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Old 29th October 2012, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default Speakers for Band Room

I just started teaching band at a Wisconsin high school and the band room is desperate for new speakers. The room is about 50'x40'x20' and currently has a pair of small Bose bookshelf speakers hooked up to a modern Yamaha receiver. As you can imagine, the best this system can do is fill half the room with horrendous sound - not very inspiring for the students. Any suggestions for projects fitting the following criteria?

- room = 50'x40'x20' carpeted floor, brick wals, celing tiles
- will play mostly classical/wind band music and some big band jazz
- successfully powered by retail reciever (100wpc)
- sound must be as impressive as possible for a high school listener
- large listening area (as many as 60 students at a time)
- cost around $400 and some enjoyable labor (your tax dollars at work!)

Here is what I've come up with so far (on the assumption that this situation calls for 95db+ sensitivity):

- Econowave (with a high efficiency woofer)
- Pi Speakers (2 pi or 3 pi)
- Vintage stuff? (not sure what to look for on craigslist)

what's the best I can do to get these high school punks better sound?
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Old 29th October 2012, 03:20 AM   #2
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I can suggest reading the BIB thread
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Old 29th October 2012, 04:36 AM   #3
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BBBIB Bigger Badder BIB Speaker
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Old 29th October 2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by harmolodics View Post
I just started teaching band at a Wisconsin high school and the band room is desperate for new speakers. The room is about 50'x40'x20' and currently has a pair of small Bose bookshelf speakers hooked up to a modern Yamaha receiver. As you can imagine, the best this system can do is fill half the room with horrendous sound - not very inspiring for the students. Any suggestions for projects fitting the following criteria?

Here is what I've come up with so far (on the assumption that this situation calls for 95db+ sensitivity):
To tell the truth, if I were not designing speakers to fit in very specific size configurations, I'd probably give up building them myself.

The Pi speakers would be a good choice if you just have to get the pleasure of being a wood butcher, but you could probably do better in terms of cost/performance by auditioning used speakers at a Music Go Round store.

Craigs list is OK, but don't buy unless you hear the speaker at a loud level, and preferably check the speaker out wit a sine wave sweep to check for buzzing or rattling noises.

Old Yamaha 4115H still are great if the LF and HF have survived.
The Yamaha club series are OK for the price, used would be less than the cost of a kit, and use Eminence speakers like the Pi.
JBL SRX series are a bit better, but will cost more.
There are many good Renkus Heinz trap cabinets that go very cheap, but are well built and designed.

The Music go Round store in Albuquerque (a fraction of the population of Minneapolis) regularly has good speakers for sale at far less than I could buy the components for.

Art

Last edited by weltersys; 29th October 2012 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 29th October 2012, 08:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
Whoa, that thread is awesome. Something like that certainly satisfies the "impressive" category.

I should also ad that these speakers will probably have to be wall mounted so that they are out of the way of instruments and the general path of destruction. From what I've read, that thread talks about the BBBIB needing some help from the wall and ceiling to work right (band room ceiling is 20'-25' up). Is there another horn shape that could work with the same drivers (Eminence Beta-12LTA + super-tweeter)? Or similar thread I should check out?

Last edited by harmolodics; 29th October 2012 at 09:04 PM. Reason: added quote
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Old 29th October 2012, 09:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by weltersys View Post

The Music go Round store in Albuquerque (a fraction of the population of Minneapolis) regularly has good speakers for sale at far less than I could buy the components for.

Art
Thanks, Art. This sounds like a logical solution.

can one just use some sort of adapter to connect old PA speakers to a home stereo amp?
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Old 29th October 2012, 09:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by harmolodics View Post
Thanks, Art. This sounds like a logical solution.

can one just use some sort of adapter to connect old PA speakers to a home stereo amp?
Yes, just cut off one end of the 1/4" or Speakon (or whatever type used) cord, strip the cord, and insert in to the amp for a permanent install. As usual, pay attention to polarity, make sure both speakers are wired the same.

Or wire a jack panel to the amp and use normal cords if you prefer to have the system portable, wiring bare leads is a PITA and can easily lead to short circuits if you are not super careful.

By the way, a small horn only adds about 3 dB midband sensitivity .
Going from a 12" PA type speaker to a 15" generally adds 3 dB sensitivity, equivalent to doubling power. If you are using a home stereo amp in a large room, look for 15" speakers for the extra output level.

Last edited by weltersys; 29th October 2012 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 30th October 2012, 12:43 AM   #8
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Why not ask around the students ( do you have a woodworking shop at the school??) and see if they can come up with any old speakers around the various homes and just cobble something together??
It could turn into a collaborative project between departments as there is a LOT of science involved as well as wood work.
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Old 30th October 2012, 02:45 AM   #9
puppet is offline puppet  United States
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^ ... this is a great idea.
Electrical shop could do the xo's ... woodshop, the cabs ... auto shop could spray /upholster them.
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Old 30th October 2012, 03:19 AM   #10
kctess5 is offline kctess5  United States
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Give the project to a student!!!

If you know any of them like to build things or are into audio hand it over to them.

I am speaking from experience here, I am a senior in high school and I got my school to pay for me to build our football field a sound system. I am not profiting at all but it is a great project.

The student/students will not only get to work on a cool project on the schools dime they will have something to write about on college apps. One of my main focuses on my MIT app (and all of them actually) is the senior project. This video I made for MIT admissions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOwhWyn5ymE

If none of them are knowledgeable enough in acoustic design to come up with their own design or find one online that fits your needs then you should do the actual design and give them plans.

If you are thinking that none of them will be interested guess again. If my band director (I play sax) had offered us this opportunity I would have jumped on it
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