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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

Large floorstanding speakers, Dayton drivers?
Large floorstanding speakers, Dayton drivers?
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Old 12th June 2006, 06:45 AM   #1
creyc is offline creyc  United States
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Default Large floorstanding speakers, Dayton drivers?

I'm a bit fed up with today's selection of hifi speakers, at least those anywhere near the affordable (or at least just below astronomical) range. Everyone is doing multiple small fast moving drivers to create bass. B&W 703's, Paradigm Studio 100's each use this approach and it frankly doesn't suit my room or listening style. These small 6"+ drivers simply don't move enough air in my large room, and I have no intention of taking the home theatre route of just "add a subwoofer!!".

I listened to some B&W 800D (two 12" bass drivers) and 801D (one 15") floor standing loudspeakers and was VERY impressed. B&W does a terrific job of the mids and highs but it's the bass that really blew me away. Even in relatively "bright" tracks you can tell there is deep thunderous bass on tap, ready to fire. Everything about those speakers gives you the feeling to crank it up LOUD and really get into the music. And even at that, they never sound "loud" in a negative sense, probably because of how smooth they sound.

But they run roughly $16,000. Thats a little (lot?!) prohibitive for me, and I have a feeling I can get close for a LOT less. I have a bit of DIY audio experience and will be working with an expert craftsman in woodwork. I have a very rough idea of what I want, maybe Scanspeak 18W8545 mids, Focal TC120Tdx2 tweeters and 2 Dayton RSHF 12" woofers per speaker. How are these woofers in terms of sound? They are quite cheap, compared with say a Focal Audiom 13 so I wonder how they would turn out in a project such as this. Has anyone done a similar project with favorable results? I saw the Andromeda DIY tutorial online which actually got me into the whole idea of building my speakers.
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Old 12th June 2006, 07:25 AM   #2
tktran303 is offline tktran303  Australia
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I fully agree.

Each time I go to a live concert, I come home and just laugh at my pathetic 7" two-ways.

To recreate an effortless sound that's conveyed by a 1-50 person ensemble, you need an incredible dynamic range. And for an incredible dynamic range, you need big drivers.

Unfortunately, any kind of multi-way loudspeakers that uses one or two 12-15" bass drivers needs some serious cabinetry. Luckily you've got that covered.

Now without electronic filter/crossover design experience, it's easy to throw money at drivers and never get them performing their best. Really, you're throwing money down the drain.

If you budget stretches to cost-no-object territory (except you don't think it logical to pay the price of a small car) then you can build some monsters.

Here's a dual RS12HF per side dipole.-
Monte Kay's monster 4-way SSWWMT

Other monsters-
John Kreskovsky's NaO- 3 way dipole WMTM, either
NaO II (active-passive) or III (passive)

Linkwitz Orion- WWMT active dipole.

And last, but not least, a conventional box design with passive crossovers-

Dave Gatti's Delta- a 3.5 way sealed box cost-no-object baby.

These links should be you out of trouble for awhile.
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Old 12th June 2006, 02:11 PM   #3
ttan98 is offline ttan98  Australia
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I have the same idea, I stumble on another site:

where Mark made many measurements on the Dayton RS225 - 8" woofer. He seemed to be favaourable to this driver.

I may use this 2 drivers(4 ohm) in series to give > 90db using measured data rather published data. Initial testing in an 65l box ported, will give -3db FR at about 40Hz. Using both drivers operating will give suffcient air push for 40Hz bass and also sufficient sensitivity.
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Old 12th June 2006, 06:42 PM   #4
prerunnerv6 is offline prerunnerv6  United States
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IMHO, go for it. I built a pair of loudspeakers that each incorporate dual Dayton Classic 12" woofers. The sound easily covers VERY large rooms and sounds good at either high or low volume. It is a budget setup with good results.

The Dayton Reference speakers are superior to the Classics. I would expect them to be even better...just judging on what I've read about them.
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Old 12th June 2006, 10:33 PM   #5
ingrast is offline ingrast  Uruguay
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Originally posted by ttan98
where Mark made many measurements on the Dayton RS225 - 8" woofer. He seemed to be favaourable to this driver.

I've built 4 ea. 51 lt. sealed 2-way boxes with RS-225 and RS28A, electronic crossover and am quite satisfied.

Bass is deep and strong, obviating need for a separate subwoofer even for organ pieces played at high power.

They do not sound loud in the wrong sense, they come in strong and you notice you are playing loud only because you cannot sustain a conversation with someone else.

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Old 12th June 2006, 11:42 PM   #6
creyc is offline creyc  United States
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Originally posted by ingrast

They do not sound loud in the wrong sense, they come in strong and you notice you are playing loud only because you cannot sustain a conversation with someone else.
Precisely my observation of the large B&Ws!

At this point I'm very interested in a dual 12" speaker. Wilson audio uses a 15" and 13" driver in their flagship Alexandria speaker, clearly a great low end can be had with a similar setup. Using two 12's should mean less crossover work than a 13 and 15, and these networks are already more complex than I imagined. I'm currently building a pair of amplifiers though, so if I can come up with a design and plan out the crossover and delays and such I can get the boards built when I get my amp PCBs done shortly.

I'm still very flexible on parts choice at this point, I'd really like to follow someone else's success rather than reinvent the wheel. This has proved the best solution with my amplifiers as well. I really like Monte Kay's design so far, actually they all look great but I can't help but notice they all use an open-back design for the woofers. I personally have never heard or have any experience with such a system. Why would one choose such a design over a bass reflex or even a sealed box? I know the 800D's are ported.
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Old 13th June 2006, 02:11 AM   #7
hongrn is offline hongrn  United States
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Where are you in SoCal? I just finished this monster, so if you're closed by, you can drop by for a listening session. I'm in North Orange County.



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Old 14th June 2006, 09:03 AM   #8
creyc is offline creyc  United States
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nice work hongrn, they look great!

Your just a ways south of me, im in the burbank area, LA. I'll have to see what my schedule is like but a demo of those would be pretty cool!

So guys, are there any more traditional designs using large (12", 13", 15" even) drivers, bass reflex or sealed. I've had some experience building both ported and sealed subwoofers, but not much as full range goes. It just seems like doing a fairly esoteric design isn't the best option when you're DIY, as the margin of safety goes down with intricate designs. It sounds like open back speakers work well, but I'm not comfortable putting resources into something I've not at least experienced.

I've got to imagine some body has tried to replicate an 801D or some such as far as sound? I know the design is a bit difficult with curves and balls etc, but I really only care about the sound. We can make it look good on our own.

Click the image to open in full size. 801D - one 15" bass driver. One 6.5" mid.

Click the image to open in full size. 800D - two 12" bass drivers. One 6.5" mid.
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Old 15th June 2006, 05:05 AM   #9
herm is offline herm  United States
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There are bunch of guys playing with the Parts Express / Dayton
Reference drivers over at HT Guide.


Look under Mission Possible DIY, Mission accomplished.

Here is a link to one that jumps out at me:


I reccomend starting your DIY hobby with a completed design!

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Old 15th June 2006, 06:53 AM   #10
sqlkev is offline sqlkev  United States
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b&w spends alot of time r&d and makes really nice cabs. It would take a tremendous amount of work to imitate. If you want your bass to sound just like the speakers you listen to, be prepare to do lots of cabinet work.

I've been intrigued with Monte Kay's project as well. I'll need to find some more amps and another dcx to do the processing though.
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