Active SEOS18 MTM Design and Build thread - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 221 Old 05-26-2016, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Active SEOS18 MTM Design and Build thread

I am in the preliminary stages of this design. So far here is the plan:

Left and right will be dual 15" woofers, MTM, with a SEOS18 and BA750

Center will be a single 15" with a SEOS18 and BA750, built into the middle of a TV stand. Well, more like my tv stand + component shelves will be built into my speaker, haha.

I'm going to do a fancy design and finish, piano black lacquer and something that looks interesting, more than just a big box. If anyone has any cool speaker design ideas let me hear 'em, I'm thinking B&W 801D style cabinet (with an extra woofer on top of course). I'm not sure how to do the waveguide without making it look odd.

EQ + crossover will be the new miniDSP 2x4 HD, two of them. I have an inuke nu4-6000 for the woofer amps, and I already have the BA750 and SEOS18. I'm looking for an older receiver with 5.1 ch inputs to use as the compression driver amp. Crossover will be between 650 and 700 hz.

I'm 90% going with Deltalite 2515 woofers, unless there is a better option I find (maybe the upgraded ones if they're done in time). They'll be in ~3 cu ft sealed box each.

I was going to do this in baltic birch but after building two huge subs out of it, I'm not so sure now, because I am finding that flush trimming, roundovering and just routing in general causes a lot of splinters on the face of the wood, which would be a problem for a high gloss finish.
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post #2 of 221 Old 05-26-2016, 11:37 AM
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I've never had any luck with rounding over Baltic birch, but sacrificial pieces of wood can be used to prevent splintering elsewhere.
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post #3 of 221 Old 05-26-2016, 02:49 PM
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I like the sound of this project.

For the enclosure material, how bout build most of it from BB and any part that needs special routing be made of softer MDF?

Very interested how this project comes about. Also interested in what you think of the SEOS18/BA750 combo.
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post #4 of 221 Old 05-26-2016, 04:42 PM
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I've had good results, be sure you have sharp bits, also be sure you're always routering perpendicular to the laminated layers, if you router in line with it the chance of splitting the layers apart is much higher.

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post #5 of 221 Old 05-26-2016, 06:28 PM
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Looks like a great project, subscribed!

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post #6 of 221 Old 05-26-2016, 09:59 PM
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sounds like a great project...


how is the noise floor on the miniDSP 2x4 HD?

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post #7 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 06:00 AM
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Is the BA-750 a 1" compression driver? Or is it a 1.5"? I get it confused with the FL-450. I actually have a Seos-18 in a 1" size. Haven't decided what to do with it. I was initially going to use it for my center channel with either the BA-750 or FL-450 (which ever it fits) along with a JBL-2226 for the lows. I am really wanting to build a JBL-3732 clone, though. I will keep an eye on this thread, might clone yours.
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post #8 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 06:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post
I like the sound of this project.

For the enclosure material, how bout build most of it from BB and any part that needs special routing be made of softer MDF?

Very interested how this project comes about. Also interested in what you think of the SEOS18/BA750 combo.
Not sure that would work out, I think having different wood that expands differently with moisture might be worse than just going full MDF. I'm going to do the "trench method" with a crown molding bit on all the seams and fill them all with bondo.

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I've had good results, be sure you have sharp bits, also be sure you're always routering perpendicular to the laminated layers, if you router in line with it the chance of splitting the layers apart is much higher.


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Yeah but how do you round over the corners without going parallel to the laminated layers?

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sounds like a great project...


how is the noise floor on the miniDSP 2x4 HD?
Not sure, I don't have it yet and can't find any specs on it online. All the miniDSPs seem to get noise floor complaints, but I think it should be fine with a proper gain structure.
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post #9 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tip24/96 View Post
Is the BA-750 a 1" compression driver? Or is it a 1.5"? I get it confused with the FL-450. I actually have a Seos-18 in a 1" size. Haven't decided what to do with it. I was initially going to use it for my center channel with either the BA-750 or FL-450 (which ever it fits) along with a JBL-2226 for the lows. I am really wanting to build a JBL-3732 clone, though. I will keep an eye on this thread, might clone yours.
1" exit, 2" voice coil.
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post #10 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 09:17 AM
 
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Cool build
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post #11 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 09:35 AM
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This should be fun to watch. Sub'd.

