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Extremely powerful HT Subwoofer options.

Draconia

Novice Member
Cliffnotes to avoid the wall of text below:
Subwoofers only ; I have most of the high end figured out - i may need a little more in the Mids but I'll worry about that after I get the subs replaced.

400 sq foot room - I want 130+db of volume that can go down to 16hrz (music / orchestra / sci fi fantasy movies that use that stuff) - I am building an Atmos system using rack mount amplifiers -every individual speaker will be amplified. I am having difficulty locating a HT subwoofer system that can create a dangerously powerful amount of Clear Clean SPL.

--------------------------

I'm attempting to build a theater in my home that is much more powerful than you would experience in an Imax or Cinemark XD theater - primarily in the low end.

Any normal consumer grade subwoofer is NOT going to work for me... I need something really powerful.

Background - Imagine sitting in an extreme car audio SPL competition where the extreme bass makes it difficult to breath and when you speak your words come out vibrating funny. In my party bus alone I have four 15 inch subs, Four ten inch mid bases - Two 8 inch mid bases - Four 6x9's and four 6.5's - about 8,000 watts of amplification -- and it sounds fair; but honestly I find it lacking and it wouldnt win any competitions... it is not as strong as I'd want my home theater to sound. (party bus is 8ftx16foot aka 128 sq foot - in a box filled with glass windows; not exactly a good acoustic room) -- My theater room is 400 sq feet - much larger than this bus.. so by this general estimation I'm probably going to want 25,000 watts of power in my home theater (most of that being in the low end)

Imagine being in the most powerful nightclub you could possibly be in - standing in front of the subwoofer and then times that by at least 4.


I've considered buying multple 18 inch Pro audio powered Subs from JBL or EV - even though they are huge -- I could fit them in someplace -- but I fear they will not have the clean response on the low end for home theater use.

Over the years I've bought various speaker systems, home theaters in a box and so forth... For comparison I have owned the following:

single - JBL s120P2 (400 watt 12 inch Front firing) -- It provides a clean sound that basically allows you to hear most of the low end. it is by no means acceptable to me in any way what so ever and generally speaking if I had 10 or 20 of these in my theater room I doubt it would give me the visceral sound I want.

single - Infinity BU-150 (200 watt 15 inch down firing) - Clean sound - no where near powerful enough to please me.

Attempted to do a custom subwoofer box/amp - its better than the pre made things I've listed - but still not good enough.
Dual - Adire Audio Tempest 15 in two custom boxes running 800 watts per using a QSC rack mount amp *sounded better when they were in 2 large 9 cuft boxes, now in the new house they are in smaller 3 cuft sealed boxes and they suffer a lot from that; they sound clean - and much louder than the JBL and infinity -but no where near the power that I want... I'd need their power x4 to come close

-Friend has a pair of the 'best' Monoprice subs available -- they sound clean and nice - but are really way too quiet for me.

-Demo'd the klipsh 12" reference 400 watt sub at best buy / sounds ok... way too weak - its on par with the JBL I currently have.

*Svs products - they have good ratings but I have not heard any yet and doubt that they would be powerful enough to create the visceral sensations that I am seeking. I'm sure they would sound good - and powerful - but I'm not so sure they would create the spl I want.

I've done --countless- hours of research on this - I've found all types of crazy subs - like the $200,000.00 helicopter looking fan that goes in your attic... Not quite in my budget... and my house would fall apart with that thing... lol

My budget is a variable - I've cut a lot of corners in many other aspects of the theater - the original plan was to spend- 30% on the furniture and acoustic stuff / 30% on the image - 30% on the sound - 10% on various mounts, wire and adapters. I've gotten some killer deals on furniture (didnt have to spend $18,000 for the 12 chairs I wanted/ went for something much cheaper and saved 15 grand there- -saved 5 grand on the screen - and may end up saving 3 or 4 grand off the projector from my original estimates... The sound system / rack mount amps and such have also been much cheaper than I originally budgeted... so I have plenty extra to spend on the Subs... I just cant find anything that can do what I want...

aka - give granny a heart attack... stop my dogs heart... explode any chickens that walk past the speaker... I want a powerful sub... When that death star explodes - I want the entire house to shake off its foundation... I want to be concerned that I'll be causing damage to my own ears -- so that I have to avoid turning the volume all the way up... i want a serious - dangerously powerful subwoofer system.

