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  »  New  The loudspeakers for a powerful SET..  Mission Accomplished?...  Audio Discussions  Forum     48  283972  04-11-2008
01-19-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
noviygera


Chicago, IL
Posts 142
Joined on 06-12-2009

Post #: 26
Post ID: 24638
Reply to: 22901
TAD TM-1201 observations
There seems to be a lack of useful feedback on the actual sound quality of these oddball, relatively rare TAD mids. So I think it would be helpful to share some basic observations I gather after listening to them for a couple of days. I install these 1201 on an open baffle so I could compare to Tannoy 12" paper coax, also being on a similar open baffle (using only the woofer section and bypassing tannoy crossover).

I had them powered by a 30w push pull tube amp and DSP processor for flexibility of setting the crossover filters. I set the filters to 6db/oct at 150hz and 1.5khz.

It's an understatement that I don't like the 1201 sound. It's probably the most unpleasant sound I heard at home from a single driver. When the German distributor told me the sound is "fast and loud" I thought that may be a good start to describe. But the main problem I have with this driver is that as soon as I start listening to any music material that I like, I want to turn off this thing after 2 minutes. At first what stands out is the truly high sensitivity and the clarity of attack of all sounds. However, everything sounds loud and compressed, as thought the music that I know so well has compressed the hell out of it and then converted to mp3 of medium bitrate. It's a flat, loud sound with little spacial development, as clearly evident when comparing to the lowly 12" paper tannoy.

There is no sustain of any note, no harmonic development, just an on/off type of behavior that really creates an aggressive, hard to enjoy environment. I did not measure this thing and I don't care about that as I see no point of investigating for myself any further. It may be this this is acceptable in a mastering studio monitor where the values are based on dissecting the recording but for reproducing something that resembles natural tone and timbre, this is an awful midrange.  Beautiful midrage it is not.

I did compare to the paper Tannoys. What is clear is the significant sensitivity advantage and midrange resolution but of only the attack of the notes. Maybe it's related to the low Qm of the TAD? I don't know.

So do not rush to purchase TM-1201, in fact if I got them for free, I would sell them at the first opportunity. I don't want to say this is a piece of shit driver but it sure sound like one. Over engineered in the wrong direction? 


01-20-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,535
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 27
Post ID: 24639
Reply to: 24638
TAD direct radiators are garbidge.
 noviygera wrote:
… everything sounds loud and compressed, as thought the music that I know so well has compressed the hell out of it….

Well, as far as I concerned, you have characterized ANY TAD non-compression driver.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-20-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Scott L
Posts 17
Joined on 02-26-2008

Post #: 28
Post ID: 24640
Reply to: 24638
Open baffle is garbage
 noviygera wrote:
There seems to be a lack of useful feedback on the actual sound quality of these oddball, relatively rare TAD mids. So I think it would be helpful to share some basic observations I gather after listening to them for a couple of days. I install these 1201 on an open baffle so I could compare to Tannoy 12" paper coax, also being on a similar open baffle (using only the woofer section and bypassing tannoy crossover).

I had them powered by a 30w push pull tube amp and DSP processor for flexibility of setting the crossover filters. I set the filters to 6db/oct at 150hz and 1.5khz.

It's an understatement that I don't like the 1201 sound. It's probably the most unpleasant sound I heard at home from a single driver. When the German distributor told me the sound is "fast and loud" I thought that may be a good start to describe. But the main problem I have with this driver is that as soon as I start listening to any music material that I like, I want to turn off this thing after 2 minutes. At first what stands out is the truly high sensitivity and the clarity of attack of all sounds. However, everything sounds loud and compressed, as thought the music that I know so well has compressed the hell out of it and then converted to mp3 of medium bitrate. It's a flat, loud sound with little spacial development, as clearly evident when comparing to the lowly 12" paper tannoy.

There is no sustain of any note, no harmonic development, just an on/off type of behavior that really creates an aggressive, hard to enjoy environment. I did not measure this thing and I don't care about that as I see no point of investigating for myself any further. It may be this this is acceptable in a mastering studio monitor where the values are based on dissecting the recording but for reproducing something that resembles natural tone and timbre, this is an awful midrange.  Beautiful midrage it is not.

I did compare to the paper Tannoys. What is clear is the significant sensitivity advantage and midrange resolution but of only the attack of the notes. Maybe it's related to the low Qm of the TAD? I don't know.

