Buried outdoor subwoofer - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Buried outdoor subwoofer

Guys,

I have been throwing around this idea for some time and I think I want to pull the trigger on it and build two direct burial subwoofers for outdoor use. I really like the design attached below. I'm thinking of having a fabrication company weld me the box so that it is completely water proof. I'm not that knowledgeable about what subs to use and what size to make this box. This is what I need help with. I would use either 15" or 18" subs. Since the boxes are going to cost some to weld, I was hoping not to spend a ton on the subs. Please help me with suggestions. And can they be regular subs? Does anyone know what Sonance, James, Klipsch, Russound, etc. all use for subs in these applications?

Ideally, I was really hoping someone would suggest a box size, port size, and the woofers that would be used so that I can build it. I don't know if that is possible or not. Please help

Lastly, I could get by with just one subwoofer per box too if someone has a better design idea?
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post #2 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 09:30 AM
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I wouldn't make it metal. I'd use plywood, then properly cover/seal it, you have a ton of options there, and be intelligent with respect to drainage/ec around the box, you don't want it sitting in a puddle if you get some hard rains. I'd make the port external, so it extends above the ground level, then have some sort of chimney hat on top to keep rain out (and a screen to keep critters out). Since size isn't really an issue, except for how big the hole you have to dig is, I'd probably go with cheap pro-audio 18's like the Dayton Audio PA460-8, although that box is going to be HUGE.

Use software like Winisd or bassbox pro to figure out box tuning/dimensions/etc.

Whatever you do, post pics. I've wanted to do something like this for a while but never had the time/opportunity.

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post #3 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking about something like 4'x3'x2', but those are very rough measurements. Do you guys think it really matters that much? If I buy (2) 15" subs, build them like the picture at the size box I just suggested with about a 4" port, will it work? And I wonder if I even need to use a marine subwoofer? I know that I would have to put a mushroom type head on the port to prevent rain from entering, but I wonder what else the retail subs like this use to prevent bugs, etc. from entering. Some sort of extremely dense screen? I mean outdoor bugs are tiny so I wonder how they do this
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post #4 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Popovich View Post
I wouldn't make it metal. I'd use plywood, then properly cover/seal it, you have a ton of options there, and be intelligent with respect to drainage/ec around the box, you don't want it sitting in a puddle if you get some hard rains. I'd make the port external, so it extends above the ground level, then have some sort of chimney hat on top to keep rain out (and a screen to keep critters out). Since size isn't really an issue, except for how big the hole you have to dig is, I'd probably go with cheap pro-audio 18's like the Dayton Audio PA460-8, although that box is going to be HUGE.

Use software like Winisd or bassbox pro to figure out box tuning/dimensions/etc.

Whatever you do, post pics. I've wanted to do something like this for a while but never had the time/opportunity.
Why don't you think I should use metal? It would be great to not have worry at all about water, etc because it will be sealed. Of course I was going to put insulation throughout the interior of the box. Another nice thing about metal is that I would also have the plates that the subs bolt into welded too. Then the box should need no more internal bracing as its a metal box. The port tube could also be welded so its all sealed for burial. In the winter months, I would just disconnect the amps (was thinking Crown XLS 1002) from the home automation system so that they cant be accidentally turned on.
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post #5 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Popovich View Post
I wouldn't make it metal. I'd use plywood, then properly cover/seal it, you have a ton of options there, and be intelligent with respect to drainage/ec around the box, you don't want it sitting in a puddle if you get some hard rains. I'd make the port external, so it extends above the ground level, then have some sort of chimney hat on top to keep rain out (and a screen to keep critters out). Since size isn't really an issue, except for how big the hole you have to dig is, I'd probably go with cheap pro-audio 18's like the Dayton Audio PA460-8, although that box is going to be HUGE.

Use software like Winisd or bassbox pro to figure out box tuning/dimensions/etc.

