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Looking for a new sub

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by pfar, Nov 23, 2017.

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  1. pfar

    pfar Stunt Coordinator

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    I currently have a 12" Klipsch sub that points towards the floor. I have noticed that it doesn't have the same punch that it used to and it vibrates quite a bit.

    My budget is around $1,500 - 2,000 for a new sub. I had an email sent to me the other day recommending a sub. Here is the link:
    http://www.audioholics.com/subwoofer-reviews/rythmik-f18-fv18-fv25hp

    Is the f18, fv18 or fv25hp a quality sub? Does anyone recommend it or any others in my price range?

    I am also in the market for all new speakers, would you guys recommend getting a matching sub to the speaker set?

    Side note - my sub slides all over my hardwood floor. What could I use to keep the legs in one place?
     
  2. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    Before you purchase a new sub, double check your old one. Is everything still tight? Did any of the adjustments get messed up? New AVR or changed settings there? Did you move it (even a little bit)? I'd even call Klipsch to see what advice they have.

    I'm not familiar with Rythmik but I've heard good things about them. I'd also check out my favorite, SVS.

    Get the speakers you like best. No need to match them to the sub.

    I sit my subs on a product from Auralex that is made for bass amps on a stage. They have a similar product made for home theaters.

    https://www.auralex.com/product/subdude-ii/
     
  3. pfar

    pfar Stunt Coordinator

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    How would you recommend checking the sub I have now? Just take it apart?

    If it has moved, it would have just been from it moving itself, which does happen all the time. It turns over 90 degrees sometimes. (I just ordered these to see if it would help https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005XGOV7O/ref=ox_sc_mini_detail?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER)

    I just took a look at SVS and some reviews. They look really impressive, especially the PB16 Ultra and SB16 Ultra. I may purchase one of those.

    Would it be better to buy two cheaper subs like an SB-1000 or one high performing sub?
     
  4. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    I would take it apart and see if there's anything obvious. Beyond that, I'd have to call a pro (or replace it).

    I would get the biggest sub you can afford. Having said that, I have 2 at the moment. One was meant for another room that has not yet been completed (or even started :blush:).

    Maybe hang tight for a few days and see if @Robert_J has any comments. He is the king of subs around here. :thumbs-up-smiley:
     
  5. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    David,
    I am not the king of subs. My wife would tell you to stop feeding my ego.

    pfar,
    Are you willing to put in the work to integrate dual subs? That will require things like a calibrated mic and Room EQ Wizard software along with the time to learn it and implement the solution. If you are willing to go the extra mile, then dual subs will give you a smoother response in every location in the room.

    If not, one very good sub will give you 100% of the quality of dual subs but only in select locations. Not every location in the room will give you the same bass response. I am currently running a single 15" sealed sub with about 800w on it. At my listening position, I get + or - 3 db from 120 hz to 17 hz. I can stand behind my couch and there is no bass at all. I am lucky that in the far left corner of the room where I have the elliptical, I get the same response or better compared to my favorite seat.

    Rythmik, SVS, Powersound, Seaton Sound, Hsu and a few others are all great subs. You can use your budget and DIY a pair of subs that will beat any of the companies I listed. If you have the tools and can cut wood without loosing a finger, then you can build a sub.
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Yes he is...

    :D
     
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  7. pfar

    pfar Stunt Coordinator

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    I may be interested in the DIY. I can cut wood fine. The only thing is, I would prefer the enclosure to be made out of something other than wood (unless wood is the best) and have a port. Also I would like the enclosure to have some controls potentially, just as any other sub would have.

    Any DIY recommendations?
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Enclosure material - Use MDF (aka Medium Density Fiberboard). 99.9% of the speakers and subs on the market use this as their enclosure material because it works best. I've seen the construction methods of speakers that cost more than $50,000 each and they use MDF, wood glue and PVC ports just like I use when I build a sub.

    Controls - I'm assuming you mean level control, phase and crossover that is pretty much standard on retails subs with a built in plate amp. That's fine but you can get the same results for less money by using a pro-amp.

