High(ish)-end MT design for top of a 3-way

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I find myself re-thinking my 'once in a lifetime' speaker build that I'm going to start in the new year (well, planning to start, anyway). It will be a riff on the Sonus Faber Elipsa form factor, which is a wide-baffle 3-way anchored by a 10" woofer Elipsa SE

I'll be using an MiniDSP SHD, which will handle the XO between the woofer and the M/T, so the M/T xover will be passive. My constraints are that basically all available time will be spend on building the cabinets, and so I don't think I'm up to the measurement/simulation etc for dealing with the M/T xover. I can do enough measurement to be able to use the SHD to adjust for differences in baffle width and ancillary EQ, though.

I've lined up a pair of Dayton RSS65HO-4 as the tentative woofer choice, and am assuming they'll do well up to 200+/-Hz where I'm aiming to cross (baffle step for a ~20-22" wide baffle will be in this range). I'll reconsider the woofer choice if they disappoint after test cabinets are built. (unlikely based on my experience with the RSS210HF)

For the M/T section, I had originally thought that I'd just re-purpose the drivers from my NHT Xd monitors and use the passive xover I have from Rick Craig at Selah - the Xd really do sound very good with this xover. The relatively pedestrian tweeter in the Xd has always nagged at me though, and for a 'lifetime' speaker I don't really want to be in a position of second-guessing the driver choices.

So, I thought I'd solicit advice/opinions on documented/established 2-way MT designs that would be suitable to use as the top of a 3-way. Ideally it would have a kit available, but that's not a hard requirement.

Budget? Not firm. The Bagby Revolution BE (SB MW13P and SB29BAC) is probably the leading contender based on my initial research so $1k USD is in the budget, but my gut reaction is that the Spirit Wind @~$2k is not. So, lets set the budget at $1500 US for all parts excluding cabinet. If you think you can convince me that my life will be better by spending more, have at it :)

There is certainly no shortage of great 2-way designs out there, but all-too-frequently bass extension is a priority in these designs. This is obviously not an issue in my case, and so the best design for my purposes is probably not the best overall 2-way design. I'm biased towards smaller 4-5.25" drivers for this, but open to be convinced otherwise.

So far, the Meniscus kit for the Revolution Mini Be is the leading candidate (SB Revolution Mini Be Loudspeaker Kit - Meniscus Audio), but there are a fair number of other Meniscus kits that are interesting (Carerra, Adelpho, Premios, Micro Statement, even the Continuum).

So, my question is what else should I be considering? I'd be particularly interested in designs around the Augerpro waveguides or something similar - I have 3-d printing and CNC capability, and it's hard to ignore that so many of the top measuring speakers have some means of controlling tweeter dispersion.
 
I am looking at similar a high end 2 way and just using my Dual NHT active bass modules. I also want the best high end possible this is difficult without hearing them as eveyones hearing is different . But I want bells,chimes,cymbals etc to sound as lifelike as possible. The 5 inch midbass can lack a little in the power range see Dr Rich excellent article in secrets of home theatre on a Revel 6.5 inch 2 way in which he shows it's superior to his reference and one of mine the NHT XDA system . I remember speaking to Jack Hidley designer of system and the weakness is in the bass power range .Infinity used to with Arnie Nudel use a midbass coupler and the NHT XDA would have had this range better covered but for the limits of DEQX being 3 way at the time. However this is where the PTT PURIFY 6.5 driver steps up to the plate and has that solved in spades so I would be thinking of using that which is specifically meant for power 2 way while have beautiful midrange ,only problem it is not $300 a pair. Tweeter I have no idea I will try and listen to some over the next 18 months
 
I have something very similar in the works.
CSS SDX10 (very very similar to the RSS265)
Vifa NE149W-04 and XT25BG60-04 for the MT


T-line cabs are done for the CSS, but have not got around to the MT cabs nor the MT crossover.

