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Title: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Royce Van Norman on July 02, 2016, 12:37:33 am
For most musicians that bring their PA with them, the biggest problem with subwoofers is their size and weight.  They are difficult to transport, set up (especially alone) etc.

There are basically two parts to a subwoofer - the speaker and the box. 

So it occurred to me, why do these have to be permanently fixed to each other?  Wouldn't it be a simple matter to design a box that was either modular (breaks down into pieces) or is collapsible so that you can lay the box flat in the vehicle, assemble the box at the venue, and drop in the speakers?

Maybe even have a "Speaker cage" to offer protect the speakers themselves, but that could easily be dropped into the box and fixed in place when you arrive at the gig.

It is late in the evening and my brain may not be functioning correctly after the long work week, but this seems like a simple solution that wouldn't be that hard to accomplish, but would be darned useful to musicians/bands that don't rely on permanently installed systems.  Also, there may be some added benefit to allowing the use of larger boxes or multiples if the modular idea would work.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw this out there. To be transparent, i have not ever built a sub myself, so there may be good reasons why this isn't done, but it strikes me as a good idea... I defer to the sub-wizards here.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Helge A Bentsen on July 02, 2016, 04:30:13 am
Or you could just buy one high output sub and save a lot of work and cargo space.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Royce Van Norman on July 02, 2016, 06:15:58 am
Or you could just buy one high output sub and save a lot of work and cargo space.

Or you could just buy one high output sub and save a lot of work and cargo space.

True, and that is most likely what I'll end up doing.   However, the more I read on the forums, regardless of the sub output, the more posts I see saying "one sub will never be enough... you need two... no you need four....no eight".

Most likely I'll end up getting a powered sub in the 1-2k range (price not htz lol.) such as ETX, Yorville, JBL, RCF etc.  Mostly, what i want is musicality... I'm still researching what would suit my needs best and I don't mind delaying and saving more $$ if a better option can be had, but when I think about all the music gear I'm transporting, 2 or more 18" subs starts sounding unreasonable without renting a u-haul.  That led me down this little thought path of wondering if there were a better way of doing things.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Kevin McDonough on July 02, 2016, 07:23:07 am
True, and that is most likely what I'll end up doing.   However, the more I read on the forums, regardless of the sub output, the more posts I see saying "one sub will never be enough... you need two... no you need four....no eight".

Most likely I'll end up getting a powered sub in the 1-2k range (price not htz lol.) such as ETX, Yorville, JBL, RCF etc.  Mostly, what i want is musicality... I'm still researching what would suit my needs best and I don't mind delaying and saving more $$ if a better option can be had, but when I think about all the music gear I'm transporting, 2 or more 18" subs starts sounding unreasonable without renting a u-haul.  That led me down this little thought path of wondering if there were a better way of doing things.

There has been at least one "two part" concept that I am aware of, designed by Rog Mogale, but being a large hornloaded scoop, even then it still wouldn't be suitable for your needs.

In terms of a reflex sub like you mention, its very hard to remove any bulk or size as they're usually all designed and packaged as small as they can be. Yes in theory you could maybe have some sort of clip system where the box could be broken into two halves, and this may help squeeze two smaller pieces into a space where one large one wouldn't fit, but you're not really saving any actual volume, just spreading it out a little better.

However that, and the idea of a collapsible or folding box, the comes onto the second part of designing a subwoofer: rigidity.

There is a lot of pressure inside a subwoofer, a lot of moving air trying to escape, and a big part of good sub design is using clever bracing and construction techniques to stop panel resonances and keep the structure as solid as possible.

All of the hinges and unclipable joints that would be needed to make a box collapse would be major points of weakness that could fail over time, cause air leaks, and detract from the sound of the box.

While we (and our backs!) all wish it wasn't the case, until someone comes up with a miracle new technology its an unfortunate reality of sound (and physics) that good low frequency reproduction at PA system volume generally needs big, heavy, solid boxes.


One idea that I have seen work fairly well though is using the internal volume to store the top speakers.

On at least a couple of occasions I have saw custom designed subs that have removable panels on the side. During transport the mid tops can be sat inside the sub woofer, and then taken out and the removable panel firmly attached for the gig. These are usually screw on panels with a good handful of machine screws and tee-nuts to make sure the panel is secure and doesn't leak air once the sub is in use, but I'm sure someone sufficiently motivated could design some sort of quick release clip system that would work.

I don't know if there is anything like this commercially available, but if space saving was really a major concern it could be an avenue to explore with someone who is capable of designing and building speakers.



k
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Ivan Beaver on July 02, 2016, 09:02:56 am
Community used to make (back in the day) the Levithan with extension that was in 3 parts.

The driver part was a double 15 sealed cabinet.

It bolted to the levithan horn.  Then the extension bolted to the horn.

