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Steve's TINY RADIAL project! (Read 123488 times)
Steve Deckert
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Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
02/24/20 at 17:59:11
 
NOTE: The result of this project - Tiny Radials - can be found for sale on this page here:  https://www.decwaretinyradials.com






I was browsing through the latest speaker supplier catalogs and noticed a 2 inch driver made by Tangband that caught my eye! It had it's own enclosure and passive radiator giving it response to 80Hz! I visualized it in a miniaturized Decware Radial loudspeaker where the cavity below the radiator gets tuned by a plinth creating even more gain and extension in the bass.

If I am right a couple things will happen... A) the speaker will sound like our big speakers with a similar frequency response, just not as low. B) the smaller diameter cone negates the need for a tweeter and changes how the lenses work, so this old design from years ago that never left my desk now finally lives -- shrunken down to a desktop sized speaker.

Here is a video of the prototypes - aka - proof of concept pair.



https://decware.wistia.com/medias/x4d46vqe8s

Steve
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Reply #1 - 02/24/20 at 18:29:53
 
Those really are amazing. Makes me want to retire my Traps that I use at our cabin.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #2 - 02/24/20 at 18:50:33
 
As part of the research, I will need to know two things:

A) did you use headphones when you watched the video?

B) what would you be willing to pay for a pair?

INFO about them:

They are solid hardwood cabinets with the passive radiator firing into a pre-tuned bass plinth just like our full size models.  The driver is a Tang Band T2-2136SA.  I developed the lens for the top.

They are not, plastic.  Response in these cabinets was estimated to be 76Hz ~ 20kHz, however if you listen to the video, it is easy to hear it go well below that bass figure.  I will measure them soon enough.

Because these are full-range crossoverless radials, the sound stage is about 6 feet wide with the speakers placed as shown in the videos. That means they are also very useful as regular speakers set near the wall in any room or office.  For example, on a kitchen counter, on a book shelf, or even in the center of a large dining room table and of course on the desktop.

Steve
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #3 - 02/24/20 at 18:57:47
 
How about 5-9.1 home theater!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #4 - 02/24/20 at 19:06:45
 
I used my Denon AH-D2000 headphones plugged into my computer tower which has nothing special as far as audio.  I honestly wasn't impressed.  Just to check, I went over and listened to the Big Betsy video on the banner page.  This was 1000 Xs more impressive.

Maybe my standard is too high.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #5 - 02/24/20 at 19:36:26
 
They sure look nice. Music doesn't do much for me but the sound is intriguing.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #6 - 02/24/20 at 21:29:14
 
Big sound out of such small speakers. Pretty amazing!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #7 - 02/25/20 at 11:38:24
 
Listened with Beats. Amazing sound out of the visual footprint! Not familiar with the music so I will reserve comment on impressions.

Solid block of sawn wood?  If so, bore or custom taper inside?

Voodoo Ranger looks good also!

Cheers!

John
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #8 - 02/25/20 at 16:11:57
 
I'd guess they are like the top part of the HR1s.  Those are a hollow taper.  Also, I assume there is a passive bass in the bottom -- again, like the HR1s.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #9 - 02/25/20 at 18:47:14
 
How would they compare to the Amazon Echo Studio?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0849HZ86Y/ref=s9_acsd_al_bw_c2_x_3_t?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIK...

They are $400 for the pair and are powered (and smart Smiley)

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #10 - 02/25/20 at 20:12:59
 
Oh! You would need to add the $129 Echo Sub Woofer for a fair comparison.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=echo+subwoofer&i=amazon-devices&crid=214UT6CU5JJIR&sp...

Dana, Do you mean a smart aggravating pain in the arse?
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #11 - 02/25/20 at 21:12:18
 
I played the video from my iPad Pro directly (well, with plug adapter) in my Sennheiser 660s, the sound is impressive for sure. I have to agree with a few of the above comments on the tracks, I’d be more inclined to make a more decisive opinion hearing them play tracks I heard many many times, D Fagen, Dire Straights, Dianna K, Steely Dan, ya know... that stuff. That said it’s hard not to be impressed when you put the headphones on. They’re pretty cool little speakers.
Best,
Scott
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #12 - 02/26/20 at 00:52:44
 

What I like about these is that they are worthy of a Zen Triode amplifier with a real source.  And using both I get almost the same sound as I get from my main system just a smaller version of it.  That is the appeal.  I can now take the sound from my listening room and recreate it on my desk or a counter top next to me while I work.  In fact that is what is so fascinating about the sound, because I spend a fair amount of time listening to the speakers in the listening room from the adjoining room where I work all day.  I am pretty used to the sound that comes through that doorway and have always enjoyed it almost as much as when I am in the room setting down for a serious listen.  Setting next to this doorway are now these tiny radial speakers and due to the frequency balance and imaging, I have forgotten several times that I wasn't listening to big speakers in the other room because the sound is so close to the same.

