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Old 5th May 2007, 08:17 PM   #1
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Default Pro Sound Speaker building forums??

Anyone know of any Pro Sound Speaker building forums?? I have posted several times here about pro sound speakers and there just doesnt seem to be any interest here. Anyone know of any forums dedicated to pro sound speaker building???



Zc
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Old 5th May 2007, 09:23 PM   #2
gtphill is offline gtphill  United States
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Default Pro Sound Speakers-what did you have in mind?

Howdy!

My Cred--
I have been involved in some capacity with the live sound industry throughout college and graduate school. During college I was a consultant to major pro sound company known mostly for DSP products who was considering manufacturing speakers.

Our design, which ultimately was not completed, would have been a fully integrated design with both internal passive and external DSP processing. We were using the Nexo PS15 as our performance baseline. My expertise was more on the passives/box side, while the companies existing engineers were the DSP whizes.

My Reply--
The DIY community has very little interest in sound reinforcement speakers, and those who are making their livelihood from professional audio are not usually designing/building their own speakers.

The design of professional audio speakers adds a level of complexity above what the average DIY user is capable of. Also, the requirements for durability, safe flyability, and proper arraying make the situation even that much more complicated. Prosound drivers are often very expensive, and are cabinets that can withstand the rigors of the road. This dramatically reduces the value added component of home-made designs.

Also, most people who are working in the business have to meet the rider requirements of the acts in their market, and those people are usually not accepting of proprietary designs, with a few notable exceptions. Proprietary monitor wedges tend to be the most accepted.

All that said, a DIY pro-sound box would be fun project, depending on what the goal was. What sort of boxes are you hoping to build? I might be talked into helping out on a project, depending on the design parameters.
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Old 5th May 2007, 11:49 PM   #3
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Old 6th May 2007, 01:54 AM   #4
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gtphill - I am a weekend warrior soundguy that has done sound for years. I have never been happy with the sound of live boxes. affordable boxes that is!

My current setup is a pair of Yamaha single 18" subs with JBL Mpro single 15 + horn top cabs with all QSC power. the set up works and is reasonable out of the box but they are lifeless.

I would like to build a new pair of top boxes. maybe something that is a passive 3 way using good quality drivers selected new or used for the smoothest sound.

I do sound for an all womens Jam band and so the vocal range is critical. Most of the time pro boxes have this nasely, honky horn sound that i cant stand. or, kick drums that sound like a wet cardboard box.

My thought, was to build a wedge top box with single 15 that has good transient response. then mate that to a cone mid that will cover 300-3K as flat as possible, coupled to a horn tweet up to 15K+

But, a few years ago at the CES Show. Paul Hales and QSC had a private demo of some prototype boxes that had 2x 12" woofers and a horn tweeter in a MTM config. I was BLOWN away by the sound. i damn near stood up in the middle of the demo as i didnt believe what i was hearing. they actually imaged! had 3d depth and sounded like expensive high end home speakers. I WANT THAT SOUND! I have tried like hell to buy that pair of protoypes from QSC to no avail....

SO....My thought was to build a pair of audiophile quality Pro top boxes. I want to build passive but biamp capable. My live set up is alreay complicated enough and more amps and x-overs etc just gets hectic fast. The subs i have i can deal with for now. later we can look at some better sub designs but for now i need to get the vocals right.

Looking at specs for PA mids is really dissapointing. But a couple from B&C look reasonable. If we decide to go that route.

I am not opposed to a 2 way box if it can be done right. and that is the key. Paul hales made those 12's and a 2" horn work, but i suspect there was a bunch of DSP ahead of them. a 15" crossing over to a horn at 1-2K just doesnt sound like a great idea to me. I just cant see a 15 or even a 12" performing well at 1K+ not to mention what the tweeter is doing down that low.... and speaking of tweetrs, Looking at Tweeter specs is even more disspointing. and real world sound VS spec sheets is a whole other issue.

Cost is a concern, and i want to try and do this as cost effective as possible. I dont mind hunting drivers or horns etc on eBay to get the best price.

That is a lot to ask for i know. But part of this is for the experiance of doing it and examining what problems there are and how to overcome them, or what comprimises are needed etc....

