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Author Topic: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges  (Read 970 times)

John Schalk

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Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« on: May 24, 2021, 05:41:15 pm »

One of my goals for this year is to learn how to use some of the audio analysis software that is out there.  I decided to start with Room Eq Wizard.  Even though its primary user base is the home theater market I've found some helpful YouTube videos that allowed me to take my first series of measurements.  I took my measurements outside in my driveway as far from any boundaries as I could get.  I decide to post the As Is measurements first and get some input before moving from the science of measuring speakers to the art of applying Eq or other filters to them.

In the screen shot, I've moved the average response up by 6dB to make it easier to compare to actual measurements.  I reduced the ground plane measurement by 3dB to match it to the three mic stand measurements, before averaging.  I used 1/24th octave smoothing.  The only processing I applied was the manufacturer's recommend HPF which is a 24 dB Butterworth @ 58Hz.

My first question is about the dip from ~200Hz to ~400Hz.  It's not present in the ground plane response, but shows up in all 3 mic stand measurements.  I believe that this is a cancellation from the ground and therefore cannot be corrected with Eq, is that right?

As far as any other changes to make, I feel like I should try to tame the low end a bit from 100Hz - 200Hz, the peak at 1.2kHz, the dip at 2.4kHz, and the peak around 6.5kHz.  Does that seem right? 
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Luke Geis

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2021, 12:02:04 am »

That actually looks pretty decent really as far as responses go. The dip at 250hz is likely from floor bounce and while you could EQ it out, it won't be right. I say leave that alone. It gets the mud out anyway. I prefer to high-pass my monitors pretty high, usually between 100 and 200hz depending on the instrument, the singer, and the size of the woofer. 15" usually has more low-end oomph, so I tend to roll more lows out with them. The ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of low end until the sound is natural and just full enough. I roll the HP up until the vocals sound thin and then bring it back down until it sounds right again. Usually around 140hz to 160hz.

As for the other dips, I would leave them alone. The one at 15khz is probably also another anomaly, a reflection from the horn into the grill and back of the horn or something. Or they did that on purpose to make the box have a sweeter-sounding high end? The only way to know for sure is to have a phase coherence trace. If the coherence dips at 250hz and 15khz, it is very likely reflections at the measurement mic causing the dips.

Objectively, you want to have the monitor be as linear as possible. This makes it less likely to be the cause of any issues making it easier to fix the problems at the mic channel as opposed to hacking your insert EQ to high hell. The old way of doing monitors was to turn things up until it rings, cut the offending channel on the insert EQ and repeat until you got three tones at one time. With a nice wedge, this could usually be done within 6 filters being engaged and not having much more than -6db of cut. Beyond that, you were spinning your wheels and you wouldn't get any further. With the advent of digital mixers, the game changed a little. I do not use graphic EQs inserted into my aux sends!!! If I/you can't get the monitor loud enough, stable, and sounding decent with the 6 parametric EQs most digital mixers provide, I/you am/are doing it wrong.

In your case, I would only worry about the two spikes you have at 1.2khz ( likely where the crossover starts to come into play ) and at 6khz where the dip is. There is some reason why there is a dip at 6khz with a small peak on either side of it, but what is causing that can only be determined with a coherence trace. If the trace is good and there is no other logical reason for it to be there, then it just is and all you can do is try to get the peaks to come down more linearly with the rest of the trace. Rolling the HP filter up will also get rid of the low-end build-up. I suspect by the time you roll it up to around 100hz, it will flatten out nicely.

The trace you have though looks pretty darn good though as it is. You shouldn't have too many issues getting a loud, clean, and effective monitor mix. I was looking at getting the TFM122 but was turned off by the seeming lack of availability, references, and reviews of them. I instead ponied up a little more cash and went with the RCF NX12SMA's. Very happy with that decision. They are board flat from 100hz to 16khz!!!
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Luke Geis

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2021, 12:15:43 am »

I took a quick peek at their online specs and the results you have are on par with what they present. The dip at 6khz is in their plot. It looks like they may have used a little more smoothing though. They do show a small dip at 15khz, but not like yours. The only thing in yours that doesn't align with theirs is the thing you have going on around 1.2khz. Which can either be because of the smoothing, their test conditions ( they say 1w/1m ), and environmental impacts. So to sum it up again, what you have looks good, you just need to get Smaart or something to really know more about what's going on.

https://mediadl.musictribe.com/media/sys_master/hc9/h38/8848079224862.pdf
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John Schalk

