Too #*%$ Wide - narrower speaker ideas

Discussion in 'DIY Speakers and Subwoofers' started by DS-21, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. I recently moved into a new loft, which is basically perfect for us right now...except that given the fact that it's a corner unit with large balconies on two walls. There's only one way to configure the stereo: along a long wall, with the listening area about 9' back if I leave a walking path between the book-case on the back wall and the couch.

    (On the plus side, I suppose, setting things up along a long wall does allow for a 7.multisubs, as opposed to 5.multisubs, setup:I can perch two surround back speakers atop the aforementioned book-case against the back wall.)

    When I tried to set my current three mains up - Tannoy 12 DMT II guts in bespoke cabinets from Nathan Funk - it looked horrible. Horrible. The speakers just dominated the room. I didn't need my fiancee to tell me to take them down; my own preference is that audio be seen and not heard.

    So...a speaker with a 12" woofer and decent roundovers just won't look good in my home now. For that matter, I'm not sure I could even get away with an 8 and decent roundovers. Which means I'm looking at narrow speakers for pretty much the first time in my life. [SIZE=small]([/SIZE][SIZE=small]And here I was with visions of building SEOS 15's over 12" woofers, or even maybe even buying Danley SM60's, as my next speakers! Not gonna happen, at least for the next few years...)[/SIZE]

    So, thoughts?

    Maybe an SEOS 8 with a pair of decent 6-7" woofers in an on-wall TMM, with the L and R using Kantor-era NHT style angled baffles to get the desired crossfire?

    Or three KEF KHT3005SE eggs - of which I happen to already have 8, in addition to the two "center channels" I'm using as side-surrounds, and find to be some of the finest-imaging speakers I've ever heard though obviously limited in terms of dynamics - mounted using their stock foot/wall-mount (which has a ball to allow aiming) to an on-wall bass bin holding two Aura NS6's? (Even though they're so cheap, I kinda like the idea of using the NS6. Even though I'd expect that with tiny 1" diameter underhung voicecoils thermal compression is an issue. Also, all five of the subs in this system use Aura drivers. Unfortunately, those drivers did not cost $9 a pop...)

    Other ideas?

    On non-negotiable for me is a waveguide (or concentric) loaded tweeter with sufficient flare and output capability to allow a directivity match at the crossover. It's too bad there isn't (already?) a Stentorian variant using the SEOS 8 instead of a flush dome.
  2. Stentorian with SEOS-6, or one of the DeNovo products for HF.

  3. I've made a 2-way using the Aura6 and the SEOS6 and one of the little Neo drivers erich has, which works pretty well for a skinny speaker. I use them for surrounds. Unfortunately, the SEOS6 is only available in fiberglas which is expensive, though that might be partially offset by the fact that the Aura6 and the neo driver is so cheap.
  4. bwaslo,

    How do the mini elliptical or other DeNovo waveguides compare vs the SEOS-6?

  5. The mini elliptical loses directivity at 4 to 5kHz, so matches better to a 3 or 4 inch driver. Ive not measured other denovo horns in that size range.
  6. Hmm. Thanks for that! Interesting that the NS6 looks a bit narrower than I would've expected, and the SEOS 6 actually a bit wider. Your design looks more like what I was planning in my head than anything else I've seen. Is there a thread or post for that one? (Besides the one I'm quoting, at least.)

    What's the vertical listening window for your design? Could it provide decent performance to both a seated and standing listener at 8' or so back? I'm so used to concentric drivers now that I'm always struck by sonic changes between sitting and standing in non-concentric designs.

    The SEOS 6 doesn't strike me as terribly expensive, considering that awith Erich's neo driver (I assume you mean DNA 150) and the required adapter it seems like they'll run ~$310 before shipping for three speakers. Other reasonable alternatives seem to range from $360 (KEF Q100 5" concentric; see also Krutke, June 4th 2012) to $750 (BMS 5CN140). (I'm not worried about matching driver efficiency, as I'll be using my 8x8 miniDSP for the crossover.)

