DIY 3 way main speaker with 15" drivers?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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after testing 4 different brands of mains over the past 2 weeks I have concluded that I want a better main speaker without spending lots of money and I have a size restriction, design restriction (NO FLOOR STANDING SPEAKERS). I would like to build a Main speaker with a great tweeter, a good mid range woofer and a BIG woofer that can handle my 60 Hz and above with authority.

I think this has been dicussed but we all build great sub systems only to have lacking mains

Now I want to see how I can build a better Main speaker and I think I want a 12" or 15" driver in that speaker for the 60 Hz to 200 Hz region.

Anyone doing this?

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post #2 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 12:33 PM
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It's going to be the first 15" bookshelf I've ever seen then.... lol

Seems like using multiple 8" or 6" drivers will serve you better. Go for a line array or something?

I had 3 way 15" CVs, and while that's not a very well mannered speaker, it scared me away from single large woofer designs. Either you juice them up and can't hear yourself think, or they lack any definition at regular listening levels. Those were rated 102db@1w/m though :O
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post #3 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Seems like using multiple 8" or 6" drivers will serve you better. Go for a line array or something?

Yeah, the bookshelf 15" idea is probably silly

8" or 10" drivers could work though. I dont know if I want an line array, I want to build a box so they are more "portable" if I move them to another room.

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post #4 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 12:59 PM
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If you stay tuned, there will be a 3way build with a 15" Lambda woofer. I think there may be a couple cool builds during this summer. How much money are you thinking of spending?

RE: Cerwin Vega. I have two pairs of 3way 12" towers and have decided to sell them and build a single pair of towers with 15" woofers. The towers will be about 48" tall though and tuned to around 30hz. For the music I listen to, there really wont be a need for a sub.

YID DIY
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post #5 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 01:53 PM
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Do you really think you need 15's or even 12's to play 60hz and above?

Buls yourself a set of wilson watt/puppy's!! 2 8's in a sealed box and set a nice bookshelf on top. Portable and awesome!!!

http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/607wilson/

PS, I hacked my LLT in 1/4's today and built a 3 cu ft sealed box..sounds GREAT Wife made me do it....

Tim
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post #6 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 02:23 PM
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post #7 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 02:30 PM
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Doug:
Are you talking about something like this?



Dual 12 inch per side with Scanspeak mid and tweeter bi amped.



I am very close to finishing the crossover. Waiting on some parts and some tweaking.

Chuck
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post #8 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 03:02 PM
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Chuck,

I like the idea of a bass/sub module and a separate top module in charge of 80hz and up.

I guess those are two Dayton HF 12's.

Ask yourself mortal , do you have as much displacement as me ? The answer is no unless you have a Windmere fan sub.
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post #9 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEAR View Post

Chuck,

I like the idea of a bass/sub module and a separate top module in charge of 80hz and up.

The bass module takes care of 80 to 320 Hz. The IB takes care of the less than 80 stuff. That is when it is run in HT mode. In 2 channel mode, I don't use the IB.

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I guess those are two Dayton HF 12's.

Close, RSS315HF's
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post #10 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 04:36 PM
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I remember years ago I was helping to install a small live sound rig in a bar in Toronto called the El Macombo. When I saw the speakers we were using I laughed at the head guy, who said just wait and see.
These things couldn't of been more than 24" high. 22" deep and 20" wide. They had a 15" woofer and a tweeter. They were made by Yamaha and the woofer was controlled by a servo. They were called something like Yamaha YST-15. We were flying them above the stage. I remember the power rating being somewherearound 2000watts at 4ohms.
When we finally got everything hooked up the sound and the punch that these speakers had was mesmorizing. They filled the room easily, and sounded really effortless.
My point. I always wanted a 3-way with at least a 15" incorporated in them. Something to have as more for the pound and spl rather than high sound quality.
I guess a speaker that all my cd's sound good with, not just the exceptionally recorded ones.
I have never been able to find any info on these speakers anywhere as they were one of the speakers I wanted to build previous to mine.

Back to the discussion.

Mike

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post #11 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingpin111 View Post

I remember years ago I was helping to install a small live sound rig in a bar in Toronto called the El Macombo. When I saw the speakers we were using I laughed at the head guy, who said just wait and see.
These things couldn't of been more than 24" high. 22" deep and 20" wide. They had a 15" woofer and a tweeter. They were made by Yamaha and the woofer was controlled by a servo. They were called something like Yamaha YST-15. We were flying them above the stage. I remember the power rating being somewherearound 2000watts at 4ohms.
When we finally got everything hooked up the sound and the punch that these speakers had was mesmorizing. They filled the room easily, and sounded really effortless.
My point. I always wanted a 3-way with at least a 15" incorporated in them. Something to have as more for the pound and spl rather than high sound quality.
I guess a speaker that all my cd's sound good with, not just the exceptionally recorded ones.
I have never been able to find any info on these speakers anywhere as they were one of the speakers I wanted to build previous to mine.

