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Sub woofer location
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Classicvibe
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:10 pm    Post subject: Sub woofer location Reply with quote

The Vanagon closet is a silly thing...not silly enough to get rid of, but I never seem to find a great use for it either. Some things that I have found work well:

* Blankets and sheets folded in the bottom
* Vanagon records and Bentley stacked on the top (shelf)
* Tools and fluids in the left/tail smaller openings.

I like the bottom area because stored items mostly stay in place. On the two shelves, they crash around and fall out when I open the door. And there appears to be a coat rack in there as well? Right...

So I went out and bought two 10" subwoofers and an decent class D amp to drive them. Each of the subs needs at least .5 ^3 ft enclosed space. I am looking for a place to hide them, where they will still be effective, stay away from harm (kids fingers, my skis, etc.) and out of site while not damaging should I want it stock again. I believe that a box under the rear bench or the jump seat (86 weekender style) will be more like a box within a box, and not very effective in moving air. Mind you, one 10" in PLENTY for a nice stereo system. I may stick with just the one or go for two...

I took out my closet to do some insulation and after studying it for a while, thought there may be some potential to kill a couple of birds with one stone. I am thinking of building a box for each and stuffing them up against the ceiling of the closet, shooting down. The closet is hardly air tight (which means I can avoid the box-within-a-box), and this gets them hidden, out of site, and if I build two (instead of one big box) then I can pop them out when I want. .5 cubic feet is 1728/2 (864) cubic inches, so a 7x11x11 box for instance is roughly .5^3 ft (847).

For reference, a 10" box looks like this"

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

well, actually, that box is bigger, but you get the picture...but like I said, it can be any shape if the space requirement is met.

I am wondering how people use their closet, and what your thoughts would be on losing say, the top 10 inches of your closet? Or perhaps you have found some other snazzy place to put your sub that meets my requirements?

FYI, I bought:
* Two Boston G2-10 subs on eBay for $68 (WOOT!)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

http://www.bostonacoustics.com/G210-P571.aspx
and

* One Kenwood KAC-8105D Performance Series Class D Mono Power Amplifier on eBay for $61 (WOOT! WOOT!)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

http://www.kenwoodusa.com/Car_Entertainment/Amplifiers/KAC-8105D

I thought about a few other closet areas, like replacing the space between the two shelves (it is perfect for two .5 boxes) but the space still seems more valuable the the black hole above. I thought about cutting holes in the front of the closet, but that left the subs exposed, in sight and likely to kill creamed by me or the kids or whatever. I thought about creating a custom panel in the rear area, but that has the same problems, and I am just not that motivated to be pimpin.'

I am not big on bass, but I have had a competition system in my car before, and a 10" does simply amazing things to Jazz, alt country, electronic or whatever you drive it with, which is why I am looking to provide a solution for the community here. I am looking for affordable, simple (elegant) and modular. You help drive the requirements, and I will install, test, make good and then make available to all. I have everything ready to go.

This topic comes up very often, but I have not seen a solution that really meets everyone's needs, so that is what I am after. I'll take some photos as I get started and post this weekend.

OMG, watch this! I may build with just one 10"! This is the same sub, with an amp that has a little more power.

Link

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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made a down fire box and set it right behind the passenger seat. I also mounted my amp on the back face of the pedestal. You can see it sandwiched between the amp and seat. The amp is close to the power and the sub doubles as a step stool. The amp also vents well there in the open. The sub has never been in the way and keeps the cabinets clear for storage. It's loose so it can also be moved around if I need to move it. The amp is a 5 channel 600 watt Alpine. One 10" sub is plenty loud enough for the cabin of the westy...and the entire campground sometimes.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by PDXWesty on Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Brungeman
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Sub woofer location Reply with quote

Classicvibe wrote:

This topic comes up very often, but I have not seen a solution that really meets everyone's needs, so that is what I am after. I'll take some photos as I get started and post this weekend.



great project, but let me throw this out there... There is no one solution that meets "everyone's needs"... keep on doing what you are doing somewhere down the road others may use your project to help them make some choices!

