Wayne's Own Speaker System

Updated 09/18/2002

Well, I probably should tell what my system consists of. Because I'm a musician and know what instruments sound like, I really wanted my living room system to more or less duplicate what I was used to hearing with real instruments. Huh, big talk--who doesn't?

One difference with my approach is that I also have a rack of sound processing equipment, including a guitar amplifier simulator and electronic drums, and routinely plug real live guitars into the rack. I know how these live guitars sound when amplified using regular guitar amps. Acoustic guitars also, for that Michael Hedges sound. I also have played real drums in a band, and I am familiar with what they sound like too.

Maintaining any semblance of live dynamics tends to totally swamp out conventional home hi-fi speakers. That's why I moved to an electronic crossover approach. Also, why I'm on speaking terms with pro-sound equipment.

My living room system is essentially a PA system. However....

I really spend most of my time listening to CDs through this system. It's just that I keep comparing the sound to live music--well, because its there. (And I can haul out the guitar amps and drums, if I forget.)

With that out of the way, the other main criteria for my system was to build it a piece at a time, with no one piece costing much more than $300, or so.

Also note: I have substituted a lot of different drivers and boxes into my system. The following is what I am currently using. Tomorrow, it might be something completely different. Or more likely, one component will be swapped for another.

I originally used my Liberty Instruments Audio Suite to set levels and to check for proper phase and frequency response, but I found, after a while, that the settings that I dialed in by ear also measured the best, so I haven't used the Audio Suite in a while. But it is really handy to have it for the times when you are driving yourself batty trying to dial in that last bit of realism. Sometimes an objective viewpoint is helpful. (However, if I hadn't done all those measurements, I wouldn't be so sanguine about the sound.)

In other words, a work in progress.

Wayne Larmon can be reached at wlarmon@scrounge.org

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