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Best speaker design for living room
Best speaker design for living room
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Old 15th October 2018, 04:18 PM   #1
jreyes225 is offline jreyes225  Philippines
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Default Best speaker design for living room

Hi, I'd like to get some suggestions for the best possible speaker options for my living room/dining area. My living room is about 23 ft by 20 ft with a high ceiling of around 30 ft. In terms of equipment I only have a Rega P3 for my turntable. I haven't bought an amp yet but I'll probably just get something that would work well with whatever speakers i end up getting. I figured I would first need to know what speaker design would work best in my living room. Size isn't really an issue but I just want something that would project well in the room considering the high ceiling so that the speakers would sound good whether I'm eating on the dining table, relaxing on the couch, or having many guests staying all over the living room. I'm not sure if I should go with towers or a horn or some other design. I could also go the diy route. I'm no engineer and I'm not very handy but there are several good and cheap carpenters/electricians where I am who could implement what I want as long as I give them detailed enough designs or plans. I'm looking to spend somewhere in the $1000 to $1500 range. Hope you guys can help
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Old 15th October 2018, 05:05 PM   #2
Scottmoose is offline Scottmoose  United Kingdom
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From a practical perspective, I doubt a wideband driver based speaker (which is what this section of the forum is based around) will be ideal for your requirements. I suggest you have a gander at some of these:
DISC-4
Jenzen CA
Poor Man'
Zaph|Audio - ZDT3.5
Zaph|Audio - SB12.3 3-Way Tower (available as a kit from Madisound)
http://speakerdesignworks.com/Anthology_1.html

These are all solid, practical designs that work well and will suit a range of tastes. I would also suggest it is worth looking at any of Jeff Bagby's larger designs.
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Last edited by Scottmoose; 15th October 2018 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 15th October 2018, 07:50 PM   #3
Lingwendil is offline Lingwendil  United States
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Best speaker design for living room
My first instinct is either a moderately sized Karlsonator with pretty efficient drivers, or maybe a dipole with rear-firing (and slightly upward aimed) driver to "fill" the room/ceiling.
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Old 16th October 2018, 02:12 AM   #4
Squeak is offline Squeak  Denmark
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Not sure why Scott is so dismissive of fullrange DIY?
There are plenty of designs within your budget with excellent off-axis behaviour and that are pretty easy to build.
For example:
Castle Microtower build
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Old 16th October 2018, 05:01 AM   #5
picowallspeaker is offline picowallspeaker  Italy
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Woah! That DISC4 from Troel is a beast! I would steer to a "simple" 2 way that is easy to accommodate in a room. I like to have them hanging from the ceiling...
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Old 16th October 2018, 07:42 AM   #6
GM is offline GM  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeak View Post
Not sure why Scott is so dismissive of fullrange DIY?
Well, my initial response is no different since the 1st room mode will be ~565/30 = ~19 Hz, so will have ~zero room gain to help out on the low end, making a separate sub system pretty much mandatory.

Then there's treble loss over distance that the room size Vs listening distance implies, so while the new Fane 15" might work out with a 'rumble' [hi-pass] filter and a bit of EQ, big whizzer cone drivers tend to be an acquired taste, so not one I would feel comfortable recommending to a newbie that just joined.

Regardless, when someone posts wanting something that 'would project well in the room [considering the high ceiling]', this defacto becomes a horn based system from at least 1000 Hz - up and preferably 500 Hz since cone/dome systems don't 'project', so more prosound oriented and with this large a room the woofer will ideally need to be a 15" or dual horizontally opposed 12" for good polar response matching.

Unfortunately, the systems I'm most familiar with are well beyond his budget unless it's per speaker, so best I can recommend would be one of the Pi Speakers or DIY Sound Group's kits:

Pi Speakers - unmatched quality and state-of-the-art performance

DIY SOUND GROUP

GM
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Old 16th October 2018, 08:43 AM   #7
Juhazi is offline Juhazi  Finland
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GM, I think that you misunderstood "projecting" as good imaging. Instead the OP said "so that the speakers would sound good whether I'm eating on the dining table, relaxing on the couch, or having many guests staying all over the living room."

I think that rules out horn speakers! Regular 3-way towers with only a shallow waveguide or really good dipole designs would suit. And because good dipoles tend to be active+dsp based, I would rule them out too.

That leaves us rather large 3-ways and 2-way (with max 5½" woofer) + subwoofer designs. And the rare omnis. Territory of multi-way forum...
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Old 16th October 2018, 10:17 AM   #8
Scottmoose is offline Scottmoose  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeak View Post
Not sure why Scott is so dismissive of fullrange DIY?
It's tragic, so it is, how dismissive I am about wideband drive units. World renowned hater. Never designed a speaker with them. Never will.

I ruled them out because when I read the post, in my opinion, they are not well suited to the requirements. A room of 23ft x 20ft with 30ft ceilings is an acoustically large space with little gain to provide assistance on the LF. The laws of physics dictate that the MicroTower you recommend (and I designed) for example with its single / pair of 4in drivers per channel will have no chance of shifting sufficient air in a space of that size. Equally, like GM, I am cautious about recommending large whizzer cone wideband units to people unfamilair with them. To give another example, having heard the 12in & 15in Fanes that are currently getting considerable attention, I can only say that whatever their merits, the appeal is lost on me; even off-axis and with sympathetic amplifiers, I find the top end extremely harsh compared to some other wideband units or quality dedicated HF drivers, be they compression units, domes, ring-radiators or planar variations. Others differ: power to them, but in cases like this, they are not an automatic recommendation from myself.

As far as projection goes, I'm with GM: you need multiway horns in these conditions & the PI speakers are probably the most affordable well-designed offerings available and easily built by people new to DIY audio. I considered adding them, but didn't due to the note about dispersion. I don't know how well the PI / DIY Sound Group systems perform off-axis; they might be very good, but without knowing for certain, I went with some larger systems that I'm more familiar with. Actually, I'd make a revision to my list: Troels's Disc4. It's using the R2604/8330 ring-radiator, & off-axis isn't brilliant with those. It could probably be modified with the D2604/8330 dome, but the crossover would need to be revised & the speaker revoiced due to the differing dispersion properties, which isn't something for an inexperienced builder. The issue here is size & budget. I'd like to recommend something with quality big woofers, maybe Altec derived, but that's not realistic with a $1K - $1.5K budget, and for all the attention they get, baffles with inexpensive woofers in that size region aren't the most acoustically efficient designs around, and like the large wideband units, can be an aquired taste so again, are not one of my automatic recommendations in cases like this.
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Last edited by Scottmoose; 16th October 2018 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 16th October 2018, 10:49 AM   #9
Squeak is offline Squeak  Denmark
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Scott, I know about you. Of course.
A Chuppy Tower should have enough raw shifting power.

A tower with the original EPI splay of the drivers would also work well into a corner, perhaps with some assistance from a sub.
A simple well placed sub or two should be well within the budget and requirements.

I have put a pair of towers with just one CHR driver in my sisters living room, that is of comparable size to this, and that works fine for the listening levels and requirements of a family of four, while also satisfying me when I visit.

You might think in terms of your wants, when I sense something a bit more mundane in terms of dynamics and bottom from the OP.
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Old 16th October 2018, 02:07 PM   #10
Lingwendil is offline Lingwendil  United States
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Best speaker design for living room
Maybe a multi-way design like the LXMini?
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