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Building the ideal studio mains. How low can we go?

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  • #16
    Loud is also detrimental to the result. If you EQ for the best sound listening at a much higher level than the average listener would then it won't sound right when it is played back at a normal level.
    www.billfitzmaurice.com
    www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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    • #17
      If you are consistently mixing at 109db, I absolutely would not trust your mixes. Focus on something that can get reasonably occasionally. Perhaps the Finalist, maybe with separate amps.

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      • #18
        I never said I mix at any certain level. My reading says 84-86 is optimal for mixing
        I personally listen to music at a high level.
        According to this article: https://www.instrumentchoice.com.au/...r_your_hearing : average dB at the night club analysed was 106db so if I were to mix at the same level as intended audience listening volume then it still puts me where I’m trying go anyway.
        So back on track. I’m guessing that driver selection isn’t as hard as I think it is other wise you guys probably wouldn’t of went off topic. Did you see the impulse of the focals? It was quality. How can I look at a speaker and judge sound quality by the thiele specs?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by camplo View Post
          ... How can I look at a speaker and judge sound quality by the thiele specs?
          If this wasn't rhetorical, Klippel large signal testing give valuable additional information.

          "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
          “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
          "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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          • #20
            T/S is only a small factor in design, and driver selection is important and should also be thought about.

            I think I see where this thread is going, and I won't be responsible for this kind of potential hearing loss either. You aren't listening to sage advice about this anyway.
            I'm out,
            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

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            • #21
              Why is the focus on loudness anyway? I didn’t take this thread that way. I’m more interested in figuring out which drivers, within a certain size (4-5 but leaning towards 4) have the best transient response.
              I also am interested in why having a separate power supply for midrange tweeter and woofer is any better than having one large amplifier with multiple channels, to power the whole thing.

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              • #22
                The transient response is largely dependent on crossover topology, not really quality of drivers.

                For high output using 4-5" drivers, if high output is considered to be greater than 100db, you will necessarily sacrifice bass extension. It is unlikely that a pair of 6.5" woofers with 150W/per will be capable of hitting the claimed 115db unless they are using some kind of scalable high pass filter - not unlike various DSP schemes used in factory car audio or small Bluetooth speakers. Even then, that is serious output! The physics doesn't add up - Focals bottom line sure does.

                As far as independently amplifying each driver, that is definitely the way to go - DSP FTW.

                For specific driver examples, the Epique 5" from Dayton will probably do the trick, as would mamy Wavecor/SB/Scan/Rival drivers. At a certain quality point it becomes more about implementation than brand of driver.

                Aquaint yourself with step response of various crossover topologies, buy a couple thousand dollars worth of drivers/amps/DSP modules/measurement gear and enter the abyss of DIY!

                Also, protect your ears. The rest of the posters are offering seriously good advice. We have reduced the minimum volume level at MAC events over the last few years, and reported fatigue has decreased. It's ok to twist the knob from time to time, but I work in manufacturing and the number of maintenance techs who do not consider an air compressor "loud" is eye opening - similar to the number of sound guys who look at you crazy when you mention 105db is painful.


                Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                  T/S is only a small factor in design, and driver selection is important and should also be thought about.

                  I think I see where this thread is going, and I won't be responsible for this kind of potential hearing loss either. You aren't listening to sage advice about this anyway.
                  I'm out,
                  Wolf
                  I wonder if where you think it's going is the same as where I think it's going. Sure seems familiar. Either way, I have nothing more to add, so I'm out too.

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                  • #24
                    Like all speaker designs there is no end all be all of studio monitors. JR was accurate and to the point. Reset your expectations and focus on what YOUR goals are, not what a marketing pamphlet told you to look for.

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                    • #25
                      I had to check my levels to see what the deal was, after making sure my setting were correct, this is what I got from just the 2 way playing, max volume, mic was 1 meter away. 2way plus sub got me to 97db and 2 subs got me to 99db on that song. I'm guess that I was somewhere near 106db with the V8's set up. I hope we can get off the topic of spl, its not even a focus but rather a reference. I've friends who have louder stereos than I, not too mention just because the systems gets that loud where the measurement was taken has no merit on where the listener will be, maybe on the couch, maybe up stairs. To take the thread off topic for that reason alone, is....well its elitist.

