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Discussion Starter #1
Was just perusing the CSS web site and noticed a loaded horn kit involving the trio 12 sub driver. Does anyone have any insights or experience with this design? It looks very impressive on paper as far as FR and SPL are concerned...I'm suddenly very interested. One concern is placement. The most practical place for a box that size is in a corner, but I'm worried about the purported corner problems. Or does a loaded horn design behave differently than a normal vented design?
 

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kadijk... there is also a thread on another forum where I recently posted a question
to Mark that was quickly answered.

This CSS Trio12 horn seems like really good design! At first the sheer size of the
cabinet seemed too large ...but after adding together the combined volume of the
multiple vented subwoofers cabinets required to achieve the same results it seemed
quite reasonable. Plus the costs of multiple drivers and the higher powered amps they
require versus a single CSS Trio12 and a decent 250W amplifier ...well, this seems like
a winner! I sincerely feel that after a few of us build and post reviews on this horn, that
interst in building it will increase dramatically.
 

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kadijk... there is also a thread on another forum where I recently posted a question
to Mark that was quickly answered.

This CSS Trio12 horn seems like really good design! At first the sheer size of the
cabinet seemed too large ...but after adding together the combined volume of the
multiple vented subwoofers cabinets required to achieve the same results it seemed
quite reasonable. Plus the costs of multiple drivers and the higher powered amps they
require versus a single CSS Trio12 and a decent 250W amplifier ...well, this seems like
a winner! I sincerely feel that after a few of us build and post reviews on this horn, that
interst in building it will increase dramatically.
I have one of the Anarchy TH with a 115w amp with very little gain and it sounds very good in my garage crossed over at 85hz to a couple bookshelves. I had to turn the gain down to blend nicely, and l like my bass! It looks to be a very good design for those handy with wood and needing good low end output for low total cost. If you can 'hide' it, it becomes even easier and cost effective, not needing finishing.
 

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Man.

Enough to make a guy blush.

Kadijk you are going to have some fun.

This really is one of the most butt kicking subs I have ever played with. The only thing that came close was a five fifteen inch monkey coffin I built years ago tuned to nine hertz. But the trio 12 horn sounds cleaner.

The only caveat I repeat over and over.

This sub produces prodigious amounts of very clean bass. If you like the boom boom boom you may find this a bit different. It produces clean bass that will blow you away if it is there in the recording. Not that many recordings have a great deal of real low bass. It is more often that loud midbass is confused with loud low bass. Once you have heard the real thing you never want to go back!

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think I'm "in" if the bass is deep, relatively powerful, and distortion free. If this type of design gets me that relatively economically, then it meets my home theater philosophy..."really good for as little dollars as possible"

So to get the questions on the table...
1. is this sub appropriate for corner placement, or is it subject to the same corner loading problems that we try to avoid with most other subs? Or does the loaded horn design behave differently in a corner than others? Or does it need the corner in some way? The cabinet is big and corner placement is most practical as far as room space use issues go.

2. could one place this in an adjacent room and have the horn opening flush to the wall facing into my theater and simply have it appear as a cloth grill on the wall?Or does the lack of baffle step create problems with the sound or frequency response or SPL? Is no baffle step a negative factor?

3. this one is tricky...the design and performance of the sub you built and sell plans for is carefully planned out. Could the same results be achieved with a footprint of 20x24 rather than 16x32? In my case 20x24 works better aesthetically, and so its where I would lean. I am not asking you to conflict yourself and the relationship you have with CSS...rather is there a way to design a cabinet that could achieve what yours does, or is there a direct link between the size you chose and the results you have? This question assumes that corner placement is okay, because 20x24 is what fits my corner. 16x32 might actually work lying on its side under my screen and holding my center channel(assuming I can find good feet for my center so it doesn't rattle to death)

Thanks so much for your help in this
 

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Answers...

1. Yes corner loading will increase the output and not the boom. With a horn or any speaker for that matter more reflective surfaces add to the sound that you get to hear. As in the greater amount of areas that can bounce the sound back to you the more sound you get to hear.

The difference between this subwoofer and most others is that the response is quite even with a corner placement. Many subwoofers get designed in such a manner that they grossly exagerate the bass when placed in a corner.

