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Advanced Front Speaker Systems How-to

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URL: https://www.the12volt.com/installbay/forum_posts.asp?tid=61864
Printed Date: November 30, 2022 at 4:01 PM


Topic: Advanced Front Speaker Systems How-to

Posted By: Steven Kephart
Subject: Advanced Front Speaker Systems How-to
Date Posted: August 22, 2005 at 9:56 PM

There has been a lot of discussion lately about front speakers and trying to get the best sound. Sometimes this discussion moves into really advanced areas like building your own speaker set. Some people seem to try these advanced systems without knowing exactly what they are getting into. So I decided to break it down into different levels so people can see how much money and time to expect, as well as what kind of results they will have. I do want to add that this is based on my own opinions and understanding of acoustics. I don't claim to come close to knowing it all, so if you disagree, want to add something, or have a question, please feel free to post so we can get all the facts strait.

Good: This is a slight upgrade to the stock offerings by manufacturers. It involves adding an equalizer to get a better sound from the speakers. For this I recommend setting the equalizer with an RTA until you get as flat a response as possible. Once you get there, note these settings. Now you can tweak the equalizer to taste, but you will always have a reference point to go back to. This isn't too difficult to do, however it does take some time and access for a couple hours to an RTA. You can definitely get your components to sound better in most instances.

Better: This involves building your own set of components. First you will want to select your speakers. This can be difficult to do as there are so many offerings out there. The most crucial speaker would be the midrange as it generally plays the most critical band of frequencies. My own personal opionion is stay away from metal cones. They have resonances that cannot be equalized or electronically removed. This is because these resonances are amplified by harmonic distortions produces by the motor of the driver. A driver like the Seas Excel (if you can afford it) is one of the few exceptions as it has a very low distortion motor. If you can find one, I'd recommend a midrange with a good amount of throw. This will allow your front speakers to play lower, allowing for a lower crossover point up front and providing more bass-up-front effect. Generally higher excursion drivers will also have lower distortion in the upper midrange as the lower excursion of those frequencies will be using a less-varying BL. Also look for a midrange that doesn't have any large peaks in it's response. Dips aren't good, but are much better than peaks. Again the former is generally a problem with metal coned drivers, especially up higher in frequency. Be careful with the provided frequency response graph. Most manufacturers use 1/3 octave smoothing which is ok. However some companies smooth their graphs even more, hiding response problems in their speakers that will be audible. Keep in mind that your mids will probably be mounted off-axis from you and those measurements were done on-axis (unless of course multiple axis' responses are supplied). Now it's time to select the tweeter. There are several things you need to keep in mind for this. Generally larger tweeters (1" and up) will be able to play lower in frequency. However sometimes they will roll off early up top. Smaller tweeters will have flat response past 20 kHz, but will be limited in lower bandwidth and output if played too low. Also keep in mind that although the factory provided frequency response might show extention down to 1 kHz, you still might not want to run it down that low. This is because the tweeter may start to distort from being pushed too far at a decent listening level. Generally the lower you try to take it, the more limited the peak output you will have. You will want to select a tweeter based on your personal tastes. Generally higher priced tweeters will be able to play louder for a given bandwidth, and will have lower distortion.

Ok now that you have your speakers, you need to install them. As the resonse of the speakers will be shaped based on their installed position, you really don't have to get all fancy with the installation. Generally lower door installation should work just fine. Just try to keep the tweeter close to the mid to keep lobing issues from being too problematic. Now comes the hardest, and most crucial part; designing the crossovers. You cannot just build the crossovers based on textbook slopes and expect to get the best results unless you have a great deal of experience like say Dyohn. What you want to do is design the crossovers based on the sound produced by the speakers in their intended mounted location. This requires a good crossover design program, some expensive equipment, and someone who knows what they are doing. I personally recommend not using LMS to design the speakers as there are much better programs out there IMO. We use Praxis and MLSA. I don't recommend any of you spending the $2k for that stuff, and spending all that time trying to figure out how to run the software. So if you can find someone to do it for you, that would be best. Just be sure that they know what they are doing. I can provide a couple recommendations in the Seattle area. You should be able to get a crossover design that will provide incredible sound in your vehicle. I still recommend using an equalizer to tweak any problems that weren't able to be taken care of in the crossover.

Best: This is very similar to the above in results, except more flexible in tweaking the system. What you will need is to select the speakers based on the description above. Then you will want to build a fully active system, and include a fully digital processor. I personally am going this route and am using a Sony ES XDP-4000X digital processor. However that also requires the use of an older Sony ES head unit. So if you want to use your current head unit, then here's some other recommendations. You can go with Alto Mobile unit here: https://www.altomobile.com/html/ucs_pro.html or even a pro sound Behringer unit found here: https://www.8thstreet.com/product.asp?ProductCode=6788&Category=Audio_Processors The Behringer unit will need it's power supply changed to 12 volts though. I can point you to a guy who has done several of those mods to that unit. You again will want to use some good measurement equipment to select the crossover point and slope, as well as equalize the response and set the phase of the speakers properly. It will take a great deal of time to get things to sound their best. However the advantage of using the digital processor is that you will have several memories you can use for different situations. For instance, if you want to set the system to sound best in the passengers seat, that is possible. Or if you want a window down setting, as well as a window up setting then it is possible. Due to the cost, time involved, and knowledge required to test/set the system, I don't recommend it to everyone. But the results can definitely get you closer to the best that home audio has to offer.

