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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Subwoofer Forum => Topic started by: Dave Roy on June 12, 2014, 05:49:14 am

Title: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Dave Roy on June 12, 2014, 05:49:14 am
A local operator has built and operates 6 of the Tuba 45's from www.billfitzmaurice.com/ and they sound outstanding!

Has anyone tried building their own subs before? What are some of the pros and cons. Lightweight, cost-effective, ultra-efficient, the sensitivity is insane... These home-built subs seem to be too good to be true; is there something I'm missing here?
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Ivan Beaver on June 12, 2014, 07:14:31 am
People build their own subs all the time.  I would argue that most people that build cabinets start with subs-they are generally easier.

But just because you do it yourself does not mean it is right-or better.

A lot depends on your skill as a builder (it is A LOT more than just nailing some wood together).

Even a good design can sound like crap if not done properly.

There can be some advantages to building your own (I did it for all of my years in the rental business) and some real disadvantages (depending on your market).

There is a reason commercial subs cost more.  But cost can be a hard thing to figure.  What is  your time worth?  Do you already have all the tools?
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Richard Turner on June 12, 2014, 09:05:14 am
A local operator has built and operates 6 of the Tuba 45's from www.billfitzmaurice.com/ and they sound outstanding!

Has anyone tried building their own subs before? What are some of the pros and cons. Lightweight, cost-effective, ultra-efficient, the sensitivity is insane... These home-built subs seem to be too good to be true; is there something I'm missing here?

Yes I have built quite a few sub boxed in the past. As well as guitar amp cabs, replacement guitar combo amp shells etc/

What you lose are generally the following:

Any hope of a resale value. there may be slight resale value if you build something excellent based on recognized plans such as labsub, tuba, etc. This said look into the JTR Growler, it started as homebrew and is now well regarded in some circles. But so far as a ported front load cab save yourself the headache and buy name brand.

Any brand recognition/rider friendlyness. Again unless your last name is Rat or Claire your homebrew stuff will likely have you spend more time and effort explaining what you are providing where as an old EAW or JBL box has a proven track record

The latest technology, geberally any ready made plan is for drivers in the 1 or 2 generation back class of driver, todays powered subs use processor controlled amp modules, differential drive woofers, extreme excursion woofers some cones are moving over 1" fully controlled the whole time, no more sheet of paper in the wind flopping arond. A lot of the plans were developed around 400w 5mm or less xmax components. Putting a modern driver in them without reworking port size, rebracing etc will just not work.

Hardware is not cheap

Proper coatings are not cheap, ratfur is so dated.

I'm not trying to discourage you but unless you are a competent woodworker with tools its not even remotly feasable, Adding the price of a table saw router, cutters ,cordless drill, painting equipment should be enough to make you think twice if they are not things you have.

What is your labour valued at? Unless this is an enjoyable hobby project would you be paying yourself above negative 10 dollars an hour to work on it? What I'm getting at is would you be better off working and putting said earnings toward a name brand purchase.

If you do go ahead use void free Baltic birch ply plenty of glue plus screws and corking on all the joints, any leaks are bad. a 1000w par can in a dark room will find them all for you.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Spenser Hamilton on June 12, 2014, 11:33:08 am
A local operator has built and operates 6 of the Tuba 45's from www.billfitzmaurice.com/ and they sound outstanding!

Has anyone tried building their own subs before? What are some of the pros and cons. Lightweight, cost-effective, ultra-efficient, the sensitivity is insane... These home-built subs seem to be too good to be true; is there something I'm missing here?

I've built a few home brew subs, including the Tuba 30, a 2x12 Lab BR designed by Art Welter (who frequents this forum and will probably be along any time now to offer his insight), currently looking at a stack of wood that will soon become an 18TBW100 loaded Keystone Sub (also designed by Art).

If you don't enjoy the smell of sawdust, don't waste your time. My Lab 12 subs sound quite good and have deep bass response, but they aren't the most efficient box so it takes quite a few to fill a larger venue. I think Art has moved away from the Lab 12 design at this point and just runs Tapped Horns and Slot Loaded boxes, I'll let him pipe in with all the differences.

Regarding the Tuba Subs, I finally found a good use for mine...
http://1drv.ms/TOfqZn
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 16, 2014, 04:01:52 pm
A local operator has built and operates 6 of the Tuba 45's from www.billfitzmaurice.com/ and they sound outstanding!

