AVS Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like the title claims, I am thinking of building instead of buying and have basic questions that could probably be answered if this place had a sticky of good information. And yes, I did search before posting but didn't really find anything to answer my questions.


I have a small 2.0 office setup that I use for music listening when I'm the only one there, otherwise, I use headphones. It is nothing fancy, just the analog output of my soundcard (X-Fi XtremeMusic) to a Behringer A500 then into some Insignia NS-B2111. I want to add something to give me a fuller range of sound so I was thinking I could make it a 2.1 setup instead. I am NOT a bass head but I've played music for many years, even in an orchestra, and love the feel of a full sound. I'm just trying to recreate that a little. Now for a couple of basic questions.


1. What frequency range do I really need?


I hear people talking about wanting to get down to single digit Hz. Of course we would all love that, but honestly, I don't know if I need that to achieve my goals. In order of importance, most being first, I listen to orchestral (think soundtracks of movies and video games), country (today's, not classic), and a variety of pop / rock (here i include other things like the eagles, the beatles, fall out boy, rhianna, one republic, iron maiden, etc.)


2. I hear all this talk about reference level. Will the volume at which I'm listening make a difference as to what I should choose?


I have sensitive hearing and most people tell me I listen to music or watch tv very low. It doesn't sound all that low to me. If I'm in another room perhaps I will have it cranked up louder but I usually find myself turning things down once I'm back listening near field.


Based on the above questions, I would like recommendations on whether I should buy/build. The only reason I am thinking of building is that I am a bang for the buck type of person and also do like to be creative and work with my hands. And if I were to build, my brother would be helping me a great deal as he is a master woodworker and has all the tools required.


Details on my office: ~12' x 15' with an ~8.5' suspended ceiling. The office is inside of a large metal building, I do not know what is in the walls but on the outside it is drywall. I hear a metallic rattling/vibration from within the interior walls if I bang my hand against it. The sub would likely go in a corner of my office. One corner could accommodate a max dimensions of 2' x 5' by 8' tall while another can fit 4' x 4' by 8' tall. No, I'm not really looking for anything quite that large as I need to be able to transport this thing behind a normal truck but it is realistic for the office space available.
I also intend on using my existing setup unless there is no way to make everything balanced.


Also, I have figured out what a THT from searching but I still don't have a good understanding of LLT, SPUD, and other terminology being used. At this point, I would like to keep the budget under $600. I apologize for the long post, I'm just trying to give detailed information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,345 Posts
there is not an faq because it would be huge. sort the posts based on number of posts or views and that can serve as an faq.


unless your soundcard has the .1 output, you will need some sort of crossover.


after thinking about it quite a bit, i don't know if diy is really the best solution here.


this sub is a good commercial design.
http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/c...t.cfm?PID=1062


there is some discussion on bic here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=990726


it has more driver and amplifier than you need. it has a crossover built into the amp. there is a thread on it in the subwoofer section. iirc, folks like it. and it looks nice. at your spl level, you just aren't demanding the kind of subwoofer that many folks come to diy to build. just about everything built around here is so overkill for your needs and your main speakers, that it would be wasting money and time. if you were hoping to get your feet wet in diy with a little first sub, then something of a similar form factor is what i would suggest...a small, 12 inch driver, 300-500 watt amp, in a ported enclosure tuned to somewhere around 25-27hz. but if you go diy, you are looking at $160 or so for the amp, $150 or so for a good driver, then you have the enclosure to build and finish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,396 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCMusicGuy /forum/post/19567520


Like the title claims, I am thinking of building instead of buying and have basic questions that could probably be answered if this place had a sticky of good information. And yes, I did search before posting but didn't really find anything to answer my questions.


I have a small 2.0 office setup that I use for music listening when I'm the only one there, otherwise, I use headphones. It is nothing fancy, just the analog output of my soundcard (X-Fi XtremeMusic) to a Behringer A500 then into some Insignia NS-B2111. I want to add something to give me a fuller range of sound so I was thinking I could make it a 2.1 setup instead. I am NOT a bass head but I've played music for many years, even in an orchestra, and love the feel of a full sound. I'm just trying to recreate that a little. Now for a couple of basic questions.


1. What frequency range do I really need?


I hear people talking about wanting to get down to single digit Hz. Of course we would all love that, but honestly, I don't know if I need that to achieve my goals. In order of importance, most being first, I listen to orchestral (think soundtracks of movies and video games), country (today's, not classic), and a variety of pop / rock (here i include other things like the eagles, the beatles, fall out boy, rhianna, one republic, iron maiden, etc.)

It sounds to me like you could skip the bottom octave and concentrate on doing 30 Hz and up really well. Anything lower is icing on the cake, but don't sacrifice the performance where it matters....and to be blunt, most music does not have significant content below 30 Hz. This makes driver selection lots easier, cabinet sizes might be smaller as well, and the driver requirements are a lot easier to meet. The lower you go, the more things tend to cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCMusicGuy /forum/post/19567520


2. I hear all this talk about reference level. Will the volume at which I'm listening make a difference as to what I should choose?


I have sensitive hearing and most people tell me I listen to music or watch tv very low. It doesn't sound all that low to me. If I'm in another room perhaps I will have it cranked up louder but I usually find myself turning things down once I'm back listening near field.

