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Old 3rd March 2005, 06:39 AM   #1
gengis is offline gengis  United States
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Question 4 way speakers

I am new to this forum.
Had anyone tried to build 4 way speakers before?
I am contemplating on building a pair of 5 driver 4-way floor standing speakers. The crossover will be active and I am thinking of using Jens Rasmussen’s active filter one.
The drivers will be consisted of the following (not set in stone):
1. Tweeter—Focal T120td5 or tc120tdx2; 3.5kHz—20kHz
2. Accuton-C44-8, 2” ceramic mid range; 880Hz-3.5kHz
3. Midrange—Focal (Audiom 6MW); 150Hz-880Hz
4. Woofer-(2) Focal 13W8711; 24Hz-150Hz
I am going to build this as each driver will be in its own enclosure and vented. If this panes out, I will build a transmission version of the speaker with the same driver.

Any suggestions, pointers would be greatly appreciated. Anyone wish to help designing these speakers would be appreciated, please contact me. Any takers?
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Old 3rd March 2005, 06:02 PM   #2
RHosch is offline RHosch  United States
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One suggestion is to seal each enclosure except for possibly the woofer part, which you may or may not want to vent.

Venting the midwoofer, for example, is going to make it more difficult to integrate with the woofer. You'd rather the drivers be flat as far as possible from the crossover slope, and the 24dB/oct ported rolloff is further from that ideal than the 12dB/oct sealed rolloff. If you can't achieve flat response reasonably far from the crossover point, the next best option is to use the mechanical rolloff in combination with a complimentary electrical rolloff to achieve the desired acousitc rolloff. IMO, doing this with a ported response is more difficult and produces less pleasant results.
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Old 3rd March 2005, 11:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: 4 way speakers

Originally posted by gengis
5 driver 4-way floor standing speakers. The crossover will be active
And I thought I was crazy. That is very ambitious. Have you thought this out? The reason I'm asking is I've not heard of that configuration before. What are you using for your four amps?

I have a bi-amped four way, under construction with a plate amp and woofer/ drone combo rear firing. A front firing mid woofer, and a mid and tweeter OB. XO's at 100, 1,000 and 10,000.

I'm beginning to question my sanity. I've always been a two way kind of guy and I guess i don't have enough to do in my life...hence I'm building a four way.

Sounds like fun, I look forward to other's replies.

planet10 needs your help:
Let's help Ruth and Dave
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Old 4th March 2005, 12:04 AM   #4
DonoMan is offline DonoMan  United States
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Dunno, but make sure you take lots of pics when it's done!
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Old 4th March 2005, 01:33 AM   #5
janusz is offline janusz  Australia
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Default 4 way

Hi gengis,

You you really want you may well built not only 4 way but even 5 (or more) way monsters. But what for? An ideal system should have one speaker driver covering well the whole audio range. Unfortunately there are no such drivers and that's why we are here trying to find out the best compromise

If you already have your drivers I think you may do better by splitting the system into 2 subsystems. If I were you I'd put your woofers in separate subwoofer enclosures and made them fully active. An accelometer should be attached to one driver in each subwoofer box and its signal connested to the NFB of the power amp driving it. It's not the easiest solution for a DIY enthusiast without a sufficient set of tools. Anyway, it is the ideal if you want to use your woofersThe other part is easier. You have two 3 way sattelites and they are easy to design and build and you may freely move them around.

My last system (no subwoofers yet built) follows the above principle, however, unlike in your system the satellites are big. They use Dynaudio Esotec tweeter, Audax midrange (HM130CO) and two Dynaudio mid-woofers - 12ohm W17XLs - per box in d'Apollito look-like configuration. Audax is a temporary driver. Originally the midrange was to be the top Dynaudio Esotar D560 but before I collected enough money to buy a pair Dynaudio stopped selling them.

The woofers I bought 5 years agow are then (but now obsolete) top Peerless 12". So I decided to get rid of them and most likely to use Rhytmik Audio 2 active subs instead. But that has to wait until the next year. Hopefully they will have 15" drivers in them. Alternatively I'll build my own set with either dual voice coil drivers or with an accelerometer.

My huge satellites, although closed at the moment, will have a variovent and if I was to built subs I would also use variovents with them. Reasons are simple - impedance at the resonant frequency goes down by at least 30% and the system Q also drops a little bit. The reason they are large is that I knew they would have to work for a long time before I got decent subs.

I have also made another compromise, namely I use only two amps to drive each chanel so the crossover is a first order passive and crossover point set at 5kHz. There are many reasons for crossing that high but it is another story. My main concern is to find a decent 8ohm 90 dB midrange (mid/upper-woofer) capable of at least 100W RMS with free air resonant frequency around 100Hz or below.

The active crossover crosses at around 550Hz and is 4th order Bessel. When I get subwoofers the low crossover frequency will be between 120Hz and 150Hz and a second order Butterworth probably.

