Excellence in sound since 1993 | TurboBass Express | The Loudspeaker Cabinet Design Software




This program is a precise tool developed to design a loudspeaker cabinet to perform in the confines of a car boot, tuned to cope with road noise and internal pressure, no other program will perform this specific task. All you need is a technical data sheet from the manufacturer of the mid range, woofer or sub woofer. You will only need 3 of the parameters to calculate the desired cabinet needed.
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TurboBass Express 1993(c) OVER 1 MILLION Downloads since 01-03-06


Program: TurboBass Express V5.01O.K. So you would like to design some speaker cabinets for yourself. Easy, I don't expect to turn you into an acoustic engineer, but you may be wondering what all those funny symbols are about, well forget them! The software TurboBass Express allows you to design cabinets for a single transducer (speaker) easily with just 3 parameters from the technical data sheet of the speaker you want to use. Contact the manufacturer to obtain the TS parameters needed to successfully calculate your box. Try Google. Enter the product code of your loudspeaker. Alternatively CALL THE MANUFACTURE!Remember that you have just spent a small fortune buying those subs, but to get them working right and to make them respond to your requirements, they will need a box made to the correct size, otherwise you are wasting your time with them. Don't just any old box them TURBOBASS THEM!SEALED CABINET DESIGN PROGRAMA closed-box design is much easier than a vented-box design. There are fewer parameters to worry about, and the final system response is much less sensitive to variations in these parameters. Building a closed box is easier, because constructing and fitting a vent to a cabinet can add several hours to the project construction time, vented boxes also require additional tools. Tuning a vent can be time consuming and may require some test instruments, although it can be well worth the trouble with some drivers, others will give excellent performance in a closed box, and some will function well only this way. To successfully calculate a sealed box for a given loudspeaker the following parameters are needed. 1. Fs (the resonant frequency of the driver)2. Vas (the volume of air having the same acoustic compliance as the driver 3. Qt (or Q) (total driver Q a measurement of sharpness of resonance VENTED CABINET DESIGN PROGRAMThe vented cabinet program uses the formulas developed by D.B Keele,Jr., to find box characteristics that will obtain good performance with a given driver, you will require the following parameters 1. Fs (resonant frequency of the driver) 2. Vas (the volume of air having the same acoustic compliance as the driver) 3. Qt (or Q) (total driver Q, a measurement of sharpness of resonance) The response obtained by using this program to design vented boxes is known as the FOURTH-ORDER BUTTERWORTH, considered by most designers to be optimum. it is flat, with no peaks or dips, and consequently dose not sound boomy. Once TURBOBASS has calculated the required size of cabinet use the vent diameter program to fine tune your cabinet VENT AREA CALCULATING PROGRAM The following parameters are required to calculate a vent area.1. the box frequency calculated by vented box program 2. the total loudspeaker diameter in inches 3. the X-Max, minimum diaphragm excursion in millimetres.In order to tune the box designed calculated by the vented box program a vent of a specific size must be installed. The vent must have an area large enough not to impede air flow, otherwise vent noises such as whistling and chuffing will be heard. Small considers that maximum air velocity in a vent dose not exceed 5% of the speed of sound, vent noise will not be a problem, nor will constriction of air flow alter the system parameters, Once you have used this program to calculate the required port size, use the port length calculating program to fine tune your cabinet VENT LENGTH CALCULATING PROGRAM The following parameters are required to calculate vent length.1. the box frequency calculated by ventedbox program2. the box volume calculated by vented box program3. the vent area in square inches calculated by vent are program.Use this program to fine tune the vented cabinet with Small's method. Note that three inch diameter cardboard tubes are readily available from such sources as mailing tubes, carpet rolls, and dry cleaners. However a solid vent is preferable, build the vent with solid wood (MDF) into and as part of your cabinet, this will give far superior results.Note that internal porting subtracts the internal volume from your box . Mounting the duct on the back of the cabinet or even underneath it, can help attenuate any objectionable noises produced by the vent.O.K. So you would like to design some speaker cabinets for yourself. Easy, I don't expect to turn you into an acoustic engineer, but you may be wondering what all those funny symbols are about, well forget them! The software TurboBass Express allows you to design cabinets for a single transducer (speaker) easily with just 3 parameters from the technical data sheet of the speaker you want to use. Contact the manufacturer to obtain the TS parameters needed to successfully calculate your box.Remember that you have just spent a small fortune buying those subs, but to get them working right and to make them respond to your requirements, they will need a box made to the correct size, otherwise you are wasting your time with them. Don't just any old box them TURBOBASS THEM!Introduction.A speaker is an electro acoustic system which combines the characteristics of the loudspeaker (or transducer) itself and the cabinet in which it is mounted. Most of the work involved in building a good sounding speaker cabinet involves trading off various parameters of a desired speaker's performance within the limits of acceptable box size, low end frequency response, maximum acoustic output (perceived loudness) and efficiency.Types of speaker cabinets.Closed and Vented Cabinets.There are a number of different types of cabinets. The simplest is