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Old 27th March 2004, 07:37 PM   #1
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Default PHL Questions and Suggestions

Hello all DIYers! I am a Newbee in DIY so I need some opinions in my driver selections:

First of all I want to make clear that although I am not very experienced I have selected 3 way designs because I am not going to build them on my own. But I have to find the best drivers combination to suit my needs! So here we go:

Raven R2
----- XO 5Khz -----
PHL 1120
----- XO 400hz -----

Aurum Cantus G1
----- XO 1.8Khz -----
PHL 3450 (3451)
----- XO 250hz -----

Raven R2
----- XO 4Khz -----
----- XO 800hz -----

Also I need I suggestion for a max 12" (96-99db sens) bass driver for the best possible bass in the range 250-32hz in case of Design #2. (Lambda, PHL,...?) (max 550$ ea)( I listen to Acoustic Music very often)

Will I have problematic midrange (800-1800hz) with PHL 3451? How it is compared with 1120's?
Can Aurum Cantus G1 have better lower range (1.8Khz-6khz, than a PHL 1120 or a PHL 1040)?
Aurum Cantus G1 vs G2 ?
How can all this be compared with ATC dome (S version)?
Pass labs Rushmore uses PHL 1120 or Audax PR170M0?

Any other suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks in advance

Attached Images
File Type: jpg rushmore.jpg (19.9 KB, 1917 views)
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Old 27th March 2004, 09:33 PM   #2
angel is offline angel  Norway
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Consider using a JBL 12" PA woofer for the bass. If you want more output, consider a 12" Peerless XLS, or a 12" Vifa M30WO, both of which are also available in 10" versions. How deep do you need to go, how much sound do you need, how big can the box be, and what kind of box do you want?

For the tweeter, how about also considering the Piega, the Phillips PT-R9, or the Stage Accompany? All of those are ribbons. The Piega is a coaxial beryllium bubble ribbon (IIRC) with frequency from somewhere in the midrange to somewhere >100kHz (sensitivity 120dB), the PT-R9 is a regular beryllium ribbon with frequency from 5kHz to 120kHz, and the Stage Accompany is a ribbon (don't know material) that ranges from about 1kHz to 30kHz.

The PHL 3540 extended midrange seems nice, but I would recommend getting a frequency response plot for it, particularly for off-axis response. There is no indication of this on their website, that I can see.

The lower crossover frequency in a 3-way system should ideally be no higher than 350Hz, and probably no lower than 150Hz. A good compromise is either 200Hz (gets the entire voice fundamental), or 315Hz (gets good power sharing).

The upper crossover frequency should ideally be no lower than 3kHz, but can be as high as you like, as long as the drivers sum nicely on- and off-axis (including summing at a somewhat congruent phase angle, that should need only a constant delay to align over an octave or two).

Hope This Helps.


Come to think of it, if you use the PHL 3540 as a midrange, you could have the lower crossover frequency be very low, and mount a larger driver (e.g. JBL 2226 or 2241) on the side of the cabinet. For the typical profile, where the cabinet is deeper than it is wide, this could even yield better wavelaunch, due to the perceived larger baffle.
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Old 27th March 2004, 10:03 PM   #3
Salas is offline Salas  Greece
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Default PHL & PHL

If you are to cross a PHL mid to a woofer at about 200Hz - 350Hz better use a PHL bass too. You will preserve coherence that way.
Male voice goes even under 100Hz. I have heard mine beating strongly with 100Hz sinewave from a sub during test.

Rushmore uses Audax PR170MO as a mid along PHL bass & midbass drivers.

Aurum Cantus is FOUNTEK. Save $
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Old 28th March 2004, 08:50 AM   #4
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Thank you angel and salas for the help!

Salas as you are from Greece too, do you know which are the Distributors of PHL and Lambda (if any for the last one)?

As about the box design I will be using in the future, it will be bass reflex with no limits in the volume.

I have seen the PHL 3451 being used by many with very nice results (e.g AR2's design with ESG3 and Lambda LF)

I would also like my future project to go down to 30's (-3db)

Could I use a pair of 10inchers from TAD (e.g T-L 1102)?

As I have said I need the best possible 30-250hz range.

