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Full-Range Synergy Kit Questions
Full-Range Synergy Kit Questions
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Old 27th April 2017, 05:10 PM   #1
Cask05 is offline Cask05  United States
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Default Full-Range Synergy Kit Questions

So for those that are seriously thinking about building your own DIY full-range Multiple Entry Horn (MEH), also called "Synergies™", some questions:

1) What common compression driver(s) and woofers would you most want to use (brand and model) in a kit?

Remember that the compression drivers must cover a wide operating band, so 2" compression drivers are typically simpler and also in the $140-$240(US) range. These will replace midrange drivers that are difficult to integrate and are problematic when it comes to finding real estate on the horn throat area between the compression driver and the woofers. That way you avoid more than 2/3rds of the problems encountered with multiple entry horns.

Woofers need to have medium Qts values (0.6, etc.) and relatively low Fs to work well as horn-loaded woofers.

2) What is the lowest crossing frequency (i.e., "fc") that you would want out of the loudspeaker?

Typical values are in the range of 100, 50, and 30 Hz for "full-range" horns.

3) What maximum size would you be willing to build/buy for your listening environment?

The size of a Klipsch La Scala? Smaller? How small? How much low end would you be willing to give up to have a small size? Are these only going to be stereo pairs? Three across the front? Or surrounds, too? Elevation (Atmos)?

4) How much would you realistically be willing to spend per loudspeaker to make them from a kit?

5) Would you be willing to use an active crossover instead of passive?
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Old 27th April 2017, 10:48 PM   #2
Patrick Bateman is offline Patrick Bateman  United States
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A 1" compression driver is the most popular size for Synergy Horns.

The choice of midrange will determine​ everything else.

If I were making a kit, I would base it on Bill Waslo's "Small Syns" project:

Tymphany compression driver $30
Celestion midrange $30
Faital midbasses $??

If someone had space for something larger, I'd replace the midbasses with the Cerwin Vega twelves that Apex Jr sells. $25

If you want to make it smaller, you can make Bill's design smaller by replacing the celestion mid with a Dayton RS52
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Old 27th April 2017, 11:02 PM   #3
frangus is offline frangus  Australia
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Predicting this thread will turn into 100 pages of 1" vs 1.4" vs 2" compression driver

Are you planning to do this as a flat pack?
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Old 28th April 2017, 12:41 AM   #4
Cask05 is offline Cask05  United States
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If you want this thread to be a rehash of 3-way MEH kit threads, then I suppose you could simply answer with that kind of thinking. However, that's not what I'm planning. I also can't plan anything until I get some data from those that want a full-range MEH kit (i.e., not those that intend only to build their own MEH designs without kit help).

I see a lot of complaints about the lack of full range multiple entry horn (MEH) kits. I really like what Bill has done and have thanked him profusely, and the ease of using Hornresp to model relative to using ABEC or other BEM/lumped codes, the fact remains that there really aren't any full-range MEH kits (or any "MEH kits" for that matter).

The Sound Physics Labs Unity patent is more than 2 years out of expiration--which by legal means makes it unable to be reinstated, i.e., the IP is free and clear according to the USPTO.

I see a lot of "half full-range" MEH creations on this forum, but I've found that they are just like Lowthers and other "full range drivers"--that aren't actually full range. You have to integrate a woofer into them at some midrange frequency. Typical vented box direct radiating woofers don't sound very good to my ears. YMMV.

I've been using 1.4" and 2" compression drivers on K-402 two-way Jubilees for almost 10 years now--crossed at 400 Hz and extending up to 16-18 kHz, whose performance is spectacular, IME.

I've also built a true full-range MEH based on the K-402 horn that uses two 15" woofers (I used the Danley SH-96 design as a launchpad for thinking about the design). Unfortunately the SH-96 costs more than $8000US each. You probably don't need 11 drivers in your MEHs in your home listening room, too.

