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Author Topic: Decided to have active speakers built............  (Read 9954 times)

Michael Hynes

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Decided to have active speakers built............
« on: June 04, 2011, 09:02:00 am »

Well for fun I figured I would share my speaker project with the mastering cats on this forum........
I have been a producer engineer for the better part of two decades and with my recent move
to Asheville NC my services have somehow morphed into Mastering. After doing some work for several
regional clients there is now demand but my speakers as you may imagine are more suited to mixing.
(Sonics by Jochim Gerheart Anima + HSU sub....
I started to check some of the classic units used by the top folks such as Dunlevy, B&W, ect.ect.
To bottom line this for y'all I heard Jim Wilson's Legend active system with the DEQX processor and have
never experienced resolution such as this. I felt like I had found my speaker system accept for the fact
that the system retails for about 3O K with all the components. What does a guy do for 7K?     quasi - DIY!

I contacted several speaker designers with my system specs and goals and settled on the great folks at
meniscus audio in Grand rapids to do the Build. The goals are as follows.......
A three way active system with a Deqx active crossover/processor with sealed enclosures. Flat from 25HZ to 25K , separate cabinets for the mid/Hi. In order to create my ultimate mastering towers I worked with my
designer and selected Drivers with the lowest distortion in there respective bands. I am using a RAAL OEM
ribbon for the High end, A Accuton ceramic mid and a scanspeak 12" woofer in its own enclosure. Since this
project is on a really tight budget I had to find a amp solution that had both resolution and economy. I contacted
the folks at class-d audio and contracted the construction of a custom 6 channel amp. I will use 125 watts into the Mids 125 for the Highs and about 4OO watts into the woofers. For the DEQX unit the top of the line processor is about 4K putting me way over my budget so I sourced a OEM module in Canada and am having it put in a generic rack case for less than 2.......

I will post pictures as the components come together.....

For now here is a picture of the amp that has just been shipped + a picture a unit with similar drivers for the tops. Also a picture of the basic vibe of what the stack will look like.

Best,

Michael
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: Decided to have active speakers built............
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2011, 06:25:13 am »

Interesting project, it would put the willies up me to not be able to hear a system before I plonked big wonga on it. Braver than me.
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Michael Hynes

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Re: Decided to have active speakers built............
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2011, 02:28:57 pm »

Yeah It could be scary but we are using the DEQX system which is quite remarkable...
It time aligns the drivers,corrects frequency response, group delay ect. ect. If i want to revoice
the system I can have my designer do this remotely based on measurements. The amp build
came out amazing by the way! I just hooked it up to my Sonics and it kills the Parasound Halo
I replaced it with. Deeper soundstage, much better control over low frequency response and very
clear mids. The hi-end is frankly easer to listen to...
So far so good.

Best,

M
 
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ggidluck

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Re: Decided to have active speakers built............
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2011, 01:11:18 pm »

Michael,
Lots of good ideas there. Thanks for posting the info.
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Michael Hynes

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Re: Decided to have active speakers built............
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2011, 01:34:35 pm »

Thanks!

I feel there are some things going on in the DEQX world that are revolutionary in its implications
for engineers. Upon researching Mastering solutions I found quite a bit of Audiophile mysticism in
regard to the superiority of passive crossovers and class A amps but the proof is in the Puddin....
I heard things in two Deqx based systems that I did not hear on any normal system + the new Class-d audio amp sounds like it cost 1OK.
If the project succeeds I will have a system that outperforms most traditional rigs at  a fraction of the cost, If I fail I will have a new home stereo  ;)   
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turtlerock

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Re: Decided to have active speakers built............
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2011, 11:14:09 pm »

hi michael
i feel like i am   2 or 3 years ahead of you on the same project
things i have discovered ...
is it has been twice as hard and three times as expensive as i thought  :(

to do it right you will need 2 if not 3  DEQX units .
when you get into the nitty gritty of trying to make it perfect you will need to run seperate mastering  grade DA convertors out of the DEQX ...so start saving
i have been using custom made  DEQX units with digital outs added  i am not sure if that is a current product though ?

my setup is  yet to be finished  to my satisfaction  i will post up plenty of promo shots if it ever is !

but it runs  2x 18" aura 2x15" JBL 4 x 6" scanspeak releators and a pair of scan speak revelator tweeters
i tried a bunch of  $$  custom ribbons  but it just  wasn't working for me  i hope you have more luck

all this in seperate custom boxes  for each driver in monolithic  doublewalled  designs which of coarse   makes  the whole unit is completely   unmanagable by even two people  !

I  also have  two sets of custum super  omni tweeters one pair of which is quite spectatular
but added them has made the budget quite embarrasing for something that was meant to be a sane thing

 So i would suggest when you get there ( super tweeters )  .. dont 

I hope that helps

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Michael Hynes

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Re: Decided to have active speakers built............
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2011, 08:18:14 am »

Wow........

