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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I have gone through the whole speaker section and haven't found a thread comparing the drivers on DIY subwoofer kits, but if I missed it, I apologize. I have good woodworking and computer electronic skills, but I am at a loss when it comes to speakers. I have researched and found several different resources and can't decide which one. I would also need plans to follow for constructing a cabinet, so that factors into the decision.

I want to build a sealed subwoofer with a response down to 20-28hz. Would I be able to achieve that kind of response without a port in this price range? My room is 18x25 with 10' ceilings. I think I could get by with a 12", but if a 15" isn't much more money, then bigger is better for SPL right? Here are some names I have come up with, maybe you guys can help me dispel some of the myths:


Dayton titanic MKIII on parts express


Dayton quattro - cheaper then the Titanic MKIII, but I have heard it sounds just as good


TC sounds TC2+ on Oaudio - I have heard these are the same speakers used in SVS subs plus you get an 8% discount for the driver and amp together.


Adire Audio Shiva - pricier, but good reviews


Adire Audio Tempest - the most expensive, but good Fs


I looked into IB, but that will be impossible (WAF) since I just finished the remodeling my living room. I was going to push the drivers with a BASH plate amp. I know they use less power, but don't really know anything else about them except that that is what SVS uses.

Any thoughts, flames, or suggestions would be appreciated since this would be my first venture into speaker building.


Dave
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
I want to build a sealed subwoofer with a response down to 20-28hz. Would I be able to achieve that kind of response without a port in this price range? My room is 18x25 with 10' ceilings.
That's a big room for a sealed sub. When you say response down to 20-28hz, is that -3db or -10db or flat response?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
I would also need plans to follow for constructing a cabinet, so that factors into the decision.
Why do you need plans if you have good woodworking skills? We can show you some examples of other people's designs but and you can use the same construction techniques. Most DIY subs are 100% custom. Also, why are you stuck on a sealed sub if you are needing the plans. If you are following plans, ported and sealed will be the same difficulty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
I think I could get by with a 12", but if a 15" isn't much more money, then bigger is better for SPL right?
Not always.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
Dayton titanic MKIII on parts express
Nice sub with very positive reviews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
Dayton quattro - cheaper then the Titanic MKIII, but I have heard it sounds just as good
It will sound as good until you reach its limits. When the Quatro is struggling, the Titanic will be cruising along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
TC sounds TC2+ on Oaudio - I have heard these are the same speakers used in SVS
Not the same speaker, just the same speaker manufacturer. TC Sounds also builds for Sound Splinter, Rythmik Audio and Eclipse. Very high quality and low distortion. The TC9 from Sound Splinter are a step up. TC Sounds will also be carrying the TC Sounds LMT driver soon. Those will be massive subs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
Adire Audio Shiva - pricier, but good reviews
That's for the old Shiva. The new Shiva has not been released so there are no reviews available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
Adire Audio Tempest - the most expensive, but good Fs
Are you looking at the T/S parameters for the old or new version. Also which size driver now that the Tempest is a line of drivers and not just a 15" model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
I was going to push the drivers with a BASH plate amp. I know they use less power, but don't really know anything else about them except that that is what SVS uses.
Yes, they are efficient but the models that you can buy don't have the same features as SVS, just the same manufacturer. Both O Audio and PE sell BASH amps now. Pro amps offer a more power per $ but they have drawbacks as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
Any thoughts, flames, or suggestions would be appreciated
You have a good list. Also look at the AV series from AE Speakers. John J. is building them as well as the old Lambda Acoustic subs. Highly regarded subs. Elemental Designs Kv.2 series model very well as home theater subs. Same with some models of JBL and Infinity subs. The Cerwin Vega VMAX has good T/S parameters for a great price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
I looked into IB, but that will be impossible (WAF) since I just finished the remodeling my living room.
Why impossible. My wife was very happy not to have sub boxes in the theater room. In the living room, they had to match the entertainment center. Good thing the cabinet maker had some stain left over.


-Robert
 

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To get down to 20hz in a sealed subwoofer you are going to need a LT circuit.You will need some out board device to inverse the natural rolloff of the sealed enclosure.They make plate amps that have built-in LT circuits and stand alone LT devices like Marchand Electronics BASSIS.


