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Diy 3-Way Compact Monitor Vs 2-Way , Pros+Cons of each design.

DrSpan

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Hello everyone.
Hope you are doing splendid.

I am thinking of building some Active X-Over Nearfield Monitors.
Lets not go into „why" i want to do it and „you cant compete with commercial designs“ territory. I am they type of person that has opened (and sometimes destroyed in the process)
devices just to look inside. Without any reason. I have always had a fascination about audio equipment and music for the last 30+ years . (ok for music a bit longer than that)

So i am looking at 3 ways such as Atc Scm 25 etc and for some reason this is the architecture of driver placement i like the most. Cant explain it. I just i like it optically-aesthetically.

Since i am going to sit long hours in front of them they need to be pleasing for my sight.
Plan A is. "3way Mini monitor“ Woofer-Midrange-Tweeter ,
Plan B is still 3 way but Woofer+ Coaxial Driver

that said each design and depending on the driver size and enclosure size has pros and cons. Especially considering that for my purpose 2 way or even coaxial would probably be better suited and easier to accomplish.
The aimed size will be 4 and maximum 5 liters of internal volume. The Speakers will not be required to play lower than 70-90hz.
Subwoofer is near me aprox 1 meter away. No issues crossing at these regions regarding directivity or acoustically "locating subwoofer“.

Of course in such a small monitor a midrange might be obsolete , but….,,,,,still love 3-way monitors optically.

Ok to the main dish now.

I am thinking on keeping my Scan Speak 15w 8530 K00 woofers as this still goes -F3 of around 80hz before i even High pass it with MiniDsp and simply is a superb driver.
So i am thinking. Guide Lines-Aims
1) What Midrange?
2) What tweeter?
3) Cost- I don`t need Beryllium tweeters. Also i don`t like Ribbon or Air Motion transformers ,,,, basically only option is Dome tweeters .
Aluminum or Soft Dome i am open to suggestions. Budget is not endlessly big so a bit of restrain is welcomed
4) Drivers have to be as linear as it gets before even starting correcting the frequency plot. Some candidates for a tweeter would be Wavecor TW030WA09 or Scan-Speak Discovery D2604 / 833000.

Pros and Cons of stuffing 3 drivers on an enclosure that will realistically be around 28-32 cm wide and around 18-20 cm height?
What about baffle step, Edges diffraction etc?

Distance to Monitors is between 80-100 cm from my ears.

The Scenario B- Coaxial is similar size cabinet but combining the 15W with a Seas Excel C16N001 coacxial driver or the little brother L12RE/XFC
Regardless of which design and the disadvantages the only option for placement is the speakers laying on their sides.

Update: Budget let’s say max 500-600 euros for 2xTweeter + 2xMidrange

The seas coax cost around 400 a pair.

The design will be completely active, meaning MiniDsp x-over and each driver will get its own amplifier channel.

happy to hear your thoughts and forgive my English

 
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D!sco

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Have you considered an existing design or will you be creating your own? I don't see a budget, and the easiest answer revolves around it. A good two-way will be more than enough for those requirements. More ways = more drivers + more crossover components = more dollars. More complexity also allows more points of failure. More ways also give less stress on each driver and could allow for a higher dynamic range, lower distortion, and better dispersion. It could also be worse at every single one of those things. Members on this forum have built very similar designs to what you're suggesting, though perhaps not specific to your taste.
 
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DrSpan

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Hey there. Thank you for chipping in. I don’t know every model on the market but I am confident I know most of them and I’ve never seen a high-end studio monitor that is three-way with such a small woofer. Most times they are 6,5 or 8 inch based and much bigger enclosures than my plan. One of the most compact ones I know is the new, barefoot three-way, but even this is much larger than what I am planning to do.. I suppose most people believe that in such a small enclosure as what I want you don’t need three drivers. But I’m not most people and I’m pretty stubborn :) haha.
Also, I’m not aware of many monitors that are built from the ground up as a “mini sealed enclosure” or better said I know a few that are sealed but they’re not using the smallest possible enclosure but still try to make a little bit of bass in the 50-60hz regions.
Also, out of emotional reasons, I want to use my Scan speak as woofers because it’s one of the best woofers I’ve heard in my life and it will be like a “heart transplant” between speakers in a way because they are currently in my older two way mini monitors. They sound fantastic but I want to go “more fantastic” after 20 years of using them (Seas tweeter and had somebody who knows what they’re doing design crossover and build it for me)

Hope what I say makes sense.
Hmmm Reading what you write, I start to like the three-way idea. There can never be too much mid range resolution in my honest opinion. As about what you mentioned about failures, I am aware how hard it is to design Build , tune and measure a good crossover, especially when you are not trained, so I will not go there simply.
 