That is a giant system!
Are you designing this your self? It seems like a larger undertaking than my modest system.
Anyway after hearing Larry Owens in Colorado set up the DEQX I am confident that he can bail
me out if needed. Also If I need I can have the stock boards upgraded with some better components.
Since I am just running a simple three way I am unsure how I would need more than 1 DEQX?  The speaker designers have been at it for 2O years so they are unlikely to send me a final design that doesn't smoke. ;)
At the end of the day if the DEQX'S D/A'S are not at the level of my ULN-8s I believe the benefits of
of the active corrected design will fix more problems than it creates. Thanks for sharing your experience
and I wish you luck with your system and look forward to pictures!
 
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turtlerock

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Re: Decided to have active speakers built............
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2011, 11:01:47 am »

i have been working with a bunch of very clever people on these speakers
i am now on my second set of very clever people :)
the real issue i have had was matching bottom end to the room
the midrange and top was much easier (once i gave the ribbons away )
we had done 3 sets of bass boxes  then we got notice  we had to move the studio 
so i am currently building the new place 
i hope the last set of boxes is the last we make !

i think the deqx system is brilliant , i would  have liked to be able to work the lake system
as i think its probably a bit better  but i couldn't drive it

i have learnt so much about speakers but i dont think we had cracked it  when we closed down the old place
Its a tough thing to do i reckon  but your on a winning idea i think 
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Rick O'Neil
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KAyo

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Re: Decided to have active speakers built............
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2011, 11:44:52 pm »

Yeah.. Thanks Michael, for putting us through the paces here.
After reading here, I went on to further investigate the Tikandi & DEQX system. It gets some serious rap there. Especially the guys from Boulder Co. Wow!
On top of me dream list of speaker set-ups now..

Thanks again for evoking the topic.
KAyo
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Michael Hynes

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Re: Decided to have active speakers built............
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2011, 09:06:24 am »

When I went out to Boulder to hear the system Jim told me that after hearing the Legend system
that his Dunlevy's sounded Mid-fi! I must say again that this represents the state of the art in
my opinion. As for my rig I am mounting the OEM DEQX boards in a chassie this week and then
shipping off to the Cats for crossover design. I should have this system in room by early August
for my launch. Other Data points for the system are as such. Cables by DH Labs, Metric Halo ULN-8s
for AD/DA, Buzz Audio REQ 2.2 Mastering EQ, Foote P3S ME Edition comp and maybe a BAX EQ. Computer
for the system is a 3Ghz 8 core macpro with a dualcore laptop running the DEQX. Nearfield monitoring
will be Sonics Anima's, A single Aventone for mono and a JBL onstage for lowfi check. Bye the way
y'all really should check out the Class D Audio guy's if you need an amp! The 6 channel amp is all
burnt in and is among the nicest amps I have used at any price. I am not sure how they do it but the
this unit is head and shoulders above the Parasound I was using.
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KAyo

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Re: Decided to have active speakers built............
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2011, 01:06:10 am »

That sounds like another wonderful room, on its way.
Keep us posted and some pics of the room is mandatory. 8)

Goodluck.

KAyo
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: Decided to have active speakers built............
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2011, 06:56:00 am »

Certainly respectable, you are in nuts deep man.

I could not go that far in, I am pretty happy with monitoring arrangements here but
I can respect someone who is going to the Nth degree to get what they want and need.

I am glad to have the understanding the the PMC IB1 are defiicient in a number of areas cause that makes my mastering work better. They are good, but not that good.

You really could blow a mortgages worth of money on the ultimate loud speaker systems.

Good luck, may the force be with you. ;)
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Michael Hynes

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Re: Decided to have active speakers built............
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2011, 10:39:59 am »

Thanks Bro.......

I just want a system that is a great microscope while sounding great. (It is not too much to ask for  ;)
Also I have owned so many speakers in the last 18 years that I am ready for something radical.
The DEQX with great drivers and great crossover design is like nothing I have heard before. You can perceive room problems
with such ease and listening to mixes is so revealing that theoretically there will be much less revision needed on a technical level.
I should have my Buzz Req 2.2 this week so the fun is starting!

I keep y'all posted
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Michael Hynes

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UPDATE....
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2011, 04:38:59 pm »

I am near completion of the mounting of the OEM DEQX boards and power supply in the Rack case.
Just have to tie in the IEC socket and the power supply then connect a ribbon cable and test.
Wish me luck! Once this is completed the unit and 6 channel amp will ship to my designer for
crossover and tweaking. I should have a system with 3 or 4 weeks.

Here are some pictures of the progress.

Best,

Michael
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Michael Hynes

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Update 2....
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2011, 06:09:53 pm »

If anyone is interested I have finished the DEQX build and sent the amp and crossover to the
designer. The measurements will start on monday and now this beast is out of my hands!
The system is going to be sick! I'll have some pictures soon from the builders of the units themselves.
I think my Buzz rec 2.2 MP should be done around the same time  8)

Best,

Michael
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