Has anyone tried building their own subs before? What are some of the pros and cons. Lightweight, cost-effective, ultra-efficient, the sensitivity is insane... These home-built subs seem to be too good to be true; is there something I'm missing here?

I'd have several questions about the performance of any BFM design - the ones I've heard don't sound/appear to meet the vastly optimistic numbers promoted by Bill or his builders and there is a phenomenal lack of performance consistency between builders and even individual batches of builds.

If you're building for your own use; if you don't have to answer to band engineers or production managers; if you or your employees are the sole and exclusive users and your clients are happy with them, build whatever trips your trigger... but don't expect anyone else to get excited about them or express a willingness to use them.

Ivan and Richard T lay out the reasons, and they're right.  That said, this forum is about building subs, and specifically the LABhorn designed by Tom Danley to prove that a horn-loaded sub needn't cost $4000 and perform poorly.  BFM has a forum for builders/fanboys and if you wish to get some back-slapping and congratulations, go there.  If you're interested in building subs that will withstand scrutiny by folks that design & build speaker systems for a living, stick with this forum.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: duane massey on June 16, 2014, 06:42:46 pm
Tim, it seems that most of the advice given on this forum to DIY'ers is "Don't Do IT!"
I agree with all the potential reasons not build your own, but I also feel that someone who wants to try it should be offered encouragement and support, not gloom and doom.
If you're not in a major market, only need to satisfy your own needs without concern about riders, and can afford to take the chance, go for it.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 16, 2014, 07:09:41 pm
Tim, it seems that most of the advice given on this forum to DIY'ers is "Don't Do IT!"
I agree with all the potential reasons not build your own, but I also feel that someone who wants to try it should be offered encouragement and support, not gloom and doom.
If you're not in a major market, only need to satisfy your own needs without concern about riders, and can afford to take the chance, go for it.

I built my own subs and they served me well, but I was usually the sole person that needed to be happier than the bands.  Today?  With name-brands selling for not a whole lot more than building similar quality cabinets and paying near-retail for the raw speakers to put in those cabinets.... naw, I'd personally pass.

The big deal is, of course, having a competent design, but the critical factor is the quality of the woodworking and making the joinery 'industrial grade' to be air-tight and survive transportation.  Too many amateur builders simply can't pull it off and suffer through their disappointing results until they scrape together enough cash to buy something else.  I'm not trying to discourage anyone from making sawdust, but having been down that exact path I think it important to do so with eyes wide open.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: duane massey on June 17, 2014, 09:39:53 am
Definitely eyes wide open, but most of us old guys just closed our eyes and jumped in.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Bill Hornibrook on June 17, 2014, 01:53:25 pm
A local operator has built and operates 6 of the Tuba 45's from www.billfitzmaurice.com/ and they sound outstanding!

Has anyone tried building their own subs before? What are some of the pros and cons. Lightweight, cost-effective, ultra-efficient, the sensitivity is insane... These home-built subs seem to be too good to be true; is there something I'm missing here?
Before you go out and start building Tubas, I'd suggest you take a very critical listening test (if you can talk this operator into it). I confess I've never heard Tuba 45s, but I have read a few things from folks whose opinion I trust (and who are outside of the BFM fanbase) and those who measured found their frequency response quite non-linear (to say the least).

My own questions about whether BFM designs are any good come not from his cabs, but from his advice on sub placement in a DJ forum I hang out in. He insists that anyone who isn't corner loading his subs is just doing it wrong, and those of us who place our subs on the dance floor or on either side of the stage are uninformed idiots.

A few years ago (thinking I might be missing out on something) I gave it a shot - and tried corner loading my subs in a few rooms. The results were always horrible.

Like others who've responded to your thread, I've built my share of subs over the years. My last (and probably final - I hope I'm coming to my senses) home build were 21" B&C subs for when I DJ. I built the box on provided their website. But I went into this project with my eyes open. I knew what I wanted in size, frequency response, and budget - and these looked like the best way to get there.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Miguel Angel Castro Rios on June 19, 2014, 12:05:46 pm
A local operator has built and operates 6 of the Tuba 45's from www.billfitzmaurice.com/ and they sound outstanding!

Has anyone tried building their own subs before? What are some of the pros and cons. Lightweight, cost-effective, ultra-efficient, the sensitivity is insane... These home-built subs seem to be too good to be true; is there something I'm missing here?

As the folks here have mentioned. Anything you build won't be easy to do, it won't be rider friendly and won't have much resale value.

