15” Dayton Titanic MKIII subwoofer kit review [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-01-2004, 12:51 AM
As my moniker implies, I am an aficionado of sealed baffle bass and acoustic suspension designs. IMO, the best way to make bass for music is by not using ports. I looked around for an affordable solution for my 1st DIY kit. I wanted the sub to be sealed, and capable of at least 100db at 20hz without audible distortion.

I was originally recommended an NHT-1259a or Dayton Titanic 12” kit. I had to interpolate my needs based upon the best 12” commercial designs I had listened to. None of them “quite” had the ease and scale of bass I was looking for. Two of the 12” kits might have done the trick, but exceeded the cost of a single 15” Dayton.

I ordered the Dayton Titanic MKIII kit from www.partsexpress.com.
This has a long x-max, I know there are bigger out there like the tumult, but for the money, this driver is far more powerful than almost any used in even the most expensive commerical subs. According to Vance Dickason, most commercial subs under $1k use a driver that costs between $40 and $60.

The kit included the following:
Large box made of Ύ” mdf center cross braced
1024 watt x 4 ohm class G plate amplifier. This amp has 12 guage leads. There are settings for gain, parametric eq, frequency boost, low pass.
15” Dayton titanic MKIII driver/ 4 ohms.
Cone shaped heavy spike feet with removable tips
Egg crate foam

Tools needed:
Philips screwdriver
Hex wrench set
Spray adhesive
x-acto knife or razor for cutting foam/stripping wire leads

This was a breeze to build!
1. Install spike feet
2. Install amp. I used a power driver and the amp was in in a minute.
3. Install foam. Piece of cake to cut foam to the size, and apply 3m spray adhesive
4. Strip leads of amp
5. connect amp leads to spring-post terminals on the driver
6. Install driver (hex-head screws provided, but no hex wrench)

I noticed a slight hum if I maxed out the gain. I can probably alleviate this with a power conditioner or better system grounding. Not a big factor.

I feel that this sub shines best when crossed over at 70hz or below. It can be tweaked to blend well. I set the EQ to boost the lowest frequencies, wideband.

I can tell you that this sub delivers clean, musical output in excess of 100db down below 20hz. It communicates a sense of ease, power and grace found in the most demanding recordings I could throw at it. It has exceptional flexibility. It can be fiddled with for “ht” type bass, but I leave it aligned for music. For the amount of time it took to assemble this kit, and money, it was WELL worth it. For $700 it competes with any commercial sub under $3,500. I am not saying that simply to make a broad, sweeping statement, but simply look up the figures. 107db @ 20hz is pretty stout. This sub has the output, and quality to make it a winner. Beginners will have no problem assembling this kit. It does not matter if you like techno, rock or the bass of a classical orchestra, this kit handles it all. I am glad I went with this sub.

There are other excellent sub kits out there, and I urge anyone considering a sub to do the following: get a sealed box sub kit. There are many available, most are under $1000, and a breeze to assemble. It's worth the time, and no commerical sub for the same price will have this grade of quality parts, and especially not the performance.

02-01-2004, 03:14 AM
I almost forgot, attached is a pic of the finished sub.

02-05-2004, 12:24 PM
Hey Sealed, do you use the music auto on sense feature of the amp? I have read reviews that the auto on feature only works if the input signal is cranked up which makes the music to loud to listen to. Have you experienced this. The reason I am asking is that I am thinking of getting one of these amps but dont want that problem. Thanks, Paul.

This Guy
02-05-2004, 06:57 PM
nice man. I was waiting for a review on this kit. How well does the parametric equalization work? Was it easy to adjust the subs output so you're flat to the F3 point? This kit looks like an awesome deal at under $700, I bet it would kick any retail $1000 sub's ass. I would like to start a project with this driver, but I don't know if I can part with my 12" folded horn subwoofer. When I corner load it, it's F3 is only 35 hertz. From 35 on up the bass is rediculously loud and clean, In my small room it literally feels like someone is punching you in the chest when a kick drum is striked. Enjoy the sub!


02-05-2004, 10:08 PM
1. I set the controls to a level I feel commensurate with a music setting. I really don't try to let it automatically switch. There really isn't a "music only" switch setting. It's more of how you tune the dials.

