HIGH SOUND PRESSURE
by Steve Deckert
e-mail came in today, and it dawned on me that over the past years
my subwoofer enclosure designs have been built in over 23 countries
that I know of, and the constant unexpected success stories from
those who've built them are the very thing that keeps my spirit
the most popular is the transmotional symmetrically compensated
reflex band pass design that was nicked named "the
Death Box" during it's development. That particular cabinet
I did 103 variations of until I could no longer optimize it any
further. It was designed to load properly in cars and without exception
with only a 10 inch subwoofer, performed better than conventional
wedge style cabinets using dual 12's.
transmotional design made it truly the first generic enclosure for
10" subs that could be tuned to optimize almost any brand of
10" woofer from the $49 specials to the exotica. To date I
have sold plans for over 6500 of these cabinets world wide and almost
all the feed back has been positive. The best performance report
I received was from a serious IASCA competitor who installed 4 of
these cabinets using 4 of our DHM-108 woofers and hit 151.8dB during
the Outlaw SPL Contest last year, and did it without any audible
distortion or clipping.
MY FAVORITE is a ZEN DESIGNED series of cabinets I called the Wicked
One. Pictured on the left, this formula for a binaural folded horn
can be scaled also to work with a large family of drivers. It's
neatest feature is the fact that I figured out you can share the
last order of a horn flare between two horns if you couple them
properly, thus reducing the size of your enclosure by half. A Wicked
one is 12"H x 36"W x either 24" or 36"D depending
on where you scale it. Not very big at all considering what it does.
Trust me the name says it all. Anyway, today I got another e-mail
which put my mind on this train of thought and motivated this rather
self indulging paper.. It is representative of dozens of similar
emails that I have stashed away. It reads as follows:
wanted to let you know that today at a USAC show in Birmingham Al.
A friend of mine that has a Wicked One box that I built,went through
extreme spl with 4 MTX Thunder 5000 10's powered by a MTX 225HO
did 161.3,the high spl of the day. I also have a question. Have
any of you messed around with Cerwin-Vega Stroker subs? I have a
friend that has 2 Stroker 15's and is interested in a Wicked One
box. What do you think about this? Thanks for any help" -Tommy
from Hoover Al.
reason I wanted to let you know about this isn't really to toot
my own horn, but because I am relatively certain that you probably
didn't realize these kinds of SPL's are being obtained. This is
approximately impossible in a house regardless of power, so it should
make anyone who thinks they have a ball bustin stereo, think again.
It wasn't but a few years ago, maybe 5 or 6 that these high SPLs
were impossible to achieve even in a car. In fact when I was in
the business in 1992 the world record was around 148dB and that
was done with 26 ten inch drivers in a van. Hitting 161.3 using
only 4 - 10 inch woofers is testimony to the all knowing forces
above that inspired the design during a Zen session at the work
bench. Thank God when I discovered that channel I was smart enough
original Wicked One enclosure was done in around 1995, and then
a virgin folded horn shown on the left happened in 1997 and encapsulated
everything I knew about audio. It was designed as THE audiophile
subwoofer. Imagine bass that has the speed and transient detail
of electrostatic panels...
to the point:
the past 20 years car audio has become more lucrative than home
audio in many urban areas, with the emphasis on BASS and maximum
SPL. That's of course rather unfortunate but what would you expect
from young kids who are all to easy to convince that "more
is better" ?
the time I sold and designed "high-end" car audio systems,
I observed a pattern that was repeated by most young boys just getting
into their first loud car stereos. It too is rather unfortunate,
but goes something like this:
comes in and wants the biggest woofers he can fit in his car. We
try to educate the kid that more bass can be obtained with smaller
drivers talking about cabin gains in the vehicle and so on. Kid
doesn't get it. We demonstrate by letting him try the biggest box
he can fit in his car for a couple days. Then we remove it and install
a "Death Box" with a single 10 inch woofer. Kid has more
bass, is amazed. Kid has friends with 15's that don't have as much
bass, friends come by. We fix friends up. A few weeks go by and
Kid returns claiming his bass is not as loud anymore. We check,
and discover it is exactly as it always was, no change. Kid is suffering
from the first stages of continued compression and has temporary
hearing damage. Kid needs more bass - in his own words. We kick
it up a notch and give Kid what he wants. Two weeks later kid returns
claiming the bass is not as loud as it used to be. We check, no
change. You get the idea.
will be an entire generation of deaf audio enthusiasts who were
brought up on CD players and Best Buy receivers, largely pathetic
electronic music and so on. These people won't know good sound if
it bites them in the ass, so in the end the industry wins.
I blame the whole thing on front wheel drive. Back when cars were
cool, and V-8's roared through the parking lots, kids had a way
to flaunt testosterone. Now most cars are a joke in the horse power
department so rather than be measured by how fast their cars are,
it's how loud they can boom.
with SPL levels now reaching levels that will launch the front windshield
onto the ground... we all need to be careful!