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Driver wishlist...

So periodically the community puts together a wish-list of drivers we wish we could buy but none of the distributors seem to want to stock/build/etc.

One of the most common I have seen is a small for factor, high sensitivity, dedicated midrange that doesn't cost $100 or more (looking at you, Scan Speak). I personally do not think it asking too much to have Dayton rework the RS100/125 to have an underhung coil and overall lighter moving parts to drive sensitivity up.

One of the biggest obstacles to DIY being able to crank out large, multiple woofer 3-ways is the sensitivity gap in available mids. I really think a 93+db 8 ohm 5" mid would be very popular. The pro audio world has demonstrated this technology is neither difficult nor necessarily expensive. More of us would use pro drivers in this application, but I am almost certain the looks turn us off.

What prompted this is my search for a good looking, high performance 4-5" midrange that will keep up with a pair of 8" woofers. They are pretty rare outside of the pro audio world, and the typical pro audio driver (regardless of performance) will look like shit sandwiched between those beautiful carbon fiber cone Rival woofers and the Viawave SRT tweeters. Let's face it - that matters.

I also wish yellow woven kevlar would make a comeback. I know the material is difficult to work with, but many manufacturers have created cone treatments that yield a smooth response over the years. It looks cool, but is largely relegated to cheap shit drivers or very expensive studio monitors these days.

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Comments

  • edited July 28

    So the last speaker I built using Peerless HDS drivers was 8" woofer and 5" midrange. Single woofer but still I ended up padding the midrange down a good 4dB. The woofer sensitivity is 89dB and the midrange 88dB, certainly I could use a pair of woofers and still be perfectly satisfied on sensitivity requirements here. Which begs the question - what are these 8" woofers you have with 93+dB sensitivity? That requirement falls in the pro audio sensitivity category for 8" woofers as well.

    Another thing to consider is that most efforts to increase driver sensitivity involve decreasing Xmax which actually decreases the driver max SPL, and can limit the driver usage and performance for low crossover points, not to mention the increased Fs that can make the crossover more complicated. The next consideration from a manufacturer standpoint would be that the market for small bookshelf speakers and portables is vastly greater than the market for big 3-way towers, so it usually just doesn't make good financial sense to invest in development of a dedicated driver that they know will see few sales, so they aim for a good all around midwoofer that could also be used as a dedicated midrange. Dayton is a bit of an outlier here as they've made a few wacky products that don't really fit in anywhere like the Epique woofers. The simplest solution from a manufacturer standpoint would be to offer a 4 ohm variant, increases voltage sensitivity and marketable to the car audio crowd.

    Consider as well that applying a bandpass filter to a midrange often lifts the midrange output by about 1dB, so you should be able to get away just fine with a 87dB midrange paired with a pair of 88dB woofers.

    I'm not deaf, I'm just not listening.
  • edited July 28

    I'm just spitballing here to get the thread going. I know Tang Band can be a crapshoot, it's poly and not Kevlar and not a dedicated mid, but would a pair of Tang Band W5-1611SAF 5"s fit the bill in some cases?

    https://www.parts-express.com/Tang-Band-W5-1611SAF-5-Full-Range-Speaker-264-918

    Otherwise, yes, I agree that the RS100, RS125 or maybe even the RS150 bones would make a suitable base for a dedicated midrange.

  • The 1611 makes a great mid, as seen by Adam's black towers a few years ago.

    Turn2
  • @Wolf said:
    The 1611 makes a great mid, as seen by Adam's black towers a few years ago.

    I've looked at that TB 1611 before and wondered how well it might work as a dedicated mid.

  • CKY-DIY 2015. RS225 below and Fountek Neo3.5H above.

  • aluminum and ebony stain, iirc.

    Turn2rjj45
  • Looks like OB?

  • Visaton B100 graph looks pretty good, but I haven't heard it yet...

  • There are other reasons to build higher sensitivity, smaller form factor mids than just keeping up with multiple woofers - one reason being able to tailor power handling via additional padding. Let the resistors absorb the voltage. The lower thermal and sometimes mechanical power handling of underhung/low excursion drivers can be compensated with crossover choices.

    In a typical dual woofer system, the lower woofer will not suffer much baffle step loss due to boundary reinforcement necessitating the need for increased sensitivity in the midrange. Using a 4 ohm mid can definitely run the risk of dropping impedance below 4 ohms, an 8 ohm variant would help mitigate that.

    The woofers I currently have are 8", 92db. Not pro woofers, just highish sensitivity 8" woofers from Rival. They use a larger enclosure and the bottom driver would end up around 10" from center to floor. Net sensitivity based on modeling software would end up around 94db, including series resistance.

    The sheer number of small 3-ways populating the DIY world and the very few medium to large sized indicates builders are responding to what is available on the market. The popular 6-7" 2-way dominates due to ease of construction, relatively straightforward crossover design, and a nearly unlimited combination of woofers and 1" tweeters.

    There is a large enough niche of builders to warrant manufacturers designing drivers that meet this need.

    rjj45
    I have a signature.
  • @Billet said:
    Visaton B100 graph looks pretty good, but I haven't heard it yet...

    That does look good. I've never used a Visaton driver. Anyone have any experience with Visaton? Are their spec reliable? Good Q/C?

  • Did NHT use some Visaton?

  • Most everything for NHT was DST (pre-Tymphany) sourced.

  • Not most everything, they used lots of Foster as well as Seas built drivers.

