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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: Matthew Hicks on August 07, 2012, 12:15:34 am

Title: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Matthew Hicks 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.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Matthew Hicks 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?
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Charlie Zureki 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
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Tim Weaver 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.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Matthew Hicks 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!
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Grant Conklin 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
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Charlie Zureki 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..
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Ivan Beaver 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!
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Kevin McDonough 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

Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Matthew Hicks 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.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Tim Padrick on August 10, 2012, 03:02:56 am
The LAB sub is home built, but not home designed - and it was designed by someone who has a history of designing very high performance loudspeakers.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Ivan Beaver on August 10, 2012, 07:27:57 am
The LAB sub is home built, but not home designed - and it was designed by someone who has a history of designing very high performance loudspeakers.
And therein lies the key.  A good-well thought out design.

Now the end result of how well it is built is totally "open".  I have seen some labsubs that are beautiful-and others that don't come close to what the origional design was.  So they aren't the same.

It doesn't matter how good of a wood shop or what tools you have-if the DESIGN is flawed-then no matter how well you can build the box-it is still going to be wrong-or lacking in perfromance.

And the design is A LOT more than just the components used.  It is HOW they are used.  Of course good parts don't hurt-but they do not guarantee a great final result.

You can use the best of everything-but screw up the physical placement-alignment etc and it won't be as good as a "lessor" design-that is done right.

The low end is a bit "forgiving".  But as you up in freq-it gets harder and harder to "get the devices to play well together".
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Mike Price on August 10, 2012, 03:24:21 pm
A sight that I have heard good things about from their subs is Billfitzmaurice.com. They have the Omnitop 15 and it says with 8 cabs you can do 500-1000 people. Not the prettiest cabs  - but I have heard BFM subs (Titan and Tuba) and they rock pretty dang hard. Just my 2 cents - do with it what you will.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: John Chiara on August 10, 2012, 04:28:18 pm
So fill me in. You are doing shows for rave promoters with limited budgets? Around here the rave promoters are cleaning up and making huge profits. Is that not the norm? Sounds like a lot of gear for not a lot of money. Just trying to keep a watch on how the market gets sucked down so professionals can't make any money.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Rick Powell on August 10, 2012, 06:41:02 pm
A sight that I have heard good things about from their subs is Billfitzmaurice.com. They have the Omnitop 15 and it says with 8 cabs you can do 500-1000 people. Not the prettiest cabs  - but I have heard BFM subs (Titan and Tuba) and they rock pretty dang hard. Just my 2 cents - do with it what you will.

http://billfitzmaurice.net/DR200.html  The DR200 looks to be more heavy duty than the omnitop for the OP's application.  Those "melded tweeter arrays" give me the willies, on many levels, but I have to admit I've never heard them.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Kevin McDonough on August 10, 2012, 07:42:38 pm
http://billfitzmaurice.net/DR200.html  The DR200 looks to be more heavy duty than the omnitop for the OP's application.  Those "melded tweeter arrays" give me the willies, on many levels, but I have to admit I've never heard them.

yeah i have to admit I'm not a huge fan of BFM's designs either. Give me a proper, high quality compression driver any day rather than the line of piezo's or tweeters.

And while his site is correct in saying that they're more sensitive than "Commercial Cabs" he should really clarify that by saying a commercial reflex cab. A commercial horn loaded cab, or one of the plans I mentioned before, will be just as sensitive if not more than his design.

k
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Josh Billings on August 24, 2012, 03:49:14 pm
Long story short...what you are looking for doesn't exist.

The components inside these high SPL speakers can't be purchased for what a lot of used old tech is going for.

Look at the EAW KF850. Heavy, High SPL, Beast that will get the job done. Can probably get em for a G a piece. Community SLS980 / 960s are also great choices

Josh Billings
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: kristianjohnsen on August 30, 2012, 07:07:09 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.

Matthew, the lower-end promoters in the Northern California EDM scene are lucky to have a nice guy like you providing for them.  Taking things seriously, even when on a tight budget, takes a certain type of character.

