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ed schilling
Reply with quote  #16 
Guys,
I've built both speakers and subs from brick, ceramic, pvc, wood, cardboard, cinder blocks, concrete, sonotube, terra cotta, flu pipe, steel...........notice I did not say any of those things would be a good substitute. One of my biggest surprises was how awful ceramic, brick and concrete sounded compared to a wood enclosure of the same internal volume. Never understood it but I did accept it.

Build them EXACTLY as described, or else you will not have the speaker in the project. I could have easily used a prefab wood cab. or designed one simple enough for anyone to build with a jig saw. This was a crazy idea that exceeded my wildest dreams.

While we call this "the worlds cheapest sub" and that is true, they are also very good. I never substitute quality for cheap but I love cheap when the performance is there. The only downside to this project is appearance.

They should be placed against a wall for max extension and output but your mileage may vary.

Hey Steve, I'll help you any way I can. Contact me via email. I've shipped a LOT of stuff to Australia!

Ed
Erik
Reply with quote  #17 
The Ceramic enclosures I made thoroughly and comprehensively bettered the same design in both well-braced wooden and MDF boxes with the same internal dimensions in every way that mattered, Ed. For Me. I tried them all and chose what worked best. A considerable amount of what does and doesn't sound good or correct has to do with personal preference. Based on my previous experience, I'm thinking the large, thick-walled ceramic planters have a very good chance of excellent performance. We'll see!
jjrenman
Reply with quote  #18 
IME, either type of enclosure can work well. There are some in the industry that believe enclosure's can be in sympatico with the drivers and then others believe the enclosure has to be as inert as possible.

IMO, they both have their pro's and con's.
ed schilling
Reply with quote  #19 
Ok guys, don't be offended but this thread is about this design. It is not about "general subwoofer design". 

The purpose is to allow a person with limited skills and tools to build a pair of subs that will rival very expensive commercial offerings. It is a finished design. There is no reason to ask questions about substitutions or modifications. I have no opinion on either.

Please just build them as described and ask questions on construction or xover/amps but other than that please start a new thread.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone but I'd prefer the thread not be highjacked. Discussions other than construction and suitable amps amount to that.

I'm trying to help, not piss off folks so please understand that it is what it is and you'll be shocked. Or let us know you are not...........it's all good.
Ed



jjrenman
Reply with quote  #20 
I apologize.

I wrongly asssumed that since you were on a forum discussing your new subwoofer you would share your thoughts and experiences of why and how you came up with the design.

Personally, I found your choice of enclosure intriguing and was looking for some dialogue.

I humbly bow out and will just passively follow this thread from here on out.
don.a
Reply with quote  #21 
 You could also ask questions on the hornshoppeforums. There's an interesting thread there---
Don
ed schilling
Reply with quote  #22 
jjrenman, I'm sorry, I think you misunderstood. Probably Erik too. The FFRS Mark 4:20 i. is my attempt to "give something really good away". It's not a money maker or a product for sale.

I did not mean to come across like an ass, although I do seem to be very good at it. I just wanted to keep the discussion in this thread about it and not subwoofer design and theory.

I truly meant what I said, I simply have no idea how substitutions or modifications will affect the design and have zero time to find out. I certainly would not want to discourage experimentation or questions but in this thread a question about why the concrete and exactly how much is what I'm after .
The answers are, to stop the lid from vibrating and it's not too critical it seems.

How did I come up with it? Well, as I said before I've tried most everything. I had the driver sitting in my room for a good long while. I bought it for another project  and never used it. While my body often gets broken my brain never stops. I'd been in a lounger with my knee on ice for a couple weeks unable to do a lot and I got thinking. I'd bought a 5 gallon bucket to test how waterproof they might be if you buried one with say "rice" in it. Or ammo to hide from thieves. Anyway, I'm sitting here and remember the driver and the bucket (really, it's how it happened)....some quick "rithmetic" and I hobbled out to the shop.

Initial impressions were not good. Turns out it was the lid acting like a drum. So, added screws for anchors for the feet and concrete and built another a couple days later. Holy crap. It's done, it's over.

That is the story, a simple experiment with no hope of working. Exceeded my wildest dreams and believe me, I've been around the block. The true test of a system or component is how long you keep it before you think "it could get better". A couple or more of these will cure your itch or a long, long time.

