Place Sub in enclosure?

Posted by: Carl

Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 10:32 AM

Forgive me if this has been covered in the previous 640 pages.

I'm building a base for my TV in which I hope to place my Subwoofer (soon to be ordered EP350). Other than the fact that I may be unlucky and have to move the Sub off to the side, are there any other negatives to putting a Sub inside an open front base?

Carl
Posted by: Riker

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 11:10 AM

my father in law has a 8" sub just under the tv inside the cabinet and it works really well.. but he does not listen to movies or music at the same level as I do..
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 11:14 AM

Sub placement in a room is very important, every room is different. Most likely that position will work, but won't be the ideal position for the room. Most people experiment with various locations to get the best sound, may be the corner, may be the side wall, etc...

The frequencies from a sub are low and emit in all directions, not sure it would be a good idea to put it in an enclosure.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 01:04 PM

I've had a sub in an enclosure of a wooden TV stand with only the front open (the speaker is pointing towards the front), and it has been working for me. Although not a very powerful one, since it's just a Sony HTIB.
Posted by: alan

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 01:15 PM

Hi Carl,

It's not a great idea because it potentially limits the performance the sub will be capable of. The EP350 is an extremely capable subwoofer and it deserves to be ideally positioned in the room.

You could always try it, of course; you might get lucky. On the other hand, I worry about the surrounding cabinetry and the potential coloration that might result. As others have noted, subwoofers radiate in all directions below about 80 Hz and are designed to be operated more or less in free space. The cabinet interference might do unpredictable things. The sub also may cause the cabinet you are building to resonate at various frequencies.

Regards,
Alan
Posted by: aspicer1

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 02:45 PM

This is an interesting topic for me since i am currently designing my new room. I had planned on building out some columns that would be wide enough and deep enought to recess the sub (ep350) inside. The columns would be drywall and studs with a stone (fake) facade on the outside for appearance. I was under the impression that as long as the sub was on the ground and the woofer facing outward I would get the proper sound. Seems i am wrong.

So you are recommending against this sort of thing? So much for making the wife happy..... She is thrilled that i am placing my fronts and centers behind the screen already so maybe she'll have to deal with this one!
Posted by: Micah

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 03:04 PM

I built a HT closet and placed my EP800 inside of it facing out. While it worked, it sounded amazing. However, I did notice when I went inside the closet that there was a lot of bass that eminated from the rear of the subwoofer (even though it's a sealed box) that was getting trapped inside the closet. Since it stopped working before I ever got a chance to bring it outside of the closet to play around with placement, I can't say whether or not it made a huge impact or not.

It did still sound incredible, I'll say that. So I would say it if it's a must for WAF, then don't be too scared to do it. While it may not be ideal, it will still probably be acceptable.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 03:06 PM

Just to let you know the effect a powerful sub could have on that drywall.... I'm not an overly loud listener and have my sub tuned to match my speakers so it's not cranked by any means. However, in a good movie scene like the depth charges in U-571 and many others, my drywall can and does shake, even on the far side of the room.

It's not detaching from the studs or anything but you can feel it if you are leaning on it and on the far side of the room, the adjoining room is unfinished and I can't leave anything leaning against the inside of the drywall or I will hear it resonate. I also have to slightly open the door to the closet under the stairs and the adjoining room or they vibrate in the casings.

A good sub is a powerful device. Don't hide it away in drywall paneling as it will likely reduce the sound quality a good bit and just might shorten the life of the panels. ;\)
Posted by: aspicer1

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 03:32 PM

Ok Good Advice! I'll think on this one.....

Micah... forgive me...what is WAF?
Posted by: alan

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 03:32 PM

Hi aspicer,

Murph's points are well-taken. It's not so much that I'm recommending against it if you have no alternative; it's that when Axiom designs and measures its subwoofers, they are designed to work sitting on a floor in "free space" and that is how they're measured as well. The Axiom sub has its own carefully tuned enclosure. Putting it inside another enclosure introduces a completely unpredictable element.

Your particular room, the sub's location in the room, and the listening area/couch/seats' locations are all elements that combine to determine the quality and quantity of deep bass you'll receive (in addition to the subwoofer's intrinsic performance). It's difficult enough getting all those factors working in sync without further complicating matters by adding another unknown variable--putting the sub inside another enclosure.

Regards,
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 04:16 PM

 Originally Posted By: aspicer1

Micah... forgive me...what is WAF?
Wife Approval Factor
Posted by: aspicer1

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 04:17 PM

Ok, letís say i wanted to be completely stubborn and recess the sub into the wall regardless. Big surprise right! Is there something i can build inside of the wall to help either absorb or project forward the sound emanating from the top, sides and rear of the sub? Maybe an additional drywall enclosure or some insulation or both? Something else?

Still not sure I'm going to do it this way but want to consider all choices.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 04:19 PM

You could try to build the surrounds of the enclosure angled to deflect the waves outward, not that LFE are ever really deflected much.
Posted by: Carl

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 05:30 PM

Along the same lines of possible compromise, is there a problem with laying the sub on it's side (with appropriate pads) or even a vertical center? By now you can sense I have serious space issues.

Carl
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 05:39 PM

If your going to go with a vertical center, it would be better to get a matching bookshelf, like the M3 or M22, versus turning a center on end, which is designed to be horizontal.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 06:45 PM

Knowing just enough about sub design to be dangerous...

 Quote:
they are designed to work sitting on a floor in "free space" and that is how they're measured as well.


I would think that if you were to construct a cabinet such that the front face were closed around the sub and flush with the front of the sub (ie: the front of the sub and cabinet are like a wall), you would be ok as long as there was not significant resonance in the enclosure. This might require that the front face be reinforced some way. Is baffle diffraction also an issue with subs?

I could see an open cabinet acting as a resonator and colouring the sound though.

I would think the same goes for a column. As long as the column is properly reinforced so that it does not act as a resonator, you should be OK.
Posted by: Micah

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 09:25 PM

WAF = Wife's approval factor...



Edit, oh I see I'm too late on this one.


Posted by: Micah

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 09:40 PM

While we understand that subs are not designed to be confined into an area, I think we all also understand that compromise is the key to any successful HT when men and women are both involved in the planning. This means not all of us can have 4 huge subwoofers laying around in the room, all seated in the position which brings out the best from each of them. It also means that quite a few of us won't even have the privilege of having one huge box laying around in it's perfect position. So while the advice being given says, "don't do it", my own theory is, "a subwoofer stored away in a cabinet, a closet, or some other subprime location is still better than no subwoofer at all". Don't worry friend, many of us here are married, so we feel your pain!

An alternative that is seldom brought up around here is, getting an 'in-ceiling' subwoofer. Axiom doesn't make any, but you can find them. If you have access to your attic, this could be a great compromise for you. You could place one or two of them right above your seating position, or in any other location you desire. Placement does present a bit of a problem as it becomes very hard to experiment with where they might sound best. After all once you cut a hole in your ceiling you're pretty much committed after that!

But they are at least out of sight!
Posted by: Riker

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 10:11 PM

I totally understand what you are saying my friend.. I for one am lucky, I " own " the basement so I can place my speakers and subs anywhere I want.. but I'm building a brand new HT system for my cousin and his better half has her paw prints all over the thing.. first it was " I want ALL electronics in the closet" .. then it was " I don't want a big tv and a bunch of stuff with the big tv showing" .. then it was " I change my mind, I don't want it in the closet" and on and on..

Finally, we've got the Epic 80 - 500 system in his basement, still in the shipping boxes, along with a new Onkyo 807 receiver and the bunch of BlueJeans cable that just came in today.. the big Build is this coming Saturday.. I told him.. make sure your wife has " other plans " for the entire day.. Don't get me wrong, I like her.. I just don't want her around me while I'm setting up six grand worth of gear !!!!!! She'll drive me crazy ! I can't wait for her reaction to the EP-500 size.. !! no honey, it's not our new coffee table.. it's a SUB.. !! Yes honey, the M80s are quite large, but wait, just sit down and listen .. he he he..:-)
Posted by: aspicer1

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/17/09 11:29 PM

HA WAF! thats good stuff. Luckily its not as much about approval as it is my trying to ensure we are both as happy as can be in every way. I pretty much have control over what is done in the theater room but still want to try to think of her in the design. of course i cant say the same for the rest of the house.......

Anyway sounds like I can try to create a sort of secondary cabinet for the sub in the column and that should help. Any ideas on what materials i should use for that?

