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  • Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

    I have understood voicing as making changes to the crossover until one achives the sound they are looking for.

    However, how many caps and coils can one afford to have laying around to do this? Unless I am misunderstanding what you all refer to as voicing...

    My last crossover cost me around $400. with some of the caps costing $15 to $75 bucks, I dont have too many spares of vaious sizes laying around.
    Mark


    http://www.diy-ny.com

  • #2
    Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

    Originally posted by mgrabow View Post
    I have understood voicing as making changes to the crossover until one achives the sound they are looking for.

    However, how many caps and coils can one afford to have laying around to do this? Unless I am misunderstanding what you all refer to as voicing...

    My last crossover cost me around $400. with some of the caps costing $15 to $75 bucks, I dont have too many spares of vaious sizes laying around.
    Use NPEs to voice the XO, then get the higher quality parts later on when you're happy with the final transfer functions.
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    • #3
      Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

      For a particular cap, have 1 large value and several small value caps on hand. Play with them wired in parallel to get the different values for voicing.

      For coils, start with a large value and unwind until it sounds right.

      I've not spent close to $400 on a crossover. The most expensive one was probably the Modula MT.

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      • #4
        Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

        Voicing I feel is what separates the best designs out there from the rest of the pack. It's not about a sound you're looking for, it's about achieving seamless integration top to bottom. Even the best software simulated and then built designs I feel are going to have areas that aren't perfect ... but as much as anything it takes a lot of experience in listening to know what you're listening for. It also takes a good room, decent gear, and a deep familiarity with the recording you're using to do the voicing. That's why it's so important to get out there and for example, attend a show like RMAF.

        I have so much 'spare' crossover components it's ridiculous. I just moved, and the 2 boxes probably weigh 75-100 pounds each. It's a lot of money, but I accumulated them over time by jumping on deals and scouring ebay. During voicing I just clip-lead all my components together on the floor which makes swapping in different values easy. When I get close I take some more measurements and see if any improvements can be seen in them compared to my baselines, sometimes you can see them in measurements, sometimes you can't. Then once I think it's close I'll solder together most of it ... the pieces that you use for fine tuning you'll know by this point, leave them able to be swapped. At this point I usually have some friends over and have 3-4 network changes planned out for them to listen to as well. I try and listen to them in different rooms as well.

        Sure it's a lot of time, sure it's more expense ... but it will make your designs better. And you'll get better at voicing the more you do.
        Vapor Audio

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        • #5
          Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

          Voicing, using your hearing, ears, as opposed to looking at a frequency response curve or distortion plots on a chart.
          Last edited by ; 02-04-2010, 12:37 AM.

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          • #6
            Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

            Originally posted by mgrabow View Post
            I have understood voicing as making changes to the crossover until one achives the sound they are looking for.

            However, how many caps and coils can one afford to have laying around to do this? Unless I am misunderstanding what you all refer to as voicing...

            My last crossover cost me around $400. with some of the caps costing $15 to $75 bucks, I dont have too many spares of vaious sizes laying around.
            Wow. I have a ton of parts laying around, so that part's easy. But I can't imagine wrapping that much money in a crossover, and I use poly caps too. I don't use exotic caps, as I see no use for them. Can I ask what capacitors and inductors you are buying?
            Click here for Jeff Bagby's Loudspeaker Design Software

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            • #7
              Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

              Originally posted by DoubleTap View Post
              Voicing I feel is what separates the best designs out there from the rest of the pack. It's not about a sound you're looking for, it's about achieving seamless integration top to bottom. Even the best software simulated and then built designs I feel are going to have areas that aren't perfect ... but as much as anything it takes a lot of experience in listening to know what you're listening for. It also takes a good room, decent gear, and a deep familiarity with the recording you're using to do the voicing.
              Nicely stated Mr. Tap...

              C
              Curt's Speaker Design Works

              "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
              - Aristotle

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              • #8
                Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

                Keep changing the value of parts in small increments to arrive at a balanced sound over the XO region. I have tapped air-core inductors with values such as 1.2, 1.5 and 1.8 mh all on the same bobbin . For caps you can parallel small values(0.5 and 1 uf for example) to the ones you already have.

                I have been experimenting with the 5 position tweeter level control on the classical Dynaco A25 speakers. I definitely favored one setting over the other settings. I believe the only thing I changed was the value of resistor in series with the tweeter.

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                • #9
                  Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

                  I have at least 6 plastic bins from Joanns craft store full of caps, resistors, binding posts, inductors, spikes, etc... I usually stock up when Sonic Craft, Parts Connexion, and PE have sales/free shipping.
                  "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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                  • #10
                    Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

                    OK, I guess everyone has parts laying around but me... I find if I have anything laying around, its time to build something out of it...
                    Mark


                    http://www.diy-ny.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

                      This is what voicing is all about... :D

                      If people want to listen to wiggles, that up to them....

