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06-08-2006 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 2500
Reply to: 2500
A quest for a better monitor.

While Dima is cooking the Super Zarathustra I figure out that I would need some test speaker to be able to observe the preliminary results. I would not be able to drive the multi-channel Macondo with a single full range amplifier, so I need something else… “loudspeakerable”. Defiantly Zarathustra will be tried eventually on some “big” speakers but I would like to have a chance to play with it home before I let the Zarathustra drive something “serious”. Also I have problem with somebody else’s systems, as I never feel they got out of their “big speakers” what they might … Not to mention that there are no really good big speakers out there….

I was thinking about all of it wonder why don’t I make another parallel with Macondo acoustic system with a conventional small monitors. The way in which the Macondo installed in my room and connected it would perfectly allowed to use both systems in non-compromised setting…

I always like the mini-monitors with separate LF section. I feel the satiation when LF section and the MF section separated would allow taking care about many problems typical for loudspeakers. There are uncountable amount of mini-monitors out there and they mostly perform very poor. Unfortunately the industry does absolutely idiotic things with mini-monitors! Most of the mini-monitors are ported, most of them use wrong or improperly performing drivers, most of the crossovers are sonically wrong, most of the LF sections are absolutely barbaric, most of the mini-monitor’s enclosures have unacceptably high enclosure resonances, most of the mini-monitors completely falling apart when they play a large and complex orchestral music presenting small and flimsy sound reproduction, most of them have dead sensitivity… and so on and so on….

I kind of put myself in a slow pass trying to make a mini-monitor installation to sound acceptable or even good.  I do not know which mini-monitors I will end-up. Perhaps I will do something myself as I in my past have developed very good techniques to make resonance-free enclosures. Or perhaps I would fish something ready to go. I know that I need a monitor that would not do anything under 80Hz as it will be coupled with my bass-monitors that already exist and perform wonderfully. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have some my ides but I would listen if anyone have already went this way…

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-09-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 272
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 2501
Reply to: 2500
I don't have any good suggestion
because the few ones that come to mind (not ported but low sensivity) wouldn't fit your high requirements. That's why if you found some interesting monitors I'd like to know it, specially as a learning tool.
06-10-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 2504
Reply to: 2500
What makes a good monitor?

I would like to think a little about the monitors. A monitor is kind of bogus name but useful. I usually call a loudspeaker that is not floor standing as a monitor. Sometime they called bookshelf but I hardly image any loudspeaker on a bookshelf…

In my mind any monitor must not be ported. Reflex-loading is absolutely not acceptable, regardless the theories, design objectives and implementations. Ported design is juts completely wrong sound unless a speaker does not goes down 200-300Hz. It is possible, if the speaker made VERY accurately and very sensible to tune the design that the port would not be destroying Sound. However if it made properly then the speaker will not have the LF benefits from the port and the design will sound almost like open baffle.

A key for a good 2-way monitor is a combination of correct enclosure and correct, properly used bass driver.  This relation between the capacity of the bass driver and the capacity of the monitor’s enclosure could not be understated. Let look at this subject deeper.

There are very few bass drivers that would have correct T/S characteristics in sealed enclosure and in the same time:

1) Perform correct in context of first order filter
2) Have correct tonal performance
3) Do not require any frequency or impedance normalization
4) Have low dynamic compression

The first order filter with no resonance optimization is absolutely mandatory. Let pretend that a monitor has a crossover point somewhere at 3kHz-4kHz it means that the bass driver need to perform correctly at least 1.5-2 octaves higher. The very same driver should handle 150Hz well (75Hz-80Hz in the box), to have high sensitively, maintain the dynamic and transients characteristics across it’s range and be able to deal with the enclosure properly. It is very very very demanding role and it is very very difficult to find such a driver or to make the available drivers to walk. If you did it then 85% of the monitor is done but it is very very difficult.

The same come with the enclosures. It is very very difficult to make the enclosure sensible sounding relative to the given LF driver. Many companies claim some crazy researches and magnificent successes in this area. In reality it is very common that the result it is not as glorious. The Wilson Audio CUB with, a pair of SEAS 6.5" helped-paper woofers, had an expansive composite proprietary and well built enclosure but sonically those enclosures are VERY auditable. I think Wilson shoot itself in foot but going for that foolish LF extension with it’s dummy bass reflex-loading. If the CUB did not do down to 45Hz but were sealed and roll off at 80Hz-90Hz then they might be worth attention. Dunlavy SM-1 were very properly implemented: sealed, first order but unfortunately with resonant enclosures and notoriously cheap and bad performing drivers. Revel’s Gem created a lot of noise stating that they make own custom driver for their own custom enclosure. They told a lot about use of lasers for reading the enclosure resonances but in reality it turned out to be juts marketing BS, as the Revel Gem’s are very auditable during listenings.  I am talking about the expansive monitors. If we look at the less expansive monitors then the situation with sound of enclosures even more grim.

