First DIY Sub - Sonosub project - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-23-17, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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First DIY Sub - Sonosub project

hey all,

Im looking at building my frist DIY Sub, a sonosub to complement my pc13ultra to even out the bass response in my room. While I was at it I was thinking of doing something bigger.

my initial plan was to go:
h 47 x w 20
dual 3.5 inch ports with a 1 inch flared exit 22 inches in length
18 inch driver

but Im wondering if something like that would completely out class my svs sub to the point that i end up not solving the issues I was looking to solve with dual subs.

I could do something similar with a smaller diameter
h 47 x w 17
Single 4 inch ports with a 1 inch flared exit 22 inches in length
12 inch driver


Thoughts?
I was really hoping for some good driver recommendations from folks with more experience than myself.
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-24-17, 02:10 AM
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Re: First DIY Sub - Sonosub project

Just depends on budget. You can design a great 12" ported enclosure but you need to define what are SPL needs are. An 18" can be great but probably not going to do very well with small port sizes like you have mentioned. Need to simulate the cabinet and look at port speeds to keep the port from singing.

There are LOTS of 18's out there so I will wait to hear back from you and then make a suggestion.

"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 14 Old 01-24-17, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First DIY Sub - Sonosub project

hmm, I did model it out in the sonosub application Both configs had a target of 16hz and there were no warnings. Dual 3.5" ports have about 35% more volume than a single 4 inch and just shy of a single 5 inch port

Ill do some more research and update on the ports.


budgetwise I have about 600 bucks for the sub, not including amplification, Ill figure that in separately from the sub build.

Something interesting to note is the sonus sub app required at least 4.5 inches between the sub and the floor, I notice my svs pc13-ultra doesnt even seem to have 1/2 that much space. I wonder how and how much that affects performance.

Last edited by mikeyd; 01-24-17 at 02:28 PM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-24-17, 07:38 PM
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Re: First DIY Sub - Sonosub project

Quote:
mikeyd wrote: View Post
Something interesting to note is the sonus sub app required at least 4.5 inches between the sub and the floor, I notice my svs pc13-ultra doesnt even seem to have 1/2 that much space. I wonder how and how much that affects performance.
Reducing the space between the driver and the floor (or a wall for a side-firing setup) effectively mass-loads the cone, lowering the F3. This is similar to the "proximity effect" with microphones, where where bass repsonse is inversely proportional to the distance from the source to the mic element (though they function on completely different principles). With a speaker, by placing a rigid boundary near the cone you reduce the elasticity of the air column in front of the driver while simultaneously turning that column into a quasi-Helmholtz resonator. The properties of the resonant space you create are dictated by the rigidity of the boundary, the surface area of the speaker plus its baffle, and the distance to the surface. By varying the distance to the surface, you can "tune" the resonator.

You might now be wondering why this isn't done more often... the answer is that nearly every downward-firing subwoofer is designed with this effect in mind, and side-firing subs are specifically neglecting it. Like any design approach, it has its pitfalls. One of the most obvious is that "articulate" bass passages tend to suffer because higher frequencies are rolled off a bit. The other thing to note is that there is a maximum distance at which the effect occurs, and a range where you can audibly detect it. Farther away and it disappears... too close and the sub starts to choke because the air can't respond to the motion of the cone. Attempting to overcome the deficiencies created by an inadequate air space in front of the cone with additional power can result in damage.

In your case, taking the recommended 4.5" gap to the floor and cutting it in half will likely have a pretty noticeable effect on the performance of the system. My guess is that you'll end up with a sub that rumbles pretty well but doesn't handle music as well as it could because the port resonance and the air-gap resonance will not be aligned. You'll end up with a less-than-flat response curve, and a measurable disparity in phase response in the frequency range between those two points. Again, those are just my guesses... but they're based on experience with varying the size of an air gap on a sealed down-firing sub many moons ago.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-24-17, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First DIY Sub - Sonosub project

DQMclain thats some great info, thanks for the reply, depending on how the project turns out I may tinker with the svs's air gap, either that or Ill sell it and build my 2nd diy!

chrapladm I did some additional modeling for the 18 inch option

end cap to end cap dimensions
h 43 x w 22
D 6 x L 25 port with 1 inch flared ends
18 inch driver
18.5 tuning target

With some driver recommendations I could model around that driver, That seems ideal, Ill do some more forum digging in the mean time.
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-26-17, 01:09 PM
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Re: First DIY Sub - Sonosub project

mikeyd, I think if you're generally happy with the PC13 Ultra, I'd try to put together a similar(ish) sub in appearance and output. Err on the side of overkill, because you'll likely be able to get pretty good performance with a $600 budget excluding the amp. I'd start out looking at similar sized drivers, if a visual match is at all important to you... on the high end, the Stereo Integrity HST-11 or HST-12 would basically eat up your whole budget, but I'm guessing would be capable of crushing the SVS. Maybe look at the Dayton Ultimax 12" (around $180) or the Dayton Reference HO series 12" (for about $150). The Creative Sound SDX-12 falls somewhere in between (just under $300).

Others with more experience modeling all of those will likely chime in to steer you in the right direction. But it is important to know some key information. We have your budget, and presume the baseline for performance is at least to match the PC13. Is the form factor important? Would a visual match be preferable, or can you go off the reservation and build way bigger? If the goal is really just to even out response you won't need to go too crazy.

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post #7 of 14 Old 01-26-17, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First DIY Sub - Sonosub project

I'd like to step up a bit performance wise compared to the ultra. I recently got new denon and LCR and I'm having issues integrating the sub to my liking. The mains dig pretty deep and are very articulate. Particularly with music, I feel that I'm loosing the tight fast punch the mains put out with the sub on. Maybe I just like the Yammy sound better, hard to say yet. That's all probably best for another thread if I don't get it ironed out.

