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Old 2nd May 2011, 01:54 AM   #1
evobda2 is offline evobda2  Australia
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Join Date: May 2011
Default Home Music Sub - HQ

First post i've made on here but a regular reader, and a long time high quality sound fanatic.

My post relates to a new home sub i'm wanting to build to complete my home system.
Im looking to make a floor sub for my home stereo system, and am looking for some expert ideas, suggestions, tips and thoughts on what is best to achieve what im after.

I really dont have the much expert knowledge of speakers and there parameters, which driver to use in what scenario etc.. so im relying on you experts out there to be the brain helping me on this build.

I have a number of things which i am aiming for, and a few products i had in mind already, so dont be shy to give your thoughts on what may work better and what i should be looking for etc.

I've listed everything in point form so its clear what factors are involved here and easy to understand.
Also note i cant seem to post links to products etc because its my first post, so i will put as much info on them as i can, which you could also do a quick google to find the info if needed.

1: Existing Equipment
I have a small basic system with the following. This is set in an apartment lounge room situation.
- Harman Kardon HK3480 2ch reciever
- Harman Kardon DVD47
- Rega R3 floorstanding speakers
- Sony PS3
- Sony XBR 40LCD
- Tara Labs Cables/Interconnects etc throughout

2: What sound im aiming to achieve
- I find my current setup quiet good for the size of room that im in. I do use my system full time for tv, movies and music. However my main objective and interest in good audio is with music quality.
The Rega R3 have quiet a good mid & treble quality about them and with the HK amp they are getting a decent amount of power for there size.
- What i am looking for is some more filling of the bass and mid-bass to help the R3's in providing a complete and seamless soundscape for all levels of tones and notes.
- As my main interest is in music quality (not HT) im not looking for flat out loudness (SPL does not interest me), or super low bass that rattles my beer off the table. Im more wanting an integration with my current speakers to provide support on the lower spectrum.
So basically giving a broad range of lower musical notes without knowing there was a subwoofer there.
- As its going to be an apartment setup, id like the box footprint to be as small as possible. A small sealed enclosure is preferred. Smaller the better.
- Finishing of the sub i will be using real timber veneer to try and match to the existing rose cherry colour of my current floor standing speakers.

3: Types of music listened too
- Quiet a broad range of music. Ill listen to latest pop, electro right through to jazz, classical and acoustic live sets etc. Because of this broad range of music and search for a more musical quality to the speaker, im looking to get the best driver and setup i can afford.

4: Preferred setup
- Im hopefully looking at a single 8" or 10" driver in a sealed enclosure (front or floor firing as my Rega R3's have a front firing port allowing me to put them against a wall to save space etc). The smaller i can get the box the better, but i am also trying to achieve the best sound i can.
- Amplifier id prefer it to be a plate amp, which i will mount to the box. So making it a simple case of running an RCA from my receiver to the amp. Not really wanting to go down the road of making up amps etc

5: Budget
- I am looking at something pretty decent as i want the very best sound i can get, but also not going silly. I've budgeted for around $1000 for speaker and amp. And wood and extras on top of that.
- Box making i am pretty confident in as i've done this before and when i was young began work as a cabinetmaker so i have some knowledge there. But suggestions and help is always welcome of course.
- So im looking to get the very best equipment i can from this budget.

6: What ive looked at so far
- This is purely online and i've had no experience in listening to any of these products. It does make it hard to actually listen to these products (which of course is ideal) so i'm going to have to go on others impressions and thoughts on what they have experienced. This is something im just going to have to "wing it".

7: Drivers:
Ive initially thought a 10" would be perhaps the best compromise of good sound and power. Feel free to comment on your thoughts here on what im trying to achieve.
Ive mainly looked at online driver distributors like Madisound etc.. If there are other i should know about please let me know!!

- Morel UW1058 (probably top of my list at the moment)
- Morel UW958
- Scanspeak (23w or 26w)
- Seas (various)
- Hivi SP10
- Peerless XLS
- Focal 27V2 or 27KX
- Please recommend others!!

Im also aware, although i dont fully understand it.. that some of these drivers are not primarily suited to being a single driver in a small sealed box. eg: the Scanspeak 23w ive seen used with a passive radiator? Is this a suitable option for me? Im not very educated on this type of enclosure.

8: Amplifiers:
My knowledge goes as far to know that you need to try and provide a good match between amp and driver. From there the technical info gets a bit overwhelming. But i'm willing to learn about what could be the best option here for my purpose.
Amps ive looked at so far:
- O Audio 300w & 500w
- Dayton (various)
- Hypex (various)

So these are a few ive read/found that look like they are decent quality without going into big $$ like some of the Redgum amps or something like that.

9: Initial scenario:
My first thoughts on what cold be a good setup..
- Morel UW1058 driver
- O Audio 500W speaker

Reasons why i chose these:
Morel seem to be a high quality driver for the budget i have in mind. So hopefully be more "musical" than SPL etc. Works in a sealed box.
O Audio seems to have good features and adjustments to suit my setup, like being in an apartment. Has similar power to the above sub and seems it has decent sound quality and construction.

From what i've read the UW1058 still needs about 1.3cf in a sealed environment.
As my knowledge isn't the best on speaker properties, would it be still possible to make a smaller enclosure with the power from this amp.

This is where i need you experts to come out and recommend to me if this is a viable option or if id be better off looking at something different. So shoot away!!

Many thanks in advance, i hope to use this thread throughout the build process with pics, comments and finally a sounds test.

