Project : Subwoofer

Tutorial on how to design and build a high-end subwoofer.
Author: Antti Hakala
Published: 09.03.2009
In English In English
Suomeksi Suomeksi

Basic design

First I need to design the box. Subwoofers are NOT built in random boxes and hoping it will sound good. I use a progam called WinISD to make the plan. It's a program where you input the parameters of the subwoofer driver and it will simulate how different box designs work with your driver and amplifier. Different drivers work best in different type of enclosures. The Seas I'm using works in both sealed and bass reflex boxes. Using WinISD I chose to use reflex enclosure. This ported box will have great extension down to 20 hz with good SPL. (sound pressure level) As a main downside it will be larger than a sealed box. WinISD has help files to get you started in your own design.


Subwoofer project

Here is a screenshot of my project in WinISD. Yellow line shows how the 50 l vented box performs. Blue line is for half the size sealed box. Vertical numbers on the left stand for the sound pressure level. Horizontal numbers on the bottom represent the frequency of sound. As you can see, vented design gives you about 100dB SPL at 20 hz sound while the small sealed box reaches only about 92dB. 8dB is really a noticeable difference. In practise the room subwoofer is put into, will boost lower frequencies. This software gives a good idea of what you are about to build. Case is now planned to function correctly. The other plan I'll need is the looks of the box. I made couple of 3d renders to see how different ideas of mine work. Below are the results.

10" Seas L26ROY driver - Hypex ds2.0 amplifier - 50 liter box tuned around 21 hz

Subwoofer project

Subwoofer project

The box itself will be built of MDF board. I chose MDF because I can get it for cheap and it's easy material to work with. I'll be using dark grey leather and black highly reflective acrylic as finishes. These colours should match enough with my Genelecs. First I wanted aluminum side panels but they were too expensive and I've worked a lot with aluminum in the past anyway.

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