Best of luck in your building endeavours. 

Personally, I do agree that the best bet probably is to buy some previously-toured truely A-level speakers and use some of all that elbow grease to refurbish those.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: George Dougherty on August 31, 2012, 01:03:14 am
yeah i have to admit I'm not a huge fan of BFM's designs either. Give me a proper, high quality compression driver any day rather than the line of piezo's or tweeters.

And while his site is correct in saying that they're more sensitive than "Commercial Cabs" he should really clarify that by saying a commercial reflex cab. A commercial horn loaded cab, or one of the plans I mentioned before, will be just as sensitive if not more than his design.

k
I own and run a stack of BFM's.  My two bits on them are that they're decent for what they are as long as you can live with some of the limitations.  The piezo arrays actually do sound pretty good, as long as you don't push them real hard.  That means more cabs and more output capability to keep them out of the problem area.  When they do get pushed they get a little strident and harsh, but any inexpensive compression driver does the same or worse.  What you do get out of them is incredibly tight vertical dispersion and very wide horizontal dispersion.  The problem I found with them is that they usually outpace the dispersion of the mid-bass driver.  So while you retain clarity, they get thin out to the sides.  No problems in the middle of two stacks, but it sounds weird outside way off-axis.  On the other hand, many cabs go muddy out there, so it's a trade off.
Mine are the OmniTop 12's and they're unfortunately not the latest design with the better horn and phase plug.  Supposedly those have a more even response.  I lived with melded arrays for several years and did okay until I started doing some real commercial shows.  I dropped about 4 grand on upgrading components, swapping to Beyma CD10Fe's and doing things right with the newer xti's and biamping the cabs.   Spent some real time working on the response and alignment of the cabs and with the exception of a better quality 12" driver, they're now pretty much everything I'd been looking for.  They come in around 40-45lbs each, they're small, easily stackable and decently efficient for 120Hz up.
The real killer of the family is the DR290 loaded with a high quality, high output 12" and a pair of good quality 1" compression drivers.  103-105db from about 80Hz up.  Not sure I want to deal with the larger box and heavier weight though.  Plus, at that point you're right back to where everyone's recommending here.  You could spend a ton of time building them yourself and save a few bucks and not have a very rider friendly system if you needed it, you could pay somebody to build them for you, and easily spend 1-2K per box, or you could just buy some high quality used boxes and be done with it.
Like most speakers, they're only as good as the components put into them.  For many the appeal of BFM designs are the cheap entry level options in drivers that do passably well, but the designs aren't exactly smooth in their response and need some knowledgeable work to get them into the realm of a good sounding box, which many of the cheap users aren't really up for.  Their saving grace is that so many people really don't know what good sound really is.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Marjan Milosevic on September 02, 2012, 05:50:24 am
If you want a top box that can match the Lab Sub and be all in a single box then you neet the Xtro box. Plenty of kick and sound great. But if you look at the cost of building it i am sure that for the same (or very close) money you can buy a second hand branded box.
To be honest for gigs of several hundred people (1000 as max) i would even go for a simple double 15 and horn.
Plenty of those boxes on the second hand market.
JBL SRX725, Peavey QW .......
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Josh Shetter on October 09, 2012, 05:46:31 am
Xtro or a version of it is really your only DIY route for meeting labs.  You might even need some USB's between them. 
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Tim Weaver on October 09, 2012, 02:12:49 pm
Since you already own a bunch of RCF drivers that are in your existing cabs, I think I would go old school and build some big square boxes that house two 15's, two 10's, and a 2" compression driver in each. You could start out with one per side and grow from there. Make it a 60 degree horn on the CD and you can put 2 of these monsters side by side, kinda. You can put 4 per side by doing a 2 by 2 stack as well.

This allows you to use some of the drivers you already own and put them to use in a big heavy sledgehammer type PA.

Boxes like these MADE money for EVERYBODY back in the 90's. They were easy to build, loud as hell, could be stacked a dozen different ways, and sounded reasonably good in most situations.