2. Absolutely. The only thing that must be in the listening room is the mouth exit and you.
Baffle step on such an enclosure is not a factor.

3. Dream on my friend. The sizing is such that you get the maximum use of your materials. A cabinet maker I am I am. I hates waste!

a re-design is not a trivial task. You could do it and I'll tell you how.

Each point in the design has a surface area. If you calculate it out you can resize the design by manipulating the height/width ratios while still respecting the length and fold. But be warned it is not as easy as it looks. Nor is it impossible. This fold took me seven attempts before I maximized the horn and minimized the wasted space.

If you buy Bob's kit you get a full 3D sketchup rendering done by Dan Finley (NeoDan). All the sizing is available within that model.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Mark. This is very interesting, and little spoken of it seems. Or at least I haven't noticed much discussion on this topic.

The horn path is long and so is there a need for some sort of delay or timing set up? Or is it a non factor? I do use odyssey and I think it has some delay compensation as part of its eq process, or is it more complicated than that?
 

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I've been drooling over these plans for a few months now and am wish I was in a position to build them myself. The way I see it, the worst case is that I hate it and have a Trio12 left over to put into something else. From everything I've seen on the Internets about this kit, that's not a likely scenario.

For now, I must live vicariously through you. Go for it and keep us posted here on how its going and how it turns out!
 

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Hello Guys.

Here are some more things to compare.

TRIO12 group delay comparison (Medium).JPG

So here is a simulated group delay for the same driver in two enclosures. One vented and one horn loaded.

Initial impressions will be that the group delay is much worse. Upon a bit of thinking it will be a little different. The difference is about 40 thousands of a second worst case. Second thing the delay on the horn is more even over frequency. Not just a peak that could potentially become annoying.

Third thing is that this level of group delay in reality is next to inaudible in normal conditions. Under very controlled conditions it could be discerned, but not guaranteed to bother you.

In short if you can hear the difference your pretty special.

Will delay on your receiver help? Nope. Play with it but I'd be willing to bet that you will never hear a difference one way or the other.

Horn path is only 23 feet LOL! Sound travels at 340 meters/second. So about 8 meters in length 0.023 seconds of travel worst case scenario. Group delay through the vented box where the port is doing most of the work is actually very close.

The difference is striking when you consider what is actually going on inside the horn.

Matching output to output a Trio12 horn loaded will be eight times more efficient than the vented version. That means one eighth the excursion so a start and a stop is actually quicker in the horn than in the vented cabinet. It also means that there is considerably less distortion on the horns output compared to the vented boxes output. Usually 4 times less. Sometimes even greater reduction in distortion. It really depends on the bass content of what you are listening to. Some of the spookiest stuff is comes from the few pipeorgan recordings that actually plumb the true low end. With this horn you can follow notes being played as low as the instrument will play in real life. I have never been able to do that with normal subwoofers. One twelve will not do that under any circumstance I have ever heard. You need to move four liters of air to hear 16 hertz in a normal size living room.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It gets more awesome the more I learn. And...I'm a half deaf carpenter so I don't think I'll hear the delay, if you can even call it that. I'll be ordering the CSS kit soon, and because corner placement is good I'll be able to build it according to those plans. Construction will probably not start until the new year. One concern I have, if it's even a concern is that this deep clean punchy bass will not suit the movie LFE that is 90% of what I'll be using the sub for. And I only think that because of the lack of, in my opinion, discussion on these horns in the DIY forum. It's way more common to build a ported sono sub. And I'm not sure why that is.
 

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I demonstrated this sub at the first DIY Ottawa show. I put iion some music for test purposes. But there's a gentleman who was there by the name of Adam. (Binary) He threw on some music (I mean rapp) that he thought would be a good test. I'll see if he will make a comment.

I technical terms it is this simple. The sub reproduces what ever you send it's way very loud with very low levels of distortion. There really is no such thing as a rock speaker or a home theater speaker. There are accurate speakers and not no accurate speakers.

