FiringSquad Home
Home News THE MATRIX Deals Hardware '>Games Features Media Products Forums
Reply
Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

My new project.... 56K Warning!!! ALL THE HARD WORK HAS PAYED OFF!!!

[ Edited ]
Edit: I have completed my Speaker Project Guide. It's a detailed report of my project as well as a guide to anyone who is interested in doing the same.

Ok so I thought I would let everyone here know of my new project that will span over then next several months.

I'm building the ultimate home theater.

My ingrediants:

HTPC
Yamaha HTR 6090 Reciever
Yamaha DVD-s550 (Already have)
A 40'+ DLP or Plasma display or a really nice projector. (This is still a toss up)
7.1 Speakers - I will be building these myself. And I can assure you that their quality will far surpass any 7.1 speaker system under $4000. And Mine will barely cost $1500. :smileyhappy: Of course pictures will be taken of my progress and detailed information of the build process.

I have almost everything I need to get my HTPC stated for now. I will be upgrading it later on, but for now it will suffice quite nicely.
Processor - Athlon 64 939 3000+ (with a OC goal of 2.6Ghz with my opteron cooler from my Opty 170 :smileyhappy: )
Motherboard - The soon to arrive DFI NF4 SLI-D from Visioneer. (Thanks again)
Graphics Card - 7800GTX
Memory - 1GB of Corsair Value Select (Had this lieing around)
Hard Drive - 320GB Seagate (Still need to purchase this.)
PSU - 500W Fortron
Optical Drive - SATA Lite-On DVD-RW (Will order this later as well)
Case - The only case I've been able to find that truely spells HTPC and still fits into a Home Theater nicely. The OrigenAE X15E-B. The only downside... its $599. :smileysad: But I just want it. :smileytongue:

Like I said I'll be sure to keep everyone updated with my progress. I might have to buy a digital camera just so I can do this. :smileytongue: I have to say I can't wait until its finished. :smileyvery-happy:
Message Edited by ZeroGuardian on 12-20-2007 03:10 PM

If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Airborne Ranger
kenny_dope
Posts: 5,259
Registered: ‎06-30-2004

Re: My new project....



ZeroGuardian wrote:

HTPC
Processor - Athlon 64 939 3000+  ==> I think you'll really want a dual-core CPU if you can find one -especially if you plan on upconverting or ripping anything from DVD etc
Motherboard - The soon to arrive DFI NF4 SLI-D from Visioneer. (Thanks again)
Graphics Card - 7800GTX ==> If you're not gaming on it I would sell it and just get something like an X1300
Memory - 1GB of Corsair Value Select (Had this lieing around)
Hard Drive - 320GB Seagate (Still need to purchase this.) ==>Looks good but I'll bet you'll want another one or two a month after completion :smileywink:
PSU - 500W Fortron
Optical Drive - SATA Lite-On DVD-RW (Will order this later as well) ==>You definitely want to look for one of those Quiet Drive ones -either from Samsung or Pioneer -nothing worse than having the DVD drive spin up a racket during a quiet part of the movie...
Case - The only case I've been able to find that truely spells HTPC and still fits into a Home Theater nicely. The OrigenAE X15E-B. The only downside... its $599. :smileysad: But I just want it. :smileytongue: ==>> Looks great. $600 is a lot but its worth it for what will essentially be the centre piece (other than the TV) of your living room



AMD X2+ 560 (DeepCool 300)
ASRock 970 Extreme 4
12Gb G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1600
120Gb OCZ Agility 3
2x 2Tb WD Caviar Green
ATI Radeon HD4830
CM Silent Pro 600W
Lian Li A05-FNB
Dell 2407WFP
Pathfinder
Transco901
Posts: 5,076
Registered: ‎07-29-2006

Re: My new project....

[ Edited ]


ZeroGuardian wrote:
Ok so I thought I would let everyone here know of my new project that will span over then next several months.

I'm building the ultimate home theater.

My ingrediants:

HTPC
Yamaha HTR 6090 Reciever
Yamaha DVD-s550 (Already have)
A 40'+ DLP or Plasma display or a really nice projector. (This is still a toss up)
7.1 Speakers - I will be building these myself. And I can assure you that their quality will far surpass any 7.1 speaker system under $4000. And Mine will barely cost $1500. :smileyhappy: Of course pictures will be taken of my progress and detailed information of the build process.

I have almost everything I need to get my HTPC stated for now. I will be upgrading it later on, but for now it will suffice quite nicely.
Processor - Athlon 64 939 3000+ (with a OC goal of 2.6Ghz with my opteron cooler from my Opty 170 :smileyhappy: )
Motherboard - The soon to arrive DFI NF4 SLI-D from Visioneer. (Thanks again)
Graphics Card - 7800GTX  Overkill, get a 7600GT or there 'bouts and save some $.
Memory - 1GB of Corsair Value Select (Had this lieing around)  Take the $ you save from the lesser GPU purchase and get another GIG of the value RAM (should be cheap with your employee discount).
Hard Drive - 320GB Seagate (Still need to purchase this.)  Good choice.  320 GB drives seem to be at the best price point; I'm looking at the Seagate 320GB drives for my RAID1 setup.

PSU - 500W Fortron
Optical Drive - SATA Lite-On DVD-RW (Will order this later as well)
Case - The only case I've been able to find that truely spells HTPC and still fits into a Home Theater nicely. The OrigenAE X15E-B. The only downside... its $599. :smileysad: But I just want it. :smileytongue:

Like I said I'll be sure to keep everyone updated with my progress. I might have to buy a digital camera just so I can do this. :smileytongue: I have to say I can't wait until its finished. :smileyvery-happy:





Message Edited by Transco901 on 02-06-2007 10:52 PM

Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

Re: My new project....

