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Author Topic: "Proving" a DIY system  (Read 12056 times)

Chris Grimshaw

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"Proving" a DIY system
« on: February 07, 2017, 06:29:14 am »

Hi all,

I touched on this topic in another thread, but didn't want to derail things there so I've started a new thread.

My question was this - how would someone prove a DIY system is a viable alternative to a similar box by <known manufacturer>?

I humbly submit my system as an example:

Subs: 4x sealed boxes loaded with Beyma 15P1200Nd drivers. 15"s, 1200w continuous, EQ'd for a -3dB point of 40Hz. If I want to go louder, I can take the LF cutoff up and gain SPL. Yes, I'm working on some better sub cabs. These leave a lot on the table.
Tops: Direct-radiating TMM design. 2x Faital Pro 10FH520 (10" drivers, 600w continuous, neo, demodulating rings etc etc), 1x 18Sound ND1460 (3" diaphragm, 1.4" exit, neo driver) on an RCF HF94 horn (cast aluminium, 90x40 dispersion). Just tickling the clip light with pink noise, I measured 125dB at 1m, C-weighted, with the meter set to slow.

Here's a quick on-axis measurement (I can't find my off-axis ones, but IIRC the only real difference was that 2kHz and upwards started sloping off, as you'd expect from any HF horn). This was as set-up with a building around 10' behind, mic 10' in front, on-axis with the middle 10" driver. No smoothing, just what arrived at the mic in the back yard. I think I could stand to knock the subs down a little.


Photo:


So yes, if there are any DIY operators out there, how do you convince a client that your system is as good as or better than the competitors' systems?
I suspect convincing clients will be entirely different to convincing you guys, but we all start somewhere.

Chris
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Steve M Smith

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Re: "Proving" a DIY system
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 06:47:02 am »

I have no answers to your questions other than how does it sound?  but I do like the look of this.

There is an arts centre near to me with similar brick arches and your speakers blend in very nicely.


Steve.
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: "Proving" a DIY system
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2017, 06:55:06 am »

Whoever rents it will need to hear it. Way back when in the old time days before any of us had equipment we rented and we wanted to hear a stack first. You have some good drivers. Btw all the big manufacturers started with the same thing you did, built a speaker system and started renting and selling them.
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Peter Morris

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Re: "Proving" a DIY system
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 07:34:06 am »

Hi all,

I touched on this topic in another thread, but didn't want to derail things there so I've started a new thread.

My question was this - how would someone prove a DIY system is a viable alternative to a similar box by <known manufacturer>?

I humbly submit my system as an example:

Subs: 4x sealed boxes loaded with Beyma 15P1200Nd drivers. 15"s, 1200w continuous, EQ'd for a -3dB point of 40Hz. If I want to go louder, I can take the LF cutoff up and gain SPL. Yes, I'm working on some better sub cabs. These leave a lot on the table.
Tops: Direct-radiating TMM design. 2x Faital Pro 10FH520 (10" drivers, 600w continuous, neo, demodulating rings etc etc), 1x 18Sound ND1460 (3" diaphragm, 1.4" exit, neo driver) on an RCF HF94 horn (cast aluminium, 90x40 dispersion). Just tickling the clip light with pink noise, I measured 125dB at 1m, C-weighted, with the meter set to slow.

Here's a quick on-axis measurement (I can't find my off-axis ones, but IIRC the only real difference was that 2kHz and upwards started sloping off, as you'd expect from any HF horn). This was as set-up with a building around 10' behind, mic 10' in front, on-axis with the middle 10" driver. No smoothing, just what arrived at the mic in the back yard. I think I could stand to knock the subs down a little.


Photo:


So yes, if there are any DIY operators out there, how do you convince a client that your system is as good as or better than the competitors' systems?
I suspect convincing clients will be entirely different to convincing you guys, but we all start somewhere.

Chris
Hi Chris,

Thats a great combination of drivers. I built and have used something very similar for almost 20 years.  The latest version uses BMS 4594 compression driver with an RCF HF950 horn. 

