March 19, 2006

Subwoofer Isolators

This morning I woke up early, not on purpose, and started working on building a pair of subwoofer isolators/bass-traps. I'd been following a discussion thread about the Auralex Subdude/Gramma's benefits under subwoofers. I didn't feel like spending $150 for three Subdudes, and I still had another 2'x4' sheet of rigid fiberglass. So I picked up some 2" insulating foam, a pair of 18"-diameter pine circles, and a couple yards of black felt to build myself a pair of insulation/bass-trap risers custom-fit to my 16-46PC+ subs. Total materials cost was about $30.

It took about 2.5 hours to put together the isolators, and I've put up some pictures of the construction process. The majority of time was spent sewing the felt wrap, as I had to do that by hand. Cutting the foam and rigid fiberglass was very easy using a hand saw and liquid nails worked perfectly as a bonding agent.

So far, I've tested the results and found that the subwoofers are indeed isolated from the floor, and thus the house. Instead of feeling the floor vibrate right next to the subwoofers during heavy bass sequences, all vibrations are due to air pressure interactions. I doubt this means the subwoofers can operate more efficiently, as the energy that was previously being sent into the floor should now be absorbed by the isolator. Maybe the isolator is rejecting energy transfer, but that seems unlikely.

Instead, I hope the primary benefit is reducing boominess that might occur due to vertical standing waves at the subwoofer locations. The rigid fiberglass and insulating foam should help trap some of that energy, and the riser will move the subwoofer drivers farther away from the floor. I haven't tested this yet, but I plan to do so.

Posted by josuah at March 19, 2006 7:13 AM UTC+00:00

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