Now, if your market doesn't mean dealing with riders. Then you should be ok. I'd suggest you to look at some other designs tho.
And on the plus side, you will feel the pleasure and pride of saying "I build them" and to many of us, that's worth it.

If you have the tools and time to do it, go for it. It's very time consuming but for a lot of people it's worth it. A lot of the old folks here have done plenty of profit out fo DIY subs. Specially the Lab.

I say, if you can, give it a shot, just know that it's not easy and requires dedication.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Richard Turner on June 20, 2014, 10:58:50 pm
I should clairfy my position. Sometimes I shoot from the hip.

My background is Fine woodworking. As in go to the website

http://www.finewoodworking.com/

or flip through a copy of the magazine if you see it on the news stand. Theres even less market for that locally than for sound and lighting for hire.

With the glut of not heavily used quality equipment that came available with the economic downturn it really make a BYOS project something that should be relegated to a for fun only hobby project. Again with the exception of using a standardized well accepted and proven set of plans. Copyright precedents still allows a man to make a copy of something for his own personal use but if you make it for resale thats where you can aget dinged.

If you actually sit down and price out the bare costs of all of the materials required to build a sub at retail prices , that right there should have you reconsidering this plan as anything commercially viable. I'll use the earlier reference. Rat sound and Claire Bros are 2 MAJOR companies. They had the time and resources and needs to develop their own PA boxes. Its a whole different ball game when the endeavour is to make 100-200 of the same box. Honestly I think their R&D budget when making their new boxes was comparable to any other 3 letter name US based company


As a project a front firing sub is not a difficult build, neither is a bandpass box. Having it turn out and looking factory  just takes time and attention to details.


I'll throw this analogy out there. The numbers are bigger than in this situation but still scaleable


You likely see/ hear read about the somewhat urban legend of the guy who builds a lambourghini replica in his basement ofer 10 years worth of weekends. In the end he has a replica of a 10 year old super car So he likely pored 10 000 hours into researchng the project, sourching parts, making parts assembling etc etc likely put $75K plus into it plus adonor car , parts freight lights heat storage space and what is the end result....

A kit car that on the open market might fetch 20K on any given auction block after sales comission?

well for 10 000 hours and 75k freed cash you could put yourself through most any reasonable unversity for a PHD which should qualify you for a 6 figure salary sitting beind a desk

Or at valuing your time at $10 an hour and banking the expenses that would work out to a decent house, or wait a 10 year old real lamborghini and a bought and paid for trailer in the trailer park

Again I am not trying to discourage you from persuing a hobby project but I am activly discouraging you from seeing this as a cost saving business model.

If you want to make something useable from the start make either the single 15 or dual 15 on this list:


https://www.jblpro.com/pub/manuals/enclgde.pdf

If you do not have any of the JBL listed drivers eminence delta or delta pro (400w class) drivers will work well. These are a great utility box, and are simple projects. DO NOT MODIFY the plans, they are proven and work well, dont try and do anythign fancy they are front loaded helm-holtz resonator style boxes.

Also unless you own a cube van or large trailer cross the labsub off your list. If you do enough reading on here you will find out it was a minimum 6 box soluton. To show the full potential of the labsub SYSTEM requires a cluster of 6 boxes. The math shows that is what is required to physically produce the size of sound wave required  at the extreme low frequencies a 25 hz sound wave is about 45 feet in size but I'm beginning to ramble.



Basically it really comes down to the buy in for a small provider being so small why bother messing around. 20 years ago bare minimum gear would have been 2 desks, 2 rigs of outboard, (now an ipad and x32 rig fits in a suitcase) lighting dont get me started on how lighting has shrank....... yeah I'm rambling time to hit publish.




Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: sam saponaro on June 21, 2014, 02:17:53 am
[quote author=Richard Turner I'll throw this analogy out there. The numbers are bigger than in this situation but still scaleable


You likely see/ hear read about the somewhat urban legend of the guy who builds a lambourghini replica in his basement ofer 10 years worth of weekends. In the end he has a replica of a 10 year old super car So he likely pored 10 000 hours into researchng the project, sourching parts, making parts assembling etc etc likely put $75K plus into it plus adonor car , parts freight lights heat storage space and what is the end result....

