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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 30th July 2014, 02:35 PM   #1
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Default First Speaker Build, Looking for Suggestions

Hello all - I'm a long time lurker, first time poster. I've got a thing for restoring vintage JBL's and rebuilding crossovers, but this is will be my first ground-up DIY speaker project.

I'm thinking of a two-way, 8" woofer plus ribbon tweeter, probably the Fountek 3" from Madisound. ~2 CF enclosure with port firing downward, speakers will be on stands of some sort. Goal of the build is open, airy, accurate acoustics and vocals in a medium sized room (14x18'). Real bass to the mid-40's, sub may be added later for low end. Sustained high volume and classic rock are not priorities - for this system! Some questions I have for the seasoned veterans:

1. What would be a suitable woofer for this build? I was thinking the 8" Seas U22REX or Eton Symphony

2. I just discovered the crossover design service at Madisound. They test the actual drivers they stock in their anechoic chamber. Has anyone used this service, and how did it work?

Cabinet design is attached, thanks for any suggestions and advice.
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Old 30th July 2014, 02:54 PM   #2
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I think you'll have a hard time to mate a 8" woofer to a ribbon.

Ralf
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Old 30th July 2014, 03:05 PM   #3
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I'm going to assume that you have the ability to construct enclosures for your dream speakers but fall short in design experience and crossover development.

Several successful designs are available as parts kits from companies like Parts Express, Madisound, Meniscus Audio and such. The latter two companies do offer crossover design services but I question how effective those designs will be unless they use the drivers that you specify and have a cabinet with drivers mounted for measurements.

Another way to go is to work with small speaker builders who can design the speaker of your dreams and can also create crossover designs for you. Rick Craig at Selahaudio.com comes to mind as a possibility. Rick can supply just a design, a design and parts kit, or a finished pair of speakers as you desire.

I like the speaker kits available from Meniscus Audio as they offer proven kits from experienced designers. Several kits are by Jeff Bagby, Paul Carmody, Dennis Murphy, and such. Look at this link:

DIY Speaker Components | Replacement Speakers | and Speaker kits from Meniscus Audio Group

Again you build the cabinet or use ready made ones from P-E or other sources as stated for each of those designs.

Good luck on your project.

Jim
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Old 30th July 2014, 03:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. Jim, yes I can build and veneer cabinets, I'm OK with that part. These aren't my "dream speakers," just a project. My goal is to create something that comes out of my own head, however, and not to buy a box of parts from someone else.

Giralfino, could you explain why an 8" woofer wouldn't mate well with a ribbon? In your opinion would 2 6" mid-basses work better, or some other configuration?
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Old 30th July 2014, 03:37 PM   #5
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The magic in a speaker design is in a crossover that blends the drivers into a coherent source for music. Proper choice of drivers enable the crossover and the designer to create true music.

Some examples of Rick Craig's designs are found here:

Gallery ? Selah Audio

Dennis Murphy is the primary crossover guru for Salk Sound and his own line Philharmonic Audio at:

Philharmonic Audio

Plenty of work with ribbons by these gentlemen.

Most true ribbons blend best with small midwoofers than 8" as you can see from some of their speakers.
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Old 30th July 2014, 03:58 PM   #6
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Troels website is worth a look - LINK
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Old 30th July 2014, 04:09 PM   #7
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Fatmarley - I dig Troels. Probably my favorite online inspiration. He doesn't seem to favor ribbons, however. And I'd like to incorporate them - just because.
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Old 30th July 2014, 04:12 PM   #8
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The Fountek ribbons are great (I use them), but the larger ones get pretty directional off axis. I'd go with the 1.5 inch Fountek ribbon instead, crossing it at 5kHZ if one pole passive crossover. Below that I'd go no bigger than a 6 inch so the off axis response isn't so abruptly changing at the crossover frequency. I'd use two five inch or six inch Peerless drivers myself rather than one 8 incher. In a tall tower style cabinet you might be able to squeeze in a third woofer driver. Put the tweeter at the top. I'd go closed box with active EQ and active 4th order crossover myself, but that may be more project than you wanted. Getting a passive crossover right can be difficult unless you have a cal'd mic and pink noise source, and know how to measure impedance at the frequency you want to do the crossover at. Nominal impedance ratings are rarely what you'll have at the frequency you want to do the crossover at.
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Old 30th July 2014, 04:52 PM   #9
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Bob, thanks for the great information. Sounds like a 3-way is a better solution for integrating a ribbon tweeter. The active EQ is more project than I'm looking for (and Madisound shows some warning about using active crossovers with ribbons?). I was hoping to take advantage of Madisound's crossover design service, which they can do for any drivers they stock.
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Old 30th July 2014, 04:59 PM   #10
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Battle of the non-domes.
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