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D!sco

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I won’t dissuade you further, then. I’ll just try to clarify some important aspects.
What is midrange? And will the woofer play it?
Do you have a midrange in mind already? That search could go on forever.
How wide will the dispersion be, and how will the drivers be aligned?
What are your intended crossover points? And what range is the most important?
What is the intended maximum SPL of the system?

Using a wave generator or a eurorack will help inform your choices. Personally, I run a high speed spectrum analyzer when I get to turn the music up. It’s fascinating to see what the music is doing. It also informs us what aspects of our music or other media is most prominent. Zooming into the midbass of a spectrum trail, you can even see the keys of a piano striking and sustaining like MIDI keyboard sequencing. iSpectrum on the HTPC can be a trip. Realizing the importance of 500hz and below gave me a new appreciation for monkey coffins.
 

DVDdoug

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With a small woofer (which can go higher in frequency) you are probably better off with a 2-way. With a large woofer there is usually a gap and you need a midrange. And for nearfield monitoring it's usually best to have fewer crossover frequencies (because of interaction/interference where the frequencies overlap.)

I ALWAYS recommend speaker design software (for the woofer/box combination). WinISD is FREE. The software will model the performance and it will help you decide if sealed or ported is better for a particular driver, and it will help you optimize box volume, and port dimensions if you chose a ported design.
 

Everett T

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I'd either use your scanspeak in a 2 way or as the mid in a 3 way, seems wasted as a woofer in a 3 way (not that it can't dig deep for its size and takes power). The Satori Neo ring dome is a real nice tweeter to pair with the Scanspeak as you could cross it a little lower if you wanted without the need for a large wave guide. Not cheap at around $170, but definitely not expensive.
 
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DrSpan

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I'd either use your scanspeak in a 2 way or as the mid in a 3 way, seems wasted as a woofer in a 3 way (not that it can't dig deep for its size and takes power). The Satori Neo ring dome is a real nice tweeter to pair with the Scanspeak as you could cross it a little lower if you wanted without the need for a large wave guide. Not cheap at around $170, but definitely not expensive.
Hmm. I the Sb looks very interesting but when i look at its linearity i am not very impressed tbh. Not that this is all that is needed but when
i look at something like a graph of the Scan-Speak Discovery D2604 / 833000 which costs 5 times less or better yet something like the Vifa XT-300/K4
makes me think why the beryllium does not achieve more linearity being so much more „super duper tech“.
Forgive me for sounding simplistic but i have a child`s humor.
That said , i have basic knowledge only about drivers and speaker DIY. Not trying to be a smart ass. I just never understood how some
constructions look so weir on paper and then get praised as much.
The Satori frequency response plote looks awful with the huge dips at 2-ish Khz and 7khz .
What do you think about this?
 
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DrSpan

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With a small woofer (which can go higher in frequency) you are probably better off with a 2-way. With a large woofer there is usually a gap and you need a midrange. And for nearfield monitoring it's usually best to have fewer crossover frequencies (because of interaction/interference where the frequencies overlap.)

I ALWAYS recommend speaker design software (for the woofer/box combination). WinISD is FREE. The software will model the performance and it will help you decide if sealed or ported is better for a particular driver, and it will help you optimize box volume, and port dimensions if you chose a ported design.
WinLsd. I used this years back to calculate all the subwoofers i build. I did never though get into the „hard part“ which is actually speakers with x-overs and the lot.
So i have "missed a lot of episodes“ over the years.
"With a small woofer (which can go higher in frequency) you are probably better off with a 2-way.“ My 15W 8530 is in a 2way construction that sounds fantastic right now.
My choice is not rational. It`s just a „what the heck, life is short-why not“ moment. I don`t really „need“ this new speaker , i am just very curious to see it happen
and listening to it. A labor of Love.