I am more than willing to build a wall of subwoofers - I have a lot of empty expansion in my breaker box ready to send dedicated power to multiple amplifiers.

Any suggestions on which subs I should consider -- and how many of them I should buy? -- General research implies that with each new sub I will gain 6db of volume... so I should probably be looking to build a custom box that has multiple subs inside- possibly one that takes up a solid 8x10 wall section (perhaps behind the screen) -- rather than buying a ton of individual subs that would take up floor space...

I think I may build a sub riser platform in the floor for the 2nd and third rows of seating; that will give me plenty of square footage to play with.- not much room in the ceiling since this is a basement install.

Room is 400 square feet - concrete blocks surround the entire room / with insulated drywall - fiberglass drop ceiling - and wooden subfloor with carpet... there's a 36" door that closes to keep the sound from escaping... nice tough room ready to take a beating.




****I realize that general references to Wattage is not something that can properly describe the true performance of a sub. Since I have such a wall of text here already I'll simply point out that I'm attempting to cliff-note my suggestion - as there is not an 8 10 or 12 inch home theater sub on the planet that will be able to do what I want; there is no way that a 400 watt sub will do what I need... no matter how effecient and wonderfully designed... I'm hoping that this topic will get a few responses that can recommend certain models that I may not have stumbled upon and my suggestion of needing a 25,000 watt theater system -- is quite literally supposed to let you know that I want something insanely powerful -that most other consumers would never want or need.

The goal here- is to have a sound system so powerful that it is difficult to speak, you will feel powerful compressions on your chest, it will be UNCOMFORTABLY loud and will definitely damage your hearing if you listen at loud volume for more than a few moments. Ear plugs definitely will be recommended.


***some luxury subs that I've read about - like JBL Gotham $15k and ..___ Thors hammer ($20k) - I cant imagine them having the comparable spl to me buying 4 to 8 professional 18 inch subs that all push 1800 watts from JBL or EV (they wont go down to 16hrz; but they will push spl for a lower price) -- Maybe it would be wiser for me to go with a few pro subs and mix in a couple HT subs that can hit the lower 16hrz range so I can get the best of both worlds...?

*The theater room I have now is only 400 sq foot - in the next few years we'll be adding on to the home and building a larger dedicated theater room that is closer to 1500 sq feet. so building an over kill system now - will in effect become a much more 'normal' type system when I almost quadruple the size of the room they are all in a few years down the road.




1. Budget. - under $10,000

2. Size requirements/limits
. four 10cu foot boxes, maybe eight 5 cubic foot boxes- or smaller/plenty of room in walls, floor or maybe ceiling.

3. Room dimensions
. current room is about 20x20 - future room will be triple this size (dont mind buying more subs then)

4. Primary uses. 80% HT/TV viewing, 5% music, 15% gaming

5. Listening habits. Most times I'll have the volume down low - but when guests are over I'll want insane SPL that will almost hurt.

6. Appearance requirements. Dont care; any size any shape - more interested in SPL - sound quality - and cost.

7. Timeframe- No rush
 
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Draconia

Novice Member
Reserved for a list of potential options; This may help others in the same boat.

There are thousands of manufacturers of speakers; I imagine there must be hundreds of quality HT subs and likely at least 20 or 30 that would be powerful enough to satisfy me.

Option 1 - DIY -probably will need four of these minimum to get the sound I want - not sure without hearing it or doing some crazy math.

