ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down

Author Topic: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs  (Read 24744 times)

Matthew Hicks

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
« on: August 07, 2012, 12:15:34 am »

Hi everyone--

I'm attempting to get into the large scale EDM sound system game on a limited budget, and with my solid knowledge of carpentry and cabinetry I've begun construction on what will eventually be ten Labsubs.  My question is, what DIY topboxes have been used successfully to compliment the Labsub?

I have plenty of time and a well-equipped shop and access to a CNC router so I can bang out some pretty complicated stuff relatively fast.  Horn loaded mains make the most sense to me, but what the heck do I know?  Answer: very little.

I'm going to be working gigs that center around the bass music movement so I need to build an over-the-top rig.  The talk on the dance floor centers on the amazingness of Funktion One and PK gear but I feel like I can build something as good or better for a fraction of the cost.

Help please.
Logged

Matthew Hicks

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2012, 05:21:57 pm »

Warehouses, outdoor 500-1000 person parties, and clubs mostly BTW.  Nothing massively long throw necessary.  Any takers?
Logged

Charlie Zureki

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1244
  • South Eastern Michigan (near Windsor)
Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2012, 06:13:45 pm »

Hi everyone--

I'm attempting to get into the large scale EDM sound system game on a limited budget, and with my solid knowledge of carpentry and cabinetry I've begun construction on what will eventually be ten Labsubs.  My question is, what DIY topboxes have been used successfully to compliment the Labsub?

I have plenty of time and a well-equipped shop and access to a CNC router so I can bang out some pretty complicated stuff relatively fast.  Horn loaded mains make the most sense to me, but what the heck do I know?  Answer: very little.

I'm going to be working gigs that center around the bass music movement so I need to build an over-the-top rig.  The talk on the dance floor centers on the amazingness of Funktion One and PK gear but I feel like I can build something as good or better for a fraction of the cost.

Help please.

   Hello,

   With no disrespect intended... you might be able to build a good box, or even a box for a fraction of the cost..but,you can not do both while making a speaker cabinet that sounds as good as, or better, than a Function one cabinet.

  The manufacturers spend large amounts of time and money designing and testing and prototyping and over and over until they come up with a product that suits their specs and expectations. 

   Many people here, have ran the numbers, costs, time associated with the projects and have came to the conclusion that in Professional Sound gear...you generally pay for the quality you receive. 

    There are tons of homemade boxes out there that may perform to your satisfaction, and, you might be able to build a box that suits your need, but, homemade boxes are a dime a dozen in their reselling, unless their has been wide acceptance for them within the industry.

   Good Luck,

   Hammer
Logged
Do it the right way....don't be a Dino!

Tim Weaver

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2167
  • College Station, Texas
    • Daniela Weaver Photography
Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2012, 06:49:56 pm »

   Hello,

   With no disrespect intended... you might be able to build a good box, or even a box for a fraction of the cost..but,you can not do both while making a speaker cabinet that sounds as good as, or better, than a Function one cabinet.

  The manufacturers spend large amounts of time and money designing and testing and prototyping and over and over until they come up with a product that suits their specs and expectations. 

   Many people here, have ran the numbers, costs, time associated with the projects and have came to the conclusion that in Professional Sound gear...you generally pay for the quality you receive. 

    There are tons of homemade boxes out there that may perform to your satisfaction, and, you might be able to build a box that suits your need, but, homemade boxes are a dime a dozen in their reselling, unless their has been wide acceptance for them within the industry.

   Good Luck,

   Hammer

Agree'd. When you can go on ebay and buy Prism tops for like 900 bucks each, why would you even attempt to build your own large format system anymore.
Logged
Bullwinkle: This is the amplifier, which amplifies the sound. This is the Preamplifier which, of course, amplifies the pree's.

Matthew Hicks

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 12:44:37 am »

No disrespect taken.  Like I said, I humbly admit my ignorance.  It seems like the Labsub is one of the best subs around and its a user buildable item, so I just assumed there was a full range DIY cabinet that kicked tail as well.

Okay then, consensus is that I can't build anything good enough, so I'll modify my question.  Are there any full range cabinets that I could build that would sound okay with Labsubs?  I'll never achieve Funktion One quality, but I must be able to build something that sounds better than my RCF loaded JBL M PRos.  I can throw sawdust pretty well.