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Old 2nd May 2011, 03:27 AM   #2
evobda2 is offline evobda2  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2011
To add to the above..
Regarding the sub out on the HK3480 receiver ive read that the "subwoofer crossover frequency of the HK3480 receiver goes from 20Hz-150Hz, and is not adjustable. If you have a subwoofer connected to the receiver, you will have a full range signal going to the speakers, while the subwoofer receives all signals below 150Hz."

Going on this i guess i could either run from the sub out, or filter from the speaker mains and filter the signal required through the sub amp? Is this correct? Suggestions on what would be best.

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Old 2nd May 2011, 02:40 PM   #3
steviedon is offline steviedon  United States
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Touching on the latter question......if the receiver has no adjustment for the sub preout, then yes I would use the stereo preout to get signal to the sub and let an external amp do the adjustments. The predicament here is Rega posts no graphs for any of their speakers, so it's very difficult to assess where a potential sub needs to take over the LF's.

Even though you've provided ample information, as opposed to other very general queries on this subject, there are still many, many options. You need not spend 1k on the setup either to achieve what you're seeking.

There are three requirements for me regarding sub amps, plate or stand alone.
-continuously variable phase adjustment, as opposed to a 0 or 180 degree toggle.
-adjustable parametric eq
-headroom.......about 50% more than the driver's rated RMS is what I shoot for.

This is a very biased opinion of mine, but I was very surprised when I fed power to one of these I built.
pic- http://www.volvotreter.de/pics/TH_38...fold_klein.jpg
plan- http://www.volvotreter.de/downloads/...z_TH_Rev_1.pdf
Surf around a bit here too
Rythmik Audio • Servo subwoofer products
and here
Speaker kits, loudspeaker design services, sub-woofers and amplifiers.

These two companies in cahoots are offering the only servo controlled open baffle subs I'm aware of. Their amps are the most featured plates I'm aware of as well.

I would also suggest downloading Winisd pro and playing around a bit with the drivers you had in mind till you get the hang of it-pretty easy stuff.

If you're set on the Morel, you'll likely need some EQ around 30hz if you want to put it in a smaller cab than recommended.

Lastly, I'm a believer in multiple subs, at least a pair or multiple as discussed in depth here http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/subwo...-approach.html
Why not divide that $1k budget into a pair, or 4?
It is only rarely that one can see in a little boy the promise of a man, but one can almost always see in a little girl the threat of a woman. ~Alexandre Dumas

Last edited by steviedon; 2nd May 2011 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 03:25 PM   #4
bjorno is offline bjorno  Sweden
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Agree with steviedon's very good suggestions... there is also well thought through designs for non servo controlled subs that too would provide high SQ :

See the final design FR I endorse to be a must for a good musical sub to comply with at:


See the final design FR I endorse to be a must at:



Last edited by bjorno; 2nd May 2011 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 03:44 PM   #5
steviedon is offline steviedon  United States
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Also, look for a design/sim your own with a nice gentle rolloff on the lowend for music purposes, as opposed to the ultimate extension/steep rolloff as desired for HT/movies.
It is only rarely that one can see in a little boy the promise of a man, but one can almost always see in a little girl the threat of a woman. ~Alexandre Dumas
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Old 2nd May 2011, 03:59 PM   #6
DrDyna is offline DrDyna  United States
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You've budgeted enough for one of the Rythmik subs, have you seen them?

Pretty decent, and would probably satisfy all your needs, like this guy:

Rythmik Audio servo subwoofer 12" F12
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Old 3rd May 2011, 05:10 AM   #7
evobda2 is offline evobda2  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2011
Think i've decided on a Dayton RSS265HO-4 10" and an O-Audio 500w amp to go with it.

Looking to put in a small sealed box.
Small footprint, good power (if ever really needed which i probably wont), good sound reviews, good price.

For the stereo its going with and the size of the room i think it will work fine.

Now to design a top notch box to suit
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Old 3rd May 2011, 05:12 AM   #8
60ndown is offline 60ndown  United States
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Join Date: Apr 2011
i have personally built and used extensively 25+ subwoofers in the last 20 years.

for your application/desires,

1.good sq
3.not to loud or to low
4.blends well.

id recommend an 8" (or 6" if your ok at math and can scale it?) version of the Housewrecker


the bass it produces (in all 3 sizes 15, 12, 8, i have built) is very airy and fast, and it moves all the air in the room equally, not just emanating from 1 corner.

driven gently id call it the 'air mover'

driven hard it is absurd, yet still wonderful bass.

use almost any reasonable quality driver/subwoofer/woofer and im sure you would be very happy.

takes me about 3 hours to build one and $50 for a driver.
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Old 4th May 2011, 06:57 AM   #9
evobda2 is offline evobda2  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2011
So you've obviously built one of these before? How big does the box end up?

In theory it sounds like it would be good. Although the box size may be getting bigger?

Though im not aware of the dimensions used so it wouldnt be my first choice. But im always open to suggestions.

What sort of power sub/amp would you use in a setup like this?
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Old 4th May 2011, 02:26 PM   #10
60ndown is offline 60ndown  United States
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the 6" version would be *about* 8" x 8" x 27" standing on end, it would fit in any corner easily.

power/amp? i just picked one up (an old sony subwoofer) at a thrift store for $20.


Subwoofer Amplifiers, Plate Amplifiers, Home Audio/Video Subwoofer Amplifiers, Powered Subwoofer Amplifiers Perfect for Building Your Own Powered Subwoofer.

the HWK requires very little power to perform well.
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