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intgenx

New to DIY, Subwoofer 10" or 12" dual push-pull - please guide

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Folks,

 

Some of you may have already responded to my other thread...and Thanks to all your advice I've now decided to embark on a (very ambitous for newbie) DIY subwoofer project.

 

This new thread is just to seek a wider audience for guidance... The goal being to build the cleanest, high-fidelity sub possible in DIY... as the sub will be used mainly for music and should unobtrusively extend the range of the mains I plan to get (Genelec G Four / 8040).

 

Following are the key requirements:

1. Building a High-fidelity, clean, distortion, rattle free and musical sub is the most important goal - not earth shattering bass, loudness or SPL.

2. Performance: looking to get equal or better fidelity and performance comparable to the Genelec subs 7060 (19Hz, 10" driver with 120Wamp) and 7070 (19Hz, 12" with 250W amp). The mains have a 6.5" (90W) woofer and the sub need only be big/powerful enough to complement it - therefore I'm thinking no more than 10"(400W) or 12" (800W).

3. Max. Cabinet dimensions: 18" x 18" x 24"

4. 10" or 12" - dual opposed drives - for vibration/rattle free bass.

5. Inputs: 1 x XLR, RCA for LFE (with low-pass set at 120Hz), 1 x XLR, RCA for Left/Right input (with low-pass set at 85Hz)

6. Outputs: 1 x XLR, RCA (for LFE loop out), 1 x XLR, RCA with high-pass to connect the Left/Right mains

7. Level control & Clipping protection

8. Detachable power cord with 220V/50Hz input and Power surge protection

9. Auto-power on signal

10. Features: Comparable to the ADAM Sub-10

11. Remote control?

 

 

Need recommendations/guidance on the following:

1. Cabinet Type

Considering Sealed dual push-pull cabinet due to ease of design and build.

 

2. Driver/Amplifier/Kit

 

Which driver or kit should I get?

I'm thinking restricting myself to Aluminum cones - any advice?

Can you guys suggest if I should go with 12” or 10”? Focus again is fidelity and not loudness.

can you folks recommend the best brands and makes with very long excursion 10" or 12" drives

 

One recommendation I have received so far (Thanks Maxmercy)

 

"DIYSoundGroup. No need for expensive tools, just glue, clamps, a drill, some paint.

Dual Opposed 10" cabinet would be good for your needs, and fit the WAF. Build two. Use the Dayton reference drivers."

 

What about Scanspeak, Seas and Peerless and any others?

 

3. Amplifier:

Which amp type is better Class A/B or Class D?

Which brand? suitable for the recommended driver and cabinet type. Are the features for high-pass/low-pass Filters and inputs and driver overload protection and power-on mute circuitry built into the Amp?

What is the minimum power I will need for a 10" or 12" sealed dual based on amp type and driver size?

 

4. Cabinet Material:

Would Hard-wood cabinet (instead of MDF) offer any advantages over MDF?

 

I also have the option of GRP (figerglass) or aluminum for cabinet - would this be worth exploring and offer any performance or fidelity advantages?

If its Alumin or GRP, I'm considering a cylindrical shape with the top and bottom rounded out (much like a medicine capsule)... any advice on this?

 

 

5. Power source and what are all the other components I will need to accomplish the above?

 

6. Budget: What should the budget be to achieve the above goals. Although this is the least of the concerns - if possible I'd like to keep it around $2200 for the pair (based on US prices of components, before shipping, taxes and customs).

 

 

7. Location: I'm based in Bangalore, India and have access to a carpenter, metal worker, electronics assistant and may also able to get the speakers tested or measured at a lab in a research institute near-by. I can consider Peerless drivers (made in India - but its not easy to get them locally) - but not sure how low they extend - any other brands I'd have to keep in mind any components imported from outside India will incur an additional 70% in shipping duty and taxes.

 

I'm also posting the same on AVS and HTS - any other forums for good DIY help?

 

Thank you all in advance for any and all responses.

