Using sonotube for speakers other than subwoofers?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Matthew Will, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Just a quick question, has anyone used sonotube to build speakers other than subwoofers? I'm thinking it would be simple to do. Probably the hardest part would be making the stands but that is simple if you can build a traditional enclosure. Of course you wouldnt be able to have them downfiring but it sounds like it would make construction much easier. What do you all think? Matt
     
  2. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Having round baffles for the main speakers present an interesting set of design challenges..........
     
  3. Ryan T

    Ryan T Second Unit

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    My friend recently completed his speakers he designed. He used an 8" audax woofer and a audax dome tweeter i think. Anyway the woofer is enclosed in an 8" diameter tube and the tweeter is in a separate enclosure on top. I haven't seen pics yet but i think he went with mounting the tweeter in a PVC pipe and then mounting it on top of the woofers enclosure. He used an Active PA crossover for them. He said the results are very good so far.




    Ryan
     
  4. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    They'd look pretty damn cool if somebody did this i bet. Real hard to make a good enclosure though eh...
     
  5. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Do you think it would be hard? A sonotube for a sub doesn't sound very hard. Simply cut the desired length of tube, fabricate two end caps, and you're basically done besides the wiring. Wiring doesn't count though because you'd have to do that for any enclosure. Now consider for any traditional enclosure you have to cut a minimum of 5 panels if you build a pyramid shape, but then the math for figuring out internal volumes because that much more tricky. So for a basic monitor kit you will most likely need to cut 6 panels. So would using sonotubes really be that much more difficult? It sounds easier if you ask me.

    As I said earlier the hardest part is figuring out how to mount them onto stands or make pedestals for them to sit on shelves. That is fairly easy though if you have the skills to make a traditional box for the speakers. As long as the internal volume of the sonotube enclosure correct it'd be just the same sounding/performance of a traditional box right? If so then I bet I could pound out enclosures every couple hours if I absolutely desired instead of the 2-3 days the HE10.1 kit took me. Matt
     
  6. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    I guess my hint was too subtle. Perhaps this will be less so.

    Round baffles cause weird baffle diffraction effects. You might want to study up on this issue before proceeding
     
  7. Ryan T

    Ryan T Second Unit

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    I'm not sure on my friends final design was but last i heard he didnt use a baffle. He used an 8" woofer and an 8" piece of sonotube and secured the driver to that. So it was flush i think. I dont know what will happen sound wise if you dont have any baffle but he said they sounded pretty good when he was done. I'll try to find out what he decided on and maybe get a pic of them.


    Ryan
     
  8. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    I haven't used Sonotube, but I have used Cubicon D tubes. It's a cylinder (12" nominal diameter for mine) with a flat section, about 8" wide. I think they work great, as you only have to put on end caps, cut driver holes, and your box is done! For finishing, my preference is to wrap the tubes in fabric. I haven't made stands yet because all mine were long enough tubes as to not require stands. The downside of all this is that Cubicon (or a similar company, Contour Paperboard) are a real pain to work with, and if you have less than five pieces I believe they charge you a setup fee. Shipping is a killer, too. But hey, anyone can build a rectangular enclosure, right? [​IMG] Anyhow check out my link at the end of the post. I am actually redoing some of the speakers so they will be different than shown at my site. I won't be finished for another week or so though, and who knows when I can update the site... too darned many projects! I have also built some speakers using hemispherical enclosures, flower pots to be specific. They really sound quite amazing, I think, and are also on my site. Not only is the back hemispherical, the baffle is of course circular, and the driver is in the center of it! I am pretty sure I read this was supposed to be horrible for sound, but it sounds great to me.



    ThomasW,

    What sort of effects are you referring to? Whatever they are, I find they are not objectionable, or else my enclosures don't fit what you are describing above. [​IMG]


    Long live rounded speakers!


    Aaron Gilbert

    http://www.aaroncgilbert.com/hometheater.html
     
  9. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    ThomasW...from what I understand the baffle diffraction effect is when a speaker is placed on the center of a round baffle, since it is equidistant from all edges on the baffle it will cause even more peaks and troughs in the resonance of the speaker? Not in a good way like how a subwoofer is tuned to a certain frequency but simply that certain frequencies drop quickly in db's. This isn't a problem (or isn't so noticeable) with square baffles because the speaker is not equidistant from all edges in the baffle. Am I correct thus far?

    To me this sounds like an easy fix. Just mount the speaker off center somewhere in the baffle and it should fix the problem just like a square baffle does. This might be necessary anyways if the speaker would require a port. Am I understanding what you were trying to hint at? Matt
     
  10. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    Matthew,

    I'm not ThomasW, but I believe you are essentially correct. I understand this phenomenon, but I thought Thomas had something else in mind since he did say 'weird' baffle diffraction effects. [​IMG] Or maybe I just read too much into the weird...

    I believe you're also correct in that the best way to avoid this is to offset the speaker to one/two sides of the baffle. Of course, the latest trend with commercial speakers, and also many (most?) DIY speakers is to make the baffle just wide enough to hold the woofer, and thus offsetting to the side is not possible.


    Aaron Gilbert
     
  11. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Well if I buy 3 more Adire Audio HE.10 kits I would not be able to do that. I need to place a port in the design. Besides, I would rather have a really fat enclosure than a long tube. The rear cap also needs to be wide enough to mount the internal xover so having a fat tube would just make it easy.

