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Dayton/HiVi 2-way Bookshelf Makeover Project

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  • Dayton/HiVi 2-way Bookshelf Makeover Project

    Hey guys, thought I would share my speaker latest project. Many years ago I built a pair of bookshelf speakers using a HiVi W6 woofer and Vifa DX25TG. They sounded great and I used them for many years, until the voice coil on the W6 began rubbing producing some pretty funky sounds. I lived with it for a while but finally gave in and said it's time for a remake! The enclosures were pretty solid, I felt like I didn't need to mess with the cabinets too much, so I went about just selecting some new drivers to drop into the existing locations and I ended up with an RS180/RT1.3WE pair that sound great. I thought it would be a tough match initially, but was able to push the RS180 all the up to 2.8 kHz with a 24 dB/octave slope and a small notch filter at ~8 kHz. The RT1.3WE seems happy at 2.8 kHz also with a 24 dB slope and small notch filter around 13 kHz.

    I initially designed and built the crossover with a full 6 dB of BSC but then after a few weeks of listening ended up decreasing the amount of BSC to 3.5 dB and am much happier with the results. I think that's the second time I've tried to go full BSC and man, I just can't get on board. Likely mostly due to room placement, the full 6 dB sounded fantastic when they were 3 feet away from the back wall during my initial auditioning and measurements, but in their final location, they sounded dull and bass heavy. It's amazing how much room placement plays into a loudspeaker's sound. Fortunately that's where this hobby is so great, I was able to make the desired tweaks to the crossover to get the speakers to sound just right while in a completely practical room placement scenario.

    Anyway, here's some pictures and a couple of measurements with both BSC options. Since this was just a makeover project, I don't have a lot of pics of the cabinet assembly, but I have hundreds of REW plots of the drivers with and without various different crossover options. I played around for a few months with these things before committing to single crossover option, and even then, I couldn't leave it be! It's funny how when you really start to get into measuring your speakers, something I never used to do years ago, it becomes the process that seriously takes the absolute longest. You quickly realize how very small changes in capacitor/inductor/resistor values can cause significant changes in the response and it becomes so hard to just pick the one that you like the best. Fortunately, my ears are less sensitive than my eyes, even though I could measure a change, and see that change in the plots, didn't mean I was able to hear that change even if I was listening for it. But it's still fun to see what can be done. Check 'em out below and let me know what you think.

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  • #2
    Just a few more pics...

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    • #3
      They look really cool, love the finish.

      The crossover must have given you a few headaches; I hadn't seen the RS180 crossed so high before.




      • #4
        Lookup LouC's 'Cryolites', as that is essentially what you have there.

        Scratch that- wrong tweeter.....
        Last edited by Wolf; 10-10-2019, 02:28 PM. Reason: Mistaken...
        "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*

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        • #5
          So it's been a few months since I finished these speakers and this past week I finished the matching center channel for this setup. It's not a perfectly matched setup though, I didn't reuse the HiVi tweeter and instead went with the more traditional Dayton RST28F. And the woofers are the 5" RS125's. But I matched the crossover responses so they match acoustically and built and finished the enclosure so they match visually for the most part. Just wanted to say that this is a great sounding center channel notwithstanding its pitfalls as a horizontal MTM. I won't got into the details here but if you're interested in reading more about this center channel speaker as well as these bookshelf speakers head on over to my site at Overall this setup has been awesome as the front soundstage of my little home theater. We've been watching tons more movies lately and they all sound fantastic. Always been impressed with the speakers/drivers/crossover parts available from Parts Express.

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          • #6
            Nice work on the passive crossovers. I like it when the components are on display.


            • #7
              Danmarx those look great.
              On the mains, where are you putting the external XOs? Are the XOs for the center channel external too?


              • #8
                Thanks guys for the comments. I'd never done an external crossover before, but it came in super handy when after a few weeks of listening I decided to tweak the BSC a bit. I didn't have to touch the drivers, remove all the screws, fight with the insulation, pull out the crossover, etc. and then hook it all back up. It was super easy. The center channel crossover is mounted inside the speaker though, so no external goodness on that one. I took a bunch of measurements of all of these speakers during the build. The first plot below is the off-axis response of the center channel and was measured out to 60 degrees. It matches the modeled performance almost exactly so no real surprise there. I know this is why most people don't do horizontal MTMs, but honestly sitting off axis from the speaker it doesn't sound as bad as the plots would imply. The second plot is measured vs. modeled. I used Jeff Bagby's PCD. Awesome spreadsheet, I don't know what I'd do without it. Same goes for REW. The third plot is mains vs. center channel on-axis. They match about as good as I could get them. I basically tuned the crossover of the center to match the mains. Totally they sound very close, no complaints there. And here's what my crossovers look like during the 'design and measure' phase. Does everyone do it this way? It's just a mess of alligator clips and caps/inductors/resistors spread out all over. And lastly here's another pic of my complete setup. Well, almost complete, no sub for now, but that's definitely next on the to-do list! Subs have always been my favorite but I've been enjoying tackling some full-range setups lately.

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