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C-Note 3 Way Ideas

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  • C-Note 3 Way Ideas

    Hey dudes, I've had this idea on my mind for quite some time and I'd like to get as much planning out of the way as I can before I start construction when things warm up. I'm eager to hear folks thoughts on this idea.

    I love my c-notes, they are quite exceptional speakers. The only thing that I don't care for though is how they render the mid bass and down, which is totally understandable for a 5" woofer. I appreciate the sense of scale that seems to increase with larger woofers IME, I'd like to take my C-note drivers and toss them into a new cabinet along with a 10-12" woofer to achieve the previously mentioned scale increase.

    So far I am undecided in which woofer to choose. I'd like to keep the cost in line with the lower price of the c-notes if possible. I understand that I will need a new xover and that baffle width changes are likely going to alter how the speakers mid and tweeter perform. I'm also considering making a sort of bass module and keeping the c-note dimensions as is, similar to the Tarkus, although it will have to be a quite tall cabinet to get the C-notes to sitting ear height.

    1. Is it too early in the process to suggest woofers to use?
    2. How important is the sensitivity of the woofer to match up to the DSA135? I'm aware of padding tweeters down with resistors but my limited knowledge suggests it's not so easy with woofers/mid ranges?
    3. New cabinet or Tarkus style?
    4. I've heard wider baffles can be detrimental to the tweeters performance but unsure (grimm ls1 seems to do things well from what I hear).

  • #2
    Have a search for Jeff Bagby’s “3 way Kairos” pdf paper, this has info about a bass box for the Kairos speaker but afaik is actually more generic and can be used with other speakers, if not it will give you a good starting point.

    Edit - found it https://meniscus.lightningbasehosted...ay-Writeup.pdf


    • #3
      Those CSS drivers are totally awesome drivers but they are not at all inline cost wise with the c-notes. They do make sense with the Contiuums and Kairos however.

      For the c-notes I'd be looking at putting them on top of some 1 cubic foot bass bins with a SD215A on each side. That could potentially work well and is more inline cost wise.

      I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.


      • #4
        The old Aether design from Paul was like that, a precursor to the Tarkus in a way. Anything from 1.0-1.5 cubes will do with the SD215A-88.
        I concur the price/performance is on par with the SD line.
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        • #5
          Thanks for the suggestions, the article from Jeff B is great, exactly what I need. I'm definitely going to go the route of a bass module as that will allow me to swap out the bookshelves in the future if need be. I'm finding the SD270A a little more appealing than the 215 though.


          • #6
            The 10" likes a pretty big box. If you're going that far, model the 12" as well. I goes nearly as deep in the same size box (with a bit shorter vent), has more area, slightly longer Xmax, and can take more power. (A couple dB more efficient as well.)


            • #7
              Originally posted by Chris Roemer View Post
              The 10" likes a pretty big box. If you're going that far, model the 12" as well. I goes nearly as deep in the same size box (with a bit shorter vent), has more area, slightly longer Xmax, and can take more power. (A couple dB more efficient as well.)
              Will do for sure, a big box is what I'm after really. I would like the box to double as a stand.


              • #8
                The reason Jeff had different drivers for the Kairos module and the Continuum module was for the difference in sensitivity. The 8", 10", and 12" DVC subs have 85.9, 87.8, and 93.75db sensitivity so you'll need to make sure the one you pick will work with the C-notes (as well as potential future 2-way builds). You can pad the two ways but you can't pad the woofer.


                • #9
                  You can also just run the "bass bin" w/a plate amp, it doesn't HAVE to be a fully passive 3-way.


                  • #10
                    Trouble with plate amps is finding one that will cover the range I'd like. ~300hz is where I'm looking to cross but all the plate amps I could afford stop at 200hz. I do have a minidsp unit but I only used it for a week due to a pretty obvious degradation in SQ from the unit but that's another story all together.


                    • #11
                      Using a plate amp is a good strategy if you want flexibility to use the "bass bin" with ANY speakers you make (except you have to buy the plate amp). Jeff's "Universal Woofer Module" was meant to be able to add a bass bin, integrated as a three-way, and I think crossed over around 300Hz-ish like you are looking for. (Josh, I think you already know this, just pointing it out for others reading the thread.) This does not require the extra amp, but does require the woofers to be sensitivity-matched to the two-way speaker.

                      One thing with the dual voice coils is that they are 8-8 coils, and the mfg specs are for wired parallel = 4ohms. If the box size and output of the 12" looks really good to you, you could wire in series for 16 ohms and I think the sensitivity drops 6d (93.75db to 87.75db assuming mfg specs are accurate). Similar for the 10". I have no idea if wiring in series for 16ohms is a good, bad, or indifferent.


                      • #12
                        If plate amps won't do, consider adding biamping capability so you can drive the woofers separately. I don't know how loud you go, but it would add flexibility.


                        • #13
                          I honestly think the CNotes have pretty good bass response as-is....problem though is that in order to achieve this you have to throw some power at them with a high quality amp (if you haven't tried that, I recommend it). And given what they were intended for (a cheap build likely used with modest class-D style amps) this somewhat flies in the face of their ethos. The more I think about it, they seem to be an answer to a question that no one asks anymore. Something like the Overnight Sensations sound just as good, play better with lower-powered equipment and IMO I'd rather add a woofer to a speaker like that then I would the CNote.


                          • #14
                            Well I've been having really bad luck getting a good paint finish on the c-notes and I'm at the point where I'd like to just toss the cabinets and do a new 3 way design from the ground up. Feeling pretty defeated at the moment, the paint really did come out terrible and I'm not feeling the effort to try and fix it, veneer is easier and looks better to me anyway.

                            The speaker is really no longer going to be a c-note derivative so I'll probably duck out of this thread and make a new one eventually when it's warmer outside.