Speaker S-24 mkII 24″ Subwoofer $1,275.99 HS-24 mkII 24″ Subwoofer | Stereo Integrity 2000 watts rms

Amp 2x1600 watts Amazon.com: BEHRINGER iNUKE NU6000DSP: Musical Instruments iNuke 6000DSP (*This isnt quite powerful enough for those speakers though)

plus a custom box/

Option 1a - DIY - same company -
Speaker -BHS-24 24″ Subwoofer $1,859.99 4000 watt rms dual 2ohm voice coils


Option 2 - Mariana

MARIANA 18S 18" SUBWOOFER $ 2,400.00 4000 watts power MARIANA 18S 18" SUBWOOFER

Option 2a
MARIANA 24SR 24" SUBWOOFER $ 4,000.00 MARIANA 24SR 24" SUBWOOFER

Option 3: - models from Power Sound
Sealed Subwoofers

Option 4: Funk audio products, $3-7000.00
Subwoofers

Option 5: Paradigm
PARADIGM SIGNATURE SUB 2 $10,500 Paradigm® | SUB 2 | Overview

Option 6: rythmik
Rythmik Audio • 15" servo subwoofer FV15HP RYTHMIK AUDIO: FV15HP: 2 PORTS MODE 600 watts but seems to have great reviews claiming its powerful

Option 7: SVS
Data-Bass SVS: PB13-ULTRA: 15HZ MODE
*not sure a 13" can really do what it claims

Option 8:
VELODYNE: DD18+ Velodyne Acoustics - Defining Bass over 30 years

Option 9:
JBL Captivator 4000ulf JTR Captivator 4000 ULF - The Sub of Power - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
$3100.00

Option 10: *Very inexpensive 2 to 4 will cost less than one of the others; comparable sound? not sure.
DIY- Dayton with a 4cuft sealed box
"Dayton Audio 18" Ultimax Subwoofer and Cabinet Bundle" from www.parts-express.com!
$399.
*needs amplifier separate like the iNuke


Option 11: - (too expensive) *Most powerful unique 'sub' -$12,000 for sub - possibly another 10k for install. TRW-17 Rotary Woofer
Eminent Technology: home


Websites / or links that discuss extreme subs:
Rise of the Super Subwoofers - A Comparison Guide

chart listing some subs; I imagine the ones designed for the largest 5000sq ft + rooms would be ideal
http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/subwoofer-room-size/Audioholics Excel compilation-062613.pdf
 
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markymiles

Distinguished Member
You might be better off asking on AVS Forum as they are your side of the pond and have some much more extreme sub builds than over here.

I definitely reckon multiple subs is what you are after. Have you considered the SI HT18's. Had the pleasure of hearing a dedicated room over here that had twin stacks of four. Certainly wasn't lacking in depth or chest thumping abilities. Good value for money too and much easier to power than other's you've mentioned.
 

Draconia

Novice Member
Thank you -- i just looked up the SI ht18
HT-18 v2 18″ Subwoofer | Stereo Integrity

at $159.00 each they are very affordable. 600 watts rms /dual 2 ohm coils - they look nice.

I think that companies 24" is a bit extreme in pricing and am not likely to buy that without a demo...

The Dayton kit has their speakers costing about $120. more each - but they can handle almost twice the power.
"Dayton Audio 18" Ultimax Subwoofer and Cabinet Bundle" from www.parts-express.com!

Too many options around lol I'll try the other forum. Will subscribe to this in case someone says something in the future....

Thanks MarkyMiles
 

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Paradigm Signature Sub2.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
We need more information about the room?

What are the dimensions of the room? Square or Cubic measurements aren't much help to us. Also be sure to include the Ceiling Height?

Then will the system be on the long wall or the short wall?

Will there be more than one row of seating?

Will their be tiered or raised seating?

Will their be a raise stage for the Speakers and Screen?

Have you given thought to Room Acoustic Treatments, as you most certainly should with this kind of investment?