If you're going to try to make comparisons with solid-state, bluetooth, DSP laden plastic desktop speakers you will find it is an apples to oranges comparison that can't be resolved.  It does however bring up a reality that if these were ever sold, many people would be running small solid state amps with them either to save money or to save space.

Steve

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #13 - 02/26/20 at 19:52:10
 
Interesting driver.  Built in passive radiator.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #14 - 02/27/20 at 08:04:57
 
Yeah, at 80 db efficiency the little Zen drives them good. This may change my course a tad.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #15 - 02/27/20 at 16:00:08
 

The tracks were electronic music mostly because I was breaking-in the speakers... I had no intention on making videos during the process.  I was just so amazed hearing them for the first time, that I kept taking videos with my phone.

Don't worry, before too long, I'll have some time to make some real videos with a real recorder and some better music... this was just to get your attention.

Steve
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Reply #16 - 02/27/20 at 16:19:31
 
Well you did get my attention! I envision tieing  2 TBs in series facing each other and loading the rears with tapered enclosures. Center channel Bowtie   Grin

John
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #17 - 02/27/20 at 18:15:45
 
Steve....what a great sound from such a small footprint.  Impressive for sure.  I have never heard the Trapeziums....but something’s tellng me that these mini radials will put the Trapeziums into early retirement.  

Steve....what kind of wood are you using for these speakers.... is that Walnut or Birch?

Dom
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #18 - 02/27/20 at 18:21:22
 
This little speaker looks & sounds great!
Can't wait to find out what the real world bass they put out.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #19 - 03/01/20 at 23:31:56
 

The traps are nearly 10dB (twice as loud) louder than the Tiny Radials with the first watt, so they should be pretty safe.

The wood... well the pair I made was done in Sapele.   The inexpensive approach would be to 3D print it.   I'm going to make another pair from Paduke next time I need a project and see if I can get a feel for what they might actually cost.

Steve
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #20 - 03/01/20 at 23:40:35
 

In the first demo there was a rear wall about 12 inches away but no side walls. The bass was very good. In this demo, they are placed about 4 feet apart in a doorway, so less loading and still the bass was not too bad.



https://decware.wistia.com/medias/oi8rq2t1wf

In this video, I used the Tascam 24 bit recorder and just for fun played the same Orchestra track that I am using in all of the speaker demos. The recorder is placed directly in front of the turntable where I was standing to listen.

Steve

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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #21 - 03/23/20 at 01:50:09
 

So after living with these out in the shop for a couple weeks, my wife confiscated them so I had to build another pair.  That's OK because the sound of these is so good that the question of how much would they cost has to be answered.  It can't be answered until many things happen.  First we have to figure out how long it will take to build a pair, and before we can do that we have to figure out how we're going to build them.  To do that we have to start building several of them and refine the process until we can settle on a final design and then create jigs.  Only after that and we use the jigs and make several pair can I  know what they would cost.

So with this, Steve's TINY RADIAL project begins and I'll use this thread like I did "Steve's BIG BETSY project" as a development diary of the project.

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Reply #22 - 03/23/20 at 02:15:18
 

Unlike my BIG BETSY project, I didn't know this was going to turn into a project so I didn't take any pictures of the initial build. My intension was to just take a block of solid hardwood, and bore a hole though it big enough to accommodate the driver.

IDEA #1 - I couldn't find a bit large enough that was also long enough to get at least half way through the nearly 7 inch block. The only bit I could find was on eBay and it turned out to be junk so I had to scrap the idea.

IDEA #2 - I decided to rip the block in half, use the bandsaw to carve out the inside and then glue the two halves back together again. From there I could taper the sides of the block on my mitre saw, which I did.

Here is how that turned out...



