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Old 25th April 2011, 07:28 PM   #1
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Default Wrapping up my Home theatre

Over the last year I've been tinkering away at a home theatre.
Up until recently, I have been largely too busy to care, but since I just finished another year of university, I wanted to get this finished before I start other larger projects.

My end goal is to eventually have a 5.1 setup, perhaps 7.2 later on. Sub is last since to me offers the least benefit with the most cost.

What I have so far are these: a pair of saburos with no stands (another project) with some fostex 126eN for the mains, and a pair of pensils with CHR-70's for the rears. Until now I had been using a cheap (free) pioneer 3 way car speaker as a center which works but I hate it more with every passing day.

What I would like to do currently is build something to work as a center channel that would match visually the rest of the set. I have no clue what would serve as a appropriate center for my setup unfortunately...

An idea I had would be to build a single double folded horn (something from the "spawn family" perhaps), and have it sitting on its side? I had placed one of my saburos sideways a while back to see how it sounded, and it seemed to work okay.

Some room details & requirements:

largish room, ~17'x25'
sitting roughly 8' from the screen/speakers
whatever I make can only be as high as 8" but can be up to 10' wide, and it can be angled to direct the sound to ear level.
Audio is going from Playstation3 -> Linear PCM to Marantz sr4002 -> speakers
Center should probably match the rears driver wise.


As an aside, I have considered a phantom center, but it isnt very suitable to this space. Furthermore, Since the PS3 is using PCM to send the sound, all the receiver is doing is amplifying the sound. To get a phantom center, I would need to give up Dolby trueHD which is not something I want to do.
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Old 25th April 2011, 08:43 PM   #2
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Ingram View Post
Over the last year I've been tinkering away at a home theatre.
Up until recently, I have been largely too busy to care, but since I just finished another year of university, I wanted to get this finished before I start other larger projects.

My end goal is to eventually have a 5.1 setup, perhaps 7.2 later on. Sub is last since to me offers the least benefit with the most cost.

What I have so far are these: a pair of saburos with no stands (another project) with some fostex 126eN for the mains, and a pair of pensils with CHR-70's for the rears. Until now I had been using a cheap (free) pioneer 3 way car speaker as a center which works but I hate it more with every passing day.

What I would like to do currently is build something to work as a center channel that would match visually the rest of the set. I have no clue what would serve as a appropriate center for my setup unfortunately...

An idea I had would be to build a single double folded horn (something from the "spawn family" perhaps), and have it sitting on its side? I had placed one of my saburos sideways a while back to see how it sounded, and it seemed to work okay.

Some room details & requirements:

largish room, ~17'x25'
sitting roughly 8' from the screen/speakers
whatever I make can only be as high as 8" but can be up to 10' wide, and it can be angled to direct the sound to ear level.
Audio is going from Playstation3 -> Linear PCM to Marantz sr4002 -> speakers
Center should probably match the rears driver wise.


As an aside, I have considered a phantom center, but it isnt very suitable to this space. Furthermore, Since the PS3 is using PCM to send the sound, all the receiver is doing is amplifying the sound. To get a phantom center, I would need to give up Dolby trueHD which is not something I want to do.
As the center channel is actually the most important speaker in the system , I'd generally be inclined to recommend using the same driver model for all three in the front row to retain consistency of voicing, but it'd be a bit of a trick to approach the bandwidth and dynamics of Saburos using the FE126E in a enclosure as small as most commonly used in the center. During some recent playing about with a small surround system using all Mark Audio drivers, (still only 3.1 as home reno projects have kept me from getting the rear surrounds done - the biggest issue actually being the wiring), I had occasion to compare Alpair 10.2 vs Alpair7 for L&R, with Alpair for center. With the front row all the same model the integration and panning was more seamless.

I was previously somewhat agnostic in regards to sub(s) in this system, but after a thorough read of Floyd Toole's latest text, I finally got around to building a pair of corner mounted enclosures (dual 7" Eastech drivers). I'm aware of the FE126E's capabilities in Saburo or Valiant full size double mouth horn, but even if you think your mains are capable of "full-range" bandwidth, do not underestimate the contribution of (multiple) separate sub(s) to not only the big sound effects, but the sense of realism of background/ambient LF information. Furthermore, room acoustics being what they are, the least compromised placement location(s) for bass drivers in terms of even distribution to all listening positions will often be quite removed from the front row 3.


edit:

oops, I've got to stop scanning these posts to quickly, I missed seeing your comment on trying the Sab lying on it's side. It might actually be a very good idea to try something like that for the center - laid this way, the cabinet could be short and wide enough to serve as a stand for a big screen TV if not already wall-mounted.

but whatever way you go, I think you definitely want to use the same model driver for the center.
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Last edited by chrisb; 25th April 2011 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 26th April 2011, 02:51 AM   #3
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>>> it'd be a bit of a trick to approach the bandwidth and dynamics of Saburos using the FE126E in a enclosure as small as most commonly used in the center.