I'm flexible on enclosure design and size. I have moderately large open area and high vaulted ceilings only 2 parallel walls, the front and back unfortunately and they are the tall walls of the vaulted ceilings.

Tube pros are:
Cost, I have a local source for a 24 x 12' for 100 bucks,. I could build 2 and sell the pc13

Placement, my sub currently sits to the left and behind the center channel , I can place the 2nd sub in the same spot but on the right side

Simplicity, easy to build.

If you tell me a box would be better I can do that, I have a big table saw, router and whatnot for woodworking. My stipulation on a box is no MDF. I'd rather work with plywood.

I can flex the budget, I've got about 1400, but I need 2 more volt-10's for heights and an amp for the new sub. Ideally I can build a great sub better than my current one, power it with a big inuke, sell the pc13 and use that money to build the 2nd sub and power it with the inukes other channel.

The ultimate goal though is good even bass. The pc13 is the best sub I've heard,. I've never experienced dual subs so I have no reference points for what better should sound like.

I think I answered everything and then some.

Last edited by mikeyd; 01-26-17 at 09:46 PM.
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-26-17, 10:26 PM
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First DIY Sub - Sonosub project

Hi Mikey. This thread speaks to me a lot. I bought a pc12plus and needed more since I have so much airspace, so I built another one using a bash amp and TC sounds epic 12. The benefit of smoothing was good but I didn't really maximize that until I used REW and EQ and added a 3rd sub(long story), but man the extra headroom was almost more worth it. I was thinking in your case a Dayton ultimax or a stereo integrity driver(which I don't know a ton about except they seem to be amazing). My goal is actually 4 rhythmik audio FV15hp's but my wallet and wife seem to be in disagreement with me. So since rhythmik supports diy, I'm thinking I'll buy amps and drivers from them build 2 into sonosubs. Not sure if that helps any but I think it would be worth an email to them. I think a driver/amp kit is about 600 bucks. Should kill your ultra and be more articulate. Fwiw, I love my setup and most do, but I just have too much airspace to fill with 3, 12 inchers. Also, 100 bucks is a rip for sonotube. My local place cut mine(16x36") and for 21 dollars I was done with that part. I'm fixing my computer right now. Maybe I am help with modeling if I get it done before your sub is built lol. Hope that helps some. Fwiw, I love the cylinder design.


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Last edited by willis7469; 01-27-17 at 08:04 AM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-27-17, 01:10 AM
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Re: First DIY Sub - Sonosub project

Stepping up performance would require at least a sealed 18 and a big amp. If wanting to evenly spread out the bass I would suggest at least two 18's or four and placing them sporadically around the room. So many variables though. Four ported 15's would sound quite nice also. Tight on money you could use the Alpine SWS 15's. Variables variables variables.

A pair of 18HST's in 15cuft each ported at 15hz would be quite nice. Add in whatever amp you can afford. SO let us know on how many subs your looking at building. The Dayton Ultimax is a great sub also. The HST seem to perform a touch better on the ultra low end though and have more Xmax. A pair of 18's might be slightly more expensive than a single 24" also.

Is your room on a concrete slab? Do you have multiple spaces for subs? And what are your preferences for bass? DO you like it flat or do you enjoy a healthy rising bass curve?

I have been busy as of late and a bit slack at helping. So I will try and assist a bit more over the next few days. I love my bass and I have had many different setups. I do prefer a rising response myself. One of my favorite setups was four 15's in dual opposed sealed cabinets. Sounded great for me and being on a suspended floor was overkill to say the least. A pair of ported 18's would have been PLENTY for my wants.

So let us know more about your wants and what your dealing with.

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post #10 of 14 Old 01-27-17, 03:10 PM
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Re: First DIY Sub - Sonosub project

Quote:
mikeyd wrote: View Post
Ideally I can build a great sub better than my current one, power it with a big inuke, sell the pc13 and use that money to build the 2nd sub and power it with the inukes other channel.
I think this will be your best bet. I'm not sure what the market is like for used SVS subs, but you should be able to get something reasonable for it I would hope.

I would tentatively say a pair of 18" Ultimax subs (sealed or ported, in tubes or boxes, whatever your preferences) would be pretty amazing. This is a quick and dirty "for my own curiosity" comparison, but let's see how a UM18 sonosub stacks up against the PC12 Plus. Pic 1 shows the output graph from the SVS site.

Pic 2 shows just taking a VERY quick look in WinISD... the UM18 in an 11.5 cubic ft enclosure, ported, tuned to 16 Hz (white line) and sealed in the same volume (yellow line) would use a 24" sonotube about the same height as your SVS, including feet. I'm assuming 1,200w for each one, using a single iNuke 6000 channel. Output seems substantially higher, and this is for a single one.

Yeah, using a 24" tube that's a pretty massive sub, but even cutting it in half it's still workable. The catch is you would definitely need some kind of DSP to add a high pass filter to keep excursion in check below tuning, and you'd want to measure in room and tweak the response further. So an iNuke DSP or a standard version and MiniDSP or something.

UM18-22 - $280(?) x 2 = $560
iNuke 6000 - $350
MiniDSP balanced - $125
That's $1,035 for a pair of pretty bumpin' subs (not including enclosure materials, taxes, shipping, etc.). Moving down to the UM15 (15" version saves you about $100 per driver, and you could probably move down to the iNuke 3000 to save another $120), will still be better than the SVS, especially with some EQ.

Just my $0.02 on a Friday afternoon when my brain capacity is rapidly diminishing.
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