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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now, my living room system consists of an Onkyo SR606 and KEF 2005.2 5.1 setup. The amp in the PSW2150 subwoofer that comes with the KEF system gave up the ghost not long ago, so I picked up the EP1500 recently with the intention of using it with the old KEF woofer and box for the time being til I can build a new sub. Well, I'm ready haha.
The KEF sub sounded ok when we were in a 1500 cubic foot living area in an apartment, but since then we've moved into a house with a 3500+ cubic foot open living area (opens to the kitchen/dining in the back and a hallway on each side (2). Needless to say the sub didnt have near the impact as it used to in the smaller space, even though the KEF satellites still sound surprisingly good for the size of the listening area.
I'm wanting to build a subwoofer *ideally* under 6 cubic feet (internally), with a driver that costs less than $250. Other options are 2 smaller sized subs placed on each side of our entertainment center ( <3 cubic feet on these) though. Not as keen on this idea as it would be more difficult to tune as the room is not symmetrical. If two are required, build one now, build and add another at a later date (probably not until around Dec/Jan).
I've done some research and was stuck on a sealed 18" with the EP1500 bridged to it, but the more I read about how much better ported subs are than sealed in HT, the more I want to go ported. Box size is a concern though. I know I need to move air, so I'm leaning towards at least a 15" woofer. Possible candidates for drivers I've been looking into and scouring this site and others for builds for are: Dayton RSS390HF-4, Dayton RSS390HO-4, Dayton Titanic TIT400C, Mach 5 IXL-15, Mach 5 IXL-18, ED 19O.2. Also interested in the Tempest X2, but it's currently MIA (backorder) and is a lil out of my price range.
Any help from the HT aficionados of the site regarding woofer/build suggestions would be much appreciated. I've built a few subs back in high school, but I'm ready to build something much more substantial :p
 

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Here's a quick sim for the Mach 5 IXL18, coils in series in 170L (6ft³) tuned to 19Hz with 2 4" diameter ports 93cm long. All sims are with the 1000W rated power of the driver.

Frequency Response:



Excursion:



Port Air Speed:



At first glance of the drivers you mentioned the IXL18 looks the best in paper to me in terms of output and depth for the enclosure size you can have. Port air speed might be a fraction high, but you can enlarge the port area and have a longer port to get it lower, but I don't think I would myself. You are not even hitting Xmax with the rated 1kW in this box so it can take more for peaks if needed and be a bit cleaner the rest of the time.
 

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It's been a while since I modeled it but of I remember correctly the Soundsplinter Rl-p18's modeled really well and they're in your price range. I think they're out of stock though and last I heard it'd be around October before they're available.
 

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Sorry I completely spaced. The 15 is closer to his budget but I've never modeled it or anything so I don't know how well it'd do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies so far. I modeled the Mach 5 IXL18 a little further and I really like the looks of it. I played around with the Dayton Titanic 15 and the RSS390HF and both of them do well in huge ported boxes that I don't have room for. I liked how the RSS390HO modeled in 4 cubic feet, and considered building one now and adding a 2nd later, but the curve/spl of two of these with 400W a piece is nearly identical to a single IXL18. Tuning one sub would be much easier than two in a asymmetrical room....so far the IXL18 is the winner. Anybody have suggestion? Thanks fellas
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I came up with a 28"h x 25"w x 21.25"d (26.5" x 23.5" x 18" ~ .8 cu ft in ports,bracing, driver displacement; 6 cu ft of woofer volume) enclosure with the woofer front/flush mounted with dual front firing ports. If I remember correctly (its on my other computer with winisd) two 4" ports 32" long tuned to 18hz with a 18hz HPF. The port velocity was up around 82 I think with max bridged power of 1156W from the EP1500. I'd heard sub 20hz up to around 90-95 was acceptable...so I thought this would be ok...thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
With 1100 watts of power you can use a 16 hz HPF, it models to 113 db at 20 hz, with room gain you could get 118 db. :hsd: Maximum port air speed is just under 28 m/s at 17 hz, just make sure you use 4" flared ports. Here's the WinISD project file.
I don't know why I didn't think to lower the HPF to 16hz, with room gain this thing is gonna be nuts! As far as flared port ends are concerned, do you guys have a preference on where you get them from? (Shoot me a PM if theres an issue with site sponsorships etc). Really I'd like to have the unit be cosmetically tasteful and not just bare PVC on the outside, but don't mind running plain old PVC on the inside of the cabinet. Are flared ends on the inside ends of the ports critical? Also, would I be better off with the Reckhorn B1 or a Behringer FBD to serve as a HPF and a sub EQ?
 