    Also, what's your take on the NS6's ability to hold up to sustained high-energy-density music (massed strings, electronica) compared to other drivers you've used? I realize that expectations simply must be tempered when pondering 6" drivers with short 1" voicecoils after coming from a 12" concentric, but my one academic concern with the NS6 (academic because I haven't yet tried them) is thermal compression because of the teeny coils. I know on your Synergy horn you're using four of them. I would like to consider four as well, except it would be hard to make three identical narrow and not-too-deep speakers with 4 6" woofers given that there's a TV in the way of the center channel. But then again, I've never heard an Aura NRT-motor driver that wasn't at or near my favorite in its size class, and my collection of them spans from the NSW2 "Whisper" 2" widebander (used in my car since 2005 or so) to the NS18-992-4A 18" supersub.
  7. No, I never did a build thread on it. It's a bit of an odd design, the waveguide isn't inset into the baffle (because the baffle isn't quite wide enough). The boxes were originally build with the mini-ellipticals, which sounded very good but unfortunately their off-axis match with the 6" woofers wasn't so good and they were meant for back channels where they would be listened to very much off-axis. So I converted them.

    Another problem is that the diameter of the CD mount on the SEOS6 is higher than the opening for mounting the waveguide, and also would run into the top of the boxes as I had them built! So I sliced off the top and bottom on a tables saw. This was before Erich had the threaded-to-bolton adaptors and the drivers I had didn't even have the threaded part so I made my own bolt-on plate and epoxied it to the driver. End result of all that is that the relative depths of the drivers wouldn't be the same if you made them with current driver/adaptor and you'd have to do some slicing on the CD mount and adaptor both if the box was like mine with the waveguide up close to the top. Probably if you rear-mounted the Aura NS6 woofer, that would get the depths relatively close (and would make the Aura NS6 look better too!) but the crossover would probably need some tweaking to make up for all the differences nonetheless. If you want, I can post the files I have on that design. Here's the horizontals (1/6th octave), sorry I don't seem to have verticals saved:

    Erich has some other waveguides that would probably do better with the NS6. You might also look at the "WAF2" designs elsewhere in these forums.

    NS6 bass is better than you'd expect. Four of them (in BIG boxes, the coSynes) do quite well (though not of course if you plan to have 1812 overture shoot-outs). The little towers played jazz respectably on their own, and if crossed to a sub would be quite decent I think.
  8. Yeah, that would be a good one. It could be done in a taller box even.
  9. That kit does look interesting. Hmm...
  10. I think the poured concrete SEOS-6 should come in around $28 each.

    There's a chance we will have some small EOS models coming for much cheaper. But I'm still working out the details.
  11. Hmmm......

    I have ideas for those small waveguides.

  12. Erich, would it be too late to have the concrete Seos 6 instead have the top and bottom of the CD mountinng surface cut iff (so the whole diameter doesnt have to clear the mounting hole?) The fiberglas ones had the CD mount larger than the height of the waveguide!
  13. CSS Planar 2 + BG Neo10 + 3X Scanspeak 18WU/8741
  14. Not really what I'm after.[/size]

    Have yet to hear a ribbons/planars/AMT that did anything to make it worth the fuss, and I've played with a lot of them: the BG Acculine, Eminent Technology, Raven, LCY, Expolinear/ATD, HiVi, Philips, etc. (Though the little spiral Philips/Genesis planar is a sweet-sounding little bird. Might be the only "supertweeter" that I've liked. Very limited bandwidth, though.)
    [SIZE=medium]Admittedly, I haven't heard the one that seems to have promise, the Beyma TPL-150H, even though I bought one to evaluate several months ago. I still haven't unboxed it. Still, immaterial as it's simply too wide for this application.

    The BG drivers require either very, very deep cabinets (AND lots of absorbent material) behind them, or an open back. Otherwise, reflections back through the diaphragm destroy whatever other virtues the drivers have. At least, that was the case for the old 12" BG Acculines, as well as the Eminent Tech "car" planar, and I see nothing in the design/construction of the new ones that would make them act differently in that regard. They still use a very thin flat plastic tensioned diaphragm, no? Only being wider now they may be even more affected by the back wave than the longer/narrower Acculines were.
    These speakers will be on the front wall, and inconspicuousness is a design goal, so cabinet as deep as an NHT 3.3, and an open back, is obviously out.

    -If it's accurately rated, the Planar 2 should make the BG driver redundant. I'm not a fan of needless complexity.

    -Nine (LCR, [/SIZE]remember) of those ScanSpeak woofers adds up to about three grand. Um, no. They're definitely nice drivers, but not $300+ a pop nice. In this application, I'm not even sure they'd be materially superior to $9 Aura NS6's. If I use "expensive" woofers, I'll probably go B&C. Remember, don't need much bass out of the mains. An 80Hz F3 is just fine, considering that they have lots of Aurasound-based subs under them.

