Aethers: budget OB from Iowa 2007 - diyAudio
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Old 17th February 2008, 04:16 AM   #1
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Default Aethers: budget OB from Iowa 2007

I've wanted to put this up here for a while. Anyway, I see a bevy of dipole and OB projects around here, so it seems like a good place. I think Andy might have mentioned it here and there, but here's an "official" thread.

quick breakdown:
vented bass cab using Dayton DVC 8"
Open-back mids: Tang Band W5-704D
Tweeter: Seas 27TDFC
The XO is parallel. The woofer is 2nd order electrical, but everything else is first order electrical.

Originally, they were meant to be clones of Andy G's Blackwoods, using a linked series XO. Unfortunately, there just aren't any reasonably-priced bass drivers to pull it off in the USA. So I went for one of Dayton's great bang-for-the-buck bass drivers. This forced me to change the XO topology, and the design took on a life of its own.

Not to brag, but they did win the Budget competition at Iowa 2007, using Vifa P13 mids. As those mids became unobtanium, people asked for other possible mid drivers. Andy pointed out that the TB W5-704D would probably work well. Then, as luck would have it, a few weeks ago, Parts Express had a super $15 deal of the day on them. Now, they're back to their regular price of $23 or so... a good deal.

http://undefinition.googlepages.com/diy-aethers

There's everything you need to know. Enjoy.
Paul Carmody
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 17th February 2008, 11:53 AM   #2
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Good looking speakers for a very small price.
Not tempted to add another woofer?
Or sub?
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Old 18th February 2008, 03:58 AM   #3
F1 FAN is offline F1 FAN  Canada
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Thanks for sharing this desgn Paul,at some point I want to try a dipole and your MTM section looks like a great place to start and cost is minimal.I would likely actively crossover to an already existant woofer section.I snagged one of those W5 704D's during the sale for use in a WMTW center channel.They certainly look to be well made and a great bargain.
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Old 18th February 2008, 01:08 PM   #4
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Paul,

Clever design! It looks like you successfully bridged the gap between a typically complicated full dipole and the traditional box speaker. I may have to try this type of speaker out as a budget build for my brother.

Regards,
David
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Old 18th February 2008, 03:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by NurEinTier
Good looking speakers for a very small price.
Not tempted to add another woofer?
Or sub?
Nah. Not that it wouldn't look more intimidating... but I'll just live with the sensitivity loss due to BSC. It would have also required a larger bass cabinet, and I was trying to keep things practical. The Dayton 8" DVC sub has quite a bit of extension; according to Unibox, the F3 is around 26 Hz. I tested it with sine waves, and this is about right. Unfortunately, I used a 2" vent, so with the sine waves, it was chuffing. With any sort of music, movie, or program material, I can't hear the chuffing.
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Old 18th February 2008, 10:05 PM   #6
Andy G is offline Andy G  Australia
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There is however no reason why you couldn't use a pair of 8" or a pair of 6.5" woofers. It all depends on what final balance you are looking for in terms of bass/mid tweeter. And as Paul say, it will be doing the BSC duty as well, so a few extra dB isn't going to hurt, unless you go too far.

You do not want to be padding down the bass !!!
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Old 6th April 2008, 08:00 AM   #7
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Can you give some more subjective (and/or objective) comments/opinions about the Peerless buyout woofers (830341?) compared to the TangBand W5-704 woofers?
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Old 7th April 2008, 04:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by critofur
Can you give some more subjective (and/or objective) comments/opinions about the Peerless buyout woofers (830341?) compared to the TangBand W5-704 woofers?
In terms of the Aethers design? Well, if money is a concern, I'd go with the Peerless. They totally accomplish the design goal at a ridiculously low price. The only thing to contend with would be the pincushion frame. (Really, though, I'd like to see someone make a set of grilles for the Aethers. They'd look like a Mirage tower.) The Danish make good drivers, in my opinion, and aside from the stamped frame, this one is no exception.
The Tang Band W5-704 also accomplish the design goal. It took me a lot longer to GET them there because TB's FR graphs are so awful. Where the Vifa and Peerless versions just sort of "fell together" using mfr's graphs, I had to actually measure everything to get the TB version to work. But it certainly does work now, and the system integration is "just right" to my ears.

