Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo

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


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
733 replies to this topic

#1 of 734 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

Jack Gilvey

    Producer



  • 4,952 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 13 1999

Posted February 18 2002 - 02:43 PM

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:

[quote]

Hi all,



A few thoughts...



1. I think a different thread dedicated to driver design/dreaming would be in order.



2. Hoffman's Iron Law still rules: small and deep means low efficiency. So if you want a small sub, then you WILL NEED a big amp. We're talking at least $400+ for the amp alone. Keep that in mind in the discussion.



3. PRs are great, if you can afford them (cost and space). A fully-tricked-out XBL2 motor'd Tempest would require a pair of VERY high excursion 18" PRs. This will run in the $150+ range for each PR. So you're looking at $300 plus the driver (figure $250+ for a monster excursion 15" driver), and $400+ for the amp. Or an entry cost around $1,000, not including the cabinet.



But from a size issue, you need to be able to physically mount the PRs and the driver. Which means your box is at least 20" high and 20" deep, and at least 18" wide. That's not too small to start with.



4. If EQ is the goal, why even use PRs/vents? What if you had a 15" driver with a clean 35mm of one-way Xmax? In an EQ'd sealed box, you could do some serious damage with it, at a lower cost - no PRs or vents needed, just a big amp (which we might be resigned to).



5. Motor strength? It has to be strong enough to move the cone in the size of box you want, and no more. You can have too much motor strength for effective use as a subwoofer. Means you MUST equalize to get the response back, but in that case why drop all the bucks into a super strong motor only to equalize it away?



Anyway, just some thoughts. But it seems like the summary goal would be:



- 3 cubic foot box

- high power handling

- capable of 5+L of linear displacement (twin Tempest range)

- suitable for sealed or vented boxes



Thanks,



Dan Wiggins

Adire Audio

[quote]
SVS Customer Service
http://www.svsound.com
sales@svsound.com
techsupport@svsound.com

#2 of 734 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

Jack Gilvey

    Producer



  • 4,952 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 13 1999

Posted February 18 2002 - 03:14 PM

[quote]

Anyway, just some thoughts. But it seems like the summary goal would be:



- 3 cubic foot box

- high power handling

- capable of 5+L of linear displacement (twin Tempest range)

- suitable for sealed or vented boxes

[quote]


I think the 3ft^3 goal would be what I'd want for a 12", a home-variant of a Brahma. Maybe ~2.5-3L of Vd for use with two high-performance 15" PR's tuned to 18Hz. And I'd like flat response down there, not -6dB @ 20Hz.

As far as a 15", Vd in the neighborhood of dual-Tempests sounds incredible, but I'd want it to be similar to Tempest as far as alignments are concerned. I'd like smaller box requirements, but that would almost necessitate PR's.
SVS Customer Service
http://www.svsound.com
sales@svsound.com
techsupport@svsound.com

#3 of 734 OFFLINE   Dustin B

Dustin B

    Producer



  • 3,128 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 10 2001

Posted February 18 2002 - 03:22 PM

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.
Constant Area Screen - The Only Way To Go

My Home Theatre Page

#4 of 734 OFFLINE   Jeffrey Noel

Jeffrey Noel

    Screenwriter



  • 1,541 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 11 2001

Posted February 18 2002 - 03:41 PM

[quote]

What if you had a 15" driver with a clean 35mm of one-way Xmax?

[quote]



Posted Image Posted Image



Dan, I'm going to start saving up my money right now. A driver with 35mm one-way Xmax designed for a sealed enclosure would be awesome. It would definitely save us some money not having to buy PRs.



I'm all for it! Posted Image Posted Image



Could we name it the "Holy Shit" sub or the "Jaw Dropper"? Posted Image
God bless!
jeffrey noel

As we slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.

#5 of 734 OFFLINE   Vince Bray

Vince Bray

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 170 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 04 2000

Posted February 18 2002 - 04:16 PM

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 Posted Image



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 of 734 OFFLINE   DanWiggins

DanWiggins

    Second Unit



  • 325 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 15 1999

Posted February 18 2002 - 04:32 PM

Jack Gilvey posted:
Quote:
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 of 734 OFFLINE   DanWiggins

DanWiggins

    Second Unit



  • 325 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 15 1999

Posted February 18 2002 - 04:36 PM

Vince Bray posted:

[quote]

[quote]


Vince,



We can get you that GZ Plutonium Xmech right now (that's what they really have; the 4HP motor from TC Sounds isn't capable of 45mm one way linear, although the suspension is). In most car audio subs, they list mechanical throw, not linear. I don't know of a single driver anywhere in the world with more linear throw (DUMAX measured) than Brahma, at 27.32mm one way. Many claim more, but when it comes time to measured results...