Does anyone read that I have this stuff lieing around. I'M NOT BUYING THOSE PARTS!!! LOL :smileyvery-happy:

I was just mearly sharing what I plan to do.

If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Airborne Ranger
kenny_dope
Posts: 5,259
Registered: ‎06-30-2004

Re: My new project....



ZeroGuardian wrote:
Does anyone read that I have this stuff lieing around. I'M NOT BUYING THOSE PARTS!!! LOL :smileyvery-happy:

I was just mearly sharing what I plan to do.


No need to get so defensive about it -considering you'd be doing yourself a favour by selling that 7800GTX if you don't need to use it for gaming. You'd get more $$$ to spend on the other parts too. Posting a spec list is akin to asking us for comments and recommendations...LOL
AMD X2+ 560 (DeepCool 300)
ASRock 970 Extreme 4
12Gb G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1600
120Gb OCZ Agility 3
2x 2Tb WD Caviar Green
ATI Radeon HD4830
CM Silent Pro 600W
Lian Li A05-FNB
Dell 2407WFP
Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

Re: My new project....



kenny_dope wrote:


ZeroGuardian wrote:
Does anyone read that I have this stuff lieing around. I'M NOT BUYING THOSE PARTS!!! LOL :smileyvery-happy:

I was just mearly sharing what I plan to do.


No need to get so defensive about it -considering you'd be doing yourself a favour by selling that 7800GTX if you don't need to use it for gaming. You'd get more $$$ to spend on the other parts too. Posting a spec list is akin to asking us for comments and recommendations...LOL


Don't get me wrong I was laughing actually. But I want to keep the 7800GTX in there because I'll be using this for gaming as well. Just not all the time. :smileyhappy:

If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Shock Trooper
chemgeek
Posts: 8,669
Registered: ‎01-20-2005

Re: My new project....

My only poblem with that setup, it is going to be loud.  You want quiet in your living room.  You do ot need a heavy overclock on that thing.  I had a PVR running in my previous HTPC with a P4  and 512MB of RAM.  Keep the CPU fan speed down.  Also, try and get a video card with a fanless solution, like a Gigabyte card.  I would suggest a sound card with DDL as well, it makes interfacing with a home theater reciever quite easy. 
Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

Re: My new project....



chemgeek wrote:
My only poblem with that setup, it is going to be loud.  You want quiet in your living room.  You do ot need a heavy overclock on that thing.  I had a PVR running in my previous HTPC with a P4  and 512MB of RAM.  Keep the CPU fan speed down.  Also, try and get a video card with a fanless solution, like a Gigabyte card.  I would suggest a sound card with DDL as well, it makes interfacing with a home theater reciever quite easy. 


Yeah I agree with you quite a bit actually.  But I'm concentrating more on the actual home theater right now than the HTPC. I'm just trying to throw something together to make sure everything works properly and everything then upgrade the HTPC to make it more suitable for the environment. I was just tossing out the specs initially because I thought people would be interested.

I'll start putting together a list of the parts I plan to put in this case so you have a better idea of what I'll be doing with it later.

If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Green Cadet
dbro972000
Posts: 358
Registered: ‎02-14-2006

Re: My new project....

I think that's a nice setup there, but I would add one thing. On the 7800GTX I would get an Arctic Cooling Rev5 because it will exaust the hot air out of the case and it's super quiet. It also keeps the card really cool. :smileyhappy:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Sharpshooter
Visioneer
Posts: 4,677
Registered: ‎10-11-2005

Re: My new project....

Looks all nice, keep us updated with pics...btw the GTX is fine, a X1300 wont cut it with HD material
Q6600 @ 3.33 (1.3v) |DFI DK P35 | 4GB GSkill PC 6400 | Dell 3007 WFP| Western Digital Raptor 150GB| Saphire 4870X2 Stock | OCZ GameXtreme 700W| Dtek Fusion v2 |Blueline HD 20 |BIX III | Mountain Mods U2-UFO
Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

Re: My new project....



dbro972000 wrote:
I think that's a nice setup there, but I would add one thing. On the 7800GTX I would get an Arctic Cooling Rev5 because it will exaust the hot air out of the case and it's super quiet. It also keeps the card really cool. :smileyhappy:


I bought one of those only a few weeks after I bought it. Which was like a year and a half ago. :smileyvery-happy: So thanks for the advice but its a little late. :smileytongue:

If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Green Cadet
dbro972000
Posts: 358
Registered: ‎02-14-2006

Re: My new project....

Cool then, have fun with it and keep us up to date!
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Black Ops
Lenin22
Posts: 10,828
Registered: ‎01-30-2005

Re: My new project....

I'm going to add to what Kenny said.


kenny_dope wrote:


ZeroGuardian wrote:

HTPC
Processor - Athlon 64 939 3000+  ==> I think you'll really want a dual-core CPU if you can find one -especially if you plan on upconverting or ripping anything from DVD etc I'd switch SPUs from your gaming rig and the HTPC. Dual core is more useful for encoding/ripping/whatever than it is for gaming.
Motherboard - The soon to arrive DFI NF4 SLI-D from Visioneer. (Thanks again)
Graphics Card - 7800GTX ==> If you're not gaming on it I would sell it and just get something like an X1300 Not an X1300, but any X1K series card. You need the AVIVO decoding from ATI.
Memory - 1GB of Corsair Value Select (Had this lieing around)
Hard Drive - 320GB Seagate (Still need to purchase this.) ==>Looks good but I'll bet you'll want another one or two a month after completion :smileywink: LoL very true.
PSU - 500W Fortron
Optical Drive - SATA Lite-On DVD-RW (Will order this later as well) ==>You definitely want to look for one of those Quiet Drive ones -either from Samsung or Pioneer -nothing worse than having the DVD drive spin up a racket during a quiet part of the movie...Yep, I second that.
Case - The only case I've been able to find that truely spells HTPC and still fits into a Home Theater nicely. The OrigenAE X15E-B. The only downside... its $599. :smileysad: But I just want it. :smileytongue: ==>> Looks great. $600 is a lot but its worth it for what will essentially be the centre piece (other than the TV) of your living room






Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

Re: My new project....

