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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Audio > Subwoofers

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Old 12-29-2012, 12:37 AM   #1
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Default Ultimate 12" DIY Subwoofer

DRIVERS

I bought two TC Sounds Epic 12" DVC Subwoofer Drivers to be installed in a sealed passive cabinet in a bipolar fashion.




The Epik Dual Legends use similar driver arrangement and they refer to it as "Parallel Drive Technology™"

http://www.epiksubwoofers.com/legend.html
Quote:
Our new Parallel Drive Technology™ is the driving force behind its performance. We discovered that designing a pair of drivers to specifically replace a single driver can lead to some very large performance increases without an increase in cost, when done right.


The Legend's two drivers have a surface area equivalent to roughly an 18 inch driver. However, we have TWO motors driving the cones in parallel instead of a single motor. Instead of asking one driver to work very hard, we let a pair of driver’s coast through the most torturous of playback materials. Speed, sound quality, explosive dynamics and effortlessness are the name of the game.
Other examples are subwoofers with dual drivers made by Ken Kreisel Sound. They use a "push-pull" design, with the drivers offset in such a manner that one of them faces outward -- like a "normal" driver would -- while the other is wired out of phase and has just its back half exposed.


Before I discuss the DIY subwoofer, I need to make a few general statements:
  • We need to distinguish between a subwoofer's output (SPL) and its sound quality. People with a background in car audio tend to be interested mainly in SPL, while people interested in home audio and home theater applications tend to care more about sound quality.
  • Our ears are more sensitive to upper bass frequencies than the lower bass frequencies. We generally feel the ultra low bass frequencies. We do not hear them.
  • In most averaged-sized rooms, upper bass (mid-bass) is best reproduced when the subwoofer is near the listener.
  • The ultra low bass is most efficiently reproduced when the subwoofer is in the corner of the room and not near the listener. See the following diagram.




    Source: Hsu Research

  • When a subwoofer is placed near the listener, the high direct to reflected sound ratio of nearfield placement helps to reduce room effects, will have excellent headroom (high output with relatively low power because you are sitting next to it), and low distortion.
  • A subwoofer driver that is optimized for low bass reproduction is not necessarily the best for mid-bass to upper bass reproduction.
  • A driver with a heavy cone material is best for low bass, but this type of driver will have reduced mid to upper bass efficiency.
  • A subwoofer driver with a very light cone material, a low inductance voice coil, and a strong magnet will have superior transient response with high efficiency (relatively low power will be needed).
  • Also, let us not to ignore the effect of the cabinet on a subwoofer's performance, but that is another story.
Having said all of that, manufacturers specializing in HT equipment do not make large (15" or 18") subwoofer drivers to optimize their mid-bass to upper bass performance. They tend to do that with smaller drivers. We can therefore conclude that as a general rule, large drivers are better in generating ultra low bass frequencies, but they may not be as good in generating the upper bass frequencies. In that respect, 12" drivers are considered to be better than 15" drivers. Additionally, I already have four subwoofers with 15" drivers in my HT room and two 15" subwoofer in my two-channel room.


Relevant TC Sounds Websites:

http://www.tcsounds.com/
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=293-650

Quote:
The EPIC 12" subwoofer is designed to be lighter, smaller and ultimately more affordable without deviating from the TC Sounds world-class displacement and low distortion performance guarantee. Matched with just 300 watts, the EPIC will surprise even the most critical audiophiles with substantial, ultra clean low frequency bass, but pair it twice that power and it will take you to the next level! Used by many high-end home audio companies in their best products!
Video on the new Epic Subwoofer Drivers:

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=293-650






Highlights:
  • High-temperature low eddy current stainless steel voicecoil former
  • 2 + 2 ohm dual voicecoil
  • Light-weight Aluminum wire
  • 8" linear spider suspension with large integral lead-wires
  • 140 oz. magnet motor structure
  • Large 1" symmetrical XBR rubber surround for beyond 2" peak-to-peak travel
  • Large anti-flux-modulation shorting ring reduces distortion
  • Weight: 24 lbs

Specifications:
  • Power handling: 500 watts RMS/ 2,000 watts peak
  • Le: 3.2 mH
  • Impedance: 2 ohms per coil x 2
  • Re: 3.66 ohms
  • Frequency range: 15 - 150 Hz
  • Fs: 24.0 Hz
  • SPL: 86.6 dB
  • Vas: 3.22 cu. ft.
  • Qms: 7.80
  • Qes: 0.42
  • Qts: 0.39
  • Xmax: 22.9
  • Dimensions: Overall diameter 12.60", Cutout diameter 11.05", Depth 6.20"
  • Weight: 23.8 lbs.