    At any rate, I'm going to have AJ's Soundfield Audio Monitor 1's here in a couple weeks, so I'm going to try those before anything else. Also, Don Raddick - I recently discovered he lives about a mile away from my new loft - has very generously offered to let me borrow his "Aurbacs" for a couple weeks, so I can see if two NS6's are stout enough for my tastes. (For a rough approximation of how I'd use them, I'm thinking just lay Don's speakers on their sides atop my stands, put a KEF Q100 atop each Aurbac, and dial in a rough crossover at ~500Hz between the Aurabacs and the Q100 with the miniDSP 8x8. I also need to take a closer look at Erich's other horns to see which if any might work, because as I see it my three most promising options right now are:

    1) One of Erich's WG's with a pair of NS6's, assuming they seem to work for me after listening to DR's speakers, or a different ~6" woofer.
    2) AJ's SAM1's, or perhaps three of his new "center channel" riff with the dual 6.5" woofers. Or his newer more compact model. Does depend to a degree on the SAF of the PE cabs, though.
    3) DIY with KEF Q100 drivers (two cannibalized out of my Q100's, one bought new) and two 6.5" woofers (hopefully Aura NS6's)

    Wildcard: [edit: nevermind. My Unibox file on the JBL 2118H was corrupted. I should have noted earlier that Sd was listed as 343 cm^2. The real one looks nowhere near as good as the nonexistent driver I had listed as the 2118H in Unibox.]

  15. On looking at that again, I tried modeling the Celestion woofer in a closed box (I've just never had success blending mains with 4th order rolloffs to subs; closed boxes blend much better) and F3 goes up to the 150Hz range. About an octave higher than optimal. So that particular design isn't quite right for this particular application. I can think of many others where it may be a standout, though.
  16. DS-

    Have you considered a SEOS-12 placed vertically over a 6-8" woofer? I'd cross around 1500hz. You will be restricted to a 50deg horizontal window but it should do well otherwise. It isn't something that I've done though so I can't say for sure how well it would turn out. It could be kept pretty narrow though. It would be similar to a JBL SAM1.
  17. You mean flip an SEOS-12 sideways? Interesting idea, but right now I've basically narrowed down my next speaker to a WCxW with flanking woofer/stands for the right and left speakers.

    For the concentric driver I have two nominally 5.25" units* to compare: the one from the KEF Q100 and the one from the Pioneer Elite S-3EX. The Pio Elite EX driver (their second-rank one, with a magnesium cone but "ceramic graphite" tweeter rather than the more expensive unit's beryllium tweet) is definitely nicer looking, and lighter with the neo magnet, but the KEF driver is quite good and requires much less crossover work to get sounding good.

    *While both have the cones of 5" woofers, both take up about 6" round on the baffle. The Pio has a very thick rim with an integrated roundover, and for the KEF ones I'd use their standard Q100 trim ring to get a smooth transition to the baffle. (If the Pio one had the KEF's radial phase plug, I likely wouldn't be trying both. But KEF got an awful lot right with the Q100 driver. Also, in terms of replacement cost if I screw something up, the KEF driver is $150ish shipped to replace, whereas the Pio is a bit north of $500.

    For the woofers, my first choice is actually a "car-fi" driver, the JBL C660GTi's piece. Huge throw, killer motor, (See Erin Medley's Klippel test) and small flange. Problem is, I bought two rather than six, and now they're out. Other options are the Aura NS6, and a Pioneer Elite EX 7" sandwich-cone driver. The Pio woofer has a fairly small motor (35mm vc), but it does have very normalized inductance (almost in Aurasound territory at ~0.15mH/Ω). a pro-style multiroll surround, and does definitely look like an expensive driver.

    I may also do two completely distinct variants, a "budget" one with the Q100 driver and NS6's in the PE 1 cube MTM cab, and a "high end" one with all Pio drivers in a bespoke cab. The ones I prefer will be mains; the ones I don't can be side surrounds. :)

    Additionally, the left and right will be on stands holding flanking subs, with the woofer side-firing and as close to the inner back-bottom corner as possible. The flanking subs are more likely than not going to use Aura NS12-794-4A's. I may instead use a pair of JBL SUB 1500s (ur-Revel Ultima sub driver) that have been sitting unused in their boxes for far too long. But the Auras are attractive because they can be used higher up, and just because the other three subs in the system will continue to use Aura drivers (currently an NS15-992-4A, a third NS12-794-4A, and a high-mounted NS10-792-4A, may change to NS18/NS15/NS10 if my cabinet maker is willing to start from Erich's flatpacks and save me a bunch o' money in the process.)
  18. Yep a sideways SEOS-12. Taller than wide.

