First DIY Sub, need suggestions.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Morlan Liu, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Morlan Liu

    Morlan Liu Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I have a pretty entry-level HT and wanted to upgrade the sub. I currently have JBL NSP1-II speakers with a DLS 10" sub. My room is 10x10x10, very small. I'm not happy with the DLS 10 so I've been thinking of upgrading or possibly DIY.

    Do you think it's easier just to purchase a bigger sub or should I attempt to make a Shiva?

    I was looking at the plans for the Shiva and the sealed 25.5 seemed like a good size. I don't know anything about volume, or curves or any of this DIY stuff. I just want a relatively small sub that will sound a whole lot better than the current DLS 10. =)

    Any suggestions, thanks!

    ~mor
     
  2. Morlan Liu

    Morlan Liu Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I have a pretty entry-level HT and wanted to upgrade the sub. I currently have JBL NSP1-II speakers with a DLS 10" sub. My room is 10x10x10, very small. I'm not happy with the DLS 10 so I've been thinking of upgrading or possibly DIY.

    Do you think it's easier just to purchase a bigger sub or should I attempt to make a Shiva?

    I was looking at the plans for the Shiva and the sealed 25.5 seemed like a good size. I don't know anything about volume, or curves or any of this DIY stuff. I just want a relatively small sub that will sound a whole lot better than the current DLS 10. =)

    Any suggestions, thanks!

    ~mor
     
  3. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    The real question is, do you have a table saw, a power drill, and a jigsaw? If you have those tools and know how to use them, you can indeed make a subwoofer cabinet. A friend of mine doesn't even have the table saw, just a hand-held circular saw, and he builds more complicated enclosures than I do. The it's just a matter of holding a paintbrush straight.
     
  4. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    The real question is, do you have a table saw, a power drill, and a jigsaw? If you have those tools and know how to use them, you can indeed make a subwoofer cabinet. A friend of mine doesn't even have the table saw, just a hand-held circular saw, and he builds more complicated enclosures than I do. The it's just a matter of holding a paintbrush straight.
     
  5. Morlan Liu

    Morlan Liu Stunt Coordinator

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    I have access to all the tools necessary for building one. But is it worth it if I build a 25.5l Shiva versus just buying an upgraded sub?

    A lot of the threads here say something about Q and larger size and vents.

    I just saw the plan for the smallest Shiva and I'm hoping that it will perform well in my small room. I'm sure many of the other HT people here have much larger rooms so maybe that's why they go larger.

    Anyways, thanks for the reply.
     
  6. Morlan Liu

    Morlan Liu Stunt Coordinator

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    I have access to all the tools necessary for building one. But is it worth it if I build a 25.5l Shiva versus just buying an upgraded sub?

    A lot of the threads here say something about Q and larger size and vents.

    I just saw the plan for the smallest Shiva and I'm hoping that it will perform well in my small room. I'm sure many of the other HT people here have much larger rooms so maybe that's why they go larger.

    Anyways, thanks for the reply.
     
  7. RodN

    RodN Stunt Coordinator

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    That's only a question that you can answer really.
     
  8. RodN

    RodN Stunt Coordinator

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    That's only a question that you can answer really.
     
  9. Arthur_King

    Arthur_King Stunt Coordinator

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    Morlan,

    The performance of the Shiva has been documented extensively around here. It is certainly one of the best 12" subs for HT around. I guarantee itll out-excursion just about anything you buy premade. And those things it won't out-excursion, itll out price. The thing to remember is this. You have the tools, you have the time (Im assuming), if you plunk down the 130bux or so for the shiva, and the 20bux or so for the MDF, and the 10bux or so for the rest of it (add the port if you're going ported) and you're going to have a pretty damn sweet sub for under $250 bux.

    There is something called Hoffman's Iron Law as it says there, in order to go lower, you have to raise the size of the enclosure ALOT. Your other option is to lower the efficiency and push a whole lot of amp power into it (see LT subs). Essentially, the smaller sub box (like the one you're discussing) is not going to reach down as low as say a shiva in a 85L or 120L enclosure. But thats the case with any "store bought" sub too, so if you buy a Sony WM-40 sub, you're not going down that low either.

    Is it worth it? I would say most wholeheartedly yes*.

    Daffy Arthur King
    with the brain of a duck

    * As long as you dont mind paying in sweat and time as opposed to money.
     
  10. Arthur_King

    Arthur_King Stunt Coordinator

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    Morlan,

    The performance of the Shiva has been documented extensively around here. It is certainly one of the best 12" subs for HT around. I guarantee itll out-excursion just about anything you buy premade. And those things it won't out-excursion, itll out price. The thing to remember is this. You have the tools, you have the time (Im assuming), if you plunk down the 130bux or so for the shiva, and the 20bux or so for the MDF, and the 10bux or so for the rest of it (add the port if you're going ported) and you're going to have a pretty damn sweet sub for under $250 bux.

    There is something called Hoffman's Iron Law as it says there, in order to go lower, you have to raise the size of the enclosure ALOT. Your other option is to lower the efficiency and push a whole lot of amp power into it (see LT subs). Essentially, the smaller sub box (like the one you're discussing) is not going to reach down as low as say a shiva in a 85L or 120L enclosure. But thats the case with any "store bought" sub too, so if you buy a Sony WM-40 sub, you're not going down that low either.

