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Old 3rd April 2012, 10:17 PM   #1
Bill F. is offline Bill F.  United States
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Default Karlson Tube 3-way Koncept

And now for something Kompletely different!

As an exercise in thinking outside the box, I have decided this will be my next project--a three-way high-efficiency system based on the Karlson Tube broadband-resonator principle--a bit of audio arcana harking back about 60 years.

Midbass: 4" Sch40 PVC pipe ~80" long with a ~40" exponential slot. Driver: JBL 2123h in ~7L sealed. Bandwidth target: 80-350Hz.

Midrange: 2" Sch40 PVC pipe ~20" long with a ~14" exponential slot. Driver: JBL 2485h. Bandwidth target: 350-3kHz.

Tweeter: Transylvania Power Company "The Tube". Or, I may fab up a PVC coupler. Driver: Radian 475PB. Target bandwidth: 3-20kHz.

The system will be angled at ~35 degrees in accordance with John E. Karlson's findings about the optimal listening axis for tube couplers. I may end up spraying the PVC with automotive rocker guard to deaden any resonances. During development, these will be multi-amped through my Rane RPM88 processor. All drivers are in inventory.

This is my first foray into these mystikal Karlson devices, and it promises to be fun. I'm interested to hear the mix of claimed attributes--high efficiency, wide horizontal dispersion and rapid impulse decay (compared to most horns), all in a very slim footprint.

Below is my rough koncept drawing. I've already rough-cut two options for the midrange tube, and the rest of the PVC is waiting in my garage.
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File Type: gif K Tube System 07d.GIF (13.3 KB, 1121 views)

Last edited by Bill F.; 3rd April 2012 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 11:10 PM   #2
KSTR is offline KSTR  Germany
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Very exiting!
I'm quite convinced that this will work like a charm.
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Old 4th April 2012, 12:36 AM   #3
Illusus is offline Illusus  Canada
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Very cool.

I have a pair of K15s and have to admit there is a certain magic in them. When I decided to build them I was not so convinced they would sound good, but I was just that curious. Never tried the tubes though. Maybe if my JBL 2407s don't sell, I'll give it a shot.
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Old 4th April 2012, 12:36 AM   #4
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I will be following your explorations with great interest!
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Old 4th April 2012, 01:55 AM   #5
Bill F. is offline Bill F.  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illusus View Post
Very cool.

I have a pair of K15s and have to admit there is a certain magic in them. When I decided to build them I was not so convinced they would sound good, but I was just that curious. Never tried the tubes though. Maybe if my JBL 2407s don't sell, I'll give it a shot.
Hey, you just reminded me I have pair of 2407s somewhere in my stash, too! Good idea about trying them in K-tubes. I've heard from several who say treble K-tubes sound subjectively clearer and more open than horns/waveguides they've tried...

K15s seem interesting, but I get a sense there's a lot of complicated physics going on there with the reflex loading/etc. modified by the expo. slot.

To me, the K-tube seems like the simplest, most fundamental application of JEK's concept, and that's why I gravitate toward it, even for midbass. I can actually start to wrap my mind around how they might function.

Last edited by Bill F.; 4th April 2012 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 4th April 2012, 01:58 AM   #6
Bill F. is offline Bill F.  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSTR View Post
Very exiting!
I'm quite convinced that this will work like a charm.
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Originally Posted by LafeEric View Post
I will be following your explorations with great interest!
Thx!
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Old 4th April 2012, 03:05 AM   #7
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Way cool. I've wanted to make a pair of tweeter K-tubes for years, but have been to lazy to do it. Your project is way beyond that and very inspiring. Will be following closely to hear what happens.

Good luck!
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Old 4th April 2012, 04:29 AM   #8
Illusus is offline Illusus  Canada
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Originally Posted by Bill F. View Post
K-tubes sound subjectively clearer and more open than horns/waveguides they've tried...
I'll eat my hat! I'm just in the process of finishing a big waveguide project that I want to be the best within my means for a long time. If something as easy to implement as the tube sounds better there will be gnashing of teeth!

Quote:
K15s seem interesting, but I get a sense there's a lot of complicated physics going on there with the reflex loading/etc. modified by the expo. slot.
That they sound good at all confuses me. For every speaker I had built I invested great care in reducing diffraction, standing waves and trying to eliminate anything bouncing back into the driver's cone. That the Ks sound good with drivers playing midrange inches off the floor through a wooden curtain is above my head.
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Old 4th April 2012, 05:31 AM   #9
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While I have heard very good sounding KTubes less than 1/2inch diameter,
all variations I have tried above that size, sounded like carp (yes the fish...)
Neither Selenium midrange driver on 2" PVC, nor Electrovoice 10" cone on
concrete forming tube could be made (by my efforts) to sound good at all.

Anyways: One thing I didn't try with bigger KTubage, but Karlson did...
He coaxed a small end driven Ktube inside the larger tube, driven from
some midpoint where the small tube exits and not driven from the end.
Maybe the synergy of different driving point locations was significant?

Last edited by kenpeter; 4th April 2012 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 4th April 2012, 01:53 PM   #10
Bill F. is offline Bill F.  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illusus View Post
I'll eat my hat! I'm just in the process of finishing a big waveguide project that I want to be the best within my means for a long time. If something as easy to implement as the tube sounds better there will be gnashing of teeth!
No worries. Baranek's Law will work strongly in both our favors, and both approaches will sound amazing, I'm sure.
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