Thought I would provide a little insite into what I plan to do with this HTPC.

At first the computer will be as stated above.

Then sometime around Late Summer/Early Fall I'll do a major overhaul to my gaming rig. At this point my gaming rig will be this (or something close):

Intel Core 2 Quad  ------------ OR ---------- AMD Barcelona (whichever is the better processor at the time)
4GB of DDR2 (probably PC8000 but will look into this as the time gets closer)
Whatever motherboard I can get awesome OCs with and is rock solid and has all the features I need. Most likely from Asus, EVGA, Abit, or Gigabyte.
I will stick with my 8800GTX until at least this time next year.

At this point my Opty 170 will be moved to the HTPC. Along with the 2GB of Corsair XMS. And I'll probably buy a mid range 8 series card with HDCP support to put into the HTPC as well as a good media sound card capable of Dolby Digital and DTS decoding/encoding. :smileyhappy:

My remaining 3000+, 1GB Corsair VS, and 7800GTX will then be placed in a secondary rig that will be used for Lan parties and as a file server.

Hope that clears everyone up. I don't want to waste money on this HTPC right now. Like I said I want to get the actual Home theater built up first. My first portion of the project will be the 2 front speakers and the center. I'll be sure to get lots of pictures of the building process along with detailed instruction for anyone who might want to try this. I have heard some of the speakers that are designed by my friend and they sound AWESOME! Just glad I have another friend who is really good with woodworking as well. :smileyhappy:

Anyways thanks for everyone's interest and comments. Can't wait to get this project under way. The only downside is that once I have this completed all yall will be able to do is see the pics... yall won't get to experience it. :smileysad:

If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Blooded Grunt
AMDnewbie2005
Posts: 4,260
Registered: ‎12-05-2005

Re: My new project....

Make sure to tell IDCP he's the HT guru, what do you think of this 42'' beauty zero? :smileyhappy:

Sharpshooter
ICDP
Posts: 3,366
Registered: ‎01-07-2004

Re: My new project....



AMDnewbie2005 wrote:
Make sure to tell IDCP he's the HT guru, what do you think of this 42'' beauty zero? :smileyhappy:



Well I guess now I have to respond :smileywink:

I actually can't help much on product selection, I don't do sales and don't even look at the prices of most of the stuff I install, but if you have any issues or questions setting up, I can probably help. I've never really used Yamaha at all, and building speakers youself sounds ify, but you can't do much worse than most of the cheap speakers out there :smileytongue: I suppose as long as you get some quality drivers and crossovers, and you know what you're doing with the cabinetry, you should be good.

As far as the TV... excuse me, display device goes, the best thing I can really say is that almost every client I've had that was debating plasma vs projector and ended up getting a plasma, regretted the decision. I've had a few clients get both, a plasma with a projector screen dropping in front of it, and most of them say they never use the plasma. For a big TV, I'd always go either front or rear projection DLP, or LCOS, or whatever the hell else the come out with next week. I think projection gives you the best bang for the buck, if you can handle the installation concerns of a projector at the back of the room or a sligtly deeper TV at the front. LCDs are rivaling plasma in size and quality now too, while remaining cheaper (and lighter!).

My real speciallty is control systems, I looking at the back of that receiver (and one short review for it) the thing I see lacking is an RS-232 port. This won't matter unless you get a multi-thousand-dollar control system, or some serious DIY thing, but in my world it's a minus point. I would also anticipate needing an external switcher of some sort. The selection on that isn't bad, but if you've got HDTV, HTPC, a next-gen console or two, it's easy to come up short on anything but a top of the line receiver. Anyway, not something you need to worry about much, just keep it in mind that you may need one now or in the future.
Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

Re: My new project....

[ Edited ]
Thought I would provide an update to my project... (Pardon the picture quality my only digital camera is on my PDA. :smileysad: )

The components for the crossovers for my speakers....





The speakers I will be putting into these speakers....

These are my 6" woofers for the Rear and Center speakers....



My Tweeters for the rear and center...


And finally my speaker cable terminals...


I'm still trying to get ahold of a better camera but I thought some pics would be better than no pics. :smileyhappy:


Message Edited by ZeroGuardian on 02-18-2007 02:39 AM

If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Shock Trooper
chemgeek
Posts: 8,669
Registered: ‎01-20-2005

Re: My new project....

Home-made crossovers I am highly impressed.   I assume you are going to be making the speaker boxes as well.  What color are they going to be?  I personally would go either in wall or stain them with a mahogany. 
Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

Re: My new project....



chemgeek wrote:
Home-made crossovers I am highly impressed.   I assume you are going to be making the speaker boxes as well.  What color are they going to be?  I personally would go either in wall or stain them with a mahogany. 


Actually I prefer the onyx-satin black myself. If you saw my entertainment center you'd know why. :smileyhappy:

If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Shock Trooper
chemgeek
Posts: 8,669
Registered: ‎01-20-2005

Re: My new project....

You have a pic?  I haven't had time to get into building speakers for my home theater, I had to buy retail.  Maybe when I have a place with a garage I can set up my table saw, router table, etc....  Right now it is all in storage. :smileysad:
Sharpshooter
Visioneer
Posts: 4,677
Registered: ‎10-11-2005

Re: My new project....



