Diy Soundbar - how would you design the best sound bar? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-08-2019, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Diy Soundbar - how would you design the best sound bar?

I understand it's a huge compromise, but lots of people like soundbars. If Diy community were to design a soundbar how much "better" could it do compared to the on market solutions now, and how could that be tested?

What would it look like?
What features does it have that current consumer products lack? What have the big names missed?
What design flaws can you solve?
Is it possible "replicate" surround sound with easy solutions or do you need to use a proprietary solution?

I know we've seen a couple before, but I'd love to hear from some designers how they would "solve" the problem.

How would you design and integrate such a solution (so that it works with a receiver or something relatively simple)?

Just think it'd be interesting to have such a solution since people seem to like the products, even if they are a massive compromise, how could you design the best one? Or great budget one?
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-08-2019, 11:00 AM
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Sound Bar I do believe you were talking about building mains with 21" pro drivers, what happened to that

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post #3 of 15 Old 11-08-2019, 11:15 AM
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As you know, it's a compromise, but I could see a wide soundbar with LCR across the front and a couple angled upfiring speakers (making the LR ends "Atmos Enabled") being a pretty impressive 3.0.2 (or 3.1.2 if you add a sub) solution that would run off an Atmos-capable AVR. You could also add surrounds to expand beyond that to something between 5.1.2 and 7.1.4, depending on how far you want to take it, although taking it that far kind of defeats the purpose of using a soundbar.

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post #4 of 15 Old 11-08-2019, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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@johnson636 I'm surprised you remember! Yes this is purely for discussion. For me, now that I've seen the gsg site, I know I can do it much easier now. You all laughed at my 21 mains and now gsg makes it easy to do! I live in Cali now so I'm close enough to pick up flat packs, and I've been saving, just need a place to fit such large drivers.
Trust me, I definitely want to flesh that idea out more!
I just saw someone mention using the gsg with the titan kit in the tekton thread (hope I got that right manufacturer speakers are meh to us). So it seems like my dreams are within reach.

But enough on that, ya just was interested in how the diy community would solve a mainstream problem. Just spur a different line of discussion.

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post #5 of 15 Old 11-08-2019, 05:01 PM
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-08-2019, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcmillan2 View Post
Definitely remember that one. What do you think you'd do if you were to try to improve on it?

Since surround sound from a soundbar is just trying to recreate a "feeling" we aren't necessarily having to be objectively correct I'd imagine? A soundbar wouldn't test well? (haven't thought of it). So would some type of "dolby atmos" up firing style implementation help with immersion?.

Companies are boring and iterative. If a soundbar could be even remotely better, they probably won't implement it for another 5 years. People are more worried about protecting careers rather than trying new things (or just proven things).

Just seems like a new challenge I mean, there are solutions for everything, but this? Even if compromised, it's interesting to think of a proven diy design made that would still hands down destroy everything else.
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-08-2019, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tential View Post
Definitely remember that one. What do you think you'd do if you were to try to improve on it?

Since surround sound from a soundbar is just trying to recreate a "feeling" we aren't necessarily having to be objectively correct I'd imagine? A soundbar wouldn't test well? (haven't thought of it). So would some type of "dolby atmos" up firing style implementation help with immersion?.

Companies are boring and iterative. If a soundbar could be even remotely better, they probably won't implement it for another 5 years. People are more worried about protecting careers rather than trying new things (or just proven things).

Just seems like a new challenge I mean, there are solutions for everything, but this? Even if compromised, it's interesting to think of a proven diy design made that would still hands down destroy everything else.
I think you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist: Those that are happy with soundbars aren't into/willing to DIY, or they build something similar to that I linked above. Those that want "better" than a soundbar (I've never owned one so I don't know what they are capable of) don't use soundbars.

There may be a market for what you are envisioning, but I don't see it being large enough for any production runs, if that's what you're asking.

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post #8 of 15 Old 11-08-2019, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tential View Post
Definitely remember that one. What do you think you'd do if you were to try to improve on it?

Because one of the big compromises is limited width, I'd move the outer drivers all the way to the edges and put the ports somewhere else.

Noah
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-09-2019, 08:10 AM
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-09-2019, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcmillan2 View Post
I think you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist: Those that are happy with soundbars aren't into/willing to DIY, or they build something similar to that I linked above. Those that want "better" than a soundbar (I've never owned one so I don't know what they are capable of) don't use soundbars.

There may be a market for what you are envisioning, but I don't see it being large enough for any production runs, if that's what you're asking.
Simply just a discussion my friend. Just purely spitballing ideas and seeing what would come about. I generally try to avoid the "I don't use it so I don't ever want to think about it!" mindset. Who knows what will come about if we discuss it seriously.

For all weknow someone will design a $100-150 DIY soundbar that serves as a great entry way into DIY that turns more people towards the hobby. Or, it COMPLETELY FLOPS on a production run, as you said.

