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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 28th March 2005, 09:26 PM   #1
Mikett is offline Mikett  Canada
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Default Open Source Systems Driver Standards

What the hobbyist community needs are open source modular active and passive speaker systems and encliosures. What do I mean by this?

The commnunity agrees on certain aspects of say a 3way or 2 way system. Suppose we settle on a 3 way system. We then standardize on particular crossover frequencies. Then we standardize on baffle widths or modules on each driver. Based on this, baffle step diffraction etc can be a standard accomodation.

So thus we can have different active or passive crossovers that conform to a standard or behavior. We can also then integrate crossovers/gainclones into a single active section.

Confused yet?

Well the biggest aspect is that from this speaker manufacturer will then design drivers themselves that "fit" this standard. What's the benefit? I build an open standard system and want to change a midrange. Today, that's a tedious process with a total redesign of the crossover and possibly enclosure whenever I want to change a driver. With an open standard, I just drop it in and see optimize a little. I really get to hear the driver itself and not a subtoptimal enclsoure and crossover.

Take a woofer enclosure for example, everytime I change the driver, I need to make a new enclosure unless I am lucky. How about manufacturers making a class of drivers that are able to give a standard alignment within a say 150liters. or giving us a "standard" midrange that can operate between 400Hz and 3,000 Hz? With impedance curves that try to match the standard as best they can?

Does anyone get the idea?

For some it may appear that it takes some "fun" away. However, i view it differently. It will introduce/invite many more enthusiasts into the hobby. In a similar fashion to how you assemble a PC. You have an ATX, BTX or micro ATX system, and you have components, GPUs and MBs that conform and plug in. This would spawn an industry where tweeter enclosure, midrange and woofer enclsures can be sold and interchanged, similar for crossovers etc.

For too long, we have seen manufacturers make a product and hobbyists "try" to fit them in. Reverse the situation and watch the industry take off!
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Old 28th March 2005, 10:32 PM   #2
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Sounds like an interesting idea but heres a better solution.

The company provides with this modular system a Behringer (sp??) digital active xover, then whenever you decide to purchase a new driver it comes with a file that you update the xover with. The company would have already built every permutation of speaker and designed a good xover for each combination of drive units, thus can supply you with the xover you need for the new driver change.

See the problem with this is you cannot just swap and change drivers as you wish. If the manufactures altered the drivers so that they worked all with the same xover then they would compromise the performance elsewhere I would imagine.

The situation where this would be good for me would say be to use a poly cone from Skaaning, a paper from scanspeak and a metal from seas and see which one I prefer. Due to the completely different nature of metal cones to paper/poly a stock xover is simply out of the question.

Paper and poly cones have the advantage of controlled break up so you can xover them higher to a tweeter, this would inturn allow a higher xover further away from the critical 1-3khz region and also maybe allow for a 3/4" tweeter with superior dispersion over a 1". Now that is the so called "advantage" of a poly/paper driver.

But a metal cone, due to the resonance, has to be (in most cases) xovered to a 1" tweeter as low as the tweeter can take it. The advantage here is zero break up through the midrange which some people really like the sound of.

Now there is no way you could show off the different materials/drivers, to their best for a good comparison if you had to compromise each so you could swap out one driver for another.
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Old 28th March 2005, 10:57 PM   #3
Mikett is offline Mikett  Canada
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Now keep in mind that this NOT to produce a ho holds barred system. This is to make it a convenience to a sector of consumers that have limited resources to make boxes, crossovers etc and don't want to produce a "whole" new project each time an upgrade is desired. There will be tradeoffs but imagine the flexibility! If you wanted to slip in a metal cone driver and need some suckout filters to control ringing, include it as part of the driver but make it so as the load seen by the standard crossover is constant. So drivers that have severe peaking already come with filter elements to control that.

Again I go back to the PC as an analogue, it would be inconcevable to have to redesign a computer each time a new GPU is conceived. Just imagine the amount of experimentation that would take place if things were more interchangeable. The Woofer issue is a good one. Standard enclosure kits by a host of different vendors can be made for a 150liter class enclosure. Now let's have manufacturers make drivers to fit that category. There are many of us with very limited woodworking resources/workshops though we love to experiment!
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Old 29th March 2005, 09:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mikett


Again I go back to the PC as an analogue, it would be inconcevable to have to redesign a computer each time a new GPU is conceived.
Indeed but you also have to remember that each part within the computer is a finely tuned component made up of many different individual parts.

If you are drawing up a fair comparison here then the loudspeaker would not constitute the whole computer but a single part of it. The computer on its own accomplishes a task, a loudspeaker on its own is like a car without petrol, a useless waste of space.

A pair of loudspeakers, a CD player and an amplifier would represent a computer.

I know thats not what this post is about and your using the computer as an example to help describe what you are saying. I too think its a good idea but unfortunately will never happen because its (I would imagine) a hugely unprofitable thing to do.
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Old 29th March 2005, 10:06 PM   #5
Mikett is offline Mikett  Canada
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I guess it takes a standards committee to develop such a thing and even then it would take an industry leader with some vision so do such. In the speaker biz, there is none and there's no clear leader.

It's clear that driver manufacturing is geared towards OEM business and when you think about the complexity of putting a decent crossover/box together, it's no wonder that the retail side is minor. As many can attest to many amateur speaker building projects end up being white elephants. Is there a market that likes to swap? sure there is, just look at the automotive sector and wonder why it's a profitable one. Imagine a manufacturer making drivers that did not use 4", 5 1/4, 6 1/2 etc cutouts.

Ever heard of a saying about a "frog in a well only sees the sky as the world"? or something to that effect? Theat's the speaker biz.
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