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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 12th January 2019, 12:20 PM   #11
wintermute is online now wintermute  Australia
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Yes you can probably get something that sounds pretty good if you start with textbook and tweak by ear, but I would guess that you will never achieve the best sound that you could get out of those particular drivers unless you take measurements and design with those.

Additionally without knowing where the problems are, tweaking by ear is a largely trial and error (and therefore likely very time consuming) method. If that gives someone enjoyment then nothing wrong with it. But if it means many hours of not being happy with the sound, then perhaps it is not so great..

Many designers do not design for flat response, measurements just show what is going on, both in the frequency and time domain, you can use that information to design whatever you want!

Personally I think getting the two drivers to seamlessly integrate is probably the biggest challenge, and the thing that will make the biggest difference when you get it right. IMO it can make the difference between an OK speaker and a fantastic speaker. I doubt I'd be able to do it without measurements.

Tony.
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Old 12th January 2019, 12:27 PM   #12
wintermute is online now wintermute  Australia
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Oh and we do already have an excellent tutorial by AllenB which is a sticky Introduction to designing crossovers without measurement

It is for people who don't want to do measurements but is a lot more than just doing some textbook stuff. Allen's tutorial will get you IMO a lot further than just using a textbook or pre-made crossover and then trying to tweak it!

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Old 12th January 2019, 01:33 PM   #13
phivates is offline phivates  United States
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A wise person once assured me that "all generalizations are false including this one." Do It Your way! Have a little fun, unless that dilutes the experience of being smarter than the rest of us.

Thanks for mentioning the AllanB sticky. That has helped me get my head around the basics.
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Old 12th January 2019, 02:24 PM   #14
fatmarley is offline fatmarley  England
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What i'm learning from this thread is people that don't understand crossover design think that you can produce a speaker with good sound just by using your ears or crossover calculators etc.

Maybe it's not something that can be explained easily or maybe they didn't read the links properly?

I've heard crossovers designed by ear and they they are great if you only want to play a small selection of your music. People blame the harsh/dull or whatever sound on bad recordings. The better you get at crossover design, the more these bad recordings become good recordings.
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Old 12th January 2019, 02:33 PM   #15
Vintage Audio Projec is offline Vintage Audio Projec
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Originally Posted by phivates View Post
A wise person once assured me that "all generalizations are false including this one." Do It Your way! Have a little fun, unless that dilutes the experience of being smarter than the rest of us.

Thanks for mentioning the AllanB sticky. That has helped me get my head around the basics.
That is the point I wanted to make. When I tell people I make my own speakers then they immediately say "yeah k but they will not be perfect like a speaker you can buy...." Ok I am completely convinced that measuring can help the designing a lot. You can see what you are doing etc...and with havng software like REW and measuring microphones that are affordable these days it's something A diy'er should consider.

On the other end if someone just wants to make a speaker that sounds good for him it's not that it will be "bad" or "crap" it al depends on drivers and woodworking skills and some basic logic thinking (no a 4" woofer is not going to give you earthshaking sub for example.....) It can be quite good, but ok if you measure the combination you can make it most of the time even better.

On the other had doing only measurements and no listening tests is not always good either....

For example we had a PA line array system that was completely flat with loads of filters/EQ/delay correction and measured good.

Now I didn't like the sound of it it sounded lifefless.

now we made an other setting using our ears and also measuring the response. We used less correction EQ also and let the response a little bit less flat. It was way better overall sounding.

It's just an example

Saying you can't make a good speaker with conventional crossover without taking measurements is a step to far I think. Using the datasheets of the drivers with sometimes the response of the driver and carefull thinking you can achieve good things.

Saying you can make that same speaker even better by measuring it and make small adjustments when needed I think is completely true but if you go to the extremes and start using a lot of EQ correction etc..... it will not always be "better" Using an active speaker processor to test crossover point ideas is also nice to have. afterwards you can make a passive version (taking into account the thiele/small parameters of the driver).

Just to say I don't want to offend someone he The main reason for DIY is to have FUN and to learn and try
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Old 12th January 2019, 02:46 PM   #16
Vintage Audio Projec is offline Vintage Audio Projec
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Originally Posted by fatmarley View Post
What i'm learning from this thread is people that don't understand crossover design think that you can produce a speaker with good sound just by using your ears or crossover calculators etc.

Maybe it's not something that can be explained easily or maybe they didn't read the links properly?

I've heard crossovers designed by ear and they they are great if you only want to play a small selection of your music. People blame the harsh/dull or whatever sound on bad recordings. The better you get at crossover design, the more these bad recordings become good recordings.
Many modern recordings do sound like "crap" in my opinion. LOADS of compresion/ highs boosted to the extreme/ 40-70Hz is boosted and extra compressed Sounds spectacular for the first minute, afterwards I turn it off. Stereo effects are added because not many musicians play together like a group and everything is recorded at different times. For me that is not likea group playing music. A group playing together is different. and the there is autotune......yuk Ok there are nice recordings also but modern popmusic...... Some Jazz vocals sound superb. But indeed on many speakers the choice of crossover points is already faulty (tweeter crossed way to low etc...) to begin with and it will sound harsh on the S sounds etc....

BTW nice tutorial it will get you in a good direction to start

Last edited by Vintage Audio Projec; 12th January 2019 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 12th January 2019, 02:55 PM   #17
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage Audio Projec View Post
Saying you can make that same speaker even better by measuring it and make small adjustments when needed I think is completely true but if you go to the extremes and start using a lot of EQ correction etc..... it will not always be "better"
Yes. It depends what you mean by "a lot of EQ", but it should never really be necessary, it is better to live with some frequency response irregularities than to try and correct them with excessive EQ, it will do more harm than good.
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Old 12th January 2019, 03:14 PM   #18
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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I'll dig up some plots of a 3 way speaker with passive crossover that was done entirely by ear and hit the stated targets. Not something I could do, but some people can. I have to do a lot of measuring and listening.
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Old 12th January 2019, 03:32 PM   #19
fatmarley is offline fatmarley  England
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Can you dig up off-axis response plots too? and reverse polarity plots?

You say they hit the stated targets by ear, what are the targets? (surely there can't be any targets if it's done by ear)
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Old 12th January 2019, 03:52 PM   #20
puppet is offline puppet  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmarley View Post
(surely there can't be any targets if it's done by ear)
That target would be a pleasing response. A bit like adding or subtracting a couple decibels of tweeter for recordings lacking same or particular room response. These systems, when sold, didn't come with measuring gear for the purchaser.
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