New Studio Monitor

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Danny Richie

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New Studio Monitor
« on: 11 Nov 2018, 12:24 am »
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.  :thumb:

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.  :green:

tubav

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Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #1 on: 11 Nov 2018, 12:57 am »
This looks very interesting. Will a CNC front baffle be available as a part of the kit for those of us who could build the rest of the box? Any idea how low these will play? My room is boomy with not much chance of room treatment (WAF) so sealed would be terrific. Thanks for this new direction of kit.

Early B.

Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #2 on: 11 Nov 2018, 04:44 am »
Very cool!

Will they be powered? I would imagine that most home studio engineers would prefer powered monitors. Will they be designed for near-field listening? Also, how low does it go?

Just curious if you plan to offer a conventional studio monitor or pursue a very small niche market of home studio owners who want audiophile-quality speakers and who realize they'll need a high quality amp and preamp, and maybe some subs to really make those monitors sing.

SoCalWJS

Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #3 on: 12 Nov 2018, 01:10 am »
Very interesting!

You mention that they currently have no damping material (behind the Neo). I can't picture putting No-Rez in there - too tight on space for the size of the cavity. Any thoughts on what you would use?

I can imagine these in many Office's as a listening speaker during work, but not sure you're intending them for a classic near field setup. Get 'em so that they're sitting right at ear height for the Neo - love the "Airy-ness" of these drivers. Very open soundstage.

Captainhemo

Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #4 on: 12 Nov 2018, 02:28 am »
Poly - fill,   Acusta-Stuff would  wrk as  would  fiberglass  .  Not sure you;d  want  fiberglass   exposed like  that  though...  I've been  a  big proponent of  Acusta Stuff since  Ron Joyner  turned me  on to it  a  few  years  back

jay

WC

Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #5 on: 12 Nov 2018, 03:27 am »
I might be interested in using these as front speakers for my 5.1 system. Monitors placed near the front wall is what would work best.

nickd

Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #6 on: 12 Nov 2018, 03:50 am »
I have been thinking of a larger 2 way for my next project, but these really look sweet and not too expensive.

The tweeter looks like a bit of a challenge to install, but I’m sure Danny, will put some thought into the kit to avoid trouble there.

A pair of servo subs to add some heft and clean up the mids and perhaps a giant killer has been created.  :thumb:
Sensitivity?
Most monitor rigs, need dynamic range and the ability to play loud. These 2 little drivers up to the challenge?
 :popcorn:

Danny Richie

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Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #7 on: 12 Nov 2018, 05:17 pm »
nickd, I am going to make the surface below the tweeter flat for an inch or so then ramp it up to the back so that you can get a screw driver bit on it to install it.

And the sensitivity came in at 89db. Not bad for a two way monitor. Add a servo sub and you're done.

I am also thinking of a floor standing three way version with a pair of M-165/16's below. It would be like adding the lower section of the X-Statik model to it. I think it would make a great small floor standing model.

nickd

Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #8 on: 12 Nov 2018, 06:30 pm »
89db is great for a stand mounted 2 way.
I also really like the way stand mount monitors image. Count me in for a pair when you get kits ready to ship. I’m excited about the new top tweeter exit and sealed box mid/woofer alignment.  :D
Good to see you are still dreaming up new designs for average installs. I love OB designs, but had to give them up when the grandkids came.

GLF

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Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #9 on: 13 Nov 2018, 01:19 am »
Very cool! Do you have a rough idea on the cabinet dimensions?

Folsom

Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #10 on: 13 Nov 2018, 03:19 am »
How low do they play, ported or sealed?

Russell Dawkins

Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #11 on: 13 Nov 2018, 06:15 am »
Sounds like a sealed box, Folsom:
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.

Many a home studio has space limitations which require a close-to-wall positioning of the speakers, yet few monitors are designed to accomodate that. In my experience, this size driver in a sealed box can work well in this situation, with the 1/2 space LF gain working symbiotically with the sealed box bass roll-off to produce a flat-ish response down to surprisingly low frequencies.

This was Yamaha's intention with the iconic NS-10M, one of the few bookshelf speakers actually designed with bookshelf positioning as part of the design, as was the bigger NS-1000, although most owners of these do not know that and mistakenly position them out away from the wall and then wonder why they sound so thin.

Danny, it looks like there's an opportunity to design an angled interior top to eliminate at least that internal standing wave. If you tilted the back forward so the angle between the top and the back was 90º, you'd retain your top angle for the back of the HF driver and eliminate the front to back internal standing wave at the same time as the top-to-bottom one.

I have the NS-1000s, and the bass is really tasty—once it is placed near the front wall.

Danny Richie

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Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #12 on: 13 Nov 2018, 01:48 pm »
How low do they play, ported or sealed?

By the numbers they are -3db down around 70Hz. But it is a pretty gradual roll off.

Danny Richie

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Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #13 on: 13 Nov 2018, 02:59 pm »
Very cool! Do you have a rough idea on the cabinet dimensions?

The test boxes are 18" tall, 8.5" wide and 14.5" deep.

Folsom

Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #14 on: 13 Nov 2018, 06:31 pm »
I think the tweeter idea is pretty great.

cementhead

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Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #15 on: 13 Nov 2018, 10:10 pm »
This sure has my attention. Looks sweet!

tubav

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Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #16 on: 13 Nov 2018, 11:18 pm »
Will a CNC'd front baffle only be available along with drivers and crossovers? I was thinking about building the cab with a 5 degree tilt back but is vertical dispersion so good that it's not needed? These look really interesting to me. Thanks.

Danny Richie

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Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #17 on: 13 Nov 2018, 11:35 pm »
Will a CNC'd front baffle only be available along with drivers and crossovers? I was thinking about building the cab with a 5 degree tilt back but is vertical dispersion so good that it's not needed? These look really interesting to me. Thanks.

These will come with either a front baffle or complete flat pack.

BRN

Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #18 on: 13 Nov 2018, 11:46 pm »
The speakers look real interesting. This would be something I would be interested in.

2bigears

Re: New Studio Monitor
« Reply #19 on: 14 Nov 2018, 12:20 am »
 :D I will bite on these,,,, this sounds ideal. Your on to a good ideal here. The floor stander will have one servo bass per side ?  :popcorn:
           Very interested. Won't break the bank yet tickle the ears,, , :D