DIY or Sub Kit?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shawn.G, Nov 25, 2002.

  1. Shawn.G

    Shawn.G Second Unit

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    Which would I get better performance for the money? Is DIY impossble for a beginner? Where do I start with DIY? I know I can get sub kits on parts express. I am looking to get a 10 or 12 inch active sub. Which kits are good if that is better than DIY? I was looking at more expensive subs, but I will wait and save my money for a better sub next year. I am looking to spend 200 or preforably less.
     
  2. Jonathan M

    Jonathan M Second Unit

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    If you are looking for $200 or less, then a cheap kit from Parts Express etc. is probably the way to go IMO. If your budget stretches a little further (Say around $300-350) then the likes of Shiva/Tempest and a decent plate amp could be easily doable - depends on how much work you wanna do, and how much you want to learn.
    Are you prepared to build a cabinet? If so, it could reduce the costs - you just need to buy the MDF and then the driver and plate amp. I have found that often the finishing of the cabinet is where quite a bit of cost goes in, depending on what you are after. If you are happy with a plane painted look, or bare MDF, then that makes for a cheap cabinet.
    I'd suggest building either a kit, or basing your design on one that is well known to work well. Designing a sub from the ground up is not difficult, but does take time to learn about the various things that effect the response of a particular driver in a particular box.
    I can guarantee that if you decide to go DIY, you will never look back. It is fun, and rewarding plus you learn a fair bit while you're at it. (Unless you completely stuff it up - not likely - especially if you move over to the DIY forum and post your thoughts/questions there. Just remember to search the forum first to see if your question has been answered ten times already[​IMG]
     
  3. Walt Park

    Walt Park Stunt Coordinator

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    I was thinking the same things. My current sub is a Polk PSW350, which kinda sucks.

    Ive never built a speaker though, so the prefinished 10" active kit from PE seems like a good idea. The question I'd have is can I just get the driver and put it in the Polk box and use that amp? The cabinet is ported, and I think the amp is 200W (100 continuous). I was going to wait and get the 650

    My problem with it isnt power, since it's not in a large room (12X12'). The problem is that it sucks for music. Can I just replace the driver, fill it with poly, and expect it to sound good?

    If not, has anyone built the 10" PE kit and compared it to other stuff? Like most, I'm broke, and what I have I will end up spending on X-mas presents, so I'd like to spend as little as possible.

    I dont mean to hijack the thread, but I think we're both looking for the same kinda things.
     
  4. Jonathan M

    Jonathan M Second Unit

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    Hi Walt,
    First off, check out the cabinet for build quality (How thick are the walls, what are they made out of etc.) and internal volume, also check out the port diameter and the port length. This determines the tuning of the sub. Most cabinets from subs on the cheaper side may not be particularly ideal for the sort of drivers we are talking about, as they are generally fairly long throw, and thus need a fairly sturdy cabinet. Also, just replacing a driver will not likely produce wonderful results (Although you may be lucky) as a sub is all about mating the driver with the enclosure.
    If you post the internal volume, as well as the internal port diameter and port length (Also is the port flared?) then I'm sure someone could model up the box and check the suitability of a driver (It'll pay to post this in the DIY forum, and include drivers you are considering from Parts Express etc.)
    You may also want to get some parameters from the driver in your sub, then you can see if a replacement driver will be suitable. This requires a bit of know-how on the electrical front, though (Or a helpful manufacturer - contact Polk and see if they'll help you out - you can say that the driver is shot or something [​IMG].
    As for kits, I'd personally suggest that you can't go far wrong with a well regarded sub kit. It may pay to post in the DIY forum regarding any particular kit you are considering to get opinions on the sound quality etc.
    I appreciate the wanting to go as cheap as possible, (especially this time of year - darn commercialism [​IMG] but there does tend to be a minimal price point where things start REALLY happening on the sub front (Probably around $250-300). If you are particularly keen on good music performance, then you may want to go with a sealed unit - they are smaller and have a gentler rolloff, better transient response and group delay, although most well designed ported subs will perform excellently.
     
  5. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Well, you have several options.
    Kyle over at acoustic-visions.com sells a variety of kits at various levels - for example, you could by a kit with predrilled flats - essentially a complete cabinent that is not assembled - but will pre-drilled holes for screws - all you have to do to build the sub is add glue and screw together the cabinent and then mount the amp and driver.
    Or, you could go to http://www.rutledgeaudiodesign.com/ and have Brian build you a sub to your specifications. Brian is a great guy to deal with. I have some raw MDF speaker cabinents on the way. I plan on finishing the cabinents and building a set of gr research AV-1 speakers over the Christmas holidays.
    Hope this helps.
     

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