Lound and boomy is not what i am after. clean, smooth, non harsh. 3D imaging thats what i want to achive. More along the lines of large studio monitors maybe with a reasonable 300-500 watt per box power handling.

I have not put a SPL meter to the rom during the night, but we are maybe 90-100db max during the night. in a room that holds maybe 100-150.

I have a QSC PLX1804 for the mains which is 500/800 watts pers side at 8/4 ohms and i have a PLX3402 i bridge mono for the subs that will do 3400 watts (WAY more then my current subs can handle). these amps barley tick over during our average night and i have never seen a clip light during a show.


after all that, Still interested in the challange????


Also i checked out that speaker plans website and didnt see much that there looked interesting.
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Old 7th May 2007, 03:44 AM   #6
gtphill is offline gtphill  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zero Cool
[B]gtphill - I am a weekend warrior soundguy that has done sound for years. I have never been happy with the sound of live boxes. affordable boxes that is!

My current setup is a pair of Yamaha single 18" subs with JBL Mpro single 15 + horn top cabs with all QSC power. the set up works and is reasonable out of the box but they are lifeless.
I hate to break it to you, but JBL MPro is one of the best low budget tops out there. How do you define lifeless? How do you have the boxes powered? How are you crossing the boxes to the subs?

Quote:
I do sound for an all womens Jam band and so the vocal range is critical. Most of the time pro boxes have this nasely, honky horn sound that i cant stand. or, kick drums that sound like a wet cardboard box.
Many times that is much a source problem as anything. The venerable SM58 has a peak of it's proximity effect right in the 500hz range, and can be very nasally without eq. One thing I have learned as a designer is that many problems attributed to the speakers can be a problem with the source, or with the person mixing.

Quote:
My thought, was to build a wedge top box with single 15 that has good transient response. then mate that to a cone mid that will cover 300-3K as flat as possible, coupled to a horn tweet up to 15K+
There are not very many pro sound mid drivers that I would use at 3khz that I would also want to be using at 300hz. More like 500-3khz....

Quote:
But, a few years ago at the CES Show. Paul Hales and QSC had a private demo of some prototype boxes that had 2x 12" woofers and a horn tweeter in a MTM config. I was BLOWN away by the sound. i damn near stood up in the middle of the demo as i didnt believe what i was hearing. they actually imaged! had 3d depth and sounded like expensive high end home speakers. I WANT THAT SOUND! I have tried like hell to buy that pair of protoypes from QSC to no avail....
That was likely a collaboration between sound image and qsc which spawned their current line. I suspect the playback material of that demo was highly polished records, and not live material...

Quote:
Looking at specs for PA mids is really dissapointing. But a couple from B&C look reasonable. If we decide to go that route.
There are not many people using front loaded mid devices in pro audio. The vast majority are horn loaded.

Quote:
Lound and boomy is not what i am after. clean, smooth, non harsh. 3D imaging thats what i want to achive. More along the lines of large studio monitors maybe with a reasonable 300-500 watt per box power handling.
500 watts/box isn't very much. What size spaces are you trying to cover? The smoothness of the PA at concert volumes is often a function of the eq applied to the array, and/or the sources.

After reading all of this, I am more of the opinion that a better discussion would be what pre-existing products would best relate to your situations.

The MPro 412 or 415 are , truthfully, some of the better designs in pro audio, especially at the price point, and it lends me to think the real trouble might be elsewhere--source, mixing, room acoustics, system tuning.
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Old 7th May 2007, 02:19 PM   #7
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gtphill,


Thanks. But the Borrowed Mpro's i have are the 215's not the 400 series. and even the JBL rep confirmed that the 200 series wasn't very good. dont get me wrong. they are ok. fairly flat and they do the job for now.

I use Audix OM-2's and OM-5's for vocal mics. a 58's only as back up etc.

500hz to 3K wouldn't be bad. at least that would cover a very large portion of the vocal range.

The club is about 40' wide and 50 or 60' deep.

I need to purchase or build my own speakers for use at other gigs. thats why i am interested in building a pair of cabs. and it's true, i am not the worlds greatest FOH guy but i do ok.

500 watts per channel isnt much i agree. but with the current set up we can get PLENTY of volume and as i said never ever had the clip lights come on. this club is not very large and they want a lower volume then a typical rock show. so the amount of power we have is more then enough. I'm sure if i pushed it even a little bit i could hit 105db at the mix position easily.