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Folks,

 

Some of you may have already responded to my other thread...and Thanks to all your advice I've now decided to embark on a (very ambitous for newbie) DIY subwoofer project.

 

This new thread is just to seek a wider audience for guidance... The goal being to build the cleanest, high-fidelity sub possible in DIY... as the sub will be used mainly for music and should unobtrusively extend the range of the mains I plan to get (Genelec G Four / 8040).

 

Following are the key requirements:

1. Building a High-fidelity, clean, distortion, rattle free and musical sub is the most important goal - not earth shattering bass, loudness or SPL.

2. Performance: looking to get equal or better fidelity and performance comparable to the Genelec subs 7060 (19Hz, 10" driver with 120Wamp) and 7070 (19Hz, 12" with 250W amp). The mains have a 6.5" (90W) woofer and the sub need only be big/powerful enough to complement it - therefore I'm thinking no more than 10"(400W) or 12" (800W).

3. Max. Cabinet dimensions: 18" x 18" x 24"

4. 10" or 12" - dual opposed drives - for vibration/rattle free bass.

5. Inputs: 1 x XLR, RCA for LFE (with low-pass set at 120Hz), 1 x XLR, RCA for Left/Right input (with low-pass set at 85Hz)

6. Outputs: 1 x XLR, RCA (for LFE loop out), 1 x XLR, RCA with high-pass to connect the Left/Right mains

7. Level control & Clipping protection

8. Detachable power cord with 220V/50Hz input and Power surge protection

9. Auto-power on signal

10. Features: Comparable to the ADAM Sub-10

11. Remote control?

 

You are mainly worrying about minutiae above.  Stop doing so.  

 

 

Need recommendations/guidance on the following:

1. Cabinet Type

Considering Sealed dual push-pull cabinet due to ease of design and build.

 

STOP with the Push-Pull bit.  Push Pull means a driver basket and magnet are out in the room, not in the box.  Dual opposed will be just fine.

 

2. Driver/Amplifier/Kit

 

Which driver or kit should I get?

I'm thinking restricting myself to Aluminum cones - any advice?

Can you guys suggest if I should go with 12” or 10”? Focus again is fidelity and not loudness.

can you folks recommend the best brands and makes with very long excursion 10" or 12" drives

 

One recommendation I have received so far (Thanks Maxmercy)

 

"DIYSoundGroup. No need for expensive tools, just glue, clamps, a drill, some paint.

Dual Opposed 10" cabinet would be good for your needs, and fit the WAF. Build two. Use the Dayton reference drivers."

 

What about Scanspeak, Seas and Peerless and any others?

 

Whatever locally available drivers will compare favorably to the Dayton Reference HF 10" or 12" subwoofers (they have Al cones, too).  Peerless have a very good reputation, XLS or above.  You do not need very long excursion to keep up with your mains.

 

3. Amplifier:

Which amp type is better Class A/B or Class D?

Which brand? suitable for the recommended driver and cabinet type. Are the features for high-pass/low-pass Filters and inputs and driver overload protection and power-on mute circuitry built into the Amp?

What is the minimum power I will need for a 10" or 12" sealed dual based on amp type and driver size?

 

For ease of use and setup, I recommend a plate amplifier, one for each box, or one for each driver.  Find local ones.  Forget about the class of the amp.  You will not be feeding these things insane amounts of power to keep up with small mains playing back for fidelity and not SPL.

 

4. Cabinet Material:

Would Hard-wood cabinet (instead of MDF) offer any advantages over MDF?

 

I also have the option of GRP (figerglass) or aluminum for cabinet - would this be worth exploring and offer any performance or fidelity advantages?

If its Alumin or GRP, I'm considering a cylindrical shape with the top and bottom rounded out (much like a medicine capsule)... any advice on this?

