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Help chosing drivers for future DIY speakers

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Not that I have the money or resources to be even thinking about this right now... but the prospect of designing and building my own speakers is very appealing. I've been doing some research into design and I think I would want to go for a 3-way tower with separate boxes for the bass woofer, and mid/tweeter.

I need help finding the best (value) drivers to use. I've been looking through Parts Express' stuff but that's the only place I know of to get a variety of drivers at good prices.

I'm looking for an 8" woofer (covering as low as possible, 30Hz lets say, up to around 400Hz) a 6" woofer (for mids, 400Hz to 3,000Hz) and dome tweeter (3,000Hz to 20,000 and up).

For woofers, the best one in a resonable price range (less than $100) is the Aurum Cantus AC-200MKII. Other, cheaper ones that look okay are the Dayton RS225S-8 and HiVi F8, although those do not go nearly as deep as the Aurum.

For mids I'm looking at the HiVi F6, and I'm pretty sure the Morel MDT-30S would be great as far as a tweeter. The problem is, I don't know what these will sound like together, how much space they need to sound their best, whether to have a ported (back, front?) or sealed enclosure, etc.

Can someone help me find good drivers that go well together? I'm looking for an over all solid and rhobust sound. A little warm is nice with strong mids, and highs should be smooth and non fatiguing, but still very detailed.

Oh, and I don't want to spend more than $200 for the drivers for each speaker.
post #2 of 20
The RS225 is the best midbass I have heard, better than the far more expensive Scanspeaks. The best midrange I have heard are the Peerless Exclusive 5.5". And go for a nice ribbon tweeter. Morel sucks bad.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
And go for a nice ribbon tweeter. Morel sucks bad.
Oh? Good to know then.

How do ribbons sound different than domes? Could someone explain their general "signature"?
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pibborando View Post
Oh? Good to know then.

How do ribbons sound different than domes? Could someone explain their general "signature"?
they are faster and more detailed, but need higher crossover points. the transients are super fast.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pibborando View Post
Not that I have the money or resources to be even thinking about this right now... but the prospect of designing and building my own speakers is very appealing. I've been doing some research into design and I think I would want to go for a 3-way tower with separate boxes for the bass woofer, and mid/tweeter.

I need help finding the best (value) drivers to use. I've been looking through Parts Express' stuff but that's the only place I know of to get a variety of drivers at good prices.

I'm looking for an 8" woofer (covering as low as possible, 30Hz lets say, up to around 400Hz) a 6" woofer (for mids, 400Hz to 3,000Hz) and dome tweeter (3,000Hz to 20,000 and up).

For woofers, the best one in a resonable price range (less than $100) is the Aurum Cantus AC-200MKII. Other, cheaper ones that look okay are the Dayton RS225S-8 and HiVi F8, although those do not go nearly as deep as the Aurum.

For mids I'm looking at the HiVi F6, and I'm pretty sure the Morel MDT-30S would be great as far as a tweeter. The problem is, I don't know what these will sound like together, how much space they need to sound their best, whether to have a ported (back, front?) or sealed enclosure, etc.

Can someone help me find good drivers that go well together? I'm looking for an over all solid and rhobust sound. A little warm is nice with strong mids, and highs should be smooth and non fatiguing, but still very detailed.

Oh, and I don't want to spend more than $200 for the drivers for each speaker.
I don't think I would attempt to design a speaker system from scratch.You would be better off building one of the hundreds of proven designs found from various locations on the internet.One of our speaker builders will no dought be along to help you.
post #6 of 20
Have you checked out the loudspeaker section at diyaudio.com? Not that there aren't some good resources here, but I think there are a lot more at diyaudio.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/forum....php?forumid=6
post #7 of 20
The Dayton RS speakers are real overachievers. I have built three different sets of speakers with the RS180's and have been very impressed with the sound they produce (granted a huge part of it is the crossover design which is why it is is often recommended initially to use a established recipe).

For an idea of using the drivers in a three way design like you are talking about, there is the Dayton RS WMTW which is well regarded design.

If you are not opposed to a simpler design, the Natalie P's are another similar design which uses all RS drivers but has a simpler crossover and the cost of both drivers and crossovers are quite a bit cheaper. The speakers and crossover parts cost ~$350 and then whether you buy or build cabinets it costs a bit more. They sound fantastic though.

Here is a few more links to those allready mentioned with more design ideas as well -

Murphy Blaster Productions

Zaph Audio

DIY Speakers

Humble HiFi

HTGuide Forum

Then there is always full range speakers as well....
post #8 of 20
A couple more resources for buying drivers:

http://www.madisound.com/

http://www.speakercity.com/

If you're designing your own speakers, you might be interested in this book:

http://www.powells.com/biblio?isbn=9781882580477

If you want some advice, I'd go with one of the DIY projects you'll find. Speakers are much more than the drivers- the crossover is huge and so is the shape, design, build, and materials of the cabinet.

