First speaker build

Discussion in 'DIY Corner - Tips & Techniques' started by dpattillo, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. dpattillo Junior Audioholic

    dpattillo
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    I'm building my first pair of speakers. Want to do a full range driver without crossover. Suggestions? Anywhere to look other than Parts Express and Madisound?
  2. Swerd Audioholic Ninja

    Swerd
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  3. Swerd Audioholic Ninja

    Swerd
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    I know little about full range speakers, other than I don't think I want one :).

    I have heard this design Bandit, that uses a Tang Band 4" driver.

    It doesn't have a true crossover, but it still requires baffle step compensation and a notch filter to tame some high frequency misbehavior. You should expect that almost any single driver design will need some kind of EQ.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  4. dpattillo Junior Audioholic

    dpattillo
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    I really need some crossover 101. I could build this stuff from the diagram but have no clue about the theory behind it.
  5. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    Which is why you buy a kit that has all of the important parts figured out already, like the x-over design for the specific drivers and a cabinet configured for those drivers. Not the same as designing yourself, but unless you know what you're doing, designing from scratch isn't something you decide to do one day and you have a great sounding speaker the next day.

    http://gr-research.com/index.aspx

    http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/
  6. dpattillo Junior Audioholic

    dpattillo
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    Buying a kit with pre-made cabinets and crossover defeats the purpose for someone who wants to learn speaker design.
  7. Swerd Audioholic Ninja

    Swerd
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    A notch filter decreases the signal over a narrow range that can be chosen by the designer. See the notch filter components on the right side of the diagram and on the left side of the photo. The Bandit write up said this:
    Initially I had planned to just use a simple baffle step compensation circuit (parallel inductor and resistor in series with the driver) to filter this driver but when I took measurements, I realized that there was a peak at 6 kHz that needed to be tamed. So I had to add a parallel notch filter to work on this peak in the response. This is one design where the final crossover differed significantly from the preliminary simulated version primarily because the measured response of the drivers was quite a bit different than those provided by the manufacturer.

    Baffle step compensation (BSC; left side of diagram and right side of photo), required by any speaker with a somewhat narrow cabinet, is explained here BSC made simple (and why it may be important to you) — Audioblog.

    This site is also pretty good for basic info:Audioblog — random audio news and views
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
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  8. dpattillo Junior Audioholic

    dpattillo
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    It's about the journey not the destination although an awesome destination would be cool:)
  9. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    For a FIRST project, yes it does help you. Maybe try the Dayton BR-1 kit. I believe they said they use that kit as a "speaker building 101" class.

    Get some books on speaker building. Then find out what gear you'll need to own because you'll need to be able to measure the results as you make changes to the design. You can buy cabinets if you don't want to build them, but then you are limited to the sizes available off the shelf to some extent. Driver selection means you will need to understand how to read the specs of the drivers and then listen to them to decide which ones meet the needs of what you want and then build a x-over or network specifically for them.

    Talk to other speaker designers.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
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  10. Swerd Audioholic Ninja

    Swerd
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  11. ARES24 Full Audioholic

    ARES24
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    I hope you realize the amount of work in learning you are taking on here!

    I started a couple times to develop a self made instruction course. I determined that I would need a lot more toys and a lot more time then I can put into it.;) I cheat and just ask all my questions here!

    Good luck, hopefully you become another expert that I can beg genius from!
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  12. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    In general you are correct.

    The only guy that ever really solved this problem was Ted Jordan. Through extensive math, he designed a cone that has highly controlled break up that does not break suddenly but smoothly so the radiating area is always in inverse proportion to frequency and it does not beam. Also he managed to get some BSC form the cone design.

    You can just connect a JW module straight to an amp with no circuit other than the wire. They are not in the least bit shouty, but smooth and slightly retiring.

    [​IMG]

    The 4" cone is very light almost foil and is a spun aluminum tractrix. The cone is really the key to the whole unit in my view.

    The suspension is quite unique.

    [​IMG]

    I have just installed one for a center in our Eagan town home.

    [​IMG]

    It matched the right and left speaker pretty much perfectly. The set up tones were very closely matched indeed. Audyseey set the crossover for that speaker at 100 Hz. It is a small sealed enclosure.

    The dialog is very clean and natural with no shout at all with excellent speech discrimination. I played a BD of the Mahler 8th and that little speaker kept up with the mains and reproduced the team of soloists beautifully. I now know why I used these drivers for so many years.