When transporting the levithan would rest inside the extension.

But I am sure this is much larger than you are talking about.

The problem with a cabinet you assemble on site is that it will buzz/rattle etc pretty easily (At least more than likely it would)
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Barry Singleton on July 02, 2016, 11:12:03 am
  I still have Levi's and while I still think they are cool, I wouldn't call them subs, at least by todays standards.

  I will go ahead and say it, a Danley Mini will go as low as a Levi with the extension flares and you can carry a Mini with one hand. Four of them make a lot of noise. If you want small and light, I haven't seen or heard anything that competes.

Barry.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Ivan Beaver on July 02, 2016, 01:14:24 pm
  I still have Levi's and while I still think they are cool, I wouldn't call them subs, at least by todays standards.

 
Agreed.

Back then they were just "bass cabinets".  Or Lows.

It is interesting to compare the "standards" of days gone past with current technology.

For example: I can pick up a 20,000 watt amp with 1 finger today.

I was renting out sound systems for quite a few years before I got to 20,000 watts.

And then it took several racks and probably weighed well over 500lbs.

Loudspeakers keep getting smaller and smaller with greater and greater output.

Kind of a let down to us 'ol timers who are used to huge piles of gear.

Now 1 or 2 cabinets can replace what used to be a wall of PA.

Sonically it is much better-lighter-goes up faster etc, but still doesn't look as cool.

I guess it depends on what is most important.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Helge A Bentsen on July 03, 2016, 05:56:52 pm
True, and that is most likely what I'll end up doing.   However, the more I read on the forums, regardless of the sub output, the more posts I see saying "one sub will never be enough... you need two... no you need four....no eight".

Most likely I'll end up getting a powered sub in the 1-2k range (price not htz lol.) such as ETX, Yorville, JBL, RCF etc.  Mostly, what i want is musicality... I'm still researching what would suit my needs best and I don't mind delaying and saving more $$ if a better option can be had, but when I think about all the music gear I'm transporting, 2 or more 18" subs starts sounding unreasonable without renting a u-haul.  That led me down this little thought path of wondering if there were a better way of doing things.

How much output do you need?

I suspect something like a EAW SB2001 with a proper amp would have about the same output as 8 powered 18" in the $1-2K range and sound better as well.

It will not be as flexible, but it will be as loud and have more low extension.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on July 03, 2016, 06:01:00 pm
  I still have Levi's and while I still think they are cool, I wouldn't call them subs, at least by todays standards.

  I will go ahead and say it, a Danley Mini will go as low as a Levi with the extension flares and you can carry a Mini with one hand. Four of them make a lot of noise. If you want small and light, I haven't seen or heard anything that competes.

Barry.

Having 4 Mini will let the user create useful directional sub arrays in relatively small venues, too.  They're not much bigger than a large suitcase (cubic volume).  Combined with a 4 channel power amp with DSP and you've got a lot of capability.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Royce Van Norman on July 05, 2016, 08:03:52 am
Having 4 Mini will let the user create useful directional sub arrays in relatively small venues, too.  They're not much bigger than a large suitcase (cubic volume).  Combined with a 4 channel power amp with DSP and you've got a lot of capability.

Thanks for the great replies everyone... Makes a lot of sense. I like the idea of multiple minis especially.  I'll have to review what I can afford and what would work best for me.  Unfortunately, my music gear (which is not how I make a living) just got pushed to the back seat due to the need to re-vamp my kitchen *water leak. 

Anyway thanks again.  Cheers
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on July 05, 2016, 08:27:18 am
Water leak, eh?

You might need a submarine instead of a subwoofer...
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Royce Van Norman on July 09, 2016, 09:10:41 pm
Water leak, eh?

You might need a submarine instead of a subwoofer...

Lol... Ouch.

Anybody know the approximate price of the Danley TH Mini?
What is the difference between the Mini and the TH 112
What is the trade off of using a 12 (either 112 or mini) as opposed to moving up to the 115 or 118 (lower extension I know, but I don't really need to get lower than anything else).
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Ivan Beaver on July 09, 2016, 09:32:59 pm
Lol... Ouch.

Anybody know the approximate price of the Danley TH Mini?
What is the difference between the Mini and the TH 112
What is the trade off of using a 12 (either 112 or mini) as opposed to moving up to the 115 or 118 (lower extension I know, but I don't really need to get lower than anything else).
I can't help with the pricing-I don't work on that side of the business.

Here are the technical differences.

The obvious differences are the TH112 is larger and heavier.

The TH112 goes lower in freq (almost an octave).

The TH mini goes louder.

The TH mini handles a little bit more power.

As far as "trans-portability" vs output goes, the TH mini winds hands down.  As long as you don't need to go real low.