Hope this helps and again, sorry if my post seemed "harsh", that was not the intent.
Ed




Erik
Reply with quote  #23 
Ed: I don't think I misunderstood and am not upset or angry in the least! I was merely responding to the first paragraph in the post above where you shared that you've built speakers and subs out of a variety of materials, including ceramic -- and how bad enclosures of fired clay (ceramic) sounded.

I've built speakers for awhile too, and was simply stating that one person's opinion (in this case, mine or yours) can't be taken by anyone as anything BUT a statement of personal preference and taste. I am certainly not one who would consider my own opinion a universal truth! LOL!

Nor do I believe that your opinion that ceramic enclosures sound awful makes it necessarily true -- accept for you and the type of sound you may have been after in a given circumstance. The ceramic enclosures I made, an idea I got from another person's published design, were absolutely superb. Extraordinarily good compared to wood or MDF. I wish I still had them.

The discussions here often move around in terms of subject matter -- which I think is a natural component of this type of interaction and communication. Mentioning something indirectly related to a thread author's original post (which many of us have done) is not necessarily an attempt to hijack anything. Rather, it's to share another associated idea. Apologies if anything I said was interpreted otherwise.

Again, I think your "5 gallon Sub" is a pretty cool idea.
stevenkelby
Reply with quote  #24 
Classy reply Eric I do agree and without measurements, we all have different subjective opinions.

If I go ahead I'll build them exactly as your recipe Ed. I wouldn't have believed they sound good but certainly know I can trust your ears

Ed, thanks for the offer, much appreciated, but I searched and found the drivers and amp for sale in Australia at only about 30% higher cost than the US sources so we're good to go here

These are the suppliers I found for any fellow Aussies reading:

http://www.essentialaudio.com.au/contents/en-us/p734_Peerless_830667_Subwoofer.html


http://www.proaudio.com.au/shoppingcart/products/Crown-XLS-1000.html

The 5 gal. (22l) buckets seem to be available from commercial construction supply stores, didn't find a source yet but shouldn't be too hard with some ringing around.
ed schilling
Reply with quote  #25 
Hey Erik, I got no problem with opinions! I just didn't want this thread to degenerate into a "what if" thread on this particular device.

Ah, ceramic enclosures.........sure seems like a good idea. I built some from tile once too. I'm glad you had good results. In my case they were not one of my better attempts......I had the idea that the reflections inside were making it through the cone easier than with other materials. It was just a guess but I made many attempts and my experiences were different than yours when I used the same drivers (Dynaudio, this was when they still sold to diy). Considering how easy it is to make ceramic enclosures you'd think there would be quite a few commercial offerings. I can only think of a couple and they are small (trying to think of the actual names but they escape me at the moment). I did try lining the walls with various materials as well as stuffing. I rode that horse to death.

The "heartbeat" on "Dark Side of The Moon" with levels set properly shakes my room. The Erotica (Madonna) disc is equally as crazy. On discs will little LF output there is nothing to indicate they are on.

Which now brings us to this..................I do not use subs as a loudness control! They are NEVER used in my system to make it sound "full" at low volume! I set the subs for the volume the music should be played at........here is how...........I put on something with good LF extension and turn the subs and xover down. I then play the track at a "LIVE" volume, meaning as loud as it should be for the recording to sound "real". I then slowly turn gain and xover up on the subs going back and forth between the two. At some point it will just be "right" and you'll know it. They should blend and not be noticeable until you switch them off and the the "room collapses". When set this way Pink Floyd will shake the room at the proper volume and John Prine will not sound like he weighs 400 pounds at the proper volume for his music. At low levels they will not be making much output but really they are, it's our ears that are the "problem" which is why they gave us "loudness controls" for low level listening.

If you put on Metallica and play at low volume and use the subs to make it sound "full" they will certainly be too high when the music is played as they intended (loud). Setting them so they blend at "live" levels (for the type music) will usually make them integrate much better. I also don't fiddle with them, once set as described I never find the need to turn them up or down.

But if someone wants or likes to use subs as a "loudness control" I don't mind.  I use mine to add the bottom at live levels! Keep in mind "live" for Joni is ~85 db peaks.....for Metallica it is >100 peaks!

My setup method is a suggestion only, but it seems to work.
Ed




Gary Kemp
Reply with quote  #26 
Ed, I agree completely. What gets me is the incredible variation in LF -- some records/cds have an amazing amount of information down there, whereas others have practically nada. Strangely, since you mention her, just this morning, I had on Joni, Miles of Aisles (the LP), and for some reason they recorded the LF superbly (suprising cos it only comes into play in a few tracks). Max Bennett is the bassist. 

