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Thread: Subwoofer Ponderings

  1. #191
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    I think you'll probably like the amp and will fit it nicely inside your console. If you've been getting by with super-tiny and cheap 2 watt amps, this is going to sound like a monster amp to you!

    That 8-channel Pyle is indeed a lot of amp for the money too, but too big to fit in a typical console. Also, Pyle is the #1 worst offender in over-stating power output. I see they claim "1000 watts x 8 channels" for that model. No mention of whether or not you have to have your own private generating facility to run it!

    There's still a lot of distrust of Class D in the audio world, but a great many powered subs on the market today use Class D amps, so I don't think we can say that they're not suitable for bass. I believe the gigantic powered sub that Johannus supplies with its "high-power" audio package has a class D amp in it.

    I have bought many of the Behringer "i-Nuke" amps to use in organ installations, and they sound positively marvelous, with no hint of ever being starved for the deepest bass output. These are pure class D and a 1000 watt unit only weighs a few pounds and runs cool as a cucumber.

    There are some with golden ears who claim they don't like the HIGH frequency performance of Class D because it operates by switching the output devices on and off at frequencies up in the 100KHz range, then uses an output filter to remove those components ahead of the speakers. I don't claim to be able to hear those frequencies myself

    I'll be interested in finding out how this little unit works for you.

    BTW -- anyone who owns an Allen or Rodgers as a home organ and "can't open the expression pedal beyond a few degrees" because it's too loud must be rather clueless. You only need to turn down the volume internally (on the amps or on the voicing board) so that the maximum open position of the expression pedals produces a room-filling but not overly loud sound.
    John
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    Home: Rodgers 580 "Cheetah" organ with custom 6-channel speaker system
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
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  2. #192
    ff Fortissimo toodles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    ...[1] I submit (again) that an ordinary human will not be able to discern an audible difference (in a home) between 20 channels of audio and 2!

    ...

    [2] Most guitarists know that something magical happens when an amplifier hits the 80% volume setting.
    1. I tend to think there is some truth in this, although I think it depends on how the channels are used and the quality of the audio system. Removing bass from a loudspeaker system helps improve dramatically the intermodulation distortion it can cause. Separating out different notes to different channels gives a sense of presence not often found. But for average electronics and audio systems, it's probably not worth the return to have 20 channels vs two--maybe for four vs. two?

    2. Interesting you should mention the 80% concept. I always found that with stereo recordings, there was one particular volume at which the music sounded "right" and as realistic as the recording permitted. I suspect that's related.

    On a similar note, one or two engineers (I think related to Peterson electro-musical Products, or Don Leslie, maybe both) tried to make an analog organ sound as pipe-like as possible--it was a Theatre Organ. The found that to get the expression and ranks to sound right, they had to run them at full volume (for whatever the voice was) and then use mechanical shades for expression control.

  3. #193
    mp Mezzo-Piano Leisesturm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Mack View Post
    I just ordered the PartsExpress amplifier and I like the idea that it will fit inside my console. However, for future reference and the benefit of others, is this the unit you had in mind?
    Yes, that is the one. I was involved in a pipe organ enhancement project at my last church where we added two 32' ranks and several 8' and 4' ranks to a two manual pipe organ. The digital ranks went through the Pyle amp and Bose Home Theater speakers. Ours was $195 but was purchased by a contractor so I don't know the source. My point was simply that few of us in this thread sound like the type of people for whom sourcing an amplifier board separate from a power supply and/or controls looks like fun. Finished and complete components are available and usually whatever they cost is rarely beatable by a DIY'er when all the factors of time, talent and value are added up.

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  4. #194
    mp Mezzo-Piano Leisesturm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbird604 View Post
    BTW -- anyone who owns an Allen or Rodgers as a home organ and "can't open the expression pedal beyond a few degrees" because it's too loud must be rather clueless. You only need to turn down the volume internally (on the amps or on the voicing board) so that the maximum open position of the expression pedals produces a room-filling but not overly loud sound.
    You would be surprised. One of the organists my church had when I was around 12 years old had a great big 3 manual Allen in his home. He had speakers all over the house. They wouldn't all fit in the living room with the console. They weren't all that logically arrayed either but what did I know at 12. What i know is that he didn't know how to adjust the the gain of the amplifiers. And even if he did.... what you suggest speaks directly to the concept of amplifier 'lift' that toodles and I were talking about.