You will need minimum in your room a couple 15" drivers with large amplification.It takes alot of juice to push 15's in a sealed enclosure.The drivers must have great Xmax and stable bl while doing so.Those are XBL2 technology.


I like sealed subwoofers and I enjoyed the process.There are easier ways to energize your room.But is a sealed design is what you are looking for plan on multiple long excursion drivers coupled with hioutput proamps and some type of LT circuit.


Keep us updated KG
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlj5242
It will sound as good until you reach its limits. When the Quatro is struggling, the Titanic will be cruising along.
Hmm, I recall reading a post over at the PE boards that someone much preferred the Quatro over the Titanic (owned the Titanic at first, then the Quatro).
 

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Since you're going to have a DIY why not use this:
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/servo_product.htm


I have one sealed version of it and can recommend it to anyone; tight and 'musical'. Of course you have to give up something and in this case it is SPL since it is sealed. By this I mean that you won't get out 110db with minimal distortion like some subs might be able to do. My guess is that 100db (perhaps a bit more) at 20hz with quite low distortion is the reality with this one. The SPL available has been more than enough for me in my smaller listening room:)
 

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I have a vented Quatro 15 and love it. I don't know how far back you can search on the PE board, but if you can go back more than six months, you can find the post from the guy who thought the Quatro sounded better than the Titanic. You can also find posts from a poster who ditched his ported Quatro box for a smaller, sealed one.


If you get the Quatro 15 and th ePE 240 watt amp, you can get the driver and amp for your $220.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Guys,

Thanks for all the help. I can't believe all the helpful input you guys have given me. I have been a member of other forums, mostly automotive, and I have never seen a more helpful bunch of guys.


robert-

You raise a lot of good questions that I need to consider. Based on the responses I have been given, I am going to abandon the idea of a sealed sub. It sounds like I would need a couple of them for my size room, and my budget won't allow for two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlj5242
That's a big room for a sealed sub. When you say response down to 20-28hz, is that -3db or -10db or flat response?
I don't think I could afford a flat response at that frequency, probably something between -3db and -8db, but I am really just guessing. To be honest, I don't know how much of an audible difference there is between 110db and 100db. I have no experience. I am trying to wrap my head around these concepts which were foreign to me a month ago, so forgive me if I haven't really answered your question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlj5242
Why do you need plans if you have good woodworking skills? We can show you some examples of other people's designs but and you can use the same construction techniques. Most DIY subs are 100% custom. Also, why are you stuck on a sealed sub if you are needing the plans. If you are following plans, ported and sealed will be the same difficulty.
Very good point. In fact, based on the responses I have gotten, I think the best solution for my room is a vented subwoofer, since I cannot afford two sealed ones. The only reason I wanted plans was for a crutch since it would be my first DIY speaker. It looks like there are enough helpful people on this forum along with myriads of websites dedicated to this, that I can build my own sub without plans.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rlj5242
Not the same speaker, just the same speaker manufacturer. TC Sounds also builds for Sound Splinter, Rythmik Audio and Eclipse. Very high quality and low distortion. The TC9 from Sound Splinter are a step up. TC Sounds will also be carrying the TC Sounds LMT driver soon. Those will be massive subs.
Thank-you for clearing that up. That was confusing me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rlj5242
Are you looking at the T/S parameters for the old or new version. Also which size driver now that the Tempest is a line of drivers and not just a 15" model.
I was looking at the 12", but they are a little pricier



Quote:
Originally Posted by rlj5242
You have a good list. Also look at the AV series from AE Speakers. John J. is building them as well as the old Lambda Acoustic subs. Highly regarded subs. Elemental Designs Kv.2 series model very well as home theater subs. Same with some models of JBL and Infinity subs. The Cerwin Vega VMAX has good T/S parameters for a great price.