I was suggested to try Celestion SL-600 that reportedly is free from any “enclosure sound”. The SL-600 are sealed,  employs some completely off the wall plastics woofers that looks like was specially made for this speaker. There is a lot of attraction in the SL-600 and also there are some wrong things in them (sensitivity 82dB, HF zobeling and so on…) but I decided to try them. In the worst case, if the SL-600 do not sound good, it would be interesting to play with it’s aluminum enclosure.  The speakers employ the standard 6.5” woofers and it would be always easy to put in “good” 95dB sensitive drivers, go for first order and see what happens… I have in my storage JBL P650 and GTO603, Focal Utopia 165A that I used in my car… there are of course more interesting drivers… like the Zellatrons...

I will be reporting the findings…

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-10-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 2505
Reply to: 2504
Re: Chalk & Cheese

From the Macondo to the Celestion SL600 !

I cannot think of two speakers that could be more different in terms of design philosophy and (I imagine) the presentation of music.

If you can get any noise out of the SL600's I'll be interested to hear what you think of it. They are one of the very worst speakers I've ever heard.

The aerolam cabinet is indeed interesting and a good place to start. The rest is astonishingly poor.
06-10-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 2506
Reply to: 2505
I have no idea what the reply is all about.

Actually I care less about the design philosophy in this case but rather about the result. Obviously the 150W-200W (200W?) of Zarathustra’s pure class A would be completely useless for my horns. I would like to have something to drive with that amp and I am not completely satisfied with the installations to which I have asses locally. Of course I do not expect the par of little 2-ways mini-monitors with a pair of small LF sections to do what Macondo does. However I would like to make this little system to sound as good with Zarathustra as good, if not better, then those commercial crappy loudspeakers that they sell for $10.000-$90.000. Looking what JMLabs or Kharmas do, the MAXX and below level Wilson’s, the Schweikerts and the rest of crap I do not think that it would be difficult at sub $1000 level.

Evidently you Brits are more familiar with the SL600, I never heard them. The aerolam cabinet is something that very much attracted me in them, perhaps as the complete speaker “as is” or perhaps as a base for building my own. I do not know at this point. Still, the fact of aluminum enclosure is not a self-contained solution. Krell does aluminum speaker and they all sound revolting. But it was done by Krell, which is not a characteristic of design objectives but rather a design diagnoses. I do not know what it all would lead into… Perhaps I would let the SL600 to go as for the fraction of it’s price I could make my own enclosure (I know how to do it very cheap and very effective). As my long term objectives I would like to arm my monitor with Gorlich woofer with which I have fallen in love since I heard the older production of Italian M. Acoustics Eclipse loudspeakers (nowadays they do not use the Zellatrons anymnore but the Focals).

I think a correctly-made elclsosure (whatever it means), Gorlich woofer (perhaps a pair of then), a complimentary contemporary cloth tweeter (the are very good nowadays), first order filter should yield out of monitor topology whatever it possible. All the rest would be the Zarathustra’s duty. People hardly imagine what amplifiers might do as then hardly know what 6E5P driver does with sound…

Hey, I have 3 sequential audio projects that turned out were “bad for sound”. I need some kind of “win” to recover my audio ego…

Rgs,
Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-11-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
hagtech


Hawaii
Posts 117
Joined on 02-13-2006

Post #: 6
Post ID: 2507
Reply to: 2506
Re: monitors du jour
Romy, I thought the Ref3 mm-de capos sounded pretty good last I heard them.  No idea if they are ported or not.  I've been told the crossover is rather simple.  To me, they did a good disappearing act.  Probably expensive.

For decent cabinets, I like the Vandersteens.  Their new quad [?] (chopped off pyramid) is extremely neutral.  Sounds open and dynamic when given enough power.  I don't know what he does for bass.

The Dunlavy guy was quite the engineer.  Maybe similar in attitude with Klipsch.

jh
06-12-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 2512
Reply to: 2500
Why so much surprises about the Monitors?