    To stay on good terms with my neighbors I usually run my stereo with the volume knob about 1/8 of the way open. 1/16 is quite audible. But the system truly does not 'sparkle' until that magic 80% point. I don't care who makes the speakers, at that point you are there. Right on stage with the musicians,. or directly in the rotor wash of a CH-53 helping the wounded off.

    Same with the sub. Sadly I can't get to the gain control very easily. I've set it VERY conservatively for a quiet life with SWMBO, but every now and then.... oh what fun. The Allen amps turned down fulfill the objective of not overwhelming but those beasts really weren't meant to be tiptoeing around home living rooms. At least with a VPO you can correctly size the audio components for the intended listening area. Or even for headphones.

  5. #195
    mp Mezzo-Piano Nutball's Avatar
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    I think my allen's expression pedal is supposed to add realism as the volume increases. It sounds plain and smooth at low pedal how I normally play it at around 50dBA or likely much less (my dB meter is meant for loud noises and is not accurate around 50db and bottoms out around 36db), but at full pedal max only 65-70dBA sounds much more airy and shimmery and detailed. I think I could tell a difference with 4 channels vs 2. I would like more speakers, maybe some multi direction little 5 way units to have sit on my HC-15s against the back wall opposite of the organ, but my 4 cabinets between the console and wall sound very good. http://www.organforum.com/forums/sho...l=1#post444583

    Now back to subwoofers: These are rated 200W RMS, 400W I assume based on the back side writing. 6mm excursion. They have a heavy rubber surround and sturdy plastic dust cap, and rear dust cap vent. $22ea. I almost wish I got the 4 ohm ones so smaller cheaper low pass filters can be used, but I'm going to look into using passive line level resistor/capacitor 12dB/octave filters. Otherwise I can use one amp for both speakers wired for 4 ohms and $60 of inductor total since the $45 ones are out of stock, or use one amp per speaker, but need $120 of inductor per speaker.
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  6. #196
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    RE: the side issue of two-channel organ audio in the home setting vs. numerous channels..... When I listen to the Hauptwerk recordings on the contrebombarde site, I'm listening in ordinary L/R stereo of course (normally with headphones as my PC speakers are not nearly as good for this purpose). And my general impression is that I'm hearing the best digital organ sound that I ever hear anywhere from any organ, in spite of the audio constraints.

    I assume this is due to several factors. (1) Hauptwerk does indeed re-create the authentic organ "experience" better than the traditional digital organ in a console, largely because the environment of the organ is preserved along with the raw sounds, and (2) normally you are hearing an actual organ designed by a master of the craft, not just a collection of samples from this organ and that, processed and put together by someone at an organ factory design department. (3) Hauptwerk benefits tremendously from the mechanisms involved in stereophonic reproduction -- the accurate placement of sound sources within a broad field, with the associated ambiance also spread out exactly as it should be in the sound field. Your brain is smart enough to recognize this as "real" instead of "manufactured."

    So I'm willing to concede that two channels can be perfectly sufficient, provided the organ is driven by Hauptwerk or other VPO program that can correctly place the organ sound within an ordinary stereo sound field. If I ever set up a permanent VPO, I'll probably go with simple stereo (plus a hefty sub).

    However, for those of us who enjoy bringing home those marvelous older Allen and Rodgers organs, in all their quirkiness, it seems wise to preserve the builder's intent when it comes to channel divisions. For one thing, nearly every Allen digital (prior to Renaissance) has been designed so that all the stops that come out of a given speaker are "in phase" and "in tune" with each other, while there are subtle but important offsets in pitch and phase among the other channels. Mixing the channels together can sometimes create unpleasant beating and aliasing and take away from the musicality and pipe-like realism of the system. Not that you can't mix channels, and sometimes we have to in order to get a large organ to play in a home setting. But it needs to be done judiciously.

