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Author Topic: speakers on a board........  (Read 5031 times)
Ed Schilling
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« on: October 06, 2015, 03:13:50 PM »

While some people may love them the complete lack of understanding of basic audio principles by those that build/recommend them is incredible. There is a reason why there are few and almost none in the world of "high end".
Let's start with this little gem..............."Those large format drivers sound so real because they move so much air." What utter nonsense. 90db at 1% distortion is just that.....it is irrelevant the size of the driver making it. Sorry, just the way it is. An example, my 4 stacked La Scalas did not sound "big" at 85-90 db. What they would do is play very loudly.

Another is Mms.......a giant speaker on a board has a high Mms............for those that do not know, think of this....what speakers have ever bragged about how much their cones weighed?

I am especially fond of the real estate they take up. Giant boards, dominating the room performing "adequately", something any properly designed speaker 1/4 the size could do.

So,,,,,,,you got ya 2 or 3 15 inchers per side maybe on the same board and then you still need an "augmenter"? Uh, ok, then......

Speakers on a board, God bless those that love them.

My last thought is this (well until I add to this thread Smiley).............why do the people who sell or build them never have a final design? The Horns, for one example, are a finished design. They were good 15 years ago and they always will be, LS35A Rogers are another, Klipsch, Quad, and a host of others. They have been tweaked over the years but not completely changed. If speakers on a board were such a good idea why do folks see the need to continually modify them? I'd like to hear from one single person who has built "speakers on a board" that has left them alone for >5 years. I have guys who have left their speakers alone for 15 years. I'm just saying.

And when I feel like typing more I'll rant about the reason why speakers on a board can not be a subwoofer worth a shit Smiley Of course anyone that actually knows anything about speaker design already knows the answer but that sure does not stop folks from believing all you need is cone area to move air and the back wave means nothing Smiley

Now keep in mind I do not care what a fellow likes or if he or she "knows what real music sounds like", so do I. I just feel that there is no reason to have the room dominated by speakers that actually by design will make higher distortion and are visually dominating.
Ed




« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 03:16:41 PM by Ed Schilling » Logged
Henry
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2015, 04:07:06 PM »

Amen to the ob revelations.  I think I've heard the best from Randy.  He makes the best from properly implemented drivers. 
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Ed Schilling
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2015, 08:14:59 PM »

Hey Henry, I have obviously not heard Randy's offerings and they may very well be good. He's happy and that is all that matters.

My comments are in a general manner. How is it possible to have 2 giant speakers with 10-15 inch drivers and still need "augmentation" to reach 40 Hz? And after you add the "augmenters" you still need a subwoofer? WTF.
 
While it is possible to design a speaker to play in free air exactly how is it possible to build a driver that can circumvent the laws of physics, you know, that pesky problem of bass cancellation that is never discussed when talking about the art and science of speakers on a board. I have yet to see a single posting of the formula that determines bass cancellation freq. with regard to baffle size. You'd think if you're talking about "science" then you'd mention that when describing the "design" of a speaker on a board. My guess is that it is figured no one actually knows anything about speaker design and so it can be pretended not to be an issue. Just say things like 'box colorations" and use bigger more massive drivers, on bigger more massive boards, add a couple "augmenters" and a subwoofer or two and sell it to the guys with lots of money to burn. Then in 6 mo. they will realize they can improve it. Then in 6 more months. ...........

There is very little "science" or basic well established audio design principles being used in almost all speakers on a board. But if you can sell expensive stuff using words and phrases like "moves more air", "reference", "special built" and all the other things that actually do not apply or are not based in real science....well P.T. Barnum said it best.................  One thing is for sure, a lot of folks who spend big bucks on anything will never admit the mistake and will convince themselves it is good.

Hey, I build speakers for a living. They are not the best in the world. They are not expensive. They are very, very good. They will not work or be liked by everyone. They have and will always remain what they are. I may be forced to change drivers one day or may find a "better" one (lower fs, lower Qts, lower Mms) but the 126 is probably "where it's at" due to those pesky laws of physics.....with unlimited money I doubt I could have a "purpose built" driver to overcome them (those pesky laws).

