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Old 31st July 2008, 06:29 AM   #1
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Question why no DIY SoundBar designs

I'm curious. There is a fast growing amount of "soundbar" speakers being released by the low/mid-fi companies. I'm surprised given all the esoteric speaker designs out there that none in the DIY speaker crowd has designed and/or built a soundbar of higher quality. I view a SoundBar as something of a horizontal line array. IMO, even if a soundbar only contained two (left+right) high quality channels, it could be compelling due to better space savings and looks/asthetics.

"The emergence of the soundbar audio genre can be traced to two trends: 1) consumers’ desire to buy slender, space-saving speaker systems to match their slender, space-saving flat-panel HDTVs; and 2) consumers’ hatred of running speaker wire around the room."

The interesting thing in this review The Power of One: Five Soundbar Speaker Systems is that the passive (non amplified) soundbar was preferred... "By far the best-sounding unit was the passive Polk soundbar."

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Old 31st July 2008, 06:43 AM   #2
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I've only listened to the Yamaha DSP 1100 and I would like it's sound to a clock radio.

On that experience, I cant imagine anyone going to the trouble of building their own even if they could get a chip to handle the 'effects'.
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Old 31st July 2008, 06:53 AM   #3
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I don't like the effects junk either. But I don't see any reason why one couldn't use this format for just two left-right channels of "normal" audio to replace the pathetic speakers in most flat panel TV's. Even two long, thin MLTL's connected together to form a single soundbar cabinet, using even one pair of good single 4" drivers like Fostex or Jordan would probably sound better than most of the crud out there. And there are lots of other good 2" to 4" wide-range drivers out there from companies like Tang Band.
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Old 31st July 2008, 08:33 AM   #4
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Little speakers don't make bass. lots of little speakers will make for high frequency comb filtering and increased directivity horizontally - which means it won't sound good off axis. Otherwise, it looks neat to most people and go ahead and give it a try if you like the look.

Maybe you could do a dual bessel array, or there are ways to make a single array work in stereo with active delay....

A couple SEAS coaxes are what I would use if I wanted replacement TV speakers - or used as in-walls if I just can't have a regular box. But if replacing TV speakers, why not just go cheap home theater?
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Old 31st July 2008, 09:03 AM   #5
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bass is not an issue, that's what subs are for. I'm aware of comb filtering, but this doesn't seem to have stopped a large amount of line array speakers from being built and having good reviews - even when including an array of tweeters. Anyway, I can think of at least one way to avoid this is to use multiple drivers which do not have significant output above 10K and using 1 high dispersion high sensitivity tweeter (like a ribbon) per channel.

Maybe one day I'll experiment with building something like this.
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Old 31st July 2008, 10:01 AM   #6
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To replace the junk TV speakers, I bought the Logitech Z2300 2.1 arrangement. For $160, they are fabulous and in movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, handled the guns and cannons well whilst giving a very good stereo image from speaker to speaker. (after I spent a bit of time with placement)

While I'm here, does anybody have an opinion on what they might be like with decent speaker wire and interconnects ?
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Old 31st July 2008, 04:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Graeme Hancock
To replace the junk TV speakers, I bought the Logitech Z2300 2.1 arrangement. For $160, they are fabulous and in movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, handled the guns and cannons well whilst giving a very good stereo image from speaker to speaker. (after I spent a bit of time with placement)

While I'm here, does anybody have an opinion on what they might be like with decent speaker wire and interconnects ?
Graeme, I'm talking about something that would approach "hi-end" speaker sound - ie, besting what the existing SoundBar speakers provide. What you're talking about is going the other direction. I understand you are happy with those Logitech speakers for their price, but I know personally I would not. And I know most others here would not be happy, for audio and/or video use, with a speaker system that has "40 watts per channel at 10% THD" which is supposedly what those have according to their printed specs. I wouldn't doubt they could be an adequate choice for computer use.

Besides, I'm talking about a DIY project, not buying something. Hence my posting here on DIYAudio.
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Old 31st July 2008, 04:38 PM   #8
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bessel array of widerange drivers?

common baffle for left-center-right drivers?
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Old 31st July 2008, 04:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Graeme Hancock
While I'm here, does anybody have an opinion on what they might be like with decent speaker wire and interconnects ?
Yes, I have an opinion - interconnect components will make no difference in the sound, regardless of the speakers - this is an age-old myth and if you want better sound buy or build better speakers.

As for sound bars, it would be the quality of the drivers used rather than the electronic technology that would be the criterion for me. These are things designed for simplicity and convenience for the consumer, while my priority is high fidelity.
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Old 31st July 2008, 04:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by bbaker6212
... I can think of at least one way to avoid this is to use multiple drivers which do not have significant output above 10K and using 1 high dispersion high sensitivity tweeter (like a ribbon) per channel.

Maybe one day I'll experiment with building something like this.
It's already been done and you can find several designs for it - it's a design for near-field listening. It's how Griffin himself did it. (Photo is not Griffin's.)
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