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Old 26th November 2003, 03:29 PM   #1
Mark25 is offline Mark25  United Kingdom
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Default Efficient spkr req' for battery system.

I am looking for a very efficient speaker design. It is to be powered from an amp, probably a chip amp, running on a +/- 12 volts, car battery derived supply. The listening room is reasonably large.

The type of music I intend to listen to on this system is Suzanne vega, Bob Dylan type of stuff. I want the feeling that the musicians are in the room with me, enough reality to “make the hairs on the back of you neck stand up”. It doesn’t have to play loud, just realistic levels for this type of music. In fact the voicing I am looking for will probably sound horrible loud, and make badly recorded cd’s sound awful. Liad-back, warm sound NOT required!

The research I have done so far on here has suggested that designing you own horn speaker is impossible. Looking into kits for efficient speakers has shown me that there are at least a few solutions:
1. PA type units (Eminence), reflex enclosure.
2. PA type units, horn enclosure.
3. Lowther type units, horn enclosure.

Using 300w PA units for the delicate low spl listening I require does not seem that logical, but if they offer the sound I am after, that’s fine. The kit plans for Lowther based system look a bit daunting in terms of woodwork, which is not something I enjoy/am good at. I am not opposed to going active; I already have a DIY active system that I am extremely happy with. I am not afraid of BIG speakers; I have a dedicated listening room. I am used to listening to quality drive units, like Volt and scan-speak. A second hand commercial hifi horn could be a better solution than DIY, but less fun!

Any thoughts or suggestions on what direction I should take will be gratefully received
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Old 27th November 2003, 05:47 AM   #2
GM is offline GM  United States
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The Basszilla using the DX4 should get the job done:

Loud is Beautiful if it's Clean! As always though, the usual disclaimers apply to this post's contents.
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Old 28th November 2003, 01:43 PM   #3
Mark25 is offline Mark25  United Kingdom
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thank's for the feedback, but i'm not sure the Lowthers are exactly to my liking after reading this link, http://melhuish.org/audio/article1.html
it appears they are "bright", but it's pot luck if they suit your particular type of music, or not.
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Old 28th November 2003, 02:15 PM   #4
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What about some Oris horns?

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Old 28th November 2003, 03:15 PM   #5
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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what about the Basszilla with the FE208 ?
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Old 29th November 2003, 09:45 PM   #6
Kanga is offline Kanga  Australia
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With an MTM design using bass speakers with 89dB sensitivity, plus a slightly horn loaded tweeter (Audax makes one, as does Vifa), you should be able to achieve sensitivities of 95dB into a 4 ohm load. If battery life is the consideration, then the benefit in going MTM is only 3dB, as the 4ohm load will obviously increase current draw.

If you are going for lead acid batteries, make sure you use ones designed for deep cycle use, or you will find their lifetime is limited.

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Old 29th November 2003, 10:42 PM   #7
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if battery life is a big factor why now use TI's digi amp chips and parallel em to get loadsa watts. >90% efficient
What the hell are you screamin' for? Every five minutes there's a bomb or somethin'! I'm leavin! bzzzz! Now with website! www.5een.co.uk under construction.
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Old 29th November 2003, 11:00 PM   #8
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these can make really load music with a chipamp powerded by a 9V block batterie:
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Old 29th November 2003, 11:15 PM   #9
Variac is offline Variac  Costa Rica
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The Basszilla with the Lowther or Fostex addresses the "shouty"
high end and the deficient bass. Successfully? So far I'd say yes..
"The geek shall inherit the earth"
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Old 3rd December 2003, 08:52 AM   #10
Mark25 is offline Mark25  United Kingdom
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Thanks for your enlightening replies; it looks like my previous research was “poor”, at best! The replies have opened up lots of avenues for consideration. Basically most people seem to be recommending Lowther type, full range drivers with a supplemental bass unit. Perhaps someone could explain to me the difference in sound between using a Lowther with a horn, to extend the bass response, as opposed to supplementing it with a separate bass unit. I have searched, but failed to find adequate explanation for this. The Basszilla seems to have alleviated some flaws inherent in full range drivers, is this purely due to use of a supplemental bass unit? Or is there more to it than that?
Let me also expand on my requirements a bit, as i think it may help. I used to own a pair of AR 152 speakers, about £300 ukp new 10 years ago. They have an 8” bass unit in a sealed enclosure with a fabric dome tweeter. They gave the sound I have described above. The problem was that as soon as the music got any more complex that mentioned, or loud, they sounded awful. This led me to my current system, which I am very happy with. It makes all types of music enjoyably, but does not provide the emotion mentioned above. The thing is, I miss the sound of my AR speakers sometimes. So, I decided a long time ago that I could not get one system to suit all my requirements, so I would have two, one for each type of music. THEN, i decided that a battery-powered hi-fi would be a worthwhile feature of my second system. Was that a step too far?
Thanks for the help so far.
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