Orion (K)lone

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  • PMajeed
    Junior Member
    • Sep 2003
    • 6

    Orion (K)lone

    Hello,

    After reading the number of positive reviews of Linkwitz's Orion, Phoenix, and other dipole projects, a friend and I have decided to build a speaker for a college system based largely on Linkwitz's design. However, we're still uncertain as to which particular drivers to buy. The main concern is, of course, that the drivers sound good in the baffle, but also that they complement each other well, or at least have the potential to do so. What do you think of these drivers?

    Tweeters:

    Morel MDT33
    Morel Supreme 110 (?)
    Hiquphon OW1
    Scan-Speak D2905/9500

    I initially leaned toward the OW1 after reading the positive reviews of Dave Ellis's 1801, but the relatively high low-frequency extension of the OW1 doesn't seem a good fit for our potential midwoofers. The Morels and the Scan-Speak come well-recommended by the LDSG, and each's specification seem to match midwoofers more flexibly.

    There is one other concern: is there any high-end tweeter that will not emit a large magnetic field? These speakers may be placed relatively close to a computer monitor, and I haven't seen any shielded high-end tweeters available.

    Midwoofers
    Seas W18EX (shielded)
    Seas W22EX
    Scan-Speak 18W/8546
    Scan-Speak 21W-8554

    The Seas drivers come well-recommended by both Dave Ellis and Linkwitz; the Scan-Speaks by the LDSG.

    Woofers
    Adire DPL12
    Adire Shiva
    Adire Tempest
    Dayton IB 12"/15"
    Peerless Classic 831857

    The question here: Is one high-excursion driver per channel better than two lower-excursion drivers per channel? The budget doesn't allow for two high-excursion drivers/channel.

    We hope to measure the drivers in-baffle, then spend most of the time tweaking the electronics. Resistors and capacitors are cheap, so we'd like to start off with the best possible drivers we can get.

    Peter
  • sfdoddsy
    Senior Member
    • Sep 2000
    • 496

    #2
    I used the Seas Millenium tweeter, Seas W22 mids and Adire DPL12 in my Orionish dipoles, so they would be my recommendations.



    The Morel seems to go low enough to be an alternative, and the Poobahs here are using the Vifa XT25 in a similar setup.

    Apart from the W22, the Poobahs are also recommending the HiVi M8a.

    Do a search for Arvo Part or look for a thread called "Even longer work..."

    As for the bass, that's where it may get tricky if you don't want to double up on drivers. I use two DPL12s and would still like a little more displacement.

    A single Stryke AV15 is probably the best reasonably priced choice.

    Alternatively, one of guys at TC sounds is doing a special deal on 15 inch drivers at $60 each. Check the details here:



    People have been using them as dipoles and the price is excellent.

    One thing to note is baffle width. My speakers are slightly wider than the Orions due to the 12 inch drivers, and 15s would obviously make them still wider. This may (will) affect the response of the mids if you continue the width the whole height of the speaker.

    You might want to consider having the mid section narrower to match the Orions. In general I suspect the closer you can stick to the work of SL, the better.

    Are you going active or passive?

    Cheers

    Steve




    Steve's DIY Dipoles
    Steve's OB Journey

    Comment

    • Bent
      Super Senior Member
      • Sep 2003
      • 1570

      #3
      Steve, I'm out of my element here, but what would stop someone from saving on width by installing those big bass drivers sideways with a baffle arrangement to allow front and rear transmission?

      Comment

      • ThomasW
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2000
        • 10934

        #4
        Hi and welcome to HT-Guide!

        HERE'S a link describing our take on the open baffle design concept.



        Note that at the time of the creation of this design we'd never seen one of the Audio Artisty Beethovens sans grills. Imagine our surprise when we did......



        I should say that we're not big fans of many of the drivers that are held in high esteem by those that post on the MAD board.

        Currently I'm working on a Arvo prototype that uses the SS 9800 metal dome tweeter, a pair of the Hi-Vi M8a midwoofers and a pair of the Adire DLP-12 woofers. There will be an active XO between the 8"s and the 12"s




        theAudioWorx
        Klone-Audio

        IB subwoofer FAQ page


        "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

        Comment

        • sfdoddsy
          Senior Member
          • Sep 2000
          • 496

          #5
          Bent,

          yes, something like this would probably do the trick:



          Cheers

          Steve




          Steve's DIY Dipoles
          Steve's OB Journey

          Comment

          • apm
            Junior Member
            • Sep 2003
            • 9

            #6
            Thanks all for the advice. I'm working with Peter on this project. We're planning to use all active crossovers. I fully expect to spend six months or so fiddling with the electronics. I'd like the start with the best available drivers within reason and spend all the time messing with the crossovers than to start with cheaper drivers and end up having to replace them down the road.