CABINET

Initially, I planned to build the cabinet myself. After doing some research, I reached the conclusion that it was much easier to buy a well-made cabinet and modify it. The following cabinet from Parts Express meets all the criteria that I was looking for in a quality cabinet. It is made for two Dayton 8-ohm drivers connected in parallel fashion and a Dayton 500- or 900-watt plate amplifier. I decided to buy the better quality TC Sounds drivers and my plan is to build a passive subwoofer using an external stereo amplifier to power each driver with one channel of the external amp. This means that I will have to cover the 10" by 10" cutout on the cabinet for the plate amplifier and possibily modify the cutouts for the drivers.

Dayton Audio SWDC12 Dual 12" Subwoofer Cabinet Gray Vinyl

Is this the ultimate subwoofer box?




Highlights:
  • 2.1 cu. ft. sealed cabinet
  • True acoustic suspension design
  • Opposed side-firing drivers cancel cabinet vibration
  • Heavily braced 1" and 2" MDF cabinet wall construction
  • Pre-drilled and #10-32 T-nutted driver mounting holes
  • 10" x 10" cutout fits popular Dayton Audio plate amplifiers
  • Gray vinyl matches modern A/V furniture and accessories
  • Weight: 95.00 lbs

Product Detail:

Quote:
The Dayton Audio SWDC12's overbuilt non-resonant enclosure features 2" MDF speaker baffles, 1" front, rear, top, bottom and dividers, and a full internal "window" brace. A 1" MDF divider isolates the amplifier from the two 12" drivers. Heavy duty, black grill cloth-covered 1" MDF frame speaker grills with imbedded magnets align with driver mounting bolts. The 1-1/4" diameter x 1" tall rubber feet are replaceable with any Dayton Audio spikes with 6 mm threads.
  • Dimensions (including bottom trim): 21" H x 27-3/8" W x 17-1/2" D
  • Driver cutout: 12.44" for first inch of depth, then 11.125" for the second
  • Amp cutout: Fits all Dayton Audio HPSA and SA Series 500 and 1000 watt plate amps
  • Amp cutout dimensions: 10" W x 10" H
  • Pre-drilled amp mounting holes.


Additional pictures:






The cutouts on the cabinet were for the 8 ohm Dayton Audio RSS315HFA-8 12" Reference HF Drivers. There is also a cutout for a Dayton Audio SPA1000 1000W Subwoofer Plate Amplifier. I decided to buy the better TC Sounds subwoofer drivers. They are slightly bigger than the Dayton drivers and require a bigger cutout. I decided to use two quality 12" inch spacers from RT Mobile Sound System. They make some of the best subwoofer cabinets for cars. I also covered the cutout on the back of the cabinet for the amplifier.




This is the picture of one the TC Sounds drivers attached to the cabinet using the above spacer ring.




The Dayton drivers were meant to be connected in parallel to result in a net impedance of 4 ohms. The single plate amplifier was expected to drive both drivers. The two TC Sound drivers use dual 2 ohm voice coils. I wired each one for an impedance of 4 ohms according to the following diagram. For explanation, refer to the Connecting Dual & Quad Voice Coil Subwoofer Drivers to a Mono Amplifier thread.




Also, Big Daddy does not believe in wussy plate amplifiers. You can ask the former employees of Elemental Designs why plate amplifiers suck. My intention was to use the Upgraded Carver 1.0t Stereo Amplifier to power the two drivers independently. The drivers are not connected to each other. The upgraded amplifier can generate up to 510 watts RMS (1000 watts dynamic) power into a 4 ohm load. Each channel of the amplifier will be used to power each driver. The amplifier was upgraded in Nebraska and its performance has significantly improved.


CarverM-1_0t.jpg






PERFORMANCE AND REVIEW


Cabinet:
This is without a doubt one of the best built subwoofer cabinets. The front and rear baffles of the cabinets are made of 2" MDF wood and the top and bottom are made of 1" MDF wood. It is heavily braced. The cabinet is extremely solid without any vibration. You can actually stand on top it and jump around and it won’t affect a thing. On a scale of one to five, I give it ten stars.

Drivers:
What can I say about TC Sounds drivers that hasn't already been said. They are extremely well made and their performance is as good as it gets.

