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Old 28th November 2013, 03:38 PM   #1
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Question Help - which diy sub plan for band/small indoor venues

Hi All,

I've been looking at numerous sites trying to come to terms with what the best bang-for-buck DIY sub plan is for a typical band playing small rooms (bars/restaurants/etc). In reality - for most shows the only thing that would be going though the sub will be the kick/bass drum as not every intrusment will be mic'd up.

I've been toying with the idea of BFM t24's - but I've read mixed reviews, and have not heard a tuba/horn before. Do these even work well in small venues?

They need to be as small and compact as possible as we do not have a giant van or trailer. We've used the Yorkville LS720P and it worked out pretty well. Is there anything in the DIY world that compares or surpasses?

The only reason I was curious about the tuba/horn route is overall cost and performance per dollar. Everything will have to bought, including an amp so $$$ counts.

I appreciate all repsonses - thanks guys!
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Old 28th November 2013, 09:44 PM   #2
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A proper horn loaded subwoofer is going to be physically very big, quite heavy and inconvenient to transport. It is, however going to be high efficiency, and require less amp power for the same acoustic output, and sound great; but I'm not sure that compensates for the transport difficulties. There are one or two tricks for bolt on extension – no, too complicated, too many things to forget, to lose.

Modern loudspeakers are built for high power handling, and power amplifiers are relatively cheap, and more reliable than they used to be, so going for a ported enclosure might be worthwhile. It will still be heavy (subwoofers always are; getting panels rigid for those frequencies, enough path length for polarity inversions means weight) but it will probably be less than half the size than the horn for the same low end response (course, it'll probably need four times the power to get the same performance). Yes, horns work for just about any driver, while reflex (ported) cabinets are tailored to the specific speakers, but it's reasonably easy to get plans for most drivers.
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Old 3rd December 2013, 11:54 AM   #3
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Sad as I am to say this, unless you have lots of birch plywood and spare 15" or 18" woofers lying around, plus unused amps to drive them, then there is not a chance you can surpass the best of the self powered subs around today at the same cost. Especially if you buy them in good used condition (if available).
Used passive subs and separate amps will become a better value if you expand to 4 or 8 or more subs. Huge power amps like the Camco Vortex 6 make 3000 watts at 2 ohms, per channel, and would power eight single 15" or 18" subs. That amp only weighs 28 lbs, and can be had used for less than $1700.
If you know you are never going to want that, 1 pair of powered subs will probably best fit your need.
You could easily surpass the quality with a used setup from a higher end company like Nexo, but the cost would be higher.
I'd recommend listening to any sub you are considering first. Also look at Max spl specs, both peak and average - noting the frequency range and if the test is done in free space, half space, or quarter space. Some woofers will have neodymium magnets (like the Yorkville). They will cost more, but weigh 10 - 15 lbs less.
All that being said, I've used Yorkville in the past and some of their products were lacking, while others were quite good. If the LS720P worked for you, I'd concentrate on getting a pair as cheap as possible. At 128 db continuous, and 135 peak at 87 lbs, they look good on paper for a cost of about $850 each.
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Old 27th December 2013, 03:09 PM   #4
troystg is offline troystg  United States
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This is the easy route:

Behringer B1800D-PRO Eurolive 1400W 18" Powered Subwoofer | 248-6546


One or two of the woofers and an amp will work and you can build on it by adding more subs as required...

Behringer B1800X PRO Eurolive 18" Subwoofer | 248-635


Crown XLS 1500 DriveCore Series Power Amplifier | 245-502

or this to help tame room modes...

Behringer NU3000DSP iNUKE 3000 Watt Power Amplifier w/DSP | 248-6706
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Old 27th December 2013, 10:28 PM   #5
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Here's a perfect example of why I said to read the specs carefully when comparing subs. The Behringer sub B1800d is $175 cheaper than the Yorkville LS720P, but the Yorkville weighs 44 lbs less, and plays 2db louder at peak output. Its made with Russian Birch plywood - just like you'd use on your own cabs, if you built them right.
Yorkville LS720P 15" Powered Subwoofer, Carpet Finish | Full Compass
The yorkville also has 3 way protection (Excursion, Thermal, Clip) just like the pros like Meyer and Nexo use. All that, plus a tunable bass boost eq control. Seems like a winner in a field of "me - too" products.
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Old 29th December 2013, 12:19 AM   #6
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it's nice to have American gent sing the praises of canadian made product!
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Old 4th January 2014, 07:38 PM   #7
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The LS720 is a great product and can be resold down the road but I built a pair of 15" reflex boxes and iNuke 6000dsp for less. The 135db spec is theoretical BTW.
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Old 13th January 2014, 10:04 AM   #8
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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If it's just for the kick drum, build a bandpass box with a peak tuned appropriately. Hopefully that will give you the sensitivity of a horn, without paying the price in cabinet volume and weight. If you have some drivers lying around, try modeling them.
Subwoofer Box Enclosure Design Calculator - Sealed Ported Bandpass Closed Vented
Maybe a more complex bandpass is suitable. The 2/94 issue of Speaker Builder had the "Birdhouse" bandpass, which was used in a similar situation to yours. If I still have that issue, I ought to scan it.
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Old 14th January 2014, 04:56 AM   #9
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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Well, the 2/94 issue isn't with the rest from that year, but I found a followup article that analyzes the design, and concludes that the second port isn't necessary - it only helps reduce cone excursion at low frequencies or something.
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