• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Recommendation for 4-5" driver for DIY Build

SuicideSquid

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 20, 2022
Messages
678
Likes
1,598
I'm starting a project to build a pair of bookshelf speakers for a friend.

This friend is not a discerning audiophile. His primary speakers for the past 15 years have been a pair of Logitech computer speakers with 2" drivers and a "subwoofer" with a ~5" driver. A few years back I built him a mahogany desk and I'd like to build him some decent speakers to match.

My main goals are to build something compact, with smooth midrange and at least some bass response in the 50-100Hz range, but given the size constraints, not expecting any response below that and I recognize and am okay with the response starting to drop off around 80Hz. Budget is also a concern here. Again, he's not a discerning audiophile and this is a fun project for a gift so I'd like to keep costs reasonable. They will not be played loud. He lives in an apartment and typical use will either be sitting at the computer, or sitting on the couch 5' back from the computer watching TV.

I already have a pair of SEAS H1212 tweeters and am looking for a good 4-5" woofer to match. I've been looking primarily at the Dayton Audio RS125 5" woofers. By the measurements they look to have very smooth response response through the midrange but they do start to drop off at 100Hz and fall off considerably under 80Hz. Otherwise the price, measurements, and reviews are exactly what I'm looking for. Going to keep the crossover design fairly simple, put them in a ported enclosure, and use them with a simple desktop class D amplifier. Since PC will be the primary/exclusive source, EQ is an option as well.

Does anyone have a recommendation for an alternative I should be looking at that might give a little more bass output? Given low distortion measurements and low/moderate volume output, I assume I can probably just juice the bass in the 60-80Hz range with EQ and not cause myself too many problems with those Dayton drivers, but alternatives are always good to consider!

I'm in Canada so preferably something that Solen sells, but I can order from PartsExpress or Madisound if necessary. I'd love to try those new purifi drivers but they're way out of the price range for this project unfortunately.

Your thoughts much appreciated!

[edit] For additional info, I recently completed a bookshelf speaker build for myself using HiVi D.5.8 woofers and I've been extremely impressed with those speakers and considered them for this project, but they're discontinued and starting to get hard to find - cost is about $200 CDN/pair and they're 145mm in diameter, vs. 125mm for the Dayton, and require a larger enclosure as well, so I'm leaning toward the Daytons at $130 CDN/pair and fitting into a smaller enclosure.
 
Last edited:

Rick Sykora

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
3,418
Likes
6,836
Location
Stow, Ohio USA
After some major research, the Directiva team went with these… SB15NBAC30
 
OP
SuicideSquid

SuicideSquid

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 20, 2022
Messages
678
Likes
1,598
After some major research, the Directiva team went with these… SB15NBAC30
Pushing the budget a bit at $240 for a pair, unfortunately, but a very interesting driver that I'll keep in mind for future projects.

[edit] Solen carries another model by SB Acoustics, the SB13PFCR25-8, that looks to be a similar driver, with a bit less low end and a little more colouration, that's less than half the price so that's definitely a contender.
 
Last edited:

Rick Sykora

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
3,418
Likes
6,836
Location
Stow, Ohio USA
Pushing the budget a bit at $240 for a pair, unfortunately, but a very interesting driver that I'll keep in mind for future projects.

[edit] Solen carries another model by SB Acoustics, the SB13PFCR25-8, that looks to be a similar driver, with a bit less low end and a little more colouration, that's less than half the price so that's definitely a contender.

Madisound has for $80 each. Realize you are in Canada, but if Solen wants 50% more, may be worth looking elsewhere. :cool:
 
OP
SuicideSquid

SuicideSquid

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 20, 2022
Messages
678
Likes
1,598
Madisound has for $80 each. Realize you are in Canada, but if Solen wants 50% more, may be worth looking elsewhere. :cool:
$80x2 = $160 + 35% exchange rate = $216 + extra $20 in shipping = $236. Solen's charging $237.76 for a pair.
 

Rick Sykora

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
3,418
Likes
6,836
Location
Stow, Ohio USA
$80x2 = $160 + 35% exchange rate = $216 + extra $20 in shipping = $236. Solen's charging $237.76 for a pair.

ouch, knew the dollar was strong, but stronger than I expected!
 

zman01

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
46
Likes
65
SuicideSquid,

You can have a look at this project:


The tweeter is different, so you will not be able to use the SEAS tweeter that you have in hand , but overall the drivers are not expensive, and the woofer+tweeter for a stereo pair will come under CAD 190.00 according to Solen prices.

