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Old 27th September 2011, 10:28 PM   #1
limono is offline limono  United States
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Default Tough question

Anybody here who builds speakers or have experience with DIY kits and listen exclusively to classical music ? Not trying to stir any controversy (this time) and I hear you that any good and properly designed speaker should be good but but yer know there are good, and a better ones.
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Old 28th September 2011, 12:08 AM   #2
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You want designs similar to Wayne Parham's or speakers with small phase issues and low order crossovers where applicable.
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Old 28th September 2011, 12:31 AM   #3
18Hurts is offline 18Hurts  United States
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What "kind" of classical music?

I would love a system that will accurately produce pipe organs at concert levels but--I might need to rebuild my house to withstand it. One day I'll have a system to be faithful to my Telarc release of the 1812 Overture...one day.

How loud does it have to be? Orchestras get very loud and the dynamics really stress speakers so I would lean towards large multiple sub woofers crossed low into rather large towers to increase SPL/dynamics without increasing distortion.

The most lifelike sound I've heard was about 21 years or so ago. The giant Polk Audio SDA SRS series with four M&K subs crossing at around 60 Hz had serious punch and dynamics without sounding strained. Part of it was the room of course, a very solid room with angled walls/ceiling, thick carpets and thick ceiling tiles added to the life like sound of the system.

I'm not crazy enough to answer the question about "classical" speakers just like I avoid the "does these jeans make my butt look big?" question from my wife. In MY view, "classical speakers" need to be very accurate with low distortion along with tremendous output to keep the high dynamic range that classical offers. It also helps that the speakers are physically quite tall to further the sonic illusion.

Your needs vary of course so I'd listen to many different types to narrow down the one that sounds "right" to you. I've always wondered how classical would sound through a set of DSL Synergy horns--one day I'll find out.

Now to make some popcorn and see how this thread turns out.
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Old 28th September 2011, 01:19 AM   #4
limono is offline limono  United States
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Thank You, I see , I wasn't too precise with my question. I thought of something rather smaller and conventional and without ambitions to play believable scale of a big orchestral pieces or organ pipes. Something with good/great/exceptional tonal qualities approaching old Tannoy,Spendor ,WE, altec/jbl etc. with modern touch. Somebody who builds speakers for himself rather than make them "buildable" for others using of shelf scanspeak or seas prestige drivers . Most modern speakers are rather indifferent and "resolute". Spendor like types have some midrange qualities but mostly plastic cones color sound and sound rather floppy on midbass. I have no money and hate to compete with fricken " collectors" of vintage stuff which isn't all that great as a whole and modified lose all the value. So , is there anybody who doesn't try to sell anything nor is interested in 100 people who can build his design (and ego) but is carving the speakers for himself specifically purposed for classical program and "punch , staging, imaging" qualities are down the priority list?
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Old 28th September 2011, 02:04 AM   #5
CLS is offline CLS  Taiwan
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This is tough because the limitation is vague, thus too many possibilities.

How about some cheap tactile transducers on any readily available boards? That'll be a bending wave device, or distribution mode speaker, whatever... Search a bit in the Exotic forum and you'll find something. (mind you, it's almost 'banned' here due to the intrinsic lo-fi identity... )

However, by the operating conditions, it's the closest thing to the musical instruments I can think of. Making such speakers is more like the works of a luthier, instead of an electronic geek. I guess this would be welcomed by the 'classical music lovers' (like me). Dirt cheap is just another bonus
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Old 28th September 2011, 02:50 AM   #6
limono is offline limono  United States
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Well , cheap is relative I could sell all mine TAD/JBL /ALtec drivers collected/digged from dumpster (TAD with hope of setting up a more or less uncompromised Horn system which will have to wait some years before I settle . Scanspeak, Seas prestige commodities are not a big problem price wise (I can always take some janitorial side job and clean restrooms in order to get it, it's easy) Problem is they produce this modern bland indifferent sound and are " impressive" because they have to compete with other "impressive" speakers. You know, I have (in storage) altec 803A 15" driver in K-Horn and the tone of that driver from 50-200 hz is something exceptional. Take JBL LE-8 marvelous upper midbas and lower midrange with beautiful tone, Jensen RP-302 and also EV t350 some of the most musical tweeters ever produced. I think I lack the dedication and talent to build something based on strenght of drivers mending their weaknesses. Maybe there are other not so coveted by collectors drivers with similar qualities? Having bought an original Proac 1S midbass woofers I made a clone with Hiquphon tweeter. It's not bad , very pleasant but with all it's nice qualities it's rather closer to boombox in performance than to serious listening tool (way to compromised).I had (cheaper model) Audio Note E/L at home and they had some of the things I was looking for but at the same time nowhere near tonal complexity of altec/JBL alnico drivers and they are not exactly budget speakers.

