Best enclosure for 15" audio nirvana?

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I have a virtual pipe organ and am looking to build speakers for it. Currently, based on others reviews, it looks to me like the Audio Nirvana 12" or more likely 15" speakers are the most likely candidates for what I would like. I also have gleaned that ANs cabinets are, basically, crap.

Being new to speaker building, I was hoping to benefit from your pool of wisdom as to what type of enclosure works best with these type of drivers?


What you want for a realistic virtual pipe organ is way
beyond FR's with quite pathetic excursion capabilities.

YMMV but I'd suggest these :
Zaph|Audio - SB12.3 3-Way Tower

Best placement is mid/treble drivers to
the inside, unlike the madisound photo.

For hifi it doesn't remotely need any subs, but if you
want to plumb the depths down to 16Hz it might.

As advised in the write up you'd probably want to
increase cabinet depth to bring up the low range.

rgds, sreten.
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Thanks for your replies. My interest in FR stems from being able to do without crossovers. While a few stops do go down to 16Hz at the lowest note, and some can go quite high, just like vocals, the music lives in the midrange. Clarity is also key.

An aspect of pipes that organists like to reproduce, if possible, is an omnidirectional ambience, if possible. I have heard of folks placing batteries of near-field monitors on their backs against a wall to get the effect.

To be honest, I don't mind a crossover really low, like 100Hz or so, or really high, like over 10kHz.

I am not committed to any 1 design or driver, I have just read a lot of favorable reviews on here and other forums by folks that were favorably impressed by the AN 15.
it would be good to confirm from several owners, the typical parameters. My AN8 have had their fs and qts go up by ~1.4 lately, but have been laying out for several years/ My AN10's parameters seem stable, but had fs and qts higher than spec. If AN15's qts is reasonable, then it should play ok in the original Karlson enclosure (1951 invention), That will limit cone motion and make better use of the limited excursion, with less modulation distortion. New K-couplers can be made and member xrk971 will take time to simulate K15 type, Karlsonator type or simplified bandpass assumpion if one is serious.

Smaller drivers with xover ~80Hz to a tapped horn/pipe or t-line sub might work as well and save some cost. Maybe Scottmoose and P10 have some suggestions.

a 4- way system with horn loading from 60 up could be fun limiting midbass horn bulk to around 8 cubic feet. For another approach, a K-tube tweeter can be used with K-coupler lowers or direct radiator lowers - subjective dispersion is very good - objective collapses at high f straight down the tube.

how much power do you intend to apply and how large is the space? are you playing more theater than "classical" sounds?
Some would consider this to be irrelevant, but it's a salient point. If you're attracted to wideband drivers purely due to the lack of crossover, then you need to remember that most wideband drivers do have a crossover. It just happens to be mechanical rather than electrical. If the driver has a sub-cone (whizzer or similar), or any kind of decoupling to a smaller, or progressively smaller section of the cone, there's your XO.
O.K., that is 'need to know info' freddi! The area is basically 3 rooms, music room, kitchen and living room continuous, so it's app. 26' x 12', with some low obstructions (cabinets) in the kitchen.

Power levels are not high, I don't like "loud". The system doubles as my stereo as well. I use classical samples, mostly French actually, sweet flutes to bold reeds and brilliant mixtures. I do not often employ the 32' stops (that reach down to 16Hz), They rattle too many thing in the house! I usually find 16' (32Hz) satisfactory.

I have entertained thoughts of various configurations, front, upfiring, bipole, dipole, open baffle, combinations. I find that everything has it's fans and detractors. I just would like to come up with something that sounds better then the Wharfdales that I have now. Oh, and do so affordably.


I suspect imagination is taking over from any experience.

I'd suggest this, if you want affordable and ambience :


Tune it extremely low (18 Hz?) or go sealed if you want
to use 16Hz bass stops.* Nevertheless the 8" bass unit
with 7mm of excursion will go louder than a 15" with 1mm.

The AN15 is good for flea powered amplifiers and huge boxes.
The Sunflower needs lots more power to do the same job
in a more compact and elegant package, say 50-150W.

YMMV but I'd expect the Sunflowers to slaughter the ANs
across the midrange for accuracy, clarity and ambience.
(All the drivers have class leading low distortion numbers.)

rgds, sreten.