            That said, we don't have an infinite budget, and generally speaking, doubling up on drivers doesn't strike me as cost-effective. These will be used in a small room, and we don't really need huge output capability to begin with, so spending an extra $300 on more woofers seems like a waste. If we buy two per channel, it will be so they can be mounted facing opposite directions to cancel even-order harmonic distortion. One question we had was whether that was enough of a benefit to warrant buying two cheaper drivers (e.g. Peerless 831857) vs. one high-excursion driver. Right now I'm leaning towards one driver per channel.

            Maybe the best solution is what Steve said, to use a single 15" driver. We could probably deal with the baffle width issue, perhaps by building the mid baffles separate from the woofer baffles (more like the Phoenix than the Orion, I guess). Are there any other drawbacks to using 15" woofers? Linkwitz never even seemed to consider them.

            The W18 comes in a shielded version. It would be nice to make the main panels shielded (obviously impossible on the woofers). However, I don't know of any high-end tweeters (except perhaps the Vifa XT25) that are available shielded. Can anyone who's used the Morel, Hiquphon, or S-S tweeters comment on their stray magnetic field?

            Andrew

            Comment

            • ThomasW
              Moderator Emeritus
              • Aug 2000
              • 10934

              #7
              Couple of things

              1)Siegfried isn't using dipole subwoofers. His sub is a sealed box. The woofers in his designs are just that woofers. Now the woofers are EQ'ed flat to 20Hz BUT he doesn't go for any significant output from them because he uses the sealed sub for the real LFE.

              2)Linkwitz isn't a high output sort of gentleman. And given the size of his room, his age, and listening tastes in general, it doesn't surprise me that he's not into 15"s.

              3)Regarding the 2 vs 1 drivers; in speaker building it's all about displacement. And that statement is even more true when building dipoles, which are excursion limited not thermal limited like drivers in 'box' designs. So if your guys are ok with quite modest SPL's then maybe single drivers are fine. But if you expect anything near 'reference' output levels you'd better pop for more Xmax, actually a lot more Xmax...




              theAudioWorx
              Klone-Audio

              IB subwoofer FAQ page


              "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

              Comment

              • sfdoddsy
                Senior Member
                • Sep 2000
                • 496

                #8
                The Seas Millenium has a low magnetic field, as I believe does the Morel.

                Amplifying on Thomas's displacement concerns, you should download the spreadsheet spl_max.xls from SLs site and it will tell you what kind of volume levels you can expect fropm different drivers, but in short, a single DPL12 is about equivalent to 1 and a half XLS 10s, a single one of the $60 15s I mentioned is about the same as two DPL12s, and a Stryke AV15 would be around the same as three of them.

                So unless you wanted to cross to a monopole sub, I'd go for at least the equivalent of a pair of DPL12s. The cheapest way would be the TC Sounds 15s, but there may be others.

                Similarly, it would take a pair of the W18s to match the output of a single W22.


                Cheers

                Steve




                Steve's DIY Dipoles
                Steve's OB Journey

                Comment

                • PMajeed
                  Junior Member
                  • Sep 2003
                  • 6

                  #9
                  Hi all,

                  Thanks for the warm welcome. I recall looking at a few graphs detailing the M8a's performance, but I haven't seen much information on the driver outside of this forum. How do you feel it would subjectively, or objectively, compare to something like the Excel series of midwoofers? We'd obviously like to cut costs if at all possible, but at the same time, we don't want to miss out on any possible better "sound quality," for all that means.

                  The Seas Millennium tweeter looks great, but I'm afraid it's too expensive for our budget. As it stands, I think the Morel MDT33 and the Hiquphon OW1 are the best candidates, but I don't know whether the OW1 can be crossed over low enough to match either the W18, W22, or the M8a. I do know that Dennis Murphy routinely crosses it over at around 2500 Hz, but then again, I'm not Dennis Murphy. Any thoughts?

                  How do you suppose 2 pairs of the Dayton 12" driver will work? Though it doesn't have as vented a spider or as low an Fs as the DPL12, it has slightly more excursion and is $50/driver less expensive. I also seem to recall someone (Jack Gilvey, perhaps?) had used them in dipole configuration with good results.

                  Oh, before I forget again: this speaker will be used mostly to play large classical orchestral works as well as small chamber performances. Andrew already has a monopole sub based on the Dayton Titanic to cover the LFE, but we'd still like to get the best possible useable LFE from the mains.

                  Peter

                  Comment

                  • apm
                    Junior Member
                    • Sep 2003
                    • 9

                    #10
                    I generally agree with Peter that the Seas Millenium might be more than we want to pay. (As, I suppose, is the Morel Supreme 110). It certainly seems to be a nice tweeter, but I don't know if it's really worth $30-$50 more, although I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. From the comments here, it seems that a W22 might be preferable to a W18, which means a shielded system is out anyway.

                    As far as subs go, I would rather not use one for music listening at all. It negates many of the benefits of dipoles, and I have never been happy with the way it integrates with the rest of the system.