Last edited by limono; 28th September 2011 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 28th September 2011, 02:57 AM   #7
CLS is offline CLS  Taiwan
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Please don't let the last sentence ruin the whole thinking. By that, my original purpose is mainly for freedom of experiment, freeing up the thinking as much as possible.

Think out of the box, and even think out of the diaphragm
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Old 28th September 2011, 03:46 AM   #8
limono is offline limono  United States
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Thinking out of box I'm quite satisfied with table radios, mid-fi japanese towers with dedicated lo-fi speakers but hated all the audiophile speakers that crossed my path Unfortunately being infested with this stupid audiophile disease can't mentally settle on mid fi tower like true music lovers around the globe. Besides, exotic solutions usualy provide "exotic sound" and I just want regular speakers which are constructed only with regards to acoustic/classical music by someone who "get it". (You all know too well the sales pitch story about a man who was never satisfied with any speakers and set up on a jurney to make the best speakers himself and save the world only to produce similar sounding scan speak, seas prestige like product with more or less fancy enclosure. )
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Old 28th September 2011, 04:59 AM   #9
CLS is offline CLS  Taiwan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limono View Post
... exotic solutions usualy provide "exotic sound" and I just want regular speakers ...
I guess you have only seen them from a distance and haven't really put your hands on, right?

Considering your marvelous collections (which are far from 'regular speakers'), I guess maybe it's now a chance to (re-)consider more of the other end of the whole system -- the receiver's end (ears and brain).

I'm not saying you haven't considered them. It's just a guess, by your un-satisfaction (hence such a topic), along with those eye-opening collections of components. If those couldn't please you enough, then it must be something very fundamental and in a very different POV.

Ah~ it's vague, I know. I'd like to add, no offense at all. English is not my native language, and I hope there're not too many improper expressions.

Good luck to your journey.
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Old 28th September 2011, 06:05 AM   #10
limono is offline limono  United States
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No, its not a problem that my driver collection and horns speakers I assembled were not pleasing. They were quite OK in some respect , marvelous in other and quite bad too. Simply I moved out of the space where I could put horns and other exotics "frankensteins" which now are packed in storage. I will live in apartment and now I need conventional 2-3-4 way project built and designed by dedicated person who is only interested in classical/acoustic music. This should not be any controversial topic. You know , designing a speaker is a lenghty and painful process even when you know what you're doing. Gifted designers design to please most of the people in order to sell speakers and even less gifted are to expensive to hire besides they usualy have their own vision. Most amateurs make speakers becuase they love to make speakers and out of curiosity whats behind next corner. Well I have a few corners behind me already and I'm willing now to trust a right person with right motivation. Othervise whats left? To join Harbeth, Spendor, Tannoy , Zaph , Troels club. The question stands , is there anyone here who is motivated only by classical music and restricted in funds and space? The demands are 89-90 minimum efficiency ,easy load for small (10-30 W) tube amplifier and 2-3 cu.ft, (60-100L) max enclosure but smaller would be most welcomed ,(and no Fostex/lowther FR driver- fostex because of my aversion and lowther because it's too expensive )

CLS ,no offense taken whatsover, english is problematic for me too also I've met very few who are "exactly right there" in this hobby and I'm not an exception :0)

Last edited by limono; 28th September 2011 at 06:10 AM.
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