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post #1 of 71 Old 11-14-2018, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Questions on tower design

Well I’m back for plate two and I haven’t even finished my first plate.

So I woke up this morning and thought to myself “Huh, I want to build me some tower speakers”. Problem with that is, I don’t need tower speakers, much less can afford them. I’m currently building what I’m calling a “Fuller Marty” which is just a larger Full Marty tuned a little lower.

Anyways to satisfy my unrealistic Audio needs how would I go about designing a set of tower speakers? I had a couple questions:

To provide easier and a possibly cheaper solution to achieving a crossover for towers, should I just buy a prebuilt one? Or if it is cheaper to make your own how do I make a crossover. If someone could also tell me how a crossover works and the difference between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order.

Are subwoofer drivers okay for usage in a tower? They would obviously only take the low frequencies. If so, do they need their own separate cabinet from the other drivers?

If there are three drivers in the tower, with an rms rating of 40, 50, and 60 watts, would the tower be rated for the average rms (50 watts) or total (150 watts)?

Building on that last question, do the rms ratings have to be super close to perform well? Like if I used a subwoofer driver like the Dayton UM8 which is rated for 300 watts rms and a tweeter and mid that are only rated for 50 watts rms each?

When the drivers are finally hooked up and crossover set and built, is there a need for a dsp to control driver excursion and prevent blowing up the speaker similar to what you would do with a subwoofer?

If so, can that be bypassed by making tower a sealed cabinet?

Lastly how expensive should I expect a pair of diy towers to set me back?

Thanks to everyone who read that, and a special thanks to the people who actually responded to this crazy thread

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #2 of 71 Old 11-14-2018, 02:03 PM
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My first thought is that, if you're asking these sort of really basic design questions, I don't think you have the skillset to design something from scratch on your own. As I prefer DIYers to have successful builds, my advice would be to go with an existing design or a kit.
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post #3 of 71 Old 11-14-2018, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
My first thought is that, if you're asking these sort of really basic design questions, I don't think you have the skillset to design something from scratch on your own. As I prefer DIYers to have successful builds, my advice would be to go with an existing design or a kit.

I’m perfectly fine with going off an existing design or kit, I just wanted some basic knowledge about designing speakers.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #4 of 71 Old 11-14-2018, 03:08 PM
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https://www.parts-express.com/tritri...-pair--300-702

This is the one I would like to build at some point. Seems to perform pretty well at a very reasonable price.
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post #5 of 71 Old 11-14-2018, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Well I’m back for plate two and I haven’t even finished my first plate.

So I woke up this morning and thought to myself “Huh, I want to build me some tower speakers”. Problem with that is, I don’t need tower speakers, much less can afford them. I’m currently building what I’m calling a “Fuller Marty” which is just a larger Full Marty tuned a little lower.

Anyways to satisfy my unrealistic Audio needs how would I go about designing a set of tower speakers?

If you are asking this question, you need to do more research, though to be fair, it is not an easy task for a beginner to take on. As mentioned, a complete kit that you can assemble is a sure way to success, for less than a comparable retail model.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
I had a couple questions:

To provide easier and a possibly cheaper solution to achieving a crossover for towers, should I just buy a prebuilt one?


Pre-built crossovers do not take driver sensitivity or impedance at crossover point of drivers that you choose into consideration. It's sort of like buying a random tire off of Craigslist.... while it may be a 'tire' it may not be the correct size and construction for your vehicle. Same with using a crossover calculator on the internet.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Or if it is cheaper to make your own how do I make a crossover. If someone could also tell me how a crossover works and the difference between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order.
In the basic 1st order, a crossover adds either an inductive or capacitive load into the amplifier - speaker driver system, resulting in a roll off slope of 6dB/octave. Note, this 'electrical filter' will interact with the driver 'native' acoustical measured response, and the final 'acoustical' result may be different, if the driver is non-flat in response around the crossover point.



A 2nd order slope is 12 dB/octave, 3rd order 18 dB/octave, 4th order 24 dB/octave, and so on. Higher order slopes lead to less driver interaction around the crossover point, but that is not necessarily a good thing. Depending on the individual driver measured acoustical results before creating a crossover, a person may use asymmetrical slopes and crossover frequencies to get a textbook 'acoustical' result.