                      I prefer music.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

                        Use NPEs to voice the XO, then get the higher quality parts later on when you're happy with the final transfer functions.
                        I did this once, the NPE and the poly measured the same (I checked afterwards), but the speaker sounded different afterwards, and yes, I was surprised. !!.
                        So I voice with what will stay in the speaker, and only make final changes after the speaker has done several hours of hard work.

                        I then come back to it a week or so later, for further consideration.
                        If people want to listen to wiggles, that up to them....

                        I prefer music.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

                          Originally posted by mgrabow View Post
                          I have understood voicing as making changes to the crossover until one achives the sound they are looking for.

                          However, how many caps and coils can one afford to have laying around to do this? Unless I am misunderstanding what you all refer to as voicing...

                          My last crossover cost me around $400. with some of the caps costing $15 to $75 bucks, I dont have too many spares of vaious sizes laying around.
                          Like most of the othere here, I feel that voicing is the icing on the cake that separates a good, competent loudspeaker from an exceptional one. I estimate the LCR values that I need with slightly smaller C and larger L so that I have a small dip in the crossover region. I then set the speaker in the final position it will occupy with the equipment (amp/stands/cables/front end, etc) that will be driving it and make sure that the acoustical treatment is appropriate for the application. This last partis extremely important. Voicing a speaker to sound "right" requires a stable environment. Some speaker/amp/cabling choices just sound different than others.

                          I do preliminary measurements and let the speaker play for a week or two until everything is settled in and happy. Voicing at this point involves adding capacitance in the form of small bypasses and dewinding the inductor until the speaker sounds seamless in the crossover transition. I then set the final tweeter level with resistors until I'm happy and then remeasure it to see if I can still hear .

                          Invariably I end up with a speaker that has a very small dip at the crossover point (I usually use LR2 or BB3 as targets). I sometimes will roll the tweeter off a tiny bit in the last octave depending upon the LF capabilities of the speaker.

                          If building a very good loudspeaker is like fine cooking, voicing is that special sauce or demi-glaze. It is all about presentation and balance.

                          Dave
                          "A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument." - Hilmar von Campe

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                          http://positive-feedback.com/Issue47/uber_buss.htm

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                          • #14
                            Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

                            Originally posted by mgrabow View Post
                            I have understood voicing as making changes to the crossover until one achives the sound they are looking for.

                            However, how many caps and coils can one afford to have laying around to do this? Unless I am misunderstanding what you all refer to as voicing...

                            My last crossover cost me around $400. with some of the caps costing $15 to $75 bucks, I dont have too many spares of vaious sizes laying around.
                            WOW! $400!!! You're using some high-end parts, or a lot of parts...

                            I cannot see spending more than ~$30 for a part (usually large values), unless the drivers warrant it, and it's not a common occurence.

                            For me, the absolute-driver-level in reference to one another is the most important. Once you get that, you can tweak if you feel it is merited. Sometimes, the driver needs extra attention in a certain region, and that can be added/adjusted. I always check the polarity for in-box vocals to make sure they are in-phase at the xover point. (I usually use Steppenwolf- 'Magic Carpet Ride' for this, as the vocals kinda disappear if they are out.)
                            If you can't hear where the drivers start/stop in reference to each other, then you are good as long as your tonality is how you want it. I like to have a slight 'edge' in the midrange, but it doesn't always present itself in the same way from one design to the next. If the mids aren't *RIGHT*, I'm not happy, and the bass has to be slightly lean and well-extended. The treble depends on the tweeter.

                            Hope this helps,
                            Wolf
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                            • #15
                              Re: Perhaps someone can explain Voicing to me

                              I'm in the process of it right now. Resistors, capacitors, and inductors all over the damn place, and I'm getting up every 5 minutes to change parts. I accumulated my parts two ways:
                              1. When ordering a relatively inexpensive part (NPE caps, resistors, some poly caps), I'll buy two extra and "put 'em in the bin."
                              2. I got a massive stash of coils from a DIYer who had left the hobby a few years ago and was trying to clear our his basement. I'm still in amazement of how many values I have on-hand. 'Course, they take up two boxes.
                              3. Any value I don't have, I can usually get within 10-15% by combining values of other parts.

                              Since your speakers are meant to be sold, I understand why you use boutique crossover parts. And that's fine; if the brand name gets the attention, go for it. Until you build the final XO, I say stick with NPE and poly caps, and coils 16-20 gauge.
                              Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                              Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                              Twitter: @undefinition1

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