I have played about with different levels, and for music it's pretty obvious that the sub works best crossed over a or below 70hz. Above that, and it's just too bass-heavy for musical quality. This also adds to room loading, and reduces the omnidirectional effect because the crossover is pretty gradual. I don't want the sub doing anything at all above 90hz. To blend with my satellites 60hz would be the highest setting I'd want. I am going to run some pink noise and do an SPL analysis this weekend.

THIS guy: In a small room, the horn loaded sub with a 35hz -3db point is practical for two reasons. The cutoff of some small rooms (the very bottom) is often in the mid 30hz range. So you can have a 30" sub that does 5hz (in theory) but the room would dictate how much of that is useful. I think (were it wife acceptable) a horn loaded sub would be pretty cool. If I had a huge space, and a dedicated listening room (like a cement floored finished basement) I'd look into building an 18" horn loaded sub for kicks. The only downside as I understand it to TL or horn loaded bass (if it is a folded horn) is time delay.
But the attack and transients would be fun.

02-10-2004, 05:52 PM
After I have fiddled with this sub, for my specific room here is the following info:

* For music, I recommend the lowest possible crossover point you can adjust it to. The slope on the plate amp is gradual, so I'd keep it under 70hz. Crossing over higher will result in the loss of omnidirectional bass, and probably excess room loading. If you want a sub like this to cross over higher, I recommend a pair of the 12" kits.

* If you use this unit from a 100/50hz transformer, you will get 50-60hz hum *IF* the sub gain goes past 3 o'clock on the dial. This effect is reduced/eliminated if you cross the sub over 40hz or lower.

* I prefer to set the parametric EQ to the lowest area (20) max boost, wideband to compensate for room/box loss

* The bass will be limited by room dimensions. IE: in my 20 x 16 room, I can tell the room cutoff is in the low 30hz range. Deeper bass is appearant farther away in other parts of the home.

*This sub is very fast, very powerful and it has no trouble keeping up with whatever speaker you want to mate it with. I am certainly glad I built it and have no regrets, especially for the price.

*I may apply some cherry veneer to give it a bit more class

02-16-2004, 03:02 PM
Hey all,

I'm in the process to build closed sub. I got 12'' Dayton driver. In the manual they states that Optimum Sealed Box 1 Cu/Ft. According to all formulas and calculation from diysubwoofer.org I come up with 1.4Cu/Ft. Should I go with manufacture advice or with my own calculations? And one more question about filling? Should I stuff box with filling or I don't need filling at all?


02-16-2004, 05:08 PM
Can u give me the part no or link to the one you got. I got the Dayton MKII 12" and put it in a 1.82 cubic feet internally and it rocks. Solid tight performer. Give me more info and I will check it out for you.

02-16-2004, 08:42 PM
Here is the link


And one more question. Does it matter where to point driver? I was planning to point it down but I noticed that all latest subs pointed to the front. :confused:

By the way I'm going to use amp from Pinnacle Dig Sub 150 - it should be pretty good.
150 W should be enough.

I was surfing the internet and found so many cabinet designs for sub that I don't really know already how to build it. :D

Thanks for advice.

02-17-2004, 12:22 PM
I came up with the same calculation as you did 1.4 cubic feet, but I would stick with the manufacturers 1 cubic foot sealed box. This will add a little more punch to the sub giving a QTS of about .8. Just make sure the height and width are big enough to hold the 12" driver, then adjust the length to make it come out to 1 cubic foot. I don't know about the sub amplifer you are referencing. I guess you are taking it from an old pinnacle sub? I couldn't find any specs. on it but if it outputs 150 into 8ohms you should be safe. If its only 150 into 4 ohms you will probably want to upgrade to a more powerful amp in the future. Other than that I think your on the right track. The spec. sheet didn't say anything about down firing the woofer so I would keep it front firing. Enjoy. Paul.

06-27-2004, 10:22 AM
I just recieved my kit. I put it together in approx. 30 min. I have not had a chance to experience this sub to it's potential yet due to my neighbors. I have listened to music and movies and love the responsiveness and clarity. I did not install the provided foam yet. I wanted to see if it makes that much of a difference. I will install it after I tune the sub. I have an extremely odd shaped room with a number of angles and even a stair well in the middle of the room. I will do my best. Any suggestions for a starting point? Thank you.

09-08-2004, 09:53 PM
I'll be ordering this kit late next week. Can't wait to get back here and report how it sounds. I will be using it for HT. My 10"/100W REL StrataIII just isn't doing Hulk justice.

