Building the Aria 1’s — Pt1.
Whats in a name?
Why call them Aria’s?
The dictionary defines the word to mean:
That pretty much sums up what I was thinking at the time. I could have called them “Big Bertha” or something equally odd but that really doesn’t describe the presence these speakers have. Aria seems much more in tune with the world of speakers.
Let me start by saying .. ” I hate Subs!!” period. The only reason I can see for having one is that it helps offset the bass loading of the main speakers. This begs the question why? To me it seems simple, although you may not agree, but in today’s digital world most speakers only go down as far as 40hz in the bottom end (Bass).
My 1970’s era Studio monitors go down to 15 – 20hz, which is the realm of analogue recordings. Smaller speaker drivers have brought about a imposed cut-off in bass performance and this has now been shunted to a sub-woofer, brought about by the advent of the home cinema set-up. I have a sub and its an ugly squat box completely out of keeping with the rest of the rooms décor.
So that then sets the first parameter, low bass performance. As this is also an experimental build I didn’t want to outlay vast quantities of hard earned cash, on what might turn out to be a failure. I choose to use locally sourced speaker drivers from JayCar NZ. I choose the 8 inch Response woofer and 6.5 inch Response mid/woofer. As I had a very nice set of Kef T33tweeters in square faceplate’s for front mount, these would match the front surface mounting Response drivers, and save a whole lot of routing as well. All 8 ohm speakers and with only 1 db separating the tweeter from the mid & bass drivers I didn’t worry about balancing the speakers. I added to this the Jaycar off the shelf 2nd order butterworth crossover @700hz & 3500khz
A word here on these crossovers. I have now used the Jaycar crossovers in two separate speaker builds, one two way and one three way build and have been very pleased with them. There’s always a danger buying off the shelf that quality may not always be there, but to date I can confirm the performance appears very well suited to these speaker drivers.
So we now have the drivers and crossovers sorted. The next decision is to decide on the enclosure type. Ported or closed. As these speakers have a low Fs I choose to sit them in enclosed cabinets. I like the tight punchy bass response from closed cabinets, especially for movies as base performance is better articulated.
Now we are getting somewhere. The midrange would also be housed in its own enclosed box and would contain the tweeter as well. I have admired the Kef tapered speaker box’s for some time. Its a nice change from the rectangular speakers we are used to. I decided to go a similar route, but because I cant curve wood panels for cabinetry, I selected a tapered box instead. This is a very good shape for diffusing sound reflections from the internal speaker cavity, this would be filled with acoustic wadding/damping material to further augment bass response. I decide to fill approximately 60% of the internal volume and as it transpired this was near on perfect.
The mid ranges have good high frequency capacity which puts the 3500khz crossover point well in the sweet spot of the speaker.These give a bright clear midrange response, with very good detail.
And thats pretty much all we need to consider for this reasonably simple 3 way speaker build. I should note here that because of the 8 inch woofer being selected, the physical size of the cabinets was going to be large and indeed they are.