That is funny but I received a few emails from audio people suggesting that I am a nut because at I suddenly expressed queasily in a monitor loudspeaker. Ironically only one of them uses some-type horn loading loudspeakers and the rest use large floor-standing acoustic system.

What constantly turn me off in audio people is their satisfaction with bumper-sticker awareness when the postulates that they accept as the rules are manfully as the statements of nowadays’ politicians. You know when a statesman jumps to microphone and annunciate something that has no real meaning, no depth, no follow-ups, no relation to anything in applied realty, no logic, no reasoning and full of self-contradictions? I think the dissatisfaction of the folks who surprised about my interest in monitor based upon the very same basic superficially of this understand about the nature of monitors. I do not get why some people do support the large floor-standing acoustic system but disregard the monitors. From my perspective the monitors are fundamentally more interesting and way more wiling topology then floor-standing.

Lets to dive little into the subject.

When a Moron pays his $30.000-$90.000 for a large, glossy, flashy and polished large floor-standing then the morons pays for a monitors and LF section combined in the same peace of furniture, where the 80%-90% of the furniture is LF implementation.  Now the funny parts that by the virtue of combining the MF and LF section the LF become fundamentally compromised (there is a LOT of reasons why and I might enumerate them). The speaker placing-wise the LF and HF section practically always require the different positing and with the large floor-standing it is imposable, consequently the large speakers are compromised even more. If we have 100db sensitive floorstanding then why we can’t have 100db sensitive monitors? Without going into LF it should be easer to make higher sensitively speakers and make them easier to drive.

I think that problem with monitors is not what they are but how they are treated in our awareness. Not a lot of people make them up to high demand and not a lot of people try to build then seriously. Did you see any serious commercial LF implementation for any commercial monitor? I do not think so. The industry offers mostly mediocre monitors with horrifying LF sections. I presume tat they do it intentionally. They do it because the industry knows that the speakers users are mostly idiots who accept any results if the results  are properly salted and papered. Also they do it because they would like to keep their floor-standing agenda as they could charge more money for polish and nicely finished peaces of the floor-standing furniture.

I feel that a properly implemented monitors and properly made dedicated LF section could be incredible good and in the same time be more functional and useful then floorstanding, I am not saying that I will be able to accomplish it within this my monitor experiment but I do not see why people are so surprised about this little journey of mine. A good monitor and a proper LF section allow accomplishing something that audio people mostly are not familiar: the CONTROLLED reproduced acoustic environment…

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-12-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Wojtek
Pinckney (MI), United States
Posts 158
Joined on 09-01-2005

Post #: 8
Post ID: 2516
Reply to: 2512
Re: Why so much surprises about the Monitors?
Roman.
This last "venture " of yours is most welcome .A lot of of the people I know and most of the listeners from audio shows are always surprised when small monitors produce big bass and try to
impress with big sound. I never liked this "pushed " sound and newer considered mini monitors. Acually I like the sound of cheap speakers used with japanesse mid -towers from 80's& 90's. They sound sort of flat and uninvasive and are very listenable in comparison to those "studio " quality monitors. It is stupid but my audio road is mostly full of costly (for me- not in general as I'm quite pure fella) mistakes and more & more often I ask myself why don't I just break up, buy one of those cheap junky sets and simly enjoy the music. Maybe they sound acceptable to me because they are mostly using 3" cone tweeters? I know that J.M Reynaud in his monitors is using this type of tweeters also those bizzare looking Rehdeko speakers don't use a dome tweeters. Have you ever considered them?
Looking at your demands I wonder if one of the so called fullrangers (of which you"re not very fond )augmented with tweeter (a la Macondo )could produce some results. I'm using this arrangement with my faulty horns using fostex 208 sigma and T350 crossed on the slop at 10k.
Also there is variety of small vintage alnico drivers with extended frequency response and decent efficiency.
Good luck with your project ,maybe it'll allow me to use your experience and finally have some decent "moveable ;0) speakers at home. RGRDS. W
06-13-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 2518
Reply to: 2500
There are a lot of foolish monitors out there…

I started to pay attention more deeply at what people do with monitors. The more I look at the available 2-ways monitors the more revolting picture I see. Today I heard one super expansive monitor that all those cretin-reviewers are drooling about lately. It was so bad that my prosciutto sandwidge stacked across my throat. What the pile of the sonic crap that $20.000 monitor was and what the barbaric objectives were in the head of the fool who made them! Those wonna-be high-end monitors took the worth that Kharma loudspeakers have and brought it to it’s absolutely ridicules level.

