Why are almost all sub boxes square - diyAudio
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Old 21st May 2005, 10:28 PM   #1
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Default Why are almost all sub boxes square

Just a curiosity question. I have seen full range speakers designed in a variety of interesting ways and styles but it always seems the sub is just the lonely square soul.

I am asking as I am working on the plans for my 2nd sub box (first was square DOH!) and was thinking about something different. Shouldn't the largest, most imposing driver have the same good looks as the rest of the system?
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Old 22nd May 2005, 12:07 AM   #2
DcibeL is offline DcibeL  Canada
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Well sqaures sure are easy to build, and won't have any standing wave problems since the wavelength of the frequencies a sub produces is far too large to matter. I have seen many rectangular (almost square) subs, but usually nothing too exotic. Sonotubes are the only exception I can think of off the top of my head, as they are quite attractive, and far from a square.

I think maybe the reason squares are often used is that they will be the most solid, and will require the least amount of bracing. If its of any consequence, the sub I will be building next weekend is a "golden ratio" shaped sub. That is, 1 units wide, 1 1/3 units high, and 1/3 units deep. Very rectangular. I learned from somewhere back in the day that you should never make any dimentions of a speaker box the same, or resonances will result.
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Old 22nd May 2005, 03:14 AM   #3
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Most people, even if they have a sense of taste (which they don't), don't want to pay extra for good looks. Heck, even most don't want to pay extra for good sound.
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Old 22nd May 2005, 03:49 AM   #4
Collo is offline Collo  Australia
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I think for DIY, its nice have a more "adventurous" appearance!
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Old 22nd May 2005, 04:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Collo
I think for DIY, its nice have a more "adventurous" appearance!
Shades of Brazil...

As to the square or rectangular shape of subs... if the only tool you have is a hammer, you treat everything like a nail. MDF & pluwood are flat....

dave
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Old 22nd May 2005, 05:43 AM   #6
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It is cheap and easy to build and place and because it is small relatively resonance free. But there are a whole lot of things wrong with it. I agree that the DIY'r should be more adventurous. And in fact, if you took a line up of the worlds ten best subwoofers I bet not more than one or two would be square.

If you ever hear a really high end sub you'll wonder why all those little things are built the way they are and it is mostly for two reasons. To sell them on the commercial market to non audiophiles they must have attributes that have nothing to do with sound quality. They must be as non invasive as possible ( not seen) and they must be boomy so they stand out when being demonstrated in a showroom ( heard ). This means a higher Q speaker system is usually prefered for the showroom. A sub that does not draw attention to itself because it blends so well with the rest of the system and is large in size is a tough sell.

I agree that the sub should be if possible a work of art. I would suggest at the very least for your new sub to make it a golden ratio rectangle braced internally beyond belief and of the biggest size that you can tolerate in your listening space. Heck why not even put the driver on the narrow end and stand it with the high side upwards. This makes it easier to place. About the best sounding box shape for bass is the pyramid as there are few parallel walls. A great subwoofer box would be like a large Watt without the puppy trucated pyramid shape.

Some great ideas for blending a big sub into the room are. Make the sub box the bottom part of a coffee or end table and make it a dual purpose thing to hold a lamp or to put your feet up on when sitting on the couch. Make it tall in the corner so it doesnt take up so much space in the room. And lastly, this is my favorite. Make a tall cylindrical TL sub and make the outer part of the cabinet a tube trap or acoustic enhancing device to put near your main speakers. To counteract early sidewall reflections.

Hezz
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Old 23rd May 2005, 02:48 PM   #7
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We've toiled long and hard to arrive at a satisfactory compromise between looks / functionality and sound.

One of my more esoteric designs was in fact a long low glass coffee table sub woofer, however this has it's problems, mainly the amp having to be mounted under the unit limiting connectivity and ease of access. This was remedied by the addition of a second small set of controls on the side for day to day use.

Eventually we abandoned this in favour of a more conventional design, but still aiming for something that would fit in as a piece of furniture.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 02:51 PM   #8
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...and this is the more conventional design.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 03:39 PM   #9
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Smallangryboy,

Exellent work. Great wookworking. I can see how the issues with the integrated AMp would be a problem for the first coffee tabke disign. THis design is better suited for an external amp as it is to hard to make adjustments from the bottom of the table.

Your second sub looks like it would make an exellent end table.

Hezz
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Old 23rd May 2005, 07:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by smallangryboy
One of my more esoteric designs was in fact a long low glass coffee table sub woofer
That is a lovely piece of kit...

ApexJr sells a plate amp with a remote control module that can be placed spearate from the actual plate amp.

New wireless connectivity technology may allow these kinds of things to be wireless (althou most won't have an AC plug convieniently placed in the floor where the sub goes (and even then, room rearrangement would be quite constrained.

dave
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