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post #12 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 09:39 AM
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sounds good. if it is too noisy an L-pad or autoformer can bring down the sensitivity of the cd.

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post #13 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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sounds good. if it is too noisy an L-pad or autoformer can bring down the sensitivity of the cd.
Wouldn't just lowering the output volume on the minidsp get the same result? I think the problem most people have had with the noise floor is that they use the source as the volume control and just have the minidsp outputting at max. But if the minidsp output is reduced then I think the noise floor is also reduced.
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post #14 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
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Yeah but how do you round over the corners without going parallel to the laminated layers?
Basically ensure your router base is always sitting flat on a piece of laminate and never the plywood's "end grain". If you have to go through a short section of end grain, slowly router in the clockwise direction, this ensures the router blade is cutting from the "outside in" and prevents the splintering you can see when the bit lifts the layers of plywood in the outward direction.
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post #15 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Basically ensure your router base is always sitting flat on a piece of laminate and never the plywood's "end grain". If you have to go through a short section of end grain, slowly router in the clockwise direction, this ensures the router blade is cutting from the "outside in" and prevents the splintering you can see when the bit lifts the layers of plywood in the outward direction.
My router might just be bad, I have brand new bits so I doubt it's that. What RPM/ bit size do you use? I have been using 17500 rpm with 1/2" spiral upcut for speaker cut-out, 1/2" flush trim, and 3/8" roundover, all 1/2" shank. Maybe I just went too fast, I tend to rush my cuts haha
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post #16 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 10:43 AM
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My router might just be bad, I have brand new bits so I doubt it's that. What RPM/ bit size do you use? I have been using 17500 rpm with 1/2" spiral upcut for speaker cut-out, 1/2" flush trim, and 3/8" roundover, all 1/2" shank. Maybe I just went too fast, I tend to rush my cuts haha
I use a Bosch 1617 router, when I'm doing edge work or round overs I'm always in the solid base (not the plunge base), I run the speed in the middle, not sure the RPM but likely in the 15-20k rpm range. I used bits from Freud, Magnate, Diablo and Whiteside. For a 3/4" radius round over my favorite is the Diablo available from HD, has 3 cutting bits and is buttery smooth.

Definitely use a measured consistent feed speed and don't rush it, that's something that can really ruin a cut.
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post #17 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 12:24 PM
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Wouldn't just lowering the output volume on the minidsp get the same result? I think the problem most people have had with the noise floor is that they use the source as the volume control and just have the minidsp outputting at max. But if the minidsp output is reduced then I think the noise floor is also reduced.

noise floor is what is left after all attempts to remove any signal whatsoever. it is the noise of the device itself with its inputs shorted (no signal in). noise floor or "self noise" arises from a variety of factors but is unrelated to the volume control. of course the volume control can "amp up" noise further up the signal chain (which is what I think you are referring to), but volume control can only reduce self noise to the device's noise floor.

the only way to reduce the noise floor once the noise is introduced is to tradeoff headroom in order to reduce the whole output and that can only be done passively (at least with current technology). fortunately, with c.d.'s having so much more output than is necessary even in ultimate home systems, taking 12db or more out of the headroom to have a 12db lower noise floor benefits the noise floor without causing any practical reduction in output.

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post #18 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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noise floor is what is left after all attempts to remove any signal whatsoever. it is the noise of the device itself with its inputs shorted (no signal in). noise floor or "self noise" arises from a variety of factors but is unrelated to the volume control. of course the volume control can "amp up" noise further up the signal chain (which is what I think you are referring to), but volume control can only reduce self noise to the device's noise floor.

the only way to reduce the noise floor once the noise is introduced is to tradeoff headroom in order to reduce the whole output and that can only be done passively (at least with current technology). fortunately, with c.d.'s having so much more output than is necessary even in ultimate home systems, taking 12db or more out of the headroom to have a 12db lower noise floor benefits the noise floor without causing any practical reduction in output.
Right, I meant noise floor of the system not the miniDSP itself. Hopefully the miniDSP's noise floor is low enough to not be noticeable when set up with a proper gain structure that I won't need to do a headroom reduction like that.
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post #19 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 01:17 PM
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... Hopefully the miniDSP's noise floor is low enough to not be noticeable when set up with a proper gain structure.
This is what I really want to know. Would be great if the miniDSP HD models have acceptable noise floor. This would make my upcoming build significantly more affordable.

