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post #1 of 97 Old 10-27-2013, 01:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I am planning to try something that I have not seen done before, perhaps for good reason...

In building car stereo installations for my own cars, I have come to depend on DSP:s with individual channel control for each speaker component. Ie. one amp channel for every component, with full control over delay, eq, crossover frequencies etc for every individual channel.

In getting things to sound good in cars, this is extremely useful and my thinking is that it would also be very useful for an in-wall installation in a house, since you can't move things around and because of all other inherend limitations in an inwall setup.

I have not found any reasonably priced hardware for home theater that can do this, so I'm planning to use two car audio DSP:s in parallell: 2 x Alpine PXA-H800, costing about USD 700 each. That's USD1400 for 16 channels instead of USD 30,000 for 12 channels as I have seen for home audio DSP:s and the Alpines sound good to me in car installations at least!

If someone has a tip for a better 16-channel DSP alternative that doesn't cost two arms a leg, please tell me!

The Alpine have Dolby DTS and should be able to deliver the signals i need for the planned setup, 2 x 8 = 16 channels used like this

DSP 1: Midranges for 5 channel surround + 2 midbass front & midbass left
DSP 2: Tweeters for 5 channel surround + 1 sub channel

This leaves 3 extra channels, that will either be employed for better midbass control or adding multiple subs in a subswarm, I am undecided and don't know enough yet to understand the implications.

Signal would be fed from a computer via s/p-dif or toslink, and a simple splitter would provide the same input signal to both units.

I am now planning an inwall installation in a Theater room currently being built as part of an extension of our house.

The walls are thick and throroughly damped and the ceiling (4,5 m height at the highest place) has 40cm of mineral wool, a plastic moisture barrier, 20cm of air and then white painted accoustic damping plates (I havent put the plates up yet, because the electricians needs to finish cabling the ceiling first), but I have already bought them.

While this is OK, there is also going to be a significant glass area in the room, around 18m2 in total: 6m2 glass inward to the house and 12m2 towards the garden, so about 30% of the wall area will be glass. Glass will be three plane also inward so will provide some sound insulation, but will of course cause a lot of undamped reflections. I plan to add damping curtains that can improve damping and block light for daytime movie viewing. I also plan on angling the walls upward by 12 degrees (unless my wife manages to stop me..) som that sound is reflected upwards.

Speaker & amp selection is by no means finished, but is based on what quality stuff I can get my hands on for reasonable money and some stuff I already have lying around. This is the idea right now:

Midbass 8 x :JL Audio ZR800-CW in two arrays of four placed closely together, front left & right
Sub: T1 x C Sounds LMS Ultra 5400 18" DVC Subwoofer
Midrange: 5 x Utopia 6WB - Focal Utopia 6.5" Shielded "W" Cone
Tweeters: 5 x Some silkdome?

Every component will have it's own cabinet and i plan to put the sub in a very heavy cabinet with a few 100kg of sand in it, standing inside the wall on a foam pad but not touching anything except the floor and being surrounded by mineral wool in all directions except in front of the woofer.

I would appreciate guidance on speaker selection and amps.

Amps i'm thinking EP4000 for the sub and perhaps one for the midbass arrays also, and then some quality amplification for the midranges and tweeters.

Maybe two rotel 5 channel amps?


Of course I understand that it would perhaps be smarter to build something more conventional, but hey, it's a hobby!
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post #2 of 97 Old 10-27-2013, 03:04 AM
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Have you looked into the MiniDSP?

http://www.minidsp.com/

Moto
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post #3 of 97 Old 10-27-2013, 03:57 AM
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post #4 of 97 Old 10-27-2013, 04:00 AM
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Sorry , waf-audio.com
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post #5 of 97 Old 10-27-2013, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobcar View Post

Speaker & amp selection is by no means finished, but is based on what quality stuff I can get my hands on for reasonable money and some stuff I already have lying around. This is the idea right now:

Midbass 8 x :JL Audio ZR800-CW in two arrays of four placed closely together, front left & right
Sub: T1 x C Sounds LMS Ultra 5400 18" DVC Subwoofer
Midrange: 5 x Utopia 6WB - Focal Utopia 6.5" Shielded "W" Cone
Tweeters: 5 x Some silkdome?