Here's what I'm talking about.

(http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b376/HiSPL/Misc/BigHeavy.jpg)

If you are really slick you'll build mirror image pairs and put an angle on the horn side so that you can tight pack them with the horns and mids together.

Then hire somebody that knows how to tune a rig and have them build a preset for your crossover.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: tom reardon on October 12, 2012, 10:33:43 am
theres some EV MT-4 on ebay that would be perfect
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Chris Hindle on October 15, 2012, 01:03:34 pm
theres some EV MT-4 on ebay that would be perfect
Perfect ?
You're kidding, right ?
Have you ever actually used, or better yet, lifted a MTH-4 ??
Yes, they will make noise. BUT, at what cost ??
4 amp channels per top. A pile of 4 ohm loads if I remember correctly.
I'd take any modern box in an instant.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Tim Weaver on October 16, 2012, 12:29:57 am
Perfect ?
You're kidding, right ?
Have you ever actually used, or better yet, lifted a MTH-4 ??
Yes, they will make noise. BUT, at what cost ??
4 amp channels per top. A pile of 4 ohm loads if I remember correctly.
I'd take any modern box in an instant.

Hey, the OP just wants to keep up with Labsubs. The MT4 will do it. Plus he said he had a helper to lift it with....  ;D
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: DaveSlater on October 18, 2012, 03:15:33 pm
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.

Can highly recommend the HD15 having built and run a raft of them over the years
In fact it's myself that's responsible for the HD215 variant and my colleague who's responsible for the letterbox X1 variant (which was done to match the HD215 width dimensions)

We've built numerous top boxes starting with the MT122's which are an absolute pig to build and to be honest sound pretty honky

We also had Rog's MkI 12" Porn Horn's coupled with a fibreglass 6.5" + 1" top section from a company in Germany

These sounded really nice and in comparison to a Turbo TMS3 where one fell down the other picked up (would've been nice to merge them together)

Unfortunately these were 60x40's and with the Porn Horn box requirements we couldn't get a box to array properly. As a result we were limited to one box a side and never went any further with them

I toyed with the idea of an Akabak assault on the problem and got some promising starts but frankly the cost involved in prototyping outweighed the rewards

Bottom line is we took a commercial decision to buy Funktion because of the return on our investment

Honestly we've never looked back and having brand name goods does much to sell your company (whatever that name is) the rest is proving you know what you're on about at the gig so they ask you back and recommend you to others!

Bass is easy to DIY. Tops on the other hand take years of trial and error and a lot of money to prototype which is why you find a myriad of sub designs but very few tops that actually work properly

The advice to buy used tops is sensible and shrewd.

If you choose a decent company to go with they will carry stock of spares, provide helpful advice and the resale value will remain stable which means you can buy now at one price run them for a few years until they've paid for themselves and then sell them if you need to and get your money back

The other advantage is you can keep an eye on eBay and as you earn money buy more of the same box over and over again which is far easier, more cost effective and less time consuming than building your own

Your 'free' labour costs you money if your time is better spent earning you more money elsewhere
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Richard Turner on October 28, 2012, 10:52:49 am
There must be scads of EAW KF850 lying around in warehouses, even  at close to 15 years old they will run night in hight out. If youre ground stacking the weight isn't an issue, also the sb250 dual 15 is a nice compact punch box theat would full in between the full range and labsub. They might be getting older butI'd dare say you could buy 8 of them for less than the components and good quality hardware and urethane coatings needed to home brew 4 of your own. Last time I was looking (3 yeas ago) there were scads of them in warehoudes / C rigs of guys who were moving up in the line array, constant curve array world
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Randy Pence on October 28, 2012, 10:31:48 pm
So fill me in. You are doing shows for rave promoters with limited budgets? Around here the rave promoters are cleaning up and making huge profits. Is that not the norm? Sounds like a lot of gear for not a lot of money. Just trying to keep a watch on how the market gets sucked down so professionals can't make any money.

