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First Sub Build - Looking for advice
First Sub Build - Looking for advice
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Old 9th January 2019, 11:40 AM   #1
stonesif is offline stonesif  United States
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Default First Sub Build - Looking for advice

I've been wanting to build a subwoofer for about 15 years now, and I finally have the time and a small bit of money to get going. I've been looking around online at drivers, amps, etc, but I'd really appreciate some feedback from people who have done this before.

This is going into a basement, where the only use will be TV/movies/light video gaming. I have two younger kids and my wife in the house, none of whom are craving bass. Honestly, I would only ever immerse myself in an action film (i.e. enough to shake the house) a few times a year. The speakers are Polk RM20's and there is currently not a sub. The goal for this project is for me to get a subwoofer into the system and to learn a bit on my first sub build.

The primary listening area is about 11x14', but there are areas off to each side - ~5x12' and 10x12'. My budget is unfortunately small, but it's what I have - $175 for driver and amp. I've got a space about 2.5x2.5x3' for the sub, but that's the max I can probably go.

I'll try to post some drawings of the room. Would a 100w amp be enough? What size driver would you recommend? I'm looking primarily on Parts Express. I assume eBay class D amps are not recommended? Looking to get the most bang for my buck... Thanks for any advice you all have!
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Old 9th January 2019, 05:24 PM   #2
stonesif is offline stonesif  United States
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I added a rough image of the floorplan if that helps. The couch is the L-shape, the TV is the long rectangle, and the square is where the subwoofer will go. The whole space is open; disregard the lines between the three primary sections.
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Old 9th January 2019, 07:51 PM   #3
mart34 is offline mart34  England
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Maybe go for a Dayton 10 or 12, with a Dayton plate amplifier? Build a box with a slot port. Model in Winisd, ensuring you consider that the excursion can go a bit ballistic below tuning frequency, therefore a subsonic filter is required. Most plate amps have a subsonic filter but you need to check the specs, or questions posted on parts express as others may have answered.
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Old 9th January 2019, 07:53 PM   #4
GM is offline GM  United States
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OK, the side rooms will act as very high tuned band stop filters that will put a couple of suck outs probably somewhere in the main's response.

Tiny budget with decent size sub box allows multiple cheap drivers = less amp power required, so will take me awhile to do any driver/amp browsing to see what's available since I assume the amp will consume most of the budget and won't know how much power is required until the drivers are chosen.

Hopefully, others who keep up with what's on sale/available cheap will chime in also.

GM
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Old 9th January 2019, 07:59 PM   #5
mart34 is offline mart34  England
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Regarding ebay amps. That's your call, depends what you're looking at. Not wanting to sound alarmist, my preference for anything I plug into a power outlet, is that it must be from a reputable manufacturer. In England that generally means I'm looking for something CE marked and a known brand, something I can research reliability / see user reviews.

Plenty of people buy cheap chinese class d amp modules etc and I'm sure they get lots for their money, but they're cheap for a reason. I personally want to keep the risk of burning my house down to the minimum.
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Old 10th January 2019, 02:01 AM   #6
stonesif is offline stonesif  United States
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Thanks for all the feedback. The suggestion for a slot port is an idea I hadn't thought of. I haven't researched it yet (although I was considering a circular port), but I assume it effectively creates a longer port for the tuning? I was feeling a similar concern around the eBay amp boards; unless someone has a proven experience with them, it doesn't seem worth the risk.

GM, I appreciate you looking into that. If you have suggestions, I'm certainly interested! I've definitely been surprised about how the amp will take up more of what I'm spending.
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Old 10th January 2019, 06:56 AM   #7
mart34 is offline mart34  England
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If it's the same surface area, the length will be the same. For example, a 4" diameter circular port has an area of 12.5 square inches. If you have a rectangular slot port 1inch x 12.5 inch, it will also have a surface area of 12.5 square inch. The lengths will be the same.
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Old 10th January 2019, 06:58 AM   #8
mart34 is offline mart34  England
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Looking at the chrapest 10" on parts express, it actually has great reviews. If i can find the TS specs i could run a couple of models for you later if I get time. I only wish we had a parts express in UK, you guys really have great options to choose from.
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Old 10th January 2019, 06:58 AM   #9
mart34 is offline mart34  England
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Only mentions slot port as it will save you buying a port at the expensive of using slightly more MDF or whatever you're making the box from.
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Old 20th June 2019, 09:45 PM   #10
stonesif is offline stonesif  United States
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It's been a while since I've posted here (sorry!)... I've been stalling out in the design process on this project, specifically in WinISD. I found out I've got twins on the way, so if I'm going to finish this sub, it needs to be this summer. My budget grew a bit, and I'm leaning towards the Dayton 250w plate amp and Dayton DCS380-4 15" driver.

Are there any existing sub designs out there that fit what I'm trying to do? Would you recommend any different/better drivers or amps that total in this price range?
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