If there was BassThatHz post that wasn't totally derailed by the end of it I would be disappointed...glad I wasn't this time either!
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post #18 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCJetta View Post
Chalk me up as one of those guys that thought I'd be fine with a pair of high-powered 12s in my small room. Then with ample outside influence and a better understanding of physics I realized that a pair of 18s (double the cone area) provides results far and away better than the 12s.

And I had a good lack-of-footprint problems too; as mentioned I have a small room. The solution? Custom built boxes that fit in with my setup perfectly, but still are capable of getting every last drop of performance out of the drivers.

But in the end, yes, to each his own driver size.
+1 to this. I lived with dual Rythmik 12"s for a decade, and finally admitted that they weren't getting the job done. I have since supplemented them with two 18"s and the improvement has been amazing. I have also "hid" one 18" as furniture (blanket trunk) and the other is tucked between two bookshelves.




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post #19 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 09:26 AM
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The portion people tend to forget is, a 12" ported to 20ish hz is usually a similar size to the UM18/flatpack combo, just different dimensions to achieve that similar size. As such, they aren't actually saving space by going with that ported 12". That's the miscommunication. They are generally just giving up potential output by the boatload and still having the same sized box sitting in their room.

That's the big thing here... In most cases we are helping battle that misinformation.

Facts:

1.) A sealed 15" is rarely more than like 1-2" in any dimension less in size than a 18". Especially if they're using premade flatpacks. You give up a lot of output, and it is very rare that said minuscule size differential would make a difference to the person. A ported 15" is also generally similar in size as a ported 18". The birth of strong motored 18s kind of defeated the need for the 15" driver.

2.) A sealed 12" isn't going to give a lot of output in the lower regions. If the person has dreams of even pushing 100dB at 20hz (which isn't uncommon, and that is 15dB below reference, a very valid and common target. That isn't a super loud target at all.), they are likely going to have to go ported on a 12 to do that (but it is doable). The problem there comes in the fact that the ported 12 is usually similar dimensions as the sealed 18, and the sealed 18 will give similar or better 20hz performance AND better performance above it (and likely below it to). So we come down to the fact that there was no real advantage to going for the 12 over the 18 in the first place.

3.) If you're going smaller than 12s, you may as well just go with towers with subs built into them. If space is that limited, I practically guarantee you can't put the subwoofers in the best location, which is even more crucial when you're packing drivers with very limited output in the first place. At least with the towers with subs built in, you're not wasting any more of your precious floor space in the process.

And this, my friend, is why everyone instantly starts advising 18s. There are cases where the 18 isn't a possibility for the poster, but MOST of the time someone thinks the 18 isn't possible they were misinformed about the actual difference in size.
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post #20 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 09:46 AM
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Let the bass drop
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post #21 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 09:55 AM
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That's because: SPL\sound-power is a function of cone-speed * cone-area, since the frequency is fixed the only way to get more is speed is with more watts/excursion.

Quote:
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If there was BassThatHz post that wasn't totally derailed by the end of it I would be disappointed...glad I wasn't this time either!
Glad to undisappoint
Now: How do I get off this planet full of neanderthals?

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post #22 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 10:08 AM
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16 12"s ?

google "ruptured spleen"

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post #23 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCRSS View Post
Let the bass drop

Whhhoooaaaaa. Need more info on that GIF.

And yes 16 12's lol.

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post #24 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 10:34 AM
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I have had a pair of 12 inch subs for over a decade and they have never had any grab or punch. I finally got sick of it and went with a 24. I figured i dont want to have to redo everything again so i better go whole hog and get the best that will fit in my space. In reality i wil have spent the same on this setup as i did the 12's. Do the math and see how you want to spend your money.
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post #25 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 10:50 AM
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I love this explosion of 21-32" drivers...

...and in a few years things will be more along the lines of why waste time with a little 18" driver... You need modulated plasma differential engines or something spectacular like that...
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post #26 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by uniquepattern View Post
I love this explosion of 21-32" drivers...

...and in a few years things will be more along the lines of why waste time with a little 18" driver... You need modulated plasma differential engines or something spectacular like that...

I anticipate it will move to installing motors to the structure to make entire walls vibrate, bypassing the need for a cone entirely. They already have those things you attach to drywall (not that they work great, but they do work).


That or instead we will move to vests or something you physically wear to provide all the tacticle feedback each users wants, with user adjustable gain knobs...


Those also exist in the real world, but not on the scale or power we'd want. Plus side would be I bet the power draw would be minimal for them, and heck you could probably plug them into the wall..... and maybe even take em with you to the theater.....



Then you literally WOULD feel that "chest kick".

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post #27 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 11:49 AM
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post #28 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 11:51 AM
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^
That or instead we will move to vests or something you physically wear to provide all the tacticle feedback each users wants, with user adjustable gain knobs...


bluetooth anyone?

should probably fit to the sternum and shoulder girdle for maximal bone contact and energy transference , more immediate than shakers ,

delivery of TR to softer organs, etc. trickier . .

the inwall transducers might be able to work well in the TR range.

I think @BIGmouthinDC ( iirc) is a guy who could add from his knowledge , iirc, he installs that kind of stuff. . icbw

just how low transducers on your body might go. . .TBD

definitely need adjustment , some PEQ over a range or it might just get too "one note" buzzy, .

like why using shakers for a lot of music makes no difference, the TR is just not there, nor was it intended to be . .

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post #29 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uniquepattern View Post
I love this explosion of 21-32" drivers...

...and in a few years things will be more along the lines of why waste time with a little 18" driver... You need modulated plasma differential engines or something spectacular like that...
Right now moving up causing a massive jump in box size for effectiveness. If we can get some stronger motors, that's when people will be asking why they are still using 18s.

Although, to be fair, if I had the extra cash to buy the HS24s during the memorial day sale, I'd have jumped to two of those over my UM18s that weekend. Sadly, my son's schooling put an end to that plan before it could even start.
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post #30 of 76 Old 06-27-2018, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Brazle View Post
I've just noticed a lot of comments along the lines of "why not just build an 18" DIY cab"; "15"? why so small?"; "Don't bother with that 10"or 12" sub, just throw it away"; "18 or bust!"


I don't think I've ever said anything like that. And yes I did build an 18", that was due to my personal desire for extreme bass. Not everybody has THAT desire, some people just want GOOD bass.


It's just really easy to throw those comments out but to me it feels like a put down on people who choose (for whatever reason) to use a smaller driver. That's not encouraging or helpful. Maybe I could have worded it better, but I think we can all be more careful about those kinds of comments.
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