Build Quality:
I have already discussed the cabinet and the drivers. I made sure the spacers are painted properly and glued to the cabinet tightly. I also added enough polyfill to the cabinet. In addition to dampening the cabinet, polyfill has the effect of making a subwoofer cabinet to appear slightly larger. Because of the spacers and the thick MDF wood used to construct the cabinet, I was able to use relatively long screws to attach the drivers to the cabinet. For all internal connections and connecting the subwoofer to the amplifier, I used 12 gauge speaker wires.

Performance:
This is the only subwoofer in my possession with two drivers. The two 12" drivers are attached in a bipolar fashion and give each other support in the sealed and well damped cabinet. I tried it for both movies and music and it passed both with flying colors. It sounds highly musical and at the same time can scare the entire neighborhood. I have some quality subwoofers in my possession and this is perhaps the best one. I don't believe I have heard a subwoofer at any price level that can outplay this one. Considering that the cost of this subwoofer, including the external amplifier, was below $1,000, it is an amazing deal. I highly recommend this simple DIY option.

Last edited by Big Daddy; 03-22-2013 at 12:58 AM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:38 AM   #2
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I planned to use the REW to measure the frequency response of the subwoofer, but my daughter has borrowed (confiscated) my laptop and I was too lazy to run wires to the other room where my desktop is located. As a result, I measured the frequency response of the DIY subwoofer using the Phonic PAA3 Audio Analyzer and one-third octave test tones. I turned off all the other speakers and subwoofers in the room and placed the Phonic Analyzer in two different positions and averaged the SPL readings for the two positions. When I started running the test tones, I almost shook the foundation of my house. I was afraid I may have damaged the drivers. I had to turn the volume really down and still the signal levels were in the high 90s and low 100s.







Although my HT room is well treated, it is not exactly an anechoic chamber. Despite this, the frequency response of the subwoofer appears to be very impressive in the relevant frequency range.
HT Room: Panasonic PT-AE8000, Epson 1080UB Proj., Mitsubishi 65" Diamond Series HD TV, Yamaha-RX-A3010 Rec., CinePro 6-Ch. Amp. (350 W/Ch, 8 Ohm), Proton D1200 Amp., Behringer EP4000 & EPX3000 Amps., Oppo BDP-83, Sony BDP-S790, Audio Technica Tuntable, Mitsubishi S-VHS, 2 Def. Tech. Super Towers w 15" subs, 1 Def. Tech. Center & 1 Martin-Logan Center, 2 Def. Tech. Surr. & 2 PSB Surr., 2 Cadence Presence, 2 Bose 901 Rears, 2 Modified HSU 12" Subs, 1 ED DIY 12" Sub, 1 ED DIY 15" Sub, Velodyne SMS-1 Subwoofer Equalizer, DirecTV HD, Monster HTS 5000 & APC H15 Power Conditioners.
Two-Channel Room: XiangSheng Tube Preamp., Carver TFM-45 Amp. (375 W/Ch), Behringer EPX4000 Amp., Onkyo CD player, Denon Turntable, Yamaha Tuner, 2 Vintage Polk RTA-15TL Speakers, 2 LCY 100 Super Tweeters, 2 DIY Folded Horn Super Towers with 15" Sub., 1 Modified AA HD-SUB12
Family Room: Mitsubishi 73" Diamond Series TV, Yamaha DSP-A3090 Rec., DirecTV HD-DVR, PS3, Zvox Speaker, 1 DIY 12" Sub.

Last edited by Big Daddy; 01-11-2013 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:53 AM   #3
crazyBLUE crazyBLUE is offline
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Good Evening Big Daddy

So how many subs will this make in the HT And does this one count as 1 or 2

I look forward to seeing how it does. My guess is it will be in the center area of the room ~ Am I correct in assuming that ?
Brent

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Old 12-29-2012, 03:19 AM   #4
MrFattBill MrFattBill is offline
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Surprised you didn't go for the dual 15"s people are going crazy for right now.

Bill
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:29 PM   #5
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Say, this reminds me of an Epik Legend.
- Orbis non Sufficit
================

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Old 12-29-2012, 05:56 PM   #6
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What does the modeled response look like? I suppose I could plug the numbers into winISD but i'm too lazy due to turkey overload.
Samsung 50" 550B
Pio VSX-9040TXH / Pio BDP-120
Emotiva XPA-5
Jamo C-807s / Jamo E-8cen / Jamo C-80 surr
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:52 PM   #7
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyBLUE View Post
Good Evening Big Daddy

So how many subs will this make in the HT And does this one count as 1 or 2

I look forward to seeing how it does. My guess is it will be in the center area of the room ~ Am I correct in assuming that ?
I have lost count of the number of subwoofers in my HT room. I need to hire a CPA to do a complete audit.

