AVS Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you can not already tell, I am new to these forums. The question I am about to ask I expect will get one of three replies:

1- You're an idiot, they are totally different.

2- They are similar and could be used with good results at home

3- There is no difference at all

Anyways, I hope to avoid flaming and thank anyone in advance who takes time to read and reply to my long-windedness


I've been looking at parts express for a woofer/mid/tweeter to use in a 3 way speaker for quite some time. I want respectable sensitivity for the tower as a whole- at least above the 93db $100 Jensen power station speakers that currently make wonderful speaker stands in my room
However, I still want them to survive at least 250w RMS (this part doesn't seem hard to meet).


Now, for the question. I've seen "professional audio" or "sound reinforcement" speakers on PE with very high sensitivity... even reasonable drivers reach 96 to 98db. The closest "home audio" or regular woofer seemed to be under 93db in the same or lower price range. Is there a huge difference in sound quality between these "pro" drivers and typical drivers? Could a very sensitive 3 way tower be constructed using pro drivers instead of typical 90ish home audio drivers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,880 Posts
The question of 'pro sound driver' vs. 'typical home audio driver' might be to generic

to form a good conclusion. Maybe a better methodology is to make a list of driver

candidates for a project then look at each candidate closely and try to make a reasonable

conclusion on which one you might want to get or order one of each as samples for

audition.


There are many pro sound drivers that may sound good, may sound bad, may work

better using an uncommon approach, etc.


If you want higher sensitivity tweeters and midranges while keeping the sound quality

high, the list of good candidates narrows. One old school method is compression drivers

w/horn, larger midranges, bigger woofers for bass..... then add sub if needed.


I found some very high sensitivity tweeters that have awesome sound quality but the price is so outrageous that nobody uses them in a home audio project. I found another vendor

that sells quality midranges in the 6" - 10" size with 97dB - 101dB sensitivity, but you pay

premium to get that. When you use higher sensitivity midranges, the bass output of those

drivers decreases unless you use a larger midrange than typical in a larger box, perhaps

even porting the design too. If you don't want horns, large mids and woofers, another

great alternative that is probable the best is to make a line array which will give you

many rewards. Can be designed for higher sensitivity, very low distortion, high power

handling, you can use low cost drivers, but the project as a whole can be expensive

because you need many drivers and the sum of all parts can get expensive too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
perhaps looking at these items

partsexpress com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=290-412

partsexpress com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?Partnumber=294-650

partsexpress com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=294-660


I'll have a powered sub for each speaker so bass from the woofer would only need to be down around 80hz... havent looked much at the tweeters yet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,963 Posts
IMO a system using good pro drivers---compression drivers and horns and large high efficiency woofers---sounds much better than systems using hi-fi type drivers.

(keep in mind that in the past many hi-fi speakers used pro drivers such as older Altec and JBL systems).


Systems using good pro drivers exceed normal systems in clarity, low distortion and dynamics; the "jump" factor that comes when quick high intensity signals are reproduced without compression.


There are downsides. Cost is one, good quality pro drivers are expensive, I just paid $220 each for a pair of GPA compression drivers. That doesn't include the cost of horn flares for the drivers either. And you can expect to pay about $300 at least for top shelf 15" woofers from GPA, JBL or Radian.


And high efficiency woofers mean that cabinets must be larger for a given depth of bass than with low efficiency hi-fi type drivers.


And compression drivers on horns generally need EQ to reach extended highs, this if one wishes to avoid using a tweeter. Speakers such as the Altec Model 19 had such passive EQ built into the crossover. But then many conventional hi-fi speakers have EQ built in their crossovers too. I prefer running 1" throat compression drivers all the way up rather than using tweeters.


IMO the best compression drivers in the PE catalog are the JBLs and Radians, especially the JBL 2426 and Radian 475. The JBL 2226 is a great 15" woofer. The B&C stuff is very good too and so is the Eminence but not IMO&E quite as good as the Radian and JBL. But the Eminence is cheaper and I've heard excellent 2-way systems using 15" Eminence woofers and Eminence compression drivers and horns.


