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Old 22nd March 2011, 03:24 AM   #1
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Default Active Bi-amped Ariel using vifa's XT25?

I thought I might take the plunge and build my first TL based on the successful 'Ariel'........ with a difference.

Full active, bi-amped, and using Vifa XT25TG-30-04.
The reason is simple enough, I have the gear already and I want to build something that sounds properly good.

Question is, is this a project worth pursuing?

Would the 'magic' of the Ariel be lost by changing the tweeter and going active?

Anything likely to go wrong with this idea?

I realize they won't sound like the real thing, but I think they could probably measure up to the original in they're own ways.

Any thoughts?

Thanx, Mick
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Old 22nd March 2011, 02:28 PM   #2
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Going active and changing the tweeter makes it a new speaker. What are you using for a crossover? Straight symmetric slopes probably won't cut it.

If you have or intend to buy calibrated measurement gear, you should be able to get good results. Even so, plan on lots of trial and error, as you dial in the slopes and EQ. I'm not sure where Lyn crossed, but you might need to run it a little higher than 2K with the XT25. Other tweeters do a bit better lower (my preference)

Not that Lyn didn't come up with a good TL design, but you might want to try out Martin King's TL calculator. Not a direct comparison, but I build an Ariel inspired TL for some Focal drivers I had by scaling it up in proportion to Sd. Sounded nice. Then I plugged my drivers into Martin King' TL worksheet. A heck of a lot easier to build and worked a little better with my drivers.

In my small bedroom the TL's provided nice full range reproduction, without the need for a sub. I since have moved in the direction of three way speakers and have decided that the hassle of building a TL is not worthwhile. The TLs are now doing surround duty. Of course, YMMV.

Enjoy your project.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 10:22 PM   #3
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Thanks BobEllis,

The crossover is a Behringer CX3400, so 4th order symmetrical slopes seem to be pretty unavoidable without spending up big again, although I could well do something about that down the track.

I agree it would be 'a new speaker'. The XT25 has it's own signature sound, the scan-speak in the original design has a different sound again. The Ariel is crossed @3.8k, I don't like the XT25 crossed much lower than 3k, even with the L/R24dB slopes (even though I measured these tweeter @ fs475Hz) there is audible distortion down there.

Although I have never heard the Ariels personally, by all accounts I know anything about, they are held in fairly high regard for their great mids and bass, (quality, not quantity) so I figured, crossing at a similar point would give a good chance of success, however different sounding.

Like you, I am only filling a fairly small room.

Mick.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 03:07 AM   #4
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Sounds like there is a homebuilt active crossover in your future. You might want to try the Mini-DSP or DCX2496 if you aren't up to building your own. I really don't think the CX3400 is up to your system goals.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 04:20 AM   #5
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Something gives me a funny feeling your right on the money, the CX3400 simply may not have the scope to cope. This was the main problem I could foresee, the CX3400 can only shift phase 180 deg. nor can the roll off rate be adjusted, certainly a fly in the ointment.

On the positive side, there seems to be little or no FR or phase shaping below the XO point, leading me to believe that the sweet mids and tight bass are more a product of a well designed box. The XT25 to my ear at least has a nice sound once in its proper operating range, which as you suggest, kind of leaves the crossover as the main foreseeable hurdle.

With my limited knowledge, I really can't see any other major indicators that might suggest a step in the wrong direction. Actually, to be fair IME, the crossover is ALWAYS the biggest hurdle!!! ;-)

Thanx again.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 04:34 AM   #6
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Don't forget baffle step. There's no way Lyn got that flat response even down to the 300 Hz he shows without including it. He is skilled enough to hide it in the low pass filter - it's in the size of the inductor.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 04:57 AM   #7
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I am running these drivers in a BR mtm configuration at present, active 2 way with a zobel and 1st order slope on one of the p13wh's and was planning to keep that in place to see how it goes. To be Honest, I wasn't sure if this had already been compensated for with the savvy box design or the crossover itself. Although I am running active crossovers at present, I do a little passive 'shaping'. Can the DXC2496 do BSC?
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Old 23rd March 2011, 10:26 AM   #8
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The Behringer is far too generic, so I'd suggest MiniDSP. The P13 is a tiny driver with limited extension. The Ariel is also quite complex - I don't see the point when you really need more to get what I would call "real bass." So I'd also suggest, go the next step and make it 3 way with some larger decent woofers.

In the past I ran some TL speakers, much simpler, with P17. It's here:
Red Spade Audio: DIY Transmission Line Speakers

Even then, I soon found I preferred the bass from Rythmik servo subs.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 12:04 PM   #9
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I do like real bass, and I need it too, but it can probably wait for little while anyhow, till then, she's nize 'n tite, will make a good sleeping partner, hell, if ya can't have both and must choose only one, i choose tight. I forgot to mention I'm (like a lot of others ATM) on a tight budget.

One of the reasons for picking on the Ariel is I need a challenge right now that is not going to end in total misery sound wise.

Thanx for the link, I have heard the LSK TL (I lived in Keilor downs back in '99), to be honest, the bass was nice enough, but it didn't captivate me, I much prefer the overall sound of the Krix Lyrix (similar price when all is said and done) TBH. ;-)
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Old 23rd March 2011, 12:42 PM   #10
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Caution, just because you're going active doesn't mean you don't need to design a proper crossover. I made the same mistake because that's what I kept reading; just use active 4th-order slopes, it will sound great. It sounded crap. You need to consider phase, acoustic vs electrical slopes, BSC, driver correction filters. From the Ariel website:

"The whole process of crossover tuning took about 3 months, checking and re-checking with MLSSA and LMS each time I tried a slightly different crossover. 15 versions later, I was done"

Your speaker will look like an Ariel, but it won't sound as good. An active crossover is no panacea. It's still tough to design a great sounding speaker. IMO, a Behringer 3400 is a non-starter. The only way I could see a 3400 with an Ariel is to build the Ariel exactly as designed, and use the Behringer to cross over to a woofer.
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Last edited by audiobomber; 23rd March 2011 at 12:47 PM.
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