I decided to retire the Radio Shack Optimus subwoofer with upgrade 12" Pioneer driver and replace it with this new DIY subwoofer. Currently, there are a total of ten subwoofer drivers (five 12", four 15", and one 8") in the room. The 8" flat subwoofer is under the sofa. If you count the Clark Tactile Transducer under the sofa as a subwoofer, the total increase to eleven.

I plan to build four doghouses and place them in the four corners of the backyard so that when I am kicked out of the house and need to bark, my barks are pretty even across the backyard. This was clearly tested at National Research Council (NRC) of Canada.
HT Room: Panasonic PT-AE8000, Epson 1080UB Proj., Mitsubishi 65" Diamond Series HD TV, Yamaha-RX-A3010 Rec., CinePro 6-Ch. Amp. (350 W/Ch, 8 Ohm), Proton D1200 Amp., Behringer EP4000 & EPX3000 Amps., Oppo BDP-83, Sony BDP-S790, Audio Technica Tuntable, Mitsubishi S-VHS, 2 Def. Tech. Super Towers w 15" subs, 1 Def. Tech. Center & 1 Martin-Logan Center, 2 Def. Tech. Surr. & 2 PSB Surr., 2 Cadence Presence, 2 Bose 901 Rears, 2 Modified HSU 12" Subs, 1 ED DIY 12" Sub, 1 ED DIY 15" Sub, Velodyne SMS-1 Subwoofer Equalizer, DirecTV HD, Monster HTS 5000 & APC H15 Power Conditioners.
Two-Channel Room: XiangSheng Tube Preamp., Carver TFM-45 Amp. (375 W/Ch), Behringer EPX4000 Amp., Onkyo CD player, Denon Turntable, Yamaha Tuner, 2 Vintage Polk RTA-15TL Speakers, 2 LCY 100 Super Tweeters, 2 DIY Folded Horn Super Towers with 15" Sub., 1 Modified AA HD-SUB12
Family Room: Mitsubishi 73" Diamond Series TV, Yamaha DSP-A3090 Rec., DirecTV HD-DVR, PS3, Zvox Speaker, 1 DIY 12" Sub.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFattBill View Post
Surprised you didn't go for the dual 15"s people are going crazy for right now.

Bill
A sealed subwoofer with two 12" drivers is already an overkill. The cabinet alone weighs about 100 pounds. With additional modifications (covering the amplifier opening, using four spacer rings, polyfill, and two drivers) and a 30 pound amplifier on top of it, it already weighs too much. My wife had to help me place it on top of a dolly to move it around.

As a general rule, large drivers are better in generating ultra low bass frequencies, but they are not as good in generating the upper bass frequencies. In that respect, 12" drivers are better than 15" drivers. Having said that, I already have four subwoofers with 15" drivers in my HT room.
HT Room: Panasonic PT-AE8000, Epson 1080UB Proj., Mitsubishi 65" Diamond Series HD TV, Yamaha-RX-A3010 Rec., CinePro 6-Ch. Amp. (350 W/Ch, 8 Ohm), Proton D1200 Amp., Behringer EP4000 & EPX3000 Amps., Oppo BDP-83, Sony BDP-S790, Audio Technica Tuntable, Mitsubishi S-VHS, 2 Def. Tech. Super Towers w 15" subs, 1 Def. Tech. Center & 1 Martin-Logan Center, 2 Def. Tech. Surr. & 2 PSB Surr., 2 Cadence Presence, 2 Bose 901 Rears, 2 Modified HSU 12" Subs, 1 ED DIY 12" Sub, 1 ED DIY 15" Sub, Velodyne SMS-1 Subwoofer Equalizer, DirecTV HD, Monster HTS 5000 & APC H15 Power Conditioners.
Two-Channel Room: XiangSheng Tube Preamp., Carver TFM-45 Amp. (375 W/Ch), Behringer EPX4000 Amp., Onkyo CD player, Denon Turntable, Yamaha Tuner, 2 Vintage Polk RTA-15TL Speakers, 2 LCY 100 Super Tweeters, 2 DIY Folded Horn Super Towers with 15" Sub., 1 Modified AA HD-SUB12
Family Room: Mitsubishi 73" Diamond Series TV, Yamaha DSP-A3090 Rec., DirecTV HD-DVR, PS3, Zvox Speaker, 1 DIY 12" Sub.