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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Are subwoofer drivers okay for usage in a tower? They would obviously only take the low frequencies. If so, do they need their own separate cabinet from the other drivers


Subwoofer drivers can be used in a tower speaker for the lowest frequencies, though often the optimum location for a subwoofer is not where the speaker is located. Separate boxes means flexibility.

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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
If there are three drivers in the tower, with an rms rating of 40, 50, and 60 watts, would the tower be rated for the average rms (50 watts) or total (150 watts)?


None of the above. It is not a simple task to define the power handling, since the duration is not specified. A 5 watt rated tweeter may take a 10 millisecond long voltage peak at high frequencies that would be equal to 200 watts, with several seconds rest between bursts, and sustain that 200 watt burst with rest period indefinitely. Speaker drivers have two mechanisms of power handling - thermal and mechanical. A subwoofer driver that is not designed for infinite baffle loading may exceed it's mechanical stroke, and be permanently damaged with an amount of power that is well within it's thermal power handling.



Manufacturers test speaker driver samples to destruction, so they are aware of the thermal and mechanical limits before selling a completed loudspeaker system, and assign a power rating. Some are downright outrageous claims, driven by a marketing department.



In a completed multi-way loudspeaker, the division of power depends on the crossover points chosen, and the individual driver sensitivity. A 108 dB/W horn tweeter may only need a few watts of power, while a direct radiating woofer that is 95 dB/W in the midband in the same enclosure will require many times the amount of power compared to the tweeter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Building on that last question, do the rms ratings have to be super close to perform well? Like if I used a subwoofer driver like the Dayton UM8 which is rated for 300 watts rms and a tweeter and mid that are only rated for 50 watts rms each?


No, see above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
When the drivers are finally hooked up and crossover set and built, is there a need for a dsp to control driver excursion and prevent blowing up the speaker similar to what you would do with a subwoofer?

Ported speakers driven below tuning will 'unload' the driver, and can damage the woofer(s). If you do not have a high pass filter in place, it is quite possible that driving the speakers below tuning will result in permanent damage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
If so, can that be bypassed by making tower a sealed cabinet?


Sealed cabinets, sized correctly and used with an appropriate amount of voltage drive ( power ) do not require a high pass filter. Excursion is controlled by the air spring in the box, and the suspension of the driver, as long as the box is air tight.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Lastly how expensive should I expect a pair of diy towers to set me back?

Without measurements to work with, and a working knowledge of software tools, it's a crapshoot at best to try and build your own speakers. As mentioned, a kit would be a more appropriate path for you to take at this time.
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post #6 of 71 Old 11-14-2018, 04:04 PM
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I'm not sure how much you're looking to spend or if you are wanting to build completely from scratch but mtg90's Nexus towers are another great option.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...ect-nexus.html
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post #7 of 71 Old 11-14-2018, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael hurd View Post
If you are asking this question, you need to do more research, though to be fair, it is not an easy task for a beginner to take on. As mentioned, a complete kit that you can assemble is a sure way to success, for less than a comparable retail model.







Pre-built crossovers do not take driver sensitivity or impedance at crossover point of drivers that you choose into consideration. It's sort of like buying a random tire off of Craigslist.... while it may be a 'tire' it may not be the correct size and construction for your vehicle. Same with using a crossover calculator on the internet.




In the basic 1st order, a crossover adds either an inductive or capacitive load into the amplifier - speaker driver system, resulting in a roll off slope of 6dB/octave. Note, this 'electrical filter' will interact with the driver 'native' acoustical measured response, and the final 'acoustical' result may be different, if the driver is non-flat in response around the crossover point.



A 2nd order slope is 12 dB/octave, 3rd order 18 dB/octave, 4th order 24 dB/octave, and so on. Higher order slopes lead to less driver interaction around the crossover point, but that is not necessarily a good thing. Depending on the individual driver measured acoustical results before creating a crossover, a person may use asymmetrical slopes and crossover frequencies to get a textbook 'acoustical' result.






Subwoofer drivers can be used in a tower speaker for the lowest frequencies, though often the optimum location for a subwoofer is not where the speaker is located. Separate boxes means flexibility.





None of the above. It is not a simple task to define the power handling, since the duration is not specified. A 5 watt rated tweeter may take a 10 millisecond long voltage peak at high frequencies that would be equal to 200 watts, with several seconds rest between bursts, and sustain that 200 watt burst with rest period indefinitely. Speaker drivers have two mechanisms of power handling - thermal and mechanical. A subwoofer driver that is not designed for infinite baffle loading may exceed it's mechanical stroke, and be permanently damaged with an amount of power that is well within it's thermal power handling.



