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WAF paradox for small portable system

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  • WAF paradox for small portable system

    Hello, long time reader, first time poster. Thought I'd start by asking for some design thoughts based on living partner preferences.

    The wife's not keen on medium or loud sounds or much bass. They bother her and (she thinks) the people who share our house. I turn the music up, she turns it down. Too loud, too much bass, too late at night (7pm?), the vocals are too screechy, etc. I'm American, she's Canadian, it can't be helped.

    I'd like to build a really small portable system with a RaspberryPi for streaming audio, BT, and direct mp3 player input. The full range speaker choices come down to lower output/more overall bass (Dayton ND91-4) or higher output/less overall bass ( TB W3-881SJF ). This isn't a party boombox like the Boominator or Podzuma, just background music for hanging out in different rooms, and sometimes on the patio or in a park. Amplification will be via SMSL SA-S1 (TA2020). Enclosure volumes have to be under 2L per driver. Yup, tiny.

    Here's the paradox:

    If I build ND91-4 the bass will make her want to turn the music down (even though it will hardly be a loud combination driver+amp).
    If I build the W3-881SJF the lack of bass and better HF output will sound annoying and make her turn the music down.

    is there any fairly easy technical workaround for this conundrum? Have you run into this snag before?

  • #2
    Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

    I'm afraid you're going to have to leave her. :(

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

      Originally posted by Naught1 View Post
      Hello, long time reader, first time poster. Thought I'd start by asking for some design thoughts based on living partner preferences.

      The wife's not keen on medium or loud sounds or much bass. They bother her and (she thinks) the people who share our house. I turn the music up, she turns it down. Too loud, too much bass, too late at night (7pm?), the vocals are too screechy, etc. I'm American, she's Canadian, it can't be helped.

      I'd like to build a really small portable system with a RaspberryPi for streaming audio, BT, and direct mp3 player input. The full range speaker choices come down to lower output/more overall bass (Dayton ND91-4) or higher output/less overall bass ( TB W3-881SJF ). This isn't a party boombox like the Boominator or Podzuma, just background music for hanging out in different rooms, and sometimes on the patio or in a park. Amplification will be via SMSL SA-S1 (TA2020). Enclosure volumes have to be under 2L per driver. Yup, tiny.

      Here's the paradox:

      If I build ND91-4 the bass will make her want to turn the music down (even though it will hardly be a loud combination driver+amp).
      If I build the W3-881SJF the lack of bass and better HF output will sound annoying and make her turn the music down.

      is there any fairly easy technical workaround for this conundrum? Have you run into this snag before?
      Take her shark fishing. Or earplugs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

        This.
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

          Hah, you're all a bunch of help! She really is awesome, just very, sensitive. But c'mon, I can't be the only one here making stuff for the household and facing strong opinions.

          It's crude, but one idea I had is to plug not her ears, but the ports. That'll push the F3 of an ND91-4 way up. And it's easier than making some kind of active contour circuit. Sort of a variovent, except that it shuts all the way down. Does that exist already? I seem to recall seeing one somewhere a few years ago. Or just a stopper like a cork.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

            In your case, I would consider the ND91 option. Better bass when you can get away with it, and as you said, a sock in the port when you can't. If the HF output isn't to your taste, you can always add an ND16 later.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

              Originally posted by Naught1 View Post
              Hah, you're all a bunch of help! She really is awesome, just very, sensitive. But c'mon, I can't be the only one here making stuff for the household and facing strong opinions.

              It's crude, but one idea I had is to plug not her ears, but the ports. That'll push the F3 of an ND91-4 way up. And it's easier than making some kind of active contour circuit. Sort of a variovent, except that it shuts all the way down. Does that exist already? I seem to recall seeing one somewhere a few years ago. Or just a stopper like a cork.
              All kidding
              aside, has she been exposed to a decent sounding system ? Maybe she just does not like
              poor sound quality.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

                I know this is not what you are asking, but have you considered a good pair of headphones?

