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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am searching for a new sub. I have Dynaudio Contout 3.3s in front, a Dynaudio 2.1 Center, and KEF inwalls in the rear. I'm driving them with a Proceed AVP and AMP5. My current sub is a Sunfire True Sub MKII (compromise with the Spouse on size). My room is a very large greatroom with a 16 foot vaulted ceiling and fairly open to the kitchen and another family room, plus a hallway. The immediate room is 8200 cu ft, plus about that much more from the other rooms. So....I need more than the Sunfire.


I still have the spouse, so giant subs are not an option. I could sell her on the Revel B15, or Aerial SW-12. The sub will be behind a chair which will hide it a little. The size of the B15 is preferable.


I'm a very accomplished woodworker and when I had the time 20+ years ago a built many speaker systems. Sonotube designs and other exotic cabinets won't meet approval. I saw a design for an Aerial SW-12 clone, but it was even larger.


Is there a do-it-yourself design in the 20" by 20" by 20" or smaller size that would compare to the Revel?


I'm open to buying used, and spending up to $3K. I just missed a scratched B15 on Audiogon for $1200, one day late.


Any other recommendations that look good as well as sound great?


Thanks in advance...joe
 

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Is an IB sub possible?


That Sunfire is a great sub for the size, I don't think you'll do much better without going bigger. Is it for sale? :D
 

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A room that size, try building in a contrabass or BDEAP. :D


That is a small enclosure you wish for in such a large room.


Perhaps 2 B-15s...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
AZ Barber, two of the walls are exterior and all others adjoin other rooms in the house where IB won't work. No basement either. I saw a Sunfire demo when the first came out where they had 4 stacked in one corner. Very impressive. The Sunfire has high output levels for it's size, but based on the independent tests, there is signicant compression at real listening levels.


Also, I set my levels on my processor to 75db = reference, and I generally listen at 60-65db (spousal compromise again). I don't think I'd ever listen above 70db on my processor.
 

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The Adire Tumult will work great in a 16"-20" on all sides cube. Add an appropriate linkwitz transform or some other form of EQ and you'll have a sub that can for sure equal but more likely better a B15 for significantly less cost.


You could build two for the cost of a single new B15. Although one Tumult shouldn't have any problems getting to the listening levels you listed.
 

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Personally I think the Revel at anything less than 2K is a great deal. Not only is it highly praised for high output, low freq response, musicality, etc; but it has a built in 3 band parametric eq, which I see appearing on more and more subs (Infinity and Revel were the first that I noticed it on).


I also have a Sunfire, and while great for the size, believe it has limitations (not just in output, but musicality). I have Revel F30's and C30 center, and wish I had went for the B15 when I bought my setup.


As far as other options, a few that come to mind are Klipsh RSW-15, Def Tech SuberCube Reference, James Subwoofer (forget the model), and the Hsu VTF-3 MkII (I'm sure there are many others, but I think the WAF eliminates many choices in trying to get high output and low freq response, which seemingly would automatically dictate a large size. I think, like you, that the Revel, while a little on the large size (for my room), isn't as bad just because of the quality of the finish, etc (same could be said for Hsu VTF-3 in Piano Black or Rosewood, from what I understand).


I don't know how all these compare as far as max extension and output, but they all fall into the 1K to 2K range and are 20x20x20 or smaller (more or less). I am giving serious consideration to the VTF-3R (the rosewood would match my Revel finish pretty well, I think); but am starting to think that some form of eq really will be a feature that I will look for when I upgrade. The new Sunfire's (not on their webite yet, of course, but intr'd at CES) are now coming out with some type of room correction eq.


I'm not interested in building anything, so I don't know what do say about those options.


engima
 

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JJ -

The room you describe sounds a lot like ours - except we don't have the hallway and extra family room. we have the 16' vaulted ceiling great room 480 sq ft opening to a kitchen and a fair number of windows = not the ideal space.