Whatever you do, post pics. I've wanted to do something like this for a while but never had the time/opportunity.
Also, I'm really not that familiar with how to use Winisd or what alot of the stuff means
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post #6 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Maybe what I can do is build the box in wood and then have it covered in metal? That might be alot of work. I guess I could just do all wood and then have it sprayed with rubber or bedliner material to completely seal
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post #7 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 09:52 AM
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4x3x2 is more than big enough. I modeled a pair of PA460s in a bandpass with an 8cf sealed inside chamber and another 8cf ported @ 40Hz for the outside chamber. At that tuning you can use a really big port, so I'd go with a 12" pipe @ 15" long or 15" pipe @ 26" long. That will give you 118dB @ 30Hz and @ 80Hz and a lot more in between. If you decide you don't need to reach down to 30Hz you can raise the tune and get even more output. Just let me know what your desired frequency range is and I can change the model for you.

The big port will allow much more output before chuffing, and considering you are going to have to put some kind of screen to block the bugs (and airflow), the more port area the better.

Note: The 8cf sealed chamber for the two PA460s can simply be broken into two 4cf chambers if you want three chambers like your sketch. So in that case, you'd go 4cf 8cf 4cf from left to right in your sketch.

Take the Red Pill (BassEQ) BassEQ Demo Clips
Video: Sony 85" X900F @ 80" eyes-to-screen (49.4° viewing angle)
Audio: Denon AVR-X4400H 7.2.4 Atmos
Mains: Fusion-15 LR, Fusion-8 Center, Ported Volt-10 Surrounds, Custom 45°/45° Double-Angled Ported Volt-6 Atmos
Subs: The Two Towers (HT18 32cf 11.5Hz x 2), UM18 4cf x 2, Crowson MAs x 4

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post #8 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 09:53 AM
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No, especially with bandpass, volume and dimensions make an enormous difference.

I wouldn't make it out of metal because it's going to be expensive unless you're using very thin scrap metal you have laying around, and when you're done you're going to need a crane to put it in place. It's cool, but just not practical IMO, especially for something buried. If you want to not worry either seal it properly or use some material (nylon perhaps) that's impervious to moisture.

I looked into making an aluminum enclosure, because it's cool. Super expensive and heavy, at least for what I wanted to do. Steel is also expensive and will be prohibitively heavy unless you make it super thin, then it's just going to be super heavy. I'm a fairly robust individual, having competed in the heavyweight powerlifting categories for many many years, and about the last thing I'd try to move is a dual 18" bandpass enclosure made of steel. Someone else here at AVS back me up on this, you'll need a forklift to move it. Honestly, once you get dimensions figured out you may as well try to pick up a buick. She'll go 700+ lbs easy, in a shape that you can't grab a hold of. Hard pass.
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post #9 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Another post. For example, take a look at this from James. Its a 21" burial subwoofer. The box is made of aluminum and the woofer used has an aluminum cone. This thing weighs 200lbs
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post #10 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aron7awol View Post
4x3x2 is more than big enough. I modeled a pair of PA460s in a bandpass with an 8cf sealed inside chamber and another 8cf ported @ 40Hz for the outside chamber. At that tuning you can use a really big port, so I'd go with a 12" pipe @ 15" long or 15" pipe @ 26" long. That will give you 118dB @ 30Hz and @ 80Hz and a lot more in between. If you decide you don't need to reach down to 30Hz you can raise the tune and get even more output. Just let me know what your desired frequency range is and I can change the model for you.

The big port will allow much more output before chuffing, and considering you are going to have to put some kind of screen to block the bugs (and airflow), the more port area the better.

Note: The 8cf sealed chamber for the two PA460s can simply be broken into two 4cf chambers if you want three chambers like your sketch. So in that case, you'd go 4cf 8cf 4cf from left to right in your sketch.
So you are saying I could make the whole box 2'Hx2'Dx4'L,with making the internal left chamber 1' of the 4'L, the center chamber 2' of the 4'L, and the right chamber 1' of the 4'L?