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2021, 09:28:32 am »

I took a quick peek at their online specs and the results you have are on par with what they present. The dip at 6khz is in their plot. It looks like they may have used a little more smoothing though. They do show a small dip at 15khz, but not like yours. The only thing in yours that doesn't align with theirs is the thing you have going on around 1.2khz. Which can either be because of the smoothing, their test conditions ( they say 1w/1m ), and environmental impacts. So to sum it up again, what you have looks good, you just need to get Smaart or something to really know more about what's going on.
Thanks Luke. I have a spreadsheet that lists Turbo's Eq recommendations for the TFM series, and their PEQ settings line up pretty well to my results too.  They suggest a bump at 300Hz, another at 780Hz, a cut at 1.15Hz, a boost at 2.4kHz, and a final cut at 4kHz.  The only one that doesn't jive with what I got is the cut at 4kHz.  I've added a screen shot of the SPL & Phase for the ground plane measurement.

I looked pretty hard at the RCF wedges myself, but ended up going with the TFM series in part because I already owned the amps.  Also, our forum friend, Mr. Pyle, and some in stock that he sold me for a very nice price, so the cost per monitor "channel" was much less than if I had started over with the powered RCFs.  My amps are PSoft M50qs with DSP, so my plan is to tune them to "flat" or something close based on this forum's help, and store those settings in the amps.  That's why I'm thinking of sticking with Turbo's recommended HP settings for the amp's DSP.  That way, if I need to use these for something other than vocal monitoring, I can. 

I have a Performer 2 which has 4 bands of PEQ on the bus outputs, but it also has a 1/3 octave Eq on every aux bus, so I plan to use those for feedback suppression and voicing.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 09:36:00 am by John Schalk »
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John Schalk

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2021, 09:54:54 am »

Here is an SPL & Phase plot for the ground plane measurement using REW's Variable Smoothing option which is defined as follows:

Variable smoothing applies 1/48 octave below 100 Hz, 1/3 octave above 10 kHz and varies between 1/48 and 1/3 octave from 100 Hz to 10 kHz, reaching 1/6 octave at 1 kHz. Variable smoothing is recommended for responses that are to be equalised.

With variable smoothing applied, the big dip around 15kHz disappears.  I wasn't planning to apply any Eq above 10kHz anyway.

Note: I just learned how to save an image of the plot area directly in REW and it makes tiny files which is certainly handy for use on this forum!
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Russell Ault

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2021, 10:51:27 am »

One of my goals for this year is to learn how to use some of the audio analysis software that is out there.  I decided to start with Room Eq Wizard.  {...}

Your timing for this goal is great: there's literally never been a better time to learn about this stuff. Rational Acoustics very generously posted their entire Level 1 training course as a series of YouTube videos (although I'd still recommend the in-person training if and when you get the chance), and the Smaart demo is fully-featured. If you wanted to stay with free software, Open Sound Meter uses many of the same principles as Smaart (and so a good portion of the Smaart training will apply to it, too).

Since your goal is to learn how to use analysis software (and not just EQ some speakers in the relative comfort of your driveway) I'd encourage you to start transitioning from REW to a real-time dual-channel analyzer as soon as possible (they are much more useful in the live audio world).

Here is an SPL & Phase plot for the ground plane measurement using REW's Variable Smoothing option which is defined as follows:

Variable smoothing applies 1/48 octave below 100 Hz, 1/3 octave above 10 kHz and varies between 1/48 and 1/3 octave from 100 Hz to 10 kHz, reaching 1/6 octave at 1 kHz. Variable smoothing is recommended for responses that are to be equalised.

With variable smoothing applied, the big dip around 15kHz disappears.  I wasn't planning to apply any Eq above 10kHz anyway.

Note: I just learned how to save an image of the plot area directly in REW and it makes tiny files which is certainly handy for use on this forum!

Also, I'd really encourage you to keep smoothing to a minimum, especially on the mag trace. Merlijn van Veen gives a great explanation here why, but you've already given yourself an excellent example: smoothing away the null around 15 kHz doesn't actually mean it's not there, it just means that the computer is telling you what is and isn't actionable data, rather than the other way around (and the computer just isn't that smart).