cant wait to see it!
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WSideWitneSS
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think that mounting in the closet would make everything in there and the shelves in back rattle, although maybe less if you took the door off the closet or opened it.
I have my sub in the same location as PDXWesty, but it's front firing. I would think a downfiring sub in that location would fit your needs well.....and it does make for a nice step / foot rest. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a ten behind the passenger seat as well like PDXWesty but my box is a different shape. Search "The New Adventure Mobile" to see a pic since I'm mobile and can't do it from iPhone without tapatalk
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r.e.wing_fc3s
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anyone have any good pics of the factory sub setup in the side panel. id love to find one of these and upgrade the drivers.
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

r.e.wing_fc3s wrote:
anyone have any good pics of the factory sub setup in the side panel. id love to find one of these and upgrade the drivers.


http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=364184&highlight=
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Classicvibe
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not from a lack of trying...

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I spent a couple of nights working through numbers and designs. In the end, simplicity has won again, and I am back to my original design. I made templates on 3/4" MDF and will cut them tonight. Some of my final requirements were:

* Must be able to swap in and out easily, but look as if it is permanently mounted.
* Must not require any irreversible damage on install.
* Fall in between .5 and .65 cubic feet.
* Difficult to damage in this very utilitarian vehicle!
* Hidden from site, utilizing area that is difficult to use otherwise.
* Accommodate any number of subwoofers (the case)
* Clean and awesome sound!

So, I don't have pictures yet, but I will post them in the next day or so as I construct. There are many silly things to work around, and the math took me a while to figure out. I have got it all now, and I just need to find a god bit that will cut that dense MDF.

In short, the box fits up against the ceiling of the closet (interior). It is supported by the holes that you use to hang the top shelf, although the sub only comes down 8.5" from the closet ceiling.

I am not sure if all closets were made the same, so I do not know how well this will work for others. On my van, the box hangs below the top of the door opening. I tried and tried to avoid this, but it just got to complicated to install, so that is one of the things I had to give up.

It also took me a while to come up with a mounting system, since the sub will not stretch across the entire width of the closet (must be easy to install and remove).

A note on the factory VW sub. I like that design a lot, and although that space is too shallow for a nice sub, you can at least fit a decent one in there, and if I did not have a weekender, I would have much rather used that area. ANother issue is that subs these days dont have grills, so protection can be a problem. Hopefully this solution will solve for all this.

I am already planing to make a second prototype. The sub is so pretty, I think I am going to use an acrylic front on the next so you can see the inerds. I will also install some LED lights to light the box interior as well as the closet below.

**edit**
ahh, and one more thing:
WSideWitneSS wrote:
I would think that mounting in the closet would make everything in there and the shelves in back rattle, although maybe less if you took the door off the closet or opened it.
I have my sub in the same location as PDXWesty, but it's front firing. I would think a downfiring sub in that location would fit your needs well.....and it does make for a nice step / foot rest. Very Happy

I am hoping the closet is "leaky" I guess you could say. Really, if the sub works well, it is going to shake things wherever they are, so location (low frequency) should not be too much of an issue...we'll see!
**edit**

That is all for now.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we all like the idea of using the limited space we have in our vans wisely. Keep us up to date on how your project is coming especially on the sound quality!

Today I'm gonna take out my closet also and start installing my propex under the shelves in the way back.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnny - Your closet looks like it is from a weekender because it has the large side opening. The full Westy's don't have this door. They only have a tall narrow door on the end. If you're looking at something that slides in and out of that opening, it won't work on the full campers.
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SteveVanB
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those Boston subs are smoooooth sounding with enough power. Here's the site I use for calculating box size if you haven't already figured yours out.
http://www.bcae1.com/spboxnew2.htm
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Classicvibe
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
Johnny - Your closet looks like it is from a weekender because it has the large side opening. The full Westy's don't have this door. They only have a tall narrow door on the end. If you're looking at something that slides in and out of that opening, it won't work on the full campers.


Holy crap, I cannot believe I forgot about the closet changes. Is this an accurate pic?
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I assumed they were the same size but I spaced the opening...

Does anyone have the width of that opening? I can either change the specs or design another to fit through there, but the opening looks like it is too narrow to even fit a 10" sub!

You could always remove the closet to install the sub I am designing (then re0install closet), but that goes against like half of the requirements I set forth. I will continue on the current model, and see if I can make changes to accommodate the camper closet once I have those dimensions...Thanks for the heads up PDX.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Classicvibe wrote:
Does anyone have the width of that opening?