Back to the discussion.

Mike

Richard Clark used servo driven 15" midbass drivers in what has often been referred to as the best sounding car ever built. And most attribute the 15"s as the best sounding part of the car.

Tim
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post #12 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

after testing 4 different brands of mains over the past 2 weeks I have concluded that I want a better main speaker without spending lots of money and I have a size restriction, design restriction (NO FLOOR STANDING SPEAKERS). I would like to build a Main speaker with a great tweeter, a good mid range woofer and a BIG woofer that can handle my 60 Hz and above with authority.

Sounds like a great idea. Maybe a B&C 8" or 10" coax on top, and either a B&C TBX100 or Lambda TD15 below it, that would be a standout system.

Another option is to buy an excellent large bookshelf system such as the JBL LSR6332. For the money, that's a speaker that's really hard to beat in sonic terms, DIY or prefab. Not terribly attractive-looking, though.

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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Now I want to see how I can build a better Main speaker and I think I want a 12" or 15" driver in that speaker for the 60 Hz to 200 Hz region.

I'm using 12" 2-way bookshelfs in my main system, and they've more than exceeded my every expectation. And they will be better by the end of the summer, as I'm within a few days of commissioning new cabinets that will be sealed and shallower, as well as better-finished.


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Originally Posted by AlexE View Post

It's going to be the first 15" bookshelf I've ever seen then.... lol

The Tannoy System 15 DMT II could be thought of as a 15" bookshelf.


Ditto some Genelec designs.

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Seems like using multiple 8" or 6" drivers will serve you better. Go for a line array or something?

Nah, using a real midwoofer is much more fun!

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post #13 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 05:58 PM
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Penngray,

Sorry to throw something not related to your question in your thread but when kingpin mentioned the "El Macombo that made me think of the Stevie Ray Vaughn show from there. If anyone wants to see one hell of a guitar show, find that tape.
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post #14 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 06:59 PM
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The Dayton Reference Series drivers are really nice. I'd go with a Dayton Reference Series 8" woofer (can easily go down to 60Hz), the Dayton Reference Series 2" Midrange, and the Dayton Reference Series tweeter.

That should give you plenty good sound quality and go down plenty deep enough for you.
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post #15 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
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The Tannoy System 15 DMT II could be thought of as a 15" bookshelf.

Nice, I like that one!!

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post #16 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I remember years ago I was helping to install a small live sound rig in a bar in Toronto called the El Macombo

I grew up going to that bar!!

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
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post #17 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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PS, I hacked my LLT in 1/4's today and built a 3 cu ft sealed box..sounds GREAT Wife made me do it....

LOL!!! we need pics!!! update your thread. I want to build a TC2K sealed box with my one 15" I have repaired now.

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post #18 of 862 Old 06-01-2008, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Nice, I like that one!!

They pop up on eBay everyone once-in-a-while. And maybe on Craigslist in your area. They're discontinued, so not available new. When they were, I think they might've been like $4500k each or something.

I love the 12" model to death, though I could be persuaded to part with them for three GedLee Nathan10's and a penny.

Actually, that's what you should do, build Dr. Geddes' Nathan10 kit. You won't do better on your own. See the marketplace forum on diyaudio.com for more info.

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post #19 of 862 Old 06-02-2008, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by tundrSQ View Post

Do you really think you need 15's or even 12's to play 60hz and above?

Of course! 15's should be used for everything, even tweeters

YID DIY
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post #20 of 862 Old 06-02-2008, 04:46 AM
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Sounds like an interesting Concept Pen. Maybe wall mounted and angled slightly at the listening position or suspended would be really nice about a foot off the rear wall for imaging. The Lambda woofers would be the way to go with a B&C 8NDL51 mid and a 1" compression driver in a waveguide would be stunning with output beyond the survival of eardrums! Add an additional B&C for a center channel and wow!
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post #21 of 862 Old 06-02-2008, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyg2 View Post

The Dayton Reference Series drivers are really nice. I'd go with a Dayton Reference Series 8" woofer (can easily go down to 60Hz), the Dayton Reference Series 2" Midrange, and the Dayton Reference Series tweeter.

That should give you plenty good sound quality and go down plenty deep enough for you.

A single one of those 8"s wouldn't go down anywhere near 60Hz with the SPL I often play at. 2 of them MIGHT come close. And don't use the Dayton tweeter. Use a Vifa XT19 or a Seas.

