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Building a sub, suggestions on driver/enclosure?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Matt:Brunmeier

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Posted November 07 2005 - 10:16 AM

I have about a $600 budget, and I was really really interested in the Drake project from Parts Express:
http://www.partsexpr....ake/index.html

I have a similar budget, and am looking towards the same amp, but his priority was to keep the enclosure small, and space is not really an issue for me. I'm looking for a sub to cover between 20 and 50 hz (my speakers have great response down to 50hz, but that extra 30hz is really noticable on a lot of music). It's going in a college house as our HT sub and as a music/dance sub, so my priority is strength in that low frequency range.

So, here's what I'm thinking:
15" Titanic MKIII
http://www.partsexpr....20&ctab=4#Tabs

Dayton HPSA 1000W Amp
http://www.partsexpr....number=300-808

I guess it's almost identical to this:
http://www.partsexpr....number=300-764

meh.. input?

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Travis_G

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Posted November 07 2005 - 12:00 PM

You might also consider the Acoustic Elegance AV 15. It's about the same as the driver you are looking at in terms of displacement (slightly more actually) and it's a little less expensive. Thermal power rating is a little lower but not significantly IMHO (less than 3 dB difference).

I would not recommend exceeding the manufacturers thermal power rating. That speaker is rated for 800 watts @ 4 ohms and the amp supplies 1024 watts @ 4 ohms. Depending on the enclosure you may not even be able to take advantage of 800 watts of power.

Travis

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Travis_G

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Posted November 07 2005 - 12:12 PM

By the way, did you want to build a sealed or vented enclosure?

I usually design the enclosure before I pick an amp. That way I know how much power it will take to drive the subwoofer to it's mechanical limit.

Travis

#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Chuck Bogie

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Posted November 07 2005 - 01:29 PM

Go multiples... More SPL, more chest-hitting "thump."

A single Titanic will work fine for HT, but for music, it'll be sorta iffster... I'd think Dayton Quatro 15, two of 'em, in about 7 cubes each, with the 240 watt plate amps (nicer crossover than the 250). Tune 'em to about 21hz, you've got protection against stupidity, and they will give you 119db, with an f3 of about 24hz. And with the higher tuning, 240 watts (per) is not enough to overexcurse until you hit 17hz or so... Add in a first order down around 13hz or so, and you've got no worries that some beered up "dj" is going to launch the drivers...

Other thought would be something like some of Bill Fitzmaurice's horn-loaded designs - you can do your own search. I don't know if they'll play as low, but they will play LOUD.

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   ThomasW

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Posted November 07 2005 - 01:54 PM

Probably a little more appropriate to the college environment than the Titanic III is the SS RL-p 15" They have a double spider with woven leads, so they're designed to take a pounding.

The F3 is a bit high if put in a box like the PE kit (3 cu ft). But a dab of EQ will take care of that (Behringer BFD). If you want lets say 160L or larger ported box tuned to 18Hz it, will play really loud.... :wink:

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Matt:Brunmeier

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Posted November 07 2005 - 06:04 PM

gettin kinda pricey on the driver selection, I thought $200 for one driver was a lot.

I'm interested in the idea of using two cheaper subs instead of one. I had never really thought of that. I know for music it can be much better, but I'm a bit concerned that it won't be nearly as crisp or clean as a single great sub for HT. I'm trying to find something here that will satisfy both ends of the spectrum.

I haven't decided yet whether I want sealed or vented. I've seen both and there are plans for both available. What do you guys suggest?

also, what about this sub instead:
http://www.partsexpr....number=299-665
it seems a better match for that amplifier.

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   ThomasW

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Posted November 07 2005 - 06:35 PM

Quote:
I have about a $600 budget,
Here's how to do this on your budget
Driver SS RL-p 15" $245 + shipping
Amp Nady XA1100 $146+ shipping
Behringer BFD $99+ shipping

Figure $50 for shipping and you hit your budget with a high power amp, a very high quality speaker, a full blown parametric EQ, and money left over for lumber and hardware for the box.

Note that the 24.6mm Xmax on the RL-p 15" is such that it's output will equal almost 2.5 Quatro 15"s

The driver you linked to on PE has a Fs of 37Hz = car audio boom box

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Matt:Brunmeier

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Posted November 08 2005 - 02:13 PM

the xmax on that RL sub are impressive, no doubt. But my original plan was to use a plate amp. I'm not entirely set on that - if people say a separate amp with an EQ is the way to go then I'll do that. Certainly it's a cheaper way to get a 1000 watt amp.

Good call on the DVC driver from PE. It's definitely not what I'm looking for.

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Travis_G

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Posted November 08 2005 - 02:21 PM

I'm interested in the idea of using two cheaper subs instead of one. I had never really thought of that. I know for music it can be much better, but I'm a bit concerned that it won't be nearly as crisp or clean as a single great sub for HT. I'm trying to find something here that will satisfy both ends of the spectrum.


If it's good for HT then it's good for music too. Using two speakers won't make it more musical, unless you are running them in stereo IMHO. Sometimes subwoofers used in mono can give their location away, especially if you are not careful where you position it in your room.