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I've yet to hear anyone complain about commercially available flares when the airspeed is reasonable. There's a big difference from listening for port noise with your ear next to a port and sitting in a listening position enjoying a movie.

Are flared ends on the inside ends of the ports critical?
Yes, and the port end should be one diameter away from any cabinet wall. Check out Parts Express, there's a link at the top of the page.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
OK got a couple more questions for you guys, and they're probably noob questions, so bear with me.

Typically we watch blurays with the level on the Onkyo 605 receiver on '50'...using the built in audyssey level matching. Out of curiosity, I got a sound level meter app on my iphone and just watched the beginning battle scene segment from Transformers 2. From the seating position, with the phone placed on the couch up about 6" above my head, it picked up an average level of 72db and a peak of 86db. I'm not sure how accurate the app is, but it claims to be within 2db (close enough for this test, I'll get an actual one later).

With the wife around, we never watch movies over 55, let alone 50 on the volume setting. To me, the center channel dialog begins to just be too loud and unbearable. I'm tossing around the idea of a different, more inexpensive smaller woofer to build a box around instead of the Mach 5 IXL18. I want the sound to be balanced to the rest of the system at this volume level, but I want more bass impact (feel) and more low end extension. The other sub I'd been playing around with modeling lately is the Dayton RSS390HO-4 in a 6 cu ft ported enclosure tuned to 19hz with 525 watts input power. It models well SPL-wise, but how does it compare to the Mach 5 IXL18 as far as impact (feel) is concerned at the volume levels we listen at, having less excursion (12mm) than the Mach 5 IXL18 and other 20mm+ woofers? I just think maybe I've gotten caught up in max levels and I will NEVER listen to anything turned all the way up, at least not if I want to remained married any longer haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't think a iphone SPL meter would have any degree of accuracy.

With 500 watts they both would have the same output below 20 hz, the IXL-18 will use less Xmax and have a smoother frequency response.
Haha..yeah well it was a quick attempt.

I guess I was just wondering how this all worked with say...half output. We all talk about absolute power and peak excursion, but like I said I'm never going to listen to the system full blast. So since the IXL-18 would be using less Xmax with less input power, would the RSS390HO-4 have the same 'feel' or 'room shake' at the same lower input level?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I thought I'd made up my mind on the Mach 5 IXL18.2.2, but the size of the box and just having one sub in the corner of the living room is making me have second thoughts.

I've been looking around at different options and modeling subs that do well in 2.5-3 cu ft enclosure, one placed on either side of my tv cabinet/stand. The final contenders were a pair of Shiva X-2s in ported enclosures, a pair of the CSS Trio12s in the dual PR kit setups, a pair of Dayton Titanic 12s in ported enclosures, and a pair of Dayton RSS390HO-4s in ported enclosures.
I've narrowed it down and think I'm going to go with the two 15" Dayton RSS390HO-4's in separate 2.5 cu ft enclosures tuned to 19.29hz with a 1"x16.5"x44.25" slot port. They seem to model pretty well, and with two of them I think I'll get much more low end depths and better impact than the other 12's could offer. I'm also hoping going with a pair it will help to balance out any possible deadspots I may have encountered with just one single more expensive 15" or 18" sub in the corner of the living room. The subs will be powered with 400w each from the EP1500 amp. I will implement an ED eQ.2 for a 16hz highpass filter and EQ'ing duties if need be. Below is a couple screen shots of the modeling as well as my plans for the sub and cutsheet I have in mind. Opinions and advice much appreciated!





With added 6db static gain to represent the second sub, as well as a 3db boost at 21hz...




Crude drawing of the idea so far. Left is front view (showing sub, brace within, and walls - for sizing purposes). Right is side view (showing sub on the left, with port on the back wall with the port exiting at the top of the back wall of the enclosure).




Cutsheet (to make better sense of the drawing!)

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You might want to use the Dayton RSS390HF-4 not the Dayton RSS390HO-4, the HO is for cars...
Pretty sure the HF driver is intended for much larger enclosures...and the HO was developed for smaller boxes. I can see how you would consider it 'for cars', but it should work well in a small ported enclosure in room. You can't really argue with the way it models...I think if I had a pair of these in the trunk of my car my head would explode haha
 

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I don't think a iphone SPL meter would have any degree of accuracy.

With 500 watts they both would have the same output below 20 hz, the IXL-18 will use less Xmax and have a smoother frequency response.
Ive actually compare the iPhone SPL app, and for bass it was way out. Ive not tried it for normal levels, as I was only interested in bass at the time.
 
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