ZeroGuardian wrote:


chemgeek wrote:
Home-made crossovers I am highly impressed.   I assume you are going to be making the speaker boxes as well.  What color are they going to be?  I personally would go either in wall or stain them with a mahogany. 


Actually I prefer the onyx-satin black myself. If you saw my entertainment center you'd know why. :smileyhappy:


I like black piano mirror finish if the sky is the limit.... nice pics
Q6600 @ 3.33 (1.3v) |DFI DK P35 | 4GB GSkill PC 6400 | Dell 3007 WFP| Western Digital Raptor 150GB| Saphire 4870X2 Stock | OCZ GameXtreme 700W| Dtek Fusion v2 |Blueline HD 20 |BIX III | Mountain Mods U2-UFO
Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

Re: My new project....

Well... I completed the crossovers today. Had to make sure everything was secure and solder all the connections. :smileyhappy:

Heres a pic of one of them completed.


And so I finally was able to hook up the speakers and test everything. And all I have to say is damn!!! :smileyvery-happy: They just sound awesome. And it's only gonna get better once the speaker boxes are built. :smileyhappy:


I'll try to get some schematics and box designs scetched out for everyone so that you can see how everything will be put together. Until my next post I'll be listening in bliss. :smileyhappy:

If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Shock Trooper
chemgeek
Posts: 8,669
Registered: ‎01-20-2005

Re: My new project....

Hope those cones are designed for open air.  :smileysurprised:
Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

Re: My new project....



chemgeek wrote:
Hope those cones are designed for open air.  :smileysurprised:


Actually any speaker will work in open air but they are always designed for a closed environment. But a really good speaker will sound good even outside of a box. But it will lose all its low frequency boom capabilty while outside the box. Anyways I'm just enjoying the fact that I have some speakers to listen to now. :smileyvery-happy:

If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Shock Trooper
chemgeek
Posts: 8,669
Registered: ‎01-20-2005

Re: My new project....

[ Edited ]


ZeroGuardian wrote:


chemgeek wrote:
Hope those cones are designed for open air.  :smileysurprised:


Actually any speaker will work in open air but they are always designed for a closed environment. But a really good speaker will sound good even outside of a box. But it will lose all its low frequency boom capabilty while outside the box. Anyways I'm just enjoying the fact that I have some speakers to listen to now. :smileyvery-happy:


Really?  Wow, learn something new everyday.  I always thought that unless the speaker was designed for open air, it would damage the speaker becuase there was not the needed pressure gradient.  Good to know. :smileyhappy:


Message Edited by chemgeek on 02-19-2007 06:40 PM
Conscript
hardwareguy
Posts: 109
Registered: ‎02-21-2007

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!

[ Edited ]
Hey, ZeroGuardian, I finally got off my ass (more like I don't have Cal2 homework!) and joined FS..... yup, it's your friend Andrew!

Sorry for the LONG post, but ya'll need some background information.....

The speakers are a project between me, ZeroGuardian and another friend. They stem from another older design that has already been made and it is solid. One front set of this design has already been made by another friend and it is VERY nice, there is way more clean bass than you would imagine possible with a 6" driver. the detail is incredible and yet they don't need gobs of power to get loud. The only downside is they are so revealing of detail that you can't stand to listen to your bootleg MP3 collection anymore! :smileytongue:

As for concerns of free air operation:
Any speaker can be operated in free air. If they are designed to operate at full power in free air is a totally different thing! Speakers desiged for free air operation at full power do not necessarily have different cones, magnets or voice coils. The difference is in the suspension of the speaker, free air speakers have a MUCH stiffer suspension to keep cone movements from going nuts. The two pices of the speaker that are stiffened are the spider (the accordion looking thing under the cone) and the surround (the rubber, foam, accordion paper or treated fabric around the cone).

The reason speakers do not sound good without an enclosure is the fact that they produce two sound waves out of phase with eachother. Without something to keep these waves from interacting, they will cancel eachother out. The result is very weak (almost nonexistant!) bass and an overall thin sound.

With that said, higher frequencies will still sound OK (most tweeters, including ZeroGuardian's Morel MDT 20s have their own back chamber & baffle), although without the bass and lower midrange, they will sound overly bright. The details will still be there and you can get a taste of what's to come by setting up a test platform like the one in ZeroGuardian's room. It won't sound right, but you can get an idea of what it will be like in terms of  upper mid and treble clarity. The little teaser was quite impressive.

Back to the free air speaker: Free air speakers need the back and front wave separated as well, the laws of physics have not been repealed for them. They MUST be placed on a baffle of some sort to separate the waves. In older cars (and some new ones), the rear deck speakers are operated free air. There is no significant back pressure because the enclosure is so large, to the speaker, it's as if the box is infinitely large. This is why a free air speaker system is sometimes called an Infinite Baffle. A somewhat popular IB system is to use a closet or even the attic as a subwoofer enclosure in a home theater system. The result is the ability to have lots of bass without a large box in the room, important if the lady of the house objects to your dreams of a box big enough to reach IMAX levels of bass in the lving room. :smileyvery-happy: The sub is in the listening room but the box is another room..... pretty cool!



Message Edited by hardwareguy on 02-21-2007 03:12 AM
Black Ops
Egglick
Posts: 8,483
Registered: ‎01-29-2004

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!

Impressive work with the speakers and crossovers.  The actual assembly of the crossovers looks fairly easy, but knowing which components to use and how to use them is the hard part.