Most definitely you want at least Two Subs. They will give you better coverage and more uniform response.

Next the standard for Home Theater is 85db with 20 db headroom for a peak of 105db, however, it is 10db higher for the Subs, so they can go up to 115db. So, your request for +130db is excessive relative to the standard. That is going to mean very large amps and very large speakers. It probably also means very high Sensitivity (efficiency) Speakers; lots of output per watt of input.

Most actually Cinema's are using large JBL PA systems, but consider the size of the space the are filling. Though these are not impossible in a Home Cinema system -

Cinema Market Products | JBL Professional

At AVS Forum in the USA -

AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

There are people who actually use these JBL In their homes -

ScreenArray Systems 2 Way Products | JBL Professional

104db with 2.83v (1 watt) of input. 600w Power Rating.

4722_4722N Products | JBL Professional

Here are some of the specs on the JBL 4722 -

Sensitivity 104dB, 2.83V @ 1m (3.3ft)

Rated Maximum SPL 130dB, @ 1m (3.3ft) 136 dB peak

3722_3722N Products | JBL Professional

As outrageous as that is, they still won't hit 130db at the seating location. So, if you have the cash, you might consider these larger arrays -

3731 Products | JBL Professional

3730 Products | JBL Professional

3732 Products | JBL Professional

These are not tiny speakers, but they are of a size that is acceptable in a Home Theater.

The other way of increasing output is to double up on the speakers. I have 2x8" each Towers, and 1x12" each big box speakers (not Subs). When I turn on the second set of speakers, I get a +6db boost in overall output, which is the equivalent of FOUR time the power.

But there are realistic limits to what you can do in a 20ft x 20ft room. Actually, for what you are asking, 20ft x 20ft (400ft²) is pretty small.

Here are some Home Theater Install photos and descriptions that might help you gather some ideas -

HOME MOVIE THEATERS

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Draconia

Novice Member
Thanks @Steve BlueWizard. Funny I'm doing more research and google brought me back to my 3 year old post...

My basement theater is just cobbled together right now as an afterthought - its NOT an ideal area. (L shaped room with many issues... drop ceiling prevents the seal so getting SPL is tough; plus I have a mirror wall and an angled closet holding my AV rack) - only one row of seats (that are too close to the screen due to size issues)


I have been looking into building an addition to design a room that can be sealed and that is a more appropriate shape...

I imagine I'll be using four separate subs - likely with 4 speakers per box and each box will be massive and not movable without a forklift... The best sound I've heard so far came out of a 9cubic foot box with two eminence 15ins installed up in a ceiling with a special acoustic designed theater room ... Or maybe the brand new dolby Premier theater at AMC that I'm basically trying to emulate (with more Bass)


I've installed a set of Transducers into my seats (silver Clark Synthesis) to give me the sensation I've been missing since all the theaters closed...

I'm currently using a box with 3 DIY 15's - and a couple other 15's in single boxes

In the car audio world I used to attend and participate in sound competitions - I would be impressed by things like Kicker deploying 40 of their L7 15 square subs to give you the 'hard to breath' sensation...


I dont exactly what THAT in my home theater; but I want something comparable...


I have a 15 inch velodyne on order that I expect will not make me happy either... that will be the last time I try to purchase a ready made sub... after this I'll be going DIY unless I find a crazy deal on some professional movie theater type stuff or one of those ungodly expensive super subs...
 

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Liammonty123

Well-known Member
This doesn’t really have to be as hard as it seems. Just start off with 2-4 low tuned 18s or 21s, see what Max output you get in your room and if it’s not enough just double the amount of drivers and amps you have, keep going until you reach the level you want.

Maybe 8- UM18s would do the trick, or 8 pro Audio 21s if you want more midbass.

The SI 24s are nice drivers, you could maybe see where 4 or 8 of those get you, although you will need bigger amps for them, compared to the inukes You can use for the above drivers!
 

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