Some Bass for the Holidays... - diyAudio
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Old 2nd December 2005, 09:19 PM   #1
BAM is offline BAM
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Default Some Bass for the Holidays...

If you are looking for an excuse to build a superb subwoofer this holiday season, I recommend that you take a look at the AE Speakers AV15 in a "sonosub" - a sub whose enclosure is primarily made from the concrete-forming product Sonotube.

All you'd need to really pull off a good sonosub would be a table saw, a circular saw, and a router. You can use plexiglass to make a circle cutting jig for a router, which would give you very smooth round shapes for the sonotube endcaps. Make sure to accomodate the size of the bit, though. In the top end cap, use a 6"-diameter, 25"-long vent. John at AE Speakers should have plenty of AV15 woofers left, since historically they don't sell as well as the 12" version, though they'd certainly be the most fun in one of these sonosubs. You could even do the black carpet covering around the body of the sonotube, and glossy black end caps and plinth for awesomeness. People who don't like sonotube subwoofers have never seen a really well-done one. If your sub is living in a dark home theater room, no one will even care, probably.

I worked out the numbers for the length of sonotube you will need to build the recommended AV15 EBS Cylinder Enclosures for four different form factors, using the recommended 8.8 cu. ft. EBS alignment and taking into account the significant volume displacement of the 6" diameter, 25"-long vent which will tune the enclosure to 17 Hz.

Tall and slim: 18" I.D., 70.86" (5.9 ft) tall
Middle-of-the-road: 20" I.D., 57.40" (4.8 ft) tall
Short and stubby: 24" I.D., 39.86" (3.3 ft) tall
Water Heater: 24" I.D., 79.72" (6.6 ft) tall

All four sizes are available sizes of sonotube. For the first two options, the driver is in the bottom and the port pipe is in the top. This is important so that a low center of gravity is maintained on such small bases as these. For the "short and stubby" option, there is enough room to put both the driver and the port on the bottom of the enclosure. For the others, you'll need to put the port on the top. If there is the concern of small cats getting sucked in, then you can put a grille over the top of the port hole. Personally, I'd be inclined to go for the tall and slim option if you want to be able to put this in some kind of living space. I could put a beach ball on top of the vent and play some test tones around the tuning frequency and watch it bounce around. For the behemoth dual-driver Water-Heater option, you can put an AV15 and 6"-diameter port on each end cap and end up with more output than most structures can tolerate. You end up with something like a double Short-and-stubby configuration. The very idea of what such a monster could do with the right power sends me searching for superlatives.

Big home theater bass is no-longer the domain of the rich. The woofer is $180, and the 500W plate amp m Parts Express is $300+shipping. They also have a buyout 500w BASH amplifier for $240+shipping. For less than $500 with a single driver, here is your sub. In fact, this is quite likely the most performance you can get for $500 as long as you're willing to build it yourself. You can't even buy an SVSound (SVS) 25-31 PCi subwoofer for that amount, yet it will lay waste to the 16-46 PC-Plus subwoofer, also from SVS. And enclosure construction is easy since no extra bracing is required. If you decide to go this route, please take lots of digital pictures of the build process and finished product, and let us know what you think of your new block-busting sonosub.

This is the driver:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 2nd December 2005, 09:51 PM   #2
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Are we advertising AE speakers here?
The golden rule of DIY:
Build nice, or build twice!
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Old 2nd December 2005, 10:03 PM   #3
BAM is offline BAM
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no, just mentioning them in a thread about a sonosub design that could make for some very loud holiday projects. I remember someone asking about what they should build over the holidays. Other drivers would probably fit or work inside these sonotubes, but the AE Speakers drivers look like the most attractive option.. I originally posted the details of this on the AE Speakers forum since it uses their driver. My AV12 sub is holding me just fine but I thought some other people would like to know about the opportunity, since it seems like a great value and I know other enthusiasts like myself like to pinch pennies. If I didn't already have a great sub, I'd certainly build this.

But since you mention it...

Hey, kids! ask your parents for the AV15 driver and a 500w amplifier for Christmas, and you too can be on your way to superlative bass!

Ok, there. I advertised AE Speakers.

now I'll explain why the post is worthwhile - Things like this make it easy for n00bs or other inexperienced DIYers to build something that will work and give good results. Something to take the intimidation out of the DIY process.
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