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To build a HT sub or to keep my SVS


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33 replies to this topic

#1 of 34 aaron_d

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Posted December 16 2004 - 01:24 AM

The DIY bug has bitten me and has done it hard. Right now i own a SVS PCI 20-39. I am happy with this sub but i feel like there has to be something better out there. The sub is used mainly for Hometheater but when I through parties it is used for music. The room size is fairly large, 20 x 30 or around that size. The one section of the back of the room opens up into the dining room. Directly below the room is a basement, i am sure sound blows through the floor, not sure if this effects the room size or not. The reciever that sends the signal is a denon 3802. I have a klipsch RC-7 center, and Wayne Jasekes Vertias for fronts. I bulit my sourround speakers but i forget what they are. Is there a sub out there that can beat my svs? Size does not matter. Price well it all depends on how much it is. Right now price really does not matter as long as it is resonable, $700 or so for driver and amp wouldn't be bad. Can anyone offer suggestions? Thanks a ton. If you have any more questions please ask. I love to feel the bass when the movie or music calls for it. But i hat e when it hums during scenes that have bass but only sounds like a constant droning.

#2 of 34 BrianAe

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Posted December 16 2004 - 01:38 AM

I have been examining the ROI of DIY audio recently and have come to the conclusion that if your trying to build a sub for cost savings vs other reasons like custom looks or just the fun of doing it, that it isn't worth it.

Maybe 5 years ago before companies like SVS came around it might of been, but not today. I think the exception would be if you have your own quality amp to power the thing already.

For 825 you could get the SVS PC+ 20-39, for 899 you could get the PB12-ISD. I doubt you could build a better sub for less than 700. So, is the 100 dollar or so cost savings worth it to you? For most of us, again strictly speaking from an ROI point of view, the time savings, professional finish, and warranty are worth way more than 100 bucks.

#3 of 34 Jason Dalton

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Posted December 16 2004 - 02:57 AM

ROI of DIY, thats a good one!

Seriously though, if you are taking the build time into account then DIY probably isn't for you. When I build something I consider it a rewarding, enjoyable experience. If you don't enjoy it, don't waste your time, but as far as cost of materials its easy to build something that will best any commercially available product for the same price.

SVS, Hsu, etc. have really enhanced the competition in the subwoofer marketplace, but the margin is still there for DIYers.

I'd like to know what DIY subwoofers you compared in your ROI analysis.

Quote:
For 825 you could get the SVS PC+ 20-39, for 899 you could get the PB12-ISD. I doubt you could build a better sub for less than 700. So, is the 100 dollar or so cost savings worth it to you? For most of us, again strictly speaking from an ROI point of view, the time savings, professional finish, and warranty are worth way more than 100 bucks.

Actually, I built a sub for ~$250 that probably compares pretty well with the PB12-ISD.

#4 of 34 Patrick Sun

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Posted December 16 2004 - 03:14 AM

After picking up an original SVS 12" driver from their first production run for around $50, I was able to build a box sub with plate amp for a total material cost around $280, and it would put out some crazy bass in my friend's dedicated HT. Of course, there is the labor/time aspect, but it was a fun project, and DIY isn't always about saving money, but using your time in a hobby capacity. No one tries to account for the time they spend on their hobbies, do they?
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#5 of 34 aaron_d

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Posted December 16 2004 - 03:22 AM

I think people are taking this thread the wrong way. Building speakers is a hobby of mine so i do not account for the time or labor at all. I enjoy doing it. So there is no sub out there right now for around 700 dollars in parts not including wood that would blow the doors off of my current sub? If not i am completely happy with what i have i was just wondering if there was something else out there.

#6 of 34 eric nyhof

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Posted December 16 2004 - 03:40 AM

For a monster sub, I'd go with a AV15 with the Power 15 setup (dual 18" PR's) and power it with the parts express 1000 watt. I think parts alone would run about 800 or so.

Another option would be the AV12 with the 15" PR's and a PE 500 watt. I just finished with my box and can't wait for the AV12's to ship.

#7 of 34 Chris Brock

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Posted December 16 2004 - 03:50 AM

As long as you dont count the build time as a cost then there are many many driver and amp combinations that will out perform your SVS for less then 700. Probebly one of the most widley used DIY designs is a Tempest in one of the Adire boxes and a PE 250 plate amp. Total cost for everything including all supplies would be well under $400, but there might be some repair costs for the floor of the room from the impact of your jaw hitting it.Posted Image :b

Also, if you are planning to be in this home for the long hall and dont might doing something a little more exotic then I would rate a properly designed and implemented Infinite Baffle sub over any boxed sub, made by any company, at any price.

#8 of 34 Bryan Michael

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Posted December 16 2004 - 04:02 AM

i say dual av15 in a large ported box with a 1000 watt pro amp. that is about 750 if you add a ss filter and line amp it will be about 1000 but will blow just about any thing you can buy for under 2k i can hit in exess of 120 db with my dual av15.
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#9 of 34 Andrew Pratt

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Posted December 16 2004 - 04:18 AM

Right any of the long throw 15" will do what you want. Take a look at the adire tempest on the cheap or move up to the AV15 or Tumult for more output. A tumult in a nicely sized sealed box with a pro amp to power it would fit in your budget and you'll never be left wanting more outputPosted Image The IB option is worth looking into as well if it fits your room layout.

#10 of 34 Jason Dalton

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Posted December 16 2004 - 04:22 AM

There are two mentions of AV series woofers in this thread, are they available again?

Also, like Chris said, considerable an Infinite Baffle subwoofer. Its performance just can't be achieved from any reasonbly sized box sub.