I hope that this write-up can be used as a reference point for those threads. It will hopefully save time by answering those questions that always seem to come up.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio



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Replies:

Posted By: dwarren
Date Posted: August 24, 2005 at 12:46 AM

Fantastic thread Steven! Now I need to make some time and money to try implicate all of this.

Do you have any experience with the Dynaudio MW170's? I recently discussed a near future project with DYohn in regards to adding the MW's for a 3 way system (to my curent system in my sig), any input would be great. ( I like multiple opinions).



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Posted By: haemphyst
Date Posted: August 24, 2005 at 12:51 AM
Well done! Thank you!

I only have one issue with everything you said. I prefer a peak in a speaker response, especially if you are using an EQ. It requires less amplifier to EQ out a peak than a dip - especially at lower frequencies.

Just my input, not to steal any thunder!

-------------
It all reminds me of something that Molière once said to Guy de Maupassant at a café in Vienna: "That's nice. You should write it down."




Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: August 24, 2005 at 2:31 AM

haemphyst wrote:

Well done! Thank you!

I only have one issue with everything you said. I prefer a peak in a speaker response, especially if you are using an EQ. It requires less amplifier to EQ out a peak than a dip - especially at lower frequencies.

Just my input, not to steal any thunder!

I was hoping you would comment, and add some of your knowledge as well.  I didn't mean this to be a statement, but a discussion as well as a knowledge base for others.

As for the problem you comment on, you are absolutely right.  I was more talking about if you have to live with one or the other (ie. not equalizing it out), then a peak is much more unpleasant than a dip. 

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio



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Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: August 24, 2005 at 3:16 AM
dwarren wrote:

Fantastic thread Steven! Now I need to make some time and money to try implicate all of this.

Do you have any experience with the Dynaudio MW170's? I recently discussed a near future project with DYohn in regards to adding the MW's for a 3 way system (to my curent system in my sig), any input would be great. ( I like multiple opinions).


I personally am not familiar with those mids.  However you definitely are listening to the right person to design these speakers.  Dyohn really knows what he is doing, as you probably already know. 

Just out of curiousity, what reasons made you decide to go with a 3-way set?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's a bad idea.  I just wanted to see your reasons were. 

You asked for my input, so I will suggest a wide bandwidth driver like our Extremis 6.8.  I absolutely love these mids because they sound so good up high, while having such incredible low end.  This was proven even more to me just today while watching Sky Captian on my dual mid towers.  My couch was shaking, and I don't have a sub as I don't need one).  Those speakers might simplify things instead of going with a 3-way.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio



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Posted By: dwarren
Date Posted: August 24, 2005 at 12:39 PM
Well, there really isn't any particular reason. I have another Nak amp (100x2) and I can get those MW's at cost. I just like doing things to my system, as much as I can, so that's really my motivation.

And hopefully bringing up some more mid bass. I have room in my doors for some small enclosures actually.

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Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: August 24, 2005 at 2:29 PM

Ok, then I will try to give you what I believe are the advantages and disadvantages of a 3-way system.

Advantages: A 3-way system has more speakers producing the same band of frequencies.  Because of this each speaker is producing a smaller bandwidth.  This allows you to generally reach higher output levels with the system.  Remember what I said in the first post about running speaker lower will reduce their peak output.  You also have more flexibility on which band of frequencies each speaker plays, so you can use each speaker in it's smoothest frequency production range.  This results in a smoother natural frequency response in the end design.  The above also allows you to have a little more flexibility in the speakers you can choose because you don't need them to have good response over a larger bandwidth.  And finally, the smaller band of frequencies per driver allows you not to worry about playing up into frequencies where the speakers are going to beam.  This allows for a little better tonal balance at different axis points.

Disadvantages:  The installation process is greatly complicated.  Now instead of a mid and tweet, you have to fit 3 speakers in there.  Real estate in vehicles is already at a premium, so trying to fit another speaker per side greatly increases the difficulty.  Also, the system design process is greatly complicated.  For instance, designing passive crossovers is a magnitude more difficult.  Think of a 2-way passive crossover as trying to balance a nickel on it's edge.  Now think of a 3-way passive crossover like trying to stack a second nickel on top of the first, it also balanced on it's edge. 

In my experience, the advantages audibly are very small.  I definitely don't think it is worth all the extra effort.  If you want midbass, then I highly suggest going with the speakers I suggested earlier.  You would be hard pressed to find a midbass speaker with more displacement than they have.  Plus they have a good response up to 5 kHz.  We cut them off at 3k because that's where they start to beam at.  We have a tremendous amount of information on those speakers at our website including waterfall plots, THD measurements at a very high level, BL curve, and a spectral contamination graph.  Here's the link: https://www.adireaudio.com/Home/ExtremisMidwoofers.htm

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio



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Posted By: dwarren
Date Posted: August 24, 2005 at 7:23 PM

So out of curiosity, how would I go about setting up this system, as far as x-overs go? I am thinking that I will need some sort of bandpass x-over correct?

Not disregarding what you had to say, as it seems you are not a fan of this idea, but I want to determine what to do here, just more options to weigh out here.

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Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: August 24, 2005 at 8:34 PM

To do a 3-way set you will need a low pass for the midbass, band pass for the midrange, and high pass for the tweeter.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio



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Posted By: dwarren
Date Posted: August 25, 2005 at 12:09 AM

Steven, as usual you have been more than helpful, I appreciate the time youv'e spent with me.

I am going to kick the idea around some, then decide sooner or later. Thanks.



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Posted By: flynntech
Date Posted: August 25, 2005 at 5:23 PM
Cool, I should have read this before I put up my post...I haven't read it, but I can't wait to soak it all in!