Last edited by Big Daddy; 01-11-2013 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:55 PM   #9
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Say, this reminds me of an Epik Legend.
You are absolutely correct. It does look like the Epic Legend subwoofer. The main difference is the amplifier and the drivers. I prefer a solid external amplifier to a plate amplifier. Additionally, I use two separate amplifier channels (510 watts each) to power each driver.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sputter View Post
What does the modeled response look like? I suppose I could plug the numbers into winISD but i'm too lazy due to turkey overload.
Any performance measurements must be postponed until 2013.
HT Room: Panasonic PT-AE8000, Epson 1080UB Proj., Mitsubishi 65" Diamond Series HD TV, Yamaha-RX-A3010 Rec., CinePro 6-Ch. Amp. (350 W/Ch, 8 Ohm), Proton D1200 Amp., Behringer EP4000 & EPX3000 Amps., Oppo BDP-83, Sony BDP-S790, Audio Technica Tuntable, Mitsubishi S-VHS, 2 Def. Tech. Super Towers w 15" subs, 1 Def. Tech. Center & 1 Martin-Logan Center, 2 Def. Tech. Surr. & 2 PSB Surr., 2 Cadence Presence, 2 Bose 901 Rears, 2 Modified HSU 12" Subs, 1 ED DIY 12" Sub, 1 ED DIY 15" Sub, Velodyne SMS-1 Subwoofer Equalizer, DirecTV HD, Monster HTS 5000 & APC H15 Power Conditioners.
Two-Channel Room: XiangSheng Tube Preamp., Carver TFM-45 Amp. (375 W/Ch), Behringer EPX4000 Amp., Onkyo CD player, Denon Turntable, Yamaha Tuner, 2 Vintage Polk RTA-15TL Speakers, 2 LCY 100 Super Tweeters, 2 DIY Folded Horn Super Towers with 15" Sub., 1 Modified AA HD-SUB12
Family Room: Mitsubishi 73" Diamond Series TV, Yamaha DSP-A3090 Rec., DirecTV HD-DVR, PS3, Zvox Speaker, 1 DIY 12" Sub.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:20 AM   #10
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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I measured the frequency response of the DIY subwoofer and plotted the results. Check post #2.
HT Room: Panasonic PT-AE8000, Epson 1080UB Proj., Mitsubishi 65" Diamond Series HD TV, Yamaha-RX-A3010 Rec., CinePro 6-Ch. Amp. (350 W/Ch, 8 Ohm), Proton D1200 Amp., Behringer EP4000 & EPX3000 Amps., Oppo BDP-83, Sony BDP-S790, Audio Technica Tuntable, Mitsubishi S-VHS, 2 Def. Tech. Super Towers w 15" subs, 1 Def. Tech. Center & 1 Martin-Logan Center, 2 Def. Tech. Surr. & 2 PSB Surr., 2 Cadence Presence, 2 Bose 901 Rears, 2 Modified HSU 12" Subs, 1 ED DIY 12" Sub, 1 ED DIY 15" Sub, Velodyne SMS-1 Subwoofer Equalizer, DirecTV HD, Monster HTS 5000 & APC H15 Power Conditioners.
Two-Channel Room: XiangSheng Tube Preamp., Carver TFM-45 Amp. (375 W/Ch), Behringer EPX4000 Amp., Onkyo CD player, Denon Turntable, Yamaha Tuner, 2 Vintage Polk RTA-15TL Speakers, 2 LCY 100 Super Tweeters, 2 DIY Folded Horn Super Towers with 15" Sub., 1 Modified AA HD-SUB12
Family Room: Mitsubishi 73" Diamond Series TV, Yamaha DSP-A3090 Rec., DirecTV HD-DVR, PS3, Zvox Speaker, 1 DIY 12" Sub.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:22 PM   #11
sputter sputter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
I measured the frequency response of the DIY subwoofer and plotted the results. Check post #2.
I noticed you have sloping rolloff at 25hz ala sealed. How did it look with some boundry reinforcement? How does it sound?
It looks like a worthwhile and fun project.
Samsung 50" 550B
Pio VSX-9040TXH / Pio BDP-120
Emotiva XPA-5
Jamo C-807s / Jamo E-8cen / Jamo C-80 surr
HSU VTF-15H x2
Furman Elite 15i / Velodyne SMS-1
Harmony One
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:47 AM   #12
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sputter View Post
I noticed you have sloping rolloff at 25hz ala sealed. How did it look with some boundry reinforcement? How does it sound?
It looks like a worthwhile and fun project.
There may be a drop in the output around 22Hz, but the level is still significant. One thing I noticed was that this subwoofer is really loud. When I started running the test tones, I almost shook the foundation of my house. I had to turn the volume really down and still the signal levels were in the high 90s and low 100s.




