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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....
Huh! That's same the path I went down. Three HTM-12's, eight of the $29 JBLs sealed, and two UM18-22's sealed. I put the UM18's nearfield though. I'm really happy with it all.
 

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Have you reached a conclusion yet?

For your space and taking into consideration the aesthetics I would go bought subs. Before I get shot, let me add I just finished building two 18” ultimax woofers into 12 cu ft box each, so I’m far from opposed to DIY. It works well, to say the least especially with my HTM-12s. BUT, they are not pretty. I’ve been doing woodworking stuff for 25+ years and this is some of my crappiest work yet simply because they were going behind a screen.

My point is, in that space, if you are doing DIY, you’ll need to finish it very very well or you will very quickly get very low WAF or any love from the W.


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@DinoF40...what is the -3dB frequency on the low end of your L/R mains and your center. Have you checked that with RTA? The Audyssey Editor App will also show you a rough idea of that if you don't have an RTA. There is what the manufacture says it is, and what it is with the acoustics of your room. That said, you should never trust it lower than what the manufacturer says is its -3dB frequency.

I bring this up because whatever subs you go with will need to be able to (or designed to) cross with them at that point and reach as low as your expectations of bass are. If the LCRs are -3dB at 80Hz, you are likely better off with manufactured subs that will be strong from roughly 30Hz up to the LCRs. The UM-18 in any cabinet is not renowned for being strong above 50Hz if it is also to be strong down to 20Hz and lower. That is why guys in large rooms like yours and mine sometimes go with mid-bass modules in addition to the UM-18 larger cabinets.

You have a very nice room. WAF is certainly at play. You can check with local craftsmen to find affordable custom made "tables" that will not have a bottom, therefore slip over a sub to disguise it. You just need to give it one side that has a fabric panel so it can breath...or similar...perhaps spaced pickets. If I am correct, any UM-18 and/or MBM will need some filtering and limiting to integrate it and protect it.

Food for thought.
 

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20x22 dedicated space, BenQ HT3550, 150" 16x9 screen, Yamaha RX-A3070 5.2.4
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I have to say the 2x UM18-22 and the NX6000 have put me in another level of exposure and immersion. It’s pretty great.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Thanks for all the replies. I've just picked up another 12" sub second hand and recieved my miniDSP and Umik mic today. I'm going to set up the dual 12" subs properly first, and see if this makes a big enough improvement for now. This'll give me time and learnings for me to understand the best approach for moving forwards.
 

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Thanks for all the replies. I've just picked up another 12" sub second hand and recieved my miniDSP and Umik mic today. I'm going to set up the dual 12" subs properly first, and see if this makes a big enough improvement for now. This'll give me time and learnings for me to understand the best approach for moving forwards.
Solid plan.
 

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Come on guys, no love for the end table sub option yet? WAF for days if you're handy, and more than enough output since the subs are literally right next to you.
Disguising subwoofers as furniture I think is a great technique, assuming you can make them work well in respective locations.

I guess a possible reason to not jump on that immediately, if you don't already have subwoofers that cover the same frequency range (most likely less extension), is being unsure, if they will work, building them to form, and then discovering they'd work better somewhere else.

Then again, most of the room problems I've actually had were in the range that pretty modest subwoofers could reproduce, like 40 Hz up. I once entertained the idea of getting 4 8" Ultimax woofers to simply do testing of room response for clients, but unfortunately, within reach of my professional circles, which is is centered on the control systems, as opposed to playing the 'Guru' card that tends to flock with architects and 'designers', there aren't many actually interested in spending the time (and money) to actually chase good results, particularly since their attention and motivations get seduced by masquerading experts who spew without particular comprehension some tidbits that they heard at a seminar, which is enough for most clients to buy into their credibility, and when the job is done, it may not be what it could be, but the client doesn't know any better and the charlatans walk away. I've resigned myself to accept that it is the default modus operandi of High-End A/V.

Once, though, I was gratified, when a client brought in some 'experts' recommended by the Genelec rep, who were very happy to explain to me all of this knowledge that I had heard before, and was incomplete or misguided, and had no interest in considering that I might offer additional perspective, you know, "Let me show you how much I know" guys, I helped them as requested getting their stuff working from a functional level the client would accept, had to push to steer away from 'auto on' circuits and such, basic stuff to avoid end-user annoyance, and when they finished, they presented their masterpiece to the co-client, his wife, and she listened for a minute, turned around with a grimace, and said something to the effect of, "I don't know, I feel like something is missing. I don't think he's going to be happy with this."

I felt kind of the same way. This guy was replacing some pretty expensive, very technically sound custom fully-active speakers, which included two towers of 8 12" NHT-1259s, transmission-line modified tweeters and mid-ranges, and before that was running an Infinity IRS V system. He had bought the Genelecs not because he was upgrading this was his first nice experience with quality hardware, but because he wanted to get some space back from the room, and the Genelecs were a far better fit for that application. I think the Genelecs, from a performance standpoint, were in the right ball park, but as I think all of us enthusiasts (who like to play with the equipment) know, the end results are as much, or probably more, about the care of integration and setup, and knowing what you're trying to achieve, than throwing money at cool gear. I let the experts look at each other in silence for a few moments, and when it was clear that they were done, I asked, "Would it be okay if I made some adjustments?" I got the go ahead, made some changes in the setup, took a few minutes, try again. Wife-client was happy. Husband-client was happy. I felt a little gratified.