The TH115 or TH118 are a good bit louder-and larger-and more expensive

It is all a matter of tradeoffs
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Caleb Dueck on July 09, 2016, 10:23:19 pm
For me, having heard all the above multiple times, I'd take the TH118.

Subs that play deep feel "bigger" and more powerful.  Straight SPL can't fill the void. 

118s are efficient.  10 watts into a Mini is nothing like 10 watts into a 118.

SPL vs cubic feet of truck pack.  How many Minis would you need per 118?  They aren't so mini anymore then. 

The 112 doesn't have much SPL, otherwise it's decent.  You would need a lot of truck pack to get enough SPL.

The wheels make moving a 118 easy.  I'd rather  move 1 box than lots of smaller ones.

Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Ivan Beaver on July 10, 2016, 08:08:51 am

SPL vs cubic feet of truck pack.  How many Minis would you need per 118?  They aren't so mini anymore then. 


And to try ot get the same performance of a single TH118-the cost of the minis would be higher.

Sometimes a single larger sub is more cost efficient than multiple smaller subs.

It all depends on what people are "after" in terms of a system.

If all you need is one small sub from time to time, then a small sub cold make sense.

But if more output is needed-a more powerful sub makes more sense.

As usual-It depends
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Jeff Bankston on July 10, 2016, 06:59:45 pm
The collapsable box idea will not work very well. All the seams need to be glued tight so the box is air tight and doesnt rattle. do you have a handtruck to move the woofers ? 
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: duane massey on July 10, 2016, 10:09:11 pm
Back "in the day" we used the Leviathans quite a bit. Later (early 80's) we built some large bass horns with extensions that increased the mouth area to approx 42 sq ft (6' x 7'). The entire package included 2 2x15 horns (30"x 36" x 48") 2 wings (72"x 48") and two top/bottom pieces. Performance was incredible, portability was.....well, it was worth it to us.
EAW (I believe) made an extension for their dual18 folded horn. Don't know the actual model number, but I cloned one for a client a few months ago.
Also, Community did offer a larger "speaker pod" that lowered the response, at the expense of slightly less efficiency. Power amps were not very powerful back then, so efficiency was kind of a big deal. It still is to me.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: John L Nobile on July 10, 2016, 10:34:20 pm
Power amps were not very powerful back then, so efficiency was kind of a big deal. It still is to me.

Me too. Efficiency is a big deal with anything not just speakers.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Rick Powell on July 12, 2016, 03:47:30 pm
Back "in the day" we used the Leviathans quite a bit. Later (early 80's) we built some large bass horns with extensions that increased the mouth area to approx 42 sq ft (6' x 7'). The entire package included 2 2x15 horns (30"x 36" x 48") 2 wings (72"x 48") and two top/bottom pieces. Performance was incredible, portability was.....well, it was worth it to us.
EAW (I believe) made an extension for their dual18 folded horn. Don't know the actual model number, but I cloned one for a client a few months ago.
Also, Community did offer a larger "speaker pod" that lowered the response, at the expense of slightly less efficiency. Power amps were not very powerful back then, so efficiency was kind of a big deal. It still is to me.

I had a pair of Leviathans for a while.  The removable speaker "pod" that had 2-15" EV's was just so that you could get the horn inside a single door (it just fit, going sideways) and then you could assemble the horn and pod together once you got inside. There were a few bands around that had Levi's mounted in a box, no pod but a wooden chamber that held the drivers in place within the larger box...these wouldn't fit inside any place unless they had a double door. I got tired of stacking the contraption (Levi on bottom, 12" Community horn mid, and JBL radial horn on top) which needed a whole bunch of straps or bungee cords to keep it all from falling down in a heap. The Levis were the most unstable sub I have ever owned, geometry-wise, and the mid horns weren't much better.  I sold off the Levis and mids and replaced them with some R&R Cases wood speaker cabinets that were at least rectangular and stackable.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: duane massey on July 12, 2016, 07:46:19 pm
We built some open aluminum frames for the Levi shells, put casters on them. They still went thru a 30" door, but had a stable footprint with a flat top. Mids (MB60's ??) and matching 60degree horn in an aluminum frame made a nice stack, plus the extension would bolt on without problems. At one time we were using 2 per side. I could load in and setup by myself (and did a couple of times). By today's standards it wasn't portable, but we felt the performance was worth the trouble (plus it looked cool).
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Ivan Beaver on July 12, 2016, 08:57:54 pm
By today's standards it wasn't portable, but we felt the performance was worth the trouble (plus it looked cool).
I loved the "look".

The first concert I saw using the Levis and other Community product was the J Geils band "Blow your face out" tour.

That was probably the most fun I had a any concert.

They put on a great show.

I think it sounded good-but was having to much fun to really notice.

Of course that was "a few" years ago
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Barry Singleton on July 13, 2016, 12:14:25 am
Hey Duane;

If it was a Community mid bass, possibly M80's? Had a cap with a 12" in it?