the closed-box. This is simply a box with a hole in it where the transducer is mounted. A lot of hi-fi cabinets are closed box designs. A rough rule of thumb is that the bigger the box, the lower the frequency response of the system. This is only true up to the point where the transducer can no longer produce lower frequencies. Many old speaker designs used closed cabinets, as the frequency response was fairly good, despite almost no design work needed. It is possible to predict the frequency response of a closed-box, but our applet will not do this. For a long time it has been known that the bass response from a speaker cabinet may be improved by introducing a port. A port is just a tube or similar that looks like a hole in the speaker cabinet. By choosing the port dimensions to match the speaker and cabinet, an extended bass response is possible (for a fixed box size). A well designed ported (or vented) cabinet will usually outperform a closed box, but more design work is necessary. Choosing port dimensions was until semi-recent times (1970s or so) a trial-and-error affair. Two engineers by the names of Neville Thiele and Richard Small devised an analysis method that may easily be used to design vented cabinets well. These days most speaker manufacturers will provide a set of parameters for their speakers known as Thiele-Small parameters from which cabinets may be designed. All those funny symbols in the applet (and on your speaker brochures) such as Qes, Xmax, Vas and so forth are Thiele-Small parameters.You can find out the Thiele-Small parameters for a transducer you have no information for if you have the appropriate test equipment. This should not usually be necessary.Our design applet allows you to use the Thiele-Small parameters for a speaker to design a vented cabinet that is tuned correctly. There are a number of different tunings possible for a vented cabinet. We have chosen the so-called Butterworth B4 maximally-flat amplitude alignment (tuning). This just means that smooth frequency response is our main design criteria. If you buy a woofer with known Thiele-Small parameters then you can plug the parameters into the applet, then choose box dimensions and the applet will calculate the vent dimensions. Just add a tweeter and crossover and voila, your very own speaker design.If you are using a tube or some such other thing for the port, then you can enter its diameter into the duct diameter text field (in place of the floating word), and the designs will all use that diameter for the port. Note, that the minimum recommended diameter is that shown when the text field is left as floating.If you want to design speakers for hi-fi use, then a vented box is probably your best bet.Horn-loaded CabinetsWhen you are building speakers for public address (P.A.) use, a closed box or vented box is probably not very good. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, they are not very efficient. Typical closed and vented cabinets are less than 5% efficient, so you generate a lot more heat than sound volume. Also, the maximum acoustic power that may be produced is limited. What that means is that although your speaker may be rated at 100 watts continuous (RMS), it may be unable to produce any noticeable increase in sound output above a much lower power level. i.e. your speaker may be producing its maximum sound output at say 5 watts, and any increase in power really just ends up as distortion, not more noise! So, a 100 watt continuous rating means nothing other than the speaker won't blow up until you start putting more than 100 watts into it.How can this be? Well, one of the Thiele-Small parameters is known as Xmax. This is a measure of the maximum displacement (front-back movement) that the transducer can exert before ten percent (10%) distortion sets in. This is because the voice-coil in the transducer is beginning to leave the strongest part of the magnetic field in the transducer's magnet (that big heavy lump of metal on the back of the speaker).Yet another problem with closed and vented cabinets for P.A. use is that the size of the room plays an important part in the frequency response of the speaker. Why? Imagine that the entire room is a cabinet mounted to the front of the speaker - which acoustically it is. It is usually said that you need a big room for low frequency sound reproduction, and that is the reason why.So what's a budding rock star/disc-jockey to do? Build a horn-loaded cabinet of course. A horn-loaded cabinet is a lot like sticking a trumpet on the front of your transducer. The effect is similar to cupping your hands around your mouth when yelling to someone at a distance. It makes it louder. Why? Well, a horn is like an acoustic transformer. What happens is that a big horn (or funnel if you like) effectively makes the transducer drive the entire area of air at the end of the horn. So, say the horn opening is ten times the size of the transducer, then the driven area is ten times greater. The transducer is said to be better coupled to the air. You know those big black boxes at the bottom of a rock band's P.A. system? They are horns. The transducers inside the cabinets themselves are not very big compared with the box. Why bother, when you can just use more power? A horn-loaded cabinet designed for maximum efficiency can be as much as seventy-five percent (75%) efficient - so you'd need about 15 times as many speakers and amplifiers in a vented system to match such a horn. But that's not all - remember Xmax? Well, one of the really nice things about a horn-loaded cabinet is that since the driven air is 'leveraged' by the horn, the cone of the transducer doesn't move as far to produce the same power output. In fact, it is easy to design a horn so that the maximum electrical power to the speaker (i.e. the continuous power rating) can be fed to the speaker before it reaches the limit given by Xmax. So, when you feed in 100 watts into such a design, the sound continually increases up to the maximum power the speaker can handle. That's why nearly every P.A. you see uses horn-loaded cabinets. Some exceptions to this are unusual designs like the Bose 802 