Midbass: Unless you have the ZR800's on hand, you can find more economical midbasses than 200USD 8" drivers. For example, if you're in europe, check out 18 sounds, Faital pro, B&C, Beyma, PHL, etc... You could likely get 2, 15" midbasses that will perform good enough. 4 if you really need some thump, but 4, 15's will runover 6.5" mids so it'd be kind of pointless.

Midrange: I have nothing against Focal drivers other than their ridiculous price. Those Utopia drivers are 500USD, so when I think of spending $2500 on midranges, I panic! There are certainly more economical options out there by the same companies listed above.

Subwoofer: Once saving a couple thousand on midrange and midbass choices, you could buy a second LMS-Ultra.

If going active like you are, you can open up your range of drivers to some that are more economical. The DCX2496 is a 6 way crossover that may work. They're usually around 250-300USD. MiniDSP is another option mentioned.

Sherbourne had some 12 channel amps for sale on their site cheap after the Emotiva buy-out.

YID DIY
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post #6 of 97 Old 10-28-2013, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I have looked at miniDSP, but not seen any way for a Dolby DTS 16-channel setup using that stuff. Maybe someone has - do you have a link?
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post #7 of 97 Old 10-28-2013, 01:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the driver tips. If I was paying usd500 for the Utopias, I would never use them, but do you know of a better driver for USD250?
The DCX2496 is as you say, a crossover for two three-channel speakers.

I want to feed a digital signal multichannel signal in and get all 16 speaker channels out under contro with no unncessary AD/DA, as I understand it the DCX2496 just takes an analog stereo signal, digitizes it and, splits it and then re-converts it for 2 x 3way.

I will check out your suggestions for midbass drivers/manufacturers, I have 2 zr800:s lying around, but I would still need to buy six more.

I've also used Dynaudio Esotec MW172 before and I like them too, but they are perhaps a little weaker than the JL:s

I have no idea what tweeters i should by, other than probably some silkdomes. Dynaudio has "softdome" tweeters that I will also evaluate.

For amplication, the multichannel amps I've looked at so far seems either a little crappy or very expensive.

I was thinking i need five 100-150w channels or so for the midranges and then extremely little for the tweeters, so it would make some sort of sense to just buy one big and one small amp from the same manufacturer or find a big and small amp that just work well together. Hey, how about tube amping for the tweeters.....?

I've also been thinking about adding smaller subs according to subswarm theory, but my middbass arrays should probably take care of evening out frequency response pretty far down with the right EQ/delay settings, leaving the 5400 to provide most of the bass energy.

Thanks for your helpful suggestions!
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post #8 of 97 Old 10-28-2013, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking closer at mini-DSP, there could be an approach that might work: I could perhaps use two nanoDIGI 2x8 B. If I could run them in sync and make them decode Dolby DTS etc, then I might be able to use two regular 5.1 receivers to drive the midranges and tweeters, a stereo DAC for the midbass arrays and another DAC for the sub still driven by EP4000:s.

This is probably more complicated than setting up the Alpines though - they have a very friendly computer interface and are intended for doing just this, the only tweek is that I would be using two in parallell to increase the number of available channels and split duties between them.

But mini-dsp would ceratinly increase future flexibility and perhaps sound better?

Thanks for your suggestions!
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post #9 of 97 Old 10-28-2013, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Ah. It seems Mini-dsp can't decode Dolby DTS or similar formats. It seems to be difficult to find a dolby decoder that can output the signal digitally after decoding in separate channels, so that kind of kills Mini-DSP for me.

Does anybody know of a Dolby multichannel decoder that can output the separate channles digitally after decoding?