A kit car that on the open market might fetch 20K on any given auction block after sales comission?

well for 10 000 hours and 75k freed cash you could put yourself through most any reasonable unversity for a PHD which should qualify you for a 6 figure salary sitting beind a desk

Or at valuing your time at $10 an hour and banking the expenses that would work out to a decent house, or wait a 10 year old real lamborghini and a bought and paid for trailer in the trailer park
[/quote]
So........???? We shouldn't build subwoofers,we should buy a lamborghini and a mobile home near a university???  ??? ;)
 Ok bored on a friday night cause I had no gig stupid jokes aside.
 I didn't build them myself,but I do have a few sets of BYOS cabs around.I got a pair of JBL 4520 double 15" scoop clones. And 2 pairs of EV TL505 boxes built from plans that I'm reloading/tuneing so I guess that kinna makes them my own design."Proprietary"??
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Richard Turner on June 21, 2014, 09:48:15 am
Seeing as you didnt build them yourself. I'll bite.

What did you pay for them used? Did the builder recoup his time and costs or did you end up getting them for less than the price of the plywood and used woofers?


I knew the car kit analogy would go off the rails so heres a more relevant example.

a pair of RCF 8004 AS which most on here agree is a killer small portable sub box, would run about $4k from an autohorized dealer give or take for freight $USD vs Euro etc. That is a high power, self powered box with on board DSP. It is a current gen product and in 3-5 years should recoup 1/3 to 1/2 of that purchase price if used appropriatly. They occupy about 8 cu ft of truck space, So round to 10 if cased.

So lets compare to the TL505 build project, both would be 18" front loaded subs.

So seeing as the TL505 will need power, I'll spec a new Peavey IPS2 5000DSP that will deliver 2500w mono at 4 ohms, has DSP and would be a good mid range amp. I doubt anyone building their own subs would have budget for Lab Gruppen or I-Tech amps Spent $900

Drivers, too many to pick from but lets just use a generic eminence18" Omega Pro 18C a pair of them would be about $500 delivered give or take, Add $100 to go to the Imperio high excursion 800w class driver

3 sheets 18mm (3/4") baltic birch ply. you are mostly looking at $50 a sheet by the time you get it to your door, so $150 that could be low

pack of #8x2" wood screws I'd guess not much change back from $20 on a retail box of 250. I'm mostly buying by the 5000 bucket size.

100 pk #8x1/2" black screws for grilles and handles $10

24 bolts and Tsert nuts to hold the woofers and feet I'd guess $20 retail

4 handles your looking at about $35 after freight
2 dishes for input jacks I think they are about $15/pr for pre punched ones

2 grilles, black paintes 3/8" holes on 1/2" centers black painted $80 rough estimate, they are priced per sq" plus a cut charge and freight

sheet of accoustically transparent 1/4" foam for behing grilles $30 we are doing a pro job here

8 feet lg rubber $25

small bag of fibreglass insulation $20

4 NL4MP connectors $10
20 .317 crimp on ends $5.00 by the time you get them by the each or buy a bag of 50
4' of good speaker wire $5.00

1 gallon kit duratex with applicator roller freight etc, $100 or use truck bed coating


parts $525
drivers $500
amp $900

$1925 hmmm thats getting close to what those bough powered name brand subs will be worth as used in a few years....

Oh yes the labor,  If this project came to my shop I would have to budget 20 hours for a dry build plus $10% handling charge on retail price of supplies, I would get an edge from a couple of the suppliers. time could be shaved if I was providing woodworking time only So bare minimum $600. If I cant get $30/hr in a fully equipped shop I'll quit and sign up for welfare.

So now we are at $2500 for a generic build, they will look stelar and sound OK. really though 4 would be bare minimum to do any decent size room.

SO is that an accurate cost analasys ?

end run, that amp used should be worh $400ish  and the speakers used, Would you recoup $250 on craigslist in a few years?

Will it be an easy sell to clients, Hey I have EV clone boxes with eminence drivers and a peavey amp..... vs your compeditor selling brand new name brand stuff?

again folks sorry about the long winded ramblings, its just I've been there done that, 15 years ago it was marginally feasable, Now I just dont think it would be.


Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 21, 2014, 12:09:07 pm
Seeing as you didnt build them yourself. I'll bite.

What did you pay for them used? Did the builder recoup his time and costs or did you end up getting them for less than the price of the plywood and used woofers?