speakers - but Metallica would need a hell of a lot of them!O.K. So we've solved the efficiency problem and the useful power handling problem by using a horn. Now what about the room? Well, yet another advantage of the horn is that it really works from the transducer out, and effectively decouples the transducer from the room. So, what happens is that the frequency response of the horn is essentially independent of the room. Not completely, but significantly better than any other type of cabinet design.If horns are so good - I mean efficient, loud, and almost room-independent, why isn't every speaker a horn? Ahh, the obvious question. And the answer? Size. A horn-loaded cabinet has to be large to have smooth frequency response. This is of course dependent on the lowest frequency response the cabinet needs to reproduce. One of the old rules of thumb said that you need a horn with an opening of 10 metres (30 feet) in diameter to reproduce frequencies down to about 30 Hz with smooth response - a touch larger than your average vented cabinet. In fact, those humongous boxes at the rock venue are usually useless below about 50 Hz or so - even though it feels like you're going to shake apart. Oh dear, I guess we can't build small horns that go low. Well, yes and no. A common ploy is to build a horn that is unusually small and use active equalisation to flatten out the frequency response. This works O.K. as a compromise, and a lot better than you'd expect. Active equalisation is used in many systems, even the Bose 802s mentioned above, and they aren't even horns! Another approach was developed by Paul Klipsch and is used in some Klipsch speakers. He uses a trick in the area of the horn near the transducer to produce much flatter frequency response than expected from the horn dimensions. Types of Horns There are a number of different horn-flares that can be used for cabinets. The flare is the cross-sectional shape of the horn as it goes from the start near the transducer (the throat) to the end (the mouth). A few of the better known ones are parabolic, conical, exponential and hyperbolic. These, in order, go from least efficient to most efficient (acoustically). If you draw a parabola (for the cross-section of the horn) and cut a hole in the bottom for the throat then you know what a parabolic horn looks like. A hyperbolic horn by comparison is pretty much like a trumpet stretched out - i.e. a tube that flares very little until it gets to the end where it flares suddenly. The conical and exponential horns are between these two extremes.So, if a hyperbolic horn is the most efficient, then I guess we use that flare for our loud P.A., right? Wrong. The problem with such a tight flare is that as sound pressures increase, the restricted passage for the air causes it to begin to compress. This causes distortion - not good. You don't want to compress the air, cause it gets hot, etc, etc - and the sound starts to sound really bad. So, what flare type do we choose? Probably the best flare trading off high-efficiency versus low-distortion is the exponential flare. This is what a very large number of commercially produced horns are.Hey, my woodworking skills aren't good enough to build an exponential horn, and I'm not about to build a fibreglass mould! O.K. Ok! An easy to build flare is of course the conical flare. In fact, it is the easiest - not as efficient, but a lot easier to build. Just four angled bits of wood will do it. These sort of horns are sometimes seen as the mid-range part of a P.A. system.Parabolic horns are so inefficient that they are really of no practical use.So, there you have it. If you're adventurous, you may want to build an exponential horn, but a conical one may be good enough - it's up to you. The applet will allow you to design both styles.Cool, so I'll just replace the vented woofer box with a loud horn - yeah? Well, not exactly. The improved efficiency of the horn is gained at the loss of bandwidth. So, it may be louder but it will drop off in frequency at the upper end before the tweeter takes over if you're not careful. How do you work this out? The throat of the horn (the size of the little hole) can be as big as the transducer cone, or smaller. Maximum efficiency is achieved when they are the same size, but the bandwidth is also the smallest. To increase the bandwidth, you must shrink the hole. The ratio of the cone to the throat is known as Sd/St. Of course, as you increase Sd/St (or reduce the throat size) the efficiency drops. To find out what value of Sd/St to use, you first enter the Theile-Small parameters for the transducer, then go to the Horn Response page and look at the plot for 'Speaker Limits'. Those graphs show what your transducer is capable of. You can also use this approach to evaluate the suitability of a transducer for horn-loading. Band-Pass Cabinets Well, no doubt you've heard cars driving by you going thump-thump-techno-techno or similar. Many of these are using a so-called band-pass cabinet to produce huge amounts of bass from a small cabinet. This is a design where the entire speaker (or speakers) are inside the box and the only path for sound is out through a port like the one in a vented cabinet. These designs have very limited bandwidth (hence band-pass), but produce a large low-frequency acoustic output compared with a normal vented cabinet of the same size. They are fairly inefficient as well. Our applet does not contain any design ability for such cabinets, but if you want to build one for your car (or home hi-fi subwoofer), a good place to get information is to write to Polk Audio in the U.S. and ask for details on their HVCD subwoofers. Theres is a patented band-pass design that works very well. You can also call them in the U.S. on 800/638-7276 and ask for Dave Lytwynec at extension 208 or Ken Swauger at extension 891. This is second-hand information, so please treat them nicely. So there you have it. Lots of information is out there if you want to learn more, try some of the references we've included on our references page if you like. Happy designing!


TurboBass Express Since 1983

Over 1 Million Downloads Worldwide Since 1992