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Discussion Starter #1
I am not a seasoned DIY expert to say the least but I am slowly trying to learn. I am finding the more technical knowledge you can attain the better anticipation you can have of "good designs" in commercial offerings. Considering the nature of the commercial market, it also makes it easier to pull the BS card
!!!


I currently have a JTR T12 front stage but am looking for something that has less depth so I can go with an AT screen.


These are great speakers that provide the large sound I like. They are just too big for my room. So I started looking into alternatives.


It seems to me that some companies are starting to readily offer high efficiency designs for in home use (JTR, Seaton, CHT, Danley, now ED). Most of the tweeter designs these companies use involve horn loaded compression drivers.


From what I have read, these drivers are popular because they can handle high output and low distortion. I am assuming the horn is in place for dispersion purposes. These designs seem to give up on the low end because of the drivers that are used (high sensitivity, less xmax).


I had the privilege of listening to some of Jim Salks designs at an audio fest I attended and fell in love with his application of ribbons (pretty straight forward design). They seem to have more detail then a lot of other tweeter designs I have heard. I got to thinking of what the benefits would be of using ribbons in a high efficiency design like the ones I mentioned earlier (better detail along with the dynamics).


Once again, I am assuming the drawback with ribbons are that they are not as efficient and much more expensive to incorporate. Am I out in left field?


An initial thought was a horn loaded ribbon design but that was just me thinking out load.



Thanks in advance!!!
 

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great post.


you are definitely not out in left field.


if you like the jtr's, just build some new cabs that have the same internal volumes, damping material etc. and go with that. that could be a quick fix. the component with the most depth is likely the coaxial midrange.


if you want a whole different design with ribbons and so forth, that is a ground-up project.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 /forum/post/20874624


great post.


you are definitely not out in left field.


if you like the jtr's, just build some new cabs that have the same internal volumes, damping material etc. and go with that. that could be a quick fix. the component with the most depth is likely the coaxial midrange.


if you want a whole different design with ribbons and so forth, that is a ground-up project.

I could make a new cab for them I guess. It would be much taller to compensate for the depth, right? What about port design?




Aren't port sizes kind of tricky when considering the addition of "port noise" that might modify the frequency response?


I took the drivers out once to switch the tweeter position but can't recall how deep they were. I wonder how much depth I could cut off.


I tried to do some research on popular ribbons but they seem to be more popular in older designs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by orcarola25 /forum/post/20874775


I tried to do some research on popular ribbons but they seem to be more popular in older designs.

Fountek, RAAL, Raven and CSS for 4 current manufacturers just OTTOMH.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308
Fountek, RAAL, Raven and CSS for 4 current manufacturers just OTTOMH.
Thanks for the info. I am googling and reading as we speak.



So Jim Salk uses RAAL Ribbons in his design. I heard this ribbon in his song towers and they sounded amazing.


On the other hand, most ribbon applications I am reading about are for studios that have a sweet spot for the sound engineer. The ribbons seem to have limited directivity because of how hard they drop off at certain frequencies. I'm thinking this might make them harder to implement in a dedicated theater with multiple seating positions.


Would an added horn help in this case?


Forgive me as I am learning as I go.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by orcarola25
The ribbons seem to have limited directivity because of how hard they drop off at certain frequencies. I'm thinking this might make them harder to implement in a dedicated theater with multiple seating positions.
Ribbons tend to have very wide horizontal dispersion and narrow vertical. As you generally listen at ine height it's not that much of an issue.


Wide horizontal dispersion can be good or not; it depends upon the design parameters and room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orcarola25
Would an added horn help in this case?
It depends upon what you're trying to achieve.
 

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"What about port design?"


piece of pie. ;-)


ports of a certain cross-sectional area and certain length tune a cab of a certain volume to a certain frequency.


if there would not be sufficient depth with yours, then you can fire the ports in some other direction. for example, an up firing port for the top woof and a down firing port for the bottom woof...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308
Ribbons tend to have very wide horizontal dispersion and narrow vertical. As you generally listen at ine height it's not that much of an issue.
What about the height of a second row of seating on a riser? Would that be a noticeable difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308
It depends upon what you're trying to achieve.
In a nutshell, I would be trying to achieve the characteristics of my current setup (dynamics, effortless reference levels, low distortion, no strain) in addition to maximizing detail in the mid to high ranges. Basically, the best of both worlds (HT and Music).


I built two DTS-10s that I would consider to be high efficiency subs that do a pretty good job up the lower mid range.


My room is 12'W X 21' L and will be a dedicated theater. The first row will be at around 11' from the front stage. Second row is about 3' behind that and 12" higher.


