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Thread: Linear speaker array project

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    Member PeterPan's Avatar
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    Linear speaker array project

    This is a linear speaker array I built for solo performance, that thankfully worked out very well, and barely cost over $200. For background, I currently use this in a solo performance where I'll sing, play electric and acoustic guitar, and make heavy use of a Jamman Sampler/looper and drum machine (with some very elaborate methods to synchronize and blend them all), and a wireless setup so I can check the sound from a decent distance away. I've used this array in bar courtyards and had people inside the club tell me they couldn't believe how clearly they could hear me even inside. And I've used it in inside situations too, in rooms that I consider acoustically terrible, and had great reports.

    Anyway, I know that many have attempted to make variations of these things since BOSE started it all with their LI-PAS products, and I also know (and have heard) that many both DIY and off brand copies have not sounded very good. So I thought I'd put together a web page on my own site at least documenting enough detail so someone else could duplicate the essentials of what I did. This was not intended to be as slim nor as tall as the BOSE version. The idea was to have decent response down to around 180Hz, so that a supplemental bass box's response could overlap the array output by enough of a margin to avoid a loss of pleasant mid frequencies.

    This link only describes the array with essential construction detail. It doesn't delve deeply into the remainder of my current configuration, which includes a DIY ported bass speaker box, a low priced dual channel Furman 16 band EQ, Behringer NU1000 power amp, and a Behringer Q802 mixer). But again, its a starting point, and I'm happy to answer any questions another builder may have. No strings attached, no plans or kits for sale here. It just worked out so incredibly well, I figured I'd share it.

    A linear Speaker Array you can build

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    Wow, that's quite an impressive piece of work. Wish I could hear it.

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    Nice project!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmartn149 View Post
    Wow, that's quite an impressive piece of work. Wish I could hear it.
    I understand, and this has been an issue I'm working on. Not just to demo this speaker, but to demo other audio products I actually have for sale or intend to market eventually, as well as make demo tapes for my own musical performances. The issue is this: While I have good microphones of varied kinds for recording vocals and acoustic instruments, I am finding it very hard to make recordings that pass my own "ear tests", when it comes to recording sound from a distance away. Lets face it, the human ears and the way we perceive sound, especially at a distance, is very hard to replicate. And the lousy quality of numerous demos I've see on youtube of other folks trying to offer a demo related to the audio quality of various speakers tells me I'm not the only one finding this a challenge. It took quite a bit of setup with some good SHURE acoustic guitar recording mics just to properly capture the frequency response curve I offered, and even they are not really representative of what you'd actually hear, because they had to be placed fairly close (4 feet max) to minimize any contribution of the room acoustics. Vertical speaker arrays are known for sounding best at at least a dozen feet back, if not 2X that.

    Eventually I do plan to put some kind of audio demo on the page I linked, When i do, I suspect a reasonable evaluation will require the listener to use headphones.

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    Last edited by PeterPan; 03-10-2017 at 02:22 AM.

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    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    Nice array, whats the cost in materials or if you sell it?

    Check out this (likely cheaper) version using Apex Jr parts

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	proto1.jpg 
Views:	148 
Size:	27.9 KB 
ID:	42669

    Steve has a nice Vifa Coax which could work well for these too
    Speaker Stuff

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterPan View Post
    I understand, and this has been an issue I'm working on. Not just to demo this speaker, but to demo other audio products I actually have for sale or intend to market eventually, as well as make demo tapes for my own musical performances. The issue is this: While I have good microphones of varied kinds for recording vocals and acoustic instruments, I am finding it very hard to make recordings that pass my own "ear tests", when it comes to recording sound from a distance away. Lets face it, the human ears and the way we perceive sound, especially at a distance, is very hard to replicate. And the lousy quality of numerous demos I've see on youtube of other folks trying to offer a demo related to the audio quality of various speakers tells me I'm not the only one finding this a challenge. It took quite a bit of setup with some good SHURE acoustic guitar recording mics just to properly capture the frequency response curve I offered, and even they are not really representative of what you'd actually hear, because they had to be placed fairly close (4 feet max) to minimize any contribution of the room acoustics. Vertical speaker arrays are known for sounding best at at least a dozen feet back, if not 2X that.

    Eventually I do plan to put some kind of audio demo on the page I linked, When i do, I suspect a reasonable evaluation will require the listener to use headphones.
    Right, I didn't actually mean a demo video or sound clip, The only way to really hear it is to be in the same room with it.

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    Member PeterPan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmartn149 View Post
    Right, I didn't actually mean a demo video or sound clip, The only way to really hear it is to be in the same room with it.
    One of the most interesting things about listening to this array, which I'm sure is a combination of the way the speakers are angled in alternating directions along with the acoustics of my practice room, is that with your eyes closed, its really very hard to pick out where the sound is coming from. It makes me want to try an alternate wiring someday where all the speakers angled one way are on a separate circuit from those wired the other way, just to see what a stereo source would sound like piped through. But that will, unfortunately, have to be added to my long bucket list of things to try, on this and a dozen other projects.

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    Member PeterPan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedmich View Post
    Nice array, whats the cost in materials or if you sell it?

    Check out this (likely cheaper) version using Apex Jr parts

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	proto1.jpg 
Views:	148 
Size:	27.9 KB 
ID:	42669

    Steve has a nice Vifa Coax which could work well for these too
    Speaker Stuff

    I too have a box of those Apex Jr tweeters. Hard to resist the price. I don't care much for their sound though. I think if I were to add tweeters to my array, I'd invest in a few better ones. So far though, I don't really need them for my purposes. With the equalizer, I'm pretty flat out to beyond 12 Khz, which is pretty impressive for the Vifa full range speakers I used.

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