    Is it worth it? I would say most wholeheartedly yes*.

    Daffy Arthur King
    with the brain of a duck

    * As long as you dont mind paying in sweat and time as opposed to money.
     
  11. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Don't forget, unless he already has amplification he will need an amp. Add another $120ish for that.
     
  12. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Don't forget, unless he already has amplification he will need an amp. Add another $120ish for that.
     
  13. minhG

    minhG Stunt Coordinator

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    Darren,

    AK's math only adds up to ~$150, so i think the $250 includes the price of an amp.

    Morlan,

    The 30L box that you're thinking about is pretty easy to build, so i say build it and if you're not happy with the results build one of the ported designs. at most you'll be out $20 in MDF and time to build the small box (which you can do in an afternoon).

    I've built the 142.5L ported shiva and even in my modest 900sq/ft apartment (with vaulted ceilings), i'm very happy. is it more then i need? well yes most of the time, but it's nice being able to turn things up when my neighbors are out of town. and by using a large box my 200W is more then enough.

    instead of the super small sealed enclosure, i would do the 85L ported, even in a small room you need enough output to rumble/shake things.
     
  14. minhG

    minhG Stunt Coordinator

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    Darren,

    AK's math only adds up to ~$150, so i think the $250 includes the price of an amp.

    Morlan,

    The 30L box that you're thinking about is pretty easy to build, so i say build it and if you're not happy with the results build one of the ported designs. at most you'll be out $20 in MDF and time to build the small box (which you can do in an afternoon).

    I've built the 142.5L ported shiva and even in my modest 900sq/ft apartment (with vaulted ceilings), i'm very happy. is it more then i need? well yes most of the time, but it's nice being able to turn things up when my neighbors are out of town. and by using a large box my 200W is more then enough.

    instead of the super small sealed enclosure, i would do the 85L ported, even in a small room you need enough output to rumble/shake things.
     
  15. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Ah, didn't check the math, he's pretty close then.

    Here is a rough breakdown of the costs as I see them. Just to help Morlin with his planning. Keep in mind you can possibly find slightly better deals on a different amp etc. but probably not by much.

    Shiva - $130
    Amp (PE 250W) - $128.00
    Port Kit - around $20.00
    MDF - around $20
    Total for basics: $290.00 plus tax or shipping if any

    add the following non essentials if you want/need:
    Polyfil - cheap
    stain/poly/oil for finish - around $20.00
    Veneer? - $40 - $100
    Spikes? - $20

    Oh, and for what it's worth, I'll never buy a reatail sub again after building several DIY subs. If you have the skills and the tools then DIY is the way to go, otherwise there are serveral good manufacturers of subwoofers to choose from.
     
  16. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Ah, didn't check the math, he's pretty close then.

    Here is a rough breakdown of the costs as I see them. Just to help Morlin with his planning. Keep in mind you can possibly find slightly better deals on a different amp etc. but probably not by much.

    Shiva - $130
    Amp (PE 250W) - $128.00
    Port Kit - around $20.00
    MDF - around $20
    Total for basics: $290.00 plus tax or shipping if any

    add the following non essentials if you want/need:
    Polyfil - cheap
    stain/poly/oil for finish - around $20.00
    Veneer? - $40 - $100
    Spikes? - $20

    Oh, and for what it's worth, I'll never buy a reatail sub again after building several DIY subs. If you have the skills and the tools then DIY is the way to go, otherwise there are serveral good manufacturers of subwoofers to choose from.
     
  17. Morlan Liu

    Morlan Liu Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all your input. The cost is not really my concern, I'm willing to pay the ~$300.00 to do this and also the time.

    My main question is really about the size of the box and which I should choose. Like I said, I currently have a DLS10. If I go with the 25.5L, will it even be worth it in terms of quality and low frequencies?

    Maybe I'll go up to the 54L. So vented or sealed? If I go vented I'll definitely do the smallest one, I barely have any room in the corner unless I rip off the closet door then I have room for any config but my room will look like crap...hehe.

    So I've decided yes I'm going to do this. Just want to hear your inputs on the size and configuration, sealed vs. ported, etc.

    Thanks so much!
     
  18. Morlan Liu

    Morlan Liu Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all your input. The cost is not really my concern, I'm willing to pay the ~$300.00 to do this and also the time.

    My main question is really about the size of the box and which I should choose. Like I said, I currently have a DLS10. If I go with the 25.5L, will it even be worth it in terms of quality and low frequencies?

    Maybe I'll go up to the 54L. So vented or sealed? If I go vented I'll definitely do the smallest one, I barely have any room in the corner unless I rip off the closet door then I have room for any config but my room will look like crap...hehe.

    So I've decided yes I'm going to do this. Just want to hear your inputs on the size and configuration, sealed vs. ported, etc.

    Thanks so much!
     
  19. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    My opinion on the size or alignment for HT. Go with a larger vented alignment. Just a personal preference for HT. You'll hit lower harder with less amplification.

    I currenlty have a 214L Tempest with the 250watt parts express plate amp. It's huge and hits very low with good authority.

    Darren
     
  20. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    My opinion on the size or alignment for HT. Go with a larger vented alignment. Just a personal preference for HT. You'll hit lower harder with less amplification.

    I currenlty have a 214L Tempest with the 250watt parts express plate amp. It's huge and hits very low with good authority.

    Darren
     

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