Can anyone advise me on the cheapest simplest DIY speak test set up. PC based? - diyAudio
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Old 23rd February 2011, 10:42 AM   #1
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Default Can anyone advise me on the cheapest simplest DIY speak test set up. PC based?

I don't need total precision. Just want to try harder on my speaker building projects. I want to test frequency response at driver and in room. I have a PC oscilloscope and a signal generator so far. I am not and engineer btw Dumb it down for the mentally handicapped please.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 11:04 AM   #2
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I, too, would be interested in this. Clearly the key must be a calibrated microphone whose imperfections can be nulled out in the measurements. Is there a cheap and cheerful solution to this or must one bite the bullet and pay for a basically professional piece of equipment?

I would love to play with speaker and room compensation etc.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 11:05 AM   #3
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You'll need a mic ,and a mic preamplifier . Then you'll need a program (such Arta or Speaker Workshop ) that enables the Pc soundcard to simultaneously
'compute' the input and the output .
I'm at the same stage of 'young apprentice' and just reading the settings that have to be done (calibrating the souncard voltage references) is a big step
I suggest to read Arta's manual and download the demo version.
Panasonics' electret capsule mic (WM 61 ?? ) are fairly inexpensive and are said to be good .
The key is to be conscious of all the steps that have to be made ...

Last edited by picowallspeaker; 23rd February 2011 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 24th February 2011, 07:31 AM   #4
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Measuring Frequency Response Using ARTA
Seems pretty straight ...although it isn't ...!
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Old 24th February 2011, 08:47 AM   #5
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Gday Picowallspeaker and Copertop I always thought a Mic that could measure flat would not come cheap. Picowallspeaker If you can remember which Mic precisely so I can goggle it . It would be helpfull. You think there would be a sticky on this site somewhere about this. I will check out arta. Thanks
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Old 27th February 2011, 02:07 AM   #6
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Audix TM1 TM-1 Test Reference Measurement Microphone (eBay item 300492940647 end time 14-Mar-11 12:38:53 AEDST) : Musical Instruments

check it out. that and a preamp and some software. 300$ but man you would bet set
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Old 27th February 2011, 02:12 AM   #7
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DBX RTA-M Reference Microphone for DriveRack PA + Cable (eBay item 220744176212 end time 26-Mar-11 01:07:36 AEDST) : Musical Instruments

cheaper one
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Old 27th February 2011, 02:22 AM   #8
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ALCTRON DI-500 MICROPHONE USB INTERFACE & PHANTOM POWER (eBay item 170515742261 end time 16-Mar-11 17:27:09 AEDST) : Musical Instruments now where cooking. A usb mic interface with software where down to $120 solution.
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Old 27th February 2011, 02:49 AM   #9
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Hi Fatbattery, it depends on what you want to achieve.... if you are going to use it for measruing drivers to aid in crossover design, then provided you aren't planning on doing extensive response shaping, then an uncalibrated mic should work just fine. The reason for this is that even if the absolute levels are not 100% accurate, the relative levels between the speakers you are building crossovers for will be accurate. It is these relative levels that are important for the actual crossover design (padding or response shaping aside).

Rod Elliot has a nice measurement mic project Recording and Measurement Microphones

Personally I use an uncalibrated panasonic WM-60AY mic capsule with an Eric Wallin preamp II Eric Wallin's Internet Homepage

PCB's available here Mad About Sound | Microphone Preamplifier PCB v1.1

here is a picture of the completed MIC preamp (with version 1.0 pcb) mounted in a cast box from Jaycar. Click the image to open in full size.

My mic wand is a length of brass tubing from hobbyco the same diameter as the mic cartridge.

Picture attached below shows the mic wand mounted on a tripod in a very non-optimal room for measuring Later measurements have been done with furuniture re-aranged, and recently I tried some measurements on the balcony (but these were inconclusive due to some problems with the new PC I was using).

edit: the simplist and cheapest option is to use some software like holm-impulse for doing the spl measurements (it is free). and a $10.00 computer mic connected the the mic input of your soundcard. Although it won't give you fantastic precision, you would be surprised how useful it actually is! It is certainly more useful than no measuring equipment at all, and will allow you to get a feel for what you can do with the software without the initial outlay for the mic preamp and microphone.

for impedance measurements speaker-workshop with Claudio Negro's cable jig would be the cheapest option... speaker workshop is also freeware, however it wouldn't be the simplist.. the woofer tester III seems to be the no brainer option for simplist in this regard .

Tony.
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Last edited by wintermute; 27th February 2011 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 27th February 2011, 04:12 AM   #10
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Panasonic WM-61A Electret Condenser MIC Capsule NEW (eBay item 110637013303 end time 18-Mar-11 12:22:39 AEDST) : Industrial

Thank you Winter Mute I have bought the Mic. I am not sure I want to build the Mic pre amp. unfortunately the kit is no longer available. I don't mind assembling the Mic. You wouldn't know where a can find something ready built to suit that Mic?
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