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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am strongly considering a DIY sub build as a summer project for myself. I am relatively new to HT, but have become obsessed in the past few months and really think I would love to take this on.

I know that reading on this forum and looking up old posts is the best way to learn, but I am finding it very overwhelming in this section of the forum. I have tried, and have put some time in, but I still really don't know where to start, I am a complete noob with builds.

I have tons of questions like, sealed vs ported, which amp to get, which driver to get, how to design the enclosure, etc.

I feel like I am lacking in the basic fundamentals of building a sub.

Can someone please point me in the right direction on really basic things to read up on?

I understand that a sub is essentially a box with an amp, insulation and driver lol, but there's obviously more to it than that, and I am frankly overwhelmed.

If it helps, my HT space is about 18' x 15' x 7 ' ceilings.

Right now I have a Sony STR DH550 AVR, Sony towers (2 x 6" drivers) and Sony center (about 15 years old), small bookshelves for surrounds and a new BIC F12 as my sub.

Love the F12, but I think adding another sub of similar (hopefully better) capabilities will round out the bass in the room.

I think that 15" driver is the max I can go due to WAF. I would probably be okay with 12", but a 15" in a smallish enclosure could do fine as well.

Viewing (lsitening) is 90% movies, 10% music.

Anyways, open to any suggestions on where to start. Maybe just starts here in this thread? I don't know!

Thanks :)
 

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A 15" sealed sub would be considerable smaller than a 15" ported. Either way, 12" or 15" diy sub will murder that f12 in performance. Diysoundgroup has some flatpacks for 12", they even sell complete kits that only require glue and a screw driver and come with the amp, driver, terminals etc. If this is your first build and you lack some of the big tools, you may find these kits of particular value.
 
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sealed vs. ported example:
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-diy-speakers-subs/1858641-friends-sub.html#post31009241


most rooms have some room gain though, so rolloff won't be quite as much as that model (which is 2 pi space, i.e. outdoors model).


most rooms have modal problems, so at least two subs are suggested.
see Harman paper multsubs.pdf for more explanation.


winisd is a tool to model enclosures.
the windows 7 version is available at facebook.


sealed is pretty simple to design, typically requires some eq to make flat response.


ported is a little more tricky, ports need to be large enough to keep air velocity down (17 m/s is good target, thought higher can be ok) and first port resonance to no less than about 140hz. that will all make sense if you get winsid and start playing around.
ported typically require a protective high pass filter under the tuning point to keep driver from "unloading" (flopping around as though in free air and potentially getting damaged.
if that makes ported sound like a hassle, it really isn't and ported can provide up to about 12db more spl around the tuning frequency. that is quite a big difference and why most bang-for-the-buck guys with space that allows go ported.


data-bass.com has lots of driver measurements. definitely poke around there some.


the bang for the buck amp is probably the inuke 3000dsp or 6000dsp.


in your room, you will probably get recommendations for a pair medium size ported cabs tuned to around 17hz with 18" drivers. :)


the 460ho in the so-called mini-marty cab powered one driver per channel on an inuke 6000dsp would probably be where I would suggest you begin. :)


it's not all that complicated, but there are little things along the way that will trip you up. just brace for them and know that any problem that you have has likely already been solved. :)


good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A 15" sealed sub would be considerable smaller than a 15" ported. Either way, 12" or 15" diy sub will murder that f12 in performance. Diysoundgroup has some flatpacks for 12", they even sell complete kits that only require glue and a screw driver and come with the amp, driver, terminals etc. If this is your first build and you lack some of the big tools, you may find these kits of particular value.
Awesome. And why is that exactly? Because I can get a better driver and amp for around the same money as an F12?

I may consider buying a flatpack. The sealed ones are very cheap and would be a good way for me to start. I don't have any cutting tools myself, but between my friends can borrow/use some of theirs. I have no problem cutting a box...but havent done a circular cut, and not sure how to do the recessed cut to get the driver to fit in the box.
@LTD02 : Thanks. I was thinking either the inuke 1000 or 3000 for this setup (is the wattage they list RMS? i.e. the 1000 will be 2x300 RMS). I am thinking 12" ported would be around the same size as a 15" sealed (give or take)? Which would you recommend? I know this depends on the model, etc, but just asking a general question.

I am thinking if I get an inuke 3000 and the first sub I build works out really nicely then I can always build a second. Just have to build another one and buy another driver right? The inuke can power both?

One more question....how noisy are the inukes? tolerable? Or really annoying?
 

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I'll come at this from a different angle:

What is the maximum size enclosure you can place in the room?
What is your maximum budget?
Are you looking for the super-low frequencies (
 

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Here are some generalities, and please understand I am NOT the expert.

Sealed subs will not go as deep or loud as ported. Ported subs tend be be a little larger, dig deeper and can produce more output for the size.

I like flat packs and think they are a great way to get into DIY. I like buying kits in standard sizes and with standard drivers because after you build the first one and want another, it is easy to reproduce the results.

This sealed sub kit is small at 20x20x20 (round numbers) with a flat pack and well regarded 15" driver.

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-15-ultimax-subwoofer-and-cabinet-package--300-7097
 

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I have had the Dayton 460ho powered by an inuke and its a monster (especially when coming from a retail sub). There really is no comparison when your considering the Marty to the f12
 

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This is actually probably where I should have started. Good call.

I took a look at my setup last night (tv stand, room in the basement, etc) and I don't think I can fit more than a 20x20x20 cube. I could MAYBE push to 22 or 24 but I don't know if that would work. The only way I could go bigger is if I sold my floorstanding speakers and tried to get some bookshelves on my tv stand, but not sure that would work out.
How many positions do you have for a sub/subs? Keep in mind that the best location for a sub is rarely where you want it or where it looks the best, you'll need to do the subwoofer crawl after you build it. You may find that it works best behind you, to the side, etc.

