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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

Design your worst speaker (Context provided)
Design your worst speaker (Context provided)
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Old 7th December 2017, 06:06 AM   #1
ReDress is offline ReDress  Canada
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Default Design your worst speaker (Context provided)

Hello everyone - Something of a weird question...if you could design a purposefully terrible system, how would you go about it?

This idea, or concept, came about from my studio environment/production background - where things like (Yamaha) NS10s and (Auratone) 5cs are used as "Terrible" speakers/"grotboxes" - as an attempt to give engineers a taste of what their mixes would sound on "the average system"

(Now I understand that there is more than simply the premise of them simply sounding "Bad," humorously enough, they actually possessed certain qualities that made them quite desirable as mixing tools - with the NS10 being that it had some nice time-domain responses allowing one to focus on transients in the mix, and the 5c being that it was a single driver/crossoverless design allowed one to really focus and dial in on the midrange...Now I know that most likely missing a few extra details here and such, but the premise was what was important)

As such, it got me thinking...in America, the primary mixing philosophy is to essentially mix down to the lowest possible denominator; while in the UK (the BBC's philosophy, if I can recall correctly...), the philosophy is to mix on the most accurate/high-fidelity system you can get your hands on (being that a better tool would allow one to hopefully produce a better result - which would be potentially appreciated on just about every system from there and down)

Thus, I'm curious (as more of a thought experiment, than anything - though, if you guys catch on to something, that'd be cool to see as well)...if you could purposefully design a terrible loudspeaker - or the system which would everyone be able to have access to (like, say, laptop or phone speakers), how would you do it?

(I recognize as well that the speakers I had alluded to earlier in the post were more along the lines of "happy accidents," where they just so happened to be good mixing tools that people took a notice to)

One caveat, if I may add...I'm not really looking for a matter of, "Well, just use cheap transducers" - as what can be noted is that expensive/nice parts != expensive/nice sound, I really am looking for terrible implementation

But I digress, much love/many thanks for your guys' time and thoughts

(Hopefully, this question isn't too horrible of a thing to ponder...)
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Old 7th December 2017, 06:35 AM   #2
freddi is offline freddi  United States
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Design your worst speaker (Context provided)
for the cheap

i would round up some terrible and cheap drivers - perhaps "Zebra" has a cheap phenolic compression driver with a simple phase plug and ear-splitting rough response for about $15. That would feed a steel food can about 3" in diameter as a wavegudie. The woofer would be whatever 12" buyout can be bought for $15 maximum and its enclosure would be a a 33-50 gallon galvanized garbage can (as an end driven planar horn) - I'm sure there are some truly rank piezo tweeters which only have output around 5K. A cheap and cheerless 5-6 inch speaker could be added with a #10 steel can as its waveguide..

that should be reasonably terrible

ditto enclosures with Scanspeak Revelator for the $$$ - those steel cans would enhance their qualities. Feastrex could be used for the midrange, a field coil 15 on the bottom of the galvanized steel garbage can.

Last edited by freddi; 7th December 2017 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 7th December 2017, 07:47 AM   #3
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReDress View Post
..I'm not really looking for a matter of, "Well, just use cheap transducers" - as what can be noted is that expensive/nice parts != expensive/nice sound, I really am looking for terrible implementation
Good point, cheap drivers are not necessarily a problem to get to sound good.. if you can get the best out of them and also meet the needs of the speaker at the same time.

I would start with a couple of things. Try to spill as much of the sound around and back as possible and place the speakers near things that add troublesome reflections, and I'd throw in some extra resonances in awkward places.

Could you explain how this is a point of interest?
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Old 7th December 2017, 01:59 PM   #4
chris661 is offline chris661  United Kingdom
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Having measured some Auratones, I can say this - the reason they "let" you focus in on the midrange is because they produce basically nothing else. There's nothing really below 150Hz or above 6kHz.

IME, the following second-reference speakers are useful:
- Middle-spec bluetooth speaker. I use an older Philips ShoqBox with 4x 1" drivers and a passive radiator. Others are available.
- Built-in laptop speakers
- Car stereo (while driving)

None of those are necessarily bad, but they are limited by their purpose. A lot of people have at least one of those systems available for listening, so when mastering I try to make sure the music sounds good on all of those systems.