One thing that you need to consider is that the signals go through too many other equipment such as the player, receiver, Velodyne SMS-1 analyzer, amplifier, and cables. They all can affect the performance of the subwoofer. Additionally, measuring the frequency response of a subwoofer in a room is not very accurate. You need to take the subwoofer to a quiet free field and do the measurements. That is not practical for me. Even though I used the $400 Phonic PAA3 Audio Analyzer to do the measurements and it is a lot more accurate than an SPL meter, I noticed that when I move it to different locations with respect to the subwoofer, it does make a difference. This is more pronounced than other subwoofers because it has two drivers on opposite sides. One side is closer to the walls and the other side is facing more to toward the middle of the room.

Just remember that any subwoofer frequency response that is measured in an HT room is just an approximate indicator of the subwoofer’s capabilities and not a truly scientific measure.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the performance of this subwoofer. By itself, it can overpower any HT room. It is one hell of a subwoofer. If you had to buy a complete subwoofer such as this one, it would probably cost you over $2,000.
HT Room: Panasonic PT-AE8000, Epson 1080UB Proj., Mitsubishi 65" Diamond Series HD TV, Yamaha-RX-A3010 Rec., CinePro 6-Ch. Amp. (350 W/Ch, 8 Ohm), Proton D1200 Amp., Behringer EP4000 & EPX3000 Amps., Oppo BDP-83, Sony BDP-S790, Audio Technica Tuntable, Mitsubishi S-VHS, 2 Def. Tech. Super Towers w 15" subs, 1 Def. Tech. Center & 1 Martin-Logan Center, 2 Def. Tech. Surr. & 2 PSB Surr., 2 Cadence Presence, 2 Bose 901 Rears, 2 Modified HSU 12" Subs, 1 ED DIY 12" Sub, 1 ED DIY 15" Sub, Velodyne SMS-1 Subwoofer Equalizer, DirecTV HD, Monster HTS 5000 & APC H15 Power Conditioners.
Two-Channel Room: XiangSheng Tube Preamp., Carver TFM-45 Amp. (375 W/Ch), Behringer EPX4000 Amp., Onkyo CD player, Denon Turntable, Yamaha Tuner, 2 Vintage Polk RTA-15TL Speakers, 2 LCY 100 Super Tweeters, 2 DIY Folded Horn Super Towers with 15" Sub., 1 Modified AA HD-SUB12
Family Room: Mitsubishi 73" Diamond Series TV, Yamaha DSP-A3090 Rec., DirecTV HD-DVR, PS3, Zvox Speaker, 1 DIY 12" Sub.

Last edited by Big Daddy; 01-05-2013 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
There may be a drop in the output around 22Hz, but the level is still significant. One thing I noticed was that this subwoofer is really loud. When I started running the test tones, I almost shook the foundation of my house. I had to turn the volume really down and still the signal levels were in the high 90s and low 100s.




One thing that you need to consider is that the signals go through too many other equipment such as the player, receiver, Velodyne SMS-1 analyzer, amplifier, and cables. They all can affect the performance of the subwoofer. Additionally, measuring the frequency response of a subwoofer in a room is not very accurate. You need to take the subwoofer to a quiet free field and do the measurements. That is not practical for me. Even though I used the $400 Phonic PAA3 Audio Analyzer to do the measurements and it is a lot more accurate than an SPL meter, I noticed that when I move it to different locations with respect to the subwoofer, it does make a difference. This is more pronounced than other subwoofers because it has two drivers on opposite sides. One side is closer to the walls and the other side is facing more to toward the middle of the room.

Just remember that any subwoofer frequency response that is measured in an HT room is just an approximate indicator of the subwoofer’s capabilities and not a truly scientific measure.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the performance of this subwoofer. By itself, it can overpower any HT room. It is one hell of a subwoofer. If you had to buy a complete subwoofer such as this one, it would probably cost you over $2,000.
I use REW for measuring with SMS-1 in the chain. I've tried close mic graphs in my room, like you i'm not taking my subs out either. You're right it's not overly scientific but it does offer a ballpark view.
If you did take it to a parking lot I dunno how you would measure it due to the design.

It looks like a pretty solid design. I guess you can sell off the transducers now.
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Last edited by Big Daddy; 01-05-2013 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sputter View Post
I use REW for measuring with SMS-1 in the chain. I've tried close mic graphs in my room, like you i'm not taking my subs out either. You're right it's not overly scientific but it does offer a ballpark view.
If you did take it to a parking lot I dunno how you would measure it due to the design.