 

STOP Overanalyzing this.  There is a reason so many people build with MDF.  It is cheap, has relatively good damping properties, and you can veneer it with anything you want for a surface finish.  STOP thinking of making strange shapes.  Boxes with proper right angles are hard enough to build.  THESE WILL NOT BE THE BEST SPEAKERS YOU HAVE EVER BUILT.  They will be a first try.  Stop thinking you can compose a 9th Symphony if you are just learning how to read music.

 

5. Power source and what are all the other components I will need to accomplish the above?

 

Plate amplifier.  Easy.

 

6. Budget: What should the budget be to achieve the above goals. Although this is the least of the concerns - if possible I'd like to keep it around around $2200 for the pair (based on US prices of components, before shipping, taxes and customs).

 

Should be very easily done with two cabinets with four 10" drivers and two plate amps.

 

 

7. Location: I'm based in Bangalore, India and have access to a carpenter, metal worker, electronics assistant and may also able to get the speakers tested or measured at a lab in a research institute near-by. I can consider Peerless drivers (made in India - but its not easy to get them locally) - but not sure how low they extend - any other brands I'd have to keep in mind any components imported from outside India will incur an additional 70% in shipping duty and taxes.

 

Try to source everything locally.  Ask EricH at DIYSoundGroup if he would send plans so your carpenter could build it.  But his flat packs are amazingly easy to build.

 

I'm also posting the same on AVS and HTS - any other forums for good DIY help?

 

Relax.  You are not trying to cure cancer here.  Your problem does not require the entirety of the DIY online community to solve.  Your first ever build will never be as good or as well implemented as your second, third, fourth, etc. if you decide to do this from scratch, so stop trying.

 

Thank you all in advance for any and all responses.

 

replies in BOLD above.  You still have not listened to the most key piece of advice offered.......MEASURE WHAT YOU HAVE NOW.  Get an OmniMic, or a Cross-Spectrum Labs Mic, or build a LilMike Mic (search AVS), and learn to use REW (Room EQ Wizard).  You do not know what questions to ask yet, so stop assuming proper crossover frequencies.  Measure, Measure, Measure.  Then learn how to use UniBox or WinISD, and DO NOT EVEN THINK of ported or bandpass boxes.  Just sealed.  Model the drivers available.  See how much SPL the models predict.  LOOK AT YOUR MEASUREMENTS, then decide on 10" or 12" drivers, and how much power to feed them.

 

If I appear to come off LOUD above, it is because you are overlooking very key points that I feel you may only pay attention to if I am YELLING THEM.

 

I will not reply to any more posts from you until you post a freq response measurement of your mains from the main listening position, and post a picture of the room, so we get an idea of the acoustical problems that may be present.

 

You do not realize this, but you are asking brain surgeons to sew up a small cut here.  Your problem is not that big, and does not require a lot of engineering to solve.  You are making a mountain out of a molehill.  Build two sealed subs (they do not have to be dual opposed, unless you are gonna play Jenga on them while blasting hip-hop), and implement them as best you can, by measuring.

 

Again, your room and WAF limitations on subwoofer location will likely be the biggest problem.

 

You have homework to do.  Go get/build a mic, learn how to model subwoofer boxes and drivers, and go and measure what you have before you do anything, or read more marketing BS.

 

 

JSS

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Intgenx,

JSS is spot on with his assessment.  

 

 

I echo his sentiment, especially regarding your having missed the forest due to the trees. Instead of examining these tiny, relatively un-important elements, focus on the basics (yet finish it however you like) and fully understand the set-up and optimizing of the subs to the room, and blending that response to your existing loudspeakers is the single biggest factor on the quality of the sound and the success of this endeavor.   

 

A few comments;

"You do not realize this, but you are asking brain surgeons to sew up a small cut here."  

+1

I'm not sure you realize the caliber and qualifications of the community here. There's few DIY audio projects as easy and foolproof as a sealed sub. Likewise, there's few aspects in this hobby as important as the skillset of measuring and assessing how to get the most out of our systems. Unless you measure, you're flying blind.

REW is free, mics are around $100.US.  

I'd recommend OmniMic however, due to it's ease. I own all the above.