IMO the very best of this kind of stuff is the old "real" Altec stuff or the modern GPA (Great Plains Audio) which is the old Altec stuff made in the USA by the new owner of the Altec production equipment; the real Altec having been killed off by Telex and the gear bought by Altec's last head engineer Bill Hanuscheck. GPA is VERY cool stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,880 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by goober07 /forum/post/0


perhaps looking at these items

partsexpress com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=290-412

partsexpress com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?Partnumber=294-650

partsexpress com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=294-660


I'll have a powered sub for each speaker so bass from the woofer would only need to be down around 80hz... havent looked much at the tweeters yet


The midrange you linked is interesting and caught my eye a while back but

I never got around to getting one for audition.
http://partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdetl...number=294-650


The Audax PR170M0 is a very good pure midrange driver.
http://www.madisound.com/cgi-bin/ind....12450&pid=107


The sound quality is very high, I've compared the midrange and treble

sound that it produces to Seas, Focal, etc. drivers and it ranked very

high. Drawback is the lack of bass so you need a woofer up to ~300hz operation.


If you go into the $100 - $200 price range, I can dig up a few more candidates.


Those two drivers would be good candidates for a higher sensititivty 3 way

loudspeaker. All you need is a higher sensitivity tweeter {probably horn} and

at least a good 12" woofer for bass, maybe even a 15" woofer.

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshow...Number=290-460

This Eminence woofer might be something to check out if you want

higher sensitivity. You will probably need to port the design in a big box

to get good bass, but xmax is limited. If you have a subwoofer to mate

with this, then that will work good.


You need to find a good tweeter now and crossover for the whole setup.


After you add up all the driver costs, that budget might allow for a budget

line array, a more complex project but very cool ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
goober07, you are placing much more emphasis on sensitivity than is necessary for your intended project. A 3-way tower is a serious project and can make a great sounding floor speaker, especially considering you are making things easier by incorporating the 4th subwoofer component to the mix. Your greatest considerations need to be matching of driver's TONE, not sensitivity. Each of the drivers need to easily provide for the range you expect of them and cross well with the other drivers. You need, also, to look at airspace requirements for these drivers and work that into your design.


A 6.5" midbass woofer will easily provide for your crossover to the sub at 80 Hz, as a decent one will provide sound into the 40s. A configuration that I used for my main speakers is a M-T-M-W arrangement (see page 4 of the DIY gallery), and I'm crossing this over to the subwoofer at 80 Hz as well. I used an M-T-M because, well, I like the looks and the sound is great. I used all drivers of the same manufacturer, Vifa. Vifa has recently been bought by Peerless but the drivers are still manufactured using same-as-before criteria in the same house as before. They are now marketed as Peerless V-line, and can be found exclusively at Madisound...although I bought most of the drivers at the time from PartsExpress when they were under the former ownership and name. But that's just one of many manufacturer's drivers you could use.


The mids seen in those pics were upgraded to the Vifa premium line and no longer have that goofy silver around them.


Note that, when you are selecting and discarding drivers for your project, that even the medium-priced ones at Madisound are actually superior to most commercal speaker offerings. Your cost in crossover components will take a good chunk of your budget, so consider that as you are selecting and modeling your candidates.


You need tools to model with and haven't mentioned what you are using. See FRD Consortium, particularly Unibox, SPL Trace and Speaker Workshop.
http://www.pvconsultants.com/audio/frdgroup.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am sorry for my lack of response. I have been busy for several days and my spare time was consumed with things.... not audio related



I thank you all for your help. I am still in the process of designing the entire system, and have so far taken a few different directions. Often I must loop back and rethink the design because the route I picked had exceeded my budget.


I intend to spend a few more weeks reading, learning, and shopping before ordering any parts for the speakers themselves (I'm not set against line arrays, so I did not refer to the project as towers this time
)


I've done a limited amount of modeling with WINisd, simply because it is the only program I had prior experience with. Thank you for the links to pvconsultants.


Since I am not an expert on passive crossover design, and after reading several passive vs active articles, I honestly would like to go active for this project. The idea I had was to tri amp a stereo set of speakers using relatively small power amps- 80w each, six amps total. In reality what I would do is use an active crossover between a stereo source (CD/HTPC) and an Onkyo 7.1 receiver, in which I would use six of the seven 80w amps to drive my speakers. Does anyone see a problem with this?


The one problem I see would be that each speaker would most likely handle power far in excess of 80w, which could lead to clipping if I turned it up too loud. It would be up to me to avoid stressing the receiver too much.


It seems active crossovers are quite expensive, so I will be doing more research before completely ruling out a passive designs. So far though, I would prefer active. I did find a very cheap, 3way stereo, active crossover with 12db/oct slope that would get me buy at first, though it has very limited options. I would upgrade in the future for sure to a crossover with more adjustability and hopefully 24db/oct slopes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
How's that project going? If you're still looking for a cheap crossover, the Behringer can get you two channels of 3 driver filtering at 48db slopes for about $200. That's not too bad, $100 per speaker for an active digital crossover.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top