Manufacturers test speaker driver samples to destruction, so they are aware of the thermal and mechanical limits before selling a completed loudspeaker system, and assign a power rating. Some are downright outrageous claims, driven by a marketing department.



In a completed multi-way loudspeaker, the division of power depends on the crossover points chosen, and the individual driver sensitivity. A 108 dB/W horn tweeter may only need a few watts of power, while a direct radiating woofer that is 95 dB/W in the midband in the same enclosure will require many times the amount of power compared to the tweeter.






No, see above.




Ported speakers driven below tuning will 'unload' the driver, and can damage the woofer(s). If you do not have a high pass filter in place, it is quite possible that driving the speakers below tuning will result in permanent damage.






Sealed cabinets, sized correctly and used with an appropriate amount of voltage drive ( power ) do not require a high pass filter. Excursion is controlled by the air spring in the box, and the suspension of the driver, as long as the box is air tight.






Without measurements to work with, and a working knowledge of software tools, it's a crapshoot at best to try and build your own speakers. As mentioned, a kit would be a more appropriate path for you to take at this time.

Fantastic answer, thank you so much. Exactly what I needed.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #8 of 71 Old 11-14-2018, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlkSC View Post
I'm not sure how much you're looking to spend or if you are wanting to build completely from scratch but mtg90's Nexus towers are another great option.



https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...ect-nexus.html

Love it, I’ll read more into this later but thank you for the suggestion.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #9 of 71 Old 11-14-2018, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlkSC View Post
I'm not sure how much you're looking to spend or if you are wanting to build completely from scratch but mtg90's Nexus towers are another great option.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...ect-nexus.html
I am really eyeballing those too! I read your build thread. I was aiming for something like the Fusion 8 tower but they appear to not be comming back for now. I also thought about Cobalt-8 and then finally saw these and since I listen to a lot of music they make a lot of sens even if they are not as loud as wave guide.

I hope you love them!
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post #10 of 71 Old 11-14-2018, 09:10 PM
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Holy cow, @michael hurd ! Great job answering all the OP's concerns thoroughly and succinctly!

As for kits:

https://www.diysoundgroup.com

The "1099" and "1299" speakers are popular towers. Lots of build threads to help you out.

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post #11 of 71 Old 11-14-2018, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fill35U View Post
Holy cow, @michael hurd ! Great job answering all the OP's concerns thoroughly and succinctly!



As for kits:



https://www.diysoundgroup.com



The "1099" and "1299" speakers are popular towers. Lots of build threads to help you out.

I did see the 1099 and 1299 but I didn’t think they were the ones for me. Glowing reviews of course, but this post was really just a feeler for how much I would actually have to do to design a tower. Will be doing a WHOLE lot of research but @michael hurd did a fantastic job answering my questions. Now I know what needs to be done.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #12 of 71 Old 11-15-2018, 04:32 AM
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If you're still undaunted about going down the road of designing your own speakers:

You should get a copy of Vance Dickason's Loudspeaker Design Cookbook. Other great references are John Eargle's "Loudspeaker Handbook", and John Borwick's "Loudspeaker and Headphone Handbook". Hard copies are expensive- still worth every penny.

As a starting point, I'd consider deciding on a three-way design. It's very difficult to cover the full range of audio frequencies with just two drivers. Not only do they have to play their own frequencies well, they have to mesh with the other driver. Two-ways are simpler to build, and good designs can certainly sound fantastic, but nailing down the compromises during the design stage makes for a lot of frustration. A three-way speaker lets each driver have less responsibility, and opens up many more possibilities. Besides, you're building towers, so you've got the room for more drivers.

You should get a DSP crossover and enough amp channels for your three-way design. Even if you want to implement the final design with a passive crossover, you really don't want to have to buy a huge inventory of passive components for testing. Not to mention the time and effort to swap them. You'll do enough tweaking in the final stages of a passive implementation, but for the rest of the design process you want the speed, ease, and versatility of DSP.

You'll need to measure the response and parameters of the drivers you use, and of course of the assembled tower. You can do this with REW, but you'll need a good mic. The calibrated mics from Cross Spectrum Labs are affordable and popular.

As a start, it might be easier to modify an existing speaker than designing one from scratch. Change a driver, crossover, or cabinet a little and see what happens. Take some baseline measurements, see how well they match published ones.

