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The very low budget DIY synergy horn build

post #1 of 118
Thread Starter 
Inspired by paulspencer's fine work on his: DIY Synergy horn I set out to try and build one with drivers I had on hand for as cheap as I could.
You may have seen my post in his thread about a <$25 synergy horn, it will turn out to cost a little bit more then that.


The build begins, I liked the symmetrical appearance of the square 60x60 horn so that is what I chose to use.
The mid drivers are the $0.69 sony buyouts from PE, I have alot of those.
Here you can see me laying out the first panel with driver mounting position and the ports.



Three drawn out on a single 2'x4' sheet of 1/2" mdf


I tried a bunch of angles on scrap untill I got it right and cut my first three, they look like they fit together just fine.



All four cut and held together with some masking tape.


First look into the horn, an MTM bookshelf that holds 5.25" woofers for size reference.
post #2 of 118
Thread Starter 
Marking driver position on outside of the horn, drilling port holes and cutting
angles on the throat for a flat surface so the HF entry plate can be mounted.


Since the sony woofers have no gasket material on the front, I need to make
a small chamber in order to mount them to the horn. Holes drawn out and ready for routing.



Done.



Test for driver fit, look good.




More to come...
post #3 of 118
Very nice! Can't wait to see the end result. Did you build that jig?
post #4 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by halo71 View Post

Did you build that jig?

Yes I did, it works great. Does circles of any size from 2.5" to 22" diameter,
with larger sizes possible when using extensions.
post #5 of 118
Thread Starter 
Here is the little Cap that the HF driver (a soft dome tweeter) will mount to.
Ready for routing with a 45 degree chamfer on the inside.
I know it does not match angle of the horn, but it will all be filled in smooth with wood putty later.



Glue time a real pain in the butt, this was the best way I could figure to
hold all the pieces together.
post #6 of 118
Cool! Looks like fun.
post #7 of 118
Subscribed...
post #8 of 118
what maths did you use to select where to place the mid-driver entry ports to the horn?
post #9 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

what maths did you use to select where to place the mid-driver entry ports to the horn?

Since this is only an experiment and the only cost to me is the mdf and some time, I did not use any software to calculate placement of the mid ports.
though I did try to use hornresp to simulate it I could not figure out if I was really entering the right values. After messing around with that for a while,
I just ended up placing the port as far up towards the throat as I could get them. Lots of science behind this one!

Glue is dry.


Time to see how the drivers all fit on the horn.


I tried playing some music with a basic crossover on it just to see how it sounds like this.
Not bad, but not very good either. I will need to put a rear chamber on the mids.
post #10 of 118
Thread Starter 
Forgot to post the picture looking into the horn with drivers installed, here it is:
post #11 of 118
Wow, that's pretty cool! Gonna keep an eye on this one.
post #12 of 118
Nice work on jumping right in on the synergy horns! I think there are a lot of people out there who would love to build some, but are a little intimidated by the math. Myself included.

I'll be interested in seeing what you come up with....
post #13 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyguyOK View Post

Wow, that's pretty cool! Gonna keep an eye on this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by josephjcole View Post

Nice work on jumping right in on the synergy horns! I think there are a lot of people out there who would love to build some, but are a little intimidated by the math. Myself included.

I'll be interested in seeing what you come up with....

Thanks guys.


Time to build the rear enclosure for the mids, I would have wanted to a full enclosure starting at the mouth of the horn but ended up making a smaller one halfway up.
The reasons for that is the full enclosure would be too large for the mids, and I am not planning on making this a three way horn.

I had making small brackets to extend an even surface out from the horn because making a square enclosure with the correct angle
to mount to the horn would have been alot more work to get right. here I have the pieces cut.


Checking the dry fit before I glue.


It would also be a good time to apply some wood filler
inside the horn to smooth out the HF entrance.
post #14 of 118
Looking nice!
post #15 of 118
Awesome project. Can't wait for more.
post #16 of 118
Thread Starter 
Here is what the box off the back of the horn will mount to.
Had to fill in the corners with the small squares as it is easier to do it that way then to make the brackets full length with multiple angles.
Who got their fingerprints all over my horn.



I sanded the wood putty and now the HF entrance is much smoother.



Dry fit of enclosure.



Clamp time.
post #17 of 118
Thread Starter 
Here I am finishing the rear enlosure, I put some 1"x2" around the edge of the mdf so I have something to hold the screws for the removable cover better then just the mdf.



Here is a closer look at the dome tweeter that I am using, it a buyout from PE #279-051.



Here it is mounted on the horn with some electrical tape to help smooth out where the driver frame meets up with the horn.



All done.



I tried playing around with the crossover but I don't get a lot of flexability with the crossover point as the rolloff of the mids/high limits it. It's kind of a mess but you can see here the raw driver FR along with the FR of the drivers with crossover. This was measured indoors about 1m from the horn.


You can see that the mids are not anything that could be called flat, High frequency is not too bad but overall not very good sounding.
This is how it sat for about four months in my basement while I moved on to other more sucessful projects.

Recently I started playing around with it again, I tried a dayton silky in it which did not turn out any better, I would even say it sounded worse.

Likely because the dayton did not have as smooth a match to the horn as the roundover on the faceplate of other tweeter did.


Then I decided what would happen if I ported the mid enclosure into the horn?
I also made the front mid chamber ports larger becuase I could not get to the backside with a router and use a chamfer bit to shorten them.


What it did to the FR:



Much much better, and I can highpass at 80-100hz and let the subs take over. I have it running right now on a simple second order crossover for both the mids/high at about 1100hz. I set it up in a small room where I padded the tweeter to taste which when I measured it came out to about 6dB under the mids:



And here is a video of me anoying the neighbors with it in the backyard
I am about 50 yards away before I start walking up to it.