    I applaud the use of multi-channel amps, such as these inexpensive Class D amps, and even the pre-packaged Pyle amps, because they do allow one to preserve the recommended channeling while saving space in the home. Small speakers, if they are of high quality, can be used on channels that carry little or no bass, so it ought to be possible for most of us to have a 20-channel organ in the house if we want one, as long as only a couple of the speakers have to be "big" ones!
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Rodgers 580 "Cheetah" organ with custom 6-channel speaker system
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  7. #197
    mf Mezzo-Forte michaelhoddy's Avatar
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    I applaud the use of multi-channel amps, such as these inexpensive Class D amps, and even the pre-packaged Pyle amps, because they do allow one to preserve the recommended channeling while saving space in the home. Small speakers, if they are of high quality, can be used on channels that carry little or no bass, so it ought to be possible for most of us to have a 20-channel organ in the house if we want one, as long as only a couple of the speakers have to be "big" ones!
    If it's the difference between more channels and less channels, I agree that a whole bunch of small amps on channels, even "average" Class D, wins every time. This mirrors the AOB concept of a whole bunch of low-wattage amps in a chassis. It's very easy to become a purist in the wrong places with this whole thing. The question always has to be "what is the bottleneck?" Usually, it's not going to be the circuit topology of the power amp until WAY up the food chain!

  8. #198
    mf Mezzo-Forte Bach-On's Avatar
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    I believe I posted the idea of using a speaker (or a pair of speakers) for each rank of pipes on an organ a couple of years ago. That got shot down quickly. I don't know if there is a magic number on how many channels is best. It may depend on the sounds and the room. Many digital organs can provide very nice sounds for some individual pipe ranks. But the point where the real problems often begin to happen is in tutti playing. Top-of-the-line digitals in the right room can come very close to delivering a nice full ensemble. But IMHO pipes FROM A GOOD ORGAN still have an edge.

    I think John is right about a couple of things. Sampling and using pipes from the same great organ in the first place is bound to provide sounds that blend well together.

    And some methods and techniques for sampling are better than others. People can debate the best practices, but most experienced organists can recognize great samples when they hear them.

    And decisions about what samples to include should be left to organists, not the engineers, finance and marketing people. But I suspect they rarely are.

    I think everyone will agree that the room and the person who does the voicing and balancing is absolutely crucial for any organ setup.

    BO
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  9. #199
    mp Mezzo-Piano Nutball's Avatar
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    I think something like a wattage vs hz graph based on max excursion would be helpful. I test ran one of my new woofers at around 9.5W (as much as my little computer amp would do before clipping) and although the website (MCM) claims a resonance of 32.5hz, I found the max excursion with a sine wave was around 26.5hz when sweeping the frequency, but keeping the volume the same. At only 9.5W I was getting a very large travel of at least half of the Xmax if not more at 26.5hz, although I know the power consumption will increase exponentially to increase the excursion. I assume the Xmax is only in one direction right? So this should get 12mm total travel. I did hear a 17kHz tone out of it, I think this could be a good full range speaker too. The back side seems to produce the loudest bass probably because of the vent holes increasing the air speed.

  10. #200
    mp Mezzo-Piano Nutball's Avatar
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    I guessed that these woofers might reach Xmax at 40W (26Hz) because if they reached half at 10W, 20W might only reach around 3/4 of max, and 40W probably max. Testing just now with the Rodgers amp confirmed that. Full volume from my phone's tone generator is 0.72v, I don't know how high the amp will accept, but this put over 16.5v to the woofer. Nearly 40W was actually quiet, but I know how much louder they seem when in a cabinet. Is that because the sound gets reflected back? I doubt it is because of an enclosure helping to increase the excursion because the midrange I made sounded much louder at all frequencies (even deep drum beats) with it's excursion restricting enclosure.

    Something strange I noticed was how I could send a nearly non existent signal from my phone (volume at minimum) with the tone generator on, and I'd hear a quiet 60Hz AC hum and nothing from the phone's input, but if the tone generator was turned off, after a few seconds the amp pops on a loud AC power hum as if it has some signal sensing circuit that does the opposite of muting when there's no input detected. I hope the console will send enough signal when no notes are played to keep the loud hum from sounding. The hum control pot didn't seem to help much with the loud hum, I have not tested it with the quiet hum. Touching the amp frame quiets it just a little.

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