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Old 21st February 2008, 06:34 AM   #1
APLJaK is offline APLJaK  Canada
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Default Subwoofers - Konfused in Kelowna

Wow

I am trying to learn about speaker building but am becoming a little overwhelmed! Okay, maybe a lot.

What I would like to do to get my feet wet is to build a subwoofer for my home theater/stereo system. I am reading (and reading) about this subject and am starting to understand SOME of the requirements. My issues revolve around sourcing suitable components (drivers/amps) before I can seriously start running numbers through the calculations. I must also admit that I am not 100% clear on how to interpret the results in order to ensure that I don't build a dud.

My strengths are with woodworking (and to a lesser extent, with electronics), obviously, my weakness is audio design. I am however persistent!

I noticed many Canadians on this site and am hoping that someone will be able to point me to a suitable local supplier (Okanagan, BC) and perhaps recommend a driver to get me started. I would also appreciate any/all advice on design and construction from anyone willing to share their knowledge.

In the meantime, I will go back to reading....

Thanks
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Old 21st February 2008, 06:55 AM   #2
GM is offline GM  United States
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In a nutshell, for HT you ideally want a sub system that can effortlessly hit 115 dB peaks at the listening position with a BW to near DC (typically a multiple sub driver IB), so it's hard to have too big/powerful a sub system and why better for most folks to tell us about their room/HT layout and how big, expensive a sub system they can tolerate.

GM
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Old 21st February 2008, 07:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
so it's hard to have too big/powerful a sub system and why better for most folks to tell us about their room/HT layout and how big, expensive a sub system they can tolerate.
what are you trying to say?


Check out compound loaded subwoofers.
Go to the Solen website, they supply a speaker data base where you can roughly assess the frequency response for each driver in either closed box or vented box configuration, with the needed vent size.
They also supply all necessary thiele/small parametres for each driver they sell to calculate your won box.
They also supply you with some sample projects. Check out books published or distributed by audioxpress.

For clean subwoofer response, I also like to actively crossover with time alignment. The behringer dcx does a great job.

As per amps - check out some plate amps or some pro amps.
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Old 21st February 2008, 11:58 PM   #4
Mikey p is offline Mikey p  Canada
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The closest to you would be Creative Sound Solutions in Abbotsford, B.C.
http://creativesound.ca/
The SDX15 ia an excellent sub. They also sell plate amps.
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Old 22nd February 2008, 01:23 AM   #5
GM is offline GM  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by audio-kraut

what are you trying to say?
That it's a waste of time to suggest drivers, etc., until we know more about his performance goals and what limitations his room, budget, etc. impose.

GM
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Old 22nd February 2008, 01:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by GM
In a nutshell, for HT you ideally want a sub system that can effortlessly hit 115 dB peaks at the listening position with a BW to near DC (typically a multiple sub driver IB), so it's hard to have too big/powerful a sub system and why better for most folks to tell us about their room/HT layout and how big, expensive a sub system they can tolerate.

GM
Unless I misunderstand, what you are saying violates the ancient "400,000" rule (bottom freq X top freq should be 400,000). Allowing that it is an arbitrary rule of thumb and has no precision, but I believe systems sound lousy when they have too great a bass (inthe absence of great treble) or too great a treble (etc.).

I love profound bass and for sure the more the better but not without ensuring treble capacity.
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Old 22nd February 2008, 02:01 AM   #7
GM is offline GM  United States
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While I agree with you, the reality is that the widest BW movies have extremely low frequency BW and a DD reference limit of 20 kHz, so a large IB that when combined with room gain yields a ~flat BW to < 5 Hz is desirable for HT.

GM
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Old 22nd February 2008, 02:48 AM   #8
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Default Start with the limiting factor(s)...

The most important questions to ask yourself before starting any project are, "How much am I willing to spend and how much can I afford?". I always ask my clients those questions first. From custom autosound to custom PC builds, from kitchen renovating to building a garage, those same questions are first in every case.
There are many fine "budget" projects, and there is simply no limit to the other end of the spectrum. When building a sub, beyond expense, size is probably the next limiting factor(And don't forget the Wife). Beyond that is probably the "skill" level of the maker and the availablity of tools.
There is virtually no limit to driver selection, XOs or Power, so don't start there.
Let's Review
1.) $$$
2.) Size(Wife)
3.) Skills/Tools
4.) Let's design this sucker
5.) Breakout the wallet
6.) Let's build this sucker
7.) It's done=Bliss or disappointment
8.) Regardless of the outcome of "7", start drinking(If you have not already).
9. )Next!
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Old 22nd February 2008, 03:03 AM   #9
JRace is offline JRace  Canada
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Hello neighbor,

www.solen.ca - drivers, xovers, wire, etc.
www.rawacoustics.com - speaker kits, custom speakers, etc.
www.creativesound.ca - lots of speaker stuff, plate amps, ect.

If you want a good localish sub, go with the SD from creative sound. Good price. They also have the amps you may need.

Sealed subs are easier to build and design, however ported subs are really not that difficult.
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Old 22nd February 2008, 07:27 AM   #10
APLJaK is offline APLJaK  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by GM


That it's a waste of time to suggest drivers, etc., until we know more about his performance goals and what limitations his room, budget, etc. impose.

GM

Thanks for the help so far. I am not sure of my actual performance goals and would likely be quite happy with almost any sub at this point. Having said that, I would rather "do it right" than simply make noise.

I am willing to accept (think I can sell to the boss) an enclosure of =< 3 cu.ft. If possible, I would like to build it 'down firing' but have heard that not all drivers are suitable for this application. My reasoning is that I have already built most of the cabinets in the room and would like to build the sub into a mathcing cabinet.

Obviously, like all things, budget is a concern, but considering that a mid-level sub in the local audio shops runs between $500-$1k, I am probably resigned to spending about the same. My room is approx 2000 cu. ft. and has hard surfaced floors and is opened at one end onto another room(I have no idea how you factor this into calculations, but there it is).

I have found Creative Audio and am looking at a couple of their "kits" with the idea that hands on is a good way to start learning. I was looking at the SD12 and a Bash-500. Perhaps, as pointed out above, I will take a closer look at the SDX15.

Anything else that I can add that will help? Any comments on the CSS OccamAudio kits?

Thanks
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