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Old 25th January 2011, 06:00 PM   #1
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Question Noob with general sub-building questions...

I'll start off by saying I'm a huge noob. I've never built a speaker before and I want to learn how. My goal is to build an enclosure for a Dayton SD315-88 12" subwoofer that I recently purchased. I purchased this sub solely as a cheap sub for my first DIY project. However, when all is said and done, I would really like to be able to connect it to my Onkyo reciever to use alongside two existing BIC speakers in a 2.1 PC stereo setup for music/gaming. The way I want to power the sub is with a Behringer EP2500 that I have. There are two general questions that I have.

1) I realize that the EP2500 is far more powerful than what I need, will I still be able to use it and set it to only deliver the necessary wattage to my sub somehow or am I going to need to purchase some kind of plate amplifier or similar component specifically for this sub?

2) I've tinkered around with several different enclosure building applications and I understand the process of entering all the TS specs for the sub, etc, but I think there are some very basic concepts that I'm just not grasping. I don't understand how to tell what kind of frequency (how many Hz) I need to try to "tune" the enclosure to. I realize adjusting the enclosure specs changes this number, I just don't know what I'm supposed to be aiming for.

3) I really am confused by and don't understand crossovers. If I'm going to have an external amplifier power the sub (EP2500), do I still need a crossover? Is the function of the crossover even related to the amplifier at all or does it have an entirely different purpose? I've seen several different options of crossovers I can add to my enclosure project within these applications, how do I know what kind I need or would be best?

I realize some parts of my questions have to do with understading the fundamentals of speaker design and I'm currently reading up more on that, but any advice/assitance will be much appreciated and definitely help me get into the process of actually building this sub.
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Old 25th January 2011, 08:46 PM   #2
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I too am a noob, and will be building my first sub in the next couple months - take my comments with the proverbial grain of salt.

I'm sure it is possible to overdrive a sub (or any other speaker) but the amount of power used is related to the source material and the volume. I'm guessing that the woofer would give you plenty of indication it was unhappy (as would your l/r channel speakers) before you could hurt it. From what I've read, it is much more common to kill a speaker because of too little power rather than too much.

As for crossovers, they are the piece that "routes" the signal from the input source to the correct driver, based on the frequencies. In other words, it is the widget that sends the highs to the tweeters, the mid-tones to the mids, and the lows to the woofer.

In the case of a subwoofer, you generally won't find a crossover within the unit itself as the "crossing" is done within the receiver itself. This is kind of a big generalization but likely true in your case and in mine as well. The source material (game, movie, music, etc) contains information that the receiver uses to send "X" information to "Y" channel. In a 5.1 system, for example, there are codes that direct information to the Left, Right, Center, Left Rear, and Right Rear. The receiver sends the input to the correct channel, and the crossover in the speaker decides which driver is going to be used to produce the sound.

The .1 channel is strictly for low frequency stuff and typically feeds directly out to a separately powered subwoofer. There is no crossover needed because a) there is only low frequency content coming out of the receiver, and b) with only 1 big driver there is nothing to "cross over" to.

Obviously a non-technical explaination, but I think I got the basics correct!
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