Good luck!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
I did see the 1099 and 1299 but I didn’t think they were the ones for me. Glowing reviews of course, but this post was really just a feeler for how much I would actually have to do to design a tower. Will be doing a WHOLE lot of research but @michael hurd did a fantastic job answering my questions. Now I know what needs to be done.


Get a few books, read up on the basics but some measuring equipment and mess with some cheap components. I was nervous when I first started messing with the UM18 first, after that I bought a umik, learned REW and hornresp and then messed with cheap buyouts/Dayton’s from PE.

If you want to get in the hobby I think at first keep it fun and just screw around with cheap drivers. This way if you accidentally let the smoke out you aren’t out a ton of money.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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@Russdawg1 You could go with an active crossover for your tower build. It will cost you more $ with the addition of Umik, minidsp's, enough amplification, etc.

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post #15 of 71 Old 11-15-2018, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fill35U View Post
If you're still undaunted about going down the road of designing your own speakers:



You should get a copy of Vance Dickason's Loudspeaker Design Cookbook. Other great references are John Eargle's "Loudspeaker Handbook", and John Borwick's "Loudspeaker and Headphone Handbook". Hard copies are expensive- still worth every penny.



As a starting point, I'd consider deciding on a three-way design. It's very difficult to cover the full range of audio frequencies with just two drivers. Not only do they have to play their own frequencies well, they have to mesh with the other driver. Two-ways are simpler to build, and good designs can certainly sound fantastic, but nailing down the compromises during the design stage makes for a lot of frustration. A three-way speaker lets each driver have less responsibility, and opens up many more possibilities. Besides, you're building towers, so you've got the room for more drivers.



You should get a DSP crossover and enough amp channels for your three-way design. Even if you want to implement the final design with a passive crossover, you really don't want to have to buy a huge inventory of passive components for testing. Not to mention the time and effort to swap them. You'll do enough tweaking in the final stages of a passive implementation, but for the rest of the design process you want the speed, ease, and versatility of DSP.



You'll need to measure the response and parameters of the drivers you use, and of course of the assembled tower. You can do this with REW, but you'll need a good mic. The calibrated mics from Cross Spectrum Labs are affordable and popular.



As a start, it might be easier to modify an existing speaker than designing one from scratch. Change a driver, crossover, or cabinet a little and see what happens. Take some baseline measurements, see how well they match published ones.



Good luck!

That’s actually a good idea. I’ll definitely look into those books. I was planning on doing a three way if I ever did follow through with this. But I’ll be in the R&D phase for quite a while. REW sounds like a whole other deal to learn but maybe I can learn it while I’m dealing with my subwoofer. I did also like the idea of piggybacking on another one but I do want it to be unique. Again I’m talking with plenty of time to come.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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@Russdawg1 Take it from me, Someone who just built their FIRST DIY built, NO kit, NO pre built anything. Build your own from scratch and learn! i dont care how much experience some these guys have. This is why a lot of people dont get into DIY. So many people saying dont do it and buy a kit- which costs a lot of money and rarely meets the needs of everyone. All the "affordable" kits i found all needed subs and cost as much as my 5 speakers for just 3!!!,. And the drivers i used are pretty good- Dual Dayton RS225-4(10 of them) and their RST28F(5 of them) tweeter. i think i paid $750/$800 for all the drivers and crossover parts

I couldn't find one kit the meet my needs, and ones that were close we so exspencive it was like buying retail. I built 5 towers that have a FB of 38HZ- granted they are not perfect but they were VASTLY cheaper then a "KIT". It gave me great confidence and i was able to also see things i wanted different. So now im rebuilding them for even more crazyness.

Some may cry and complain but they kick butt and i learned a LOT and learned what i really want. ill be able to use some the parts i already have so not a total waste. ill sell off drivers i dont need and re-purpose the boxs.
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post #17 of 71 Old 11-15-2018, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimlock View Post
Get a few books, read up on the basics but some measuring equipment and mess with some cheap components. I was nervous when I first started messing with the UM18 first, after that I bought a umik, learned REW and hornresp and then messed with cheap buyouts/Dayton’s from PE.

