Zaph ZA5.5tt Vs. Waveguide TMM - diyAudio
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Old 5th July 2010, 12:25 AM   #1
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Default Zaph ZA5.5tt Vs. Waveguide TMM


This question is primarily directed towards Mr. John Krutke, but since I cannot contact him directly I decided to go ahead and post here for suggestions.

Some background: For a while I was pretty well convinced that my next project would be a waveguide build, likely with large 12 inch woofer (s) and a compression driver. However, I realized that I didn't need something quite as large and thus I started to look into more well documented designs. The waveguide TMM posted at the zaph audio website has always intrigued me and I started to lean towards that direction.

I am also drawn by the MMTMM ZA5.5 project because of how it addresses the floor/ceiling interaction. Both fall into my budget of around $500 without amplification. In essence, the TMM offers high frequency dispersion control in both horizontal and vertical directions, but does not address the floor bounce issue like the ZA5.5. Conversely, the MMTMM addresses lower frequency vertical dispersion control, but does not employ a waveguide for higher frequencies.

My goal for employing these two designs is to reduce room interaction as much as possible. The MMTMM I would imagine has better output potential when used with a highpass filter and it's sensitivity is attractive. I am leaning more towards the ZA5.5, but my ideal solution would be an MMTMM employing waveguide to address BOTH issues.

A similar design employing a waveguide is documented by Mark K and is found here. This uses the Seas Prestige 27TBCD/GB-DXT which has an integrated waveguide on the faceplate.

Ideally, I would rework the crossover to employ the Seas tweeter and have the best of both worlds if possible. However, I don't have the tools to design such a change to the crossover design. What are your thoughts?


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Old 5th July 2010, 03:08 AM   #2
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It's probobly most important that you try and take a listen to a WG build as you may find the added directivity most enjoyable and be willing to overlook the floor and ceiling bounce issues that it MAY have in your space. The WG TMM is pretty sensitive( i've built it and several variations of it as well) too and is an easier cross to a subwoofer with a bit more midbass slam. The ZA14 midwoofer is quite the driver though but the 27TDFC is also an excellent tweeter in it's own right.

Adding a WG tweeter to the ZA5.5 brings on it's pwn set of problems, mainly the distance between the two midwoofers once it's installed......a verrrrry low XO point would be needed but is doable. The ZA14's first breakup modes won't be as much of a problem. The Dayton RS28F is reported as doing very well with 1-1.4khz XO but it's not sensitive to match 4 ZA14's BUT the SB acoustics SB29 is. Zaph used the neo version in the MCM guide and it did OK.....but you'd get a better fitup with the regular version whose faceplate is removable requiring a slightly wider opening in the WG. Only he can tell you if he;s tried it yet as he states he'd like to. I'm working on that Tweeter with a MUCH larger QSC 10" round WG and firts attempts were very successful sonically, build quality not so much. The newet attempt is using Epoxy resins to mould a mount right to the guide so the tweeter can be mounted directly.....eliminating the need for removable baffles.
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Old 5th July 2010, 05:53 AM   #3
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You make some very valid points mayhem. I actually didn't realize that the speaker was as sensitive as the ZA5.5. It's a 4 ohm load, but that's not a problem for me. It does appear to have more displacement potential as well with those particular woofers, which would give me a slim tower with quite a lot of slam for the footprint. I think I am leaning towards the TMM with the perfectionist crossover. Even if I were to add a waveguide to the ZA5.5, this would surely increase the price to a level that may not work for my budget.

I'm hoping to hear from Zaph before I make my final decision. I won't be constructing the project for another six weeks, but since this is the last major speaker project I will be doing for a while, I want to make sure that I make the right decision. Thank you for your help.
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Old 6th July 2010, 01:12 AM   #4
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Did a bit more research on both designs and that just confused me further. Dynamics and "punch" come second to midrange performance for me. Thus, the ZA5.5 seems lie a better choice. I do listen to a lot of Jazz and female vocalist quite a bit.

Any other comments on both designs? Or perhaps suggesting a similar design that is as well documented as these? Thank you.
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Old 6th July 2010, 02:15 AM   #5
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Have you visited Troels web site?

DIY Loudspeaker Projects
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Old 6th July 2010, 04:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by aptquark View Post
Have you visited Troels web site?

DIY Loudspeaker Projects
Unfortunately, the only project that interests me on that page is the following: JA8008

The cost to build such a project is likely well over my budget. From what I have read, the kit is in the $1000 dollar range.
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Old 6th July 2010, 05:20 AM   #7
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The ZA5.5 is an easier build for sure and the ready made XO's and kit from Madisound include the added benefit of savings. I think that Zaphs ZA14 midwoofers offer a tremendous value when compared to the pricey european alternatives of SEAS and Scans. Either build will be sure to satisfy. Just try and find a WG speaker to take a listen's and inexplainable type of sound. If i forget the speakers are there, i can 'watch' a soloist move across the soundstage. Acoustic piano is especially Eerie....there's simply not enough room in here for that Baby Grand!
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