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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After owning a few different commercial HT subs I have decided to try my hand at my first HT DIY sub.(I made two car audio enclosures for JL subs, but that was back in my high school days now over a decade ago)
I have gotten some grasp on what type of sound and how loud and how low I want/need to go.
I will get into size of room, layout of room, amp choices and enclosures as I progress. I am here to get first things first done.

So I come to the DIY experts to ask my first stage question....which subs in your experience have a sound 'quality' of top level that makes music so rich:
A. Sized 12"-15" only
B. Size of enclosure would ideally be < 4.5cu. ft.
C. Please list if the driver(s) you reccomend are ideal for ported or sealed enclosures as I am building my box based on my driver.
D. If you could list a ballpark expect to see price for shopping but without names I would appreciate that as well.
My budget is not stuck in stone but I'd like to stay below $400 for driver, amp, connections and eq 'if needed'.
I will be building the enclosure and this price range allows me $100 for the box and finish.
If there are options that would fill my needs for less than $400 for driver and amp that's fine.

For reference, I listen to predominantly motown and classic rock. I like as clean a sound as possible and although I enjoy the internal rumble from output below say 18/20Hz(in movies) that is not as of as much importance as SQ. Then output comes third as anything I build will be capable of goinbg louder than I ever listen to even when maxing out in movie mode.(my eDA5-350 was hardly ever pushed really hard, but I wouldn't mind having as much or more output if wanted)
 

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So your budget is about $500 total? Why not check out the Rythmik Servo 15" kit? It's supposed to have stellar SQ and extension. A sealed 4cu ft box would be perfect for it. Illka tested the 12" version and it did quite well.

If you want to go more DIY with it, it's going to be hard to get a nice driver and amp for $400.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So am I basically right in thinking now that DIY can be as good or better, but you don't get the price advantage until you go big?
Unless that Rythmik or similar DIY set-up can out do say a MFW-15 or eDA5-350 why bother as there seems to be almost no price difference.
I thought I could get about the same or maybe even better for the same cost or possibly even cheaper than commercial subs with DIY?
 

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Well it's possible for sure but your main handicap is the smaller than 4.5ft requirement. For $600 you could get a 190v2 from ED for $195 and an EP2500 for roughly $300 with $105 left for a big ported sonotube enclosure. Like 18 cu ft tuned to 15hz or something and this will be way deeper and louder than an MFW-15 or an A5-350. A good high output small sealed enclosure takes a bit more money to really get the performance. You need a big amp and a high quality small box driver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well it's possible for sure but your main handicap is the smaller than 4.5ft requirement. For $600 you could get a 190v2 from ED for $195 and an EP2500 for roughly $300 with $105 left for a big ported sonotube enclosure. Like 18 cu ft tuned to 15hz or something and this will be way deeper and louder than an MFW-15 or an A5-350. A good high output small sealed enclosure takes a bit more money to really get the performance. You need a big amp and a high quality small box driver.

It will be hidden away anyways, so I'll go up to 6 cu ft.
Remember, I don't need it to be a killer....I'm thinking more like a 12" with 500W instead of a 15" with 1K+.
This is for a media room not a big home theater room.
Trying to stay at or under $500 as well if possible for my first build.

Does this help?
 

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If you are mostly interested in music then you could consider a sealed enclosure. This could keep the space requirements down.

Some driver possibilities:
Dayton RS390-HO
Dayton RS315-HF
Shiva-X from DIYCable: http://www.diycable.com/main/product_info.php?cPath=24_93&products_id=653
Torrent Audio XO-12 (the same as the old Mistral/TC db500): http://www.torrentaudio.com/xo12-p-101.html
CSS SDX15: http://www.creativesound.ca/details.php?model=SDX15
And the previously mentioned Rythmik kit.

If you can swing the money the CSS looks the best.

The O-Audio plate amp would be a pretty good low-cost match: http://www.oaudio.com/500W_SUBAMP.html
Consider that the box will cost at least 100$. This is assuming you have tools/clamps etc.