I will bring an SPL meter with me for the next gig and see where we are at normally. i am betting is is maybe 90-95dB at FOH.


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Old 7th May 2007, 05:51 PM   #8
gtphill is offline gtphill  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zero Cool
[B]gtphill,


Thanks. But the Borrowed Mpro's i have are the 215's not the 400 series. and even the JBL rep confirmed that the 200 series wasn't very good. dont get me wrong. they are ok. fairly flat and they do the job for now.
See, that's what I get for assuming. My apologies! It wouldn't surprise me that the 2xx series were junk. Most of the very low end JBL cabs over the years have been junk.

Quote:
I use Audix OM-2's and OM-5's for vocal mics. a 58's only as back up etc.
Both great usuable mics, OM2 is a personal budget favorite of mine for rock.

Quote:
The club is about 40' wide and 50 or 60' deep.

I need to purchase or build my own speakers for use at other gigs. thats why i am interested in building a pair of cabs. and it's true, i am not the worlds greatest FOH guy but i do ok.
Ok, the room is small and narrow.

Being a good FOH guy is hard. I am an excellent system tech, but not as much as a mixer. Lots of mixers out there are really bad, though, so you are likely ahead of the curve if you notice all this stuff.

I guess I am a bit jaded about mix problems being attributed to the PA--welcome to the fun world of system tech!

Quote:
I will bring an SPL meter with me for the next gig and see where we are at normally. i am betting is is maybe 90-95dB at FOH.
Someone mixing in the low 90s! You, sir, have already made it on my "good guys" list. There is a reason I carry Sensaphonic ear plugs on my keychain....

How adverse are you to biamping? Its very tough to do a full range box without biamped lows, unless the lows are horn loaded.
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Old 7th May 2007, 06:37 PM   #9
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As this is a girls jam, and mostly pop/rock/r&b type stuff with small crowds, it doesn't have to be loud. however the drummer is louder then the pa and i usually don't even mic her kit with the exception of the kick drum. But i do mic the snare and run it through a verb and just put the verb in the house. and the guitar player is nick named "Miss Deaf" so house volume is generally set by those two. I try and keep it as low as i can. But i do suffer a bit of fader creep as the night goes on and my ear threshold changes, but i try and keep an eye on that.

I am not completely opposed to Bi-amping, well tri-amping with the subs if it adds something significant to the design. it just adds a degree of complexity/problems and i always try and keep things as simple and as easy as possible. So lets talk about it and we can work our way through the design and go from there.

I was thinking also, that if there is a pre-made box that we can modify, i am not opposed to that either. we can yank out the stock components and x-over and put in whatever. My father has an extensive wood shop down at his place so building cabs is not a problem if that is better. he is retired now so projects as such give him something to do!

My Main complaint with Pro boxes is the top end. they all sound harsh or honky, nasely etc to me. older JBL and EV tweeters were the worst. I did hear a set of Renkus Heinz in an install that sounded great in the mid/highs! but the cabs were 20' in the air and i had no way of knowing what they were.
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Old 7th May 2007, 08:12 PM   #10
azrix is offline azrix  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zero Cool


My Main complaint with Pro boxes is the top end. they all sound harsh or honky, nasely etc to me. older JBL and EV tweeters were the worst. I did hear a set of Renkus Heinz in an install that sounded great in the mid/highs! but the cabs were 20' in the air and i had no way of knowing what they were.
The horn is probably the biggest offender of what you don't like. Staying away from compression drivers with metal surrounds is probably a good idea too, unless you want to spend the money on TAD drivers. Radian and Selenium I know make drivers without metal surrounds and with metal domes. BMS, Beyma, and B&C all make drivers with cloth domes and surrounds.

Renkus Heinz use Earl Geddes's OS waveguide in most of their designs, AFAIK. You can build an OS waveguide fairly easily if you have some experience with fiberglass or a big enough lathe. You also might look at some other horn designs, like Peavey's Quadratic waveguide horns or something in the Tractrix or Le Cleach families. I've been wondering if JBL's Progressive Transition waveguide horns are any good myself.

http://www.gedlee.com is a good starting point
http://sound.westhost.com/articles/waveguides1.htm is also a good place to learn about OS waveguides.
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