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Old 7th May 2015, 07:06 PM   #1
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Lightbulb All Aspiring Full-Range Array project

As some of You already know, I have enjoyed my experimental "cheap and cheerful" 16 driver NSB arrays for some time. Now that I have taken them as far as I can, I am ready to take the next step.

I have been greatly inspired by Wesayso's build:

The making of: The Two Towers (a 25 driver Full Range line array)

And many of the builds on:

Cloning IDS-25s

Stupid Cheap Line Array

This is going to be a little different thread in the sense that I do not desire to build an array on the cheap, as I have done that already. I am already sold on the concept, so I am looking to take the concept farther.

Bear in mind, this is going to be a true array, using 3"-4" full-range drivers; atleast 75" tall, preferably floor to ceiling.

These are the driver choices I have in mind:

Right now, I am lending towards the Fostex FF85wk for the array down to 80 Hz, then bringing in a sub-woofer. This will be the most challenging baffle to build due to the stamped basket and the weird bezel shape. I am hoping find someone with a CNC to cut the baffle and cover plate for this array.

My second choice would be the Celeston AN3510, as I really like the driver design for line array applications. This would also need a sub-woofer at 80 Hz. I have not found any listening impressions on this driver.

Crazy expensive, would be the Alpair 7, but I could run that full-range with no sub. I would need to cut the bezels down to get closer spacing , Mistakes would be quite costly.

The Foundex FE88EX/89EX can be run full-range, but listening impressions have lead me to believe that this unit has a rougher high compared to the Fostex and Alpair options.

It seems the compromise is if You want low bass, You must sacrifice the highs a little. If You want the highs, You will not have the low of the lows.

I am considering a driver blow-out with some of these. I am looking for an exceptional response between 1 kHz and 6 kHz, without nasty break-ups and resonances. (The demise to my NSB arrays was a nasty around 1.2 kHz I could not resolve.) Smooth highs is a plus. A smooth bezel is a plus. A driver that can render a good 3D soundstage is a huge plus. Solid Bass down to at least 80 Hz (remember, these are going to be arrayed, so I am guessing many of the drivers above can achieve that).

Thoughts anyone?
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Old 7th May 2015, 08:49 PM   #2
wesayso is offline wesayso  Netherlands
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Money no object eh? How about the Audience A3, Sd=30cm2, xmax 12 mm!
One of the cleanest CSD plots I've seen...
Click the image to open in full size.
Frequency response might need some help but this driver has Line Array written al over it .
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Old 7th May 2015, 08:57 PM   #3
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Don't know about the Celestion but FF85Wk has very little xmax. A7.3 has a funky dip at 1.5 kHz and huge resonant peaks at 10kHz and 13kHz and has the biggest fat bezel that won't let you get tight center to center spacing. I think the TC9FD or TG9FD iare great choices as Wesayso and the IDS-25 had proven. If you want to beat those drivers go with the Scan Speak 10F/8414 or 10F/8424. Same family but better performance with great CSD and smooth response and 2.5 mm xmax, not 0.75mm xmax.

Let's not forget the very well built and cost effective RS100-4. Great fit and finish and nice solid cast alloy frame with smooth response and class leading 4mm xmax.

Last edited by xrk971; 7th May 2015 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 7th May 2015, 09:23 PM   #4
wesayso is offline wesayso  Netherlands
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Well class leading would have to go to the Audience A3 driver with 12 mm. But strangely enough the distortion plots of the TC9 are cleaner than the Audience when driven harder (95 dB). But with 25 of them (or more) it would probably be a minor difference.

I do wonder about the off axis response of the 10F. The TC9 does have more similarities in on axis/off axis behaviour than the 10F.

Anyone have an off axis plot of the RS100-8? The CSD of that one seems cleaner than the RS100-4 judging from Zaph Audio:
Click the image to open in full size.
(The peak obviously needs some attention)

I'd also look into BMR's like the ones used by Overkill Audio:
Near full range BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator)

Nice CSD and usually those kind of drivers have excellent off axis response, though frequency response often needs help. He's had a few people over and impressed most of them (if not all) and most seem convinced enough to try the BMR's for themselves after a visit.

Last edited by wesayso; 7th May 2015 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 7th May 2015, 09:30 PM   #5
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Well class leading for a reasonable price - do you know what an A3 costs? And can you even get 50 of them?
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Old 7th May 2015, 09:38 PM   #6
wesayso is offline wesayso  Netherlands
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The price on that 2010 test is 170,- a piece .
You should be able to order more than 2, they used to do this:
Click the image to open in full size.
The picture above only shows half the story, as they would have even more drivers on the 2 back planes:
Click the image to open in full size.
(that's 96 drivers for a stereo set )

Last edited by wesayso; 7th May 2015 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 7th May 2015, 09:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by xrk971 View Post
...FF85Wk has very little xmax.
With 25 of them, who cares? It would be my choice. 80 Hz is at the ragged edge of how low you'd like to take them.

If you rear mount them on an aluminum baffle, no issuses with rebates (we dooften use them without the rebate. But if you are going to CNC them a rebate is not an issue (CNC is a good idea for the baffle)

C-C with A7 is probably too large. The Audience A3 is nolonger available to diyers.

community sites,, ........ commercial site planet10-HiFi
p10-hifi forum here at diyA
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Old 7th May 2015, 10:41 PM   #8
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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As resident array expert Wesayso has already mentioned, BMR is another option and Overkill Audio has got some pretty impressive results with his implementations.

Good luck with your project! Will be following your progress.

Last edited by zman01; 7th May 2015 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 8th May 2015, 11:28 AM   #9
wesayso is offline wesayso  Netherlands
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I like that Fostex driver judging by it's FR response, haven't seen a CSD and would like to know if x-mech is a great deal bigger than it's x-max.
It's easy to mess things up with a driver with low x-max in a line array.
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Old 8th May 2015, 12:50 PM   #10
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Significantly. And remember Xmax is all but meaningless since there are multiple different definitions of what it actually is (no industry standard), all of which give different numbers if applied to the same driver, and have little practical value in any event.

In re centre-to-centre spacing, one additional point to keep in mind is that it too is an approximation. It is not the case that all wideband drivers produce the majority of their HF output from the centre only; many do, but some have a surprising amount of HF energy emitted from the periphery of the substrate also.

As for the FF85wk, if you're cutting below ~80Hz & there's 25 of them, the majority of people should find they've got plenty in hand. Data from Klang+Ton 01 / 2012 attached. Note citation; this falls under 'fair use'.
Attached Images
File Type: png K+T FF85wk.PNG (196.1 KB, 1387 views)
"'That'll do", comes the cry of the perfectionist down the ages.' James May -The Reassembler Community sites

Last edited by Scottmoose; 8th May 2015 at 12:57 PM.
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