Of course, the experts are still 'The Experts'. I know some real experts, and I also know that real experts disagree, and so spouting snippets heard and repeated as unqualified absolute fact pretty much raises the 'Charlatan Expert' flag to me. Having started my 'career' in high-end audio, I have met a lot of these folks who couldn't either design or setup a system to get themselves out of a folding style sandwich bag. But that doesn't stop them from flashing the badge.

I'm just a nerd, like I suspect a lot of us are, who is continually learning stuff, and will talk the ears off of somebody if they provide an opening, and probably go on far longer than anybody wants running down rabbit holes, because I love it, and pushing through enough of the same rehashed myths or over-generalizations, I keep learning something new that is genuinely useful.

And to end that tangent, to all of you have facilitated that, either as sources or co-participants with good questions, THANK YOU!

But to the original point, making the subwoofers furniture, and Judo-rolling spousal opposition, so long as it works acoustically, freaking genius.
 

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Disguising subwoofers as furniture I think is a great technique, assuming you can make them work well in respective locations.

I guess a possible reason to not jump on that immediately, if you don't already have subwoofers that cover the same frequency range (most likely less extension), is being unsure, if they will work, building them to form, and then discovering they'd work better somewhere else.

But to the original point, making the subwoofers furniture, and Judo-rolling spousal opposition, so long as it works acoustically, freaking genius.
In my limited experience with using these end table subs in 4 different homes over the course of 6yrs is that the room did not seem to matter as much since they were nearfield. That's not to say that I did not experience room modes (unavoidable) and some nulls in my response, but the REW measurements seemed to indicate much less of an impact than I would have thought given the "sub-optimal" placement. Maybe I've just been lucky, but locating 2, 18" subs within 3 feet of you is definitely something to experience.
 

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I once had a pair of subwoofers near where you'd have end tables, behind the rear corners of the couch, as snake cage stands, and once the delay was properly set, they worked splendidly, genuine HiFi. Then my (now ex) wife rearranged the whole room while I was traveling on business, and when I came home, I couldn't open the front door, because the couch had been moved in front of it, and they couldn't slide it out of the way to clear because they misjudged (didn't bother to measure), the space between the side of the fireplace at the base and the wall. I didn't have bass that was as good until I moved. So I hear what you're laying down. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Well the miniDSP and REW route is certainly the bigger benefit for me at the moment. I just ran sweeps with the same sub in the right and left hand corner and there's a massive difference. The RHS where I've always had my sub has a -30db dip at ~47hz, really wasn't expecting that. And with both my subs on (LHS+RHS) I'm actually losing ~5db consistently from 40-80hz.

I've got a lot of work in experiementing with which sub goes in which corner and trying to smooth the output. If you have odd subs do you generally put the best performing sub in the best performing location?

3078643

Green: RHS, Blue: LHS
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I was thinking this evening if it would be possible to convert these two concrete stall like objects into subs. Obviously would have to be down firing. The bigger one is 16”w x 18”h. That would certainly be a longer term project though. But the more I think about it 😎

3078765
 

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Have you tried putting the subs inside of your L and R then measured? It might be worth a try. By the look of that room and your floor plan drawing, finding audio satisfaction with a couple of dinky subs that are all about small size and appearance seems like a tall order to me. I would think that if you found a local craftsman to design and build you a couple of works of art that take up some space, you might have better luck. I am not in your shoes obviously, but my wife has always been my biggest champion of the beauties I have built and is proud to have my bigass speakers on display.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Yep, I know it’s a tall order. Hence why I’m here trying to get a better outcome from all you experienced guys.

The sub in the corner is 10” Paradigm which was too small for the room, then ‘upgraded’ to a 12” Klipsch, still a bit weak and picked up an old Proficient S12 now which I will run together. But yes still dinky compared to some of the awesome setups I’ve seen on here.

Can you share a photo of yours? I’m sure I could get away with something bigger if it was custom and added to the room. My wife just wasn’t keen on two massive black boxes.
 

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I too was looking for something in small enclosure and went with the Creative Sound Solution SDX12 after reading the audioholics review


Starting with one sub but with the amp that can power 2. The flat pack is a beast, and creates a super solid enclose that is only 14" cube. Building it did take some work, and made a few small mistakes along the way. But it was a lot of fun. and I think it ended up looking pretty nice.
3079071
 

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I too was looking for something in small enclosure and went with the Creative Sound Solution SDX12 after reading the audioholics review


Starting with one sub but with the amp that can power 2. The flat pack is a beast, and creates a super solid enclose that is only 14" cube. Building it did take some work, and made a few small mistakes along the way. But it was a lot of fun. and I think it ended up looking pretty nice.
View attachment 3079071
That looks awesome!


-Trevor
 
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