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Old 26th September 2012, 04:34 PM   #1
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Default Measurement Equipment

Hi,

I've read and been told here that ideally to make my own speakers I need good measurement equipment - software, soundcard, microphone.

I'm assuming that I could use the free to use software on the net, but what about a soundcard, is this just a "normal" soundcard, with microphone input, or does it have to be something more fancy?

Also, how exactly do you calibrate a microphone?

Thanks
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Old 26th September 2012, 04:59 PM   #2
aczern is offline aczern  Poland
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ARTA Requirements
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Old 26th September 2012, 05:18 PM   #3
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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There is actually quite a bit on this subject throughout the forum. A good search should turn up dozens of posts.

A decent soundcard, a mic and mic preamp, some software like ARTA and HOLMImpluse.
For impedance you can build your own measurement jig, or use the WT2 or WT3.

Some mics come calibrated, or there are services to do it for you.
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Old 26th September 2012, 05:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies

Another question, what is WT2 / WT3?

I did try and do a search first, but it threw up loads of posts about other topics, so I thought the search engine, has only found key words in paragraphs about something else. Perhaps a "sticky" topic could be base, explaining the basic for beginners, notice there is one for designing without measurements!
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Old 26th September 2012, 05:54 PM   #5
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Woofer Tester 2 (Smith and Larson) and WT3 (Parts Express). The former is said to be better, but is somewhat more expensive.

Yes, a sticky is a good idea.
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Old 26th September 2012, 06:00 PM   #6
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I wrote a tutorial on making quasi-anechoic frequency response measurements with ARTA. I highly recommend this software, and there is a fully functional free version.

On the first page of the tutorial I list some of the equipment involved. There are lots of good soundcards out there today. You need one that has inputs and outputs, and can do full duplex (send output while reading input at the same time). I use a M-Audio Firewire 410, which has 96k Hz sampling and a built in mic preamp. You can find them on the cheap on Ebay.

Here is the link to the tutorial:
audio.claub.net/tutorials/FR measurement using ARTA.pdf

-Charlie
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Old 26th September 2012, 07:19 PM   #7
xjr100 is offline xjr100  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sometimesuk View Post
Hi,

I've read and been told here that ideally to make my own speakers I need good measurement equipment - software, soundcard, microphone.

I'm assuming that I could use the free to use software on the net, but what about a soundcard, is this just a "normal" soundcard, with microphone input, or does it have to be something more fancy?

Also, how exactly do you calibrate a microphone?

Thanks
What card to use depends on microphone. If you will use something like ECM8000, then you need phantome power - few cards have it.
If rememeber, there were options to buy calibrated microphone_ but it is not cheap.

Very simple solution is SB Live24 USB - it works fine with Panasonic Capsule WB61 without any additional electronics - you can build your own measurement microphone with just capsule and tube.
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Old 26th September 2012, 10:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sometimesuk View Post
Hi,

I've read and been told here that ideally to make my own speakers I need good measurement equipment - software, soundcard, microphone.

I'm assuming that I could use the free to use software on the net, but what about a soundcard, is this just a "normal" soundcard, with microphone input, or does it have to be something more fancy?

Also, how exactly do you calibrate a microphone?

Thanks
If you have a laptop with a built in microphone you may be able to make meaurements now without spending a penny. These will obviously be poor quality measurements but would enable you to understand what is going on and where spending money would be a benefit.

For about 40 a reasonable electret microphone with a calibration file can be bought here:

https://www.intertechnik.de/Shop/Acc...8,en,220,96423

However, it will need a power supply, a microphone preamplifier, an analogue to digital converter and a computer interfaces such as USB. Some mixers can provide this for about 35 such as:

Behringer Xenyx 302 USB Mixer & Audio Interface at Gear4Music.com

You will also need an appropriate microphone cable for about 5-10 and, perhaps, a microphone stand for 10-15.

This is around the cheapest you can get away with but it may make sense to spend more depending on what else you might want to do with the hardware.
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Old 26th September 2012, 11:15 PM   #9
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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You BUY a calibrated mic. I love my WTII, but you can do the same things with ARTA if you build a jig. You can start with any soundcard that can send out at the same time as in. Many laptops don't.

I happen to use a semi-pro M-Audio mic preamp/d2a/a2d but I am pretty hard core.
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Old 27th September 2012, 07:13 AM   #10
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Thanks for the advice guys. Andy19191, I 'll probably go down your route, as for a first time project, I don't want to spend a fortune, in case I find it isn't for me.

have any of you noticed any measurable difference between a brand new set of drivers and a pair that has broken in. When listening to a new pair of speakers, I always find that at first, although the basics sound signature is there, they can sound quite constrained and tend to open up dynamically once broken in.

With my current speakers, I ran them out of phase facing each other using a system burn in type disc for about 24 hours, over three days. After this they really opened up.

Any of you bother doing the same with your drivers, before measuring, or are they already broken in the time you come to tweaking the crossover?
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