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  • 3.5inch driver comparison / advice please

    Guys,
    me being me i have watched quite a few videos and read through posts to see what folks are doing and currently starting to get confused with some of the data. As mentioned before in other posts i'm making a portable speaker where i want a vented box and 3.5in drivers. I was originally sticking to the same as the TLine build, which seems to be the basis for the marapossas, which to be honest meet my needs as a pc speaker, but not sure how they would perform in a larger setting (for example out doors, open areas etc). there seems to be an unoffical cult following with the PS95m which i think is purely because they look hot and sound good at the higher end of the spectrum and also the ND90's which look ok, but seem to be similar spec to the Tectonics in how they perform in the lower ranges. I also get the impression that the data provided for the technoics may be a little off and they actually perform differently to what people would simulate.

    I was going to attempt the cross over, but cannot find the relevant data for the tectonics and some of the marapossas parts components appear to be only available through PE (8uf cap), which isnt cost effective due to the 60usd postage fee for me. Therefore sticking to the single full range driver per enclosure idea, what would the groups recommendation be for the following? my box design is basically built at 0.15cu.ft per enclosure (which is based on the tectonics) and to be honest the local supplier for me has all 3 roughly the same price. i have a meter of 25mm PVC pipe to use as the port, so length isn't an issue,

    Tectonic TEBM65C20F
    https://www.parts-express.com/tecton...-ohm--297-2156

    Dayton Audio PS95
    https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...8-ohm--295-349

    Dayton Audio ND90-8
    https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...8-ohm--290-210

    Also remember i'm not an audiophile, have no way to measure/test things and my hearing is probably slowly going from years of car stereo abuse in my younger days, so for me it is more about getting a bit of punchy bass and a nice clear sound, which honestly wont be really cranked up, there also will not be any allowance for a sub.. (and they will be powered by a 15 or 30w per channel amp board)

    i have been leaning towards the tectonics after some advice from Chris Roemer with the box\port sizing, but open to a discussion.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    There are lots of good 3.5 inch drivers. If you can use a filter, even if used full range, you are going to get a better sounding speaker.

    Paul Carmody used the Dayton ND-90. Here is link: https://sites.google.com/site/undefinition/sprite

    Each driver has strengths and weaknesses. The Dayton ND-90 is thought to have very good bass for its size. The Tectonics is neat because of its dispersion. And the reviews indicate it has great bass.

    The Dayton PS95 will have weaker bass but will likely play louder. Another well liked 3.5, similar to the PS95 is the Vifa TC9 https://www.parts-express.com/peerle...ofer--264-1062

    If I had to use one without a filter, I would use the ND90. If I was willing to have limited bass, and could use a filter, I would go with the Vifa or PS95.

    Comment


    • #3
      More thoughts:
      If you like (want) bass, the PS95 is not the match of the other 2. Driven to near Xmax, all 3 drivers (I've simmed them ALL in 0.15cf - opt. for the driver or not) can reliably provide an output level near 91dB/1m. The PS95 can approach 60Hz, but uncomfortably so. 80 would be a more reasonable bottom end under Xmax power levels. I've only used the ND90 (in my piconeo), and its Xmax and extension (and sensitivity) are similar to the Tectonics, but the Tectonics is rated 10mm Xmax PEAK-to-PEAK, and while the ND90 is similar, its Xmech (throw before mechanical damage is done) is 10mm each way. I've heard/seen it take a LOT of abuse ("bass boost" switch being hit on an old receiver while already playing quite loudly - they let out a SQUEAL and a POP, but kept on playing) w/no long term damage.

      Here's an updated (mfr) FR graph. (TE in green, ND in blue):

      Click image for larger version  Name:	ND90vsTE65.jpg Views:	1 Size:	88.3 KB ID:	1391583
      (Ignoring the output below 200-300Hz or so - due to measuring conditions NOT showing the Vb low end), the TE does a better job on the top octave, but it appears to have a big hole centered on 2kHz, which is still in the fundamental FR (not only for instruments, but high register vocals as well). I'd even refer to it as a "drop out" - as it's a full half-octave (4 notes) wide. Only you can decide which is more important to you. (Due to tinnitus, PERSONALLY I'm not very sensitive to that octave above 10k, so for ME - I'd probably stick w/the ND90.)

      (For my box sims, I used 0.15cf (same as my piconeo box) and these lengths of 25mm (1"id) tubes: ND - 5"(Fb 50), TE - 4"(Fb 55), and PS - 2"(Fb 70)).
      This Tectonics driver DOES seem to be the only one I've seen that MIGHT sound better in my piconeo (0.15cf) cab than my orig. driver (which was actually an AURA NS3 - virtually identical to the ND90).
      I'd like to hear it.

      Also, the ND90s ARE undoubtedly UGLY... (but HAVE been rear-mounted).

      Comment


      • #4
        If you want "clear""punchy" sound, go with the Techtonics. I think they have the more balanced sound of your choices. The Nd90 is an amazing driver with good extension, but the top end is tapered. Best paired with a small tweet imo. Either choice, I would use a filter or bsc for a single driver.
        Do yourself a favor and buy more than one driver if possible. You will use them in other projects. Sounds like you have the fever based on your posts.
        cheers!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by michaelmoran View Post
          There are lots of good 3.5 inch drivers. If you can use a filter, even if used full range, you are going to get a better sounding speaker.

