newbie needs advice on first DIY/advanced project...

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Anthony*B, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. Anthony*B

    Anthony*B Stunt Coordinator

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    hello all! the handyman in me is compelled to try to build my 1st HT DIY project and i would love some advice....i have decided to possibly try a subwoofer, as it is the only part of my setup that i am a little underwhelmed with (It's a tiny Sony SAWM20 (?)my questions/comments are these:
    1. needs to be VERY inexpensive (not much $ plus it is kind of an experiment, so I don't want to put a lot of $ into it yet - under 100$ hopefully, not including wood/MDF etc.)
    2. please keep in mind I know NOTHING about electronics, so pre-built crossovers and such are a must for now
    3. how could i power it cheaply? is there any way at all to build a self contained unit (i.e. a sub that wouldnt have to have a separate "outboard" amp)
    4. not necessary at this time to be an "awesome" sub with precise airflow calculations or whatever...just something decent & better than my miniscule Sony
    5. can't be huge [​IMG]
    all the DIY speaker websites I've been to are still a bit too complicated for my inaugural project...i need something well planned/laid out...
    any help/ideas?
     
  2. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    I don't think you'll be able to build a powered subwoofer for $100 bucks.

    An excellent choice would be a Tempest or Shiva but you will be above your spending limit with the driver alone on either. An adequate amp to power either one would be an additional $100, ports? that will be around $40.00 if you go flared.

    For a Tempest sub you are looking at $350 for parts not including the enclosure.

    I'd say you could probably find a driver and amp etc... for a decent subwoofer for no less than $200 but someone might surprise me [​IMG] Maybe a Dayton or similar driver.

    One thing to consider also. The smaller the sub the more expensive it will be to get it to perform well in general, at least that's what I've experienced. For example, it takes more power to get a driver to perform well in a small sealed enclosure than it does to get similar performance in a larger ported enclosure.
     
  3. Anthony*B

    Anthony*B Stunt Coordinator

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    just to clarify: sorry about the vagueness...it's a bit hard to remember all my details ...
    1. 100$ for just the driver/inner "electronics (didnt know about the flared port)...i know the amp & wood/MDF will be more $
    2. im not expecting pro results or anything as nice as the Shiva/Tempests (which I guess I need to look more at) - I just want a good first project that will hopefully get me something nicer/more powerful than my tiny Sony - I certainly ain't expecting miracles [​IMG]
    3. what would work ok to power it (keeping in mind that i rarely run any of my gear at anything approaching reference levels (15'x15' room, not optimized positioning due to wife [​IMG] )? would i be better off buying a very cheap stereo receiver to power it? im totally new at this, and i havent seen questions like this answered

    perhaps I need to do (lots?) meore research, hehe
     
  4. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Ok, that makes it much simpler then.

    Personally, I'd try for the Shiva at $125.00 and get a PE 250 watt plate amp. You would have many alignment options and when you are finished you'll have one heck of a performer for pennies compared to a commercial sub.

    I know the price of the Shiva is above your limit but it would be worth the extra $25 for the quality.

    So for under $250 for the driver and amp you'll be nearly ready to go. If you go sealed all you'll need to buy is a sheet of MDF at $20 bucks and you are done unless you decide you want to veneer it or just paint it. But it will sound the same whether it's painted or not [​IMG] You could also go with a ported alignment and just use PVC for your ports. It will still sound great but you may have a bit of chuffing port noise... I stress may. Many people use non flared ports without problems.
     
  5. Joe.Kuta

    Joe.Kuta Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not sure how small you need the box to be,
    but i'm assuming a 15" sub is too big.

    The Dayton 12" DVC is $120, and I heard the Dayton Quatro isn't bad for $75.

    The 15" would be a better buy however, as far as performance,
    as the 15" DVC is only $132,
    you can find them for $100 though.

    The least expensive plate-amp for the sub would be the Parts Express 300-794 250W model for $130,
    but you can also get 350W for $140-180 from
    http://www.rythmikaudio.com/nonservo_product.htm
    http://www.apexjr.com/Apexsenior.htm
     

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