The Horns are based on actual "science' and 'real" long established loudspeaker design theory. They are not based on "art and science" where in reality there is no science involved as is the case of most "speakers on a board". Of course I could be wrong but as of yet I have seen no science actually mentioned or used (baffle size vs. bass cancellation freq., for one) just the usual "the way they load a room" stuff...blah, blah, blah.....

I'm also amazed at the lengths guys and gals go to build the speakers on a board, and amused! They do use well established methods for damping and making the structures rigid. Of course the end result is that you still have a speaker on a board........and in a couple months you can "improve it' and so it goes...........

While I know many guys like them and have even sold mine for them, I'd pose the question, "how long have you lived with any version w/o changing them?" A solid and good design will not require endless tweaking.  

Shouldn't Joni sound the same on any system if that system is accurate? The idea of "voicing" speakers or their "flavor" is alien to me...I do not want my system to make all music sound "real". I want it to accurately reproduce what is on the recording. I do not think I should have to change the design to accommodate certain music and I think if the system plays certain type music better than others it is most certainly flawed. A system should be able to play every thing that you care to listen to. Doing it at realistic levels is a plus but not number one, I don't think.

I will admit "designing" a speaker on a board is much easier than designing a TL, sealed, ported or horn, especially if you don't actually care about the bass cancellation freq. and it's effects, just change it every couple months when you realize it's flawed, no big deal Smiley.

Just my opinion.....nothing more.
Ed




« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 08:41:50 PM by Ed Schilling » Logged
Steve F
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2015, 09:27:01 PM »

I have to join in on this one.
Don't think for a moment that I'm going to disagree with Ed. I believe he's pretty much got it covered.
I have yet to hear a speaker on a board that is an excellent speaker. I've heard quite a few, and I own one. The one I own is a very good speaker. Linkwitz designed it. It's not his current product, but its predecessor, the Orion. It's a very complicated design that has an elaborate crossover, and equalization, both analog. You need eight channels of solid state power to play music. It was expensive even though I built it. There is no comparison between a Linkwitz design, and a speaker on a board; okay I'll use the term OB.

I've noticed that after awhile, nobody seems to leave their OB designs alone. Pretty soon the owner learns that power response isn't uniform, bass response is inadequate, driver efficiency doesn't match, etc. A deal breaker for most people is that it has to sit out way in the room to work.

So the game becomes one of switching out drivers. If you don't want to work with equalizers, you have to use high qts drivers, of extra large size, and big baffles too. Carver had special drivers made for the Amazing speakers. Gilmore did the same, but spent a lot more on parts, and cheap they ain't. Using Lowther or Tang Band drivers with whizzer cones is popular too. Great for girl with guitar or solo violin music. I could argue against these setups for hours. There is no shortage of bad designs out there.

The best speakers I've heard, are a couple of horn designs, and two electrostatics. Horns need a lot of attention paid to wave propagation, and need to be kept as simple as possible. Electrostatics are simple in concept, and damn near impossible to get right. Amps also hate them.

Box speakers usually sound well the sound " boxy" for a lot of reasons besides the box. There can be a few advantages there too. And I am amazed at how bad some six figure versions sound. Really. Don't get me started on planar magnetic designs. Their basic design is flawed.

The part most people don't get is that speakers have to play in a room. Few are designed that way. How's that for a rant, Ed?

steve
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Henry
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2015, 09:58:21 PM »

Well, as long as no one gets hurt, let's just have fun.  I'm a moron pumping 4800 watts into four five-gallon buckets... and a whopping 6 watts into the Model Two's and Heils  It makes me happy and that's all that matters.  It's all about me, bitches.  Cheesy

We all have flaws and I pray that God has a sense of humor.  If not, I'm screwed. Grin
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 10:01:39 PM by Henry » Logged
Ed Schilling
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2015, 12:06:57 AM »

