Anyone build Wayne Parham's Pi-4 speakers? Impressions? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I am starting to decide what to upgrade my audio system with in conjunction with going with a larger 2.35 acoustically transparent screen and was referred to Wayne's web site.

The more I read, the more I am intrigued. Any first hand impressions of these speakers? Specifically the Pi-4 which is a two way with a 15 inch woofer and compression driver and horn.

Looking to build 3 for the L/R/C/ and would use his kit.
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post #2 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 06:50 AM
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got the plans from wayne and am planning the same thing as big, so i, too, am curious. big, are you looking at the upgraded drivers or the eminence? sorry for the crappy typing. one handed due to shoulder surgery yesterday.

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post #3 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I am starting to decide what to upgrade my audio system with in conjunction with going with a larger 2.35 acoustically transparent screen and was referred to Wayne's web site.

The more I read, the more I am intrigued. Any first hand impressions of these speakers? Specifically the Pi-4 which is a two way with a 15 inch woofer and compression driver and horn.

Looking to build 3 for the L/R/C/ and would use his kit.

Wayne is active on AudioKarma and also on diyaudio.com, Im sure some people there will have opinions. I know Wayne goes up against Geddes with differing opinions in the waveguide threads on DIYaudio.com (very interesting to read those debates)

Big, Augerpro is doing a 2-way waveguide design as we speak, he has also doing the extensive measurements with all the popular waveguides, 12" woofers, compression drivers.

My waveguide thread has lots of opinion and good discussion on the topic as a whole but not much on the Pi-4 speakers. The end results of all that discussion and Augerpro tests will result in what I think will be the best DIY waveguide designs.

If you have not spent some time reading about his testing or my thread. It might be in your best interests since the waveguide of choice based on Augerpro's measurements is a nice $7 waveguide from QSC. Im pretty sure Augerpro will make his crossvers available for others too.

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post #4 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Eddie Horton View Post

big, are you looking at the upgraded drivers or the eminence?

I found a thread in his forum where he prioritizes the upgrades in relation to importance:

1. Woofer
2. Compression driver
3. Coils
4. Capacitors
5. Resistors

If I am going to undertake the effort to build these I suspect it is my nature to do them fully loaded.
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post #5 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I found a thread in his forum where he prioritizes the upgrades in relation to importance:

1. Woofer
2. Compression driver
3. Coils
4. Capacitors
5. Resistors

If I am going to undertake the effort to build these I suspect it is my nature to do them fully loaded.

understood. thanks for the info.

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post #6 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 10:08 AM
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My upcoming LCR project is based around the Pi4 from Wayne. I wanted more flexibility than the Pi4 provides on its own. Going with an active setup. With that change I decided I would go with the TD15M from AE speakers instead of the JBL or Eminence woofer as well.

The Pi4 is an awesome value.

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post #7 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 11:35 AM
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Very interesting thread you've started. I've had the components to build Pi8s for four years and they are still in the boxes. They were not really suited for HT use, so I just never put them together. I'd like to see the results if someone does build the Pi4.

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post #8 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by limulus View Post

Very interesting thread you've started. I've had the components to build Pi8s for four years and they are still in the boxes. They were not really suited for HT use, so I just never put them together. I'd like to see the results if someone does build the Pi4.

Why is the pi8 not suited for HT? Just curious.

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post #9 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Why is the pi8 not suited for HT? Just curious.


I had posed the question about using the 8s in a HT setup and from memory, everyone, including Wayne, recommended the 4. I can't remember why or if a reason was given (may have something to do with the way the horns are configured). So, maybe they would be OK...

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post #10 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

The end results of all that discussion and Augerpro tests will result in what I think will be the best DIY waveguide designs.

I am behind you 100% in your endeavor. I have actually dropped into both threads from time to time but have yet to walk away with an actionable build plan. I understand that it takes time but when do you think you guys will be past the prototyping stage and have a documented DIY plan consisting of publicly available parts that has been tested and peer reviewed?
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post #11 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by limulus View Post

I had posed the question about using the 8s in a HT setup and from memory, everyone, including Wayne, recommended the 4. I can't remember why or if a reason was given (may have something to do with the way the horns are configured). So, maybe they would be OK...

Is the Pi-8 better suited for corner loading? The tapered shape of the rear of the enclosure suggests that.
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post #12 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I am behind you 100% in your endeavor. I have actually dropped into both threads from time to time but have yet to walk away with an actionable build plan. I understand that it takes time but when do you think you guys will be past the prototyping stage and have a documented DIY plan consisting of publicly available parts that has been tested and peer reviewed?


