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Epique E150HE-44 Small Cube Subwoofer Project

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    I finished up the 'Digging Deeper' video. It's long, but kind of interesting if you're into this stuff for anyone who may be so inclined.

    There are a few more audio demonstrations of the sub in action as well. Check out the 'full-range' demo near the end especially -- nice sounds -- and pay special attention to how the highs come and go as I move on/off-axis and how 'not-bad' they are!


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    Also, although I have an opinion on it... I'd be really interested in hearing your thoughts on what was going on with the whole "cabinet rocking" thing for anyone who watches it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX9c84bqj3A

    I continue to be impressed and actually, amazed by what this tiny driver can accomplish given its tiny 4" diameter radiating piston.
    I'm grateful to PE for designing this thing with much more excursion than the 14mm listed as I've pushed it past that (way past that, even) several times and never heard anything loud and scary from it.

    Seriously, you guys should get some kind of award for what you did with this driver.

    TomZ

    P.S. Those are not my real feet.

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    Thanks Steve and Kevin.

    I'm really looking forward to the in-depth video because there are quite a few things that happened to talk about that need to be talked about. I left some things hanging that I'd like to explain further.
    I need more hours in a day though.

    It's about $150 for the moving parts, and you need a pretty decent amp to push it as well. The DTA2.1 amp can get it moving, but it leaves a bit on the table as far as output goes.

    TomZ

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  • Steve Lee
    commented on 's reply
    Really well done production, editing and scripting, TomZ!
    Quite impressive not to mention the little sub you built as well.

    Definitely interested in the deep dive video forthcoming.

    Thanks for producing this - I am seriously looking at biting the bullet on the expense now . . . darn it!

    :D

  • Kevin K.
    replied
    Man that thing is capable of some crazy excursion for a driver its size, just ridiculous. Although a bit more expensive to build, it looks like the Voxel has some stiff competition now. Nice job Tom!

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    I finished the YouTube video for the construction phase of this subwoofer project.
    https://youtu.be/e3U6EWnfuMg

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    I plan on making a second "Digging Deeper" video to go into more depth for guys like us who actually are interested in how this stuff works.

    I'm (slowly) learning that most YT viewers just want to see more of the construction footage at a quicker pace as opposed to more of the 'guts' of how it all went together and what decisions had to be made and why... which is more of 'my' thing. Hey, I'm an old dog trying to learn a few new tricks... that doesn't happen fast, but I'm trying anyway.

    Short summary... the driver is really worth the money. I think I would be happy with a mini-tower two-speaker setup with this driver as the woofer. It sounds decent full-range -- and I mean not even with any filter on it -- which surprised me a bit. And I'd like to know the X-mech figure out of curiosity, as at times I couldn't believe I wasn't sending this thing across the room.

    TomZ
    Last edited by tomzarbo; 12-11-2021, 02:43 PM.

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    I've got this project headed in the right direction again... and I can tell you that this is a WOW driver. Yes, you have to throw some serious power at it to get it do perform it's tricks, but holy cow!

    This 5 1/2" subwoofer thinks it's a 10" woofer!


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    I was getting noise on the sub driver itself... but it turns out that it was just some light mechanical noise due to the EXTREME amount of excursion... it's not audible while it's playing full-range music. Flipping the switch from 'Sub' to 'PBTL' or full range while it was playing was enlightening, and it almost made me jump out of my skin as it was playing loudly when I first did this. I keep forgetting how un-loud bass is until you add in the rest of the music. No issue with the sub driver at all.

    The other issue was the one PR was rattling. I pulled that one out, replaced it, and adjusted the weight down on both PR's from 120 grams to 100 grams. That did the trick, it's singing now. I guess 120 grams was just a bit too much for it. Going to 100 grams only hurt the bottom line a few Hz, so no big deal really. The cabinet rocking has stopped, it's sitting steady now. I'm going to try to get the video of this out in a week or less, but you'll be able to see the cabinet rocking back and forth, and not a little either, it was literally rocking! Funny stuff. All good now, though.

    The surprise was that while playing full range music through it (not vocals yet) it sounds totally fine. Decent even, with no filter on it, even super-loud. Like I said, I haven't played James Taylor through it or anything with hard-to-produce vocals or mid frequencies, but with electric bass-heavy music, it sounds good, so I'm sure it will be able to be persuaded to make beautiful music with the right crossover components.

    So this is a HUGE success in my book. I cannot believe how stupid loud this subwoofer gets. I have to tinker with it a lot more, and get it downstairs in my family room to really give it a run through, but I'm impressed even now, very impressed. Turning up the volume louder and louder actually yields louder and louder sound. It's like it has no limit.

    Alright, enough gushing. I have a video to make and you'll soon be able to see it going berserk for yourself, but I'm sure you'll be impressed with the Epique 150's performance.

    TomZ

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    Originally posted by silverD View Post
    Tom, thanks for clearing that up. It looks like the amp has a selectable gain switch (32/36dB) as well.
    Yes, and it does help a bit. I have it set to high gain and it does a decent job of getting the laptop output to a decent level. Guess you'd turn it to the lower gain setting if you were running from a home CD player for instance. It's nice to have choices like that!

    Originally posted by DeZZar View Post
    Looking great Tom. Love the veneer.

    I just got back from 4 weeks in the states and snagged myself a couple of E180 units for a future sub build as we can't seem to get them in Aus just yet.

    Keen to see your final thoughts on this one.
    Thanks, it is 'different' looking for sure.