                      So please, lets move past the spl aspect. I can figure out how to get the spl, so lets not talk about that.
                      "Reset your expectations and focus on what YOUR goals are, not what a marketing pamphlet told you to look for. "
                      The pamphlet has nothing to do with it, that focal link , I posted because of the impulse & frequency response. I didn't even know that it said anything about max spl until, right now lol. The spls's I brought up where specs of my old v8's, once again, just a reference, for a system that I knew well, I sold those speakers so I can't take a measurement of how loud they actually played.

                      So away with spl.

                      Much more interesting is the idea that crossover topology is what dictates impulse response. I wish someone would elaborate on that. That crossovers would be active via the mini dsp. I'd use room eq wizzard to design corrective filters for the 10 bands worth of parametric eq you get out of a "minidsp 2x4 balanced". How that creates or affects impulse response I can't say exactly. I though that impulse response purely mechanical ability of the speaker to recreate the signal, governed by things like surround, magnet, voice coil, woofer material, and eventually enlosure characteristics, sealed vs ported, resonant frequencies etc etc. I do know that frequency response, phase, impulse and imaging all push and each other one way or another.
                      The impulse response shown in the link I provided for the focal....thats an ideal impulse response....is it not? I've seen better impulse response...the auratone 5c has a super short tail, then the frequency response is no where near flat. My guess is that the less manipulation of the original signal the better the impulse signal is....and if we are talking multiple drivers, phase is obviously a big factor.....tying back to crossover topology, since its going to play with the phase in consequence of manipulating frequencies..........so if what I said is the gist of it...then, linear or minimal phase filters, along with frequency and phase correction should yield the best results....from a sealed box, which is also impulse response friendly.....Did I get it right?
                      I know certain driver materials and enclosures have resonant problems....I don't think any crossover can help that, which if is true, is obvious by the resonance found in the krkvxt8's waterfall, which is improved but similar to the resonance in the krk series one, being that kevlar has some type of ringing issue.

                      I hope my thinking is somewhat on course. I read that the BL Product spec, is supposedly a reflection of driver control...no one commented on that.

                      Sounds like I should just pick a driver within the desired size, power rating, and frequency range, along with the flattest frequency curve possible......because basically all speakers are capable of producing high quality impulse response, which is basically how accurate the speaker is, outside of frequency response curve, leaving only dispersion capability, which is not lacking if using drivers just big enough for the task, which for midrange and midbass, 4-5inches is about as small as you could go and just add multiple drivers till desired volume level is achieved.....

                      Hows that.

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                      • #26
                        Of the drivers I've tested, the larger ones generally were lower in distortion. Peerless 6.5" HDS out perform Peerless 5.25" HDS. The 4" HDS is not even close. Off axis of the 6.5" is very good when crossed sufficiently low. Tweeter distortion will increase as the x-over point is lowered, so there's a trade-off. My speakers are 6.5" 2-ways with Morel tweeters. I can cross anywhere from 1.4k to 5k, and get good results. I know 5k is high for a 6.5", but it's all about trade-offs, and what type of sound you want. One of my recent designs uses a $14 tweeter instead of the Morel. It's darn close in performance when crossed high. I can't decide which design I like the best overall. Eventually, I will make 2 pairs. The 5.25", and 4" HDS will continue to sit on the shelf, and collect dust. For me, my acid test is how well the speakers do with a couple of DVD concerts I have. The Cream Reunion Concert is one of them. I think I might bump 98dB in places. That's with an 80w per channel amp, and no sub. My room tends to boost 45hz, so that helps a lot. The other is Dave Mathews at Red Rock . They play an old Zombies tune "Time Of The Season". There's something about that tune that separates my good speakers from my best. Probably transient related, but I can't tell you why one is better than the other. I can tell you that it's the x-over, not the drivers.The difference is subtle. I'm a passive x-over guy. There are things you can do actively that might interest you. I've done some active speakers, but for me, passive is my thing I guess. With active, you could make an assortment of theoretically better speakers, but that's only if you know what you want. A second order 2-way is easier to do with active. I could do it with passive if I really felt it was important, but I'm not sure, and I just don't want to spend the time only to prove to my self that it does, or doesn't make any difference.

