I have been working on the idea of a studio monitor for some time now. Several things have moved me towards wanting to build a true high end studio monitor.
1. Most studio monitors are mass produced budget speakers. They are far from what we often use in the high end segment of the market for music playback. Even some of the more elite models are full of cheap parts or are powered by cheap plate amps. No real high end studio monitor exists that I know of. At least not what I'd call true high end.
2. Not only are most of the studio monitors out there full of cheap parts and drivers but most of them really aren't that accurate. Most of the ones that I have measured are barely within +/-3db. So I see a real need for a higher level of accuracy.
3. The recording industry has changed. There are more and more home studios popping up than ever before. And again there is not only a need for a higher quality studio monitor but the market for studio monitors is getting larger.
So I have been working with the idea of using our new Neo 3 tweeter in this application. Where this tweeter really shines is when used in an open baffle. Un-loading the diaphragm really allows it to produce a smooth and relaxed sound while very accurately reproducing the timbre of real instruments. But the design also needs to be able to be placed close to a front wall. So full on open baffle isn't going to work.
I also have had in mind to use our M165NQ woofer for this application. For one, it is the best sounding woofer that I have heard or know of. It is also ideal for a sealed box. And this really needs to be a sealed box design.
So recent testing has reached a point of interest. I think I may be onto something here.
The GR Neo 3 tweeter loves the wave guide. It allows it to play low and roll off very smoothly. I am also experimenting with the speaker being open to the top. Playing with different types of damping material has allowed me to dial in the response of the tweeter and control what exits the top of the speaker and to the rear. It is like having a rear firing tweeter for ambiance and improved imaging but at the same time it is in phase as it is using a single tweeter instead of adding a separate one with a delay. It also allows the tweeter to operate in a free air application where it really shines. And since the upper wavelengths are fairly short placing it closer to a front wall won't be as much of an issue. Typical open baffle speakers require three feet or more of space from the front wall. These won't but will still add some of the qualities of an open baffle design.
Here is the open top with no damping material.
The initial response with very little tweaking has it almost within +/-1db.
And it only uses a second order filter on both drivers.
Here is a look at the tweeter from the back.
I think I'll design a nice grill for the top of it to give it a nice finished look.
I think it is time to tweak it a little further and build out a pair of them for listening.
They will make really nice reference monitors as well.