So ever since we made an offer on the house we now own, I knew that the layout was NOT conducive for low end. My LSi 15's with their 8" driver while they are driven by a M1.0t MKII Opt002 simply don't have the low end they used to. Even when adding in my eD A2-300 sub, there simply isn't enough kick down low (for me)
I know for a fact this is due to the open concept nature of the house. My old room had walls that the 8" woofer in my LSi 15's were decent close to, and the room wasn't nearly as open as this one. In addition my old room was narrower and longer than this room (more of the perfect rectangle shape). As a result my low end gets sucked out of the room in the house.
I have been very intrigued by passive subs here the last few years, and was somewhat set on Chase Home Theater 18" subs (now Chane Music Cinema), until I stumbled across a couple build threads on AVSForum for something called a "MartySub".
It utilizes a low cost 18" Dayton woofer paired with a Beyerdynamic iNuke amp (most use the 3000 bridged or the 6000 if going with duals). Total build cost is around 600 (when using the iNuke 3000) after you factor in MDF and parts. There are folks on AVSForum selling pre-made kits for the box, but they range in price from 200 USD and up (search FlatPacks if your interested).
Now before I go ANY FURTHER, I need to add the following caveat: I have tapped a local guy off another forum for help building the box. I have no skills in this arena, and he's got skills to pay the bills. By having him help me, it helps me keep the cost lowish....
Their are a couple variants of these subs depending on what size you want to build.
Here are what the spec's on these subs look like:
) Full Marty (Green in graph) 2' by 2' by 4' ~ 17hz tuning in 11cuft box (1100 watts)
2) MiniMarty (Green in graph) 2' by 30" by 36" ~17hz tuning in 10cuft box (1100watts)
MiniMarty (Green in graph) 2' by 2' by 40" ~17hz tuning in 9cuft box (1100watts)
3) Martycube (Black in graph) 2' by 2',by 2' ~20hz tuning in 5 cuft box (1100 watts)
4) Just for fun the blue line in graph is 4cuft sealed sub (1100 watts)
5) Just for wows is the red line which is Martycube with Uxl18 driver (2200 watts)
I am interested in the Martycube as its got a footprint thats more likely to pass the WAF factor. In addition the finish most folks are using is Rhinoliner which is the same finish on my Elemental Designs A2-300 sub. My current sub is 18" x 18" x 21". So this sub will be a bit bigger than my current one but not by much .
After looking hard at my budget and goals I made a couple decisions.... the iNuke was just something I wasnt ready for, and pro-amps in general. For use with a passive sub they do exactly what they need to, but I just didnt like the way the iNuke looked, and something with similar power from Crown or QSC were either too expensive, or still required me to modify them to have a quieter fan (and void the warranty).
I also wanted SO BAD to go with duals... but my wife wasn't having it... so I am just going to get one BIG BAD sub and be done. I think it will be ok. I just hope
So I ended up finding a Dayton SA1000 amp used on Audiogon (thanks RYAN!) for what I considered a decent cost. In addition while the Dayton 18" driver wasn't SUPER expensive... well I am cheap. I discovered that the Stereo Integrity D2 & D4 woofers were VERY close in spec to the Dayton, and both were on closeout prices. Since I wanted a nominal 4 ohm load, I contacted Stereo Integrity if they had any leftover D2's (D2 = Dual 2 ohm, D4 = Dual 4 ohm) since their website showed them out of stock.
I got lucky and they had some B-Stock D2's which were not ever used and returned, simply had some small cosmetic defects so they didn't sell them. I was able to acquire one of these woofers, NIB for lower cost than the D4's and compared to the Dayton 18" driver saved quite a bit.
In addition to a non traditional amp and driver, I am looking at making the existing concept my own by combining a couple modifications I have seen by doing the following:
I want my sub to be able to be used either downfiring (normal use) or front firing (when I want to show off the sub's excursion or just show off). I am not sure if I will use removable legs, or just make the legs so that they hold the grill in place when front firing.
Here is an example of one with legs:
For the front firing configuration the plan is to use some sort of magnetic grill that attache's to the unit. Here are a couple concept pictures from other finished units:
If I go with a grill, I may look at a metal grill option so again the kido cant poke through it. I have a contact that would be able to powdercoat the grill for me flat black pretty quickly and at a low cost, so that would look pretty cool.
I also plan to have the edges rounded everywhere so if Skye knocks into it she wont crack her head on a sharp edge.
With a 1 year old I want to lower the probability of her poking her finger into the driver, or putting toys in the ports. With how these ports are configured it wouldn't be a problem since the port is on the bottom and then goes vertical all the way in the back. My existing A2-300 is downfiring but its got a port on the front that goes halfway into the box and then drops down so I have to keep watching to make sure she hasn't put a toy in it.
With a dual configuration like I am thinking about I am trying to determine the best way to camouflage the binding posts. I am thinking I may just add a false back panel to the part thats the top (when downfiring) and the back (when frontfiring) that gives me enough of a gap to put in the speaker wire with connectors in either configuration but keeps the illusion of a rectangle/box.
The last item I bought was a 2x4 MiniDSP & UMIK-1 USB mic. This is a product many of us should be more familiar with. The USB mic is used in conjunction with a program called REW to run frequency sweeps to graphs your in room response. The MiniDSP is basically a flexible programable DSP. What does this mean to you? And why is it important?
It means that you can use REW to measure your room response and create filters to even out your dips and peaks. The MiniDSP can then take those filters and apply them to your existing connection. So you have the ability to tweak the EQ to your liking (see thread). You can also boost response down low.
This is VERY important to me because my current receiver (Integra DTR 5.9) doesn't have the ability to EQ the sub. It just has 2EQ. And the receiver I am buying next year (a Pioneer SC model) as of now doesnt EQ anything below 63hz.
The ONLY downfall to the MiniDSP is that your taking the analog signal and converting it to Digital to apply your EQ, then back to analog. So your adding an additional conversion. In addition the MiniDSP is limited in what it can handle bitrate wise. In my case since this is JUST for a sub and HT system, those were compromises I was ok with.
So if anyone is looking to build themselves a low cost sub with LOTS of potential... take a look down this road, it might save you some time and money.
I have the Dayton in my possession (no pics sorry), and took delivery of the rest of the parts for the build today. I am probably going to do this sometime in June as my local contact is pretty busy right now, and I dont need this done "right" away.