Now, for 45mm of linear throw? OK... We can do that! Let me kick some ideas around, and see what we can come up with. But it is entirely possible. Our XBL2 motor technology can do some amazing things.



As far as the metal cone, do you absolutely need it? It doesn't really help all that much, and costs a LOT more money... How about a nice basic black cone...Posted Image But definitely the DVC 2 Ohm design, as much linear Xmax as possible, and in an 18" frame. Let me roll some ideas around, and see what I can come up with!



Dan Wiggins

Adire Audio

#8 of 734 OFFLINE   Pete Mazz

Pete Mazz

    Supporting Actor



  • 761 posts
  • Join Date: May 17 2000

Posted February 18 2002 - 04:47 PM

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 of 734 OFFLINE   Mike_A

Mike_A

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 153 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 07 2001

Posted February 18 2002 - 05:53 PM

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 Posted Image

#10 of 734 OFFLINE   Mark Seaton

Mark Seaton

    Supporting Actor



  • 600 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 10 1999

Posted February 18 2002 - 06:28 PM

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. Posted Image

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 Posted Image ). 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
Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.

#11 of 734 OFFLINE   Brian Bunge

Brian Bunge

    Producer



  • 3,719 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 11 2000

Posted February 18 2002 - 07:00 PM

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
Brian Bunge
RAD Home Theater

#12 of 734 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

Jack Gilvey

    Producer



  • 4,952 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 13 1999

Posted February 18 2002 - 07:01 PM

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.





[quote]

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.

[quote]

The problem becomes, Mike, that you're still stuck with the same porting that you'd use with a regular Shiva (even less, if we have a smaller enclosure), but you're trying to get twice the output from it. At least as I see it.
SVS Customer Service
http://www.svsound.com
sales@svsound.com
techsupport@svsound.com

#13 of 734 OFFLINE   Brian Bunge

Brian Bunge

    Producer



  • 3,719 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 11 2000

Posted February 18 2002 - 07:09 PM

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
Brian Bunge
RAD Home Theater

#14 of 734 OFFLINE   Mark Seaton

Mark Seaton

    Supporting Actor



  • 600 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 10 1999

Posted February 18 2002 - 07:22 PM

[quote]

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.

[quote]
As much as I have seen some purport the flat anechoic response to be desireable to as low a frequency possible, there isn't much out there to support it. In the ideal you want to USE the transfer function of your room to your advantage. This is the same concept of how a quality car subwoofer is designed. As such, you can get a fairly good prediction with a variety of programs, even using those which can account for car, "cabin-gain." You just need to determine the approximate corner frequency. Of course some will find that significant gain in the room won't occur until the mid teens, but without checking into it, you could be wasting valueable box volume which isn't really needed. A PR'd box tuned very low can easily be made to match up with the gain of the room over a given range, and a sealed box does it nicely on its own. If you have a sealed box in a room too bit to ideally complement the transfer function, a simple shelf filter often will get you in the right ballpark for larger rooms. Our designer, Tom Danley, recently measured FLAT in room response down to 5Hz (using TEF) with a sealed subwoofer in a room a bit over 3000 cu.ft. The outdoor response is about -10dB around 12Hz.



Mark Seaton

Sound Physics Labs / ServoDrive
Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.

#15 of 734 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

Jack Gilvey

    Producer



  • 4,952 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 13 1999

Posted February 18 2002 - 07:36 PM

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.
SVS Customer Service
http://www.svsound.com
sales@svsound.com
techsupport@svsound.com

#16 of 734 OFFLINE   Vince Bray

Vince Bray

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 170 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 04 2000

Posted February 18 2002 - 07:52 PM

[quote]

As much as I have seen some purport the flat anechoic response to be desireable to as low a frequency possible, there isn't much out there to support it

[quote]

I suffer from 'open plan-itis' and in my room it seems the room gain is diminished to the point of being useless. The 15.2 models flat to very near 20hz, and in-room I am getting more or less that response, not a huge excess of LF that would result from lots of room gain.

#17 of 734 OFFLINE   JimPeitersen

JimPeitersen

    Second Unit



  • 474 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 07 2001

Posted February 18 2002 - 08:17 PM

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 of 734 OFFLINE   Mike_A

Mike_A

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 153 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 07 2001

Posted February 18 2002 - 08:35 PM

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 Posted Image ). 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 Posted Image

#19 of 734 OFFLINE   Dustin B

Dustin B

    Producer



  • 3,128 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 10 2001

Posted February 18 2002 - 09:22 PM

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.
Constant Area Screen - The Only Way To Go

My Home Theatre Page

#20 of 734 OFFLINE   Randy G

Randy G

    Second Unit



  • 463 posts
  • Join Date: May 18 2000

Posted February 18 2002 - 10:09 PM

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




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users