Mark
 

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One concern I have, if it's even a concern is that this deep clean punchy bass will not suit the movie LFE that is 90% of what I'll be using the sub for. And I only think that because of the lack of, in my opinion, discussion on these horns in the DIY forum. It's way more common to build a ported sono sub. And I'm not sure why that is.
You'll be fine. My little 6.5" driver horn fills my garage with sound nicely, and it wasn't optimized for output like Mark's Trio horn. Just be sure to use a high pass filter so you can drive it to potential. The LLT sonosubs are very light in weight, for a large 15" or 18" driver cab, and the footprint is very small for the displacement and low end achieved.

The horn concept is just now getting attention here mostly because designs are limited by the available ones by Mark and Mike (and BFM, that I know of). The cabinet design is critical, unlike typical ported designs which are quite forgiving. The other potential limiter is cabinet shape is limited to the original dimensions (without elaborate redesign), and I think many members have specific needs in that regard.
 

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My ears were ringing, Someone called me out...

The trio12 Front loaded horn was, to put this simply, a showstopper. Litterally. I put on a single track, and it took less than 30 seconds to clear the old fuddy duddys from the room. They actually came back a within the next few minutes to ask me to turn it down or stop. We only had 65 watts...
Side note: I think if you think its too loud, You're too old.
The sub wanted more, but the building was complaining. (wooden floors were oscillating just a tiny bit and the windows were creaking slightly. lol) We did have a bigger amp, but concluded that with 65w, we were more than happy. (my bets are on the fact that the older guys couldn't handle it being any louder. lol)

For comparisons sake, I have a rather large subwoofer at home. A ~14 Cubic foot internal cabinet tuned for ~15-16hz with an SDX 15 in it. The Trio12 was getting similar output to my SDX15, but with less than 1/10th the power. I run a QSC RMX2450 In bridged mono on the 4 ohm load of the sdx 15, 2400W and i have clipped the amp while listening to the subwoofer.
Something has to be said about the CSS Drivers, The Build quality on them is AMAZING.

I am trading up from my SDX 15 in LLT, to two horn loaded dual 8" enclosures using some Trio8 Drivers.
I expect to gain 6db at 25hz as compared to my SDX 15. There really is something to horn loading.
If this doesn't say it all, then i don't know what does.

The only downside to a horn is that they don't overexaggerate their presence unless called upon by the music/movies, Unless you want to purposely run them hot, they blend into the background quite seamlessly. Most people would consider this a plus, but some people are bass-heads like myself.
 

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Hi all,

I've been lurking on this site for years. Watching and waiting for a HT/music sub build that perfectly matched my goals. When I saw the TRIO12 Horn, it looked perfect. After a brief discussion with Bob at CSS, I ordered the kit, built it, and recently got it installed. I've now put a few hours on it and it's exceeding my expectations.

I'm not an audiophile, don't have any microphone/tuning equipment, and don't have anything else to compare this sub with. (My existing sub was a 10" NHT.) That's why a pre-designed 'kit' was so appealing to me. I bought a 300W O-audio Bash to drive it. Any boy does it!

As I mentioned, I don't have much to compare this with. But everyone who hears it gets a big grin on their face and says something like, "I've never heard anything like that." As others have mentioned, it's not like a car with a pair of 12's and 1000 watts that booms. It shakes and moves you. Very low, very clear.

The 'kit' is very nicely put together; it has excellent detail and great pictures and lot's of tips and suggestions. I'll try to get some pictures up soon.

...mose
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Mose, thanks for your comments. I would love to see some pictures. Maybe you could start a thread documenting your build and installation...I can't wait to start my build of this unit! My wife even gave me the "I think you should do it" comment the other day, so it's just a matter of timing and time. It's great that the sub is performing like or better than you expected too. You'd hate to do all that work and end up with questionable results.
 

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I was a little hesitant about the OSB as well. The plan is designed around 1/2". I looked into different materials and settled on 5/8" OSB (actually 15mm). With the excessive bracing in the plan, I think this is overkill and the 1/2" OSB would have been fine. I think it's a great compromise if you are hesitant.

But I didn't care about weight (or so I thought). I also didn't care how it looked since I put it in the attic. And since it was in the attic, OSB seemed like a better choice since it uses exterior glue. MDF would be too succeptible to moisture in the Pacific Northwest. Saved me painting it. And OSB was about half the cost.

It was also kinda nice to work with the OSB since MDF creates such terrible dust.

...mose
 
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