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Old 24th November 2013, 10:20 AM   #1
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Default First build - considering ZD5.

Hello all . I am new to this site, and have never built a speaker before so I have a lot to learn.

I want to have a go at making a pair, and from what I have read on here, the ZD5s look like they may be what I am looking for. I was looking at the sealed stand mounts initially, but I like the option of being able to change to floorstanders in the future with the same speakers and electronics.

I have loads of questions. Sorry if some of them appear stupid to the more experienced builders:

Do I have any chance of driving these from an Arcam alpha8 amp? I realise I will have to upgrade this in the future (next project maybe?) but funds and time dictate that any upgrade is done one step at a time.

I can see that crossover is available from Madisound in the USA, but these are too large to fit in the cabinets. I really want to put everything in the cabinets, so need to build my own.
The parts list on the Zaph audio is a little vague to me.
Can someone tell me the resistor power ratings, inductor currents, tolerances etc. I have read on here somewhere that the resistors need to be 10W. Is this enough?
I am in the UK. Has anyone converted Zaph's component list to those available from this country?

Has anyone built these and photographed the sequence? I am especially interested on the internal routing around the speakers, the speaker fixing, where to mount the crossovers, and the stuffing.

In a sealed cabinet, where does the heat go? Surely a lot of power is being dissipated inside those boxes? I would imagine that MDF is a good thermal insulator. Am I worrying about nothing?

Thanks.
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Old 24th November 2013, 01:06 PM   #2
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

As stated in the article the design is not recommended for first timers.
and the article has not been written towards first timers, which is
why you probably think it is a big vague about some of the details.

If no sub is planned floorstanders are the way to go.

Personally I'd recommended this as a first project :
https://sites.google.com/site/undefinition/diy/amiga
It can go in a sealed box as a standmounter if subs are planned.

Note the BOM for the parts from Parts Express.
Get the equivalents from Falcon Acoustics.
They also do the tweeter.

Getting hold of the Dayton bassmid is your only problem.
Europe Audio are currently out of stock.

The Alpha 8 should be fine with the Amigas.

rgds. sreten.
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When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail - Abraham Maslow
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Old 24th November 2013, 01:21 PM   #3
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Hi Sreten,
Thanks for your input. Part of the build is to see what quality stand mounts sound like, so unfortunately the amiga does not fit the bill. The more I read, the more keep getting drawn back to the ZD5s.

I am an Engineer, so have a little insight, but not an analogue design/audio Engineer so do have big holes in my knowledge.
I play at a bit of cabinet making as a hobby, so do not anticipate too many issues making the cabinets, if I understand what I am trying to make.

What problems have I not foreseen that makes the ZD5 a difficult build for a first timer?
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Old 24th November 2013, 02:39 PM   #4
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

I've no doubt you could build the ZD5. However as you learn
more you might not be happy with some of the little details.
That is a presumption.

There are traps for the unaware, like a proper x/o layout.

Zaph|Audio

Things like the final selection of the crossover components
are left to the choice of the builder, as well as working out
things like if 10W is used for R0, 3W or 5W is fine for R3.

High quality standmounters are a bit thin on the ground,
due to the proliferation of subs and multi-channel not
many of them make a decent stab at producing bass.

Still the Amiga can be built into a 8 to11L sealed and stuffed
box, same width and depth, and will still be pretty good, it
will only lose out a little bass compared to the ZD5.

YMMV But if I was building the ZD5 I'd push the boat out a little
more on box construction and effective panel damping, an area
where there is not much constructive concensus and you need
to find your own way.

The ZD5 is necessarily very low efficiency, about 80-81dB/W and really
does need a fair amount of juice to drive it. The Amiga at 83-84dB/W
is still fairly low efficiency, but it pans out that whilst the ZD5 can go
up to 100W per channel, the Amiga will go as loud as the ZD5 with
100W with 50W, and run fullrange doesn't need more that 50W.

rgds, sreten.

https://www.intertechnik.de/Shop/Lau...n/1768,de,7058

Cabinet design can be creative. e.g. a removable base to a sealed
box that allows it to be linked at a later date to to a second box
/ stand that turns it into a vented floorstander is a possibility.
A bit like Naim's two box speakers.
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There is nothing so practical as a really good theory - Ludwig Boltzmann
When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail - Abraham Maslow

Last edited by sreten; 24th November 2013 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 24th November 2013, 02:47 PM   #5
blue934 is offline blue934  Canada
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The crossover from Madisound is built on seperate boards for the tweeter and woofer sections and will definitely fit inside the box through the woofer hole, no worries.

