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post #1 of 278 Old 08-29-2011, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
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For anyone not familiar with the Synergy:
http://redspade-audio.blogspot.com/2...ergy-horn.html

This project has been on hold for a long time while I attempted to learn Akabak. Then I realised I could sim this in Hornresp. I found a driver that seems like it will work - Pyle PDMR5. My sims:



I had to guess some parameters, but after doing some quick measurements I think I've come up with a better estimate. Turns out that BL and mms are pretty important - high BL and low mms brings the top end up. In that sim above, the response is falling due to those being less than ideal. After adjusting them (my second guess), the top end comes up a bit.

From the sims, I've figured out a few things. (Well, I take that with a grain of salt). It appears that more drivers (6 instead of 4) allows wider dispersion and more extension. The Unity which was my starting point gets down to 300 Hz. Making the horn bigger can extend it lower - I'd like more like 250 Hz to make it easier to match up with the 18" woofers. The efficiency drops down a bit - again 6 drivers help here. Also, this thing wants to be 60 degrees! If I make it wider, I start losing the bottom end. Again, more drivers can help here. 6 per side in a 60 x 90 could work well.

I'm currently building my first prototype, which is a 60 x 60 conical with a mouth that is about 0.5 x 0.5m. It came as a shock that the mitres weren't as easy as I thought to figure out!

Woofers that will go below them:
http://redspade-audio.blogspot.com/2...e-woofers.html


So the basic concept I have in mind is a Synergy horn which is built into a very large bass trap. It will look like a studio style soffit arrangement, with the 18" woofers below and some (future) tapped horn subs below the floor. My first step is to get a prototype version going that works well. I'm planning to try different ports and different experiements to learn about how this thing works. If it all goes well, then next step is a more serious construction CNC cut. The trap combo brings big speakers out of the room, otherwise I wouldn't be happy with the chunkiness sitting out there.
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post #2 of 278 Old 08-29-2011, 12:19 PM
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Very cool!

I'm watching, as well as working on my take on this.

Sketchup helps with the dimensions a lot, but I am not sure I can set anything I own to cut that precisely.

Good luck with yours.
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post #3 of 278 Old 08-29-2011, 01:45 PM
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following this closely.

Matt

"The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live." - George Carlin
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post #4 of 278 Old 08-29-2011, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Building the horn was more difficult than I had expected! On the weekend, I worked with dad on it, and I didn't have the plan ready, so we had to figure the cuts out first. Dad tackled it using the manual method ie cutting a mitre on a sample, finding it isn't right, then adjusting til it works. I tackled it on 3D cad by intersecting the 4 walls then subtracting to let the computer work out the angles. Both methods came up with very contradictory results! The manual method said about 33 degrees for a 60 degree conical. CAD said 14 degrees! We ditched the CAD because the physical one we saw right in front of us working.

Later after cutting 3 sides, I realised why the results were different. In CAD, half the edges were mitred. In dad's manual method, all of them had the same mitre. So against expectation, the CAD resulted in something easier to build! I don't know if this will make sense to anyone except those who have built similar, always hard to visualise from words.

So I tried a couple of "thought experiments" in hornresp. What happens if I use 6 driver? Or non tapered ports? or 90 vs 60 degrees? Or the offset too large?

Here is 4 vs 6 drivers:


The others are in here:
http://redspade-audio.blogspot.com/2...p-lessons.html
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post #5 of 278 Old 08-29-2011, 07:21 PM
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post #6 of 278 Old 08-29-2011, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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One more sim, this one is really interesting - Misco JC5 vs Pyle PDMR5:



Both have the same horn, the Pyle has 6 drivers and the parameters have been tweaked. The Misco is a bit better when compared fairly, but it's also much more expensive. 12 Pyle drivers costs less than 8 Misco. I have heard the original Unity and the midrange caught my attention.

What you can see in that plot is the result of fiddling with the port area, length and the volume of air around the cone. Increasing the amount of air under the cone reduces out of band output. Making the port length a bit longer (in this case 9mm) helps. There dip then a peak after the top end rolls off. In most designs I come up with the peak is quite high. Adjusting those 3 parameters (port length, area and front chamber volume) can lower the peak and bring it closer to the dip. They tend to cancel each other out and combine into a smoother roll off that reduces the out of band output.

Why does that matter? The beauty of the bandpass is that it filters acoustically. That means the filter reduces harmonic distortion, which is then trapped in the chamber. The higher distortion products which do more harm are filtered to an even greater extent, and research has shown that they count the most. So the measured distortion is really really low. I think this is part of the sound of the Unity midrange. Distortion probably biased towards the more benign lower order products.