So far I have not found much to like with cheap DSP solutions in regards to noise floor. For subwoofers not a significant issue, but for CD+waveguide it can be a show stopper.

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post #20 of 221 Old 05-27-2016, 03:50 PM
 
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You could use a table saw to put and angle on it and take off corner which could look cool.
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post #21 of 221 Old 05-28-2016, 08:59 AM
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Noise issues with dsp like minidsp.is almost always gain structure related. As said already, for convenience most people use an analog volume control that comes before the minidsp. So now you take an analog signal that has been significantly attenuated (normal listening levels) but the self noise of the preamp is not attenuated, and do an A/D conversion on that reduced signal. Now you've also effectively reduced bit depth early in the chain and all digital processing is done on that reduced input.

The ideal way (not the convenient way) is to maintain a full scale signal into the minidsp. In digital is even better. Processing is done on that full scale input, and volume attenuation is done after processing just before amplification. That could be analog or using the digital level control built in to the minidsp.

I recently went through this design exercise, and it was pointed out to me with the requisite supporting math that truncating the digital output in the dsp just before the D/A will almost always be as good as or better than analog attenuation afterwards, which was not what I expected. Small amounts of digital attenuation are "free" and usually when any actual bit truncation starts the level is so low you aren't listening critically anymore. Exceptions might be with highly sensitive speakers where the levels will almost always be highly attenuated, in which case I'd suggest using a passive pad as mentioned earlier whether you are doing analog or digital volume.

That being said, digital volume isn't easy when you are using more than one minidsp or other brand. In fact, its downright hard. And, despite what's ideal, for many speakers and many listening needs, upstream analog works well enough to not cause audible issues. That's why tons of people with minidsp and other digital processing downstream (like built into amps) don't complain. High efficiency speakers or out of the norm gain structures might bring the issues into audibility.
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post #22 of 221 Old 05-28-2016, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
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Noise issues with dsp like minidsp.is almost always gain structure related. As said already, for convenience most people use an analog volume control that comes before the minidsp. So now you take an analog signal that has been significantly attenuated (normal listening levels) but the self noise of the preamp is not attenuated, and do an A/D conversion on that reduced signal. Now you've also effectively reduced bit depth early in the chain and all digital processing is done on that reduced input.

The ideal way (not the convenient way) is to maintain a full scale signal into the minidsp. In digital is even better. Processing is done on that full scale input, and volume attenuation is done after processing just before amplification. That could be analog or using the digital level control built in to the minidsp.

I recently went through this design exercise, and it was pointed out to me with the requisite supporting math that truncating the digital output in the dsp just before the D/A will almost always be as good as or better than analog attenuation afterwards, which was not what I expected. Small amounts of digital attenuation are "free" and usually when any actual bit truncation starts the level is so low you aren't listening critically anymore. Exceptions might be with highly sensitive speakers where the levels will almost always be highly attenuated, in which case I'd suggest using a passive pad as mentioned earlier whether you are doing analog or digital volume.

That being said, digital volume isn't easy when you are using more than one minidsp or other brand. In fact, its downright hard. And, despite what's ideal, for many speakers and many listening needs, upstream analog works well enough to not cause audible issues. That's why tons of people with minidsp and other digital processing downstream (like built into amps) don't complain. High efficiency speakers or out of the norm gain structures might bring the issues into audibility.
Even after passively padding my high-efficiency active mains, my MiniDSP 10x10HD had too high of a noise floor for me.


Removing the mini from the signal chain completely removed the hiss. Even with my preamp at +12 and the amp gains at the max of 32db, without the mini in the signal chain and also without any passive padding I had to hold my ear up to the CD to hear any noise.


After experiencing this I was able to find dozens of other builds that ran into the same problem with fully active HF setups.