-Russ
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John Schalk

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2021, 11:21:59 am »

Your timing for this goal is great: there's literally never been a better time to learn about this stuff. Rational Acoustics very generously posted their entire Level 1 training course as a series of YouTube videos (although I'd still recommend the in-person training if and when you get the chance), and the Smaart demo is fully-featured. If you wanted to stay with free software, Open Sound Meter uses many of the same principles as Smaart (and so a good portion of the Smaart training will apply to it, too).
I was not aware that Rational had posted YouTube videos of their Smaart Operator Fundamentals class.  I noticed that the first couple of videos are 90 minutes long.  I guess that makes sense knowing that they're based on a multi-day, in person training program.  But it does mean that I'll really have to set some time aside to work my way through the class.  The good news is that I've put together a little sound analysis rig so I can set it up in the house and leave things hooked up while I go through their videos.  FWIW I chose REW over Open Sound Meter to get started precisely because there's almost no help available for OSM unlike REW which has tons of documentation, videos, and a very active user forum, even if it is mainly used by home theater enthusiasts.
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Russell Ault

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2021, 12:03:58 pm »

I was not aware that Rational had posted YouTube videos of their Smaart Operator Fundamentals class.  I noticed that the first couple of videos are 90 minutes long.  I guess that makes sense knowing that they're based on a multi-day, in person training program.  But it does mean that I'll really have to set some time aside to work my way through the class.  The good news is that I've put together a little sound analysis rig so I can set it up in the house and leave things hooked up while I go through their videos.  FWIW I chose REW over Open Sound Meter to get started precisely because there's almost no help available for OSM unlike REW which has tons of documentation, videos, and a very active user forum, even if it is mainly used by home theater enthusiasts.

That's fair, and to be clear, there's nothing inherently wrong with REW (the math all works, etc.); it's just that its reliance on sine sweeps means it's not a particularly useful tool in live sound.

The videos are a titch on the long side, but the information they contain is vital. Make sure to grab the Smaart demo before you start watching so you can play along (but also know that at least 80% of the course content is just as applicable to other dual-channel analyzers, so if you ultimately decide to splash out for a SIM rig your time hasn't been wasted). :)

-Russ
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Art Welter

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2021, 03:09:34 pm »

I have a spreadsheet that lists Turbo's Eq recommendations for the TFM series, and their PEQ settings line up pretty well to my results too.  They suggest a bump at 300Hz, another at 780Hz, a cut at 1.15Hz, a boost at 2.4kHz, and a final cut at 4kHz. 
I have a Performer 2 which has 4 bands of PEQ on the bus outputs, but it also has a 1/3 octave Eq on every aux bus, so I plan to use those for feedback suppression and voicing.
John,

Noticed you had applied a 58Hz HPF, the TFM122M box appears to be tuned to around 75Hz, a 70Hz BW24 will keep the cone from flapping  (making vocals gargle..) if you put kick or bass in it.

Almost all the peaks in the TFM122M correspond to it's narrowing pattern at those frequencies, cutting them to "flat" will improve gain before feedback stability, though those frequencies will also become relatively "dead" off axis.
A bump at 780Hz is in a range where the beamwidth is very wide, it makes sense.
Rather than "bumping" 300 Hz, loosing about 5dB from 90 Hz to 200Hz would loose the "mud" typical on stage from mains wrap, and the LF proximity boost from vocal mics, especially if you are running them pre-eq in the monitors.

The missing 16kHz "spike" in your 2M GP measurement is probably due to being off axis, beamwidth narrows to just 30 degrees above 10kHz.

For coax floor wedge voicing, I'd suggest putting the measurement mic as near to a typical (for your use) vocal height above deck (open air, away from any walls or large objects), directly on axis, and shoot for flat response, with a slight rolloff below 200 Hz tapering down to Fb.

Art
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Riley Casey

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2021, 04:11:46 pm »

This goes to the heart of my experience retuning four different monitor rigs over the years, some with factory specs and some 'classic' designs.

- Avoid boosting frequencies in monitor tunings. Added gain makes them slightly more unstable
- High pass should be higher than the same box would be for full range / stick use - 60 to 80 hz
- turn down the high frequency driver - flat to 16k is not beneficial for a wedge monitor in fact anything above 10k is just a problem - in your last curve taking the HF driver down 2db would fix the bump just above crossover and and a shallow cut from 3k to 8k would yield a very stable wedge tuning for loud vocal monitors


...
Rather than "bumping" 300 Hz, loosing about 5dB from 90 Hz to 200Hz would loose the "mud" typical on stage from mains wrap, and the LF proximity boost from vocal mics, especially if you are running them pre-eq in the monitors.

...

