DIY sub ... Just as expensive as buying new!

TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
edited May 2012 in Speakers
I posted this on the AVS Forum, but thought I might get your opinion here on Polk ...

I was looking into purchasing a powered sub for my 2-channel audio only home setup. There are some very good powered 12" subs in the $500-$600 range:

Epik Legend .............$ 499
HSU VTF-2 mk4..-.....$ 519
Outlaw LFM-1 Plus.....$ 499
Rhythmik FV-12........$ 549
SVS SB-12......-........$ 599

So, I thought, I wonder if I could build a DIY sub myself that would be somewhat equal to these subs I list above. And at the same time, I could save some money by putting it together myself. I would be looking for a good quality 12" driver, an amp in the 250 w RMS range, and a box of 3.0 cu. ft interior size.

I would need to find a box that has the panels pre-cut to size already, since I don't have any woodworking power tools.

So I picked parts from the Parts Express website (these are all Dayton Audio parts):

Cabinet
Model #: SWC3-CH
Type Enclosure: Construct as a Sealed Unit
Internal Volume: 85 Liters (3.0 cu. ft)
Finish: Cherry Veneer
Dimensions: 19" x 19" x 18"
Weight: 52 Lb.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=302-845
Price: $ 234


Ampifier
Model #: SPA250
Type: Mono, Class AB
Power: 250 w RMS
Damping Factor: 114 @ 100 Hz
Signal / Noise Ratio: 110 dB
Adjustable Low-Pass Filter: 40 Hz - 180 Hz
Phase Select: 0 - 180?
Adjustable Gain
Weight: 13 Lb.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-803
Price: $ 120


Sub Driver
Series: Reference HF
Model #: RSS315HF-8
Cone Size: 12?
Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
Freq. Range: 25 - 1,500 Hz
Sensitivity: 85 dB
Vas: 2.70 cu. ft
Qms: 2.94
Qts: 0.53
Lightweight Anodized Aluminum Cone for Rigidity and Lower Moving Mass
Triple Shorting Ring Motor for Ultra-Low Distortion
Weight: 25 Lb.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=295-445
Price: $ 149


TOTAL PRICE: $ 503
________________________________


Well, so much for putting this together myself and saving any money. The price would be basically the same as buying a new Epik Legend with dual side-firing 12" drivers for $499. http://www.epiksubwoofers.com/legend.html

And now I am wondering if my home-brew "Dayton" sub would have the same quality of sound of the Epik Legend, or any of the other subs I listed above?

Don't seem to be much of a bargain (or a good idea) to me anymore. Just wondering how any of you folks feel about this?

Ron,
2-Channel Audio
Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
Post edited by Turbota on

Comments

  • ConradiclesConradicles Posts: 5,801
    edited April 2012
    DIY subs in the $500 range are over rated. I think you are better off buying the Epik you referenced.

    Now a DIY in the $1000 - $1500 range would be sweet IMHO.
  • leroyjr1leroyjr1 Posts: 8,799
    edited April 2012
    In your case it would be better and easier to just pick from the 5 subs above. This way all the work is done for you and there's no guessing to its performance as someone has put all the thinking into the sub for you.
  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    edited April 2012
    Well, I don't have anything at all against DIY ... I just thought that buying parts from a company like Parts Express and putting it all together yourself might be a cheaper alternative to buying a new (and proven) design.

    But, as in the example above ... I would pay just as much as a brand new Legend, and I might not even get as good of sounding sub with my "homebrew" selection of parts.

