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06-12-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1
Post ID: 27105
Reply to: 27105
The Loudspeaker (Troels Gravesen project); Finally!

The Loudspeaker (Troels Gravesen project); a report started "too soon" because they've taken sooo long to build, and they fired right up (first try), and they already do Music!
 
For some time (at least a decade) I thought about building a very large center speaker, in order to add power and Musical presence to my stereo system. I played with many vintage drivers, trying to improve the sound and increase the amount and range of Musical sounds I got from them. Fair to say, I learned a lot, including sobering up with regards to my own manufacturing capabilities. As it turns out, I just don’t have the chops to make my own drivers. During this time I listened to and kept track of many stock speakers and drivers that interested me, including re-built and classic-type direct, horn, and hybrid speakers. I ran across Troels Gravesen’s website a couple of years ago, and I liked the way he went about things and what he said about vintage drivers and open baffle speakers that I already knew something about. When Troels came up with The Loudspeaker, I was hypnotized, and I saved up and bought the Jantzen kit (which includes full specs), then I back-ordered the drivers from US-based pro sound distributors. I used Visaton horn UHF drivers. My hopes/expectations were fueled by “classic” JBL speakers I have heard over many years. Generally speaking, I was hoping to wind up with speakers that were very immediate and lifelike without being too shout-y or pushy. Due to the pandemic and personal health issues, it’s taken me a long time to finish this complex and difficult project. Anyone interested in what Troels has to say about it can go here:  http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Diy_Loudspeaker_Projects.htm
 
Troels’ original The Loudspeaker is either based on or it’s coincidentally very similar to the fairly short-lived JBL 4345 studio playback monitor, a Greg Timbers design/model I’d heard about but never actually heard. For better or for worse, Troels’ version uses selected and mated modern/contemporary “pro” divers rather than re-built or new JBL “tribute” drivers, along with Troels’ proprietary crossovers and his own cabinet design, which is very similar to but not the same as the JBL 4345.
 
Please note: IMO, The Loudspeaker is not a good first (or second…) DIY project. It’s just too big, heavy (over 200#/ea.) and complicated for a rooky to handle. This was a very difficult project for me despite I am a Master Carpenter with over 50 years of experience and lots of tools. Basically, these cabinets are a job for a fully-equipped (and properly staffed) cabinet shop with full scale panel saws, etc. In fact, CNC would be nice! My approach was to “circumvent” the fixed equipment with very basic “work-arounds”, including dead flat cutting tables on the garage floor, a special blade for my Skilsaw, and several straight edges. I can’t in good conscience “recommend” any of my work-arounds; there’s just too much margin for error, especially given the cost of the Baltic Birch plywood, which is very “unforgiving” and difficult to process under the best conditions. Further, glue-up of sub and main assemblies also requires flat tables, and 3-D controls. There are lots of pieces, and assembly is very complicated and nearly impossible without a lot of pre-engineering and pre-fitting, and, preferably, another pair of experienced hands, not to mention loads of clamps and well-thought-out control measures to get and keep everything in line for clamping before the glue sets up. Regarding construction details, I will tell more on Troels’ Builder Response board only. Here at GSC I’ll try to stick to conceptual and construction basics and focus on the sound. I do want to want to mention that I spent a lot of extra time messing with glues and sound deadening/dampening ideas as I went along. Also, I bi-wired (and internally wired) my Loudspeakers with 12 gauge Speltz Anti-Cable speaker wire. One pair of speaker wires goes from the amp to the woofer X/O, and the second pair of wires goes from the amp to the X/Os for the rest of the drivers. I should also say that my X/Os are all passive, at speaker level. My amps are Marantz MA9-S2 monoblocks that are literally made for bi-wiring, and these amps put out a lot of power, including a whole lot of current. I have already posted plenty about these amps on this board, and they are an integral part of my speakers in my system.
 
