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OK - First off thanks to anybody here who has provided me advice and to all of you who have posted your own DIY sub pics in the past. It seems that for the past 6 months or so I have spent an inordinate amount of time on this forum as well as other AV Forums and have gained an amazing amount of great information which inspired me to finally move forward and build my own DIY Sub Boxes. Although I am not entirely new to working with wood I was initially uncertain if I could build something with satisfactory fit & finish to "pass the grade" and look like it belonged in my home.

My goals were pretty simple.....this system will occupy my own personal music room in my house where I keep my acoustic drum kit. I wanted to build an 80% music oriented system that would sound BOTH good and very loud. I would like to have the option to play my drumkit without headphones and instead use the speakers to "play along" with the drums and I knew it would take a lot of both watts and speaker to accomplish this goal without straining the system. I decided on the Dayton RSS390HF based on sound quality, value, positive feedback and lastly for my own personal preference of building a large sealed sub.

The boxes are 21.75"x21"x21.75" constructed out of 3/4" MDF. The front baffle is 1.5" and the top of the boxes are also 1.5" thick. I used 2x4's for bracing and a full roll of R13 (I think) fiberglass insulation which was 3.5" thick to dampen the box and attached it to all of the interior walls. I get an internal volume of approximately 4.5 cubic feet when I account for bracing and stuffing.

The primer is Zinsser BIN (2 Coats rolled with 1/4" nap roller). The satin black coat is Sherwin Williams Duration Acrylic Latex (4 coats rolled with 6" foam roller) and finally I sealed the S&W satin black with Minwax Polycrylic Satin using a Purdy 3" brush and light coats. All coats of primer, acrylic and polycrylic were sanded lightly in between coats using 220 grit sandpaper.

The only part of the finish I would do differently if I could go back is that I used MH Ready Patch Professional Spackling (black and orange can) on the outside exposed edges of the front baffle and to fill in some of the seams where the MDF met up on the edges on the outside of the box. The spackling dried extremely hard and quickly but my mistake was not sanding it down far enough. Although it looked to my eye and felt to my hand to be smooth prior to painting you can see some of the edges on the painted boxes. It isn't disastrous by any means but I should have spent a little more time feathering the edges of the spackling to get the perfect finish I was hoping for.

Other than that I am pretty happy with the results although I have yet to hook the boxes up yet and listen to them. Currently they are awaiting the amps and misc gear I have to order in the next few weeks to finish out what I need to start listening to music. I plan on buying a couple of EP4000s to power everything and I already have purchased a pair of Behringer B2031P studio monitors (pictured) to handle the mid and high range. I am most likely going to use a Yamaha RX-V665 as a pre-amp and 5.1 processor as well and a DCX2496 for active xover and eq duties. A 42" Panasonic Viera Plasma will round out the system which will be used mainly for PS3 duty and watching BluRay movies. Lastly over the weekend I pulled the trigger on a center channel and surrounds from The Speaker Company (P5-PR 5.25"surrounds and TC2 center channel). Since this system is not my "main" system at home I tried to make purchasing decisions around high value yet high quality and performing equipment. Hopefully by the time Xmas rolls around I will have some pics of the completed system I can post here as well as listening impressions. Thanks again for this forum - the info is invaluable!

The pics below show the speakers in the room they will be placed in but they are not permanently situated yet in the photos....I have some reorganization to do first before they are permanently placed.
 

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Wow, congradulations. I bet those sound awesome. I built a ported RSS315HF for a friend and just one of those little things really plays loud and low. I can't imagine how cool for of the 15" version must sound.

The Dayton Reference 15" drivers in a sealed configuration should sound very musical and should make you very happy. What sort of music are you going to be listening to on these? Make sure and let us know how they sound when you hook em up? I can't wait to find out.
 