Have you heard which ribbon is being used in Von Schweikert Audio VR-11 (I think) with the two Scan-speak Ring Radiators?
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Old 28th March 2004, 12:10 PM   #5
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Dear Angel, and others

Aren't Fountek ribbons illegal copies of Aurum Cantus?
Is it true that Aurum Cantus G1 goes flat down to 900hz while Stage Accompany SA8535 goes flat down till 1900hz? (look the frequency measurements of both)
Which ribbon is being used in Aerial Acoustics 20T?
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File Type: jpg model20t.jpg (93.0 KB, 1805 views)
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Old 29th March 2004, 12:19 PM   #6
Salas is offline Salas  Greece
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Default SA etc

Have listened to the SA in their PA cabinets in demos and live reinforcement. Its dynamic range and projection is in a league of its own. I dont think that you need it in a domestic application and I dont think comparing to an AC or Fountek has any grounds.
Only the difference in power handling sets them well apart.
PHL in Greece is only imported by Metro Audio Systems for their TOUGH series and REAL series loudspeakers, they dont handle more than 2 types and they dont sell consumer retail.

As for Lambda no chance. Stick with internet sources for both.
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Old 29th March 2004, 05:14 PM   #7
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Newbee in DIY

If you are confused on what to do try this.

Start your quest by finding the tweeter that you think might
give you satisfaction then work your way down. I'm sure
you can build a great sound system with Aurum Cantus, Raven,
SA, etc. tweeters.

The SA is not a true ribbon like the others, some refer to is
as an isodynamic planar. There is nothing wrong with planar
drivers if they are designed well like the SA driver. I think the
engineer responsible for this driver also created the PRD
tweeters for SLS loudspeaker;

and the pro ribbons for;

All these manufacturers generically called the tweeters 'ribbons'.

SA, PRD, Alcons appear to be impressive drivers, but last time
I checked SLS and Alcons will not sell the drivers for DIY purposes,
but SA does. The SA driver is a great driver but you might find
the mechanical design frustrating if you are a newbie. I had to
modify mine for mounting and rework the electrical wiring from
the front to rear.

The SA without waveguide is flat down to around 1.6khz and
for home use you don't want the waveguide option. What I like
about the SA driver over the pure ribbons is the driver is robust,
SA uses it in a prosound application and it seems to handle power
very well .. whereas users of pure ribbon drivers say they are
more delicate (Do they use pure ribbons in prosound ?).

After you pick your favorite tweeter proceed to figure out
what midrange you want. Generically speaking, larger diameter
midranges will lack top end but you gain better bottom end.
Is this a problem? not really depending on the tweeter you chose.
If you chose the smaller ribbons then you might want to try a
6.5" midrange like the PHL 1120 or Audax, etc. If you choose the
bigger ribbon then you can also now consider the 8" - 10"
midranges as an alternative because they you will most likely
cross then over around 2khz plus or minus. If you want 8" or
10" midrange with high sensitivity then you might as well seek
the PHL drivers otherwise if you don't need the high sensitivity
then you can also consider other drivers like Seas Excel.

I would also look to see if you can get some Lambda TD15
(S, H, X) woofers for the bass (TD12 would be minimum),
faraday motor or greater. If you plan to biamp and seek higher
sensitivity, get the 4 ohm version and make sure your power
amplifier can handle 4 ohms.

Consider a seperate subwoofer for low pass 40hz-60hz and
run the Lambda either high passed or not, sealed or ported works
well. You can fine tune this later.

I haven't tried the ATC softdome midranges, they look like
exceptional drivers.

Don't try to judge a tweeters performance by how low it
goes. My SA driver can handle a 1khz crossover point and
it sound great, but I really don't like tweeters operating that
low because I prefer to have more of the vocals coming from
the midrange drivers, it's a personal preference. That said,
even if I had the magic tweeter that operated down to 500hz,
most likely I would like the sonics of this setup. I tend to
operate my tweeters around 2khz plus or minus a few hundred
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Old 29th March 2004, 08:26 PM   #8
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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This depends a LOT on the type of amplification used vs. the driver AND on where and how steep the crossover is for the drivers. (and what your required eff. is.)

thylantyr is correct about the drivers - in addition the Piega is also a planar and is does not utilize beryllium, its a hand-etched aluminum conductor on a mylar (or derivitave) suspension. (you can see the dude making them here:
Also the PT-R9 IS a true ribbon that does use beryllium BUT its made by TAD (not phillips).

As far as fountek being an "illegal" copy of the Arum Cantus designs - well there both made in China, can't really tell you about chinese law. Futhermore these designs (Ravens included) are copies of ribbons that had international patents that expired LONG ago.

