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So my wife sings in a band. She just split off from one band and is part of starting a new one. One of the drawbacks is that the new band doesn't have as much equipment as the old one. One thing they are missing are PA speakers (mainly used for vocals). I figured this was a good opportunity to make something new.

This new band is mainly acoustics and they intend to play smaller venues (bars and coffee shops). One thing I noticed about a lot of pro-sound gear is that the typical PA box is a 12" or 15" 2-way affair. In small venues they beam horribly and are impossible to set up so they sound okay in the front and rear. This was something I wanted to improve on.

My attempt is to use two 6.5" drivers (in this case Eminence Alpha6's) with a horn loaded tweeter (in this case an Eminence ASD1001S with a Dayton H07E Waveguide ) in an ported MTM type arrangement. I'm hoping this will improve on the dispersion I was used to with the old band's gear. These should also be easier to transport for my little wife than the other gear was.

Performance-wise I should be getting 96.5 dB sensitiviy at 1W/1m and these should handle 200 watts RMS. The enclosure is tuned to 90 Hz which should give an F3 of 80Hz. Realistically I expect these to roll off a bit sooner - more like 100 Hz. This should work fine for an acoustic / female vocals band. If they ever add drums or a keyboard I'll have to make a sub (probably do that eventually anyway).

I've included a pic of things kind of put together (not yet glued). The bare wood will be covered with a burgandy faux-snake skin vinyl covering (wife's choice).
 

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PE's DOTD might be of interest.
I had considered using those and making these self-powered (I would have designed them to be 4 ohm in that case). The reviews stated some lack of "sparkle" in the top end and that concerned me - especially since these are primarily for female vocals. For the price of two of those I could get a more proven rack mounted amp.
 

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Well it's nice that you are knowledgeable enough to provide a customizable set of speakers for your wife. What type music does she sing?
 

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Well it's nice that you are knowledgeable enough to provide a customizable set of speakers for your wife. What type music does she sing?
She used to sing classic rock (Joplin, Jeffereson Airplane, etc.). Her new band is going to do more modern stuff as well. I don't know modern stuff so I can't quite say what that would be.
 

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Here is one box, uncovered and with the crossovers held together with alligator clips.

First impressions: These are very loud and fairly flat - especially for pro-sound speakers. The lateral dispersion is great (which is what I was trying for) - much better then the 12" and 15" two ways I'm used to. These are very natural sounding.

On the down side I'm not quite getting the extension I modeled (F3 of 130 Hz instead of 90). Part of this is because these were supposed to have an F3 of 100 Hz and the room I test in has a suck-out right there. I may have to test them at Anthony's later. Another part is that the hole for the plug panel and tophat are covered with duct tape instead of a rigid material. Yet another possibility is that I didn't chamfer enough behind the woofers (the woofs are pretty shallow). I was probably getting a bit ambitious for the Fs of these drivers. Either way they go plenty low for acoustic guitar and vocals - the only thing in the band so far. I do intend to make a sub to go with them for larger shows.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good and Bad

Update,

The Good
Finished putting the vinyl and furniture on. With the extra chamfering, the fact there are no duct tape covered holes and a little bit of stuffing added this is operating very close to what I modeled. This pleases me. The sound is still very neutral and easy to listen to. There is a bit of a peak around 500 Hz - I'll have to see if that is my room or the speakers. Most importantly the wife is happy.

The Bad
I didn't get the right corner pieces for the back and I didn't get enough feet. This is easily solved with my next parts order and doesn't bother me. What does bother me is that one of my $6.00 locking Neutrik connector broke. Looking at it the tip spade that you connect wires too was substantially thinner than the other two leads. This bothers me and I hope I can get a new one sent fast and without me having to pay!
 

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Looks alright, the Snake-skin is not my style but I can certainly see the attraction.

I would love to hear how they go in their intended environment, that is, I really want to know is if they will have the same punch as a 12" when you get a whole heap of people in front of them?


eitherway, well done :T
 

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Looks alright, the Snake-skin is not my style but I can certainly see the attraction.

I would love to hear how they go in their intended environment, that is, I really want to know is if they will have the same punch as a 12" when you get a whole heap of people in front of them?


eitherway, well done :T
Thanks! The snakeskin just edged out pink faux leather :sarcastic:. The speakers are for her, not me so I don't mind.

I'm also itching to hear them in a live environment. Today I had to leave a bar halfway through a set because the big 15" two ways just sounded horrible in the closed enviornment. The drums and upright bass sounded great but the vocals were killing me. That makes it the second bar I had to leave early in a week because the sound hurt my ears. I'm hoping these solve those same problems with this set.

As far as having the same punch, two 6.5" drivers can't move as much air as a single 12" - they only have about 60% the surface area. My test station amp only goes up to 65 watts @ 8 ohms so I haven't tested these at full power yet (they can take 200). With what I've got they get awful loud and sounds like snare drums have a very nice snap to them I can feel in my chest. For acoustic guitar and vocals (what the band has so far) they should be fine. If lower playing instruments are added later they'd probably need to be crossed to a sub or the house speakers. For big venues I'd rent bigger speakers and use these to fill the front. Remember these were designed to address problems I percieved in small venues - bars and coffee shops and such.

I will post real-world performance reports in January (where these will be first gigged).
 
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