#11 of 34 aaron_d

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Posted December 16 2004 - 05:00 AM

Would all of these designs blow my svs out of the water?

#12 of 34 BrianAe

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Posted December 16 2004 - 06:17 AM

Sorry, I didn't mean to take the thread into a different direction totally. I was only pointing out that SVS subs are a tremendous value and that it is difficult to do better unless you are willing to spend much more.

I agree that DIY is fun and that in general people shouldn't take into account the labor in their cost analysis.

However, I see more reasons to build your own speakers (from a kit for most) than build your own sub.

If you can do an IB sub, that would be an amazing option. Otherwise all the designs being mentioned above are good but keep in mind that some of them (like the sealed tumult) will require a good eq and an expensive amp that will add to the cost. I think it is the ability of companies like SVS to buy wonderful powerful and full featured amps in mass quanity that really allows them to make their products so affordable. Recognize that the plate amps that come on the SVS subs are way better than any puny PE plate amp and have many advantages over pro-amps.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't build a replacement sub, only that you should take all these things into account. Understand what your giving up if you decide to go with an entry level pro amp...

#13 of 34 Andrew Pratt

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Posted December 16 2004 - 07:05 AM

Quote:
I was only pointing out that SVS subs are a tremendous value and that it is difficult to do better unless you are willing to spend much more.

I don't agree with that at all. There's plenty of affordable DIY subs that are cheaper then comercial products incl. the likes of SVS that will perform just as well or even better.

As for the tumult the amount of EQ required depends on the size of box you build but a typial 2.5 cubic foot box won't require any more EQ then an SVS unit in the same place and power is cheap. A QSC pro amp will run you under $300 new that'll easily power it to deafing levels and walk all over just about any comercial product anywhere near its price point. Adire also has plate amps that offer as much if not more options then those available on the SVS units as well (built in LT's etc). Now that's not to say I don't think SVS et al. make great products at a great price b/c they do...but you can do better for less if you're willing to spend the time to build something.

#14 of 34 Jason Dalton

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Posted December 16 2004 - 07:27 AM

Quote:
I think it is the ability of companies like SVS to buy wonderful powerful and full featured amps in mass quanity that really allows them to make their products so affordable. Recognize that the plate amps that come on the SVS subs are way better than any puny PE plate amp and have many advantages over pro-amps.


What is it that makes the SVS amps way better than the amps from PE or Adire?

#15 of 34 Patrick Sun

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Posted December 16 2004 - 08:40 AM

IIRC, the SVS amp now have limiters on the low low end so the drivers don't bottom out when pushed hard with no limiter/rumble filter in place.
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#16 of 34 Andrew Pratt

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Posted December 16 2004 - 09:04 AM

You won't bottom out a Tumult with any of the plate amps either Posted Image

#17 of 34 David_P

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Posted December 16 2004 - 09:17 AM

Quote:
You won't bottom out a Tumult with any of the plate amps either


I don't know about that... on paper (LT spreadsheet) a Tumult in 2.5 cu ft eq'd/lt'd to .58 and fsc=14hz (f3=17.7) can be bottomed by an ada-1200 at any frequency below about 16 hz.

Or so it appears.

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#18 of 34 BrianAe

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Posted December 16 2004 - 10:33 AM

Quote:
Adire also has plate amps that offer as much if not more options then those available on the SVS units as well (built in LT's etc).



Quote:
What is it that makes the SVS amps way better than the amps from PE or Adire?


The Adire amps look great. I would say they might very well be better than even the SVS ultra plate amps. However, they are 450-600 bucks and the tumult is a 500 dollar driver. So your talking about 950-1100 bucks right there without any materials for the cabinet or additional EQ. The PC ultra and PB12-2+ are going to come in cheaper.

Others can comment better than me on the PE amps but they have some built in EQ that can mess with your designs. Plus, the budget ones have very limited power.

Note, that I didn't say that you can't build a better sub than SVS for the same money. I just said that the ROI was pretty low, though I think it does go up as you go up to higher end subs. At the entry level SVS comparison, your saving maybe 100 bucks but giving up warranty and if your not an expert builder, craftmenship and looks.

#19 of 34 Andrew Pratt

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Posted December 16 2004 - 11:03 AM

Quote:
The Adire amps look great. I would say they might very well be better than even the SVS ultra plate amps. However, they are 450-600 bucks and the tumult is a 500 dollar driver. So your talking about 950-1100 bucks right there without any materials for the cabinet or additional EQ. The PC ultra and PB12-2+ are going to come in cheaper.

But that assume that one SVS Ultra = the tumult which isn't the case...you'd need more then one Ultra to keep up with the tumult as far as SPL goes. If you want to keep things more even try a tempest and a 250 watt plate amp to the Ultra's...the performance is more equal and true costs can be compared.

#20 of 34 Ryan Schnacke

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Posted December 16 2004 - 03:21 PM

Others can comment better than me on the PE amps but they have some built in EQ that can mess with your designs. Plus, the budget ones have very limited power.


If you're talking about the 300-796 then yes, there's significant boost at 29HZ. If you're talking about the 300-794 then no, there is no boost. Only a high-pass filter centered at around 19.5Hz. But we're talking about DIY and since the filters on either amp are relatively easy to modify to achieve whatever Q and cutoff value you desire, this counts as a benefit ... not a detriment.

Very limited power? PE's 270 watts vs. SVS's 320 watts ... nope, I'm not seeing it. If you really need more, you could use one of the Apex Sr or Rythmik 350 watt plate amps. I think these are still available for about $160.

Yes, the SVS plate amps are nice and do seem a bit higher quality than the PE 250 watters. But I don't think the difference is as significant as you're suggesting.


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