The results of the K-402-MEH--well, you'll have to hear it for yourself. You can bound its performance by reading Jubilee reviews and adding point source capability and superior midbass coverage to those reviews, and also being about 1/3 the size of the Jubilee envelope. For me, using larger 1.4"-2" compression drivers solve problems, including eliminating a set of fairly complex and extremely audible higher frequency crossover filters. The larger 1.4" or 2" compression drivers have become more economical to get very good performance over the past 10 years.

You can continue to use 1" midrange drivers and midrange cone drivers in a 3-way. No one is stopping you. Continue on, please... This thread is about a prospective full-range MEH kit. Elimination of the "real estate problem" in shoehorning midrange drivers between the apex compression driver and the woofers is a big deal. It's okay for the full DIY crowd (including designing their own using spreadsheets and Hornresp) to go 3-way to decrease driver costs (but perhaps not crossover costs), while the kit DIY community is apparently still waiting for a simpler solution.

But you can answer in any way that you wish (short of feeding trolls, of course)...

Chris A
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Old 28th April 2017, 02:54 AM   #5
SteveA is offline SteveA  United States
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FYI, a patent has a 20 year lifetime. When it expires, that is it. There is no such "thing" as "reinstating" a patent. If there were I would have "reinstated" a few.
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Old 28th April 2017, 03:51 AM   #6
fluid is offline fluid  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cask05 View Post
3) What maximum size would you be willing to build/buy for your listening environment?

The size of a Klipsch La Scala? Smaller? How small? How much low end would you be willing to give up to have a small size? Are these only going to be stereo pairs? Three across the front? Or surrounds, too? Elevation (Atmos)?
Chris,

This question is the interesting one. Your method using a 2" CD and 15" woofers needs a big horn. The K402 is a big horn by most domestic standards. I am not sure how much smaller it can be and still work properly.

I can understand trying to gauge interest before you put much effort into prototypes etc. but I think if you were able to get a reasonable facsimile of the K402 in wood that could be flat packed then I'm sure there would be a market, how big is hard to know.

A lot of the DIY synergy efforts have been smaller and I think that is because most people don't want massive horns even if they know they need to be to work better

I also think the method of construction of the horn will be important as a rectangular box can be made to flat pack and can be assembled with some glue and a couple of clamps. To do that with a horn would need a clamping jig so it might be worth thinking about that as an addition.

Many of the people interested in flat packs don't have the tools for a complicated assembly.

This forum has a much greater number of true diyers that want to do the work themselves so to interest them it would need to be tempting You might try AVSforums too as home cinema seems a perfect use for your style and size of horn.
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Old 28th April 2017, 04:05 AM   #7
Cask05 is offline Cask05  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveA View Post
FYI, a patent has a 20 year lifetime. When it expires, that is it. There is no such "thing" as "reinstating" a patent. If there were I would have "reinstated" a few.
SteveA
I don't believe that you clicked the link. The patent didn't expire due to time, but rather non-payment of update fees. Read the link for the history.

There are a lot of people in the engineering profession that have held onto the old rules of owning patents, but those have changed--not the least of which is the fees that must be paid on a regular schedule, and that increase in monetary value as time progresses ($1K-$5K, etc.). Recommend reading the patent law forums on the subject. It's a lot different than when I was a young engineer, as well as the "reinstatement" process if fees are not paid on time. Apparently the game is to wait 6 months to a year and then claim ignorance of the fee due date, then the USPTO will reinstate if fee and penalties are paid. But that runs out after 2 years of non-payment duration in a single stretch.
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Old 28th April 2017, 04:35 AM   #8
Cask05 is offline Cask05  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluid View Post
...A lot of the DIY synergy efforts have been smaller and I think that is because most people don't want massive horns even if they know they need to be to work better
I understand your interest in the specifics, but unfortunately you're a little wide of the mark. You probably haven't seen a K-402 up close: wood isn't a panacea, and in this case would not be the material of choice. But I appreciate your interest in trying to guess the direction this might take.

