DIY driver tweaks

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ejfud

DIY driver tweaks
« on: 15 Apr 2012, 04:57 pm »
Share your tweaks to drivers in this thread. Basket, cone, phase plug ideas or whatever else you may have tried. The good and the bad.

chrisby

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Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #1 on: 17 Apr 2012, 07:07 pm »
OK - can we agree to no flame war on this thread?

EnABL - give it a listen

Basket damping, frame stiffening, fairing / filling of gaps between motor assembly and basket legs - particularly helpful on smaller FR (4" & under) - while otherwise not enamored of Neo magnets just for tech's sake,  they do have the great advantage of allowing smaller diameter motors which certainly can't hurt

ejfud

Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #2 on: 17 Apr 2012, 07:18 pm »
OK - can we agree to no flame war on this thread?

EnABL - give it a listen


Let's hope not. I'd like to think we can all act like adults around here.

I have two pairs of Jordan 92's. One treated, one not. I like them both. Is one better than the the other, I'm not sure. It's all based on listening experiences in my listening room no measurements. The thing I noticed about the Enabl'd pair is the image is better focused. I'd like to do the same comparison on drivers with a non metal cone and see what the differences are.

I agree, give it a listen. On never knows what you will hear.

Æ

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Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #3 on: 17 Apr 2012, 08:21 pm »
One would think if you are buying a top notch driver, there would be no reason to muck with it, especially if it's an expensive driver under warranty. Really if the driver isn't good enough, then you've chosen the wrong driver.

On the other hand, an inexpensive/cheap driver could benefit from tweaking as long as you don't over do it. I frequently apply peel and stick type of damping material to inexpensive stamped baskets, kills the ringing-tinging of the sheet metal frame.

I've known some that have coated their cones with this or that, but I say it's hit and miss. If you accidentally apply too much, how do you undo it? Once it's dry, it's permanent. Coating a woofer isn't quite as bad as coating a full ranger, a woofer will still be a woofer, but the added mass to a full range cone will damp the frequency extension.

I remember way back, David Weems advocated applying some self stick foam weather strip all around the free edge of whizzer cones.
« Last Edit: 18 Apr 2012, 06:24 am by Æ »

ejfud

Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #4 on: 17 Apr 2012, 08:59 pm »
One would think if you are buying a top notch driver, there would be no reason to muck with it, especially if it's an expensive driver under warranty. Really if the driver isn't good enough, then you've chosen the wrong driver.

Most every product has some form of compromise built into it. It's just how manufacturing works. So I guess most things have room for improvement somewhere.

I bought the second pair of Jordan's already treated and for a good price to see if the EnABL thing does anything. I was as big a doubter as there is. Still have some doubt, but heard enough that my mind has opened up on the subject.

doorman

Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #5 on: 17 Apr 2012, 09:03 pm »
Yes, I too was sceptical. Now on my 4th or 5th pair of "eNABled" drivers, and certainly deem the added cost worthwhile.
YMMV, as always.
Don

Æ

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Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #6 on: 17 Apr 2012, 09:17 pm »
I bought the second pair of Jordan's already treated and for a good price to see if the EnABL thing does anything. I was as big a doubter as there is. Still have some doubt, but heard enough that my mind has opened up on the subject.

What would really be nice, would be to see some before and after frequency response measurements.

ejfud

Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #7 on: 17 Apr 2012, 09:27 pm »
What would really be nice, would be to see some before and after frequency response measurements.

Would be interesting for sure, but I've come to the conclusion that measurements never tell the whole story.

I agree with the basket tricks mentioned so far. Does wonders for a stamped frame driver.

Æ

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Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #8 on: 17 Apr 2012, 09:47 pm »
Would be interesting for sure, but I've come to the conclusion that measurements never tell the whole story.

Yes, but measurements corroborate what you hear or didn't hear. Klippel measurements will take it way beyond what you can hear. Can your ear tell you if your enclosure is tuned to 39Hz or 41Hz? A simple impedance sweep can. Ok, very few people have 'perfect pitch.'

ejfud

Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #9 on: 17 Apr 2012, 10:08 pm »
Do my ears care if the box is tuned to 41hz?

Just sayin'.

Æ

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Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #10 on: 17 Apr 2012, 10:12 pm »
Do my ears care if the box is tuned to 41hz?

Just sayin'.