Furthermore, I bought last night a #78 issues of Canadian Ultra High Fidelity magazine. They had a review about the Totem Mani-2 Signature loudspeakers and an interview with Vince Bruzzese. The interview was in a way interesting here and there, although the questions  Vince was asked were complied apparently by 12 years old teenager. However, the review level meant the an awareness of that same 12 years old teenager only this time the teenager just ate a huge cake staffed with heavy-duty marihuana!

The UHF team stated that Mani-2 was  “one of the word’s truly great loudspeakers, without regards to either it’s size or price”. No shit? Do the horrendous Dynaoudio drivers, the rice paper enclosures, the tonal blindness, the compressed sound or the conning doctored bass made then to make such a statement? The review is filed with some amassing statements like “the recording was too loud and therefore too bright” or “the big pipes moved a lot of air”…  Aren’t the speakers that play bright when they loud is unavoidable evidence that the speakers are good only to cut sushi on them? Aren’t the Morons who write for UHF do not know that sound is based upon the Longitudinal waves contrary to the Transverse waves and there is no movement of air in sound, not to mention that the “movement of air” that they described in those monitors is juts a pipe's noise from the port?

It is sad but the problem with the monitors is not in the fundamentals of the monitors topologies but as I said above in the stupidity of the people who employ this topology. Each of then try to push more crappy bass out of their monitors and conceive different demy reasons to impress the idiots who work in the outsourced sale departments (audio-reviewers). It is hardly there is anyone out there to deal in a my search for a reasonable 2-way monitor..

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-14-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
hagtech


Hawaii
Posts 117
Joined on 02-13-2006

Post #: 10
Post ID: 2519
Reply to: 2518
Re: Canucks
Not to offend anyone, but I find the UHF folks to be extremely pro-Canadian.  I think they have a very strong bias.  Don't know where Totems come from, but I'd place a bet it's up north.  Now right after I click on "post" I'm going to look them up.

jh
06-14-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 11
Post ID: 2520
Reply to: 2519
The Totem Mani-2 anti-monitors

Yes, you are correct. The UHF are pro Canadian people and they do have the Canadian bias. Interestingly that the Canadian audio generally has very Canadian bias as well. It is very unfortunate as I always thought that bias should be for better Sound instead of a patriotic self-encapsulation….

Anyhow, the Totem Mani-2 is exactly my vision of a "stupid anti-monitor".  It uses a par of one-behind-another-sitting Dynaudio 17W75XL drivers along some other solutions to push more bass out of this mini-monitor. This is exactly what I call VERY wrong objectives. The Totem Mani-2 does impressive "sonic boom" that make fools to believe that these mini-monitors are "always a full range speakers". It is good for marketing and sale but it has nothing to do with the realty of sound. Those Dynaudio drivers are deadly like a bite of a rattlesnake and the bass that Totem dose is completely not useable. If people want to play the freak-show games, trying to get "big sound" from small monitors then Bose did much better job for a fraction of the price.

Still, the two biggest strategic mistakes that Totem did fundamentally wrong in Mani-2:

1) A ported enclosure made the Mani-2 not-integrateable with any possible complimentary LF section.
2) A monitor is JUST MF channel. Do NOT make a monitor to produce bass as you would be forced to use wrong drivers and wrong solutions to accomplish the wrong thighs.

As the result, instead of going for transients, dynamics, sensitively, tone and quality of sound the Totem went for creation of "farts producing monitors". I’m sure that the audio propaganda cretins had a lot of writing to do to demonstrate that they were “bass-impressed”, but it has little to do with servicing the interest of Sound.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-14-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 2521
Reply to: 2500
Marten Coltrane Supreme: a step forward and two steps back.

A few years ago a friend of my asked me what I feel might be a perspective product to go in high-end that would do well business wise and at same time topology would be optimized to serve better sound. I gave him an idea of a monitor, coupled with a mid-size separate LF section, coupled with a dedicated amp driving tow enclosures. I told that if everything is properly implemented and everything cost under $15K then it might be interesting for business, for consumers and for sound.

When I saw/heard the Marten Coltrane Supreme for a first time I got a feeling that they were trying to move into a correct direction. However, digging deeper into them I realized that they are very far from being properly implemented.

I would leave alone criticizing the specific design decisions of the Marten Coltrane Supreme and how they manifest themselves in sound. What important is in the design of the Marten Coltrane Supreme is to understand the reference point to which those $250,000 monitors were targeted.

