RS100-4 first DIY speaker

bvbellomo

Member
2013-03-08 2:31 pm
I made my first real DIY speaker last night, a much simpler and humbler design than all the crazy and complicated ideas I've been playing with in my head. The design is simple - a Dayton Audio RS100-4 mounted in a 3" inch hole cut in the box it shipped in.

I was absolutely amazed how well this sounded, and it still was breaking in and sounding better when I stopped listening last night. Compared to my AV123 setup, it is noticeably worse, the 'air' from the 10kHz seems to be missing, the rest of the upper range is overly bright, and the mid-bass is completely missing, and the 'sweet spot' is smaller. However I am amazed at how well this $30 speaker holds up to the $600 reference 1's, and it even seems that at some parts of the range this speaker sounds clearer and cleaner.

On a scale of 1-10 for how realistic things sound:
2) Built-in TV speakers
6) The RS100-4 in the box it came in
8) My whole system costing several thousands dollars
10) Real life (live violins, etc)

I am convinced I can build something that sounds better than my current system, even if I am constrained to spend less money than what I am replacing cost, and I have to build smaller speakers to get a higher WAF.

Next time I get a chance to play, I am going to cross it over to a ND16FA and see how that sounds, and maybe start some measurements or play with different enclosures.
 
Welcome to DIY and you can see why it is such a rewarding and enjoyable hobby. You can routinely build speakers that sound much better than typical commercial offerings from regular electronics stores and box stores for a fraction of the cost. If you think a cardboard box sounds good, wait until you make a real enclosure based on a real design. I have built speakers with a $12 driver that sounds better than $400 speakers that I have heard at stores. Put some stuffing into your cardboard box from inside of an old pillow and you will improve sound even more.
 
Interesting design, when I first saw the underside with the exposed port I thought to myself that looks an awful lot like a speaker I recently made where I used the paper tube from a roll of paper - and sure enough it looks like that is what they used: 1.75 in dia paper towel tube. The TDA8566 class A-B amp chip could be better, if I were to do it now, it would be a class D amp from Texas Instruments TPA3118D2 30 w/ch IC and no heat sink sticking out the back would even be needed. This RS100 seems to be getting postive reviews wherever I see people using it - looks like it might be worth trying out for various projects in the future. If you add some internal dividers, you can actually turn this into a small desktop MLTL and get some really nice bass. I did this with a Vifa TC9FD but could easily have done it with Dayton RS100.
338512d1364269317-fostex-fe83en-right-small-box-img_20130325_233846381506091.jpg
 

bvbellomo

Member
2013-03-08 2:31 pm
Thanks for more ideas. I don't think active power is appropriate for my current set-up, but it might be for the future.

Yesterday night, I did more listening and playing around. There is definitely more bass in my old speakers, but at least some of what I miss is boomy resonance that shouldn't be there. Below 80Hz, my sub does a nice job, above 320Hz both the Dayton and old speaker sound good (until you get into the upper treble). From 160Hz to 320Hz the old speaker is far superior, but from 80Hz-160Hz, everything I have sounds bad. I have another tube thread going, so I won't post all the details in both places, but I think I will be adding a larger woofer instead of trying to build a Bib or other enclosure to fix this bass.

I started thinking about the crossover and had a really stupid question. Do I glue all the components to a piece of wood and run solder between them? Or is there a better way to do this?
 

bvbellomo

Member
2013-03-08 2:31 pm
I sprung for a $4 perf-board at Radio Shack, and built my 4th order Linkwitz-Riley this weekend - a $30 crossover for a $10 tweeter, but it sounds really good. I'd say the new speaker sounds better than my old at all points above 300Hz.

Unfortunately, I had 2 RS-100-4 failures. I haven't gotten a response back from PE, so I am mostly reserving judgement until I do, but I am very disappointed. What good is an awesome sounding speaker if you only listen to it for a few hours before it breaks?

If this is a power handling issue, I would not mind using more than 1 in each speaker, but still feel cheated if they can't live up to the promised 30 watt RMS. I have these crossed (via receiver) to 80Hz or above, and they are spec'd to handle near 100db levels. Both survived above 90db during tests and movies, but both broke while playing music at more mellow 80db levels. One had the glue near the magnet come undone, the other developed a crack in the aluminum cone.

If this is not a power handling issue, then I can't solve it with multiple drivers, and likely I can't solve it. Maybe this is a bad coincidence, and I got the only 2 bad drivers out of a batch of 1000.
 
I sprung for a $4 perf-board at Radio Shack, and built my 4th order Linkwitz-Riley this weekend - a $30 crossover for a $10 tweeter, but it sounds really good. I'd say the new speaker sounds better than my old at all points above 300Hz.

Unfortunately, I had 2 RS-100-4 failures. I haven't gotten a response back from PE, so I am mostly reserving judgement until I do, but I am very disappointed. What good is an awesome sounding speaker if you only listen to it for a few hours before it breaks?

If this is a power handling issue, I would not mind using more than 1 in each speaker, but still feel cheated if they can't live up to the promised 30 watt RMS. I have these crossed (via receiver) to 80Hz or above, and they are spec'd to handle near 100db levels. Both survived above 90db during tests and movies, but both broke while playing music at more mellow 80db levels. One had the glue near the magnet come undone, the other developed a crack in the aluminum cone.

If this is not a power handling issue, then I can't solve it with multiple drivers, and likely I can't solve it. Maybe this is a bad coincidence, and I got the only 2 bad drivers out of a batch of 1000.

I'm crossing my fingers but the 4 RS100-4's I installed in my car appear to be working well. They've stood up well over 5 hours of use.
 

bvbellomo

Member
2013-03-08 2:31 pm
PE just contacted me, and suggested shipping all for back for replacement, suggesting this might be shipping damage. I am not sure how likely the glue problem could be shipping damage, but the cracked aluminum easily could be. I will be very happy if I get these replaced (assuming the new ones don't break) - I will also use very conservative (based on 30 watts) polyswitches to eliminate any chance overpowering is responsible.