Encouragement, not discouragement is what I'm after here fellers.  Have saw, will build!
Logged

Grant Conklin

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 25
    • G-Force Pro Audio
Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 02:09:58 am »

No disrespect taken.  Like I said, I humbly admit my ignorance.  It seems like the Labsub is one of the best subs around and its a user buildable item, so I just assumed there was a full range DIY cabinet that kicked tail as well.

Okay then, consensus is that I can't build anything good enough, so I'll modify my question.  Are there any full range cabinets that I could build that would sound okay with Labsubs?  I'll never achieve Funktion One quality, but I must be able to build something that sounds better than my RCF loaded JBL M PRos.  I can throw sawdust pretty well.

Encouragement, not discouragement is what I'm after here fellers.  Have saw, will build!

There are several Turbosound Floodlights on Ebay right now, but if you're bent on building, check out this site, and it's forum:  http://speakerplans.com/index.php?id=plans

Charlie Zureki

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1244
  • South Eastern Michigan (near Windsor)
Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2012, 03:22:16 am »

No disrespect taken.  Like I said, I humbly admit my ignorance.  It seems like the Labsub is one of the best subs around and its a user buildable item, so I just assumed there was a full range DIY cabinet that kicked tail as well.

Okay then, consensus is that I can't build anything good enough, so I'll modify my question.  Are there any full range cabinets that I could build that would sound okay with Labsubs?  I'll never achieve Funktion One quality, but I must be able to build something that sounds better than my RCF loaded JBL M PRos.  I can throw sawdust pretty well.

Encouragement, not discouragement is what I'm after here fellers.  Have saw, will build!

    Hello,

  Tim Weaver posted that there's some prisms on ebay for 900 dollars... I suggest you check them out.  You'd be hard pressed to find more than a couple of cabinets that can handle the power of these Concert monsters.   And, at 900 dollars, you couldn't make these cabinets and purchase ONE of it's drivers.

   To better give you an idea of what you'd need...steering you in the right direction..    First off...what is an EDM ?

   If you are looking for a system that can handle more than 2000 people, there is little on the Website that Mr. Conklin suggested that will get you there.... I respect Rog Mogale...and actually hope to visit with him on my trip to the Himalayas next fall ...2013.   But, the speaker plans on the site will not give you the coverage or levels for a full-out, multi-thousands of attendee show.  If you do not understand coverage, comb-filtering, sensitivity, system processors, amplifier matching, box resonances,  etc.... then, I'd suggest you do a lot more reading before you spend any money.

  The turbosound cabinets may also be a good option.  Remember, a quality, professional driver can easily cost over $1000....for ONE driver.  Why, would you attempt to reinvent the wheel when hundreds have came before you?   And most have failed.

  If it was easy to design a speaker system or even a speaker cabinet, then, none of the Biggest Sound providers would be buying the Millions of dollars worth of cabinets from name brand manufacturers....they'd be making them theirselves.

   If I had a dollar for every audio system provider that was short on cash, but, big on rolling up their sleeves...thinking...all they have to do is get a speaker box and copy it, or how they can turn their empty wallet, some plywood and screws into a functioning, good sounding sound system... I'd be rich!

   I have seen BIG Audio Sound System providers sink hundreds of thousands of dollars into their shop built Speaker Boxes...only to see them lose their "investments"

   What most of these guys DON'T GET, is that the box is the cheapest part of finished cabinet.  It's the Drivers, crossovers made with quality components, connectors, plates, wiring, handles, the system processors, and the Amplifiers that cost the BULK of the money.

   Remember also....that promoters and talent tend to be picky about the gear provided for their shows...  and the ones that are not... GET YOUR MONEY UP FRONT...because they dodge you for your pay.

  Good Luck...

   Hammer

  ps..... don't say that "nobody warned me"

   Correction...6 of the MT 122 cabinets might work..
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 03:30:03 am by Charlie Zureki »
Logged
Do it the right way....don't be a Dino!

Ivan Beaver

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8779
  • Atlanta GA
Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2012, 07:38:25 am »

Okay then, consensus is that I can't build anything good enough, so I'll modify my question.  Are there any full range cabinets that I could build that would sound okay with Labsubs?  I'll never achieve Funktion One quality, but I must be able to build something that sounds better than my RCF loaded JBL M PRos.  I can throw sawdust pretty well.

Encouragement, not discouragement is what I'm after here fellers.  Have saw, will build!