The only thing I have to add is that you should definitely get a bigger hard drive, especially since you haven't purchased it yet.  A 320GB can barely hold all my media at one time, let alone be used for recording and HD content.  If you're using a space-limited HTPC case, I'd get the largest drive you can afford, and 500GB minimum.  If for some reason you've got more room for drive expansion, the 320GBs are the best value, but having so many split volumes can become irritating, and more drives = higher power requirement and more heat.
Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!

Glad to see you finally got on here Andrew. :smileyvery-happy:

And I'm just going to apoligize to everyone on the forums for the serious technical terminology that is sure to follow in all of hardwareguy's posts. :smileyvery-happy: (J/K Andrew :smileytongue: )



If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Conscript
hardwareguy
Posts: 109
Registered: ‎02-21-2007

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!

I make no apologies for my technical posts..... but I will try to make them easy to understand!
I hope to make some schematics for the speaker crossovers. They are easy to build. While they could have been refined a nip more, they are better than the crossovers in 95% of commercial speakers and sound fine. I could have flattened every peak in the frequency response, did time alignment and other stuff BUT it wouldn't have been a big improvement and it would have more than doubled the cost of the crossovers...... something poor college students can't do! (not to mention the fact that it would have made the speakers power whores!)

They sound awesome the way they are and judging from the response curves of the drivers and output from WinISD, we have a frequency response of 50-20000Hz, +/- 3dB! Careful driver selection is the most important part of speaker design and we spent almost three weeks evaluating specs and response curves of about 20 different midbass drivers and 10 different tweeters before settling on the two we are using. Most drivers got tossed out fairly quickly, but a few got to the last round on the simulation program. There was a lot of computer time involved. (and a lot of junk food, taco bell, burgers, ice cream and gaming in between!) As always, I asked around about different drivers as well, and some plans were verified while others were revised or tossed out completely. Sometimes a speaker is great on paper, but sucks in other areas like detail (if I had more detailed specs this problem could have been spotted on paper as well) such was the case with a few drivers and these were weeded out by simply asking around.

Our hard work paid off... big time! This design can reproduce every part of the audible range except the first octave, which is handled by a really kick ass subwoofer. Most movie theaters can only reproduce 6 octaves, the first and last two (very low bass and very high treble) are either incomplete or lost alltogether. This system, when used with the companion sub, will reproduce all 10 octaves in the audible range. The only public theater that does that is the IMAX. Forget THX, we have bigger fish to fry..... now if only we could get our hands on a 1080P projector and a HUGE screen..... we can dream! These speakers can only handle about 50W continuously, I have repeatedly pushed peaks of 120W into them without damage, but don't let the low power fool you; they get loud as heck due to their efficient design. At 50W, they produce 105dB at 1 meter..... and that's just ONE! A pair fed 50W per channel will yield 111dB. (doubling the number of speakers yields a 3dB increase as does doubling power)

The crossover is a very important part as well. Good drivers can sound like Aiwa products with the wrong crossover, in extreme cases of bad design, speakers can be damaged (the tweeter is the one that usually gets fragged, a tweeter trying to play bass will fry very quickly). A merely OK speaker set can sound pretty good if the crossover is carefully designed and excellent drivers go to the next level with good crossovers. The crossover point was chosen to avoid the "breakup" region of each speaker.

Breakup is the NASTY frequency response that occurs at the upper limit of a speakers reproduction ability (it is particuarly nasty in woofers and midranges, not really a problem in good tweeters though), and with our crossover, the midbass never plays in the breakup region. This is the biggest flaw with most commerical designs, they use a crossover that lets the woofer or midrange play in this region because it is a LOT cheaper that way (they can cut out half the crossover!) The problem is, it sounds like crap, the sound of a cone breaking up is very harsh. This is probably the biggest cause of listener fatigue. You know when you crank the stereo but only a a short time later turn it down because it suddenly grates on your nerves an then turn it back up after a few minutes? That is classic listener fatigue and it doesn't happen nearly as quickly with these speakers, you can listen for hours without wanting to touch the knob..... unless it's to crank it through the roof!

The reason people buy speakers that operate in the breakup region is one, they are cheaper, two, most people wouldn't know the difference because they have never heard a speaker that didn't operate it's drivers in the breakup region! I hadn't heard a set that didn't until we fired the first design of mine up..... It forever changed what I thought was a good speaker!  I hope to build my set this summer.
Black Ops
Egglick
Posts: 8,483
Registered: ‎01-29-2004

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!

Hey hardwareguy, I could probably use your advice once I start my CarPC project in a few months.  I'll basically be using a Mini-ITX VIA board (unless I can use one of my many S478 P4's without going over the power limit), with a 7-8" touchscreen so I can have 1000+ albums at my fingertips.

I need to start researching soon, so I can figure out how to get the cleanest sound from the computer.  I've thought about bypassing the head unit and going straight to a 4-channel amp (to save money), but computers typically don't have high quality analog out (or the correct voltage), and I don't know any car amps that have SPDIF in.  Some sort of USB DAC might be needed.


Anyway, my car has 5 1/4" fronts and goofy 5x7's in the rear, and I'm gonna need to figure out a speaker setup.  I'll probably be going with components for the front, and then modifying the rear to accept a different speaker size.  I've got some Infinity Kappa 693.5i 6x9's (w/crossovers) laying around, so I'll probably use those since they're free.   I've heard that round speakers produce a better sound though....what are your thoughts on that??  Either way, I'd like to angle the rears towards the front at about 45 degrees, since right now they're pointed straight at the back window, and aren't very audible.
Conscript
hardwareguy
Posts: 109
Registered: ‎02-21-2007

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!

