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Discussion Starter #1
I’m rebuilding a stereo system after having to pack it away for a decade. My listening tastes have changed over the years and I now find myself wanting a sub to fill in the lowest instruments. I’d like to build it because I’m a woodworker and I can produce something better than what I can afford to buy. The problem is that everything I once knew about speaker design I’ve forgotten. I don’t have a huge interest in relearning it all, so I am looking to you guys to help me pick out and existing design to build. It’ll be paired with Focal Aria 936 speakers, which are supposedly 3dB down at 40Hz but I haven’t had a chance to measure and confirm that. Here’s what I’m thinking about requirements for it right now:

1) Plays down to AT LEAST B0 (30.868Hz). This is required because I listen to a lot of bass music (as in bass guitar, string bass, etc since I used to play one). Playing down to C0 (16.352Hz) would be fantastic, but I have a feeling it’s not reasonable to do. This would be nice because I listen to recordings that include organs with as long as 64’ stops.

2) High SPL NOT REQUIRED! I HATE loud noises. Everyone else’s bass is always too loud. In fact, I stopped going to movies at the theatre because they were too loud. When I have turned up the music really loud just to see what my system would sound like, the loudest I’ve been able to go is about 70dB A-weighted, slow response before I think it’s just too loud and have to turn it back down. Figuring a best-case peak to mean dynamic range of 20dB, that suggests I have no need for the sub to ever go louder than 90dB.

3) Size is not a primary limitation. While I would certainly prefer something closer to the size of an end table than a small car, the truth is I do have more space to work with than I bet most people do.

4) This is for music only. I don’t even own a TV to watch movies on.

5) Probably needs fancy bass management/EQ/DSP. The main preamp for the system does have a subwoofer out but no bass management for the L/R mains. They’ll be run full range with no way to adjust them. So the amp for the sub needs to be smart enough to be set to both EQ the frequency response of the sub and to blend the sub into the mains.

6) Budget isn’t locked in stone. If I could get within spitting distance of $500 for the sub, amp, and supplies to put them together, I’d be very happy. If I have to go a little above that, I can live with it.


So, with all that in mind, what cabinet design, woofer, and amp would you recommend?
 

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A pro audio driver in a ported cabinet would be my suggestion. Simply put if you only want this for music 30hz should be good enough for 95% of your music.

I used to play bass guitar also and used an ERB with B00 for the low string. While this has an extremely low fundamental most of the sound is not from that. So for me 25hz horn worked best.

Since your after very low volume most 15's should be plenty for you. I believe Dayton just came out with some new pro audio 15 and 18's also.
 

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Hi williaty, welcome to HTS.

I would suggest the new Rythmik "Single driver CI with HX300 amplifier" kit down at the bottom of this page.
It requires a 2.2cu ft sealed cabinet, which is reasonably small and easy to build a nice rigid box, without needing a forklift to move. But you still get 14hz (-3db) extension (free space), so C0 is definitely in the cards. $459 is within budget. It's a music lovers type sub, not an SPL competition noise maker. Most amps with onboard EQ are going to be $$$...and not terribly flexible, usually single band.
So with the rest of your budget+, add a used Behringer DSP1124P for around $75, sometimes less on ebay, craigslist, etc.
Lots of threads out there about folks using those as sub eq.

cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've been taking a look at the Rythmik sub you mentioned. It sounds like what I'm looking for. However, I have a question about using a 12" sub for this. My room is HUGE. It's an open floor plan house and the stereo is in the great room. The great room itself is a little over 6,000ft^3. The room's dimensions are 20x20 on the floor with a 17' ceiling. The walls slope in (a-frame style) so that's why it's a little less than 6kcft. However, it's open to the upstairs loft, kitchen, dining room, and main stairwell (3 total floors). That probably at least doubles the air space the great room is attached to. Additionally, the floor is EXTREMELY live/bouncy, meaning bass output makes it vibrate like crazy and you can hear it quite clearly in the basement garage below (another 3,200ft^3).

Even though I sit less than 10' from the speakers and have the low SPL requirements as noted in the original question, is a 12" sub going to get it done for me in such a large space?
 

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2) High SPL NOT REQUIRED! I HATE loud noises. Everyone else’s bass is always too loud. In fact, I stopped going to movies at the theatre because they were too loud. When I have turned up the music really loud just to see what my system would sound like, the loudest I’ve been able to go is about 70dB A-weighted, slow response before I think it’s just too loud and have to turn it back down. Figuring a best-case peak to mean dynamic range of 20dB, that suggests I have no need for the sub to ever go louder than 90dB.

Just my opinion... it's the distorted bass(muddy bass ) that's driving you nuts detailed clean bass is what you want :)
 
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