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Old 24th December 2008, 02:36 PM   #1
Ceri is offline Ceri  United States
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Default 3 way Floorstand Design

I'll start off by saying that I have virtually no experience with home audio. I've installed a $2000 system in my truck entirely by myself with many "outside the box" components and extensive sound deadening, however I'm quickly learning that DIY home audio is immensely more complicated. I'm at that stage in my audio persuits that I'm sure everyone else here has been. Abandoning off the shelf brick and mortar HTIB in favor of the esoteric brands of the DIY world.

I've never built my own crossover network, and I don't have any experience with any of the popular DIY brand speakers. I've only ever been to Radio Shack to browse cell phones. So basically, I'm at square one.

I have in mind a pair of 3 way passive floorstand home theater speakers. The primary focus is movies. I've hardly ever used my home theater for playing music, but if the speaker system sounds great, I might dip my toes in. I'd also like to eventually match the 2 with a dedicated sub, center channel, and rear surrounds to round out a 5.1 system.

I've heard great things bleed over to the car audio world about Dayton, Vifa, and Seas. I've been looking at something along the lines of a 7 or 8" midbass, a 4 or 5.25" midrange, and a soft, airy tweeter. Aesthetics aren't an issue to me. I'm looking for sound quality on a DIY first timer's budget. I have access to MDF and assorted hardware, so I'm not concerned with the construction costs. My budget is hopefully in the neighborhood of $200-300 per speaker, $400-600 total for both.

So what I'm really looking for is a good starting place. I've scoured these and other forums for a first timer's comprehensible "how-to" on 3 way crossover design, but like I said, I've never even been in that half of Radio Shack before. Everything I've read thusfar (in about 10-12 hours of looking) was written by someone much more knowledgable than me. I've tried using some calculators, but they all ask for values that I can't seem to track down.

I like the look of these Vifa D25AG-35 , paired with Dayton RS125S-8 , and 1 or 2 Dayton DC200-8 .

Obviously I'm after what everyone's after. Smooth, uncolored sound. I'd love it if I could temporarily avoid using a subwoofer until later down the line.

So I guess what I'm after are some good starting points on 3 way crossover design, between wikipedia and master's thesis papers, and also some advice on driver selection. My current listening area is about as far from ideal as you can get. It's a peaked ceiling, with a sprawling fireplace to the left, sliding glass doors to the right, an open dining room/kitchen directly behind, a hallway to the immediate left, and an open office coming off from where the rear left channel would go. The room is about 20x20 ft. with a maximum height of around 16 ft, and no acoustic treatment possible. In all likelihood I'll be moving sometime in the next year or two, where I can hopefully have my own dedicated bedroom/home theater room.

An in depth request I know. I'd like to think I'm not one of those "what are the best speakers?" guys, but sadly I'm in over my head at the moment. I'm too used to the amplifiers and head unit doing all the work for me. If it's any consolation, I'm told I'm "way to picky with my music, and waste too much money on all that junk". If anyone feels like taking a crack at it, I'm all ears.

Thanks!
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Old 24th December 2008, 03:32 PM   #2
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1st time out, i'd suggest building a design where someone has already figured out the XO. Getting an XO right is not easy -- and a 3-way is quite a bit harder than a 2-way.

Also a warning... this is an addictive hobby, realizing that, you may want to start with something simpler... perhaps a 2-way (or even a 1-way) with the idea that they'll be shuffled from the fronts to the rears as you build up experience.

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Old 24th December 2008, 04:20 PM   #3
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There may be some projects at PartsExpress that will work for you:

http://www.parts-express.com/project...ojectindex.cfm

Also look at www.zaphaudio.com

A good budget high end speaker would be this one by Jay_WJ:

http://www.geocities.com/woove99/Spk...RS180_2way.htm

The vented version should get you buy until you decide to get a subwoofer.
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Old 24th December 2008, 08:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: 3 way Floorstand Design

Quote:
Originally posted by Ceri


I like the look of these Vifa D25AG-35
Why do you like that tweeter? It's a classic, alright, but there is better for the same money. The Seas 27TBFC/G (H1212) is used in many designs, including Zaph.

My general recommendation is to pick a larger 2-way design to start with and later adding 2 subwoofer cabinets as bases for them using 2 plate amps.
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Old 24th December 2008, 11:56 PM   #5
Ceri is offline Ceri  United States
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I appreciate the responses.

To planet10's comment: My primary concern with taking the "easier" approach to get my feet wet is ending up with subpar rear fill. My goal is to preferrably do something solid right off the bat. I've been through thousands of dollars on car audio experimentation, and of course I'm still not very satisfied with my current setup. I do definitely like the idea of using someone else's crossover design. I noticed that Madisound looks like they offer crossover design for a fee. It seems like it would be a good start, as I'd be able to get some solid one on one time with someone that knows what they're talking about. I'm not opposed to buying my friends I consider myself already addicted to the audio world. Now I'm just jumping off into the deep end.