I'm sure there's something for USD 15000 or so, but the Alpines are USD 1400 for two, remember...
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post #10 of 97 Old 10-28-2013, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't see any multichannel decoding capability on any of waf-audio products, it seems to be strictly stereo processing unfortunately.
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post #11 of 97 Old 10-28-2013, 09:37 PM
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jriver -> behringer firepower + piggyback unit ?

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post #12 of 97 Old 10-29-2013, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Are you saying that you know of a way to make the jriver software decode multichannel formats like dolby digital and output the results as multiple digital streams over toslink/spdif/USB?
What hardware should i buy to make this possible?

( I am open to both windows & mac solutions)
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post #13 of 97 Old 10-29-2013, 04:05 AM
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I am not really into pro audio, but i believe that LTD02 is on to something. As far as i know you could use a USB pro audio interface like the new Behringer FCA1616 or maybe a Steinberg UR824. They will provide the first 8 channels of analog output to the amps. The next 8 channels can then the come from an additional ADDA or in some cases an additional audio interface coupled to the first interface via ADAT. What can be done with any particular interface seem to vary a lot so ill advise doing a lot of homework before committing.

Mind you I have no personal experience with this stuff so just read it as a possible point of interest.
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post #14 of 97 Old 10-29-2013, 04:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I just placed the order for the 5x 6WB Utopias. Couldn't resist them at USD 249 each including shipping to Sweden!
I now looking at 5 channel Rotel amps to drive them

Also found the Alpines at usd 523, so looking very tempting... All other options so far look very complicated - i pretty much know that the Alpines will work as intended - this is not experimental stuff at all, on the car audio side there is already a long tradition for active systems and it looks like i might even get the autocalibration to work, doing one unit at a time.

So far I have two possible problems that I can see:
- Sync issues - can i trust both units to work in sync? I think so, and the guy at Alpine Sweden I talked to didn't think this would be an issue
- Volume control - will I be able to control volume in a convenient way? I guess I could rig a computer to change the volume remotely syncrononously for the two Alpine units.

Tweeters: I'm now looking at Dayton Audio RS28F-4 1-1/8" Silk Dome Tweeters

I've also toyed with the notion of using HiVi RT2H-A Planar Isodynamic Tweeter, but I've never built anything with planar tweeters before.

Any thoughts on tweeter choice?

I've also toyed with the notion of buying two JL Audio 13w7AE instead of the LMS 5400, but even through they would cost about the same as a single 5400 and would give me two sub sources, I'm now a bit emotionally invested in the LMS 5400, which seems much cooler...
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post #15 of 97 Old 10-29-2013, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I've asked Behringer if it's possible to use a FCA1616+slave module to output 16 active speaker channels with Dolby DTS as the source format, and if so, how. Let's see what they say!
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post #16 of 97 Old 10-29-2013, 08:57 AM
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The traditional way to go active: Source-->Reciever/decoder-->crossover-->amp-->speaker driver
The receiver does all the decoding and the crossover splits up each channel's output 2ways, 3ways, etc
During the process you go digital-->analog-->dig-->an.

If there's a crossover that accepts digital inputs, that would eliminate one conversion, but you'd need the decoder to also output a digital signal. I'm sure there's some out there, but I am not up to date on what kind of hardware is available.

YID DIY
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post #17 of 97 Old 10-29-2013, 08:58 AM
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Pro audio gear dont usually decode DTS, Dolby or other such compressed formats. In order for it to work you will have to decode in software (ex. J river) and route the individual channels to the audio interface via USB. I took a look at the alpine box and it is really nice since it does the decoding of DTS and Dolby. However, remember you cant stream DTS MA or Dolby HD over toslink. It is either uncompressed stereo or compressed surround you can use over toslink. This might or might not be an issue for you, but just be aware that if you have video with HD surround sound you will be limited to the "core" portion of the signal.
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post #18 of 97 Old 10-29-2013, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Sure, but I would still have the option of adding a decoder in the future and input the DTS MA / Dolby HD sound in analog format to the Alpine if I want to.
In a few years, I may also be able to discard the Alpines and replace them with a standard multichannel decoder, at that point hopefully easily capable of 16 channels...

