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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 27th July 2014, 09:05 PM   #1
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I am interested in building 2 or 2.5 way mini towers using ribbon tweeters, for low-mid freq response I was thinking about one 8" or two peerless/scanspeak 6.5" drivers. keep in mind I built a 12" subwoofer that goes down to 32hz without distortion. would I be better off with the 8" or two 6.5" drivers for mini towers?
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Old 27th July 2014, 10:10 PM   #2
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Ribbons can give some of the nicest sounding treble I've heard (Founteks 1.5 inch ribbon is worth considering), but I don't know if there are any that I would crossover below about 5kHZ, even with a higher order crossover (Zaphaudio.com has lots of info on various ribbons). I would probably use nothing bigger than a 5 inch mid driver below the tweeter in a 2 or 2.5 way system, and even that will have the off axis rolloff issue if taken up to 5kHZ (which could sound nice since the off axis response might then approximate a reverse Fletcher-Munson curve). You might consider using two 5 inch drivers on either side of the ribbon for higher power handling if you want to crank them pretty loud or will be in a large room. Most good 5 inchers perform pretty well from about 100HZ - 1kHZ, all things considered. Going beyond those frequencies can work well enough for most people, but with some compromise (off axis rolloff, cone breakup, cone resonance; especially with the harder cone drivers and/or doppler distortion if extended too low in frequency). Hope this helps.

Last edited by Bob Richards; 27th July 2014 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 28th July 2014, 01:07 AM   #3
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How low do you want to cross to the sub? The higher you go, the better the options for crossing from midrange to the tweeter. If quite low then you will probably need to compromise towards the mid-tweeter crossover freq. (or build a 3-way instead)

As suggested a pair of 5" in a 2.5 way is likely the best option. The highest I've bothered using 5" before is about 4khz, but then again I've not owned any really good ones.
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Old 28th July 2014, 03:27 PM   #4
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probably 100 or 120hz, I found some scanspeak 5.25" speakers that go down to 100hz (anechoic) but they start to breakup up around 3-4khz. maybe I could wire them down to 4ohms to work with my receiver.
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Old 28th July 2014, 03:35 PM   #5
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or I could just wire them direct at 8ohms and split the power between the two, it wouldnt hurt to play around and see what sounds best.
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Old 28th July 2014, 04:22 PM   #6
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The BG NEO8s may be crossed low but requires some carefull crossover work or active equalization. Its priced at EUR124/piece here so not that bad. Its a mid so you`ll need a tweeter.
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Old 28th July 2014, 07:22 PM   #7
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If I was going to build a 2 way with a passive crossover, I'd use a polypropylene cone woofer (probably two Peerless 5 inchers) and set the crossover frequency to 5kHZ, to take advantage of the approximation of the off axis "loudness comp" curve. The narrower beam upper-midrange would reduce room reflections thereby giving better imaging in the upper midrange. But the main reason to go with the plastic or standard paper woofer cone is to avoid that severe resonance that all the hard cone drivers have right where the ear is most sensitive in frequency (usually 3-6kHZ). Pushing that resonance down far enough is not easy to do passively, and the resonant frequency or driver impedance could drift over time. And then many tweeters have the distortion problem going below about 3kHZ with a one or two pole filter.

Another approach is to design the crossover to leave a several dB dip at a 3kHZ crossover point. Linkwitz does this on purpose (4dB I think) stating that it's needed for proper perception in a real world speaker situation. The phase between the woofer and tweeter should always be verified with a cal'd mic anyway; less dip is better dip.
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