All depends on the style of event.  In my area, there are huge productions and advertising budgets for highly profitable events catering to more mainstream audiences and those where the production expectations, entrance fees, and desired audiences are smaller.  Large providers and a-level gear handle the big stuff, smaller companies handle the smaller, and more "underground/limited audience" scenes often feature home built stuff.

Unless you really have a grasp on designing your own stuff, I'd also recommend finding some 2nd hand top end gear.  Anything which has featured the bms coax hf driver has sounded good to me.

I personally am frustrated by funktion one speakers.  The highs start sounding like scissors (a phenomenon I've heard on a lot of line array deployments) once the box gets up and going and before any sort of limiters. It can be helped with eq, but i thought the point of those boxes is that eq was not necesary.  ;)
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: joelee on November 12, 2012, 04:25:26 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.

CNC router? buy drivers from other factory. okay, then you can make your own speaker using your brand. lol...
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Marjan Milosevic on November 14, 2012, 10:56:06 am
CNC router? buy drivers from other factory. okay, then you can make your own speaker using your brand. lol...

Joelee, change you name to your real name as per the forum rules.
Also, if i were you, i will do my best not to let people here know who i am, or who do i work for. We do not appreciate here Chinese companies that are making money by stealing other peoples intellectual property.

Have a nice day.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: joelee on November 15, 2012, 04:39:43 am
Joelee, change you name to your real name as per the forum rules.
Also, if i were you, i will do my best not to let people here know who i am, or who do i work for. We do not appreciate here Chinese companies that are making money by stealing other peoples intellectual property.

Have a nice day.

Dear Marjan Milosevic,

Thanks for your reminding me of the forum rules. It's my true name.

I were kidding the guy who want make his box. Don't take so serious. Every coin has its two sides. Steal others intellectual property is not right and illegal, but I think copy is a road to many new companies. when they are more experienced in the professional field, they will have some product by they own. It will urge them to update their technoloy, keep this field energic.

Beside, copy will cut some research cost, it makes their products more competetive. Not everyone have money to buy JBL, Meyersound, L-Acoustic, DAS etc. Even some Africa people are in hungry, will you donate some speakers to support their entertainment? Existing means reasonable.

What's more, don't make a district discrimination of Chinese people, we respect you and you should respect us.

Last, I came here to learn and discuss not to steal your intellectual property.

Regards,
Joe Lee
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 15, 2012, 07:48:22 am
. Steal others intellectual property is not right and illegal, but I think copy is a road to many new companies.
So exactly what is the difference between "stealing a design" and copying it?

I feel they are just different names for the same thing.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Randall Hyde on November 15, 2012, 01:17:30 pm

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.

Just keep in mind what I've told some of my friends:
"Nothing screams 'amateur' quite like home-built speakers."

Granted, you sound like you have the necessary carpentry experience and tools to pull this off. But I'll warn you that it's hard to get home-built cabinets past any ride (even LabSubs in many cases). And the resale value will be very low, even if you've put really expensive drivers in those cabinets.

I was once considering BFM cabinets for a "b" or "c" rig, but gave up that idea rather quickly once I consider TCO (total cost of ownership) and ROI (return on investment).  Homebrew cabs are probably a passable idea for someone in a band where they're the only ones using the gear, it's hard to rent that stuff, though.

Even if you're in a position where people are hiring you rather than your gear, the TCO/ROI aspects suggest going with something commercial grade. Homebrew is really for very cost sensitive applications or when there simply isn't anything that satisfies your requirements.

Cheers,
Randy Hyde
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: duane massey on November 15, 2012, 07:03:27 pm
DIY/custom is a possibly great idea IF you are the only user of the system, you have the time/$$$/expertise to tackle the project, and you have no plans to expand into the rental market. Nearly all of the participants in this forum are involved in the rental and touring market, so their needs and requirements are possibly not the same as the OP's.
Even though I got into this business as a DIY'er, and still build custom speakers, I do not think it is a wise approach for most people. As always, it depends.....
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Marjan Milosevic on November 17, 2012, 01:57:39 pm
Dear Marjan Milosevic,

Thanks for your reminding me of the forum rules. It's my true name.