The question I have to answer is whether the tweaking in the sims produces a real result, or do I have to tweak the physical version. It takes a lot more time to try different things in the actual prototype! Seconds turn into hours. I hope to have my first working prototype this weekend, not sure if I'll pull that off.

Back to that plot. 1k > 2nd order distortion at 2k. The Misco version is 3 db down @ 2k - I'm talking about the acoustic filtering of distortion products here. Pyle version 17 db down, so about 15 db less. 3rd order - the Misco is about 12 db down while the Pyle about 25 db. By 5th order the Misco is 18 db down and the Pyle has dropped well below the floor. So whatever the distortion might have been based on a horn with no front chamber, it's now much lower again. This is one thing I like about the Synergy horn - taking some otherwise mediocre drivers and getting them to do something spectacular. But it's a risky project that could also end up a huge flop!
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post #7 of 278 Old 08-29-2011, 08:06 PM
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post #8 of 278 Old 08-29-2011, 09:42 PM
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I guess I don't get it - what does this do that a single driver on a horn wouldn't do adequately?

I thought Synergy meant seamlessly combining drivers with different passbands.

Noah
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post #9 of 278 Old 08-29-2011, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Noah, this will have a compression driver at the apex, otherwise I would be using a single mid driver in a more conventional horn. I didn't mention the CD because there isn't much to that part of it. Using multiple smaller drivers is only needed to keep the entrance holes small to avoid messing up the HF response. Most Danley Synergy horns load bandpass woofers into the horn. In my case I'm using just one but the front port will be right below the mouth of the mid horn. Try fitting a single 18" woofer into a Synergy!
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post #10 of 278 Old 08-30-2011, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulspencer View Post

I didn't mention the CD because there isn't much to that part of it.

Ah, I see.

I hope you're not underestimating getting the phase of the CD and woofers right; IIRC Tom said a lot of this "magic" is in the XO design.

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post #11 of 278 Old 08-30-2011, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

I hope you're not underestimating getting the phase of the CD and woofers right; IIRC Tom said a lot of this "magic" is in the XO design.

I wonder how much easier it might be if one uses a digital x-over/eq for the design...at least the magic should be easier to develop.

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post #12 of 278 Old 08-30-2011, 11:32 AM
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Where do you plan to put the entrance holes for the drivers? Are you modelling the volume chamber in front of the driver and its corresponding low pass effects?

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post #13 of 278 Old 08-30-2011, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulspencer View Post

It came as a shock that the mitres weren't as easy as I thought to figure out!

Paul I'm not sure if this helps, but David Mcbean provided me with the equations to calculate the miters for basic conical horn in this thread.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi...ate-angle.html
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post #14 of 278 Old 08-30-2011, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulspencer View Post

Building the horn was more difficult than I had expected! On the weekend, I worked with dad on it, and I didn't have the plan ready, so we had to figure the cuts out first. Dad tackled it using the manual method ie cutting a mitre on a sample, finding it isn't right, then adjusting til it works. I tackled it on 3D cad by intersecting the 4 walls then subtracting to let the computer work out the angles. Both methods came up with very contradictory results! The manual method said about 33 degrees for a 60 degree conical. CAD said 14 degrees! We ditched the CAD because the physical one we saw right in front of us working. Later after cutting 3 sides, I realised why the results were different. In CAD, half the edges were mitred. In dad's manual method, all of them had the same mitre. So against expectation, the CAD resulted in something easier to build! I don't know if this will make sense to anyone except those who have built similar, always hard to visualise from words.

FWIW, I find using a bevel gauge on some sort of mockup (out of poster board, scraps clamped in the right positions, etc.) and transferring it to the saw is often easiest (especially where compound angles are involved, or long pieces at shallow angles where .25 degrees off isn't going to make a nice joint).
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post #15 of 278 Old 08-30-2011, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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The holes are 86mm offset (1/4 WL @ 1k). Crossover will be digital with DCX. In terms of the physical aspect, there isn't much to the CD. It can't move! The opening is a given and obviously the waveguide/horn profile will affect the directivity, which is one of the main things I'm interested in. The prototype will be conical but in the final I'd like to make it oblate spheroid - little difference will be seen by the mids as only the reflected part will be seen by the mids. In other words, there isn't a lot of juggling with this part of the design, hence I'm focusing more on all the options around the mids.