Art

John Schalk

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2021, 10:40:38 am »

Noticed you had applied a 58Hz HPF, the TFM122M box appears to be tuned to around 75Hz, a 70Hz BW24 will keep the cone from flapping  (making vocals gargle..) if you put kick or bass in it.
That makes sense to me, I will raise the HPF to 70Hhz for the 112M.  Can you suggest a number for the TFM152M too?  The recommendation from Turbosound is 50Hz for the 15" wedge, so that's what I'm using now.
Quote
Almost all the peaks in the TFM122M correspond to it's narrowing pattern at those frequencies, cutting them to "flat" will improve gain before feedback stability, though those frequencies will also become relatively "dead" off axis.
A bump at 780Hz is in a range where the beamwidth is very wide, it makes sense.
Using a ground plane setup, I ended up with a +3.5dB bump at 700Hz.

Quote
Rather than "bumping" 300 Hz, loosing about 5dB from 90 Hz to 200Hz would loose the "mud" typical on stage from mains wrap, and the LF proximity boost from vocal mics, especially if you are running them pre-eq in the monitors.
I ended up with a cut at 176Hz of 4.5dB with a Q of 1.2.  I will re-check that PEQ after raising the HP frequency and using a "real" mic position.

Quote
The missing 16kHz "spike" in your 2M GP measurement is probably due to being off axis, beamwidth narrows to just 30 degrees above 10kHz.
I spent some time fooling around with that notch, but the resulting PEQ response plot in the amp's DSP just looked silly, and it wasn't generating much of a change when I re-measured, so I removed it.

Quote
For coax floor wedge voicing, I'd suggest putting the measurement mic as near to a typical (for your use) vocal height above deck (open air, away from any walls or large objects), directly on axis, and shoot for flat response, with a slight rolloff below 200 Hz tapering down to Fb.

Art
Thanks for the suggestions Art.  I will raise the HP frequency and then take some new measurements using a stage mic position and see if any of my other settings need to be adjusted.
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John Schalk

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2021, 10:45:50 am »

This goes to the heart of my experience retuning four different monitor rigs over the years, some with factory specs and some 'classic' designs.

- Avoid boosting frequencies in monitor tunings. Added gain makes them slightly more unstable
- High pass should be higher than the same box would be for full range / stick use - 60 to 80 hz
- turn down the high frequency driver - flat to 16k is not beneficial for a wedge monitor in fact anything above 10k is just a problem - in your last curve taking the HF driver down 2db would fix the bump just above crossover and and a shallow cut from 3k to 8k would yield a very stable wedge tuning for loud vocal monitors
I'm running the wedges passive Riley, so I can't turn the horn down.  The only high frequency boost that I have now is +2dB at 2.5kHz to go along with a -3dB cut at 4.5kHz.  Per Al's advice, I'm going to set things up again, but use a stage mic position to measure the wedge's response.  I'll post an updated plot once the rain goes away!
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2021, 02:12:33 pm »

I'm running the wedges passive Riley, so I can't turn the horn down.  The only high frequency boost that I have now is +2dB at 2.5kHz to go along with a -3dB cut at 4.5kHz.  Per Al's advice, I'm going to set things up again, but use a stage mic position to measure the wedge's response.  I'll post an updated plot once the rain goes away!

A shelf filter from 2k(ish) , -3dB would effectively "turn down" the HF driver but it will affect phase at the acoustic crossover (measure and listen to decide if it works well or not).

Good advice from Riley and Art, and I'm going to offer a 'second' to Art's suggestion about LF eq. and how the PA and wedges can combine in unfortunate ways.  I'm still surprised by performers who want to do their entire monitor checks with the PA off.  That's not how the wedges will be used; it doesn't matter how great they sound with the PA off, it's how they sound with the band going Full Tilt Boogie and the FOH mixerperson flogging the PA.

My frustration doubles when the same performers wear ear plugs and "can't hear the wedge"... or the ones that want to "feel the wedge" while using IEMs.
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Art Welter

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2021, 03:29:45 pm »

That makes sense to me, I will raise the HPF to 70Hhz for the 112M.  Can you suggest a number for the TFM152M too?  The recommendation from Turbosound is 50Hz for the 15" wedge, so that's what I'm using now.
John,

Take a look at the TFM152M impedance chart.
On any ported (bass reflex) cabinet there is always an impedance minima between the two lower frequency peaks at Fb, (Box tuning Frequency). Below Fb, excursion climbs rapidly, cones flap (and/or add lots of second order distortion, adding the "missing fundamental") - so as a general rule, the HPF frequency should be no more than about 10% lower than Fb, which looks to be about 70Hz.
 
