Build 15" or 18" sub... or stand pat? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 40 Old 01-21-2019, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Build 15" or 18" sub... or stand pat?

I've currently got a 10" SVS-PB1000 and an 8" Dayton SUB-800 behind the couch in my 2150 ft^3 theater. I don't know if the 8" is doing much at all, but I just threw it in there since I already had it and figured it'd help with any dead zones from the primary sub. There's no real MLP since the couch has 4 seats and people tend to sit wherever they want. Listening preference is 95% theater, 5% music, and typically at low-to-moderate volumes.

To my ears, my current setup sounds pretty good. Bass is satisfying, and I've got some cheap transducers installed in my couch to provide some rumble. But hanging around these forums, I know I'm leaving a lot on the table. According to this calculator, I'm getting pretty much nothing in the low-bass range: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...ulf-score.html

And so, even though I'm not entirely unhappy with my current setup, I'm getting the itch to experiment and upgrade. Buying commercial subs is an expensive way to experiment, of course, so I've come around to the idea of DIY. Generally, I'm lousy with DIY projects (impatient, sloppy and have a lousy sense of aesthetics!) and have no access to power tools. On the plus side, I'm not in a rush with this project, the subs will be tucked behind a couch, and I'm OK with the idea of burning a little bit of cash in order to learn and iterate.

I'm thinking a flat pack from PE is the way to go... I'd start with a single 15" Ultimax kit and see how it goes.

First question is... would I be better off with a UM-18 instead? That seems like overkill to me -- the pack costs more and I'd need a bigger amp as well (inuke 6000 vs 3000?). Remember, listening levels are pretty moderate, and I'm guessing that even the 15" would be a huge improvement over what I have now.

Next question is... does my SVS PB-1000 have any place in my new setup? Would it make sense to keep it alongside my new DIY sub to provide some nice clean mid-bass? Or should I just sell it and build a second sub?

And finally.... am I crazy? I'm starting this project mostly to satisfy my curiosity. Maybe I won't even see such a great upgrade from my current setup at moderate volume?

Thanks in advance for any answers/help/insights!
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post #2 of 40 Old 01-21-2019, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethav View Post
I've currently got a 10" SVS-PB1000 and an 8" Dayton SUB-800 behind the couch in my 2150 ft^3 theater. I don't know if the 8" is doing much at all, but I just threw it in there since I already had it and figured it'd help with any dead zones from the primary sub. There's no real MLP since the couch has 4 seats and people tend to sit wherever they want. Listening preference is 95% theater, 5% music, and typically at low-to-moderate volumes.

To my ears, my current setup sounds pretty good. Bass is satisfying, and I've got some cheap transducers installed in my couch to provide some rumble. But hanging around these forums, I know I'm leaving a lot on the table. According to this calculator, I'm getting pretty much nothing in the low-bass range: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...ulf-score.html

And so, even though I'm not entirely unhappy with my current setup, I'm getting the itch to experiment and upgrade. Buying commercial subs is an expensive way to experiment, of course, so I've come around to the idea of DIY. Generally, I'm lousy with DIY projects (impatient, sloppy and have a lousy sense of aesthetics!) and have no access to power tools. On the plus side, I'm not in a rush with this project, the subs will be tucked behind a couch, and I'm OK with the idea of burning a little bit of cash in order to learn and iterate.

I'm thinking a flat pack from PE is the way to go... I'd start with a single 15" Ultimax kit and see how it goes.

First question is... would I be better off with a UM-18 instead? That seems like overkill to me -- the pack costs more and I'd need a bigger amp as well (inuke 6000 vs 3000?). Remember, listening levels are pretty moderate, and I'm guessing that even the 15" would be a huge improvement over what I have now.

Next question is... does my SVS PB-1000 have any place in my new setup? Would it make sense to keep it alongside my new DIY sub to provide some nice clean mid-bass? Or should I just sell it and build a second sub?

And finally.... am I crazy? I'm starting this project mostly to satisfy my curiosity. Maybe I won't even see such a great upgrade from my current setup at moderate volume?

Thanks in advance for any answers/help/insights!
You'll certainly notice a big difference even at moderate levels.I'd go with 18" if you have the space.Flatpacks with iNuke amps are the easiest way to get started.