Reference level is defined in the THX standard. To be honest, most of us do not listen that loud. Certainly the SPL you need will in some part dictate design choices, but unless you design really inefficient speakers or choose extremely mis-matched parts, there really should not be an issue here either. You've got speakers that produce 90 dB with one watt of input, they should be fine for typical listening needs, and it sounds like they work for you. You need a sub that can reach similar SPL levels. There are a lot of choices here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCMusicGuy /forum/post/19567520


Based on the above questions, I would like recommendations on whether I should buy/build. The only reason I am thinking of building is that I am a bang for the buck type of person and also do like to be creative and work with my hands. And if I were to build, my brother would be helping me a great deal as he is a master woodworker and has all the tools required.


Details on my office: ~12' x 15' with an ~8.5' suspended ceiling. The office is inside of a large metal building, I do not know what is in the walls but on the outside it is drywall. I hear a metallic rattling/vibration from within the interior walls if I bang my hand against it. The sub would likely go in a corner of my office. One corner could accommodate a max dimensions of 2' x 5' by 8' tall while another can fit 4' x 4' by 8' tall. No, I'm not really looking for anything quite that large as I need to be able to transport this thing behind a normal truck but it is realistic for the office space available.
I also intend on using my existing setup unless there is no way to make everything balanced.


Also, I have figured out what a THT from searching but I still don't have a good understanding of LLT, SPUD, and other terminology being used. At this point, I would like to keep the budget under $600. I apologize for the long post, I'm just trying to give detailed information.

LLT is Large Low Tuned - a type of ported enclosure

SPUD is a Danley Tapped Horn, the TH-SPUD, that uses 2 8" drivers


Building a sub to do what you need is not too hard, there are lots of great choices. Buy a good driver, put it in a proper enclosure, and feed it with an appropriate amplifier and crossover. You've got plenty of space, and $600 seems reasonable. The Insignias are realistically good for 110 dB maximum, there are lots of subwoofer choices that will work well for you.


The Insignias are a decent little speaker, especially for the cost, which led to a lot of chatter about a DIY version, the "Indignia", over at AudioKarma. The need for a sub to go with them led to the Insubnia thread over there, which ultimately led to radman12's tapped horn build thread here .


I'm not saying you need to build a tapped horn...far from it. But - if you wanted to - a good trail has been blazed.
Honestly, it sounds like a 10" or 12" driver in an appropriate sealed or ported box and a decent amp will do all you need. Unfortunately, though many of us can design and build something like this, these sorts of projects don't get written about all that often. There are just not a lot of DIY designs being posted that aren't pushing some envelope somewhere - whether it be innovative designs, huge drivers, low tuning, high SPLs, or some combination of these.


I'd suggest keeping it relatively simple - put a good driver in the appropriate size of the appropriate type (sealed or ported) conventional cabinet. There are a number of ways to calculate appropriate cabinet size, many manufacturers provide suggestions for you, some even provide plans. Use a 300 to 500 watt plate amplifier to power it, and you should be set to go. This can definitely be done for less than $600, depending on the choices you make on driver, amp, and finishing. If it is not enough - you can always build another or try something different with the driver you have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 /forum/post/19575547


unless your soundcard has the .1 output, you will need some sort of crossover.


If you were hoping to get your feet wet in diy with a little first sub, then something of a similar form factor is what i would suggest...a small, 12 inch driver, 300-500 watt amp, in a ported enclosure tuned to somewhere around 25-27hz. but if you go diy, you are looking at $160 or so for the amp, $150 or so for a good driver, then you have the enclosure to build and finish.

My soundcard has individual analog outputs. I can set the crossover anywhere from 10 to 200 Hz through the THX console.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmike /forum/post/19577724


It sounds to me like you could skip the bottom octave and concentrate on doing 30 Hz and up really well. Anything lower is icing on the cake, but don't sacrifice the performance where it matters....and to be blunt, most music does not have significant content below 30 Hz. This makes driver selection lots easier, cabinet sizes might be smaller as well, and the driver requirements are a lot easier to meet. The lower you go, the more things tend to cost. . . snip

So the music I listen to (country and orchestra) do not contain much lower frequency sound. That's good to know so I can focus in on what I will do. Also good to know that listening volumes shouldn't cause any issues.


I suppose I'll try and keep things simple then. Part of me wants to do some kind of horn because it will be more detailed (harder) wood work for my brother and I owe him some grief.
But, I'm practical and it seems like a basic enclosure, sealed or ported, will provide exactly what I'm after. I guess I just need to do the math and pick some components that'll work. What is the best beginners program to do some of the work? I've seen WinISD, Hornresp, and some Excel based model but I haven't used any before. Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,396 Posts
For sealed, ported, and simple bandpass boxes, WinISD works fine, provided you use the right version. Soho54 covered that in another thread recently. Unibox (Excel) is excellent, but it is just not that user friendly in my eyes, and it requires Excel, which is not free if you don't have it. Hornresp can model nearly anything (not just horns), and while it has its quirks, it is extremely powerful software, especially given the princely sum Mr. McBean asks for it...(Thanks again David!).


Personally - I'd really suggest that you start simple - walk before you run. A decent 12" driver in a ported box will be plenty adequate. WinISD will provide you the basics without trouble, provided you provide it good information.


And - if it turns out to be less than what you expected - make something different...that's what I do....
I've been averaging about 4 cabinets a year....
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top