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Getting back into the hobby - re-education

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  • Getting back into the hobby - re-education

    Hi All,

    Many moons ago (early-mid 2000's), I was quite regularly building speakers, and unfortunately ended up in a couple houses with no workshops, which really put a damper on the speaker building. The last thing I built was in 2010, a W22-H1212 2-way, which I'm listening to right now. This forum actually helped me with a few problems on it - although I always thought there was more performance in it (my reference points are a couple of Dennis Murphy designed speakers).

    Fast forward to 2018 and I have a workshop, but have forgot 90% of the information I picked up over the years. I'm starting from the basics, reading the forums including the links in the speaker building bible, getting reacquainted with T/S parameters, crossover topologies, box design and tuning, baffle diffraction, how they affect response, and the tools used to be used to design the XO's (mostly FRD tools and SPLTrace). I think that'll come back relatively quickly. I plan to get an Omnimic to have real measurements (and I acknowledge there are cheaper means to that end, but I'm willing to spend a little for the convenience). I plan to start by rethinking the W22-H1212 design and moving back to design from there. Here's hoping that resonance peak isn't beyond my skillset.

    With that said (and sorry for the long intro), what are the best resources to get caught back up with current thinking design principles and the driver market? I know that is a BROAD question, so I'll try to focus it a bit.

    Box Design: I'll likely stay with conventional boxes for now. Dipole is far out of my skillset, and TL may be a future thought (I did build Andy G's pipes, which were totally cool), after the basics are back.

    Drivers: I'm sure there's a ton of new development and I'm a bit overwhelmed reading manufacturer sites and the forums. Back in the day, I remember people loved Seas Excel Mg woofers, SS revelators, OW X tweeters... This was about the time the RS series was really coming into its own too and one of my favorite designs was based on them. Seems like there's ton's of new thoughts. Help??

    Crossover: I'd like to start back with parallel, probably picking drivers to target a simple LR4 acoustic as the first new design project. Digital XO's sound fun, but I'll hang out in the analog world for now. I've always wanted to pick drivers with the intent of an LR2 acoustic - maybe in the future. Maybe it'll even be the top 1/2 of a 3-way design, which is something else I've always wanted to try to design but wasn't going to tackle without measurement equipment.

    What other interesting developments have I missed?

    Sorry for the huge question, and thanks in advance to the community for sharing any information!

    -Adam

  • #2
    There's free software that mostly runs in Excel. On average, the x-overs made now are better due to the software. Not much has changed with boxes. I like sealed, but it seems most drivers are targeted for ported. The RS series is now available with some paper / kevlar/ glass cones. The measurements are available for most of the Dayton drivers and makes it easy to sim x-overs for them, even if it's just for practice.

    I've used mostly Peerless HDS midbass drivers. The Peerless 830874 is a very flexible 6.5" that can be crossed 2nd order if you align the tweeter. It can cross high or low with other orders.

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    • #3
      Lots of free software tools. DSP affordability and ease of implementation is one of the biggest improvement. Affordable quality drivers are abundant. With a little bit or patience and a few measurement tools a lot of people are turning out very good designs.
      John H

      Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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      • #4
        Cool! Glad to hear that the Excel tools are still well thought of and making things easier on DIY'ers. PCD and the related tools were quite a gift to the DIY community. There was a time where I'd spend hours modeling crossovers using downloaded. .frd and .zma files. DSP's may be fun to experiment with one day, all I remember hearing about was the DEQX and a big price tag. Interesting to note the RS series in paper and kevlar. Is the perception moving away from the super rigid and light metal cones for resolution and transient response in favor of drivers that are easier to work with? I saw that LX521 moved away from the magnesium mid/midbass. I assume motor design has a lot to do with it as well.

        RPB, thanks for the suggestion for the 2nd order woofer! Will definitely be on the list for that project,

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        • #5
          In my opinion, the dsp front has advanced significantly since the DEQX in reguards to sound quality, price, and user friendliness.
          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

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          • #6
            someone on here named Fprawn (I think) created the best tracer - I THINK it's called "FPGraphTracer".
            Generally works much better than SPLCopy or SPLTrace.

            I use WinISD ("Pro") for box design from linearteam.org .

            As has been mentioned, the RS line now has metal and paper cones in 4 and 8 ohm versions in all sizes (the old shielded ones have all been replaced) and are still hard to beat. There's an "ND" series that's got some pretty small drivers that can go pretty low. (I THINK Dayton must have well over 100 drivers now, LOTS of tweeters avail.). The RS tweeters have been redesigned (price dropped from $50-$60 range down to $40-ish, or LESS?). One of them is currently on sale for under $30 I believe. Some VERY good buys on Peerless (by Tymphany - which WAS Vifa) tweeters. Woofers are Peerless. Still many builds using Tang Band (woofers mostly).

            Nearly all Dayton drivers have a .zip file avail. containing .frd/.zma files (from Omnimic and DATS - the old WooferTester) as well as graphs and spec. sheets. The old paper catalog was gone for a handful of years, but just came back last year - but only with Dayton's (house) stuff. The WSG (Woofer Selection Guide) can be found in the technical section of TT.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Adam_M View Post
              Cool! Glad to hear that the Excel tools are still well thought of and making things easier on DIY'ers. PCD and the related tools were quite a gift to the DIY community. There was a time where I'd spend hours modeling crossovers using downloaded. .frd and .zma files. DSP's may be fun to experiment with one day, all I remember hearing about was the DEQX and a big price tag. Interesting to note the RS series in paper and kevlar. Is the perception moving away from the super rigid and light metal cones for resolution and transient response in favor of drivers that are easier to work with? I saw that LX521 moved away from the magnesium mid/midbass. I assume motor design has a lot to do with it as well.

              RPB, thanks for the suggestion for the 2nd order woofer! Will definitely be on the list for that project,
              There is a 5dB bump in the response near 5k on my drivers that is not shown on the factory measurements. Still can work, but a notch would be needed.

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