I have to wait till next week since I'm using my online poker winnings to buy it. That's the only way I can get it past my wife :)! I just need to finish playing off one more deposit bonus!

10-07-2004, 08:33 PM
cheap 15's lag.

They are too slow for my taste and good fast 15's are hard to find at low price.

I like velo and paradigm 15's. If you ever plan on selling your dayton 15, expect to get like 20 bucks for it.

DIY's have no resale value.

10-08-2004, 05:21 AM
cheap 15's lag.

They are too slow for my taste and good fast 15's are hard to find at low price.

I like velo and paradigm 15's. If you ever plan on selling your dayton 15, expect to get like 20 bucks for it.

DIY's have no resale value.
Who's the knob that posted smack-talk on an 8 month old thread?

Incidentally, I know for a fact the 12" Dayton sub will easily go head to head with the PW-2200 and Seismic 10 at less than 1/2 the price. I had all three in my home for awhile.

As for DIY's having no resale value...wtf are you talking about? If the equipment's good, the DIY community jumps at the opportunity for used gear. Best part is, you don't have to pay rediculous premiums for cheap drivers, mass-production designs, and "brand names".

I recommend the DIY approach for everyone who'd rather not buy their speakers at the Gap.

This Guy
10-09-2004, 07:34 AM
cheap 15's lag.

They are too slow for my taste and good fast 15's are hard to find at low price.

I like velo and paradigm 15's. If you ever plan on selling your dayton 15, expect to get like 20 bucks for it.

DIY's have no resale value.
Are you joking? You really think different sized woofers move faster than others? If you call a sub going lower than most other 15's out there, yeah your right because the woofer doesn't have to move as fast back and forth at 20 hz than at 50 hz. It's all myths buddy.

10-11-2004, 06:08 PM
Blah whatever *****es.

Like i've not done these b 4. I have DIY stryke 12 sealed and DIY Tempest ported.. Yeah I ****ing did two.

I'd say DIYing is like reinventing the wheel. Let the pros do it. DIYing is pointless. Don't believe all the crap about oh my diy (insert penis envy here) project sounds equal or better than $5000.00 (insert well known brand here).

It's all bulllllllllllllll ****.

10-12-2004, 03:26 AM
Blah whatever *****es.

Like i've not done these b 4. I have DIY stryke 12 sealed and DIY Tempest ported.. Yeah I ****ing did two.

I'd say DIYing is like reinventing the wheel. Let the pros do it. DIYing is pointless. Don't believe all the crap about oh my diy (insert penis envy here) project sounds equal or better than $5000.00 (insert well known brand here).

It's all bulllllllllllllll ****.

Gotta admit, I wouldn't want a half-witted moron who makes rediculous comments about 15" woofers lagging building my sub either...
Funniest part about all this is, those "cheap 15's" you seem to dislike are more expensive, and far superior to the drivers in the 15 Paradigm you're so high on...
Your complete ignorance on this subject discredits anything you have to say...

You're probably one of those kids that buys a Dell computer because they can assemble quality components better than you at a "lower cost" too, right?

10-12-2004, 10:10 AM
For the price/performance DIY is the best always! Not only is it fun, but you really can appreciate what you made(not including people who have no attention to detail). As far as resale value, if something is well made that speaks for itself. I have seen some bad chop jobs on homemade subs that you could not pay me to take. So get over yourself and your lame personal remarks. Get educated!

10-13-2004, 06:09 AM
do it becasue they enjoy doing it. They like working with wood and get satisfaction out of seeing what they have built. Whether a speaker sounds good or not is subjective to each person. The important thing is to enjoy what your're doing. Some people like it some don't. I personally get a sense of self-satisfaction out of building my own projects whether they be speakers, stands, racks, cabinets, bookshelves, or whatever.

Andrus, I think that you are out of line with your cursing and overall attitude. There are other ways to voice your dissatisification that would lead to a more positive experience for all. Paul.

10-13-2004, 06:29 AM
Your mom buys Dell. I heard she was so fugly... Been building my own computer since 1992. Audio and computers are different. This DIY audio crap is just that. Crap. Back breaking saw dust everywhere crap and in the end result don't even sound all that better than ready made stuff like SVS, HSU or even Velodyne. Hell it might even end up costing you MORE money. End of discussion, now go off and build yourself another flexi-rack, loser.