To sdclc126's comment: I looked over the Jay_WJ design, however my fear is that I'll be lacking in the low end for a good HT experience. I know 8" midbass drivers will never truly replace a dedicated subwoofer, but I'd like a nice punch to them down low. I'm getting more interested in a design with 2 midbasses and a low tuned port. I had quite a bout with my truck's design to try to get acceptable midbass. Granted that's 100% music, but I'd prefer to not be lacking and start that whole process over. That impact feeling below the adam's apple at high volumes would be nice.

To Tosh's comment: I'm by no means set with my driver selection. In fact I welcome comments like yours to help me get an informed opinion. If the SEAS is widely accepted as "better", I can redo my spreadsheet!

I'm worried about a lack of vocal clarity in the midrange. That's my primary concern, and reasoning, behind a 3 way design. I'm not saying it can't be done with a 2 way (I'm the amateur), but to trade off midbass output for midrange clarity isn't high on my list either. At the moment, the plan is to start with an Onkyo TXSR606B, or possibly moving up to the 7 series as my sole amplification, so I'm rather limited on power based output gains.

More than likely the purchasing order is receiver, L and R channels, subwoofer (possibly powered by one of the Dayton in cabinet amplifiers), center, rears. I've got a mid 90s NHT SubZero 3.1 system at the moment, but it's getting rather ripe. The rear channels are already lost to the ages. I've just recently picked up a new TV, which sparked my DIY spirit in the HT world. I mention this to explain why the receiver is first up.

So anyway, I'll spend some time on the Zaphaudio website, as I noticed parts of the website I hadn't looked over yet.

If anyone has any further recommendations, I'm all ears.

Thanks guys!
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Old 26th December 2008, 01:31 AM   #6
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Your "design with 2 midbasses and a low tuned port" is a TMM 2.5-way - a great idea, and I believe Jay has a crossover design for the Dayton + SEAS I recommended in this configuration. If you contact him he will email it to you.

He's done a crossover design for me before - very helpful and sharp person. I'm currently building the sealed floorstanding Usher 8945P + 27TBFC/G I mentioned earlier; they will be paired with a powered Peerless 8" sub.

I can certainly recommend you go with the 27TBFC/G tweeter - it's amazing, and still at a bargain price for what you get.
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Old 26th December 2008, 08:41 AM   #7
Ceri is offline Ceri  United States
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I've been playing around on the Zaphaudio website, and came upon this build (ZDT3.5 Dayton 3.5 way ). I price the drivers out at $140 per tower, then add in the suggested crossover components at $65 per tower, gives me about $200 per tower, plus cabinet wood and hardware, and hopefully I'm in under $250 each (flat black paint I have laying around, along with polyfill and some open cell foam liner). Has anyone built one of these that has any input about the designs drawbacks?

And another issue I'm running into is that PartsExpress seems to discount for buying in modest bulk (the 4+ prices), so that's got me thinking I might be better off going for the full 5.1 right out the gate. I'm a big fan of discounted bulk buying. Saves gas (in this case shipping), and you don't have to put it on a to-do list. So would this same tower configuration be advisable for rear channels? It's a little embarassing to admit, but I haven't delved into rear channels, since my experience is almost exclusively mobile audio. The general concensus there being that rear fill is wasted money for anything but a flashy show car. Should I be stepping that down to a 2 way design to reduce the midrange/vocal duties?

The ZDT3.5 design has an addendum for a center channel toward the bottom, so hopefully I'm good there.

sdclc126, I'm greatful for the suggestion, however I think I've got it stuck in my head that a 3 way design is the ticket for me. Call it my ignorant ego about bigger being better, but at least I'm being honest!

I appreciate the assistance folks!
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Old 26th December 2008, 08:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ceri
I'm worried about a lack of vocal clarity in the midrange.
Quote:
ZDT3.5 Dayton 3.5 way
With an 850 hz XO most of the vocals are coming from the woofers with the XO in the richest part of the vocal harmonics...

dave
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Old 26th December 2008, 12:51 PM   #9
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Hi,

look at this http://www.rjbaudio.com/projects.html
IMO, Daedalus could be a good point to stat experimentations
I like the old classic designs, 8", 4" and 1" seems to me a very good approch

Cheers,
Paolo
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Old 26th December 2008, 04:56 PM   #10
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Ceri,

I was thinking about recommending the ZDT3.5 but I thought it might be over budget for you.

http://www.parts-express.com/project...5#Parts%20List

Comes out to just under $400 for parts:

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/basket/purchase.cfm

Then you have another $200 for cabinets if you buy the Madisound models.

As for the ZDT3.5's "drawbacks" - that all depends on your needs. Personally I don't think there are any for Zaph's designs, as you always have to weigh money in vs. sound out, and this no doubt has an excellent such ratio.

Using them for surrounds, however, is overkill in my opinion, but many people will do exactly this when they want huge surround effects in an HT set-up.
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