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Old 11th June 2008, 11:48 PM   #1
Bluto is offline Bluto  United States
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Default OB - What do we really all want?

OB/FR is where I ended up finding myself seeing 'Nirvana' after much experimentation and study. Simply my preferences, not necessarily anyone else's Cup of Tea. Still crazy over Horns, simply no room for them.

I'm an admitted Couch Potato when not online or working so HT is important to me as well as music. My music takes preference regards quality of sound and a year ago I saw myself needing separate systems for each. When I started studying amplification I also saw myself investing bucco dollaro to meet all needs.

Of late I'm wondering if all this is necessary for those of us of meager means.

I'd like to see sensitivity of high 90's for music just because of distortion concerns, not because I'd seek lower powered amps. Subs don't really concern me that much as to my way of thinking I see all kinds of options there that I believe would integrate fairly well for Movie use and I personally don't need to rattle the walls for entertainment when a helicopter flies over. Again, simply me.

Some guys run tubes for both music and HT. Out of the question financially for many of us as well as beyond our DIY skills for many. I'm not seeing GC as a meets all needs alternative anymore and even done DIY properly not an inexpensive task. I do like them as alternatives to standard fare for Office use and plan to limit my excursions there to that purpose for near future. Of late I'm also over at Nelson's page primarily spurred on by Scott Mouses comments regards build difficulty being easier than many GC's in another thread. I'm also impressed as to how many testimonies from guys believing they sound just as good as or even better than tubes. They are still beyond my skill levels without a good deal more reading. Financially appears to be doable.

Stay with me on this, I'm getting there.

Posted in another recent thread I bring into play the multi amp units from Emotiva, Outlaw, Rotel and even used Bryston. You can't knock a 20 year transferable warranty. 3 years old Brystons are fairly affordable and most that invested that initial sticker price likely treated such as the investment they were.

I don't personally know tubes but all that run them claim this is the ultimate. Financially I'm starting to see these above mentioned units as 2nd. best alternative and combined with high sensitivity OB/FR speakers a good bet for both music and HT . I haven't read a great deal about each companies processors but I'm sure there is a Sub out and if not many are versatile enough in hook-up options to get you plenty of power for Subs unless you simply must have 20hz. at 110 decibels.

Adding an active XO and equalizer if individual felt such necessary (I'm not convinced, especially if you used dual Subs, think gain settings likely adequate) should integrate well enough to give you a pretty kick tail music and HT system for reasonable dollars.

Many guys are posting low buck OB efforts of late but some don't meet both needs and several that appear they would aren't telling us how they are powering same.

Moderator - Asking much but could we see a separate gallery section for OB efforts? It's growing rapidly.

I'd like to hear from those of you who have built that are happy if you believe your choice meets both HT and Music needs as well as how you amplified. Kind of a dual topic question but really a combined question I thought answered best posted here.

Move it if you desire.

Show off guys - please. Many of us want the whole story.

Thanks - Bluto
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Old 12th June 2008, 04:38 AM   #2
DaveCan is offline DaveCan  Canada
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I agree, OB should have it's own category.. Please Mod people please!!

Also very intrigued as of late, since going through a rather long OB thread, and reading Martins thread and MR.Pass and also the Feastrex OB review, plus Ron has mentioned it before.. Seem's like a good deal to go boxless, but would be cool to keep the x-over out of the mix as much as possible..

I think you may need as much room if not more for most OB's as a horn. It would appear that OB's like to be well out from walls etc where some horns work in corners or quite close to room wall's, plus OB's are at least as large in some respects..

Very good thread Bluto, would be cool to explore the daylights out of this design and see all the different ways it could be implemented. I'd dig a top notch fullrange driver, Fostex,Lowther,Aer, Feastrex etc mated well to an amazing bottom end, with little to no x-over on the fullrange.

As far as amps, I'm for tubes but thats just me, and in no way have I ever heard any of the better SS amps for any length of time to get into the whole debate. I got to experience a Bryston at one time and really enjoyed it, and could imagine using one for the low end would be amazing This amp has gained some good praise as of late and reasonable to get into tubes if not wanting to diy an amp http://6moons.com/audioreviews/glow/one.html Also Decware has a kit that would be hard to beat for the $$$ http://www.decware.com/newsite/mainmenu.htm
Dave
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Old 12th June 2008, 06:28 AM   #3
bvan is offline bvan  Denmark
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A very good reasonably priced ob system to do both 2 channel and HT well, with a slight bias towards 2 channel, might be some Hawthorne Audio 15' Silver Iris coaxials with Augie bass driver. (if I can count coax as fullrange?)