Having learnet from this experience so far I am already planning to built a better system. It will have high power full wide frequency driver as a midrange. Tweeter will take over at above 5kHz, and a woofer (or two will be 8") at least 150W RMS 12-15 ohms if I find such (I do not like much the amp to see less than 6ohm load. Alternatively (and I like it more) I'll go for electrostatics. Active subs will stay so they have to be really good. Active subs with NFB correction REALLY SOUND SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER!!!

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Old 4th March 2005, 03:27 AM   #6
dooper is offline dooper  Canada
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Default Re: 4 way

Originally posted by janusz
An accelometer should be attached to one driver in each subwoofer box and its signal connested to the NFB of the power amp driving it. It's not the easiest solution for a DIY enthusiast without a sufficient set of tools. Anyway, it is the ideal if you want to use your woofers.
Intriguing. I'm pretty sure NFB=negative feedback, but could you post any links or hints on how this would be accomplished?


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Old 4th March 2005, 05:10 AM   #7
gengis is offline gengis  United States
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Arrow Update

First I would like to Thanks all for the replies.
I guess I did not elaborate enough.
I personally like floor standing speaker with enough bass to rid of the subwoofers, for listening to 2 channel music; movie is a different story.

Each driver will have its own enclosure or (chamber), the tweeter and midrange will be sealed, or midrange with transmission line enclosure? Not sure at this point. But the woofers will be vented.
The crossover points will be experimental and trials when speakers are finished.
I would like to see if anyone can help simulate the setup on the computer (good software, like LEAP) and some what pin point the crossover frequencies. The crossover is going to be my most challenge part of this project. I am somewhat a novice on electronics, but with enough research and digging, that will come trhoguh. I am very efficient in woodworking and has tablesaw, router, etc. (I am also a tool fanatic, anyone in the area can stop by and use my garage, work on cars).

I am going to use Klaus Bunge's Odyssey Strato amps (combination of Mono extremes and dual monos, stereos, amps; 2 mono extreme for the woofers, dual monos for the mid; and stereo for the tweeter and high mid). Or maybe his 5 channel HT amps. I have two pairs of Mono Extreme at the moment.

On a side note, as far as subwoofer is concerned, I like Mr. Erik Tangen's Almighty sub with the 15" JBL woofer. And Stryke's HE series of driver. Maybe that will be the next project after this one.

Janusz, the JBL does have the 2226G/H/J driver variants in 4, 8, and 16 Ohms. And I do not buy the idea of the whole range of sound coming out of 1 speaker. It is phisically impossible. And why for the 4 way speaker.

And Cal, it will be fun building it. Yes, too much time on hand.
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Old 4th March 2005, 08:14 AM   #8
janusz is offline janusz  Australia
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Default subs within NFB and 4 way.

Hi All,

Thanks gengis for the info on JBL drivers. I'll check JBL site next week. Of course even the best one way systems, although some people like them, are not good enough so we have to find a best compromise using a few more speakers. Anyway good luck with your project. Be careful with drivers covering the range between 150Hz to 880Hz as about 50% of audio power (typical music) is in that range.

I'm using internet at work only and have to catch a bus in 10 minutes so I'll be short. The concept is described at this site:

There is a number of ways to do it. Of course a circuit handling the integration of the sub's output with the power amp's differential input must be built. There are a few problems to overcome but in the end the results are quite audible - and measurable.

There were articles in "Electronics World" a few years ago as well in AudioXpress last year describing how it is done with dual voice coils drivers.

I have also a few articles on designing a system with an accelerometer. If anyone were interested I can scan these papers and send via email. Some are in fact in pdf as found them on the net but do nor remember exactly where. I'll be back at work on Tuesday as we have a long weekend. So let me know.

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Old 4th March 2005, 02:47 PM   #9
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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your idea for 4way mimics my thoughts, except IMO separate the woofer from the 3way.
try to find drivers that are capable of working cleanly a full octave above and below each crossover frequency. ie bass upto 300Hz, Bass/mid 75Hz to 1700Hz, mid 400Hz to 7kHz and treble 1700Hz upwards.
Have you thought about using and/or developing the crossover by digital electronics? Behringer do a 6 way crossover that is extremely flexible. You could use it to find the optimum crossover slopes/ frequencies/ delays/ phase/ damping (Butterworth Bessel etc.) and then discard it after you have built the discrete version that matches your newly found requirements. See the behringer thread for ideas on attenuators on the 6 outputs. I know you need 8 but try developing the 3 way with a discrete on the bass and then move everything down & leave the treble with the new discrete crossover that you would be building anyway.
regards Andrew T.
Sent from my desktop computer using a keyboard
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Old 11th March 2005, 06:41 AM   #10
gengis is offline gengis  United States
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Post Update

Will no loner use Focal as the woofer. I will now use Volt 12" radial driver instead. I have acquired all the other drivers except the Accuton and the Volt. Going to get some enclosure material at Menard's tomorrow.
I am going to initially to run the setup with Behringer DCX2496 and find out the sweet spot for the crossover, then tweak the speaker after the custom crossover.
1. Does anyone has (good) experience with Soundeasy?
I am thinking of obtaining a copy.
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