WOW! I Am Getting Interested

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I am new to full range speaker drivers. I've been reading threads here and it's getting real interesting!!

What are the advantages to a single full range driver vs conventional multi-driver speakers with crossovers? Right now I am listening to Maggy MMGs.

Can anyone suggest further reading? Are there any recommended projects I can explore online?
 
JimOfOakCreek said:
What are the advantages to a single full range driver vs conventional multi-driver speakers with crossovers?

Advantages:

Avoid the response lobing inherent in multi-driver systems

Avoid most of the phase distortion problems around the crossover frequency in a passive crossover system

Avoid the extra complexity of active crossovers and bi/tri-amping in actively crossed over systems

Better wavefront reproduction (due to point sourcing) in surround systems, especially Ambisonics.

Disadvantages:

It's really bloody hard for one driver to reproduce 20-20k; every full range driver is a compromise. You get to pick the compromise you like best. That said, they also tend to be fantastic quality speakers...

Lower reproduction SPL, either due to low Xmax on high sensitivity drivers, or low sensitivity on high-xmax drivers.

The *really* good ones with no compromises cost $$$-- consider that the 'compromise' ;-)

I'm sure others will chime in.

Most folks here seem to use high-sensitivity drivers with small amps; this is the classic application. Personally I like the very-high excursion drivers (like the CSS FR125S) that can take alot of power, but are not very high sensitivity. It all depends on the compromise you like best. I can't enjoy 'more nuanced midrange' when there's nothing substantial under 100Hz ;-)
 
Hi Jim,

Full Rangers - or FR's as you will see some post - are a very good way to get big bang for the $$$. For some they are a bit shy on the top end - so some will add a super tweeter. Other listeners prefer a bit more bottom end and will use a large FR - or perhaps add a bass speaker to the rig.

To get really excited read
http://www.quarter-wave.com/General/OB_Design.pdf

With a little bit of floor space and a cut up picnic bench (or outhouse door - what ever is laying around for use as a baffle) things can go to a very high level! :D
 
c2thomas is right on the mark....

the link posted is to a reportedly excellent "multi-way" open baffle project. MJ King is pretty much a "genius" and has provide a means to model almost any type of loudspeaker via his MathCad worksheets.

You can do much worse than follow his design. The drivers suggested are quite reasonable in price too.But not a single driver or "FR" design.

I've become a FR convert over the course of a couple of years. I simply can't believe how good even moderately priced ones sound, for all the reasons previously listed. I do not use super tweeters at all, but some have complained about the lack of sparkle on top. My ears must be on the way out...

and bass is not a big concern for me. I've always felt that if I could not afford good bass, then I'd live with bass at all. I use small monitor style speakers---Castle Durham 900 s daily, but deep bass is not one of their strong suits.

And not all FR designs are open baffle, there are good examples of enclosed drivers using fullrange drivers.

And you should get interested, but within limits. As you are listening to Maggy MMGs, then the idea of some bass, but with no physical impact is not foreign to you.

Do a search for JE Labs open baffle. If you have the room really very good (I have a pair).

stew
 
I too have become interested in this Full range hoo-ha...

The problem I have is that the more I read, the more overwhelmed with options I get. Along the lines of one of the OP's questions, is there a particular project that make for a good intro, so that I can focus my attention upon it more than others?

I'd rather not try an OB (as some recommend) as I don't have quite the space, I was thinking either a half-chang or a Calhoun...
 
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Daveze said:
The problem I have is that the more I read, the more overwhelmed with options I get.

:)

I and a host of others have made that a reality... when i started out in FR (4 years ago or so?) there was a dearth of designs.

1st things to consider are what amp? what music? how big is the room? how much WAF do you need to consider? Budget?

Using those criteria you eliminate designs that clearly don't fit. Then toss the one's that don't appeal. Then ask your significant other which ones they like....

dave
 
I was hoping that you were going to ask me those questions...

Amp: Chipamp (relatively complete), F4 (not close to complete), Aleph 30 (even further from complete).

Music: everything but Country & Western. Hmm, too broad...I listen to a fair bit of heavy/alternative rock (Incubus, Coheed, RATM, System of a Down) and similar quantities of jazz (Miles, Coltrane, Mingus, Monk, etc).