If you want to get in the hobby I think at first keep it fun and just screw around with cheap drivers. This way if you accidentally let the smoke out you aren’t out a ton of money.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I like this idea. Parents might not like me smoking up the house hehe. Yea I think that would be pretty fun and seems like a reasonable plan. I can’t wait to order my UM18 and play with it also.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #18 of 71 Old 11-15-2018, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Remy.Alexander View Post
@Russdawg1 Take it from me, Someone who just built their FIRST DIY built, NO kit, NO pre built anything. Build your own from scratch and learn! i dont care how much experience some these guys have. This is why a lot of people dont get into DIY. So many people saying dont do it and buy a kit- which costs a lot of money and rarely meets the needs of everyone. All the "affordable" kits i found all needed subs and cost as much as my 5 speakers for just 3!!!,. And the drivers i used are pretty good- Dual Dayton RS225-4(10 of them) and their RST28F(5 of them) tweeter. i think i paid $750/$800 for all the drivers and crossover parts



I couldn't find one kit the meet my needs, and ones that were close we so exspencive it was like buying retail. I built 5 towers that have a FB of 38HZ- granted they are not perfect but they were VASTLY cheaper then a "KIT". It gave me great confidence and i was able to also see things i wanted different. So now im rebuilding them for even more crazyness.



Some may cry and complain but they kick butt and i learned a LOT and learned what i really want. ill be able to use some the parts i already have so not a total waste. ill sell off drivers i dont need and re-purpose the boxs.

See you are a perfect example of what I’m trying to achieve. DIY is supposed to be fun and new. I want to take it head on and see what I can do. You seem to have got it down. I don’t know how your purchase came out cheaper than a preset kit however I thought they were supposed to lower the price when you buy a kit. I’m guessing there was plenty of research you had to do, any links you want to point me towards?
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #19 of 71 Old 11-15-2018, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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@Russdawg1 You could go with an active crossover for your tower build. It will cost you more $ with the addition of Umik, minidsp's, enough amplification, etc.

What’s the difference between a passive and an active crossover? How come active needs more amplification? At least you made it sound like it needs more amplification in reference to passive.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #20 of 71 Old 11-15-2018, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
What’s the difference between a passive and an active crossover? How come active needs more amplification? At least you made it sound like it needs more amplification in reference to passive.
In a passive design, the signal is amplified before the crossover - Source>Amplifier>crossover>speaker
In an active design the signal is amplified after the crossover - Source>crossover>amplifier>speaker
Active requires more amplification because each frequency requires it's own amplification - HF, MF, LF. Check out the video below


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post #21 of 71 Old 11-15-2018, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson636 View Post
In a passive design, the signal is amplified before the crossover - Source>Amplifier>crossover>speaker

In an active design the signal is amplified after the crossover - Source>crossover>amplifier>speaker

Active requires more amplification because each frequency requires it's own amplification - HF, MF, LF. Check out the video below



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHvruGG7Tmg

Ah thank you for the explanation.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #22 of 71 Old 11-15-2018, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
I like this idea. Parents might not like me smoking up the house hehe. Yea I think that would be pretty fun and seems like a reasonable plan. I can’t wait to order my UM18 and play with it also.


Really it’s all about learning and keeping things in perspective. Don’t plan a build from scratch based on the listed specs on a website but get your own. Start with your goals, get a single some drivers and start testing to see how it works out.

A proven design can help in the long run but it sort of ruins the fun. It’s easy and cost effective but your learning is hampered by all the hard stuff being already done.


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post #23 of 71 Old 11-15-2018, 07:26 PM
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Are subwoofer drivers okay for usage in a tower? They would obviously only take the low frequencies. If so, do they need their own separate cabinet from the other drivers?
@ Yes, each driver which does not have a sealed back needs to be physically isolated from the others. Why? Well, imagine a sealed cabinet with a powered big woofer and a smaller open-back midrange. The woofer moves IN. That pressurizes the cabinet, which tries to push the midrange cone OUT. They will thus fight each other unless isolated.

If there are three drivers in the tower, with an rms rating of 40, 50, and 60 watts, would the tower be rated for the average rms (50 watts) or total (150 watts)? Building on that last question, do the rms ratings have to be super close to perform well?
@ Sorry, but let me tell you as a loudspeaker engineer that speaker power ratings are pretty meaningless. Some companies do stringent testing before assigning those numbers, but any given piece of music and cabinet design etc may not match that. Plus, many cheaper companies just put inflated numbers to appeal to ignorant consumers.
"Head_Unit’s Rules Of Protection" are:
1) If when things start to sound distorted or odd you TURN IT DOWN, you are unlikely to ever break anything.
2) If you constantly "turn it up to 11" you will break something.
NOTE: the size and power ratings of the speakers and amp do not affect rules 1 and 2. (In any case, specs for amps are often not thorough and for speakers pretty meaningless).
Now as far as if your amp is big enough, that is another matter. How loud do you want to play (with clean sound)? What speakers do you have? Is there a sub? Describe the room and what it connects to. Because you can definitely have too small an amp if you have inefficient speakers in a big space and you want to play loud.
@ That said, if you have a specific combination you can always ask if folks think they are compatible power-handling wise; likewise the amplifiers. The collection of "tribal wisdom" can help elucidate clarity in these murky audio waters.

