Home Forums DIY Speakers and Subwoofers How to Make a Subwoofer End Table

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  • #11888

    123toid
    Keymaster

    Let’s be honest with Audio there is typically a certain amount of WAF (wife acceptance factor) that needs to be considered.  And typically subwoofers are the least accepted component of a home theater or stereo.  They are just ugly boxes that sit in the corner and make loud booms aka bass.  But what if we could take that same subwoofer and make it not only a central part of your home theater, but also a central part of your home décor?  That is exactly, what I choose to do.  But if you are going to do this, you might as well go with an even bigger subwoofer?  So why not use a 15″ that can easily be hidden?  While we’re at it, we” pick up a few ports and a 250w plate amplifier.  It might not sound like much, power but this plate amplifier can actually power two of these 15″ subwoofers way past reference level (more on why that is a little later).  In fact, for the components to build two 15″ end table subs, it would cost around $500. Just want one, you could do it for around $350.

    Parts Used: 

    15″ woofer: https://bit.ly/pn395-8

    250w Plate Amplifier: http://bit.ly/30UimHx

    2 Ports: http://bit.ly/4inport

     

    Why Use PA Woofers:

    Did you know the movie theater you go to, is using PA drivers.  So why aren’t you? Most people aren’t used to using PA woofers, instead they are used to what is commonly referred to as home theater subwoofers.  Let’s talk a little bit about why these are commonly used.  These typically have high excursion, very low sensitivity and can be ported fairly low. The main advantage though, is it’s box size.  This is due to Hoffman’s Law.  Without going into too much detail, Hoffman’s law states that a drivers sensitivity, low bass extension and small box size are directly related.  And you can only have two of these.  Since many people don’t want huge ugly boxes, they choose a low sensitivity driver (ie needs more power to push it) and a small box.  Since, we are hiding this in plain sight, we can choose a high sensitivity driver (ie need a lot less power to push it), but have a larger box, which helps us still get low bass extension.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at the design.

     

    Design Process:

    When I got these woofers in for a PA, build, one of them was damaged,  No issues though, PE sent me a replacement.  But while I waited, I decided to see what this could do as a subwoofer.  I was really surprised at how well it modeled with an EBS alignment. 

    An EBS alignment stands for Extended Bass Alignment.  For this I choose a -3 EBS in about a 4 cubic foot enclosure.  In WinISD, this extends your bass response down to it’s lowest frequency of it’s F3.  Most people are used to seeing a ChevyChev alignment, which is flat.  The EBS response has a slight downward slope to it’s F3 of about 32hz (with low pass). Take a look at the graph, with a 100hz high pass (4th order) with only 1 watt of power using a typical 1 meter response. 

    By tuning it this way, we do loose a little sensitivity, but with a high efficiency driver like this, it doesn’t really matter.  You will still should be able to fill your room with bass.  As you can see 1 meter away we are getting over 120dB with only 120w.  This is important, as this is an 8ohm woofer, so that is max the 250w amplifier will give that woofer.  It’s not until you get to 4 meters away that it hits 100db on 120w. 

     Port noise at 120w stays within 17 m/s which is exactly what we want.

    Another important thing to look at is cone excursion.  At first, it looks like it will be an issue, but with the 20hz high pass that is built into the amplifier, you have no issues there. 

     

    Design Flaws:

    No subwoofer build is without it’s flaws.  SO let’s talk about what these might be.  Since this is an EBS alignment, you may end up crossing your subwoofer over a little sooner in order to maintain a flat response in the crossover region.  Without that, it might raise that area up a few dB.  For most this won’t be an issue, but it is worth mentioning. So if you typically cross your subwoofer over at 120hz, you may end up crossing this over at 100hz.

    Some might not thing 32hz F3 is low enough.  They may want to get to that magical 20hz.  Which I completely understand.  Keep in mind that if you are used to commercial subwoofer, this is probably pretty similar tuning to a lot of commercial subwoofer.  With this in mind, let’s talk about my real world performance.

    Real World Performance: 

    This is my performance, I cannot tell you how your room will or will not respond to the subwoofer. In room, it is really hard to say what type of response you will get. For me, in room, I got an F3 of 22hz. Or course that is with decent room placement and the cheap DSP-LF to help get the most out of my sub. Which I would recommend for any subwoofer.  It helps fine tune your subwoofer to your specific room.

    This thing is pretty awesome though.  It can shake the entire house.  It is a pretty cool feeling having your couch shake 15′ away from the subwoofer.  It is also a very clean response, without much motor noise.  It also doesn’t need much excursion, which helps keep down the distortion.

    What have People Thought about it?

    My mom, said she really loved my new end table.  Should I tell her the secrets it hides?

    My sister said there is no need for a back massage anymore.  She will just come over and watch a movie.