    You could literally copy the size of the FV-18 cabinet from Rythmik. You need 3 Precision Sound flared ports, an 18" Dayton Audio Ultimax driver and a pro amp like the Behringer iNuke 3000DSP. Parts will cost you about $750. While you won't get servo control with this setup, you will get digital signal processing which will give you a better in-room frequency response. Materials for the box (MDF and an oak veneer) will be less than $250 so that means you can build dual 18's for less than your $2,000 single sub budget.
     
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  9. pfar

    pfar Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert, thanks for all the help. I am definitely starting to lean more towards this DIY build. I need a good project and would love to learn more about how to build a great speaker. To fully understand everything you said above, I am going into a lot in this post.

    Let me clarify one thing before I dive into all of this. For the controls, are you simply saying that I would use the pro-amp controls, which is an external piece to adjust the settings, rather than adding in the controls to the enclosure? In addition to the controls, I would need the inputs for the amp speaker wire.

    I think that building the enclosure will be the hardest part for me. Not necessarily the woodwork itself, but knowing how to build a design that works well. What do you think about purchasing this? https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-18-ultimax-subwoofer-and-cabinet-bundle--300-7099 . Initially, I was thinking about the tube ports, but would the open port on this enclosure work as well?

    Is the sub included above the same as this? https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-um18-22-18-ultimax-dvc-subwoofer-2-ohms-per-coil--295-518 . Here is the specs for this sub: https://www.parts-express.com/pedocs/specs/295-518--dayton-audio-um18-22-spec-sheet.pdf

    Here is the specs for the FV18: http://www.rythmikaudio.com/FV18_specs.html

    Which one is actually better?

    Is this the pro-amp you were referring to? https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/NU3000DSPd2?gclid=CjwKCAiAr_TQBRB5EiwAC_QCq3W5wIMtL4Fw0XvAJPdzGcCPkI5RUoXjgZzfyX4Q14wk9qq7ag12UhoCK2YQAvD_BwE

    The amp only states it runs 880w peak at 4ohms. Is this as good as the SVS or FV18?

    What else would I need to build the sub? Just the speaker, enclosure + oak vinal, and pro-amp. Am I missing anything else?
     
  10. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    I've been in this hobby since the 1980's but really got serious when the DIY section here was very active with Dan Wiggins, Ben Milne and Scott Atwell (all associated with driver manufacturers). SVS Subwoofers even sprung out of that now defunct section of the forum with Tom helping Ron build his first sub.

    Plate amps usually have a level control (available on all pro amps), a phase control (your receiver has this) and a crossover control (not required with receivers that have an LFE output). One of the PE plate amps adds a single band parametric EQ. To properly configure that, you need a calibrated mic (about $75), free software and a decent PC to properly measure your room and set this EQ....And speaker wire inputs start at $5 and go up. I'm moving to Speak-On connectors.

    What open port? That is a sealed box.

    That's the same driver as the kit.

    Neither are "better". First, the FV18 specs are the cabinet and driver together as a system. The driver specs are Theile/Small parameters which describe the performance of the driver in free air. We use those specs to model the driver in a box using software like WinISD. Second, every sub has drawbacks. You just have to be willing to live with them. A sealed sub is smaller (usually) but it will not play the lowest frequencies with as much authority as a ported sub. So if you are size limited, sealed subs may be better. You can get the best of both worlds with passive radiators but that will cause your budget to skyrocket.

    Yes.

    Ignore the wattage. But you will run this amp in bridged mode. That will provide the driver about 2,000w. A higher powered amp means less amp distortion because you aren't pushing the amp as hard. In reality, you will rarely max out the amp.

    Screws to mount the driver to the box. Some type of speaker terminals or Speak-On connectors. Some speaker wire to connect the terminal to the driver....I'm not a fan of the vinyl coverings as they look fake to me. I prefer real wood or paint. I painted my main speakers with Rustoleum hammered metal paint in a silver/gray color. My wife approved and that's what the rest of my speakers and subs will get painted with. It's a pain because I have to prep the box with a sealer and then primer with sanding in between coats. The final painting is actually the easiest part.

    Keep the questions coming.
     
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  11. pfar

    pfar Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks again, Robert. Great info. I appreciate it.

    Here is the amp I currently have, but will be most likely upgrading this in the near future. http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/AV-Receivers/Pioneer+Receivers/VSX-1023-K
    I'm guessing the phase control is a software setting?