I'd consider building a smaller double mouth horn to lay on its side if you have the space. Sonically it would match best. Your setup looks stellar... it will be a fun system to listen too. I agree with chrisb about the importance of subs... H-frames would be nice and rumble the room if you can fit a pair in somehow. Not too expensive either.
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Old 26th April 2011, 03:56 PM   #4
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I certainly haven't discounted the benefits of a sub. Personally though, the cost relative to what it adds are not enough to make it the must have item in my system. Especially since I have just started the a full restoration of a 1963 spitfire, and have at least 1 other ongoing HiFi project which are going to consume much of my time, money, and interest for the time being.

Another thing to do before I make a sub is to sort out room acoustics, since this room is literally empty other than the speakers and the couches. Probably build some free standing bass traps or something...

Are there any shortcomings to having a folded horn on its side relative to sound dispersion? I imagine it would be okay, or at least no worse than most standard design centers.

I attached a pic of the space, as you can see, I dont have much height to work with, but it can be up to 10' wide. Also in the pic is the hateful little speaker that I currently use as a center.
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Old 26th April 2011, 05:32 PM   #5
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Ingram View Post
I certainly haven't discounted the benefits of a sub. Personally though, the cost relative to what it adds are not enough to make it the must have item in my system. Especially since I have just started the a full restoration of a 1963 spitfire, and have at least 1 other ongoing HiFi project which are going to consume much of my time, money, and interest for the time being.

Another thing to do before I make a sub is to sort out room acoustics, since this room is literally empty other than the speakers and the couches. Probably build some free standing bass traps or something...

Are there any shortcomings to having a folded horn on its side relative to sound dispersion? I imagine it would be okay, or at least no worse than most standard design centers.

I attached a pic of the space, as you can see, I dont have much height to work with, but it can be up to 10' wide. Also in the pic is the hateful little speaker that I currently use as a center.

In short, a sideways folded horn could probably work, but I think a more intriguing question would be regarding what appears to be an almost full height screen for projector, which complicates the size & mounting configuration of any center channel enclosure. You could of course angle mount above or below the screen, but even after contending with boundary reflections, I think the perspective of the most prominent program content would be skewed in relation to the flanking sides.

If the screen is acoustically transparent and can be moved out from the wall, a single vertically oriented Saburo could be mounted behind the screen, ( actually all 3 behind would be ideal - just like in real theaters) .

As to "Home theater" without sub(s), I guess I'm a recent convert to the cause, but it's definitely not the same without it. Multiple small(er) subs have many advantages, one of which is that with careful placement, more even distribution of LF information can be achieved, possibly without the need for use of bass traps.

In any case, I'd suggest any acoustic treatment, particularly implementing bass traps in the room absent the eventual (if minimal) furnishing would be premature.

Of course, I could be all wet.

A highly recommended read:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 26th April 2011, 07:39 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, the screen is nowhere near acoustically transparent, so I am limited to either top (rather not, but it is possible) or bottom. I also don't want to make a full on third Saburo. I would rather one of the simpler double folded horns.

The furnishing in the room is not going to change for the foreseeable future. Any acousting treatment I make in this room is going to be removable. Largely because this is in my parents basement. Since I plan on moving out within the next two years, I want to bring as much of this with me.

I do intend on making a sub (or two) at some point. When I do, it will probably be something along the line of the Tuba subs which should really get the room shaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
A highly recommended read:

Click the image to open in full size.
This looks neat, and I see amazon has it in ebook format too!
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Old 26th April 2011, 08:03 PM   #7
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Ingram View Post
Unfortunately, the screen is nowhere near acoustically transparent, so I am limited to either top (rather not, but it is possible) or bottom. I also don't want to make a full on third Saburo. I would rather one of the simpler double folded horns.
Most of the double folded horns that I'm familiar with for the FE126E would be not all that much smaller than the Saburo, and several, including the single mouth FH3 are rear mouthed. One to consider for this application might be the Aiko, but even though somewhat smaller than the Saburo, it's not any less complicated a build

http://homepage.mac.com/tlinespeaker...lan-231208.pdf

A simpler build that could marginally work might be the Gabriel:

http://homepage.mac.com/tlinespeaker...map-021107.pdf

but it's much wider (taller when laid sideways) than either the Sab or Aiko

Quote:



The furnishing in the room is not going to change for the foreseeable future. Any acousting treatment I make in this room is going to be removable. Largely because this is in my parents basement. Since I plan on moving out within the next two years, I want to bring as much of this with me.