My 15W can go high and also can reach 80-ish hz in 4-5 liters. I am all set for bass and upper bass.
"With a large woofer there is usually a gap and you need a midrange“- There are Studio 3-way monitors that are using a 6.5 woofer even though nowadays
it is absolutely no problem to have a stellar sounding 2 way with 6.5inch+Tweeter. So i guess they made it out of different reasons.
Thats why i apart from the logic which dictates that i have what i need , there is curiosity that drives me

Hope this makes sense
 
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DrSpan

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I won’t dissuade you further, then. I’ll just try to clarify some important aspects.
What is midrange? And will the woofer play it?
Do you have a midrange in mind already? That search could go on forever.
How wide will the dispersion be, and how will the drivers be aligned?
What are your intended crossover points? And what range is the most important?
What is the intended maximum SPL of the system?

Using a wave generator or a eurorack will help inform your choices. Personally, I run a high speed spectrum analyzer when I get to turn the music up. It’s fascinating to see what the music is doing. It also informs us what aspects of our music or other media is most prominent. Zooming into the midbass of a spectrum trail, you can even see the keys of a piano striking and sustaining like MIDI keyboard sequencing. iSpectrum on the HTPC can be a trip. Realizing the importance of 500hz and below gave me a new appreciation for monkey coffins.
„What is midrange? And will the woofer play it?“ Not sure i understand. I thought Midrange is defined by the word. Yes my current woofer already plays it and is one of the best in this regard. My aim is not perfection. Its is Change and Risk taking
I want a designated midrange driver in hope that the midrange resolution will get even better if i am very lucky with my construction.


"Do you have a midrange in mind already? „. One candidate is the Scan Speak Revelator 12M "That search could go on forever.“ not in my case. I will not look forever tbh

"How wide will the dispersion be, and how will the drivers be aligned?“
Dispersion width,, no idea really. Listening distance is 80 cm so i hope i can get away with more imperfection regarding dispersion patterns -
Driver aligned see picture. i am also thinking about tweeters like the R3004/602010 which is only 62mm in diameter as opposed to the average 100+ mm tweeters
which would give me more flexibility to move it around- place it on the baffle. Also i hope that i will be able to cheat a lot by going active and DSP based.
I simply lack the knowledge in order to design passive x-overs


"What are your intended crossover points?“ Random numbers , 400hz + 2 khz ? At least these are the x-over point of a diy speaker i like though its bigger
but it seems that x-over at these points can work


"What is the intended maximum SPL of the system?“ I have no idea about Db numbers really as i have no serious measurement equipment here at present.
I have two Neumann Kh 80 with a sub and never go even near their max output
level so i guess the 15W can achieve this also. As said, speakers are 80cm max 100cm from my ears.

Just so you have a better picture , i follow diy speaker building for around 25 years as an "enthusiastic observer" however never went the DIY 100% way but rather 30%.
I chose the drivers , build the enclosures and had someone experienced design and build the x-overs. I have build many subwoofers but i think anyone could build a subwoofer tbh.
I never followed DIY 100% because i went the route of producing music myself. So i have very high demands but not very high knowledge or experience in Diy.

Thats why i dont simply want to make a very good speaker. I also want to like it enough to be having it 1 meter from my face for very extended periods of time.
 

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Everett T

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Hmm. I the Sb looks very interesting but when i look at its linearity i am not very impressed tbh. Not that this is all that is needed but when
i look at something like a graph of the Scan-Speak Discovery D2604 / 833000 which costs 5 times less or better yet something like the Vifa XT-300/K4
makes me think why the beryllium does not achieve more linearity being so much more „super duper tech“.
Forgive me for sounding simplistic but i have a child`s humor.
That said , i have basic knowledge only about drivers and speaker DIY. Not trying to be a smart ass. I just never understood how some
constructions look so weir on paper and then get praised as much.
The Satori frequency response plote looks awful with the huge dips at 2-ish Khz and 7khz .
What do you think about this?
There isn't any huge dips FWIW, it is ±2.3 dB from 1.5 kHz to 30 kHz. There's nothing that can't be dealt with since you're going active. I like the extended range and low distortion more than I'm concerned about the small linearity deviations.

Also, beryllium is not tech, it's a material. I have no problem with my beryllium tweeters, ribbons, or the various dome material tweeters I've used, they've all had their place.
 
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DrSpan

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There isn't any huge dips FWIW, it is ±2.3 dB from 1.5 kHz to 30 kHz. There's nothing that can't be dealt with since you're going active. I like the extended range and low distortion more than I'm concerned about the small linearity deviations.

