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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. Would like to add the thunder/lightning effect in 2015. What would you recommend for the speaker to really "feel" the boom of the thunder while still capturing the frequency range for thunder? Would a subwoofer be sufficient (like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?=Onkyo+SKW-204+10"+230W+Powered+Subwoofer&N=10430847&InitialSearch=yes&sts=pi or this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1015412-REG/jbl_sub250pbk_10_powered_subwoofer.html)?
Or should I look into something more broader usage/generic (like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1025673-REG/behringer_eurolive_b110d_b110d_active_300w_2_way.html)? This will be pretty much dedicated to thunder for Halloween, and probably tied into my TV the rest of the year. I am thinking of only using one speaker, unless this would be a problem.

What frequency range support is needed for thunder? I've just started looking, but am wanting to keep this under $250 and under 500W-ish. I'm also leaning to a powered speaker (amp plus speaker combo) to keep life simpler for me. A good "wow" on the thunder effect is the goal, though.

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

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How big is your space? Inside or outside? Bigger the space = bigger the woofer needed. Thunder will seriously tax the limits of any subwoofer. Amplified does keep it simple, but can get expensive fast. With woofers, bigger surface area is better. One big woofer = 2 or 3 smaller woofers in air displacement. The two standalone subs you listed would work for indoors or small spaces. I usually avoid PA speakers, since they're usually more for voice. (PA=Public Address) And, it's says "300 Watts", but doesn't say continuous or peak...so it's peak and you need to cut it in half...AND it says nothing of its freq. range. I built my own woofer cabinets (MDF) and used good 12" car subwoofers, sealed enclosure with a simple piezo tweeter...then I hook them to an old school 150Watt/Channel receiver. It's quite good and I've got a big space.

That said, simple and cheap is good...so Craigslist might also be a way to go. Just take a high quality recorded song/sound with very low bass (like organ music or digital thunder), a male 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable to hook your ipod/phone directly to the sub...and try the woofer, nearly maxed out, before you buy it. If you hear rattling, buzzing, whistling or anything except what's on the track...leave it. Woofers can be partially "blown" and might only sound bad when pushed. If it's not mounted in an enclosure it can't really be tested well and you're taking a chance.

Crazy idea, but if you're handy you could save some big bucks and have some killer sub output by making a sonotube subwoofer system. Here's a classic DIY case: Sonotube Buildl Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info, FearingtonHouse! Sorry, should have mentioned that this is for an outdoors haunt, but the "area of impact" I'd like to really hit with the thunder is on the order of 30 feet x 30 feet. My neighbors are really good about my Halloween goings on, so I believe they'd be okay with one evening of loud thunder. Except for a rainy Halloween, I may be able to center the speaker in that area. But rain would force it to play from a 2nd story window.

I think I'd be up to making the sonotube subwoofer by the description of tools and materials involved, but I really know very little to nada about speakers and amps. I'm afraid if I hit any glitch, I'd be stuck. Let me read through it again, though.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
From www.controlbooth.com:
"If you're just looking for sound frequency's--the chest rumbling resonance is in the 70-80hz range. The lower grumblings that add so much "air" to the low end are in the 40-50 hz range, and the sharp crack of thunder is usually in the 2k area with a mid range lower harmonic in the 600-800hz range to add a thickness to the crack."
The bulk of this sounds like subwoofer territory! But the "crack" will need midrange assist.

Thanks again, FearingtonHouse. I am still a bit intimidated by the sizing of amp and speaker, though.

And thanks also BobbyA. That powered subwoofer looks awesome. But my luck is holding - the special sale has expired ;) I am putting that on my list of speakers to consider.

Cheers!
 
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