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  • Antares
    started a topic Concrete 2-way monitor speakers, a good idea??

    Concrete 2-way monitor speakers, a good idea??

    Been wanting to build my own pair of monitoring speakers for my tiny 3m L by 3.2m W by 2.8m H bedroom for a while now, and researched that concrete would be a great material for use in a cabinet due to price and acoustic properties as I would be able to get them closer to the rear wall and reduce transmission to the stands.

    The drivers I plan on using are
    • Tang Band W4-1720 4" Underhung Midbass Driver rated at 30W Rms - 60W max - 4 ohms.
    • Fountek Neo X 1.0 Ribbon Tweeter Black rated at 20W Rms - 38W max - 8 ohms.
    With a x/o between 1.5kHz to 3kHz, active via MiniDSP and powered by a 4x100W wondom amp board. with an estimate around $550 including all parts.

    Here's a basic sketch of the design, Ideally the corners would be rounded and with an angled back to reduce direct reflections to the woofer. (I'm not 100 percent sure about the angled back idea tho...) and I plan on adding a subwoofer system in the future to go with the monitors.

    Sealed design:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Reference 6.png Views:	2 Size:	22.6 KB ID:	1394934
    Ported design.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Ported concrete speakers.png Views:	1 Size:	30.0 KB ID:	1394936

    At this price range including all the parts, would this be a good system to build? or should I get a $500 pair branded monitor speaker system??

    I would use the system for casual listening as well as music production and basic mixing and would love to have ribbon tweeters. but it this idea worth the effort???


    List of all the parts planned for the build, no cabinet included.
    • 2 x Fountek Neo X 1.0 Ribbon Tweeter Black --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------($78.90 each x 2 = $157.80 )
    • 2 x Tang Band W4-1720 4" Underhung Midbass Driver -------------------------------------------------------------------------------($55.79 each x 2= $111.96)
    • 1 x MiniDSP 2x4 Kit Digital Signal Processor Assembled Board ------------------------------------------------------------------($80.00)
    • 1 x WONDOM AA-AB33182 4x100W at 4 Ohm Class D Digital Audio Amplifier Board STA508 (TK2050) ------------($55.98)
    • 1 x Mean Well MW NES-350-24 24 VDC 14.6A 350W Regulated Switching Power Supply --------------------------------($35.97)
    • 1 x Dayton Audio EMM-6 Electret Measurement Microphone ----------------------------------------------------------------------($45)
    I will use binding posts for each driver, so 2 pairs per speaker.
    • 4 x Dayton Audio BPA-38G HD Binding Post Pair Gold------------------------------------------------------------------------------(4 x $5.00 each x 4 $20.00)
    • 4 x Dayton Audio BPA-38G HD Binding Post Pair Satin Nickel--------------------------------------------------------------------(4 x $5.00 each x 4 $20.00)
    • 1 x RCA AH1650SR 16 AWG Speaker Wire Spool 50 ft.------------------------------------------------------------------------------($8.96)
    • 1 x Parts Express Chassis Mount RCA Jack Pair -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------($6.99)
    • 2 x Banana Speaker Plug 2 Pair--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(2 x $9.95 each = ) Opcional.
    • Total: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------$561.76
    • Total without banana plugs.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------$542.28
    This project I posted on the tech talk before coming to the final list of parts and price, you con look at that post under the name: Help with a 2-way monitoring system in a concrete box.
    Last edited by Antares; 11-25-2018, 01:51 PM.

  • duronboy
    replied
    Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
    They have to list them somewhere. Consider the best selling near field monitor of all time, the Yamaha NS-10M. It was a hi-fi speaker. Yamaha eventually came up with with an NS-10M Studio, but that was long after the hi-fi version had become a ubiquitous studio fixture.
    They could have listed monitors in the home A/V space. But they didn't.

    Consider all the other retailers sell studio monitors that sell strictly music/content creation tools and practically zero openly consumer A/V.

    Look at the backs of the average studio monitors. Do those look consumer friendly?

    I'm not saying their average quality is professional, or that consumers don't buy monitors. But the average PA system sold might not pass those two indicators, either.

    Leave a comment:


  • duronboy
    replied
    Chads post reminds me of a video I watched a while back. There definitely better mixes than others and they get pretty fine. As far as mounting drivers, I don't see why one couldn't have bolt holes in the mold.

    But yeah, concrete looks to be a way bigger deal than MDF or wood.

    Leave a comment:


  • billfitzmaurice
    replied
    Originally posted by duronboy View Post
    I didn't know that. Parts Express doesn't know that.
    Just because PE sells them in the pro section doesn't mean they're pro. I'm just saying the stated line of reasoning isn't something everyone has considered.
    They have to list them somewhere. Consider the best selling near field monitor of all time, the Yamaha NS-10M. It was a hi-fi speaker. Yamaha eventually came up with with an NS-10M Studio, but that was long after the hi-fi version had become a ubiquitous studio fixture.

    Leave a comment:


  • chad1376
    replied
    FWIW, I've pondered the idea a few times. A few thoughts on this:

    - Unreinforced concrete can and will crack. You might consider fiberglass additive, like this:
    https://www.amazon.com/32-500-4-Inch.../dp/B000CODWAE

    - Formwork would be difficult. You'd want to incorporate the speaker and other cutouts in the form. Perhaps Styrofoam would be a good internal form material, since you could hog it out or use acetone to dissolve it. I think you'd also want to do a monolithic cast, since doing it in separate pieces would require a construction joint.

