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prod.arhan
(@prod-arhan)
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16/06/2020 3:14 pm  

Hey guys,

 I just started learning speaker design to design my own set of studio monitors. I wanted to be able to use them for music production. I’ve been doing some reading on design and watching some videos, and I’ve tried to come up with an active monitor design with a passive crossover. I have most of the stuff figured out, but my main problem is, I don’t know much at all about amps. Most of the time when I look for amps that I can use, there's always something about a subwoofer; however, my design in only a two way crossover design with a woofer and tweeter. 

Tweeter: Dayton Audio ND25FW-4 1" Soft Dome Neodymium Tweeter

Woofer: Dayton Audio DC250-8 10" Classic Woofer

Passive Crossover:

 

crossover ss

 

These are the drivers I’m using and my crossover design. Would it be possible to receive some guidance as to what possible amps I can use to keep an active speaker setup while keeping a low budget?  Just counting the drivers and crossover, my expense is about $220, and I want to try to keep my spending under $350 if possible. Also, any tips or corrections in my process or design would much appreciated!

Thanks,

Arhan 


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TVOR-Ceasar
(@tvor-ceasar)
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16/06/2020 9:08 pm  

First off, welcome to the group! It's good to have you here.

I see you are using the Dayton drivers so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you are well aquatinted with Parts Express. 😀 It also sounds like you were looking under the "Speaker Components->Full Range Plate Amplifier" tabs. Even when sorted by price low to high and strictly 2 channel, you would hit up against your budget cap pretty quick.

Let's back up a step and grab a little perspective and narrow in on some parameters. Going to hone in on the woofer, since that will take most of your amp's power. It's a 70 watt RMS, 140 watt MAX driver with a sensitivity of 88.4 dB. That's about par for a regular woofer of this size. Since you won't find a straight 70 WPC amp, so personally, I would be looking at 100 WPC or a little more. Add in the the tweeter at 20 watts and you're just about there. So that'd be 90/160 watts to look for. So the amp could be 100-200 watts. As long as you aren't maxing it out all the time, 200 would be about the top. 

Back to Parts Express. So you've seen the plate amps, but did you look under "Parts and Accessories->Audio Amp Boards & Modules"? Check them out, and don't be afraid to think out of the box and look at the mono boards. Might be possible to do 2 for the price of 1 or 1-1/2. 

Don't forget about the power supply(ies) for them.

-Charlie


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123Toid
(@123toid)
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16/06/2020 9:42 pm  
Posted by: @prod-arhan

Hey guys,

 I just started learning speaker design to design my own set of studio monitors. I wanted to be able to use them for music production. I’ve been doing some reading on design and watching some videos, and I’ve tried to come up with an active monitor design with a passive crossover. I have most of the stuff figured out, but my main problem is, I don’t know much at all about amps. Most of the time when I look for amps that I can use, there's always something about a subwoofer; however, my design in only a two way crossover design with a woofer and tweeter. 

Tweeter: Dayton Audio ND25FW-4 1" Soft Dome Neodymium Tweeter

Woofer: Dayton Audio DC250-8 10" Classic Woofer

Passive Crossover:

 

crossover ss

 

These are the drivers I’m using and my crossover design. Would it be possible to receive some guidance as to what possible amps I can use to keep an active speaker setup while keeping a low budget?  Just counting the drivers and crossover, my expense is about $220, and I want to try to keep my spending under $350 if possible. Also, any tips or corrections in my process or design would much appreciated!

Thanks,

Arhan 

Glad to see the post worked!  A couple crossover tips first.  As a general rule, you should never stick a resistor in front of a woofer.  It will heat up way too fast.  So the first thing I would do is get rid of that resistor.  What was the prupose for it?  

Second, it looks like you have some cone breakup happening right around 2100Hz.  You might want to see if a tank cap can take care of this, but I think with the current crossover it might not be very helpful.

