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jshammond 23rd April 2003 02:48 PM

Side vs Downward firing sub driver
I am about to build my first diy sub. I will be building a sealed unit (mostly since that is what all the advice says I should do for a first project).

All the projects that I have seen have a side firing driver. I seem to remember hearing that having a downward firing driver was also possible. Is that right? What are the pros and cons?

I would like to have it firing down if possible, since that will provide maximum protection for the driver from accidental damage (Kids running about).

Any advice?


postman 23rd April 2003 03:27 PM

Most subs like to be faced sideways i think, generally when theyre faced down you can have problems with the distance it is off the floor etc. Also having it facing down will also eventually make the cone sag out of its natural position. The first sub i built is downward facing and its still going strong.

KevinLee 23rd April 2003 03:45 PM


There are plusses and minuses to both side/front firing and down firing.

Down firing pluses:

-Your cat or young child cannot easilly damage the cone of the driver or the grille.
-The driver will load off the floor giving your more output.
-aesthetics are not as important as you will not see the front baffle as it will be facing the floor.

Down firing minuses:

-may sound a bit boomier than a front firing because it is firing off the floor.
-the sound will change somewhat depending on floor covering material. Carpet, tile, wood etc.

Front firing pluses:

-you can tune the woofer & your room by loading the woofer off a wall, into a corner or letting it fire straight into the room.

Front firing minuses:

-can be damaged by pets/kids.
-you better make it look good because you will be looking at it.

As far as the cone sag goes, it does not happen. It is only the weight of the cone on the surround and spider. You would do more damage to your woofer by having your dog fart on it.

As long as your downfiring woofer is about 3 inches from the floor, you will have no problems.



Dave Bullet 24th April 2003 08:19 AM


It depends on whether the particular sub driver has been designed for down firing. All drivers can be side firing. Downfiring a sub driver that has a loose suspension can cause damage as it will be more likely to reach mechanical excursion limits than if it is mounted side firing.

Adire Audio has a good page explaining (mathematically) the amount of sag caused by gravity, and calculating using the specs of your driver, whether this will be a problem - see:

If you do the math you find:
'If the sag is more than 5% If the sag is more than 5% of the Xmax of the driver, then it's not meant for horizontal (downfiring) mounting."

I prefer to side mount (I believe the driver will last longer).

Hope this helps,

Matttcattt 24th April 2003 12:16 PM

2 Attachment(s)
when you say "down firing" do you mean like this?

postman 24th April 2003 12:21 PM

turn that box so the driver faces forward and itll look like one of those cannons mounted on a battleship :devily:

SkinnyBoy 24th April 2003 12:58 PM


Originally posted by Matttcattt
when you say "down firing" do you mean like this?

huh what huh what?? HEY!!! THATS MINE!!!

BigDaddyD 24th April 2003 01:28 PM


when you say "down firing" do you mean like this?
You're wife must really love you! ;)

BTW, how about some specs?

Matttcattt 24th April 2003 02:13 PM


Originally posted by SkinnyBoy

huh what huh what?? HEY!!! THATS MINE!!!

sorry, best example i have seen :D that sub is SkinnyBoy's (forgot to give you credit)

SkinnyBoy 24th April 2003 02:24 PM


Originally posted by BigDaddyD

You're wife must really love you! ;)

BTW, how about some specs?

Its my sub... I have no wife.. lol I live at home, I am 17!! lol the sub looks and sounds BAD!! lol well, not too bad.. :) but okay for a $35 driver.. :D

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