USD 1046 for two Alpines seems pretty reasonable, almost throwaway, in comparison to some of the other DSP offerings that will also be obsolete in a few years....
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post #19 of 97 Old 10-29-2013, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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There are many crossovers out there that accept digital input, for instance miniDSP, but I am yet to find a single reasonably priced unit that can decode multichannel audio and output channel-separated spdif.
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post #20 of 97 Old 10-29-2013, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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My god! Parts-Express apparently has a truly retarded way of dealing with international customers:

They don't allow ordering of anything that's not in stock, they will just cross off whatever is not in stock from international orders and never ship it at all. in my case,
this means that they would cross out the LMS 5400.

They don't take credit cards and they want to charge me USD 633 for freight.

Woofers etc shipped to Sweden free of charge and had no problem taking a credit card... I guess I might have to buy two JL:s instead!
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post #21 of 97 Old 10-29-2013, 01:39 PM
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This entire theory that the OP has come up with is a complete waiste of money & time. Why do you need the crossover to decode the DD & DTS signals? Do you really want to spend $1,000+ on those Alpines and still lack the ability to decode DDtrueHD & DTS-MA?

Those Focal mids are ok, but way way way over priced! This is a foolish way to spend a lot of money when you could get a hell of a lot more performance for this amount if you were to go a more conventional route! Car audio & home audio, while similar, are not the same. Why in the heck would you angle up the walls? In home audio you want the speakers pointed directly at you, not bounce the sound off the ceiling!
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post #22 of 97 Old 10-29-2013, 06:46 PM
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wow, marty comes out swinging.

I believe what he is trying to do is take some ddhd/dtsmaster content, decode it into separate channels, split those channels with an active crossover (and modify with dsp such as eq, delay, etc), THEN and only then convert to analog which will then be amplified by his amplifiers.

source -> decoder -> active cross/dsp -> dac -> amps -> speakers

that seems like a really frig'n simple idea, but somehow there isn't an elegant and cost effective solution that I am aware of either.

if there is a cleaner way to do it, i'm sure that lots of folks would like to follow the lead.

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post #23 of 97 Old 10-29-2013, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I've now ordered the following:

5 x Dayton Audio RS28F-4 1-1/8" Silk Dome Tweeter
5 x Focal 6WB
6 x JL Audio ZR800.CW (have 2)
2 x JL Audio 13w7AE
2 x PXA-H800


For amps I'm thinking 3 x EP4000 + 2 x Rotel multichannel, subject to what I can find.

I'm hoping that 2 x 4 x ZR800 driven by an EP4000 handling about 100-400 Hz exclusively with a signalpath free from filters should be able to provide some midpass punch, which
is central to the sound i prefer.

OK, so two JL: 13w7AEs driven by an EP4000 each might not be able to match a LMS 5400, but two subs should make it easier to even out frequency response and I'm fairly sure I'll be able to play louder than strictly necessary anyway!
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post #24 of 97 Old 10-30-2013, 03:59 AM
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Well man, it's your money! If you can afford to play with this stuff and not have unrealistic expectations then I say go for it! I am definitely interested in seeing how this turns out, although I do not expect it to be any where close to what you could get from a more traditional setup for the amount of money you are spending.

Didn't mean to sound overly harsh in my previous post! Sorry about that!
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post #25 of 97 Old 10-30-2013, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Martycool007 - I'm not sure you fully understand what the PHX-H100 does. It's a full featured DSP that does decoding, delays per channel, EQ per channel, room correction, crossovers etc. It provides a single point of complete control over the system with a nice graphical user interface, calibration features etc.

I don't like multiple DA/AD/DA/AD chains. To me, that's more important than DD-HD and DTS-MA. If I need to play those format's I think I will find a way, remember that my source is a computer.


I don't think 10% of system cost for midrange drivers is completely out of proportion, it's now about 3,5% tweeters, 10% midrange, 16% midbass drivers, 16% sub for drivers, so the question is if there was a significantly better driver for USD 249, I didn't find one.