Posted By: DYohn
Date Posted: August 27, 2005 at 12:58 AM

Excellent thread.  Here's another adddition for people designing such a system: installing a 3-way component set (or creating one as below) actually creates a net four-way system in your vehicle, with the following basic crossovers points:

1) The bottom three or so octaves are handled by the subwoofer, requiring a low-pass crossover at about 80 Hz.

2) The next 1.5 to 2 octaves (upper bass) are handled by the woofer (or mid-woofer) of the three-way.  This requires a bandpass crossover between the sub cross at 80Hz (high pass) and the upper cross at somewhere between 200 and 300 Hz (low pass.)  In some systems this crossover is another full octave higher on the order of 600-700Hz.

3) The next few octaves are handled by the mid-range.  This is another band-pass crossover between the higher point of the mid-woofer (200 to 800 Hz high pass) and the crossover to the tweeter, usually around 3500 Hz (low pass.)  Some tweeters play lower into the 1500 Hz range.

4)  The highest frequencies are handled by the tweeter and this speaker requires a high-pass crossover at the same frequency as the low-pass of the midrange.

In my car, I use a combination of electronic and passive crossovers.  I use a 24 db/octave electronic low pass for the subwoofer and an 18db/octave electronic bandpass for my midwoofer.  My midrange uses an 18 db/oct electronic high-pass, but then the crossover to the tweeter is passive.  These are the crossovers supplied with my 2-way component sets (18 db/oct @ 1700 Hz).  I created this 4-way system to suit my tastes, adding a mid-woofer between 80 Hz and 240 Hz in kick panels since I felt the woofer of my component set lacked detail in the lower region.

More ideas soon.  Thanks for starting this Steven!



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Support the12volt.com




Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: August 27, 2005 at 5:24 AM

Ok, now that I've covered speaker selection and how to build the front speaker system, I will now move on to installation. I'm going to break it down into two parts, speaker location and speaker aiming.

Speaker Location: It seems to me that there is a lot of misinformation out there on this subject. Usually people will say that kick pannel locations are best. The reasoning is that you want to reduce the pathlength differences between the two sides. To clarify that a bit; you want to have the distance between your head an the left speaker to be as close as possible to the distance between your head and the right speaker. Kick pannel installations do offer this advantage over the more common stock lower door mounting location. However the question is if this difference is audible. The answer is usually no.

To understand the reason why it isn't audible, you have to understand some things about how the human ear works. For instance, you must understand where we get our imaging cues from. For frequencies above 1000 Hz, we get our imaging cues strictly from differences in output. In other words, if a tone within this band of frequencies is played louder by the left speaker then the right, then the tone will sound like it is coming from the left side. For frequencies 500 Hz and down, imaging cues are strictly preceived by timing cues. Now you will probably notice that midrange speakers do play a portion of those frequencies effected by timing cues. So therefore those kick pannel locations should still make sense correct? Well there is one other phenomenon we must look at. That is the latent time of fusion. Basically what that is is how quickly our ears can preceive sound. Our ears cannot preceive sounds quicker than around 3 miliseconds. In other words if you played 2 tones within 3 miliseconds of eachother, they would sound like one tone. So to make an actual audible difference in the timing cues of a speaker, you would need to move it to where the sounds it produces are 3 miliseconds sooner or later than the original spot. This works out to be about 3 feet. So unless you are moving the speakers 3 feet from the stock locations, then you won't get an audible difference in timing cues.

So what can we learn from all of this? Well first of all, it is recommended to adjust the gains on the amp/processor to balance any differences in pathlengths. What this means is turn down the level of the closer set of speakers. Also if you have a phase/time alignment adjustability in any processor to utilize it to balance the timing differences as well. Once you get those set, and as long as you have a good frequency response, you should have an incredible soundstage with very focused imaging.

Speaker Aiming: Many people also recommend aiming the speakers toward the listener. In some instances, this could be benificial. However it is important to understand when to go throug the trouble to do it. Speakers produce sound quite evenly across a very wide axis. However as you start to go up in frequency, they will start to "beam" the sound. The frequency at which this starts to happen depends on the size of the speaker in question (D^2/lamda). A larger midrange like a 6.5 will start to beam at about 2.5 kHz. A 25mm (1") tweeter will start to beam at about 18 kHz. This doesn't mean that it doesn't produce any sound above those frequencies at a given off axis point. It just means that those higher frequencies are reduced. Many companies offer frequency response measurements of their speakers at different axis points. Take some time to look these over and see what the frequency response does when the speaker isn't pointed directly at you. Also note the frequency different sized drivers start to beam.

So when do we need to aim the speakers? Well if you are planning on using a 6.5" midrange up to 4 kHz, then it would be a very good idea to aim it more toward you. Otherwise you would have a dip in the frequency response that could have serious negative effects to equalize back. The more you aim it toward you, the less of a dip there will be. However if the driver isn't going to beam within the bandwidth you are running it, then there is no need to aim the driver. Also, if you are going with the passive crossover design mentioned earlier, then you can reduce this a bit at the cost off efficiency.

Hopefully that will help you guys install your speakers correctly. I do want to give credit where credit is due. Most of the stuff I have posted is what I have learned from my boss, Dan Wiggins. Again, please feel free to ask questions if you have any, add your own comments, or disagree. Keep in mind that there are no dumb questions.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio



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Posted By: haemphyst
Date Posted: September 05, 2005 at 10:21 AM
Steven,

Again, THANKS for your input on a complex concept! You have a way with words and you can put them to good use. I don't feel I can do what you have just done. Excellent explanations, and I'm sure quite helpful to the (at lease one member - are you reading this sedate?) members here. The points you made above are all points I try to explain to people, with varying degrees of success. They concepts presented are quite difficult concepts to grasp, but you have done a very good job!

