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Multi-media System

This system was designed to be used as computer speaker system.  The system consists of a pair of small satellite speakers, mated to a small powered subwoofer.  The satellite speakers are basically the MM4.1S speakers with different tweeters.  The subwoofer uses the ever popular Dayton Loudspeaker 6-1/2" woofer, powered by the Apex Jr. 25W amp.  The subwoofer has undergone a little surgery from it's original design due to the death of the original woofer.

The satellite speakers use the 4" shielded woofer discussed in the MM4.1S project.  This is quite a nice woofer, especially for the price.  In it's small sealed box, it isn't capable of much bass output, but it has very strong midrange that is claimed to reach as high as 10 kHz.  The tweeter is a tiny unit from Apex Jr. made of a hard plastic.  It's certainly not on the same level as a 1" silk dome, but for this application, they worked well simply because they were cheap.  The tweeters' low end starts rolling off fairly high, which actually works well with the woofers, as their high end starts rolling off fairly high also.  The end result is surprisingly good, considering the final cost is only about $25/pair, including crossovers, terminals, enclosure and grill.

The subwoofer originally started out as a sealed design using a 6" woofer from Apex Jr.  In about a 3/4 cuft enclosure, it had an f3 of about 35 Hz.  This is amazing for a 6" woofer, especially in a sealed enclosure.  Simply put, the bass was amazing.  It was tight and detailed, and amazingly low.  However, the driver lost it's life quickly when it's foam surround blew out.  It only took a few minutes of play time.  My guess was that the drivers had been sitting in a warehouse for several years before being sold.  They were purchased from Apex Jr. which is a surplus dealer, which strongly supports my hypothesis.  It's really a shame, as the bass was so good for such a tiny driver.  Of course, in a larger room, it wouldn't be able to keep up with a larger driver, but in a smaller room, it sounded quite good.

The replacement woofer used is Dayton's 6-1/2" woofer.  In the .73 cuft enclosure tuned to 35 Hz, you actually get a little lower bass, and with the rubber surround, you won't ever have to worry about losing the driver (unless you decide to drive a couple hundred watts into it, of course).  The woofer is used down firing, primarily in an attempt to filter out some of the higher frequencies from the sub.  The amps fixed crossover frequency is too high for my preferences.

So here's what you get out of this system.  First of all, it is really intended for smaller rooms - like bedroom sized.  It does pretty well in rooms up to about 1500 cuft, but it sounds considerably better in a room under 1000 cuft.  I used the sub in an extremely live room (bare walls, wood floors, and no furniture) and about 2000 cuft, and the whole system sounded pretty gross.  The midrange was all messed up and the higher frequencies from the sub were being reflected off the floor.  After moving the system up to a smaller room, and listening to some music pumped through a very cheap receiver and the computer, I was much more pleased.  The speakers sound much better in a near field setup, with the sub on carpet near a corner.  The bass sounded much clearer and didn't have the nasty 80 Hz+ mud.  The tweeters can be slighly fatiguing if listened to at higher than normal volumes, but otherwise it's a very decent system.  The grand total for the system couldn't have been more than $75 including the cabinets and all parts, excluding veneer.