I bought an SW-12 used to replace a Velodyne and the improvement was considerable - especially on music and then added a second sw-12 which I put in the corner behind the RPT. Together they fill the room really well. I would have been OK with just the one if necessary. I haven't heard the Revel - I also liked the Martin Logan Descent - in the end the musicality of the Aerial made my choice and the fit / finish helped with my wife. I am not sure she has spotted the second one behind the RPT though.:)
 

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I built a pair of Tumults in 18" cubes with an LT circuit for a customer about a year ago. He said they easily outclass any dual Aerial SW12 and Revel B15 setups that he's heard. So if you are an accomplished woodworker that's the route I would take.
 

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I guess I should have added the Paradigm Reference Servo 15 to my list.


btw, how come when the topic of high powered subwoofers comes up, invariably I suddenly must become a carpeter/woodworker in order to participate in HT? When someone asks about amps, nobody suggest that I build one. Just curious.


Personally, I enjoy this hobby, but not as something to 'work' on; research, auditioning, critical listening, etc; but not building stuff. If I install anything besides just setting components on a shelf and pluggin in wires I will be hiring someone else to do it. Also, just because you have great drivers doesn't make a great sub. I am not an enclusure design engineer, and even if I had the energy wouldn't attempt that. To each his own, I suppose.


enigma
 

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ACI's Titan might fit the bill. ACI Titan


Enigma- I think because subs are about the only thing you can build yourself outside of a few tube kits.
 

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I'm very happy with my B15. The Martin Logan Descent and the ~$2K and ~$3K RELs have also impressed me in auditions. On paper, the Velodyne DD series and new Paradigm Signature Servo look interesting, but not having heard them, I can't say more than that. For my taste, feature requirements, and general biases, that would be my short list.


Drew Dean
 

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There are many people who build amps. Amps that are as good or better than the best commercial stuff out there. The big difference between building amps and subs is excellent subs can be built at an extreme value with only some very basic wiring skills and some decent wood working skills. Amps on the other had don't save you as much money, and require you to have a solid understanding of basic electronics and excellent soldering skills.


Also, all reasonably priced, and even a high number of the unreasonably priced commercial subs had constraints they had to meet during design. Weight, size and cost usually being the big ones. DIYers can choose to ignore one or more of these. Also the caliber of drivers available right now to the DIYer is really quite impressive. Put an Adire Tumult next to the driver in a B15 or SW12 and you'll see what I mean.


The perfect example of how a DIYer can ignore these contraints and end up with something no commercial sub can match is the infinite baffle. Most DIYers aren't able to use this design, but those who do get a real good laugh when they hear what many multiples of the money they spent on their sub would have got them in the commercial market.


You'd also be amazed at how easy it is to build a sub that beats the B15 and SW12. What is much more difficult is to build a sub that looks as good though, but there are those who can best that aspect as well. With the number of extremely knowledgable DIY enthusiasts out there, you can pretty much follow a cookie cutter design and know you're going to end up with a kick ass sub.


But there is the fact that you have to build the thing. If you can't do it, or don't want to do it, that's what commercial subs are for.
 

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I second Jeff's recommendation on the BDEAP. I can't believe I said that, I should say M&K, but the BDEAP will deliver.
 

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Yea if you have to build a piece of audio equipment, a sub probably the most achievable. No crossover to tune ... just a big amp, maybe with a built in EQ, and a big driver, and a simple cabinet, and you can save money for other more complex equipment :)


So work on those carpeting skill Enigma... haha just kidding. Id rather buy a good one used and let a pro do the work :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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Joe,


I responded to your PM but I'll recap here. It's basically a 18" sealed cube with a 720W plate amp and built-in Linkwitz Transform circuit. This gives you plenty of power as well as added extension. It also allows me to adjust the Qtc, which is .6. IMHO, this gives you the benefits of a low Q sealed design along with the extension more normally associated with ported enclosures.


Brian


P.S. Kevin's kit also looks to be excellent. You're getting quite a lot for the money.
 
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