Thanks for the suggestions regarding the mitre.
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post #16 of 278 Old 08-30-2011, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulspencer View Post

The holes are 86mm offset (1/4 WL @ 1k). Crossover will be digital with DCX. In terms of the physical aspect, there isn't much to the CD. It can't move! The opening is a given and obviously the waveguide/horn profile will affect the directivity, which is one of the main things I'm interested in. The prototype will be conical but in the final I'd like to make it oblate spheroid - little difference will be seen by the mids as only the reflected part will be seen by the mids. In other words, there isn't a lot of juggling with this part of the design, hence I'm focusing more on all the options around the mids.

Thanks for the suggestions regarding the mitre.

Looks like a fun project. At first glance I would suggest you might want to consider moving the holes toward the throat a little to give yourself a little more room to work with the crossover, as you will be pushing most 1" compression drivers pretty hard on their low end with what you have simulated above.

You also had posted:
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulspencer View Post

...I have heard the original Unity and the midrange caught my attention...


Why does that matter? The beauty of the bandpass is that it filters acoustically. That means the filter reduces harmonic distortion, which is then trapped in the chamber. The higher distortion products which do more harm are filtered to an even greater extent, and research has shown that they count the most. So the measured distortion is really really low. I think this is part of the sound of the Unity midrange. Distortion probably biased towards the more benign lower order products.

Spot on. The subjective midrange headroom and lack of audible strain in the earlier Unity products were what spawned my interest in bandpass subwoofer designs. The acoustic low pass/distortion filtering is significant in audible terms. The trick is to take advantage of the distortion reducing qualities while not castrating the upper frequency limits needed in a given design.

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post #17 of 278 Old 08-30-2011, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your comments Mark. One thing that would be nifty is to be able to change the offset without having to work out the area each time. CD is B&C DE250. I haven't tried it with a 1k xo, but I'd like to get it as high as I could. Crossover will be digital active (DCX) so that should help.

It seems there is a sweet spot in the placement of the holes. The offset seems to affect to a great extent how the mids couple to the horn. Move them to the apex, not good. Move them further down, also not good! Danley has mentioned the offset being a key aspect of him coming up with the whole concept.

Speaking of bandpass, WinISD doesn't help much there! The large predicted peak didn't show up.
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post #18 of 278 Old 08-30-2011, 08:35 PM
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Can you potentially use a 2" exit CD for higher output applications?

 

Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice:
It's also the very sort of Voodoo Engineering that should never be done.

 

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post #19 of 278 Old 08-30-2011, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Wi,
The problem I see is losing the top end, although some 1.4" drivers seem to be able to get up there. What seems ideal (and expensive) is a driver like the BMS 2" coax which can apparently get down to 500 Hz. A pair costs more than I'm spending in total on drivers, and I'm a bit surprised that Danley hasn't used it.
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post #20 of 278 Old 08-31-2011, 05:09 AM
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I'm crossing a B&C DE250 at 850Hz, which seems to work fine. Domestic listening situation, though, I'd be afraid to drive it at PA levels. Though no sense of strain at any level I've used it at.
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post #21 of 278 Old 08-31-2011, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulspencer View Post

Wi,
The problem I see is losing the top end, although some 1.4" drivers seem to be able to get up there. What seems ideal (and expensive) is a driver like the BMS 2" coax which can apparently get down to 500 Hz. A pair costs more than I'm spending in total on drivers, and I'm a bit surprised that Danley hasn't used it.

I remember some discussion a fair while back that indicated that he did in fact try a design around the BMS 4592, but that it really didn't work well. The main problem was that the physical construction of the driver just doesn't have the required offset to make a passive Synergy xover work well; if you're going DSP active, this may not ultimately be a barrier. I think the 2nd aspect is that even though the 4592 can cross at 500 from a response perspective, it may not have the headroom to play at PA levels that low - if you have to move that xover up to say 800 to get the desired volume levels, then it's only buying you about 1/2 octave vs the typical Synergy design with cone mids and hence isn't really worth the problem. Once again though, this may not be a problem for home-listening levels.

This is the main revelation with the 5" coax used in the SM60 - the physical geometry enables a passive Synergy xover. Pity it's so expensive.