                    In any case, I guess I disagree with the "displacement is everything" mentality. For idle listening, I often have it as quiet as 70-75db, and even for more serious listening, I'd be surprised if I needed more than 95db. When I ran the spreadsheet a while back, it seemed as if I could get at least 90db out of most of the 12" woofers. I'd prefer the choice of woofers be guided more by the quality of sound (however that's defined) more than the volume level. At a given listening level, what's the best route for tightest response and minimum distortion?

                    Comment

                    • ThomasW
                      Moderator Emeritus
                      • Aug 2000
                      • 10934

                      #11
                      Rules for best sound are the same for any design......

                      Choose drivers that have inherently the best performance for the cost. Then run those driver/drivers in a passband and output levels where the performance is the most linear (pistonic).

                      In our opinion the M8a qualifies as the best driver available in it's price range. That's the reason we use use it extensively.

                      Displacement for subs (and dipoles) is IMO of significant import; and no it's certainly not necessarily related to loudness. Frequently it's more a function of superior sound quality (lower distortion).

                      In 40+ years in audio I've yet to hear an audio system constructed at any price point that didn't benefit from a properly designed, constructed and implemented sub. I have what most people would consider to be a fairly large dipole system and have no problems integrating a sub with it's performance.

                      It appears that you gentlemen have some significant preconceived notions about what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve those goals. Given your priorities and preconceptions; I doubt that you'll find that Jon and my ideas regarding speaker engineering, design and construction will be all that beneficial. Our goals are always to provide the highest sound for the investment of time, effort, and money. But as they say, 'there's more than one way to skin a cat'.

                      BTW, Jack Gilvey's dipole uses the Adire DPL12's, not the Dayton 12". Also the OW1 and it's high XO point are best used in a 3-way. We've yet to find a low buck tweeter that can successfully be XOed at 1-1.25kHz. And that's what we consider the optimal XO point for a 2-way.

                      Good luck with your project.

                      Regards
                      ThomasW




                      theAudioWorx
                      Klone-Audio

                      IB subwoofer FAQ page


                      "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                      Comment

                      • sfdoddsy
                        Senior Member
                        • Sep 2000
                        • 496

                        #12
                        At a given listening level, what's the best route for tightest response and minimum distortion?
                        I'm by no means an expert (although I like to pretend sometimes) and it seems to me that the best way to ensure tight response and low distortion is to have drivers that are operating at a comfy level.

                        According to the SL spreadhseet, a pair of DPL12s in a Phoenix style baffle will have a maximum capability of 88dB, plus up to 6dB for half space radiation. An Orion style H-frame would be slightly less.

                        So yes at 75dB it would be loafing, but at 95dB peaks you will see some serious woofer movement. 95dB is about as loud as I normally listen and I can still bottom mine on a few tracks. When I pump it out, I bring in a sub under 40Hz.

                        Regarding the other drivers,, I also feel that open baffles let you hear the drivers in their unboxed glory, so it pays to get the best you can.

                        However, my surrounds have less than ideal drivers and work well.

                        There is also an interesting project involving very cheap drivers here, and here he he has done quite a comprehensive table of the cost/value of a bunch of bass drivers used in a dipole setting.



                        Be sure to check out his Dirt Cheap Dipoles Redux.

                        Cheers

                        Steve




                        Steve's DIY Dipoles
                        Steve's OB Journey

                        Comment

                        • Hank
                          Super Senior Member
                          • Jul 2002
                          • 1345

                          #13
                          Guys, my 2Hz advice is spend a bit more to plan for higher SPL's - those speakers may eventually wind up in a larger room, and if you're listening to orchestral music at actual performance volumes, you'll appreciate having planned for it rather than having to buy new drivers at the time.
                          Trust me on this.

                          Steve, the driver than jumps off Mr. Moore's Phoenix chart is the Stryke AV12 - whadda ya think, Thomas?

                          Comment

                          • sfdoddsy
                            Senior Member
                            • Sep 2000
                            • 496

                            #14
                            Yeah, it looks like the output choice for the 12s. If you check the redux page he actually went for the Lambda SB12 LEs, although I don't think that price is current now.

                            But the one that jumps out at me even more is the Stryke AV15.

                            Thinks... "no Steve, don't do it...!"

                            Cut to...

                            :roll:




                            Steve's DIY Dipoles
                            Steve's OB Journey

                            Comment

                            • PMajeed
                              Junior Member
                              • Sep 2003
                              • 6

                              #15
                              Thomas,

                              I agree completely with your philosophy on best sound. Perhaps I speak for myself, but I very much value yours, Jon's, and others' thoughts on and experience with speaker design, usually much more than my own; otherwise, I wouldn't have posted the thread here. I've already spent a considerable amount of time going through old construction and prototype threads - in fact, most of what I do know about audio was learned by reading through such posts here and at HTF, HTT, and DIYAudio.