If you want some really nice ported flatpacks,look into these...
www.GSGAD.com

The nicest packs available!
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post #3 of 40 Old 01-21-2019, 04:58 PM
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The better question is not whether you should get a UM-15 or UM-18, but How many UM-18s you should get?
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post #4 of 40 Old 01-21-2019, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg35 View Post
I'd go with 18" if you have the space.
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Originally Posted by Craig S King View Post
The better question is not whether you should get a UM-15 or UM-18, but How many UM-18s you should get?
Thanks for the advice. I've seen this elsewhere but I'm sorta skeptical. Why do I need such gigantic drivers? I'm not looking to shake the paint off of my walls! I'm just hoping to get some more rumble and immersive bass. Shouldn't the 15's be plenty for that?
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post #5 of 40 Old 01-21-2019, 08:03 PM
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I don’t know if this will help you but I jumped completely in to the deep end and skipped the 18’s and went straight to a pair of 24’s. So you are not crazy and if you spend enough time around here you may think you need 4 or more. Good luck
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post #6 of 40 Old 01-21-2019, 08:03 PM
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Save yourself the aggravation and just go with an 18" , or more . If you are curious about the jump from an 8 and 10 , you will most likely come to the same point if you go with a 15" , and wonder what an 18" is like . I went from a 10" Polk to a 12" Hsu and it was an amazing difference , but even though I'm in an apartment and can rarely crank the bass , I started wondering about more . I decided that it made more sense to go with an 18" , since either way it would be turned down most of the time , but when I can let it go , WOW! I staved off the upgrade bug by jumping past the 15, at least for a while , these damned 21" and 24" sub threads are messing with me dammit
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post #7 of 40 Old 01-21-2019, 08:55 PM
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The box size isn't that much bigger,cost isn't that much higher between 15"and 18" woofers.

If you have room and budget get the 18" (or larger).Bigger cone size is better! You can always turn it down!

Also,get an amp that you can run two subs on(iNuke 6000 w/DSP or equivalent) so you can build a second sub in the future.
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post #8 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help. I guess I needed to be beaten over the head with that advice!

I found a local speaker builder who will build a cabinet for me. About the same price as the flat pack from PE, and it means I won't need to do the assembly. That's a big win for me. It won't be exactly the same design as the PE cabinet, but it'll be a front-ported, 4 ft^3 unfinished pine box, so that should be OK, right?

Driver & amp (Crown XLS-2502) on order, hoping for install in a week or so.
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post #9 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 11:49 AM
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Or, of course, this:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...y-bestbuy.html

Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #10 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethav View Post
Thanks for all the help. I guess I needed to be beaten over the head with that advice!

I found a local speaker builder who will build a cabinet for me. About the same price as the flat pack from PE, and it means I won't need to do the assembly. That's a big win for me. It won't be exactly the same design as the PE cabinet, but it'll be a front-ported, 4 ft^3 unfinished pine box, so that should be OK, right?

Driver & amp (Crown XLS-2502) on order, hoping for install in a week or so.

Wait... what... pine what ?? pine veneer faced plywood ? solid pine.... like edge glued panels ??

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post #11 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Wait... what... pine what ?? pine veneer faced plywood ? solid pine.... like edge glued panels ??
Solid Chinese pine. Is that a bad idea?
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post #12 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 03:11 PM
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Solid Chinese pine. Is that a bad idea?
I don't really know what that means? It's not really carved out of one piece of a huge monster chunk of a pine tree that grew in china...? If it is, I'd say go for it... that'd be epic !!

Kidding aside, your reference to pine made me question where in the build process pine is involved, and in what form. Nothing wrong with pine, but just wondering how it was being used in his proposed build. "Solid Chinese Pine" really doesn't give me warm fuzzies...

Joseph

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post #13 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't really know what that means? It's not really carved out of one piece of a huge monster chunk of a pine tree that grew in china...? If it is, I'd say go for it... that'd be epic !!

Kidding aside, your reference to pine made me question where in the build process pine is involved, and in what form. Nothing wrong with pine, but just wondering how it was being used in his proposed build. "Solid Chinese Pine" really doesn't give me warm fuzzies...

Joseph
Ha, yeah I think think of pine as being a lower-quality wood when used in furniture building, but I'm not even sure why I think that. The builder does seem to know what he's talking about though, so I'm going to go with it. He's building one for now and if it goes well, I'll have him do another.
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post #14 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 04:44 PM
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I used birch plywood in 2 of my build. I also went with a 15" 390ho driver in a marty micro . But I never completed the build until last week. About a month ago I built 2 um18-22 in a Johnny sub and a Marty cube. The jump from the little 8 inch from my energy takes classic was astounding. So... after completing another 2 subs one more cube and finishing the micro. I played with the micro 15" for a bit. While it sounded great because I already heard the 18" I knew automatically what was missing in comparison to the um18-22. What all that blather basically says is just what the others mentioned here... go for the 18" you will not regret it. The 15" will have you guessing what if. I only thought I was going to build one maybe two, I ended up making four and my only regret was not going with 4 18s. Go with the 18.
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post #15 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 06:37 PM
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Ha, yeah I think think of pine as being a lower-quality wood when used in furniture building, but I'm not even sure why I think that. The builder does seem to know what he's talking about though, so I'm going to go with it. He's building one for now and if it goes well, I'll have him do another.

here's one reason why pine is not the best choice

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test

very soft wood.

