Subwoofer project....

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  • Andrew Pratt
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 16507

    Subwoofer project....

    You might be wondering why I'd be building yet another sub when I have two 220L tempest in the theatre but it’s not going in the theatre but the living room which is our second zone. There's presently two Paradigm Atoms up there that do a nice job for what we need but bass is something they simply can't do well...which is no surprise given their tiny size. Some time ago Bob Reimer asked me if I'd be interested in building one of their new subwoofer kits based on the Shiva, EZSub14 and the Sub100 plate amp. Bob happened to be flying to Winnipeg this weekend so I met him at the airport and picked up the box containing the driver, amp, box and all the little goodies needed (glue,wire,stuffing,screws etc) The box it comes in weighs in at 45lbs which didn't seem to heavy when I picked it up off the airport carousel but by the time I got to my car my arms were now a good 4" longer and I'll be visiting my chiropractor soon Anyway I told bob that I'd build this sub the way someone without access to tools and a "shop" to see how viable these would be for a complete novice to DIY so here goes...

    The first thing I did when I got home was to open the box to see what was in the box. Click Here to see the box and Here to view the contents. As you can see it’s a very well thought out kit with everything needed all provided in a nice well packaged box.

    The first thing I noticed after unpacking the MDF for the box was that the edges were routed so that they had a nice dove tail like edge which makes putting the box together incredibly easy and fool proof. Because of these routed edges you won't need clamps to hold the box together...in fact all you'll need is the supplied duct tape to hold it together while the glue dries. Click here to see the box been assembled. Here's a close up of the routed edges and here's a picture of the box being held together with the provided duct tape while it dried. Here's a picture of the bottom of the box showing the cut out for the driver and the amp. It only took about 30 minutes from the time I opened the box to the time I had it glued and taped so it’s very easy to build!

    Once the box had dried for a few hours I decided to install the t-nuts to the back side of the bottom plate. Bob was kind enough to include a few extras which is a nice touch in case you happen to loose one during the building process. I was able to hammer the t-nuts into the pre drilled holes but it would have been a lot easier if I'd done that before assembling and gluing the box. You can see the installed t-nuts in this image. You'll note the excess glue along the joints...I doubt it was needed given the nice routed joints but I'm a creature of habit and come from the school of you can never have too much glue That's as far as I got today since I wanted to let the glue dry fully before I installed the amp and driver....stay tuned for part B tomorrow night.




  • ThomasW
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 10933

    #2
    Hey! What's a subwoorfer, something special developed by the Canadian government? :B




    theAudioWorx
    Klone-Audio

    IB subwoofer FAQ page


    "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

    Comment

    • JonMarsh
      Mad Max Moderator
      • Aug 2000
      • 15311

      #3
      Nicely documented post, Andrew! 1" MDF walls, I presume? The only thing missing is perhapsa little internal bracing, but at this price point it looks like a real deal! Take a look at ThomasW's Isobarik cube for some ideas on easy internal bracking of the walls...

      Keep us informed of your progress.... I wish my current project was this straight forward!

      Best regards,

      Jon




      Earth First!
      _______________________________
      We'll screw up the other planets later....
      the AudioWorx
      Natalie P
      M8ta
      Modula Neo DCC
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      Isiris
      Wavecor Ardent

      SMJ
      Minerva Monitor
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      Ardent D

      In Development...
      Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
      Obi-Wan
      Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
      Modula PWB
      Calliope CC Supreme
      Natalie P Ultra
      Natalie P Supreme
      Janus BP1 Sub


      Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
      Just ask Mr. Ohm....

      Comment

      • Andrew Pratt
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2000
        • 16507

        #4
        the walls are only 3/4" thick...in their stock form. Since i'm testing their kit I don't want to add in bracing just yet. I likely will add in something once the write up and initial testing is done.




        Comment

        • Rock Dog
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Jan 2003
          • 417

          #5
          So far, So great! As stated above. Nice post, nice presentation. Great information. I am moist with anticipation. :LOL:

          Really, I looked forward to seeing how this project comes along. :coffee:

          Andrew, do you have any information pertaining to the cost of the kit?