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                        • #27
                          Ty you so much for the input!
                          I started on this 4-5" driver binge after google searching "favorite midrange size" and reading another group of audiophiles commenting that pretty much put 4 and 5ers at the top of the list. I'm not looking at the post right now, but someone was talking about woofer size vs what frequency beaming starts to occur and somehow, those sizes were in the sweet zone? I could be completely mis-recalling what exactly they said but, the idea of 4-5 inch is what I walked away with.... so now I know a little more, I walk around dividing 13512 by different driver sizes all day trying to make it all make sense. For example...my 12inch woofer OD is 12 but the actual cone inside of the surrounds is 9.25". 13512/9.25= 1460.75. So if the woofer is even capable of playing that high without breaking up, does it get directional only after that passing 1460hz? I'd guess that it is a gradual progression and that the dispersion performance degrades until it utterly beams. In a nutshell, I'm thinking that the smaller the driver, the better the dispersion, in all cases. Multiple drivers increase dispersion and power handling, so you wouldn't have to push them so hard and that would keep down the distortion figures, or at least thats my hypothesis. Those krkv4's f3 is 58hz, can you believe that?
                          Thank you to those who chose to keep replying regardless of my ignorance to certain topics that we shall not speak of =)

                          I checked out that ""Epique 5" from Dayton" and it just makes me question why is it "high sound quality" ??? The Aurum Cantus AC-130F1 5-1/4" Woofer has a very nice and flat frequency response and cost much less. 40watts less of power handling but I'm thinking, thats the price you pay to put everything great, all into one driver. So I'm not disagreeing with you, just trying to play devils advocate. A common trend I am seeing is the higher BL product spec vs drivers of the same size with acclaimed products.

                          On the topic of amps. DSP can send separate signals to separate amps or separate signals to separate channels of a multi channel amp. I bet if I were to ask why is one better than the other, I'd get a response something like, it isn't necessarily, depends on which mono block and multi channel amp you are comparing.....and farther down the rabbit hole I go....

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                          • #28
                            You've got it figured out, so I'll bow out as well.
                            Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by camplo View Post
                              ... woofer size vs what frequency beaming starts to occur and somehow...I'd guess that it is a gradual progression and that the dispersion performance degrades until it utterly beams. In a nutshell, I'm thinking that the smaller the driver, the better the dispersion, in all cases. ....
                              The relationship is based upon a factor called Ka*
                              Here is one link that demonstrates the relationship between the size of a speaker and frequency at which it becomes directional.
                              Because 20Hz has a huge wavelength and 20Khz has a small wavelength the dispersion varies with frequency.

                              * "As a convenient rule, recall that Ka equals circumference divided by wavelength. For values of Ka ≤ 1 or less, we can assume the radiation is uniform,,,for values of Ka ≥ 3 more pronounced directivity"
                              John Eargle
                              "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                              “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
                              "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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                              • #30
                                Here's some more food for thought. Impulse Response = Frequency Response, it's just a Fourier Transform to switch between them. To get a good impulse response, you require a good frequency response. You could achieve a great impulse response on axis through a really flat FR measurement, and still have a terrible sounding speaker. That's because there are more factors to consider, power response (i.e. dispersion and room interaction), and distortion come to mind.

                                Frequency response on axis can be beaten into submission with DSP pretty easily, along with time and phase alignment. But also consider off axis response by choosing driver sizes and crossover points carefully, paying attention to cabinet diffraction with the baffle arrangement and round overs.

                                Distortion is largely about driver choice and crossover points, many times that's where the $ seems to go for higher end drivers (up to a point).

                                Cabinet rigidity and resonance can also add a little harmonic distortion, and contribute to problems that can be seen in waterfall plots where those resonances can keep energy, I believe that is another contributor to power response (not positive on that assertion).
                                Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                                Wogg Music

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