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kctess5 16th January 2012 09:51 PM

Finished Line Arrays
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I recently finished my first speaker project and I thought some of you guys might be interested in checking it out as I posted some questions about them during the design and build.

I am very happy with the way they turned out, which is good because I spent around $400 on them (which is a lot for a high schooler..).

I used the Tang Band W3-881SI which, I think, worked out very well. They were within my budget and sound awesome, they are so much more detailed than my old (store bought) sound system it's incredible.

The box is sealed, around 1 ft^3, which is a bit small for 6 of these drivers but I didn't want to go much bigger and its close enough.

I don't have the crossover yet so they are running full range but I will eventually cross over to the sub with the Pyle Pro PYX3X 3 Way Active Stereo Crossover which should help the minor distortion of lower frequencies from the Tang Bands at high volumes and just let the sub handle it all.

The sub is the Sony SA-WM40 that I did the stuffing modification to (which helped a lot actually) that I got of of Craigslist for $60. I know its not the best sub but its all I can afford for now. Eventually I will replace it but it works for now.

I am using the Lepai Tripath TA2020 to power the two towers and its just about the perfect amount of power. I can easily make it painfully loud but normally I keep it around 12:00 to minimize distortion. I will eventually add two tweeter arrays to minimize comb filtering (see graphs) and I will bi-amp it with the same amp.

The speakers have plexiglass on the back with two strips of LEDs behind them left over from my kitchen project (see this video if your interested) which will eventually be powered by a music sensitive LED drivers for some cool audio effects.

The speakers are covered in vinyl that looks quite a lot like leather. Most of it is a really dark brown and the accents are maroon. I have some white piping between the colors which looks really cool. I am really happy how this looks, considering that it was my first time upholstering something it could have been a disaster. They look straight out a 60s diner or something. Not that it matters (because I'm not married...) but the WAF is through the roof, even my mom likes them :D.

To hold all of my electronics (or future electronics?) I built a really nice looking FleXy stand and upholstered it to match the speakers. The all-thread is covered with some copper tube I sanded which looks really cool. Eventually I will have my amps, crossover and DAC on there but for now it's just an amp (the second one is not wired in to anything yet).

Now to the important part... Listening Impressions

The things sound amazing, simply put. The soundstage is excellent (probably because of the line array-ish-ness), when I'm in the sweet spot its like no other. The upper end is a bit muffled, probably because of the drivers rolloff and also the comb filtering thats going on. This is a minor complaint though, they are still very listenable. I will eventually help this out by adding the tweeter arrays with smaller CTC spacing and actively cross over to them so I'm not to worried about that.

The low end is (expectedly) not as detailed as the midrange just because the sub isn't great. This can be seen in the response graphs as a pretty huge spike. At low levels its not too bad but I will upgrade in the next year or two. In the mean time I'll move it to the floor when I clear a spot and add some spikes which should help it. Before I did the stuffing mod there were some pretty evident upper end (~80hz) resonances but it's a lot better now.

Let me know what you think, I've posted a bunch of pics so y'all can take a look. If you need more info about something I'm happy to supply.

kctess5 16th January 2012 09:53 PM

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The uploading is having issues so I'll just do multiple posts sorry.

The flattest range is from around 150 to 1000 hz, the tweeter arrays will flatten above that eventually and a better sub will flatten below that

kctess5 16th January 2012 10:06 PM

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Here's the stand

kctess5 16th January 2012 10:07 PM

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Some more...

kctess5 16th January 2012 10:15 PM

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And the last one...

The cable was handmade with a bunch of Cat5e plenum, theres 32 strands total in each, 16 positive, 16 negative. Its covered in Techflex and the ends have a stained wood dowel to make them look good

Starre 16th January 2012 10:19 PM

Congrats to your new speakers!

overtheairbroadcast 16th January 2012 10:49 PM

And you are in high school? And this was your first speak project? I was making lamps in high school.

You sir, have a long and fruitful career ahead of you if this work is any indication. Congratulations on your new speakers.

kctess5 16th January 2012 10:58 PM


And you are in high school? And this was your first speak project? I was making lamps in high school.
Yeah I'm a junior now. I started out with electronics a couple years ago with LEDs and recently got into speakers. Now I want to make some electrostatic panels :D If you look at that link to a video its something I did a few months ago.


You sir, have a long and fruitful career ahead of you if this work is any indication. Congratulations on your new speakers.
Thanks for your support!


Congrats to your new speakers!
Thanks! I love them so much haha

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