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  • Zirconium

    Zirconium is a 3-way monitor. I've done a couple of these small 3-ways in the past and this is an attempt to take things up a notch with respect to performance and practicality without getting crazy with respect to build difficulty or budget.

    To summarize some of these issues:

    Hafnium: A reasonably low cost, well balanced design. Uses the finished PE 0.38 cu. ft. cabinets, which are nice but priced accordingly. These sound very open, but aren't the last word in detail. They also have shocking bass extension for their size, but can't go very loud due to the 5" sub.

    Argon: Clean, tight, extended bass with the Denovo Anarchy woofer. Mids and highs are okay, but not great. Cabinet is the 0.75 cu. ft. curved MTM cabinet, which again is very nice and priced as such.

    For the Zirconium, I wanted the bass capability of the Anarchy but ideally at a lower price point with a driver available at PE. For the mid and tweeter, I was looking for similar size to the Hafnium drivers, but with a little more detail resolution even if that meant they would be more difficult to work with.

    Driver Selection:

    Woofer: Tang Band W6-1139SIF: 11.5 mm xmax in a 6 1/2" woofer. Can manage F3 of 30Hz in the selected enclosure. About twice the displacement capability of the W5-1138SMF used in Hafnium.

    Mid: Dayton PS95-8: Hasn't got as much run as the RS100 or 100P, but has a nice cast frame, shorting ring, and Kevlar/Paper cone for $23. All reports are it should be comparable with the RS100 series, maybe a little better at high frequencies, which will be important because...

    Tweeter: Dayton AMT Mini-8: This is an application it should be able to handle and provide a little sparkle and air that the PS95 can't.

    For this project, I wanted to offer an off-the-shelf cabinet option, but at a lower cost point and with more finish flexibility. The Denovo 0.56 cu. ft. flat pack cabinet checks all of those boxes and should allow the Tang Band sub to reach at least to 30 Hz without a ridiculously long port.

    How did it come out? I have had this to my brother's house and another friends house for listening sessions. There is plenty of clean detail without harshness. The output of the Tang Band sub is impressive when there is enough amp to drive it. There will certainly be enough amp at InDIYana, which is its next stop...

    From a cost perspective, drivers and crossovers wound up around $330, which is a little higher than my $300 target - but within reason. A design like this might be compared against a two way monitor that has a $50 woofer and $50 tweeter - and from that perspective, a design like this has a lot of advantages. My brother has Modula MT's that were a popular design to build 8-10 years ago and that would be in a similar price and size range. Zirconium had much more bass extension, a more refined midrange, and more detailed highs. We thought the Modulas had an advantage in the lower mids - this is a particular strength of the Dayton RS180.

    For the cabinet finish, I chose white Duratex. I have spend quite a bit of time during my professional career working with Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide), which tends to be various shades of white in its polycrystalline form. I learned that white Duratex (at least my batch) takes a good solid 3 coats to approach uniform coverage, whereas I can often get away with 2 coats of black.

    The frequency response is less linear than I usually design for, but that was required to get the tonal balance I prefer. Keeping the tweeter level down a little helps to compensate for its wide dispersion (less than 10 dB down 60 degrees off axis out to 14 kHz). I suspect some of the peaking in the tweeter response is due to reflections not fully gated out, but I did have to get those peaks down to the level of the midrange response or lower to get the tonal balance similar to other speakers I have designed with generally flat response.

    The impedance curve shows a minimum just below 3.3 ohms at 100 Hz. That coupled with a sensitivity around 81 dB at 2.83V/1 meter means that these will need a sturdy amp for anything more than nearfield or small room use. Impedance rises to a very high 90 ohm peak above 10 kHz due to a need to aggressively filter the Mini-8 tweeter. On the 3 systems this has run on (all solid state), it hasn't been a problem. I wouldn't expect a tube amp to appreciate this type of load however.
    Attached Files
    Keep an open mind, but don't let your brain fall out.

    Sehlin Sound Solutions

  • #2
    Can't wait to hear them.
    craigk

    " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

    Comment


    • #3
      Seriously! Very nice Scott!
      https://www.facebook.com/Mosaic-Audi...7373763888294/

      Comment


      • #4
        I think Ben's "Icthus"? was another W6 3-way.

        Comment


        • #5
          Indeed, although twice the size.
          Wolf
          "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
          "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
          "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
          "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

          *InDIYana event website*

          Photobucket pages:
          http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

          My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

          Comment


          • #6
            I heard the Icthus when Wolf brought them to Iowa. I recall liking them quite a bit, especially considering the low cost for a truly full range speaker. That design gave me some confidence that the W6, and similarly the W5 used in "Hafnium", would be up to the task of serving as a woofer in a 3-way.
            Keep an open mind, but don't let your brain fall out.

            Sehlin Sound Solutions

            Comment


            • #7
              I enable when able.=)
              Wolf
              "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
              "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
              "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
              "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

              *InDIYana event website*

              Photobucket pages:
              http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

              My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
              http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

              Comment


              • #8
                30 Hz sealed? Wow!
                Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                Twitter: @undefinition1

                Comment


                • #9
                  "Selected enclosure"

                  Wolf
                  "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                  "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                  "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                  "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                  *InDIYana event website*

                  Photobucket pages:
                  http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

                  My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                  http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's a vented enclosure. 1.5" diameter flared port 6" long, which gives a 29 Hz tuning according to the impedance measurement. 30 Hz sealed for a 6.5" woofer would be something indeed
                    Keep an open mind, but don't let your brain fall out.

                    Sehlin Sound Solutions

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Scott:
                      I'm pretty blown away by your candid (and public!) statement of your various designs' strengths and weaknesses.
                      Not very many people are that transparent.

                      I think I hear a difference - wow, it's amazing!" Ethan Winer: audio myths
                      "As God is my witness I'll never be without a good pair of speakers!" Scarlett O'Hara

                      High value, high quality RS150/TB28-537SH bookshelf - TARGAS NLA!
                      SB13/Vifa BC25SC06 MTM DCR Galeons-SB13-MTM
                      My Voxel min sub Yet-another-Voxel-build

                      Tangband W6-sub

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Very nice! I've been interested in that Dayton driver you used for the mid. Looks great!
                        Projects:

                        Breezy Monitors: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...reezy-monitors
                        transcenD: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...5035-transcend
                        Summits: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...75-The-Summits
                        References: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...-My-References
                        Vintage Style 2-way: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...-vintage-2-way

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                        • #13
                          Can't wait to hear these as I thought the Hafniums were impressive.
                          "Everything is nothing without a high sound quality." (Sure Electronics)

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                          • #14
                            I'm thinking these might be a good option for a friend of mine. How did you construct the mid chamber?

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                            • #15
                              I included more details regarding enclosure construction here.

                              http://projectgallery.parts-express....cts/zirconium/

                              That should answer most questions. I don't recall off the top of my head how long the 3" PVC pipe was cut, but can get that for you if/when your friend is ready to move forward. The mid chamber is stuffed with Ultratouch denim insulation.
                              Keep an open mind, but don't let your brain fall out.

                              Sehlin Sound Solutions

                              Comment

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