Goofy 5x7" speakers eh? Do you hvae a Ford? Ford is notorious for using 5x7s and more commonly, 6x8" speakers. There's nothing really wrong with the size, it just limits possibilities. As for round sounding better, that is a possibility bcause it is probably easier to make a round cone more rigid than an oval cone.

As for the Kappas, good choice. They have a crossover that prevents the driver frequency responses from overlapping. This reduces a peak that would usually be seen where the woofer and tweeter meet frquency wise, this is a BIG problem witht the Reference Series which only use a simple highpass filter on the tweeter and no low pass on the woofer. The Kappa crossover may be designed to prevent the woofer from operating in the breakup region as well.

You will want another set of round Kappas to go with the 6X9 speakers. Make sure they are the same line (old Kappas sound different than the new ones). If you can modify the door, go for a 6.5 or 6.75" speaker, it will make the soundstage up front MUCH fuller.

To get good imaging up front, adjust the fader so you can just start to hear the rear speakers or else the soundstage will loose its definition. In laymans terms: the stereo effect will be reduced! The only time you want full volume rear is if you are going surround sound (in this case, the rear is fed a different signal and the imaging problem is not an issue).

Most of the ITX boards have a PCI slot, just shove an X-Fi in there :smileyhappy: I would get a head unit of some sort, look at Pioneer (go for the Premier line), Panasonic and Kenwood (Excelon line). Eclipse is overpriced, IMHO. Stay away from Sony..... the guys in Quality Control at Sony are on some mad weed! :smileytongue:

As for an amp, it is really hard to go wrong with an MTX Thunder series amp.... I love mine!

Go to www.mp3car.com they have a lot of stuff, it isn't cheap, but they sell stuff that Newegg doesn't!
Black Ops
Egglick
Posts: 8,483
Registered: ‎01-29-2004

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!


hardwareguy wrote:
Goofy 5x7" speakers eh? Do you hvae a Ford? Ford is notorious for using 5x7s and more commonly, 6x8" speakers. There's nothing really wrong with the size, it just limits possibilities. As for round sounding better, that is a possibility bcause it is probably easier to make a round cone more rigid than an oval cone.

As for the Kappas, good choice. They have a crossover that prevents the driver frequency responses from overlapping. This reduces a peak that would usually be seen where the woofer and tweeter meet frquency wise, this is a BIG problem witht the Reference Series which only use a simple highpass filter on the tweeter and no low pass on the woofer. The Kappa crossover may be designed to prevent the woofer from operating in the breakup region as well.

You will want another set of round Kappas to go with the 6X9 speakers. Make sure they are the same line (old Kappas sound different than the new ones). If you can modify the door, go for a 6.5 or 6.75" speaker, it will make the soundstage up front MUCH fuller.

To get good imaging up front, adjust the fader so you can just start to hear the rear speakers or else the soundstage will loose its definition. In laymans terms: the stereo effect will be reduced! The only time you want full volume rear is if you are going surround sound (in this case, the rear is fed a different signal and the imaging problem is not an issue).

Most of the ITX boards have a PCI slot, just shove an X-Fi in there :smileyhappy: I would get a head unit of some sort, look at Pioneer (go for the Premier line), Panasonic and Kenwood (Excelon line). Eclipse is overpriced, IMHO. Stay away from Sony..... the guys in Quality Control at Sony are on some mad weed! :smileytongue:

As for an amp, it is really hard to go wrong with an MTX Thunder series amp.... I love mine!

Go to www.mp3car.com they have a lot of stuff, it isn't cheap, but they sell stuff that Newegg doesn't!



Thanks for the suggestions.  Unfortunately I do have a Ford (2000 Taurus), but it was from family, and too good of a deal to pass up.  I remember trying to install some 6x9's in my friend's Mercury years ago, only to find out the damn thing took 6x8's.  I'd never seen them before at that point.

Anyway, it's beginning to look like this car's audio setup will need modification every step of the way.  The stock headunit is all one piece with the climate controls (pic), so if I wanted to use an aftermarket head unit, I would need to buy one of these for another $60.  An additional soundcard (or DAC) would be even more money (unless I could find a headunit that accepts SPDIF in), which is why I'm wondering if it's possible to run straight to a 4-channel amp.

As for the rear speakers, I couldn't even find them until I turned up the stereo and stuck my head back there.  They're buried under 2" of rear dash, and pointed straight up at the back window, so the acoustics are pretty poor.  I wasn't even sure that I had rear speakers at first.  I'll definitely be angling them forward, and NOT going with 5x7's.
Conscript
hardwareguy
Posts: 109
Registered: ‎02-21-2007

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!

Ah yes, the infamous A/C and radio faceplate. I HATE that crap. If you want, you can connect a 4ch amp up to the sound card. You will need VERY well sheilded cable, I suggest you make your own cables out of RG59 coax, it is much cheaper that way and you end up with some very nice cables. 1v p-p of input is not much, so the gain on the amp will need to be increased, this could lead to noise. I would persinally use a headunit, but you could use some preamp kits from www.qkits.com to boost the output. Connect the preamp as close to the sound card/mobo as possible, you want the long cable to be carrying the amplified signal.

Head units that take SPDIF are VERY expensive. Some Dolby Digital equipped DVD head units (Alpine and Panasonic) do as does the McIntosh CD receiver (yes, they make car stuff too!). These are not cheap, expect to pay $1000 for the Alpine and Panasonic DVD units and a whopping $2000 for the McIntosh! Seriously, scratch the SPDIF. There are SPDIF to analog stereo DACs, but these cost as much as a good sound card.