BTW - changing from conical to an OS horn profile may not seem to make that much difference acoustically, but it is going to make physical construction much more difficult. Losing the nice flat sides of the horn flare introduces 2 challenges - needing some type of a mounting platform for the mids, followed by having a much longer duct length and/or front chamber volume due to this platform. I played around with this in some Unity prototypes and while I wouldn't say it's an insurmountable problem, I think it's significant. I'm not entirely convinced it's worth it vs the simpler construction of a conical plus an added foam phase plug. My U15's sounded pretty darn good in that arrangement, although obviously I never compared them to a speaker with a better fundamental design.
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post #22 of 278 Old 08-31-2011, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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My idea with OS is to transition to the pyramid conical by the time it gets to the holes. Planning on getting the final version done on CNC. The idea is all in my head at the moment, haven't quite worked it out.
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post #23 of 278 Old 08-31-2011, 09:02 AM
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The OS shape converges very quickly to a nearly flat angle...easily doable within 3" or so. Just make sure you compensate to match the throat angle to the driver exit angle. This will also save you some space for the transition to the flat face.

Do you already own the DE250 driver? The BMS4550 is very comfortable down to 800Hz, even at very loud SPLs.

Quote:
The holes are 86mm offset (1/4 WL @ 1k).
Are you planning to center them in the middle of the horn at that distance from the throat? Have you consider pushing that over closer to the corners?

Also, how do you plan to make the transition from a circular throat to a rectangular cross-section? Are you going for 50x50 like the SH50, or have you considered something like 90x60 instead?

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post #24 of 278 Old 08-31-2011, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I already have 4 x DE250, 2 for this, 2 for surrounds. The 2nd pair were cheap second hand, too good to pass up.

Quote:
Are you planning to center them in the middle of the horn at that distance from the throat? Have you consider pushing that over closer to the corners?

Not sure if I understand your question. If the sims prove accurate then I'll do 6 mids and probably one slot each for the drivers on top and bottom, those slots being in the corners, then the other 2 in the sides done the normal way, 2 holes right in the corners.

I'd like to do 60 x 90 but the sims suggest I lose the bottom end, but 60 x 60 seems to work well. That's what I'm trying first.
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post #25 of 278 Old 08-31-2011, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Also, how do you plan to make the transition from a circular throat to a rectangular cross-section?

I'm thinking CNC with laminated sheets, a circle to square transition with the OS radius. I may be relying in part on the CNC guy, or I may have to figure out how to model it. I don't plan on getting into formulas, just looking for the smoothest transition I can get. I might be using some filler as well, I don't think the CNC will do it perfectly, it may be stepped. My test version I'm building now is conical.
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post #26 of 278 Old 09-01-2011, 08:49 AM
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http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/syner...?model=SH%2069

It seems like Danley is using 6 mids in his 60x90 Synergy.
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post #27 of 278 Old 09-01-2011, 12:21 PM
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Great project. The combination of acoustic alignment, the headroom of multiple drivers and the lowpass effect are an awesome trio with minimal compromise. The biggest compromises I see are the complexity and slight HF ripple caused by the holes. I imagine it is worth it.

I've actually pondered a Synergy setup with the TPL-150H at the throat. I imagine it would be a bit more complex due to the rectangular throat.

I look forward to your results. Please post up some pics when you get a chance.
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post #28 of 278 Old 09-01-2011, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwk123 View Post

I remember some discussion a fair while back that indicated that he did in fact try a design around the BMS 4592, but that it really didn't work well. The main problem was that the physical construction of the driver just doesn't have the required offset to make a passive Synergy xover work well; if you're going DSP active, this may not ultimately be a barrier. I think the 2nd aspect is that even though the 4592 can cross at 500 from a response perspective, it may not have the headroom to play at PA levels that low - if you have to move that xover up to say 800 to get the desired volume levels, then it's only buying you about 1/2 octave vs the typical Synergy design with cone mids and hence isn't really worth the problem. Once again though, this may not be a problem for home-listening levels.

The Jericho Horn uses three BMS 4592 or 4594 with digital crossover/delay.
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post #29 of 278 Old 09-01-2011, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaximumPuffer View Post

http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/syner...?model=SH%2069

It seems like Danley is using 6 mids in his 60x90 Synergy.

The number of mids varies on the particular design.

They range from as low as 1 midrange to as many as 24 mids per cabinet.
The current count is 1,4,6,8 and 24 in various different models.

It just depends on the particular needs of the cabinet and the size of the mid etc.

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post #30 of 278 Old 09-01-2011, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeno View Post

The Jericho Horn uses three BMS 4592 or 4594 with digital crossover/delay.

But they are not run as low as the freq being talked about.

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