Building the best loudspeakers

Ceibal

Member
2008-02-11 4:50 pm
I am a first time builder and trying to decide on the best tweeter and midbass combo. I have been looking at two Morel MW-164's and Morel's Supreme 130 tweeter in one of Dayton Audio's MTM towers. This will be a sealed box design. My goal is to design a set of speakers that would rival any at or above the price of 5K. Is there a better set of tweeters/woofers that I should consider? Any suggestions on the crossover? Is there a better enclosure that someone can recommend or will this one the best out there?
 
I am a first time builder

I strongly recommend that you build a published design from a reputable designer. It sounds like you want to build an MTM. Consider the below:

Zaph XG18 / 27TDFC

Troels Ellam d'Appolito

Tony Gee Proteus

There are others and any of these could be turned into a floorstanding speaker be adding a sand-filled chamber to the bottom. If you are doing this project to gain knowledge about speaker building then it's possible you should design your own, although even then I'd probably still recommend you base it on a published design. If you are just looking to build wonderful sounding speakers then I strongly, strongly recommend building a published design.
 

ShinOBIWAN

diyAudio Member
2004-02-25 9:13 pm
UK
Hi Ceibal

If this is your first build and especially if its your first crossover then I'd be inclined to build a well documented design. It might sound like a bit of a let down but there's many excellent ones and some will fit your criteria of out performing other much more expensive commercial loudspeakers. You also learn a lot in the process despite building someone else's design.

Loudspeaker design is quite sweeping and even old hands sometimes have failures. So be wary of buying a bunch of expensive drivers as it could turn into just an expensive failure. When your first project is a success its surprising just how much of a boost that will give. I think if you made an expensive mistake you'll be less inclined to build more speaker in the future.

As for designs that fit your requirement, have a look at these:

Highend standmount designs:

http://www.zaphaudio.com/ZD5.html

http://www.geocities.com/woove99/Spkrbldg/Usher_2way/Usher_2way.htm

http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/Phlea.html

http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/Cup-a-Soup.html

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/SEAS_5INCH.htm

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/AT-R.htm


Highend floorstanding designs:

http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/Optimo.html

http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/The_Monitor.html

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/HDS164.htm

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/AcapellaNEXT.htm

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/JA8008.htm

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/TJL3W.htm

As you can see, there's a lot of choices out there even if you go with an existing well respected design.

Finally should you absolutely want to do your own design I'm not familiar with the performance of the drivers you've mentioned. I do understand the Morel Supreme is a good dome tweeter but the Morel MW164 drivers are expensive for the relative poor performance they offer. I'd be much more inclined to look at Seas or Usher drivers which offer a nice blend of performance and value for money.
 
I'll have to agree with the comments already made. Crossovers are by far the hardest part of a loudspeaker to do (i actually classify them as e-vil :)). So if you want to do an MTM 2-way do one with an already well thought out XO as your 1st project. Then you will have something you can listen too as the bug gets you and you start scheming your 2nd project.

I would watch out for XOs that get too complex. They have a tendency to suck the life out of the music, and can cause impedance swings that will drive an amp crazy.

Myself, i just try to avoid XOs as much as possible, choosing to live with other compromises. Still, even my modest stand-mounts would take a big chunk out of some pretty expensive speakers thay sell at the local hifi emporium (maybe a bit of hubris there on my part)

dave
 

Ceibal

Member
2008-02-11 4:50 pm
What is so bad about Morel? How can you determine which woofer has the most detail or is going to give you what you want? Most of the woofers I have looked at don't appear to be geared for a sealed box design or at least when I do the math. fs/Qes= EBP.
 

Ceibal

Member
2008-02-11 4:50 pm
Seas Woofers

How good is the Seas W18E-001 (E018) 7" magnesium cone woofer? Has anyone used or heard this driver?

What started all this was when I went to a highend shop and heard Dynaudios line of speakers at around $2500 a piece. They sounded way better than B&W, to me at least. I want to build something that sounds as good or better.
 

ShinOBIWAN

diyAudio Member
2004-02-25 9:13 pm
UK
Re: Seas Woofers

Ceibal said:
How good is the Seas W18E-001 (E018) 7" magnesium cone woofer? Has anyone used or heard this driver?

Not used that that driver but am familiar with the W22, which comes from the same family. The sound is good but you do need to be aware of the resonances and notch/crossover to accommodate this. Not really a beginners driver but the results should be worth the effort.

What started all this was when I went to a highend shop and heard Dynaudios line of speakers at around $2500 a piece. They sounded way better than B&W, to me at least. I want to build something that sounds as good or better.

Dynaudio used to supply drivers to the DIY market but that all stopped around 5 or 6 years ago. I think its fairly easy to select drivers that are either better or comparable to what Dynaudio are currently using. If you like the Dynaudio sound but want something that takes things further then look towards Audiotechnology which are a natural progression. These aren't the most detailed or transparent drivers out there but they certainly have a natural and smooth presentation that few can compete with.

If Audiotechnology proves to be too expensive a choice, then other good poly cone drivers such as the ScanSpeak 18W-8543, Seas P series or Vifa P series would give nice results. Poly cones drivers are usually easy to work with and sometimes incredibly easy to work with such is the case with the Vifa P series. Not much effort required in the crossover to get results.
 