If you're not stuck on the 3-way design, take a look at the single drivers out there. Prices are reasonable, especially because there's no crossover involved. Also, they sound a lot more like headphones and you can use fleawatt tube amps to drive them. The advantage there being that a number of the fleawatt amps also kick rear end at driving headphones. You might want to hold off even until Eddie Current rolls out its new full range driver. If it's anything like the Cicada, it'll be well worth it.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help and resources. I know people have been advising to go with pre-designed builds but I can't help but think up some of my own. It's not like I'm going to start this project any time soon, so maybe I can refine a design that it actually good. Just an idea here. Would anyone be able to tell me if this would work?

post #10 of 20
You won't be able to design a 3-way on your first attempt. It's just too difficult. Crossover design becomes exponentially more difficult as you add drivers. You also really need a measurement rig for designing a proper 3-way. You could start with doing the upper cabinet in your drawing as a 2-way, then changing the design once you have some experience to incorporate the lower cabinet, much like Dennis Murphy did when he went from the MBOW1 to the MBOW1 3-way. That makes more sense.

Currently, the best value (i.e. best performance for the money) drivers are the RS series from Parts Express, but unfortunately they're metal and thus perhaps not the best choice for a first speaker design project. You have more issues to deal with in the crossover with those drivers. The next best value are drivers from the Seas standard line, especially the 27TDFC/27TBFC tweeters. Seas woofers have become more expensive as the dollar has fallen, but the new ER18RNX looks to be a decent value.

The best speakerbuilding forum on the web right now is HTGuide. That's where you should go for asking in-depth questions. If your questions are more oriented towards newbie stuff, the Parts Express forum is good.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pibborando View Post
Thanks for all the help and resources. I know people have been advising to go with pre-designed builds but I can't help but think up some of my own. It's not like I'm going to start this project any time soon, so maybe I can refine a design that it actually good. Just an idea here. Would anyone be able to tell me if this would work?

That design would certainly work. The seperate housing for the woofer would only benefit the design, and make things less complicated in the end IMO. I know that speaker design has become a very complex thing today, but keep in mind that some fantastic sounding speakers of the past were all designed with a sketch pad and tuned by ear. I say show no fear and move forward. I plan on building a pair of two ways sometime in the not too distant future, and IMO the existing plans are very limited. I'll start from scratch as well.

I would treat the woofer as a seperate unit and install a good subwoofer amp with an active crossover.

When you choose your drivers the manufacturer can give you all the specs you desire.
post #12 of 20
That's a very good design, just needs a crossover. A better choice for tweeter than the Vifa XT25 and Dayton RS28A is the Vifa XT19. The XT19 sounds much better than the XT25, while the Dayton lacks top-end air and has creates a narrow soundstage.

You might want to contact Roman Bednarak to design you a crossover for free. He has extensive experience with these drivers.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pibborando View Post
Thanks for all the help and resources. I know people have been advising to go with pre-designed builds but I can't help but think up some of my own. It's not like I'm going to start this project any time soon, so maybe I can refine a design that it actually good. Just an idea here. Would anyone be able to tell me if this would work?
It could definately work, but like many have said the crossover is going to be really complicated with your choice of baffle design and separate angled bass bin. You might want to look at a few of the Avalon clone and Avalon inspired projects which look alot like what you have in mind in a diy form in order to get some ideas for building something like this. Why not if you are up for a challenge... maybe you'll end up with something like these.
post #14 of 20
Trying a ground up build for your first DIY is hard to do. I agree with the others that I would do a pre-designed setup first. I have done many DIY projects and I still look for great designs. After saying you have been on PartsExpress I would look into this project http://www.partsexpress.com/projects...r701/index.cfm I think this will be my next setup but I will be Making them into towers. I will be going to Madisound and buying better crossover caps and coils.

Good Luck
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
A better choice for tweeter than the Vifa XT25 and Dayton RS28A is the Vifa XT19. The XT19 sounds much better than the XT25, while the Dayton lacks top-end air and has creates a narrow soundstage.
Is this what you're talking about? edit: How are they better than the 25s?

Also, those avalons are sick! I was thinking about doing angled corners like that but thought that would make the construction much more difficult. Anyone know how hard that would be?

And another thing. I don't really have access to lots of nice power tools and machining equipment. Are there places that you can "rent" the use of stuff like that to build stuff, or would I have to contract out the work?
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