Readers of my site know that I constantly criticize the cretin audio-writers. However, not a lot of people understand that the primitive state of today’s audio exist exactly because those audio-writers created in YOUR mind and in a manufacturers minds that idiotic level of reference points against which the manufacturers aim upon. The Marten Coltrane Supreme did not mean to "sound well" but it meant to address to primitive sonic objectives of the Michael Fremer-like listeners.  Do you wont more? Listen any single Kharma loudspeaker; listen the Magico Mini monitors and you will hear exactly the same “boom-dza-dza sound". I call it the “Sound of a reviewer's lobotomy”….

I think when the manufacturers would fee their minds form pleasing the demands of those industry idiots then they might discover that their product might sound in fact more interesting then they would expect themselves…

Rgs,
The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-15-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
behhl
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posts 5
Joined on 03-30-2006

Post #: 13
Post ID: 2523
Reply to: 2512
My Kind of Foolish Monitors and Sub playback
I use my my kind of Foolish Monitors happily, which are (no longer in production) BBC licensed LS3/5a monitors.

Surprisingly they were designed with the intent to use them in the mobile truck on site recordings studios etc, ie: with no great ambitions of being  'Monitor Idol' or the 'UK Next Super Monitor'. At least not that type of Foolishness!

Considering their origins they provide for me a nice compromise in the playback, small enough to fit my limited space (being also part of my living area), and having an emphasis on the midrange which makes most recordings infinitely more palatable than the sizzling tzzz-tzzz-tzzz of the Titanium Idol winners. As well, it is 15 ohm, and one of the few monitors I can drive with my SET reasonable. All other monitors I know demand so much more amp and I still cannot understand why.

The pair I own are probably 25 years old if not more ... I do have a REL sub connected together but it is a struggle to make it tango with the monitors. I still fight with it daily when able and when I despair I switch it off! and just listen Foolish Monitors sans sub, and even knowing I have lost the foundations at least I still enjoy the transparent unmuddled view of the vista without having my eye socked by boom-boom-boom.

regards

06-15-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
hagtech


Hawaii
Posts 117
Joined on 02-13-2006

Post #: 14
Post ID: 2524
Reply to: 2523
Re: Harbeth

That's a possibility.  Romy, what about the classic LS3/5a design?  Small monitor.  Sealed box. 

jh

06-15-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 15
Post ID: 2525
Reply to: 2524
BBC LS3/5a solution.

Thanks behhl for sharing. I’m not well familiar with the LS3/5a’s Sound. I think I heard juts few of them but I can’t say anything about thier sonic performance. However, looking at the LS3/5a concept, purely intellectually, I would hardly find them as a winning solution for a “better monior”.

As we know there is no LS3/5a monitors but there is a BBC design concept that was implemented by a dozen of companies with various successes. The LS3/5a, beside everything else, implies the complex phase-fixed crossovers and jacking up lower frequency extension by passive equalization. So, what it all leads us to? Loosing of sensitively (you need to burn a few dB of MF sensitively to EQ the bass), use of initially poor drivers, very low power handling and so on and so on....  This all might work more or less if the LS3/5as were used is a little closets (as they originally meant to be used by BBC) but it does not work in a wide applications.

I understand why the BBC did what they did and why they tried to push out of this ,omotors the fill-range-like balance.

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/PDF/BBC LS3_5a.pdf

However, my objective are completely different.  I do not need any semi-full-range like implementation and I need only superb quality two-ways MF/HF channel. Therefore in my case the LS3/5a would be juts a pursuit in the wrong direction...

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-16-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 16
Post ID: 2526
Reply to: 2523
A quest for a better monitor and sensitivity.

 behhl wrote:
As well, it is 15 ohm, and one of the few monitors I can drive with my SET reasonable. All other monitors I know demand so much more amp and I still cannot understand why.

behhl,

This is a part of bigger subject.  There is nothing interracially un-compatible between SET and monitors.  High impedance without any dives is defiantly helps but even it might be fixed (to degree) by tuning the properties of output transformers. What really surprises me that if we looks at the park of available 5”-7” drivers – the hart of any monitor - then there is nothing good with high sensitivity.

The two ways monitors is really complicated part of loudspeakers design. It is like design of monocycle engines. Although it is not as “important” and the design of the “Formula 1” engines but any engine designer would tell you that the solutions in the monocycle engines sometimes are more “sexy” then in any other transportation engines. The size, weight, the necessity to be very simplistic in operation and at the same time the aim to have very high demand make the monocycle engines the real art of engendering.

