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Currently I am running a Klipsch rw-12d and I was looking into the DIY subs as they look like a fun challenge. How is the quality difference between manufactured subs like the Klipsch and home built ones?
 

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DIY is fun and rewarding. The quality is dependent on your design and craftsmanship. Depending on what you are willing to spend (and live with) you can get phenomenal performance for the price of a mid level subwoofer. I would definitely recommend it! What are you thinking of?
 
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Depending on what you build and how skilled you are of course, You can outdo some of the best commercially available subwoofers at any price in nearly every aspect. Before I built my pair of Kappa perfect subs I wondered the same things, for example how can someone designing something in their garage or on a computr program outdo the best of what highly respected commercial designs offer? I was skeptical

Not anymore. The only real sub ive compared my DIY ones to so far is the Axiom Ep600 and the build quality of mine is far superior, The sound quality is superior, They play louder, with less distortion and more flexibility. With the amount of money I spent on building my pair of subs I could have bought a single of just about anything short of the JL fathoms, But am glad I went the DIY route :T
 

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Those who assume that manufactured speakers are better than DIY because manufacturers have superior engineering, and utilize better components, materials and construction methods, are living proof of the worth of the manufacturer's number one expense: Marketing. :cunning:
Speaker manufacturers are in business to make a profit, and all that they do is directed to that end. DIYers only care about good sound, so it is, and always has been, in the realm of DIY where the most innovative designs and constructions, and therefore the best sound quaility, will be found.
 

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Those who assume that manufactured speakers are better than DIY because manufacturers have superior engineering, and utilize better components, materials and construction methods, are living proof of the worth of the manufacturer's number one expense: Marketing.
I agree with you up to a point. With a really good table saw and a lot of patience and some skill, I can build a perfectly good sub cabinet. I will be hard pressed, though, to match the accuracy of a company that uses CNC tools to cut their parts. I also think DIY cost savings are at least partially offset by economies of scale. When I buy one driver or a sheet or two of MDF, I'm paying retail. I suspect the company buying drivers in batches of 1,000 can negotiate a slightly better price. Whether the ones they use are of comparable quality is subject to debate.

You also have to factor in motivation. If you have a nicely equipped shop and woodworking/electronics are your hobby, DIY can be very rewarding. If you have limited skills and interest, you need to think about investing a considerable amount of time to the project, especially if you'd rather be out sailing or spending time with your family. I used to change my cars' oil to save money. It's a messy and inconvenient job. I calculated how much it costs using what I get paid per hour and decided letting someone else do it was much cheaper. Don't undervalue the worth of your time.

Doug
 

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I agree with you up to a point. With a really good table saw and a lot of patience and some skill, I can build a perfectly good sub cabinet.
I design some of the most intricate cabs in existence and every one can be built to a high degree of accuracy with only a circular saw, jigsaw, and a hammer and nails. More sophisticated tools are nice if you've got them, but they aren't a necessity.
I calculated how much it costs using what I get paid per hour and decided letting someone else do it was much cheaper. Don't undervalue the worth of your time.
You won't save with sweat equity compared to buying low end gear, as you can't buy the parts and materials at the same price, and low end gear is assembled by cheap Asian labor with average build times of an hour or two. But the number one expense in commercial cabs is marketing and distribution, number two is managerial overhead, number three is parts and supplies, number four is labor. By taking 1,2 and 4 out of the equation you can build high end gear for substantially less than you can purchase it, in most cases giving the DIYer the opportunity to build a cab that he otherwise would not be able to afford.

And I still change my own oil, mainly because you can't get Mobil 1 for $3.50 a quart unless you do change it yourself. :yes:
 

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I design some of the most intricate cabs in existence and every one can be built to a high degree of accuracy with only a circular saw, jigsaw, and a hammer and nails. More sophisticated tools are nice if you've got them, but they aren't a necessity.
You're a better carpenter than I, Gungha Din! I recently built record storage units for my collection using oak plywood. My main tool was a circular saw. The results are fine, but it was time consuming and lack of accuracy (+- 1/16") drove me crazy! I'm too cheap to buy a table saw, especially when there are no other projects on the horizon.