Also, beryllium is not tech, it's a material. I have no problem with my beryllium tweeters, ribbons, or the various dome material tweeters I've used, they've all had their place.
I hear you.
regarding the „tech“ you are right. Beryllium is not tech. Tech is just what we humans use in order to make ,, say a loudspeaker chassis membranes out of a material called beryllium and basically anything we use in order to make speakers including the theory and equipment. I am aware of this .
"I have no problem with my beryllium tweeters, ribbons, or the various dome material tweeters I've used“ all of this is tech though. Even if you have no problem

Regarding beryllium now that you mention it , i still don`t see everyone agreeing that it is the end of the game. I still see some people liking soft dome, others like air motion etc etc. Its like always in history. I feel like some companies present it as if they discovered loudspeaker kryptonite.
but i don`t care much .Just observing the market. I remember in the 90`s a friend telling me „Polypropylene“ is much better and modern membrane material than paper.
Always a new kryptonite :) Hmmm lost track of what i wanted to say…
I Will consider your suggestion. Also the scan speak berylliums look nice.
By now i have had so many suggestions that it is hard to keep track. I am also considering trying the Seas C16N001 coax based „Joy“ kit-suggestion by Seas
as it is my aimed volume and always wanted to try a seas coax even though i have not made peace with the tweeter responces in any coaxial i`ve seen.
Also it is scary low sensitivity. Will see. I have found a cheap opportunity and just might try it even if its only so i can say i tried at least
 
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Everett T

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I hear you.
regarding the „tech“ you are right. Beryllium is not tech. Tech is just what we humans use in order to make ,, say a loudspeaker chassis membranes out of a material called beryllium and basically anything we use in order to make speakers including the theory and equipment. I am aware of this .
"I have no problem with my beryllium tweeters, ribbons, or the various dome material tweeters I've used“ all of this is tech though. Even if you have no problem

Regarding beryllium now that you mention it , i still don`t see everyone agreeing that it is the end of the game. I still see some people liking soft dome, others like air motion etc etc. Its like always in history. I feel like some companies present it as if they discovered loudspeaker kryptonite.
but i don`t care much .Just observing the market. I remember in the 90`s a friend telling me „Polypropylene“ is much better and modern membrane material than paper.
Always a new kryptonite :) Hmmm lost track of what i wanted to say…
I Will consider your suggestion. Also the scan speak berylliums look nice.
By now i have had so many suggestions that it is hard to keep track. I am also considering trying the Seas C16N001 coax based „Joy“ kit-suggestion by Seas
as it is my aimed volume and always wanted to try a seas coax even though i have not made peace with the tweeter responces in any coaxial i`ve seen.
Also it is scary low sensitivity. Will see. I have found a cheap opportunity and just might try it even if its only so i can say i tried at least
Quality power is cheap, so don't worry so much about sensitivity if you find the combination of drivers that fit your build, IMHO.
 
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DrSpan

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Quality power is cheap, so don't worry so much about sensitivity if you find the combination of drivers that fit your build, IMHO.
I hear ya.
Well its the thing with not sensitive speakers is that ,, i can only describe it a bit abstractly .

Whenever i have heard „subwooferoid“ speakers - subwooferoid in my brain are speakers that use strong motor- heavy membrane woofers
and try to create bass in very small enclosures by fighting the downsides with electrical force.
However most speakers that have impressed me in my life had a big dynamic range ability and most times these where sensitive speakers
or in other words „effective“ speakers.
The subwooferoids are impressive but also very specific as to what they can do. They always sound impressive for the size but also a bit „flat“
(i said its gonna be abstract).

That said, and looking at this alignment in the picture, (imagine the 15w as woofer and the seas L12re coaxial as mid-tweeter driver )
, what is your first Gut feeling when you see it? Like the unfiltered reaction. Pros + Cons
 

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jaakkopetteri

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Though the L12RE doesn't seem bad, it doesn't seem like great value just looking at the surround and the frequency response on the datasheet. Same goes for the C16N001. I would rather use a proven and tested Sica Coax as their accordion surrounds allow for a smoother response. Kartesian also has a nice smaller coax.

Although your woofer isn't quite ideal for a 3-way, I would note that it's still a relatively small driver so in terms of IMD, a 3-way build makes more sense than with larger woofers. I also disagree with fewer crossover frequencies being better, you can just cross to the woofer low enough and it won't make any difference compared to a 2-way.
 
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DrSpan

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Though the L12RE doesn't seem bad, it doesn't seem like great value just looking at the surround and the frequency response on the datasheet. Same goes for the C16N001. I would rather use a proven and tested Sica Coax as their accordion surrounds allow for a smoother response. Kartesian also has a nice smaller coax.