Per Troels, The Loudspeaker is a 95 dB efficient, 4-way design that uses an 18” treated paper woofer in a big reflex cabinet from about 25 Hz up to ~160 Hz; a 10” paper cone midrange unit in a sealed box up to ~1,300 Hz; a compression driver and a short horn for upper-mids and treble to ~9k Hz; and I use a compression horn for UHF above 9k Hz, for anyone who can hear it.  Again, look at Troels’ site if you want full specs. Please understand that I am not offering any specs as “proof” of anything, in any case.  I will repeat, because I like this quote, what the original designer of the JBL 4350, Greg Timbers, said of that speaker, that “It does not know it is not supposed to sound as good as it does.” When it comes to designing a loudspeaker, I agree with Troels that any loudspeaker is a pile of compromises, so it’s basically a matter of Pick Your Poison.
Like I said, too soon to say much. So far, I've only listened to 3 LPs: Kind of Blue; Sketches of Spain; Solti/Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Bruckner 7. I actually built them to try to further explore Bruckner and other "difficult" Music, and indeed, new Musical doors are already opening.

Paul S
06-13-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 10,075
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 27106
Reply to: 27105
The Musical presence via a center chanal?

Paul, congratulations on your finished project. I do not have a lot of experience with central channel, I wonder how you route signal to it in context of stereo recordings. If you use DSP then I presume that it is more deterministic to the final result than the quality of your central channel speaker.  What I find interesting in your post is the following: “in order to add power and Musical presence to my stereo system…”  What do you mean? Why do you feel that your center channel helps you to add the “Musical presence”? Are you sure that it is “Musical presence” and not something else?


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-13-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 3
Post ID: 27107
Reply to: 27106
"Musical Presence"
OK, Romy, maybe more like, the presence of Music. I felt like I was getting good sound, but I wanted more of it, with "an expanding sense of it", including better "center fill". We have talked here about the technical/electrical problems inherent in re-allocating parts of left to right and center, and vice-versa, and I just could not convince myself to continue the center channel, not to mention the extra amp (which I actually kept on hand for several years...). I got resistant to "solving" the algorithm/allocation thing, and even James Bongiorno himself did not win me over, in the end. What I went for instead, and what it appears that I do have now, is just lots more power that "gets out into the room", to charge the room. The horn I have now is very short and "fast", more like a wave guide, and the sound does not attach to the speakers in my current set-up. I will try to do some pictures. If this does not work out, it won't be because I did not get what I wanted; it seems like I did get that, and at this point I look forward to continuing with it.

I checked again, and I first contacted Troels Gravesen about this project 4 years ago, and I started seriously rounding up parts 3 years ago!

Best regards,
Paul S
06-14-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 10,075
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 27111
Reply to: 27107
The mental aim
Paul, what I am saying has nothing to do with your Troels project but rather a psychological exercise to understand what truly is going on. Also, I very much not knocking at your door with my mental approach to audio objective am trying to demonstrate that everything is not so simple.
 
So, you are injecting int the room one more acoustic system that for sure “increase the density of Music” in your room. How can we methodologically differentiate from the changes you experience after you put your central channel in play and the changes you would experience if you increased the radiating surface of your right and left channel? It is not clear what kind signal you use to drive your central channel and not clear how your right and left channels are installed in the context of your listening room. So, from perspective of general audio analysis we still do not know if the improvements you might have related to the functionality of the “central channel” or related to the functionality of “another channel”. Here is a little methodological tip that I use myself to understand what is going on. When you make acoustic change like this, try to take your focus from what became better towards to observing what become worse. For whatever reason when this think about what become worse we are dealing with known N it multiple time help me to debug problem much more accurate.
 
Anyhow, if I were in your shoes I would experiment to drive the center channel from different type of signals, probably a good digital signal processor would help you with experiments To get out of main signal sum, delta, different phase shifts, and all of it might be very much frequency dependent. The digital companies did a tone of research in this direction. While you experiment with this do pay attention not only to what became but what became worse. Interestingly, I do not recommend to find error configuration when amount of worse is minimal and to use it. However, knowing in which configuration the damage from central channel is minimal will give to you a reference point upon which you can keep your mental aim.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-14-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 5
Post ID: 27112
Reply to: 27111
No Center Channel(!)
Romy, are you thinking I am running a center channel now? I am not. I am just running the new stereo speakers, right and left. I had already decided that I wasn't going for the center channel before I went this way, for all the reasons I cited. I made an announcement about it and sold my 3rd amp, maybe 3 years ago. The only way in which my current stereo set-up "derives" from thoughts about a center channel is the idea of putting substantially more energy into the room, especially in terms of "center fill", and I have done a version of this with more powerful stereo.

