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CSS FR125S/WR125S Bipole ML-TL Speaker

James R. Griffin

I recently completed a bipolar ML-TL using the Creative Sound Solutions


(www.creativesound.ca) FR125S as the front driver and the CSS WR125S as the rear
driver in each box. While you could use two FR drivers in each box for this design, the
WR driver on the rear of enclosure reduces the overall cost of the speakers with no
compromise in performance. The connection of the two drivers in each box is in phase so
that a bipolar field (forward and rear radiation) is created within the listening room.

The enclosure for these speakers duplicates Greg Monfort's (GM) simulated design that
he describes in his posting:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=672120#post672120

In his posting Greg details several possible designs for bipole speakers using the FR125S.
But the most attractive implementation is the 45 Hz F3 bass response ML-TL which had
the smoothest simulation (+/- 1 dB). This design (internal dimensions) calls for a line (or
pipe) length of 39.56 inches, a cross-section area of 43.68 squared inches, and a bottom
vent diameter and length of 3 inches for both. The driver is spaced 14 inches down from
the top. Greg recommends that the stuffing density of 0.3 pounds per cubic foot be
distributed 30 inches from the top of the box. He suggests that either use a short stand or
a cavity below the speaker enclosure to raise the driver closer to ear height.

Figure 1. Finished Bipolar ML-TL


Speakers with front and rear views.

©2005 James R. Griffin. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
Pictured in Figure 1 and the attached drawings is my version of what Greg proposed.
The enclosure was constructed from 0.75" thick MDF panels for the baffle, rear, and
bottom of the box with 0.75” thick walnut top and side panels. Black laminate was used
on the front and rear panels to enhanced their visual appearance. Internally, three braces
are used to strengthen the structure. The outside dimensions of the enclosure are 48"
high, 7.5" wide, and 8.75" deep.

The cavity at the bottom of the box moves the drivers upward and closer to ear level.
The port tube is on the rear of the speaker and just above the bottom floor of the ML-TL
line. Thus drivers are positioned about 33.25" above the floor. The terminal plate is
located within the cavity and wires are routed from the connector plate (I used the
Madisound TD dual terminal plate but other terminal plates could be used). The cavity
spaces the drivers upward and also enables room for additional stabilization mass. If you
wish to better stabilize the speaker, you could attach a wider base to the bottom of the
box. If any contouring components are added in the future, they could be located inside
the cavity. One additional note is that the two drivers are connected in parallel so that the
overall impedance of the speaker is 4 ohms.

I varied the stuffing to ascertain what amount sounded best. Originally, I tried Greg’s
suggestion of locating the stuffing in the upper 30 inches of the pipe. But my listening
tests convinced me that when the stuffing extended only to just below the drivers, the
bass response was better than when the stuffing extended down below the drivers. Thus
my final implementation used 0.3 pounds of teased Acousta Stuff™ damping fiber in the
upper 17.5 inches of the box. Other damping material (fiberglass or such) could be used.

The sound of these speakers is very nice indeed with more bass than you would expect
from their size. For example, the low bass note in Lyle Lovett’s “She Already Made Up
Her Mind” from his Joshua Judge Ruth CD can be heard. The four drivers do a nice job
in adding low end impact to your music. The frequency response of these drivers is very
flat across the band and this design retains this benefit. More important these speakers
exhibit the coherent nature that we have come to expect from quality full range drivers
without a crossover.

The bipolar drivers in these speakers necessitate that you position them away from the
wall--I'm using 3 feet in my room. The bipolar nature of this speaker does two things
that you will notice to your listening. First, you'll notice a little ambiance as sound
energy is reflected from the front wall in the room. In this case ambiance is a good thing-
-more apparent during say a newscast--but was not an issue when you listen to music.
You can move the speakers toward or away from the wall to vary the ambiance to your
preference. Secondly, the soundstage is wider than you'll have with just a single front
firing driver. One very minor disadvantage to the bipolar nature of these speakers is that
the stereo image is a little more diffuse than with direct firing drivers. In my opinion
having a wider sweet spot is an advantage in my book.

©2005 James R. Griffin. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
The FR125S full range driver does an excellent job across the frequency band and for
most music you'll not miss any extra airyness that a separate tweeter might contribute.
Bottom line is that this is a very simple design yet it yields great results. These speakers
provide a lot of bang for their cost.

Jim

Parts List
(Excluding enclosure wood and enclosure material for a pair of speakers)

Part Quantity Comments


CSS FR125S Driver 2
CSS WR125S Driver 2
Terminal Plate 2 Madisound TD Plate shown
Acousta Stuff™ 1 pound Use as specified
Mounting Screws for 16 #8 Pan Head 1 inch long
Drivers

FR125S/WR125S Bipolar Speaker Drawing Notes

The front drivers are the CSS FR125S while the rear drivers are the CSS WR125S.

Material for the enclosure can be MDF, void free plywood or hardwood as selected by
the builder. Nominal thickness for all panels and braces is 0.75 inches.

Box assembly should be done with minimal visible screws or brads on external surfaces.
Panels and braces can be jointed via various methods including butt joints with nails or
screws, internal battens or glue blocks, dadoo/rabbet joints, pocket screws, etc.

In the drawings all dimensions are nominal and in inches with both decimal and fractions
given as indicated.

©2005 James R. Griffin. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
X-ray View of Assembled Enclosure
Showing Internal Bracing Locations
(Dimensions from bottom )

Top

48.000
47.250
[47 ¼]

Upper Brace (with Hole)

29.750 [29 ¾] 29.000

Upper Brace (with Hole)

18.750 [18 ¾] 18.000

Lower Brace

7.750 [7 ¾]
7.000
0.750 [¾]

0.000 Bottom

©2005 James R. Griffin. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
Front Baffle 6.000 Back Panel

47.250 [47 ¼]

5.000 Dia. OD with


4.000 Dia. Through Hole
With 0.1875 [3/16]
33.25 [33 ¼] 33.25 [33 ¼]
Deep Rebate. Use
0.500 [½] Rabbet.
0.500 [½] Round over
with Internal Edge 3.000
3.000 47.250 [47 ¼]

3.000
3.125 [3 1/8] Dia.
9.500 [9 ½]
4.4375 [4 7/16]*
1.5625 [1 9/16]*
5.125 [5 1/8]* * Dimensions for
1.500 [1 ½*] Madisound TD
0.000 0.000 Terminal Plate.
6.000
Other Terminal
8.750 Plates can be used.
6.000
[8 ¾]
Top Panel

Side Panels 0.500 [½] 8.750 [8 ¾]


Roundover
Front and Back Edges

6.000
Upper Brace (2)
0.500 [½]
Roundover
Along Sides 7.250 [7 ¼]
And Top 4.500 [4 ½] Dia.
Edges 48.000

Bottom & 6.000


Lower Brace

7.250 [7 ¼]

External View of Panels Shown

©2005 James R. Griffin. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
ML-TL Bipolar Speaker Connections

Front Speaker
Input From FR125S
Amplifier

Rear Speaker
WR125S

©2005 James R. Griffin. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.