          -Thomas-

          The easiest way to find something lost around the house, is to buy a replacement.

          Hey You! Make sure you stop by the HTguide Off-Topic section. It's FUN!!!

          -Thomas-

          As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it.

          Hey You! Make sure you stop by the HTguide After Midnight section. It's FUN!!!

          Comment

          • Dennis H
            Ultra Senior Member
            • Aug 2002
            • 3798

            #6
            Nice. Here's the router bit to make those joints.

            Comment

            • Hank
              Super Senior Member
              • Jul 2002
              • 1345

              #7
              Hey! What's a subwoorfer, something special developed by the Canadian government?
              Choice, Thomas, choice!!

              Dennis: I bought on of those lock mitre bits, thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread, BUT, with MDF, the very small spline-line part was so weak, that when I slid the two panels together, the spline would invariably break, so I went back to precision-cut butt joints. The lock mitre would work great on hardwood and probably on plywood, IMO.

              Comment

              • Andrew Pratt
                Moderator Emeritus
                • Aug 2000
                • 16507

                #8
                I was looking at those lock joint router bits at home depot this afternoon...yikes they're not cheap!

                I'm not sure what the price will be on the kit. I would imagine adding up the shiva, box and amp would get you in the ball park. I'll ask though and report back.

                I started applying the veneer this afternoon but its not going as well as I'd hopped. From some reason the glue is seeping though the veneer so I have glue on the finished side. I guess I'll try sanding it off but its not going to be easy :evil:




                Comment

                • Andrew Pratt
                  Moderator Emeritus
                  • Aug 2000
                  • 16507

                  #9
                  The other two sides I did last night seem to be much better then the first two so I'm not sure what happened to those. The sides aren't as clean as would like since they seem to have chipped...I'm begining to think the iron on or contact cement would have been a better method




                  Comment

                  • PMazz
                    Senior Member
                    • May 2001
                    • 861

                    #10
                    If not contact or iron on, how are you glueing the veneer? Is it paper backed?

                    Pete
                    Birth of a Media Center

                    Comment

                    • Andrew Pratt
                      Moderator Emeritus
                      • Aug 2000
                      • 16507

                      #11
                      its not paper backed just a very thin sheet of real wood. I just used a thin layer of wood glue on the box then clamped a board over top of the box to hold it down while the glue dried. I've sanded some of the glue out and with the stain it doesn't look to bad...its unfortunate that the other three sides look pretty good...why is it always the front that screws up :roll:




                      Comment

                      • Hank
                        Super Senior Member
                        • Jul 2002
                        • 1345

                        #12
                        why is it always the front that screws up
                        Because God does not want us wasting time on DIY speakers

                        Comment

                        • Andrew Pratt
                          Moderator Emeritus
                          • Aug 2000
                          • 16507

                          #13
                          I should have some pictures to post tonight of the finished box but here's what I've been upto lately with the project. I ended up taking my router with a 45 degree bit and putting an edge on the side of the box to clean up the edge of the veneer. I painted that exposed MDF with a dark green paint then stained the whole box with a red mahogany stain. The green paint soaked up some of the stain as well which gives it a nice "weathered" look so over all I'm pretty pleased with it. I've applied two coats of glossy polyurathane to help protect it. So tonight I should be able to screw in the driver and amp and take some pictures of the finished product.




                          Comment

                          • Andrew Pratt
                            Moderator Emeritus
                            • Aug 2000
                            • 16507

                            #14
                            As I promised earlier here's how the final product looks...