By doing that the MF / HF crossover point can be lowered to 650Hz so the two 10 drivers play very well together without any vertical phase cancelation issues.

One suggestion if you want to get acceptance other than sound quality (as others have said) is that it must look professional the paint finish, grills and handles all have to look like a name brand box.

FWIW here is a picture of my latest DIY project

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Steve M Smith

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Re: "Proving" a DIY system
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 07:47:40 am »

One suggestion if you want to get acceptance other than sound quality (as others have said) is that it must look professional the paint finish, grills and handles all have to look like a name brand box.

Whilst I agree 100% with that, it doesn't always have to be black.  I do a lot of folk/acoustic events and something similar to this brown would suit these events better as it doesn't look so 'rock'!!


Steve.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: "Proving" a DIY system
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 09:09:42 am »

Btw, you should listen to Mr Morris. His DIY outshines many factory efforts. I would suggest you search him out on the internet and read the many pages written around his work.

Good start on the homebrew. Like others have said, to compete (locally) with big names, you have to look the part. Often times the diy'er builds a system, uses it, learns its shortcomings, rebuilds it, tests again, rebuilds it, etc etc. This usually means that your diy cabinets end up costing many tomes what a commercial cabinet does. But, in the end you have an education paid for in sweat equity that is absolutely priceless compared to the many operators that just bought some JBL from Banjo Center.

Once your clients learn that, it won't be hard to sell your services anymore. They are purchasing you and your knowledge. Not a random pile of gear somebody put together. Unfortunately, it usually takes a long time to get to that point.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: "Proving" a DIY system
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2017, 11:43:43 am »

Whilst I agree 100% with that, it doesn't always have to be black.  I do a lot of folk/acoustic events and something similar to this brown would suit these events better as it doesn't look so 'rock'!!


Steve.
Black is only "standard" for some people.

Many manufacturers offer their products in white as well -mainly for installs.

But some other standard company colors of cabinets have been (but not limited to): grey-brown-blue-purple and various combinations.
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Randy Pence

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Re: "Proving" a DIY system
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 11:51:26 am »

Whilst I agree 100% with that, it doesn't always have to be black.  I do a lot of folk/acoustic events and something similar to this brown would suit these events better as it doesn't look so 'rock'!!


Steve.

black and white are more neutral colors
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Don T. Williams

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Re: "Proving" a DIY system
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 11:51:56 am »

Your system looks good and has high quality drivers.  I don't think at your current level of services you will have to meet a tech rider.  Once you have proven it with a few clients, their endorsement for your services should work for you.  Get those endorsements and referrals!

I remember when there were really no "standard" factory built tour systems.  "We" all built boxes (or made improved copies of EV TL or JBL 4530, 4550, 4560 etc.) that would tour better than the cinema and install boxes from the factories at the time.  JBL, EV, and others actually published plans and worked with and large sound companies (remember Electrotec) that built touring rigs using these designs.

That changed and tech riders started saying "no proprietary" systems, and it continues today.  It wasn't that long ago when local, regional, and even national touring companies bought X brand cabs, Y amps, Z processing, and put it together to make a system.  It's one vendor systems now for consistency. Cross renting is easy, and the artists and crew pretty much know what they will get.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: "Proving" a DIY system
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 12:17:36 pm »



I remember when there were really no "standard" factory built tour systems.  "We" all built boxes (or made improved copies of EV TL or JBL 4530, 4550, 4560 etc.) that would tour better than the cinema and install boxes from the factories at the time.  JBL, EV, and others actually published plans and worked with and large sound companies (remember Electrotec) that built touring rigs using these designs.


YEP-I was one of those guys.  That is how I got started in this business-building everything.

It was quite a number of years before I purchased a commercial amplifier or mixer or processing.

I did buy a lot of raw drivers and tore them up-learning a lot in the expensive process.

I got into reconing to save myself money.
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Re: "Proving" a DIY system
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 12:17:36 pm »


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