TangBand W3-1364 3" Monitor

This was a side project which turned out to be ok. I had a pair of Tangband W3-1364S 3" full-range speaker and a pair of Dick Smith bookshelf monitor box lying around.  I enlarged the tweeter hole to 7.5mm and closed the woofer with small mdf board.

- Coherent sounding due to no crossovers
- Somewhat acceptably clean due to low distortion above 70Hz
- Midrange, vocal is warm and glorious. Very realistic
- Small size
- Easy to make

- Low efficiency
- Box signature unavoidable
- Box quality is poor
- High-frequency beaming
- High frequency not sounding 'sublime'

It's ok... if I really want to serious playback I go to my living room for the cannons.

I use Dick Smith 5" monitor bought at ebay auction for $10. With the Tangband bamboo driver it was a lucky match! Ignore the magnitude, it's not a 100db efficiency but observe the driver rolloff which is then extended to about 45Hz by the port tuning. In fact this loudspeaker low extension is fine and I don't feel the need for a subwoofer. In my 3x4m room they are loud enough. The TangBand is flat up to a dip at 15khz but my measurement was not ideal as it was taken in front of the grill and there are diffraction effects. Also the drivers are not flush-mounted (yet).

Harmonics distortion measurement at 50Hz shows reasonable H2 and H3 at 100 and 150Hz. Ignore that peak at 5kHz as it is my computer fan noise being picked up by the microphone. First audible signal is heard around 40Hz. There is no audible sound at 20Hz (as it should) and 30Hz.

More comprehensive distortion measurement. At around 70Hz the 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortion drops to about 1% level which explains the average cleanliness of the sound. Most of the time H2 dominates which is normal cellulose cone behaviour and gives somewhat warm sound. H2 or 2nd harmonics is more pleasant than 3rd. I drive them with little Dared MP5 amps.

Photo of the dicksmith box. It is not well-braced and that's next on my to-do list. The measurement is:

Width: 160mm
Height: 330mm
Depth: 230mm
(outside measurement, panel thickness is 12mm)

Port diameter: 50mm
Port length: 110mm, flared on the outside

Closeup of the TangBand W3-1364 3" speaker. The cone is made from bamboo fiber and the chassis is cast metal (!). Very well made. This driver is highly regarded albeit the cost. See full review at ZaphAudio and his measurement results.

The measurement lab. As usual everything here are prototypes, temporary, and utilise anything available in the garden shed :)

Update 23/12/08

- Added Baffle Step compensation (BSC): 1mH parallel with 8.2R and connected in series with the speaker. Theory and design is here.

- Few attempts to add more damping in the box resulted degradation in sound quality. Better left alone and live with the colorations.

Update 25/5/09

- Blocked the port to make them sealed-box speakers. The bass sounds more realistic, albeit less extension.

- I spotted a very nice build of similiar small TangBand family here: http://attlid.eu/p_swift.html

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