                              I personally also feel a well-implemented sub adds much to the realism and impact of musical production. I built a Stryke AV12 based monopole this January to mate with my SCH K05B50 bookshelves, and I have pretty much no complaints even though the crossover is rather primitive (natural roll-off on the mains, 12db/octave low pass through the Adire AVA250).

                              Is Jack Gilvey still around? I know he uses DPL12s, but I also remember him trying some other woofers in dipole configuration. Still, I think the DPL12 is a good point of reference to start from.

                              Just for clarification, the Orion is a three-way, actively equalized system, isn't it? I was thinking of running the tweeter from 2500 Hz up, the mids from 400 Hz-2500 Hz, and the woofer from 400 Hz down. Would it still be feasible to use the OW1 in such a system?

                              About the M8a: I don't doubt it's an excellent driver, especially since you and Jon seem to use it in many of your projects. But even it's a good driver in its own price range, can it compare well to something like the W22? I remember Linkwitz, among others, especially extolls the low distortion of the Seas drivers.

                              Steve and Hank,

                              Thank you very much for the link to Stephen Moore's website. I know firsthand the AV12 is a good driver, but I had no idea that only 2 would be needed to match the performance of 4 (!) Peerless 12" XLS drivers. Very cost-effective. I'll definitely keep it under consideration for this project and for my own set of dipoles.

                              Best regards,
                              Peter

                              Comment

                              • ThomasW
                                Moderator Emeritus
                                • Aug 2000
                                • 10934

                                #16
                                His chart is so dated. Lambda is out of business. AV-15's are $205ea. BP1503's are still available and their current cost is $175ea. And Stephen from TC sounds has that limited number of overrun 15's for $60ea.

                                In his dipole 'redux' he uses the 7" Stryke midwoofer (ouch!!). These have a nasty spike in the upper part of the response curve. And it doesn't appear that he's addressed that problem. For a time JohnJ had a fix posted, but currently I can't find the page where it's described.




                                theAudioWorx
                                Klone-Audio

                                IB subwoofer FAQ page


                                "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                                Comment

                                • ThomasW
                                  Moderator Emeritus
                                  • Aug 2000
                                  • 10934

                                  #17
                                  Peter,

                                  When I say 3-way for the OW1 I'm talking about tweeter-midrange-woofer. That's really not what the Orion is. In reality it's a TM(midwoofer) that sits on a woofer.

                                  The problem with trying to use the OW1 in a TM config is it's small VC and need for a high XO point. From the one Jon tested I think that 3K was the lowest XO point he thought it was safe to run.

                                  I'm certainly aware that tons of folks use XO point's this high. But in our opinion 2.5kHz XO point means that a 6.5"-8" midwoofer will be 'beaming', and as a result the overall high frequency dispersion will be sub optimal. Note that Linkwitz uses 1440Hz for the Orion XO point. And that his choice of woofers has a phase plug to assist with dispersion. This is the specific reason we choose tweeters like the XT-25 that (with a proper XO) can be XO'ed as low as 1.25kHz. Please note that all this info is nicely detailed in Jon's AudioXpress articles




                                  theAudioWorx
                                  Klone-Audio

                                  IB subwoofer FAQ page


                                  "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                                  Comment

                                  • Hank
                                    Super Senior Member
                                    • Jul 2002
                                    • 1345

                                    #18
                                    I was thinking of running the tweeter from 2500 Hz up, the mids from 400 Hz-2500 Hz, and the woofer from 400 Hz down.
                                    That runs mid-woofs up into their cone mode frequencies, which Jon and Thomas have been warning us about. Those modes mess with the critical midrange that certain mid-woofs otherwise do such a beautiful job of reproducing when operated below the mode freqs. Oops, I see Thomas' reply has already addressed the high crossover issue and he's highlighting the beaming aspect. Anyway, enough concern, I believe, to go for lower crossover points between mid-woofs and tweets.

                                    Comment

                                    • apm
                                      Junior Member
                                      • Sep 2003
                                      • 9

                                      #19
                                      Thomas,

                                      I apologize-- I did not mean to dismiss your advice. As Peter said, if we didn't find it valuable, we would not be posting here. My thoughts on this project are very much colored by my past experience on projects where I used cheap materials and knew much less about proper design, so my preconceptions may not be well-grounded.

                                      In particular, I had assumed that the displacement issue was mostly about output levels, and that I could save money by not requiring reference-level output. The point about distortion is a good one, though. Still, four woofers could easily compromise half the total project cost. Do you think it would be feasible to build a baffle with one woofer per channel, with the space to add a second one later should I find the distortion or maximum output to be unacceptable?

                                      I'd still like to design this system to not require the use of a subwoofer. I could always add one later, but I don't want the system to depend on it-- just as a change from previous projects, if nothing else. I guess I was thinking of a mid-woofer crossover frequency of 150Hz or 200Hz. It seems like going much higher might run into artifacts from the dipole frame. (The Phoenix woofer, for example, has a peak at 270Hz). The low-frequency extension of the midrange will be limited by its displacement, I imagine. What factors limit the high-frequency extension of the woofer?