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post #16 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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here's one reason why pine is not the best choice

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test

very soft wood.
Ah yes, but this is *Chinese* Pine
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post #17 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 06:51 PM
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Ah yes, but this is *Chinese* Pine

I so hope you're kidding.

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post #18 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I so hope you're kidding.
Yeah, was hoping there was an ancient secret I was missing! I'm going to double-check to make sure he's confident in the pine and/or whether he'd consider MDF. I need to call him anyway to ask about polyfill. 1 lb per ft^3, right?
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post #19 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 07:33 PM
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Yeah, was hoping there was an ancient secret I was missing! I'm going to double-check to make sure he's confident in the pine and/or whether he'd consider MDF. I need to call him anyway to ask about polyfill. 1 lb per ft^3, right?

3/4" MDF.. don't mess around. 18" sub with an inuke 6000 punching it.. pine = pieces.. MDF with enough glue = solid !!

Yes.. just get the Polyfil from Joann Fabrics. 30$ but you can find a coupon to reduce cost.

I've built 2x UM18-22. So nice..

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post #20 of 40 Old 01-22-2019, 08:06 PM
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Yeah, was hoping there was an ancient secret I was missing! I'm going to double-check to make sure he's confident in the pine and/or whether he'd consider MDF. I need to call him anyway to ask about polyfill. 1 lb per ft^3, right?

Ancient Chinese Secret... love it. That's good stuff there.... 8))

I went with 1 Walmart pillow / cu ft... The poor lady in the 20 items or less aisle looked quite unhappy when it took 3 carts to get 16 pillows through...

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post #21 of 40 Old 01-23-2019, 05:12 AM
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post #22 of 40 Old 01-23-2019, 05:20 AM
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Most ply is veneered pine. I think your cabinet maker is fine using it in a 4cu/f box.
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post #23 of 40 Old 01-23-2019, 05:51 AM
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Is this for an 18" driver? 4cuft seems too small for a ported box.
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post #24 of 40 Old 01-23-2019, 06:17 AM
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Is this for an 18" driver? 4cuft seems too small for a ported box.
Yes that does seem small... Is the OP going with a 15?

The cut lists for all the Cubes and Marties are available on the forum of the internet. The dude building the box doesn't even need to be clever, just follow directions. A sheet of MDF is $32 bucks at Lowe's. He should use that. You don't need no Chinese pine, whatever that is!

BTW, I built some marties just smaller than the Johnny sub and I used a sheet and a half per sub. If you want small have him build a cube (just not sure how your driver will be in the smaller box).

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post #25 of 40 Old 01-23-2019, 06:28 AM
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Is this for an 18" driver? 4cuft seems too small for a ported box.

I believe the microcube is a ported design less than 4cuft.
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post #26 of 40 Old 01-23-2019, 06:38 AM
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Comparison of boxes here:
https://shop.gsgad.com/

Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #27 of 40 Old 01-23-2019, 06:38 AM
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I believe the microcube is a ported design less than 4cuft.
Doesn't the micro cube use a 15"? I thought the cube was the smallest fit an 18", but if have to re-read it to jog my feable memories.

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post #28 of 40 Old 01-23-2019, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Is this for an 18" driver? 4cuft seems too small for a ported box.
I was planning to do a sealed box. Is that a mistake? My understanding is that I'll get a smoother response curve with sealed, and can always add more if I want more output. Maybe the sealed will require more power to drive?
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post #29 of 40 Old 01-23-2019, 07:56 AM
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It's not necessarily a mistake.Lots of us have sealed.If space is the main issue it make sense.As others have said,you could build a Martycube.It's very slightly larger than the sealed flatpacks.I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make compared to a 4-5 cu sealed version.I'm curious as that would be my upgrade path(if it is much of an upgrade).

Sealed will need more power though.Get an iNuke 6000 or something with similar power.Especially if you have any thoughts of ever building a second sub.
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post #30 of 40 Old 01-23-2019, 08:17 AM
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If you’re using an Ultimax 18 then 4-5cuft sealed is optimal. If building a ported enclosure 7cuft. minimum(loose a little low end response) with 20Hz tune to 16cuft(ultra low frequency response) 15Hz tune.


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