Note: If you are in DIY only to save money forget about it! Buy a used sub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you are mostly interested in music then you could consider a sealed enclosure. This could keep the space requirements down.

Some driver possibilities:
Dayton RS390-HO
Dayton RS315-HF
Shiva-X from DIYCable: http://www.diycable.com/main/product_info.php?cPath=24_93&products_id=653
Torrent Audio XO-12 (the same as the old Mistral/TC db500): http://www.torrentaudio.com/xo12-p-101.html
CSS SDX15: http://www.creativesound.ca/details.php?model=SDX15
And the previously mentioned Rythmik kit.

If you can swing the money the CSS looks the best.

The O-Audio plate amp would be a pretty good low-cost match: http://www.oaudio.com/500W_SUBAMP.html
Consider that the box will cost at least 100$. This is assuming you have tools/clamps etc.


Note: If you are in DIY only to save money forget about it! Buy a used sub.

Well, I'm shooting for 'B+' performance on a 'C+' budget. :)
Thing is I have decided that I will not limit the size of the enclosure.
And movies do play an important part.
 

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From your initial message it sounded like music was your thing. One strategy could be to build a 4ft^3 sealed enclosure for a 12" driver. This would be a low Q alignment (which some say is best for music). Live with it for a while and see what you think. But leave room on the baffle for a 4" port just in case :).

But seeing as you have had an eDA5-350 you might want to consider a 15" driver (like the SDX15). I don't know about their driver, but putting 2 4" ports tuned to 20hz in a 4ft^3 box is pretty tough! And not many 15's can play ported in a 4ft^3 box. Most need more volume.

Edit: the 390HF will play in 4ft^3 tuned to 20hz, but eD must be doing something really odd. WinISD says it requires ~40" tubes (2 of them!).
 

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Mike has a good idea.

Another alternative would be to get the IXL 18 for $249 (Yes I know it's over $200, but well worth it IMOP) and run it sealed with the Oaudio amp. It shouldn't even be close to maxing out the driver, so you'd know that anything bad you hear is the amp running into clipping and sealed is easier than ported. Also no need to worry about a HPF at all. Should sound pretty good for music. Later on down the road you could get a bigger amp, or build a new enclosure, or both for it.
 

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I can go up to say 6-8 cu. ft. If needed.
15" is fine, but for my budget I'd like to keep driver to $200 or less.
When you get to 6 cu ft or more horn loading becomes practical. It's a more complicated build than a plain box, though not more difficult, and both driver and amp costs are dramatically lowered for the same, if not better, result. My HT sub is driven by 50 watts into a $35 8 inch driver. It can easily exceed 120dB at 30 Hz.
 

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Bill,
You just went way over my head...but have me interested.
Folded horn subs have sensitivities from 6 to 12dB higher than other alignments, so they can use smaller drivers, fewer drivers, and less power. The downside is that they aren't small. But if you're going to build a large box anyway, or use a few smaller boxes to get the extension and output you're looking for, they are a viable and generally less expensive alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I realized that I cannot use a larger amp, as I would go way over my power load and I cannot add another 15A service.
So ~500/600 is as high as I can go.(had the LT550 with no power issues that I noticed)

I believe this is know what I have to base all my other choices off of.
So with a 'power limit' and no space limitations(can go as big as say 12cu.ft. box), what should be my first purchase after a ~500/600w amp? Driver or enclosure type?
 

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One thing to consider is a class-D amp. For example the O-audio or the high-power Dayton's. They are almost 2x as efficient as a typical class A-B amp. So if your circuit could take a 550w class A-B amp it could take a 1000w class D amp.
 

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Nice thread! I think comparison would be eye-poping if we could see some graphs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have collected T/S params for 17 drivers so far.
There are a more, mostly in the higher price ranges, that I haven't gotten yet due to not being able to find them.
If I knew how to work with WinISD better, I would throw them all up.
 
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