Steve, yep, again we are in agreeance (I think I made that word up). I'd say the Gilmore and Amazing Carvers are examples of "proper" speakers on a board speakers. But again, look at what it takes to pull off what they do...... http://www.glacieraudio.com/new%20Glacier%20Audio%20Site/Products%20folder/Gilmore/Gilmoreaudio1.htm  My guess is that a pair of KHorns with 1 -15 inch horn loaded driver will make them sound like a 2 dollar transistor radio even though it won't come close to 17Hz! Speakers on a board MUST have more excursion than other designs. More excursion equals more distortion, so bigger and more drivers are needed to keep excursion down. The ONLY enclosure that increases efficiency while reducing excursion is a horn. Sorry, just the way it is folks. So while speakers on a board need giant drivers, a lot of them and massive excursion to overcome bass cancellation other designs do not and in reality will be better, if properly designed, IMO.

It seems I have more "real" reviews than they do (Gilmore), go figure? I guess they didn't pay enough money ? Smiley

I almost bought a pair of Carvers..............glad I didn't.

Hey Henry, 4 buckets, 2 Crowns.......my guess is that you have more and tighter bass than 4 15 inchers on a board in a fraction of the space, with lower distortion and the ability to move them around to eliminate nodes at the listening position, but that would just be a guess Smiley Bruce says the buckets, one of them, will reach 25Hz and make up to 106 dB. Add a second and add 3db ...add 2 more and add 3dB more. You should easily be able to make >115 dB@ 25Hz....which is beyond insane.
http://www.transcendentsound.com/Subwoofer.html

Now, a little simple math.... 3.14X16 ~50 sq. inches. Pi "R" square......the area of one of your drivers..... 3.14X56.25=176.6 sq. inches...area of ONE 15" driver. Now, if you have 4 15" drivers and still need
augmentation" to reach 25Hz@ 106dB I'd say you have a "problem". Now with Henry's 4 buckets and his power he should be able to make at least 115 db at 25hz without even trying.....the total cone area of the 4 buckets is 200 Sq. inches or so. vs. the 176 sq. inches of a SINGLE 15". This illustrates just how INEFFICIENT a speaker on a board is.

Oh, I got more but it's 3 am.......feel free to "educate me", argue with me or correct me. But please do not tell me about "moving air" or the advantages of the radiation pattern of a speaker on a board and it's benefits as to room interaction unless you're willing to address why that may not be a good thing Smiley I just might have an argument for you Smiley but hey, don't be shy! I don't mind being shown I'm in error when I am!
Ed

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Steve F
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2015, 04:30:38 AM »

The Gilmore is, outside of Linkwitz' work, the best example of the speaker on a board genre. But... I suspect there are a few problems there too. To be a true line source, the speaker would need to be two feet taller! Those woofers, and as specialty drivers, must be high QTS. I'm guessing around 1.2 or thereabouts.  Moving mass must be pretty high too. I noticed that the ribbons have a damping system to split the driver resonance.Smart. This is pretty close to the best you can do for building board designs.

Bass reproduction requires more than big drivers. They must have very long throw. I've forgotten the equations. In an OB speaker, you are throwing away about 10DB of efficiency. They don't couple to the air as well as other designs. You want to avoid monster amps? Then horns and TLs, or servo systems in boxes work well. I'm still learning about things like frequency resistance and a few others. Should have taken a couple more physics classes.

Some speakers, a famous planar type, use rows of magnets to move a piece of plastic film to which wires are attached. Two problems. Moving mass gets fairly high. Speakers of this type aren't usually uniformly driven. The magnets aren't always on both sides, and the wires are on one side only. The sound is kind of snap-blur instead of evenly driven.

Everything engineering is a compromise.

steve



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Bbakertx
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2015, 02:00:48 PM »

Hey Ed,

I'm going to almost abstain from commenting on this one.  Roll Eyes
Would love to play my OB setup for you, driven by my Korneff 45 amp.
I enjoy it quite a bit, and I also enjoy the new Horns you sent me recently.