That is some very good information to have! I am glad the sticky was created. No disagreement from me at all, but a little bit of expounding, if I may...

I only want to add that once a dip occurs in your "sound power", there is no way to equalize it back in - the dip will remain. The speaker will, indeed, be putting out more at that frequency, but the off-axis issue remains - the beaming characteristic cannot be EQ'd out.

The only way to fix an issue like that, is with:

1: an additional smaller driver, to cover the missing frequencies (adding complexity to an already complex system)

2: physical placement - to change the axis of the speaker (also adding complexity, and/or cost)

3: fixing the crossover points (MUCH easier and less expensive with an electronic crossover than with passives) which can adversly effect the power handling capacity of the system, and ultimately, the output of the system.

Again, thanks for your input on this subject, Steven!

-------------
It all reminds me of something that Molière once said to Guy de Maupassant at a café in Vienna: "That's nice. You should write it down."




Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: September 05, 2005 at 1:27 PM
Steven Kephart wrote:

Speaker Location: It seems to me that there is a lot of misinformation out there on this subject. Usually people will say that kick pannel locations are best. The reasoning is that you want to reduce the pathlength differences between the two sides. To clarify that a bit; you want to have the distance between your head an the left speaker to be as close as possible to the distance between your head and the right speaker. Kick pannel installations do offer this advantage over the more common stock lower door mounting location. However the question is if this difference is audible. The answer is usually no.

To understand the reason why it isn't audible, you have to understand some things about how the human ear works. For instance, you must understand where we get our imaging cues from. For frequencies above 1000 Hz, we get our imaging cues strictly from differences in output. In other words, if a tone within this band of frequencies is played louder by the left speaker then the right, then the tone will sound like it is coming from the left side. For frequencies 500 Hz and down, imaging cues are strictly preceived by timing cues. Now you will probably notice that midrange speakers do play a portion of those frequencies effected by timing cues. So therefore those kick pannel locations should still make sense correct? Well there is one other phenomenon we must look at. That is the latent time of fusion. Basically what that is is how quickly our ears can preceive sound. Our ears cannot preceive sounds quicker than around 3 miliseconds. In other words if you played 2 tones within 3 miliseconds of eachother, they would sound like one tone. So to make an actual audible difference in the timing cues of a speaker, you would need to move it to where the sounds it produces are 3 miliseconds sooner or later than the original spot. This works out to be about 3 feet. So unless you are moving the speakers 3 feet from the stock locations, then you won't get an audible difference in timing cues.

So what can we learn from all of this? Well first of all, it is recommended to adjust the gains on the amp/processor to balance any differences in pathlengths. What this means is turn down the level of the closer set of speakers. Also if you have a phase/time alignment adjustability in any processor to utilize it to balance the timing differences as well. Once you get those set, and as long as you have a good frequency response, you should have an incredible soundstage with very focused imaging.


First of all, thanks guys for your comments.  I really appreciate it.

Now I want to expound on the above.  I was talking this over with my boss and learned some more interesting information that is important here.  From the above, the question comes up on whether or not you need time alignment processing with more precision than 3 miliseconds.  The answer is yes.  My comments above were specifically about how timing changes effect imaging cues.  However the timing changes do effect the frequency domain as well.  So although the imaging cues aren't effected (audibly), the frequency response is.  One thing I remember my boss mentioning as an example is that changing the timing of the speakers will effect the spectrum of the comb filtering.  This will have an impact on how the speakers sound.  So it is important to time align the speakers as precise as possible. 

And from there the question comes up about whether kick pannel locations would be benificial in the frequency domain.  Moving the speakers to the kick pannels will effect the frequency response, which will provide an audible difference.  However it is questionable whether it will be good or bad.  You are placing the speakers into deep chasms with quite a few more surfaces to create early reflections that will have a great effect on the sound.  The question you have to ask yourself with all this information provided is whether you are willing to give up your foot space, plus the money and time to build the kick pannels just for something that may be better, and could be worse.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio



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Posted By: Poormanq45
Date Posted: September 05, 2005 at 9:41 PM
steven wrote:

Our ears cannot preceive sounds quicker than around 3 miliseconds. In other words if you played 2 tones within 3 miliseconds of eachother, they would sound like one tone. So to make an actual audible difference in the timing cues of a speaker, you would need to move it to where the sounds it produces are 3 miliseconds sooner or later than the original spot. This works out to be about 3 feet. So unless you are moving the speakers 3 feet from the stock locations, then you won't get an audible difference in timing cues.

Actually it is much worse than this as phase cancellation [1/2 wavelength] time distance varies with frequency.
https://sound.westhost.com/pcmm.htm#2.0https://sound.westhost.com/pcmm.htm#2.0

other then that everything is good

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Posted By: haemphyst
Date Posted: September 05, 2005 at 10:13 PM
Poormanq45 wrote:

Actually it is much worse than this as phase cancellation [1/2 wavelength] time distance varies with frequency.
https://sound.westhost.com/pcmm.htm#2.0https://sound.westhost.com/pcmm.htm#2.0

other then that everything is good

Except I think he is referring to the same tone from two different drivers, played within three milliseconds of each other.

