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SUPPORT FORUMS FOR DECWARE SPEAKERS >> DNA Horn >> DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
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Message started by Steve Deckert on 01/16/13 at 17:33:52

Title: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/16/13 at 17:33:52

As many of you know, we have been unable to get the Tang Band W5 1880 driver here in the States.  



Solen of Canada does seem to have them, but keep in mind that distributors like Madisound and Solen carry what sells.  Ever since the price of the W5 1880 more than doubled due to Neodymium prices Madisound at least has stopped carrying them.

I have noticed over the years (with Madisound anyway), that they don't tell you that they don't want to carry it anymore, instead they say the drivers are no longer available, or they can't get the drivers anymore, leading you to believe the drivers have been discontinued by the manufacturer.  

The W5 1880 has not been discontinued by the manufacturer.

Anyway, because of this limited and problematic availability we've had to discontinue one of our favorite speakers, and move it into the D.I.Y. section of the site.  And a LOT of people are downloading the plans.  Naturally this is going to launch a large search for different drivers that work in the DNA horn so I thought we'd start a list here in this forum.

-Steve

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/16/13 at 17:51:42

I have considered several different drivers for the DNA horn which can be found in the design notes for the DNA horn.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/paper120.html

You may use this as a guide when you consider drivers for the DNA horn.

I did try a less expensive Tang Band driver, the W5-1611SAF 5" Full Range Speaker with the world's worst results.  Please don't waste your time with this one.

I also tried my small Lowther DX55 drivers and they sounded good, but are a primarily a midrange driver so there isn't any real bass weight.  I will say, that the DNA horn made that driver, as well as the 4 inch foster drivers used in other horns, have more bass than they did in any other cabinet, but considering what this cabinet is capable of it would be a waste of a good design.

To that effect, I have found a driver that I like 95% as good as the TangBand IF you're going with lower powered amplifiers.  In fact the bass was actually better, more correct, less colored.  The highs are rolled off, but I still enjoyed it for an evening by itself without adding a tweeter, which it will obviously need.  But I think that is fine.  A tweeter floating on top of the cabinet would be very nice.  

The driver is an AuraSound buy out at Madisound, so who knows how many they have or how long.  The price is right a 3.60 ea.

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/approx-5-fullrange/aurasound-ns525-255-8a-5.25-paper-cone-8-ohm/



Again, this is the best sounding driver I've heard compared to the original, and the bass extension is the same.

-Steve




Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by dank on 01/17/13 at 23:41:05

Wow!  $3.60 drivers competing with drivers in the $150/pair or higher ballpark.  Think I'll build a pair of DNA's now and try them out.

One question:  Being an old-timer, I have a Decware redemption number that, once upon a time, got me free downloads of (most all) speaker plans.  Is this a thing of the past now?  I certainly don't mind paying $19.95 for the DNA plans (wait!  the plans are about 3 times the cost of the drivers?  Whats going on here?)  but the Scottish blood in me won't allow me to pay for something if I can get it for free (I have way too many credit cards for this reason).

Thanks

Dan

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/18/13 at 02:01:49

Sarah can take care of you on the plans, or just e-mail me and I'll attach the pdf to the response.

Thanks,

Steve

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by 4krow on 01/19/13 at 03:07:59

Seeing how this driver drops off rapidly above 5-6K, I would think that maybe a ribbon tweeter would be a good move.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by 4krow on 01/30/13 at 04:12:26

Well, I got the 'recommended' drivers for the DNA, and downloaded the plans. I'm afraid I will have wait some time before building due to the weather not cooperating 'till spring. I will keep in touch and add photos when the time comes.
I am building these for a friend, and hope he is patient.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by dank on 01/30/13 at 20:25:52

I see that Madisound has further reduced the cost of this replacement driver to $2 each (if you buy 30 of them).


