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Choosing the right 5" midrange
Choosing the right 5" midrange
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Old 5th September 2019, 05:34 PM   #1
MIJK is offline MIJK  Sweden
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Default Choosing the right 5" midrange


I'm stuck. I keep on going in circles and I need you help.

Can you guys help me pick out a midrange driver that suits my needs? It should be a 5" driver preferably, as I would like to avoid going MTM @2*4" with the lobing issues that creates. Following is a write up of what the usage and restrictions are.

I'm looking at building a pair of 3 way floorstanders. The speaker will be in the somewhat ordinary 1"-5"-1 or 2*8" format and could be up to 100L in volume. The front baffle will be somewhere between 110-120cm in height, 25-35cm in width, and might be stepped to allow aligning of the acoustic centre's of the driver. The tweeter might or might not be placed in a Waveguide. C-C distance will be kept to a minimum to try and reduce issues. The back of the speaker, as it most probably will be deep, will be somewhat close to the wall. The midrange will be placed in a separate chamber, possibly together with the tweeter.

The crossover frequency I'm looking at are around 3-400hz to around 3khz but these aren't written in stone, and could/should be changed to suit the midrande driver. Mid driver possibly mated to a tweeter in waveguide. Passive crossover, but got a DCX 2496 on hand too.

What I want is a lifelike, uncolored and dynamic driver capable of quite high SPL capabilities, that preferably is quite sensitive but not excessive as it is to be mated to one or two 8" woofers. Preferably not excessively priced, ie up to or around 100usd/100euro. Available in Europe. Hopefully highly regarded for its sound and used in several builds by other members. Preferably smooth FR response and without severe break up, hopefully quite easy to implement in a build with regards to crossover design. Preferably without nastiness at high volume, a nice overload character might be another word. Preferably 8 ohm.

The drivers i have been looking at are the following:
Audax HM130Z0, HM130C0, MCA15RLY, SB15MFC30-8 and NE149.

When looking at these drivers and what others write about them, I'm tending towards the HM130Z0. There seems to be a group of DIYers on here that like them but most of those threads are over 10 years old. How does they stand up against the newer drivers like the SB and the Vifa/Peerless? Is this the best choice?
I read somewhere that the MCA15 didn't sound good at higher volumes, and checking the measurements on DiBirama, the HM130 seems to perform the best, but with the usual 1,5khz problem many of these drivers show.
The sensitivity is also nice, and these things do make me biased towards them. But, I do need your help. I've been checking sites and pdf's for weeks now and I'm stuck. I don't know what to choose and continue designing around. The mid is where the magic happens, and as such is where I would like to start designing around.
I'm not a speaker builder pro, but am a fast learner that learns the best when faced with something though and hard to pull thru, but as such I also want a driver that is easy to work with. At the moment I also got unlimited time to play with and design a speaker.

As you see in the writeup there isn't much that is decided at this stage, and I think it shouldn't be this early. A closed (or ported) box 3 way speaker with many options on how to implement the different parts of the build. One has to work with the driver one chooses. And as such, I would like to chose the best sounding one to keep designing around. I am putting a pair of Elsinore speakers together as I write this, so they will be used as a reference and until I'm able to create something similar with my own hands, yes I know, might not happen in the next 10 years, but I want a good solid foundation on where I can continue to learn.

So, with the preferred price of lower than 100usd/100euro, what would you choose and why? What's the reason behind your choice?

Am I right in probably going with HM130? How does the HM130 handle high spl? Easy to work with in the crossover?

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Old 5th September 2019, 08:47 PM   #2
Dave Bullet is offline Dave Bullet  New Zealand
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Originally Posted by MIJK View Post

I'm stuck. I keep on going in circles and I need you help.

I'm looking at building a pair of 3 way floorstanders. The speaker will be in the somewhat ordinary 1"-5"-1 or 2*8" format

I don't quite follow your 3 way format above. Are you saying you want to avoid d'appolito MTM speaker?

Some midranges may not have quite the sensitivity to meet your multiple woofers.

Having said that - I've been eyeing up a SB Acoustics Satori MR13P-4. the SB15CAC/NAC drivers also look almost as good for cheaper. The issue here being higher mms so lower sensitivity.

the 3mm xmax of the MR13P should be fine for a 300Hz highpass.
"Usual diyaudio train wreck of dubious drivers and just the crossover to sort out. Well, how are you on crossovers and modelling? Pretty green, I reckon" - system7 (Steve)
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Old 5th September 2019, 09:06 PM   #3
CharlieLaub is offline CharlieLaub  United States
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I have used the Audax HM130C0. This is not a bad driver at all, but not in the top tier. Have you considered SB Acoustics Satori line drivers, or the ScanSpeak 10F/8424G? These are better in many ways, and may fall within your budget (e.g. the 10F).
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Old 5th September 2019, 10:16 PM   #4
Moondog55 is offline Moondog55  Australia
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SB Acoustics Satori MR13P-4. A New Home Audio 5.25” Midrange Driver | audioXpress

I have heard nothing but good about the Satori line. But I have not used them myself.
QUOTE" The more I know, the more I know, I know (insert maniacal laugh >here<) NOTHING"
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Old 5th September 2019, 11:47 PM   #5
GM is offline GM  United States
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Originally Posted by MIJK View Post
Can you guys help me pick out a midrange driver that suits my needs? It should be a 5" driver preferably

You sure? 4&quot; or 5&quot; Paper Midrange

........and like him, a small 'FR' driver is likely what you need.