It's seems to be common that most loudspeakers designed to have music listening as a priority and home theater as an afterthought cannot play reference levels without strain. I understand why but still do not understand why it isn't readily done. Could be my own ignorance
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02
piece of pie. ;-)


ports of a certain cross-sectional area and certain length tune a cab of a certain volume to a certain frequency.


if there would not be sufficient depth with yours, then you can fire the ports in some other direction. for example, an up firing port for the top woof and a down firing port for the bottom woof...
Interesting!!!!

Thanks for the info. When I get some time to tinker, I will break my T12's open and have a look.
 

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Have you checked with Jeff at JTR? He seemed like a really nice guy and maybe could offer some direction. He came out with the low profile single 8 that took 3" off the depth - maybe he's already put some thought into a LP trip12?
 

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There are some waveguides/ribbon drivers out there. I remember a couple of links on one of the DIY forums recently showing a pretty cool lowcost waveguide/ribbon design.


Also, The same guys that built the prototype for our SEOS-15 waveguide also have started offering waveguides for more expensive ribbons.


FWIW, I have Neopro5i ribbon designs and I also have high end horns/CDs. Here is my opinion on the entire topic.


1. Dome tweeters just can not compete period any more for me. Not even remotely close to what a ribbon can offer in terms of subjective high end crisp clean sound. Domes always have a certain "extra noise/sound" to them for me and CSD measurements seem to follow that "extra noise"


2. Ribbons have higher sensitivity then domes (>= 95 to 100+ dB) but inherent to their design they definitely can not be crossed over low (2K is about the limit on most) of course that is okay. Im definitely someone that thinks there should be no crossover in the critical voicing ranges (500Hz to 2Khz or even above). Its hard though to find the right drivers to remove any XO issue in that range. Ribbons also drop like a rock on the vertical axis. Move several inches up or down and the high frequencies are dropping off severly. I think waveguides used with ribbons have maybe helped with this but using a ribbon in an HT room with different listening levels isnt a good thing if their vertical off axis response is a serious compromise.


3. CDs even my expensive TADs do not sound as good as the ribbons on the top end but in the world of audio we have to choose our priorities and understand our compromises. The TAD along with other CDs (BMS, B&C) offer dynamics, lower XO points, etc that give them more then enough benefits to have me not even really caring about the very minor high end differences that I could make a mountain of exaggerations over like some audiophiles try too
I always wonder about the overly critical nature of this hobby where we all focus on the minor bad issues forgetting about all the good that exists. We obssess to much about one compromise or another losing complete understand that there is always going to be a compromise.



Conclusions. If Im building a critical listening 2 channel setup and Im in a smallish room where Im not going to be sitting 15feet or more back then I would choose ribbon designs. If Im building an high end HT setup and I have a custom HT room that my listening distances can be 15 to 20 feet back then Im building waveguide/CD designs. The overall SQ isnt such a big deal (SQ on CDs is still very good but not 100% excellent), the difference in directivity and dynamics is night and day....its hard to go back.


Many might say that speakers do not follow the any specific application. I say "Bullpucky", each application (critical music, high end HT) has very specific requirements and they seldom compliment each other.


The OP made a great point HT, I really think 99% of the manufacturers just do not get it. Not only them but 99% of all speaker owners seem not to hear "strained" sound speakers create. Of course this is a very normal occurance considering BOSE has a customer satisfaction rate of over 90%



Figure out your application, figure out your priorities. Learn all about all compromises that exist and accept the compromises that might exist
 

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If you do end up rebuilding your cabinets to a shallower version, definitely consider making them sealed cabinets. I spoke with Jeff last week with similar concerns (I'm doing an AT screen too and placement will be on wall or very close to on wall). He did not hesitate to recommend the sealed cabinets -- not only because they are shallower and will allow me to fit my screen tighter up against the front wall, but also because of how the sealed cabinets perform when wall mounted or placed near a wall or boundary. The natural gradual rolloff of the sealed cabinets gets a more manageable boost in low frequencies and will improve the low end extension, while requiring less EQ (cut) than the ported versions to produce an overall smooth response. Definitely give Jeff a call before you run off to build them yourself though... he might be able to help you out. It'd be near impossible to DIY the build quality that he is capable of producing. He may even want you to send in the crossovers to accomodate the new design.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCaboNow
Have you checked with Jeff at JTR? He seemed like a really nice guy and maybe could offer some direction. He came out with the low profile single 8 that took 3" off the depth - maybe he's already put some thought into a LP trip12?
+1


Jeff also designed a new sealed low profile Tripple 8 which is only 7.5inch deep or almost half as deep than the vented Tripple 8.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by orcarola25 /forum/post/20875041


What about the height of a second row of seating on a riser? Would that be a noticeable difference?

Without knowing the rest of the details of the design of the speaker, perhaps, perhaps not.