                                      Comment

                                      • ThomasW
                                        Moderator Emeritus
                                        • Aug 2000
                                        • 10934

                                        #20
                                        Woofer/midwoofer high frequency response is primarily limited by the cone's first break-up mode, and the amount of beaming. These can be easily seen in the FR plots amd the impedance curves. The concept is to keep well away from these, since they will color the performance. Again these concepts are discussed at length and with examples in Jon's article.

                                        In the case of Phoenix woofer, or so called 'W' baffles, their 'cavity' resonance is of concern. Obviously this isn't an issue with the Orion's design.

                                        If you don't want a sub then the woofer displacement should be no less that 2 drivers/per side. Unless one has built a dipole, one has a hard time imagining how little LFE output comes from a dipole configuration. And since there is a fair amount of EQ needed, the excursion limits of the driver/drivers can quickly be reached. Obviously you can try a single woofer, if it's performance is acceptable fine. If not, the XO and the associated EQ must be reworked.

                                        Sort of an FYI; when building the Legacy Whisper klones we were amazed at how little usable LFE was coming from the 8-15" woofers (the output just died below 100Hz). To compensate for this Legacy uses a ton of EQ and contouring when they are being run fullrange. And in the demo's I've heard they were augmenting with a 'real' subwoofer.




                                        theAudioWorx
                                        Klone-Audio

                                        IB subwoofer FAQ page


                                        "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                                        Comment

                                        • apm
                                          Junior Member
                                          • Sep 2003
                                          • 9

                                          #21
                                          I just noticed that Parts Express is having a sale on the 12" Titanic, $130 each with free shipping. At around 20 lbs apiece, shipping is a pretty significant cost for any woofer. I have used the Titanic in sealed and vented boxes and been happy with its performance. I also noticed while breaking it in with a 20Hz sine wave, it was virtually silent running in free air at high cone excursions. Two of these per channel might be nice. Thoughts anyone?

                                          Comment

                                          • Dennis H
                                            Ultra Senior Member
                                            • Aug 2002
                                            • 3791

                                            #22
                                            apm, I suggest you check out this page of woofer distortion tests. While other drivers offer more displacement than SL's choice of the Peerless XLS, you have indicated you want to cross the woofers pretty high. None of the tested drivers had lower distortion than the XLS at higher frequencies.



                                            My humble opinion..... just spend the money and build the Orion. You'll save time and money. You have said you expect to spend 6 months working on the design. Is your time worth at least $1/hour. If so, as we used to say in the construction business, you're tripping over dollars trying to pick up dimes by trying to go cheap on the drivers. Drivers are a small part of the whole picture when you look at all the costs but they definitely set an upper ceiling on the quality you can achieve, no matter how long you work on it.

                                            Edit: putting it more simply, I can see myself spending a lot of time on a design if I thought it would end up sounding better than the Orion. I can't see myself doing that if I knew from the beginning that it would sound worse than the Orion.

                                            Comment

                                            • ThomasW
                                              Moderator Emeritus
                                              • Aug 2000
                                              • 10934

                                              #23
                                              The Titanic II is indeed a very good driver.

                                              However, since you're looking to contain the expenses look at the 4+ pricing for the Dayton 12" IB woofers

                                              BTW, if a follow up question is, are they quiet/do they chuff? The answer is I don't think so. They are pretty much a Shiva variant and the Shiva's in my both my IB's are certainly quiet.




                                              theAudioWorx
                                              Klone-Audio

                                              IB subwoofer FAQ page


                                              "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                                              Comment

                                              • PMajeed
                                                Junior Member
                                                • Sep 2003
                                                • 6

                                                #24
                                                Thanks all for your responses and suggestions. We've narrowed the drivers down to the following:

                                                Tweeter: Morel MDT33
                                                Strengths: Useable extension to 1 kHz and below
                                                Weaknesses: ?

                                                Midwoofer: Seas Excel W18EX
                                                Strengths: Extension to as high as 2,500 Hz
                                                Weaknesses: Less potential output than similar 8" drivers

                                                Woofers: two Stryke AV12s, four Dayton 12" IBs, two Stryke AV15s (in order of rising linear displacement)

                                                This is where things get muddy. Andrew and I would rather use two drivers than four for simplicity of design, if nothing else, and moreover, the Stryke solutions are more cost efficient than any others. Two AV12s more or less match the performance of the Orion woofers, but I think the extra $5 for the AV15s would be well worth the cost.

                                                However, there remains a question of baffle size: can anyone offer a rough estimate of how much wider a baffle should be for a 15" driver than one for a 12" driver? Though the drivers again will be used in a smallish room, the AV15's displacement silences most other counterarguments.

                                                All in all, I think we're in good shape. The MDT33 will be crossed over to the W18 at around 1500 Hz and the W18 to whichever woofer we choose at around 150-200 Hz. We'll play around with different crossover frequencies to achieve the best response, but I think we've got a potential for a great system, all for just over $900 in drivers. Barring any other critical suggestions, I think we'll go ahead, order the parts, and hope that some good comes of it.