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    How to Make a Subwoofer End Table

  • How to Make a Subwoofer End Table

    dave13 updated 3 months, 2 weeks ago 9 Members · 39 Replies
  • 123toid

    Administrator
    October 1, 2020 at 4:52 am

    Build Plans

     

    Parts Used:

    15″ woofer: https://bit.ly/pn395-8

    250w Plate Amplifier: http://bit.ly/30UimHx

    2 Ports: http://bit.ly/4inport

    1/4″ T Nuts and bolts: https://bit.ly/33vD181

     

    Box Dimensions:

    This box uses 3/4″ material. The dimensions can change a little to fit your space, but make sure you can fit everything.  Here are the dimensions I used. This is for the box only, not counting top or feet.

    Height: 17.5″

    Width 21″

    Depth 25″

     

    Cut List:

    This a sample cut list from a piece of 4′ x 8′ stock.

    (2) Top and Bottom: 25″x21″

    (2) Front and Rear: 21″x16″

    (2) Sides: 16″x21.5″

     

    Ports:

    For this I am using two 4″ precision ports for each subwoofer built. The ports come as 5 different pieces.  One long piece, two flared ends and two connecting pieces.  Take the long piece and cut it down to 10″ on each port.  You you will want to glue to ports together.  You will probably need to do this in the enclosure.  The pieces may not fit through your port opening, so it is best to glue them in the port hole. For this, I use CA glue or gorilla glue.  I love the CA glue, because it is so fast (if using the activator). Just make sure your parts are lined up before hand, as you only get one shot if you use that activator.  You will need to screw these in.  You will need four #6 screws.  You can pick up a pack at PE or just buy what you need at your local hardware store.  I like to go to Ace Hardware, as you can buy individual screws.

     

    Top:

    The top can be anything you want. But you will typically want it to stick over the edge at least 3/4″ to 1″ on each side – personal choice.  You can also make it the top of your box if you want it to be shorter.  Just make sure you account for this in your dimensions.  I used 3/4″ Oak that I picked up from my local lumber store. I bought 1 piece of 1×12.  Lumber bought is typically bought at common size and not actual size.  The actual size of this lumber was 3/4″ x 11.25″.  This meant I did not have to cut the width down.  Glued together, was 22.5″ which left 3/4″ overhang on each side. I just need to cut the board into two 26.5″ in length.  Then glued these together. 

     

    Feet:

    The feet can be any shape you want.  I just made a simple design and cut it out on the cnc.  But you could easily use a wooden dowel or even buy legs at your local hardware store.  Mine are approximately 3″ tall.  If you wanted to shorten your feet you should be able to.  The max excursion of that woofer is only about 1/4″ and the woofer sits out 3/4″.  So you could possibly shrink it to about 2″ although I have never tried it, so you would be taking a risk.

     

    Braces:

    Yes you should brace the box.  The best thing to do is get the ports installed and then cut some scarp 3/4″ straight pieces and install them in places that will not get in the want of the ports, sub or amplifier.  You can also use a 3/4″ wooden dowel if you want.  Just place these both horizontally and vertically where you can.  Make sure to leave enough room for 

     

    Dampening Material:

    This can be used in a subwoofer.  You can buy some from PE or just go to your local Walmart and pick up an foam topper for a mattress.  Just line the walls with it and use staples or spray glue to keep it in place. 

     

    External Design:

    This is also personal choice.  I went ahead and just used a 2′ x 4′ piece of 1/4″ material and cut the pieces to size on each side.  The width I cut to 3.5″.  Keep in mind, if you do this, that once you add the ones to the sides or front, you will be gaining 1/2″ which will need to be accounted for.  So if you do what I did, cut all the sides or front. and glue and nail them on. Then cut the sides  or front, whatever is left.  

     

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    How to Make a Subwoofer End Table

  • shrub0

    Member
    October 4, 2020 at 6:12 am

    I enjoyed the video. Can you share the inputs to Winisd so I can run a simulation? Thanks.

  • 123toid

    Administrator
    October 4, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    @shrub0

    I just put it up above.  Hopefully this helps.  If not, let me know what you would like. 


  • kanaaudio

    Member
    October 4, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    What a great idea, wow! Thanks for sharing!

  • dfresh27

    Member
    April 24, 2021 at 1:17 am

    Would like to take this idea to the outside on my patio. That being said, what sub would work in the outdoor elements. I havent researched yet but plan on using some sort of exterior plywood.  Can this be adapted to a sealed box?  The ports seem like an invitation for the elements and critters. I would power the sub from an old amp I have in the garage.  Still new to this all but trying to soak it in…..

    Thanks

  • 123toid

    Administrator
    April 24, 2021 at 3:46 am

    @dfresh27

    You could adapt this exact one to the outdoors.  I would double check with Parts express to see how the paper cone would hold up to the outdoor elements.  It might be a good idea to put some type of mesh/screen over it to protect it from bug and rain.  I would consider using a screen door material.