It looks like a pretty solid design. I guess you can sell off the transducers now.
I was going to use REW, but my daughter has borrowed (confiscated) my laptop and running long wires to the other room where my desktop is located is too much of a pain.
HT Room: Panasonic PT-AE8000, Epson 1080UB Proj., Mitsubishi 65" Diamond Series HD TV, Yamaha-RX-A3010 Rec., CinePro 6-Ch. Amp. (350 W/Ch, 8 Ohm), Proton D1200 Amp., Behringer EP4000 & EPX3000 Amps., Oppo BDP-83, Sony BDP-S790, Audio Technica Tuntable, Mitsubishi S-VHS, 2 Def. Tech. Super Towers w 15" subs, 1 Def. Tech. Center & 1 Martin-Logan Center, 2 Def. Tech. Surr. & 2 PSB Surr., 2 Cadence Presence, 2 Bose 901 Rears, 2 Modified HSU 12" Subs, 1 ED DIY 12" Sub, 1 ED DIY 15" Sub, Velodyne SMS-1 Subwoofer Equalizer, DirecTV HD, Monster HTS 5000 & APC H15 Power Conditioners.
Two-Channel Room: XiangSheng Tube Preamp., Carver TFM-45 Amp. (375 W/Ch), Behringer EPX4000 Amp., Onkyo CD player, Denon Turntable, Yamaha Tuner, 2 Vintage Polk RTA-15TL Speakers, 2 LCY 100 Super Tweeters, 2 DIY Folded Horn Super Towers with 15" Sub., 1 Modified AA HD-SUB12
Family Room: Mitsubishi 73" Diamond Series TV, Yamaha DSP-A3090 Rec., DirecTV HD-DVR, PS3, Zvox Speaker, 1 DIY 12" Sub.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:30 AM   #15
djkest djkest is offline
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The drivers you have used for this sub are probably twice as good (if such a thing could be quantified) as the drivers used in the Epic Legend. The enclosure is more solid. The amp is better.

Honestly from what I've seen around the web Epic has had a lot of problems with their plate amps overheating, dying, etc.

From the modeling I've done with the TC Sounds Epic 12, in that enclosure volume, it could probably take EVEN MORE power without hitting XMAX. They are seriously built subs with gobs of excursion potential.
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Last edited by djkest; 01-11-2013 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:26 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djkest View Post
The drivers you have used for this sub are probably twice as good (if such a thing could be quantified) as the drivers used in the Epic Legend. The enclosure is more solid. The amp is better.

Honestly from what I've seen around the web Epic has had a lot of problems with their plate amps overheating, dying, etc.

From the modeling I've done with the TC Sounds Epic 12, in that enclosure volume, it could probably take EVEN MORE power without hitting XMAX. They are seriously built subs with gobs of excursion potential.
I did not want to say anything about the Epik subwoofer's drivers or amplifier and sound a bit arrogant.

Besides the TC Sounds drivers, that Dayton cabinet is very impressive. They have used 2" MDF wood for the baffles and made it as heavy and as solid as possible. I had to build a dolly to move the subwoofer around. I don't believe I could have built a cabinet half as good.
HT Room: Panasonic PT-AE8000, Epson 1080UB Proj., Mitsubishi 65" Diamond Series HD TV, Yamaha-RX-A3010 Rec., CinePro 6-Ch. Amp. (350 W/Ch, 8 Ohm), Proton D1200 Amp., Behringer EP4000 & EPX3000 Amps., Oppo BDP-83, Sony BDP-S790, Audio Technica Tuntable, Mitsubishi S-VHS, 2 Def. Tech. Super Towers w 15" subs, 1 Def. Tech. Center & 1 Martin-Logan Center, 2 Def. Tech. Surr. & 2 PSB Surr., 2 Cadence Presence, 2 Bose 901 Rears, 2 Modified HSU 12" Subs, 1 ED DIY 12" Sub, 1 ED DIY 15" Sub, Velodyne SMS-1 Subwoofer Equalizer, DirecTV HD, Monster HTS 5000 & APC H15 Power Conditioners.
Two-Channel Room: XiangSheng Tube Preamp., Carver TFM-45 Amp. (375 W/Ch), Behringer EPX4000 Amp., Onkyo CD player, Denon Turntable, Yamaha Tuner, 2 Vintage Polk RTA-15TL Speakers, 2 LCY 100 Super Tweeters, 2 DIY Folded Horn Super Towers with 15" Sub., 1 Modified AA HD-SUB12
Family Room: Mitsubishi 73" Diamond Series TV, Yamaha DSP-A3090 Rec., DirecTV HD-DVR, PS3, Zvox Speaker, 1 DIY 12" Sub.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:10 PM   #17
djkest djkest is offline
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Well, I don't think it would be arrogant. If you did some scientific testing you could quantify the performance differences. The epic 12 is a $200 sub driver with a very high build quality and carefully thought out design details. The Epic Legend uses subwoofers that are undoubtedly good, but certainly designed to meet a much lower pricepoint. I've seen a lot of posts from various industry professionals. Commercially available subwoofers are generally designed with the following goals in mind.