My patio system (stuff I never intend to move again) is a pair of Boxer bass bins with JBL 2240's, Levi's in boxes with 2220's, M80's with 2020's and RH60's with 2450's.

At my age the M80's and RH60's are all I can move myself. Gads how did anyone schlep this stuff around?!? I used a pallet jack to place the Boxers in their final resting place!

Barry.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Ivan Beaver on July 13, 2016, 06:35:36 am
Hey Duane;

If it was a Community mid bass, possibly M80's? Had a cap with a 12" in it?



Barry.
The first "one boxes" I built used the M80s as mids.

The lows were dual JBL2225s (in a short V configuration), the mids M80s with JBL E120s (with back cap), the highs JBL 2445 on 2385 horns and tweeters were JBL 2405s (passively crossed over with the 2445.

They were 5' tall and got quite loud.

A typical Metal band setup outside was 2 per side on to of 2, 2x18" subs.  I used McKenzie 18's in those.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: duane massey on July 14, 2016, 10:03:52 am
Community had 2 different 12" mid designs. The early unit was a complete unit, all fibreglass, sealed and only needed the driver. Believe this was the MB60. The other was a flare only, as part of the "Boxer" series, and needed an enclosure. We had both, at different times.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Royce Van Norman on July 28, 2016, 08:43:07 pm
any opinion on thr JBL SRX 718?  there are some for sale locally for about $700 each
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Rick Powell on July 29, 2016, 11:00:08 am
Community had 2 different 12" mid designs. The early unit was a complete unit, all fibreglass, sealed and only needed the driver. Believe this was the MB60. The other was a flare only, as part of the "Boxer" series, and needed an enclosure. We had both, at different times.

I think the MB60 was what I had.  The "stack" was a Levi with the smaller pod loaded with 2 EV 15B's, the MB60 loaded with an EV 12L, and a Community 90 degree fiberglass radial horn with a JBL 2440.  The whole mess was unstable just sitting on the ground, and a disaster waiting to happen when we elevated it high enough to get the horn over the crowd, but it sounded pretty decent back in the day...when a pile of Crown Dc300's was our "muscle" rack.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Stephen Kirby on July 29, 2016, 02:24:28 pm
I think the MB60 was what I had.  The "stack" was a Levi with the smaller pod loaded with 2 EV 15B's, the MB60 loaded with an EV 12L, and a Community 90 degree fiberglass radial horn with a JBL 2440.  The whole mess was unstable just sitting on the ground, and a disaster waiting to happen when we elevated it high enough to get the horn over the crowd, but it sounded pretty decent back in the day...when a pile of Crown Dc300's was our "muscle" rack.
Was that a 12L or 12S?  The S was used in most of the PA cabinets while the L was mostly used for guitar.  Although when Larry Carlton put an S in his Boogie, it caused some guitarists who knew about it to raid PA cabinets for them.  Never made any of them sound like Larry, but that's another matter.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Randy Pence on July 30, 2016, 11:51:24 am
I helped install a system in a roller rink which had detachable horn flares.  If I remember correctly, we also used the detachable version for some mobile events.  The flares were removed for skating sessions and provided a lot more lf extension

The main horn section had 2x18" in a box about a cubic meter.  Really high quality butterfly clasps held everything together.  I don't remember much air loss where the wood came together.  (http://www.clubsystemsinternational.com/year_archive.html/2002/jul02/images/News1.jpg)

The output of the flared horn was used to match up to 4 jbl hla subs while on tour, but for all i know, the hlas were turned down.  Nowadays, just roll out a dsl bc415 or something.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: duane massey on July 30, 2016, 11:52:58 pm
I recently built one of these extensions to match an existing one for a client. Didn't get to hear it but the design has been around for quite a while.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Royce Van Norman on July 31, 2016, 02:02:25 am
Any opinion on thr JBL SRX 718?  there are some for sale locally for about $700 each

So how are the SRX 718s?    Does this look like a decent deal, or should I hold out for powered PRX etc?
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on July 31, 2016, 06:52:46 am
So how are the SRX 718s?    Does this look like a decent deal, or should I hold out for powered PRX etc?

How many does he have.   I would take all he has at that price.  I could have one of the guys drive a trailer to NC to pick them up.
Title: Re: Transportable Subs -- Is this idea just crazy?
Post by: Rick Powell on August 02, 2016, 05:23:09 pm
Was that a 12L or 12S?  The S was used in most of the PA cabinets while the L was mostly used for guitar.  Although when Larry Carlton put an S in his Boogie, it caused some guitarists who knew about it to raid PA cabinets for them.  Never made any of them sound like Larry, but that's another matter.

Could have been either one, I remember buying the Community brand new empty and having to load a speaker in it. Got the whole mess from Gary Gand in Chicago north suburbs.