Best regards,
Paul S
06-17-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 615
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 6
Post ID: 27116
Reply to: 27105
Which one?
Paul, congratulations! But which of Troels' projects have you completed? The webpage shows them all.



Cheers,
Jarek
STACORE
06-17-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 7
Post ID: 27118
Reply to: 27116
Like the Thread Title Says...
Jarek, it's the biggest thing he's done, as far as I know, dubbed... "The Loudspeaker". Hence, the title for the thread... He went on to do successively smaller versions, the TLII and the TLIII.


http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/The-Loudspeaker.htm


Best regards,
Paul S
06-28-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 8
Post ID: 27149
Reply to: 27118
The Bruckner Connection

Weird, I realize, but this speaker project included a mental exercise about “proper” playback for Bruckner 7”, how to facilitate hearing and figuring out what is going on with that Music. As ever, I turned different speaker and amp ideas around in my head like a Rubik’s Cube, trying to mentally line up a design with the sonic goals until they “clicked”. I have heard very little Bruckner played live, but brushes with Bruckner’s music, live or recorded, always piqued my interest, even as it confused me. My previous speakers are good enough that I have known for some time that Bruckner uses LF and dynamics “differently”, but I haven’t clearly heard, felt, or understood what he is doing before now. Very generally, I felt like I needed “more” of what I had, and it would be a plus if only the 2 speakers had to change. With these speakers (and the same MA-9S2 amps) I can finally hear and feel the incredibly rich LF sonorities that Bruckner creates. I also hear differently/better and understand better the slow to mid-tempo “crescendos” that eluded me before, now that the rising and falling is better articulated, resulting in certain rich textures that derive from amazing, subtle timbrel and dynamic instrumental contrasts, both assonant and dissonant, at times spread out over surprisingly long intervals, and at times very loud. I also enjoy the way Bruckner uses large ensembles in every register to weave tapestries of sound, including texture. The feeling I get is that Bruckner seems to be in grateful awe of Creation, and his Music makes me feel that way, too. Perhaps, once one hears and understands Bruckner this way, it is possible to hear and feel it from a car radio or a boom box. Anyway, I am just, finally, starting to get it, and it looks like I took a wild shot at this, and it’s working! In truth, when I read about these speakers, I equated them with big JBL monitors I’ve heard, and they “matched up” pretty well with my developing mental picture, which included most of my existing set-up, and I pulled the trigger. I referred several times to this project as my “latest folly”, because I was not 100% positive how this big, difficult, expensive project would work out. Heightening the tension, I built the whole project before I listened, over 3 years, and I basically feel like I lucked out. Others can decide if my 60 years interest in audio, including a fair amount of DIY, and tons of “mental cataloging”, gave me the background to steer myself where I needed to go to get what I wanted. I’ve made plenty of audio mistakes. I’m glad this was not one of them. I should also say that I remain a musical omnivore, and if I’ve lost anything by adopting these speakers, in gaining Bruckner, I have not noticed it yet. I feel like it was Troel’s design; I just curated, and I was lucky. It would be too funny if these speakers only did well with B7, but not other Bruckner!

TL1finishedfonnt.JPG  

>Sorry about image size! This is the first time I posted a picture here! It took me several tries. >

Paul S>>

06-29-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 10,075
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 27150
Reply to: 27149
VERY interesting subject
It is a very interesting subject, Paul. If we presume that an acoustic system has an objective the most “interestingly” reproduce Bruckner, then what the acoustic system he should do? Pay attention I did not say more “accurate” or more “faithfully” as that is a whole different subject and the one that I do not particularly subscribe to. I do not wan to hijack you thread as I can write 1000000 wor0s about it but I think thinking about it for an audio person is very healthy.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-29-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 10
Post ID: 27151
Reply to: 27150
Ways and Means to Music Listening
Romy, I actually feel a little sheepish that my process did not include a multi-media map for others to follow, if they choose to, although Troels already did a great job of exactly that. I did post construction pictures and explanations on Troels Gravesen's builder response board: 

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/The-Loudspeaker-1_Paul_US.htm

This hyperlink is the place to look for construction details pics, although I will be happy to discuss here both the rote project and the Bruckner/Music connection.