    I just used the Legend as an example. I am not committed to that sub. There are other great subs in the $500-$600 range as shown in the subs brands I posted above (and there are many more I did not include).
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • codyc1arkcodyc1ark Posts: 2,539
    edited April 2012
    I don't know if I agree... What does the legend weigh in at? 65ish? Your build there weighs in at 90lbs~, I'm pretty sure my LFM-1+ is the 65ish range as well. We all know that MOST of the time weight = better in this hobby, I'm not saying that I'm correct in this situation, but I don't think the dayton build would be a bad performer; I think it would stack up well against any of the subs mentioned above. All, even the DIY route, are good choices. Plus you get the good feeling of going DIY. Good luck.
  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    edited April 2012
    The Legend is 80 lbs shipped .... Maybe 75 Lbs out of the box.

    http://www.epiksubwoofers.com/legend.html
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • newrivalnewrival Posts: 2,020
    edited April 2012
    Turbota wrote: »
    Well, I don't have anything at all against DIY ... I just thought that buying parts from a company like Parts Express and putting it all together yourself might be a cheaper alternative to buying a new (and proven) design.

    It can definitely be cheaper but you have to compare apples to apples. You're comparing a DIY to manufactured subs that have different components and construction. Take, for example, the Ryhtmik F15, you can buy it for around $1100, or you can buy the servo amp/driver DS1505 kit and free plans for ~$630 and spend $200 on cabinet and finishings and be ahead nearly $300. They also have a 12" version that will bring you in near the $500 mark and still save you ~$175 from buying complete.

    Also look at the Parts express Dayton Titanic kits. They save you a good amount of coin just for assembling it yourself.
    design is where science and art break even.
  • transmastertransmaster Posts: 428
    edited April 2012
    You didn't checkout the outfit that invented the sub-woofer.

    http://velodyne.com/subwoofers/shop-all-subwoofers-1.html
    Radio Station W7ITC
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,602
    edited April 2012
    Yea I think that the DIY thing is only advantageous if you build the enclosure yourself. I am about to pick up a jigsaw and workbench for this and other projects around the house that I am gonna tackle this summer. Once you invest in the tools, MDF from your local hom improvement store is REALLY cheap. Yes veneer would be beyond me, but if you sand it down nicely and give it a nice coat of semi-gloss spray paint after priming and sanding between coats I think it would look very good. Here is the step by step, and you would save at least 150:

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?119747-DIY-dual-Dayton-10-quot-sealed-subs-piano-black&highlight=dayton+diy+subwoofer
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Excite x18; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP; NVidia ShieldTV
    ;
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • maximillianmaximillian Posts: 2,073
    edited April 2012
    I'm sure I could build a box cabinet and have the tools for it. But I believe building a sub box is much harder than slapping together 6 sides panels together. Without paying attention to bracing, the box would start rattling after some burn in hours. And it may never properly sound good if designed wrong. You need some good plans and a proven design or forget it.

    I've got an HSU STF-2 currently and will be looking at an HSU or Epik sub next for about $500. I don't need the bass a $1K sub would provide, and I couldn't build it for cheaper than $500 as the parent pointed out.

    Some people love DIY projects, have the tools, the time, and may have done the necessary research already. That's wonderful for them, just not for me.
  • transmastertransmaster Posts: 428
    edited April 2012
    Here is something you might check out. Steve buys up surplus inventory these are new speaker. I replaced the woofer on my Warfedale W35's with the NHT 8 inch woofers at the top of the page. Great place to deal with.


    12" Subwoofer
    THRUSTER Series II Model THW 1260
    4 Ohms 200 Watt RMS
    2" Voice Coil 50 Oz Magnet
    Recommended Box Size Box Size Ported 2.2 Cu ft
    2 Ports 2 3/4"Dia X 2 1/4" Long
    Fs 30Hz
    Freq Res 25Hz-2K Hz Box Size Sealed 0.7 Cu Ft
    SPL 90Db
    QTS .21
    VAS 395L

    PRICE 39.95 each
    Radio Station W7ITC
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,602
    edited April 2012
    I'm sure I could build a box cabinet and have the tools for it. But I believe building a sub box is much harder than slapping together 6 sides panels together. Without paying attention to bracing, the box would start rattling after some burn in hours. And it may never properly sound good if designed wrong. You need some good plans and a proven design or forget it.

    I've got an HSU STF-2 currently and will be looking at an HSU or Epik sub next for about $500. I don't need the bass a $1K sub would provide, and I couldn't build it for cheaper than $500 as the parent pointed out.

    Some people love DIY projects, have the tools, the time, and may have done the necessary research already. That's wonderful for them, just not for me.

    The last part here is the key. What the op is suggesting is barely DIY. Assembling an essentially ready made kit isn't going to save you much. But if you have tools and time - the two main ingredients - you can save some cash.
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Excite x18; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP; NVidia ShieldTV
    ;
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • ravaneliravaneli Posts: 530
    edited April 2012
    I have 3 boxes, purchased for 20-40 bucks each. For my car - I experimented a lot to get the sound I want. They are all made of cheap MDF and bad gray carpet. All of them sound great to me, though the size of the box changes the sound a lot. I am sure you would be happy with a self made box, if you know what you are doing.

    Also, in these price comparisons, all of the premade subs are made of cheap looking black vynil. The DIY one looks much nicer :)
    BlueFox wrote: »
    I have found that tube based computers provide the best sound quality. ENIAC and MANIAC I offer a smooth, well defined and articulated sound unmatched by the current silicon based CPUs. :wink:
    But as in all things your perception is your reality.
  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    edited April 2012
    rooftop59 wrote: »

    The guy that made that post did really a fantastic job on that pair of subs.

    I am no speaker builder expert, but I do have some experiance in paint finishing. I would have done it just the way it's done on a car ... After primer and wet sanding, I would use a 2-part paint system ... That is maybe 2 coats of gloss black folowed by at least 4 or 5 coats of clearcoat. Then wetsand and machine buff with a rotary polisher. You get a gloss finish just like on a new car.

    But, from what I could see in the photos, his way of applying the finish did work out nice too.
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • ravaneliravaneli Posts: 530
    edited April 2012
    sub.jpg


    If I have my car subwoofer, can I buy one of these amps and make a little separate box for the amp and use it to drive the sub?

    This sub actually has dual 4 ohm voice coils that are wired in paralel, but I can rewire them in sequence to the total load is 8 ohm..

    By the way, it is for sale, pm me if interested :) But would be nice if I can add it to my HT.
    sub.jpg 42.5K
    BlueFox wrote: »
    I have found that tube based computers provide the best sound quality. ENIAC and MANIAC I offer a smooth, well defined and articulated sound unmatched by the current silicon based CPUs. :wink:
    But as in all things your perception is your reality.
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,224
    edited May 2012
    Turbota wrote: »
    ...So I picked parts from the Parts Express website (these are all Dayton Audio parts):

    Cabinet
    Model #: SWC3-CH
    Type Enclosure: Construct as a Sealed Unit
    Internal Volume: 85 Liters (3.0 cu. ft)
    Price: $ 234

    Ampifier
    Model #: SPA250
    Type: Mono, Class AB
    Power: 250 w RMS
    http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-803
    Price: $ 120

    Sub Driver
    Series: Reference HF
    Model #: RSS315HF-8
    Cone Size: 12?
    Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
    http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=295-445
    Price: $ 149

    TOTAL PRICE: $ 503

    Well, so much for putting this together myself and saving any money.

    I am wondering if my home-brew "Dayton" sub would have the same quality of sound of the Epik Legend, or any of the other subs I listed above?

    Ron,
    Continue doing your homework on PE's forum on a DIY sub built w/this driver*. All the reviews I've read, the builders were happy w/the results. Hence you'll get your performance $'s worth over most mass produced, similar $ point subs. Consider the 4ohm version* if the SPA250 can handle it, you'll gain a little more output. Down the road I plan to build 4ohm twins

    Tony
    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 976 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, DirecTV Rcvr, Xbox 360, Dennon LDP, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside & out

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7. Woofers, Rotel 98X amp; M & T, P'sound HCA-1000
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: 1 Evidence at each corner
    Surrounds: Hafler XL280 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3*
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
    *Bi-amped by years end
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