I'm a music and movie guy but priority is music. Had B200 OB but the Hawthorne SI's have a bit more scale an impact which suits movies. There Augie which I have in the same baffle is bi-amed with a cheap plate amp and gets me down to mid 20hz with room gain. I have a box sub as well for bellow there but am thinking of selling it as I might only miss it on the Transformers 2.

Using 30w Red Wine class D which is plenty, and am about to build first tube amp kit, the S.E.X amp from Bottlehead. Might use it as a pre or by itself. I expect enough juice for music but not movies if I run the SI's full range. Setting speakers to small in my dvd player should fix this (but I have a fairly convoluted setup where I run a Oppo dvd player to external dac for music, and the Oppo's analogue outs strait to amp and sub for movies - and control volume with Oppo remote)

cheers
bevan
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Old 12th June 2008, 06:46 AM   #4
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+1 Vote for OB section in Loudspeakers.

But for now lo and behold !

Ultimate OB Gallery


I think I've found the sound nirvana too ... a pair of big woofers, good fullrange and few gainclones and linkwitz eq circuitry ... and no box!
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Old 12th June 2008, 07:38 AM   #5
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I had a reasonable AV system, Theta player, Krell processor, BelCanto amplifier, Sonus Faber speakers and REL subwoofers, pretty good with music too...

Now I have a Linn player/processor, tube amplifier, OB speakers and subwoofer run active from the processor bass management...

It does everything better, even helis, and covers almost 360 with only a stereo pair...
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Old 12th June 2008, 10:38 AM   #6
Bluto is offline Bluto  United States
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bvan -

Nice sounding set-up.

15" Auggie? I spent much time there and didn't think the Auggies would go that low. Where are you setting gain to XO to Iris?

My problem is I need to keep drivers 12" or less and still find bass to mid 30's for my mains.

Bluto
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Old 12th June 2008, 02:40 PM   #7
bvan is offline bvan  Denmark
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Yeah sounds good. Truth be told I've actually got the Sterling Silver Iris's and they sound freek'n amazing. And this after coming off Zu and before that Dynaudio Focus.

I've got a bit of a room node at 30hz which helps as I'm running a DEQ2496 on the Augie and am pulling it down by 10db ar 30hz. Crossover I'm not sure as I've got a bit of a suckout above the normal XO and am boosting that a bir. Most guys over at the Hawthorne forums using about a 45-50hz XO and getting flat down to the upper 20's if I'm not mistaken.

I dont listen to loud and reckon I could eq the Augies flat down to 20hz but feel no need as they are plenty full range on music. For a while before I had the Augie I had the DEQ on the SSI's and eq'd them down to the mid 30's no problem. But the Augie is such a seemless blend with the SSI and for so little outlay that it wouldnt make sense not to use them.

FWIW I had some Peerless XLS 830500 drivers in for a while before the Augies arrives, good with eq but I think the Augies slightly better. Interestingly the 12" Peerless drivers would vibrate the baffles and suspended floor more than the Augies, perhaps due to their smaller diameter and therefore greater excursion? or maybe higher mass cones? You might find joy using 2x 10" Augies??

cheers

Bevan
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Old 12th June 2008, 04:28 PM   #8
Kensai is offline Kensai  United States
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My recent experiments have me leaning toward FR driver up top, no filter, running from T-Amp (or tubes for you fancy lads) with woofers below running either from a plate amp for each channel or something like the Dayton APA150 stereo amp that can be converted to either stereo or mono sub amp with active crossover built in just like a plate amp (I've even talked to their techs who talked to the product developer to make sure that it can do stereo sub duty instead of just running a pair of woofers in dual mono).

What started all this was me picking up a pair of Dayton RS100-8 fullrangers. I fell in love with their sound immediately, even in OB with no EQ they hit about 70Hz just in quick and dirty little bits of folded cardboard for baffles, so they were really easy to play with right out of the box. Of course I was used to getting around 55Hz w/EQ from my tricked out B20s in OB, so I wasn't perfectly happy and realized that I needed to start experimenting to see what I could do to go with RS100s and bass augmentation. Have a pair of old 15"ers from a pair of titanic Sansuis that were made the year before I was born (lets just say they're really quite old), and figured from my reading that since they were supposedly 102dB sensitive (still had the manuals from each speaker, crazily enough, along with the original packaging), I could put some resistance in line with them to get their Qts up high enough to be useful in OB. Not only did that not seem to do much other than dirty the sound (with almost no bass to speak of, no less, sadly leaving the RS100s as the thing most present at the bottom), putting the big coils from the Sansui crossovers in line between resistor and driver rolled them off just barely noticeably, still leaving them overlapping the RS100s for 3-4 octaves.