                            Here's how it looks in its final resting spot in the livingroom

                            Here's the front of the box. If you look closely you can see where the glue's showing though the veneer :evil:


                            Here's the side of the sub


                            Here's what the shiva looks like on the bottom of the box


                            And finally here's the plate amp





                            Comment

                            • Jeff Kowerchuk
                              Senior Member
                              • Sep 2000
                              • 343

                              #15
                              Saw this little sub in person at Andrew's tonight. He wasn't too happy about the veneer...but I actually really liked it. It looked sort of rustic and worn - but in a good way. I had no idea this was a subwoofer when I first looked at it. It blends in and could pass as a nice, almost antique-looking end table. Very cool! 8)

                              Comment

                              • RAW
                                Junior Member
                                • Apr 2003
                                • 23

                                #16
                                Well good to gsee the final kit looks great Andrew.
                                I want to clear up a few things.
                                These joints use a 45 lock miter that some have a hard time understanding.Thanks for the link for those to the router bit above.
                                There is no company and I mean no company at this time offering a cabinet of sub or other that the average joe can build using NO TOOLS but a screw driver.
                                These kits are meant so the person can order the complete kit and the cabinet can be assembled using DUCT TAPE ONLY.Yes clamps can be used but for those with out the tools building a sub is a larger investment than just flat pack kit.
                                Clamps are needed and a few at that.A nail gun would help but screws can make life easyer building butt joints.
                                So let us compare.
                                kit uses duct tape to assemble
                                -butt joints well spend some money on clamps and a few other tools and add it up
                                kit uses a joint that anyone can assemble and get a SQUARE cabinet
                                -butt joint will for those challenged in the tool department, you will need a lot of sand paper and or a belt sander$$$
                                Kit uses small amout of glue and water mix to get every contact area possible and keep all piece straight as well-butt joint well try and keep the panels lined up, yes a cookie cutter would insert nice wood alignments chips butt yes that is another $99.00 or more.

                                As far a the inner spline breaking.
                                God yes these break very easy.
                                But only while cutting and packaging.
                                Even if they are broke off the joint has more glue are on a 45 area over a butt joint.And I took a scrap piece last night using the 45 and butt joint on another and took the hammer to them both this am and well I have to say the joints well the 45 lock miter stayed GLUED just the same as the butt joint but in fact the butt joint broke at the edge of the butt joint well the 45 has a larger contact area and more material broke off.
                                in another words the 45 will be a stronger joint with MDF as it is open pores for the glue and bonds very very well.

                                So even if you get a broken spline in a kit the csame area us loaded with more glue for a better contact area.

                                And well the last points I have.
                                using 45 lock miter.
                                you have no end grain to fill if you use veneer or paint??
                                butt joint well seal the ends $$
                                And last a 45 lock miter kit with veneered MDF
                                what aout that.
                                Yes butt joint using veneered MDF now that would lookie purdiee

                                Al




                                3" never too small
                                Got love exotic veneer !

                                Comment

                                • Andrew Pratt
                                  Moderator Emeritus
                                  • Aug 2000
                                  • 16507

                                  #17
                                  Allan you might want to edit that post to remove all the underlining!

                                  FYI the cost of the kit has been announced on the CreativeSoundSolutions HomePage which seems like a fantastic price!




                                  Comment

                                  • David R.
                                    Member
                                    • Apr 2003
                                    • 90

                                    #18
                                    Cool someone near me thats running Adire Equipment as well!. The sub enclsoure looks good! I wouldn't mind getting the chance to hear the shiva and tempest.. Im considering buying one of them for my system

                                    To bad i didn't know Bob was coming to town last weekend.. Could of shown him my recently finished Kit281's and the rest

                                    Comment

                                    • Eduardo
                                      Moderator emeritus
                                      • Jun 2002
                                      • 1258

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by David R.
                                      To bad i didn't know Bob was coming to town last weekend.. Could of shown him my recently finished Kit281's and the rest
                                      I am interested in building the Kit 281. Could your start a post outlining you experience? Also if your able, post some pictures.

                                      Thanks




                                      http://home.nc.rr.com/ejimenez

                                      Comment

                                      • Andrew Pratt
                                        Moderator Emeritus
                                        • Aug 2000
                                        • 16507

                                        #20
                                        David if you're ever in the city let me know and I'd be more then happy to show you the tempests and shiva etc. I'd love to hear your 281's some time as well. i sometimes get up to your neck of the woods so maybe you'll hear from me this summer...providing you'll have me




                                        Comment

                                        • David R.
                                          Member
                                          • Apr 2003
                                          • 90

                                          #21
                                          Im actually in the city everyday for work.. I have gotten use to the 30 minute drive to the city. I could bring my 281's in with me.. But you would have to help me carry them sense there about 100lbs (I guess) and hard to hold on to sense there 48"x15"x9".. hehe

                                          Im going to try and upload some pics ect. later tonight or tomorrow.