A good 5 channel amp will cost more than these drivers.

Angling the walls upwards is a suggestion from a professional acoustic designer that has done concert halls, studios, large scale home theaters etc. The reason is that when you have a thoroughly damped roof, it's a good idea to sendsound reflections upwards before they have a chance to bounce around to much.

I never said i was going to angle the drivers upwards, that would be stupid!

Inwall islike car installation in that you can't move the speakers around, they are located in the walls, not in front of them and in the way that you want broader dispersal as opposed to precise imaging.

I wouldn't be too sure that you could easily achieve much better performance with a conventional system for an indoor installation of comparable cost.

If you want some evidence of the percieived impact of active correction, check out http://www.deqx.com/reviews.php or read some reviews of Meridian's active stuff.
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post #26 of 97 Old 10-30-2013, 07:21 AM
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PCw/Jriver > DAC(s) > Amps

JRiver does decoding, including MA & TruHD. All xo's, delay, EQ, etc...outputs 16-24 digital channels to DAC(s) with no extra ADA conversion.

http://echoaudio.com/products/audiofire-12 can be daisy-chained if you want more channels. (Haven't used this DAC personally, but others have.)

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post #27 of 97 Old 10-30-2013, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I had to cancel the order for subs, midbass & Alpine DSP, because the Techron webshop uses an "Internation Checkout" service for internationa orders.
These clowns came back to me telling me that they needed to increase the shipping and handling cost to USD1488 for the items I ordered
because of unanticipated bulk or some such ********.

USD1488 would be about 300% of the true shipping cost for the items i ordered!

I called Techron's customer service, but they seemed completely uninterested in the fact that their partner was attempting to charge their customer 40% of order value in shipping and handlings so I just cancelled the order.

I will make one more attempt to order a LMS 5400 from parts-express through wire transfer I think, though it seems I will have to wait about a month before they ship it.

I will check out the jriver route again, and if somebody has a suggestion for a better 8" midbass driver than the JL Audio ZR800-CW for under USD 200, I am open to suggestion!

the Focal 6WB's are on their way though, but despite a lot of outrage over the supposedly poor value of these focal drivers, in fact nobody has been able to point out a better 6.5" driver for less than usd250 so far anyway...
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post #28 of 97 Old 10-30-2013, 09:34 PM
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you're just having a hard time over there...man.

8" midbass?

have you looked at the 18sounds lineup? might be reasonable prices for you. 12nmb420 would be nice if crossing to subs. might even outperform the focal across most of the midrange. eek.gif

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post #29 of 97 Old 10-30-2013, 09:55 PM
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Better midbass than 8, ZR800's?

Once factoring in the cost to ship to Sweden (not from USSpeaker, but some place in Europe), maybe a pair of any of these?
http://www.usspeaker.com/faital%20pro%2018HP1030-1.htm
http://www.usspeaker.com/B&C-18TBW100-1.htm
http://www.usspeaker.com/beyma%2018PW1400fe-1.htm

Or if you're able to place an order with PartsExpress and get OK shipping quotes, four of these would make for fantastic midbass!
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=290-598

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post #30 of 97 Old 10-30-2013, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Weird - I can't seem to find a single 8" midbass speaker that's anywhere close JL ZR800-CW at parts express - in this segment they seem to offer only PA drivers and weak, small magnet drivers that have less than half the power handling of the ZR800.

I know that there are several comparable drivers around, for example the Dynaudio MW172's that I'm already using in one of my cars.

Does anybody have a tip for a better midbass driver than the ZR800-CW's for under USD200?

The MW172's are good, but they cost more than the JL.s.

I've also looked at Dynadios MW182 which are 9" midbass drivers that seem great, but those cost usd315, so they are even more expensive, but maybe I should run 2 x 3 of these instead?

I also found the Morel Elate 9 which seem quite similar to the MW182's but these suckers cost usd529!

After all the talk that about the JL drivers being overpriced, can't someone point out a better driver for the same money?
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