Dual Tempest Sonosub: First Impression

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Strassburg, Apr 18, 2002.

  1. Mike Strassburg

    Mike Strassburg Second Unit

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    Well, the beast is finally alive. Build-up was pretty straightforward. Ran into a few minor snags that required a little thinking to fix. Also got help up waiting for the HS500.
    Sub is per Dan W's recommendations:
    480L
    28" x 54" sonotube
    6" x 20" ports
    dual Tempests
    triple MDF endcaps
    8#'s of 1" batting lining the walls and port tubes
    Went with a grey/black/white flexstone for the endcaps and black naugehyde for covering. Hammertone silver for the legs with rubber feet. DIY grills are 1" wide MDF rings with some routing to look nice and silver metallic cloth. Went for a "modern" look as our family/HT room is kinda modern/art deco or something like that. I'll get some pics over the weekend hopefully.
    Made a box out of scrap MDF for the amp. Roughly 8 1/2 x 9 x 16. Put some handles on the side and rubber feet on the bottom. Basically I threw it together as I plan on building a better version in the future that will be detailed, painted, etc...
    So....I plug in the amp and instantly have 7.1 HUM, I mean you can hear it 2 rooms away, thanks to that great Klipsch efficiency! I tried turning down the "level" and it didn't make a diff. Call it "brain fade" or whatever but I thought the power cord was a 2-prong so I didn't bother running out to the garage to grab an adaptor. It was already around 11:30PM so I was getting a little tired/goofy by then. Cranked the "level" back up, or so I thought, I LATER realized that I actually turned up the "bass boost" knob instead. Popped in TS 2 and wasn't too impressed. Next up was JPIII, bass was tight and clean, but not earth shattering, then U-571 for the depth charges. Finally felt some thumping/pounding in my chest and the couch. Still very clean/tight, but not making stuff fall off the walls. Tossed in an AC/DC CD to try some music; again bass was very accurate and not overpowering. Over all I'm happy, but not super impressed. Definitely more accurate than my old sub, but doesn't really hit you in the chest......
    It was about 12:00PM by now, yes my wife is awesome, as I'm testing at/near Reference level, and my 3 & 5 year old sons sleep right through it. I'm figuring that maybe I need to test some real low stuff as that's what the Tempests are known for, so I grab "The Haunting" in DTS. While I'm waiting for it to load I decide to mess with the amp one more time to eliminate the HUM. As my tired eyes finally focus on the black amp face in the dark room what do I see: I've got the damn "level" at about 1/3 volume and the "bass boost" cranked up instead!!! DOH!!
    With renewed enthusiasm I quickly jump to the "water pipes" scene. Crank it right up to 00 on my 3802 (obviously nothing is calibrated yet but this is VERY LOUD) and let her rip. Discovered problem #2; the grills I made are held on with 8 small pieces of Velcro, which suddenly can't do their job as the grills were lifting about a 1/4" off the top of the sub, sort of flapping in the breeze. All you could hear was the sound of Velcro constantly being ripped loose and then resticking itself! Very funny. Problem #3; apparently the silver metallic grill cloth doesn't breathe very well as it was bubbled up at least an inch or two! Solution: remove grills when playing sub [​IMG]
    So onto the demo: I'm guessing this scene has some very low bass as I'm watching the top sub move violently back & forth, amazing how much travel that driver has, but I'm not hearing much. Then a stack of DVD's fall off the TV, then my oldest son comes out of his bedroom because the cover on the electrical panel is clanking. Then the lights start dimming, then the top 1/2 of the TV starts getting weird lines through it every time the bass hits. YES, this thing is a "homewrecker". My HT floor is Pergo over concrete slab and I SWEAR that the floor is moving!! I can already tell that the drywall will be popping up nails in no time, and basically everything under 50#'s will need to be glued/Velcroed down, including my youngest son. Oh the joys of having bass.....
    Tonight I hope to eliminate that annoying and LOUD hum. Tried unplugging the CATV and that didn't do it. Will try the 2-prong plug and will also move it to another outlet. Another problem I ran into is placement: I had planned on putting it behind the TV, but the magnet from the top sub can't be within 3'-4' of the TV, and also when that close during heavy bass scenes I was getting distortion/horizontal lines across the screen.
    Probably won't break out the RS SPL meter until this weekend, but tonight I plan on demoing more DVD's to see what this thing can do at full volume.
    Over-all first impressions: this thing is friggin' HUGE!! Won't be a problem once it's in a dedicated HT. So far the sound is very tight, clean, and accurate. It appears to have tremendous volume potential and the ability to play VERY low as I witnessed during "The Haunting".
    For music I have my receiver set to -10 for the sub and the new sub seems to integrate very well at that level. Not overpowering, but provides that bottom kick. Will also try out some bass heavy old school rap and hip hop tonight to see how it sounds.
    Although my AudioSource put out some decent SPL, it definitely got muddy/boomy when pushed hard. It's now VERY apparent what good/clean bass should sound like.
    Build-up was a LOT of fun. I'd estimate around $925 total for subs/amp/supplies and around 20+ hours of build time. If you can live with a BIG tube then this is THE sub to build, at least to me it was. More to come....Mike
    P.S. I would LOVE to let the dork at Tweeter who kept trying to shove a REL down my throat listen to this thing!!
     
  2. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    So load it up and drop by some time. Be sure to bring a digital camera so you can post his expression :p)
     
  3. Mike Strassburg

    Mike Strassburg Second Unit

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    Dustin,

    I love your suggestion, but this guy wouldn't be impressed. His hearing is soooo good he tells "me" what speakers I like. Last summer I went in purposely to audition Klipsch KLF-20's. He plays them for a minute and then pushes the Vienna's on me and tells me how much better they sound. I said I like the Klipschs better, so he plays Boston's and tells me how much better they sound.

