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Beginner how to physically time 3-way speakers with horns ....

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  • Beginner how to physically time 3-way speakers with horns ....

    Hey folks , Steve here in Nevada . I'm doing my first speaker build . I'm planning 3-ways with each driver in their own enclosure . I'm no expert , and I don't understand the math one iota , you're dealing with someone who never passed Pre-Algebra . Give me a wrench etc. and I'm in my element .. so far I have the bass cabinet done and it's nice , today I finished cutting the mdf for the mid's/high's enclosures . I am needing my hand held so to speak , I read an article on WIKI about time aligning but it was not about aligning horns with conventional speakers .

  • #2
    Part Two : Let me apologize , a few hours ago the forums page wouldn't let me post without "human verification" ??? Anyway it seems to work now . From what I took away from that article , is that the author seemed to be lining up the drivers by aligning the speakers with a vertical line starting in front of the magnet / at the beginning of the frame and setting the other drivers along that plane . Am I wrong ? Now ,,, confusion # 2 ,,,, what would my "reference" be to alighn my horn with the conventional mid's and bass ? Mire later

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    • #3
      Back in the early days of movie sound, they found out that the exits of LF and HF horns couldn't be physically aligned (or there'd be an "echo" effect), rather they had to essentially align the voice coils. Out of all the problems associated w/3-ways, this probably won't be your biggest one.

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      • #4
        Chris , that sounds ominous , could you elaborate ?

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        • #5
          How did you determine your box sizes? Why are you using (a) horn(s). Do you know that your drivers should be in a vertical alignment and as close together as possible? Do you know what .FRD and .ZMA files are? How are you going to design your crossover? What drivers are you actually planning on using? A good book that answers hundreds of questions that you don't even know to ask (yet) is "SpeakerBuilding 201" by Ray Alden.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Chris Roemer View Post
            How did you determine your box sizes? Why are you using (a) horn(s). Do you know that your drivers should be in a vertical alignment and as close together as possible? Do you know what .FRD and .ZMA files are? How are you going to design your crossover? What drivers are you actually planning on using? A good book that answers hundreds of questions that you don't even know to ask (yet) is "SpeakerBuilding 201" by Ray Alden.
            Hey Chris , thanks for getting back to me . I actually have no clue to electronics , other than you grab the wrong part you will know it immediately . I'm a "Dyed in the wool" mechanic , and builder when I'm bored .
            I guess I'm bored into a coma trying to understand this . As for boxes , I've built separate enclosures for the Bass , Mid , and High Drivers . Getting the cabinet volume took me a couple of days just trying to figure that out .
            The cabinets are 3/4" MDF

            I have these drivers / cross overs :

            1] I have four Infinity SM-150 Cross-Overs that are 500 hz. / 5,000 Hz.

            2] 2 ea. Eminence American Standard Series Beta-12A-2 43Hz. / 3800 Hz. 98db . I used their recommendations for the cabinet size . Unvented : .9 - 1.25 ; Vented : 1.25-4.0 cu.ft . My Bass cabinets are right at 1.3 - 1.35 cu. ft. after damping/bracing material is added .


            3] 4 ea. Pyle Pro PDMR5 Mids w/ sealed backs . 450 - 7 kHz / 92 db. Intended to use 2 per enclosure .

            4] 4 ea. Infinity Emit-R Tweeters , using 1 each per side (but ,,, they are 4 ohm) so ,,,,,, I've read you can use 2 and wire them in series for 8 ohm , but I don't know if I should even consider that option .

            5] I have 2 ea. Pyle-Pro PDS182 Mid-High Compression Drivers : 1500Hz - 20KHz . 103 db.

            6] Not yet purchased : Selenium Exponential Horns HC23-25

            Everything is 8 ohm. except the Emit-R's

            I know these aren't Ideal drivers , Chris . But with my wallet I hope they will work .
            With the Compression drivers at 103 db. and everything else at around 90+db. could I use an L-pad to dial back the horns ? Should I use Horns for the Mid-Highs or the Pyle-Pro PDMR5 ' s .
            Should I consider using a 2-way or a 3-way system ? You mentioned X-overs ,, again , I don't know . I've read the more resistors etc. in a circuit can build heat and distortion .

            I have got the Bass / Mids . Time Aligned , but the horns are a vexing situation . I know my project is not a high dollar project . These will be replacing some "lazy" bass speakers , remnants of a full set of Infinity SM-150's I picked up in K.C. Kansas about 10 years ago .

            Steve
            Last edited by Dusty Dunes; 12-06-2017, 03:39 PM. Reason: I left out some info .

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chris Roemer View Post
              How did you determine your box sizes? Why are you using (a) horn(s). Do you know that your drivers should be in a vertical alignment and as close together as possible? Do you know what .FRD and .ZMA files are? How are you going to design your crossover? What drivers are you actually planning on using? A good book that answers hundreds of questions that you don't even know to ask (yet) is "SpeakerBuilding 201" by Ray Alden.
              Wow Chris, how pathetic! That was such an unhelpful and condescending post. It's crap like this that makes me not want to participate at this forum at all. I'm surprised Wolf hasn't jumped on here and berated him for posting in the wrong section. Geez, no wonder this forum is dead.
              Craig

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              • #8
                Yeah Craig, I'm kinda oblivious to the different forum sections myself - but I think Ben just likes things kept "tidy".
                So Dusty, I can't tell then if you went sealed or vented w/the bass section. Got any links to your drivers (I COULD search them out, but you could save me some time)?
                Also, are you looking for a home system, or just aiming to bloody some ears? Ha!

