For an amplifier, consider QSC RMX 1450 Pro sound unit...450 watts @ 4ohms. Even the midrange and higher sounds good, and you will only be using it at LF. Put the $600 you save into better drivers.
Rergarding crossover...think about the Audio control Richter Scale LF equalizer/analyser with X/O. Especially with a DIY project you will find the extra capabilities useful.
This might be a "little" out of the budget, but if you haven't seen it, it's worth a look. DIY subwoofer
Damn!! They must never have heard the Sunfire True Sub Jr!!
Yeah, i think that is a little out of my price range. I dont think it would be good for my basement too! especially if i take it with me when i leave! hahaha
Hey Slappy, as previously posted, I had owned a Audio control Richter Scale and found it to work well for me. It is budget priced.
good luck, Paul
Before you even think about spending your first penny, buy and read a book called Loudspeaker Design Cookbook
by Vance Dickason. While it is not hard to build a subwoofer that shakes, rattles and rolls, it is tough to build one that is accurate, articulate and built as well as it should be. You might find that the driver(s) that you want to use are not suitable for the size and type of box that you want to use. If such is the case, think about how much time, money and frustration reading this one book might save you. Sean
Slappy, first off, GOOD LUCK!
You shouldn't have as much trouble as a lot of people will try and tell you.
Second, I am not so hot on using a car subwoofer for a driver, Infinity or otherwise. These drivers are normally 4 ohms, which may or may not be what you are looking for. They tend to appeal to a different sensibility, and often focus their performance in the 60 - 200 Hz band(mid and upper bass), which is at odds with the audiophile goal of producing low bass, under 60 Hz.
These drivers will make you happy if you are looking for what most people consider "good bass". Booming, shaking, mid and upper bass. As my friend Michael here likes to say, they rattle the guy three cars back. The box alignments they drivers are placed in, and are optimized for, play right into all of this.
Honestly, if you are looking for a pair of stereo subs which will produce clean, articulate bass, you can definitely do this project. You only need to do a little homework. Drivers from Madisound, Zalytron, Peerless, and Vifa are great for a vented box, and will fit well into your budget. Audio Concepts specializes in sealed box drivers, and are also a good move.
I would suggest that you find out whether your preference lies with the sonics of sealed or vented boxes, as there is a personal preference in most of us.
Other than that, look for a decent pair of plate amplifiers.
Since you are doing the cabinet work, it will cost not a whole lot beyond your own time and patience. 4' X 8' sheets of MDF and glue are certainly cheap enough.
Thats to everyone for the replys! i really appreciate it!
I hate my current career and i want to change career paths, i know some people out there are lucky enough to do what they enjoy for a living, and i want to be them, so that means high end audio. I want to try to build things more for experience than sales. I want to know everything about this stuff. I already know brand names and what things do and basically how they do it, but i want to get down into the real nitty gritty
This can be a very rewarding project!! Go for it. Some hints :
1. Some auto subs CAN make good home subs. Go for those with an Xmax over 10mm, Fs between 18-25 HZ, Qts of .30-.45, Vas of 3 cubic feet or less and a BL of over 10. Check out the Titanic subs at www.partsexpress.com.
2. Go for a sealed configuration (and I mean SEALED, more on that later)as they are much easier to design, perform great and are vastly less sensitive to small goofs in driver parameters and cabinet volume than a vented alignment. A system Q of .5(tight) to .7 ("musical.???")is quite achievable. I like a system Q of .5-.6 because with digital EQ you can pump the level below 40 HZ up a few DB and get scary, thrilling & TIGHT deep bass without it intruding on the midbass (plus a kidney massage if you play loud enough). And believe it or not, you can get this with an internal volume of 3 cubic feet or less (sometimes much less). A system resonnance frequency (F3)between 40-45 HZ is quite acceptable as "room gain" will prop up the response below 40 HZ with solid in room extension to 20-25 HZ..easy.
3. Make the walls thick & braced. A sandwich of two pieces of 5/8" MDF with a layer of 3/8" plywood in between works great. With internal bracing you'll end up with an extremely rigid & inert enclosure. Umm..and heavy too. Get a hand truck to move it around as each one will easily weigh over 100 pounds when finished.
4. SEAL IT. The drivers you will use have extremely high excursions and place tremendous pressure differentials on the enclosures. Any air leaks will degrade performance, especially impact & speed.
5. Some "plate amps" out there are quite good and are nifty packages if you want to mount them in the enclosure or in a seperate, small sub enclosure (no pun intended). The 250 watt jobber at parts express is excellent and cheap. A GREAT nitch amp for subs is the ADCOM 555 & 555 MKII stereo amp or the 565 mono blocks.
6. Use a good quality, external electronic x-over and slopes of 24 DBper octave, especially when cutting off the top end of the sub. Most sub drivers SUCK above 80-100 HZ. The DBX drive rack PA is a steal!!(Does everything in the digital domain, including EQ...a poor mans TACT...good sounding too as long as you don't push the DSP engine into clipping). The Marchand units are excellent as well.
Slappy, good luck with your diy sub.
I am building my own sub with most of the suggestions stated earlier. I am on my third and final prototype before I make the final box. A useful tool you can get is Granite Audio "Super Bass CD" from Quest for Sound on A'gon. Go to the site for info.
I did find out that an external amp and crossover are better than plate amps. I did try both. With external you get more air volume, less chance of an air leak and most likely a better quality amp and crossover.
Also, couple it to the floor as best as you can so it does not move when played. If you have carpet, use spikes, hardwood, as in my case, 1" squares from scrap wood angled down a bit glued to the box with blu-tac on the bottom of the squares.
Get some good wiring, posts and solder. Try Cardas out.
Last, you will need a hand truck to move this around. I do not know why, but diy subs tend to weigh a hellava lot more for some reason.
Again, good luck with your project and new career.
Eldulcesol's suggestion is an excellent one. I sometimes use an NAD 2600A as a subwoofer amplifier with good result. This was their biggest amplifier of that iteration of the Monitor Series. 150 wpc continuous, rated extremely conservatively with the NAD Power Envelope that had either 4 or 6(?) of headroom. I have driven any speaker I have thrown at it, and in the late 80's, there were some extremely difficult loudspeaker loads out there.
The best thing about these are the low cost you can find them for, often under $200. And, if you ever want to use it as a full range amp, it makes very good sound.
Trelja: I've owned 2600's before and don't think it's too bad of an amp either. They do work quite well with Klipsch speakers from my experience. While it might work out reasonably for a sub amp, i don't know where you are going to find one for anywhere near $200. The lowest i've ever seen one go for was $275. They typically go for between $300 - $350 from what i've seen. I didn't have any problem selling the ones that i had at $325.
As a side note, ANY amp that is driving a sub(s) can be improved by increasing the power supply reserve i.e. adding filter capacitance. This can really tighten and stiffen the bass, especially on amps that are noticeably "loose & sloppy" to begin with. Sean