    The REL was the same story. Before I found this site I was doing major hunting for a new sub. No matter what I listened to this guy (why do I ALWAYS get the same sales guy) told me the REL was THE BEST SUB EVER and I would be crazy not to buy it.

    At least he didn't push Bose on me.....
     
  4. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Good to hear Mike. Like you I just dialed my single Tempest sono in last night, pre-calibration. It was getting late as well and as you have, my wife was also very understanding and my 5 year old was sound asleep. The whole house felt like it was moving...kick ass.
     
  5. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

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    Real Name:
    Mark Seaton
     
  6. Mike Strassburg

    Mike Strassburg Second Unit

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    Ron,
    I was afraid of having "builder's remorse" so I tried to build one of the baddest right off the bat. Towards the end when I had no amp and all the talk was about the new high excursion driver Adire is coming out with I was having doubts and considering doing another one with those. I've come back to my senses (for whatever that's worth) and think I'll be able to live with my little dual Tempest sub [​IMG]
    Mark,
    Both ports are 6" x 20" PVC. According to Dan W who gave me the specs it should be tuned to 17Hz. He actually called for 28" x 53", but I went with 54" since the ID was actually smaller then 28" and this gave me 480L.
    Current room is 19' x 22' x 9'. Dedicated HT room will probably be somewhere around the same size, just set up better.
    What kind of SPL levels did you get when you were modeling it?? I"m hoping for some SERIOUS levels!!!
    Thanks...Mike
     
  7. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    LSPCad is giving me a tuning of 16.5 Hz. With 250W/driver, you should get 120 dB with some room gain! [​IMG]
    Pete
     
  8. Mike Strassburg

    Mike Strassburg Second Unit

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    Pete,

    Thanks for the info. I will have some RS meter levels in a week or so and will post along with some pics. I've been demoing it all night. So far I'm equally impressed with how it sounds for music; everything from AC/DC, techno, Brian Setzer, to some old school hip hop. It's extremely clean and accurate with plenty of punch.

    Also did several DVD's: Matrix, Lethal Weapon 4, The Haunting (bottomed it on this one), U-571, etc...my neighbor heard/felt the bass, and she lives 2 houses away!

    I'm TOTALLY impressed and happy with this sub. While it's not the ultimate it has brought my already impressive HT to a whole new level. Unbelievably LOUD,CLEAN,and DETAILED is the only way to describe it.

    I haven't even calibrated yet (speakers or sub) and it blends seemlessly with my stable of Klipsch Legends.

    How's this for "major woofage" in my HT:

    2 - 15" in sub Tempests

    4 - 12" in mains KLF-30's

    6 - 10" 2 each in CC and rear surrounds. KLF-10's

    4 - 10" in back center channel (not in use yet)KLF-10's

    Tempests - $140 each

    HS500 - $499

    MDF - $20 a sheet

    Expression on Bose owners face....PRICELESS

    Just say NO to cubes....Mike
     
  9. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

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    Wow, sounds like a killer sub there Mike, but man, that thing has GOT TO BE HUGE!!
     
  10. Mike Strassburg

    Mike Strassburg Second Unit

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    Cam S,

    It is pretty big, but actually blends into my current family/HT room very nicely, after moving a recliner out of the corner. Once we move to a new house and I build a dedicated HT then size will NOT even be an issue.

    I'll have some pics up in a week or two....Mike
     
  11. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

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    Can't wait Mike. It's gotta be ATLEAST the size of a hot water tank?
     
  12. Mike Strassburg

    Mike Strassburg Second Unit

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    About the same height as a hot water tank, but MUCH rounder! I'm actually starting to like the way it looks in our family room, and of course the sound is just unbelievable. SOOOO LOUD and CLEAN.....
    I'll probably be deaf in another week or so, then I'll have to build another one [​IMG]
    Seriously when I do get to build a dedicated HT I do plan on making a twin. Just need to make sure the foundation can take it.
    Had my first casualty last night, a light bulb popped during the tanker explosion in Lethal Weapon 4. Kind of added to the realism of the scene.....Mike
     
  13. Jeffrey_S

    Jeffrey_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Mike,

    Congradulations on your new baby! Glad to hear how much you're enjoying it. Can't wait to see some pics.

    Did you get the hum issue resolved? Probably a ground loop problem. I've had to deal with those myself.

    Jeff
     
  14. Mike Strassburg

    Mike Strassburg Second Unit

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    Jeff,

    Yeah it's fixed. I brain-faded the night I got it going and could have sworn the amp had a 2-prong plug, so I didn't bother to run out to the garage and get a cheater plug.

    Next day with a clearer head I realized it was a 3-prong plug so the cheater took care of it.

    I still need to do some prep work on the amp box and then paint it Hammertone Silver. Also will be applying some 1" square mirrors to the sub for looks. I temporarily taped some in place and my wife liked it a lot. YES, read that again, my wife LIKES the way the sub looks in our room!!!
     
  15. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I love your review, it makes me laugh cause I know how fun it is make earth moving bass.
    I was at a friends house and we decided to find every thing we could to make the most bass. We used a Bose acoustimass subwoofer, and 2 150watt NEC giant box subs. The input was a playstation2 DVD player that gave enough bass to shake the house apart like an earthquake.
    The bass was very boomy sounding but it was still fun to feel and hear bass from every part of my body.
    I remember running upstairs and outside the house to hear how loud it was, then running back inside and turning it down. [​IMG]
     

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