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Advise on subwoofer choice please - details provided

2758 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  tony123
First of all, thank you for taking the time to help me out.

I've gone absolutely nuts for the past 4 hours reading thread after thread about the enormous amount of choices in subwoofers, and as soon as I think I might have it narrowed down, someone shatters my resolve with a dashing review. Anyway, I was hoping that giving the community my specific situation might clear things up for me since I do have a somewhat unique one.

I read the first thread that said something to the affect of "read this before asking for advise." Hopefully, I'm able to give you all of the details that were requested in the thread.

(1) My budget is around $1000.00 give or take. If there is a sub that sounds like it would be fantastic for me but is above my budget, let me know anyway because I may be able to find the sub cheaper than MSRP or even used.

(2) My space seems to be the biggest obstacle for me. The depth in particular can't be any deeper than 14" whereas the width and height shouldn't be a problem at 36" and 24" respectively. If there is something just a hair over, like an inch, I may be able to use it. (That's 14D X 24H X 36W)

(3) The room is a chapel. The main seating area is 47' long and 35' wide plus there is a platform which is another 16' added to the 47'. The sub would be positioned in front of the platform, on the floor, and in the middle. It is intended for the benefit of those in the 47' X 35' seating area. The ceiling has a peak of 22' with the 45 degree angle starting about 9' off the floor.

(4) It will be used for PA about 40%, for music about 40%, and for watching movies about 20% of the time. We have hi-def projectors and screens for feature movie presentation. The front full range speakers are nice Polk Audio units, and there are EAW fill speakers half way down the room. We have no fancy surround or anything like that. We're just experiencing an obvious lack of low end. The room does have quite good acoustic properties, though.

(5) We will probably never have it rock concert loud. Allthough it may be fun for a few minutes now and then to kick it up a bit. Mostly, it will just be comfortable listening levels or like in a loud movie theatre. Like I said, we simply need to add the low range to really experience more of what the artists intended for the audience to hear and feel in music as well as movies.

(6) It will very likely be hidden behind a small curtain; so appearance wouldn't be a huge concern. Black and plain would be best. I certainly would rather spend the money on performance rather than finish.

(7) The time frame is not a huge rush but not too long either. I'd say a matter of weeks rather than months.

(8) Other consideration. Maybe I should have put this at the beginning, but I need it to be self powered. I have no more room on my rack for anything else. I suppose I could simply lay the amp next to or on the sub if I had to, though. I'm pretty flexible as far as a self powered sub or a seperate sub and amp, but the end price has to be the same; so if you like an unpowered sub, I'd need a recommendation for an amp as well.

I hope that's enough information to go on.

After reading so many threads, I'm confident that the community knows what its talking about and won't steer me wrong.

Thanks again for your time and advise.
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Those are some pretty brutal space restrictions, not to mention budget restrictions for a room of that size. The most ideal sub for that space would be the Elemental Designs P7-650 , although it is an inch over your space restrictions, but the problem is it is twice your budget. Next to that I would just get three A3s-250 subs and stack 'em, you could do that for under $1k, although it might be pretty weak bass for a room like that. I'm sorry to say it, but it looks like your in a kobayashi Maru scenario as far as getting any kind of decent bass in there.
Thank you for the reply. I know what you mean about the restrictions. They're not carved in stone, so to speak, but I do need to be responsible with the money at the same time since I need to justify my purchase to some people that don't necessarily understand or care about HiFi.

I expect I will only get decent bass to maybe 50 to 75 percent of the room at most. I say shame on those people who choose to sit so far from the action. It's their loss. I certainly want to do the best I can with the restrictions I have, though, and this is the right place to get sound advise to that end.

I'll check out the subs you've mentioned, and thanks again.

Keep it coming!
With your size constraints, a custom subwoofer would give you the most for your space, seeing as it will be for music more than movies, the design could sacrifice some low end for output, so you can better fill the space. A little more on the budget would help too.
Thank you for your reply.

I am certainly open to the option. Can you recommend a custom builder?
I have never used an HSU sub so I am speaking mostly from a size restriction that the vtf2 mk3 sub might come close? It looks like it is 15 inches wide and you said 14 inches with maybe an additional inch of play?

Thank you, Frohlich, for the info. Those are some good looking subs.

Anybody out there had experience with HSU?
That's a massive space to fill with a single sub. Others may disagree, but I don't think a normal HT sub intended for home use will give you what you are looking for. For example, you don't need something that will go down to 20Hz.

