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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 21st September 2001, 04:35 AM   #1
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If you look at really exspensive speakers, B&W, Wilson Audio, Martin Logan, German Physiks and other high end speakers, you notice that none are the same. No two companies share the same basic design feature. So how on earth are you suppose to come up with the perfect speaker design, when there seems to be none to follow? I want to build an amazing pair of speakers for myself, but i got no idea what an amazing pair of speakers is made of.

I could build a corian box, that look's like the Watt/Puppies, and put in two 8", a 6.5" and a tweeter.

Or i could build a snail shape box, and put in lots of speakers.

But what is the best?!?

two 8" drivers, or one 15" for bass?
A mid and a mid/bass, or just a mid/bass?
A corian box, or a MDF/SAND/MDF sandwich?
A box design, or a odd shape design, like a sphere?
A down firing port, or a rear firing port?

It's driving me mental..

I know i have to build speakers to my music taste (acid jazz, trip-hop, electronica).. but ehh... so yeah.. any suggestions on what to build? The budget is not a matter..
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Old 21st September 2001, 07:11 AM   #2
hifiZen is offline hifiZen  Canada
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heh. if you figure out the answer to this problem, let me know!

I don't think anyone out there can agree on what the best speakers are... they each have their strengths and weaknesses, and there are many schools of thought about which properties are most important... frequency response, phase response and time alignment, THD, IMD, polar patterns etc...

...and of course you'll want to choose something which suits your music, and the room you'll have these speakers in, since the room is really part of the enclosure.
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Old 21st September 2001, 07:16 AM   #3
hifiZen is offline hifiZen  Canada
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for trip hop and electronica, you'll probably want mostly a nice flat frequency response (in-room), and polar pattern may be important if you want to avoid annoying neighbours (see http://www.linkwitzlab.com for an interesting discussion on this). Of course if you're into this kind of music, i'm sure you like your bass, so subs might be a consideration too.
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Old 21st September 2001, 01:21 PM   #4
Super is offline Super  United States
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Just to let you know, although two 8 inch drivers may produce tighter, faster bass, using multiple drivers of smaller size cannot produce low frequencies as deep as larger drivers. You must move a large amount of air softly, not small amounts of air violently, in order to achieve low bass.
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Old 21st September 2001, 11:12 PM   #5
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Super:

Two 8" speakers have approximately the same cone area as one 12" speaker. Assuming that they have the same back-and-forth excursion and are identical in all other respects, are you saying that the 8 inchers will not produce the bass that the 12 incher would?

I realize as a practical matter, most 12's have greater excursion than most 8's. Still, let us say that the excursion, along with everything else, is identical.
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Old 22nd September 2001, 01:00 AM   #6
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As a general rule, the free air resonance (F3) of 8" or 10" drivers won't be as low as that of 12" drivers. To a first approximation, the free air resonance of a driver is going to be about the lowest frequency that you can expect it to reproduce. If it were purely a question of the amount of air moved, all would be well, but once a driver begins to roll off, you have to resort to extreme measures such as increasing the drive to the driver to compensate for the decreasing output. Of course, the same trick can be used for 12" drivers, so they still win in the end.

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Old 22nd September 2001, 02:00 AM   #7
Super is offline Super  United States
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Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was referring to the principles that Grey was talking about.
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Old 22nd September 2001, 05:48 AM   #8
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Ok, so two 8" won't go as low as one 12", but two eights would be better than one 8" right? And three 8" would be too much right? I think so..

So right now, my current design is a 1" dome tweeter, 6.5" mid bass, and two 8" subs.

I'm hoping it will give me amazing mid (voices and ambient sounds).. not to strong highs (the B&W Nautilus 801 have horrible high's i find, because they cause discomfort whenever someone says a word with an "S" in it.. it makes that "ear bleeding" pain.. but that might just be the pre amp's fault) and good, qucik but not excessive bass... like car sub bass.. blerk.

Anyone have any comments on the driver set up?

And i'm thinking about porting both the subs and the mid.. would anyone tell me why sealed might be better? just curious.
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Old 22nd September 2001, 06:37 AM   #9
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Nothing wrong with the set up. Everything depends on which drivers you use.

Venting the mid might be tricky-or it might be a good idea. Thing is, the mid is carrying the vocal range-lots of fine detail. Vented designs tend to have a certain amount of distortion. I greatly prefer vented designs for bass reproduction, where the inherent "overshoot" is basically inaudible, and more than compensated by the cone's being relieved of the necessity to travel very far. In the middle ranges, though, it introduces distortion.

Venting the mids might be good if you don't go above 150 Hz for your crossover-your vent should be tuned to 150 Hz. or so.

I would not vent if you cross over at 300 Hz. You will be smack in the middle of the vocal range. Middle A is 440 Hz.
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Old 22nd September 2001, 06:56 AM   #10
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PS:

If you are going to cross over higher than 150 Hz., (or even if you aren't), and you want a nice sharp sounding mid, a sealed system with a final Q lower than 1 is very good. A final Q of .7 gives very good transient response, that is, a smooth, undistorted sound.

If you have a driver in mind, I can give you the box volume that will produce a final Q of .7 for the mid. I don't have a link handy that deals with closed box systems.

I have heard of some system designers that design for a Q below that-even down to .5. Better transient response still.
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