Not sure if I will use minidsp as my crown XLS have dsp filters
 
Belaja
I know this is a European design but for a digital active bass a sealed passive top is far easier to integrate and the drivers are very high quality. The AMT in this design is very highly regarded
Anyway something to consider
Here is the link to the Dr Rich 3 part test lots of good technical information in regards to the NHT 5 inch vs 6.5 inch
Revel PERFORMA3 M106 2-Way Bookshelf Monitor Loudspeaker Review - Part One - HomeTheaterHifi.com

If there was an MT version of that design I'd be more interested - MTM just doesn't work with the aesthetics I'm shooting for. I have to admit though, I thought seriously about th idea of using the Bordeaux design as a starting point and just rebuilding into a different cabinet. The Bordeaux is an Accuton mid + Aurum Cantus AST tweeter design and so is similar-ish to the Belaja, but adds 2xRSS225 on the bottom end. I guess I haven't completely discarded that idea, but reworking it for a new cabinet is a pretty significant change.
 
My friend bought the plans, on my recommendation, for DiscoM. He also doesn't speak German but the plans are on universal language - metric units and electronic schematic.

Her Heissmann is replying on mails in English if there are things that need further clarification.
 
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The 22" W-I-D-E Sonus Faber Elipsa form factor would support a sealed 12" woofer. There are a few 12" woofers like the SB_Acoustics SB34NRX75-6 which produce deep 36Hz bass in a tight transient SEALED 3+cuft cabinet.

=====
The Sonus Faber Elipsa cabinet has poor volume efficiency. A 22" wide rectangular cabinet with 2" - 3" radius on the L+R+T edges would have good directivity, and also provide extra volume for a sealed woofer. Look at the Satori based speaker named "jintani" build by Javad Shadzi as an alternative cabinet shape.

===========
Tweeter = SB_Acoustics Beryllium dome SB29BAC
--reviews agree that Beryllium sounds better. Detail of hard dome with unique natural smooth tone.

midbass= SATORI MW16P-8 for 100Hz-1.65KHz
--small 6" midrange with Sd = 118cm^2
--"MW" version in sealed 0.7cuft volume has Qtc=0.6 and Fsc = 57Hz
------crossover at 1,650Hz produces constant directivity up to (30-degree off-axsis, up to 10kHz).
------crossover to woofer below the 200Hz baffle step = use M-to-W SPL overlap to smooth BSC
--Sensitivity (2.83 V / 1 m) = 87.5db

woofer = SB_Acoustics SB34NRX75-6
--tight transient SEALED 3+cuft cabinet.
--Sensitivity (2.83 V / 1 m) = 90db
===============
 

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It's getting close to ThanksGiving for our Families, and Black Friday for our wallets.

IMPLUSE PURCHASE DAY!!!

How about a 18" wide 3-way with a controlled directivity horn and a pair of side-side counter-force 12" woofers?

Ho! Ho! Ho!:santa:
 

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The 22" W-I-D-E Sonus Faber Elipsa form factor would support a sealed 12" woofer. There are a few 12" woofers like the SB_Acoustics SB34NRX75-6 which produce deep 36Hz bass in a tight transient SEALED 3+cuft cabinet.

=====
The Sonus Faber Elipsa cabinet has poor volume efficiency. A 22" wide rectangular cabinet with 2" - 3" radius on the L+R+T edges would have good directivity, and also provide extra volume for a sealed woofer. Look at the Satori based speaker named "jintani" build by Javad Shadzi as an alternative cabinet shape.

I don't (and won't) have a Facebook account, and so have only heard Javad's name - I haven't actually seen any of his designs. The Jintani is pretty much exactly what I'm working towards, aside from the somewhat pedestrian aesthetics. If there were a kit for the Jintani, I'd be very tempted to pick it up and massage it into my target form factor.

But yes, the Elipsa has the downside that it looks big and dominating, but really doesn't give you nearly as much volume as you'd expect. This is a big part of why I ended up (tentatively) settling on the RSS265HO - they're pretty much the best small-box woofer I've run across. Since I'm crossing actively to the woofer, efficiency isn't a concern, and I can throw enough power at it to make it workable.

