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Author Topic: DIY or not...?  (Read 12757 times)

Chris Cox

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DIY or not...?
« on: March 23, 2009, 10:48:26 pm »

:disclaimer:   I aspire to one day be able to call myself a "pro", but I am currently nowhere near that goal, so please forgive any offensive ignorance on my part.  


I currently have a pretty small system, consisting of 4 Yorkville u15p tops and six Bag End d18 subs, running off 3 qsc plx1804 amps, one amp per 2 subs.  I love the yorkvilles, but I've been generally disappointed with the bag ends.  They reach really low and sound very nice at low to moderate volumes, but they just don't seem to be capable of the sort of output that I need.  

*side note, if anyone has some experience with bag end subs, and has any advice or input as to why they are so weak, please share!


So, unless someone has some really helpful advice about getting more out of the Bag Ends, i'm planning to upgrade to better subs, and I'm debating whether it would be wise to go the DIY route or not...  LAB subs are out of the question, because they are too big, probably beyond my woodworking skill level, and there are already 2 great sound providers in my area that have 6 LABs each.  I'm interested in possibly trying my hand with this:

http://www.speakerstore.nl/constructions/61

Walt's "stepped horn".  Seems like a relatively easy/affordable build, capable of some pretty nice output...but the more I research, the more I come to realize that I really have no idea if this design would make a good PA sub - even if I made 6 or 8 of them.  

The vast majority of events I do are 200-300 people, electronic music - usually DJs and occasionally live electronic, and frequently include *very* bass heavy music (dubstep, which often features silly 40hz or lower sine wave sub-bass).

My non DIY thoughts are to start with 4 growlers, with the intention of upgrading to 8 or more as cashflow allows; or start with 2 Danley TH-212s with the intention of upgrading to 4 or more as possible (though I can't seem to find a price for the TH-212, so I'm only guessing that this is in my price range).  I also have a Yorkville UCS1p, and I've considered just getting several more of those - but I'm doubtful that this would give the size to output ratio I'm hoping for.  If anyone has used the UCS1p in groups of 4 or more, please chime in.

I usually work solo, and generally need everything to fit into the back of my 4runner + a 4'x8' trailer.

I'm not at all opposed to the inevitable blood, sweat, and tears of a DIY project, but ultimately I'm first and foremost concerned with ending up with the most kick-ass system possible for the money/time/size.


Sorry about the variety of topics all mashed into one rambling post...

Chris
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Duane Massey

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Re: DIY or not...?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2009, 11:46:23 pm »

These boxes don't seem to very efficient, and that's also an issue with the Bag Ends. I've never heard a Bag End system that sounded good at higher volume levels, but I could say the same about most vented small-footprint boxes.

I wouldn't suggest DIY unless you really want to do it for the joy (or experience) of building your own, and definitely not if you're intimidated by the Lab subs. Anything less will not exactly give you an edge on your competition, but there are many choices out there.
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Pascal Pincosy

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Re: DIY or not...?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2009, 11:49:48 pm »

Are you using the Bag End processor with your current Bag End subs? It might make a big difference depending on the model of sub you have.
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Chris Cox

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Re: DIY or not...?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2009, 01:59:42 am »

Pascal,

Yes, I have an ELF M2, and I have at least a basic understanding of the idea behind the ELF (now called Infra) system that Bag End uses - 3 cubic foot sealed chamber which naturally rolls off at 12db/octave on either side of 95 hz, no lo-pass filter to avoid introducing delay into the signal, "dual integrator" which creates a 12db/octave boost down from 95hz to 18hz for a "perfectly flat" response...  cool concept, and it works wonderfully in a HT or studio environment... but as a PA, I just can't seem to get the volume and impact I want - which is a damn shame, because I'd love to have the musicality, tightness and punch that the Bag Ends have in a high output PA.  

I suspect that some of my trouble is due to my less than complete understanding of boundary cancellation and other room effects (to which these subs are, as far as i know, highly susceptible.)  I wonder if these subs might perform much better in the hands of a more experienced operator, and I'm hoping someone with experience using them will chime in...
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Dave Rickard

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Re: DIY or not...?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2009, 02:01:46 am »

I currently use BFM Tuba 30's.  I really like them...

I can't rent more.  
I can't buy more.  
If I needed more TOMORROW, no way it's gonna happen.

If your time is free (rare), you can save bucks.
Pretty forgiving construction.
If I did BFM again, I'd do Titans.

