Driver recommendations for vocal sound reinforcement

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Hi guys,

I`ve been itching to build a karaoke system for a medium sized room, (East Asian style karaoke btw), so I need a vocal sound reinforcment system. I`ve got everything planned out expect for the speakers.

I think a 3-way may be best in this case (tweeter in a horn, mid, woofer), but I`ve been stuck on choosing the drivers. My current hi-fi speakers have not faired well at karaoke, so I`ve focused my search on PA drivers. However, the more I research, the more confused I`m becoming, so I`m asking you for help!

My budget is around $500 preferably less, could be more if convinced ;)

1. The first issue I`m having is linearity. Most PA drivers are not smooth at all. If I want accurate vocal response, will this be a factor in a sound reinforcement speaker?

2. Also most retail karaoke speakers use 8 inch or larger for mids and bass. Why is that? Won`t beaming be an issue?

3. The 6 inch Eminence Alpha-6 is very smooth, but its manufacturer only recommends it for light sound reinforcement duties. Why is that?

4. So what drivers do you guys recommend? I would like a speaker that is very accurate, exhibits good clarity and is revealing of vocals. It has to play fairly loud as well. No drivers larger than 12 inches please, due to aesthetic issues because of where I`m mounting. The lowest octave does not matter too much. (I can fill it in through a secondary connection with my hi-fi subwoofers if neccesary.)

5. What do you think of the Audax PR170M0? What woofer and tweeter would you recommend with it? The description on madisound makes it sound like it`s one of the best PA mids, so I thought I should at least explore this option.

Lastly, I realize I`ve raised some difficult questions, so please accept a HUGE thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you happen to respond, it is very much appreciated.

- mx2
...Put it in a 3.5^ft sealed box and be done with it (I just ordered a pair to use for open baffle). You can use the prebuilt 322/12 Radian 2nd order crossover.. it'll be fine for your app. Also, the 508/2B (or 5208C) is supposedly very good. The 5208C has the cast frame, so I'd get that one over the in-ceiling version if possible, if you decided to go that route. Not sure about where to get them up there, but their US distributor is here: index-1.htm#Dual Concentric Coaxial Speakers

If there's going to be anything else besides vocals going through these speakers, I'd mate the above with a 15"-18" woofer in a ported box, biamped with a separate amplifier and 4th order electronic crossover around 80-150 Hz.

Just a suggestion..because it's a fairly simple straight-forward plan, and should yield good results for what you need. Afterwards, it'd be easy to set up an RTA with a laptop and see what you got..shouldn't be too bad, as long as the enclosure/baffles are done correctly. Make some subtle adjustments with a decent 1/3 octave stereo EQ. Good enough! Or maybe not? :)

You haven't given any information on the size of the room or the expected amplification so I have assumed that it is about 6x8meters and an amp of about 100W. If the room is allot bigger or the amp is allot bigger and you are likely to really turn it up the recomendation below will not be suitable.

I was looking at making a medium power fairly high sensitivity speaker a while ago and the compromise for sound quality and sensitivity I found was;

A Celestion TF0818 8inch bass driver as it has a very smooth frequency response with almost no lift in the break up region. Approx sensitivity 94dB. I was going to use a ported box of arround 20 liters.

I was going to combine this with a Monacor DT28 N - This is a 28mm semi horn loaded Dome tweeter with a very smooth frequency response and a Fs of 1.2KHz which means you can probably get away with a crossover 2nd order electrical at 2.5KHz even for reasonable power levels. It also has a sensitivity of approx 94dB. If you plan to really belt it out you should probably move the xcrossover up to 3 - 3.5KHz.

Both speakers are rated for 100W on Music.

I didn't go for a full horn as I don't like their sound character much, I know some people love them so you may want to substitute in a horn tweeter if you like them.

The 8ich will beam to a certain extent but for sound reinforcement I wouldn't worry about it.

This should give you a max playback peak level of approx 114dB on a 100W amp which for any reasonable size room should be plenty.

The music having a peak to mean of about 10dB you should be able to achive a 104 dB level in the room at 1m. You shouldn't be exposed to this without hearing protection for longer than about 20mins if I remember correctly. So this should be loud enough for you unless you really want to deafen people :)

I haven't built this speaker yet so this is just a theoretical recomendation and as such I cannot guarantee these will work well together but they certainly look like they should.

Both of these drive units are fairly easy to come by if you do decide to go this route.

Just had a look at the previous posters recomendation and if you can afford it, it would be a much easier build and provide higher sound levels. My recomendation will come in alot cheaper but require some work on the crossover.

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