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Steeeeeve 15th December 2009 07:56 PM

Please help choosing amp for home sub project
I have two relatively low-end 15" Pyle subwoofers with Peak and RMS powers of 300W/150W at 4 Ohms each. I would like to build both of them into the same enclosure and primarily hook them up to my home stereo system, which has high-level, post-amp output (red & black cables).
Ideally, I would have some amp attached to the box which is capable both of that and pre-amp inputs so I could move them to a different reciever in a couple years, but this is not necessary.

I was looking at some of the plate amps (i.e. from Parts Express), and they're almost all rated at 4 Ohms. Is there any way I can hook both woofers up to the one amp and have this still be okay? (for example get a slightly more powerful amp and hook them up in series? or will a slightly less powerful amp be okay with the speakers hooked up in parallel?)

How much power do I need? I will end up using them pretty diversly (lots of different kinds of music and movies / TV shows, etc.). Do I need to get a 500W and worry about the combined peak powers or will a 300W suffice (for the RMS powers combined)?

I plan on building my own enclosure. Any recommendations on enclosures so I don't noob-sauce it up and my system ends up sounding like crap when it didn't have to? (i.e. necessary volume, sealed vs. ported, do I fill the boxes with anything other than air, what materials to use and what to NOT use for the box, etc)

Also, I'm in college, so budget is important and I'd like to finish it while I still have time for it (before Jan. 4)

Thanks for all assistance.

Glowbug 15th December 2009 09:02 PM

I know what's it's like to be on a college student's budget, I'm not that much beyond that myself, but is there any way you can go to something other than the Pyles? :)

Decent DVC drivers aren't that bad in price, and would give you a lot more wiring flexibility (not to mention last a lot longer).

littlemike 15th December 2009 09:46 PM

First off, some of the older Pyle stuff was decent to pretty good, but that was close to 20 years ago. The newer stuff - not so much. The build quality sure sucks on the few Pyle products that I have purchased recently. Knowing the model of the driver would help a bit.

A bunch of other different questions in there -

First - as far as amps -

Your power requirements are driven by how loud you listen, how efficient your speakers are, and how much power they can handle (usually the RMS rating).

I believe that Jack's surplus Foster amps accept both line and speaker level inputs. While they are not that powerful, they are much cheaper than the comparable Daytons, and should have ample power for you, especially if your drivers have a relatively high efficiency. You'll be able to get about 20 dB over the 1W SPL with one of Jack's Foster amps, which could be 115 dB or more (which is pretty loud). If that is not enough, you can get another and bridge them together to get 220W into 8 ohms, though it will really only gain you a few more dB.

NHT drivers and electronics surplus sale

If not, there are other plenty of options out there, do your homework though. I have had pretty good luck with the BASH amps at Parts Express, though the 500 W model required some modifications to the onboard high-pass filter. The 300 W one worked better out of the box.

Wiring? -

If only using one amp, wire the speakers in series, the amp will be fine at 8 ohms. Sure, you're giving up some watts, but the additional amp power matters more for headroom at these levels. Keep in mind that you need 10X the power to double the loudness, your speakers simply will not take that.

Enclosures? -

Enclosure type is dictated by the specific parameters of your drivers, without those (preferably measured vs manufacturer-provided) we can't tell you a lot.

If you do not have any idea, google is your friend, chances are someone else measured them and put them on the web somewhere. You could also plead for someone local to help you measure the drivers. Otherwise, the WT3 provides pretty decent information for the money, especially when it goes on sale. IMO, the Woofer Tester 2 is nicer, but costs more.

When in doubt, keep it simple. Sealed boxes are easier to design and build, and sound great if the driver is appropriate. Win ISD does a pretty good job with enclosure designs, and it is free.

Building materials? -

I use lots of different stuff depending on what I need, cheap plywood, OSB, industrial-grade particle board, furniture-grade plywood, MDF...

It all depends on what you want for a finished product and what you have to spend. As it will likely be a big box with two 15s in it, consider weight in the choice, MDF and industrial particle board are heavier than plywood or OSB. OSB is hard to finish, MDF and industrial particle board are flat and smooth, cheap ply is often warped or full of voids, and cabinet grade ply is outrageously expensive in comparison to all of the others. Lots of people use MDF for most builds, myself included, because it is cheap and easy to get.

Steeeeeve 16th December 2009 12:40 AM

I got the Pyles because a friend of mine sold them to me for $20 a piece, and I thought it was hard to beat that price for a pair of 15's and it would actually kick-start my project (I'm a relatively enormous procrastinator).

littlemike 16th December 2009 02:49 AM


Originally Posted by Steeeeeve (
I got the Pyles because a friend of mine sold them to me for $20 a piece, and I thought it was hard to beat that price for a pair of 15's and it would actually kick-start my project (I'm a relatively enormous procrastinator).

Seems like a decent enough reason, if they work.

Can you see a model number anywhere on them - like a sticker on the magnet?

Steeeeeve 31st December 2009 06:49 AM

I found some data on the speakers, but I'm not sure what the abbreviations stand for.

Pyle NW1540/4

RE: 3.5
FS: 27
VAS: 0.30897
QES: 0.89
QMS: 8.56
SD: 0.856
PE: 150
XMAX: 0.0076
LE: 0.001
DIAM: 15
MMS: 0.11536
BL: 8.773
SENS: 90.34
QTS: 0.8062
FRAME: steel
CONE: paper
SURR: foam
RECNO: 785

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