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A look at comercial vs diy subs (cost comparison)
A look at comercial vs diy subs (cost comparison)
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Old 4th November 2004, 01:01 PM   #1
paulspencer is offline paulspencer  Australia
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Default A look at comercial vs diy subs (cost comparison)

I recently found a very interesting subwoofer comparison carried out by Stereophile. It is in three parts and compares subs such as Velodyne, Adire Sadhara, Servodrive contrabass, Bagend ... Very interesting results. The winner was a large and pricey Genelec sub, which I'm going to look at as I'm fairly sure what the driver is and it will prove some very interesting points:

* much cheaper diy subs can easily beat a comercial sub in both performance and cost

* distortion performance doesn't tell you all you want to know about a sub performance (the Sadhara has low distorion but fairly high power compresssion)

* drivers don't have to be used for what the designers intended (XLS is normally considered to be suitable for PR boxes and sealed boxes)

I modelled 4 of the the XLS in a box exactly the same size with 250w to each driver as used in the Genelec - just enough power to bring drivers close to xmax. It is essentially an EBS with an F3 around 18 Hz, which is the fs of the XLS!

Here is the comparison:
Part one
Part 2
Part 3

Standout performers:
A look at comercial vs diy subs (cost comparison)


Adire Sadhara

I asked Adire about the distortion performance at 20 Hz and they had this to say (email):

"The cabinet that was used for the review had about 25,000 miles on it - it had traveled all over to multiple shows, and we did find a loose support in the cabinet which buzzed violently at 20 Hz and 80 Hz. Once tightened up, THD at those frequencies dropped down to where one would expect it (based on the rest of the performance)."
The Genelec costs nearly $10k USD ... approx $15k AUD

Now what would it cost to build here in Australia?

$880 - 4 x XLS
$800 - Power amp - Behringer Europower (2 x 650w into 4 ohms - more than enough)
$100 - MDF
$100 - Paint
$100 - Miscellaneous costs
$270 - BFD for room eq
$100 - diy crossover

AUD $2350

That is 15% of the cost of the comercial unit! You could build 8 of them for the same amount and have a wall of subs!
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Old 4th November 2004, 11:15 PM   #2
mike.e is offline mike.e  New Zealand
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Commercial unit
Cost of Brandname
R & D ( could be low or high)
Shipping (huge unit isnt made on site like DIY)

+ since its a business,i guess they would like to MAKE some money
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Old 5th November 2004, 03:32 AM   #3
paulspencer is offline paulspencer  Australia
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I'd be happy to build subs like that for half that cost and it would actually have some style! In fact I'm sure plenty of us diyers would line up to build subs for people at a fraction of the cost!

Granted, they can't afford to
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Old 9th November 2004, 02:49 PM   #4
jjdche is offline jjdche  United States
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Gotta love DIY subs!

Why not build 2 Genelec HTS6 clones, you know, just in case the price of MDF skyrockets.
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Old 30th November 2004, 09:48 PM   #5
Rich_Stitch is offline Rich_Stitch  New Zealand
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Question Sadhara price comparison

Ok I've been serving the web for a while now and have ended up in this forum. Which I think has been a lucky place to find myself.

I'm a Kiwi (New Zealander) currently living on the East Coast USA and I want some omph in my HT.

I was after a passive sub (no voltage problems when I take it back to NZ) and came across the Adire special on the Sadhara for US $595. Now, my kiwi blood tells me I must not buy anything unless it is the best price possible (Bang for the buck I guess). Everything I have purchased so far in the US has been used (Audiogon - I love it).

So I have been looking into a DYI subs. The Adire Tumult driver currently has me drooling and I have been...reading...reading...reading about different cabinet options. But at $499 a piece just for the driver why should I not go for the Sadhara special for $595 complete.

In fact here is what I've been contemplating.
2 x Sadhara = 2 x 595 + $200 shipping = 1390 (I know if I'm cheap why 2 - well after a bit of reading 2 subs seems a good idea - and well I can)
1 x Buttkicker kit $500 (Amp is voltage switchable to 230V---nice)

A DYI project for me would have to be in a kit state as I'm kinda in a transitional stage untill I return to NZ in a few months time. Or I guess I could by the pieces here and build it when I get back to NZ. Do you have any idea on what price diff I would be looking at to make something similar to the Sadhara.

So DYIer's do you think you can help me PIMP my HT.

P.S. I hope it was ok of me to add this to an existing thread or maybe I should have started my own.
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Old 1st December 2004, 02:37 AM   #6
hardrider is offline hardrider  United States
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Never forget to factor in the cost (value) of a manufacturer's warranty.

I, myself, am building a H/T sub as we speak... using the JBL SUB1500 and probably the Adire ADA1200 amp. Total cost will be close to $1K, so it better match the performance of any $2k sub on the market... b/c the cabinet is taking close to 20 hours to build!
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Old 1st December 2004, 04:00 AM   #7
chris ma is offline chris ma  Canada
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I don't think we can justify the cost per hour by us diyers as a factor to the cost of our projects.

If I were a high paid VP in a big company I may be making $1000 dollar per hour. With your 20 hours to build a box, mum.. that would be $20000 cost just for the box! On the other hand if I am unemploy.. .it cost nothing

The Butcher
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Old 1st December 2004, 05:56 AM   #8
simon5 is offline simon5  Canada
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The subject DIY versus commercial is the idea behind my project right now.

Another forum I visit frequently is raving about the new SVS PB10-ISD at 429$. It's a very good sub at a very good price.

My project is to beat it.

I bought a 250W Rythmic Audio subwoofer plate amp, a Adire Audio Shiva 12" subwoofer driver and a Adire Audio FP4 4" port.

To date, it costed me 277$ for the parts including shipping.

I need to add wood : one 4' x 8' of MDF or better...
I need to add rubber feet, some wires, paint...

It will beat the SVS easily in price and performance.
But then, I won't have a parametric equalizer, a cloth grille and the like...
DIYaudio for President !
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Old 1st December 2004, 07:51 AM   #9
paulspencer is offline paulspencer  Australia
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Where are you now?

You are talking $USD prices and you can get things mixed up quite easily in doing that!


In Australia the Tumult retails at $1100, don't know about Sadhara. The Peerless XLS you can get for $220, but if you buy 10, you get a discount, I recall a guy I know saying he got them for under $200 each. Perhaps a bit over the top unless you do a group buy ...

You could get 5 x XLS for the price of the Tumult, and if the review I referenced earlier is anything to go on, the XLS would perform better.

Buying in Australia the Tempest is great bang for buck as well.

Also consider AE speakers AV12 is now on pre-order last I heard, and with the exchange rate right now, it's a good time to buy from the US.
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Old 1st December 2004, 04:21 PM   #10
BAM is offline BAM
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I'll speak up yet again for the AV12. One nice sub driver. Maybe I need to get in on that preorder action to replace my current one, which has a dent in the cone because of a stupid mistake when I was assembling the thing.
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