Again, Romy, I did not mean to make the picture so large! Feel free to reduce the size of it!

Paul S

07-09-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 11
Post ID: 27164
Reply to: 27151
Finding Music on Poor Recordings
Via Mengelberg’s performance of Ein deutsches Requiem, Philips CD
 
Perhaps it’s possible for someone to “get” Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem by way of a table radio. Speaking for myself, I only got hints that way, and it wasn’t until I took special steps with my sound system that I began to understand this mighty work. Naturally, I had to try this CD with my new The Loudspeakers! And despite the CD itself was damaged a while back by playing it in my old Volvo, I was immediately drawn into the piece and I had a better experience with it than ever before. Make no mistake, the re-recording of the 1940 live performance is not “audiophile quality” to begin with, and The Loudspeakers are not good because they “fix” that problem, but they are good because they bring me more than before from both the Music and the performances, despite the compromised aspects of the recording. I can’t say there is more color from The Loudspeakers than from my BassZillas, but there is certainly more coherent LF information. In fact, there is more coherent information at all frequencies, and the sound spectrum is better sorted out, overall, as well, I think, generally less tipped up. Massed violins are better pitched, and more natural for that, and they are clearer vs. recording artifacts; and the same with chorale voices. Basically, I get More Music from this CD, and this has been the case with several “compromised” recordings I’ve listened to, so far. I am still working to get my vinyl playback where it was before I pretty much went off the rails, a couple of years ago, but even now I get Music that can be better than the sound of the LP itself would suggest to an audiophile. I am always happy to add program, and so far The Loudspeakers are helping me to do this. 
 
Paul S
08-08-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 12
Post ID: 27202
Reply to: 27164
TL1 With Improved Vinyl Playback

Like I said in my previous post, I lost my tonearm/cartridge synergy a while back, and then I realized that I needed to replace the surrounds on the drivers in my BassZillas, and I shut the system down for some time, until I got The Loudspeakers up and running. So, I’m glad to say, it’s been pretty easy to tell what’s going on with the system via The Loudspeakers, as they break in, and I as blow the cobwebs out of my long-idle electronics. Today was especially nice, starting with some Coltrane, then on to the Scherzo and the Finale from Bruckner 7. Great listening to both LPs, and I still feel expansive enough at this point to say these speakers were “worth it” just for the Bruckner 7! By the end of that LP I was weeping with joy! This Music is magnificent! I really look forward to “getting into Bruckner”. I just now found a few more Bruckner LPs I was afraid I’d just imagined. I guess I’d “set them aside”, then forgotten about them, because they were not where they were supposed to be, in my record racks, where I expected to find them (but couldn’t) last week. I plan to get Wand’s Bruckner 8 that was recorded live in Lubeck. I’ve only seen this performance on CD, so I guess that’s peripheral to this post. As for how, specifically, The Loudspeakers have revealed Bruckner to me, it turns out I got the “more” I wanted. There’s just more Music there now than there was before, and The Loudspeakers do more Music with less fuss and bother; they make it seem natural, and “easy” in that sense. I’m still messing with speaker positioning, pretty much gilding the lily.

Paul S

08-09-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 10,075
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 13
Post ID: 27203
Reply to: 27202
Buckner's LPs
Paul, you are lucky person, I never was able to find Bruckner music on LP that I felt was good quality sonically and artistically. I own a lot of Brucker LPs but I hardly ever listen them.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
08-09-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 14
Post ID: 27204
Reply to: 27203
Finding Bruckner Music
Well, Romy, at this point I am listening more to the Music than to the performances, if you know what I mean. I already shared the Solti/CSO 7th LP, an old London ffrr stereo that does not seem to have the weird curve. So far, that’s the beginning and the end of my good luck with Bruckner LPs. I hope but do not expect to be so lucky with the other LPs I just “found again”. After all, there were reasons that I haven’t played them for years. It remains to be heard whether I can glean significant Music from these LPs.
 