Couldn't agree more with Henry's comments above!

Hope you're out of the water and things are getting better quickly in S.C.

Brad in Houston
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Ed Schilling
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2015, 03:12:31 PM »

Hey Brad, yea I knew I was going to pull some chains on this one the second I hit "post" Smiley Please know I was not even thinking about Randy's new adventure or the users enjoyment of the genre  It is just the wild "pseudo science" claims I run across that dove me wild! Like I said, I have yet to see anyone post the minimum baffle size to avoid bass cancellation and the freq. it will occur for a given baffle size. It does exist, the effect is apparent and if it did not or was not then speakers on a board would not require giant drivers. As to "no replacement for displacement", that is just about ridiculous with regard to speakers ....think of the midrange driver in a Horn....maybe 2 inches? It does not even work for cars......My 1969 428 Cobra Jet Torino made 333 HP......Jason's Bullet Mustang makes 500.....out of 300 CID. Funny sayings are cute but in reality time marches on. In 1950 all systems pretty much used "big displacement" ....because they had no choice and we were just beginning to understand. A "little bit" has changed. BTW, Jason's Mustang would have wasted My Cobra Jet but my Cobra Jet was way cooler Smiley



While it is possible to build a speaker on a board with the appropriate driver or even as Steve said have one "purpose built" . The problem is  that does not mean it's a good idea to have a high mass, high excursion driver with bass cancellation occurring where you least need it. The solution for many is to add  another bass cancelling speaker and equalize it. Or maybe add 3 more and marvel at the
air it's (not really) moving Smiley

Look guys, I know full well single driver systems are far from perfect as well. Imagine that. LS35A will not work in a 30x40 room. Gilmores will not work in 10 X10 room......the right tool for the job. If it were possible to build a world class "small" speaker on a board then there would be lots of them, given no skill really needed or knowledge of loudspeaker design. Pretty sure Glacier Audio would love to have a speaker that did not dominate the room! It would not be a speaker on a board, I'm sure.

Just my opinions, nobody needs to get their panties in a bunch (I know you didn't Brad Smiley )

Did you wax them?
Ed
ps....thanks for commenting, Brad, Steve and Henry! All comments and opinions are welcome. It is a discussion forum, not a "kiss Ed's ass forum" Smiley
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 03:17:03 PM by Ed Schilling » Logged
Henry
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2015, 12:24:01 AM »

"It is a discussion forum, not a "kiss Ed's ass forum."

Insomnia sucks worse than kissing Ed's hind quarters.   Cheesy

I have some vintage equipment that I love and and enjoy.  It isn't high fidelity, but it makes me happy.  There's nothing better than spinning a few 78's on a rainy day.  I have two-way Saba speakers screwed to open back enclosures and they make music at low levels.  My GE Super Radio is a fine source of AM gold.

I do understand limitations and agree that those aging relics are obsolete.  But being transported to another time is cool.  Sometimes it's about the content and not about state-of-the-art.

I share the opinion that many people proclaim that inferior designs are superior.
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Steve F
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2015, 02:14:54 AM »

Henry, it's after 2AM mountain/left coast time. I have to say insomnia beats the hell out of the other alternative.

It's cool that you are listening to that old gear. Me, I'm always building or destroying loudspeakers. (Got 3 top notch speakers in various states of disrepair. Linkwitz, Quad, and Sanders) plus there are a few projects I'm working on. I need to drink more instead.

steve
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Bbakertx
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2015, 07:01:29 AM »

I have some vintage equipment that I love and and enjoy.  It isn't high fidelity, but it makes me happy.  There's nothing better than spinning a few 78's on a rainy day.  I have two-way Saba speakers screwed to open back enclosures and they make music at low levels.  My GE Super Radio is a fine source of AM gold.

I do understand limitations and agree that those aging relics are obsolete.  But being transported to another time is cool.  Sometimes it's about the content and not about state-of-the-art.

I share the opinion that many people proclaim that inferior designs are superior.