Room: one is small and mine, the other is large and common. I'd prefer to build something for the room first, then the common room second.

WAF: minimal (no wife). Sharing a house with several mates and the GF loves similar music and enjoys listening.

Budget: middle of the road. I don't want the cheapest option, at risk of it not sounding good enough to warrant further investigations, nor so expensive that I lose lots of money if I give/stuff up.

Hope that helps.

Josh
 
Daveze said:
I was hoping that you were going to ask me those questions...

Amp: Chipamp (relatively complete), F4 (not close to complete), Aleph 30 (even further from complete).

Music: everything but Country & Western. Hmm, too broad...I listen to a fair bit of heavy/alternative rock (Incubus, Coheed, RATM, System of a Down) and similar quantities of jazz (Miles, Coltrane, Mingus, Monk, etc).

Room: one is small and mine, the other is large and common. I'd prefer to build something for the room first, then the common room second.

WAF: minimal (no wife). Sharing a house with several mates and the GF loves similar music and enjoys listening.

Budget: middle of the road. I don't want the cheapest option, at risk of it not sounding good enough to warrant further investigations, nor so expensive that I lose lots of money if I give/stuff up.

Hope that helps.

Josh

OK Josh, that helps a lot. From your reference to heavy rock / alternative rock, where transient response & decent LF heft is pretty much a requirement, I'd probably be looking toward the 6 1/2in - 8in units for the larger room.

From a personal POV, I'd veer toward horns or waveguides. Something like a BIB pipe-horn might do just the ticket. They're tall, but footprint isn't huge, especially as, being notionally corner-horns, they're usually out of the way near (surprise!) corners. 30Hz pout of them, easy, especially for the larger drivers. They're also about as simple as it gets to build, the cabinet open at the top, and a single sloping internal panel. The attached is a picture of an example with the Fostex FE206E IIRC. See www.zillaspeak.com/bib.asp if you're interested. There are more advanced designs out there of course, but this is a cheap & very effective way of entering into the FR driver arena, and they give startlingly good performance for such an astonishing simple box design, and I reckon they'd suit your needs nicely.

For the smaller room, the worlds your oyster really. There are loads of options available; I'd probably go for something using a 3 - 4 1/2in driver, loaded in the way you find most appealing (horn, aperiodic, Onken, OB, ML TQWT, BR etc), with dedicated bass drivers on the low-end, giving a nice, compact & versatile system. Theoretically & to an extent in pracice, you can take small drivers low, but LF transient response won't be great -they just can't shift the quantities of air rock (for example) tends to need.
 

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Scottmoose said:
OK Josh, that helps a lot. From your reference to heavy rock / alternative rock, where transient response & decent LF heft is pretty much a requirement, I'd probably be looking toward the 6 1/2in - 8in units for the larger room.

That was where i was heading... here is some boilerplate filled with generalities that might also be helpful.

Choosing a FR means you have to choose your tradeoffs... i'll just tick off a general ones ...

1/ bigger drivers tend to be more efficient than little ones (which mean they play louder with a small amp)

2/ smaller drivers usually have better mids & tops.

3/ bigger drivers go lower & tend to be able to do dynamics better

4/ small drivers usually go in smaller boxes, with higher WAF, and lower cost to build

5/ bigger drivers tend to cost more (and i haven't meet a driver i can't improve)

6/ and a corollary to 5... a modded small driver for the price of a similar priced large driver will usually have more finese. (disclousure: i sell modded drivers, but i also fe=reely help diyers mod their own)


dave
 
Daveze...

er based on your criterion, I'd suggest one of planet10's designs, a "monolith" type, either the Demetri (which I have built and really like) or the Mileva (the smaller sister to the Demetris), these are boxed enclosures that don't really sound like boxes. A set of Fonkens may also be nice in your bedroom. I quite like these and could easily live with these as an only pair of loudspeakers.

Both have quite reasonable bass extension considering they are full rangers. Milevas in a small room would be really quite nice, and the step up in enclosure and driver size with the Demetris will give you more bass output.
These are truly "fullrange" designs using a single driver.

