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Old 30th September 2011, 11:46 AM   #1
gornir is offline gornir  Sweden
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Default Super High-End 3-way floor-stander

Hi everyone,

I have begun sketching up a new 3-way floor-stander design. My wife is tired of how many different loudspeakers have in the living room Ok, I said let me build a super high-end loudspeaker that I can live with for a long time, then I promise you that I will only have one set of loudspeaker in the living room.

She saidÖÖ.. Do it!

I realize that this project will take some considerable time to finish, especially since I most likely will have to design and build the enclosures by myself and they must match the drivers in build quality and looks.

There are so many different loudspeaker drivers and manufactures that can be considered as high-end, but I have so far chosen two brands of loudspeakers, ScanSpeak for mid and woofer and RAAL for the tweeter section.

Why these two brands? Ok, I just love the build quality and looks of the ScanSpeak drivers. I also have some experience with ScanSpeak drivers and I like the performance of them. Why the RAAL ribbon tweeter? What I so far have managed to research, it seems like the RAAL ribbon is the ďmotherĒ of all ribbons. I have used Fountek ribbons in several designs and I must say I favor the ribbon sound when used properly over the dome tweeter sound. I know this is a hot topic, dome vs. ribbon, but I have to follow my perception that I subjectively like ribbons more.

Since Iím unfortunately isnít a rich man I canít buy and test every driver I consider for this design and here is where I really need your help!

Please share any thoughts, experience and measurements you have on the listed drivers below. I cannot do these design choices without your help. Especially ScanSpeak is notorious of not measuring as published (TS-parameters).

My contribution will be a thread of my build where I will share my thoughts, measurements and the cross-over design etc.


Ok, here are my 3 different design choices so far:

Alternative 1:
Tweeter: 1x RAAL 140-15D
http://www.raalribbon.com/download/raal_140-15d.pdf

Mid: 1x ScanSpeak 15M/4531K00
http://www.scan-speak.dk/datasheet/pdf/15m-4531k00.pdf

Woofer: 2x ScanSpeak 22W/8851T00
http://www.scan-speak.dk/datasheet/pdf/22w-8851t00.pdf

Estimated cross-over frequencies: 300-500Hz & 2000-3000Hz

Estimated driver unit price/pair: 2540Ä

Alternative 2:
Tweeter: 1x RAAL 70-10
http://www.raalribbon.com/download/raal_70-10.pdf

Mid: 1x ScanSpeak 12M/4631G00
http://www.scan-speak.dk/datasheet/pdf/12m-4631g00.pdf

Woofer: 2x ScanSpeak 18W/8531G00
http://www.scan-speak.dk/datasheet/pdf/18w-8531g00.pdf

Estimated cross-over frequencies:
500-700Hz & 3000-4000Hz

Estimated driver unit price/pair: 1870Ä

Alternative 3:
Tweeter: 1x RAAL 70-10
http://www.raalribbon.com/download/raal_70-10.pdf

Mid: 1x ScanSpeak 12MU/4731T00
http://www.scan-speak.dk/datasheet/pdf/12mu-4731t00.pdf

Woofer: 2x ScanSpeak 18WU/8741T00
http://www.scan-speak.dk/datasheet/pdf/18wu-8741t00.pdf

Or

Woofer: 2x ScanSpeak 18WU/8747T00
http://www.scan-speak.dk/datasheet/pdf/18wu-8747t00.pdf

Estimated cross-over frequencies: 400-600Hz & 3000-4000Hz

Estimated driver unit price/pair: 2250Ä or 2200Ä

Comments:

I will first do an active version (DEQX) of the loudspeaker and later on a passive cross-over version. At this stage I have no idea of how the loudspeaker shape and design will look like, but considering the amount of drivers and size it will be a fairly large enclosure (60-80litres internal).

I want the loudspeaker to be as efficient as possible and my estimate, depending on driver choices is that it will be around 88db (+- 2db) 2.83v/1m.

My estimate of cross-over frequencies is just an estimate based on driver size and estimated distortion numbers. When the drivers are placed in an enclosure and measured properly I will know more accurately.

My estimate of the price is based on the driver units only without shipping or other fees. The prices are collected from Europe Audio - Home page (ScanSpeak) and www.loudspeakershop.eu (RAAL).

For now, Iím most interested in alternative 1, but I would greatly appreciate any information/experience you guys have on the above drivers.

Help me choose the right design.

Thank you!

Regards

/Goran
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Old 30th September 2011, 12:25 PM   #2
oublie is offline oublie  United Kingdom
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Some of the big guns will chime in here but my limited knowledge leads me to say that you may be approaching this from the wrong end. What you need to ask yourself first of all is what are your requirements. Once you know this then you can start looking at drivers but don't limit yourself to two companies and expect to get the best match, not all drivers play well together especially since your planning a major investment.

If I had the money to invest in something like this I would spend some time listening to boutique speakers and reading up on the details of some of the high end kits and top projects online. Once I really know what I want sound wise I would then look at possible driver from everywhere. Who knows you may end up with an open baffle 4 way, horn loaded system, DIY electrostatics or a full range ribbon with a pair of subs.

