Can i build a DIY version of say a Paradigm Servo-15?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Serge Breton, Aug 16, 2002.

  1. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    If i can build this reasonably i would consider this since it will take a weekend or so to create this monster. Obviously time needs to be considered, not just the materials cost. What is the best sub out there for the $. I figure to get a used Servo-15 or Mirage BPS-400 for around $600-$700 or so used (theres a BPS 400 on audiogon right now for $500). Tell me what i can build for $500-$600 that will outperform these two subs above. I prefer a box design since the new sub will be placed in one of the front corners with a large bass trap on top of it (my room is fully treated acoustically). This NEW sub is replacing a good sub in it's own right, an HSU VTF-2.

    I see many DIY subs here on the forum but i haven't found many specs on how these perform in the real world. Some of the DIY subs play low, by reading the posts that is obvious but is the said sub musical at the same time? Is the frequency response flat? Is the said sub easy to blend with tower and/or smaller main speakers, etc? What are the costs, labour?

    Why am i considering the Servo-15 you ask? For one it goes down to the lowest frequencies with authority not to mention that this sub i hear is very musical at the same time. The woofer can start and stop just as quickly and this tells me by the specs and the reviews that this sub is hard to beat whether by a commercial design or DIY. I've also heard this sub in person. If i could buy this sub for say $600-$700, i would have everything i would need in terms of bass output for my 12x18.5 room, not to mention that the sub is already built so there is no labour involved in going the DIY route.

    In other words convince my to go DIY. All the criteria about deep bass and musicality (when needed) must obviously be met. I do not want to make what looks and sounds like a car boom box.

    On a seperate note, this new "Tumult" driver looks interesting but the question is when is this available and is there an optimal box configuration all ready in place or prototypes illustrating the real world specs?

    The Stryke HE15 for example looks to be an awesome/killer sub but materials alone just for the box/drivers is in the $1k range and that's without amplification! Too rich for my blood. What are my options and what are the best/cheapest ways to order the needed drivers, parts, etc in Canada?
     
  2. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Serge, if you really value your time and place a high monitary value on it, DIY will not be for you. Unless you have excellent wood working skills and experience you are not going to be able to build and finish a box style sub in a weekend. If excellent performance at a low cost is your primary goal DIY can work. If having a fun project is part of your goal, DIY will work.

    The HE15 and the Tumult will not fit your budget that well. The HE15 also has an inductance hump around 70hz that needs to be tamed with an EQ (more cost if you don't have one). The Tumult will cost about the same to make.

    Sound quality with the drivers recommended here is entirely a function of what box allignment you choose. You try and build a tiny, underported, high tuned sub and you will have the car boom box sound along with a lack of last octave output. You build a large enough properly ported and tuned sub, you'll have excellent build quality and more output (especially down low).

    The best bang for the buck drivers right now are the Tempest and Dayton DVC15". But to do those properly in box form you are looking at enclosures that will weigh close to or inexcess of 200lbs and will be 2-3 times the size of a Servo15. They will sound as good (likely better not having to rely on a servo mechanism to keep distortion down and to play flat down low) and really dust it in output.

    Cost for the parts for a Tempest or Dayton DVC15" sub will be ~$400 including amplification. But this is without a finish on the enclosure. How much the finish costs depends on what you like and want to spend on it.
     
  3. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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  4. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    Thomas,

    DIY is something that i have done much of in this hobby. I built my own home theater, motorised screen masking system (saved 3-4k), my own acoustic treatments such as wall panels and bass traps, a nice audio rack among other things. In doing all the above, there was no risk involved since i knew what the final product would yield.

    If i'm going to build a DIY sub and spend $500 on materials then obviously i'm not in the mood for "experimentation" but instead i would prefer optimum results. In going DIY, many believe on this forum that going this route will outperform all the commercial subs out there. Again, i'm willing to do the work so long as the finished subwoofer doesen't disappoint me. Again, convince me to go DIY.

    The Tempest sub looks to be a good option, i'd like to hear more on how this DIY sub compares to everything else.
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Leap of faith. That is what is going to take to convince you to go DIY with a sub.

    People can throw numbers around all day, but until you make one after squeezing out a good design based on the experience of the DIY area members, and use the available tools, like LspCAD (should you go with a Tempest), you won't know which is better or worse than commercial offerings.

    I understand the hesistancy. But to get good/great DIY performance, you'd have to spend 2x-3x or more for the commericalized versions over the DIY counterpart (counting mainly material costs only, and hoping you have access to the tools already).
     
  6. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    well i'm not a woodworker per say but i am a cnc machinist. I could easily and quickly cnc all the cutouts, etc and end up with perfect circles. I was looking at the Adire ported design and must say this is a very big box indeed, no wonder you guys are getting that much output out of your tempests! I'll have to wait and see i guess, things are still up in the air for me right now.
     
  7. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    I'd definitely go for the Servo 15 if I were you.
     
  8. Bryan Michael

    Bryan Michael Supporting Actor

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    i am starting to get into wood working my self i have bult a back lit movie poster fraim a fraim for a polk audio sign a poster fraim and my allmost completed tempest sub if you enjoy your work bulding the sub or other project i would think it is worth even more than buying a sub at a store
     

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