                More in line with what you are asking I would just suggest an active sub driver with a volume slider set to crossover at 80hz or a couple of eq presets with the nd drivers. At night you can just turn down the bass.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

                  Originally posted by Squidspeak View Post
                  All kidding
                  aside, has she been exposed to a decent sounding system ? Maybe she just does not like
                  poor sound quality.
                  +1 figure out what she likes then go from there. If you are looking for single driver options there are better ones than those you have listed. The goal should be natural sound, chopping off the FR is wrong IMO.
                  John H

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

                    Originally posted by SirNickity View Post
                    In your case, I would consider the ND91 option. Better bass when you can get away with it, and as you said, a sock in the port when you can't. If the HF output isn't to your taste, you can always add an ND16 later.
                    Just a quick product note, the ND90 has slightly better treble air and detail than the ND91 when run full-range. The ND90 is more of a 'full-range' driver, while the ND91 is more of a miniature 'woofer' for multi-way designs.
                    Best Regards,

                    Rory Buszka
                    Product Manager, Dayton Audio

                    The best way to predict the future is to create it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

                      Originally posted by SirNickity View Post
                      In your case, I would consider the ND91 option. Better bass when you can get away with it, and as you said, a sock in the port when you can't. If the HF output isn't to your taste, you can always add an ND16 later.
                      Originally posted by Squidspeak View Post
                      All kidding aside, has she been exposed to a decent sounding system ? Maybe she just does not like poor sound quality.
                      very good systems all the time, but the complaint of it being too loud or grating is common.

                      Originally posted by jhollander View Post
                      +1 figure out what she likes then go from there. If you are looking for single driver options there are better ones than those you have listed. The goal should be natural sound, chopping off the FR is wrong IMO.
                      Originally posted by NickJ View Post
                      I know this is not what you are asking, but have you considered a good pair of headphones?

                      More in line with what you are asking I would just suggest an active sub driver with a volume slider set to crossover at 80hz or a couple of eq presets with the nd drivers. At night you can just turn down the bass.
                      Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                      Just a quick product note, the ND90 has slightly better treble air and detail than the ND91 when run full-range. The ND90 is more of a 'full-range' driver, while the ND91 is more of a miniature 'woofer' for multi-way designs.
                      The reason for the ND91 is it looks to me like it will do better in a small volume enclosure than the ND90. Am I mis-reading that?

                      Since this will be heard off-axis most of the time, if I want better high end, I'll reach into the tweeter pile and add one. But for now, it's a full range system.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

                        Fostex makes some nice full range drivers. I'm using a pair of fe107 4" drivers in a 6.5 L box.(I know, too big...)

                        The FF85k 3" driver might work for you, although at 3.5 liters, that might still be to big.

                        If that's still too big for her, How do I put this politely.....you're $crewed....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

                          is that mystic island or river . I am going hippo hunting in Tanzania in the fall, just thinking out loud. :D
                          craigk

                          " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

                            Originally posted by Squidspeak View Post
                            All kidding
                            aside, has she been exposed to a decent sounding system ? Maybe she just does not like
                            poor sound quality.
                            That is what I was wondering. Is the bass and treble turned up or is the system set flat?

                            I can see how a full range system could bother some people who really just want light background music, but if a system sounds good, how could you not like it? Put me in probably 85% or more, in a car stereo environment how most people listen to them and have them set up, and I'll want it turned down too.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: WAF paradox for small portable system

                              Originally posted by Sir Roundsound View Post
                              Fostex makes some nice full range drivers. I'm using a pair of fe107 4" drivers in a 6.5 L box.(I know, too big...)

                              The FF85k 3" driver might work for you, although at 3.5 liters, that might still be to big.

                              If that's still too big for her, How do I put this politely.....you're $crewed....
                              I dunno about $crewed, but it is a matter of lowered expectations. I've built 3 prototypes already- one at 5L/speaker, and the other 2 using either Mirage AVS-200's or Cambridge SoundWorks Model 12 satellites. The AVS-200 prototype won the battle out of sheer practicality. We used it more because it was smallest- easier to carry and find a place for it in our small home. AVS-200's are about 3.5 inches wide by 5 high and 4 deep, or just over 1L. Factor in the box volume to house the electronics and battery, and that adds another few inches overall.

                              Obviously the target from this portable system isn't the highest sound quality in terms of spectrum coverage or even response. I've heard a few of the Fostex designs through the years, and found them totally enjoyable. They just need too much room to breathe. That, plus they're paper cones, which is just asking for trouble in a portable system in this damp town.

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