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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Firstly hello and secondly thank you to all those that persevere through all the following waffle.

I've been reading the forum for a few weeks now, trying to work out how I should upgrade my 7.1 system from my Paradigm PDR100 sub. But I'm finding the more I read the more confused I get and would love some advice on what to do.

I was originally looking at a HSU VTF-2 MK5 but after seeing some of the DIY builds I really like the idea of building something myself and if I could build a better sub(s) for under $1k.

However purely for the reason that I don't really want to see the sub(s). I'm limited to space, the enclosure(s) would either need to fit to around one 20x22x22" box or two 17" cubes. Installed in the corners of the room. 80% of the time the system will be used for movies.

I'd also like to use plate amps over a pro amp as I have children who will also need to use it, the auto on and less complication makes this preferred.

I don't want to design from scratch and would prefer to build off existing plans, I like the idea of Rythmik Audio's DS1200 plans however it's cheaper to buy their prebuilt subs then their amp and driver, or the Home Theater Gurus' The Hammer.

If I build should I and can I, budget in mind go with one 1x 15 or 2x 12?

Or for my circumstances should I just buy a prebuilt sub or even the Dayton Audio 15" Ultimax Subwoofer and Cabinet Bundle from PE and stick a 1000w Dayton amp on the back?

I'd love to hear some ideas on what I should do.

Thanks in advance


Room is open: approximately 17'x30', 7.1 setup, Sony STR-DN1080, Q Acoustic 3050i freestanding and centre, 4x in ceiling SpeakerCraft AIM8 One, Paradigm PDR100 sub.

3075925

3075926
 

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Discussion Starter #2
OMG even more confusion. I've just realised the Dayton Ultimax 18 only requires a very slightly larger box than the 15. How would this compare to most consumer subs?
 

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While I’m a fan of DIY and find the process very rewarding, the value in DIY subwoofers generally comes when you start scaling up in size, with multiple drivers and shared amplification, compared to retail and the ID offerings. IMO, a single HSU VTF-2 MK5 or even a pair is pretty much unbeatable for the price, ease of use, footprint, finish, warranty, etc.

For your needs in that room, I’d stick with a prebuilt ID sub. Yes, the UM-15 and UM-18 are very popular for DIY, but if you only have two placement options, there’s no guarantee those positions will be optimal anyway, so I suggest you try the ID subs first before jumping into a potential DIY hazard.


Good luck!
 

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Two UM18's is a great choice for most people. It's going to out-do most consumer subs while being sealed. Great package. It's bigger than you suggested in your first post but if you can twist your own arm, you're there. Do it!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. After looking further into the full costs of a UM18 build, including duratex, polyfil, feet, glue, screws, gaskets etc. It works out the same price as a 15"ID sub, would the performance of the UM18 really be much different?
 

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Yes the UM18 offers more xmax, power handling, a higher sensitivity of 88.6 vs 86.5 (UM15), and displaces more air because of the larger cone area. I'd get the UM18.
 

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Why are you limited to 17" cubes? Just aesthetic desire?

It seems pretty evident from pics you have way, way more room then that available in your corners (especially vertically)

I would do 2 subs over 1, and pro amps can be setup to auto on or realistically just left on to no ill effects
 

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I probably posted something similar in the past about one 20 cube or 2 x 17.
Whatever you get is going to be a huge upgrade over your current sub.
As has been stated the best value in diy is going big and multiples.
Running 2 subs off an nx6000 amp gives a lot of power for very little money.
If the 2 subs are 18's in at least 20 cube then your starting to get in the sweet spot, bigger still and more output for no money.
17 cubes limit you somewhat to driver choice but you can still cram some 15 in there.
There are drivers better suited to smaller enclosures than the ultimax but depending where you live probably not as cheap.
One thing to consider is that a diy sub doesn't have to be an obvious black cube
 

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Let me give some real world feedback here. I just finished a build of 2x UM-18. You can buy 2x HSU subs for the about the cost of building 1 UM-18. Yes, when you factor in the sub, the box, the paint/supplies, and the AMP, it’s going to cost $1200 (+/- $200). And that’s not including time/effort. I’ve spent about $2k on my 2x UM-18 build and now I can only look at the HSU subs and wonder if 2x MK-2 15’s are a better option. I would have saved money and quite a bit of time going that route.
 

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I concur with @gridpool and @Sekosche that the value in DIY is in the really outrageous designs, in making something different either form factor and/or unique finish, and in doing it yourself. It is NOT in saving money; same goes for loudspeakers. Mass production has gotten very very efficient and inexpensive, you can't compete at the low end (unless a "kit" like the Parts Express C-Note is really a mass produced item anyway).
 

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Let me give some real world feedback here. I just finished a build of 2x UM-18. You can buy 2x HSU subs for the about the cost of building 1 UM-18. Yes, when you factor in the sub, the box, the paint/supplies, and the AMP, it’s going to cost $1200 (+/- $200). And that’s not including time/effort. I’ve spent about $2k on my 2x UM-18 build and now I can only look at the HSU subs and wonder if 2x MK-2 15’s are a better option. I would have saved money and quite a bit of time going that route.
Dead on. My 2x UM18's back in the day, with amps, finishing, etc. etc. were around 2k all in, 100% done, up and running calibrated with minidsp. For some, it's saying "heck, I can get the driver for 300, wood for 100, that's 400 dollars ..." but that's just not real. It's also one of the reasons my later DIY ventures are much more ridiculous. You reach a point it's like, hell, PSA and JTR did a great job for XXX dollars. Just buy that. Unless you want what you want, or want to do the process, or like me (this time anyway) and want to be crazy.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the insights guys.