                                          Comment

                                          • Andrew Pratt
                                            Moderator Emeritus
                                            • Aug 2000
                                            • 16507

                                            #22
                                            Boy do I feel stupid...I thought for a moment warren was out by russell ops: Anyway I'm in St.James so you're pretty close and I work at Oak Hammock Marsh so I could pretty easily drive by you on the way home from work. I'd love to hear those 281's. What sort of amps are you driving them with?




                                            Comment

                                            • David R.
                                              Member
                                              • Apr 2003
                                              • 90

                                              #23
                                              I will be running them off a Denon 2802. No additional amps, yet. I have just gotten into the home audio scene.. I have barely used them, and have been told they need some break in time to sound there best.

                                              Comment

                                              • DerekO
                                                Junior Member
                                                • Apr 2003
                                                • 3

                                                #24
                                                Nice looking sub Andrew.

                                                Being subwooferless and not having any woodworking tools I'm very interested in the kit. Do you know if there are plans for a complete kit based on the Tempest?

                                                Look forward to hearing how it sounds.

                                                Comment

                                                • RAW
                                                  Junior Member
                                                  • Apr 2003
                                                  • 23

                                                  #25
                                                  The Temp can be used in the other 2 cabinets CSS sells





                                                  I just finished one a few days ago for a customer in Alberta for Bob and I will say the Temp ported in the 21X21x24, is a smoking monster for the price.
                                                  Not the power of the Tumult I had just finished as well but not running on a 800 amp makes a big difference.

                                                  The DT 300 AMP really puts a kick in these Temp drivers i will say that for sure.

                                                  And adjustable boost on the rear of the plate amp.
                                                  No need to remove the plate solder.nothing.Just flip a switch to match your boost??

                                                  Al




                                                  3" never too small
                                                  Got love exotic veneer !

                                                  Comment

                                                  • DerekO
                                                    Junior Member
                                                    • Apr 2003
                                                    • 3

                                                    #26
                                                    I see on the CSS website that the EZSUB17 complete kits will be coming soon. I guess the 21's will follow.

                                                    I was eyeing up the EZSUB21 with a Tempest and a DT300 so I guess I'll be patient and see what they come up with.

                                                    Comment

                                                    • RAW
                                                      Junior Member
                                                      • Apr 2003
                                                      • 23

                                                      #27
                                                      rawacoustics .ca and you will see just that finished.

                                                      Al




                                                      3" never too small
                                                      Got love exotic veneer !

                                                      Comment

                                                      • Andrew Pratt
                                                        Moderator Emeritus
                                                        • Aug 2000
                                                        • 16507

                                                        #28
                                                        I promised Bob I'd write up something about its performance and now that I've lived with the little wonder sub for a few weeks I feel I'm now comfortable talking about that aspect of it. I have been running this sub in my second zone to add to the bottom end of the Paradigm Atoms in the living room. Its been doing a very impressive job in that role. I ran some SPL sweeps though it this afternoon and the results were even more impressive then I could have imagined for a small 12" sub! I placed my SPL meter on the hardwood floor slightly underneath the box and ran a series of test tones recording the value from my analog Radio Shack SPL meter. Here's what those results look like when plotted in Excel.



                                                        As you can clearly see this little guy can really belt out the bass which is impressive considering its small size and that it’s a sealed unit! It won't reach down to the low teens like a large ported tempest can but then that's hardly a fair comparison What this will give you is solid performance down to about 30 Hz and respectable numbers down to nearly 20 Hz. I'd like to see how many commercial subs at this price point can match these numbers...very few I'd imagine. So would I recommend this sub? You bet I would! It’s exceptionally easy to build and the numbers above speak for themselves...this is a reasonably sized subwoofer that would feel very much at home in someone’s music system on in their Home Theaters.




