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Tips on Building a Subwoofer Enclosure

Aug 17, 2007
Enclosures are commonly designed and fabricated subwoofer boxes used for car audio installations or for home theaters. Building them needs a lot of accuracy and precision.

Frequency range and performance must be undergo careful evaluation before constructing one. The process of building an enclosure must start with the calculations.

Careful calculation of the procedure does not only include the mathematical processes one has to accomplish with regards to the specifications of an enclosure, an expert engineer's attitude which usually consist of attention to detail and persistence to produce a state of the art product is also required.

1. Prepare the necessary materials and tools in building enclosures.

- wood type and thickness
- port materials
- adhesives and fasteners
- enclosure hardware and covering material
- hand tools
- power tools

2. Know the three most popular enclosures.

Vented or Ported Enclosure with a Round Port.

This kind of enclosure is rectangular and is very easy to construct even when the person building it has little or no experience at all.

Bandpass Enclosure

This enclosure is more known for producing SPL numbers that are relatively high over a range of frequencies (hip-hop, rap, etc.). This design's vent is the not-so often used rectangular port. The proper vent length when adding corners to the vent must be calculated well.

Sealed Enclosure

This is a sealed design that is done a lot simpler compared to the two other popular enclosure designs. However, this design is built in a wedge or truck box shape. With the construction of this kind of enclosure, pros learn how to get the "no seam" look in their coverings and carpet.

3. Bracing and thick box walls are the only means to ward off unwanted noises.

Unwanted resonances usually are noises from box panels. It's because box panels have greater surface area than the effective cone area (source of the original sound) making the panel's sound even just from the smallest movement add to the generated sound.

This is considered unwanted resonance since it's not a part of the original sound recording.

4. Make sure the enclosure houses the essentials.

Aside from the woofer and the passive radiator, if it's what you prefer, make room for the subwoofer amplifier. This amplifier must have enough room to breathe and must be sealed off from the rest of the box.

5. Cut well, glue well, do well.

This will facilitate your construction a lot since you don't need to keep on re-cutting your panels in the middle of constructing them. Doing a test run will prove to be a very wise move since being surprised with results of mistakes could be so frustrating.

Put it all together first with a tape before using glue is a good option in seeing whether everything fits well or not.

To ensure that you did well in gluing the parts, apply force. When the glue gets easily forced out of the seams, it is an indication that you have used enough glue.

6. Paint with an automotive spray paint.

It is advised that one use an automotive spray paint in putting the final layers of paint. This paint is a lot durable and produces rewarding result when sprayed with great care and attention to detail.

With those tips and knowing the subwoofer's behavior will make any enclosure construction activity a very rewarding one.
About the Author
James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of
EnclosureNet.com and writes expert
articles about enclosures .
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