It will mostly be playing music, but want it to go fairly low. This will be played with landscape speakers. Do you think going with 2 15" subs in each enclosure is too much, and should just go with 1 15" subwoofer in each? Just dont want to run into a case where I have to turn the sub enclosures down because they overkill the landscape speakers
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post #11 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I think the Dayton Audio RSS390HF-4 15" Reference subs would work great and they have aluminum cones, unless you guys have other suggestions
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post #12 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rf5000 View Post
Just dont want to run into a case where I have to turn the sub enclosures down because they overkill the landscape speakers
Actually, that should be your goal. That's when you know you have enough sub for the application

Take the Red Pill (BassEQ) BassEQ Demo Clips
Video: Sony 85" X900F @ 80" eyes-to-screen (49.4° viewing angle)
Audio: Denon AVR-X4400H 7.2.4 Atmos
Mains: Fusion-15 LR, Fusion-8 Center, Ported Volt-10 Surrounds, Custom 45°/45° Double-Angled Ported Volt-6 Atmos
Subs: The Two Towers (HT18 32cf 11.5Hz x 2), UM18 4cf x 2, Crowson MAs x 4
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post #13 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 10:47 AM
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I think the Dayton Audio RSS390HF-4 15" Reference subs would work great and they have aluminum cones, unless you guys have other suggestions
What about RSS460HO-4 if you want the aluminum cone?

Take the Red Pill (BassEQ) BassEQ Demo Clips
Video: Sony 85" X900F @ 80" eyes-to-screen (49.4° viewing angle)
Audio: Denon AVR-X4400H 7.2.4 Atmos
Mains: Fusion-15 LR, Fusion-8 Center, Ported Volt-10 Surrounds, Custom 45°/45° Double-Angled Ported Volt-6 Atmos
Subs: The Two Towers (HT18 32cf 11.5Hz x 2), UM18 4cf x 2, Crowson MAs x 4
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post #14 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 01:44 PM
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this has me thinking about the 50gallon plastic drums we receive fluids in at work and a sonotube under ground project. I would bet they would do great under ground but may need some ribs to brace up a little more. Maybe not with the ground pushing against the sides though.

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post #15 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 01:55 PM
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Here is a design based on your desired 4th Order Bandpass configuration using dual 18" Dayton RSS460HO drivers. The overall box is roughly 8.1 cubic feet. I'm still learning HornResp, so I hope someone checks my work. Using the Crown amp you mentioned in bridged mode you should be able to achieve 115 dB from 20-80Hz. The individual chamber sizes are ~2.6 / 2.9 / 2.6 cf. The ports are two 6" PVC DWV pipes that are 24" long. I chose the ports based on cost and availability. Larger diameter PVC pipe is more difficult to source.

I would build the box from marine grade plywood, then I would completely cover the box with fiberglass. Make sure there are no gaps in coverage where water could seep through. Extend the fiberglass well above the surface on the ports.


Have fun,
Mike
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post #16 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually, that should be your goal. That's when you know you have enough sub for the application
Yes I know it should!! One other thing I worry about with using a wood box and completely sealing it is if the sub ever needs replacing. There would be no way to open it up. It looks like the retail manufacturers of these subs have metal cases that can be opened.
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post #17 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mhutchins View Post
Here is a design based on your desired 4th Order Bandpass configuration using dual 18" Dayton RSS460HO drivers. The overall box is roughly 8.1 cubic feet. I'm still learning HornResp, so I hope someone checks my work. Using the Crown amp you mentioned in bridged mode you should be able to achieve 115 dB from 20-80Hz. The individual chamber sizes are ~2.6 / 2.9 / 2.6 cf. The ports are two 6" PVC DWV pipes that are 24" long. I chose the ports based on cost and availability. Larger diameter PVC pipe is more difficult to source.

I would build the box from marine grade plywood, then I would completely cover the box with fiberglass. Make sure there are no gaps in coverage where water could seep through. Extend the fiberglass well above the surface on the ports.


Have fun,
Mike
Interesting and thanks for doing that. Now I wonder, what if I wanted to just do one sub per box. Does anyone know how this would be setup in a diagram? And then what dimensions and port size should I use? Is that the best 18" sub to use? Or are there better options with aluminum cones? Is $300 for the sub a good price?
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post #18 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I wonder how something like this would work

https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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post #19 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I wonder how something like this would work