You make a compelling argument. There's another consideration to add to your arsenal. My SVS is huge and weighs a ton. Shipping costs were 10% of the product cost and shipping will only get more expensive. I reminded of a commerial I saw the other day. A company is now selling their cleaning product in concentrated form. You add your own water. I makes a lot more sense than burning deisel to haul water that's locally available.

Doug
 

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I also think DIY cost savings are at least partially offset by economies of scale. When I buy one driver or a sheet or two of MDF, I'm paying retail. I suspect the company buying drivers in batches of 1,000 can negotiate a slightly better price. Whether the ones they use are of comparable quality is subject to debate.
The main thing about a brand name premade sub is that mostly they are not priced by how much they cost to make. They are priced only by what the market will pay. Mostly this is 2-3 times what they could sell it at if they needed to. For instance my friend bought a sub for 1800 bucks retail was 2K. His kid destroyed the driver and he was able to buy a new one from the company for 700 bucks. I started thinking about that and it was so obvious how overpriced the sub was.
 

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You're a better carpenter than I, Gungha Din! I recently built record storage units for my collection using oak plywood. My main tool was a circular saw. The results are fine, but it was time consuming and lack of accuracy (+- 1/16") drove me crazy!

Doug
Using a saw guide I get just as much accuracy with a circular saw as with a table saw. I suspect your result came from not using a guide.
 

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Second that. I'm a hobby woodworker with a machinist background. While I can't get machinist tolerances out of my circular saw, I can get pretty impressive results. (+/-.015 is not impossible) Your own creativity, coupled with a desire to do quality work goes a long ways.

For really appearance sensitive jobs, I sometimes make a "building block" to start with. For me, the most critical piece is usually the first square piece in the assembly. I sometimes have this done on CNC equipment. It's cheap and easy, because it doesn't require a program - it can be input directly at the processor, and doesn't even have to be a full cleanup. A simple template routing bit can finish, and further, reproduce a perfect square. (you use that square as your template after it's cleaned up) For many cabinet designs, with a little build process ingenuity, you can get everything you need from that one square.

I don't own a table saw or radial arm. I own a heavy duty circular saw, a good 4' straight edge, and a good quality router. (along with a scroll saw for contoured template building) To date, I haven't found anything that I can't build out of wood or wood by-product.
 

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Using a saw guide I get just as much accuracy with a circular saw as with a table saw. I suspect your result came from not using a guide.
I actually used a guide, but I need to get a better one! I was cutting multiple pieces the same width, just the job for a table saw with a good fence. I was using a plate with a roller system that follows a rail, but there's too much slop. I found I could be more precise with just the saw and a good straight edge, using pre-cut sticks to mainain constant width.

Doug
 

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I actually used a guide, but I need to get a better one! I was cutting multiple pieces the same width, just the job for a table saw with a good fence. I was using a plate with a roller system that follows a rail, but there's too much slop. I found I could be more precise with just the saw and a good straight edge, using pre-cut sticks to mainain constant width.

Doug
You can be more precise with a simple home-made zero clearance cutting jig that the saw rides atop. Clamp or screw it to the workpiece, and for multiple cuts of the same width you can jig that function as well.
 

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"Big investment" is a relative term. When you have other priorities, and/or want to keep the DIY on a shoestring budget, it can be a make-or-break proposition.

Aside from that, cost is only one factor. Some people just don't have the real estate for a table saw. Most of the time, having a table saw - especially when cutting wood by-products like MDF - also means having a good ventilation system. So the investment doesn't always end with the saw.
 

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Very clever, and I can tell you that clever tooling and ingenuity is the most fun part of DIY ... till you get to that first big movie scene! In the end you'll be smarter, prouder, and have few more tools that you will consider taking on many other (household) projects with. And thats where you'll save another ton of money!
 

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Quality table saws cost money. A $149 tabe saw isn't going to get the job done when cutting large panels. That being said, I've built 7 of my 9 subs with a sawboard. It's cheap and very accurate.

http://members.aol.com/woodmiser1/sawbd.htm
My table saw cost me $99.99. Just as with circular saws, jigsaws and routers it's not the saw that determines either accuracy or the size of the material you can handle, it's the accessories, and most of those accessories you can make yourself.
 

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DIY for the simple fact that you have more control over the finished product.

Sound quality is one of those subjective areas, but I've preferred the sound of the subwoofer I've built as opposed to the ones i've purchased.
 
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