Sorry, but I couldn't really pick one driver over the other. And if you're asking for input about them in terms of OTHER designs, I'm probably even less help. I will reiterate, however, that TB's measurements are terrible, so you must measure yourself (or have someone else measure for you). But once you have an accurate FR graph for either of them, I think most people would find these to be VERY easy drivers to work with. Being poly cones, they MIGHT get muddy down in the low bass, but I've never run them as such, so that's just a wild guess at best.
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Old 8th April 2008, 06:12 AM   #9
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I've already got about 6 of the Tang Band W5-704s from when they were on sale at $15.

I was thinking of picking up some of those Peerless drivers for a couple reasons: more efficient, a pair is about 8 ohms, higher power handling, and I like Peerless/Vifa stuff, particularly when it's not made in China (Just bias against Chinese products, I guess).

I was thinking of building some box MTMs and your Aethers to compare the difference. (I've never actually heard MTMs OR Open Baffle speakers (heard various other dipoles, such as my dad's Magnapan Tymapn 1Ds though).

I'm going to build some HT speakers for my friend, and a stereo pair of speakers for my living room. Wife will want speakers which go against the wall for downstairs, if I have Aethers I'll those'll have to be another pair that live in my decent sized 3rd floor room.

If you weren't considering cost OR appearance, (imagine you have some nice looking grills?) do you have a preference as to the sound of either the Peerless or TB drivers?

edit: Oh, and also compared to the Vifa drivers? Comparing all three only on sound quality alone...

I want speakers where you can FEEL the midrange vibrate you without making your ears hurt. Maybe it's the bass, and seeming that it's the low midrange is just an illusion? I like how a cello playing in the room makes the arms of your chair vibrate and you can really feel the energy all around you, in addition to what you hear with your ears, yet, you don't feel like you're loosing your hearing, to listen to something with that much musical energy.
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Old 9th April 2008, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by critofur

I was thinking of picking up some of those Peerless drivers for a couple reasons: more efficient, a pair is about 8 ohms, higher power handling, and I like Peerless/Vifa stuff, particularly when it's not made in China (Just bias against Chinese products, I guess).
I don't think you'll run into problems with power handling. Because they just run midrange (200-2500 Hz), you won't have much issues with excursion. However, I honestly do understand what it's like to have an unexplainable desire to not use Chinese mfr'd products.

Quote:
Originally posted by critofur

I was thinking of building some box MTMs and your Aethers to compare the difference. (I've never actually heard MTMs OR Open Baffle speakers (heard various other dipoles, such as my dad's Magnapan Tymapn 1Ds though).
Funny you should say that. There were two reasons I wanted to build a set of dipoles. 1. I heard a pair of NaO minis at a DIY meet and loved the "live" sound of them and 2. My dad has a pair of Martin Logan electrostatic dipoles which I've always been envious of.

Quote:
Originally posted by critofur

I want speakers where you can FEEL the midrange vibrate you without making your ears hurt. Maybe it's the bass, and seeming that it's the low midrange is just an illusion? I like how a cello playing in the room makes the arms of your chair vibrate and you can really feel the energy all around you, in addition to what you hear with your ears, yet, you don't feel like you're loosing your hearing, to listen to something with that much musical energy.
I'm not exactly sure I know the sensation you're talking about, but this might be the right design for you, since it was basically tuned from the midrange out. I wanted male vocals, guitars, snare drums, cellos to sound REAL. If you measured them, you'd probably see a bump around 300 Hz. I tried a crossover where it was flat all the way up, but I found that I really preferred the speakers with the bump in there. As a musician, I felt it made the snare drums sound more like snare drums, the violas sound more like violas, the snozzberries taste like snozzberries... oops! :-D

In terms of comparing the three midrange drivers, it's hard at this point. But in a nutshell, the Vifas just had a killer midrange. They were just rock solid in the crucial 200-500 Hz area. I can understand why the P13 gets a reputation for being one of the best midrange drivers.
The Tang Band design will definitely provide the listener with the most detail (you know, the ability to pick things out of a recording, hearing room cues, etc). This is partly due to driver design and also due to my evolution as a crossover designer.
The Peerless fall somewhere in the middle of the two.
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