Although your woofer isn't quite ideal for a 3-way, I would note that it's still a relatively small driver so in terms of IMD, a 3-way build makes more sense than with larger woofers. I also disagree with fewer crossover frequencies being better, you can just cross to the woofer low enough and it won't make any difference compared to a 2-way.
Hi there.

" just looking at the surround and the frequency response on the datasheet. „. Thats what i think every single time i see the sheet of a coaxial.
However in real life there are studio monitors based on the older Seas 18cm (the transparent one) chassis and i believe also the Ks Digital C5 Reference
also has a Seas. So i am thinking they cant be that bad but i cant prove it. I once heard the predesessor of the C5 reference wchi used a backes&müller chassis
and i must say it sounded pretty awesome or at least very good.
Do you have any kits that you know that use the Sica Coax?

"the L12RE doesn't seem bad, it doesn't seem like great value just“. thats what i think sometimes. Years ago it was around 120 euros now 200.
For 200 i can get a decent 10 cm linear mid driver and a decent tweeter. However i am reading the two German Diy magazines for 20 years now and
they made a little speaker with the L12re and seemed to be impressed by the result. Dunno. Its confusing. Especially since if i test them its not like i could just send them back
and its a looooot of fuss. Its its one of those niche areas of tech … :)

The C16n001 also had some „high end“ builds but in general i must admit that while i was looking recently i could not really find many builds based on these two coaxials by seas. Maybe its a sign? Dunno

As to the "Although your woofer isn't quite ideal for a 3-way, I would note that it's still a relatively small driver so in terms of IMD, a 3-way build makes more sense than with larger woofers.“ cant remember if we talked before but i wass saying that i predominantly want to do it „in order to have done it!“.
I am aware of the logic and everything but i find playing it safe and by the rules somehow takes the fun out of Diy imho. I want to do it 90% cause i know no other
speaker like this out there ., at least no commercial speaker this size and 10% in hope it will sound better than my current two way
which is using using the 15W 8530 K00 + a Seas 27TAFC/G. It sound pretty very very good already. Chances are the new one will sound worse.

But if i want to play it safe i can still return to my neumann kh 80 which are as linear and almost as „perfect“ as a speaker this size can technically be but they are
grey and not build by me. Thats a very serious argument

Update: I found this about the Sica. At first look it looks like it has no high end above 10khz somehow
 

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jaakkopetteri

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However in real life there are studio monitors based on the older Seas 18cm (the transparent one) chassis and i believe also the Ks Digital C5 Reference
also has a Seas. So i am thinking they cant be that bad but i cant prove it
Yeah the T18REX is pretty great as it is built more like a coaxial should - of course not all coaxials are bad
Do you have any kits that you know that use the Sica Coax?
Not kits exactly but there are some well documented builds using them. https://www.hifitest.de/test/lautsprecherbausaetze/omnes-audio-sica-5-koax-21688
I am aware of the logic and everything but i find playing it safe and by the rules somehow takes the fun out of Diy imho. I want to do it 90% cause i know no other
speaker like this out there
To be clear, I'm not saying a 3-way is a bad idea here - quite the opposite.
Update: I found this about the Sica. At first look it looks like it has no high end above 10khz somehow
That's the response 60 off-axis, so quite normal. The droop seems to begin earlier in the Dibirama measurements than others I've seen though: https://www.diyaudio.com/community/...fi-coaxials-measurements.401394/#post-7465027
 
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DrSpan

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Yeah the T18REX is pretty great as it is built more like a coaxial should - of course not all coaxials are bad

Not kits exactly but there are some well documented builds using them. https://www.hifitest.de/test/lautsprecherbausaetze/omnes-audio-sica-5-koax-21688

To be clear, I'm not saying a 3-way is a bad idea here - quite the opposite.

That's the response 60 off-axis, so quite normal. The droop seems to begin earlier in the Dibirama measurements than others I've seen though: https://www.diyaudio.com/community/...fi-coaxials-measurements.401394/#post-7465027
Thanks a lot!
Will study these links
Cool stuff!
 

ernperkins

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If you go with plan B (Woofer+ Coaxial Driver) I would suggest KEF co-axials. Right now you can buy a new pair of KEF Q150s from Amazon for $350. IIRC they use the 12th generation of the co-axial. They don't have MAT (Metamaterial Absorption Technology), but IMO otherwise are the best co-axials available. I did the same thing with the older Q100 co-axials and was very happy with the result. They do take extra work to mount, but the end result is worth it.
 

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