If I wanted to design a speaker that's just plain bad, I'd get a pair of Behringer DCX2496, a 12-channel amplifier, a big box of crossover parts, a bunch of random drivers in varying sizes and operational states, a few piezo tweeters, and then connect random drivers to random amplifier channels, apply arbitrary but large delays, random crossover slopes and EQ, and slap all the drivers on random sides of a cube with no regards to wiring polarity or, indeed, which way the drivers are facing. Symmetry between the two speakers is not an option. Each driver must be held down with no more than two screws, or perhaps one screw and some old tape. New tape is unacceptable. Two of the larger drivers must rattle at distinct frequencies so as to cause maximum listener annoyance - most of the time, it'll go undetected until one particular note. The rattle frequency must be different between the left and right speakers.
If this setup is deemed to "sound bad", the user may rotate the cubes until a better perceived balance is found. Note that there must be drivers on all sides, and it's perfectly acceptable to have one of the drivers firing into (or crushed by) the stand. As the crushed driver attempts to lift the cabinet up and down, the listening height effectively varies, allowing the user to evaluate many listening positions at once.

That's enough silliness for one day.

Chris
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Old 7th December 2017, 04:43 PM   #5
Muskrat54 is offline Muskrat54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 View Post
Having measured some Auratones, I can say this - the reason they "let" you focus in on the midrange is because they produce basically nothing else. There's nothing really below 150Hz or above 6kHz.

IME, the following second-reference speakers are useful:
- Middle-spec bluetooth speaker. I use an older Philips ShoqBox with 4x 1" drivers and a passive radiator. Others are available.
- Built-in laptop speakers
- Car stereo (while driving)

None of those are necessarily bad, but they are limited by their purpose. A lot of people have at least one of those systems available for listening, so when mastering I try to make sure the music sounds good on all of those systems.

If I wanted to design a speaker that's just plain bad, I'd get a pair of Behringer DCX2496, a 12-channel amplifier, a big box of crossover parts, a bunch of random drivers in varying sizes and operational states, a few piezo tweeters, and then connect random drivers to random amplifier channels, apply arbitrary but large delays, random crossover slopes and EQ, and slap all the drivers on random sides of a cube with no regards to wiring polarity or, indeed, which way the drivers are facing. Symmetry between the two speakers is not an option. Each driver must be held down with no more than two screws, or perhaps one screw and some old tape. New tape is unacceptable. Two of the larger drivers must rattle at distinct frequencies so as to cause maximum listener annoyance - most of the time, it'll go undetected until one particular note. The rattle frequency must be different between the left and right speakers.
If this setup is deemed to "sound bad", the user may rotate the cubes until a better perceived balance is found. Note that there must be drivers on all sides, and it's perfectly acceptable to have one of the drivers firing into (or crushed by) the stand. As the crushed driver attempts to lift the cabinet up and down, the listening height effectively varies, allowing the user to evaluate many listening positions at once.

That's enough silliness for one day.

Chris
Made me laugh Design your worst speaker (Context provided)
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Old 7th December 2017, 05:28 PM   #6
kaputt is online now kaputt  Germany
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7" fullrange driver (84dB/W) in an 8" wide bass reflex cabinet.
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Oh boy, I live in the snake oil thread...
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Old 7th December 2017, 10:19 PM   #7
manninen is offline manninen  Finland
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Click the image to open in full size.
When i was like 9years old i found speaker that fit into that big hole, and i make it play

Last edited by manninen; 7th December 2017 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 8th December 2017, 03:31 AM   #8
soendervig is offline soendervig  Switzerland
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And you got a flow-resistance built in too

Cheers

Kim
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Old 8th December 2017, 07:26 AM   #9
basreflex is offline basreflex  Spain
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shop for a kid's DJ set, with leds inside the speakers. once had to repair a proud dj set, that had an impressive size piezo 1 3/8driver coupled to a large horn, to supplement the tiny magnet woofer. sold as a kilowatt power unit. a poerfect source of low level distortion.
another option is a widely sold wharfedale 2way system denton2 sold in the seventies. at first it sounded nice, but after 15 minutes of listening the tweeter made you so annoyed, you could trash a busstop.
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Old 8th December 2017, 10:12 AM   #10
gfiandy is offline gfiandy  United Kingdom
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The NS10 has some very specific characteristics that make it extreemly revealing, so its not really fair to call it a nasty speaker. The following rather long article explains that its very good transient response and suitability for placing on a console where its lower mid and bass are enhanced (combined with a very distinctive white cone) are probably the reasons it became a defacto standard.

The Yamaha NS10 Story |
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