    A small coax would also work. A 3-way coax will be more expensive (and IMO slightly lower performance but that is debatable), but should give you wider directivity if that is a requirement in your room.

    I know you are a Tannoy man. If you could fit an 8", I have a bunch of Tannoy V8s which are pretty nice if you are interested.

    Keep us posted. I'm interested to see some measurements of those coaxes.
  19. Going from 12" Tannoys to 5" Q-s, don't you think it will be a little dynamically challenged in the high/mids? What were your impression from SAM1?
    FYI B&C 8NDL is a superb driver and can match the dynamics of the 12" Tannoy in the upper-bass/low mids. Maybe try the 6" variant if teh 8 is too wide. Or the BMS 6n160. While never used Aura-s 6, it doesn't seem to have the thermal capacity and will compress, like any other consumer driver. 100-400Hz band is the most demanding in your situation - no big subs yet and below baffle-step. Due to small size can't have the efficiency either, so start with enough power and a pro-style driver that can take it.
    Have you considered CBT? You could rent/borrow/trial a JBL rig from somewhere and try it out in your room.
  20. Or custom order a pair of SEOS 8 or 10 waveguides instead.
  21. There's a speaker coming that's 17.5" tall, 9.5" wide that will achieve some high volumes. Not sure if that's too big or not. It uses an octagon shaped B&C 8" woofer.

  22. Small coax will be cheaper for me, because I already have them. Six Q100's on hand (currently using three for temporary LCR, two in the bedroom for background music.) Also picked up three of these Pioneer Elite EX in walls. Man, Andrew Jones' concentric looks like a work of art. Just stunning build quality from the front flange to backplate under the neo magnet. Even in free air, that speaker sounds darned good in the mids and highs, too. But the Q100 driver isn't entirely out of the running.

    Oh, I have a few 8's Duals on hand as well. :) Two System 800's, two i8AW's (both speakers use the 2046 Dual), two Saturn S8iw's I used in a bedroom in a previous home, three System 8 NFM II's that used to be my nearfield system speakers. But a cabinet with decent roundovers and an 8" woofer will be just too wide.

    There are some really half-arsed listening-position measurements of the System 8 NFM II, Q100, and Soundfield Audio Monitor 1 in my SAM1 review. I accidentially disconnected the mike of the S-IW691's held on the same stands before I saved the measurement, but it had a very smooth and even decline from 300Hz down at the listening position. From 300Hz it dropped liked a stone, because I was just measuring the in-wall without a cabinet. Even though the 7" woofers are fairly well suited to OB midbass (.85ish average, 55ish Hz Fs).

    The Funk-ified 12 DMT II's are in storage right now. There's just no way I can fit them in this room. Well, I might temporarily have them in for measurements, because I do want a comparison.

    In a word, yes. But sadly the 12" Duals aren't an option, so it's more a matter of pick-my-compromises and live with 'em.

    Very positive. I would've bought them, except that the way my room is set up, people would turn the corner into the living room and be confronted with a sideways plate amp. Just wouldn't work for me.

    I almost agree with you about the 8NDL51. I've used them in the car, and played with them at home. I give the edge to the Tannoy 3133GG's, but it's not a big advantage. Unfortunately, I won't be able to get any kind of meaningful roundover with 8's.

    No, because I can't fit three of them and my LCD up front. CBT is something I plan to look at for surrounds in the future, though. Seems like their advantages would be great in that role.

    My first thought (see first post) was SEOS8 with a 6" woofer. SEOS10 is too wide. But as an aside, I remember reading you had a pair of the KEF Q900 drivers. While they're too wide for this application, I'd be interested to see what you do with them. There's clear potential there, and KEF doesn't quite do it with their simple crossover and too-simple crossover.

    Interesting. Problem with the B&C 8's is the same as the MTG-08: they don't quite get as low as I'd like in a closed box. And I always have trouble integrating 4th order mains with subs. Though given that I'm definitely doing flanking subs now, and the Aura NS12's are good up to 800Hz or so, that may be less of an issue...

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