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Line Arrays - ESL companion design thread

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JonFo

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This thread is to have a design and build discussion regarding ESL companion line arrays.

Some members have been wondering about dipole vs bipole vs sealed designs for mid-bass arrays to accompany an ESL setup.

As anyone how has read my SL3 eXtreme Center thread knows, I went the sealed route for my line array. And months after, I’m still pleased with the results of that choice. However, it not the only path to audio nirvana. So let’s discuss the pro’s and cons of the various designs as they apply to the very specific goal of augmenting an ESL.
 

IWalker

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Hey, I appreciate you starting this thread...since I think it's somewhat directed at me. I just moved to Charlotte from S. Florida, so have been out of touch until just recently. I'd be interested in exploring this topic more...
 

IWalker

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I'm taking a work in progress approach to it. I'm starting off trying an open baffle arrangement with 6 Dayton RS180s a side. I'm going to be using a Behringer UltraDrive to crossover and EQ. I'll be putting it together over Thanksgiving so can give initial impressions after that. I was initially considering going closed box, but figured it'd be cheaper to start with an open baffle arrangement and then go to closed box, as opposed to the other way around. I'm going to mount the Quest Z panels (though I am going to try it out before I disassemble the Zs, which are 48" tall) and the 48" midbass line array side by side, with a 2.5' stand of some sort,so the bottom of the panels starts at 2.5', and the top is at 6.5'.

I played around with just one of these cones mounted in a small cardboard open baffle arrangement, and it sounded pretty good...it remains to be seen if it'll create a satisfying level of midbass impact.

I would appreciate any insight anyone has on the project, especially JonFo, who I am shamelessly copying.
 

JonFo

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Hi Ian,

Great to see you get going on this, I'm very curious to see how your dipole version works.

Do you have a measuring rig?

It's practically a requirement when building, and highly recommended to serious audio nuts :D

Got any plans you can post about the design?

Questions about baffle widths and lowest cancelation frequencies are swirling in my mind ;)
 

IWalker

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wow, I don't know how I missed this one...or the pm...so sorry for the delayed response!

The closest thing I have to a measuring rig is an SPL meter, external soundcard, and speaker wizard software (which I've never used before...so we'll see how that goes...I may do a trial run just with my new Quest Zs before I try to do it on a self-made speaker)

I was experimenting with a baffle response calculator and from that it appeared that unless I was willing to go seriously large, the width had little impact on my frequency response. the difference between 10 and 24" was somewhat insignificant (ie both would require major EQ)

I only plan on running it down to around 80 or 100Hz, so the eq should be well within the range that the speaker can handle without distorting much. Especially at the volumes I listen. Above that range, it appears that I'll have to EQ to even out response...but not really to "boost" much per se.

This first shot is going to be an experiment. The rest of the speaker (back brace, stand, etc.) will be higher quality than the baffle...which will just be a simple mdf front...so I can swap it out, depending on the results of my tests.

Just one week till I head up to work on it. I'll give an update once they're done!!! I'm quite happy with the Quest Zs right now...so this may even be a step down...but it will have been a fun experiment!
 

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