I always liked the sound of Morel drivers. I was very disappointed when i accidentally threw away my Morel dome tweeters. Would love to have them back! Having said that, i once tried to build the ultimate monitor speaker using expensive Eton woofers and Dynaudio Esotec tweeters. The crossover parts cost over $200 each and i hated listening to these speakers for a few years, always tweaking crossover parts. I paid for help with the crossover but still never liked what i heard. My recommendation is to spend less money on your first project and experiment a little before spending big bucks. I think you will learn that in the end, the ultimate speaker does not have to be very expensive and that it is all a matter of personal taste. Enjoy the process and have fun!

Godzilla
 

Ceibal

Member
2008-02-11 4:50 pm
ultimate loudspeakers

What I am looking for is a woofer/tweeter combo that will give me extreme detail while being natural and smooth. I thought maybe the Seas Excel would do that for the woofer, not sure about the tweeter. I am still considering the morel supreme 130. Is there a better tweeter I should consider? Also, what size woofer would be best? I was looking at the 7 inch.

What is the difference between paper and magnesium? Will one provide more bass response/ better detail?
 

Ceibal

Member
2008-02-11 4:50 pm
Current System

I thought I would go through and give everyone an idea of what my current system looks like.

Denon avr 2000 (old but still very good) looking to replace soon with Parasound New Classic Series
Front speakers - NHT (Now Hear This) 1.3A book shelf speakers
two NHT 10 inch subs
one 15 inch Earthquake Supernova
one 15 inch Dayton Audio Titanic 1000 watt sub
rears - Earthquake Dipole Platine Noiree's
 
Last night I connected my amplifier to my brand new Scanspeak 18W8531G00 and Dynaudio Esotar T330D in finished MTMWW cabinets. I used a temporary XO designed using simulation software in order to run-in the drivers before doing measurement and both the 18W8531G00 and the T330D sounded beautifully with no audible cone breakup, etc. The simulation was so accurate and I guess the final XO design based on measurement may only get it better for another 5-10% only. The XO point is at 2k with a filter not exactly but close to LR4 with some overlaps and the phase difference is less than 5-10 degree.

The 18W8531G00 is highly recommended. It is obviously better than the 18W8545 I previously worked with. The T330D is no doubt much better than the Seas Millenium I used.
 
Ceibel -

About a year ago I started wanting to build the same thing you discuss .... criteria wise.

After over 1000 hours of study I'm convinced there is no perfect loudspeaker, all is compromise, equipment and choice of music will alter everyones best plans.

These Guy's are right, build a proven design by a respected builder that has received good feedback from experienced builders and who has already worked out the wicked XO problems.

You'll definitely come ahead comparison to buying high end namebrand and save yourself a ton of headaches.

If there's something out there you have heard and must have, wait a year or so until the manufacturer has moved to a new model , patents are no longer an issue and guaranteed you'll see plans for a clone from the DIY Community.

Bluto
 
HiFiNutNut said:
Last night I connected my amplifier to my brand new Scanspeak 18W8531G00 and Dynaudio Esotar T330D in finished MTMWW cabinets.

Did you use the 18W8531G00 for bass or are they part of the MTM component for mids? I only ask as there seems to be varying information on getting quality bass with mids out of them but they are great when you use them for mid or bass duty only.

BTW, I use them in my own OB mains as mids from 160Hz to 2400Hz and they are great. I've had a lot of experience with them but could never get the bass to sound right in a vented enclosure. Sure there was plenty and they went low but something was odd.
 
Rabbitz,

The 8531 is planned to be used as a mid and upper base to cover 150Hz to 2000Hz. Below that I have the 8561. I have not built the active XO yet so the 8531 is being run from 20Hz-2000Hz without EQ in an OB stuffed U-frame, with a simulated XO to cross over to the tweeter, in MTM. This arrangement is for running-in the drivers only before taking acoustic measurement.

It sounds very good indeed. Distortion arises when playing loud bass materials but that will be gone once the 8561 comes into the picture. It is not 100% accurate as I can hear the dipole peak making the music a bit chesty but overall gives a very satisfactory sound. I can imagine how good the system sounds when completed.

I am totally happy with the 8531 used as mid or bass driver. Its bass quality is very surprising (good).

By the way, with the drivers and cabinets I have, in theory the XO point should be at 2kHz (1 wavelength between the tweeter and midrange) and should not be higher. However, I have modelled some gentler asymetrical slops for the two drivers and I believe the XO would sound excellent but with a XO point at 2.6kHz. That is too high in theory. I am not sure if I will try that.

Do you use MTM? how does your 8531 sound with 2.4kHz XO? at what slop?

Regards,
Bill
 

ShinOBIWAN

diyAudio Member
2004-02-25 9:13 pm
UK
Ceibal said:
I will take the advice and build the xo from someone else's plans but I would like to pick out my own woofers and tweeter combo. What woofers do you recommend as oppossed to seas elite's?

Has anyone build any of the kits at Madisound?

I can hear the cries of "Noooo" echo throughout the forum. ;)

This is a really bad idea. If you use an XO from someone else, use the same drivers. If you can't find an XO for the drivers you have chosen then you have no choice but to build your own crossover. You can't chop and change in the matter of drivers and crossovers I'm afraid, they're symbiotic.
 

Ceibal

Member
2008-02-11 4:50 pm
ShinOBIWAN said:


I can hear the cries of "Noooo" echo throughout the forum. ;)

This is a really bad idea. If you use an XO from someone else, use the same drivers. If you can't find an XO for the drivers you have chosen then you have no choice but to build your own crossover. You can't chop and change in the matter of drivers and crossovers I'm afraid, they're symbiotic.


Ok, then is there a good dual woofer design that I could start with? I did not see one from some of the links people have posted or maybe I just missed it.