As far as an amplifier, you can use any really.  One that might be easiest to use at the begining is the Dayton KAB boards.  The have a volume potentiometer and leds that are plug and play along even a back panel mount


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prod.arhan
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16/06/2020 9:49 pm  

@tvor-ceasar

Wow! That was actually super helpful! I think I am slowly started to understand amplifiers a little more. I had never checked under that section of Parts Express, thanks for that. Regarding your mention of stereo vs mono, I was wondering what the difference would be in the context of the speakers. From what I know in music production, mono would make the playback audio the same for both speakers. I wasn't sure if that applied in this case. What would be the difference between stereo and mono amps when applied to a set of speakers? Also, both types of amps would require two right, as that's what I'm likely going to need for an active setup.

You also brought up maxing out the power on the amplifiers to be a problem. I certainly wouldn't want to do that, so how would I prevent it? Does playing at louder volumes change the amount of Watts going towards the speakers?

Thanks,

Arhan


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prod.arhan
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16/06/2020 9:59 pm  

@123toid 

Oh, my bad regarding the resistor! My purpose for it was to try to us that to level the woofer onto the same volume output as the tweeter to try to keep a flat frequency response. I know still have to factor in Baffle Step Compensation, but at the moment I do not know if removing that resistor will enough to adjust for that (I still need to do more reading about it).

In regards to tank caps, I don't exactly know what they are at the moment, but I'll try to do some research and see if they will help! And I'll definitely be sure to check out those amps!

Thanks,

Arhan


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TVOR-Ceasar
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16/06/2020 10:36 pm  

@prod-arhan

What I mean between the 2-channel (stereo) and the 1-channel (mono) amps is that:

  1. With the stereo amp, you would plug your stereo line out of your source to the left and right inputs on the amp and then take the left and right speaker outputs from there. With the plate amp, you'd have it mounted on one speaker with a speaker wire running to the other speaker.
  2. With the mono amps, you'd need one on each speaker. Then you'd hook your right line out from your source to the right speaker amp and the left line out from your source to your left speaker amp.

It does the same thing, just a little differently. That's all.

You don't even need to mount the amp(s) to the speaker(s). You could mount the amp(s) in a box and use it just like a stand alone receiver / amp. Just another option.

If you look through 123Toid's videos and posts here, you'll find one on the ICE amplifiers. One really nice "DIY" way to get really good performance for much less cost than from a "Big Name" manufacturer.

As far as "Maxing it out", just keep the levels down to below distortion. That's about the time you really start pushing the top end of the power from the amp. Truth be told, most people don't use more than about 10-20 watts of real power when listening loud for extended periods of time. What you really want the extra power for is to be there as a "reservoir" so that when a particularly demanding piece of music comes along - that massive bass hit or that huge full band crescendo - so that the energy will be there and be able to be controlled. I doubt you'd really even want to hit the real 100 watt mark with the efficiency you are looking at. At that point, it'd be around 110 dB, and that's loud.

-Charlie


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123Toid
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16/06/2020 11:33 pm  

@prod-arhan

That makes sense.  You should never need a resistor on the woofer.  Typically a tweeter is much more sensative.  I would double check your baffle step and make sure it is completely accounted for.  Typically you will lose about 3-6db.  If it is, then a new tweeter might be necessary/


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123Toid
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16/06/2020 11:34 pm  

A tank cap is just a cap that is parallel to your woofe inductor.  It tanks the response based on the value.  Typically it will be a small valu (2 and lower).

tank cap

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prod.arhan
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21/06/2020 3:53 pm  

@tvor-ceasar

I see, I think ultimately for me, two mono boards would be better to avoid extra cables because my desk is already cluttered and I prefer the aesthetic. Since my last post, I've switched my woofer to a 6 & 1/2 inch Classic Dayton Audio Woofer in order to make a cleaner frequency line with my crossover. My woofer is now 50 W for RMS and 100 W for its max. My tweeter remains at 20 W, which makes for an amplifier around 70/120 W. I was looking at amps on Parts Express, and the best I could find within that range was this. It appears to be a 100 W amp, which falls within my range. This is a mono board; however, it says it includes a DSP within. Does this mean I would no longer have a use for a crossover? Also, just to confirm, an amp such as this one would have at least two ports to attach a woofer and tweeter to right?