I'm just getting ready to glue the bottom on in this particular photo.  What you didn't see is that the diameter of the driver is within 3/16 inch of the outside of the top which means a lot more cutting was required to fit the driver. Nevertheless it was a great success of your are only building one pair but a complete fail if you want to be in a position where you could possibly have to build lots of them. Clearly the wall thickness has to come down, and if that is the case then it becomes easier to create panels and glue them together.

Time to focus on how to build panels...

Steve







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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #23 - 03/23/20 at 02:23:50
 

I decided to create a pattern and use the router to create the shape of the panels. It would be a two step process. First use a flush trim bit to cut the pattern and then use part of a lock mitre bit set to create the 45 degree miter.

I decided to use Paduke for this experiment.



As you can see there is a step that can be created by the lock mitre bit which I choose to use because once the panels are made thinner we will need more meat in the corners to accept the driver mounting screws and I intend to put a wood rail in each corner to lock the joint.  It will also make assembly easy and self squaring.

Steve




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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #24 - 03/23/20 at 02:29:30
 

Here is a picture of the rails getting installed during the glue up.  



Once all four are installed and cut 1/8 inch longer than the enclosure, they will be able to hold the bottom plinth, which can be screwed into place... so we're making progress. I'll keep posting as things move along.

Steve





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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #25 - 03/23/20 at 04:12:12
 
Ok, after listening to both videos with my Ultrasone Signature Pro's, I can get a sense of how these sound/perform.  I could see this concept being useful on a desk or kitchen.  

As far as price, hard to guesstimate not knowing how much labor hours will ultimately be involved, but considering the drivers alone are $65, I would say $300-$400 depending on the wood selection.  

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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #26 - 03/23/20 at 04:40:15
 
Through my HiFiMan HE 400S planars and current generation ipad, the sound reminds me of the LS3/5A’s that I ran in my main (well, actually, my only) all tube system during a 6 to 8 year period in the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s......nice, but light weight.  My wife and I, like you, use the through-the-door method for listening to our music systems in the next room over.  I’m a dedicated big speaker guy for lots of reasons, and this is throwing me for a loop, but these are definitely intriguing little speakers!

Willing to pay?  Not sure.......maybe $125 - $150, if, and that’s a big if, I could find a place for them to be used.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #27 - 03/23/20 at 15:41:45
 
In my woodworking world, you guys are way low on the price.   Tongue

Handmade and well finished - plus the electronic parts.  I wouldn't be surprised to see a grand.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #28 - 03/23/20 at 15:50:42
 
Yeah, I figured so much Archie.  But I think Steve's question was more about what we as individuals would be willing to pay and less about what they are worth from a parts/labor perspective.  I have no clue what their value is, but for me, and my intended use of these speakers, $400 would be my limit.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #29 - 03/23/20 at 16:45:14
 
Archie and Jeff, I think you're both right. Perceived value is important in all products so in my opinion that has to be taken into consideration.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #30 - 03/23/20 at 19:52:33
 
(in babytalk) "widdle HR-1's!
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #31 - 03/23/20 at 19:58:27
 
And in all fairness to the "widdle itty bitty" Radials, until I hear them in the flesh, I really can't say how much I would be willing to pay.  It could be that they blow me away for their size and $1000 is a price I can justify.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #32 - 03/23/20 at 20:04:50
 
Steve should ask DeVon what a fair price would be.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #33 - 03/23/20 at 20:09:52
 
Oh, if it's what I'd be willing to pay, that's a whole nother thing.  I'm not in the market for something like those so IDK.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #34 - 03/24/20 at 05:05:01
 

Here is the second pair going together.  The sticks inside lock the sides square so assembly is easy with no clamps, just some masking tape.  Thinking of the D.I.Y.  If there is one thing I've learned from the BIG BETSY project, it is that there will be a strong interest in plans and something that can be easily assembled.  This method will also allow me to make the panels as thin as I want.  I plan to experiment with that as we progress.



As you can see I got so wrapped up in the panel design and the locking sticks that I completely forgot I needed to make it thinner, so I will look forward to a lot of carving on this pair to get the driver to fit... just like the last pair.

Steve



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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #35 - 03/24/20 at 05:14:38
 

Similarly to the issue with the ZF15L and ZF15M, until they are seen in person, people think they are just a board and can't understand why they "cost so much". With these Tiny Radials because they are tiny people will naturally think the price should be tiny as well.