So first things first, I needed OB appropriate woofer to try. Only thing on hand is the 8" drivers from a pair of Yamaha bookshelves that anchor my livingroom system. I'd have drivers from the previous model out on OB before, and they had been quite pleasing. Turned out that had been a long time ago, because when I swapped them for the B20s in my tiny OBs (18"x12" hinged to my desk; more about that in a bit) they surprised the crap out of me by hitting about 45Hz with no EQ with authority and no small sense of space. Of course I don't have much of anything crossover component wise to really play with. Those big coils forming a 1st order really don't roll much off the top of the Yammy 8s, and having them hooked up absolutely killed SQ, so I nixed trying to get them set up with the RS100s at that moment and pulled the B&G Neo3PDRs that I had previously upgraded the Yamaha cases with and popped them in OB with the Yammy drivers, using the Yamaha crossovers (consisting of a the 8"er running full range and the Neo3 on a 2.2uF cap). This didn't sound as integrated in the near field as it did, in the box, about 12-14 feet from my seat in the living room (apparently need a bit smaller cap on the tweet), but it showed me that yes, a single cap on a tweet was a much better solution in an FR situation than a single coil on a woofer. Running this experiment also showed me that those Yamaha drivers were very well behaved and with optimal EQ were good from about 35Hz-5kHz on OB.

On the down side, it also showed me that I preferred the sound of the RS100's top end to the Neo3 on a small cap, so the next step was to bring in my newly acquired floor sample Panasonic XR-57 receiver with digital amps, hook up the RS100s as small fronts and run the subwoofer out to my T-amp to run the Yamaha 8"ers in dual mono. Not the optimal solution, but I'm just trying to learn experientially here. So I do that, and the first thing I find is that there's this strange high frequency whine coming from the 8"ers that stays the same level no matter where I changed the volume (at the T-amp, at the receiver, using the receiver's various adjustments, or at the computer which is my source). As long as there was power to all components, there was the whine, though it was low enough level that if you cranked some music or a DVD with no real quiet spots, you'd stop noticing it almost immediately). Secondly, I find that with an 80Hz crossover set in the receiver, in the nearfield with maybe 6-7 feet between drivers, I wasn't able to notice the bass out of place, even on my most familiar tracks or on DVDs where the video should make your brain see any directionality problems quite clearly. If it weren't for that whine (anyone know what it is and/or how to stop it?) that might have been a good place to pause for awhile, because the overall response, sound stage and SQ were really quite good. Again, I tried my big, salvaged coils between the T-amp and the Yamahas and while they did roll the whine off noticeably, the whine was still there, and the SQ suffered quite a bit more noticeably (do big inductors usually make woofers sound like gritty crap, or are these things just some old, bad design?).

So, my thinking came around to the theory that maybe that whine is a normal interaction between a receiver's sub out and a normal line level in on a full range amp, and that running to a plate or other amp specifically intended to drive subwoofers, with integrated active crossover could very reasonably eliminate the whine from perception, as well as improving the performance of the system as a whole. This makes my next action kinda pricey (probably about $150, minimum) as I'll need 2 channels worth of sub amplifier. After that, I'll probably need a pair of 15" Goldwoods (Fs 29Hz, Qts 1.95) to really get down to the bottom of things, so to speak.

What's you guys' current thinking on things like this? I suppose we're still waiting on MJK's active OB article to get a bit more solid perspective on things.

Kensai
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Old 12th June 2008, 06:29 PM   #9
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Bluto,

Don't rule tubes out as too exspensive. For over ten years now I've been running a Jolida 202a as my main music amp. I bought it in my early twenties while working part-time and going to school. Sure, I was able to find a good deal and put it on layaway, but you can still find good deals on some here and there. The amp itself sounds great, responds to easy mods, and since I've had it has only needed one re-tubing and that was under $100 total. A real good choice. Plus look for some of the hybrids for an even cheaper alt.

As far as OB's go, I think Kensai is oon the right track, or at least the track that I was looking at. Seprate amps for high and low. The RS-100's look ideal for top end. Even those Goldwood 8" 'ers may be a good choice. Use your tube amp or maybe t-amp for those and use a sub-amp or pro-sound amp or even one of these (you could run two woofers per side) with a PLLX-O for a low end speaker like this guy . You did say a max 12" right?

That's just one more project that only exists up in my noggin.
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Old 12th June 2008, 11:55 PM   #10
Bluto is offline Bluto  United States
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This is getting Good.

I've read and re-read 4 times and have serious questions for 3 of you.

I need more time to to ask properly.

Thanks Guys - much said in just a few threads.

Bluto
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