-Robert
I went to AE speakers website, It seems alot of it is still under construction. But I did follow a link to their reseller. Looks like a good product at a good price. I especially like the breakdown of dollar amount per liter of displacement chart. Makes the product seem really good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kgveteran
To get down to 20hz in a sealed subwoofer you are going to need a LT circuit.You will need some out board device to inverse the natural rolloff of the sealed enclosure.They make plate amps that have built-in LT circuits and stand alone LT devices like Marchand Electronics BASSIS.
Thanks for the advice. I had to do some resaerch to figure out what LT (linkwitz transform) stood for, but I learned all about it. I read from Rhythmic Audio's website that they don't perform well in a vented enclosure, but would have been perfect in my orginal plan for a sealed box. Thanks for the good advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvaarani
Since you're going to have a DIY why not use this:
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/servo_product.htm
That is one of the most informative websites I have come accross. Thanks sooo much. I have spent the last two days going through it and learning. I don't know how much of it is marketing, but it seems to be the real deal, at a reasonable price.


I like the idea of a direct servo sub kit like the one offered from Rythmik audio. In fact the posted link has a picture of one of their subs in a vented, downfiring configuration. It looks like it is really easy to build one of those boxes. Just a couple of questions more:


Has anyone else used their kits that can elaborate?

Is the direct servo technology as good as they make it out to be?


Now that I am dedicated to a vented subwoofer without plans, I have even more questions about an enclosure:


Downfiring vs frontfiring - what noticeable differences are there?


Where should the ports be placed and how do you tune a port?


Should the ports be front firing or rear firing? Most configurations I have seen seem to be rear firing.


What method do most subwoofer builders use for their Joints? Most that I have seen use sheetrock screws, guerilla glue and simply butt the ends together. Is that all that is necessary? It just seems too easy.


Internal bracing placement - I have read the best way to place it is parrallel to the longest side of the enclosure, but what if you are building a cube that has all sides equal?


I am sure that I will have more questions. If ya'll will help me with some of the anwers, I would love to draw something up and post it for feedback. Thanks again.


Dave
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
Is the direct servo technology as good as they make it out to be?
Servo technology will give you a cleaner output by limiting it. I'd rather get enough sub (large and in number) to keep the distortion to a minimum by not having to push it hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
Downfiring vs frontfiring - what noticeable differences are there?
If one were better, all subs would use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
Where should the ports be placed Should the ports be front firing or rear firing? Most configurations I have seen seem to be rear firing.
Again, if one way was best, everyone would do it the same way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
how do you tune a port?
Vary the length and diameter. The larger the diameter, the longer the port. At a point, it's too long to fit in the box. The reverse is also true, the smaller the diameter, the shorter the port. The smaller the port, the more port noise you get. You either find the perfect match or a trade-off you can live with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
What method do most subwoofer builders use for their Joints?
I use butt joints, TightBond II wood glue and a lot of clamps. If I have time, I'll add biscuits to the equation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
Internal bracing placement
Use other's examples. Like this one- link

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
lsusaints7
I must be slow because I finally get your user name. The Saints are my NFL team because I grew up watching them on KNOE out of Monroe. A high school classmate of mine used to host the Mike Ditka show on the New Orleans Fox station. Can't say the same about LSU though. I'm a University of Arkansas alumni.


-Robert
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusaints7
Has anyone else used their kits that can elaborate?

Is the direct servo technology as good as they make it out to be?


Now that I am dedicated to a vented subwoofer without plans, I have even more questions about an enclosure:


Downfiring vs frontfiring - what noticeable differences are there?


Where should the ports be placed and how do you tune a port?


Should the ports be front firing or rear firing? Most configurations I have seen seem to be rear firing.


What method do most subwoofer builders use for their Joints? Most that I have seen use sheetrock screws, guerilla glue and simply butt the ends together. Is that all that is necessary? It just seems too easy.


Internal bracing placement - I have read the best way to place it is parrallel to the longest side of the enclosure, but what if you are building a cube that has all sides equal?


I am sure that I will have more questions. If ya'll will help me with some of the anwers, I would love to draw something up and post it for feedback. Thanks again.


Dave
I'll do my best to answer your questions...


1. I really cant elaborate on servo driven subs as I have never used one or built one.


2. downfire/frontfire...not audible difference, but driver sag may be an issue depending on what you decide on. there is a quick formula to figure that out.


3. same with the ports, just make sure that if you downfire, you have tall enough legs to give the sub and ports some room to breathe. also make sure the ports are not to close to the driver, and if the port end inside the enclosure should not be too close to any panels...rule of thumb: 2-3 port diameter clearance when possible.