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prod.arhan
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21/06/2020 4:13 pm  

@123toid

I implemented your advise on removing my resistor in front of my woofer; however, it induced large problems in the frequency graph which became expensive to fix in terms of crossover expense. Du to this, I switched out my woofer for a Dayton Classic 6 & 1/2 inch Woofer, came up with this crossover.

new rando crossover ss

I did a short roll off in the end with the crossover to adjust for the Baffle step problem. There's small spikes at 1.5K Hz and 3.5K Hz, but I could not figure out how to get rid of those. The crossover is very simplistic and very low costing, so I've also opened up more options to better my speakers. Are there any ways to improve my crossover or speakers in general, or did I make any big mistakes in my design.

I also mentioned in another reply that I was looking at amps, and an amp that falls in my range of 70/120 W is this. This amp says it includes a DSP with it, and I was wondering if this would mean a crossover would be unnecessary, or if a crossover would still be better to use in this case.


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TVOR-Ceasar
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22/06/2020 11:39 pm  

@prod-arhan, that sounds like quite a flexible choice. I have not had the chance to play with any DSP other than what comes with the computer's sound programs, so I'll defer any real knowledge to those that have. When I get a chance to read the manual that comes with the board, I'll let you know what I've discovered.

Until then, keep digging and asking questions / sharing thoughts and ideas. Who knows where they will lead? 🙂

-Charlie


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123Toid
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23/06/2020 2:15 am  

@prod-arhan

There's a couple issues I would address if I were you.  FIrst I don't think you ahve properly addressed Baffle Step.  Baffle step should start significantly lower in frequency.  THis all depends on the size of the baffle.  CHeck out this video, it may help you:

Next, it is always wise to pay attention to cone breakup. The circled what appears to be part of cone breakup.  You should try to tame that from your response better if you can.  

1183 new rando crossover ss

 This area will most likely be audible and will most likely lead to unwanted distortion.  Without measuring the speaker on hand, I can't say for sure.  But anytime you se big peakes like that ina woofer, it is best to try not to have them affect the system response. 

Better speakers can help with crossovers.  The hope always is the better the speaer, the easier it is to work with.  But that is not always the case. 


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prod.arhan
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29/06/2020 3:03 am  

@123toid

Ah! Thanks for the video suggestion. Despite my initials goals of having these monitors to be active speakers with a passive crossover, I've started thinking about eliminating the passive crossover, and replacing it with an active one. I found an amp board that comes with a DSP (I've hyperlinked the part), and not only would this help my budget, but from the information I've gathered about DSPs, I thought it would also improve my ability to achieve a flatter frequency response; however, I'm not certain about this since I don't have much expertise in this area. Do you think it would be plausable to use the included DSP to get a decent, flat frequency response?


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123Toid
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29/06/2020 3:12 am  
Posted by: @prod-arhan

SP (I've hyperlinked the part), and not only would this help my budget, but from the information I've gathered about DSPs, I th

Active defintiely has it's benefits, but if you don't know how to properly set a passive crossover, an active can actually be much harder.  But if you want to try it out, give it a go.  You will want to make sure to buy this as well.  Without it, you cannot program the board.  I would highly encourage you to download sigma studios and see how you feel about it.  That is the DSP program you use to program those boards. 


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prod.arhan
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30/06/2020 4:37 pm  
Posted by: @123toid

You will want to make sure to buy this as well.  Without it, you cannot program the board. 

Thanks for linking this, I had not seen this before. If I were to go with the DSP programming option, would I have to buy 2 of the USB boards and place them permanently in the enclosure, or would I be able to adjust the DSP settings of each mono amp with just one USB board.

In addition, I was looking further into how these speakers would connect to my computer when I use them for music production. I plan to use the Scarlett Solo audio interface to manage and link my audio set up. Would these boards be able to connect directly to the Scarlett Solo, or would I have to get some sort of adapter?


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