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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 9th November 2013, 02:32 AM   #1
Brian77223 is offline Brian77223  United States
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Default Reference book suggestions

Sorry if this is the wrong forum,

I am interested in designing my own multi way speakers, but would like to do some technical research on the topic.

I am a recently graduated mechanical engineer, and I have some training in vibrations, measurement systems, circuits, etc. i want to understand the theory of why 2 speakers that have the same frequency response, efficiency, resonance, etc can sound so different.

Any good technical book suggestions on the topic would be appreciated
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Old 9th November 2013, 04:47 AM   #2
Moondog55 is offline Moondog55  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian77223 View Post
I want to understand the theory of why 2 speakers that have the same frequency response, efficiency, resonance, etc can sound so different.
Wouldn't we all! LOL
Welcome to the addiction
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Old 9th November 2013, 11:21 PM   #3
whgeiger is offline whgeiger  United States
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Default Where to Look

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian77223 View Post
Sorry if this is the wrong forum,

I am interested in designing my own multi way speakers, but would like to do some technical research on the topic.

I am a recently graduated mechanical engineer, and I have some training in vibrations, measurement systems, circuits, etc. i want to understand the theory of why 2 speakers that have the same frequency response, efficiency, resonance, etc can sound so different.

Any good technical book suggestions on the topic would be appreciated
Obviously the metrics you are looking at for this hypothetical will not reveal the differences you are observing. The culprit is most likely diaphragm geometry and material. These will lead to differences in the breakup modes that occur when wavelength becomes comparable or smaller than diaphragm dimensions.
For a reading source, an associate membership in AES with unlimited library access, would be my recommendation for anyone with a serious interest in acoustics. Cost ($99 + $145)/yr.
Membership Types & Prices
Regards,
WHG
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Old 10th November 2013, 12:50 AM   #4
1audiohack is offline 1audiohack  United States
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In distilling down my collection I would use as primers:

Testing Loudspeakers by Joseph D'Appolito
Loudspeaker Design Cookbook by Dickason

In depth:

High Performance Loudspeakers by Colluoms
Time Delay Spectrometry by Heyser

Additions with tons of math and technical references and application:

Sound System Engineering by Davis-Patronis
the Handbook for Sound System Engineers by Ballou

For fun:

If Bad Sound Were Fatal by Don and Corolyn Davis

Audio's pull on engineering types is surprisingly strong. Understanding it well requires understanding of no less than five disciplines only one of which is mechanical. Your education will certainly help you grasp the others.

Welcome and enjoy.
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Old 10th November 2013, 10:41 AM   #5
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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100 more votes on D'Appolito. Number one. If you don't understand measurement, you cant test your design.
Bullock on boxes was the first significant design book addressing T/S parameters for mere mortals. (Theil's and Small's papers were not for the casual reader) .
Dickason seems to be a standard, though I have never read it.

For FREE:
Read the True Audio WEB
Read the Linkwitz WEB
Read the owners manual for SoundEasy, TrueRTA, Edge, Arta, Holm and whatever software you can find.
Search on DIY room treatments and bass traps. You may get a lot on your particular interest from that.
I need to polish up my "Cheapskates Guide to speaker measurement for design" and get it posted one of these days. Kind of a quick-start using free or really cheap software.

Floyd Toole is another significant work.
No idea if you could find them, but I have the four volumes on speaker design from AES. Even if you join AES, I suspect they are not cheap. The history can teach you a lot. I also have the first 10 years or so of SpeakerBuilder.

I got very little out of Colluoms, and Sound System Engineering was obsolete when it was published. Useless for a beginning speaker builder. If you ever were in Maryland, you could have them for a beer or so.

I also have a pile of books on acoustical architecture, and psycho-acoustics as understanding why we interpret what we hear the way we do, and why two people will hear the same things differently is one of my interests. Unfortunately, the academic books on this have 300 pages of test description and citations with two paragraphs that say they did not learn anything.

