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  • Sweet Sixteen Array

    Ive been curious if anyone has heard or has built a sweet sixteen array (4X4). Back in the early sixties, this idea was built with very cheap stock radio speakers I believe. And from my research, that was its main fallout. I have contemplated ressurecting this array using some decent 2 1/2-4" drivers. I believe that there are some decent fullrange speakers in this size so that a tweeter would not be necessary, or can be easily implimented. Also, by using small drivers, you would not need a massive 4-5cuft enclosure.

    Drivers that caught my eye were:
    Aura NS3
    Tang Band W3-881SI
    GRS 4PF

    Are there any major flaws in the sweet sixteen design? Would comb filtering become an issue? I would assume that all of these drivers in close proximity will act as a single driver.

  • #2
    Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

    arrays have been done for a while, and were really popular here not so long ago. Yes comb filtering can be a problem - the accepted workaround is to use a tweeter array next to the midrange array.

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    • #3
      Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

      http://homepage.mac.com/planet10/TLS...s/Sweet-16.pdf

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

        Ive been curious if anyone has heard or has built a sweet sixteen array
        I remember various versions ( and permutations ) of this design.
        As it was the 60's; there were things to consider:
        There were not as many options in driver selection then, and the general level of knowledge in DIY speaker design was not as extensive as today. And of course the audio bar has been raised so to speak with higher expectations.
        There are misunderstandings and flaws in the concept behind the design.
        "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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        • #5
          Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

          Wow, and I thought half-stack guitar amps beamed a lot. That thing is going to be as directional as a spotlight.
          Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

          Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
          Twitter: @undefinition1

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          • #6
            Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

            Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
            Wow, and I thought half-stack guitar amps beamed a lot. That thing is going to be as directional as a spotlight.
            Yes - they did "beam". There was not a lot of general discussion about aspects of pattern interference in the 60's. A few years later I remember seeing efforts to fix the directionality via shading or tapering.
            "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."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

              Originally posted by ameuba10 View Post
              Ive been curious if anyone has heard or has built a sweet sixteen array (4X4).
              Back in high school (over 50 years ago), my "stereo" was my closet door, which had 24 8" woofers with whizzer cones--each cost around $2 at the time. There are many problems with this type of speaker, including awful off-axis response, uneven frequency response, and size. However, the sound was alarming clear, "dynamic", and actually quite enjoyable.

              Are there any major flaws in the sweet sixteen design? Would comb filtering become an issue? I would assume that all of these drivers in close proximity will act as a single driver.
              There are better ways to get the benefits of multiple drivers without those drawbacks. You should spend some time reading up on line arrays if you are interested in the sweet sixteen "concept". Comb filtering is a big problem. But the basic idea of multiple drivers resulting in low excursion for each driver is a good one. Also, I suspect there is some frequency response "smoothing" resulting from multiple drivers, but I don't know if this is something that has been verified.
              Free Passive Speaker Designer Lite (PSD-Lite) -- http://www.audiodevelopers.com/Softw...Lite/setup.exe

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              • #8
                Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

                Originally posted by ameuba10 View Post
                Ive been curious if anyone has heard or has built a sweet sixteen array (4X4). Back in the early sixties, this idea was built with very cheap stock radio speakers I believe. And from my research, that was its main fallout. I have contemplated ressurecting this array using some decent 2 1/2-4" drivers. I believe that there are some decent fullrange speakers in this size so that a tweeter would not be necessary, or can be easily implimented. Also, by using small drivers, you would not need a massive 4-5cuft enclosure.

                Drivers that caught my eye were:
                Aura NS3
                Tang Band W3-881SI
                GRS 4PF

                Are there any major flaws in the sweet sixteen design? Would comb filtering become an issue? I would assume that all of these drivers in close proximity will act as a single driver.
                AFAIK, the NS3s would most likely be the most bass capable (and cheapest) of your listed drivers.

                You'd need 32 for 2 stereo cabs. That's $400. You can get 4 or 6 pretty nice drivers for $400. 16 in a box would need somewhere between 1.5 to 2.5 cf, so the cabs wouldn't be very small.

                Comb filtering will be a problem, and the highs won't have the nice dispersion that a dome tweeter would provide.

                I'm sure there're more.

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                • #9
                  Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

                  Originally posted by ameuba10 View Post
                  Ive been curious if anyone has heard or has built a sweet sixteen array (4X4).
                  Sixteen in a line (1x16) would work (and sound) a whole lot better.
                  "It suggests that there is something that is happening in the real system that is not quite captured in the models."

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

                    I thought the classic sweet sixteen array was a phased array based on a combination of stereo channel A and B at differing power and phase ratios.

                    All 16 aren't in phase at unity power input.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

                      Note on page 10 of the pdf that FredT linked that the speakers were wired simply for a stable impedance load.
                      It was the 1st version ( I recall ) called Sweet 16 - perhaps later versions attempted to overcome directionality via "phasing".
                      Last edited by Sydney; 03-13-2012, 05:18 PM. Reason: spl.
                      "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."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

                        AIR, the "Sweet Sixteens" were more oriented for the HI-FI mono guys than for the stereo people. There were versions that worked-around the laser-beam directivity, usually with the weird impedence speakers available back then (60, 45, 32, 24, 16, 12 ohm were common replacements for car audio and table radios). Some sounded great, some sounded awful. I think the concept is a bit like a straight 8 car engine. Yes, it can be made to work well, but there are so many cheaper alternatives available today, with fewer drawbacks. For you girls who never got to drive a straight 8, the word toooooorque is an understatement. Broken crankshaft was a too common statement. Although a '48 or '49 Pontiac Super Chieftain with a straight 8 and a HydroMatic (I prefer the fastback two-door for styling) or a '38 Buick RoadMaster with a straight 8 and a Dyna-Flo (would pass anything on the road but a service station), were pretty nice ways to put some miles behind you. A '55 RoadMaster straight 8 and Dyna-Flo (and A/C) was far more comfortable than a '55 50 series Cadillac Fleetwood. My parent's best friend's had the Buick and my Dad's brother-in-law (my Uncle George) had the Fleetwood.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

                          Several pro sound companies used these too.....for about 1 week because they were awful.

                          I have to admit, when I heard one in the late 60's (and it WAS on a mono system), it was impressive. That, however, like so many other memories, is more of a nostalgic remembrance than an analytical one.

                          I'm certain that if I heard a modern one today, it would be un-listenable.

                          Silk purse/sow's ear. Save your $$$$.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

                            Wow this sure seems unanimous! I never really hear anyone mention the sweet sixteen and I think its a cool design that was thought out of the box. I figured with todays advancements in speaker design as well as much much improved drivers that this idea could somehow work.

                            Im quite aware that with two arrays that expenses would increase tremendulously, but I figure thats the same with any array.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Sweet Sixteen Array

                              Originally posted by ameuba10 View Post
                              I figured with todays advancements in speaker design as well as much much improved drivers that this idea could somehow work..
                              A modern design that comes close is the circular spherical-cap array
                              as described in Don Keele's CBT papers.
                              It has several obvious differences that overcome flaws in earlier multi-speaker matrix ( like Sweet 16 ). These allow it to control directivity in both planes.
                              "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."

                              Comment

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