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Horn-Loaded Speakers
Topic: HELP on a Custom 3 Way Horn with Beyma TPL150

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Posted by vakman on 12-25-2019
Hi All,
This is my 1st ever post, but extremely disappointed I never came across this site before
Here is my current setup, for which I'm desperately seeking some help from fellow members
  • Cabinet - Layered Birch Ply with curved sides
  • MiniDSP for the Woofers and ported using 2 x 3" flared ports on the backside of each cabinet.
  • Passive crossover for Midrange and Tweeter at this stage using  ALL Mundorf Supreme Silver/Gold In Oil. Inductors are ALL Mundorf Copper
  • Attenuator Fostex R100T2 for the Horn (MidRange) used to bring down the 100dB Horn running the Radian 651 BePB-8
  • Custom 300B monoblocks for the Mids and Highs
  • Krell FPB300Cx for the Woofers
Current Crossover Points
  • Woofers 20Hz to 860Hz
  • Midrange 775Hz - 4250 Hz
  • Tweeter 4000Hz +Hz
Current Crossover
  • Horn lower crossover point is 775Hz using 18uF caps and 2.2mH Coil (second order)
  • Horn/tweeter crossover point is 4,250Hz using 4.7uf caps plus 0.3mH coils (first order)

The sound: We'll it's not bad, but lacks the delicacy and intimacy of my old Fountek Neo 5i Ribbon tweeter in my previous 2-way setup. The sound can best be described as impactive & full range, but lacking that suck me into the music (toe tapping factor).
Was thinking about replacing the Beyma TPL150 with the RaaL Lazy Ribbon, but unsure at this point and didn't really want to commit a large sum of money unless I was sure.

Any guidance would be much appreciated.





Posted by rowuk on 12-25-2019
Merry Christmas!
Nice woodworking job on your speakers.
I have a couple if questions:Why did you select the drivers that you did?What made you select one horn for the midrange but for nothing else?What process did you use to select the crossover points?Why do you use a port on the bass?How did you determine where to place the speakers?What drove you to the 300B/Krell combination?What music do you listen to?
I am not challenging any of those decisions, but the answers probably will also answer your question.
I see some basic errors that cannot be solved by advice. You probably have to change the way that you listen and how you approach audio.No single speaker can do a good job from 20 to even 200 Hz.A small box, 10” woofers and a port is a sure recipe to destroy anything below 50 Hz as well as a lot over 100Hz.A port lets midrange frequencies through making it a bit open back - but a very resonant open back.The Fountek NEO 5i does not have really good “midrange” (been there, done that). It does have “audiophile” artifacts however that make the playback “spectacular” for those that need it.
I am not sure that these three distinct technologies can be integrated. The horn in its lower register sounds a lot different than the woofers in the upper register and I have never heard the Beyma integrate with anything. I have heard that horn sound very good in a large floor standing two way system with 2 x 12” woofers in a d’appolito arrangement. That system sounded “full range” even although it only covered around 80 to 10khz. The owner was working on bass extension back then, but I have not heard the results.

Posted by vakman on 12-25-2019
G'Day Rowuk,
Thanks so much for the quick reply
The drivers were recommended by the person who made the cabinets. All three are supposed to be quite well regarded.Initially, the project was just going to be 2 x 10" and the Beyma tweeter, which in itself is quite flat from 1800 to 20k
The crossover points, were just picked using the online calculators (probably a big no-no), but I nor the cabinet maker don't really know any better.
The 2 x 3" ports on the bass cabinets were recommended by John from Acoustic Elegance directly.
The speaker placement is essentially a little bit of trial and error, with no real science
My previous setup wall a highly efficient two way setup using the Fountek (avg sensitivity 102dB), which is where I ran the 300B monoblocks full range. The issue here was that the bottom range was just about non-existent, hence the desire to off-load my old set of speakers
For music choice all kinds; Pop, Rock, Jazz, Blues, Classical, Vocals, etc.....
I understand the issue between 20 to 200hz, but this is something I would like to tackle later on. Right now, I would like the focus to be on the mid-highs as Mini-DSP gives me a great level of control (probably not in a true audiophile way for now) on the Bass drivers, to get some kind of balance right quickly.

Was thinking, since the Horn is roughly 110dB, then maybe I could better integrate the Raal Lazy Ribbon since it's roughly 111dB.
Anyway, appreciate any advice to try and move forward.
Btw, most the speakers here look absolutely amazing. You guys know what you're doing. Kudos.

Posted by rowuk on 12-25-2019
Well, I think that you should first read about Romys Macondo speakers. There are several threads with his thoughts that should help you get away from the DIY approach that did not give you the results that you expected. You have experienced first hand that those that “rate” drivers and horns really have no idea about sound. 

I do not think that it is time for a miniDSP. Your problem is not a crossover or a new tweeter, it is a lack of direction, no approach to Sound. This is not a DIY site, rather a place where perception not hardware leads us to results. No one can help you fix your speakers by recommendation of some hardware solution. Anybody offering “solutions” is just plain lying to you. Each of the drivers have individual challenges and improvement is only possible when you can embrace those challenges yourself. I suspect that you will need a solution between the woofers and the horn (additional driver). I am pretty sure that you need to get good sound without the tweeter before even considering changing anything.

Posted by vakman on 12-25-2019
Thank you for your reply and honest feedback that there is no silver bullet.
In the interest of trying to move forward, is there anyone in Sydney, Australia who has a Macondo based speakers, whom I maybe able to visit and enlighten myself?


Posted by vakman on 12-25-2019
One more thing, I shall be reading the "Audio for Dummies" forum section of this site attentively, before posting any more messages, as there is so much valuable and educational material here.
Thanks again all and Merry Christmas.