Of course maybe you know what you really like already personally I like my open baffles for acoustic music and my transmission lines for rocking out.
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Old 30th September 2011, 12:44 PM   #3
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I would tend to agree with oublie.
Unless you are an experienced builder with very good crossover design skills, I would strongly suggest you look at proven designs that are free for the taking.
Troels Groeveson (sp?) is probably the best on the WWW for free high-end speaker designs.
Humblehomemadehifi.com is another.
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Old 30th September 2011, 01:22 PM   #4
gornir is offline gornir  Sweden
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Hi oublie,

Thanks for your comments. Iīm quite clear about what I want to achieve with my design, but in order to make some decisions to go further Iím seeking other builders experience, measurements etc. of the mentioned drivers above. I have personally owned several ScanSpeak drivers at present and in the past as well as listened to many commercial designs around ScanSpeak drivers and I like them.

However I havenít listened to the RAAL tweeters although Iíve read about them and seen them in several highly regarded designs.

So what I want to achieve is a full range, medium to large sized bass-reflex 3-way floor-stander capable of an in room response down to 25-30Hz, built around ScanSpeak drivers and with a matched ribbon tweeter.

So if anyone has any measurements, building experience or listening impressions to share around these drivers, Iím very grateful. The Revelator series I know pretty well, but I havenít seen much around the newer Illuminator series or the 8Ē driver I mentioned in my post, as well as the RAAL tweeter.

I agree that all drivers donít fit each other, but I think itís unlikely that the RAAL ribbon wouldnít fit any of the ScanSpeak midranges. Yet, again if anyone has such an experience I would be very interested to hear your thoughts about it.

As up to now the most expensive design Iíve done is perhaps half the price Iím trying to achieve here. Itís quite an investment and therefor I want do as much research as possible before I go beyond the research stage of my design.

Thank you!

/Goran
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Old 30th September 2011, 01:42 PM   #5
gornir is offline gornir  Sweden
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Hi speakerdoctor,

Thanks for your comments. Iím not a newbie in speaker building, soon I have done it for almost 30 years now Iíve posted some of my builds on this forum before.

What Iím seeking here is other designers experience, measurements and tips and trick around the mentioned drivers. Iím quite convinced that I could build a nice speaker around any of the mentioned alternatives, but I canít build them all and I want to have as much information as possible before I go further.

Yes, Iím aware of Troels ScanSpeak designs, but itís a bit boring to copy other peopleís designs. His site is very informative, but Iím also sure that many builders on this forum also have some interesting information to share on the subject.

Regards

/Goran
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Old 30th September 2011, 02:05 PM   #6
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Do Mark K's ER18DXT design and throw an 15"/18" underneath, preferably crossed active, making it a traditional TMW. You will be very hard pressed to find something better.

EDIT: I see that you are stuck with Scan-Speak and a ribbon. Unfortunately I cannot help you.
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Old 30th September 2011, 02:42 PM   #7
boris81 is offline boris81  United States
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Hi Goran,

I've followed your other designs on here and I admire your meticulous attention to details. I'm excited to see how this 3-way turns out.

Unfortunately I can't help with advise on drivers but you should link up with ShinOBIWAN. He's been doing extensive tests on midranges to find the best match for the RAAL ribbon.
Oh no, he's back

As for the enclosure design may I suggest something similar to the KEF Blade. The tweeter and midrange can be on the thin, oval front baffle to minimize diffraction and the woofers can be placed on the wide side panel with the distance optimized to mitigate the effects of the floor bounce in the midbass. It occurred to me this morning that the front and side baffle widths may be optimized to place the baffle step in a convenient place for the crossover.

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Old 30th September 2011, 02:51 PM   #8
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If you are spending all that dosh on diy perhaps you should try to hear these to find out just what is possible:
ORION-3
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Old 30th September 2011, 03:49 PM   #9
gornir is offline gornir  Sweden
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Hi 454Casull,

Thanks for your comments. Iíve built endless of stand-mounts + subs. I want to build a true 3-way speaker here.

Iím sure that Mark K's ER18DXT is a nice speaker, but I donít think these drivers are in the same league as the ScanSpeak;s. Iím a big fan of SEAS drivers and I have personal experience in several designs with both the ER18 and the DXT tweeter. Iīm currently using the ER18 in a reference build around Zaphs SR71. Iím using the SR71 to benchmark my own design against and itís a nice design, but not exceptional.

Likewise have I used the DXT tweeter in several, both active and passive designs and itís a nice unique driver and is quite hard to work with, but it measures like a dream. However I think there a lot of other dome tweeters that subjectively sounds better like e.g. Dayton RS28F-4 and ScanSpeak D2608/913000 (HDS), but of course thatís my personal taste and opinion.

Regards

/Goran
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Old 30th September 2011, 03:50 PM   #10
gornir is offline gornir  Sweden
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Hi Boris81,

Thanks for your comments. Thatís a cool and futuristic design, but I think it would be a challenge to build. However the concept is interesting and I will give it a thought.

I will try to contact ShinOBIWAN and see if heís willing to share some of his RAAL experience.

Regards

/Goran
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