-------------
It all reminds me of something that Molière once said to Guy de Maupassant at a café in Vienna: "That's nice. You should write it down."




Posted By: Poormanq45
Date Posted: September 06, 2005 at 8:40 AM
AH, ok, that makes sense.

I was thinking that he was talking about the distance between the midrange and the tweeter. If he was talking about that, then what I said was correct.

What steven said about left and right mainly being differentiated by variences in loudness is correct.

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Posted By: kryptonitewhite
Date Posted: September 09, 2005 at 5:07 AM
Steven Kephart wrote:

dwarren wrote:

Fantastic thread Steven! Now I need to make some time and money to try implicate all of this.

Do you have any experience with the Dynaudio MW170's? I recently discussed a near future project with DYohn in regards to adding the MW's for a 3 way system (to my curent system in my sig), any input would be great. ( I like multiple opinions).


I personally am not familiar with those mids.  However you definitely are listening to the right person to design these speakers.  Dyohn really knows what he is doing, as you probably already know. 

Just out of curiousity, what reasons made you decide to go with a 3-way set?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's a bad idea.  I just wanted to see your reasons were. 

You asked for my input, so I will suggest a wide bandwidth driver like our Extremis 6.8.  I absolutely love these mids because they sound so good up high, while having such incredible low end.  This was proven even more to me just today while watching Sky Captian on my dual mid towers.  My couch was shaking, and I don't have a sub as I don't need one).  Those speakers might simplify things instead of going with a 3-way.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio


Would you recommend going Extremis/Tweeter, as the Extremis goes to 3K extremely well, and matching it with a tweet that can get down to 2.5 easily,

OR

Extremis/FR125?  If those FRs go to 22kHz the way they are saying...but would you have to cross the FRs over around 2-4kHz to avoid them both putting out the same band of frequencies?





Posted By: kryptonitewhite
Date Posted: September 09, 2005 at 5:11 AM
Steven Kephart wrote:

Ok, then I will try to give you what I believe are the advantages and disadvantages of a 3-way system.

Advantages: A 3-way system has more speakers producing the same band of frequencies.  Because of this each speaker is producing a smaller bandwidth.  This allows you to generally reach higher output levels with the system.  Remember what I said in the first post about running speaker lower will reduce their peak output.  You also have more flexibility on which band of frequencies each speaker plays, so you can use each speaker in it's smoothest frequency production range.  This results in a smoother natural frequency response in the end design.  The above also allows you to have a little more flexibility in the speakers you can choose because you don't need them to have good response over a larger bandwidth.  And finally, the smaller band of frequencies per driver allows you not to worry about playing up into frequencies where the speakers are going to beam.  This allows for a little better tonal balance at different axis points.

Disadvantages:  The installation process is greatly complicated.  Now instead of a mid and tweet, you have to fit 3 speakers in there.  Real estate in vehicles is already at a premium, so trying to fit another speaker per side greatly increases the difficulty.  Also, the system design process is greatly complicated.  For instance, designing passive crossovers is a magnitude more difficult.  Think of a 2-way passive crossover as trying to balance a nickel on it's edge.  Now think of a 3-way passive crossover like trying to stack a second nickel on top of the first, it also balanced on it's edge. 

In my experience, the advantages audibly are very small.  I definitely don't think it is worth all the extra effort.  If you want midbass, then I highly suggest going with the speakers I suggested earlier.  You would be hard pressed to find a midbass speaker with more displacement than they have.  Plus they have a good response up to 5 kHz.  We cut them off at 3k because that's where they start to beam at.  We have a tremendous amount of information on those speakers at our website including waterfall plots, THD measurements at a very high level, BL curve, and a spectral contamination graph.  Here's the link: https://www.adireaudio.com/Home/ExtremisMidwoofers.htm

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio


With 3-way being better because you can focus more on a specific bandwidth per driver, that would mean the FR125 would be too close to the desired bandwidth of the Extremis, making a tweeter a better idea? Or no?

Also, would beaming become an issue running the FR125 too high, making a 2-way tweeter application a better idea?





Posted By: kryptonitewhite
Date Posted: September 09, 2005 at 5:14 AM
Steven Kephart wrote:

To do a 3-way set you will need a low pass for the midbass, band pass for the midrange, and high pass for the tweeter.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio


Would you want a bandpass for the midbass as well to prevent beaming, modes, and distortion up high? Also more power handling from concentrating it's input bandwidth?





Posted By: kryptonitewhite
Date Posted: September 09, 2005 at 5:27 AM
DYohn] wrote:

P>Excellent thread.  Here's another adddition for people designing such a system: installing a 3-way component set (or creating one as below) actually creates a net four-way system in your vehicle, with the following basic crossovers points:

1) The bottom three or so octaves are handled by the subwoofer, requiring a low-pass crossover at about 80 Hz.

2) The next 1.5 to 2 octaves (upper bass) are handled by the woofer (or mid-woofer) of the three-way.  This requires a bandpass crossover between the sub cross at 80Hz (high pass) and the upper cross at somewhere between 200 and 300 Hz (low pass.)  In some systems this crossover is another full octave higher on the order of 600-700Hz.

3) The next few octaves are handled by the mid-range.  This is another band-pass crossover between the higher point of the mid-woofer (200 to 800 Hz high pass) and the crossover to the tweeter, usually around 3500 Hz (low pass.)  Some tweeters play lower into the 1500 Hz range.

4)  The highest frequencies are handled by the tweeter and this speaker requires a high-pass crossover at the same frequency as the low-pass of the midrange.