Probably going to switch to UCS1P's in the future.  
There are some threads with opinions about 4 of them.
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Dave
Yorkville dealer

"The wrong piece of gear, at the right price, is still the wrong piece of gear."

"If you don't have good stuff at each end of the signal chain, (mics and speakers) what you use in between is just turd polish."--Dave Dermont

Johan Diettrich

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Re: DIY or not...?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2009, 09:05:41 am »

Quote:

Walt's "stepped horn". Seems like a relatively easy/affordable build, capable of some pretty nice output...but the more I research, the more I come to realize that I really have no idea if this design would make a good PA sub - even if I made 6 or 8 of them.
Walt's stepped horn has a bit low sensitivity figure. It might actually be quite a bit lower than the Bag End's you're using now (couldn't find the right model, they all seem to go down to 8 Hz instead of 18 Hz).

You might get more output by setting the high pass higher. Below 20 Hz there is often material included that doesn't seem to be very related to the song.

I would suggest diy over buying but I'm biased. The Growlers seem like a good option but are for ~40+ Hz as are the TH-212.
The're plenty of 15" or 18", 40+ Hz diy-designs out there.
For the best money-performance ratio I would bet on diy (for bass/subs). For the best time/labor-performance either the Growler, TH-212's (or other commercial design).

For 200-300 people (inside) something in the range of two double 18" basreflex or two triple 15" could be suffic
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Dave Rickard

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Re: DIY or not...?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2009, 10:19:16 am »

Johan Diettrich wrote on Tue, 24 March 2009 07:05

To learn more about the best placement for your subs read this (oh, and if possible against a solid wall): http://www.voidaudio.com/pdf/bass%20guide.pdf


Thanks for that link!
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Dave
Yorkville dealer

"The wrong piece of gear, at the right price, is still the wrong piece of gear."

"If you don't have good stuff at each end of the signal chain, (mics and speakers) what you use in between is just turd polish."--Dave Dermont

Harley Osterlund

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Re: DIY or not...?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2009, 11:35:16 am »

Hi chris.   I read your post.  As far as labs goes one of the guys you must be talking about is andy over at edge audio?  He built those 12 labs himself took him 6 months.  I have done some engineering work for him.  The size and weight make those things obsolete these days.  Plus his were never flat to begine with but man do they hit like a mother around 63, 50 hz   You might go to harleyshouseofsound.com and see if that will help you.  I have been in your shoes and have wasted a ton of money on the jbl srx, the eaw 850's the meyer u.p  rig and finally got it figured out.   If your listening crowd is within 150 of your FOH then The jtr,s are the way to go.  plus I cant find anything that beats the growlers  I started with 4 growlers and now have 12.  I use 4 60% of the time and the other 35% I use six and 4% I use 8 and 1% i use 12.   They are the most musical for sure that is priority number one.  For size my crew consist of a bunch of teenage girls if that tells you anything (The boys dont last there pussy's that dont know how to work)  So girls lift these things all day long.  I stay busy year round so let me know if you ever want to hear them. I have gone head to head with a lot of stuff and always come out on top I guess that is why I get so much work clients can tell when you have a better rig.  Good luck  Harley
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Art Welter

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Re: DIY or not...?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2009, 02:22:16 pm »

Chris,

Your problem is simply the inefficiency of the system you are using, the laws of physics apply to all subs.
As you mentioned the the cabs you use need 12 dB more power at 47.5 HZ to be equal in level to 95 HZ.

If it takes 100 watts to achieve 115 dB at 95 HZ, it would take 1600 watts to achieve the same level at 47 HZ, which is not all that low. If you wanted another 3 dB, you need to pump in 3200 watts, and the smoke will not be long in coming.

Proper placement is helpful, but there are plenty of cabinets available that are easily 10 dB or more efficient down low than the cabinets you are using.

10 dB sounds twice as loud.

Art Welter
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peter.golde

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Re: DIY or not...?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2009, 04:00:21 pm »

Size and weight makes Labs obsolete? maybe for you and your small shows, but there isn't much out there that does as well in groups, and something is wrong when 12 Labs aren't flat to 32hz and only bump at 63-50hz.
Growlers are a good solution for his start-up.
For DIY, Walt's Punisher would work on top of your current subs, below the tops. 2 way bass for EDM is hard to beat. pardon the pun
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