I knew the car kit analogy would go off the rails so heres a more relevant example.

a pair of RCF 8004 AS which most on here agree is a killer small portable sub box, would run about $4k from an autohorized dealer give or take for freight $USD vs Euro etc. That is a high power, self powered box with on board DSP. It is a current gen product and in 3-5 years should recoup 1/3 to 1/2 of that purchase price if used appropriatly. They occupy about 8 cu ft of truck space, So round to 10 if cased.

So lets compare to the TL505 build project, both would be 18" front loaded subs.

So seeing as the TL505 will need power, I'll spec a new Peavey IPS2 5000DSP that will deliver 2500w mono at 4 ohms, has DSP and would be a good mid range amp. I doubt anyone building their own subs would have budget for Lab Gruppen or I-Tech amps Spent $900

Drivers, too many to pick from but lets just use a generic eminence18" Omega Pro 18C a pair of them would be about $500 delivered give or take, Add $100 to go to the Imperio high excursion 800w class driver

3 sheets 18mm (3/4") baltic birch ply. you are mostly looking at $50 a sheet by the time you get it to your door, so $150 that could be low

pack of #8x2" wood screws I'd guess not much change back from $20 on a retail box of 250. I'm mostly buying by the 5000 bucket size.

100 pk #8x1/2" black screws for grilles and handles $10

24 bolts and Tsert nuts to hold the woofers and feet I'd guess $20 retail

4 handles your looking at about $35 after freight
2 dishes for input jacks I think they are about $15/pr for pre punched ones

2 grilles, black paintes 3/8" holes on 1/2" centers black painted $80 rough estimate, they are priced per sq" plus a cut charge and freight

sheet of accoustically transparent 1/4" foam for behing grilles $30 we are doing a pro job here

8 feet lg rubber $25

small bag of fibreglass insulation $20

4 NL4MP connectors $10
20 .317 crimp on ends $5.00 by the time you get them by the each or buy a bag of 50
4' of good speaker wire $5.00

1 gallon kit duratex with applicator roller freight etc, $100 or use truck bed coating


parts $525
drivers $500
amp $900

$1925 hmmm thats getting close to what those bough powered name brand subs will be worth as used in a few years....

Oh yes the labor,  If this project came to my shop I would have to budget 20 hours for a dry build plus $10% handling charge on retail price of supplies, I would get an edge from a couple of the suppliers. time could be shaved if I was providing woodworking time only So bare minimum $600. If I cant get $30/hr in a fully equipped shop I'll quit and sign up for welfare.

So now we are at $2500 for a generic build, they will look stelar and sound OK. really though 4 would be bare minimum to do any decent size room.

SO is that an accurate cost analasys ?

end run, that amp used should be worh $400ish  and the speakers used, Would you recoup $250 on craigslist in a few years?

Will it be an easy sell to clients, Hey I have EV clone boxes with eminence drivers and a peavey amp..... vs your compeditor selling brand new name brand stuff?

again folks sorry about the long winded ramblings, its just I've been there done that, 15 years ago it was marginally feasable, Now I just dont think it would be.

Richard, thank you for taking the time to illustrate my point - if one is building to "save" money... it wont in today's market and circumstances.

I think building a sub to experiment with, to try different tunings or designs, is a valid reason to make sawdust because what is learned will never be obsolete and is inherently rider-friendly :) .   The sense of satisfaction after building a successful project is good, too.  But from a monetary standpoint a DIY project is a toss up, and in the long run does not save money in our current market.  In 1984 you'd have been better off building your own subs; in 1994 it was still a money saver so long as your clients didn't care; in 2004 this approach was monetarily iffy and today it's something for folks with more time than money or for whom their time is worth less than the market, but either way it doesn't make financial sense.

Again as an exercise in learning, building subs is a great thing... but don't expect the result to be popular (even if the result is very good) outside of oneself.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Steve M Smith on June 21, 2014, 12:18:01 pm
The best way to decide if it's a good idea to make your own sub is to make your own sub!

It's certainly worth it as a learning exercise and the fact that you are asking on a forum means you are interested in doing it - so do it!

Even if the only thing you learn is that it wasn't for you, that is still a good lesson learned.  If you don't do it, you will always wish you had or wondered if you could.