8 3/8"

Stephen




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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:42 am    Post subject: turn it inside out Reply with quote

great project, i look forward to seeing the results.

here is another spin on problem. what if one were to take the closet out and completely redesign it to be a more functional storage space with built-in sub, heater or etc. that is, rather than trying to fit the mods into the existing closet, redesign the closet around some good off the self products (sub, amp, heater, whatever).

personally, i do a lot of wood working and always need to get a full sheet of plywood home but don't really want to be trying to shove it up on a roof rack (rain, etc). so if i were to tackle the project i would love to have a closet that is very easy to remove to make the van more utilitarian from a day to day stand point. of course if the stereo components were built into the closet there goes that idea....
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience:

I have a Kenwood powered sub. The plug and play ones. When test fitting, it sounded good and added just enough depth. No thump though.
I installed it at the bottom of the closet, bolted to the floor. This is were it fit and I figured I wasnt loosing any space. The effect has almost disappeared. I need to move it but I'm not sure were to.
If you install at the bottom of the closet, make sure you have a big enough unit. Still, not sure it would sound good. You might get the thump only and none of the low end.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great point about thump reduction. One solution is to remove the backing from the closet. The volume of air the sub projects is the capacity you need to move out of the closet area. I am a ways from that point still, but confident I can make it work (mostly because I am ready to peel the back off my closet.

I am just adding the last panel to the sub today. I will take a picture and post. All I can say is I am glad I stuck with a modular approach because this is corny looking and a bit obtrusive. Maybe I will get used to it?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put my sub under the seat along with everything else.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Plenty of air movement through air intake vent for the heater. It sounds great, with minnimal modifications.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a custom box built for under the seat with a 10" sub as well. I blew 2 of them and now memphis wont warranty them anymore!! I believe under the seat acted like somewhat of a bandpass. I found a nice marine sub with a grill Cool and I gonna mount the sub facing outwards cutting a big hole into the bench Crying or Very sad but I think with the grill painted gray to match the interior, it will fit perfect and look pretty sweet too.
I have a second ppi amp on its way to push the new sub I just need to figure out a nice way of mounting both of them cleanly without taking up alot of room. once Its here, I can take some measurements and look at making an amp rack or just mounting it on top of the box and with the smaller amp where its at on the side of the bench.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are a couple of pix as promised.

The first shows the sub woofer upside down:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


If you were to flip this end over end 180 degrees, it would be sitting as designed in the closet, pressed up against the ceiling.

The driver hangs lower than I want in the closet. As you can see there are a few inches between the interior backwall and the magnet which could have been eliminated, but because the closet slowly gets more shallow towards the top, I had to increase the height of the box to fit the driver rim in the closet without protruding out the door, so it hangs like 4.5" below the top opening of the door to accommodate the 11" rim. Not a big deal, and still above the first shelf.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I have not come to a decision on exactly how the speaker is suspended. The extra material you see on the one side wall (the other is still not installed) is intended to be used with the existing holes used for the top shelf. I was thinking about drilling holes in the lower sub sidewall that would allow for some simple attachment.

That's funny...the top view shows my shaky cut lines with my late night skill saw action. Anyway, just doing some final gluing on the interior, then I will do the numbers one more time to ensure the interior space is good, then install the final sidewall, spray with something to cover up my shoddy wood work (I am thinking some rubber wheel well spray) and install the terminal cup.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I will mount in the closet and take another shot or two so you can see what it looks like.

Time investment to this point:
Design, conception and build - 10 hours

Dollar investment:
Sub - $35 (you may find it for $99)
MDF - $10
Glue - $5
Amp - $61 (you may find it for $99)
Rubber undercoat Spray - $8
Terminal Cup - $7
Total - $126
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Classicvibe
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a little mental and ADD, and I forgot to post up the remaining pictures. I will take a few more of the finished product, but here it is just before adding the final wall and permanently setting the woofer:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

You are looking through the last open panel at the back (internals) of the driver and the space.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

This is a top view, what it will look like if you have your head in my closet looking up.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

These are the two sides you will see when mounted. Like I mentioned, the speaker wall will drop about 4 inches into the doorway of the closet. I will do another pseudo-mount tonight so you all can see the finished product. Wow, really drawing this out aren't I?
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