I ended up using a Lab Gruppen IPD amp with built in EQ and a much lower noise floor.
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post #23 of 221 Old 05-28-2016, 09:51 AM
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That's interesting and good to know since I have my eye on that series as a potential option. Was the self noise high with inputs disconnected? The measured SNR of 105dB on the outputs is pretty good and "shouldn't" result in that much self noise. I wonder if this is some result of how it handles selective output gains? I've read plenty about the various options on minidsp forums and elsewhere but didn't search specifically for this potential issue so I may not have run across it. I'll search now!
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That's interesting and good to know since I have my eye on that series as a potential option. Was the self noise high with inputs disconnected? The measured SNR of 105dB on the outputs is pretty good and "shouldn't" result in that much self noise. I wonder if this is some result of how it handles selective output gains? I've read plenty about the various options on minidsp forums and elsewhere but didn't search specifically for this potential issue so I may not have run across it. I'll search now!

Disconnecting the inputs didn't make any difference.


The more I attenuated the signal with the mini, the lower the hiss became. I attenuated via dip switches in the mini + lowering the input/output gains and that helped, but that removed so much of the dynamic range that I could clip the outputs on my preamp.


I still use the mini for my MBMs, subs, and center (passively padded), but on the 118db sensitive BMS coax's it just wasn't usable.


It's possible that the 2x4HD has a lower noise floor than the 10x10HD but there's only one way to find out!
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DSP in the amp is generally cleaner with less points of failure or potential for noise introduction
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post #26 of 221 Old 05-28-2016, 11:36 AM
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That may be sometimes true, but aside from perhaps a few networked amplifier models its hard to duplicate the functionality a 10x10hd or 4x10hd provides.

And I'm not sure why a DSP should be cleaner inside an amp. I don't think you can avoid any conversion steps and the environment in an amp certainly isn't better.
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post #27 of 221 Old 05-29-2016, 01:48 AM
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What is the estimated crossover frequency from the woofers to the seos18? I've been searching for woofers to go with a 4722 HF section xo approximately 800hz.
I have read some bass guitar forums where they say the kappalite in general sounds better than the deltalite. I know the deltalite is awesome in the fusion 15v2, so I've been thinking about that a long time.

The second part of that is the kappalite 3015 vs the 3015LF. The LF has 9.6mm xmax vs the 5.5 on the regular, but at expense of upper frequency limited to 2khz vs 4khz. For a sub 1khz xo, is that even relevant?



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post #28 of 221 Old 05-29-2016, 03:56 AM
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Not to derail, or bash the Mini, but does groundloop hum and noise floor as you guys state, kinda the same thing. I use a Mini for my subs and i had to ground it to my sub amps.....
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post #29 of 221 Old 05-29-2016, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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What is the estimated crossover frequency from the woofers to the seos18? I've been searching for woofers to go with a 4722 HF section xo approximately 800hz.
I have read some bass guitar forums where they say the kappalite in general sounds better than the deltalite. I know the deltalite is awesome in the fusion 15v2, so I've been thinking about that a long time.

The second part of that is the kappalite 3015 vs the 3015LF. The LF has 9.6mm xmax vs the 5.5 on the regular, but at expense of upper frequency limited to 2khz vs 4khz. For a sub 1khz xo, is that even relevant?

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I'm going for 650 hz crossover. I'm pretty sure a few people on here have compared the deltalite and kappalite.
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Not to derail, or bash the Mini, but does groundloop hum and noise floor as you guys state, kinda the same thing. I use a Mini for my subs and i had to ground it to my sub amps.....
no ground loop is a completely different thing than noise floor, and it's unrelated to the minidsp itself, as it's completely dependent on your power source, how your house wiring is and how your stuff is grounded.

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post #30 of 221 Old 05-30-2016, 05:08 AM
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To me, the problem is that there really aren't many options when it comes to affordable amplifiers with built in DSP. I have heard, over the years, that some folks have modified their iNukexxxx amplifiers to lower the noise floor and give it some better/higher quality parts too. Whether they actually gained any sound quality benefits from the upgraded parts, I don't know, however, I recall reading that they were able to successfully lower the noise floor on their iNuke's.

This has been a while back, and I can't recall where I read it. I wonder if it would be at all possible, or even feasible to modify an iNuke3000dsp or 1000dsp to perform better? In the noise floor situation, in particular?
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