Steve.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: sam saponaro on June 22, 2014, 04:13:06 am
What did you pay for them used? Did the builder recoup his time and costs or did you end up getting them for less than the price of the plywood and used woofers?
I paid $200 a box loaded w/ original 18B EVMs a few years back. They mostly collect dust now. I was powering them off Crown CE2000s.1 amp per pair in 4ohm bridged.After I grenaded a pair I was considering reloading them w/ B&C drivers,but opted to buy a pair of EAW SB180z. I did reload one set of TL505 w/ a pair of Carvin PSC18 Eminence made drivers I allready had and retuned.Till I can pickup another pair of SB180s I use this set on its own line occasionaly alongside the eaw boxes to Beef up the Kick drum in bigger rooms.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Jerome Malsack on February 24, 2016, 09:15:39 pm
In my case I found the old scoops unloaded for 100 for the pair. 

two coats of truck body paint followed by three coats of exterior grade polyurethane.
each one we loaded up with eminence kappa 15 lfa  140. 

add some new wheels on the back to roll around.
two T nuts in the back near the handle for 5/8 eye bolt used to tie strap top on to keep from shaking off.
two speakon 4 pole  in new cup.  2 pass    and 1 is parallel

So after a couple of hours for the paint and minor adjustments the old speakers were updated to 600 rms 1200 peak
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Jerome Malsack on February 24, 2016, 09:27:54 pm
The tops are old EV Pim 122  with 12 inch carvin neo drivers and Pyle 752 driver.  EV HP64 horns 
Found the cabinets for 50 for the pair, EV horns were 50 for the Pair,  each pyle was 50.  and the carvin 12 were 140 each.
So 200 a speaker and 200 for the sub

Crown XLS 2500 in bridge mono to the two subs
the tops get crown xls 2500 L and r to 12's and pyle. 
12 parallel on L   horns parallel on R    700 watts for each.

DBX driverack PA2  for the tri amp crossover

Behringer x32 rack for the mix and front end.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Jeff Bankston on February 25, 2016, 04:51:02 am
I have built a lot of woofer cabinets over the year. i dont run them as subs. I run them as woofers. I use to use a pencil and paper to design the cabinet size. Emmienice speaker cabinet design software is what I use now. it all depends on what you want it to do. The size of the cabinet , port(s) , closed box , horn load will determine the sound. i build mine for the flattest response so i can easily boost or subtract from the soundwave to get a certain sound. The quality of the woofer and what the manufacturer designed it for also comes into play. I want a driver the will give me the most accurate sound in the 1500-1700 watt rms power range with a sensitivity of at least 97db , 4ohm , and flat in the 40-130hz range. There are quite a few that meet those requirement. there is an 18" woofer that is a tad better then the ones i have now BUT they only handle 800 watts rms , sensitivity is 93db , and they are only availalbe in 8ohm. That means I would need about 3 times the amount of driver to get the same spl i get with the 18's I have now. It takes lots of research and renting different ones so you have an idea of what you want. Listening to them in a club with a band is not really a good way to judge. the room, mix, amps etc might give a different sound. I am very impressed with the 15" and 18". The 18" is just unbelievable in how it sounds. Bass notes are very very detailed. the 15" is a tad more detailed and just awsome. The 18 has more energy and will produce a higher spl.
The last foto shows the inside of the 15" cabinets. It's 3/4" 13 ply no void balitc birch. It normally runs $75.00 for a 4x8 but a cabinet maker friend that cut the wood for me only charged me $50.00 a sheet which is his cost. I used Tite Bond II glue and put flat head Torx Drive screws about every 4". It can be a pain getting all the joints straight and i have been building speaker cabinets since the 70's. I decided to have a friend cut the wood because he has a cabinet shop and a 12x12 foot table saw. Baltic birch is heavy and its easier if 2 people are involved in the cutting. you need an 18 volt drill woth 2 fully charged batteries. I do my cabinets in steps and let each dry over night. The 15" cabinets are heavy even with the neodyne woofer. the 18" needs a handtruck and the heavier the better cause the 18"s want to rotate and wonder off. The only part i hate are installing the T-nuts. I use a larger talbe drill press to drill the speaker holes and grill holes for the T-nuts. It cost me about $850.00 to build 2 15" speakers, and that included the drivers, wood , labor to cut the wood, screws , glue , t-nuts, grill and other hardware, jack plate and wire. i and more than happy because these exceeded my expectations on the sound they produce. BUT that has not always been the case. i have built several over the years and the cabinets became firewood and the drivers were sold. 