    - Choose your mix wisely. Regular old ready mix has fairly large aggregate for the wall thickness you are describing. You'd probably see the aggregate, and have visible voids. In any case, getting a fine finish might be tough.

    - Getting the concrete to fully fill the form without voids might be tough too. You might consider some way of vibrating the form during the pour to help the air work it's way up and out.

    - Not sure what the best way to mount the speakers would be. Perhaps adhesive (silicone?)

    Leave a comment:


  • duronboy
    replied
    Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
    Studio monitors usually aren't considered pro-sound, as more often than not they're consumer grade speakers without a living room worthy finish. Pro-sound is usually considered musical instrument and sound reinforcement.
    I didn't know that. Parts Express doesn't know that.



    Just because PE sells them in the pro section doesn't mean they're pro. I'm just saying the stated line of reasoning isn't something everyone has considered.

    Leave a comment:


  • billfitzmaurice
    replied
    Concrete speakers for pro-sound, where light weight is paramount, don't make sense. Studio monitors usually aren't considered pro-sound, as more often than not they're consumer grade speakers without a living room worthy finish. Pro-sound is usually considered musical instrument and sound reinforcement.

    Leave a comment:


  • duronboy
    replied
    edit: just noticed this was last year, they should be made by now, if they didn't buy commercial ones.


    I think the idea of concrete speakers is cool. But as pointed out, it's not entirely necessary with even regular ply and bracing.

    If the urge to buy commercial monitors is on the table, and if cost and effort are a consideration, keep a close, relentless eye out on the classifieds(craigs, 5miles, offerup, letgo, ebay, ect..). Good deals aren't rare.

    That said, I want you to build some concrete speakers. Again, I think they're cool and I wanna see 'em! If the design and execution are well done, they'd be a heck of a conversation piece. I think some speakers with the brutalist architectural style would be incredible. It would probably be best if the baffle were flat, but there's still a bit of fun to be had.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mountainman Bob
    replied
    Originally posted by Sydney View Post
    I believe I saw an article that used Durock type board decades ago.

    One innovation that would open a whole new realm of fabrication is 3D type Additive Fabrication.
    Companies like Cybe have a 3D printable mortar material that is a quick-drying cement product, formed within an hour, to freeform or parametric designs that do not need the frames and support structure, complete hydration/ curing process in under 24 hours, and will be completely watertight.
    Their ProTo 3DP prints a 7.5-foot-tall object in just about 20 minutes
    The same concept could easily be adapted and applied to fabricate "Crete" cabs in any shapes which are not easily done with flat Wood panels.
    I’ve seen that stuff in action as a building material.....I forget who was doing it but it involved a giant track/gable system much like a cnc that builds an entire small home framework.....interior and exterior load bearing walls!
    Had a cool adobe turd look to it.....which I imagine could be stuccoed if one didn’t want to live in a giant turd coil... lol

    cool stuff though

    Leave a comment:


  • Sydney
    replied
    Originally posted by bbnet View Post
    ...Thought that building the cabs out of 3'x5'x1/2"x2 dura roc tile boards might work. Could join pieces with fiber renforced fillets and smooth the finish with thin set.
    Might be easier than building complex form?
    I believe I saw an article that used Durock type board decades ago.

    One innovation that would open a whole new realm of fabrication is 3D type Additive Fabrication.
    Companies like Cybe have a 3D printable mortar material that is a quick-drying cement product, formed within an hour, to freeform or parametric designs that do not need the frames and support structure, complete hydration/ curing process in under 24 hours, and will be completely watertight.
    Their ProTo 3DP prints a 7.5-foot-tall object in just about 20 minutes
    The same concept could easily be adapted and applied to fabricate "Crete" cabs in any shapes which are not easily done with flat Wood panels.

    Leave a comment:


  • billfitzmaurice
    replied
    When you can realize a basically inert structure with braced MDF there's no engineering reason for anything more complex, exotic or expensive. There is a marketing reason, which is to appeal to those who think that more complex, exotic or expensive means higher quality.

    Leave a comment:


  • bbnet
    replied
    Had heard about these concrete speaker cabs but never seen/listened to them.

    Thought that building the cabs out of 3'x5'x1/2"x2 dura roc tile boards might work. Could join pieces with fiber renforced fillets and smooth the finish with thin set.

    Might be easier than building complex form?

    Leave a comment:


  • Antares
    replied
    As soon as I have the build I'll post them, thanks billfitzmaurice tho.

    I think I might give a try to the concrete idea anyways, around 2cm or 3/4" thick, lined with rubber perhaps and some polyester fiber for a sealed enclosure and a thick rubber support for the woof to Isolate it from the box.

    perhaps a bit thicker if I use styrofoam concrete but would have to test...

    Leave a comment:


  • Sydney
    replied
    http://www.homecrux.com/25-concrete-...ngevity/78665/
    https://www.concrete-audio.com/en/
    Concrete Cloth looks promising

    Leave a comment:


  • Antares
    replied
    I've read that in the 70's there were several brands building concrete speakers, I got the idea out of several places where I read that concrete would be a superb material for a speaker build, due to it being really stiff and reducing transmission of sound out of the box as well as providing almost no coloration to the sound. good absorption materials should line the interior tho.

    Click image for larger version

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    Here's a really nice design I found currently being produced by Master & Dynamic.

    Leave a comment:

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