https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
Suspend the sub in the middle with a mounting plate, add a port tub on top fitted to one of the holes in the cover already and there you go!! Wonder how well that would work.
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post #20 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I actually think this could work out very well. I'm invisioning the barrel buried vertically. The cover is water tight because these barrels are used to ship liquids. Suspend a 15" or 18" sub either 1/4 or 1/2 the way up the barrel buy making a complete round wood plate that you screw in from the outside with a hole in the middle for the sub. So the sub would be facing up. Waterproof the bolt holes used to secure the plate. Add a port extending from one of the predrilled holes on top or from both of the predrilled holes on top as it looks like there is two. What do you guys think? I assume the cover wouldn't leak with the pressure from the sub since it is ported. Those ports may be a bit small too, I cant imagine that bigger hole on top being bigger than 2". would it be weird to have a 2" port and then a smaller 1" port? I guess a bigger hold could be cut and then figure out a way to do a larger port and water proof it. I dont know how something like this would model out.
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post #21 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rf5000 View Post
Interesting and thanks for doing that. Now I wonder, what if I wanted to just do one sub per box. Does anyone know how this would be setup in a diagram? And then what dimensions and port size should I use? Is that the best 18" sub to use? Or are there better options with aluminum cones? Is $300 for the sub a good price?
One driver will work fine, with obviously less output. In that case, 3cf sealed and 2cf with 2 6" ports @ 33" long works really well. How you orient the chambers is totally up to you, they could be side by side or top and bottom. It makes no difference.

I love the RSS460 for this application, especially with the aluminum cone. It has a really nice flat native response in the box above. The much cheaper PA460 can give you similar output on even less power if you give it a little bit more volume, but the native response won't be as flat so you might need to flatten it with EQ.

Take the Red Pill (BassEQ) BassEQ Demo Clips
Video: Sony 85" X900F @ 80" eyes-to-screen (49.4° viewing angle)
Audio: Denon AVR-X4400H 7.2.4 Atmos
Mains: Fusion-15 LR, Fusion-8 Center, Ported Volt-10 Surrounds, Custom 45°/45° Double-Angled Ported Volt-6 Atmos
Subs: The Two Towers (HT18 32cf 11.5Hz x 2), UM18 4cf x 2, Crowson MAs x 4
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post #22 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 03:55 PM
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I actually think this could work out very well. I'm invisioning the barrel buried vertically. The cover is water tight because these barrels are used to ship liquids. Suspend a 15" or 18" sub either 1/4 or 1/2 the way up the barrel buy making a complete round wood plate that you screw in from the outside with a hole in the middle for the sub. So the sub would be facing up. Waterproof the bolt holes used to secure the plate. Add a port extending from one of the predrilled holes on top or from both of the predrilled holes on top as it looks like there is two. What do you guys think? I assume the cover wouldn't leak with the pressure from the sub since it is ported. Those ports may be a bit small too, I cant imagine that bigger hole on top being bigger than 2". would it be weird to have a 2" port and then a smaller 1" port? I guess a bigger hold could be cut and then figure out a way to do a larger port and water proof it. I dont know how something like this would model out.
You're going to need bigger ports so plan on cutting holes for them. Ported subs will produce at least as much internal pressure as sealed, that not being the case is a common misconception about ported subs. So plan on sealing everything up perfectly and being able to hold significant pressure.

Take the Red Pill (BassEQ) BassEQ Demo Clips
Video: Sony 85" X900F @ 80" eyes-to-screen (49.4° viewing angle)
Audio: Denon AVR-X4400H 7.2.4 Atmos
Mains: Fusion-15 LR, Fusion-8 Center, Ported Volt-10 Surrounds, Custom 45°/45° Double-Angled Ported Volt-6 Atmos
Subs: The Two Towers (HT18 32cf 11.5Hz x 2), UM18 4cf x 2, Crowson MAs x 4
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post #23 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 03:57 PM
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10 gallons is only ~1.3cf. I could make something work in a 30 gallon. 60/40 split sealed/ported and tuned to ~47Hz works well.