p.s. the 2nd foto is actually my front load washer and dryer with an and of cycle horn on the top. wash 2 seperate loads and dry them both at the same time.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Stephen Kirby on February 25, 2016, 05:42:10 pm
I am running a pair of homebuilt subs made from plans on the SpeakerDesigns forum called Cubosub 18s.  This is a sort of small tapped horn.  This came about as I had some simple vented boxes many years ago with EVM 18s in them and upgraded the drivers to 18Sound LW1400s (now obsolete).  I stumbled across the Cubo design a realized that I could get the output of my 4 front loaded boxes with a pair of Cubos.  Which made for a very compact set up while I was downscaling things.  Since there are two more of the drivers sitting in the garage (along with all the other hardware necessary) I'm going to invest the time into building two more to use at some outdoor things this summer.  It's tempting to build Art's Keystone or the DIY Th18 (another DIY forum attempt at copying a Danley TH-118) but these are twice the size.  Which would either leave me with two sets of mismatched subs or having to move around something the weight of a grown man for any gig.

The other thing with things like tapped horns (or the BFM folded horns) is that the woodworking is pretty complicated.  Lots of baffles to get at just the right angle and location.  The Th18 is particularly complex, even compared to the Cubos.  Like some others, I've been building cabinets for myself since the '70s.  And the Th18s still look like a lot of work.

These days I mostly do this to try out ideas for guitar speaker cabinets.  People on the various DIY forums do it mostly for the designing and trying, not so much for the having.

At the end, you basically have some drivers and firewood.  If you can repurpose the drivers like I'm doing, then it's not a total loss.  To start from scratch would not be worth it.  If you haven't built a lot of cabinets or some other sort of fine woodworking then at best it's a hobby exercise.  If you need more that one or two boxes, it's definitely not worth it.  I had an idea about building some coax wedges and it would have meant making up patterns and lots of repetitious cutting out of the same pieces.  Making 4-6 tapped horns at a go is more dedication than I've got.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Steve M Smith on February 26, 2016, 02:54:57 am
The other thing with things like tapped horns (or the BFM folded horns) is that the woodworking is pretty complicated.  Lots of baffles to get at just the right angle and location.
The THAM 12, 15 and 18 are good designs for those not adept at angled joints.  It's basically a set of 90 degree joints set at an angle in a box with only 90 degree joints. There is only one edge which needs an slight angle - but you could probably get away with keeping it straight and adding filler (although I wouldn't).

http://hornplans.free.fr/THAM15-02.jpg (http://hornplans.free.fr/THAM15-02.jpg)


Steve.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: John Halliburton on February 26, 2016, 09:17:06 am
The THAM 12, 15 and 18 are good designs for those not adept at angled joints.  It's basically a set of 90 degree joints set at an angle in a box with only 90 degree joints. There is only one edge which needs an slight angle - but you could probably get away with keeping it straight and adding filler (although I wouldn't).

http://hornplans.free.fr/THAM15-02.jpg (http://hornplans.free.fr/THAM15-02.jpg)


Steve.

Anyone who owns a table saw and does some amount of woodworking should have little problem with angle cuts.  Heck, Paul Klipsch always said his first prototypes of the corner horn were made using hand tools only!

That said, the THAM units are fairly simple vs other horn designs-I made the 12 and the 15 out of MDF to play around and see how they played.

I have quite honestly lost track of  how many cabinets I've built over the last thirty years-hundreds for sure, both tops and subs, and home stereo loudspeakers, both professionally for Tom Danley, at R&R Cases in their speaker cabinet division, and in my own shop for myself and others.

I started off as a DIY'er, and learned along the way that it isn't always more economical, but often produced designs better than what was commercially available at the price point, and often performed better. 

Even today I still some of my own designs(or those I've collaborated  with) along with Tom's designs(I have TD1, Triks, and Runts in my inventory from the Sound Physics Labs days).

There is great satisfaction in designing and building something like a loudspeaker(or anything really), and I always recommend that if you want to give it a go, then have at it.

Best regards,

John
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Steve M Smith on February 26, 2016, 09:26:24 am
I agree. I have made trapezoidal cabinets with just a hand saw but some people would rather not bother with angled cuts.


Steve.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Jay Barracato on February 26, 2016, 05:59:08 pm
Reminds me of the Patrick McManus story where as a young boat builder he dealt with the problem of tapered ends on his canoe just by making them square.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Steve M Smith on February 28, 2016, 12:52:54 pm
Reminds me of the Patrick McManus story where as a young boat builder he dealt with the problem of tapered ends on his canoe just by making them square.
This has reminded me of my father's advice to me when I was a child about how to make a model wooden boat. "start with a block of wood and cut off all the bits which don't look like boat".