    This is the current sub I have now: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780103

    If you click on the picture that shows the back (with the controls), you will see that it has the gain and low-pass. These are some of the controls I was referring to. Then for the speaker to receiver wire connection, my current sub uses a subwoofer cable (I plug it in where you can see in the pic that it says "Line In"). It also has auto on/off that I have grown to really like.

    I do not have a restriction on the size of the sub enclosure. I just viewed that enclosure kit and thought it had a port...must have been mistaken.

    The enclosure is definitely going to be the most difficult thing for me. I have no idea how to design it internally to channel the free air to make it perform the best. I ideally do want the port though and would enjoy the lower frequencies that come with that design. Do you know of any enclosure kits that would work well with this setup (other than the one I posted)?

    Back 10-15 years ago I installed amps/subs in my car and was familiar with bridging the amp to two channels. Is the concept the same with home theater or is there a button on the amps that do this? If I remember correctly, you put the two positive channels together and the same with the negative and wire it to the sub this way. Is this correct?

    What gauge wire would you recommend from the box terminals to the driver?

    Do you have any pictures of your setup? I'm interested to see the paint theme. I think I am have just grown accustomed to what my current sub enclosure looks like and the material it is made out of.

    Obviously, without knowing what my sub sounds like, plus the environment it is in, if you would have to create a theoretical estimate, how much of a difference do you think I will experience compared to what I have now and the setup we are talking about?

    Anything else I can add, whether it is a larger amp or better driver to make this setup better?
     
  12. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    You are welcome. I enjoy this hobby and teaching someone to DIY a speaker or sub is fun for me.

    That's a slightly newer version of the Pioneer I use. The "phase control" is the distance setting when you run MCACC.

    Pro amps have a knob or two on the front that is referred to as the "gain control". Actually it is an attenuator which is why you have to turn up a pro amp to almost "full blast". That's just how it works. The low pass on your current sub isn't needed and should be turned to the highest setting. Pro amps use a 1/4" mono plug for a connection. I use a cable with an RCA plug on one end and a 1/4" plug on the other.

    You lose that. A digital amp will draw very little power with no signal.

    If you can cut wood yourself or have someone else do it, a design is much cheaper than a kit. I searched a little and this is one of hundreds of designs available. Could you build based on a picture like this?
    [​IMG]

    There are instructions with the amp because it varies slightly with each manufacturer. But the concept is the same as back in your car audio days.

    Same wire as from the amp to the sub.

    I'll find some or take a few later today.

    You will get slightly less distortion with a more powerful amp. But the Behringer NU3000DSP is overkill for most people and has more then enough power....Comparisons are difficult and very subjective. I like it that my DIY sub can reproduce the subtle sound of an acoustic upright bass or the violence of a war movie both with the same ease. And this is with less refined equipment than I am suggesting for your sub build. I'm running the 15" version of https://web.archive.org/web/20070623145031/http://www.tcsounds.com/tc3000.htm . It was designed as a daily ground pounder car audio sub. It's powered by a Behringer EP-2500 and the DSP is provided by a Behrginer FBQ1000.
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I'm looking forward to this. Your description of the finish is intriguing...especially since you got the wife's approval!
     
  14. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Here's an example of the finish. The color is exactly this.
    [​IMG]

    In searching for Rustoleum hammered silver, I found a video where someone rattle canned their old Suzuki Samurai with this. It looks great.

    I've also painted the top and bottoms of a SVS cylinder clone that I built with Rustoleum metallic black. It's glass smooth if you like that. Here is an example http://www.skypirate.net/rocketry/con_paint_01.htm

    I finally have a compressor big enough to run a paint gun so I want to try some Duplicolor Paintshop automotive paints.

    I mentioned it here before but http://egglestonworks.com/ uses Porsche paint. The cabinets are CNC cut and glued together. A vertical laminate (a matte finish from probably Wilsonart) is applied all over and everything is sanded heavily. It is then sent to a bodyshop in Memphis for painting. You can see an example near the bottom of this http://www.ultraaudio.com/twbas/twbas_200909_egglestonworks.htm I took the same tour but they had different speakers and amps in their listening room.
     

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