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Old 23rd July 2013, 09:57 PM   #11
Loren42 is offline Loren42  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWizard View Post
Could you explain what it is about Bass Box Pro that you don't like? For my benefit, if not for everyone's.

I'm curious what you think would be better for similar money?

One problem I have with Dickason's books, and every other book I've stumbled across, is that the minute I think I have finally found the key that I am looking for, a new parameter is thrown in that I have no knowledge of. Then I spend hours scouring the book trying to figure out what this parameter is.

With Software you don't need a degree in Physics or Math, though you hope that the people writing the software do have those degrees.

The problem with Manufacturer's T/S Parameters is that they are typical. They are, in a sense, an average of all the drivers made. Ideally, you want the parameters on your specific driver, so you can tailor the results to that one driver. The Manufacturer's specs will get you very close though.

As to doing in yourself, that is certainly an option if you want to spend hours testing, measuring, and calculating as opposed to simply running software that will give you the parameters is a matter of seconds.

The Dayton DATS is specifically made for determining the T/S Parameters of bass drivers. It cost about US$100. Which holds higher value, $100 out of your pocket or hours of your time and a steep learning curve? There is no right answer, but it is something to think about.

I would say, as an education or for only one driver, testing and calculating the values yourself would be invaluable. However, if you are evaluating more than one driver, the right software would be an immense help, and give that the OP is trying to build very high-class high-quality speakers, money spend on designing and testing software is easily justifiable, and probably tax deductible.

One last thought, someone else mentioned REW (Room EQ Wizard), this FREE software that is very sophisticated, and while it will not design software, it has many, if not all, the features you need to test speakers once they are designed and built.

REW - Room EQ Wizard Room Acoustics Software

There are a few 3 or 4 part videos on YouTube demonstrating Room EQ Wizard.

The Original Poster (OP) will need a Mixer, either 2 or 4 channel and either Analog or USB. I have no suggestions on this, though you will see some examples being used in the YouTube videos.

Then you will need a quality measurement microphone, which for your needs will not be all that expensive.

Behringer ECM8000 Measurement Microphone 248-625

Dayton Audio EMM-6 Electret Measurement Microphone Allows For Accurate Acoustic Measurements At A Fraction Of The Price 390-801

Give the implied quality of cabinetry, and the implied quality of the final speakers, I think it is very much worthwhile to get some quality speaker design software, and some testing software to verify the final design.

I also suggest roughing the design up in MDF or similar just to verify that it works as intended, before it is cut and assembled into fine cabinetry.

If there is serious money involved in the final product, then there needs to be some money involved in the design process.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
You can do what works for you, but here are my thoughts.

1. Bass Box Pro is very limited. There are free packages that do everything BB Pro does and more. My issues were that it was a mess or maybe not possible to import custom data for speakers. The choices and algorithms are too simple and not realistic. Granted, I now use LEAP 5, but BB Pro is pretty near the bottom of the scale compared to everything that is out there and they charge too much for what you get. However, what is best to do is to understand as much of the mechanics of speaker design as you can (another words, read and understand those books) before investing in software.

2. If you find it problematic to read the books because the level of complexity is too great, I would suggest you might want to build a few kits or preexisting designs that have the details worked out. There really are no short cuts to this field. It is complex by its nature and you just have to slog through it or build inferior products (unless you just get lucky, which does count ).

3. Published T/S parameters are, at best, an average, and many times a simple fabrication by marketing. It's like shooting a rifle. You can slap a scope on and shoot away, but the results will more than likely be very bad until you align the scope. Again, the amount of effort you put in will reward your results and measuring the T/S parameters is not that hard.

Again, take shortcuts and you will assure an inferior result.

4. Room EQ is a good way to tell where the problems are - in the room - but useless to really understand the what the speaker is doing. That assumes you are simply putting the mics at the listening position, which is not what you want to do. HolmImpulse is another free program that does well for measuring the response from a speaker. You can get a calibrated mic from Parts Express cheap.

5. You do not need to invest heavily into expensive software to design and build speakers. You can, but it is not necessariy and better for the beginner to understand the nuts and bolts of the design process rather than simply push a button. Which, simply pushing a button does not always work as even expensive software like LEAP requires a healthy understanding of the mechanics under the hood or the end result may very well be junk.
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Old 23rd July 2013, 11:34 PM   #12
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I think there is a thin line between warning beginners about the complexities of loudspeaker design and encourage them to "dive into the problem".

One example of these difficulties can be found here. Driver parameters can very well change significant when the drivers are run in.

How the Audax AP100Z0 loudspeaker drivers were broken-in and the T/S parameters measured.

But to our advantage; we can take our time without much thoughts of how much yield each hour spent in this persuit brings back to us. Only in the long run you may consider if it was worth the effort....
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Old 23rd July 2013, 11:42 PM   #13
Loren42 is offline Loren42  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The golden mean View Post
I think there is a thin line between warning beginners about the complexities of loudspeaker design and encourage them to "dive into the problem".

One example of these difficulties can be found here. Driver parameters can very well change significant when the drivers are run in.

How the Audax AP100Z0 loudspeaker drivers were broken-in and the T/S parameters measured.