If so, can that be bypassed by making tower a sealed cabinet?
@ Ported cabinets use the port to resonate with the air in the cabinet, kind of like a car wheel hanging on the springs. This means around the port frequency the woofer moves little and the air in the port moves a lot. So a port can extent the bass and reduce excursion. Now in life there is no free lunch, so the problem is that at lower frequencies the port no longer resonates and just acts like a leak.
@ By comparison, at lower and lower frequencies the sealed box limits the excursion of the woofer.
@ So the ported speakers moves less around the port frequency, but below that bottoms out more easily compared to the sealed speaker.
@ As for the sound, the ported box can have stronger bass at the expense of worse transient response. In other words, each musical note won't stop and start as cleanly due to the resonance. How "worse" this actually sounds depends on the tuning and a zillion other factors.

Lastly how expensive should I expect a pair of diy towers to set me back?
@ $57,386.42
@ Send me the money, and I'll get you a great set of parts.
@
@ Now if you want to be boring and do it yourself, then what you spend could vary a lot. A simple cheap 2-way could be I dunno, $200 if you made cabinets yourself out of MDF. From there the sky is the limit

@ As for the crossover, those are simply not well designable unless you have a way to actually measure the drivers. You cannot rely on factory measurements, as each factory uses different equipment and techniques. (If you used all the same brand of drivers and their frequency AND impedance measurements all had the same format then maybe you could, if they had raw importable data available. You'd need software that could import the data and simulate the crossover).
@ It's a big learning curve and some expense to do all that, so it is far simpler to get a driver+crossover kit. But if you want to go for it, hey, good luck! You can get help here.
@ You can get a premade cabinet with many kits, or make your own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fill35U View Post
@ I second this, and third it. Vance is not only a nice guy, he is super smart and has measured by now literally a ton of speakers.

@ A note of positive hope: whatever speaker you build, you'll always hear something new out of the music. So go for it!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by head_unit View Post
Are subwoofer drivers okay for usage in a tower? They would obviously only take the low frequencies. If so, do they need their own separate cabinet from the other drivers?

@ Yes, each driver which does not have a sealed back needs to be physically isolated from the others. Why? Well, imagine a sealed cabinet with a powered big woofer and a smaller open-back midrange. The woofer moves IN. That pressurizes the cabinet, which tries to push the midrange cone OUT. They will thus fight each other unless isolated.



If there are three drivers in the tower, with an rms rating of 40, 50, and 60 watts, would the tower be rated for the average rms (50 watts) or total (150 watts)? Building on that last question, do the rms ratings have to be super close to perform well?

@ Sorry, but let me tell you as a loudspeaker engineer that speaker power ratings are pretty meaningless. Some companies do stringent testing before assigning those numbers, but any given piece of music and cabinet design etc may not match that. Plus, many cheaper companies just put inflated numbers to appeal to ignorant consumers.

"Head_Unit’s Rules Of Protection" are:

1) If when things start to sound distorted or odd you TURN IT DOWN, you are unlikely to ever break anything.

2) If you constantly "turn it up to 11" you will break something.

NOTE: the size and power ratings of the speakers and amp do not affect rules 1 and 2. (In any case, specs for amps are often not thorough and for speakers pretty meaningless).

Now as far as if your amp is big enough, that is another matter. How loud do you want to play (with clean sound)? What speakers do you have? Is there a sub? Describe the room and what it connects to. Because you can definitely have too small an amp if you have inefficient speakers in a big space and you want to play loud.

@ That said, if you have a specific combination you can always ask if folks think they are compatible power-handling wise; likewise the amplifiers. The collection of "tribal wisdom" can help elucidate clarity in these murky audio waters.



If so, can that be bypassed by making tower a sealed cabinet?