Dan

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by 4krow on 01/30/13 at 21:16:01

I can't help but be suspicious of a driver that costs under $50. But I am trying to keep an open mind.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by ski bum on 02/02/13 at 03:06:37

Steve (and other lurkers)-these may be worth a look:

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/approx-6-fullrange/markaudio-alpair-10-gold-6-full-range-gen-2/

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by 4krow on 02/02/13 at 05:43:07

I really like the fact that they use rectangular wire for the voice coil. I thought that nobody would ever try it, yet, it would be a more efficient winding. Hope Steve looks this one over. I would be game if he is.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by ski bum on 02/02/13 at 18:43:09

The MA Alpair 7 (4" smaller version of essentially the same driver) seems even more well liked among some of the DIY crew:

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/approx-4-fullrange/markaudio-alpair-7-gold-cone-4-full-range/

Neither of these MA drivers are what I would consider high sensitivity, but hey do manage to dig deep for their size.  In those respects they are similar to the TB Steve chose originally.  They reportedly do well in reflex and mltl cabs, not sure how they would fare in the DNA horn's hybrid cab.  They have potential, but I don't have DNA cabs to try them in, unfortunately.

One thing I'm learning is to not trust any published specs and measurements, at least not too much.  Take your own measurements at home, in your projects, 'cause that's the only thing you can know for sure.  It makes the whole process a huge PITA, unfortunately, and I just want to get to the music, not spend time purchasing and auditioning drivers!  Hopefully a collective effort will bring results.

Experimenting with these is not exactly free, from $180 to $220 a pair.  But it would be nice if there was more of it, as the DNA cabs are among the more aesthetically pleasing of their reflex/horn hybrid peers.  Most are big and f'ugly, but have a lot more history and user experimentation to draw from.  And yes, it seems bass-akcwards to start with the cab and then pick a driver, but such are the circumstances since the TB driver's distribution is limited.  

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by 4krow on 02/03/13 at 02:00:24

I agree, there are better situations for choosing a driver. The thought occurred to me that if this project was big enough and the interest existed, some drivers could be bought by a collective community here. Then, as need be, drivers could be swapped between community 'owners', allowing for a base of experience. Just a thought. When a conclusion was reached, the extras might still be useful to some of the members here. I love to experiment, and wouldn't be afraid to buy a leftover.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by dank on 02/03/13 at 18:58:26

Tomorrow!

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by 4krow on 02/03/13 at 19:17:25

Dank,  Thank you very much for posting this photo. It helps me with the visualizing of this project. Now, I did notice some 'guidelines' drawn on the side panel that would help establish the correct positioning of the internal panels. Let me ask you,,,were some of the angles a bitch? Would seem so to me.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by ZYGI on 02/04/13 at 01:44:33

Dan,

Check your dimension on the very first section where the beginning of the horn meets the front baffle. It could be the camera angle.

Zygi

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by dank on 02/04/13 at 22:31:08

Zygi

Its 1" between top and horn at the front baffle and 1 1/4" (1 15/64") between top and horn at the rear just before it angles downward.  So its only 1/4" of taper over a 10 3/4" span.  That's how I read the plans anyway, am I wrong?


Dan

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by Donnie on 02/04/13 at 22:44:35

1.25 degrees is what I come up with. Sorry, everything looks like a trig problem to me.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by ZYGI on 02/05/13 at 01:54:06

Dan,

You have the taper correct, and yes Donnie that is a 1-1/4 degree angle.

If you look at the plans, (if I have the same set of plans you get when purchasing the plans)  you will see that the dimension is from the top of the side panel of the cabinet to the underside or bottom of the first piece. So you should have a 1" gap in your pair, which is what grabbed my attention The gap should only be 1/2" not 1"  Funny thing, I did the exact same thing on Steve's pair and have been building them that way ever since. To remedy the problem add another 1/2" piece, attached to the top of the piece you have already in place. I did this but instead of the 2" port hole I used a 5" whole, so it wouldn't be adding length to the 2" port.

However in this case, it also looks like at the first bend where you have added the 45 degree wedge. it is also larger than the 3/4" you need. Again that could be a illusion from the photo....

Hope this helps,
Zygi

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by dank on 02/05/13 at 12:31:04

Got it, thanks Zygi.