Take the Red Pill (BassEQ) BassEQ Demo Clips
Video: Sony 85" X900F @ 80" eyes-to-screen (49.4° viewing angle)
Audio: Denon AVR-X4400H 7.2.4 Atmos
Mains: Fusion-15 LR, Fusion-8 Center, Ported Volt-10 Surrounds, Custom 45°/45° Double-Angled Ported Volt-6 Atmos
Subs: The Two Towers (HT18 32cf 11.5Hz x 2), UM18 4cf x 2, Crowson MAs x 4

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post #24 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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10 gallons is only ~1.3cf. I could make something work in a 30 gallon. 60/40 split sealed/ported and tuned to ~47Hz works well.
30 gallon would work. The height of them is only about 30" and they are about 19" wide. Perfect for a 15" sub. I'm really like this idea. If the sub was mounted 1/4 of the way up from the bottom, I could get long port tubes inside that come out the top. I would want to keep the surface of the barrel as close to the ground level as possible. So the top of the barrel would only be about 4 to 5" under the soil. Then could run the longer port tube down into the barrel. Would you just face the sub up and leave everything else hollow? Wont need bracing on a steel drum. As far as the cover, they usually are those ring and bolt covers that get tighter as you tighten the bolt. I dont have experience with this. I would assume sine they are used to ship liquids that they get very air and water tight. I suppose I could run some rubber or something along the seam for when it is tightened down to make sure it is sealed up. Would you still run a layer of foam inside the whole interior or just leave it metal?
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post #25 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Just like this one, and this one is lined inside to prevent corrosion. Its about $150 shipped to me

https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail...Open-Top-Lined
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post #26 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 04:35 PM
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Check Craigslist. You can often find used drums for less than $20. Some are lined and some are not, so you need to ask. The drums will likely rust out after a decade or so. The exterior paint is quite thin. They also work great for making smokers!


Mike
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post #27 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Could you model this for me? Using the 30 gallon drum, mounting the subwoofer a 1/3rd the way up the barrel, sub pointing up, with that same Crown amplifier and using a Dayton Reference 15", even though I think they are currently sold out. The barrel comes with a 2" hole and a 3/4" hole already in the lid. So would probably have to make the 2" hole bigger which will be the hardest part about this. Would just lease the 3/4 hole plugged. Unless I can get a cover with a bigger hole already, maybe like a 4"? I'm not sure. I will put a layer of foam around the barrel inside, maybe just use glue residential insulation batts. I assume the port tube will stick out of the barrel top at least a foot, so don't know how far down inside the barrel the port needs to go?

Also, any suggestions on mounting and designing that wood plate inside for the subwoofer. I suppose it has to be sealed all the way inside? That is harder to do when it is round and metal. Would I just get it as best I can made out of wood, mount it and then feel in any gaps all the way around inside with some sealant , caulking, etc.? Or would having someone weld a subwoofer plate inside be better? That way it is sealed and I dont have to bolt it in from the outside? Only problem there is that I would probably have to use at least 1/4" steel so dont know how heavy or expensive that would get. Or, does it even have to be sealed between the chambers? I assume it does
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post #28 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 04:48 PM
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With a 30 gallon drum and the 390HO, splitting the chambers at the midpoint works better.

You should be able to seal the inner baffle easily enough with a nice bead of PL Premium.

Take the Red Pill (BassEQ) BassEQ Demo Clips
Video: Sony 85" X900F @ 80" eyes-to-screen (49.4° viewing angle)
Audio: Denon AVR-X4400H 7.2.4 Atmos
Mains: Fusion-15 LR, Fusion-8 Center, Ported Volt-10 Surrounds, Custom 45°/45° Double-Angled Ported Volt-6 Atmos
Subs: The Two Towers (HT18 32cf 11.5Hz x 2), UM18 4cf x 2, Crowson MAs x 4
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post #29 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 04:53 PM
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Here's a comparison of the 460HO and 390HO, both in 4cf total:


Take the Red Pill (BassEQ) BassEQ Demo Clips
Video: Sony 85" X900F @ 80" eyes-to-screen (49.4° viewing angle)
Audio: Denon AVR-X4400H 7.2.4 Atmos
Mains: Fusion-15 LR, Fusion-8 Center, Ported Volt-10 Surrounds, Custom 45°/45° Double-Angled Ported Volt-6 Atmos
Subs: The Two Towers (HT18 32cf 11.5Hz x 2), UM18 4cf x 2, Crowson MAs x 4
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post #30 of 68 Old 02-24-2019, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks. So what about the port? Like I said, if the top of the barrel is 4” under the top soil, and then the port cons 6” to 8” out of the ground, that is a total of 10” to 12” from the lid up. How much should I have down into the barrel? And what width size tube port should I have?
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