Paul S
08-13-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 15
Post ID: 27205
Reply to: 27204
A 4 Box Solution?
Like I’ve said, my aim was to find/build a pair of speakers that could be driven “full range” by one of my Marantz MA-9S2 amps per stereo channel, and these speakers would have to give me greater insight into Bruckner in order to fill the bill. I put “full range” in quotes because, now that I have stronger, deeper LF I can hear “what it would be like” to have ULF. And so it goes. Does this mean there is a problem with TL bass? Perhaps the apt analogy is adding a helicopter deck to one’s luxury yacht. After all… 
 
Meanwhile, it seems like these “95 dB” speakers play louder at the same volume settings than my “97 dB” Basszillas. Not that this is the first time in my audio experience I’ve noticed this sort of discrepancy. One case in point is my Visaton TL 16 H (horn) super tweeters, which definitely play louder than my Audaphon UHF ribbons, at least they contribute more at higher volumes. And I think this is part of the phenomenon, that the lighter-weight, “more efficient” drivers choke up when the going gets tough. I have to say, the TL drivers have sounded better and better as I’ve played them more and more, not in the sense of some “ever-present” quality or qualities, rather they do a better and better job with “soundstage” and rendering dynamic and tonal differences. If I was happy before, I am becoming fairly content with these speakers. I suppose it’s in my nature to push my sound system occasionally, just to do it. A nice 10 - 12” vintage driver powered by a small SET can produce some intoxicating music. But it does not make Bruckner happen for me. The Loudspeakers and my amps do make Bruckner happen for me, and the combination makes Casals or Manitas de Plata sound pretty good, too; in other words, they seem to “scale” well.


Paul S
08-16-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 16
Post ID: 27207
Reply to: 27205
The Recording Part of a Recording
Something worth thinking about as one chases an “ultimate sound system” is that “accurate” playback will likely reveal sounds of the recording process along with the musical performance. And The Loudspeakers are certainly “guilty” of this. From knobs being twiddled, to reverb, mixes, and artifacts from previous iterations, the playback through The Loudspeakers will be a close repetition of the signals they are fed, for better or for worse. Speaking for myself, I would rather do without the sounds of the engineering. However, these sounds have so far been a consequence of insisting on “faithful reproduction” of recordings that has otherwise paid off in terms of Music appreciation. I am certainly open to getting the upside I get via The Loudspeakers without the baggage, if anyone wants to share how that’s done. But to date I have not heard “the good without the bad”, as it were, on this score, although some recordings are better than others, for sure, in any number of ways.  As I have noted, The Loudspeakers do not emphasize non-musical or a-musical parts of recordings. In fact, they seem to do a pretty good job of “sorting out” and “setting aside” parts other than Music.  So far, this has been better than worse, and I continue to work to take advantage and make the most of good engineering and poor engineering.
 
Paul S
08-23-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 17
Post ID: 27223
Reply to: 27207
Gieseking
A while back I mentioned that I would not want speakers that could not “do” Gieseking. Well, The Loudspeakers do Gieseking, all right, including telling me more about his performances of Debussy’s Etudes. I have long admired and appreciated Gieseking’s wide range of expression over a relatively narrow dynamic range. Via The Loudspeakers I can now hear and feel his physical strength, and just how hard he can push the keys down with no “wind up”, and it is clear now that his overall dynamic range is a good deal wider than I’d thought. I had also thought that his use of the pedals was very limited. But now I can hear that I was quite wrong about this, as he uses the pedals extensively, he is simply deft at this, as he is with the tinkling chromatics that light up this Music. He also feels less aloof via The Loudspeakers; I can feel his vulnerability as he performs. This from a brittle old Angel LP that most audiophiles would pass on, I’m sure, not to mention this Music sounds like gibberish through most systems, to begin with.
 