    For outdoors you really do not want sealed.  Sealed does well is an environment that can get you a lot of room/cabin gain to help with the low end.  Without that you would end up needing to eq it.  THs wouldn’t be a problem, but once you start eqing it you cut down on the amount of power the sub can use.  Meaning it wouldn’t go as loud.  And with no room gain, well you need it to go louder.

    With all this in mind, I would go ported and use a mesh screen over the ports inside the box) for and maybe just over the whole bottom to help protect the woofer. 


  • t968rs

    Member
    January 14, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    @shrub0

    I am wondering if I am, perhaps, inputting the PN395-8 specs in wrong. I am not getting the curves that Toid is getting.

     

  • elliottdesigns

    Member
    January 15, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    @t968rs it could be that the driver specs have changed (or that the ones provided by the manufacturer are wrong, which is rare but sometimes happens. I’m pretty sure Nick measured the driver himself). I’ll pop it in winISD myself in a bit and see what it comes out with. I’ll post it when I have.

    Edit: for clarity

  • t968rs

    Member
    January 18, 2022 at 5:09 pm

    Actually, the driver input schema in WinISD seems a little order-dependent. I searched around a bit to find sources that demonstrate the correct order. Once I re-saved the driver, I go the expected response. 

  • elliottdesigns

    Member
    January 18, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    @t968rs You are right, it very much is, and hence why I was going to check it. Nick (123Toid) has a tutorial on winISD, in which he actually goes through the order in which the information needs to be entered!

  • 123toid

    Administrator
    January 19, 2022 at 8:56 am

    @t968rs Something definitely doesn’t look right.  Did you get a data integrity error?  Also did you check to make sure the correct units were selected?  I have a feeling  they were not.  Here is the video that might help out.  If you still are getting the wrong data let me know.

     


  • NickD

    Member
    February 1, 2022 at 5:32 pm

    Instead of the Dayton PA 15″, what about a Dayton Ultimax 15″? How much more amp would I need for this Subwoofer End table? (or would you still recommend sticking with the PA woofer?)

    • 123toid

      Administrator
      February 1, 2022 at 10:58 pm

      You could definitely do that. In fact it has been done before using the mini marty design. I tried finding it again, but couldn’t come across the build log. You can use a plate amplifier like this Dayton. However, most people use a PA amplifier like the NX3000D for one or the NX6000D if you ever plan to add a second subwoofer. One thing to note, is that the Behringer fans are very loud and will need to be replaced with a Noctua Fan. This is not very hard and we could help walk you through it. I actually own a 600 myself, but I personally do not use it. I like my Crown XTi-2002. It seems to be more dynamic especially in the low frequencies (it is a class A/B compared to a class D). However, it is going to cost you more. One other quick note, the Behringer’s will not do rated power. or anywhere close really. Big D tested their series before this and their current series also does not test up to spec. Just keep that in mind.

      https://youtu.be/73Z2fNcGGDI


  • NickD

    Member
    February 2, 2022 at 7:04 am

    So doing this end table build with a 15″ Ultimax would require the 1000w Dayton or NX3000? Maybe I’ll stick to the PA 15″ that only needs a 250w Dayton amp 😉

    • 123toid

      Administrator
      February 2, 2022 at 10:55 am

      Nick I am so sorry, I was thinking the 18″, since that is what most people build. I completely overlooked the fact you said 15. Having said that, I would still recommend using the same plate amplifier, but if just running one, you could get away with the inuke 1000.

      But yes, the Ultimax are pretty power hungry. So if you want to get the most out of them, you end up with a pretty powerful amplifier.


  • NickD

    Member
    February 2, 2022 at 11:23 am

    No problem at all. This has all been like drinking from a firehose! Would I install the NX1000 directly into the end table? I wonder if that would throw off the WinISD measurement….

    It’s hard to find the NX1000 in stock. Could i make an amp using ICEpower like your other video recommended, or is that not ideal for subwoofer amps? Maybe I should stick with the 15″ PA amp, and 250w Dayton LOL

    • elliottdesigns

      Member
      February 2, 2022 at 12:23 pm

      The ICEpower amps are great in any situation as long as you pick one that outputs more wattage than you need (headroom), just bare in mind that to get that power your input voltage needs to be high enough, so you may need a preamp.

    • 123toid

      Administrator
      February 3, 2022 at 12:43 am

      The Nx1000 or any pro amp would sit wherever your other gear sit (ie your receiver). Typically most people run speakon connectors on the back of the subwoofer to hook it up.


  • michafr1

    Member
    February 3, 2022 at 5:40 am

    I would like to choose a quality subwoofer, but I don’t know anything about it…

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