The core of any monitor is a MF driver, but look at those drivers. You would hardly fine any 5”-7” driver with sensitively over 93dB. If they do over then they have no power handling and dive into deep distortions and compression at 95dB of listening level. We have 103dB sensitive 15” drivers but why we cannot have103dB sensitive 6-inchers. I have no idea why we do not. I think the only driver that I know about is Alian 2140 with sensitivity under 100dB but still why not higher? I know another few 5”-7” drivers that have over 100dB sensitively but none of them sound good? Why not? Why do not apply the successes of the good sounding 88dB sensitive drivers (LE5, 15W-8530K, D2905 and few others) and to make them 103dB sensitive? 15dB of dynamic range is huge, very huge!!!!

Rgs,
Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-16-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Chirag
New York
Posts 32
Joined on 06-13-2004

Post #: 17
Post ID: 2527
Reply to: 2526
Tannoy monitors and MF drivers
Hi Cat,

The more and more I listen to reproduced music, the more I realize dynamics and tonal respect are key to start any reasonable installation.  This kind of crosses over into some driver discussions so bear with me...

My Tannoy 10" sealed box (not tannoys cheap boxes) golds then reds did wonderfully in that MF range and reasonably with the HF demands....the problem they had existed more in the dynamics department.  I picked up some 15" reds and 15" DMT's.  The reds have better dynamic range, but they just don't work for me below 80hz in their current boxes or above something like 600-800hz on the high end.  The DMT's have big well built boxes, but respect tonality like Koshka respects visitors.  The HF drivers don't seem to integrate in the big speakers as well as the little 10" versions (red or gold).

What is left to do?  I uncoupled the 10" red/golds from the bass and am supplementing with the 10" scan speaks each in sealed 2.5cu ft boxes on each side.  Another set is being made for me right now for 2 per side work below 80-100hz.  Its a reasonable solution, but the dynamics in the MF range are still going to get me clamoring for the big 15" speakers (however rude they are), i have to deal with multiamping and my dog trips over all the wiring.

Drivers that are left for MF work?  someone point me somewhere!  The PHL's won't work in sealed boxes, old JBL's are ok but not sensitive enough, the pro Audax is ok, but ragged on top.  The ideal MF driver would do 80hz to 2k without passive crossover help, be 100db/watt and have some musical respect.  I agree with you...scan speak and JBL can do better.

Best,
Chirag
06-16-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 18
Post ID: 2530
Reply to: 2527
Tannoy 10" and Melq? That would be fun!

 Chirag wrote:
The more and more I listen to reproduced music, the more I realize dynamics and tonal respect are key to start any reasonable installation.

Not kidding?! :-)

 Chirag wrote:
My Tannoy 10" sealed box (not tannoys cheap boxes) golds then reds did wonderfully in that MF range and reasonably with the HF demands....the problem they had existed more in the dynamics department.  I picked up some 15" reds and 15" DMT's.  The reds have better dynamic range, but they just don't work for me below 80hz in their current boxes or above something like 600-800hz on the high end.  The DMT's have big well built boxes, but respect tonality like Koshka respects visitors.  The HF drivers don't seem to integrate in the big speakers as well as the little 10" versions (red or gold).

Yes, I always felt that Tannoy the vintage 10" sealed box were the best Tannoy out there. Still they were the best not because they were best but because the 10” had less bass extension and did not go into the dangers zone when the bass should be made sensible with a respect to many other things, including the room modes…

 Chirag wrote:
What is left to do?  I uncoupled the 10" red/golds from the bass and am supplementing with the 10" scan speaks each in sealed 2.5cu ft boxes on each side.  Another set is being made for me right now for 2 per side work below 80-100hz.  Its a reasonable solution, but the dynamics in the MF range are still going to get me clamoring for the big 15" speakers (however rude they are), i have to deal with multiamping and my dog trips over all the wiring.

Actually what you described: the Tannoy 10"  and complimentary sealed with SD-1 motor is what I would do… You have not enough dynamic? Try do not not decouple the Tannoy, but high-pass them and drive them harder… perhaps with Melquiades … although they might need more current ***. If I had a pair of 10” Reds handy I would do it….