Paul S
09-03-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 18
Post ID: 27228
Reply to: 27223
Bass and Treble

Something about The Loudspeakers that shoppers have likely noticed is that the original design electrically splits the 18” woofer from the MF, HF and UHF drivers.  And, just to be clear, there is sound thinking based on lots of experience behind this design. It takes lots of power to get deep, Musical bass at concert levels from a loudspeaker, and if there is a work-around here, I have not heard it yet. To be clear, I am not talking about sound effects or Mobile Sound Club systems, but I am talking about serious Music via home systems. Troels saw/heard the wisdom of Hypex for LF, to allow for better sounding amps for the other drivers. And anyone who goes another direction (as I have done) will want to think it through carefully (as I have done) before committing funds and effort. I am still playing with my Loudspeakers, but another thing worth thinking about is that a woofer that does 200 Hz Musically won’t be doing Musical 18Hz at the same time. Based on things I read, it looks like plenty of vocal audio people think “good bass” means prominent bass, just like “good HF” means lots of details and “air”. I think I will not get on my soapbox but I will answer questions about this if/as they come up. Meanwhile, 18” woofer notwithstanding. The Loudspeakers have nothing to do with prominent bass or sound effects but everything to do with the unaffected revelation of the Music that’s in the recording, at least this is true of my version. I will say I would not be happy if I found myself mentally parsing the Music as I listened to it. I am OK with the compromises embodied in The Loudspeakers (my version, anyway) because they have a very broad range of Musical expression that allows me full access to my Music Library.>>


Paul S

09-13-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 19
Post ID: 27243
Reply to: 27228
Size Matters

I’m thinking I’ve never mentioned on this board that the listening room I’ve used for the past 16 years is 21’ X 17 ½’ X  8’. It has three large openings into a very large house, including a long, wide hallway and successive open rooms. This means The Loudspeakers have a big job to do in order to charge this room. My strategy so far has been plenty of amplifier power, and sitting close to the speakers, which I have well out in the room, over 7’ from the front wall. The sound I am after at this time is the sound that charges the room and “appears” spread out behind the front wall, loading into the room from there. There is little to nothing in the way of standing waves, and I am amazed to get plenty of HF from my horns with the speakers slightly toed out. Orchestras can be very powerful, depending on how they are mic’d, and well recorded solos and ensembles sound and feel like that, according to the production. As far as the drivers go, these are not high directivity, quite the contrary, so they lose those benefits but gain in terms of room loading. Between the 18” and the 10” direct drivers and the M/HF compression driver with its very short, fast horn, these speakers really do seem to charge the air, itself at all frequencies. I am surprised and pleased that the Visaton UHF horn also, somehow, gets its contribution into the mix off axis. I will say, as I have opined before, that there is such a thing as too big for a listening room, and I feel like I am right at the limits of what I can use with these speakers and my present amps. While there seems to be plenty of electrical and mechanical power for more volume, I think I would have to do something to contain the sound to keep the air charged if this room were any bigger. I would also say that a smaller room would be fine with these speakers, and one might then use smaller amps for MF and HF, although I stick to my previous observations regarding LF and amp power: Even in a smaller room it takes big drivers and big power to get orchestral LF.>>


Paul S

09-23-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 20
Post ID: 27261
Reply to: 27243
Growing With The Loudspeakers

Today was a good day in The Loudspeaker Land. I’ve been using The Loudspeakers to do some targeted listening, with excellent results. I already mentioned at the start of this thread that I had lost my cartridge/tonearm synergy a while ago, and today I got it back. From there I used better Sound to dial up the MOSFETs in my phono stage, also with great results, including more depth and vertical ambience, and I’ve re-positioned the speakers closer to the front wall, resulting in greater room charging.. I think (hope) all this will keep me pie-eyed and not thinking about Reverb Injection for a while.>>


Paul S

10-12-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 21
Post ID: 27279
Reply to: 27261
The Left Hand of Josef Hofmann
Some years back I posted on the Musical Discussions board about a remarkable Everest recording (X-923) of Josef Hofmann, and I mentioned then that I thought this recording was pretty amazing, based on the Music I was easily able to extract from it. Here is a link to that post:


  http://www.romythecat.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?PageIndex=1&postID=7008#7008