I won't know what the cost would be for some time yet, but I do know they need to be priced as low as humanly possible or no-one will buy them. They will buy plans though...  which is why I have no problem making several pair to fine tune the design. Besides, it's kinda fun to see if you can take a 5 or 6 hour project and refine the process down to an hour, which is my goal. I don't expect to hit it, but you have to aim high to shoot far.

Steve
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #36 - 03/25/20 at 04:15:20
 

Here is another shot during assembly.  Have to put the bottom on after wiring the binding posts ; )



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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #37 - 03/25/20 at 04:18:31
 

On this pair I decided to try these style binding posts, but they will only work with banana jacks.  I have already found it hard to find small flexible speaker cable that is short and easily hidden on counter tops, whereas if we could just use regular wire in those instances, cut to length, it would make for a cleaner install.  



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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #38 - 03/25/20 at 04:20:44
 

Here is a couple close-up shots of the top.








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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #39 - 03/25/20 at 04:27:20
 

So today I decided to have some fun, and place them in the listening room in front of the regular speakers, hook them up, and play them all day to see if anyone notices.



No one did. They just sound like the big speakers are playing in there, except they are turned down low. Out in the rest of the shop the sound is pretty much the same, to where I can be certain the only way anyone working here will notice is if they happen to actually walk in there.



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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #40 - 03/25/20 at 04:32:05
 
Ha!!  Fun experiment  :)
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #41 - 03/25/20 at 04:33:52
 



These little speakers bring some real fun into things!  Any time something small does something big it brings a smile to your face... anyone who owns our 2 watt amplifiers already knows this... and this is kind of that same feeling.  You can amuse yourself endlessly with these things, or use them for serious listening at the desktop.

So this pair came out nice.  Next I'm going to see how thin I can make the panels before things just get too difficult to assemble.  I'm just curious what that threshold is.

Steve
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #42 - 03/25/20 at 04:39:08
 
Willing to sell any of these prototype samples?  I love Padauk 😬

They would pair perfectly with my Taboo MKIII...
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #43 - 03/25/20 at 04:58:00
 

I realized today that they would also work great setting on a TV stand in front of a flat screen TV (do we still have to write flat screen?) and have audiophile sound with insane imaging at modest volumes. Ideal for spaces where you don't want to go all out with floor standing speakers.  Plus they would wash the screen with sound so that during movies or television it would always sound like the sound was coming out of the screen.  Floor standing speakers could not do that nor can a center channel, at least not with believable dimensionality like this. There is a possibility that these speakers might scale to the screen size better than anything else you could try because of their small size and full-out omni design.  I'll have to try that!

Steve



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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #44 - 03/25/20 at 17:46:58
 
I can see these working extremely well in a small apartment setting! Make a TV soundbar moot.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #45 - 03/25/20 at 18:38:42
 
Looks like a fun project - something maybe to do with purchased plans?

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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #46 - 03/25/20 at 19:34:40
 
I think these may be the cutest things I've ever seen.
They're not a need, but I would love to have a pair to play with.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #47 - 03/26/20 at 00:10:26
 
I have to say that these Mini Radials are truly a work of art.   I could totally see them flanking both side of my TV.  I terms of price...I would guess they need to be in a similar price point of the Trapeziums and north of that figure.  Kudos to the Zen Master!!

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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #48 - 03/27/20 at 08:52:25
 
Hmm... Simple.. Small.. And loud.. And a lot of skilled work on the box..
If I build this with piece of woods, I would ask for 380/pair..
Or mass build it with plastic mould boxes, I could go with 90/pair..

I suggest Steve to stay with Decware's original works.. which is 380/pair..
Or 15.90 for the layout..
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #49 - 03/30/20 at 03:44:36
 

After carving out the inside of the thicker enclosures a couple times to get the tapered driver to fit I was anxious to see if it was possible to build one without any carving.  This would mean the sides would have be reduced to 3/16".  

I made a pair from scraps of the antique cherry that was left over from the Big Betsy project.  After making the other ones so thick a car could probably back over them, this pair compelled me to add a brace at the bottom.  



At the same time I made a pair from Sapele that were right at 1/4 inch which seemed like a nice compromise.



Shown above is the top.  (Camera lens distortion on my phone makes it impossible to see the taper of the cabinet much of the time) The Sapele pair only requires a light touch with a spindle sander.  This was the pair that felt really right when I was making them so I have decided to make them the actual model for the blueprint.  
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