                                                Best regards,
                                                Peter

                                                Comment

                                                • sfdoddsy
                                                  Senior Member
                                                  • Sep 2000
                                                  • 496

                                                  #25
                                                  I'm still not sure why you are thinking of the W18 rather than the W22 or the M8a.

                                                  The displacement weakness of the system will now be in the midrange rather than the bass.

                                                  As for the width, are you planning on a one piece system like the Orion or a two piece like the Phoenix?

                                                  Personally, I would think carefully about a two piece so you could get the baffle width for the mids the same as the Orion. There was an extensive study done which I'll try to find which basically came down to finding that the width of the Orion baffle was the best.



                                                  If space is an issue, it shouldn't be too hard to devise a way of mounting your main panel on top of or over an H-box AV15.

                                                  The modular nature of this means you could also fiddle with extra drivers if you need them.

                                                  I think you have the makings of good sounding system though.

                                                  Cheers

                                                  Steve




                                                  Steve's DIY Dipoles
                                                  Steve's OB Journey

                                                  Comment

                                                  • PMajeed
                                                    Junior Member
                                                    • Sep 2003
                                                    • 6

                                                    #26
                                                    Hi Steve,

                                                    We decided to go with the W18 over the M8a and the W22 for two reasons:

                                                    1) Linkwitz has nothing but praise for the W18 and recommends it as a capable substitute driver for his Phoenix.

                                                    http://www.linkwitzlab.com/mid_dist.htm (read through his summary near the bottom)

                                                    2) Jon Marsh makes a convincing case for the W18 over the W22 or the M8a.











                                                    I admittedly haven't heard any of these drivers, but based on these measurements and findings, I doubt the 7" W18 will displace so much less air than the 8" W22 as to appreciably take away from the speaker's performance as a whole. If I'm wrong though, Andrew will be stuck with two underperforming Seas Excel W18EXes. And who'd want that?

                                                    We were planning to build separate modules for the bass and the mids/highs just to have that much more flexibility. I suppose now that we could build something like a 17" wide H-frame baffle for the woofers, then adjust the height and depth accordingly, but I think we'll worry about that once we actually get them.

                                                    Best regards,
                                                    Peter

                                                    Comment

                                                    • sfdoddsy
                                                      Senior Member
                                                      • Sep 2000
                                                      • 496

                                                      #27
                                                      But but but....

                                                      http://www.linkwitzlab.com/faq.htm#Q1



                                                      I did some layout tests for a similar kins of modular speaker you are talking about. I'll get around to trying them out one day...



                                                      The driver complement is a Stryke AV15, two Focal 10L6411, Seas W22 and Seas Millenium.

                                                      Cheers

                                                      Steve




                                                      Steve's DIY Dipoles
                                                      Steve's OB Journey

                                                      Comment

                                                      • Dennis H
                                                        Ultra Senior Member
                                                        • Aug 2002
                                                        • 3791

                                                        #28
                                                        all for just over $900 in drivers
                                                        Drivers for the Orion cost $1030.68 -- not a heckuva lot more than $900 in the big scheme of things.

                                                        Free support for loudspeaker projects, sourcing OEM speaker building supplies, and passive crossover design. We sell raw speaker drivers (tweeters, woofers, subwoofer, midrange drivers, full range drivers), speaker kits, amplifiers, capacitors, resistors, and inductors.


                                                        I'm most concerned about the midbass in your proposed design. The sub drivers you have picked won't play high enough (without distortion) and the mid driver won't play low enough. I thought like you in terms of Vd for the woofs until I saw that distortion page referenced above (thanks Steve). The Peerless XLS drivers win by a large margin at 100Hz. There's more than raw Vd involved.

                                                        Comment

                                                        • apm
                                                          Junior Member
                                                          • Sep 2003
                                                          • 9

                                                          #29
                                                          It's true that in terms of cost of drivers, the Orion isn't all that much more than this project. I also don't doubt that the Orion sounds better than anything we will be able to come up with ourselves with our limited experience. But really, that's not the point. If the Orion is really the "best" loudspeaker out there, then naturally any deviation from it won't be as good.

                                                          But for me anyway, the point is just as much about the process of design and construction as it is about the finished product or its cost. I want to have a high-quality speaker when I'm done, but I also want to learn more about the process of designing a speaker and getting the electronics right, and I don't think building a kit will do that. I don't think of this in terms of cost per hour of my time, since it's something I enjoy doing. If anything, the complexity of this project ensures that I don't get antsy to build something else anytime soon.