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Yes I did choose these subs mainly on the strength of their SQ and ability to reproduce music. I will also use them for some home theater and PS3 duty but music was the main priority. I have yet to listen to them yet as I need to now order the ep4000s and a couple of other odds and ends - I decided to build the subs first because I wanted to get the hard part out of the way first...ordering new gear is the fun part!

Wow, congradulations. I bet those sound awesome. I built a ported RSS315HF for a friend and just one of those little things really plays loud and low. I can't imagine how cool for of the 15" version must sound.

I would guess due to the fact that you are going with sealed enclosures and the Dayton Reference subs that you're going mainly for music and sound quality? What music will you be listening to on these and what are your impressions?
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Oh and sorry but forgot to mention in my last post....regarding the music I will listen to with this system. I have a collection that spans from Big Band and 60s R&B all the way up to a current and extensive collection of Swedish extreme metal so basically I wanted a system that can cover ALL musical bases. Since I am a musician I constantly seek out new music and genres to try to learn from so I didn't design this system for any one genre of music but I did definitely want it to be able to play very loud and clear with great SQ......
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Also FWIW: I used a Jasper Jig for all circle cutting duty mounted to a Craftsman Plunge Router (on sale for around $80 and worked great). I used a Craftsman carbide 1/4" bit to cut the circles out and an Amana carbide tipped 5/8" rabbeting bit I found on sale for $7 to cut the recesses. As a router newbie I have to say I found the Craftsman and Jasper combo almost idiot proof.

To make life easier I had Lowe's cut the 3/4" mdf into pre-measured "slabs" which made them more manageable to handle and cut to size at home. I used a Milwaukee circular saw and a steady hand/eye to make my cuts at home. I also found a large 24" framing square to be a life-saver on this project. Lastly I used Titebond 3 glue (and a lot of it) as well as 1.5" sheetrock screws which I countersunk and filled with Elmer's wood filler.

My next project will most likely be on a smaller scale! Doing 4 big boxes like this was exhausting but fun. I want my next project to be a little more manageable in size but I want to learn more about finishing techniques and create something that really looks high end and unique. I thought about maybe trying the Dayton D3 loudspeakers next but am still undecided.
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Nice you'll have to rock some of In Flames - Reroute to Remain for metal its got some pretty nice presence in the drums. I bet that'll be a lot of fun to listen to, maybe Trigger especially.
 

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Those boxes look great. Finishing the box is always the biggest pain for me. I appreciate the detailed post because your steps are well outlined that I think next time I build something I will follow a similar method with roll on primer, paint, etc instead of doing everything with spray paint. Overall very impressive, I would love to hear how that sounds.
 

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Thank you very much. Just make sure if you roll the paint to go with a 1/4" nap roller for the primer coat (and 1/4" nap ok for finish coat too). The foam roller worked well for the finish coat but I saw other boxes online that used a 1/4" nap roller for the final coat with amazing results. The Polycrylic final step achieved best results with a brush as I read that the foam roller would introduce air bubbles to the clear coat and would not dry to a nice super smooth finish.

Spray paint just wasn't an option for me as it would have cost too much not to mention left an awful smell in my house compared to rolling the paint.

Those boxes look great. Finishing the box is always the biggest pain for me. I appreciate the detailed post because your steps are well outlined that I think next time I build something I will follow a similar method with roll on primer, paint, etc instead of doing everything with spray paint. Overall very impressive, I would love to hear how that sounds.
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Excellent job! I love my single sealed RSS390 with only 450watts going to it, VERY musical in my 4ft^3 sealed box. You will love it.

4 is just awesome! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on these.
 

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Thanks - yeah I am beyond excited to hear these play - kills me to have them sitting in my drum room waiting to be hooked up.

I am going to try and work some kind of package deal with zzounds.com to buy 2 ep4000s and a dcx2496 as an all in one package deal. Once that order goes through I can start wiring the system together. Once it is all put together I will post a couple more pics plus my listening impressions.