Just a little bit ago you were sure you could build a BETTER box-now you are not sure-and you haven't even started yet.

THere are lots of cabinets you can build that will "work" with the lab sub.

It depends on what you mean by "work".

Aas you go up in freq it gets harder and harder to get things right-because the wavelengths are smaller and smaller-so things have to be closer and closer so they don't interfer.

Are you looking for a single box? or multiples?  Are they going to be flown?  REMEMBER that you can KILL somebody with falling speaker cabinets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are you going to handle these your self?  or do you have helpers? How many?

WHat size trasportation do you have?  Do you plan on having to carry these up stairs?

Are they going to be passive-biamp-triamp?  Do they need a passive crossover-who is going to design it?

Do you have alignment tools and SKILLS to be able to get the parameters where they need to be?

What is your budget?  Does that include amps-processing cable etc?

These are just SOME of the questions that HAVE to be considered-BEFORE you even purchase wood.

The more defined you make your target-the better the results will be.

Like going hunting-If you just grab a gun and go into the woods to "kill something" that is one thing.  BUt if you grab the RIGHT GUN-and all the rigth accessories-you are much more likely to get what you are after.  You don't get many dear with a duck call and pistol!
Logged
A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Kevin McDonough

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 307
Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 01:32:14 pm »

hey

While there are definitely some challenges, I'm a little less skeptical about home built systems than some others, and i think that with some planning you can achieve your goal of getting a system that will cover 1000 people and sound great. Above this you would begin to struggle really, as you begin to have to look at flying speakers with complicated flying systems that have to be tested and rated by independent companies before use. But yeah 1000 people is doable no problem.

(getting WORK with it may be another matter but we'll get to that).

Before we start a note on Funktion 1, not everyone thinks they're all that!  Don't get me wrong they're great speakers, but they're a bit like the Apple computes of the speaker world; their seeming amazingness is as much to do with clever marketing and the zelousness of their diehard fans (and the brainwashing of our somewhat slow and easily influenced DJ brothers!!  :P) as it is with their actual quality.

Whet they do do different is use their special axehead phaseplug to push a paper cone driver into playing very high mid frequencies, long after other speakers would have changed to a compression driver, and it gives a slightly smoother, softer upper mid range. They are also highly optimised and designed speakers, on a bit of a knife-edge, and it is often very noticeable that they are unforgiving! When engineers start messing about with the EQ it is VERY easy to mess things up and ruin the sound. While I have heard some FK1 systems sounding fantastic, I have heard FAR more sounding average at best because of poor/low quality input, bad tuning or set up, or just inexperienced operation. They are to some peoples tastes and not to others, but either way there are definitely other pro brands that can sound as good or better.

Anyway, for your design:

Firstly we have to look at frequency response. The labsubs are a very low frequency sub, sound amazing down in the 30's, 40's and 50's (Hz), but  your going to need something to fill out the "kick" frequencies in the 80hz upwards range. This could either be a dedicated kick section that is part of your mid-top that can play down this low. Often this is with a bandpass or short horn section (something such as the Martin Audio H3 or indeed many FK1 cabs).

Alternatively you have a separate dedicated kick cab before you move up to the actual mid-top cab.

While there have been a few people who have designed cabs such as the H3/FK1 style with a kick section built in, they are much rarer. The only relatively widely available one is the Xtro, but this isn't suitable for you as its a wide dispersion, square box not really designed for arraying in multiples as you require.

So a better option for you is a separate kick cab. The mark 1 USB cab was designed specifically for this, Rog Mogale's HD15 is very popular and there is also a few different designs to choose from on Marc O's speaker site http://hornplans.free.fr/index.html.

From here you can them move up to a dedicated Mid-Top Cab.  The designs that spring out are Rog's MT-122 or Marc O's MT-130.  Three of either a side, along with the subs and kicks, will allow you to cover 1000 people no problem and sound fantastic.

Finishing the cabs is also a concern, and if you decide to paint them with some of the specialised speaker paints and coatings that are available, be prepared to spend much more time sanding and filling than you would ever think to get a good, professional quality finish.

However as people have said the key will be firstly and most importantly in spending money on good quality drivers, secondly having good quality, powerful enough amps and high quality processing to run it all, and thirdly spending the time to measure, EQ and set it all up properly, ensuring its all properly delayed to be in phase at the crossover points etc.