The crossover design has also been done as part of the design, so no extra work there for you, and you can also do a cost estimation from the get go.
 

Colonel7

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
609
Likes
853
Location
Maryland, USA
If his desk is pushed against a wall like most people I wouldn’t sweat the low frequency drop off of almost any 4-5 inches. There is so much bass reinforcement (esp. if desk is in corner) that it becomes more about the EQ to control boominess and desk reflection. If you’re still looking for bass and a robust small driver for a bit more you can consider the Tang Band W4-1720 available in Canada https://www.solen.ca/en/products/w4-1720
 

jaakkopetteri

Active Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2022
Messages
176
Likes
108
Kartesian Sub120 offers near-Purifi performance for a fraction of the cost and surprising bass for the size. Solen seems to sell the Kourtisan kit including those but not the woofers separately?
 

alex-z

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
893
Likes
1,667
Location
Canada
He lives in an apartment and typical use will either be sitting at the computer, or sitting on the couch 5' back from the computer watching TV.

I already have a pair of SEAS H1212 tweeters and am looking for a good 4-5" woofer to match. I've been looking primarily at the Dayton Audio RS125 5" woofers. By the measurements they look to have very smooth response response through the midrange but they do start to drop off at 100Hz and fall off considerably under 80Hz. Otherwise the price, measurements, and reviews are exactly what I'm looking for. Going to keep the crossover design fairly simple, put them in a ported enclosure, and use them with a simple desktop class D amplifier. Since PC will be the primary/exclusive source, EQ is an option as well.

Does anyone have a recommendation for an alternative I should be looking at that might give a little more bass output? Given low distortion measurements and low/moderate volume output, I assume I can probably just juice the bass in the 60-80Hz range with EQ and not cause myself too many problems with those Dayton drivers, but alternatives are always good to consider!

I'm in Canada so preferably something that Solen sells, but I can order from PartsExpress or Madisound if necessary. I'd love to try those new purifi drivers but they're way out of the price range for this project unfortunately.

Your thoughts much appreciated!

[edit] For additional info, I recently completed a bookshelf speaker build for myself using HiVi D.5.8 woofers and I've been extremely impressed with those speakers and considered them for this project, but they're discontinued and starting to get hard to find - cost is about $200 CDN/pair and they're 145mm in diameter, vs. 125mm for the Dayton, and require a larger enclosure as well, so I'm leaning toward the Daytons at $130 CDN/pair and fitting into a smaller enclosure.
Personally not a big fan of the RS125. The cone surface area is quite low, only 52.8cm^2 for $45, while the DC130BS-8 is $18 cheaper and has 91.6cm^2, with the frame only being .75" larger. You don't really need to be worrying about distortion for speakers that are only being used at 5ft distance. One of my first projects (2 way centre channel), I tried both drivers, and went with the cheaper DC130, it is a jack of all trades.

You can slap it in a 7 litre enclosure with a 50Hz port tune and it will play -3dB at 68Hz and -10dB at 44Hz. Plays smoothly to 3500Hz, so a 2000Hz crossover with the tweeters you have selected will be dead easy. In my build I used a much cheaper BC25TG1504 at 2200Hz, and it still sounded excellent.

If you want to spend a little more, the RS150 comes in a truncated frame version, which can be good for compact desk speakers.
 
OP
SuicideSquid

SuicideSquid

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 20, 2022
Messages
678
Likes
1,598
Personally not a big fan of the RS125. The cone surface area is quite low, only 52.8cm^2 for $45, while the DC130BS-8 is $18 cheaper and has 91.6cm^2, with the frame only being .75" larger. You don't really need to be worrying about distortion for speakers that are only being used at 5ft distance. One of my first projects (2 way centre channel), I tried both drivers, and went with the cheaper DC130, it is a jack of all trades.

You can slap it in a 7 litre enclosure with a 50Hz port tune and it will play -3dB at 68Hz and -10dB at 44Hz. Plays smoothly to 3500Hz, so a 2000Hz crossover with the tweeters you have selected will be dead easy. In my build I used a much cheaper BC25TG1504 at 2200Hz, and it still sounded excellent.