I also just realized that in doing this i am limiting my ability to upgrade later to a larger sub without some demolition and rebuiling of the column.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 08:05 AM

The 350 and 500 are the same size if that helps for future upgrades. Again, I would rethink this, in my opinion why have a HT room if you have to sacrifice in some areas, especially in the most important area. BOOOOOOm BOOOOOOOOOM Woooooooof Woooooof.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 08:17 AM

Some folks have effectively disguised their EP500s as end tables. Actually, you might even convince her that an EP600 or 800 is a coffee table if you face the drivers away from the couch.
snicker.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 08:56 AM

I still want to build a table that is sized to simply stand over and above a sub. Unfortunately, my living room has a couch and chair close enough to each other that I really don't have room to put in one or two of those sub / table combos anymore. \:\(
Posted by: cb919

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 10:58 AM

Hey, thanks for the great idea of sliding the EP under a coffee table. I am currently thinking of slightly relocating my EP500 from kitty-corner behind the couch to beside it to accommodate some bookshelves. But my wife pointed out that somebody would use it as a table and spill their drink on it. A coffee table covering the EP would mostly resolve this.

I love this forum!
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 11:00 AM

Just make sure the driver is not placed so that someone with big feet can kick it!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 11:06 AM

I had also thought a coffee table would be good if I wanted two subs! \:\)


Posted by: jakewash

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 12:12 PM

To me the EP500 is about coffe table height, I like Mark's rendition. My PB13 is the perfect height for a side table and it may just be that in the new house, along with a plastic spill containment system surrounding it when the drinks fall off from the vibrations ;\)
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 12:57 PM

Yeah, I never took the idea past that quick Photoshop image, but I always wondered how I would dampen the vibrations without making the tabletop "mushy" feeling from floating on soft foam.

I was afraid my beer would go flat in 20 seconds! \:\)
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 12:57 PM

\:D
Posted by: cb919

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 12:59 PM

On the other hand it would keep mixed drinks...well...mixed - or well mixed!
Posted by: Murph

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 01:38 PM

You just need a couple of Machina Dynamica, anti-gravity spacers to hold the top over the sub without touching it. It will keep your Brilliant Pebbles from vibrating off to the floor.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 01:40 PM

I just moved one of my 350's upstairs, and plan to use it as an end-table for the couch or loveseat, just need to run some coax in the walls first..
Posted by: aspicer1

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 04:29 PM

Beleive me i hear what you all are saying and understand that placing the sub in a column would not be ideal. Just hoping for some ideas on how to build it as well as i possibly can in case i decide it is the way to go for me. So far the mention of building an enclosure to run flush with the front of the sub and using some materials behind and above to try and project sound forward is what I have. Any ideas on what materials would be best? Chipboard? Drywall? Insulation or a combination of the two? If i can keep as much of the air pushing forward as possible it might not be such a problem...... At least thats what i am thinking.....
Posted by: cb919

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 04:36 PM

Well, if you're going to do it, MDF makes sense to me as it's what the sub is made of as well. That's just my 2 cents.

BTW, I had a similar idea and when I built my equipment rack I made a cabinet at the bottom to hold my sub. Unfortunately as soon as I put the sub in there and listened it was very 'boomy'. So I pulled it out and did the sub crawl and have been happy since. Luckily for me the sub crawl revealed I could put the sub in an optimal and aesthetically pleasing place. The ex sub enclosure now holds movies, games and my PS3 controller charger.
Posted by: Argon

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 04:40 PM

 Originally Posted By: cb919
On the other hand it would keep mixed drinks...well...mixed - or well mixed!


Shakened - not stirred.
Posted by: aspicer1

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/18/09 08:00 PM

Ok thanks for the MDF idea. Still lots of negativity with this plan though so i guess i would be a total moron for not reconsidering it. Thanks all......
Posted by: Murph

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/19/09 12:35 PM

I'd hate for all of us to have to march in front of your house with plaques saying "Free your!! Sub Free your Sub!!!"
Posted by: Micah

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/19/09 04:14 PM

Me too, because he'd probably be so busy enjoying his system he'd never even notice us out there. ;\)
Posted by: aspicer1

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/19/09 05:21 PM

This is funny stuff!!!!
Posted by: BigHonu

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/20/09 01:49 AM

My dad had his sub in a cabinet in his built-into-the-wall entertainment center. Sounded really bad at first as the whole entertainment center was vibrating and rattling. As the books, components, etc went in, most of the vibrations and rattling went away (or was greatly reduced) and the sound improved a good deal. Not great, but better than when the entertainment center was empty.

