More Bang for your buck...SVS or DIY?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Svencer, Mar 27, 2002.

  1. Chris Svencer

    Chris Svencer Stunt Coordinator

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    I have searched for an answer but have been not satisfied completely. If someone could direct me to another post that would be fine. But here is my question. I am looking into getting either a SVS or building a Sonosub, which is going to give me more bang for the buck??? I have read literally thousands of praises for the SVS subs and just as many happy people with their DIY's, so which is it?

    Thanks.

    Svence
     
  2. Dan Steffen

    Dan Steffen Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris:
    I think you are the only one that can answer that question. If you are mechanically inclined, I think your answer is DIY. You can probably get all the parts for ~$250 to make a DIY sonotube. The thing that most people neglect is the fact that you have to pay yourself for the time that you spent on making the sub. So if you estimate your time at $20/hr and spend 5-10 hours making it that adds another invisible cost of ~$100-$200 or $350-$450 total. This is the way I always do my cost analysis but that's just me. You get more benefits out of DIY besides sound. You get a better understanding of how a sub works and appreciation for other sub characteristics.
    When I did my cost analysis above I estimated my time as more valuable than $20/hr so I bought a SVS sub....twice [​IMG] The other thing that tilted me in favor of SVS is that you are really dealing with top notch people. I have e-mailed Ron and Tom and they respond back very quickly and are very nice caring people. I prefer to pay people deserving and Ron and Tom are such people.
    With that said, I have upgraded my SVS driver and plan on making a SVS clone with the other left over driver[​IMG]
     
  3. Dan Hine

    Dan Hine Screenwriter

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  4. Dan Steffen

    Dan Steffen Stunt Coordinator

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    Dan:
    I agree with you whole-heartedly. This should be done as a hobby. I can't exactly tell you the last time I was paid $20/hr to watch TV[​IMG] LOL. The point I was trying to make is that sometimes time = money and if you cherish your time you should take this into account. If you love making things then that negates the expense you have to pay yourself.
    Thanks for bringing up the point about tools, I almost forgot about how expensive a nice router and set of bits can cost!
     
  5. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    If you don't go the DIY route I would also suggest that you look at Acoustic Visions as well. I bought 2 subs from them. One being a 75L Dayton DVC ported sub. The other being a 214L Tempest based Octo sub.
    You should be able to walk away with a 15" Tempest based sub from $600-$700 and depending on the finish, that price range MIGHT include the 250 watt Parts Express plate amp that Acoustic Visions sells as well but I could be slightly off on the quote since each sub is unique in the design and finish which ultimately affects the total price.
    Look up some of the Tempest Sono sub reviews in the DIY section and you'll see what I mean about the performance of a Tempest sub.
    With a properly built Tempest sub your bass needs should be a concern of the past and in my experience, Acoustic Visions knows how to build them.
    Good Luck
     
  6. Frank Kanyak

    Frank Kanyak Stunt Coordinator

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    Martice, hav eyou done any SPL measurements? How low is your sub tuned???
     
  7. Dan Hine

    Dan Hine Screenwriter

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    Dan,
    Yeah, a nice router can be pretty pricey. Add in a good sander, a skill saw and/or table saw, a nice drill maybe, clamps, jigs, etc...[​IMG]
    I can also vouch for Martice's suggestion. I made pretty much all my parts purchases from Kyle Richardson @ Acoustic Visions. He's a great guy to work with and is always willing to help with any questions I come up with! If his subs are even half as good as his service then they must be top notch. [​IMG][​IMG]
    Regards,
    Dan Hine
     
  8. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    Corrected numbers measured from sitting position. I will probably remeasure this weekend because I was very rushed when I did these measurments. The neighbors were out and they gave me a very small window to perform these tests. Kyle of Acoustic Visions is still waiting for the near field measurements but I really have to take into consideration the neighbor factor.

    15hz = 95

    18hz = 95

    20hz = 100

    22hz = 104

    25hz = 112

    28hz = 108

    32hz = 115

    36hz = 115

    40hz = 118

    I should be able to let it rip this weekend and be able to include the 50 & 60hz readings. I to am concerned about the steep drop off in the 15hz to 18hz range and I've investigated the possiblity of the bass boost being activated on the plate amp but it wasn't so I think it probably could be the room itself. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  9. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Put simply, DIY can make a sub that will match or beat an SVS CS-Ultra at a 3rd the cost. But only if enclosure size isn't an issue, tools aren't part of your cost (but if there cost can be spread out as savings over many projects and you want the tools anyways it will be different again) and you don't want to add in time as a cost factor.
     