                                                          That said, the W18 issue is worth considering. I thought I remembered getting 95db at 150Hz with a single W18, but I don't have Excel on this computer to run the spreadsheet and check. Given the good low-frequency extension of the MDT-33, it allows more flexibility in the use of larger midranges. Perhaps the W22 could be crossed over low enough to avoid most of the troubles in the upper midrange. Alternatively, maybe the M8a is genuinely a better driver for the task (and $50 cheaper). If we do go with an 8 inch midrange, what other options are out there? Morel? S-S? Even an MTM 6.5" Peerless HDS?

                                                          Comment

                                                          • Dennis H
                                                            Ultra Senior Member
                                                            • Aug 2002
                                                            • 3791

                                                            #30
                                                            Sorry guys, I didn't mean to be a party pooper. arty:

                                                            I think designing your own speaker is great. If it's going to cost about as much as an Orion, you might as well shoot for something that sounds better. Looks to me like the major limitation of the Orion is SPL so that's one way it could be improved. I've been thinking a 4-way may be needed to get it louder and/or deeper while maintaining sound quality. You'd need a monster woofer but they just don't play high enough to do a 3-way. So maybe something like:

                                                            Big Xmax 15" sub driver to 60 Hz
                                                            Pro 12" to 350 Hz
                                                            6" mid to 2 kHz
                                                            Tweeter

                                                            Comment

                                                            • JonMarsh
                                                              Mad Max Moderator
                                                              • Aug 2000
                                                              • 15209

                                                              #31
                                                              I tend to agree with you Dennis, which is why the Arvo Dipole has an MTM 8" midwoofer array, two 11" woofers, and soon a Scanspeak 9800 dome...

                                                              Have also thought about a bigger WMTMW array, using M12's top and bottom, crossed over around 50-60 Hz to a monopole sub. That would really crank.... that's a bit closer to the Legacy Whisper clones we built...

                                                              ~Jon




                                                              Earth First!
                                                              _______________________________
                                                              We'll screw up the other planets later....
                                                              the AudioWorx
                                                              Natalie P
                                                              M8ta
                                                              Modula Neo DCC
                                                              Modula MT XE
                                                              Modula Xtreme
                                                              Isiris
                                                              Wavecor Ardent

                                                              SMJ
                                                              Minerva Monitor
                                                              Calliope
                                                              Ardent D

                                                              In Development...
                                                              Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                                                              Obi-Wan
                                                              Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                                                              Modula PWB
                                                              Calliope CC Supreme
                                                              Natalie P Ultra
                                                              Natalie P Supreme
                                                              Janus BP1 Sub


                                                              Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                                                              Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                                                              Comment

                                                              • Dennis H
                                                                Ultra Senior Member
                                                                • Aug 2002
                                                                • 3791

                                                                #32
                                                                Ah, great minds Jon..... :LOL:

                                                                For a smaller version, how about a TMWW -- Millennium, W18, M12, M12 -- crossed to a sub at 50-60? Bump the XOs on all the drivers high enough that they aren't straining at ear bleeding levels.

                                                                Comment

                                                                • apm
                                                                  Junior Member
                                                                  • Sep 2003
                                                                  • 9

                                                                  #33
                                                                  A 4-way is an interesting idea. Perhaps a 6.5" midrange (or even 5"?) with a couple of 10" midbass and an AV15 on the bottom.

                                                                  However, I might have to save that project for next time. Aside from the added complexity (Linkwitz advises against them for that reason), I doubt I'd end up saving money. As I mentioned, I am not too worried about max SPL. The Orions would probably be more than enough for my tastes.

                                                                  Let me try to be more specific about the budget for this project. I set a firm cap of $1000 for drivers. Within that, it seems best to buy drivers of roughly equal quality than to pair top-of-the-line drivers with mediocre ones to save money. I'd like to not spend more than $500 of the budget on woofers.

                                                                  A 4-way probably isn't feasible on that budget unless I use Peerless drivers or something of similar price point. But then again, this is about improving the sound, isn't it?

                                                                  I could speculate on this all day, but speculation gets pretty tiresome. I think Parts Express lets you audition drivers before buying. I might do that with the IB subs to make sure they're quiet. If they're not, Stryke is probably the better way to go. The Morel MDT-33 seems like a sure bet, so the only remaining question is W22 or M8a (or something not yet considered). If someone could push me in one direction or the other so I quit agonizing over this, it would be much appreciated.

                                                                  Comment

                                                                  • sfdoddsy
                                                                    Senior Member
                                                                    • Sep 2000
                                                                    • 496

                                                                    #34
                                                                    OK, I'll push.



                                                                    Try the M8a and the Stryke AV15.

                                                                    This in spite of the fact that I use W22s and love 'em.

                                                                    I'm just curious how they sound.






                                                                    Steve's DIY Dipoles
                                                                    Steve's OB Journey

                                                                    Comment

                                                                    • Hank
                                                                      Super Senior Member
                                                                      • Jul 2002
                                                                      • 1345

                                                                      #35
                                                                      Have also thought about a bigger WMTMW array, using M12's top and bottom, crossed over around 50-60 Hz to a monopole sub.
                                                                      Oh man, THAT does sound tempting :drool:
                                                                      But, I'm still thinking about RD-50 based line sources.