    With a TL or reflex there is good output to 40 Hz. When I set up the system for Afterlife 2 I was playing some Elgar from Worchester cathedral and was suddenly surprised that a pair of these in a small bookshelf actually rattled the windows on a deep organ pedal.

    These drivers had a hue Far Eastern fan club. So much so that I think Mark Audio from Tiawan might have finally discovered how to manufacture that cone, which is very difficult and expensive. The only difference I see in the FR curve is that the JW has a very slightly rolled off HF response, and the Mark driver has a slightly rising response.

    This driver is really the reincarnation of my JW Mk III. It says it is 6", but the diaphragm is 4".

    [​IMG]

    I do not have a working pair of JW Mk IIIs at present, but have enough parts to build about half a dozen.

    This is the rolled surround and cone for the very rare Mk 111.

    [​IMG]

    I think I will likely build a pair and TL load them, which is the optimal loading for this speaker. Then they sound very like a good electrostatic speaker without the beaming.

    I think these units would change your mind about full range drivers in a hurry.
  13. lsiberian Audioholic Overlord

    lsiberian
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    An alternative to passive crossovers is going active. You can use a sure amp and a minidsp.
  14. dpattillo Junior Audioholic

    dpattillo
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    I thought about the active crossover before the amp. I've seen a Behringer unit used on a few projects online.
  15. mattsk8 Full Audioholic

    mattsk8
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    I got my start in speaker building here a few years ago. I started w/ the Tritrix, and since then I also built the ER18 MTM and the Statements. I came from what I thought at the time was a fairly thorough knowledge of audio, but at this point I completely wrong! I had a good amount of experience in car audio, knew about setting gains, dialing in xovers, cubic airspace, etc. I also played quite a bit w/ home audio.

    What I learned from building the designs I've done so far is a LOT about cabinet construction and xover function. Through the builds I asked a hundred million questions, and if it weren't for being in the middle of the build the answers to the questions would have probably not made sense, and even would've been a bit overwhelming.

    At this point I'm currently working on a pro-audio system for our church sanctuary. If I can keep my head from exploding, this will be a MAJOR learn for me as well. I currently have one speaker built and I'm waiting for test results from Meniscus Audio (http://meniscusaudio.com/), where I dropped the speaker off. That'll tell me ideal mounting positions, correct mounting angles, etc for optimum performance to the audience.

    I'm also working on my own design, it's a 2 way MT bookshelf speaker. I'm going to build 5 for my HT system. I've designed the cabinets, and I'm working w/ Meniscus on these as well for the crossover design, which is helping me a TON! I also just got a OmniMic measuring system, hopefully w/ this I can learn to help my son build a cheaper set of bookshelves.

    A lot of seemingly worthless info there, but the bottom line is that I would've never had the courage to finish (much less take on) what I'm doing now w/out both the knowledge I gained from the proven design builds, and the knowledge that it DOES work IF ITS DONE RIGHT. I now know not to give up, and if it sounds terrible I must be doing something wrong ;).

    Sorry for the long post, just trying to give you some food for thought. Loudspeaker design is pretty overwhelming to try to get all at once!
  16. dpattillo Junior Audioholic

    dpattillo
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    What was your favorite build. I read s lot of good things about the statements.
  17. mattsk8 Full Audioholic

    mattsk8
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    That's a tuffy!

    I like the Tritrix because they were my first build, they hold a special place in my heart for that reason. That said, I do punish those poor things on a regular basis and they don't sound nearly as good as the Statements or the ER18s, but for the money they sound pretty good.

    If I let pride get in the way, I would say the ER18s sound better simply because I built those for myself, and I built the Statements for my dad. Realistically though, last summer if you would've asked I would've said I like the ER18s better when we did a side by side comparison between those 2 at a DIY speaker demo. But, last weekend I went to InDIYana (another DIY speaker show), and in that room the Statements actually seemed to sound better to me, but others there thought the ER18s sounded better.

    I think it depends on the individual. The ER18s are a bit brighter on the top, and the Statements definitely have a bit more bottom end. After living w/ my ER18s for a year or so, I think I still prefer their sound over the Statements; the ER18s just have a teeny bit more clarity and definition in the right areas IMO. Another reason is simply aesthetic; those Statements are gigantic!!

    But, you really should get more opinions if you would truly be interested in building one of the 2, they're close. Speakers are very subjective :p

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