@ Ported cabinets use the port to resonate with the air in the cabinet, kind of like a car wheel hanging on the springs. This means around the port frequency the woofer moves little and the air in the port moves a lot. So a port can extent the bass and reduce excursion. Now in life there is no free lunch, so the problem is that at lower frequencies the port no longer resonates and just acts like a leak.

@ By comparison, at lower and lower frequencies the sealed box limits the excursion of the woofer.

@ So the ported speakers moves less around the port frequency, but below that bottoms out more easily compared to the sealed speaker.

@ As for the sound, the ported box can have stronger bass at the expense of worse transient response. In other words, each musical note won't stop and start as cleanly due to the resonance. How "worse" this actually sounds depends on the tuning and a zillion other factors.



Lastly how expensive should I expect a pair of diy towers to set me back?

@ $57,386.42

@ Send me the money, and I'll get you a great set of parts.

@

@ Now if you want to be boring and do it yourself, then what you spend could vary a lot. A simple cheap 2-way could be I dunno, $200 if you made cabinets yourself out of MDF. From there the sky is the limit



@ As for the crossover, those are simply not well designable unless you have a way to actually measure the drivers. You cannot rely on factory measurements, as each factory uses different equipment and techniques. (If you used all the same brand of drivers and their frequency AND impedance measurements all had the same format then maybe you could, if they had raw importable data available. You'd need software that could import the data and simulate the crossover).

@ It's a big learning curve and some expense to do all that, so it is far simpler to get a driver+crossover kit. But if you want to go for it, hey, good luck! You can get help here.

@ You can get a premade cabinet with many kits, or make your own.





@ I second this, and third it. Vance is not only a nice guy, he is super smart and has measured by now literally a ton of speakers.



@ A note of positive hope: whatever speaker you build, you'll always hear something new out of the music. So go for it!

So encouraging! I love it. Thank you so much, you and @michael hurd are fantastic at answering and thank you for reading my madness I’m calling a thread.

Thank you for all that info on driver specifications and measurements. It seems like a pain in the ass to learn but once I’m past the learning curve, it’s gonna be loads of fun.

“Head_Unit’s Rules of Protection” are perfect. I already follow these luckily but I’m glad they now have a name. You should patent it or something.

I’ll PayPal you my next check and see what you can do with it hehe.

Crossover design looks to be the hardest part but I’m going to master it don’t worry. I might have to blow up a couple speakers first but i WILL master it

I’m going to try to avoid being basic and just getting a kit to assemble. While it’s the probably the best and most realistic solution, it’s also the most boring. Call me crazy. 15 year old designing and assembling full range tower speakers. But it might make history Also I will be cutting my own MDF because that’s also part of the fun.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #25 of 71 Old 11-15-2018, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Thank you for all that info on driver specifications and measurements. It seems like a pain in the ass to learn but once I’m past the learning curve, it’s gonna be loads of fun.
It IS a pain, but an interesting one. Mmmm, you do need a way to measure actual frequency response + phase AND impedance data. Then good simulation software like LEAP. Unless you can find someone in the Forum by nearby who can measure for you, or buy some equipment to do so yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Call me crazy. 15 year old designing and assembling full range tower speakers...
Not crazy. That is exactly how I became a loudspeaker design engineer
And since I had actually built stuff and knew what I was doing, I got hired at the highest starting salary of my whole graduating class
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post #26 of 71 Old 11-16-2018, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
So encouraging! I love it. Thank you so much, you and @michael hurd are fantastic at answering and thank you for reading my madness I’m calling a thread.

Thank you for all that info on driver specifications and measurements. It seems like a pain in the ass to learn but once I’m past the learning curve, it’s gonna be loads of fun.

“Head_Unit’s Rules of Protection” are perfect. I already follow these luckily but I’m glad they now have a name. You should patent it or something.

I’ll PayPal you my next check and see what you can do with it hehe.

Crossover design looks to be the hardest part but I’m going to master it don’t worry. I might have to blow up a couple speakers first but i WILL master it

I’m going to try to avoid being basic and just getting a kit to assemble. While it’s the probably the best and most realistic solution, it’s also the most boring. Call me crazy. 15 year old designing and assembling full range tower speakers. But it might make history Also I will be cutting my own MDF because that’s also part of the fun.