I also just picked up a Speaker Company center channel (forgot model # but the big one with the dual 5.25" alum woofers) as well as a pair of their bookshelf 5.25" speakers to use for surround sound. The amps and xover unit are really the last pieces to order along with a pre-amp which I am leaning towards another Yamaha rx-v665. Hoping by xmas (if not sooner) the whole thing will be in place.

Excellent job! I love my single sealed RSS390 with only 450watts going to it, VERY musical in my 4ft^3 sealed box. You will love it.

4 is just awesome! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on these.
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Well my ep4000s just arrived from zzounds yest and the dcx2496 should be here today. I am also waiting on a Lovan 5 audio shelving system that should be here this week. The last two things I have to order are the receiver/preamp and a Samson s-convert which I will do by end of this week. My goal was to get this up and running by xmas and I am on track. This is an auxilary/secondary system in my home and cost wise has been a pretty significant burden so I have been piecing it together over a few months. I also gotta grab a Panasonic Viera 42" plasma 720p on sale for $568 to really finish everything.

I did however put up pics of my fan mod to the ep4000s that I did yest in the amp forum here on HTS - I will keep you in the loop when this is finally up and running!
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Really great job, and the daytons are just stun..:yes::T

Could you tell me please, as i am ok with electronics but not much in carpentry and so far have built only ported Sontotubes and never have faced the challenge using that cosmetic stuff, it looks great, what is the white matierial covering the cabinets so great, does it require a trick to stick to it so perfectly? Thanx
 

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The white stuff on the seams of the box (around the edges) is a product called MH Ready Patch sold at Home Depot or Lowe's...it is a professional grade vinyl spackle that dries in a couple of hours to sand. You just spread it on with a plastic drywall trowel...no trick to getting it to stay. There is also wood filler I used to fill the screw holes on all the sides of the box and that is white also. Elmer's makes it and it is available pretty much anywhere in the glue section of the store.

Other sub builders seem to like Bondo which is an automotive body filler. It is dries more quickly than the spackling I used.

Thanks for compliments and good luck.

My system is 99% finished now and hopefully by the end of the week I will be able to post pics - I am just waiting for my carpenter to come to the house and run wiring through the wall for the side surround speakers. Once that is done I will take photos and post listening impressions.
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I used a plastic trowel (commonly used for drywall repair and interior prepping of sheetrock walls) - they are like $1 each in many diff sizes. I did spend some time trying to smooth the spackling out...it is pretty thick and spreadable right out of the can - almost the consistency of peanut butter so spreading it on smoothly is pretty easy.

The front baffles are fairly smooth and filler free as they are double thick (2 pieces of 3/4" mdf) - the bottom piece of mdf in the baffle has lots of screw holes in it, the top piece has far fewer holes in it which cosmetically makes it easier to prep for paint. It conveniently hides the uglier piece of MDF underneath it.
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This only my second posting, so here goes.

After 3 solid days of searching this site, I have decided that this project suites me best. There were 2 others that came close ,but I was looking for a sealed system about this size. I plan on building 2 of these boxes once it gets warmer using the Dayton Audio RSS390HF-4 15 speakers.

I have a few questions and the first one may be a silly one. The box dimensions are 21.75"x21"x21.75". I am assuming the length is 21.75'', depth or width is 21" and the height is 21.75". Again I am assuming these are outside dimensions.

I was looking at the EP 4000 and thinking its overkill and was wondering if the EP 2000 would do the same thing. I checked both amps and the specs are the same other than output. Am I correct in this ?

Last question. Can I use 1 DCX2496 to handle both subwoofers or do I need 2 DCX2496.

Having worked in the Telephone business for the last 40 years I thought this was going to be a piece of cake. I am totally overwhelmed by what I dont know.

Further questions will come.

Thanks in advance




I realize this thread is almost 2 years old.
 

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Excellent job! I love my single sealed RSS390 with only 450watts going to it, VERY musical in my 4ft^3 sealed box. You will love it.

4 is just awesome! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on these.
So a 500 watt amplifier would be more than enough to make this thing pound?
 
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