* The effect will be very room acoustics dependent.
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I used to install electronic church organs as a young man, and, indeed, organists and organ committees often requested a non-directional sound field. For the largest installations we would commonly use sealed 3-way speakers for the mains and sealed 15" subwoofers for the deepest tones including 32' stops. To get that "all around" ambiance we would install mid/tweet boxes at the rear of the sanctuary with the same stereo orientation as the mains.

In my experience if you can get the 16' stops to sound good you are about as far as you can reasonably expect to go. To get those 32' stops, which are more felt than heard, to readily audible levels you have to employ multiple large-diameter speakers in sealed cabinets driven by hundreds of watts of amplification. Of course, I am speaking of the large spaces of church sanctuaries, but I believe the same practices at reduced levels would apply in your case as well.

Based upon my experience I suggest that you seek out a design that you can place in the forward-facing corners if possible (to take advantage of boundary reinforcement for the best bass response) and mount them as high as is practical (to aid in the illusion of high-mounted pipes). If you can supplement them with subwoofers, so much the better. I also suggest some limited range speakers (perhaps small full range drivers in simple boxes) mounted high on the rear wall, in the corners if possible, with the same stereo orientation as the mains. If you can route the rear speakers through some delay/reverb/ambiance DSP I believe it would help the illusion. Power the mains (and subwoofers if you have them) with as many watts as you can afford. The rear ambiance speakers can be lower powered. The levels of all the speakers should be separately adjustable. I hope all this helps.
The Audio Nirvana 15" is to tune very very hard and to build in uncommonly to get a good, clean sound. Not the enclosure is the first problem.
I would build a cube, 45 x 50 x 50 cm, very good stiffed, good damped. Stands. "BR", "resonator" at the bottom.
I would avoid a cube like a dose of the plague. :eek: If you want to maximise the potential for problematic standing waves, a cube is about the best way to achieve it I can think of.

Thanks for that Scottmoose, I had considered the Metronome, they have dimensions for an AN 12" cast frame.

So, thank you all for your helpful replies, but, has anyone actually heard them, and what is your impression? From what I can glean from your responses, those of you that have heard them, for the most part, are less than impressed, or are you just going from published numbers? If these are not good for my purpose, I need to know, and find out what would be better. You are the people I look to for knowledge in this department.

I am in an awkward position of not being able to audition anything, thereby relying on advice of others, and thus, their taste! I joined this forum because the people here seemed the most knowledgeable and diverse. So if I could ever find an answer to what I need, rather than just how to 'blow the trunk off'n my car', it would be here.

You folks are great!
All the omitted words about roaring, rumbling casings,-)
The sound of a 15" Audio Nirvana: discreet, relaxed, carton-ny, flat and covered "mids", bit scratching "highs". Listened with a good se. A rumbling, distorting pp does mask, gloss.-)
Very very much to do,-!
My mind,-)
I have never heard the Audio Nirvana 15" speakers, but I possess a pair of the 12" cast frame model. Based upon the specifications, one would have to build a huge cabinet to get a good low frequency response, and I assume that the 15" driver cabinet would need to be even larger. I have never mounted my 12" speakers in a cabinet but have tested them on a 4' by 4' baffle, and on axis they shriek like a banshee, with a huge peak in the upper midrange. A rising response toward the treble is a common characteristic of many full range drivers, and I believe that most of the Audio Nirvana speakers have that characteristic. Other members may have more complete knowledge of the Audio Nirvana line and the 15" speakers in particular. I believe member Bigun has much experience with the 15" driver and likes it very much. I think that in any case you will need to build a very large cabinet for it.

It might prove helpful if you could describe the character of the sound you prefer and your budget. You say that the system for the organ also doubles as your stereo, so it might also help if you describe your amplification and your willingness/unwillingness to add components to the system as well as any restrictions on space and speaker placement.

It might make sense to simply build one of the speakers already recommended or to seek out a design you might otherwise prefer. I believe Troels Gravesen's site is a good source for a variety of DIY designs as well as educational information. There are many others if you are interested in additional research.
Considering the total bandwidth and power/duty cycle likely to be involved in playing down to 16Hz at any appreciable level, this sounds like an application where nothing short of professional grade PA / musical reinforcement would suffice, or more accurately, endure.

The name Danley comes to mind
I love the 15" driver. I've only ever built single driver full range speakers - after all, 2-way's are ten a penny on the used market these days. Nothing has produced the satisfaction I've had from the AN 15" driver. Of course, I'm always open for new ideas but so far I have found much to like about this one.

oh, it needs a big box by the way. Mine is open-backed. Not quite a formal Boffle but close and that is often how I've referred to it over the years.
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