4. subs that i have built, I used a healthy dose of clamps and gorilla glue...no screws, as i didnt feel like having to fill all the holes. once the glue sets, the screws do nothing...all strength comes from the glue. they might help in getting the panels aligned, but if you take your time and use a square, that is not going to be a problem. some people also used rabbet joints...not worth it IMHO.


5. bracing...you cant have enough. wish i had some pix handy of my 220l vened box i built last year...its bomb proof, i braced across all sides, and top to bottom. dont forget to account for the volume of the bracing...and try not to stay away from cube...there can be standing wave problems. as a quick example, something 22x22x37, 37 being the height would be good dims for a downfire sub. the driver should be aligned with the long panels...give the rear waves some breathing room.


here is a quick shot of the 220l i built last year...tempest driver and 250w plate amp.
http://www.cyberfrogs.net/photo/inde...0856.jpg&id=10


this year i decided to try IB:
http://www.cyberfrogs.net/photo/inde...diaroom&page=2


my advice:

-buy plenty of clamps...you cant have too many.


-take your time and do the homework upfront, its not rocket science but there are alot of things to consider...size, output, FR, etc...list your priorities, then decide what sub design best meets the needs


-gorilla glue is where its at, strong and expands to fill gaps. wear gloves or your hands will be brown for days :)


-make sure you let the caulk drive for a couple days before you install the driver. the fumes as its curing can eat the surround.


-ask as many questions as you need and can


-unibox is better than winisd...it might look more complicated, but once you get the hang of it, you'll wonder why you'd use anything else.


-take your time...
 

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I built a cylinder sub using a Dayton 15" DVC. It can kick some serious butt and I'm positive, I'd have to spend $1k or more to equal it. It stands 6ft tall. Mine sits out of site behind my screen and false wall.
 

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need4speed gave you lots of good advice save for one thing. Don't worry about building a cube. Standing waves are NOT an issue with subwoofer enclosures. The length of the sound waves are so long that enclosure shape has no affect on the performance of the sub.


Before I got a nail gun I used Titebond wood glue and clamps. As long as you have a few clamps, I'd suggest skipping sheetrock screws altogether. Gorilla Glue will work, but is overkill, IMHO. They cause more problems than they solve. Even with just wood glue, the glue joint will actually be stronger than the wood itself. One area where Gorilla Glue excels is that it foams and expands as it dries. So if your cuts aren't perfectly square the GG will fill the gaps. Since you said you've got good woodworking skills I'd suggest just using Titebond wood glue. As long as you've got squeeze out along the joints you're good to go. I don't even bother caulking the inside seams of cabinets any more.


Oh, and I'll second the recommendation for Unibox over WinISD. I haven't used WinISD for a couple of years now.
 

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I have firsthand experience with the DirectServo DIY kit since I built one for myslef a couple of years ago :)


You can see my sub from the Rythmik Audio web pages (last pictures in 'testimonials'). It's sealed, about 2cuft and downfiring. The technology behind the DirectServo is sound. Sure, it is simplier than eg. Velodyne's servo implementation but it works as promised. There are better subs around but to be able to offer tighter and more accurate sounding sub with flat extension to 20hz you would have to pay more. A lot more. The downside is SPL since it is sealed. But since I don't listen at reference levels that isn't a problem (my max 'recorded' SPL whn wathing movies or listening music has been just a bit over 100db).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlj5242
Servo technology will give you a cleaner output by limiting it. I'd rather get enough sub (large and in number) to keep the distortion to a minimum by not having to push it hard.


If one were better, all subs would use it.
I would like to give my perspective on these issues and my view is clearly biased ;)


1) Servo technology does not need to limit the output in order to get a cleaner output. I can work on any driver, convert it into servo, and compare it to the original driver and achieve lower distortion when the amplifier is not clipping and will be same as the original driver when the amp is clipping. The subtle difference here is amp clipping. Accelerometer based technology is marginally stable (because there is a 180 degrees phase shift at 0hz from the accelerometer), so they put in a limiter to prevent it from getting into amp clipping. Our servo is based on a totally different technology. The phase shift from the sensing coil is only 90 degrees at 0hz, so it is absolutely stable. No need to limit the output.



2) Most successful products are based on clever marketing. A textbook example is beta vs VHS.


Brian D.

Rythmik Audio
 
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