My system has a fancy Rythmik Audio subwoofer, the fanciness consisting in its being a direct servo design. And there are various controls to mate it with one's mains, with the room, and with the location relative to the mains.  It sounds great and doesn't cost tremendous amount -- roughly $900 -- but I do think I could have achieved satisfaction DIY  in the way you describe. It's point of pride not to have off-the-shelf components! 



Quote:
Originally Posted by ed schilling
Hey Erik, I got no problem with opinions! I just didn't want this thread to degenerate into a "what if" thread on this particular device.

Ah, ceramic enclosures.........sure seems like a good idea. I built some from tile once too. I'm glad you had good results. In my case they were not one of my better attempts......I had the idea that the reflections inside were making it through the cone easier than with other materials. It was just a guess but I made many attempts and my experiences were different than yours when I used the same drivers (Dynaudio, this was when they still sold to diy). Considering how easy it is to make ceramic enclosures you'd think there would be quite a few commercial offerings. I can only think of a couple and they are small (trying to think of the actual names but they escape me at the moment). I did try lining the walls with various materials as well as stuffing. I rode that horse to death.

The "heartbeat" on "Dark Side of The Moon" with levels set properly shakes my room. The Erotica (Madonna) disc is equally as crazy. On discs will little LF output there is nothing to indicate they are on.

Which now brings us to this..................I do not use subs as a loudness control! They are NEVER used in my system to make it sound "full" at low volume! I set the subs for the volume the music should be played at........here is how...........I put on something with good LF extension and turn the subs and xover down. I then play the track at a "LIVE" volume, meaning as loud as it should be for the recording to sound "real". I then slowly turn gain and xover up on the subs going back and forth between the two. At some point it will just be "right" and you'll know it. They should blend and not be noticeable until you switch them off and the the "room collapses". When set this way Pink Floyd will shake the room at the proper volume and John Prine will not sound like he weighs 400 pounds at the proper volume for his music. At low levels they will not be making much output but really they are, it's our ears that are the "problem" which is why they gave us "loudness controls" for low level listening.

If you put on Metallica and play at low volume and use the subs to make it sound "full" they will certainly be too high when the music is played as they intended (loud). Setting them so they blend at "live" levels (for the type music) will usually make them integrate much better. I also don't fiddle with them, once set as described I never find the need to turn them up or down.

But if someone wants or likes to use subs as a "loudness control" I don't mind.  I use mine to add the bottom at live levels! Keep in mind "live" for Joni is ~85 db peaks.....for Metallica it is >100 peaks!

My setup method is a suggestion only, but it seems to work.
Ed




Steve f
Reply with quote  #27 
Gary,

You can also benefit from Ed's subs. The best practice for controlling the room loading is with multiple subs. Run the servo sub as a mono sub. Then place a bucket sub near each of the main speakers and run them in stereo as a pair of "flanking subs." This is my current setup. If space and money allowed, I would run another mono sub on the opposite side od my room. Really.

Wayne Parham of PI Speakers has written quite a lot about this technique as have a few others. (Geddes, LeJune) Room nodes are easily controlled that way.

Since Ed's design is about as cheap as audiophilla can get, anybody who can build four of them can easily set up a pair of flanking subs and mono reinforcing subs. Take care,

Steve
ed schilling
Reply with quote  #28 
Steve, yep, but it should be noted these things seem to be "Porsche for VW money" if a fellow builds four he's entered "Ford money for Bugatti performance". Having a hoard is dirt cheap but yet one will be enough for almost everybody. I look forward to reports!
Ed
Steve f
Reply with quote  #29 
Ed,

I made a few modifications to the subwoofer design. First, I changed the color of the bucket to a nice orange one. Then I used an asymmetrical biwiring scheme. I took a silver wire for the red lead and copper for the other. For the other half of the biwire pair, I did the opposite. I then used a composite layer of different quickset concrete mixes, with and without aggregate. I used nonmagnetic fasteners because they looked cool. Finally, I painted the woofer with a watered down mixture of Elmer's glue and medium blue latex paint. Now the damned thing doesn't sound as good as it did before I started the mods. Do you think I should go back to using the grey bucket?

Steve
ed schilling
Reply with quote  #30 
Oh my God, of course you screwed it up. Go back to the grey bucket. Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, what were you thinking? Everybody knows orange will make the sound "fuzzy".
Ed
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