Loud is Beautiful if it's Clean! As always though, the usual disclaimers apply to this post's contents.
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Old 6th September 2019, 12:27 AM   #6
classicalfan is offline classicalfan  United States
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You don't have to start from scratch to meet these requirements. Look at Troels Gravesen's SBA 741. It is exactly what you describe except for being a stand mount instead of floor standing. And you can take advantage of his XO experience instead of trying to reinvent it.

This is one of his two new open designs.

The other is an SBA 761, which is also very interesting. It is a floor standing cabinet design, which you might prefer.

I've been looking at both of these as possible next builds, and have found it difficult to locate many other similar alternatives that are free designs.
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Old 6th September 2019, 04:17 AM   #7
classicalfan is offline classicalfan  United States
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Both of the speaker designs from Troels that I discuss above use the Satori line of premium drivers.
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Old 6th September 2019, 06:01 AM   #8
Zuhl is offline Zuhl  England
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H1304-08 MCA12RC
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Old 6th September 2019, 06:50 AM   #9
classicalfan is offline classicalfan  United States
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Troels original SEAS 3-Way Classic in your link has published XO values, but the improved MkII version does not.


You have to buy the XO kits from Jenzen for this latest configuration.

The cost for these SEAS drivers is about one-half the cost for Satori drivers in the SBA 741 or SBA 761. So it's probably reasonable to expect some performance differences between them.

Last edited by classicalfan; 6th September 2019 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 6th September 2019, 08:57 AM   #10
MIJK is offline MIJK  Sweden
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Hi again,
I'm going to try to repeat to you all in one go.


My idea is a TMWW 1"-5"-2*8" so no MTM. The reason for wanting to avoid MTM lies in that I often move around and stand up listening, not critically but still I want a nice sound even then. For this reason I have also been thinking of building a Line Array, but it doesn't fit universally and I'm going to move soon. So I would like to avoid MTM, but it still is a back up plan, then I guess 2*4" would be the choice.
Yes, the Satoris have been a choice but I would prefer to use a cheaper driver, but still, it is one way to go. If the extra money is worth it. That choice would need a notch filter I guess, and that is something I would like to avoid if possible. Simple implantation is another thing I'm after.
The Hm130z0 is 92db @ 8 ohm and as such, should be a good match to 2*8" drivers. At the Dibirama site, it looks like the Hm130z0 it the driver with the least amount if distortion the drivers mentioned here, at least in the range I intend to use the driver in.


The driver I'm contemplating is teh Z0 version, the Aerogel driver with higher sensitivity and what looks like a more pure midrange. Have you had any experience of this version?
I guess it might be the same engine in them, but that's isn't something I have checked. I have been looking at both the Satori line and the 10f and other Scan speak drivers. Some of them fit in my price range for sure and I guess would be very good at this task. But how do a 4"handle high spl with regards to 8" woofers? It is more in it than just calculating xmax*SD when talking about a midrange, but how does one calculate this, and how much can one rely on the results?


Hehe, Satoris seem to be highly regarded here. I have been checking the Sb15mfc30 version of SB drivers, and it were one my No1 for a long time, until I came across writings about the Hm130z0. All these drivers, seems to be highly regarded and hard to find anything negative about them, but how do I choose the one that's best for my intended use?

Well, the plans are still so open so maybe I need to break it down and narrow my goal to be able to choose the driver that suits my need best?


I read that thread yesterday. Not so much new if I remember correctly, but still choices that could be uses.

Classical fan,

Hmm, I have missed those new builds from Troels. Will check them out.

The MCA drivers are high up on the list of choices, the Mca15 in particular. It seems to be quite easy to design a crossover for. And that is something that is almost the most important parameter, I want a driver that is easy to work with. I read somewhere on Diyaudio that the MCA doesn't overload so nice and that it sounds "bothered" at higher volumes. Do you have any experience of using this driver in your own builds?

The reason behind this idea of building a 3-way by myself(with your help) is to learn the things behind making a good crossover, making hte right choice when choosing drivers, making the right desicions when designing the box and so on. I'm already building a pair of Elsinore speakers, so those will be what I'll use primary until I'm able to create something in the same range, which is a pretty hard goal. But, I'm in it for the learning experience. I want to be able to create something good with my own hands and to find out what I like on the journey.

This is one of the big reasons to me wanting to use cheaper drivers as I know this most probably won't be sounding as intended in the first run. But, I got unlimited time for this, and got access to all the serious hardware for speaker building, I got access 2 different really good workshops which both come with carpenters, in my family.

I'm thinking of maybe put the things I want in a list and want I don't want in another list, it might be easier for you people to read. I know my English isn't the best and I find it hard to read my own writings so I know it ain't easy for you.

Highest on the list would be low distortion, good at handling high spl levels and easy to work with. With a neutral uncolored sound.

Sorry for the long answer, hopefully it is somewhat easy to read, just woke up after a night full of unplanned things such as
a lightning strike at the house.
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