If you want to spend a little more, the RS150 comes in a truncated frame version, which can be good for compact desk speakers.
That's super helpful feedback, thank you!
 

Digital_Thor

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
352
Likes
292
Location
Denmark
I have heard the long stroke Kartesians, which could often make noises that did not sound nice, when high excursion was needed... So I'm a little off by them. Their midrange is nice though.
RS125 I have myself. Measure very good and sound great. But not as refined... Less details than the SB Textreme I use now. With the SB you much easier hear the 'space' of the recordings, where a more lively acoustical room has been used.
Dayton is a little better at bass though.
The PFC is a good driver too. Dirt cheap, but still very well made. Don't let the plastic fool you.... It's very strong and with an iron ring inside.
The Dayton should probably make your friend happy, from what you describe.
 

fineMen

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
Messages
1,504
Likes
678
Kartesian Sub120 offers near-Purifi performance for a fraction of the cost and surprising bass for the size. Solen seems to sell the Kourtisan kit including those but not the woofers separately?
Uups, do you have some further experience with Kartesian?

On topic: if the extra cost for the SB driver isn't worth it, what is the work worth?

Anyway, a bookshelf sees very different conditions than a stand-mount speaker. The diffraction from the boxes edges forms differently and so on. Another is directivity. If in the prescribed stereo triangle's sweet spot the speakers are listened to at 30° off axis. If not on spot, but fooling around elsewhere, which is highly recommended, things change and one doesn't actually want 'stereo' but a fully diffuse sound field instead. How to effectively get rid of the stereo's remainders? Very wide dispersion me thinks, bringing with it a quite shallow, in case unfavourable 'Harman tilt' towards the high end, adding up to the anyway missing 'baffle step' etc.
 

Digital_Thor

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
352
Likes
292
Location
Denmark
Uups, do you have some further experience with Kartesian?

On topic: if the extra cost for the SB driver isn't worth it, what is the work worth?

Anyway, a bookshelf sees very different conditions than a stand-mount speaker. The diffraction from the boxes edges forms differently and so on. Another is directivity. If in the prescribed stereo triangle's sweet spot the speakers are listened to at 30° off axis. If not on spot, but fooling around elsewhere, which is highly recommended, things change and one doesn't actually want 'stereo' but a fully diffuse sound field instead. How to effectively get rid of the stereo's remainders? Very wide dispersion me thinks, bringing with it a quite shallow, in case unfavourable 'Harman tilt' towards the high end, adding up to the anyway missing 'baffle step' etc.
I would advise on a waveguide for the tweeter, to make the dispersion "look" like the one of the midrange - especially in the cross over region. The waveguide makes edge diffraction less of an issue, together with fewer reflections from nearby objects.
 

fineMen

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
Messages
1,504
Likes
678
I would advise on a waveguide for the tweeter, to make the dispersion "look" like the one of the midrange - especially in the cross over region. The waveguide makes edge diffraction less of an issue, together with fewer reflections from nearby objects.
As far as I'm concerned, nope. What about the listening angle when mounted on a bookshelf--no toe-in. What about the reflective soundfield when listening far off axis--what most people do, especially a guy who was satisfied with Logitech tec forever?
 

Digital_Thor

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
352
Likes
292
Location
Denmark
Far off-axis your midrange will beam too. Soo.... Omni?
As far as I'm concerned, nope. What about the listening angle when mounted on a bookshelf--no toe-in. What about the reflective soundfield when listening far off axis--what most people do, especially a guy who was satisfied with Logitech tec forever?
 

fineMen

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
Messages
1,504
Likes
678
Far off-axis your midrange will beam too. Soo.... Omni?
Don't want to high-jack this thread with further explanations. I mentioned some aspects anyway somewhere else. Essentially I would (again;-) use a small midrange driver (e/g peerless TC9) for lower intermodulation and wider radiation. That may ease the choice for an appropriate bass driver. The complexities of the passive crossover pile up, though.

For a 2-way I reiterate the recommendation for the midlde tier SB Acoustics cast frame 5" drivers in sealed enclosure plus equalization (Linkwitz transform and additional adjustments in-room). With a small enclosure as planned a ported design would suffer from chuffing. The by no means cheap SEAS tweeter will happily stand an x-over at 1,5kHz or even lower; in case a simple fuse comes to the rescue.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom