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Old 25th October 2012, 09:21 AM   #1
Bedimbe is offline Bedimbe  Finland
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Default Driver selection

Hi there! I'm a sound engineer who in the last year or so picked up an old interest of mine, speaker building. I've toyed around with various ideas, and after a lot of thinking and a bit of experimenting, I've got the concept for my next project.

It will be a two-way, active dipole speaker with a Peerless XLS 830500 12" in an H-frame, and a fullrange in a C-frame, much similar to Linkwitz' Orion.

My main problem at the moment is that I'm not that familiar with fullrange drivers, so I have difficulty picking one for this project. I'm on a pretty tight budget, and the budget is around 100 each. What I'm after is obviously a good sounding driver with a fairly flat response (I will do some active equalization, but I'd rather keep it to a minimum), but there are a couple of specific criteria as well. First, I want the driver to be able to handle a rather high SPL without "breaking up", meaning good sensitivity and/or good power handling. Secondly, as I want to keep the crossover low, in the region around 150 Hz, I want the driver to be able to handle mid-bass with ease (also at a higher SPL) as to get a smoother crossover. Both of these criteria seem to hint at a larger driver, perhaps in the 8" region.

A further thing to take into consideration is that I'm from Finland, so the drivers should be available either locally or within the EU.

After some of the research, the Seas FA22RCZ seems like a pretty good fit, but I'm sure there are other drivers that would match as well. What other drivers would do the job, and which one would sound best?
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Old 25th October 2012, 06:51 PM   #2
Bedimbe is offline Bedimbe  Finland
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For further explanation of my goals, this project isn't done for sound engineering duties per se, but rather for my own enjoyment, meaning that it doesn't necessarily have to be "perfect" for use as studio monitors, which to a certain degree have to reproduce the signal accurately. To explain the difference, I'll give an example:

I've always been very fond of Genelec speakers. They sound pretty damn awesome, with good imaging, spectral balance, and so forth; but to tell the truth, I wouldn't want them as studio monitors. The problem with them is that they sound too good, almost everything sounds great through them. For monitoring purposes this just doesn't do it for me, as it translates poorly to other systems that will actually be used to listen to the recording/mix. I'm not actually sure what they do that makes it all sound so good, but it's a problem when what you do is basically problem-shooting, and you have a hard time finding problems.

What I want from these speakers is a bit of that. I want these to be enjoyable to just sit back and listen to. I've done a bit of cheap experimenting, and at the moment I use the Peerless drivers in about 45L closed enclosures (which I definitely want to turn open baffle, as they sound "boxed in", with far too much standing waves and other resonances going on. As fullranges, I use a pair of Visaton BG13P, which I just had to try out as they cost 13.90€ each, in C-baffles. This experiment turned me onto both open baffle designs, which open up the sound field enormously compared to closed enclosures (don't even get me started with bass reflex enclosures, I just don't really like them. Genelec's pretty much the exception), as well as full ranges, which also does great for the imaging being as close to point sources as possible, and without the hassle of having to use a crossover, especially in the critical frequency range. Of course, these drivers are awful in some aspects, such as frequency response, and they tear up pretty quickly, so they're definitely not what I'm after.

I'm very well aware that speaker design is all about making compromises, and I'm fine with that. It's what makes it all so fun. I'm absolutely willing to open up the budget a bit, or do some more equalization, either by soldering custom designs, or doing it in a for me more familiar way by getting a speaker processor and using shelving or parametric EQ's. But I still have the problem of not being able to try out lots of different drivers, and therefore I need your help. What would you use as a driver for this project? And what makes you make that selection?
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Old 26th October 2012, 01:53 AM   #3
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Hi Bedimbe,

Considering that your design is a 2-way active crossover, active EQ'ed dipole, almost any widebander could be made to work, to some degree. I don't know what's available in Finland, but my general recommendation would be to use the smallest driver you can (because an 8" will beam in the treble).

If you're not wedded to the 150Hz crossover point, i.e., if you're willing to go up another octave, you would have a huge number of smaller drivers from which to choose.

For moderate SPL's, I am using the FE103En which is a ~100mm driver. Its 89dB sensitivity might be a deal-breaker for you, and I don't know if it's available in Finland.
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Old 26th October 2012, 02:39 AM   #4
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I think this is the best compromise between off axis response and power handling on an OB. (it can take a bump in EQ in mid bass without over excursion)
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Old 30th October 2012, 05:57 PM   #5
Bedimbe is offline Bedimbe  Finland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjbond3rd View Post
Hi Bedimbe,

Considering that your design is a 2-way active crossover, active EQ'ed dipole, almost any widebander could be made to work, to some degree. I don't know what's available in Finland, but my general recommendation would be to use the smallest driver you can (because an 8" will beam in the treble).

If you're not wedded to the 150Hz crossover point, i.e., if you're willing to go up another octave, you would have a huge number of smaller drivers from which to choose.

For moderate SPL's, I am using the FE103En which is a ~100mm driver. Its 89dB sensitivity might be a deal-breaker for you, and I don't know if it's available in Finland.
I am open to other suggestions as well, and the ~150Hz crossover is just a preference. I'd like to have the FR to do most of the work, and keep the 12" just for necessity. But the final crossover will in the end be decided by listening, and as I said, compromises may be done. The FE103En doesn't seem to cut it though, with such a low sensitivity and power handling. If I moveed the crossover, what would be good candidates for the FR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melo theory View Post
The Madisound Speaker Store

I think this is the best compromise between off axis response and power handling on an OB. (it can take a bump in EQ in mid bass without over excursion)
That does seem like it would work, it's a bit on the pricier side (149 at a rebate ATM), but some compromises can be made. Are there other contestants?
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Old 30th October 2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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Bedimbe
seeing as how your familiar with Visaton you should troll their website you might be interested in some of their baffles mainly the Orgues(did i spell that right)
i'd be interested to know what you think
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Old 6th November 2012, 10:42 AM   #7
Bedimbe is offline Bedimbe  Finland
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They do seem interesting, although not what I have in mind. First off, they're way out of my budget. Also, one of the reasons I want to use a FR as the main sound source is to keep it as close to a point source as possible, and adding more drivers defeats that purpose. And of course, a lot of the fun in building speakers is the design process, figuring out what it is that you want from your speakers, and doing the compromises accordingly. In other words, even though the end result would be better with an already existing design, I'd still rather design my own.

That said, the design is interesting, and I'd love to listen to a pair of them, or even designing something similar at some point.
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