I were kidding the guy who want make his box. Don't take so serious. Every coin has its two sides. Steal others intellectual property is not right and illegal, but I think copy is a road to many new companies. when they are more experienced in the professional field, they will have some product by they own. It will urge them to update their technoloy, keep this field energic.

Beside, copy will cut some research cost, it makes their products more competetive. Not everyone have money to buy JBL, Meyersound, L-Acoustic, DAS etc. Even some Africa people are in hungry, will you donate some speakers to support their entertainment? Existing means reasonable.

What's more, don't make a district discrimination of Chinese people, we respect you and you should respect us.

Last, I came here to learn and discuss not to steal your intellectual property.

Regards,
Joe Lee

Yes sure, but that when you came up with a genuine product that is not copied. You are even naming your company after Turbosound.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 17, 2012, 03:43:47 pm
DIY/custom is a possibly great idea IF you are the only user of the system, you have the time/$$$/expertise to tackle the project, and you have no plans to expand into the rental market. Nearly all of the participants in this forum are involved in the rental and touring market, so their needs and requirements are possibly not the same as the OP's.
Even though I got into this business as a DIY'er, and still build custom speakers, I do not think it is a wise approach for most people. As always, it depends.....

Right on, Duane.  Once a guy starts looking at this as a business that does sound, rather than doing sound and hoping to be a business, things change quite a bit.  Randall Hyde's post just above yours spells it out nicely.

I figured out how to reliably make good sound a long time before I learned how to make good business.  The long-term dead end I created with my own company was part of the tuition I paid at Ye Olde Skool of Hard Business Knocks, and is why I now manage a firm rather than own one.  Those experiences are the foundation of much of the counsel I provide here, and why sometimes folks don't like what I have to say.  Most of the folks in these forums are hobbyists (including some fairly "big" ones) that continue to pour $$$ into their "business" long after they should have liquidated.  Most folks would be far better off monetarily if they'd invest their money in other businesses or real estate.  I'm not taking a swipe at advanced hobbyists (or beginning hobbyists for that matter), I'm just encouraging folks to take a long and honest look at audio from the business perspective.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 17, 2012, 04:06:31 pm
Right on, Duane.  Once a guy starts looking at this as a business that does sound, rather than doing sound and hoping to be a business, things change quite a bit.  Randall Hyde's post just above yours spells it out nicely.

I figured out how to reliably make good sound a long time before I learned how to make good business.  The long-term dead end I created with my own company was part of the tuition I paid at Ye Olde Skool of Hard Business Knocks, and is why I now manage a firm rather than own one.  Those experiences are the foundation of much of the counsel I provide here, and why sometimes folks don't like what I have to say.  Most of the folks in these forums are hobbyists (including some fairly "big" ones) that continue to pour $$$ into their "business" long after they should have liquidated.  Most folks would be far better off monetarily if they'd invest their money in other businesses or real estate.  I'm not taking a swipe at advanced hobbyists (or beginning hobbyists for that matter), I'm just encouraging folks to take a long and honest look at audio from the business perspective.
Totally agreed.

It is way to easy to get "caught up" in the quest for more toys.  I know-that is what killed my business.

The people who are successful are the ones who run their business as a business-and not like a hobby-hoping to make a living somehow..

Making decisions based on good business practices-rather than "passion" is one of the keys to success.  Hence why I failed at running my own business.  I was going after the "glamor" rather than the money.

That is the reason I stay away from money/business decisions now-and stick to the technical side of things.
Title: Re: DIY topboxes to match Labsubs
Post by: duane massey on November 18, 2012, 10:41:17 pm
Well, darn. So far I have found neither the money or the glamor, but I do still have a passion for what I do. Unfortunately, at my age "passion" is always accompanied by Alleve, Prilosec, and a spoonful of Metamusil.