So do not rush to purchase TM-1201, in fact if I got them for free, I would sell them at the first opportunity. I don't want to say this is a piece of shit driver but it sure sound like one. Over engineered in the wrong direction? 




You are accurately describing the sound of a driver that is intended to be used in a sealed enclosure, but instead on a open baffle. You broke the rule known as "There shall be no Di Pole Ness".
01-20-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,144
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 29
Post ID: 24642
Reply to: 24640
The Actual "Rule"
Not to "defend" di-pole, but just to clarify, the "Rule" is: Thou Shalt Listen to Thy Results and Be Guided Thereby.  Just like "horns" or following Horn Resp won't get you a good sounding horn system.

For most, it is probably best to stick to the topology a favored driver is "designed for".  However, good-sounding drivers are few and far between, no matter the preferred topology, and there are more ways to mess up the sound of even good sounding drivers than there are ways to integrate those drivers into systems and rooms.  At  least this is the case where  one is after "advanced" results.




Best regards
Paul S
01-21-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
noviygera


Chicago, IL
Posts 142
Joined on 06-12-2009

Post #: 30
Post ID: 24644
Reply to: 24642
I am skeptical but...
I agree the dipol is generally a wrong direction for entire speaker system but I thought it a good way to evaluate a specific driver's sound and character. I am I wrong here? 

The box should only increase the bass range and provide additional damping. TM-1201 already sounds incredibly overdapmped.If it sounds like crap on a panel, putting in the sealed box will magically change it's sound quality? I am very skeptical about this but if I am wrong, I can build a box and listen again but. Why would it sound better on a box?
01-21-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,144
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 31
Post ID: 24645
Reply to: 24644
The Sound of a Given Driver
A given driver might sound very different  when it's deployed in different ways, so putting it in a box just might make it sound "better" to you (vs. OB), for your particular application.  But why did you choose this driver?  What about its sound attracted you in the first place, and how was it deployed when you decided to try it out for yourself?  How does the cone handle the "scratch and tap" test?


Paul S
01-21-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Scott L
Posts 17
Joined on 02-26-2008

Post #: 32
Post ID: 24646
Reply to: 24645
1201
Operating a driver in an open baffle will cause front-to-back sound wave cancellation, aka the acoustical short circuit. In addition to this, a plane board baffle offers zero air load to the drivers cone. This is not good. That's why it sounded like crap.

I actually owned a pair of these 1201's for quite a while. They are excellent drivers, but they are also specialized mid range drivers. They don't sound like 12 inch woofers at all. The reason that I bought the pair that I had, was for a couple of reasons. They were highly recommended to mate with my Stage Accompany SA-8535 ribbon drivers, and I knew a guy locally, who had a pristine pair and willing to sell to me for a very fair price.

Tapping the cone resulted in a neutral sound. Having said that, they are still a 12 inch cone being used for mid range.  I found that the higher I used them in the their recommended frequency range, the more "cone cry" they exhibited. 2500Hz was still a compromise, as it was suggested to me to cross them at 1.2K, but I use an active crossover system, and decided to pursue another avenue all together, rather than to re-configure my unit for the crossover frequency change.

There is also quite a bit of discussion on the merit of this driver as being used as a mid-bass horn driver, but I never did try it.
01-21-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,144
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 33
Post ID: 24647
Reply to: 24646
The Neutral Sounding Driver
The best-sounding drivers I've heard will amplify a wide range of sounds from scratching or tapping differently at different points on the cone, or even from tapping or rubbing the driver frame.  And never mind OB, some throw amazing tonal range and color in "free air", meaning no baffle at all.  Of course they aren't doing LF like this, but some of the 12" might do incredible cello.  OB itself might be a way to get a lot from some drivers, albeit the "acoustic short" must be dealt with somehow, usually with another driver.  I don't know the 1201, but there are drivers that might be OK in OB, given they are properly helped by the overall speaker/system in a given room.

I have not heard the ribbons nor the MF drivers you've mentioned, but I would typically not run a 12" that high nor ribbons so low as to try that.




Best regards,
Paul
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  »  New  The loudspeakers for a powerful SET..  Mission Accomplished?...  Audio Discussions  Forum     48  283972  04-11-2008
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