Art
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 11:23:49 am by Art Welter »
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2021, 09:55:01 pm »

John,

Take a look at the TFM152M impedance chart.
On any ported (bass reflex) cabinet there is always an impedance minima at Fb, (Box tuning Frequency). Below Fb, excursion climbs rapidly, cones flap (and/or add lots of second order distortion, adding the "missing fundamental") - so as a general rule, the HPF frequency should be no more than about 10% lower than Fb, which looks to be about 70Hz.
 
Art


Art, why is the arrow not on the lowest impedance point?  Am I missing something?

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Luke Geis

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2021, 10:33:30 pm »

He is pointing to the box tunings minima. Not always the lowest impedance point of the graph. The other position where it is actually minimum would make what I feel is the ideal HP point. The lowest point at around 180hz. While 180hz is probably a bit high to roll it off, 140-160hz is a good starting point.
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John Schalk

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2021, 11:06:29 am »

Here are some screenshots detailing the HPF and PEQ values I ended up with after remeasuring using a stage mic position for each wedge.  One thing that I noticed right away is that the 15" wedge has a more even unprocessed frequency response.  The 15" wedge seems big when it's sitting next to it's little brother, but it's still pretty compact and very light.  The only value that I'm kind of nervous about is the one adding +3dB @ 2.5kHz for the 12" wedge.  It does go against my better nature to increase any frequency in that area.

I am waiting to hear back from the band leader for the July 4th gig to see if the show is going to happen or not.  That will be my first opportunity to put my work here to use and get some real world feedback on how these wedges sound and perform.  Thanks to all of you for your help.
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Art Welter

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2021, 11:31:04 am »


Art, why is the arrow not on the lowest impedance point?  Am I missing something?
I missed part of the explanation:
On any ported (bass reflex) cabinet there is always an impedance minima between the two lower frequency peaks at Fb, (Box tuning Frequency).
Excursion is also at it's low frequency minimum at Fb, it increases above and below Fb ( around 70Hz).
Put a white dot on the cone, do a sine wave frequency sweep between those two peaks and the dot will appear near stationary at Fb.
The impedance peak above Fb (in this example, near 110Hz) will be around the maximum excursion above a BW24 HPF of around 65Hz.

Art
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 11:39:42 am by Art Welter »
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Art Welter

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2021, 11:48:50 am »

The only value that I'm kind of nervous about is the one adding +3dB @ 2.5kHz for the 12" wedge.  It does go against my better nature to increase any frequency in that area.
The 2.5kHz dip corresponds to it's widening pattern at that frequency, so it needs more gain on or off axis, without the +3dB boost, the monitor will fail to bring hearing to the deaf ;^)





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John Schalk

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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2021, 02:36:18 pm »

Take a look at the TFM152M impedance chart.
On any ported (bass reflex) cabinet there is always an impedance minima between the two lower frequency peaks at Fb, (Box tuning Frequency). Below Fb, excursion climbs rapidly, cones flap (and/or add lots of second order distortion, adding the "missing fundamental") - so as a general rule, the HPF frequency should be no more than about 10% lower than Fb, which looks to be about 70Hz.
Art,

I went back to the original Turbosound documentation and compared the impedance charts for the TFM12 & TFM15 and they are nearly identical. I was expecting the bigger 15" box to go a little lower, so that's why I took a guess at a 60Hz HPF for it.  I will go back in and raise it to 70Hz.  I'm still processing your first set of comments about how the frequency response that I am seeing is a reflection of the on & off axis response charts in the Turbosound docs!

Luke,

Since these settings are getting stored in the amp's DSP module, and I don't typically bring a laptop with Armonia to gigs, I want to use the HPF for the "protect the speaker" use case rather than optimizing it for say a vocal wedge.  I see a lot of bands with tracks these days, often synth and keyboard parts because they don't have that musician on stage, so I'd like the wedges to be able to reproduce those sounds if needed.  If the artist only wants vocals in their wedge, then the effective HPF will be in the range you recommend because that's what I use on all of my vocal channels anyway.

All,

I've re-read this thread and I am processing everyone's comments and suggestions again, so I may still go back and incorporate the idea of a slow HF shelf, but first I'm going to set the wedges up indoors and ring them out with my e935 & e945 mics and see if I like the results.  I'm also working on my golf wedge game, which needs A LOT more work than these speakers :)
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Re: Advice On Eq for TFM122M Wedges
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2021, 02:36:18 pm »


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