DIY: How To Make Your Own Subwoofer

DIY: How To Make Your Own Subwoofer

Range Govindan
Oct 10, 2008

There's nothing more satisfying than building your own stuff. It's not always easy, but it's always fun to do so, even when it's a challenge. The rewards always outweigh the effort. Dan McGrath has put together a tutorial to make your own subwoofer. Why do we need subwoofers? Read on to find the answer.

This build is long and complete. The end product is a premium sounding subwoofer, which when bought in stores would sell over $1000. Parts and tool will cost you about $200, so this is really something that you could try out in order to end up with something that sounds really good. The assembling of the casing takes up quite some time and you need to be precise. Afterward, there is some welding and you need to set up the wiring, which requires an experience and familiarity with electrical wiring. The building of the casing is more complex than the wiring, so if you are comfortable working with wood, then you should try this build out.

Subwoofers mean that you can choose a nice small pair of speakers that you don't take over too much space, and hide the subwoofer behind the sofa or some furniture. The subwoofer in this build is relatively small, the smallest that McGrath could build. Even though it's small (15" cube), the author says that it packs quite a punch, being able to sustain 300 Watts.

His step-by-step tutorial describes in detail what you have to do. McGrath uses MDF as a basis for his speaker. He also details why he chose to build this specific type of subwoofer. The reasons get technical quickly, but needless to say they are informative. This subwoofer is 6th order, isobaric, bandpass and series tuned. To find out more, read his detailed tutorial.

The parts will cost him about $190, but you might be able to find cheaper parts in the US since he built his in the UK. The fact of the matter is that you are building a premium quality subwoofer, not a cheap sounding one. McGrath has done all sorts of tests to assure himself of the quality of the sound. There is also a bit of mathematics behind this build, to optimize his design. This doesn't really concern DIY-enthusiasts, but it's good to know that a lot of thought went into the design of this subwoofer.

Parts List
18mm MDF 2400 x 1200mm sheet
380ml uPVC solvent weld glue
2metre 4" Underground Soil Pipe
2metre 3" heavy grade rainwater
10" Eminence Beta 10 Loudspeaker
Neutrik Speakon Panel Socket
Neutrik Speakon Plug
Speaker covering carpet
2.5mm Heatshrink
Speaker Wadding
8 x M8 Hex Nylock Nuts
8 x 2" M8 Bolts
8 X M8 flat washers
100 x 2" #8 Woodscrew
1litre resin W wood glue
Contact Adhesive
310 ml tube No More Nails
300 ml tube clear bathroom silicone

The basis of his subwoofer are a pair of 10" Eminence loudspeakers. You can choose others, but in order to follow this build, we suggest that you choose a pair that has the similar specs. The construction begins with cutting the MDF to the right dimensions. In total, the subwoofer requires 18 pieces of MDF cut along the pattern he designed. Using a circular saw is the best way to go about this.

Once that's done, you can start the assembly. McGrath uses glue to tie the parts together, putting it into any gaps he finds, then scraping it in. Then, he uses a rag to wipe off the excess glue. Afterward, you'll need to screw in those screws.

Then he works on the external port, which is quite important. Read more over at his tutorial. It's really cool to find out that he could his subwoofer if he decided to. So when you get tired of your functioning build, sell it! Also, he isn't going to sell it cheaply. He's already refused an offer for over $850.

[Photos by Dan McGrath]

Prepare Your Own Speaker Wires
How To Make Your Very Own Simple Speakers Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

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