We've discussed a lot of out there ideas, that I'm sure inspired people to do great things. So I'm quite interested to see how people would improve, or just what their opinion is on getting the best result from one source point.
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post #11 of 15 Old 11-09-2019, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tential View Post
Simply just a discussion my friend. Just purely spitballing ideas and seeing what would come about. I generally try to avoid the "I don't use it so I don't ever want to think about it!" mindset. Who knows what will come about if we discuss it seriously.
Completely agree. DIY certainly didn't come about because people kept thinking inside the box

Quote:
Originally Posted by tential
So I'm quite interested to see how people would improve, or just what their opinion is on getting the best result from one source point.
This was more to my point (no play on words intended): I don't think you'll find the majority in the DIY forum have any interest in a single point source. It just doesn't provide as enveloping an experience as multiple speakers correctly placed in the room.

Or, maybe I just haven't heard any good soundbars and some can provide that immersive experience. I've not been impressed with those I have heard in friend's setups.

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post #12 of 15 Old 11-09-2019, 11:15 AM
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As much as I like the sound of my Goldenear speakers, I’ve always been curious about their big soundbar. My dealer never had one to listen to.

https://shop.goldenear.com/p/superci...soundbar?pp=24

More of an idle curiosity of whether a soundbar can justify the price tag though.

On a list of things to buy to satisfy curiosity, thats pretty far down. Better win one hell of a lottery to play with one.

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post #13 of 15 Old 11-09-2019, 01:07 PM
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Generally speaking you'd improve a soundbar the same way you'd improve any other speaker -- higher quality, better matched drivers and crossovers integrated into optimized cabinets. The only real difference between a soundbar and individual LCR speakers is cabinet format and therefore placement flexibility. Soundbars are generally designed for use with TVs and even an 86" diagonal TV is only slightly more than 6' wide.

So soundbars are generally limited in width to a smaller LR separation than individual speakers. If for example the optimum speaker setup for stereo separation in your listening room is 10' between LR most people would not be interested in having a 10' wide soundbar. There just isn't any market for super wide soundbars to fulfill an optimized audio function outside of watching TV. If the idea is to have an improved soundbar of reasonable width primarily for TV use then I have no doubt that DIYSG could design and produce such a kit. Something based on the old Fusion 4 Quad 4 could pack quite a punch in a low-profile, 6' wide package.
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post #14 of 15 Old 11-10-2019, 11:07 AM
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I'll play the heretic and say some of the commercial soundbars are pretty hard to beat on paper. Big manufacturers can integrate fully active filtering, sound processing, and digital inputs that we can never hope to match for the price. And the drivers don't even suck on some of them.
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post #15 of 15 Old 11-10-2019, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcmillan2 View Post
I don't think you'll find the majority in the DIY forum have any interest in a single point source. It just doesn't provide as enveloping an experience as multiple speakers correctly placed in the room.
That's ok, we're just talking right now. You're getting ahead of yourself trying to decide if there will be enough interest for a production run. Besides, if we can't even make a compelling idea, then no point thinking if there is enough interest for a production run. So lets stop worrying about whether we can generate enough buzz, when we're only just having a fun conversation.
Quote:
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Or, maybe I just haven't heard any good soundbars and some can provide that immersive experience. I've not been impressed with those I have heard in friend's setups.
I hadn't heard any good speakers til I built my first DIY design.

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Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
So soundbars are generally limited in width to a smaller LR separation than individual speakers. If for example the optimum speaker setup for stereo separation in your listening room is 10' between LR most people would not be interested in having a 10' wide soundbar. There just isn't any market for super wide soundbars to fulfill an optimized audio function outside of watching TV. If the idea is to have an improved soundbar of reasonable width primarily for TV use then I have no doubt that DIYSG could design and produce such a kit. Something based on the old Fusion 4 Quad 4 could pack quite a punch in a low-profile, 6' wide package.
I think it's generally well known that we can't make a soundbar ultra wide to replicate LR perfectly. We know it's compromised. It's about doing the best with that compromise. If there is nothing else that can be done to give a better illusion of L/R that's fine, but I'm not sure how productive it would be focusing on the fact that it can't be made wider to perfectly imitate L/R separation. It's really, "Is this a measurable improvement over what people currently get, and does it come at a worthwhile cost?"

I think the Fusion 4 Quad 4 would be a good bass to start from as well. As I look at soundbars online very quickly to get a refresher on what these things even look like on the market, I'd be curious of seeing a test of a DIY design vs the "popular choice". LCR done through the "sound bar" with a cheap subwoofer (DIY or Dayton from PE) vs store.

Also, with the average tv size increasing, I think we have more room today than ever before to play with for DIY solutions that could work. So interesting to spitball some. 4 inch drivers DEFINITELY work, but what about 5?

Also, what about some ultrawide soundbar that doubles as a shelf? It's "floating" there. At that point though, you might as well just have separate speakers, that's why I think it's better to think, "this will be compromised in this regard", because once you start to make the soundbar wider to compensate, you're defeating the purpose.

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I'll play the heretic and say some of the commercial soundbars are pretty hard to beat on paper. Big manufacturers can integrate fully active filtering, sound processing, and digital inputs that we can never hope to match for the price. And the drivers don't even suck on some of them.
I'm not sure I'll EVER trust commercial drivers in speakers after being taught here, but the sound processing is something I'm curious about. How much is it worth it? How much is it actually doing?
It'd be interesting to see if when put up against a DIY, if all of that "processing" means anything, or does simply having better drivers/better design improve it more.
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