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Old 9th November 2002, 03:13 PM   #1
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Default Taking a hack at nearfield monitors

I'm an active home recordist, and have tinkered
a little bit with speaker building, fixing up
some old speakers for my friends. I've decided
to get more ambitious and try my luck at
building some nearfield monitors. I've
auditioned many of the popular nearfields in my
local music stores, and found that most of them
tend to have their own "designer" sound, and
aren't really neutral. Many of them are lacking
in deep bass as well. The ones that did impress
me, such as the better Tannoys and Dynaudios,
cost more than I'm interested in spending.

To get started I read Ray Alden's "Advanced
Speaker Systems", and found it entertaining.
I'm looking to make an acoustic suspension
speaker, and checked out his explaination of
how the system Qtc affects the transient and
bass response. Not knowing if I perfer better
transients over flatter response, I designed
a speaker cabinet that I can stack flat boards
inside, so that I can adjust the internal
volume. I'm using an 8" woofer, so my test
cabinet has an internal volume of 1 cubic foot,
and I should be able to adjust it down to less
than half that. I'm making the front baffel
replaceable, so that I can use it with other
driver combinations down the road. Hopefully,
my ears will be able to tell me what the best
cabinet volume for my woofers will be, as
opposed to choosing a cabinet volume based on
mathematic calculations.

For my drivers, I picked out an 8" carbon fiber
woofer from MCM electronics, catalog #55-1550,
and ordered a pair of the Dynavox D2801XL
tweeters from them as well. Just to test out
the drivers in my cabinet, I will be using an
off the shelf crossover, 12db/oct at 3500 Hz.
I may need some guidance on a better crossover
a little later. I'm also not opposed to using
different drivers, if I'm not happy with what
I hear.

Well, I was just hoping that some of you may be
able to critique my project and driver
selection. I'm going to start assembling my
test cabinet later tonight.
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Old 9th November 2002, 04:08 PM   #2
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Default crossover

I feel that if you use an 8 inch bass/mid range driver , you should crossover earlier - possibly 2000 Hz. That is because I find that many 8 inch drivers are not very good going higher than that. You could use a 3 order crossover for the tweeter to protect it when you crossover at a lower frequency. But there are no hard and fast rules and you can just rig up the system and see how it sounds.
Don't forget that drive units take several days - if not weeks - to break in and sound consistent and generally better than when they are new. So I would guess you have two to three months of listening to do before you can come to any reasonable conclusion about the system you have now. You can tweak along the way of course !
Cheers.
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Old 9th November 2002, 07:00 PM   #3
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Default speakers

hi there,

if you like speaker-construction - fine, go ahead build lots of speakers.
but!!!
if you need a precise tool for your recordings, do your self a favour and get a proffesionel made product.
i prefer atc and the small avalon monitor...

good luck !
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Old 9th November 2002, 07:13 PM   #4
halojoy is offline halojoy  Sweden
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Default Precise tool

Quote:
Originally posted by tbla
if you need a precise tool for your recordings, do your self a favour and get a proffesionel made product
DynAudio Audience 42 has gotten Great Reviews!
http://www.audioreview.com/PRD_124972_1594crx.aspx

Notice how CLOSE the tweeter and woofer are placed,
to get sound coming from one point
Attached Images
File Type: jpg audience42.jpg (15.8 KB, 1252 views)
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Old 9th November 2002, 10:06 PM   #5
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neutral recording studio sound.......

just doesn't exist.

A good monitor doesn't have to be neutral, it has to be an average of what you called 'designer sounds'.

Main reason is that what you recorded should sound 'nice and pleasing' on a transistor radio, a walkman, a mainstream car radio, an average hifi installation and a $100,000 high-end stuff.

Indeed, depending on the kind of music you're recording, popular music is more important to sound good on lower-end stuff (some bass- and treble-boost), classical and acoustical music should be more high-endish (neutral, flat).

If you got the best speakers on this planet, I guess you recordings will (and could) not be appriciated by many people, just because they will not be able to hear it the way you did.

One other important thing monitors need to be: analitical. Just to show you everything is right on it where it should be AND in the right proportion.
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Old 10th November 2002, 03:47 AM   #6
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The thing about near-field monitors is that they are near-field. It is very hard to get a tweeter & a midbass to integrate when you are sitting close to it. So i will suggest another approach. A woofer + a mid tweeter. There are now quite a few very good little fullrange drivers that you could use as a midtweeter with an XO somewhere betwen 100 & 250 Hz, then add a woofer/sub below that (you could use your existing 8"). Ideally this would be bi-amped. There are TagBands, HiVi, Fostex, and of course the Jordan JX92.

Here is a thread on some interesting 1.5 ways w 3" TagBands.

dave
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Old 10th November 2002, 04:22 AM   #7
haldor is offline haldor  United States
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There was an interesting powered near field monitor shootout at http://www.prorec.com/prorec/article...256AE100044F41

All 10 monitors examined are two way bi-amped (internal amps) and use 8" woofers.

Might want to read what Rip had to say. Even if you want to make your own it might be helpful to take a look at some commercially available speakers designed specifically for this purpose.

Phil
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Old 10th November 2002, 04:32 AM   #8
halojoy is offline halojoy  Sweden
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Exclamation DynAudio again!

Quote:
Originally posted by haldor
There was an interesting powered near field monitor shootout at
All 10 monitors examined are two way bi-amped (internal amps) and use 8" woofers.Phil
Looks to me, a Dynaudio came out as their test-favourite.
What did I tell you
DynAudio Audience 42, I said
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Old 10th November 2002, 04:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by haldor
All 10 monitors examined are two way bi-amped (internal amps) and use 8" woofers.
Interesting article.

Actually he says 8 out of 10 use 8", the roland he specs as a 6 and the Tannoy he doesn't say (Tannoy has a 6 & an 8 dual-concentric).

I wonder how the Fostex NF1 would fare in his comparison.

Click the image to open in full size.

dave
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Old 10th November 2002, 04:54 AM   #10
haldor is offline haldor  United States
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Hi Dave,

You're right about only 8 of 10 using 8" woofers. It's been a while since I read the article and I was paraphrasing from the introduction.

I have listened to the Mackie's and they are excellent sounding speakers. Very smooth, extended bass response. I am still trying to track down someplace I can hear the Dynaudio's. I have a pair of the Yamaha MP5 (5" woofer, 1" dome tweeter) bi-amped, powered monitors. They are decent sounding speakers with a lot of mid-range punch (Rip was right on the money about that), but they lack bass response. Well what do you expect for $450.

Actually I was just as interested in what Rip had to say about the qualities that make a monitor useful as I was in his opinions about the performance of each speaker. I thought it was a fair and insightful review.

Phil
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