OTOH using stereo subs will often times give you less even frequency response in your room, but it also reduces the degree to which resonances are exited in your room. It comes down to which is more important, even FR or 'tight' bass.

I haven't decided yet whether I want sealed or vented. I've seen both and there are plans for both available. What do you guys suggest?


A ported box will give you the most bang for the buck. I tend to favor them for HT. A sealed will give you 'tighter' bass but with tunings in the teens I wonder if it's even audible with most program material. In my experience, ported boxes behave like sealed boxes ~ 1 octave above tuning and above. Kick drum fundamentals are at ~ 35 Hz. With the same driver, a vented enclosure will give you less harmonic distortion, and often less compression. You need bost the bottom end with an EQ to get the most from a sealed enclosure. Every 3 dB of boost cuts the effective amplifier power in half.

Also, don't shop for watts. Find a driver with a high effiecency. It will require a larger box then a less efficient driver, but you said that space isn't a concern. If you download Win ISD, it will help you decide how much power you will need to get the most from your driver.

Travis

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Matt:Brunmeier

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Posted November 08 2005 - 03:03 PM

I'm liking that RL-P 15" driver. It's a monster and the numbers are looking good. Obviously I'm open for more suggestions though. I'm also a huge fan of drivers that lean towards efficiency instead of raw wattage consumption. They last longer and sound better on less of an amplification investment. Is this RL-P one a good option in this department or is it a power hog?

I think because I'm using such a large driver a sealed box might be the best option just to make sure it doesn't get poofy. I know the driver is excellent but just the sheer size of it makes me lean towards a sealed box.

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Travis_G

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Posted November 08 2005 - 04:33 PM

89.7 dB SPL is good Matt.
You can use any size woofer in a vented box. Typically you want a speaker with an Fs/Qes ratio (efficiency bandwith product) of ~ 40 or more for a vented enclosure. For this speaker EBP is 54 making it fine for both vented and sealed enclosures.

If I might ask, why are you worried about using a large diameter driver in a vented enclosure?

Travis

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Ben Ch

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Posted November 08 2005 - 04:47 PM

I'm now using an RL-p driver in my AS-15 (Aeriel-Stryke 15" Klone) subwoofer that was known to some as the Heretic Subwoofer.
It requires some boost in the bottom end, but it seems to be a very refined driver. I'm liking it very much.

Mine is a dual 4 ohm driver with coils wired in series and powered by an Adire Audio ADA-1200, which is capable of 600 watts into that load.

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Travis_G

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Posted November 12 2005 - 07:36 PM

If it's good for HT then it's good for music too. Using two speakers won't make it more musical, unless you are running them in stereo IMHO. Sometimes subwoofers used in mono can give their location away, especially if you are not careful where you position it in your room.

OTOH using stereo subs will often times give you less even frequency response in your room, but it also reduces the degree to which resonances are exited in your room. It comes down to which is more important, even FR or 'tight' bass.

I ran across this article by Todd Welti, of Harmon Intl, which contradicts what I said here. I thought it was noteworthy.

Subwoofers: Optimum Number and Location

It suggests NOT using stereo subwoofers but using multiple subwoofers in mono instead.

I said that using multiple subs would often give less even frequency response, but according to the article, FR is usually improved. Tom Nousaine (if my memory serves)tested multiple subwoofer configurations and concluded that as more subwoofers were added FR degraded. Maybe somebody can help me out with the article.

FWIW in my experience bass from the subwoofer can sometimes be localized. Dickason seems to agree:

Quote:
The General assumption has always been that any signal below 100 Hz is interpreted by human ears as nondirectional and the brain assigns its location to the nearest set of upper harmonics (your satellite speaker). While this psychoacoustic phenomenon certainly exists, speaker crossovers do not have infinite attenuation at the crossover frequency. Harmonic information is still present to some degree even with steep slopes set to the 80-120 Hz. range, and can affect the stereo image. For these reasons I strongly recommend two subwoofers if your listening room has enough space
Loudspeaker Recipes Book One

I tend to believe my own ears on the matter of subwoofers and localization, however I make room for the possibility that it is a room effect, as is suggested in the article. But I'm not sure who to believe on the issue of FR. Maybe someone else has some more reference(s) on multiple subwoofer configurations.

Travis

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Al Garay

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Posted November 15 2005 - 02:58 PM

I would recommend following ThomasW's advice. Focus on a quality driver like the RL-P 15" that he recommends.

If the Nady amp scares you, you can still use the a plate amp like the PE 500Watt, HPSA500, for about $300.
http://www.partsexpr....number=300-806


Other options on used drivers:
FS 15" avalanche for about $300
http://forum.soundil...ead.php?t=56543

FS 15" Adire Tempest for about $99 (can reach down low in large vented or sealed box)
http://forum.soundil...ead.php?t=56569

FS PE 500 plate amp $225
http://forum.soundil...ead.php?t=56552

So, you could do a 15" Avalanche driver plus the PE 500 watt amp for $525. That's tough to beat.





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