Steve.

Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Stephen Kirby on February 28, 2016, 06:06:51 pm
The THAM 12, 15 and 18 are good designs for those not adept at angled joints.  It's basically a set of 90 degree joints set at an angle in a box with only 90 degree joints. There is only one edge which needs an slight angle - but you could probably get away with keeping it straight and adding filler (although I wouldn't).

http://hornplans.free.fr/THAM15-02.jpg (http://hornplans.free.fr/THAM15-02.jpg)


Steve.
That looks interesting.  Gets a fairly long horn into a pretty small box.  How peaky are they?
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Art Welter on February 29, 2016, 03:30:26 pm
That looks interesting.  Gets a fairly long horn into a pretty small box.  How peaky are they?
The Tham 15" is smooth from around 50-150, with a large dip around 180 Hz followed by a big peak around 290 Hz.

 
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Rick Powell on March 03, 2016, 12:37:12 pm
Haven't built a sub for a few decades, but I did build four coaxial monitors last summer, using top quality B&C coax drivers and crossovers and typical hardware and finish.  Wish I'd have used Line X rather than duratex on them for a finish, but I always could do it later.  They came out about $550 apiece (not considering labor), and sound better than anything I could have bought new for that price.  Rented a table saw for a day to cut all the parts. No regrets whatsoever.

I did build a few vented-box subs and mid high boxes a long time ago using JBL components, but they were't very well constructed, and all landed in the scrap heap at some point.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: duane massey on March 03, 2016, 05:19:48 pm
Just finished a pair of "custom" subs for a local client. They furnished the plans, which started out as BFM Tubas, but the client wanted a modification made to increase the height. Since weight was not an issue I used 3/4" Russian birch and changed the speaker mounting portion. Haven't heard them yet, but the client will love them because they choose the design........
Incidentally they are also using some Danley top boxes, which I definitely will be glad to finally hear.
The cabinets were a real PITA to build, and I can see where the angles (especially the ones over 45-degrees) would be a challenge for your average DIYer.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Rick Powell on March 03, 2016, 11:40:37 pm
The THAM 12, 15 and 18 are good designs for those not adept at angled joints.  It's basically a set of 90 degree joints set at an angle in a box with only 90 degree joints. There is only one edge which needs an slight angle - but you could probably get away with keeping it straight and adding filler (although I wouldn't).

http://hornplans.free.fr/THAM15-02.jpg (http://hornplans.free.fr/THAM15-02.jpg)


Steve.

Another very efficient DIY tapped horn sub design that has minimal angle cuts is Art Welter's "Keystone Sub" which has the general output and sound quality of something like a Danley TH 118 (although it is wider and taller, it has less depth), if the right driver is used. A B&C 18SW115 would be a good choice.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/subwoofers/185588-keystone-sub-using-18-15-12-inch-speakers.html  (see link to post #487)
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Spenser Hamilton on March 04, 2016, 07:23:59 pm
Another very efficient DIY tapped horn sub design that has minimal angle cuts is Art Welter's "Keystone Sub" which has the general output and sound quality of something like a Danley TH 118 (although it is wider and taller, it has less depth), if the right driver is used. A B&C 18SW115 would be a good choice.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/subwoofers/185588-keystone-sub-using-18-15-12-inch-speakers.html  (see link to post #487)

I've built the Keystone and the Dual Lab12 design, both perform well for their application, the Dual 12 is my go to for small Jazz type shows. The DIY community owes Art a big kudos.

Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Steve M Smith on March 06, 2016, 12:40:35 pm
I thought this might be of interest to speaker building types.

https://www.facebook.com/grownmenstuff/videos/1662136114036276/


Steve.
Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Art Welter on March 08, 2016, 12:10:21 pm
I thought this might be of interest to speaker building types.
The cutter used resulted in a 90 degree corner, and a small gap in the glue joint. A decent idea for making a drawer, but speakers that are used on the road need to have the corners rounded and no glue gap. Even home stereo cabinets should have the corners rounded to reduce diffraction.

Of interest, can't think of a single speaker building application that I would consider using the technique for.

Title: Re: BYOS (Build Your Own Sub) - Who's done it?
Post by: Pete Erskine on March 08, 2016, 02:22:46 pm
Parts Express is a good source online for speaker components, boxes and advice.

http://www.parts-express.com/cat/woofers/15