The Cat

*** I still did not figure out what Melq does with current loving speakers as I have seen as it drive then surprisingly good. It should not be the case as it is SET, no feedback and relatively high out impedance. Still it did see some very strange results with the Melquiades driving capacity.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-16-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Chirag
New York
Posts 32
Joined on 06-13-2004

Post #: 19
Post ID: 2531
Reply to: 2530
Re: Tannoy 10" and Melq? That would be fun!
 Romy the Cat wrote:

Not kidding?! :-)

Yes, I always felt that Tannoy the vintage 10" sealed box were the best Tannoy out there. Still they were the best not because they were best but because the 10” had less bass extension and did not go into the dangers zone when the bass should be made sensible with a respect to many other things, including the room modes…



I'm coming to the same result.  After trying to get bass out of them, I realized I had something to work with instead of against.

 Romy the Cat wrote:

Actually what you described: the Tannoy 10"  and complimentary sealed with SD-1 motor is what I would do… You have not enough dynamic? Try do not not decouple the Tannoy, but high-pass them and drive them harder… perhaps with Melquiades … although they might need more current ***. If I had a pair of 10” Reds handy I would do it….


what you think i'm doing?  a pair of 10" SD-1's each in their own box on each side sitting under the 10" red.  The argument for having 4 per side is being strongly disputed by the female.  I'm using a speaker level high pass, but I'm gonna have to deal with my dog tripping over wires and biamp this setup.  It should work nicely I think.  Still, I do miss the dynamic lower MF of the 15" woofer...

 Romy the Cat wrote:

*** I still did not figure out what Melq does with current loving speakers as I have seen as it drive then surprisingly good. It should not be the case as it is SET, no feedback and relatively high out impedance. Still it did see some very strange results with the Melquiades driving capacity.


I may Milq the Tannoys yet...finding the time to do it is the big problem.  I almost took your offer to build the Melq down here in ny!  the setup is gonna be driven by some boat anchor type aleph amps for now.

best,
Chirag
06-16-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 20
Post ID: 2532
Reply to: 2531
The midrange driver is the main bitch!
 Chirag wrote:
Still, I do miss the dynamic lower MF of the 15" woofer...
Well, this is it. I really do not know what it is and I (and you) call it “dynamics” but it might be something else that juts appears like dynamics… I did not play a lot with Tannoy 10”. I had it once home: the standard default Tannoy enclosure and I did like them tonally a lot. Still, for whatever reasons all (that I know) small (5”-8”) drivers are dynamically more challenged then 15”. I have written about it:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?postID=2511

This is the problem with smaller mid/upperbass range drivers – that are the core of the proper 2-ways monitors. Let look at the numbers.

An everglade cone 7” driver has sensitively 88dB, handles 100W and develop maximum acoustic pressure of 103dB. In reality those drivers do not handle  100W. They hit 103dB after a few watts and then you drive them with generators of Hover Damn the do not sound louder. Contrary to it the compression drivers have average sensitively of 107dB and develop max acoustic pressure over 120dB. Also there is another very interesting thing. The compression drivers when they overdriven distort first and then compress dynamics. The cone drivers do opposite and if they are overdriven they begin to compress and only then they distort.

I am looking out for a good 100Hz-4000Hz 6”-7”driver, with 100dB sensitively. I it king of complicated as the cone along with the suspension should all work together, smartly damping the cone, and smartly breaking the cone, and to do many other things…  The Alian 2140 looks very interesting but of I need 4 drivers then it is $6000… It is kind of too bity…

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-17-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 21
Post ID: 2533
Reply to: 2500
Monitor speaker project: my hope.

I would like to share some ides what I would like to do in my monitor project.  This are just intention and I did not try to put it all together. Probably I will do it with the next few weeks.

I’m planning to use the Celestion SL-600 enclosure as I fill it is quite wonderful. As the MF driver I’m planning to use the source of my constant pain and pretty much what made met o think that it would be worth to try. In the end of the 90 I bought a Focal Utopia 165W set for my car. I had a hybrid tube-bipolar amp in my car that was driving the Utopia 165W (no subwoofers or any crap like this). Also I was very lucky to have a very good installer who did very good (and very expansive) job to mount the MF driver into my car. I was running that car off 3 year of the lease period and I can tell you that it was absolutely amassing sound.  The Focal tweeter are garbage and the sound like it but what the Focal Utopia 165W did in lower midrange kept surprised me and gave me a lot of very pleasant time.