 

  

 

"they do not have to be dual opposed, unless you are gonna play Jenga on them while blasting hip-hop"

This, just put a smile across my face, yep indeed.

 

You'll find a ton of info and threads to peruse on DIY small sealed subs. Remember, DIY isn't for everyone. But aside from aesthetics, the value/performance is without question advantageous to the DIY'er.  

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@maxmercy..

thanks again.. and yes... novices like me do tend to get on the nerves of those in the know...

 

I had listed the features that I thought would make it comparable to a manufactured model.. because at the end of the day the little things along with the big things and getting them both right is why I have embarked on a DIY - otherwise I should've been willing to live with the features/compromises offered by any of the manufactured models...

 

ok not push-pull but dual opposed ... and as for sealed vs ported - is it possible to replicate the Genelec LSE design? how difficult is to implement and is it worth giving a shot?

 

Drivers - Looked into Dayton Reference - but I'm leaning towards Peerless drivers - as they are locally made in India and I can try to find out if there is any cost advantage over importing, paying shipping/duties etc.

Parts Express has the - Peerless 835017 12" Aluminum Cone XXLS Subwoofer with freq. response down to 19Hz (whereas the 10" driver from the same line is rated at 22hz)

 

If quality of the driver is the most important - then would Peerless still be the first choice?

I know you all have recommended Dayton - but that means shipping, import duties etc and in that case I probably should also consider Scanspeak (Vifa) or Seas and any other makers?

 

Amp: Can't say there are any good local Indian makers of amps... so I'd have to look east (China/Taiwan) for it... in that case what are the makes/models to consider?

 

One of the advantages of being in India is that I have some really wild choices for cabinet material - for eg... Given a drawing I could get a solid box made in granite, onyx ("transparent marble"). If density and inertness is the main criteria - then I gez no-one can beat natural stone... I'll give it a shot with granite or marble If you guys think it could offer some performance advantage...The only issue is finding some good way to mount the drivers and that too can be arranged with pre-drilled holes and filled with some resin for the driver and amp. plates to be screwed on.

 

You have asked me to measure what I have...

but I have nothing more than 4 cheap desktop speakers...and the apartment I'm presently in is rented and temporary until I move in to my own place in about a year from now...

 

I do have a couple of decent mics somewhere and I will get the measuring software etc... but what do you want me to measure...the test signals played from what?

I've still not bought my mains... which are waiting on my subs and the assessment on whether I can realistically make something to match the mains... (and if I can make a good sub... I may just feel confident to go ahead and make my mains too)...so its a bit of a catch-22.

 

 

 

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@maxmercy.. thanks again.. and yes... novices like me do tend to get on the nerves of those in the know... I had listed the features that I thought would make it comparable to a manufactured model.. because at the end of the day the little things along with the big things and getting them both right is why I have embarked on a DIY - otherwise I should've been willing to live with the features/compromises offered by any of the manufactured models... ok not push-pull but dual opposed ... and as for sealed vs ported - is it possible to replicate the Genelec LSE design? how difficult is to implement and is it worth giving a shot? Drivers - Looked into Dayton Reference - but I'm leaning towards Peerless drivers - as they are locally made in India and I can try to find out if there is any cost advantage over importing, paying shipping/duties etc. Parts Express has the - Peerless 835017 12" Aluminum Cone XXLS Subwoofer with freq. response down to 19Hz (whereas the 10" driver from the same line is rated at 22hz) If quality of the driver is the most important - then would Peerless still be the first choice? I know you all have recommended Dayton - but that means shipping, import duties etc and in that case I probably should also consider Scanspeak (Vifa) or Seas and any other makers? Amp: Can't say there are any good local Indian makers of amps... so I'd have to look east (China/Taiwan) for it... in that case what are the makes/models to consider? One of the advantages of being in India is that I have some really wild choices for cabinet material - for eg... Given a drawing I could get a solid box made in granite, onyx ("transparent marble"). If density and inertness is the main criteria - then I gez no-one can beat natural stone... I'll give it a shot with granite or marble If you guys think it could offer some performance advantage...The only issue is finding some good way to mount the drivers and that too can be arranged with pre-drilled holes and filled with some resin for the driver and amp. plates to be screwed on. You have asked me to measure what I have... but I have nothing more than 4 cheap desktop speakers...and the apartment I'm presently in is rented and temporary until I move in to my own place in about a year from now... I do have a couple of decent mics somewhere and I will get the measuring software etc... but what do you want me to measure...the test signals played from what? I've still not bought my mains... which are waiting on my subs and the assessment on whether I can realistically make something to match the mains... (and if I can make a good sub... I may just feel confident to go ahead and make my mains too)...so its a bit of a catch-22.