    If that problem is pretty much solved can anyone think of any other problems that might come of it? To me it sounds like we're all doing a lot more work than we should be doing building traditional enclosures for monitors. I'm sure some will argue that traditionals might look better but if you're willing to place a 6 foot tall sonotube in the room then who's to really care what something looks like as long as it sounds awesome. Matt
     
  12. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    Matthew,

    I presume you mean the HE10.1? If so, great speaker! I would have those myself had then been available when I put my system together. I'm not sure how you are planning to attach them to the Sonotube though, if you are standing the tubes up? I know folks have used wood and clamps to flatten a small section of tube, but I don't know if you could flatten it enough for a 10" driver. I certainly have no objections to tall tubes in the room, I have five at 5.5' tall each. [​IMG]

    Personally I think a 6' tall tube can be made to look better than a 6' tall rectangle. At least it's something you might see in nature, the rectangle you only might see on the moon or Jupiter.. [​IMG]

    Aaron Gilbert
     
  13. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh no I think you misunderstood how I wanted to mount them. You know how the DIY's build the sonotubes with the driver firing down at the bottom of the tube mounted on an MDF endcap? I was going to do that with the HE10.1 (Yes that is what I meant, my bad) but obviously make a stand that would hold the speaker so it fires horizontally. I see what you're saying about flattening the sonotube, which would be cool, but like you said is probably not feasible for a 10" driver. This is why I said the hardest part would be mounting the speaker to a stand or shelf. I couldnt just stand it on an edge. Brackets or some sort of cradle would need to be attached. Matt
     
  14. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh and I've already built a pair of the HE10.1's in the enclosure Adire has plans for and all I can say is wow. They are some of the tightest sounding speakers I've heard. They don't have a lot of oomph but the get that nice tight punch that sounds really nice. I have them in a room that is about 14X8" and when I do a resonance test they really blow your socks off sometimes. While listening to most music though they never really reach huge bass levels. At least not compared to a system with a subwoofer. Matt
     
  15. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    Matt,

    Ok, that's what I originally thought as far as driver mounting, but your 6' tall tube idea threw me off. [​IMG] A speaker with a round bottom presents interesting challenges for stand making. I found what I think is a pretty cool solution, cut a section of tube (tube axis vertical) and mount it to the top of your stand post, as far above the post as possible. Then the round bottom of your horizontal 'tube' enclosure can sit perpendicular to the tube on the stand. You can even rotate the speaker 360 degrees if you want, though with the HE10.1, that won't have any effect sonically. [​IMG]

    Another idea I had was to incoporate the port into the stand, but it got too complex when I imaged how to join the tube to a round bottom speaker, not to mention managing the port exit at the bottom of your stand. Someday when I have more time...

    I agree with all your comments on the HE10.1 sound, though I only got the chance to hear them in a much larger room.

    Aaron Gilbert
     
  16. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    I only mentioned the 6' tall tube to say that some people may say that they do not like the look of a cylindrical monitor. Yet some people have 6' tall sonotube subwoofer enclosures and accept the fact that they're not very eye pleasing.

    Youre idea of using the vertical tube is pretty clever. Then your idea of using the post as part of the port would be, like you said, incredibly hard. I think I might just create some sort of cradle system out of MDF. All I'd have to do is trace an outline of the anclosure onto a wood panel and cut. Then either leave the speaker reasting on 2 cradle pieces or connect the cradle pieces with a flat bottom so I can mount it on a stand.

    But yea, other than that it sounds like using sonotubes for monitors is a nice easy enclosure solution. Not having to deal with bracing could be a huge plus. Besides, with the reduced amount of cutting that needs to be done my workshop could be a lot cleaner. I'm sure you know how MDF gets everywhere. Matt
     
  17. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    Ok this is my last reply for today, then I need to get some ZZZzzzzz's. [​IMG] I will say that while one 6' tall cylinder put in a corner may be considered unobtrusive, five to seven similar height cylinders (albeit probably much smaller diameter) really become a part of the room decor. If you can fit them into your style it works out great, I think. Of course, being single, I have nobody around to complain...

    I think your idea of the cradle is about the easiest way to support the speaker, and also probably one of the most stable. Depending on the material used to finish the speaker itself, I think it could look great out of real hardwood.

    Actually, despite being in this hobby well over a decade, I have yet to touch a single piece of MDF. I've used plenty of particleboard and plywood, though. When I built my tubes, I was living in an apartment though, and the ease of construction was really a godsend. You definitely wouldn't need any bracing with a HE10.1 in a Sonotube. Another nice thing is that there are no critical angles to cut. The only thing you need to be sure of is that the top and bottom of the Sonotube is straight. You can get around even this in several different ways.

    Aaron Gilbert
     
  18. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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  20. Aaron Smithski

    Aaron Smithski Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm doing this very thing soon! I have Tannoy dual-concentric drivers for my home theater that are similar to the HE10.1's. The front 3 drivers are 8" versions which will be housed in 12" diameter concrete form tubes. The driver and port are mounted off-center on a round steel baffle. The depth of the enclosures will be 8", and they will be secured by some sort of stand w/cradle-type mount...not designed yet! The short and stubby tubes will be wrapped in black fabric.

    I have not had a chance to hear the Adires, but would like to someday. I found the Tannoys to be a very non-fatiguing speaker to listen to. The midrange is excellent, which makes for a great theater speaker. I don't have to crank the volume up as much as I used to hear dialogue! [​IMG]

    Aaron Smith
     

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