In my car, I use a combination of electronic and passive crossovers.  I use a 24 db/octave electronic low pass for the subwoofer and an 18db/octave electronic bandpass for my midwoofer.  My midrange uses an 18 db/oct electronic high-pass, but then the crossover to the tweeter is passive.  These are the crossovers supplied with my 2-way component sets (18 db/oct @ 1700 Hz).  I created this 4-way system to suit my tastes, adding a mid-woofer between 80 Hz and 240 Hz in kick panels since I felt the woofer of my component set lacked detail in the lower region.

More ideas soon.  Thanks for starting this Steven!


I am affraid to go both active and passive.  Are there any known effects from this?





Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: September 09, 2005 at 12:50 PM
kryptonitewhite wrote:

Would you recommend going Extremis/Tweeter, as the Extremis goes to 3K extremely well, and matching it with a tweet that can get down to 2.5 easily,


That's how I plan on going.  Just be sure you can fit the Extremis.  It does have a 3.5" mounting depth.  That's one of the downfalls of high excursion.

kryptonitewhite wrote:

Extremis/FR125?  If those FRs go to 22kHz the way they are saying...but would you have to cross the FRs over around 2-4kHz to avoid them both putting out the same band of frequencies?


The FR's will play up that high on axis.  But keep in mind that they are a 4" driver and will start to beam much lower.  However I have a lot of experience with the previous generation WR 125's as they are temporarily acting as my center channel (no crossover or tweeter, just the driver run directly off the receiver channel).  I have been very amazed at how little you notice is lost up that high.  These start to roll off at 15k on axis, and you really have to pay attention to notice the loss. 

So, which one is the better choice (tweeter or FR)?  Well the advantage the FR would have is a better low frequency extention.  However since standard tweeters won't have a problem playing down to match up with the extremis, this advantage is moot.  I'd probably recommend running tweeters instead.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio

[/QUOTE]

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Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: September 09, 2005 at 12:57 PM
kryptonitewhite wrote:

Steven Kephart wrote:

Ok, then I will try to give you what I believe are the advantages and disadvantages of a 3-way system.

Advantages: A 3-way system has more speakers producing the same band of frequencies.  Because of this each speaker is producing a smaller bandwidth.  This allows you to generally reach higher output levels with the system.  Remember what I said in the first post about running speaker lower will reduce their peak output.  You also have more flexibility on which band of frequencies each speaker plays, so you can use each speaker in it's smoothest frequency production range.  This results in a smoother natural frequency response in the end design.  The above also allows you to have a little more flexibility in the speakers you can choose because you don't need them to have good response over a larger bandwidth.  And finally, the smaller band of frequencies per driver allows you not to worry about playing up into frequencies where the speakers are going to beam.  This allows for a little better tonal balance at different axis points.

Disadvantages:  The installation process is greatly complicated.  Now instead of a mid and tweet, you have to fit 3 speakers in there.  Real estate in vehicles is already at a premium, so trying to fit another speaker per side greatly increases the difficulty.  Also, the system design process is greatly complicated.  For instance, designing passive crossovers is a magnitude more difficult.  Think of a 2-way passive crossover as trying to balance a nickel on it's edge.  Now think of a 3-way passive crossover like trying to stack a second nickel on top of the first, it also balanced on it's edge. 

In my experience, the advantages audibly are very small.  I definitely don't think it is worth all the extra effort.  If you want midbass, then I highly suggest going with the speakers I suggested earlier.  You would be hard pressed to find a midbass speaker with more displacement than they have.  Plus they have a good response up to 5 kHz.  We cut them off at 3k because that's where they start to beam at.  We have a tremendous amount of information on those speakers at our website including waterfall plots, THD measurements at a very high level, BL curve, and a spectral contamination graph.  Here's the link: https://www.adireaudio.com/Home/ExtremisMidwoofers.htm

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio


With 3-way being better because you can focus more on a specific bandwidth per driver, that would mean the FR125 would be too close to the desired bandwidth of the Extremis, making a tweeter a better idea? Or no?

Also, would beaming become an issue running the FR125 too high, making a 2-way tweeter application a better idea?


Yes on both accounts.  Now the FR does have a smoother response between 1k and 5k, which is why the 3 way sets (the LCR) using  them have smoother responses.  But to be honest, the audible differences IMO are so small they definitely aren't worth it.  That's why I just run the two-way tower set at home.  But then I don't have "golden ears" like some people do.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio



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Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: September 09, 2005 at 1:03 PM
kryptonitewhite wrote:

Steven Kephart wrote:

To do a 3-way set you will need a low pass for the midbass, band pass for the midrange, and high pass for the tweeter.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio


Would you want a bandpass for the midbass as well to prevent beaming, modes, and distortion up high? Also more power handling from concentrating it's input bandwidth?


It depends on the midbass you are using.  If it can handle lower frequencies without a problem, then there shouldn't be any added distortion from pushing the driver too far.  But beaming is an upper frequency issue, and modes don't really happen in the bass frequencies enough to be an issue.  So a high pass filter won't necessarily help them.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio



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Posted By: footbaldd
Date Posted: September 14, 2005 at 3:47 PM
Steven, I am getting ready to put some components (still deciding on equiptment) in my 90 integra soon and am having a little trouble deciding on the mounting location for my tweeters. i see a lot of people mount on the top of the door or in the mirror sails, but it seems like it would be best to keeping it close to the midrange. If you could i would greatly appreciate your opinion on this.




Posted By: Poormanq45
Date Posted: September 14, 2005 at 5:24 PM

Are you making custom kick panels, or just using the stock mounting location for the midbass driver?