I bought Ed's Horns to use with a Scott 222c in a 2nd room.   That amp has wonderful tone and is easy to listen to for hours on end, even if it might be missing out a bit on the detail dept.
Before I move the Horns to that system, I'm enjoying them in the bigger room with the 45 amp.
(I'm also 'augmenting' them with 2 15" drivers per side in OB driven by a Crown)

The main room is configured for me to listen to OB speakers.   And contrary to what you might expect, with my previous set of baffles (the builder added some deeper side panels than I really wanted,  SURPRISE!), I used a single 15 and Dayton AMT PRO4 per side, with plenty of bass.
I'm now playing around with a Fostex W8-1808 augmented by the same woofers.

I'll probably add the Heils to the Horns next year when budget allows.  I'm sure with the hundreds of concerts I've been to over the years that my ears don't reach too far over 12k anyway.

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Henry
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2015, 04:38:33 PM »

Hey Bbakertx, you should save a few pennies and get the Heil's.  You'll be a happy boy.  Smiley

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Ed Schilling
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2015, 10:49:37 AM »

Hey guys, now, I've just been talking about the "science" behind SOAB (speakers on a board)...uh, the actual lack of it, actually.

So now I pose a question.......if a company sells parts to make a SOAB or builds one for sale, would not it be of great benefit to those that buy those parts to actually  have the calculations needed to calculate where the bass cancellation occurs in both a circular and a square or rectangular baffle? That my friends, is "science". Saying "we like a baffle of "x" size for good bass" is simply BS. How about the formulas needed for a person (that is not a sheeple) building a SOAB to get a clue about the actual response of the system rather than some vague statement?

Why would not a company that sells parts to build such things not publish such information? Would that not help the customers that buy the stuff to build a "proper" Smiley SOAB with real science as opposed to uh, "just do this"

Yes, I could easily post those equations and they would be eye opening. Will I? HELL NO!  Why should I do the work for the guys that push them? I do not sell parts, plans or recommend them. Shouldn't it be the job of the "dealer" to supply the info needed to make an educated decision on baffle size? A "purpose built" driver simply can not (those pesky laws of physics) eliminate bass cancellation in a SOAB. Period, end of story. What it can do is be tilted to have enough excursion to bump the LF output, it can not eliminate the effect of cancellation. More excursion always equals more distortion, just ask Paul Klipsch.

As Brad noted, "the builder added deeper side panels  than I wanted" Of course he did. Why? Uh, to raise the bass cancellation freq. of course. Now if he cared (or even knows) he could tell you the actual cutoff of the thing with the deeper panels. Wouldn't that be nice to know? But I suspect if asked the answer will be "for more bass" and if asked "how much more" you'll not get an answer based in "science" which is a shame because the calculations have been known "forever" to guys that actually have studied loudspeaker design.

Just my opinion. Nothing more, nothing less......this is a discussion forum! Smiley
Ed

Hey, just for kicks....contact any company that sells drivers, builds or promotes SOAB's and simply ask them for the calculations needed to determine the bass cancellation freq. for their driver on a circular, rectangular,  AND a square baffle. Feel free to post them here to help those trying to actually design  a proper SOAB. Any answer other than the actual formulas should tell you "something" about the "science" they use in  "designing"  their system.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 12:38:39 PM by Ed Schilling » Logged
Bbakertx
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2015, 01:54:50 PM »

As Brad noted, "the builder added deeper side panels  than I wanted" Of course he did. Why? Uh, to raise the bass cancellation freq. of course. Now if he cared (or even knows) he could tell you the actual cutoff of the thing with the deeper panels. Wouldn't that be nice to know? But I suspect if asked the answer will be "for more bass" and if asked "how much more" you'll not get an answer based in "science" which is a shame because the calculations have been known "forever" to guys that actually have studied loudspeaker design.


Um, this was a local woodworker who just didn't follow MY design plan.
I doubt he had the slightest idea that the side panels would affect the sound.  They accomplished HIS goal of sturdiness.

Take off the tin foil hat.
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