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Old 29th September 2009, 06:36 PM   #1
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Default "Neighbour-friendly" bass solution?

I'm contemplating new bass solution for my system. The room is small, around 3x6 meters (10x20 feet), walls are rather thin and I would like not to bother neighbors but still get reasonably strong and deep bass at my listening position.

Design goals:

-Stereo (that is two cabs)
-Frequency response from 40(30 if possible)...300 Hz, where midrange takes over.
-Passive crossovers for the time being, bi-amping and active crossover later.
-More-or-less directional bass from ~30...100(preferably to ~200) Hz.
-SPL capabilities around 110 dB/m (of course, the more the merrier) for headroom. And for an occasional odd party now and then.
-Sensitivity over 90 dB/W/m.
-Size not much of an object.
-Cost is very much of an object.
-Good sounding, obviously.
-Simple construction since my tools and skills are limited.

So, after some research I've settled on U-frame and it's (pseudo)cardioid dispersion. But I have some questions:

1. Is directional bass in such small room viable? Has anyone got experience with any kind of directional bass solutions for home applications?

2. Any other simple solutions beside U-frame that do not use multiple speakers, amps and processing or sophisticated cabinets? What about regular dipoles (H-frames)?

3. Are there any guidelines (I couldn't find any) for the depth and stuffing amount for optimal performance or is it just trial-and error?

4. Drivers are the biggest problem - almost everything is just outrageously expensive here - Eminence Alpha 15 is over 114 € a piece! I'm limited to ~100€ for drivers. I could maybe afford two of these, it makes 135€ with shipping. But I found some interesting dirt cheap car subs here, 35€ for two. I'm inclining to buy two pairs of them and use push-pull to reduce distortion. Opinions?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 1st October 2009, 10:11 PM   #2
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Location: Calgary on the Bow
have you considered a main speaker with moderate bass extension and then supplement with shakers on your main couch or chair? Won't bother the neighbours. just a thought.
moray james
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Old 1st October 2009, 11:03 PM   #3
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Location: Western Sydney
those car subs in a Ripole?:
Impedance varies with frequency, use impedance plots of your drivers and make crossover calculations using the actual impedance of the driver at the crossover frequency
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Old 2nd October 2009, 01:40 AM   #4
MaVo is offline MaVo  Germany
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Stereo bass isnt possible in a living room, because the wavelengths are much to long. This said, directional bass is also not possible. Dipoles are more of a midrange solution, since all they offer in the bass range is a lower max output compared to the same driver in a different cabinet. One solution to have more bass for you and less for the neighbour is to listen nearfield - and i mean subwoofer directly behind the head kind of nearfield. This also helps with room modes alot. Put the sub behind your couch and you get the shaking for free
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Old 2nd October 2009, 12:15 PM   #5
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moray james - I've considered bass shakers, too. Sounds like fun, one day I might give it a try

PeteMcK - aren't ripoles pure subwoofers and trade efficiency for extension? I need frequency response up to 300 Hz and my mid-top modules are ~95 dB efficiency (Eminence Alpha 6 midrange and Celestion HF 50 horn in sealed enclosures). Since I'm using passive x-over at the moment, the bass modules should be around that sensitivity too.

MaVo, thanks for the input. As for stereo, think of it as not a sub-sat system but rather a modular 3-way speakers that are crossed over at higher frequencies. Also nearfield would only be possible if I used separate active subwoofer, for which I have no resources at the moment.

Anyways, this project depends on whether I manage to sell my current bass cabs or not (credit crunch and all the bad things going on at the same time). Since they are not "proper" bass speakers at all, just some poor cheap fullrangers (Visaton BG-20, "leftover" from previous project) terribly abused as a temporary solution, I would like to build real bass speakers anyway, and try something different - dipole and it's derivatives with their characteristic "no-box" sound being a very interesting alternative
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