The two DIY folded horn subs below it use a 8" Dayton DVC driver, and are powered by a Dayton APA-150.
The synergy horn is being powered by a Yamaha HTR-5450. It was crossed over at 90hz to the DIY horn subs, I did not have the crossover on the subs set up right 60hz lowpass so there was a large dip between 70-100hz.




The total cost was <$50:
sony mids: $0.69 x4
tweeter: $5.50
crossover parts : $18.54
Mdf and other material: $15-20

Now I just have to build the second one.
post #18 of 118
Very impressive!
post #19 of 118
Fascinating....!
post #20 of 118
Very nice results.
post #21 of 118
Nice Job!
Are there any certain specs that you look for in buyout drivers/tweeters, or did you just attempt it regardless of specs?
post #22 of 118
This is very cool!!
post #23 of 118
Great job, man- I'm really impressed. How does it sound? One thing that comes up over and over again with these horns is "articulation" and "detail".

Also, I'm curious to see the off axis response. If you have time, would you mind getting some measurements at say, 20, 40 and 60 degrees? People have reported an FR dip at around 4k, and given the added number of holes in your horn, I wonder what's going to show up.

Excellent work!
John
post #24 of 118
That looks rather remarkably good. Get yourself a MiniDSP for crossover and eq and you'd be in great shape. Did you model the back ports, or was that just a seat?
post #25 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iconrl View Post

Nice Job!
Are there any certain specs that you look for in buyout drivers/tweeters, or did you just attempt it regardless of specs?

I aready had the drivers, they were just sitting on a shelf and after reading Paul's thread I thought that would be fun to try with stuff I have laying around. Nothing but a 4'x4' sheet of 1/2 mdf was puchased in order to build it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbomb View Post

Great job, man- I'm really impressed. How does it sound? One thing that comes up over and over again with these horns is "articulation" and "detail".

Also, I'm curious to see the off axis response. If you have time, would you mind getting some measurements at say, 20, 40 and 60 degrees? People have reported an FR dip at around 4k, and given the added number of holes in your horn, I wonder what's going to show up.

Excellent work!
John

It sounds quite good for something that was just thrown together with spare parts. I cannot give a real good impression on the sound until I build the second one (may be a while as it isn't really a high priority), and listening to just one speaker has a way of making my ears/head hurt after a while.

The sound is really good in the midrange, very clear and defined. The highs are a bit harsh due to the dome tweeter which has a fs of 1600hz and I am crossing at 1100hz. It does have a large effortless sound much more so then the speakers I built with two direct radiating 6.5" woofers and a waveguide loaded CD. I can't really say much more as I have only listened to it for maybe a half hour-45 min.

I want to do some off axis measurements (and compare some outdoor measurements with the indoor ones) but it has been too cold and or windy outside (mostly windy 10-20mph almost constant) when I have would have had a chance to do some the past week or so.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaslo View Post

That looks rather remarkably good. Get yourself a MiniDSP for crossover and eq and you'd be in great shape. Did you model the back ports, or was that just a seat?

A miniDSP is already on my list of things I want to get.

I am not sure what back ports, or seat for that matter you are referring to?
the only ports are for the front mid chamber two per driver, and the four rear chamber ports a bit further towards the mouth.
post #26 of 118
I just listened to your youtube video, both through my little computer speakers and through headphones. What really grabs my attention is what happens to the sound as you start walking toward the speaker.

From your starting point, things sound very clear, and I don't hear any boxiness or "horn honk." As you walk toward the speaker, things remain clear until you get to within 10 feet or so, at which time a noticeable change occurs- things start to sound "phasey" or "boxy". I'm not sure if that's just doppler shift related to walking or what, but interesting nonetheless.
post #27 of 118
That's awesome and unique!
post #28 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbomb View Post

I just listened to your youtube video, both through my little computer speakers and through headphones. What really grabs my attention is what happens to the sound as you start walking toward the speaker.

From your starting point, things sound very clear, and I don't hear any boxiness or "horn honk." As you walk toward the speaker, things remain clear until you get to within 10 feet or so, at which time a noticeable change occurs- things start to sound "phasey" or "boxy". I'm not sure if that's just doppler shift related to walking or what, but interesting nonetheless.

I believe that is distortion from the cameras microphone, too loud for it to handle, in person the sound does not change when you walk up to it.

Edit: I just watched it again, there is some change while I walk past it.
johnbomb I think your right there, it has to do with the doppler effect that caused the change in sound.
post #29 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtg90 View Post

I believe that is distortion from the cameras microphone, too loud for it to handle, in person the sound does not change when you walk up to it.

Edit: I just watched it again, there is some change while I walk past it.
johnbomb I think your right there, it has to do with the doppler effect that caused the change in sound.

Don't intend to get OT here, because I really dig what you've done here,....just very cool. Jumping in head first and experimenting like this is just fantastic. Thanks for sharing and continued good luck.

Regarding the audible effect, I'm not so sure it's a Doppler related effect. In my opinion, both the physics involved and the sound I heard lead me to believe it's merely a spectral change. I believe it sounds more related to a significant variance resulting the difference off the axial response, spectrally changing as the mic exits the central part of the radiation, and begins coming across the off axis energy.

Just my opinion on what I'm hearing, you guys may be referring to another sound altogether.

Cool stuff.

I'm curious about the harshness you're reporting. Will you elaborate a bit....? Was it level dependent, or did it exist even at modest output levels? Any more ideas on the cause?




Thanks
post #30 of 118
I am curious whether you modeled this or just went willy billy with some math guidance?

Mad respect either way.
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