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First DIY Sub, need suggestions.


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62 replies to this topic

#1 of 63 OFFLINE   Morlan Liu

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Posted June 21 2004 - 04:02 PM

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 of 63 OFFLINE   Rory Buszka

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Posted June 21 2004 - 04:45 PM

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.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#3 of 63 OFFLINE   Morlan Liu

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Posted June 21 2004 - 04:49 PM

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.

#4 of 63 OFFLINE   RodN

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Posted June 21 2004 - 08:31 PM

Quote:
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?


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

#5 of 63 OFFLINE   Arthur_King

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Posted June 22 2004 - 05:54 AM

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.
"Saying Windows 2000 is equal to MacOS X is like finding a potato that looks like Jesus and believing you've witnessed the second coming."

#6 of 63 OFFLINE   Darren_T

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Posted June 22 2004 - 06:53 AM

Quote:
and you're going to have a pretty damn sweet sub for under $250 bux.


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

#7 of 63 OFFLINE   minhG

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Posted June 22 2004 - 08:09 AM

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.

#8 of 63 OFFLINE   Darren_T

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Posted June 22 2004 - 08:40 AM

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


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.

#9 of 63 OFFLINE   Morlan Liu

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Posted June 22 2004 - 09:37 AM

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!

#10 of 63 OFFLINE   Darren_T

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Posted June 22 2004 - 09:43 AM

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

#11 of 63 OFFLINE   Morlan Liu

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Posted June 22 2004 - 10:03 AM

This is the layout of my room.

If I take out the door to the right closet or at least make a hole and put some mesh or a grill over it I guess I can go larger. Do you think the closet will absorb all the sound? I definitely cannot put the sub outside the closet...well, physically I can but I'd prefer not to.

Take a look. Thanks!

Posted Image

#12 of 63 OFFLINE   RodN

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Posted June 22 2004 - 10:13 AM

Even 65L is quite small for a sub. You can have a look at the Shiva whitepapers to get an idea of size.

Vented vs sealed is something you have to decide. Just remember building a vented unit and tuning your port is an art in itself. I've gone sealed for my first project purely because it's a simple approach and I like the idea of the sub being a little more musical.

There are a lot of hidden costs with building your own when you do your first job. Things like sandpaper, drill bits, glue, rulers, screws and so - on. But even after all of that they are VERY cheap in $$$ but naturally more expensive in your time.

** Warning, once you go down the DIY bass route there is no looking back, you will be wanting to build more with larger drivers, larger amps, larger enclosures and lower bass!

#13 of 63 OFFLINE   Jason Dalton

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Posted June 22 2004 - 11:34 AM

I'd build the 85L. It will mesh well with your room.

vented, that is.

#14 of 63 OFFLINE   Cam McFarland

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Posted June 22 2004 - 02:33 PM

I am building an Adire Alignment ported Tempest & I easily have $450.00 in material, not counting at least that much spent on tools to make the job easier. Just to give you an honest idea of what you are looking at, but I did get a slightly more expensive amp than "most" do.

Still figure it will be a better sub than I could buy for $900.00, of course, this still remains to be seen.

I am already contemplating my next one & have not even finished the first one yet.

The tools can always be re-used....table saw was THE BEST
investment tools wise, with many various clamp sizes next.
jig saw, sander, etc......

#15 of 63 OFFLINE   RodN

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Posted June 22 2004 - 04:17 PM

The router saves my life all the time - which I bought to build the sub.

#16 of 63 OFFLINE   Morlan Liu

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Posted June 22 2004 - 04:32 PM

So guys, the 85L vented is what I should build? Nobody has any comments on the 25.5 and 54L sealed?

I have all the tools, time, and money (not really but I can spend $300-350 for everything). =)

I am thinking of the Shiva 12" w/PE 250W amp. I'd just like to hear specifics on their different designs provided by Adire.

I guess I'd be willing to make the 85L even though it's a little bigger than I'd like but not too too big.

Thanks again all!

#17 of 63 OFFLINE   minhG

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Posted June 23 2004 - 01:45 AM

as everyone has said before, only YOU can decide if one or the other is enough. the 25.5L one is pretty easy to build. if you have the time build that first and if it's not enough build the 85L vented.

the only hiccup is that ideally, if i was going to keep the 25.5L sealed enclosure--i would end up powering it with more watts then I would the 85L vented. that's just me, others may have more input here.

if you do this some suggestions:

when you build the sealed, don't go to the trouble of putting the amp in--just run a pair of binding posts.

if you're worried about getting an amp--the shiva or tempest have dual 8-ohm VC so even an older stereo receiver can drive the load.

#18 of 63 OFFLINE   Morlan Liu

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Posted June 21 2004 - 04:02 PM

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

#19 of 63 OFFLINE   Rory Buszka

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Posted June 21 2004 - 04:45 PM

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.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#20 of 63 OFFLINE   Morlan Liu

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Posted June 21 2004 - 04:49 PM

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.





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