How about providing your own preferences to the posed questions...including all others here in read-only mode reading this. The purpose of this thread is to gather user preferences on full-range MEH design...not so much guessing the outcome. Everyone benefits from the data exchange on preferences, needs, and constraints. Please share your needs and constraints.

I'd like to re-emphasize a point on size: it's not about the size of the horn itself but rather the size of the entire assembly with integral LF performance (i.e., no other horns or direct radiating woofers). I think some people might be thinking about an MEH + bass bin like the other 3-way "full range" MEHs that really aren't full range. That isn't the case here. Think in terms of the total loudspeaker envelope, not horn size.

The comment about the size of the La Scala as a point of departure was made so that the reader can compare apples-to-apples with something that is totally horn loaded and also relatively compact as compared to other fully-horn-loaded solutions that currently exist.

Chris

Last edited by Cask05; 28th April 2017 at 04:39 AM.
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Old 28th April 2017, 08:46 AM   #9
pk is offline pk  Denmark
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Hi Cask05,

Since Synergies are complicated, I would definitely go for building an absolutely no-compromise speaker. I do not want to use the next years thinking: "Ok, these are great, but could they get even better if I bought better CDs/woofers??"

By 1. I would prefer a Be diaphragm compression driver, that actually can be had. Either a JBL 1.5" 2435H which can be bought second-hand or one of the Radians (e.g., the 1.4" 745neoBe). I have no specific suggestion regarding the woofers.

By 2. 100Hz would be fine. From around 100 Hz, it will sound as if everything comes from the Synergies anyway. I have vintage 18" JBL 2245H in 8 cu feet cabs as subs below anyway

By 3. I don't really care. I only use speakers for music, so stereo is fine.

By 4. I honestly do not know. However, a pair of Danley SH-50 are too expensive for sure.

By 5. I have digital crossovers (not FIR though). Regardless of whether active or passive, I think the 'flat phase' prominent in Danley's products should be pursued for sure!

One Q: Do you consider using the Klipsch K402 horns as base for these, or....?

Thanks!

Best regards
Peter
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Old 28th April 2017, 01:28 PM   #10
Cask05 is offline Cask05  United States
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Thanks Peter--that's exactly on target.

As for your question on horn size...I don't know yet. The reason for asking the questions is to first understand market needs and dimensional variations before offering one or more solutions. Certainly, it would be attractive to talk in terms of a horn profile that controls its polars vs. frequency more consistently than a dual flare straight-sided horn constructed of MDF or wood.

But first an understanding of the overall market/design constraints is needed--and not so much aimed at preferences--because fully horn-loaded loudspeakers aren't really competing with direct radiating boxes. If you want a small loudspeaker and don't really care as much about the sound, then you go in that direction (i.e., not the direction of this type of kit).

If it is the sound that's produced, and you understand the size constraints and physics of horn loading, then the question becomes: what are the available market trades between size and consistent polar directivity control to low frequencies while maintaining effective point source output? People that have heard and love the sound of the larger Danley Synergies (e.g., SH-50, SH-60, SH-96...) with lower frequency polar control and effective point source output have created an apparent demand for a full-range MEH kit.

All the collective answers to the above questions combine into a handful of design decisions...including horn mouth dimensions, expansion profile used, the number and sizes of drivers used, and very importantly, the number and type of crossover filters employed--which are significantly different in practice than those for conventional FLHs or direct radiating woofers in that attention to phase growth/group delay is paramount.

Trading for absolutely rock-bottom driver costs, smallest HF horn mouth size (that's not actually a full range polar control horn), and assuming dual flare straight-sided horns constructed of MDF, and assuming a bass reflex box below the MEH would be used (or living with more limited bass output from the MEH itself) has been the path taken by a few--either in their mind's eye only or in sawdust in actual MEH designs. However it is clear that approach yields a more complex and time consuming solution that to date hasn't led to MEH kits being offered.

For a full-range MEH kit, the approach could likely be different than the above.

But first, it's best to ask questions of those who would want a kit. I find that this type of activity always yields insights into better design solutions.

Chris
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