                                                                      if you need pushing, I think Jon and Thomas will nudge you over to the M8a's, so just do it

                                                                      Comment

                                                                      • ThomasW
                                                                        Moderator Emeritus
                                                                        • Aug 2000
                                                                        • 10934

                                                                        #36
                                                                        Just a quick note that our friends at PE have the M8n on sale for less than $50ea in their new flyer.




                                                                        theAudioWorx
                                                                        Klone-Audio

                                                                        IB subwoofer FAQ page


                                                                        "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                                                                        Comment

                                                                        • JonMarsh
                                                                          Mad Max Moderator
                                                                          • Aug 2000
                                                                          • 15209

                                                                          #37
                                                                          Now, personally, I think that's one heck of a deal, re the old "bang for the buck" issue. Proabably almost identical performance at nearly 1/2 the price.

                                                                          Remarkable.

                                                                          ~Jon




                                                                          Earth First!
                                                                          _______________________________
                                                                          We'll screw up the other planets later....
                                                                          the AudioWorx
                                                                          Natalie P
                                                                          M8ta
                                                                          Modula Neo DCC
                                                                          Modula MT XE
                                                                          Modula Xtreme
                                                                          Isiris
                                                                          Wavecor Ardent

                                                                          SMJ
                                                                          Minerva Monitor
                                                                          Calliope
                                                                          Ardent D

                                                                          In Development...
                                                                          Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                                                                          Obi-Wan
                                                                          Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                                                                          Modula PWB
                                                                          Calliope CC Supreme
                                                                          Natalie P Ultra
                                                                          Natalie P Supreme
                                                                          Janus BP1 Sub


                                                                          Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                                                                          Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                                                                          Comment

                                                                          • apm
                                                                            Junior Member
                                                                            • Sep 2003
                                                                            • 9

                                                                            #38
                                                                            I wonder how the M8a and M8N differ. It looks like the M8N has a stamped frame, but other than that, the specs look remarkably similar. I don't know if I trust the Parts Express description though, as it looks like they cut and pasted from one to the other.

                                                                            Jon, on the M8ta thread, you said the crossover design for the M8a is actually more difficult than for the W22? I had figured the Excel woofers were some of the hardest to work with. Maybe that's a good enough reason to choose the Seas. Is there any way to provide a slight boost at 1kHz to counteract the W22's dip? Would this even be a good idea?

                                                                            Comment

                                                                            • ThomasW
                                                                              Moderator Emeritus
                                                                              • Aug 2000
                                                                              • 10934

                                                                              #39
                                                                              If one looks at this webpage it's pretty simple to see the differences between the Ma and Mn drivers. Not much difference except that all the Mn are shielded EXCEPT the M8n :roll:

                                                                              The M8n frame is stamped so it's not a pic of the M8a.....




                                                                              theAudioWorx
                                                                              Klone-Audio

                                                                              IB subwoofer FAQ page


                                                                              "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                                                                              Comment

                                                                              • apm
                                                                                Junior Member
                                                                                • Sep 2003
                                                                                • 9

                                                                                #40
                                                                                Like I said, I don't know how much I trust that description. The MN and Ma series descriptions are word-for-word identical, and the MN series even refers to a "massive aluminum die-cast basket" which the picture clearly indicates it doesn't have. Now maybe the frame is the only difference, but for half the price, should I expect the M8N to be the equal of the M8a in every other respect?

                                                                                Comment

                                                                                • ThomasW
                                                                                  Moderator Emeritus
                                                                                  • Aug 2000
                                                                                  • 10934

                                                                                  #41
                                                                                  I trust the folks a PE. I've done business with them for ~15yrs. They seem to be straight shooters......

                                                                                  Some of the other Mn drivers have slightly different T/S parameters from their Ma cousins, but that's to be expected given that they are shielded. Since the M8n isn't shielded, it should be functionally identical to the M8a.




                                                                                  theAudioWorx
                                                                                  Klone-Audio

                                                                                  IB subwoofer FAQ page


                                                                                  "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                                                                                  Comment

                                                                                  • apm
                                                                                    Junior Member
                                                                                    • Sep 2003
                                                                                    • 9

                                                                                    #42
                                                                                    I ordered drivers today. Morel MDT-33, Seas W22EX, and Dayton IB. Thanks everyone for your help. I imagine we'll be posting here more as the project progresses.

                                                                                    Comment

                                                                                    • ThomasW
                                                                                      Moderator Emeritus
                                                                                      • Aug 2000
                                                                                      • 10934

                                                                                      #43
                                                                                      Peter/Andrew

                                                                                      Don't know if you guys have seen THIS if not it maybe of some benefit given your decision to use the W22




                                                                                      theAudioWorx
                                                                                      Klone-Audio

                                                                                      IB subwoofer FAQ page


                                                                                      "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                                                                                      Comment

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