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Old 4th August 2015, 09:36 PM   #1
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Default beginners idea

Can I test a beginners idea with the community please: all feedback would be appreciated.

I recently put a pair of dayton audio ps-220 into a large open baffle: 100cm by 140 cm, mounted off centre, with software equalisation (through audirvana). I still have a a pair of electrostatics but was surprised at how well the open baffle does: transparent, alive, snappy, and more dynamic that the statics.

So I regard that as a sucess for a very amateur first effort.

Then I thought, hmmm, it would be nice to have a bit more authority with orchestral music and less of a feeling of overload on loud passages.

One technique I have seen is to put a low frequency driver low on the baffle to benefit from floor reflection reinforcement.

I've also seen people use multiple visaton b200 in a line like arrangement.

So the idea I would like to test is a compromise (which may not make any sense, hence the request for ideas/reactions).

I like the idea of NOT having a crossover, so I thought why not put 3 daytons per side one above the other, but removing the whizzer for the outer 2 drivers.

The reasoning is: (a) it should increase the radiating area at lower frequencies (b) it would hopefully reduce excursion/distortion (c) it might even out the rising frequency response of the driver and make me less dependent on the software equalisation (d) hopefully it would lessen issues of matching between the dayton and another driver (admittedly taking off the whizzer will change the driver) (e) hopefully three drivers placed off centre in a baffle would lessen the peaks and troughs from baffle cancellation.

Admittedly its more expensive than getting one low frequency driver to deal with the low frequencies.

There is also another dayton driver which is very very close to the ps220 but has no whizzer: same basket by the look of things, same cone material, same size, and pretty close on many of the characteristics. So that could be an alternative (assuming that the entire idea is not nonsensical).

Thanks in advance.
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Old 4th August 2015, 10:18 PM   #2
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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There's more than one way to skin a cat - and one of the simplest ones that could be considered a logical step from where you are now would be to swallow the pill, and accept that XO & EQ of some sort may be essential, and that active bi-amping could make life easier.

You didn't mention whether the room involved has any constraints in terms of total size / floor space available.

I'd be inclined to crossing the Dayton's over in the 200-300 HZ range, and adding separately powered "collocated woofers", to use Bob Brines' expression. Dayton appens to make some very well respected 12" & larger sub drivers, of which a single of even the more expensive units would cost less than 2 more of the PS220's per side.

It'd be risky to seriously modify the 220s on the chance that you'd get the results you're looking for, while separate woofers (either in boxes or dipole / OB) is a tried an true approach.
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Old 5th August 2015, 12:17 PM   #3
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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The use of a woofer to offload bass duties from a full range is perhaps one of the most dramatic and important things one can do to improve the sound quality of a full range. It reduces the cone excursion that the full range has to go through in its meager attempts at bass production. The benefits of spatially coherent and time coherent phase coherent full range speakers are still realized with a crossover that is low maybe 350Hz or less. You won't be bothered by the sound of a crossover at that frequency. The benefits in improved sound quality for the rest of the bandwidth will be substantial. Trust us on this. This is called FAST or full range assisted subwoofer technology. A 2-way with low XO.

Besides, even quantity 3 x PS220 is still no bass of any sort necessary for impact. You need at least 6 x 6in woofers or a single 15in woofer or two 12in woofer's to really generate nice bass in an open baffle. Get some larger Qts pro sound woofers for high sensitivity. The Alpha 15 is a good stand by.

If you want to get a transient perfect response between the full range and woofer, there are more complicated xo topologies using DSP that are really good sounding. Look at the Harsch XO - several threads discussing it here and in Multiway forum.

A simple large 20mH coil for the woofer and a cap and coil 2nd order for the PS220 can work well. However, you will quickly realize that the cost of these large passive components are about the same as a miniDSP and a pair of class D amps. In my opinion, miniDSP and active bi amping is the way to go. Think of it as an infinite tool box supply of all the caps and coils and resistors you will ever need. For a beginner it is much more success oriented than making a passive crossover.
Good luck.

Also, adding more Ps220 will ruin their point source advantage and sound will degrade. For the price of one PS220 you can get a miniDSP and a pair of TPA3116 amps.
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Old 5th August 2015, 02:53 PM   #4
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Thanks that is very interesting and informative both.

Chrisb, you asked about the room size and space. Its irregular but the central rectangular part is 7m by 9m (very roughly 22 by 29 ft). Height is 3m (9ft at least).

I have to admit that the idea of the three ps220 per side was also based on not having to change amplification. I do love the OTLs I currently have but they produce a lot of heat which is unwelcome in summer, so smaller post crossover amps to have an 'active' approach certainly has its attractions too.

I will search the threads for "collocated woofers".

xrk971, thanks for pointing out the issue of a low crossover frequency being less noticeable, the benefits of really large and higher qts bass drivers, Harsch, and chip amps. I will also look up FAST.

The point about passive component costs v. flexible mini dsp and class d amps seems attractive. I was already impressed with being able to play around with the response curve in Audirvana without having to rewire anything.

The nice thing about active / dsp / xo is that I could play around with the cross over frequency and experiment by ear.
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Old 5th August 2015, 05:34 PM   #5
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subarinio View Post
Thanks that is very interesting and informative both.

Chrisb, you asked about the room size and space. Its irregular but the central rectangular part is 7m by 9m (very roughly 22 by 29 ft). Height is 3m (9ft at least).

I have to admit that the idea of the three ps220 per side was also based on not having to change amplification. I do love the OTLs I currently have but they produce a lot of heat which is unwelcome in summer, so smaller post crossover amps to have an 'active' approach certainly has its attractions too.

I will search the threads for "collocated woofers".

xrk971, thanks for pointing out the issue of a low crossover frequency being less noticeable, the benefits of really large and higher qts bass drivers, Harsch, and chip amps. I will also look up FAST.

The point about passive component costs v. flexible mini dsp and class d amps seems attractive. I was already impressed with being able to play around with the response curve in Audirvana without having to rewire anything.

The nice thing about active / dsp / xo is that I could play around with the cross over frequency and experiment by ear.
Essential to get a measurement mic and software like REW. Your speakers will sound so much better because of it.
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