Dan

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by dank on 02/06/13 at 12:44:51

I got my air gap fixed, at least on the first part of the horn.  Had to cut a 2" strip out of the top of one side to open it up, glue in the spacer piece, and then seal it back up.  All the while I was asking myself "why am I doing this?  This isn't going to make any difference!"  But it did!  The darn things sound pretty good now.  Before they sounded like a cheep transistor radio (in stereo - twice as bad!! ).  Then I added a $10 bullet tweeter I had lying around and that made a huge difference also.  These guys are worth listening to now!

Dan


Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by 4krow on 02/06/13 at 13:22:09

Dan,
 What drivers are you using?

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by dank on 02/06/13 at 18:46:10

Aura driver at $3.60 from Madisound and a $8.99 bullet tweeter from Electronix (p/n 11-110).  Plus a 8 uf cap for the tweeter and a 4 ohm resistor because the tweeter is a little too loud.  So, less than $15 per side for the speakers and crossover.

Dan

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by 4krow on 02/06/13 at 19:08:39

I got the same driver, and a ribbon tweeter . Soon, things will be ready to roll.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by faithintruth on 02/27/13 at 03:34:03

I just got the plans for these and would really like to keep this thread going....I think I'll try the cheap Auraosound's also and add a floating tweeter on top (maybe a tractix). Someone mentioned a ribbon tweeter. Any suggestions on tweeters from Madisound that wouldn't break the bank. (I am a total newbie to crossovers).

I look forward to suggestions about lining, stuffing, cat litter etc.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by 4krow on 02/27/13 at 14:58:45

Ribbon tweeters are fast, and that's why I prefer their sound. It seems to me to be a good marriage with a horn design. If you might be interested, I have a set of ribbons that I might let go of. They basically have only  a few hours on them. Anyway, keep me up to date here about your progress, as I plan to build this horn as well in the future.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by Palomino on 04/05/13 at 23:54:37

Here is an earlier post I moved over from another thread to keep things together on this subject of replacement DNA drivers.  Zygi has come up with an alternative (but more costly) set of drivers.

I have the W5 driver, but was looking for something that would play a little louder with my amp while preserving the imaging, bass and detail of the W5.  I believe Zygi's configuration does all this plus some.

Here are the instructions I worked from:

The drivers are SB acoustics...sb15nrxc30-4
                    Vifa...xt25sc90
          Coils are 0.1 16 gauge sidewinder
          Caps are 4.7 I would start with the PX4.7 Clarity Cap (Personally I like, for a cheap cap, the Jenzens from Parts Express there next up from the cheapest. If you like what you hear and they work, I would then proceed to the Mundorf Supreme, not worth while unless you like the system as a whole.

Note: Cap is on the tweeter, coil on the woofer.  The tweeter is wired out of phase.  Hole for the W5 is 122mm and the hole for the SB is 123mm (or vice versa) so it will fit if you have already made the hole in your baffle. I had to re-drill the mounting holes because I couldn't get the new driver to line up with the W5 holes.

Go to your local Home Depot/ Lowes and buy some fiber board (Cylotex) like they use for house wrap. It's black on one side and natural on the other side. This was what I used, from the outside to cut my inclosed volume down to almost half.

Note: I cut two peices of material slightly wider than the chamber width and put them in through the existing hole, then wedged them against each side to form an upside down V and pushed them down into place.  Then I taped the seams.  You want the new floor of the chamber to be just below the driver.

For the tweeter hole, Bob suggested 1/2" distance between the flange of the tweeter and the flange of the woofer.

If you are interested in the theory behind the crossover, the white paper is available from this guy:  http://howtodesignaspeaker.com/

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by Palomino on 04/18/13 at 15:43:45

Just as a followup, I updated the cap to a Mudorf 4.7 tin foil (ZN) cap with good results.  Originally Zygi had recommended the Supreme, but later suggested the ZN because he finds it a little more clarity.

The current configuration cost about $240 delivered from Madisound.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by ultrarhino on 08/02/13 at 10:56:13

I just bought the DNA Horn plan. Would the Tang Band W6-1916 be a good enough replacement driver for this cabinet ? It's a 6.5 inch driver though.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by Palomino on 08/02/13 at 12:45:45

I am away from home so I don't have the plans in front of me.

