The "designing the perfect subwoofer driver" thread...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jack Gilvey, Feb 18, 2002.

  1. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    I've started this thread to continue the discussion begun inthis thread,since it needed one of its own.
    Basically, Dan Wiggins (Adire Audio) posed this question:
     
  2. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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  3. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    I don't want to have to drop more on PR than I did on the driver. So I would still like the driver to be friendly to 300L+ enclosures that make 8" or larger diameter ports feasible.

    Although I think my parents would like the idea of a much smaller enclosure that uses a pair of 15" PR and a 12" driver that could perform very similar to what an Adire Allignment Tempest currently does.
     
  4. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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  5. Vince Bray

    Vince Bray Stunt Coordinator

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    Dan,
    I'm just curious, don't think I'll be shopping a sub for awhile since the HE15 is kickin' and the next purchase will hopefully be a dlp projector [​IMG]
    But since you asked, what is the maximum xmax we could have in a 15"? Can you do 45mm? Jack and I are of the mind that 15" is an ideal size - enough for displacement (given higher xmax) and you don't pay for two motors, etc that dual 12" drivers dictate. 15" is cost and box-size effective. 18" dictate too-large a box, IMO.
    1. 120db from 20hz up - means 45mm linear xmax one way
    2. Bottomless like HE15 - add an extra plate so the coil physically cannot get mashed.
    3. Metal cone - looks cool.
    4. Dual 2ohm coils - get the last drop of current from that amp!
    I guess kind of like this but with just a little more xmax, and for $4-$500. That definitely hasn't been done...
     
  6. DanWiggins

    DanWiggins Second Unit

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    Jack Gilvey posted:
    OK - so that's a vote for a sealed box driver. So we'll shoot for a Qts around 0.38-0.42 or so, which should work well in both vented and sealed boxes.
    Dan Wiggins
    Adire Audio
     
  7. DanWiggins

    DanWiggins Second Unit

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    Vince Bray posted:
     
  8. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    Why bother with PR or vented if we can get low Fs and high SPL from a small sealed box? A lot of us are already running pretty good size amps, and many already have a BFD to tame the anomalies/room interaction.

    So, my vote would be a 15" driver (two for me, please) that can have a .5 -.6 Q in a ~3 cu/ft sealed enclosure, and will deliver 115 dB from 20 Hz.

    Pete
     
  9. Mike_A

    Mike_A Stunt Coordinator

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    i've got to throw in a vote for something that works well in a ~120L or so sonotube, so ported instead of PR's and goes as flat as possible without EQ down to 20Hz or below. Basically, a super shiva, with more Xmax and able to work in slightly smaller enclosures. honestly, i think for the DIYer, there's a lot more market for such a driver. give it an alloy or poly cone (something besides paper) and a santoprene (or some other rubber variant) type surround and this thing would really dominate...
    just a thought from a slightly less extreme perspective [​IMG]
     
  10. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

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    Hi Dan and all,
    Dan's breakdown of the costs involved in PR'd options make the best arguement for going the sealed route. For around the cost of the PRs, you might as well buy another driver. In real-world useage, the benefits of power reduction per driver, excursion, and consideration of real spectral content point heavily toward multiple sealed drivers. Most who have read my posts know I'm a big proponent of what Martin Logan has trademarked "Balanced Force Configuration" where drivers are configured to cancel the net rocking forces on an enclosure. A dual 15" with this sort of excursion would make for one seriously potent subwoofer. A single driver would be quite good on it's own in many rooms. The big question with a sealed subwoofer is what people's thoughts on EQ or other electronic correction is. I would suggest a natural F3 in the mid to upper 20s if possible. I'm guessing 3 cu.ft. per cabinet or maybe a pair in 5 cu.ft. would fall in the reasonable range for many homes. Basically what you will have here is a Krell MRS killer.
    For those wondering about the benfits of having 30+ mm of excursion on a decent sized radiator, I can confirm it to be quite pleasing to the ear. [​IMG]
    Note that most of my comments about motor strength come into play if you want to get away from using EQ and modest box sizes. It is indeed all about the final ratios within a driver. IF you have room to still play with other parameters, high motor strength can indeed offer some interesting options (ok, it's starting to show I've been around Tom Danley too much [​IMG] ). Noting the EBP product, the ratio also demonstrates that if you can lower Fs AND Qes, you can maintain the EBP, but this also has some very interesting things with required box volume. This is by no means the only way to get deep bass from a sealed box, but realize that a driver placed in an enclosure even equal to its Vas will raise the Fs of the system by a factor of ~1.4. This quickly shows that an Fs of 20Hz or below is required.
    Another nice benefit of sealed designs for DIYers is that if we have a single driver system which can work well without any EQ, those with more power and interest in EQ can squeeze more drivers in to less than full multiples of the space and not really take any hits in actual efficiency, only un-equalized frequency response.
    Dan,
    One factor I am curious if you have looked into much: In relating the output limited Xmax, or power input to Xmax as shown in most programs, are these numbers RMS excursion values, or real p-p values? I'm under the impression that the real measured p-p values within linear limits represent about 1.4x the predicted value. Of course this is certainly useable for our electrical Xmax values where BL does indeed "curve" rather than brickwall. Of course such real values of Xmax do correlate well with your simulated sine wave tracking for the XBL^2 motor. My interest is more in terms of the suspension's travel. Your thoughts/experience?
    Mark Seaton
    Sound Physics Labs / ServoDrive
     