For example, an MTM type design with a long ribbon like the 5i could be a horror. Or if you design the baffle with maybe a (pulling a number out of my butt) 5 degree angle back, it might place both sets of ears close to on axis. You'll need to consider the geometry.


Not knowing any more about what you're considering doing make it difficult to comment more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orcarola25 /forum/post/20875041


In a nutshell, I would be trying to achieve the characteristics of my current setup (dynamics, effortless reference levels, low distortion, no strain) in addition to maximizing detail in the mid to high ranges. Basically, the best of both worlds (HT and Music).


I built two DTS-10s that I would consider to be high efficiency subs that do a pretty good job up the lower mid range.


My room is 12'W X 21' L and will be a dedicated theater. The first row will be at around 11' from the front stage. Second row is about 3' behind that and 12" higher.


It's seems to be common that most loudspeakers designed to have music listening as a priority and home theater as an afterthought cannot play reference levels without strain. I understand why but still do not understand why it isn't readily done. Could be my own ignorance

Why isn't it done? For a couple of reasons: firstly most 'philes are idiot snobs more concerned with trivia than really great capable sound (DIYers are sometimes an exception) and because of that are not as concerned with having a realistic dynamic range so the designs aren't made for it. They will generally eschew designs and concepts outside their comfort zones unless some annointed guru tells them it's OK. For example, few will even consider CD's and horns/WGs, have no idea (or interest in) controlled dispersion and as soon as you mention them either think of Klipsch or Avantegard, both of which are crap. I've owned most of the K Heritage range and heard Duos and Trios and wouldn't own any of them now.


In general terms I agree with Penn's comments in #11, with a few additional comments.

1: Domes can be fine depending on your design. I would not use them for an HT design (all my mains and surrounds are getting CD/WG) but the Vifa D26NC55 I'm going to use in a later bedroom speaker build are very nice sounding and good technical performers, but I'm not expecting high SPL out of them here and would not use them in a reference level HT. Some ribbons might better them, but they are so small I can get a nice C-C distance which is one of the things I want in this design.

I'd just build another set of Ariels for the BR but I foolishly gave the drivers to a friend who wants to use them and is making boxes now.


2: Ribbons: Many are in the sensitivity range Penn mentions, but some are not and many of the smaller units are low power and some have ribbons that could be described as fuses.


Many planars are also called ribbons incorrectly. I'm not interested in these so can't comment any further.


A subset of these are the pleated or EMT diaphragmed tweets. I'd like to get a set of Beyma TPL150H later down the track. Very good performance and measurements by all reports. I'm a big CD fan, and think most of the limitations are design based, but these could be what sway me at least in a dedicated 2ch system.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

Quote:
Originally Posted by zacjones /forum/post/20875765


If you do end up rebuilding your cabinets to a shallower version, definitely consider making them sealed cabinets. I spoke with Jeff last week with similar concerns (I'm doing an AT screen too and placement will be on wall or very close to on wall). He did not hesitate to recommend the sealed cabinets -- not only because they are shallower and will allow me to fit my screen tighter up against the front wall, but also because of how the sealed cabinets perform when wall mounted or placed near a wall or boundary. The natural gradual rolloff of the sealed cabinets gets a more manageable boost in low frequencies and will improve the low end extension, while requiring less EQ (cut) than the ported versions to produce an overall smooth response. Definitely give Jeff a call before you run off to build them yourself though... he might be able to help you out. It'd be near impossible to DIY the build quality that he is capable of producing. He may even want you to send in the crossovers to accomodate the new design.

Thanks for the reply!!!


I am aware of Jeff's low profile designs he is offering now. I wonder what he is giving up thinning his cabinet design out.

I think his cabinet design (LP version) gives up low end but compensates with low end boosts from being placed close to the back wall.

To be brutally honest, I did not consider a change to the LP version simply because of the costs. I am not ready to spend another $900.00 or so (per speaker) on what wouldn't be an acoustic upgrade.


Chase Home Theater's SHO-10s and the new Elemental Design Cinema series caught my attention as they seem to be similar designs using similar drivers as JTR's at about half the price point.


I have not heard the SHO-10s or the ED's so I cannot personally verify my thoughts.
 

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I don't think he'd charge you another $900 per speaker just to replace your cabinets. He may even allow you to return your cabinets and pay a reasonable fee to exchange them -- it certainly wouldn't hurt to ask... I haven't heard the eD or the SHO but I think taking a hit on selling your JTR stuff and going out and getting new, likely lesser quality gear is going to give you lower value than having him make another set of cabinets for you. All I hear about JTR is what a fantastic value they are. They also feature the dual concentric design, which the eD and SHO do not. I'm sure the eD and the SHO are good values as well, but I doubt they are of the same quality of the JTR's, and neither the eD nor the SHO 10 will be able to compete with dual 12 dedicated midbass drivers. If you were starting from scratch they might be worth a try, but since you already have the bigger badder speakers, stick with them!