          Paul Carmody used the Dayton ND-90. Here is link: https://sites.google.com/site/undefinition/sprite

          Each driver has strengths and weaknesses. The Dayton ND-90 is thought to have very good bass for its size. The Tectonics is neat because of its dispersion. And the reviews indicate it has great bass.

          The Dayton PS95 will have weaker bass but will likely play louder. Another well liked 3.5, similar to the PS95 is the Vifa TC9 https://www.parts-express.com/peerle...ofer--264-1062

          If I had to use one without a filter, I would use the ND90. If I was willing to have limited bass, and could use a filter, I would go with the Vifa or PS95.
          Not sure how I missed the boom box on Paul's site, maybe I was only looking for something specific at the time. Thanks for that, the filter looks easy enough for me to do . I also like that DTA2 board, used that before

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Chris Roemer View Post
            More thoughts:
            If you like (want) bass, the PS95 is not the match of the other 2. Driven to near Xmax, all 3 drivers (I've simmed them ALL in 0.15cf - opt. for the driver or not) can reliably provide an output level near 91dB/1m. The PS95 can approach 60Hz, but uncomfortably so. 80 would be a more reasonable bottom end under Xmax power levels. I've only used the ND90 (in my piconeo), and its Xmax and extension (and sensitivity) are similar to the Tectonics, but the Tectonics is rated 10mm Xmax PEAK-to-PEAK, and while the ND90 is similar, its Xmech (throw before mechanical damage is done) is 10mm each way. I've heard/seen it take a LOT of abuse ("bass boost" switch being hit on an old receiver while already playing quite loudly - they let out a SQUEAL and a POP, but kept on playing) w/no long term damage.

            Here's an updated (mfr) FR graph. (TE in green, ND in blue):

            Click image for larger version Name:	ND90vsTE65.jpg Views:	1 Size:	88.3 KB ID:	1391583
            (Ignoring the output below 200-300Hz or so - due to measuring conditions NOT showing the Vb low end), the TE does a better job on the top octave, but it appears to have a big hole centered on 2kHz, which is still in the fundamental FR (not only for instruments, but high register vocals as well). I'd even refer to it as a "drop out" - as it's a full half-octave (4 notes) wide. Only you can decide which is more important to you. (Due to tinnitus, PERSONALLY I'm not very sensitive to that octave above 10k, so for ME - I'd probably stick w/the ND90.)

            (For my box sims, I used 0.15cf (same as my piconeo box) and these lengths of 25mm (1"id) tubes: ND - 5"(Fb 50), TE - 4"(Fb 55), and PS - 2"(Fb 70)).
            This Tectonics driver DOES seem to be the only one I've seen that MIGHT sound better in my piconeo (0.15cf) cab than my orig. driver (which was actually an AURA NS3 - virtually identical to the ND90).
            I'd like to hear it.

            Also, the ND90s ARE undoubtedly UGLY... (but HAVE been rear-mounted).
            Cheers again Chris. I think there is a fine line in these forums) YouTube where style overwhelmes practicality, which requires the designer to take a step back and actually figure out what the end goal is. Over the last 6months I kept looking at this point source and a couple of similar looking ones in the DA range that has that sexy look to it and probably would have bought and regretted it. Albeit that I'm ultimately looking make.a unique piece of furniture I would still like some functionality. The 95's are out of.the idea now.

            I'll have a good look at the ND90s especially with that filter. I have grabbed a copy or xsim.and prepared to have a go, but I can't find those base files for.the tectonics, how do you guys do it? I'm pretty sure the DA ones are on this site.

            I intend to rear mount either choice of driver, even though I watched a guy testing a flush mount v rear mount/fillet option. Apparently it is a no no, they didn't actually show the results in the more stylish look, just said it was bad for a tweeter.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jake View Post
              If you want "clear""punchy" sound, go with the Techtonics. I think they have the more balanced sound of your choices. The Nd90 is an amazing driver with good extension, but the top end is tapered. Best paired with a small tweet imo. Either choice, I would use a filter or bsc for a single driver.
              Do yourself a favor and buy more than one driver if possible. You will use them in other projects. Sounds like you have the fever based on your posts.
              cheers!
              I have liked the tectonics in my t line and they are reasonably priced, which is a major constraint at the moment, I like the sound of the filter, I just don't know how to work one out with the tectronics.

              All baby steps for me at the moment, if I can get my head around the cross over diagrams vs how it is actually assembled I might flirt with a tweeter.