    I have a signature.
  • edited July 30

    Yep, they sure did, remember the Xds? Seas OEM tweeter and OEM W15 midwoofer. I still use my pair, excellent little bugger.

    I'm not deaf, I'm just not listening.
  • edited July 30

    I thought the 8" side firing woofer on my nht 2.5i are Visaton?

    Still have two pairs of the 2.5i. Use them for a 'baseline' comparison when I get lost.

    rjj45
  • While were on the wishlist. Need a woofer for the bottom end of a 3-way. Needs to be efficient enough to keep up with a Gradient axp-06 mid and play reasonably deep in ~1 cube. Shouldn't need to go much past ~250hz. Using an 8" sd215 now, but it can't keep up. Can cut the mounting hole larger if a larger woofer works in the space.

  • edited July 30

    @jr@mac said:
    There are other reasons to build higher sensitivity, smaller form factor mids than just keeping up with multiple woofers - one reason being able to tailor power handling via additional padding. Let the resistors absorb the voltage.

    This is only a benefit if the way to higher sensitivity wasn't to reduce the voice coil size to drop some weight, in which case it's probably a wash at best.

    The woofers I currently have are 8", 92db. Not pro woofers, just highish sensitivity 8" woofers from Rival. They use a larger enclosure and the bottom driver would end up around 10" from center to floor. Net sensitivity based on modeling software would end up around 94db, including series resistance.

    Call em what you want, 92dB sensitivity at 8 ohm is pro audio territory. List another that someone can buy today - reality is that most will be 88-89dB, a select few hit 91dB.

    I just think that 93dB in a 5" (or smaller) midrange is giving up too much, unless you slap a big neo motor on it like Beyma 5G40Nd and now it costs $150. I would aim for 6.5" midrange for meeting the high sensitivity requirement, or drop the sensitivity goal to 89-90dB.

    The sheer number of small 3-ways populating the DIY world and the very few medium to large sized indicates builders are responding to what is available on the market. The popular 6-7" 2-way dominates due to ease of construction, relatively straightforward crossover design, and a nearly unlimited combination of woofers and 1" tweeters.

    I would look at it the other way around...Smaller speakers dominate the market period, therefore the market for a dedicated midrange that will see use only in a large 3-way is a very niche product, so a hard sell for the marketing team to get behind or whoever is driving product development.

    All that said, if you expand your horizon to 6.5" size, I think there's a few products available today that might meet your needs. SB Audience pro audio line has a few products that I think could work well in a home environment, and not look out of place. This one is the more affordable option:
    https://solen.ca/products/speakers/pro-speakers/pro-bass-midranges/rosso-6mw150d-16cm-paper-cone-pro-midbass-8ohm/

    This one is a bit more extravagant:
    https://solen.ca/products/speakers/pro-speakers/pro-midranges/nero-6mrn150d-16cm-paper-cone-pro-midrange-8ohm/

    As well there's this old products from Audax 5" that appears to still be available:
    https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/fullrange/audax-13lb25al-5-full-range-paper-cone-with-phase-plug/

    I'm not deaf, I'm just not listening.
  • @PWRRYD said:

    @Billet said:
    Visaton B100 graph looks pretty good, but I haven't heard it yet...

    That does look good. I've never used a Visaton driver. Anyone have any experience with Visaton? Are their spec reliable? Good Q/C?

    I've had good luck with Visaton drivers, their specs seem trustworthy and are pretty comprehensive. Did you hear my B9's at InDIYana this year? They used Visaton drivers and were developed from factory supplied data and graphs.

  • @Billet said:

    @PWRRYD said:

    @Billet said:
    Visaton B100 graph looks pretty good, but I haven't heard it yet...

    That does look good. I've never used a Visaton driver. Anyone have any experience with Visaton? Are their spec reliable? Good Q/C?

    I've had good luck with Visaton drivers, their specs seem trustworthy and are pretty comprehensive. Did you hear my B9's at InDIYana this year? They used Visaton drivers and were developed from factory supplied data and graphs.

    Yes I did. Thanks Bill for reminding me.

  • I've been tempted to try using a guitar speaker as a midrange for the high efficiency and overall cone area. Something like an Eminence 820H or Lil' Buddy. One of these days, I will...

  • Deutschsprachige sind gut, nein?

  • Jawohl?

  • Speaking of Visaton, their M10 actually is a dedicated midrange with 90 dB sensitivity. I have not been able to use it so far as it's high FS makes it difficult for use with a first order crossover. It could be useful in the right application, however.

  • I don't think I could stomach using that M10 :#

    The B 100 looks good however =)

    Billet
  • @Nicholas_23 said:
    Deutschsprachige sind gut, nein?

    Es war gut, ach, funfundzwanziger Jahren...
    Jetzt, bischen nur.

  • edited July 30

    Have a few of these from the mcm buyout, 93.5db, but do they still make them after mcm closed? https://ebay.com/itm/Gradient-Axis-AXP-06-6-5-Woofer-Midrange-w-Kevlar-Paper-Cone-8-ohm-93dB-/113626164429

  • So you don't care for Visaton Ben?

  • I said nothing of the sort.
    I said my German used to be better 25 yrs ago, but now I know only a little.

  • If the query from Nick meant:
    "Deutsches Lautsprecher sind gut, nein?"

    Then my statement makes no sense.
    I read it as:
    "German speech is good, yes?"

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