When Zaph said this wasn't quite a beginner's design he was refering to the xover design which is somewhat more difficult to layout than a typical xover but since Madisound has these prebuilt, again, no worries.

Heat in a sealed box deisign is a non issue unless a component fails but that is very rare and and would be the same concern in a vented box.

If you are interested in these speakers, I say go for it. I have the woofers in another design and they are fabulous.

As Sreten said, if you don't have a sub, towers would be the way to go but I'm listening to mine in 11L in my small office and they are fine. They just don't have much authority in the lower octaves. In a med to large room they would be a bit anemic.

You might also take a look at Wolf's Scandivifia design with same drivers.
Scandivifa thread?

good luck
David

Last edited by blue934; 24th November 2013 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 24th November 2013, 05:33 PM   #6
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Buying the cross-over would be the sensible option, but I am concerned that the advert states that they do not fit.
Are we talking about the same boards?
The Madisound Speaker Store

The only way I can see where they would fit is on the sides, vertically behind the cross-braces. A small change to the position of the braces may be required.
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Old 24th November 2013, 06:12 PM   #7
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after a lot of research about kits speakers, I would be more tempted to trust jeff bagby then zaph audio. I would also consider satori monitors before the bagby version. But thats just my instinct and the feeling I have after a lot of research, no personal experience.
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Old 24th November 2013, 06:57 PM   #8
jReave is offline jReave  Canada
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I built the ZD5's as my first project and they turned out fantastically. But it wasn't easy, that's for sure.

I built them sealed and use a sub and think asking any more from just one 5" driver (even one as good as this one) is perhaps a little too much. Unless the volume is never pushed on them of course (yea right!).

If you want something a little more robust and with even better drivers too then looking at Jeff's Kairos or his flat baffle version, the Adelphos, might indeed be a good idea.

Understand also that with any given design, the front baffle dimensions, the driver placement and the internal net volume need to stay the same but you can play around with the other cabinet parameters like depth, cabinet material, wall thickness and type, amount and placement of bracing. You can put the xo's anywhere as long as the drivers have room behind them to breathe.

I had the same thoughts about the ZD5 as sreten notes above - such good drivers deserved a better cabinet so I did a translam construction with Baltic Birch as similar to the 1st Magico Minis as I could get and believe this has added to the SQ of the speakers. Front baffle dimensions remained exactly the same though.

Sorry, I didn't have a digital camera at the time so I have no construction pictures.

Paul Carmody's site that sreten linked to has some good info in it besides just that 1 project.

See also:

The Speaker Building Bible
DIY Loudspeakers

Here are some pictures that might help you as well:
1- driver cut-outs and chamfers
2- another example with more wood left for the screws
3- someone else's pic of their ZD5 ported built
4- my build
5- I put my xo's in my stands, some of the coils were much larger than I expected
Attached Images
File Type: jpg zdt35_construction-17Tsml.jpg (148.6 KB, 339 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0164_zps0e05d475.jpg (89.9 KB, 335 views)
File Type: jpg ZD5Damping4.jpg (243.0 KB, 330 views)
File Type: jpg DSC00511.jpg (806.3 KB, 330 views)
File Type: jpg xover 006.jpg (297.5 KB, 320 views)
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Old 24th November 2013, 07:16 PM   #9
jReave is offline jReave  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanT1967 View Post
Buying the cross-over would be the sensible option, but I am concerned that the advert states that they do not fit.
Are we talking about the same boards?
The Madisound Speaker Store

The only way I can see where they would fit is on the sides, vertically behind the cross-braces. A small change to the position of the braces may be required.
You are correct. They do say that they won't fit. They may mean they won't fit through the driver cut-out or that they won't fit given the current bracing design and/or they may also mean that they take up too much internal volume to keep the tuning accurate.

It is possible with the sealed version to increase the depth, add more bracing too and then finish with some extra, high density insulation in the back of the speaker. That might actually help things too. The ported version's internal volume has a tighter tolerance so you have to be more careful there but it's actually not that difficult to re-tune that either.
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Old 24th November 2013, 07:48 PM   #10
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I remember it was hard to chose a speaker many years ago when I could actually listen to them. Even harder when I can't .
Some welcome advice from everyone, and good pictures I was hoping for from jReave. Thanks all.
I am not against building a sub in the future, if it turns out I need one, so I still have not ruled out the ZD5s.
I am off for some more background reading... Any more advice would be appreciated.
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