This is different than full bandwidth designs which are multi-ways, using a minimum of 2 drivers per side.

The chip amp you are using has what amount of power?

I still maintain the JE Labs style OB in a large room with decent FR drivers can sound excellent. I love mine.

stew
 
planet10 said:


5/ bigger drivers tend to cost more (and i haven't meet a driver i can't improve)

6/ and a corollary to 5... a modded small driver for the price of a similar priced large driver will usually have more finese. (disclousure: i sell modded drivers, but i also fe=reely help diyers mod their own)


dave


Dave, that reminds me... I know the CSS drivers aren't ones you normally play with, but do you have any mods you'd recommend for the FR125S? I've been spending time with these recently as an inexpensive/accessable driver that's quite different from the traditionally preferred driver set. Lots of potential here for the money they cost.

It's *amazing* to see one of these things things throwing nearly an inch. I don't yet have a solid opinion on how they sound-- just getting started. But electrically and mechanically the design is impressive and I'll be disappointed if I don't get them to sing.
 
Hi Jim - You should give this site a read for some of the theory about single driver and FR speakers. http://melhuish.org/audio/theory.html :cheers:

p.s. A word of caution - you have had the pleasure of listening to some very nice and open sounding speakers with your MMG's. OB speakers will allow you to stay with the "open" sound provided by speakers that are not constrained by having been placed into an "enclosure" (speaker box). This "box sound" is something that you will need to allow for if you consider speakers with an enclosure to them. I have some Fostex 167 monitors that I use as reference speakers and am quite capable of hearing the "box" if I choose to listen closely. For some this type of sound (the "box") is of importance.

Hmmm - Just noticed - looks as if Martin moved his OB paper to http://www.quarter-wave.com/OBs/OB_Design.pdf
 
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xiphmont said:
I know the CSS drivers aren't ones you normally play with, but do you have any mods you'd recommend for the FR125S? I've been spending time with these recently as an inexpensive/accessable driver that's quite different from the traditionally preferred driver set. Lots of potential here for the money they cost.

It's *amazing* to see one of these things things throwing nearly an inch. I don't yet have a solid opinion on how they sound-- just getting started. But electrically and mechanically the design is impressive and I'll be disappointed if I don't get them to sing.

I do sell them. The Fr125s don't like the amps* i tend to use so they don't get as much effort put into them. One of the things with the FR is that unlike every other small FR you can't approach it with a view to extracting as much bass as possible out of it -- if you do you end up with too much bottom. I tend to like them best in 5-7 litre aperiodiic boxes.

*(you can almost draw a line one side of which you will find FR125s work best, the other side the Fostex FE126/127 work best)

I have played a fair amount with tweaking them to get more out of them. They respond amazingly well to 2 vanishingly thin coats of C37. This drops the noise floor and reveals that there is a lot more information available. Unfortunately the minimum quantity of C37 from the usual sources is enuff to do over a 100 FRs.

Not quite as effective (and you have to be more careful) is a couple thin coats of puzzlecoat (mod podge). Cones done with this don't seem to age as well (at least in our humid in the winter climate) so i hesitate to recommend it.

If you put EnABL on top of the C37 it takes the driver even further.

Unit-to-unit variation (T/S) is also higher than than the Fostex i also run thru a lot of.

dave
 
Daveze said:
I too have become interested in this Full range hoo-ha...

The problem I have is that the more I read, the more overwhelmed with options I get. Along the lines of one of the OP's questions, is there a particular project that make for a good intro, so that I can focus my attention upon it more than others?

I'd rather not try an OB (as some recommend) as I don't have quite the space, I was thinking either a half-chang or a Calhoun...


If you a few spare drivers try bookshelf OB, see below:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=119264

Be advised it lacks bass, the open sound will surprise you.

cheers.
 
Re: Daveze...

Nanook said:
er based on your criterion, I'd suggest one of planet10's designs, a "monolith" type, either the Demetri (which I have built and really like) or the Mileva (the smaller sister to the Demetris), these are boxed enclosures that don't really sound like boxes. A set of Fonkens may also be nice in your bedroom. I quite like these and could easily live with these as an only pair of loudspeakers.