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                • #9
                  If you go to www.linearteam.org and download the FREE WinISD "beta" (not the Pro version), you can see how box size and tuning effects how low your bass can reach.
                  You can basically pick ANY driver, and just click on and type over the THREE values for Qts (0.46), Vas (4.2 - IN CUBIC FT., not liters), and Fs (47).

                  Unfortunately, that 12A-II can't get too low in 1.35 cu.ft. (doesn't matter much if it's sealed or ported when it's that small). It'll reach 80Hz, but can't really do even 60Hz well. You'll be losing the bottom octave of most music. To get full bass (down to about 40Hz - for music) you've got to up the size into the 3 to 4 cu.ft. range (and use a port tube).

                  Also, your other drivers don't seem to have any graphs available showing how their freq. response and impedance change over the freq. range. Without that info, you're just shooting in the dark trying to get a crossover to make them sound decent. For a "loud" system (speakers that would be OK for out in the garage/shop), you could go w/the woofer (but in a bigger, vented box) and the horn. For a more refined home type system (with less output, but wider and smoother freq. range) you'd use the mid (but THAT one is hard to work with unless you can find FR and Z (impedance) data. The Z data can be fudged, but the FR curve would be best to have) and the EMIT tweeter. Again, w/out FR and Z curves for the tweeter, it's kind of just trial and error.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris Roemer View Post
                    If you go to www.linearteam.org and download the FREE WinISD "beta" (not the Pro version), you can see how box size and tuning effects how low your bass can reach.
                    You can basically pick ANY driver, and just click on and type over the THREE values for Qts (0.46), Vas (4.2 - IN CUBIC FT., not liters), and Fs (47).

                    Unfortunately, that 12A-II can't get too low in 1.35 cu.ft. (doesn't matter much if it's sealed or ported when it's that small). It'll reach 80Hz, but can't really do even 60Hz well. You'll be losing the bottom octave of most music. To get full bass (down to about 40Hz - for music) you've got to up the size into the 3 to 4 cu.ft. range (and use a port tube).

                    Also, your other drivers don't seem to have any graphs available showing how their freq. response and impedance change over the freq. range. Without that info, you're just shooting in the dark trying to get a crossover to make them sound decent. For a "loud" system (speakers that would be OK for out in the garage/shop), you could go w/the woofer (but in a bigger, vented box) and the horn. For a more refined home type system (with less output, but wider and smoother freq. range) you'd use the mid (but THAT one is hard to work with unless you can find FR and Z (impedance) data. The Z data can be fudged, but the FR curve would be best to have) and the EMIT tweeter. Again, w/out FR and Z curves for the tweeter, it's kind of just trial and error.

                    See that's what I get for a Champagne Taste and a Billy Beer Wallet !!! No , graphs , and not much to go on . IE: less money / no clue but a whole lotta heart !!! And to tell the truth , this is going in a small office (aka: "Real Near Field Listening Space" I took to heart when it was mentioned "This "art" takes years to learn") , like I mentioned , I had a chance to work on A-10's Nav. Systems . I just don't get it , it's a lot like math period . Give me a handful of micrometers , hones etc. I can build an engine or an entire vehicle . Give me a Continuity Tester and take shelter and watch the show . I love music , I can't play but I can sure listen . Building these speakers has been a gas , I've never worked tight tolerances with wood , even if they don't sound like some exotics they'll be enough for me . I can't find anything on the Infinities , even on their site .
                    P.S. Anyone need some scrap MDF ? I've got some laying around .....

                    Here are the specs for the "Beta's" Beta_12A.pdf
                    I'll look for the Compression Drivers tonight some time .
                    Thanks ,
                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PWR RYD View Post
                      Wow Chris, how pathetic! That was such an unhelpful and condescending post.
                      Not really, he was just pointing out what's necessary to successfully design your own speakers. If it's beyond your skill set then you should be using a tested design, not your own.
                      As to the original question, time align was the reason for the invention of the Altec A7, which by horn loading the woofer placed the voice coils of the woofer and HF driver close to the same vertical plane. Even then there was a fine tuning procedure. The HF driver was wired out of polarity, a signal at the crossover frequency was played through the system, with a sound meter measuring the level. The HF driver/horn assembly was moved back and forth atop the cabinet until the SPL was at a minimum, indicating maximum cancellation that occurs with the drivers time aligned and the HF driver reverse polarity. When done the HF driver was returned to normal polarity.

                      Needless to say typical direct radiator woofer/horn loaded HF speakers won't allow this, so true time align isn't possible. The best you can do is be sure that you don't get a cancellation notch where the outputs of the LF and HF drivers overlap and combine 180 degrees apart.
                      www.billfitzmaurice.com
                      www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dusty Dunes View Post
                        ... I read an article on WIKI about time aligning but it was not about aligning horns with conventional speakers .
                        https://www.prosoundweb.com/channels...ase_alignment/


                        "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                        "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

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                        • #13
                          So if it were me I would start out with a kit, a single full range speaker or a 2-day system. You can get surprisingly good sound from any those done properly. I only say this because you don't want to be so frustrated with your first project as to give up the hobby.
                          On the cheap diy. That is my motto - www.hifiposse.com

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                          • #14
                            You'll get all sorts of opinions on horn speakers: here's another. in this day and age I would always go with active DSP based crossovers. Then time alignment is easily done, by delaying the midrange drive. I'm not sure I'd use horns (and I do) if I had to use passive networks.

                            Francis
                            Francis

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hobbyhands View Post
                              So if it were me I would start out with a kit, a single full range speaker or a 2-day system. You can get surprisingly good sound from any those done properly. I only say this because you don't want to be so frustrated with your first project as to give up the hobby.
                              +1, Overnight Sensations TM or MTM among others.

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