But to our advantage; we can take our time without much thoughts of how much yield each hour spent in this persuit brings back to us. Only in the long run you may consider if it was worth the effort....
If memory serves, Vance showed that driver break-in did change the T/S parameters, but the net changes were such that they did not alter the final results and the enclosure actually worked out about the same.
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Old 24th July 2013, 12:08 AM   #14
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But he also suggest (if memory serves me) to build a temporary enclosure about 20% too large and measure, then if necessary diminish it by placing objects into it.

A 24 % change in Vas as in the example is significant.

Actual measured t/s data of pre and post break-in of the Audax AP100Z0 loudspeaker drivers. Shown over 0, 30, 50 and 70 hours.
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Last edited by The golden mean; 24th July 2013 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 24th July 2013, 01:49 AM   #15
Loren42 is offline Loren42  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The golden mean View Post
But he also suggest (if memory serves me) to build a temporary enclosure about 20% too large and measure, then if necessary diminish it by placing objects into it.

A 24 % change in Vas as in the example is significant.

Actual measured t/s data of pre and post break-in of the Audax AP100Z0 loudspeaker drivers. Shown over 0, 30, 50 and 70 hours.
I would have to look it up, but I thought the idea about making the cabinet size larger was unrelated to the chapter about driver break in. I just don't recall.
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Old 24th July 2013, 03:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The golden mean View Post
LSPCad

Untitled


Sound Easy

Bodzio Software

BoxSim

Downloads
LspCAS = 800 + shipping or US$1052

Sound Easy = US$250 with a slightly steep learning curve, though managable.

Bass Box Pro = US$129

Bass Box Pro/X-Over = US$209

BoxSim = FREE.

I'm sure there are dozens of other software packages, but knowing about them, finding them, and determining which best suits your needs is the difficult part.

Steve/bluewizard
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Old 24th July 2013, 10:53 AM   #17
schmeet is offline schmeet  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loren42 View Post
4. Room EQ is a good way to tell where the problems are - in the room - but useless to really understand the what the speaker is doing. That assumes you are simply putting the mics at the listening position, which is not what you want to do. HolmImpulse is another free program that does well for measuring the response from a speaker. You can get a calibrated mic from Parts Express cheap.
Room EQ Wizard doesn't just give you room eq information. You can measure all sorts of things if you set it up right. Impulse Response, Frequency Response, Group Delay etc.
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Old 24th July 2013, 11:53 AM   #18
Loren42 is offline Loren42  United States
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Originally Posted by schmeet View Post
Room EQ Wizard doesn't just give you room eq information. You can measure all sorts of things if you set it up right. Impulse Response, Frequency Response, Group Delay etc.
Looks cool.
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Old 24th July 2013, 12:44 PM   #19
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Default Try PSD-Lite

Passive Speaker Designer (PSD-Lite) covers all of the design past the measurement phase. It's free, accurate and easy to use.

The spec sheet on PSD-Lite is here: http://www.audiodevelopers.com/Softw...spec_sheet.htm

I haven't done any work on it recently because I am waiting on an answer from Jan at 41Hz. The next feature will be a Thiele-Small parameter database, and I wanted to integrate "his" data along with the current models.

http://www.audiodevelopers.com/Softw...Lite/setup.exe
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Old 24th July 2013, 06:44 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Loren42 View Post
Looks cool.
Also remember REW (Room EQ Wizard) is FREE. It is a pretty sophisticated program at any price.

REW - Room EQ Wizard Room Acoustics Software

There are also help forums at HomeTheaterShack.com.

Here is a 3 part tutorial on YouTube, though there are many other videos on REW besides these three -

The Videos are in three steps -

1.) Setup and Calibration
2.) Check Levels
3.) Measurements

This should at least give you some idea of the software -

Room EQ Wizard - Step 1 - Calibration - YouTube


Room EQ Wizard - Step 2 - Check Levels - YouTube


Room EQ Wizard - Step 3 - Measurement - YouTube

Version 5 will do many of the functions necessary for pre-designing speakers, like impedance measurements, group delay, T/S Parameters, Impulse and Step response, and many more features.

The one thing it will not do is help you design the boxes.

I do agree with the other poster, reading a few books will help you understand the underlying science. Knowledge is never a bad thing. But be warned, the more you know, the more you realize what you don't know.

Also, when using design software, if you have a base of knowledge to work from, then when the results don't make sense, you can spot it and try and find the problem rather than blindly accepting what the software tells you.

It gets down to how much money you can justify spending relative to the project you are thinking of. If this is a single speaker project, or perhaps 2 or 3 basic projects over time. Then perhaps best to just copy existing designs.

However, if this could turn into a serious hobby, or if you think you might design projects for your friends, then more money is justified. Only you can know your needs and your budget.

But REW is free, and the learning curve doesn't seem that steep. So, it is hard to pass up. In addition, you will need a good microphone, and a 2 or 4 channel USB or Analog Mixer.

But it does get down to how much money you have and are willing to spend.

There is a program called LspCAD (Loudspeaker CAD) for about US$1000. Top notch, but you have to build a lot of speakers to justify that price.

On the low end, WinSpeakerz (True Audio) is $40. There is a free version that you can play with but it is lock into one hypothetical bass driver. Still, you can get a sense of the features and ease of use.

In a sense, it is down to your priorities and goals, as it always is. If you simply want to knock off a single pair of speakers for the fun of it. Then opt for free or low cost design software. If you are going to take it a little more serious, then spend some cash.

Also, as indicated, educate yourself. If for no other reason than to reasonably understand what the various graphs produced by your test program are telling you.

Steve/bluewizard

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