                                                        Comment

                                                        • Andrew Pratt
                                                          Moderator Emeritus
                                                          • Aug 2000
                                                          • 16507

                                                          #29
                                                          As an aside remember that this plate amp has the boost fixed at 35 Hz. there's some talk that that might get changed to 25 Hz instead which would help lower the response curve a bit. I might also play with adding more stuffing to the box (from 12 to 16 oz)




                                                          Comment

                                                          • David R.
                                                            Member
                                                            • Apr 2003
                                                            • 90

                                                            #30
                                                            Originally posted by Andrew Pratt
                                                            boost fixed at 35 Hz.
                                                            That would explain the 2nd peak around 40hz.

                                                            So when can we expect a review of a tumult?

                                                            Comment

                                                            • Andrew Pratt
                                                              Moderator Emeritus
                                                              • Aug 2000
                                                              • 16507

                                                              #31
                                                              we'll see




                                                              Comment

                                                              • Andrew Pratt
                                                                Moderator Emeritus
                                                                • Aug 2000
                                                                • 16507

                                                                #32
                                                                FYI there's now a kit with the tempest and DT300 amp that's going for $469US or $679Cdn:T

                                                                link




                                                                Comment

                                                                • collije
                                                                  Junior Member
                                                                  • May 2003
                                                                  • 5

                                                                  #33
                                                                  Hey all, just stumbled across your little abode

                                                                  This looks real interesting, thanks for posting this Andrew.

                                                                  Still have questions on the need for internal bracing though for these enclosures (moreso for the 17"/21" boxes). I'd be curious for more fleshed-out opinions (Andrew/Al?). Looking at maybe doing the AV12 or Tempest, DT300, & either the 17/21" boxes. Since I don't have any tools at my disposal, these boxes are very tempting.


                                                                  Joe

                                                                  Originally posted by Andrew Pratt
                                                                  the walls are only 3/4" thick...in their stock form. Since i'm testing their kit I don't want to add in bracing just yet. I likely will add in something once the write up and initial testing is done.

                                                                  Comment

                                                                  • RAW
                                                                    Junior Member
                                                                    • Apr 2003
                                                                    • 23

                                                                    #34
                                                                    The DT300 DPL in the 17" is a stellar design.
                                                                    If you want more the options are there.
                                                                    17" DT300 DPL 12"
                                                                    17" DT300 Shiva
                                                                    21" DT300 SHIVA
                                                                    21" DT 300 Tempest
                                                                    21" DT 300 Tempest Ported
                                                                    21" DT300 Shiva Ported

                                                                    These kits all come with 3/4"MDF and the large one uses Braces in it.
                                                                    If you order a custom kit I can add braces to the 17" but the 14" just has no room once the driver and plate AMP are added.
                                                                    I am also getting prices for the 21" in 1" MDF along with MDF VENEERED.
                                                                    So you end up with a veneered MDF cabinet once assembled.What you think of that?
                                                                    Dan from Adire was up and seen them and was very empressed and help on a few model changes.But was very happy with the DPL 12 and the DT300 in a 17" matched to the noodles I built for Bob at CSS.
                                                                    These were on show at a DIY John Chapman held 2 weeks ago.Nice to meet Dan finally.

                                                                    If you want more info just drop me a line.

                                                                    Al




                                                                    3" never too small
                                                                    Got love exotic veneer !

                                                                    Comment

                                                                    • collije
                                                                      Junior Member
                                                                      • May 2003
                                                                      • 5

                                                                      #35
                                                                      That was a quick response Al

                                                                      Hmmm...decisions, decisions. I'll need to spend some more time deciding. I'll definitely contact you directly Al if I have any more Qs on the box.


                                                                      Joe

                                                                      Comment

                                                                      • collije
                                                                        Junior Member
                                                                        • May 2003
                                                                        • 5

                                                                        #36
                                                                        That was a quick response Al

                                                                        Hmmm...decisions, decisions. I'll need to spend some more time deciding. I'll definitely contact you directly Al if I have any more Qs.


                                                                        Joe

                                                                        Comment

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