I think we already know the drivers, the waveguides and the compression drivers and what they all do, Auger has done enough testing and posted the results (well he is almost done). He already knows what his drivers are and I believe he will be starting his project after his vaction. I can not speak for him or how much documentation he will have for others but he has been very open about all his great measurements so far.

Mine will use active crossovers because Im still a crossover noob.

Wayne's kits sound great though, great price too.....you might want to ask on DIYAudio if anyone has experience.

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post #13 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 01:19 PM
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As Doug mentioned I'll be finishing the woodworking and measurements over the next three weeks of vacation. Crossover modeling shouldn't take too long after that. By the end of August I should have some info to post and a full build thread.

The overall design is a 2 way using the Eminence 3012HO woofer, the QSC horn with 30ppi foam ala Geddes, and either the B&C DE12 or DE160. Originally I had hoped to use the DE12, but after measuring it I had my doubts that it could manage a BW3 crossover @ 1200-1300hz. So I looked at the DE160 with is a step up in low end extension and overall smoothness. After more fiddling I think the DE12 can reach the needed crossover point with LR4 slopes. So the ultimate decision on which I use may not be made until I use the actual speaker measurements, and even then I may build both just to see if there is any audible issues to make me pick the DE160 over the DE12.

If that project goes well I'm considering an upgrade using a TD12M and maybe something like the Beyma CP380M.
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post #14 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by augerpro View Post

....
If that project goes well I'm considering an upgrade using a TD12M and maybe something like the Beyma CP380M.


I was hoping you would post the BMS 4550 instead

btw, Im sending money your way tomorrow.

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post #15 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 01:28 PM
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Well I may change my mind after I test those 4550's you have. I need to get a hold of some CP380M's for testing too. Radian also has some CD's worth looking at, since they are the only ones still using aluminum diaphragms that I know of. Outside of vintage JBL, which doesn't interest me.
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post #16 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augerpro View Post

Well I may change my mind after I test those 4550's you have. I need to get a hold of some CP380M's for testing too. Radian also has some CD's worth looking at, since they are the only ones still using aluminum diaphragms that I know of. Outside of vintage JBL, which doesn't interest me.

I might just buy the 4550 from US Speaker if Assistance Audio does not reply soon.

EDIT: Just got an email, sending you a PM on it

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post #17 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 01:32 PM
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"QSC horn with 30ppi foam ala Geddes"

So you tested the QSC w/the foam and found it to be better? What about the XT1086?

Noah
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post #18 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 01:41 PM
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You know I did the comparison on your XT1086 with foam and haven't really looked at the data yet as I've been so busy. I was going to post some of it and couldn't find some measurements so I think I may have forgot to save some of the data. I probably won't have time to re-measure either. BUT I did do a quick comparison while I was doing tha actual measurements and with foam it was smoother and flatter. I didn't compare IR or CSD but I do remember thinking the improvement was very significant for frequency response. I expect that the IR and CSD would show an improvement also.

The improvement for the QSC wasn't quite as pronounced. I'm hesitant to make much more of a judgement on the comapison until I get a chance to look more closely at the data. But I can say you should definitly try the 1086 with the foam. I should have it in the mail back to you soon.
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post #19 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augerpro View Post

You know I did the comparison on your XT1086 with foam and haven't really looked at the data yet as I've been so busy. I was going to post some of it and couldn't find some measurements so I think I may have forgot to save some of the data. I probably won't have time to re-measure either. BUT I did do a quick comparison while I was doing tha actual measurements and with foam it was smoother and flatter. I didn't compare IR or CSD but I do remember thinking the improvement was very significant for frequency response. I expect that the IR and CSD would show an improvement also.

The improvement for the QSC wasn't quite as pronounced. I'm hesitant to make much more of a judgement on the comapison until I get a chance to look more closely at the data. But I can say you should definitly try the 1086 with the foam. I should have it in the mail back to you soon.


Yeah but how did it sound?

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post #20 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 02:20 PM
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Yeah but how did it sound?

Didn't get a chance to do that either
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post #21 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 02:49 PM
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"BUT I did do a quick comparison while I was doing tha actual measurements and with foam it was smoother and flatter. "

Great!

So if you didn't listen do you mean you saw the plots in real time while measuring?

By smoother do you mean the whole response in general and/or the top octave suckout in particular?