The Focal Utopia 165W used 6.5” driver, It is typical W-type cone mid-woofer, with Neodymium magnet,
1.5 coil of 0.42mH, Fs=64.4 Hz, phase plug, 4" magnet, 93db sensitivity, meant to use with 24dB/octave at 2.5kHz. (It is not the today's "Be" version but the older one) I think the JM Lab use the same driver in their Mini Utopia monitor but I’m not sure. The Mini Utopia sound like crap and generally I’m not a big fan of the JM Lab multi-layers fiberglass coupled with the layers plastic foam. However, the Utopia 165W’s bass driver sounded nothing like Mini Utopia’s bass drivers. I presume that the similar larger drivers have that plastic, overly high resolution, depersonalizing tone but the smaller drivers might have no enough length of the cone to develop those qualities. Anyhow, the165W’ bass driver was very fast, very dynamic, phenomenal tonally, with superb withholding of tone and contrast at the lower listening levels (very big deal) and frankly speaking it was “a big secret of mine” how a pathetic car audio could be so musical. Of course a car is very small place and I would very much would like to see hot the 165W’s bass driver would perform in a larges listening room.

I’m planning to use it at 3.3kHz first order and high pass it with active basing first order at 60Hz. If it goes well then I will looks to the tweeter that would be relatively simple task.

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-17-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 22
Post ID: 2535
Reply to: 2533
Re: Audax mid driver
Hi Romy,

Wouldn't the Audax PRO170 be a suitable driver to try or do you think it has too many weaknesses? I realise Audax are no longer operating but there must be thousands of these drivers out there. I always quite liked what it could do even if it wasn't perfect.

rgds,

Guy

Thanks for the tip re the Pristine Audio website. Some lovely music there.
06-17-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
cv
Derby, United Kingdom
Posts 173
Joined on 09-15-2004

Post #: 23
Post ID: 2537
Reply to: 2535
partnering tweeter for focal mid
R,
I note you calimed a fondness for certain softdomes; looks like there are some newer scanspeaks that may have the tonal qualities of your favoured types but with higher sensitivity, which will match the Focal well.

Eg: D2904 types at
http://www.madisound.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?exact_match=yes&product=SST&cart_id=7087214.17882

Also have very low 520Hz resonance so would suit a first order cross...

Btw, do you have a link for this Alian driver you mentioned. Pure curiosity...

cheers
cv
06-17-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 24
Post ID: 2539
Reply to: 2537
Re: tweeter for focal, if it be the focals...

 cv wrote:
I note you calimed a fondness for certain softdomes; looks like there are some newer scanspeaks that may have the tonal qualities of your favoured types but with higher sensitivity, which will match the Focal well.

Eg: D2904 types at
http://www.madisound.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?exact_match=yes&product=SST&cart_id=7087214.17882

Also have very low 520Hz resonance so would suit a first order cross...

Btw, do you have a link for this Alian driver you mentioned. Pure curiosity...

Yes, Chris,
 
there are many good tweeter out there and to pick one with near 93dB sensitivity would not be difficult. What would be tricky is to find one that sounds in the same way as the chosen bass driver.

I usually connect them together give them frequency centered pink noise around the crossover point, EQ the volumes and move my head at 3 feet from the axis of one driver to the axis of other driver. The driver should have different harmonic stricture but the same tone, same compression level, same distortion pattern, do “it” at the different volume levels (very important), have the same transient characteristics and so on. The point is the moving a complex signal within 2 octaves across the crossover point, and at the different volume levels Sound should not change lot…. The problem is that you need to have the damn driver in your hand, try it BEFORE you pay for it. That tricky… BTW, the D2905 Revelators drivers look very nice as well

Here is the link to the bass driver I told you. It is not available by browsing and possible only as the direct link. I have no idea why it is so.

 http://www.e-speakers.com/products/alian.htm

Rgs,
The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
07-01-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 25
Post ID: 2611
Reply to: 2505
..."the very worst speakers I've ever heard..."

 guy sergeant wrote:
From the Macondo to the Celestion SL600 !

I cannot think of two speakers that could be more different in terms of design philosophy and (I imagine) the presentation of music.

If you can get any noise out of the SL600's I'll be interested to hear what you think of it. They are one of the very worst speakers I've ever heard.

The aerolam cabinet is indeed interesting and a good place to start. The rest is astonishingly poor.

Well, at this point I can assure you that you if did not have proper electronics to drive the thing or did not use them properly. May I ask you what is your objection of the SL600’ sound and what “astonishingly poor” you find in their design?

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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