What kind of speakers are the Polks, and how are you powering and running your system?

I would suggest something larger like a DJ or PA woofer that is highly sensitive and designed for delivering bass in large open areas. The only hitch is the size. You're not going to get anything that will give you nearly enough bass at 1' x 2' x 3' in size. But the good thing is, DJ-type speakers can be cheaper.

A few from JBL:

Lots of passive subs (scroll down), just add an amp (bridge to a single channel):

Passive 18" on sale for $250 --> http://www.123dj.com/speakers/peavey/pv118.html

800w bridged at 8ohms for under $300
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Thank you, cyberbri, for the suggestions. It's all good information to have.

I was thinking more along the lines of professional subs, myself, but there are some pretty darn nice "home theatre" subs out there. Some of them may even be better than the pros, but I'm open to any and all options and advise. The more input I get the better decision I can make.

The Polks are older ones (about 30 years) but are working beautifully. We are using them as the main speakers. They have a 12" reflex woofer, two 6" drivers, and 2 top mount tweeters. Can't see the model since they're mounted to the wall. We added two EAW VR62 speakers half way down the chapel as fill speakers. All four are being powered by a QSC amplifier. I don't have any more room in my rack for another amplifier; so the subs would have to be self-powered or I would have to place the amplifier at the sub location.

That's a nice website too.

Keep it coming.
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You have 38K cubic feet, give or take, to fill. You don't necessarily have to "fill" it with bass, but you have to attack it with brute force to have it be audible throughout. I think the subs designed for DJ/party/large spaces are going to be your best bet. In home theater, even a 6K cubic foot space is considered on the larger end of things. You chould even consider going with two of those big 15"s or 18"s (at 200-400 each) with one of those amps. If one sub and a bridged amp doesn't do it, you can add a second sub and run the amp in 2-channel mode instead of bridged.

Good luck.
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I'm sure you're right, cyberbri. Maybe a few smaller ones dispersed around the chapel may work, but I'm afraid of them actually counteracting eachother if I try that.

I was just looking over the room again. There is a possibility of putting some slender tower type cabinets in the back corners. Maybe 14"-15" square and no limit on height. The fear I have, though, is that they would be too close to some of the seating. I wouldn't want those people to be overwhelmed. It's just a really difficult situation. If I were to find something that would work in that location it would have to be asthetically pleasing as well rather than a big carpeted box with a metal mesh screen.

I do have some options now, though, thanks to all of your responses.

Keep them coming.
Build two Tuba HT speakers. There are excellent build threads. The speakers would be approximately $400 each and would fill that large a volume.

These do not meet your size requirements but you were considering a custom build that could be very expensive.
Tuba HT's are an interesting idea as well. It looks like they don't necessarily have to have a large "footprint" if thay are built tall. They may work in the back corners area.

I like all these ideas. I'm really beginning to believe that it's possible.

You guys are great!

Keep it coming.
Can I get some opinions on one of the viable options that I am looking at?

A custom made box to fit the original space; 1 X 18" TC Sounds Pro sub; Ported to low 30hz; Powered by a Behringer EP4000; and controlled by an Elemental Designs EQ.2.

Input on this or any other ideas is appreciated.

Thank you.

Originally Posted by I am Barbarossa /forum/post/18175597

Can I get some opinions on one of the viable options that I am looking at?

A custom made box to fit the original space; 1 X 18" TC Sounds Pro sub; Ported to low 30hz; Powered by a Behringer EP4000; and controlled by an Elemental Designs EQ.2.

Input on this or any other ideas is appreciated.

Thank you.

I honestly think that your best bet with your budget is what a couple other posters said. A pair of Tuba HT's is going to FAR FAR outperform any options you have in your price range for a standard ported (non horn type) sub.
For your space, I don't think you can meet all of your restrictions. You'll have to give some, and even then, for that volume of space you'll need far, far more than your budget (even with low expectations).

Do some research on the DTS-10 kit from Danley. It's only available for another month. I've heard a single one in a "warehouse" space, and although the extension is lost in the space, the middle range punch is still there. One with an amp would be roughly $1500. Two might actually start doing a respectable job in your space.

Haven't heard the Tuba design, but it may be a better solution....figuring you won't get the low extension of the Danley's in that space regardless. Hmmmm.

You've got a tough request to fill.

As others said, you may try to find some used PA subs.
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