  10. Jedd

    Jedd Second Unit

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    Chris, I had a similar question not a while ago:
    DIY - hobby or real money saver?
    After all I decided to go DIY way. In the worst case you will have something equal in the price&quality to the SVS, but you will have an additionla benefit - a bunch of nice and free tools like drill, jigs, jaws etc. [​IMG]
     
  11. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    How are those tools free? You can use them for other things, but unless you're going shopping with Winona Ryder, they ain't free. [​IMG]
    I was thinking of doing DIY until I found out just how many power tools it requires that I didn't have, plus significant skills in using them. For me, it wasn't worth it. Let SVS buy the tools and become proficient in using them. If that kind of thing floats your boat and you have the stuff already, DIY is obviously more economical.
     
  12. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    I would also think that this is a game of investments and although you get a super sub from SVS for a rediculously affordable price, the up side to do it yourself would be that once you buy the tools there is no stopping you from building the sub you want except for room size, time and the considerations of other in the house, the block or the whole neighborhood for that matter.
    Size, shape, finish and performance and I would imagine pride of building it yourself is the cherry on top for DIYers. Other than the last point(pride of building it yourself), for those who cannot or don't have the tools to build your personal sub I know of only one place that still gives you the other 4 options that only DIY lovers have enjoyed and at truely affordable prices and that's KYLE at ..well you know the place by now
     
  13. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    The point about tools is an important one, that can be a significant expense if you don't have access to at least a decent router (workhorse for a sonotube-based sub).

    Given that, if you're the competent type willing to put some of yourself into the project and the research thereof ("dabblers" are rarely successful), you can leave consumer-level performance and commercial compromise in the dust rather easily. For me, it's not about saving money, it's about achieving performance.

    Still, it depends on what your performance goals are. If all you want to do is "clone" an SVS CS sub, or an Adire Rava, you're not really going to save much since they're such good values to begin with.
     
  14. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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  15. Jedd

    Jedd Second Unit

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  16. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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  17. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    An SVS is basically a DIY design by an experienced guy(s) yet they still have to run a company so sure the costs will be slightly more, but you know you will get a properly built sub tuned exactly the way it should be.

    A properly designed DIY sub can surely outperform an SVS but you must first have a good design, the proper tools, and the proper skills.

    If you have all these things, DIY is a great way to go. If you don't...well thats why company's like SVS and Adire Audio are around.
     
  18. Chris Svencer

    Chris Svencer Stunt Coordinator

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    So what I am hearing here is that if you are only in it to make a sub, nothing else, and are starting from scratch, no tools, it isn't going to be that great of a bargain. But if you are doing it for the pride of building your own sub and maybe a set of speakers later on, it is worth going for it and getting the right tools and doing it right. Am I correct or completely off base?

    Svence
     
  19. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    The tools will cost what they will regardless but if you set out to build a sub that supasses most commercial subs then of course it would be worth it. If you want to build a 10" sub or a sub that is similar to a commercial offering most won't see the sense of making your own. However, from what I understand from the DIY crowd is that if your're going to build it, build the best sub you can make by putting your time and effort into it and put your bass concerns to rest because most people won't be able to touch what you have in your system.

    If you just want as much quality bass as your dollar can afford then I suggest that you purchase any of the subs mentioned in this thread.

    Since you live in CT I think you should really give Kyle a call because the 15" Tempest sub is only for pickup in your state and I believe that if your purchasing a sub, for the price I don't think you're going to get a sweeter deal than the Octosub that Acoustic Visions offers.

    Good Luck
     
  20. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    It depends, Chris. As I said, if you have the somewhat modest goal of replicating the performance of a $500 sub, you're not going to save all that much, especially if you buy tools..you weren't spending much to begin with. However, if your goal is to match the performance of a whatever multi-thousand dollar sub you care to name...the savings can be considerable.

    As with most endeavors, a purely financial motivation is usually not the best one, and doesn't always lead to the best results. It's got to be fun, and the prospect of competing with the best of the best must be appealing.
     

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