Here's one article that can get you started:


https://www.audioxpress.com/article/...-Way-Speakers1

Ask your doctor if DIY is right for you. Side effects of DIY may include anxiety, elevated blood pressure, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, skeletal muscle flaccidity, euphoria, psychological dependence, insomnia, confusion, blurred vision, implusivity, uncontrolled or repeated movements.
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post #27 of 71 Old 11-16-2018, 11:30 AM
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@Russdawg1


Lol well I started with - What do i want. I wanted 5 towers i could run full range and not have to run subs all the time for music and when i played movies id keep the full experience. Because im one of those idiots that hates and hears difference when all LFE/bass is sent to subs. I checked a few sites for kits and was highly disappointed. Not at them but availablity of what i wanted. 90% all the kits were meant for use with subs, and the ones that weren't couldn't dip low enough or be run at reference. That was about 4% remaining kits, the 1% (percentages are my opinion) that could do both were super expensive.


Take for instance, Cabs- average cab was $30+ and for the 1% of the speakers i could use were more. Now for a 3/4" 4'x8' sheet of MDF locally for me is $22... I built 5 full-range towers and 2 VBSS subwoofers and i bought 7 sheets MDF and have 2 1/2 remaining and thats with a LOT of screw ups. I didnt spend any extra money on ports as i just built them-I've had my speakers playing crazy loud and deep, enough where its shaking windows and couch and NO chuff...smooth silky response.



I grabbed ALL the free software i could get my hands on--PCD WINpcd REW WINISD, unibox FPGraphTrace ACD, XSim, ALL jeffBagby stuff, vituixCAD- LOL
And i played with them,.. for a good 3 weeks probably. Even now my new design i have been tweaking and modeling for a week.




Most all of the DIY community are great- but there are going to be people who will tell you to not do it and its a waste...IGNORE them. In my opinion kits will keep the crutches on. Kits are amazing if you want to do one build or two and be done. Even then you have to hunt for what you want...Yes most the DIY kits especially on one group have great sensitivity- But even the $550 (each) speaker cant touch my F3 and is HUGE.



Im not saying my build is king of kings-its not! But it is affordable relatively sensitive (around 90db) has a FB 38HZ! and was affordable to build 5 matching ones. Like i stated before- I got talked out of doing my original idea, and now im going to do it and because i did this build i am vastly more confident. Heck i even got advice on Xover and i only had make a couple adjustments not because they were wrong, but to make my design just a bit better.



Run with DIY have fun! i put off DIY for years because of negative Nancy getting mad at new people. watch 123Toids videos on YouTube---lots of videos meant for helping beginners get their feet wet. With what i learned from my build im now going to build 5 new towers 4 Auro speakers and 2 new subs. (not all at once lol). Ill be saving a couple hundred on this build because ill be using the same tweeter i already have, and i have spare MDF.



Just to peak your interest, Im going to be building MTM-W
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post #28 of 71 Old 11-16-2018, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remy.Alexander View Post
Kits are amazing if you want to do one build or two and be done. Even then you have to hunt for what you want...Yes most the DIY kits especially on one group have great sensitivity- But even the $550 (each) speaker cant touch my F3 and is HUGE.

Im not saying my build is king of kings-its not! But it is affordable relatively sensitive (around 90db) has a FB 38HZ! and was affordable to build 5 matching ones.
Which DIY speaker are you comparing yours to here?

Sources/processing: stack of stuff that if it isn't vintage now, it will be soon!
Amps: stacks and stacks of old iron
Main speakers: big DIYSG
Surrounds: Bose graveyard
Subs: a bunch
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post #29 of 71 Old 11-16-2018, 02:37 PM
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More On-Line Tutorials:
https://site.diy-loudspeakers.com
https://www.parts-express.com/resources-build-a-speaker
https://www.udemy.com/acoustics-101-...closure-design

There are many others re specific subjects, such as the PROs and CONs of different Crossover Designs....but you should stick to Off-the-Shelf Second Order (12 db/Octave) Units...which are more than adequate for "normal" speaker designs. OTOH, a DIY Design would be advised if you want a FULL-RANGE system with a Sub-Woofer built into the same Cabinet (or a Very Large Woofer, e.g. 15in or Large) where a very low Crossover Frequency might be needed, with much Larger Coils advised to reduce Loss and improve Damping Factor control [to improve Cone actually following Electrical Waveform].
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post #30 of 71 Old 11-16-2018, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone who responded, again. I’m traveling right now and I can’t read everything before I lose WiFi again. I will definitely read everything when I get off the airplane. Thanks!

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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