Ivan asks some important questions that need to be answered before embarking on this: do you have budget for the correct amps, processing, desks, power distro, transport. Will you be lifting these yourself or will you have staff/helpers. Will they be expecting payment?


Now, after all that, on to the meat of the matter: What you also have to consider seriously is will your system bring in the work you need to make it worth while. Gone are the heady days of the 70's and 80's where big sound co's could make their own proprietary boxes and use them on the biggest gigs.

Professional bands, artists, DJ's and most importantly their engineers have regular nightmares about turning up in venues where the promoter has promised that the home build sound system is of such stupendous quality as to astound and amaze all who hear it, only to discover when they arrive that its woefully inadequate for the job at hand and sounds like a pile off....well you get the picture  :) .

They don't have the time or the inclination to go around and listen to every system in advance to check it, so by far the biggest reason for specifying particular brands of systems on riders is simply so that when they turn up they know what they're getting and know they have a minimum level of quality to work with.

Your system, if built properly using some of the designs listed above and loaded with quality drivers, will exceed many of these and be not far off even the best ones, but actually convincing people of this will be the biggest challenge of all. It'll take you a while of hammering away and generating word of mouth to build up a decent list of clients that trust your system is quality, and even then you'll still struggle to get anything that comes with a rider.

While you may need to spend and extrachunk of money to buy new branded speakers or second hand ones, in the long run if you plan to push your way into more professional gigs, the extra work that you may be able to pick up because of a brand name may indeed be worth it and repay that cost, then start generating profit, in a much shorter period.

In the end you need to balance everything up and make the best decision for you.


k

« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 01:59:11 pm by Kevin McDonough »
Logged

Matthew Hicks

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2012, 06:37:48 pm »

Aaaaah information avalanche!!!

Now we're talking.

Okay, for starters:EDM= electronic dance music.

For the last five years I've been running home built JBL SR double 18 clones (six per side) loaded with RCF L18P300 drivers with a QSC 2450 running mono to each.  On top of those I have a hodge podge of discontinued RCF cabinets, JBL M Pros, and some wood grain cabinets the origin of which I don't even know all powered by QSCs as well.  Everything has been reinforced and loaded with RCF drivers throughout. 

I'm definitely not looking to become competitive with the "big boys" by any means.  I am one of about ten systems that lurk in the party scene here in Northern California and provide our services for promoters of, dare I say, raves, with limited budgets.  I got paid $1,500 for a weekend gig once and almost passed out from joy.  This is a hobby and not really a career.  Our system, when compared to what other junk you can get booked for $800 a night, kicks a lot of butt.  I'd actually say nothing around matches our sound for the money.  It's the guys running PK rigs and selling their services for a grand a night that I want to give a run for their money pun intended.

These gigs are almost all outdoors, are usually for crowds of a couple hundred people but sometimes up to a thousand, and everything has to be ground-stacked for lack of any flying options.  Everything is nylon strapped together and held tight with faith in truck tie-downs.  It's renegade, underground, limited budget, from the heart, and fundamentally based on fun for all including me and my people.

All the music is dj based, and the genres rarely reach past the whole "bass music" movement.  I used to say dubstep, but it's gone beyond that now.  If anyone wants an example, I'd be more than happy to forward mp3 links to mixes.  Ridiculously disproportionate lows relative to highs.  The furthest I'd ever have to throw sound is about 75 feet.

I changed my opinion about never achieving Funktion One quality after my berating over thinking I could.  I'm humble and willing to admit when I'm wrong. 

I have piles of 18mm baltic birch from other cabinet projects, a nice wood shop, access to a CNC router, and time on my hands.  What I have a tough time getting my hands on is $$$$.  This just sounds like fun to me.
   
As far as helpers, I have a truck with a lift gate, a partner who has the strength of ten men, and an unlimited supply of young bass junkies to do all the heavy lifting.  The Labsubs are close to done, and I know they're heavy as heck.

I'm gonna go sift through everything everyone has suggested and move forward with more questions.  I went to speakerplans.com and nothing really seemed like what I'm envisioning, but like I keep saying, I don't know much.  I've gotten five years into this business, and now have a gig every other weekend on average over the course of the summer, so I think I'm in a good position to step it up and ask for a couple hundred more bucks a night because of my amazing new home made system.

Thanks to the constructive.  I'm just trying to learn.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up
 


Page created in 0.033 seconds with 24 queries.