Posted by Romy the Cat on 12-26-2019
Vakman, thank for properly formulating our question, it is not frequently happening. First things first: do not buy or replace anything.  It is impossible to get answers or diagnose any problem by wiping out what currently in existing and barbarically replace it with new problem. This is what audio industry does generally, paying own mortgages and buying boats by other people money in way, but it is what I am preaching. 
Also, among the problems that you named is not tabby bass or glossy heights but “lacking that suck you into the music” and to fix it completely different tools need to be used. Be advised that I do not feel that “toe tapping factor” is a factor at all. The sucking in music has to do with propagation of listening attention along the Six-Leveled-Listening Benefits and toe tapping is just somewhere at the level 2.5 
Anyhow, returning back to your playback. 
There are certainly many things in there that I would do differently but you did not name among the problems that you are hearing anything that would suggest me that my recommendations would benefit you at your level of audio demands. So, let fix you problem with toe tapping and let you to decide if anything else in your playback that makes you uncomfortable. 
Again, do not change absolutely anything in your playback.  Makes 2 very specific charges that I enumerated below and then spend a week or so to listening your playback. Then let me know how do you feel about the sucking you into the music. It will not fix the problem completely but it will change the way how you sucking you into the music. The feedback that I need from you is not that “it works” but rather what then will bother you in sound. I am asking not because I would need to fix your other problem but because 2 changes that we will be baling will impact some other things and you would need to do with post-change regression adjustments that will be easy. 
1)    First thing that I would like you to do is to drop the MF channel’s pedestal. Currently it is sitting on some kind of standoff and angled down. Make it completely horizontal, making sure that axes of tweeter and MF are absolutely parallel. There are ways to deal with angling cannels but at this point, juts for sake of self-illustration, you need to drain the swamp of time-misalignment. 
2)    Time align all you 3 channels. The diaphragms of each of you drivers should be equidistant from your eats and pulls from each channel shahs should arrive to your ears at absolutely identical time. There are many ways to do arrival time aliment chose whatever works for you. As you will be done the stuck of your channels will looks very ugly and the frame that you have now will not work out. Do not let it to bother yourself. Make some temporary channels holder and spend that week to listening and to observe your “toe tapping factor”.  You will detect that some purely sonic things got slightly out of whack. Do not worry and do not change anything, this is what I described above as “post-change regression adjustments” and it will be not hard to fix. Focus of your perception, the change of the perception and the amplitude of that “toe tapping factor” that you are looking.

Posted by anthony on 12-27-2019
 vakman wrote:
Thank you for your reply and honest feedback that there is no silver bullet.
In the interest of trying to move forward, is there anyone in Sydney, Australia who has a Macondo based speakers, whom I maybe able to visit and enlighten myself?


...but am in rural Queensland that has a direct flight from Sydney.

Really though, I doubt that coming to visit me would help you too much at this stage.  Firstly, because my system is not yet complete, and secondly, because the first and highest hurdle is to be able to identify and describe what needs to change with your sound.  It seems that most people can only tell what they want once they have heard alternatives, and are not so capable in advance of spelling out what needs to change in the context of what they listen to presently.

EDIT:  Just read further down the thread.  The time alignment and levelling of the mid horn that Romy suggests seem to be important changes to your current setup.  Do that first.  It will wreck your current aesthetics, but should sound better.  Also, once you get further into optimising your system, I think you will end up with at least one more bass channel...I think those AE10's go too high by at least two octaves.

Posted by vakman on 12-28-2019
Thanks Romy.
Good advise. I'll start by making the necessary changes to get all drivers aligned as suggested and will take it from there.
Once again, really appreciate all your help.

Posted by A.Wahlsten on 12-31-2019
 vakman wrote:
Thanks Romy.
Good advise. I'll start by making the necessary changes to get all drivers aligned as suggested and will take it from there.
Once again, really appreciate all your help.

Hi, there is processing delay in MiniDSP. I do not know how much exactly, please google or look at the manual if there is any info. I use Hypex myself and in that case the distance of 37 cm should be considered when time aligning drivers.
Br, A.W

Posted by rowuk on 12-31-2019
A. Wahlsten,this speaker is very well suited for time aligning physically. The more "DSP corrections" that we add, the worse things get. In addition, DSP time alignment can only be useful for one seating position and distance from the speaker. It does not matter if one is using the Hypex crossover, Behringer or the MiniDSP regardless of mods or anything else.
The impression that I get is that the OP wants less compromise and random DIY.

Posted by Romy the Cat on 01-01-2020
 rowuk wrote:
The more "DSP corrections" that we add, the worse things get. In addition, DSP time alignment can only be useful for one seating position and distance from the speaker.
 A.Wahlsten wrote:
…MiniDSP….should be considered when time aligning drivers.
I would like to cover some misconceptions in here. The digital time delays are perfectly fine to do time aligning and it will not be for “one seating position and distance from the speaker”. If in this particular case, since vakman use DSP for LF crossover then he could easy to use his digital crossover time to deal with align his bass to his MF channel. He has analog filters for HF channel and to align that he needs to move his tweeter all the way back. The whole idea here is not to align the channels but to learn o confirm to himself that the channels are aligned and to discover how the aligned channels to affect the fine aspect of listening interaction.  The experiment might be well done at either digital or analog domains. 
The big subject however here is not digital vs analog aligning but slightly differently posed question: can the sonic problems that arrived from DSP filtering and an extra AD/DA conversion mask out the benefits of time alignment? He answers is yes and no. It all would be from the given experience of the given listener. An experience audio expert with well-trained ability to recognize the consequences of DSP and time misalignment will be able to extrapolate the result. If a person is not familiar with auditable benefits of time alignment, like in case of vakman for instance, then I would recommend to introduce one change a time and do not throw DSL and timing at the same bag at the same time.

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