 

Oh man,

 

I had no idea that you had nothing to start with.

 

Peerless is great, they have a good reputation.

 

By your talk, I would have sworn you purchased Genelec mains already.

 

You need mains before you need a sub.  A sub is the last 10-20% of an audio equation, but can be the hardest to get implemented correctly, so you need mains first to know where the sub has to come in.  Mains are much harder to get right DIY than a sub, and for good reason.  They handle the majority of the audio signal.  I would not try to design a set of mains if you have no experience.  That would=FAIL.

 

REW has test signals within it, and I am still working on an Audio Test BluRay.  AVS has soho54's Audio Test DVD which is great too, and free.

 

Do not look at Driver 'Freq Response' ratings and expect answers.....if you are curious about a driver, model the driver in a box with WinISD or UniBox.  There you will see a more accurate picture of what is going on.  There are threads dedicated to both, and to REW.

 

Stone?  Really?  Who is the goliath that will move the subs to in order to find the best location?  If the subwoofer location is already predetermined by WAF, STOP RIGHT NOW.  DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200.  Buy a sub and get what you get if you will have no choice on subwoofer location.  No amount of $$$ or DIY moxy will fix a badly placed sub.

 

You need to get A LOT of reading done.  Lots of folks have pointed you in the right direction.  Remember, DIY stands for 'Do It Yourself'.  What you are essentially asking for is DIFM.....'Do It For Me'.  You want an 'easy button'.  People have shown you this (DIYSoundGroup).  You want all custom.  People have shown you this (Mark Seaton, JTR, etc).  You want a great brand name.  People have shown you this (again, Seaton, JTR, Genelec, etc).  You keep stating wants, people keep telling you what you need to educate yourself on, but you have not done so.   

 

You keep asking the same questions on many forums, and you do not seem satisfied with any answer.  This is why people seem frustrated.  It is as if you are waiting for the answer you wanted in the first place to 'vindicate' your pre-determined choice.

 

You need to educate yourself.  The DIY Speaker archives at AVS from 2008-2011 are a tremendous resource, with some really smart people posting that no longer do.  The Home Theater Shack REW forum is a great resource.  DIYAudio has some great folks there, and their archives are worthy of digging into.

 

The answers are all there.  You need to dig for them.

 

Stop asking questions until you have educated yourself enough to know what questions to ask.  Then you will have a better idea as to what to do with the answers.  

A great one-stop place for education:

 

Floyd Toole's 'Loudspeakers and Rooms'.  Buy it, and read it.  Then read it again.  It is a great book.  I would not attempt a DIY build without having that in your armamentarium, as well as knowing how to use REW or HolmImpulse, and WinISD or UniBox.

 

If your time is worth more to you than $$, forget the immense amount of time educating yourself would cost and hire a professional, like Mark Seaton and the like.  If you think with a few weeks of browsing forums you can put together a system with every one of your stated goals in the size constraints you have, and have it perform better than high-quality commercial offerings, you are sorely mistaken.

 

Sorry to sound harsh, but you have proven yourself to be pretty inert to advice in these matters.

 

JSS

 

Get educated (or hire it out), buy mains, measure them (or hire it out), THEN think about a sub(s). 

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