CinemaSound7 said:
So I guess I am either going with a 12" ported or a 15" sealed for that size. I will likely also get the inuke 1000 or 3000 to power this sub. I guess I would pair this sub with my F12 (I know, not ideal) and then build another one to match the first one I built.
If you are thinking you will want to build another down the road (and after you get the first one going, I'm sure you will :)) then go with the nu3000dsp at the very least. With 12 - 15" drivers that should get 2 subs going pretty well. Is your HT sealed or open to the rest of the house?

CinemaSound7 said:
I think I understand the fundamental differences between sealed and ported, but not sure how to figure out if 12" ported or 15" sealed is best for me. Like I said, I use mostly for movies, some music.

Sealed being an easier build sort of appeals to me right now.

Would a 15" sealed with one of the inukes have similar output to my F12 or would it completely outclass it?
Given it would be used mostly for movies I would opt for ported. Higher SPL down low without having to feed it tons of power.

At 15" check out the JBL GTO1514, a decent low cost driver. In a ~4.2^ft3 (net) vented box you'll get good output to around 19Hz with 300W. With driver displacement, port and bracing a 21.5" cube (or variation thereof) would work pretty well, with the 3000DSP puts you right in the 4-500 range (US anyway, not sure up there) if you build your own box.

CinemaSound7 said:
I also checked out the diysoundgroup and parts express for those flatpacks, but unfortunately being in Canada, the shipping is outrageous.

I have been informed that some members here are in Canada and create flatpacks though, so I think I need to reach out to them.

Last thing, not sure if I am chasing chest thumping bass or the lower frequencies. I have not experienced the super low stuff since the best sub I've experienced is the F12. I do know that I am missing out on smoe things in movies by not having it though!

My budget is probably around $4-500 for this, btw.
A jig saw, circular saw, square, good straight edge and clamps are the only tools you really need to build a sub box. Others that make it easier but are not required: Table saw, router/trim router, pneumatic brad nailer or staple gun, and many others I'm forgetting ATM. Flatpacks are nice for the first go around or if you have little woodworking experience but if you take it slow and ask lots of questions you'll find building your own is really pretty simple. Designing and setting up the right box is the difficult part! ;)
 

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you will find considerable disagreement with that point.
I knew it :mad:

A lot of you guys are so smart and so detailed it goes over my head. I read everything, but I know there is a difference between knowledge and understanding. I try to take the information (on the whole) and boil it down to some common generalities.

I respect your opinion Mr. LTD, should I edit my mis-information out so as not to confuse? Or is there any truth to what I suggested? :rolleyes:
 

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I'll pick on you guys too, Mr. Mitten and Mr. AlphaPie. ;)

I'll go ahead and edit my post out, but can you give me a better understanding about WHEN to use a ported sub and WHEN to use sealed?

I thought I understood, but I guess not.

Thanks in advance. :)
 

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ah, it's not a big deal.
it is easier to get a ported sub wrong, so there are elements of truth in there.
the primary problems with ported arise when the subs are tuned improperly (too high of frequency (group delay problems)), too small of ports (chuffing), or just poor design (midrange reflection leakage).
done properly, they can increase low end sensitivity, lower group delay in the upper bass by being closer to natively flat, lower distortion by limiting cone motion around tuning, and so on.
if designed well, you really shouldn't be able to tell one from another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Awesome stuff from everyone. Thanks for all of the advice.
@smcmillan2 - that's great to know about the tools. That was my next question. I think between friends I can get a hold of all of those.

I just checked out the martysub FAQ thread. why have I not seen this before??? This seems like an incredibly helpful step by step approach to creating any of those subs. I think I am up for the challenge.

I guess I just need to figure out my budget and how big of a sub(s) I want! And go from there! I am leaning towards either the micro or cube.

Once I start I will create a thread to track it step by step and ask the inevitable questions that will come up.

Awesome stuff. Getting very excited. Can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can do this in my garage comfortably.

The next big question mark for me is which driver to buy. I don't even know what to look for to be honest. The JBL that you suggested looks good and its $280 on Amazon.ca. I guess I can look at others, but not sure what I am looking for.

And, just to be clear, the inuke3000 will provide 900 watts RMS for 2 subwoofers? Is this necessary? The inuke 1000 is 2 x 300W RMS? Its $130 cheaper than the 300 and has free shipping on Amazon.ca





http://www.avsforum.com/forum/members/8402537-smcmillan2.html
 

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If a 15" is all you can do due to WAF, then I think a Micro is what you want, although a Cube is only slightly larger, and can house an 18".
Anything larger sounds like it'll get at least a serious frown, if not your clothes on the lawn.
I'd personally do the cube, and drop an 18" in there.
Stereo Integrity HT-18's are $174 shipped to your door
Dual Voice Coils- HT-18 D2 wired in series will give ya 4 ohms, and the iNuke3000 is rated at 570 watts RMS at 4 ohms in stereo mode(meaning you can run (2) subs, 1 per channel for ~ 1000 watts total....or you can run it bridged mode at a much higher output that the HT18 won't handle very well.
They sell a DVC D4 as well, but it's out of stock till May sometime unless you want to buy a "B" stock driver from another retailer(same driver- small blemishes) @ $159 plus S&H- with only a 30 day warranty instead of 1 year.
Your choice, and what Coil you buy will depend on the amp you use, and what you think you MAY want to upgrade to afterward.
Most folks buy the D4 variant(that's why it's OOS), due to figuring they are going to add more subs later, as they give a slightly better upgrade path.

I'd get the iNuke3000 DSP, as you will need to setup a High Pass Filter for the sub, and the DSP in the amp is VERY easy to setup, and control the excursion of the driver.



Do a Cube!
 
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