Scanspeak 23W or Aurasound NS12-794? - diyAudio
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Old 25th January 2009, 12:02 AM   #1
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Default Scanspeak 23W or Aurasound NS12-794?

Hi. This is my first post in the DIY forums. I am in the process of building a nice 3 way setup for music listening. This is my first design attempt and it was going great until I separated the voice coil windings from the former on one of my Scanspeak 23W subs from pushing them too hard.

So, I would like to upgrade my bass to match the spl of the rest of my system. The 23Ws sound awesome to me. Naturally, my first thought was to get 4 of them. They fit in my space, and would give me about as much bass as I think would be necessary without me damaging them (again).

The 2nd guess: I haven't had the greatest of luck with my 23Ws. In the first 2 weeks of owning them, I had to re-do the lead-in in wires because they had over-flexed and lost their ability to conduct electricity. Changing the way the wires were routed allowed me to play them for a year after without further issue (until now).

Going back through my driver research, I looked at some alternatives and narrowed my choice down to two set-ups. 4 x Scanspeak 23Ws or 2 x Aurasound NS12-794s The Aurasounds would be in boxes that are constricted on the sides of the drivers (width is an issue). I'm worried about the 12's not being as musical as the smaller scanspeaks (sounding muddy, distorted, or unclean). I'm also worried about 4 scanspeaks sounding muddy being that there will be two drivers in one channel. Aside from that- I can't decide... help ^_^

Thanks for your input~
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Old 29th January 2009, 03:55 AM   #2
thadman is offline thadman  United States
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What is the bandwidth you are expecting them to cover?

If the two drivers centers are within 1/4WL of each other, then there should be no power response aberrations. The Scanspeak 23W has an outside diameter of 10", throw an inch or so between them and you're looking at 300hz for 1/4WL CTC. Shouldn't be a problem using two of them.
"It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they are found because it was possible to find them."
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Old 30th January 2009, 01:34 AM   #3
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Thanks thadman! Since, I prefer a sealed alignment with no means of bass extension and am using a PA processor for x-over, eq, and such the bandwidth is limited by spl. Finding my limits (or the limits of the transducers rather) seems to be my weakness. With my 23Ws, I had a 4th order butterworth centered at 20hz to cut out some lower freq's and the lowpass was usually in the vicinity of 80-100hz with various roll offs.

So, since I only know sound by experience and have little idea of what spl sounds/feels like, I'm flying blind in that regard. I do know the limits of the 23Ws now, however ^_^

The drivers can be stacked vertically as close together as I can get them. I have approx 28" tall, maybe 13-15" of width, and 24" of depth total for each of my sub boxes to live in. Either each channel will have their own amp, or the top subs will have an amp and the bottom subs will have an amp. Right now, I'm running an NAD C272 for my subs (sub, ha) and I have another C272 in the box still.

Alternatively, I have a good amount of power if I bridge each amp for a pair of power hungry drivers.

I read a klippel test done on the Aurasound NS12-794s and it seems promising that they would stand up thermally to any beating I can give them. When I model them, they seem like they would be able to produce lower bass than 4 23W's just as loud or louder without over excursion.

BUT, do they sound musical? Are they articulate? The under-hung motor seems promising. Scanspeak just came out with the Illuminator series with an under-hung motor and the performance is better compared to drivers of equal size in their Revelator line for freq response and lower freq performance. The pdf Aurasound gives for the NS12-794 has a distortion chart on there- approx .5% at 1W/1m for under 200hz. I have no other distortion charts to look at for speakers I've listened to make a comparison.

My other concern is how far away from the interior walls of the enclosure should the driver be spaced, and why? The Aurasounds would be constricted on the sides due to width constraints.

I've been searching the internet for a review of the Aurasound 12" to get a feel how it might sound, but I am having difficulty finding that information. Also, I'm open to other driver options as long as they can meet or beat either of these options; just remember- sealed alignment only with no passive radiators.

Thanks for your time!
-Eric ^_^
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Old 30th January 2009, 11:02 AM   #4
Luke352 is offline Luke352  Australia
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Was this where you found the Klippel results if not there is some more reading. Also if you search DIYMA you will likely find some more information there from users of Aura subs.
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Old 30th January 2009, 11:27 AM   #5
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Peerless have two XXLS models with alucone, that seems to have been overlooked completely
they are supposed to be quite good, even as plain woofers in a standard 3way
And they have very nice specs fore doing pretty good subbass
sometimes we know very little, and sometimes we know too much
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Old 30th January 2009, 11:28 AM   #6
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Almost every opinion I have heard on the 23Ws has gone something along the lines of "Really fantastic drivers but they need to be used in multiples". They just play so deep for their size they are going to run out of excursion. It may not represent value for money, but if absolute quality is more of a concern than value then I think 4 23Ws will be hard to beat.
I wouldn't worry about them sounding muddy. When 2 bass drivers are mounted close together they will tend to radiate as one
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Old 30th January 2009, 12:26 PM   #7
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Originally posted by valleyman

They just play so deep for their size they are going to run out of excursion.
That figures...with Qts/0.47
Its specced fore closed box, where it goes straight to 30hz, which is quite good
But in BR it cant mean anything but trouble
But the sensitivity of 82db

Perless XXLS 12" Alu 830952 will do that too
But with 90db
And better Qts fore better control, and more sensible if used in BR fore 20hz
At a much lower price, making it sensible fore using multiple drivers
A dilemma could be the need fore a bigger box

btw, Vifa has announced a whole new range of heavily improved drivers

Also SB Acoustics woofers have nice specs
sometimes we know very little, and sometimes we know too much
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Old 31st January 2009, 01:18 PM   #8
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I really don't agree with this idea that low Qts means better control over the driver than higher Qts. I admit there may be some correlation, but it si very tentative. Have a look at the Mms and BL of these drivers then decide whether you still think that the scanspeak motor will have worse control over the driver than the peerless.

