Newbie Advice Needed For Aluminium Sub Build - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 5 Old 08-21-12, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Manchester, England
Posts: 9
Newbie Advice Needed For Aluminium Sub Build

Hi all,im new to the forum so be gentle ey!

I was eyeing up the B&W JL Audios & Velodyne DD plusses of this world,15/18" and i just cant justify the price tag which here in the UK is even more extortionate with the import costs etc. I caught a glimpse of a thread relating to DIY build and now im talking to you guys who from what iv read so far have a wealth of knowledge on the subject!

Great site btw!

First off am i right in thinking that a DIY build with the right parts and software used can produce bass quality at least equal to that of the high end manufactured subs?
If so i wanna give it a go!

Im a fabricator by trade,time served sheet metal and at present i make sub-sea gas and oil pipework so iv got no problem assembling,cutting,machining,drilling,welding etc. Iv done a few foreigners for myself over the years, last one was a racing frame and seat for the PC&PS3 out of aluminium. It polished up to a mirror shine and if i dont say so turned out mint! Had some good beered up racing nights with the lads on it too. So im thinkin why make an MDF enclosure when i can fab it out of lovely strong, thick,shiny Aluminium?? )

I know there are subs made of Alu but i was wondering if there was any known problems with using the material from an acoustic point of view? Il be using sound deaddening/dampening on the inside, will this stop any tiny or ringing effects under load etc etc.. stuff like that.

Was initially lookin at a 15" (can still be tempted) but while im bothering my to make it it would be rude not to look at more devestating options like TC LMS Ultra 5400. Lets not beat around the bush ey. Im planning on making just one to start with, iron out any issues that may arise then il be looking at making more armed with my new found knowledge.

The Cinema room at present is quite small (13' x 13') but will be moving house in the next 12month so will have much more space. How much space i dont know till i find the right house but in the meantime can you have overkill in a small room if it is all EQ'd correctly to the rest of the system? (You tell me i'm new to subwoofery &EQ)

Anyway id like to say money is no object but id be full of it if i did but i cant be considered a minge so i like the best gear cuz whenever i compromise i only regret it & thinking what if? So i am prepared to spend.

Can anyone give me some suggestions and explanations to the likes of cabinet size/volume/design. Could do with it not being too big but if it helps the amp achieve the lows more efficiently im open to sugestions. Is it better to have curved sides to reduce resonances like in some loudspeaker designs?
I know the smaller the cabinet il need much more clean power which im not adverse to so maybe some decent amp suggestions too. Heard Crown,Crest,Peavey mentioned these any good?
Heard the Crown DSI series (4000&6000 namely) has built in Filters EQ DSP,would this be good for reducing the number of boxes i have in the room. Im new to EQ,all im used to is toeing the speakers in on the Hifi or letting the Pioneer do the calibration on the HT so was lookin at userfriendly like the Velodyne sms-1 sorta thing but if theres better id like to know about them.

Did i mention i want this sub for both music and HT? Got some nice Dynaudio C5 which are so smooth so would you say a monster 18" would do them justice or would i be better off making a couple of 15" straight off the bat cuz they might be more responsive due to their smaller dimensions? In that case would passive radiators help the cause too? I like the look of the TC LMS-r 15s and the matching Passive radiators. Any other recommendations on good quality 15"

Heard something mentioned about LINKWITZ. Will this give better quality?
Room EQ wizard,REW theres alot to this lark so im just tryin to get my facts straight before i burn some serious cash.

I know that was a lot of questions but if you dont ask you dont know do ya. Iv read a fair ammount (while i was supposed to be working) but its just a case of piecing it all together now.

Anyway thanks in advance for any advice you guys may have.

Dont think i mentioned, id like to go with a sealed sub design. Who needs to put big holes in things when youve got massive amps to get things moving! Plus i heard you can get lower with sealed sub, is that correct?

Last edited by MOSFET1481; 08-22-12 at 12:48 AM. Reason: Add on
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-30-12, 08:56 PM
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Location: Adelaide, SA
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Re: Newbie Advice Needed For Aluminium Sub Build

WOW......quite a few questions.

You can build a subwoofer out of whatever you want as long as the walls are extremely sturdy. So aluminum would have to be quite thick to keep from resonating. You could always use MDF and then add aluminum on the outside for the finish.

What type of budget would you like to spend?(This will include amp and speaker for now)

A pair of 15's would be a good start. You can use a pair of 18's instead it just depends on budget. But this is where it can get difficult.

Do you have a local HT store near buy with at least Paradigm or other popular name subwoofers? Definitive Tech.....

You can have a listen to some of these flagship subwoofers and then see if you want more. Building subwoofers seems to be a never ending upgrade for me and it gets expensive. If your anything like me in wants then I would just get the Ultra from TC Sounds. Then add another when you can afford it.

What size box would you like to go with? How high would you like to run these subwoofers?

I also really like the RE XXX 18" subwoofer. The Ultra can run higher and sound better at higher frequencies but if you only need 80hz and down then the XXX is another option also.

"Music is the space between the notes"
[T]o talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-30-12, 09:35 PM
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Re: Newbie Advice Needed For Aluminium Sub Build

put line-x on the exterior instead of paint, that will help damp resonances - also, line with undercoating (rubberized spray on stuff that goes under a vehicle) and then rockwool -> no resonances. This is the method I used in my steel enclosure speakers, I will have to make a post and link to a 'knocking' on the side of one sometime... they are very dead.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-01-12, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Manchester, England
Posts: 9
Re: Newbie Advice Needed For Aluminium Sub Build

Thanks for the replies guys,much appreciated!

Iv done a lot more reading on the site since the post so it all makes a little more sense at least. Busy at work tho so struggling for time.

Just bought a Crown ITX 4000 on fleabay for a v.good price so im gonna try out its features when it arrives regarding crossovers ,phase & EQ to see if is good enough for the job. Also found a JL Audio 12w6 sub i had in my old car in the loft that id totally forgotten about, which was a nice bonus. I figured i might have a play with that for the time being and get my head around REW & EQ. Buy a condenser mic & whatever other gear needed to measure and shape the sound (still reading about what i need). That way i can save a little more cash up for some quality drivers while im tinkering. Maybe properly make my mind up if i want a couple of 18" drivers or go with making 2 dual opposing 15" boxes i was thinking about.

Gonna make an aluminium enclosure for the JL 12w6 out of 1/2 inch thick Alu. Id say that should be more than enough for that driver. It only needs a sealed 1.25 cu ft which is tiny really so will be v structurally solid.
Was thinking 3/4 inch thick when i make the boxes for the larger drivers. Wouldnt have thought id need much baffling inside with that either. Can put a few braces in tho no problem just to make sure.

Will look at your resonance deaddening suggestions,thanks for them!
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-01-12, 07:45 AM
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Re: Newbie Advice Needed For Aluminium Sub Build

Funkywaves builds custom aluminum subs. I love the look of them.
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advice , aluminium , build , needed , newbie

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