If you're making custom kicks then I'd recommend that you keep the tweeter as close as possible to the other driver.

Hell, even if you're not making custom kicks i'd recommend keeping the drivers close.  Most component sets that I've seen supply you with two mounts for the tweeter, 1 flush mount, and the other an angled mount.  Use the angled mount and try to place the tweeter so that it faces towards the passenger's/driver's ears.



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Posted By: footbaldd
Date Posted: September 14, 2005 at 7:26 PM
I plan to have the midbass in the stock location with the tweeter underneith the grill aimed towards the opposite side (driver's tweeter facing passenger ect), but I want some other opinions before I do anything.




Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: September 14, 2005 at 9:55 PM

footbaldd wrote:

Steven, I am getting ready to put some components (still deciding on equiptment) in my 90 integra soon and am having a little trouble deciding on the mounting location for my tweeters. i see a lot of people mount on the top of the door or in the mirror sails, but it seems like it would be best to keeping it close to the midrange. If you could i would greatly appreciate your opinion on this.

You have a 90 Integra?  That's awesome since that's what I drive as well.  Right now I have my tweeters temporarily mounted on the grills. Try using double sided tape and different locations until you find a spot that sounds best to you.  Although underneath the grills should be just fine.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio



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Posted By: footbaldd
Date Posted: September 15, 2005 at 3:39 PM
Yea I see you every once and a while on g2ic. Love the center console enclosure. I saw you mentioned you are using Extremis up front; have you had any problems with their mounting depth? Tonight I am going to cut some 3/4in mdf rings, but I dont think that much more will fit without hitting the grill.




Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: September 15, 2005 at 6:01 PM

I haven't actually installed the Extremis yet.  The 3/4" rings will fit behind the grills without a problem.  You will have to cut the metal to widen the hole though.  The speakers I have in there right now have a 3" mounting depth, and I believe there is enough room for another 1/2" to clear the Extremis.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio 



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Posted By: forbidden
Date Posted: October 03, 2005 at 9:46 PM
Steven, any news for me yet? Send me a e-mail if you will please.

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Top Secret, I can tell you but then my wife will kill me.




Posted By: midbass_champ
Date Posted: October 04, 2005 at 10:43 AM
I have considered doing a 3-way component set for a while now, and this post has shined a new light on the idea.  Thanks!

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Amateurs work until they get it right. Professionals work until they can't get it wrong...

Alpine.




Posted By: audiointl
Date Posted: October 18, 2005 at 11:19 PM

greetings 12V philosophers!

Yes I'm the new kid on the block, so tis indeed was a great learning experience for me.  I only wish I knew any of this before I wasted 4500 on a set of Focal 3-ways for my 3000gt.  I've since replaced them with MBQs (more space left, same SQ)

Thanks everybody!!



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Everything I touch turns to ICE




Posted By: DYohn
Date Posted: November 17, 2005 at 12:20 PM
Someone asked about "any known effects" from using both active and passive crossovers.  What do you mean by this?  There is no problem using both active and passive crossovers; indeed this is the best way to achieve certain system crossover topologies.  While it is never a good idea to gang crossovers of any type at the same or very similar X-over points, there is nothing inherently problematic with using any combination of active or passive crossovers, or with running speakers full-range.  It all has to do with the system design! 

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Support the12volt.com




Posted By: soundsgood2meaz
Date Posted: December 16, 2005 at 1:11 PM

   Excellent thread loaded with lots of good information. I believe proper crossover's are key to making a good system into a better and better into excellent. Let me ask you one thing please, Do you prefer to use the cross-over settings on either the head unit, EQ, or Amp? I have also been playing around with the MaxxBass 103 signal processor for delivering accurate mid-bass to the front stage.





Posted By: DYohn
Date Posted: December 27, 2005 at 12:12 PM
I use dedicated crossovers whenever possible as they are almost always higher quality than ones built into another component.  Use the highest quality crossovers available that give you the control you need.

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Support the12volt.com




Posted By: jtholley03
Date Posted: January 31, 2006 at 10:06 PM

Steven Kephart great opening post. Very valid posts. Not sure where you are with your XDP-4000X. I have a CDX-C90 and had a XDP4000X. I liked the xover ease of use and design I found the time alignment greatly degraded the sound.

I had a 4 way Focal system in my Eclipse. Changed out the Focal tweeters (too harsh) for B&G Neo 3's. Love those. Had them xover to Focal 4. Both in an enclosure on by the a-arm in the front of the dash. Then going down to an 8 in the doors. I eventually took out the 4s and went with the B&G's on the dash and the 8's in the doors angled up towards the windshield with no time alignment.

I went with a larger driver that was light and quick instead of a smaller driver with larger excursion. I had the room in the doors and the larger driver moving less sounded more natural. I now need exactly the opposite.

Fronts were driven by XM-2000R amp. This was heaven.

Focal Audiom 12's in the back driven by Precision Power something (don't remember model).

I still have all the equipment and need to start putting it in my Yukon XL. I was going to buy one of the wired adaptors for the iPod to go to the stock unit in the Yukon. Seems stupid to do that when $100 buys me a XA-300 to hook right to the CDX-C90 which I haven't found anything that comes close as far as preamp/volume control.

So I will be looking for another XDP-4000X for xover use. I liked that part of this.