I think you'd be ok with the height but the width of the driver might be tight.  Not sure of the sound.  Steve has tried quite a few drivers so I'd look to his recommendation unless you already have the tang bands.

If you don't mind altering the plan for a tweeter the aura drivers Steve recommends are actually pretty good drivers. I just used 4 of them in another project and for $3.60 I don't think you can beat them.

The combo I describe above sounds excellent and I have messed with that for over 4 months.  You might pm zygi to see the latest crossover.  He has been experimenting.  


Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by dank on 08/03/13 at 14:29:53

Here is some more information on drivers for the DNA.  I cut a slightly bigger hole and tried some 6.5" speakers:

1)  I found in my 2-way DNA with the inexpensive 5" AuraSound driver and a bullet tweeter that a 0.33 mh coil before the woofer (about 4000 hz) made the system sound a lot better.  I don't know why or understand this.  I normally run the woofer full range, but in this case it looks like the woofer is happier not doing this.

2)  I tried the 6.5" Audio Nirvana, Super 6.5, with the worlds worst results.  I like this driver in other cabinets but it does not work in the DNA.

3)  I tried the Dayton 6.5" full range, Parts Express PS180-8, duplicating the worlds worst results.  I like this driver in other cabinets but it does not work in the DNA.

4)   I tried the Dayton 5" full range PA speaker, Parts Express PA130-8,  with mediocre results

5)  I found a used pair of Fostex FF-165k on Ebay (my first Fostex ever), and they sound pretty darn good.  They can run with or without the coil so I'm running them full range.  They seem to benefit when the tweeter is added in,  but that's probably just my 60 year old ears.

Dan

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by ZYGI on 08/05/13 at 00:23:52

Dan,

Can you explain a little about the worlds worst...I.E. Too much bass? No Bass? What happened?

Zygi

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by dank on 08/06/13 at 02:53:30

Zygi

It wasn't the bass, as I'm using a sub and too much / not enough bass from the DNA's probably wouldn't even be noticed unless it was causing a conflict somehow.  It just sounded bad.  I noticed immediately that I didn't like it, and that's pretty unusual for me (I usually can't tell the difference).   It may have been a range of frequencies that were too loud or too quite, possibly too loud as its very possible it sounded tinny.  I didn't spend much time listening to them.  I've had those same speakers in other cabinets with moderate to good success (if I ever had superior success with them, they would still be in those cabinets) but they did not do well in the DNA.

So, why use a folded horn design if you are not all that interested in bass output I hear you thinking.  The design makes a difference in how the speaker sounds in the non-bass range too.  My best sounding speakers are a bigger set of back loaded folded horn design with the Dayton 8" full range speakers.

Dan

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by Morris on 01/13/14 at 19:46:43

Anyone tried Vifa ne149? If so, how does it perform in the DNA?

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by Palomino on 02/24/14 at 18:14:49

BTW, I have a set of the Tang Band, W5 1880's for sale.  See the classifieds.

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by Cliff on 06/01/14 at 02:34:53

Steve Deckert,

I have been considering the E.J. Jordan EIKONA 2 driver for a horn loudspeaker project.

Do you think it could work in your DNA Horn?

Cliff [smiley=10.gif]

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by Boxertwin on 10/28/14 at 13:46:24

Cliff,
Did you ever try the E.J. Jordan EIKONA 2 in a speaker? DNA? What have you learned about them?

Title: Re: DRIVERS for the DNA Horn
Post by zulla on 12/09/14 at 18:12:36

I am currently enjoying the Eikona 1 drivers in a VTL cabinet. Since Decware is a site that is synonymous with very nice tube equipment, I wanted to put out the warning that these Eikona drivers need a lot of power (50 watts continuous and 100 watts peak) to run these speakers properly. Their impedance shoots way up when producing low frequencies and my Mcintosh MC240 wasn't able to feed them without hearing an occassionally distorted low end. I now use a Hafler 500 solid state power amp (with my Mcintosh c20 pre amp) and am having wonderful results - a truly nice driver!!

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