Building subwoofer... Good idea or bad?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mark--M, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. Mark--M

    Mark--M Stunt Coordinator

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    Just wondering what you guys think about building your own subwoofer? If its done carefully will it actually sound the way a powered sub should? Are the parts express amps any good, any other alternatives out there?

    If anybody here has built there own sub, please post up any details like what components were used, how it sounds, etc.
     
  2. al lout

    al lout Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark,

    Check out DIY forum on this site. You'll find plenty of DIY projects and lots of info there. If you have the tools and time and don't mind getting dirty, DIY subs will give you the best bang for you $$$. Good luck.

    Al,
     
  3. Max F

    Max F Second Unit

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    You can very likely build a sub (or speaker) that is much better for the price than what you get from a manufacturer.

    Will it look as good, thats another question and will be dependent on your skills. [​IMG]
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    Great idea... Go for it....

    Really more practical if you are either going for a good bargain sub, or if your going for an ultra performer. Lots of good offering out there for the in between.

    Go for like the 15" driver level would be my suggestion.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If you know what you are doing, meaning if you are somewhat mechanically inclined, it's definitely a good idea. My buddy's DIY sub is pretty amazing.
     
  7. Bobby T

    Bobby T Supporting Actor

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    PE amps are good. So are the Dayton drivers they sell. One of the Titanic kits is a good way to get started in diy sub building. Acoustic Visions is another good place to get amps and drivers. And Kyle Richardson(spell?) is very knowledgable and helpful.
     
  8. Mark--M

    Mark--M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replies so far. Building the sub wouldnt be a problem, I just want to make sure it sounds ok. About a year ago I helped a friend build a sub for his car. We built the box exactly to the manufacturers specs and it sounded great in his car, but the output was terrible during testing in my house. Very weak and wasnt deep at all. I'm guessing the problem there was the enclosure is not tuned for home use at all right?

    I'm looking at making a fairly high output sub if I decide to go the DIY route. I'm thinking around the 1000w range and defenatly will be a 15 over a 12. I'm looking at the 15" Titanic, Avalanche and the even the Tumult for possible drivers. I'm leaning towards the Avalanche at the moment.

    I need some help deciding on an amplifier. Cost is obviously a big issue. The only two i've found in that power range are the Parts Express 1000 and the Adire 1200. Are there any others out there with this kind of output? What about using an external amp, is that a possibility? I have a QSC MX 1500 ([email protected] ohms bridged) here that I could use if it would be suitable, but i'm thinking the plate amps may be better designed for running very low frequencys.

    So Is the parts express 1000 watt amplifier the best bargain in this power range?
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I can almost guarantee that, as well as the driver itself.
     
  10. Mark--M

    Mark--M Stunt Coordinator

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    Well it wasnt a bad driver. It was a 12 Cerwin Vega "Vega" series to be exact. Its 400w RMS, 3" voice coil, not top of the line but its pretty good. It was pushing a bunch of air, just wasnt producing much sound. We were running it off that QSC amp at the time so it had plenty of power. [​IMG]
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

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    Car audio always stinks when brought into the home / HT arena. People keep try'n it and/or asking about it though. [​IMG]
     
  12. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Definitely go for it. Pick a driver with good specs/performance and use one of the programs available to help you design the enclosure and ports for optimum tuning.

    Since this thread is shifting to the specifics of drivers and components, I am going to move the thread to the DIY area.
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I don't mean the driver wasn't any good, just that it was not suited to a room in a house. Car audio drivers tend to rely on cabin gain in a small, enclosed area; meaning it isn't designed to work well in a room.
     
  14. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    Go ahead and use the QSC amp.

    I use a pro audio amp(as well as tons of others here) to power my DIY audio monsters.
     
  15. Mattak

    Mattak Stunt Coordinator

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    Could have been the driver, and it could have been the box. After upgrading my car sub to a brahma 15, I've had my old infinity 12" sub & box kicking around in my room hooked up to a 250w PE plate amp. Although it's only tuned to 32hz or so, it actually has decent output for movies and sounds great for music.
     
  16. Mattak

    Mattak Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, and yes I would definitely try the QSC amp if you've got it before spending the money on a plate amp. One nice thing about plate amps, though, is that they don't have a noisy fan.
     
  17. Mark--M

    Mark--M Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, i'm kind of surprised to hear people reccomending the PA amp. If I were to use the QSC, what would I do about crossover points? If I had to buy an epensive electronic crossover or pre amp it would probably make more sense for me to just sell the QSC and pick up a PE 1000w plate amp.

    Anybody know the dampening factor of the PE amp? How would it compare to my QSC in terms of sound quality and spl? I'm wondering if the ouput may be fairly close since the plate amp is actually designed for running subs? Will the QSC still put out 1500w at 20hz or will it start to roll off power as the frequency gets really low? Specs say 20-20,000hz +/- 0.15db, but i'm not sure how accurate that is in the real world.
     
  18. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Second Unit

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    My first DIY sub was a 12" sealed. I immediatly wanted more so I built a ported sonosub that rocked the house [​IMG] . Now I have an infinite baffle sub with 4 15" drivers. IB is the ultimate for me; I'll never go back to a box sub.

    Upgraditus will hit real quick when you start doing DIY projects so unless you just like to build different enclosures, I would suggest you build a ported sub to get high output and low extension especially if you're using it for movies. I like the sonosub because they are easier to build and weigh much less than a box made of MDF. If you have the $$ and a house to put it in, an infinite baffle is the best. Advantages: Wife/spouse approval factor is high, no huge speaker box cluttering up the decor, the manifold is out of sight so you don't have to worry about painting or veneering, and it is unlikely that it will ever be stolen. You can get 4 15" IB subs for $400 + shipping (edit, noticed you live in Canada so that price will vary, i.e. much higher)and that amp is way more than enough to power them. Check out the link in Philip Hamm's post.

    If you have the skills to build it yourself you get more bass bang for your buck. A commercial sub has marketing and all kinds of other overhead built into the price. Let us know what you decide and you'll get all the help and advice you need.
     
  19. Dan Wesnor

    Dan Wesnor Second Unit

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    This used to be a slam-dunk question before SVS got into the game. Now, I think when you put a value on your time, you have to really think about it some. If you think you'll have fun doing it and have the tools, I say go ahead. But if you hate this sort of thing and will need to buy tools, look at an SVS or a Hsu.
     
  20. Mark--M

    Mark--M Stunt Coordinator

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    Just to clarify I am planning on going ahead with this now. I have all the tools and am very inclined for this type of hands on stuff. I just wanted to be sure it would sound ok, the performance of the DIY sub we made for my buddies car kinda scared me off a little. But since everyone here agrees that it just wasnt tunned for home use, I think I'll take a stab at building one.

    Biggest question on my mind right now is which amp/driver to use. If I did use the parts express 1000w amp, what would be a good match to it? Something is drawing me to the tumult but i'm guessing id probably need more amplifier power right? What about the Acendant Avalanche 15?
     

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