A manufact.s spec. Raven R2 is used in the Ariels. THIS does NOT mean that the Raven is better (though it IS built better), remember that Ariel needed a ribbon that would match with their own mid-driver AND with most commercial amps. You can actually do better (FAR better) with different ribbons and more exotic amps.

If your spending a fair chunk of change (and it sounds like you are) then I'd go for the G1's that have higher eff. and a lower fs. They also have a VERY clean decay down to 1500 Hz (which only the raven R3 has).
Then you have to consider your crossover carefully - if its a steep network then you can high-pass the ribbon fairly low (perhaps 1500 Hz for a 24db an octave cross), thus allowing you to use a midrange that does not extend as high in the midrange. If this is the case then I'd probably go with a PHL 3450. (perhaps in an open baffle.)
IF your using a higher crossover setting (for a shallower slope say 6-12 db an octave) then I'd use the PHL 1040.

The Bass driver is a bit tricker. Here you'll need to see what type of amplifier your using - IF its a good solidstate then chances are you'll recieve a doubling of power as impeadance halves. IF its a SET desing then you may have something close to the opposite effect, (i.e. a doubling of power if impeadance is doubled). This is important to know because w/out spending hidious amounts of money you will need to use 2 bass drivers to achieve the eff. of you mid and tweet. Using 2 drivers and considering the doubling of surface area you will have an extra 3db gain. Then you'll add on an aproximate additional 3db of gain with the wiring and your amp. IF its a solidstate then you parallel the connect the drivers. IF its a SET then you will series connect the driver. This should give a total of 6db increase (though it will more likely be about 5 db).

Bass drivers: TAD TL-1101H (a VERY nice driver that works well in a bass reflex). A good choice with the 10 inch PHL and a solid state amp.

Supravox 215 GMF in a T-Line (an outstanding driver in a T-Line). A superb choice for SET amplification and the 6 1/2 inch PHL.

Remember that room gain factors in with low freq. response so that flat to 32 Hz is NOT flat in room - typically there is "bass-lift" equal to about 6db an octave below 50 Hz. (The two drivers and their enclosure alignments I've mentioned take this into consideration.)
perspective is everything
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Old 30th March 2004, 08:30 AM   #9
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Location: Athens
Thank you everybody for the help! I am really getting out of my confusion! And I thing I am finding my way out:

--Aurum Cantus G1 vs Raven R2--

I would choose the G1 because as I have heard it hasn't got any of the impendance problems that Raven R2 has in lower than 3khz range (ref. Nelson Pass)

In addition G1 has excellent sonics down to 1500hz (using a steep crossover) that only R3 has.

R2 is a little bit better built.

G1 is flatter with nice waterfall plots.

--Midrange selection--

As I have made my choice for Aurum Cantus G1 now, it could be x-overed down to 1800Hz +/- 300hz. As a result the PHL 1040's upper frequency range would be an expense of money making other serious problems in the lower 700-200hz range. The same goes for PHL 1120 too which seems to be exceptional from 5khz-450hz (weak 400-300hz), which can't be considered (400hz) as fairly low. Audax PR170M0 was not selected because salas said it has short lifetime so recone kits are needed (I hope PHL 3450 hasn't got such problems). So the best choice in the midrange would be PHL 3450 with crossevers of maybe: 1600hz and 225hz.

One problem for PHL is that they are not officially distributed here in Greece, so I have to buy them from France (something I hope won't cost a lot more).

--Bass woofer selection--

a pair of Tad TL-1101H, or a pair of Tad TL-1102, or the recently discovered very expensive Supravox 400-Exc (any opinions?)

As a final result of my future project, it will stand against which range of speakers >20000$ <20000$?, [with a fairly good amp Mosfet or tube amp (Sens>96db)]. Will it surpass the systems that use Scan-speak such as 8545, Revalator series? Would Aurum Cantus G1 surpass the Scan-speak Ring Radiator R2904-7000 and other similarly priced tweeters such as Focal TLR etc?

Salas can you tell me how have purchased your PHL 1220(I think)? Can Ravens and Tad-Pioneers be found here in Greece?
Will Audax stop providing for sure its components in DIY?
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Old 30th March 2004, 09:15 AM   #10
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I meant Aurum Cantus Greece distributor not Raven (Of cource) Here is also a picture of curves of Supravox 400-EXC (It was used here with Raven R3.1: ) :
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File Type: gif 400exc.gif (7.1 KB, 1605 views)
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