I now need a smaller mid with a larger excursion as you mentioned since I don't want to recreate my Yukon XL door panels. I will be using the XM2000R to drive the fronts again. I am thinking about going with a true ribbon and seeing if they will hold up in the doors. I have these in my custom built speakers at home and really like the smooth upper extension that is missing in the B&Gs. Either that or some Accutons if the ribbons don't hold up.

Anyway great thread!





Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: February 02, 2006 at 2:36 PM

Thanks for you compliments.

jtholley03 wrote:

 I have a CDX-C90 and had a XDP4000X. I liked the xover ease of use and design I found the time alignment greatly degraded the sound.

Time alignment can be tough to set up by ear.  That's why I plan on getting mine set up with proper test equipment.  I may do it one of these days when I finally get back to working on my car.

jtholley03 wrote:

I had a 4 way Focal system in my Eclipse. Changed out the Focal tweeters (too harsh) for B&G Neo 3's. Love those. Had them xover to Focal 4. Both in an enclosure on by the a-arm in the front of the dash. Then going down to an 8 in the doors. I eventually took out the 4s and went with the B&G's on the dash and the 8's in the doors angled up towards the windshield with no time alignment.

Those Neo 3's are very nice tweeters.  They were used in a couple designs at Adire Audio.  In fact we even had a pair of their 6' tall planars. 

jtholley03 wrote:

I went with a larger driver that was light and quick instead of a smaller driver with larger excursion. I had the room in the doors and the larger driver moving less sounded more natural. I now need exactly the opposite............. I now need a smaller mid with a larger excursion as you mentioned since I don't want to recreate my Yukon XL door panels. I will be using the XM2000R to drive the fronts again.

If you can provide some information, we should be able to help you find a good driver for you.  What bandwidth does this driver have to play in?  What size/type of enclosure?  What cone size do you want, and what mounting depth? 

jtholley03 wrote:

I am thinking about going with a true ribbon and seeing if they will hold up in the doors. I have these in my custom built speakers at home and really like the smooth upper extension that is missing in the B&Gs. Either that or some Accutons if the ribbons don't hold up.

I'm not a big fan of ribbons, even though they are the "in" thing right now.  I don't think they are superior to standard tweeters as any advantage that the ribbons have are balanced out by their faults IMO.  And I really don't think they would be a good choice for a vehicle because of how delicate they are.  You would be running the risk of damaging them every time you close your door.  If you want to go unconventional, then I would recommend planars like the Neo 3's.





Posted By: jtholley03
Date Posted: February 02, 2006 at 4:46 PM

Agrred about the ribbons being fragile in the car. I am leaning towards Accutons for tweeters. I am looking fo rsomething to go in the stock location in the door of the 2000 GMC Yukon XL. I think there is a 5 there now. I haven't torn it apart to see how much room I have to play with.

Also need to get a hold of another 4000 before I can replace the speakers.

I am certainly open to suggestions :)





Posted By: jtholley03
Date Posted: April 17, 2006 at 8:49 PM
Here is where I am at:

https://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=243

Of course these will be made nice and neat and fiberglassed in.

I can not say enough about having the sound hit the ears without reflection.

Ribbons and Seas Nextel's are in performing flawlessly. Capacitor protects ribbons on ignition turn on.




Posted By: gramozeka
Date Posted: June 05, 2006 at 4:48 PM
Hello everyone.
this question is for the originator of this post or other knowledgeable people on here

can there be any discussion as of what Theile-Small Parameters to look at to ensure a good quality of sound in standard locations such as doors kick panels ets.

what are good manufacturers that sell high quality speakers separately. Some of the one that have been discussed earlier make them in 8 ohm versions how do you get around that since it requires more powered to run them.

I am in process of building a good sounding system with emphasis on quality for a reasonable price. And I was looking in to buying all the speakers separately since my stereo (alpine 9855) has digital 2 and 3 way crossovers implemented in it powered by alpines v12 amps. My car is 97 Mitsubishi eclipse and all the speakers have to be mounted in stock locations 5 ¼ all around or 6.5 in the front and 6x9 in the back. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Currently my #1 contender for the speakers are DLS iridium 6.2 for the front but they are kind of a stretch for the budget. Did not figure out anything for the back since DLS does not make 6x9 rated at the same power as iridium’s

thanks!




Posted By: gramozeka
Date Posted: June 05, 2006 at 4:54 PM
I did not notice how old this post was I am sorry for bumping it up. Good sugestions are still appreciated




Posted By: jtholley03
Date Posted: June 06, 2006 at 10:19 AM
Dude, I have a 98 Eclipse.

You can fit an 8 in the doors so easily. I made some one off mounts for my Focal PolyKevlar 8's.

I would recommend something fast and light like the Focals.

I have B&G Neo 3's on the dash. Loved the sound and you going active is the best bet!




Posted By: love base
Date Posted: August 08, 2006 at 11:15 AM
oh help first i'm a female and i want to do this myself with help from ya. ok i have 4 twelve kicker comp's in a box, a 1600 watt pyrimid artic, 2 channel now how do i hook this up? and how do i set the amp things on the side to sound good?

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brandy cannon




Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: August 11, 2006 at 2:09 PM
That's really not a question that has to do with this topic.  Please start a new thread including the impedance (ohms) of the subs and the enclosure size and type you are using.  We can then help answer your question.




Posted By: kronik66
Date Posted: September 02, 2006 at 11:35 AM
i'm planning on running active crossovers to my components .right now they are running with passive crossovers that have an integrated zobel network and a 3db pad on the tweeter . obviously by going active there will be no need for the pad but what about the zobel? are impedence curves still important in an active system or is the zobel there just to make the passive xover more efficient?

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";P





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