As for ported vs sealed - I'm still on the fence to a degree. My original plan was to use 2x RSS210HF in sealed cabinets (I'm running a single per side in 1 cu ft currently, and they work very well). The practical problem is that this doesn't make great use of available amplifier capability. In series they are an 8 ohm load which reduces available power, in parallel the impedance is too low. I do plan to compare the subjective impressions of the ported RSS265 vs the sealed RSS210. Picking up a 2nd TPA3255 amp board to drive the 2nd pair of woofers might be viable, but switching to a sealed RSS315HF is also a possibility, although the aesthetics might be a bit odd with a 5" mid. Using a 6" with the 315HF would basically be revisiting Pete Schumacher's Byzantium concept.


Okay, this is why I figured posting this might be a bad idea. Generating way too many new ideas to explore.
 
Hi dwk123,

I suppose you'd be better served building a fully active dsp controlled 3 way speaker. My reasoning is if you feel confident to build a hybrid one with only one xo point, you should be able to do the same with mid/tw xo point, which is even an easier task. Pick up the higher quality units of your preference so you can be happy with these. Waveguided tweeters may be a better solution when paired with larger cone drivers, not so with smaller ones.
 
Hi dwk123,

I suppose you'd be better served building a fully active dsp controlled 3 way speaker. My reasoning is if you feel confident to build a hybrid one with only one xo point, you should be able to do the same with mid/tw xo point, which is even an easier task. Pick up the higher quality units of your preference so you can be happy with these. Waveguided tweeters may be a better solution when paired with larger cone drivers, not so with smaller ones.

The problem is that I already have the MiniDSP SHD, which is limited to a 2-way setup. This is for our main living room, and so it needs to be wife/family friendly, and despite having experimented with full-blown DSP systems for a long time, getting one that is suitable for use by my wife remains a challenge. the SHD is the compromise solution, and is what is driving me to a hybrid xover. This arrangement also takes advantage of my Neurochrome Parallel-86 amp - it can drive the M/T section and I don't have to come up with another high quality amp.
 
I don't (and won't) have a Facebook account, and so have only heard Javad's name - I haven't actually seen any of his designs. The Jintani is pretty much exactly what I'm working towards, aside from the somewhat pedestrian aesthetics. If there were a kit for the Jintani, I'd be very tempted to pick it up and massage it into my target form factor.

But yes, the Elipsa has the downside that it looks big and dominating, but really doesn't give you nearly as much volume as you'd expect. This is a big part of why I ended up (tentatively) settling on the RSS265HO - they're pretty much the best small-box woofer I've run across. Since I'm crossing actively to the woofer, efficiency isn't a concern, and I can throw enough power at it to make it workable.

As for ported vs sealed - I'm still on the fence to a degree. My original plan was to use 2x RSS210HF in sealed cabinets (I'm running a single per side in 1 cu ft currently, and they work very well). The practical problem is that this doesn't make great use of available amplifier capability. In series they are an 8 ohm load which reduces available power, in parallel the impedance is too low. I do plan to compare the subjective impressions of the ported RSS265 vs the sealed RSS210. Picking up a 2nd TPA3255 amp board to drive the 2nd pair of woofers might be viable, but switching to a sealed RSS315HF is also a possibility, although the aesthetics might be a bit odd with a 5" mid. Using a 6" with the 315HF would basically be revisiting Pete Schumacher's Byzantium concept.


Okay, this is why I figured posting this might be a bad idea. Generating way too many new ideas to explore.
Don't look too much at Javads loudspeakers you may just give up making them his are that good ! His workshop seems to have everything and he has the skills to fully utilize it.
As for driving 2 sealed 10 or 12 inch a side a Crown for $500 will hammer a 2 ohm load that's not much of an issue anymore - just do it let the neighbors feel those Kodo drums as if there in Japan 😁
 
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