If you need to put it in another enclosure then I'd try and make that sucker fairly dense to keep resonances to a minimum. Won't be optimal, but better than no sub at all.
Posted by: Micah

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/20/09 10:02 AM

 Originally Posted By: BigHonu

If you need to put it in another enclosure then I'd try and make that sucker fairly dense to keep resonances to a minimum. Won't be optimal, but better than no sub at all.




Here here... Surely we all want the best sounding HT we can build/buy. For some of us there are zero restrictions holding us back, others have certain trade-offs to contend with. If it were true that it wouldn't be worth putting together a HT if you couldn't do it optimally then I wouldn't have a HT right now because our HT doubles as our sales/presentation room, and therefore has many compromises built into it.

But it's still amazing to watch movies, listen to music on! It could be better, but I'm not complaining.
Posted by: aspicer1

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/20/09 01:57 PM

Ok heres what I am coming up with. The sub will be on the floor recessed into an in wall column with the front of the sub either flush with an opening in the column or even sticking out a few inches. I can play with that to see if it does help the sound. I figure i will use chipboard above and begind the the sub, green glue, drywall for finishing. I will insulate the entire inside of the column. Do you think I should use any sort of acoustical panel inside of the cabinet over the drywall?
Posted by: Micah

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/20/09 04:49 PM

I don't think any of that will matter so long as you hook it all up with Monster cables!




;\)
Posted by: aspicer1

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/20/09 08:46 PM

Monster huh? You on the payroll?
Posted by: aspicer1

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/20/09 09:44 PM

Hey check this out. Axiom displays pictures of the W22's in use in several HT's. In one of the pictures a theater has what looks like 2 EP350's recessed into the walls. This is pretty much what I am looking to do. I would love to know who's room that is to get their thoughts on enclosing the subs.....

http://www.axiomaudio.com/wallspeakerw22_main.html#
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/20/09 11:29 PM

That was a room mock up they did for a home show a few years back. The people they were doing it with made them do that. I don't remember if Amie said the sound was affected or not, but the implication was that Axiom would rather that they hadn't had to do that.

That said, I think it's a pretty cool look, myself.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/20/09 11:32 PM

yep, that is old news. \:\)
Posted by: fredk

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/20/09 11:33 PM

 Quote:
I figure i will use chipboard above and begind the the sub, green glue, drywall for finishing.

This is known as constrained layer damping and is extremely effective in reducing panel resonance. I would also suggest putting horizontal dividers inside the column to break the large panels into a series of smaller panels with a higher resonant frequency: pushing the resonant frequency above the range of the sub. MDF or ply will do just fine. Anything you can screw and glue to the chipboard.
Posted by: aspicer1

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/21/09 12:38 PM

Thanks Fred, This gives me some confidence that although not optimal I should get decent enough sound from it if i build it right. Hey if it doesnt work the worst that could happen is I slide the sub out, close the hole and let it run free!

Aaron
Posted by: Micah

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/21/09 08:27 PM

The other option you have is to use the cave as the sub's hibernating spot if you don't like the way it sounds in there. What I mean is that maybe to keep the wife happy or whatever it stays in the cave most of the day. Then when it's movie time you can slide the sub out and place it where ever it sounds best & enjoy the show. Show's over and sub goes back to sleep in its cave.

I'm not sure if I heard correctly but this is for an EP350 right? And someone else pointed out that the 500 is the same size, is that right? If so this is a good thing because if you're building a spot for it I'd hate to see you outgrow the 350 within a year or so & want a bigger sub but be stuck with the 350 because nothing else would fit into it's spot.

But if you can safely upgrade to an EP500 and still fit it in the same hole, then that's a plus.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/21/09 11:47 PM

The EP350v3 and the EP500 use exactly the same enclosure.
Posted by: aspicer1

Re: Place Sub in enclosure? - 11/22/09 09:36 AM

NOW THATS WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT! You've got vision Micah! I love it! I'll nick name my sub the sleeping bear. Hear the roar when it crawls out of its cave!