1) cost
2) appearance
3) performance

(in that order)

You, as a DIY person, selected your own goals. You chose one of the very best 12" drivers in existance, and a rock solid professionally manufactured enclosure. You powered it with an audiophile grade seperate amplifier. So clearly your order would be:

1) performance
2) appearance
3) cost

And for an "enthusiast", that is the power that DIY brings you. Some people, they don't care about the minutia, and that's fine. Ok, I'm off my soapbox now.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:46 PM   #18
onyxbfly onyxbfly is offline
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I know you mentioned that the cost was below $1000 but when it was all said and done. If you do not mind sharing the exact cost for those of us who may be interested in replicating your build.
Front Sound Stage: Clearwave Dynamics LCR Surround Sound: 4*AV 123 X-LS Encore, LFE: 2*JBL W15GTI Subwoofers,
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxbfly View Post
I know you mentioned that the cost was below $1000 but when it was all said and done. If you do not mind sharing the exact cost for those of us who may be interested in replicating your build.
Dayton Audio Sub enclosure:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=302-835
$247 + 35 shipping = $282

2 TC Sounds Epic 12" Subwoofers:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=293-650
$193.33 x 2 = $386.66
------
PE total: $669

Custom parts ?

Amp ? (I believe he got this used)
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djkest View Post
Dayton Audio Sub enclosure:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=302-835
$247 + 35 shipping = $282

2 TC Sounds Epic 12" Subwoofers:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=293-650
$193.33 x 2 = $386.66
------
PE total: $669

Custom parts ?

Amp ? (I believe he got this used)

Dj has done a good job of itemizing the cost of the DIY subwoofer.

I bought the Carver amplifier around 1990 from a dealer that was closing shop. It was the open box demo model and I paid somewhere around $300+ for it. Actually, I bought three Carver amplifiers, one two-channel preamp, a tube Carver CD player and years of enjoyment. Recently, I had the amplifier upgraded, for around $360, but that should not count as the amp was fully functional and I did it mainly because I had the upgrade-itis bug.

If you are curious, you can you can add the following items to the cost, but the total cost including the following will still be under $1,001,100.
  • 2 Spacer Rings: $20
  • One Can of Spray Paint from Wal-Mart: $3
  • Long Black Screws: $2
  • Dolly: $20
  • Labor: $1,000,000 (Bad Back, Herniated Disc, Hernia, Diaherra, Diabetes, PE, ED, VD, Possible Legal Action). The previous diseases are all associated with wasting your time on DIY projects instead of kissing your spouse's a$$.
HT Room: Panasonic PT-AE8000, Epson 1080UB Proj., Mitsubishi 65" Diamond Series HD TV, Yamaha-RX-A3010 Rec., CinePro 6-Ch. Amp. (350 W/Ch, 8 Ohm), Proton D1200 Amp., Behringer EP4000 & EPX3000 Amps., Oppo BDP-83, Sony BDP-S790, Audio Technica Tuntable, Mitsubishi S-VHS, 2 Def. Tech. Super Towers w 15" subs, 1 Def. Tech. Center & 1 Martin-Logan Center, 2 Def. Tech. Surr. & 2 PSB Surr., 2 Cadence Presence, 2 Bose 901 Rears, 2 Modified HSU 12" Subs, 1 ED DIY 12" Sub, 1 ED DIY 15" Sub, Velodyne SMS-1 Subwoofer Equalizer, DirecTV HD, Monster HTS 5000 & APC H15 Power Conditioners.
Two-Channel Room: XiangSheng Tube Preamp., Carver TFM-45 Amp. (375 W/Ch), Behringer EPX4000 Amp., Onkyo CD player, Denon Turntable, Yamaha Tuner, 2 Vintage Polk RTA-15TL Speakers, 2 LCY 100 Super Tweeters, 2 DIY Folded Horn Super Towers with 15" Sub., 1 Modified AA HD-SUB12
Family Room: Mitsubishi 73" Diamond Series TV, Yamaha DSP-A3090 Rec., DirecTV HD-DVR, PS3, Zvox Speaker, 1 DIY 12" Sub.
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