Noob questions for my first project
I’m excited to join the realm of DIY speakers and start off with my first project. However, aside from one very basic electrical engineering course (enough to understand frequency responses, crossovers and such things, but not much more), I have no practical experience. Thus, I hope to get some answers before starting my first project here!
My intention is to build some mid-scale full range PA-speakers that can serve any purpose from HiFi listening at home to outdoor parties for around 100 (or optimally more) people. Looking for appropriate build plans online, I found Toid’s “Soundstage 15” available on this site. Since the plans include everything from casing to crossover layouts, I’m almost ready to dive right in! Before I do, I wanted to clear some questions I’ve been asking myself though:
1. Batteries – This question doesn’t have anything to do with the Soundstage, but I’ve been wondering: Originally I wanted to build a battery powered active system to be mobile when using the speakers outside. However, I don’t ssem to be able to find batteries that aren’t either huge (>30kg), super expensive or have a small capacity. So how do manufacturers like “Soundboks” manage to get long 8 hours of playtime at more than 200 Watts out of a small battery pack? And more importantly, is it possible to buy the kind of batteries (and I assume some kind of volage converter) needed to build speakers suitable for medium sized outdoor events without a huge budget?
Now the more important stuff:
2. Loudness – I’m not really sure wether my impression of the “Soundstage 15” being able to go quite loud is correct. Would you assume they’re capable enough to get >100 people dancing in an outside location? I’ve tried to get behind how a speaker’s sensitivity and electric Power can translate to SPL, but since I only know the specs of the individual drivers used in this build, I’m not really sure how they work in combination with each other. I’m sorry to relate to the bad-sounding “Soundboks” again, but apparently they get 126dB SPL out of ~210 Watts of power, which to me sounds like an almost impossibly high speaker sensitivity, or is there something I’m missing? This again is closely linked to my last question:
3. Power – How should I power these speakers? The JBL SRX815 have a continuous RMS power of 800 Watts, which already sounds like a lot to me. The drivers used for the Soundstage build can go at 800 Watts (woofer) and 80 Watts (tweeter) RMS. Obviously the input power is somehow distributed through the crossover, but at which levels would I risk harming the speakers? (I guess especially the tweeter is at risk here)
I know these questions are beneath the most basic understanding of audio technology, but I guess everyone’s gotta start somewhere.
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