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Senior Member
1,626 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a lot of discussion regarding what size of sub to have and what type of box.

To break it down there are two basic types of sub. One that needs a box and one that is free air

Generally free air subs are pooh but you can mount htem on an infinite baffle (i.e. a parcel shelf) and get the looks for very little cash but they tend to sound shit.

For all other subs some sort of box is required and there are three main types




Sealed gives a nice tight sound but doesn't produce the highest volumes, however a sub in a sealed box can take a load of power and are very easy to build (You just need to know the volume) so can be built by anyone (Even me :) )

Ported boxes are very similar to sealed however they have a tube that runs from the outside of the box to the inside. THis tube will have to be a particular length and size to allow the box to be "tuned" to a particluar frequency. Generally a ported sub will be loud and move a lot of air however if building one yourself without plans or a computer programme you will have a nightmare. Get the port size wrong in either diameter or length and the sub will sound shit. For instance my DLS MW12 needs a 4 inch wide port thats about 16 inches long to be tuned for 40 hz THis is a crazy size (THink about how big that tube actually is) so I went for a sealed box first time round for ease. My new one should be ported but I am using DLS guides to build it

Bandpass boxes are quite compicated. Basically a sub is in a box with two or more chambers and will be ported by at least one port. A bandpass box can produce amazing results from even a crappy sub but can sometimes be quite limited in the frequencies that it sounds good in, however clever peeps can use this to marry in withe the rest of thier system. Bandpass boxes can also use more than one sub, I have seen a box with a 15inch and a 10inch in it working and sounding good, however the box was buil;t by a professional and designed on a computer.

If you don't know exactly what you are doing don't try to build a bandpass box!!!

Basic Box Building Tips

You need to know a couple of things before you start

What volume of air your sub best works at (Litres)

If it is designed to be run in a sealed or ported box or if you have bought a free air sub

When building

Use good thickness of MDF

Seal all the edges using some sort of sealant, I use silicon

Line the box with wadding which is available from most good ice shops

Try to usr either screw connectors or a nice bananna clip for putting wires to the sub and make sure ther are no gaps you don't eant air to go anywhere

If inverting the sub make sure you take into account the volume that the magnet takes up

Sub Sizes

The size of sub you buy depends on what type of music you want. There are huge differences between manufacturers of subs so the following is very general however as a rule a larger sub takes more time to move thus might not be able to handle faster beats however the larger sub will be able to produce lower tones.

8 inch Not really a sub more of a midbass driver. this can produce very fast beats but won't go very low

10 inch More like it Good for fast hard bass and 10s generally will be quite punchy

12 inch THe peoples choice and most common size of sub Can move quite quickly but can drop to the 30s

15 inch A bit showy but can go really low however might struggle on fast repetitive bass Needs a lot of power to sound good

I hope this clears a few things up for people

Anyway i will shut up now :zip:

Senior Member
892 Posts
Nice info Muz, added a link to this in the sticky at the top

Senior Member
989 Posts
Question for you tho .....

If sealed how do you work out the volume of the box and can you make it so it isnt square ...

like if i wanted to make a funky boot build and made the box a wierd shape ... would i still get good results if it was completely sealed ?

cos when i was building my first one i completely cocked up the box and it sounded shit as fuck... so instead i took a fusion ported box ( even know the sub says it needs to be sealed ) and it works a treat. just built round the box.

1,364 Posts
aslong as its sealed it can be watever shape u want, i know some lads trhat use AP enclosures (ok muz i know they aint box's or sealed units as such there vented but hush) n these are plant pot shaped enclosures, aslong as the volume is correct it wont behave any different

326 Posts
i had a bandpass box took a bit of time to get it tuned right but as muz said in certain songs it sounds so amazing then in others its pants.

but to be honest i never heard linkin park sound so good in my puff.
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