Yeah I’m purely restricted for vanity reasons with the other half.

Perhaps I should mock it up in cardboard and she what she says.

Still undecided though costs much more than I originally thought. But then again I couldn’t afford to buy a prebuilt 18.

I’m also in Australia and get stung $400 for delivery
 

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Let me give some real world feedback here. I just finished a build of 2x UM-18. You can buy 2x HSU subs for the about the cost of building 1 UM-18. Yes, when you factor in the sub, the box, the paint/supplies, and the AMP, it’s going to cost $1200 (+/- $200). And that’s not including time/effort. I’ve spent about $2k on my 2x UM-18 build and now I can only look at the HSU subs and wonder if 2x MK-2 15’s are a better option. I would have saved money and quite a bit of time going that route.
Are you happy with the UM-18s? I feel like im at a crossroads on building or buying more subs too.

I think it was Chris that suckered me into building subs with a bunch of the $29 JBL drivers next I got in my head I needed to make 3 HTM-12s which are complete. Now I am thinking I need two Um-18s to keep up with the HTM-12s and to use the JBLs and nearfield......expensive........ Not to mention the miniDSP HD, calibrated mic etc....

Luckily I am midway building a bunch of acoustic panels and everything is out of stock. So my wallet is taking a break....
 

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Are you happy with the UM-18s? I feel like im at a crossroads on building or buying more subs too.

I think it was Chris that suckered me into building subs with a bunch of the $29 JBL drivers next I got in my head I needed to make 3 HTM-12s which are complete. Now I am thinking I need two Um-18s to keep up with the HTM-12s and to use the JBLs and nearfield......expensive........ Not to mention the miniDSP HD, calibrated mic etc....

Luckily I am midway building a bunch of acoustic panels and everything is out of stock. So my wallet is taking a break....
They gave me the low end I was looking for. Pretty decent so far.
 

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They gave me the low end I was looking for. Pretty decent so far.
Would you describe yourself as a basshead? I really just want smooth bass that has some tactile feedback. Not really into making my walls rattle to the point where I am questioning if my foundation is going to fall apart. Which I can honestly do with the 8 JBL drivers, I just wouldn't say it's smooth, super responsive clean bass from those though. That being said I can't even listen to the Klipsch sw12s I had before without feeling like they sound bad. I honestly don't know if I am just on the never-ending upgrade path or just haven't found the perfect setup.

Also what amp did you go with?
 

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I wouldn’t call my UM-18s too tactile right now in this setup. It’s pretty deep. More deep than midbase but still punchy enough. I’m working it out. I’m using the NX6000 right now for the amp.
 

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I'd also like to use plate amps over a pro amp as I have children who will also need to use it, the auto on and less complication makes this preferred.

If I build should I and can I, budget in mind go with one 1x 15 or 2x 12?

Or for my circumstances should I just buy a prebuilt sub or even the Dayton Audio 15" Ultimax Subwoofer and Cabinet Bundle from PE and stick a 1000w Dayton amp on the back?
I think it might be worth reconsidering the plate amp versus a pro amp (ex. Behringer NX6000d or nx3000d). Having two subs will definitely be better for your large room and to help even out any room nulls. So if you compare two 1000W @4ohms for Dayton plate amps (total 425*2 = $850) vs a single nx6000d which can drive 2 channels at 3000W @4 ohms ($500-600) or a single nx3000d which is 2 channels x900W @ 4 ohms ($350-400) you can see that there can be considerable savings in the pro amps. Also the pro amps (with a "d" for the Behringers) have a built-in DSP to allow for tweaking the output curves. When you read about the Behringer you will find that everyone will agree they don't fully reach their published specs, but the Dayton plate amp won't reach 1000W either. So consider all of the numbers as just relative. The key is the pro amps will give you more bang for you buck especially when building multiple subs, which is why most DIYers use pro amps instead of plate amps.

For simplicity you really are adding only a single on/off switch for the pro amps and if the pro amp is off everything still runs fine, you just obviously don't get the rumble.
 

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Are you happy with the UM-18s? I feel like im at a crossroads on building or buying more subs too.

I think it was Chris that suckered me into building subs with a bunch of the $29 JBL drivers next I got in my head I needed to make 3 HTM-12s which are complete. Now I am thinking I need two Um-18s to keep up with the HTM-12s and to use the JBLs and nearfield......expensive........ Not to mention the miniDSP HD, calibrated mic etc....

Luckily I am midway building a bunch of acoustic panels and everything is out of stock. So my wallet is taking a break....
Trying not to hijack the thread, but have you considered adding a VBSS instead of UM18s? The VBSSes would obviously be a larger physical box, but if you already have a pro-amp that has one channel unused you could put 1-2 (maybe more) VBSSs on that channel. I mixed 1 VBSS with 4 sealed $29 JBLs and it works really well.
 

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Trying not to hijack the thread, but have you considered adding a VBSS instead of UM18s? The VBSSes would obviously be a larger physical box, but if you already have a pro-amp that has one channel unused you could put 1-2 (maybe more) VBSSs on that channel. I mixed 1 VBSS with 4 sealed $29 JBLs and it works really well.
Wish somewhere sold VBSS flatpacks. Id be willing to make one just to try @ the price.
 
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