At the time of that post I was listening via my BassZilla speakers driven by Lamm ML2s. Later, I used the BassZillas with Marantz MA 9S2 amps. Today, I listened to the same recording via The Loudspeakers driven by Marantz MA-9S2s. People like to throw around the term “realistic” in connection with home audio, and this is actually funny  when the music under consideration was played by Josef Hofmann, winding up on a closely mic’d Hamburg Steinway B. Talk about power… I suspect that few people would actually want the live performance in their listening room.  The first thing that fairly jumped out at me today was Hofmann’s left hand work, and how much richer and more powerfully the work presents with both the greater frequency range and more effortless dynamics than I have heard before. If these speakers tilt up at all, it is certainly not much, and, likewise, the low frequencies only come up with increased volume. Then,the long, wrapped strings really stick to their original pitches while in no way shorting the rest of the “frequency range”. Great, natural balance. I mentioned I was weeping after Bruckner 7 via The Loudspeakers. Today, after the Chopin, I was laughing. I have really been enjoying myself.


Paul S
11-23-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 22
Post ID: 27298
Reply to: 27279
Break In

At some point recently I became particularly aware of the fact that the sound from the Loudspeakers has transformed significantly over the five months that I’ve used them, not in the sense that the character of The Loudspeakers has changed, rather Musical substance has somehow been “added” even as the speakers’ agility and adroitness have increased, which, in a way, “counters” the sense one typically gets with “added material”, especially in cases where it can become “too much”. One way to sum it might be, more information with less fuss and bother. This seems to build on the quality of “Refinement”, which The Loudspeakers share with the MA-9S2s. While I do not generally recommend “doubling down” on one “characteristic” of sound, in my case, where the Refinement is concerned, I’ve actually tripled down, since both my analog and digital front ends sport this quality, as well. I am not just defending myself when I say that I do not think the Refinement has become problematic in my case, because I have turned away components that were “voiced” for someone’s idea of “refinement”, that either seemed relentlessly soft, or syrupy, or velvety, or satin-y, on and on, and I am not a sucker for just any particular version of “refinement”. I don’t like or advocate ever-present or “own sound” for my system. Yet, here I am…  Anyway, in the case of The Loudspeakers this seems to be a result of a long “break-in” period, perhaps the fancy, expensive X/O parts, or the 12 AWG wire, and certainly the “stiff” “pro” drivers. I just tried the “scratch and tap test” on the (paper) direct drivers, and I was surprised to hear how much they’ve changed since I last performed the test, months ago.  Both drivers remain a good deal “deader” than I would have imagined is good for Sound; but the proof is Listening, and they sound very nice, indeed over the frequencies they are allotted when they are actually in use, playing Music as parts of The Loudspeakers. So, what do I know? I have heard plenty of drivers that had the life engineered right out of them; but, lucky for me, Troels could obviously hear, appreciate and design for Life from the drivers in The Loudspeakers in a way that I am able to develop with the MA-9S2s, at any rate. The Big Woofer has been especially transformed, becoming more articulate and generally more helpful at the X/O point. The cone is still quite dead compared to the many 15” drivers I have “on hand”. But, again, I can’t argue with the results I’m getting, as the Music is anything but dead. Live and Learn, I guess. No surprise to hornies, I suppose, but the horns have also gotten better and better the more I’ve used them. I liken the 18Sound CD/horn to my old Pole Star, the JBL 375. Of course, the 18Sound does not go that low, but it shares the Refinement quality with the storied JBL classic unit. And I am just tickled with the Visaton TL16H super tweeter! I never dreamed it would integrate so well for me with The Loudspeakers! Incredibly, it seems to have “color” that ribbons I’ve used lacked. Perhaps this comes from greater output down the spectrum; I don’t know, but I like it!>>