Listen, kid, just because you've failed to do what I and many others have easily done - build speakers that sound far better than Paradigm, subs better than Velodyne, at a fraction of the cost - is no reason for you to be shooting off your potty mouth when someone calls you out on your rediculous statements...
Glad you build your own computers...I don't understand why you can't build a speaker better than what you buy...it's really not that hard at all...

Most DIY'ers are using drivers that account for a super high percentage of the sonic quality of their speaker designs...In mine, I'd say 85% or higher. I don't build the drivers I just design a box, install them and enjoy the added performance over commercial products.

The only trick is inding half decent drivers, which isn't that hard at all.

11-02-2004, 04:20 PM
I bet this kid also thinks Monster Cable is way better than anything a person could make.

01-30-2005, 08:04 PM
If you ever plan on selling your dayton 15, expect to get like 20 bucks for it.

DIY's have no resale value.

That's funny, I'd be willing to give him a lot more than $20 bucks for that sub. I know a lot of people who are getting DIY subs, or have it on their wish list. I've had it on my wish list for some time now.

Then again, you're abviously just a flamer that is trying to get attention, so I won't waste any more time on responding to someone who would rather just buy a mass produced sub for a boat load of money, and "trust" that the manufacturer knows what it's doing.

01-30-2005, 08:32 PM
Sealed: Since you own a Titanic 15" MKIII, I have some questions.

First of all, you should know what my angle is. I do want a sub for home theater, but I also want it primarily for my mobile DJ setup. Up to now, I've been using the usual high performance 15" drivers (98-100 db SPL 1w/1m), & they have served me well. But here's the thing: With a lot of new music going into really deep bass, particularly Rap music, the high efficiency drivers just don't do that well. To give you an idea, I use 4 15" drivers that are all rated at 400 Watts RMS, 800 Watts Max, each & have the before mentioned 98 dB SPL 1w/1m rating, so they are very nice, high efficiency drivers, but their Xmax is merely 4.4mm. To keep them from popping the cone at high power, they have a very stiff suspension. Still, they just don't do the really low frequencies as well as I'd like. I want to keep my nice tight 15" drivers, but I'd like to incorporate maybe two 15" subs that have a very large Xmax, & can produce a nice fat, big floor shaking lower end. As most know, that requires a low Fs, & generally the tradeoff is lower SPL, so to offset that, I'm thinking I need a higher power driver to deliver the goods.

The short of this, is obvious. The Dayton Titanic MKIII 15" driver looks like a good solution, especially because it does not require a gigantic box. I'm hoping it will give me that deep Rap base line, for the Rap music I play, & I've also got another trick up my sleeve. I've got a Behringer UltraBass Subharmonic Processor. I will have the subharmonics off for RAP music, as there is no point, but for some of the techno & Pop music, I can put some of that RAP THUMP into those tunes at the push of a button. However, I am wondering:

1. How well does it do in a vented enclosure, as opposed to a sealed encloser, for music.
a. Remember, as a mobile DJ, I'm not terribly concerned about 100% accurate
notes, I'm not going to get that in a gym or a cafateria anyway...hehe. I don't
want really bad sounding bass, but it doesn't have to be audiophile either, just
deep, rich, & loud.

2. If I use a Titanic in a vented enclosure tuned down to 20 Hz, should I experience any problems with over excursion at high power.... in otherwords, is the suspension stiff enough to keep it under control in a vented enclosure, or does it require a sealed encloser?

(By the way, I am interested in using it in a vented enclosure primarily because I can expect not much of any gain from the venues I will be at.... though most of the places I play aren't really that big, they are still considerable larger than anyone's living/theater room.)

3. Is the upper base, in the range of 40-100 Hz good & audible? Or is most of the base you get from the Titanic the kind you just "feel"? I lot of people say they can't hear base, but I personally can hear down to 30 Hz quite well. I can even hear 20 Hz, but just barely, so I would put 20 Hz in the "feel only" catagory.

4. Do you think I would be better off using this sub in a sealed enclosure of a vented enclosure in a medium to large venue, where there will not be any real room gain?

5. What do you think? Do you think this will get me what I want?

01-31-2005, 04:19 AM
Sleeperawaken...you might want to try making a new post for your questions...This thread is a year old and might not be fresh in everyone's minds...

01-31-2005, 06:53 AM
I should have noticed the date. I actually post on several different types of forums, I should know better...hehe. I will start a new thread on the topic a little later :)

Sleeperawaken...you might want to try making a new post for your questions...This thread is a year old and might not be fresh in everyone's minds...