Subwoofer Project

I like to build and make things, and it comes as no surprise to anyone that knows me. I was that kid that was tearing everything apart in the house to see how it worked (I didn’t really land the ‘putting it back together’ aspect until much later, just ask my parents)

But, one of the first hobbies I ever started was building my own speakers, at the wee age of Eight. I’ve always been interested in sound and technology, so this was obviously a pretty natural progression for me.

My speaker building has taken a bit of a hiatus due to having responsibilities now (man being a kid rocked, all the time in the world to make stuff) but my most recent build was a 400 watt subwoofer for my home theater system.

At the time I built it 2 years ago, I lived in a fairly cramped apartment and space was limited. So my goal was to build the most powerful speaker as small as I could.

The design houses Four 8″ Woofers rated at 100 watts each. As you can see, only two of them are visible on the outside of the enclosure. The subwoofer houses a two chamber system inside with another two woofers facing the same direction as the visible two. This ‘sandwich’ design allows for there to be two bass reflex ports but still have a sealed section of the enclosure (the area inbetween the two outer and inner subs). This way you get the benefits of having bass ports with the spring-like energy of a sealed acoustic enclosure.

To build the enclosure I used super high density MDF board, which acts as a great resonator material. The sub weighs in at 50 pounds because of it though.

I tuned the enclosure and bass ports with a program called Blaubox that lets you input the specifications of your drivers and tells you the dimensions you need to build your enclosure and bass ports for a specific frequency.

I tuned the enclosure and ports to 80Hz, which is fairly low, but the 8 inch drivers at the front output a lot of midrange as well so it turns out to be fairly well balanced. Plus I like deep, earth shaking bass.

Sadly I do not have a separate amplifier, and run the sub off my Main Front outputs of my receiver, which is rated at 200 watts peak power. Luckily there is a setting to send the LFE channel to the mains on the receiver, so they still are getting the sub frequencies. I also send the signal through a crossover before it reaches my actual main speakers, so I don’t blow them to smithereens.

Someday I will get a separate amplifier for this beast. Until then, my neighbours still enjoy me as their contemporary.

This entry was published on November 12, 2010 at 11:02 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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