Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 37 Old 12-02-11, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel?

I'm using REW v.5.0 to measure a woofer, tweeter and both in parallel.
The woofer is a Tang Band 6" unit, the tweeter is Fountek 3.0 and all are mounted in a box.
The amplifier is a $100 Sherwood 2 channel receiver from Radio Shack.

When I measure the woofer and tweeter in parallel(using a 30uF cap. in series with the ribbon), the level is lower than measuring the woofer and tweeter by themselves.
I'm not changing any volume controls or moving the mic.

Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?

I've included a photo:
Red is the summed response...gold is the woofer by itself and purple is the tweeter by itself.
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Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel?-summed-woofer-tweeter-comparison.jpg  

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post #2 of 37 Old 12-02-11, 07:50 PM
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Re: Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel?

You should use a proper crossover to get proper measurements, even a simple LC will suffice.

Here is a simple crossover calculator:- http://www.ajdesigner.com/crossover/crossoverfirst.php
Plug in the impedance of the drivers and the desired crossover frequency.

In your case it's probably going to be around 2kHz
Assuming they are 8Ω drivers this gives C1 = 9.9 microfarads (round up to ten) and L1 = 0.64 millihenries

Cheers,
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post #3 of 37 Old 12-02-11, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel?

Bill, I'm not trying to come up with a crossover right now.

I'm measuring the drivers' responses and phase so I can import them into crossover design software later.

My question is really why the paralleled response is lower in level than the individual responses?
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post #4 of 37 Old 12-02-11, 11:12 PM
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Re: Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel?

Quote:
foxfire3 wrote: View Post
Bill, I'm not trying to come up with a crossover right now.

I'm measuring the drivers' responses and phase so I can import them into crossover design software later.

My question is really why the paralleled response is lower in level than the individual responses?
Ok, to get frequency and phase response you only need the individual drivers responses which should be referenced to the system you are using to measure it. It's only after you get these figures that it enables you to design the crossover and then you can get the full system frequency vs phase response.

In effect your parallel response is lower because the load you are applying to the amp with a simple 30 microfarad cap is not good. Assuming the drivers are 8Ω then you are effectively crossing over around 700 to 800 Hz.

For accurate crossover design software you really need to obtain the Theile/Small parameters and model your drivers and then choose a suitable crossover point.

Without the Thiele/Small parameters you either need to measure the individual drivers response and design the system from there, or you need to measure the combined response with a "best guess" crossover in place.

Unfortunately there are no shortcuts that will give meaningful results as you have demonstrated.

Can you tell me the driver models and manufacturer so I have a better idea as to how they will interact?

Cheers,
Bill.

PS A 10 microfarad cap and 0.64 millihenry inductor should only set you back a couple of dollars to do some preliminary measurements.

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post #5 of 37 Old 12-02-11, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel?

Bill, thank you for your replies.

The cost of the inductor and capacitor really isn't an issue.
I probably have one of each lying around in one of my parts boxes.

The woofer is a Tang Band W6-789E and the tweeter is the Fountek Neo3.

I measured the same drivers using HOLM in the photo below.
The black line is the woofer, blue is the tweeter and red is the summed response.
As you can tell their levels are pretty close, unlike what I'm getting with REW above.

I'm not here trying to make HOLM look great and REW look bad...NOT at all.
I really like REW, but I'm trying to figure out what is causing the difference in summed response level in REW.
Attached Thumbnails
Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel?-holm-3way-comparison.png  

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post #6 of 37 Old 12-03-11, 10:16 PM
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Re: Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel?

But there are still a couple dips in the middle, I think. Could this possibly be a result of phase cancellation? Unless you're certain the drivers are wired in phase, you might take a minute or two to retest with one of the drivers reversed from its current polarity.

--Bob
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post #7 of 37 Old 12-03-11, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel?

Quote:
AvantGuy wrote: View Post
But there are still a couple dips in the middle, I think. Could this possibly be a result of phase cancellation? Unless you're certain the drivers are wired in phase, you might take a minute or two to retest with one of the drivers reversed from its current polarity.

--Bob
Hi Bob,

You are correct...there is quite a bit of phase cancellation where the tweeter's response overlaps the woofer's.
If I reverse the polarity on the tweeter, most of the cancellation goes away.

Still I'm wondering why REW's summed response is almost 26dB lower than the individual responses?

I also tested these same drivers using the free version of ARTA.
Again, the summed response was very close in level to the individual responses.
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post #8 of 37 Old 12-09-11, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel?

Wow...129 views and no one knows why the lower level in the paralleled response?

Perhaps I'm the only one who measures drivers in parallel to establish their acoustic offsets.

I was hoping JohnM might know what's causing this.
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post #9 of 37 Old 12-09-11, 11:47 PM
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Re: Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel?

I have no good guess as to what went wrong here and there is little info provided.
The HOLMImpulse measurements appear correct. The REW measurements are not. To find out where the problem is, we probably need to start with a proper calibration (it's doubtful that your noise floor was at 100 dB for instance.

Start by showing us the soundcard cal and mic cal on you charts and get a proper adjustment of the REW SPL Meter. Calibration is probably not the major issue here, but if that isn't correct is harder to get to the real problem.

Some questions:
Did you repeat the series of measurements and replicate these same results?
Are you using multiple sweeps? if so, use just one and see if that has an impact. It should not.
Is your soundcard and REW set to the same sample rate?
The mic was in the same position and none of the mic or speaker levels were changed?
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post #10 of 37 Old 12-10-11, 07:36 AM
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Re: Reduced level when measuring drivers in parallel?

Quote:
foxfire3 wrote: View Post
Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?
Strange result indeed. Could you attach the mdat file with the three measurements?
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