My Dodge Intrepid had a nasty little surprize in it when I did the speakers..... the rear deck hole was not quite 6X9, it was more like 6x8.75...... out with the Dremel! Appparently some 6x9s DO fit, just not this particular line of Infinity speakers that I put in. I used a stock radio, a model with a 6 disc changer. Instead of replacing that for an aftermarket with an AUX input, I just added the Mopar iPod integration Kit which in addition to adding iPod control, gave me the needed AUX input as well. (The iPod section is unused.... mainly because I don't like iPods! no FM, no WMA = bad player!) The sound quality from the higher end Chrysler radios is surprizingly good once you get the trashy speakers out.

Just wondering, does your Taurus have the Vulcan V6 (12V, pushrod OHV) or the Duratec 30 V6 (24V, DOHC)?
Black Ops
Egglick
Posts: 8,483
Registered: ‎01-29-2004

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!

Well, I've been doing a bit of research tonight, and it appears I may have hit the jackpot.  Pioneer recently released an add-on device for their higher end headunits called the CD-UB100.  It provides a USB2.0 interface to pretty much any thumb drive, portable mp3 player, etc.  Even better though, is that people are claiming it works with bus-powered hard drives (such as a notebook 2.5" with external USB enclosure).  This would eliminate my need for a CarPC entirely, saving me hundreds and making things a million times easier.

After reading around and downloading the product manual, it appears there are a few limitations though:
-  Maximum of 250GB
-  Maximum 15,000 files
-  Maximum 500 folders
-  Must be formatted in FAT or FAT32
-  Can't use more than 500mA


None of these things seem to be deal-breakers, since 2.5" drives haven't yet broken the 250GB barrier, but the file and folder limitations kinda suck.  I haven't broken 15,000 files yet, but I'm well over 500 folders (Artist\Album\song.mp3) and would need to do significant restructuring to get around this limitation.  I also imagine the interface and navigating could be a bit clunky (depending on the headunit used), but for the amount of money and installation hassle this would save me, it would be a fair tradeoff.

It might even be possible to do a firmware update or something, later on.
Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!



Egglick wrote:
Well, I've been doing a bit of research tonight, and it appears I may have hit the jackpot.  Pioneer recently released an add-on device for their higher end headunits called the CD-UB100.  It provides a USB2.0 interface to pretty much any thumb drive, portable mp3 player, etc.  Even better though, is that people are claiming it works with bus-powered hard drives (such as a notebook 2.5" with external USB enclosure).  This would eliminate my need for a CarPC entirely, saving me hundreds and making things a million times easier.

After reading around and downloading the product manual, it appears there are a few limitations though:
Maximum of 250GB
-  Maximum 15,000 files
-  Maximum 500 folders
Must be formatted in FAT or FAT32
-  Can't use more than 500mA


None of these things seem to be deal-breakers, since 2.5" drives haven't yet broken the 250GB barrier, but the file and folder limitations kinda suck.  I haven't broken 15,000 files yet, but I'm well over 500 folders (Artist\Album\song.mp3) and would need to do significant restructuring to get around this limitation.  I also imagine the interface and navigating could be a bit clunky (depending on the headunit used), but for the amount of money and installation hassle this would save me, it would be a fair tradeoff.

It might even be possible to do a firmware update or something, later on.


How does that work?.... The largest FAT32 can handle is 120GB.

If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Sharpshooter
ICDP
Posts: 3,366
Registered: ‎01-07-2004

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!



ZeroGuardian wrote:


Egglick wrote:
Well, I've been doing a bit of research tonight, and it appears I may have hit the jackpot.  Pioneer recently released an add-on device for their higher end headunits called the CD-UB100.  It provides a USB2.0 interface to pretty much any thumb drive, portable mp3 player, etc.  Even better though, is that people are claiming it works with bus-powered hard drives (such as a notebook 2.5" with external USB enclosure).  This would eliminate my need for a CarPC entirely, saving me hundreds and making things a million times easier.

After reading around and downloading the product manual, it appears there are a few limitations though:
Maximum of 250GB
-  Maximum 15,000 files
-  Maximum 500 folders
Must be formatted in FAT or FAT32
-  Can't use more than 500mA


None of these things seem to be deal-breakers, since 2.5" drives haven't yet broken the 250GB barrier, but the file and folder limitations kinda suck.  I haven't broken 15,000 files yet, but I'm well over 500 folders (Artist\Album\song.mp3) and would need to do significant restructuring to get around this limitation.  I also imagine the interface and navigating could be a bit clunky (depending on the headunit used), but for the amount of money and installation hassle this would save me, it would be a fair tradeoff.

It might even be possible to do a firmware update or something, later on.


How does that work?.... The largest FAT32 can handle is 120GB.


Says who? According to Microsoft it can handle at least 2TB... other articles say 8TB with large clusters. Supposedly Windows 98 wouldn't let you format a drive over 120GB, kinda like XP won't let you format FAT32 over 32GB, but third party tools will.
Black Ops
Egglick
Posts: 8,483
Registered: ‎01-29-2004

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!

[ Edited ]

ICDP wrote:


ZeroGuardian wrote:
How does that work?.... The largest FAT32 can handle is 120GB.


Says who? According to Microsoft it can handle at least 2TB... other articles say 8TB with large clusters. Supposedly Windows 98 wouldn't let you format a drive over 120GB, kinda like XP won't let you format FAT32 over 32GB, but third party tools will.




Supposedly the 32GB limitation in XP is only during the OS installation.  From what I've read (including the links from ICDP), FAT32 shouldn't be much of an issue, and the worst that could happen is I'd lose a handful of gigs to wasted slack space because of the cluster sizes.  I'll admit that I've never tried formatting anything much bigger than 40GB in FAT32, but I don't expect any problems.