Personally, in addition to considering Lambda, I am also considering eventually building a Peerless SLS 6.5 array, maybe 4 or so per side.

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post #22 of 862 Old 06-02-2008, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

after testing 4 different brands of mains over the past 2 weeks I have concluded that I want a better main speaker without spending lots of money and I have a size restriction, design restriction (NO FLOOR STANDING SPEAKERS). I would like to build a Main speaker with a great tweeter, a good mid range woofer and a BIG woofer that can handle my 60 Hz and above with authority.

I think this has been dicussed but we all build great sub systems only to have lacking mains

Now I want to see how I can build a better Main speaker and I think I want a 12" or 15" driver in that speaker for the 60 Hz to 200 Hz region.

Anyone doing this?

My idea of a non-floor standing speaker is a bit different than most.



Those are 12" drivers in a box which is 38" tall and 16" wide, with a total of ~1800W between 3 channels thrown in for good measure.

Above you described roughly what you are after and what the limiting factors are, but didn't define any of those limits. Also, what strengths and weaknesses have you heard in the speakers you have auditioned and what speakers were those? Will a 15" driver even fit within those limits? Are you wanting a passive speaker or would you consider using something like a DCX2496 for a multi-amped or fully active solution? How high are your aspirations for the speakers in terms of headroom? How large is the listening area?

Lots of variables to consider before choosing components and building.

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post #23 of 862 Old 06-02-2008, 12:24 PM
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Three of them behind my screen would do nice Mark.Is that a coax in the middle ?

KG

Key feature is how well the woofer in the main can keep up with the sub at the XO point.My dual RS225's seem to be doing well if I keep them at 100hz and below 120db (hehehe)
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post #24 of 862 Old 06-02-2008, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Above you described roughly what you are after and what the limiting factors are, but didn't define any of those limits. Also, what strengths and weaknesses have you heard in the speakers you have auditioned and what speakers were those? Will a 15" driver even fit within those limits? Are you wanting a passive speaker or would you consider using something like a DCX2496 for a multi-amped or fully active solution? How high are your aspirations for the speakers in terms of headroom? How large is the listening area?



Mark, that pic is what I want but my room isnt designed for that Its something I did at the start of my HT Room project that set me down the path of HUGE restrictions. I DID NOT design the room to have a FALSE wall with an AT Screen and nice HUGE speakers behind it

Here is a pic to help out explain my setup....



Right now Im testing Bookshelf speakers (Emotiva ERM-1s, Salk HTS, Ascent HTM200, Klipsch RB81s) and what I have found is that having two TC2K subs just blows them all away.

My positions are not ideal, they are "built in" speaker cabinets on each side of the screen and the CC is below the screen (not a big spot there either). The mains are 17"x25" so I could put a custom built sealed cabinet in there that has a crossover that doesnt have BSC. 15" was just a thought, Im actually sure a 12" design or a 10" design would keep up with my subs.

The room is 25x14 (but the 25' is the screen wall), I flipped the room sideways.....YES! BAD decision! but my poker table had to go somewhere


btw, Mark I love your speakers.....I would love to have the demensions for them!!

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post #25 of 862 Old 06-02-2008, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually, that's what you should do, build Dr. Geddes' Nathan10 kit. You won't do better on your own. See the marketplace forum on diyaudio.com for more info.

Thanks DS-21, I will check out the forum!

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post #26 of 862 Old 06-02-2008, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Mark, that pic is what I want but my room isnt designed for that Its something I did at the start of my HT Room project that set me down the path of HUGE restrictions. I DID NOT design the room to have a FALSE wall with an AT Screen and nice HUGE speakers behind it

Here is a pic to help out explain my setup....



Right now Im testing Bookshelf speakers (Emotiva ERM-1s, Salk HTS, Ascent HTM200, Klipsch RB81s) and what I have found is that having two TC2K subs just blows them all away.

My positions are not ideal, they are "built in" speaker cabinets on each side of the screen and the CC is below the screen (not a big spot there either). The mains are 17"x25" so I could put a custom built sealed cabinet in there that has a crossover that doesnt have BSC. 15" was just a thought, Im actually sure a 12" design or a 10" design would keep up with my subs.

The room is 25x14 (but the 25' is the screen wall), I flipped the room sideways.....YES! BAD decision! but my poker table had to go somewhere


btw, Mark I love your speakers.....I would love to have the demensions for them!!


Thanks penngray,

It does look like the center channel is your limiting factor, which is unfortunate. What are the dimensions of the center opening?

