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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 1st June 2014, 09:35 PM   #1
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Location: Orlando, FLA
Default Active, 3-way monitor project

This project started out over a year ago as an idea I had for better monitors for studio "B" where I work. About 5 years ago, I designed some rather large, main monitors for the "A" room, but "B" has seen more use these past few years due to people's budgets shrinking and more folks being happy to work "in-the-box" rather than on a large format mixing console, so along with the lead recording engineer, I decided to come up with a new design.

Last year we made some crude prototype boxes which have been in daily use since. You can see them in the first photo while being tested at another studio in town. While being tweeked based on feedback over the last year, we have been working out the build details in case we are fortunate enough to sell a few pairs to other engineers and producers.

Raal 70-20 OEM
Neo8-S (important to the design as the regular Neo8 was not up to the task)
Scan Speak 10" woofer
Digmoda amp/dsp modules

We auditioned and tested the Powersoft D-cell modules which were preferable due to compact form factor, preset recall and pricing, but sonically they were not as transparent as the Digmoda, so we tested the initial design with my own Digmoda from the large open baffle design I made for myself a few years ago.

Cabinet is CNC machined with 45deg edges to make construction nearly foolproof. Tape the edges, flip over to glue and fold together. It worked out like a charm. Best, straightest boxes I've ever built. The box is coated on all sides except the front baffle with a 2-part, hot spray finish similar to truck bedliner or the coating used on higher-end PA speaker cabinets. The front gets an additional layer of bamboo ply for rigidity as well as cosmetics. This pair was finished with an tinted, automotive clearcoat inspired by some custom Paul Reed Smith guitars. Lined generously with rigid fiberglass and stuffed with Bonded Logic.

We designed a custom-made faceplate to hold the Raal and Neo as close together as possible. This also gives us space for a logo and/or the clients name as a custom option.

Greg
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Old 2nd June 2014, 03:13 AM   #2
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I was curious as to what had become of these I saw a teaser a long time ago, they turned out great, how do they sound?
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Old 2nd June 2014, 03:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywarden View Post
I was curious as to what had become of these I saw a teaser a long time ago, they turned out great, how do they sound?
You may have seen the teaser photos from Techtalk or Mission Possible over at HTGuide. Not sure at this point as I kind of jump around between forums.

We are pretty pleased overall with the looks and the sound. I'm pretty critical though, so there are a few cosmetic issues we will sort out for any produced for sale. There will be a few design changes too, like adding some additional bracing in the woofer chamber. So far, they've been compared to monitors costing upwards of $8,000 per pair and we feel we have them beat in regards to resolution(hence the name) and overall quality. There's something with the combo of Raal and planar mids that traditional cone/dome drivers don't give you. In fact, in direct comparison to my large open baffles, in that picture of the huge studio space, these monitors sounded better. Obviously they gave up ultimate dynamics and low end reach, but as far as midrange clarity(really hearing INTO the recording) and sense of space, they beat mine. I was happy and pissed at the same time! The acoustic space they could portray was truly holographic. On good, hi-rez recordings made in a natural acoustic space, it was like a huge bubble of sound being cast into the studio. Taking either speaker back to a normal sized room, close to walls was a real bummer after that experience. We have not come close to realizing that performance anywhere else.

Greg
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Old 2nd June 2014, 12:24 PM   #4
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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Location: At home, sweet sound home...
Hi Greg,

Thank you for sharing,

Houps, the Raal is the OEM unluckily for us non professionals...

Do the horizontal arrengement of woofer + mid-Tweeter is important instead the more classical vertical ? I surmise you use the classical ScanSpeak line with the aluminium cone for the woofer ?

Did you try it with an aditional subwoofer like your two tubes ones ? It breaks the good trade off you find ?
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Old 2nd June 2014, 12:36 PM   #5
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That monitors looks very cool. What type of crossover are you using ? LR4 ?

Regards

Charles
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Old 3rd June 2014, 03:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eldam View Post
Hi Greg,

Thank you for sharing,

Houps, the Raal is the OEM unluckily for us non professionals...

Do the horizontal arrengement of woofer + mid-Tweeter is important instead the more classical vertical ? I surmise you use the classical ScanSpeak line with the aluminium cone for the woofer ?

Did you try it with an aditional subwoofer like your two tubes ones ? It breaks the good trade off you find ?
The woofer is placed beside the mid/tweet to keep the height low enough for seated listening when placed over top of a desk or mixing console. Since the x-over from woofer to mid is low enough, there is no problem with lobing off to the sides.

Yes, we have used them with the same subs you've seen before. It's fantastic. And allows for some more dynamic headroom if the monitor is then high passed around 60hz rather than letting it carry all the way down.

Greg
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Old 3rd June 2014, 03:07 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by phase_accurate View Post
That monitors looks very cool. What type of crossover are you using ? LR4 ?

Regards

Charles
Thank you, Charles. Steep slopes, but not necessarily symmetrical.

Greg
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Old 3rd June 2014, 02:34 PM   #8
jReave is offline jReave  Canada
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I'm quite interested in that B&G planar. Can you tell us what your xo points are, what volume you chose for it and what types of insulation (and how thick) you have behind it?

My thoughts are to oversize the Vb, load the back and sides with something like the compressed, denser Roxul boards and then fill the remainder with lighter insulation.

Cheers
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Old 4th June 2014, 02:53 AM   #9
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jReave View Post
I'm quite interested in that B&G planar. Can you tell us what your xo points are, what volume you chose for it and what types of insulation (and how thick) you have behind it?

My thoughts are to oversize the Vb, load the back and sides with something like the compressed, denser Roxul boards and then fill the remainder with lighter insulation.

Cheers
Not a bad idea. I am a firm believer in absorbing the rear wave as much as possible, so we've got 2/3 of the enclosure for the Neo8 stuffed with Bonded Logic. It plays well down to the 400-500Hz range and high enough to match pretty much any tweeter, even smaller 3/4" dome units or smaller ribbons.

Greg
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Old 4th June 2014, 06:33 AM   #10
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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Location: At home, sweet sound home...
Hi Greg,

Is it better to have a bigger enclosure behind the Neo for a > volume than Vas for an infinite load (i.e. : does the curve change after the minimal sealed volume advised by B&G ?) ?

Where is the first raise peak with the Neo8 S ? (I assume it needs active EQ ...), can you xo at >= 5-6000 hz ?
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