    Nice on the E180's! After seeing how much air this little bugger can move, a pair of the larger ones should really be fun to see in action and hear.
    Yeah, you guys in Australia really have it bad with regards to shipping, I don't know what I'd do if I lived there and couldn't get my PE stuff delivered fast and free!

    I hope to have more to report on it by the weekend. I need to get it downstairs and play some music through it with a set of speakers.

    TomZ

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  • DeZZar
    replied
    Looking great Tom. Love the veneer.

    I just got back from 4 weeks in the states and snagged myself a couple of E180 units for a future sub build as we can't seem to get them in Aus just yet.

    Keen to see your final thoughts on this one.

    Leave a comment:


  • silverD
    replied
    Tom, thanks for clearing that up. It looks like the amp has a selectable gain switch (32/36dB) as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • tomzarbo
    replied
    DJG is right... I ended up getting the Nobsound Pro G2 which is a "300 watt" mono amp that uses the TPA3255D2 chip.

    With the included 32 volt, 5 amp PS I suspect in the neighborhood of 110-120 cleanish watts. It sounds like it's probably doing that or close to it, plus the sub frequency knob does its job well, at least second order, it works.

    Nate, funny, but I had NO problem driving this sub to the limit with the DTA2.1 amp with hot inputs like from the Marlin P Jones Sine wave/signal generator. Bluetooth and line in from the computer just didn't have as much output. These little amps are really dependent on a good input signal to get the maximum out of them. I guess that's true of all amps, but the small ones tend to be maxed out all the time and maybe a lower input signal just shows up more with them.

    Side note: this amp has a switch "PBTL/Sub" which will run it full range or sub-crossed. The full range setting on this driver didn't sound bad... not all "Subby" like lots of dedicated low-frequency drivers tend to. It needed some tweaking, but I can see this sounding nice as a Tiny Super-Woofer in the right project!

    TomZ



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  • djg
    commented on 's reply
    My picture was just a suggestion, that he consider one of the many single channel units available. I think Tom bought something else.

  • silverD
    replied
    The sub looks great Tom! I'm wondering if the sub isn't getting enough clean power. The DTA 2.1 uses dual TPA3116D2 chips which are rated up to 26v (depending on the implementation). As I understand it, one TPA3116D2 is in stereo (BTL) for the main speakers and the other is in mono (PBTL) for 100W. The Nobsound G2 looks to use the same TPA3116D2 chip in mono (PBTL) as well, so you may not see an increase in output (gain settings and power supplies may differ). The compactness of these class D/chip amps is very convenient not to mention their efficiency. I'd recommend looking into an amp that utilizes a higher supply voltage for this inefficient / high xmax subwoofer. I think the TPA3255 chip family is a big step up from the TPA3116 and there seem to be many offerings available, even a Nobsound G2 Pro (I have no experience with). Lots of boards available if you want a bit of DIY too.

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  • tomzarbo
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks Kevin.
    I didn't mention it I don't think... but I didn't know how to glue it up since I had never heard of fleece backed veneer, so I just used Titebond 2 applied only to the box and clamped it for a few hours. It worked fine and there is no real line on the veneer to speak of, looks seamless to me. There were a lot of 'fuzzies' floating around after I trimmed the veneer with the router. Looked like little puffs of cotton, or those little white 'floaty' things that dandelions give off in summertime. I think I have 7 or 8 coats of poly on this.

  • tomzarbo
    replied
    More to report:

    I picked up one of those dedicated sub amps (I had been looking for something like that for awhile) that DJG mentioned up there /\ and it seems to be able to do a better job of driving this setup. I still heard some noise coming from the woofer, but only at higher volumes now. Still there, though. I suspect the crossover frequency knob (which is supposedly 40-300 Hz) allows me to dial out some of the upper bass that was causing this thing to sound funny, (The DTA2.1 amp that I was using was the older 'modded' design with a crossover frequency in the 50 Hz range if I remember) along with a higher wattage (and therefore cleaner) signal.

    The PR noise is still there, but again, only at higher volumes. I did notice something strange though... although the two PR's are directly opposed, at a very high volume, it seems they were not operating in unison, because the cabinet was shaking pretty hard side-to-side. I'll try and get a video of that, but I've never seen that before. Possibly a small difference in added weight to each PR could cause this?

    UPDATE: I just looked at the video footage of me putting this together, and both weights were 125.6 grams on the nose, so unless the built-in weights of the PR's were off, that's probably not it. I should weigh each PR without the washers though to see if the weight of both is off by any large amount.

    Anyway, what I need to do is run some music through this and not just test tones, sine sweeps always show the worst in a subwoofer setup, maybe with music only and some speakers to sing along with it all will be well... or at least much better.

    I could also reduce the weight on the PR's a bit to 100 grams each. I know 120 is getting near the limit of what these would likely be comfortable with, although their X-max figure likely wouldn't ever be breached. I'm looking at an F3 of 37 Hz with 120 grams... with only 100 grams it only raises to about 40 Hz, still fine with me.

    Oh BTW, the sub was just placed on the counter for 'photographic' purposes, no signal was run through it in that potentially dangerous location.

    TomZ

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  • Kevin K.
    replied
    Cool project Tom! I like the veneer, it's wild looking in a good way. And nice job on the veneer alignment from panel to panel, looks like it flows perfectly. The textured ABS feet will be a nice addition, like how you did that as well.

    Did I miss it, what kind of glue did you use for the veneer since it had the fleece backing?

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