As far as the device I was discussing above, I found something even a step better.  The Pioneer Premiere DEH-P690UB has a USB port built into the head unit, and the maximum amount of folders is increased to 2048.  The model is brand spanking new, so I don't know if it's widely available yet.



PS:  Sorry to hijack your thread Zeroguardian    :smileyindifferent:


Message Edited by Egglick on 02-24-2007 04:14 AM
Brigadier General
ZeroGuardian
Posts: 5,940
Registered: ‎01-25-2006

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!

Thought I would give another update on the speakers and also give you some basic design sketches.

First the design.


The speakers I'm using are all the same. The difference is in the boxes. The towers will consist of the tweeter and 6" in a sealed box inside the tower towards the top (this is the same design as the rear 7's) with the 2 8" woofers inside the main cavity with a single vent out the back. The center is a single box with two vents going out the back. The rear 5's are a single box as well with a vent. And finally the rear 7's will be a single box without a vent (this cuts down on lower frequencies but allows the box to be much smaller). What a vent is for (for those of you who are curious and don't know) is to provide a basic means of amplification (especially of the lower frequencies). What essentially happens is the speaker is sending out waves both out the front and inside the box. These waves are complete oppisites and if allowed to mix with each other they would cancel each other out. So the vent takes the wave from the inside and reverses it making it identical to the waves coming out the front of the speaker thus amplifying the sound.


And then I also recieved a few days ago the amp that I will be useing to power the two front towers. Its a Yamaha AX-500U and will allow me to pump an extra 200W per speaker. Which when its all said and done means I'll have a peak threshold of 1740W!!! :smileyvery-happy: I can't wait to turn this baby up! I'm gonna be evicted for sure. :smileyhappy:

Here's the amp....


Well I should be putting up a sizeable update later next week as we are finally gonna start building the boxes for the speakers. :smileyhappy: I'll keep everyone posted.

If you make it idiot proof, they will just make a better idiot.
Conscript
hardwareguy
Posts: 109
Registered: ‎02-21-2007

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!

[ Edited ]
The 8" woofers in the towers will be placed closer to the 6" mid, the crossover fequency is around 250-500Hz (haven't decided, we need to look at frequency response curves again). With a crossover freq much over 80Hz, you can get some coherency issues with sound if the mid is placed far away from the woofer. It's a minor thing, this problem is MUCH more apparent on sub/sat systems where the woofers are FAR away from the midrange and or tweeter drivers. But, it's a free improvement we can make.

The port is tuned at around 30 Hz, and since all the bass coming out will be strictly low frequency (ie, no midbass), it can be placed at the bottom of the box with NO degredation in sound quality.

Basically the simple mod will make DEEP male vocals and lower pitched instruments (string bass comes to mind!) sound more connected with the rest of the speaker. In other words, it won't sound like we have four drivers, it will sound more like one, thus giving us a much more realistic reproduction of the sound.

To get an idea of the final design, just shift the woofers up so the gap between the midbass and the woofers is the same as the gap between the midbass and the tweeter.

To get an idea of how well matched these speakers are, get this: I connected the original floorstander design (like Zero Guardian's towers, but instead of 2 8" woofers, a single 12" was used, the result is a FAT box, something he did NOT want) and the surrounds to the same source. I played music through the floorstanders and then turned on the surrounds that were sitting on top of the floorstanders for test purposes...... all I heard was an increase in volume!!!! The pitch and timbre were virtually identical! Now that's what I call a matched set! The result will be absolutely SEAMLESS panning across the channels. I have never heard this degree of timbre matching in ANY surround sound speaker set. It's absolutely crazy and is the result of using the same midbass and tweeter in conjunction with precision crossover components.

The AX 500 amp he got on eBay for les than $100 shipped will put out 120W continuously into the proposed 4 ohm load, 200W per channel is on tap for breif moments by using the reserve held in the twin 12,000 microfarad Nichicon caps. The transistors are pretty large, not the biggest I have seen, but they are what most people would consider huge. Distortion is VERY low, I think it was .01%! Now if he'd just post a pic of the insides.......

Note to self: fix that 300W x2 Fisher amp of mine! I need that extra 600W to stay in the game! :smileytongue:
I will probably build a set of speakers this summer...... it will be similar to these, but a nip different in my own special way.... which probably means just the same good stuff, only bigger! :smileyvery-happy:


Message Edited by hardwareguy on 03-10-2007 01:46 AM

Message Edited by hardwareguy on 03-10-2007 01:49 AM
Conscript
hardwareguy
Posts: 109
Registered: ‎02-21-2007

Re: My new project.... 56K Warning!!!

The amp for the subwoofer is a class G plate amp. A plate amp is just that, an amp on a plate for mounting in the subwoofer cabinet just like a commercial design.
The cool (pun intended) thing about this amp is that it has no heatsink except for the back panel of the amp itself, no extrusions at all! It is really that efficient. (the fact that the nature of sub duty is transient bursts of power helps too in the heatsinking department)

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&Partnumber=300-806

The subwoofer itself is the Dayton Titanic MK-III It is an awesome sub and recently put one in my car. This thing is NUTS. It has an Xmax (maximum linear cone movement in one direction) of 18.7mm, most home theater subs have an Xmax of around 6mm! The more Xmax for a given cone area, the more air moved..... which means more bass. This 12" makes a lot of 15" store bought units look silly. 110dB at 25Hz in an anechoic chamber (basically a room lined with sound deadening material)..... not bad at all. Actual levels will be louder than this, probably around 118dB in the apartment...... I hope he invites the neigbors because If he doesn't he's screwed! :smileytongue:
http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=295-404

The 15" version is even better, but it's friggin HUGE.

---
FiringSquad Forums Powered by: View our server info & View our server info