In the end, this is a DIY forum, you're considering building speakers, and depending on what's on the other side of the front wall, I don't see anything that a Sawz-All can't make bigger.

After all, it's just drywall...

Mark Seaton
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post #27 of 862 Old 06-02-2008, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgveteran View Post

Three of them behind my screen would do nice Mark.Is that a coax in the middle ?

KG

Key feature is how well the woofer in the main can keep up with the sub at the XO point.My dual RS225's seem to be doing well if I keep them at 100hz and below 120db (hehehe)


Hi KG',

Yes, that is a coax 8" inbetween the pair of customized variants of the Lambda TD-12 (AE Speakers) driver. The speaker is fully active with a very nice compression driver handling the high frequencies in the coax. There is more info posted on my forum. With more specific info in this thread as well as some teaser photos during assembly here.

I consider this amount of midbass power (with matching HF dynamics) to be suitable for larger rooms allowing for a crossover as low as 50Hz, with >60Hz preferred. Keep in mind the pair of 12" drivers with 1kW have more volume displacement than many subwoofers on the market, but this sort of headroom is very desireable if you are after clean and uncompressed peak dynamics to 80Hz or below. Even at about 1/2 this capability into the midbass range you are well beyond the capability of most readily available loudspeakers. Remember that efficiency is also a limit here, as we are often powering our subwoofers with 100s if not 1000s of Watts, while our main loudspeakers typically get 60-300W The biggest fault of many larger main speakers and LCR combo's is that too much is wasted on response below 50Hz, vs. improving everything above that range.

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post #28 of 862 Old 06-02-2008, 03:19 PM
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Mark, I've been hesitant with using the BNC coax's due to using a compression driver for the top end. Does it have a tell-tale compression driver sound? I was thinking of using those for my build, but have nearly 100% settled onto a PHL 1120 and Fountek Neopro 5i.

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The biggest fault of many larger main speakers and LCR combo's is that too much is wasted on response below 50Hz, vs. improving everything above that range.

So true.

YID DIY
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post #29 of 862 Old 06-02-2008, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Looneybomber View Post

Mark, I've been hesitant with using the BNC coax's due to using a compression driver for the top end. Does it have a tell-tale compression driver sound? I was thinking of using those for my build, but have nearly 100% settled onto a PHL 1120 and Fountek Neopro 5i.

Almost any driver on a horn/lens/waveguide, even if it's a cone, will require some response shaping. There are plenty of bad sounding horns, and but there are also plenty of decently behaving horns that are left with a poor frequency response or conventional passive XO techniques have them crossed way too high to allow a smooth transition.

As usual, it's all in the execution. The neo compression driver in the coax I am using is very extended on both ends of the frequency range. When used appropriately and with a bit of work it does not sound like a classic horn, but getting to that point is not a 1st time passive crossover project, and is most easily dealt with using careful measurement and external DSP filtering. I will probably have my own driver tooled and custom built before I do a fully passive crossover for the B&C coax I use, but you never know.

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post #30 of 862 Old 06-02-2008, 03:45 PM
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Penn, that wall doesn't look finished, unless that's a dated picture. You can easily knock out a bigger cubbie above the screen for a center and use the lower cubbie for your subs. I can see how you would be outsubbing your 'mains' which look more like rears I also see why you want a single large driver. A pair of tens or eights, plus a mid and a tweeter should fit easily into 17x25. A 15 would be tight considering wall thickness of the cab but doable.

I made a pair of 24 tall 12x12 3-ways using two vifa 7" woofers. It was not only cheap, but plays pretty loud with good accuracy. Combining smaller drivers is nice sometimes, because of the +6 dB for every two - plus better cone control. On the other hand, there are 15 inch cones out there that play naturally loud anyway, AND go down pretty far. Check madisound also, they've got some good stuff that doesn't happen on PE.

personally I got away from the gigantor mains after having two ported 15s (18x18x36) that largely went unused (used them as B speakers for party time). It's impossible to play them at a normal level. Either that 15 is moving and making ear splitting SPL, or it's not moving and you can hear all sorts of distortion. There are less efficient 15s out there that would work better as a middle ground, otherwise you'll find yourself using two sets of speakers like i did.

The multiple small drivers approach is good because you get plenty headroom and coverage, AND accurate SQ at any amplitude. Your situation won't allow for arrays like you said, but array theory works for two medium drivers as well as it does for 16 little ones. Just don't focus purely on the 15 inch e-penis factor. Genelec and such do it because those speakers will usually see enough juice to keep that big cone in check under normal use.


TundraSQ - glad to hear you found a way out of that situation that makes the both of you happy. Are you using processing for it now or what?
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