I just built Zaph's HiVi B3s speakers... thanks a lot, Zaph! :)

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I got a carpenter to build a very nice box, painted with black polyester, and added a couple of minispikes (I painted them bright yellow, with clearcoat).

I put them on my office desk. This is not a joke - everyone stopped by and commented about how good the speakers sounded. A friend, whose father is a dedicated audiophile, stopped by and said "those are some of the best mids and highs I've ever heard!". And then he looked for a hidden tweeter - or woofer.:eek:

All this, while listening to the speakers powered by a T-Amp being fed by a regulated 13.8V power source.

Thank you so very much for this excellent design. I'm enjoying them more and more as time goes by. It's the best way I can think of starting in DIY speaker building!
It's a very nice little amp, but I must say the HiVis deserve something, if not better, quite a bit bigger. I plugged them to my hybrid integrated (75W vs. the T-Amp's ~6W @ 8 Ohms), and the difference was very easy to spot. I wish the HiVi driver had a higher sensitivity... around 10 dB's higher. :( It'd be the perfect full-range speaker for low powered tube amps. As it is, the midrange is positively gorgeous... IMHO, better than a pair of Omega's I had (the ones with the banana pulp cone).
Bringing back a really old thread. On Zaph's site he says:

"This speaker requires a subwoofer and a proper subwoofer crossover. Like all other 3" drivers, this speaker has serious harmonic distortion below 100hz. When running this system full range, the bass will sound thick, muddy and too heavy. It's not the driver's high Qts doing this, nor is it the choice of baffle step compensation. It's the 2nd and 3rd order harmonic distortion. When you play an 80hz tone through these, you also get a loud dose of 160hz and 240hz. Don't make the mistake of thinking more bass is better bass, particularly when "more" comes in the form harmonic distortion. This design has terrible bass distortion and should not be run full range. Period. You owe it to yourself to learn the sound of distorted bass. Run these full range, then take a listen with a good sub and a proper sub crossover. The difference will blow your mind, and then you'll understand what good bass really is. More on a "proper" sub crossover below."

If I plan on making a pair of these to mount outside on a small boat I work on, and I don't intend on using a subwoofer, will they still sound good? Should I still use his crossover? I wouldn't be able to hear lows over the 300hp diesel engine rumble anyways.

If they sound decent, I will be extremely happy!
Perhaps just filter out some of the lows from them then. Might be as simple as changing the amplifier input coupling capacitor to something smaller to give a -3dB point (6dB/Octave slope) around 100Hz. As you say, the lows will be lost anyhow and by filtering them off you'll get more dynamic potential.
Well I purchased a few pairs and I'm going to give it a shot. I'll do a quick experiment in some left over 4" pvc pipe I have on one pair, and if I like what I hear, then ill make the rest or return the others. I'll need to figure out how to change the amplifier input coupling capacitor to get to the 100hz.

Space for mounting the speakers is the biggest issue on the boat, then price for the speakers. That's why these little guys interest me so much.

Thanks for the input!
If you aren't using a sub...

Dragon Foal pictures by wolf_teeth_speaker - Photobucket

^^^I'd build my Dragon Foals over the Zaph B3S. M3N driver instead.

I have a blog over at PETT that the writeup is posted within for more information, and I posted a pro/con comparison.


Well my first prototype was a huge success. I got more than I could of hoped for in quality and loudness for these little 3" drivers.

An externally hosted image should be here but it was not working when we last tested it.

The most expensive part are the black abs end caps at 6.50 each. Each speaker needs 2

Hey, aren't cylinders supposed to have really bad diffraction effects?
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