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$110 house-shaking 12-inch Boss sub-woofer and amp for home stereo

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This is recommended for BipTunia or any other music you love!

Want to have room-shaking bass on your home stereo? Or how about this: you’re a musician with studio monitors that de-emphasize bass response, and you want something to thump when you’re not mixing? Well, here ya go:

Get this small bass amp:

It costs $54 USD, and the size is about 10 inches by 8-and-a-half inches by 2 and-a-half inches.

Then grab this 12-inch bass speaker (car sub-woofer) for $26:

and this sealed enclosure for the speaker for $24:

It’s made for putting in the trunk of a car, but will work fine at home. On high volumes, with clarity, or even with full live-ness of bass even with music on a low volume.

And some copper speaker wire for ten bucks:

You’ll need to solder or know someone who can. Solder the ends of a two-foot piece of this speaker wire to the connections on the speaker (without burning the speaker cone, use a metal pie plate to divert any molten solder to a non-flammable metal surface. I use the bottom of an old rack mount DVD player.)

Then solder the other ends of the wire to the two contacts inside the back of the speaker.

Screw drill tiny holes for each of the 8 screws on the front of the enclosure, and screw it down using a drill with a screw bit. Alternate sides (far left, far right, etc, going around) so it’s done evenly.

You will want to put it in your room where you won’t accidentally kick it, and where your cats won’t scratch the cone. Bass is not directional, so it can go anywhere. (That’s why it can go in the trunk of a car.) I put it on the floor with the speaker facing closely, but not touching, a dresser.

Also, your cats will want to sit on it, the same way they’ll want to sit on a washing machine while it’s running, so they can wiggle:

The switch on the amp that I have covered with tape is to use the amp as a regular stereo amp instead of a mono bass amp like this. I tape it down so I won’t accidentally bump it, I only use it as a mono bass amp. Because I already have good ones, these: JBL 305PMKII 5″ 2-Way Powered Studio Monitors.

I also put a piece of a mailing label sliced into a thin strip on the volume knob, so I can see the setting easily from across the room. You can see that in the 2nd photo from the top in this article.

Start with the amp about 1/4 up (the 8 o’clock setting), and with the second to the right sub-freq know at about 1 o’clock. You can experiment with the settings, but I recommend leaving sub-freq know at about 1 o’clock, and the volume less than 2/3 up (the 2’oclock setting), which is VERY loud.

You probably won’t blow this speaker if you go higher, this amp is 100 watts, and this speaker is 300 watts (It claims to be 1000 watts, but there’s some odd math to that, it’s really about 300 watts.) So the bass should always be loud and clear unless you crank it all the way up, which I do not recommend.

The impedance matches on this amp and speaker, which is very important. Both are 4 ohm.

You can break in the speaker by leaving it on at a medium volume (the 8 o’clock setting) for 4 hours. This will make your speaker sound better cranked, and will make it last longer.

I plug the amp using RCA cables into one of the two “playback out” jacks on my audio interface. But you can probably use any output except a speaker output. I tried a headphone output at low volume with a splitter, but I don’t recommend it. Use any Aux or Line output, like a Playback Out. And doesn’t matter if it’s a full-frequency out, the amp I recommend has a built-in crossover that just uses bass.

If you mix songs and alums for the music you make, music you intend to share with others, turn this off for mixing, and turn back on for listening. Because this puts out so much bass that if you mix with it, you’ll end up turning DOWN the bass on the mix, and it will sound wimpy on normal systems that do not have a sub-woofer.

 

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