If 41Hz was your target, then yes. Hopefully your enclosure is tuned and not the box itself.

Æ

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Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #11 on: 17 Apr 2012, 10:46 pm »
I just hate it when someone says 'box' as opposed to properly calling it an enclosure.
When someone says box, I think of cardboard. . . literally.




ejfud

Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #12 on: 17 Apr 2012, 11:26 pm »


Æ

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Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #14 on: 18 Apr 2012, 06:28 am »
Some more ideas.

http://www.decware.com/tweak.htm
http://www.tnt-audio.com/casse/speaktweak_e.html
http://www.tnt-audio.com/casse/speaktweak2_e.html

From the Decware site:

"Installing sound absorbing materials such as cork, or felt on the baffle will reduce rarefaction making it difficult to localize your speakers. This enhances sound stage topology in the stereoscopic array. Makes you speakers have a chance at disappearing when the music is on."

Someone really needs to explain to him the difference between rarefaction and diffraction.
"Stereoscopic array" What, as in one on the right and one on the left?

chrisby

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Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #15 on: 19 Apr 2012, 08:56 pm »
From the Decware site:

"Installing sound absorbing materials such as cork, or felt on the baffle will reduce rarefaction making it difficult to localize your speakers. This enhances sound stage topology in the stereoscopic array. Makes you speakers have a chance at disappearing when the music is on."

Someone really needs to explain to him the difference between rarefaction and diffraction.
"Stereoscopic array" What, as in one on the right and one on the left?


I've heard a few of Steve's products over the years,  including a very early version of the Radial speaker - all of them very musical and engaging,  but my yes, he does have a way of turning a phrase.   :jester:

chrisby

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Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #16 on: 19 Apr 2012, 09:00 pm »
I just hate it when someone says 'box' as opposed to properly calling it an enclosure.
When someone says box, I think of cardboard. . . literally.



too bloody cute

lay down a couple of coats of glass matting and resin, and these might well sound better than,  and certainly be lighter to move than if made from 1 1/2" MDF

ejfud

Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #17 on: 20 Apr 2012, 01:59 am »

I've heard a few of Steve's products over the years,  including a very early version of the Radial speaker - all of them very musical and engaging,  but my yes, he does have a way of turning a phrase.   :jester:

Let's face it, Steve isn't the only one in this hobby to get a little creative.

Poultrygeist

Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #18 on: 22 May 2012, 11:24 pm »
These phase plugs are wooden Easter Eggs glued to their little stands with a steel washer on the bottom. I paid under $5 for them at a local craft store. The highs on the Beta 12LTA are greatly improved with this easy tweak.

Another tweak I discovered which is barely visable here is using heavy pre-pasted textured wall paper to cover MDF enclosures. The end result is like rapping on stone.


« Last Edit: 23 May 2012, 12:52 am by Poultrygeist »

Danny Richie

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Re: DIY driver tweaks
« Reply #19 on: 23 May 2012, 12:19 am »
When I design a driver I often have the manufacturer test and tweak it trying various surrounds and adhesives as well as changing spider stiffness to change acoustic or electrical parameters. Various cone shapes can really alter the response as well. You guys would be surprised at the difference that is made from different glues used to hold on the surround. Glues that dry hard or soft can have quite an effect in the upper ranges of the driver.

However, once the driver is completed there isn't a lot that the average hobbyist can do to it.

Almost all metal frames can have a ring to them when excited with energy in a range that hits their resonance, but it is often very slight. Some frames are obviously worse than others. Damping them with some type of material similar to a material that most people think of as Dynamat or the damping layer used in No Rez can be fairly effective in controlling the slight ringing. And there is no negative effect it giving that a shot so long as you are not reducing the air flow behind the driver.

Dots on the cone isn't going to alter the driver in any way unless you really start adding some mass to the cone. You might as well draw a smiley face on the cone with a magic marker. It will have about the same effect (zero). However, adding some mass continuously around the outer edges of the cone, on either side, with a soft substance (not a hard drying substance) can have some positive effect minimizing upper range break up. A thin layer of Silicone or some type of caulk works pretty well.

I don't recommend doing things like that to a driver unless you have the means to measure the results to see what is going on. It is also very hard to get any consistency doing things like that too. So the measuring and testing aspect is very critical if you are trying to match a pair of drivers.

You guys are likely to find much more improvement by dampening the cabinet walls or adjusting the type and amount of insulating material.