  11. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Dan,

    I'm with Pete on this one! I have a decent sized room that's completely open to the rest of the house. Because of the "open floor plan" I only have 1 place to put the sub. It would be up against my back wall next to my sofa and about 2-3' from the left side wall. It will also most definitely have to function as an end table in a sealed enclosure (whether or not this is an ideal application for is moot as this is my only choice). For this reason, I'd really want something that can be downfiring. Maybe that goes without saying for your designs, but I had to throw that requirement in.

    I think 115dB at 20Hz in a 3ft^3 enclosure would be every male's wet dream. Sealed would be manageable and you could still go ported or PR'ed. If necessary, I'd be willing to EQ as I am fully prepared to buy a K2 and have a BFD 1124 laying around. I've been planning on the K2 anyway.

    Mike_A,

    As far as poly cones, I think they are strictly out of the question for this application. IIRC, poly cones aren't nearly as stiff as a good pulp filled paper cone. I could care less about flashy looks. I've seen enough of that from the car audio market. Far too much form over function (Reminds me of "White Men Can't Jump" where Woody Harrelson accuses Wesley Snipes of caring more about looking good than winning!). One look at my 1803 and you can tell it's all business. I want something even more extreme than this!

    So I'm for the ultimate sealed sub driver that can still be used in 4th and 5th order alignments.

    Brian
     
  12. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Great stuff all around, especially the points about the sealed variations. As I mentioned above, drivers like those being discussed have almost unlimited possibilities in a Linkwitz transform. Especially if they're so mounted as to cancel their inevitable huge motions,such as the ML or Krell, or what ThomasW has done in with dual Blueprint 1503's in his "Tube-Zilla" with one on each end.
    I guess it might be easiest to have a "perfect" sealed driver or a "perfect" reflex driver if we have one for each purpose...maybe that would be the best way to go, two different optimised drivers.
     
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Jack,

    While I'm over the whole sonotube look, Thomas' Tube-Zilla might be something I'd be willing to do! If not for me, my crazy Bass-A-Holic friend is gearing up to build his first house. While it will be a "starter" home (1800 square feet or so), his family is in the construction business and are diehard overbuilders. So he's not going to be happy with anything less than the ultimate. When I told him about my 1803 he said he wanted two! So I think dual 15's with 30+mm of Xmax in what could be considered a "space-saving enclosure) is right up his alley. I can pretty much talk him into anything audio-wise!

    Brian
     
  14. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

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  15. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    How about this: design for flat anechoic response down as low as possible, then attenuate LF via EQ as needed depending on the amount of actual room gain experienced. I'd imagine this would make for an enormous amount of headroom. Maybe somewhat profligate from an enginneering standpoint.
     
  16. Vince Bray

    Vince Bray Stunt Coordinator

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  17. JimPeitersen

    JimPeitersen Second Unit

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    Wonderful discussion! Just so that I am clear on this; Dan, are you seriously considering this "imaginary" driver for possible production? I am just guessing, but I think you would have quite a market for it. Let's all hope.

    JP
     
  18. Mike_A

    Mike_A Stunt Coordinator

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    ahhh darn port flow problems - what's the most xmax that reasonable porting could handle? (say three 3" ports tuned to ~20hz - SVS CS+ style)
    i still vote for flat anechoic response down to at least 20hz for the simple reason that it's not always possible to plan for the room. what if you move? do you really want to rebuild your sub? (ok i should realize the answer to this question maybe yes since it's the DIY forum [​IMG] ). I like Jack's EQ solution better personally.
    Maybe there's already a driver out there that meets my needs?
    One of these days when i can get a 1kW amp, the small, sealed, EQ'ed design sounds perfect to me [​IMG]
     
  19. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    These dual driver sealed designs similar to Thomas's Tubezilla, what kinda of amp power do you figure they will need. Are we talking a kiloW to each driver, or would something like a QSC RMX1450 or Mackie M1400 be enough for both?

    If these dual driver sealed allignments with a 0.5-0.6 Q can post 115dB plus at 20hz with some moderate room gain I think I could be convinced to give up on my love of the vent.
     
  20. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    The Velodyne HGS-12 Series II that I presently have my eye on has exterior dimensions of 1.65^3ft. Sure would be nice to have a bit better performance in the same sized sealed box. For me, 115@20hz seems to be waay too much to ask for in such a small enclosure, and to be honest, I don't NEED that much horsepower. My priority is small size and GOOD performance....not over the top. In addition to the miniscule size of the HGS-12, it's also nice to have all the electronics built into the box.
    Oh yeah...I don't mind saving a little money over the Velo as well.
    my .02
     

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