Paradigm Servo-15 or DIY?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Martin Rendall, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    Not posting this to the DIY forum to hopefully get more opinions.

    I've been planning a new HT for some time, and I had originally planned on a Servo-15. But after being mostly successful at building a couple of front projector screens, I'm feel very "Bob the Builder"-ish, and after some great help from the folks on the DIY forum, I feel like I could actually manage to build a sealed Tempest.

    The problem is that after I get the tools necessary, some of the DIY savings will be eaten up. So when the savings started to diminish, I realized that I should once again consider the Servo-15.

    So it begs the question: what would be better for music and movies: the Servo-15, or a Bessel alignment sealed Tempest? Or would they be similar?

    Thanks!
    Martin.
     
  2. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Martin,

    Are there any woodworking shops in your area where you could pay a rate to use their tools? This would prevent you from having to purchase all the necessary tools that you might only use a few times.
     
  3. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    Thought about that. I'll have to look around. Home Depot also rents tools. That might make some sense.

    Martin
     
  4. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    I am a big fan of the Tempest( had 4 of them myself), ive also had a Paradigm Servo 15 , it was my 3rd subwoofer and one of the better commercial subwoofers I have heard.

    Paradigm Servo 15 is going to outperform a sealed Tempest...dont even bother building a Tempest, just buy the Servo 15 and be done with it, its a great all around subwoofer.

    Edit: I also should mention that the Servo 15 will retain much of its value while your DIY subwoofer will be virtually worthless for re-sale.
     
  5. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    James,

    I perused your web site last night. Very nice work with the Pi speakers! It may be that some Pi's are in my future. I really want to try out a SET amp. Gotta see what sort of speaker design Doc and Paul at Bottlehead will come up with, though.

    Back to the Servo-15. You are the first person I've found who's owned both. Can you describe briefly what characteristics the Servo-15 had over the sealed Tempest?

    If I can beg borrow or steal some tools, I think I can build a Tempest for around $850 Canadian. On the other hand, I expect to be able to get a Servo-15 (plus X-30) for maybe $1400? So really it's a $850 to $1200 comparison. Is the Servo-15 really 41% better than the sealed Tempest? [​IMG]

    Much appreciated!
    Martin.
     
  6. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Martin,

    I have a Servo-15 and have been extremely pleased with it. Since I am now moving into a new house (for me anyways) with a room that will be dedicated for HT, I am thinking seriously about a 2 driver Tempest Infinite Baffle setup.

    2 Drivers, a Pro Amp and some wood (plus not telling my wife I am going to cut a nearly 2ft2 hole in the floor). I have all the tools that I need, and for something of this nature I figure my time is worth 0$ as it relaxes me anyways.

    Since you don't have the tools, then perhaps the search, rental, etc plus frustration factor if you have not tackled a project like this might sway you to spend the extra dollars and get the Servo.

    OTOH, making something yourself makes it sound even sweeter, even though the specs may not be up to the Servo output.

    You're not far off the mark on 1400CAD with the X-30, that's what I paid for mine 18 months ago. I definately agree with JWJ's comment about resale value.
     
  7. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    First off , you dont need an X-30 if your using this in your HT set-up so you can save a few bucks there. Cascading crossovers is not good.

    To answer your question, no the Servo 15 is not 40% better but if you go with the Tempest and ever want to upgrade then your going to lose 60-80% of the money you have invested.


    If your looking to make the DIY option a more solid option then build a dual Tempest sealed sub instead. Really the only extra cost is abit more wood and a little more amplification.
    A dual Tempest sealed sub in as big of an enclosure as you can stand...really 24" ID Sonotube is perfect plus its cheaper, lighter , has a small foot print and easier to work with than MDF.

    If you go this far then you might as well go a tad higher and port the subwoofer for the extra extention. Go big enough and it will sound like a sealed subwoofer yet you get the low extention and easy to drive benefits of a ported suwoofer.

    If youve gone this far now bring out the Paradigm Servo 15...now there is no question that it will be SOUNDLY FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET!

    You've now built a subwoofer that really is a true statement as to why DIY is the way to go....no commerical subwoofer , including anything at SVS will be able to hang with your sub ...NONE!

    You need a good 1000 watt amp too.

    Lets see here:

    Sonotube
    1.5" baltic birch endcaps
    6" port material
    simulated leather
    glue
    R-13 fiberglass
    2 Tempests
    1000 watt amp
    >>>>>>
    I could do it for $1000 USD at the very most.
    Id highly recommend a QSC RMX 1850HD for amplification.

    Go with a used amp and you could do it for less.
     
  8. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    Hi James,

    I'm sure that would be a knockout sub, but that's too much expense and project for a first time builder. Wish I could go the IB route though.

    I want the X-30 regardless for a hybrid two channel setup. It really does make sense in my case.

    Martin.
     
  9. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    Found out that a friend has a table saw, router, and jig saw. This opens stuff up greatly. That would mean that a sealed Tempest could be done for maybe $650 plus taxes.

    James,

    Thought about your suggestion some more. It shouldn't be a problem to build a sub like you are suggesting as a box, should it? Also, why such a powerful amp? Hopefully a 500Watt amp would be sufficient?!?

    Cool idea. I like.

    Martin.
     
  10. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    A 500W amp will be sufficient. The issue will be wiring the Tempests in such a way that will work well with a single amp. With two drivers your options are pretty much limited to either 2ohms or 8ohms. Few amps can drive a 2ohm load and few amps output 500W at 8ohms. A two channel amp that puts out 300Wx2 at 4ohms would work perfectly though.

    No reason you can't build James' suggestion into a box design. The biggest drawback will be weight. An enclosure of this size properly built and braced out of MDF will weigh easily in excess of 300lbs. While the sonotube version will weigh in at ~100lbs.
     
  11. Andrus_R

    Andrus_R Stunt Coordinator

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    huge coffin thing in the living room or a nice servo 15 in the living room.

    You decide.
     
  12. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    It ain't going in no living room! [​IMG] Size isn't an issue.

    Martin.
     
  13. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Just a word about resale vs upgrading...you're right the resale value of a DIY sub is pretty low...but that assumes you're selling the whole thing. If you want to upgrade simply add more drivers, rebuild the box or buy a more powerful amp...either way you're not losing money quite as much as selling it out right.

    The Servo 15 is a very good subwoofer and for the price we can get it for up here its a great buy...but that said as a die hard DIYer there's a lot to be said for building your own. I've built over 8 subs since I got started plus a few others using both sonotube and conventional box's (plus two IB's) and there's plus's and minus's to both approaches. The sonotube subs are much lighter, cheaper and faster to build then a conventional wooden box but you have to like the tube look vs. a nicely finished wooden woofer. IB is by far the easist and most cost effective given the simple box requirement and efficiency at which the drivers opperate but its not an option for most rooms. If you have the budget for a dual tempest you might consider a single Tumult instead or a Blueprint 1503 or 1803 as they're similar in cost but will work better in a smaller sealed box then dual tempests will...you'll need more power to push them to insane volumes but they're all capable of bringing down the house around you should you desire it[​IMG] I'm sure you know already about www.CreativeSound.ca in BC...they're the Canadian distributor for Adire and Bob's a super cool guy to deal with.

    Another intersting option is to consider the Sadhara sub from Adire...with their current sale prices it makes for a very interesting option if you decide not to go the DIY route.
     

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