Livingroom audio upgrade 
Sunday, August 29, 2010, 15:43
Posted by Anders
An update of my living room audio system was long overdue, so I went shopping for some new power amplifiers and a new active filter.

The power amplifiers are LABgruppen IP450, they are made not more then an half hours drive south from my home at their plant in Kungsbacka, so high remarks for environmental thinking.

I also needed a new active 2-way crossover since the brand new Behringer filter decided to break and send out a damaging signal through the entire upstream system.

So I brought a filter from a brand that I know will do a great job for along time to come, but was also almost twice the price, a basic 2-way DBX 223XL.

The new amps does indeed sound lot better then my previous AudioPro M.7 but the M.7's are not bad for their price tag mind you, not at all, one has to consider the price difference and the step up in quality this brings.

The differences was not hard to spot, the low end is more detailed and seems "faster" as well, the midrange is fuller and clearer, the high end seems to stretch further up.

The system as a whole now feels bigger and more powerful, it's interesting how much difference there is, but I'm not sure which of the components contributes in which way, either way I'm happy with the result, more power and better sound in less space.
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The Kalmar trip 
Saturday, August 28, 2010, 17:05
Posted by Anders
The test of this partly new system would take place on the east coast of Sweden, in the city of Kalmar, the place where i was born and raised.

So we packed up the system and put it into Marias new old car, a -95 Volvo 850 turbo (nice choice considering the fuel economy:), but it is rather quick and there was no problem fitting it all in.

If anyone out there is curious about what the Swedish inland looks like, this is a good example, lots of small lakes and pine forests.

This particular place is called Strömbergshyttan, a nice rest stop roughly half way between Gothenburg and Kalmar.

Well we made it safe and sound (!), and the system was set up in the backyard of my fathers (our old) house, thankfully our neighbors are very patient and nice people.

The system needed some processor tweaking, mainly gain and xo points, and some ever so slightly applied delays, but that's what a processor is for.

The end result was very impressive, even if the system is very compact the voices are full and rich, the low end is very detailed and has a very nice impact.

The B&C DE250 driver on the ME45 horn crossed over at 3,8kHz added a nice, clean and crisp upper end, the B&C 10MD26 equipped mid horns made the system sound "in your face" and the dynamics and sound quality is just wonderful, voices, guitars and synth-pad sounds all sounded astonishing and as if coming from a much bigger system.

The 15TBX100 tapped horns crossed over at 250Hz added a nice punch impressive depth with a lot of impact and detail, i heard things I have never noticed before, and at the distance the picture was taken you could even feel it in you chest.

All in all, the system sounds much bigger then it is, and it has enough capacity for outdoor live events of moderate size, but most of all it was the sound quality that got my attention.

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New top speaker system 
Sunday, July 18, 2010, 18:40
Posted by Anders
Following my 15” Tapped horn build (aka. the andershorn as named by William Cowan) some time ago I thought it might be time to finally put together a top speaker system to match them.

My favorite professional speaker manufacturer Turbosound once upon a time took the world by storm with their TMS range, amongst these there was the TMS-2 fullrange top speakers, these where fully hornloaded and carried a 15”, 10” and one 1” driver.

These boxes and the technology they contain can still today (some 20 Years on) still hold their own against the current industry standard, and if equipped with modern drivers they might even come out on top, back them they specified 108dB/W/m halfspace with +-4dB in the 80-18kHz range, so you can imagine what might happen if they are loaded with modern drivers...

The heart of the TMS range was the 10” turbomid device, a 10” horn capable of spanning the range from 250-4kHz, covering the entire vocal range in one horn, giving a nice presence and extreme transient capabilities to the reproduced sound, simply put, a dream.

And as it happens, this particular device has now fond it's way into my new top speakers :)

It may be an old item, but so is physics, and that has not changed much in the past 20 years at this level.

Why build a box if there is no need for it ?

There is something to be said about DIY chaos, it usually looks rather funny :

the first frame is finished :

finally the first assembly tryout :

meanwhile in the batcave...

Slowly they take shape...

And while thee glue sets...

Right now only color, finishing touches and wiring remains :

That's it for now, the remaining touch up's and system tests will take place some 400km east of this location.

More pictures will follow, describing the final steps.

Br // martinsson

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Fostex FX120 DIY proposal 
Wednesday, June 30, 2010, 14:30
Posted by Anders
Following my small tapped horn sub build it is now time for a set of small (again) satellite speakers to complement them, making it a nice compact DIY sub/sat system with a visually pleasing properties as well as high sonic performance.

Intended for use in the above 150Hz range (approx.) these speakers will not be intrusive, and looking at the sensitivity one sub per pair of satellite speakers should be a good match.

(click images for larger view)

driver details - ... ries.shtml

My Fostex FX120 fullrange drivers (se link above) intended for this build has been staring at me for quite a while now, so I thought it may be time to give them a home, at least design-wise.

For this purpose I brushed off an old favorite design of mine, a thin wallmounted speaker design with nice stainless steel details, not entirely uninspired by Bang&Olufsen.

At no more then 64mm deep and containing only 3.6 dm3 (liters) of internal volume it may not seem as good idea for speaker, but instead of regarding the room in which they operate as a acoustical necessary evil it makes use of it to increase it's low range output, a sort of half-space horn loading one might say, and as an added bonus it also does free up floorspace.

The images below makes up the drawings for these speakers, bare in mind that it has not undergone serious simulations yet, this is so far only a "gut feeling" design proposal.


Sideview (including sections):

Topview (including section):

Connector details (view from below):

Font cover:

Stainless parts:

And finally some basic renderings courtesy of desault systems :

That's all for now, more will follow.
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Saturday, June 26, 2010, 15:35
Posted by Anders
Midsummer is upon us, and what better opportunity is there to give the new members of my DIY family a proper outdoor test in a true 2PI (half space) environment.

Seeing as the neighbors was away, and it being a day worth celebrating, the acceptance for noise pollution would be slightly higher then usual.

There is no chance, i remember thinking, that these minute 6,5" loaded tapped horns could offer up any kind of solid low end under these conditions, at best it will be noticeable, but beyond that probably nothing.

Outdoor "free field" environments are particularly demanding on the low end, and the lower midrange, it all has to do with the directivity of the frequencies reproduced, the higher the directivity is, the greater the free field efficiency will be, it will no longer rely on walls for support, as is the case indoors.

As it turned out I actually ended up lowering them down to a mere +6dB over the satellites to get a good balance going, when crossed over at 200Hz they gave the small system a warm, full bodied sound with a good low end thumph with no hint of being out of it's element.

It goes without saying that the SPL's was modest, yet still well enough for most garden events, easily overpowering the occasional traffic noise leaving you to hear only the music.

I have no good explanation for how this works, but it seems that the TH principle does have something going for it directivity wise, what and how exactly i can not say.

I'm very pleased with the results.
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