The gentleman who got me started in speaker building was a physicist specializing in vibration. He designed things like missile silo covers. After a career stooping things from vibrating, he decided to make some vibrate. Built and sold speakers. He was one of the first to read Small and produce speakers using his information.
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Old 10th November 2013, 12:57 PM   #6
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Someone on this forum has hosted Thiele and Small's papers - a read through those will help with enclosures. If you can find JE Benson's "Theory and Design of Loudspeaker Enclosures" for a decent price (wouldn't pay more than $50 for a paperback) it is _really_ excellent, although nearly solid math. It might be easier to find the original three magazine articles from Australia, though...
DB Keele has put some of his own JAES papers on his website.
If you have a large library near you, it would be easy to find JAES journals that you can peruse.

The Loudspeaker Design Cookbook is an OK tutorial for mildly technical folks. I checked it out from the library pre-internet. I never felt the need to buy it. Now that we have personal computers there is software to do most things he has simplified formulas and tables for. It is cheap enough, though, and gives you some essential education on terminology. Don't get hung up on alignments, though. Alignments are interesting mathematically, but not a terribly useful concept for most purposes.

High performance loudspeakers is a book I wouldn't recommend buying. Way too expensive and not that much information.

Any of David Weems' books are very basic and not worth more than $10, IMO.
I think Ray Alden took over for Weems writing stuff for Radio Shack, I've never seen his books so I don't have an opinion, although I suspect they are similar in scope. Good for beginners and non-technical folk. May be good for learning the vocabulary.

If I were recommending a course for people starting from scratch with your background, I'd say this:
Play around with the equation sets you find at The Subwoofer DIY Page - that will give you a feel for enclosure design. For any given set of parameters, try a typical box, a box that is very large and a box that is very small. For vented boxes try this and various tuning frequencies as well.

Use holmimpulse for measuring speakers acoustically and import the measurements into Speaker Workshop. Speaker workshop does impedance measurements well, but I have had mixed results with the acoustic measurements. I have written my own crossover spreadsheets and used various purchased and free solutions, but I much prefer Speaker Workshop to any I have tried for simulating crossovers. Once you understand the user interface, it is simpler and faster.

Some may recommend Bagby's PCD, an excel sheet for crossover simulation and if you have excel and it works for you, great. I have excel 97 but I won't upgrade again

That and ask a lot of questions is my recommendation
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Old 10th November 2013, 01:57 PM   #7
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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I find impedance measurements from Woofer Tester hard to beat. HOLM for acoustic, ARTA for CSD. I still use TrueRTA for some room measurements. I too have my own spreadsheets, but also use Edge, WinIDS, and PSDLite for design. If ARTA was not so hard to pay for, I would license Atra and Limp. (hint folks, accept PayPal) That is my cheap set. I also have Sound Easy. It is anything but easy and is not cheap. It has immense capabilities.

I would HOPE a good engineering library has all the AES papers. Our public library has only a few best sellers and VHS tapes. Useless. UofM library is too hard for me to get to.
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Old 10th November 2013, 02:46 PM   #8
AuroraB is offline AuroraB  Norway
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For the really in-depth foundations, Beranek's "Acoustics" and Olsson's "Musical Engineering" is still pretty valid in establishing the basics for most modern works. Don't know if they're still in print, but should be avalable through a library.
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Old 10th November 2013, 03:09 PM   #9
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuroraB View Post
For the really in-depth foundations, Beranek's "Acoustics" and Olsson's "Musical Engineering" is still pretty valid in establishing the basics for most modern works. Don't know if they're still in print, but should be avalable through a library.
I got Beranek's "Acoustics" from the Acoustical Society of America, Acoustical Society Bookstore

Most Acoustics textbooks have heavy-duty partial differential equations and the like, but Beranek is a little more accessible. It is a good reference for those who want to dig deeper, but its methods are not as straightforward as Small's or Benson's. The only thing I have by olson is his "Dynamic Analogies" which can be found for free online. It is a good book, but greatly hindered by the use of the cgs system instead of SI.
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Old 11th November 2013, 02:07 AM   #10
whgeiger is offline whgeiger  United States
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Default For Basics

... recommend Marshall Leach's Book

INTRODUCTION TO ELECTROACOUSTICS AND AUDIO AMPLIFIER DESIGN: Jr. W. Marshall Leach: 9780757503757: Amazon.com: Books

Regards,

WHG

P.S. The pricing at Amazon is absurd! Will find a seller elswhere or provide a free copy if you want it.

Last edited by whgeiger; 11th November 2013 at 02:14 AM. Reason: P.S.
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