Efficiency in the bass region also comes from box size far more than driver size. An excellent example of this is the PD2150. That 21" driver works nicely in a 50L sealed box, and yet despite the huge cone area there is little bass extension despite the very low resonance (due to low Qts) and you'll also notice that despite being a 99dB driver its actually around 85dB at 40Hz. Why? because it works in such a small box. The only way to get good bass extension from this driver without electronic assistance is with some EBS alignment which will require much larger boxes.

This all boils down to that iron law that bass extension, efficiency and box size are inextricable linked. The key thing to note is that its box size, not driver size that makes the difference here. Big drivers are more about maximum SPL and power handling in the bass, not efficiency or extension.
Clearly if you want big SPLs are sub bass frequencies however, lots of displacement is required and that means either big drivers or multiple smaller drivers..

The Peerless mentioned no doubt represents great value and loads of bang for buck, but multiple 23Ws will surely perform better if cost is no object

Edit: I should have mentioned I REALLY like the look of some of the Dayton 15" subs in Partsexpress. Mounting them on the sides of the enclosure space you have should be no problem and I have no doubt they would completely satisfy you
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Old 1st February 2009, 04:39 PM   #9
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Great stuff ppl- keep it coming! I've been busy these past couple days- so, I haven't had a chance to do much research. I thought I'd throw this post out there to let you know of my interest in your input.

@ Luke352: That was the link I found about the Klippel testing. I, like thadman, would like to see a freq vs distortion chart to have a 3rd party reference to what Aurasound claims. I looked around the DIYMA forum and found only a handful of posts that make mention of Aurasound drivers. The ppl that have owned them all seem to have positive responses to them.

thadman, did you ever do anything with those 15"s? What's your opinion of the performance of the Aurasound drivers?

@ tinitus: I checked out the peerless xxls series when I did my original driver research. You are absolutely right about box volume. It would take around a 4cu ft box to have a Qtc of around .7. Since this was pushing the limit of my available space, I modeled two of them per channel in an isobaric alignment. I have some concerns with this set up. Here they are in no particular order: 1) the xxls subs cannot produce as low of bass as loud as the two other alternatives I have been checking out. 2) I've never heard an isobaric setup and am skeptical of the musical performance of two unmatched drivers working in tandem. 3) Width is an issue. Since, I do not want di-pole bass, one sub would have to be mounted inside the enclosure making it difficult to build and also making it wider on the outside. I'm not really interested in putting the two cones together either, this needs some semblance of wife approval ^_- The pluses are 1) Cheapest setup with the most amount of bass 2) There is an 8 ohm version that would happily cruise along using up only one of my amps for 4 drivers in parallel.

I haven't checked out vifa recently- I shall do that. I have never heard of SB Acoustics- I will be checking them out as well.

@ valleyman: I don't know much about sound, how it's produced etc. I have my own ideas, plus the ones I read about. When I get stuck, I ask one of my friends who works for ElectroVoice, and eventually he gets back to me with answers. Regardless, there's a lot about sound that has yet to be understood. Long story short- I completely agree with you about box size, efficiency, and bass extension being linked and is more of a factor than the transducer specs alone. However, it would be nice to see a distortion vs freq graph for the 23Ws so I could compare it to the Aurasounds.

If I were to mount 15"s in the sides of each enclosure, the drivers would fire at each other instead of at me. Not only does this vibrate me less, but this would also cause more acoustical anomalies as the sound waves bounced back and forth in the space where both sub enclosures would live in. Think of it as a rectangular cave where my feet are pointed towards when I sit at my office desk.

Haha, funny thing: My wife told me to get 2 x 23Ws and 2 x Aurasound NS12-794s and run the 23Ws at a higher freq than the Aurasounds. She said this way, I would have a lot of bass reinforcement and have the best sound of both worlds- loud, and the detail of the 23Ws. She may be more right than she knows. This would involve me getting a new dsp unit with 8 outputs; of which I plan to get in the future anyway. My initial reaction was positive towards this. My secondary response was fear of hitting the thermal limit of the 23Ws again through shear overpowering instead of shear overpowering with over excursion. Food for thought...

Thanks again for all the great input!
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Old 1st February 2009, 05:08 PM   #10
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Hi, I read a bit backwards, and realised that im still a bit confused about your speaker, and what your woofer is supposed to do
You have mentioned 3way, and you prefer closed...someone asked about bandwidth

sometimes we know very little, and sometimes we know too much
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