Happy Thanksging (apropos),

Paul S

12-11-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 23
Post ID: 27312
Reply to: 27298
Suitable for Transplants?
It’s been a while since I visited face to face with my World-traveling friend, Mark. He came by yesterday, and we talked and also listened to Music via my MA-9S2s and The Loudspeakers. It was all LP playback. Mark has had his own giant hi-fi system in storage while he travels, and he said he misses frequent Music sessions via his hi-fi, even though he regularly attends live events in world class theaters and venues, in the course of his travels. I had turned on my system about ½ hour before Mark got to my house, and it took another ½ hour playing Music for the system to come into top (designed/acceptable) form. Although Mark and I do not have exactly the same Musical and playback preferences, we share a lot, and we both very much like the notably “refined” quality my system exudes, with very “natural” and “lifelike’ pitch, timbre, dynamics, timing, etc., unforced, with all instruments and voices accounted for and in their places, pretty much full range, at volumes that bring the Music across. Mark has used giant tube amps with giant electrostatic speakers (Sound Lab A-1s) in a large room, for years. He has said before he would be happy with the MA-9S2s, and yesterday he asked if I would build a pair of The Loudspeakers for him when he settles down again. By saying this I mean to convey to those who are curious about The Loudspeakers that I am not the only one who “gets” what the MAS-9S2/Loudspeaker pairing can do, at least for “serious” Music. We included yesterday some fairly simple jazz (John Coltrane, “Ballads”), and it was downright touching, just gorgeous, which I mention to reinforce the “realistic” “scaling” The Loudspeakers do, for those wishing to keep it down to one system.
  
Paul S
12-15-2023 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 24
Post ID: 27314
Reply to: 27312
Gould Brahms Intermezzi

Just listened to Gould’s unusual Brahms Intermezzi (See Music Board) via the Loudspeakers for the first time. The speakers were powered by the MA-9S2s. Of course I’ve noticed before how Gould deconstructs these pieces. Today I took advantage of the refined, natural sound and I really relaxed and let the Sound and the Music come to me. Naturally, the structure is unusual, and The Loudspeakers certainly reveal that. I could also hear how Gould re-built these pieces temporally, with some surprisingly long and meandering expositions, and how he managed to re-time the notes without losing the emotional melodic threads that join them. The Loudspeakers have no trouble making Music from the sometimes jumbled or "isolated" notes, and they clearly re-create the tumultuous sections, where Gould holds the sustain pedal as he pours forth the notes, which ring and continue ringing as more notes are added, growing into bell-like sonorities, which are sometimes downright thunderous. Folks, this is the sort of thing one might hear from a good seat at a live Gould concert in a nice venue. It’s a great LP/recording, with more attention paid to Gould’s playing than his humming, and The Loudspeakers put the icing on the Musical Cake. Got an "unknown error" code when I tried to upload a photo of the album sleeve,  but I think I listed it on the Music board "review".>>


Paul S

01-14-2024 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,591
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 25
Post ID: 27322
Reply to: 27314
The Red-headed Step-Driver

Am I the only one who’s (just) noticed that I have not yet specifically mentioned The Loudspeaker’s midrange driver? This seems odd, in view of the fact that this driver is pretty much the beating heart of The Loudspeaker, playing the range from 200 to 1,300 Hz, handling most of the Musical Energy I’m hearing from The Loudspeakers. Did this driver somehow escape my notice? If yes, is this a bad thing? The driver in question is an 18 Sound 10NMBA520 (10”), with a fancy magnet and a shallow, 28g paper cone, and some sort of a built-in feedback loop that is said to keep the impedance nice. As I mentioned, I have been moving the speakers around since I plugged them in, trying to find a permanent spot for them, including moving them up and down on stands of varying heights. I rather dread the vertical exercise, as my version of the Loudspeakers weigh close to 230 lbs. apiece. So far, stands have ranged from3 ½” to 5 1/2”. A while back I found that I liked the sound and the sound effects (“soundstage”) when I stand between the speakers, putting my ears well above all the drivers. Yesterday I discovered that I get similar-but-more-direct sound if I sit on the carpet, putting my ears at about the center of the midrange driver. The electricity was OK, and the electronics were warmed up when I did this, and I was struck by how much Musical Information I was getting from this driver, and how easily and downright comfortably the driver delivered this information! And I immediately determined that I should at least try a taller (10”) stand, to put that driver at ear level when I sit in my beloved bentwood, Poang chair. I’m casting around in my head, trying to come up with a simple stand that will bear the weight and allow sliding around on the carpet. I’ll get back about this if/when I cross that Rubicon.>>


Paul S

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