Both have quite reasonable bass extension considering they are full rangers. Milevas in a small room would be really quite nice, and the step up in enclosure and driver size with the Demetris will give you more bass output.
These are truly "fullrange" designs using a single driver.

This is different than full bandwidth designs which are multi-ways, using a minimum of 2 drivers per side.

The chip amp you are using has what amount of power?

I still maintain the JE Labs style OB in a large room with decent FR drivers can sound excellent. I love mine.

stew


xiphmont said:



Dave, that reminds me... I know the CSS drivers aren't ones you normally play with, but do you have any mods you'd recommend for the FR125S? I've been spending time with these recently as an inexpensive/accessable driver that's quite different from the traditionally preferred driver set. Lots of potential here for the money they cost.

It's *amazing* to see one of these things things throwing nearly an inch. I don't yet have a solid opinion on how they sound-- just getting started. But electrically and mechanically the design is impressive and I'll be disappointed if I don't get them to sing.


Yes, we've all got our own taste in drivers, including some that cost less and aren't as impressive on paper, but as far as the FR125 is concerned, the only mod that they really need is those little polka-dots (just ask Al Wooley) .

They can definitely sing - 35 - 50watts is nice starting point (P/P KT88 in triode, or SET45/ FirstWatt F4 would be "da bomb") , just be careful about exceeding the driver's X-Max, ALL drivers have limits.
 
planet10 said:


I do sell them. The Fr125s don't like the amps* i tend to use so they don't get as much effort put into them. One of the things with the FR is that unlike every other small FR you can't approach it with a view to extracting as much bass as possible out of it -- if you do you end up with too much bottom. I tend to like them best in 5-7 litre aperiodiic boxes.

*(you can almost draw a line one side of which you will find FR125s work best, the other side the Fostex FE126/127 work best)

[....]

Unit-to-unit variation (T/S) is also higher than than the Fostex i also run thru a lot of.

dave

The fact that they overfloweth with bass is both the attraction and the curse. I'm still working on what boxes they like best. I'm actually surprised you have experience with them, they're very... insensitive... units.

As for variation, does it persist after break-in? That much travel, that much surround, that low a price... I guess the unit variability doesn't surprise me. Or is it more a matter of the cone itself? Very standard paper construction...

[I've got a batch running sweeps in the basement right now prior to measurement]
 
Re: Re: Daveze...

chrisb said:

as far as the FR125 is concerned, the only mod that they really need is those little polka-dots (just ask Al Wooley) .

...polka dots? Enh? I hate not knowing what everyone else obviously knows (I got the Al Wooley reference, but a link to the mod please? :)

chrisb said:


They can definitely sing - 35 - 50watts is nice starting point (P/P KT88 in triode, or SET45/ FirstWatt F4 would be "da bomb") , just be careful about exceeding the driver's X-Max, ALL drivers have limits.

Currently intending to match them up to some nice little 50W chipamps I've been chatting about elsewhere. And it's obvious when they hit excursion limit, it sounds terrifying ;-) They're way outside linear excursion by then though. I was actually considering slugging the amps down to 30W or so.
 
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xiphmont said:
I'm actually surprised you have experience with them, they're very... insensitive... units.

Closing in on a hundred of them...

These don't seem to like SE amps of any kind... be it 845 or aleph -- for some reason they make the speakers fart...i just read an AES paper by Tymphany about resonance jump that may be an explaination.

Yes, variation is across breakin. I usually get 100+ hours on any drivers before i mod them and before & after measures.

dave
 
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Re: Re: Re: Daveze...

xiphmont said:
...polka dots? Enh?

EnABL. Al's drivers get the C37 + EnABL treatment. Al's are more stealth than the picture.

Currently intending to match them up to some nice little 50W chipamps I've been chatting about elsewhere. And it's obvious when they hit excursion limit, it sounds terrifying ;-) They're way outside linear excursion by then though. I was actually considering slugging the amps down to 30W or so.

I've found the chip amps sound best when you match the power supply to the speaker impedance... max rails for 16 ohms, 25V rails for 4 ohms, inbetween for 8 ohms.

dave
 

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