I do intend on making a sub (or two) at some point. When I do, it will probably be something along the line of the Tuba subs which should really get the room shaking.
How would you be powering them? With the quality of bass management available in current surround receivers, the XO's commonly still found on plate amps are redundant, and separate basic power amp is all that's really required. Stereo/bridgeable to mono would provide lots of flexibility.

Something like the Tubas that would shake a small room would be very impressive, but perhaps quickly distracting, and would certainly require heroic levels of treatment to tame. You might want to consider something smaller / sealed with decent 8" or so would give a more manageable form factor

Quote:
This looks neat, and I see amazon has it in ebook format too!
this is the type of reference text that I think is worthy of a hard copy
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Old 26th April 2011, 08:23 PM   #8
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The Gabriel's would probably work, I would just have to pull the speaker a bit further out from the screen so that from the sitting position, it doesn't interfere. If I have the front of the cabinet about 2 feet closer than the screen, I can get away with about 12" of height.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post

How would you be powering them? With the quality of bass management available in current surround receivers, the XO's commonly still found on plate amps are redundant, and separate basic power amp is all that's really required. Stereo/bridgeable to mono would provide lots of flexibility.

Something like the Tubas that would shake a small room would be very impressive, but perhaps quickly distracting, and would certainly require heroic levels of treatment to tame. You might want to consider something smaller / sealed with decent 8" or so would give a more manageable form factor
My receiver has the built in bass management but only pre-out for the sub. It would be straight forward then, to just use a regular amp with adequate power. I'll put more thought to that later, for now I really want to get the center sorted out. I've been delaying this for the better part of the last 10 months

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
this is the type of reference text that I think is worthy of a hard copy
...okay
I could always "acquire" an electronic copy to go with the hard copy, if only to have on my phone for moments of boredom when out and about.
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Old 26th April 2011, 08:44 PM   #9
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Ingram View Post
The Gabriel's would probably work, I would just have to pull the speaker a bit further out from the screen so that from the sitting position, it doesn't interfere. If I have the front of the cabinet about 2 feet closer than the screen, I can get away with about 12" of height.
As the Brynn/Gabriel are under 11", that should be plenty of height - although you'd want to tilt them up a bit.

Quote:
My receiver has the built in bass management but only pre-out for the sub. It would be straight forward then, to just use a regular amp with adequate power. I'll put more thought to that later,
I've used anything to drive woofers from basic power amps (mine happens to be a Rotel RB850) to old stereo receivers - you'll just want to ensure adequate power ( 50-60 W min?) , particularly if using small sealed enclosures that are handier to place and can have far more benign roll-off slopes than vented or horn subs. .

Quote:
for now I really want to get the center sorted out. I've been delaying this for the better part of the last 10 months
I know the feeling, it took me about 4 months after updating my latest HT rig to decide on the center, and over 4 years after going to the HD screen to even start it - and I still haven't gotten around to the rear/surrounds. Hiding the wire run in the double layered drywall ceiling will be the biggest pain - due to the shape of room and location of a staircase, it's gonna be at least 50ft from the amp to one of them.

Doncha just hate it when the real world gets in the way of your "simple plans"?

Quote:

...okay
I could always "acquire" an electronic copy to go with the hard copy, if only to have on my phone for moments of boredom when out and about.
no comment

oh, that is

have fun
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Old 27th April 2011, 10:29 AM   #10
Ivo is offline Ivo  Netherlands
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Someone gave me the Toole book for my birthday. It was legal and cheap!

Big respect for your current set of speakers. If it was me, with that space, I would raise the screen a bit and build me another Saburo. I have heard a pair of BVRs from the Spawn family and it seemed like a very well designed speaker. Very clean and seamless bass sound. (In a room with highly variable designs, multiway, FAST and fullrange, TL, sealed and vented, cones and domes to ribbons, in my opinion it sounded very good.) I can't really say how well BVR matches to a large scale backloaded horn. I bet building a BVR would take much less time and material, so it might be a good idea to simply build the BVR design and see how it works out. If you don't like it, that will be your motivation to build the Saburo.

Perhaps the Brynn/Gabriel can be proportioned to look more like a Saburo for you by the designer?
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