If you've got the DIY bug and want to build a sealed coaxial design, you could try one of the radia, bms, beyma, ciare, b&c, or pAudio drivers out. Pick up a DCX2496 and some amps and you could run an entire front stage active L/C/R. I'd be interested to see how you fared as I did consider going this route myself.


US speaker carries just about every available coaxial out there. They did warn me that the neodynium drivers will be getting ANOTHER price hike in the next week or two. Also, some of them will be discontinuing their neodynium lines.

http://www.usspeaker.com/homepage.htm



I do like your idea of a horn loaded ribbon tweeter. I'm pretty sure I've seen some on commercial designs somewhere before.


I'll be interested to follow your journey if you undertake a DIY alternative high efficiency design.
 

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Discussion Starter #18

Quote:
Originally Posted by zacjones /forum/post/20876680


I don't think he'd charge you another $900 per speaker just to replace your cabinets. He may even allow you to return your cabinets and pay a reasonable fee to exchange them -- it certainly wouldn't hurt to ask... I haven't heard the eD or the SHO but I think taking a hit on selling your JTR stuff and going out and getting new, likely lesser quality gear is going to give you lower value than having him make another set of cabinets for you. All I hear about JTR is what a fantastic value they are. They also feature the dual concentric design, which the eD and SHO do not. I'm sure the eD and the SHO are good values as well, but I doubt they are of the same quality of the JTR's, and neither the eD nor the SHO 10 will be able to compete with dual 12 dedicated midbass drivers. If you were starting from scratch they might be worth a try, but since you already have the bigger badder speakers, stick with them!


If you've got the DIY bug and want to build a sealed coaxial design, you could try one of the radia, bms, beyma, ciare, b&c, or pAudio drivers out. Pick up a DCX2496 and some amps and you could run an entire front stage active L/C/R. I'd be interested to see how you fared as I did consider going this route myself.


US speaker carries just about every available coaxial out there. They did warn me that the neodynium drivers will be getting ANOTHER price hike in the next week or two. Also, some of them will be discontinuing their neodynium lines.

http://www.usspeaker.com/homepage.htm



I do like your idea of a horn loaded ribbon tweeter. I'm pretty sure I've seen some on commercial designs somewhere before.


I'll be interested to follow your journey if you undertake a DIY alternative high efficiency design.

Good point Zac,


I will give Jeff a ring tomorrow and see what he says. I wouldn't mind a sealed cabinet for the T12s.


I am in the middle of a my dedicated theater construction right now so I am not sure I could add a "ground up build" right now. I will have to definitely do some homework on whether or not the ribbon/wg concept will perform how I want it to perform. It is definitely something I would be willing to try out in the future.


More to come
 

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Discussion Starter #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 /forum/post/20875983


Not knowing any more about what you're considering doing make it difficult to comment more.

Here are some pics of my room (in construction).


The room is 12' X 21' X 8'

Seating distance is almost 11' @ 36" first row and 50" second row.




Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 /forum/post/20875983


Why isn't it done? For a couple of reasons: firstly most 'philes are idiot snobs more concerned with trivia than really great capable sound (DIYers are sometimes an exception) and because of that are not as concerned with having a realistic dynamic range so the designs aren't made for it. They will generally eschew designs and concepts outside their comfort zones unless some annointed guru tells them it's OK.

LMAO. I haven't had limited experience with Audiophiles but from what I have experienced, you seem to be right. The Audiofest I attended was catered to music listeners and audiophiles. I was talking to one of the crossover designers for a popular speaker company and I had mentioned my JTR design. He expressed a somewhat frustration about the design and snuffed the conversation all together.


Do you personally think a ribbon design would work in my room, fulfilling the demands of a reference level HT?

If not, do you have some recommendations of CD/WGs designs?

Thanks for taking the time out to provide your expertise. It is highly considered and greatly appreciated.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by orcarola25 /forum/post/20874542


I currently have a JTR T12 front stage but am looking for something that has less depth so I can go with an AT screen.

Here's a left-field alternative (ignore if you have a bright enough image and a bat cave for viewing):


Don't go AT to improve your sound, instead get a Dalite Hipower screen to improve your image.


I agonized for quite some time because I really wanted an AT Screen, but the image was too dim for me.


I got the Hipower and it was transformed from dimmish and uninvolving to bright, vibrant, and sharp (more brightness makes detail more visible).


Also, the retroreflective design rejects off-axis light from all directions except from the projector, increasing on-screen contrast, as well as making waves essentially invisible, and being free from hotspotting except in extreme setup situations.
 
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