              I suffer from being too ambitious and get fuelled by folks telling me "you can't do that" lol, hence why I did my kerfing experiments with bending timber. Lol. I'm staring down the rabbit hole considering using a raspberry pi zero, just boom amp board and a 3.5-5inch touch screen and making this into something like a portable jukebox. But don't know how to incorporate a.dial YET as I want one (stupidly cut the hole already)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 3rutu5 View Post

                I suffer from being too ambitious and get fuelled by folks telling me "you can't do that" lol, hence why I did my kerfing experiments with bending timber. Lol. I'm staring down the rabbit hole considering using a raspberry pi zero, just boom amp board and a 3.5-5inch touch screen and making this into something like a portable jukebox. But don't know how to incorporate a.dial YET as I want one (stupidly cut the hole already)
                Maybe something like a rotary encoder interfaced directly to the pi?

                https://www.modmypi.com/blog/how-to-...e-raspberry-pi

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by michaelmoran View Post
                  There are lots of good 3.5 inch drivers. If you can use a filter, even if used full range, you are going to get a better sounding speaker.

                  Paul Carmody used the Dayton ND-90. Here is link: https://sites.google.com/site/undefinition/sprite

                  Each driver has strengths and weaknesses. The Dayton ND-90 is thought to have very good bass for its size. The Tectonics is neat because of its dispersion. And the reviews indicate it has great bass.

                  The Dayton PS95 will have weaker bass but will likely play louder. Another well liked 3.5, similar to the PS95 is the Vifa TC9 https://www.parts-express.com/peerle...ofer--264-1062

                  If I had to use one without a filter, I would use the ND90. If I was willing to have limited bass, and could use a filter, I would go with the Vifa or PS95.
                  So....lets say i'm 90% certain on the tects....how does one work out a filter? I do like the sound of it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by devnull View Post

                    Maybe something like a rotary encoder interfaced directly to the pi?

                    https://www.modmypi.com/blog/how-to-...e-raspberry-pi
                    Volumio has plugins for rotary encoders and touchscreens, but you can access the user interface on a browser (PC, smartphone, etc) via wifi.
                    My Builds - Overnight Sensations w/ Voxel - Speedsters in surplus boxes - Zaph B3N's in bamboo - Classix II in BR-1 cabinets - Dual TPA3116 D2 amp in an old music box - Mariposas

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What people mean by a "full range" (driver) "filter" is a filter to give you some baffle-step compensation.
                      (Google "baffle step")

                      If you had a driver that was perfectly "flat", and mounted it in a wall, it could still be fairly flat, but once it's on a baffle (as in - in a box), the bass freqs. wander around behind the box (whereas the highs don't) effectively making them seem quieter (about -6dB down).

                      A "flat" driver, once in a box (out away from the wall), will sound "forward" (lacking in bass) unless the bottom end gets boosted (BASS tone control -actually), OR the top gets reduced. This is typically over quite a gradual range, like 3 octaves (roughly between 100 and 1000 Hz). A "BSC" (baffle-step compensation) filter gradually rolls off those upper freqs bringing the bass back up to "normal" levels (comparatively).

                      In line w/your speaker, try a 2.0mH coil in parallel w/a 6ohm resistor (I'd go at least 10 watts I think). This will give you at least 4dB of gradual BSC.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Chris Roemer View Post
                        What people mean by a "full range" (driver) "filter" is a filter to give you some baffle-step compensation.
                        (Google "baffle step")

                        If you had a driver that was perfectly "flat", and mounted it in a wall, it could still be fairly flat, but once it's on a baffle (as in - in a box), the bass freqs. wander around behind the box (whereas the highs don't) effectively making them seem quieter (about -6dB down).

                        A "flat" driver, once in a box (out away from the wall), will sound "forward" (lacking in bass) unless the bottom end gets boosted (BASS tone control -actually), OR the top gets reduced. This is typically over quite a gradual range, like 3 octaves (roughly between 100 and 1000 Hz). A "BSC" (baffle-step compensation) filter gradually rolls off those upper freqs bringing the bass back up to "normal" levels (comparatively).

                        In line w/your speaker, try a 2.0mH coil in parallel w/a 6ohm resistor (I'd go at least 10 watts I think). This will give you at least 4dB of gradual BSC.
                        Helpful as always Chris, much appreciated. Funny enough I actually googled baffle step recently because of the the term BSC trying to understand what it was. Sort of got what it was and didn't at the same time. After watching YouTube and how folks just throw Caps randomly on lines I did get confused.

                        Considering I'm going a.cheaper driver I can spend a few extra dollars on an air coil and resistor if it's going to make it sound potentially better again than originally intended. Oh and of course I'm rear mounting the driver.

                        I would be completely lost if it wasn't for you this run. Thanks heaps

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by silverD View Post

                          Volumio has plugins for rotary encoders and touchscreens, but you can access the user interface on a browser (PC, smartphone, etc) via wifi.
                          Interesting...I must investigate further. This might become v.2 or v.3 of this build. If I take a step back and think about it, this goal.is really to get a Bluetooth speaker, stage 2 would be with the additional battery power and last would be full jukebox...

                          If I go the KAB board I get both amp and BT, but run the risk of it having the same issues as the users on the product page. If it go the DTA 2 I know it is good, but then have to incorporate the sure BT board which could introduce the ground loop. Last either of the options could have a pi and DAC board added later and still keep the analog dials etc. Hmmmm the mind wanders..

                          Comment

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