Noah
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post #22 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

"
So if you didn't listen do you mean you saw the plots in real time while measuring?

By smoother do you mean the whole response in general and/or the top octave suckout in particular?

Yeah just after I had finished the last measurement I plotted the before and after responses. But I must not have saved the before impulse responses because later when I went to replot everything to make screenshots for the my website I could not find them. But what I remember was the response smoothed out above 8khz and the midband hump from 3khz to 8khz had flattened. Kind of strange really since the foam in the QSC just resulted in a 3 dB drop evenly above 2khz or so. But on the 1086 it was like 3dB for the midband and a bit less above and below, so the overall response was flattened. I'll try to look back through my data and see what I can find to post.
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post #23 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 05:08 PM
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Brandon,

Tom Danley got my attention when he said the BMS 4550 works better with conical horns than others he has tried. The stock QSC horn has a pretty sharp initial angle so that might apply.

Aside 1: I'd still be tempted to glue 1/4 of wood on the QSC and go to work with some sandpaper to shape the throat to an OS-style shape. Maybe an hour of work for each horn. Besides the sharp angle, the squarish hole of the ones I got bugs me.

Aside 2: Tom Danley is maybe the smartest guy I've ever run into when it comes to prosound systems. No, he doesn't have a PhD, but he's equal parts acoustical genius, street-smart engineer and skilled garage mechanic. It's an awesome combo!

Dennis H
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post #24 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 06:06 PM
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I read Tom's comment about the 4550 but I don't recall what exactly he liked best about it, or what others he looked at, or what he heard or measured that made him like it best? I have both the 4550 and 4552ND on hand, I wonder what the differences are other than the magnet?

I didn't think the QSC throat was too bad...maybe a bit smoother transition like the Geddes horns I had would be a good thing. But they weren't too far off. What do you think the entrance angle is? Not more than 10 degrees I'm betting. I'd want something to make sure I sanded very even though, like a jig, or lathe or something.
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post #25 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 06:41 PM
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With these pro-audio drivers, do cymbals sound exactly like cymbals or is the craze mostly about the efficiency & flatness?

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post #26 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CZ Eddie View Post

With these pro-audio drivers, do cymbals sound exactly like cymbals or is the craze mostly about the efficiency & flatness?

I daresay more so than yer "normal" dome tweets, yes.

And I've said it before, but it bears repeating: people waaay underestimate the importance of efficiency and peak SPL, even domestically for music and/or movies. Absolutely essential for impact and dynamics. If you haven't heard it, it's a bit hard to explain. Once you've heard it, no explanation necessary. Clean loud stuff doesn't really sound loud, just big and scary. If your system doesn't sneak up and startle you every so often, it's probably compressing. And that's an understatement.

Because really, even on the "fast" setting, do you think your SPL meter captures true peaks? I sure don't...
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post #27 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CZ Eddie View Post

With these pro-audio drivers, do cymbals sound exactly like cymbals or is the craze mostly about the efficiency & flatness?

Ok, in real life with drums n stuff, percussion and cymbals do hurt the ear a little.

With a horn + CD combo, they hurt a little too at nearly live levels.

With my Peerless HDS, they do not hurt.

I measured, my system is far from flat with all the various drivers.


Apologies with my "audiophile" analogy. LOL!
Anyway in order for cymbals to sound like really cymbals, I prefer live to 2 track recordings.....else its really difficult to even get close....no matter whatever hardware you are using.
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post #28 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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As the first day closes on this thread:

10 Posts on topic, Thank you.

17 Posts hijacking the thread for other purposes. Thank you alerting us to an alternative wave guide build process, but not as much.

So far it seems no one has heard the Pi-4 in person?
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post #29 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 09:18 PM
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Quote:


So far it seems no one has heard the Pi-4 in person?

Nope

The thread would have died without the secondary topic

but sorry for the hijack, we can post back on the other thread.

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post #30 of 176 Old 07-16-2009, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augerpro View Post

What do you think the entrance angle is? Not more than 10 degrees I'm betting. I'd want something to make sure I sanded very even though, like a jig, or lathe or something.

I dunno. To my eye it looks like maybe 15 vertically and 25 horizontally.

To sand it, I'd cut a piece of 1" O.D. dowel or plastic pipe in quarters and glue some sandpaper to it. Then just blend it in with even strokes. Most of the time would be in making the wooden piece with the 1" throat hole and 1/4" mounting holes and gluing it on in just the right place.

Or maybe it's just fine the way it is and it doesn't need anything.

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