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Old 24th December 2003, 02:43 AM   #1
eStatic is offline eStatic  United States
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Default Replies to questions regarding my system

Replies to questions regarding my system from tpenguin and sauuuuuce regarding post #155, Thread: System Pictures & Descriptions, Forum: Loudspeakers

tpenguin you are correct, those are a pair of Martin Logan's, Prodigies. Just got em a couple of weeks ago I'm still experimenting and tweaking. And I am not skilled in describing how a speaker sounds, so bare with me. In general the estats I've heard were open, airy, and very clean in their sound, and they produce a reasonably good ambience. My previous mains were Acoustats. The Prodigies are superior in almost every way, particularly in imaging and width of sweet spot. For small scale compositions the Prodigies have a quality of detail in their sound that is to die for. At present I'd have to say that the Accustats were better at reproducing big sounds. More on that another time.

A guide to the speaker setup shown below.

1 & 2 Mains,
. .ML Prodigies
3 & 4 Front Ambience-at ceiling,
. .DIY MTM Focal HM170C0 mid/woofs TC90 Tdx tweets, soon to be . . ."reflexed."
5 & 6 R & L woofers
. .DIY dipole woofers to be built this spring. Looks like 2x2 Tumults.
7 & 8 Mid Ambience-at ceiling
. .DIY to use Peerless 5.25" HDS mid/woof and some tweeter or other.
. .to be built this summer.
9 & 10 Surround
. .Definitive Technology. BP30 MTM TLs (I pick 'em up tomorrow )
11 & 12 Rear Surround
. .Definitive Technology. BP30 MTM TLs (I pick 'em up tomorrow )
13 & 14 Surround Subs, 13 for 9 & 11, 14 for 10 & 12
. .DIY Sealed, Alpine SWR-1541D
15 & 16 Rear Ambience-at ceiling
. .Definitive Technology. BP2X MTM TLs (I pick 'em up tomorrow )
17 & 18 Overhead Ambience front and rear firing
. .DIY to use Peerless 5.25" HDS mid/woof and some tweeter or other.
. .to be built this spring.
19 Effects channel sub.
. .DIY 12" Peerless XLSs with matching PRs (cabinet divided into two acoustic
. .spaces.)
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Old 24th December 2003, 02:48 AM   #2
eStatic is offline eStatic  United States
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Default Some Details

OK, as a hardcore DIY type I'm a bit ashamed of all the boughten stuff. But in the past few years there was among my friends a spate of deaths, which focused my attention on the shortness of total available time. I took a short cut--so sue me

One of my goals for this system was to try all active XOs for the six primary channels. The MLs and the BP30s can and will be bi-amped. All mid tweet XOs 24 dB/8ve LR type, sub XO from the MLs will be 12 dB/8ve.

Each of the MLs is powered by a R.F. 601S bi-amped
The BP30 mid/woofs will each be powered by 1/2 of a R.F.401S
The BP30 tweeters will be powered by amp channels in a Dennon AVR 884

The front ambience are powered by an Emerson PA2150
The rear ambience will be powered by 2 channels in the Dennon AVR 884
The front/rear surround subs are powered by two R.F. 301Ms

The front surrounds use a second order XO designed by Madisound. These speakers were used for my mains while saving up for this system, save now buy later, you'll be glad you did. Oh and take that guy's advice about the sunscreen it IS important.
Anyway I didn't like the results and put a pair of Behringer crud parametric EQs in line with them and got satisfactory results. Definitely was an improvement.

I have a DBX Driverack PA that I am using on the MLs. So far the results are not as satisfactory as the passive XOs, but I haven't done enough tweaking yet to give up and get quantitative. I have a measurement mic and an outboard XLR input for my soundcard that has phantom power so all I need is some software and some time. I have a Behringer Ultracurve Pro but if I'm going to get quantitative I might as well go all the way. If the DBX turns out unsatisfactory I will probably look at building a Marchand XO and use the DBX on the front ambience. I have a pair of Behringer crud CX3400 SuperX Crossovers to use on the side and rear surrounds.

Why the car amps? I must have a tin ear. I can easily hear differences among speakers, but nowadays differences among amps is so subtle I can hardly tell the difference, often can't at all. And it sure beats me how people hear the differences among power cables of the same gauge. So I allot my resources based on what I perceive as the order of aural importance. Speakers, preamp/processor, power amps, and way way down the list, cable--plain ole 12 and 10 gauge speaker cable from Lowes and PartsExpress works just fine for me.

Car amps were the cheapest way I could go and the Rockford Fosgates sound just fine to me. Not that there aren't other good ones, but the R.Fs generally get good reviews. And hey I've got Martin Logans I have appearances to keep up If your not really flush with cash and just itching to spend money, and don't find building amps deeply satisfying (as many here do), check out what Linkwiz says about amps. And this guy really knows his fumets!

My electronics background consists of working in audio in the 60s and my knowledge in that area has only deteriorated since then. So in order to figure out how much power I needed I just took the recommended fuse rating for each amp and added them up. I forget what it comes to but not including the unborn dipole woofers it's not too far off the 375 amps that my power supply can produce for 1 hour. I figure that should give me god's plenty of slack, or if not, at least deafen me before the batteries run down. If you are thinking about doing this it is not as simple as it sounds. You can't just use any batteries or any ole charger. You _must_ use a charger/power supply such as the IOTA IQ4. And if you don't use deep cycle batteries you'll be replacing them on a regular basis. And fuse everything as close to the batteries as you can. Its' only twelve volts but at that kind of current if you make a mistake you could get molten metal shot into your eye.

Some thoughts on XOs

It seems to me that the technology of XOs has reached a point where it is rather difficult to design one that well integrates the drivers and the drivers with the cabinet that is as good as what a manufacturer can do. Now surely it is not imposable, and given the caliber of people on this list I have no doubt that many of you do this with out much problem. But it would be quite difficult for me. Hence my interest in exploring active XOs above and beyond their touted superiority.

More disordered thoughts related to my system to come.
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Old 24th December 2003, 03:04 AM   #3
cowanrg is offline cowanrg  United States
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Default Re: Some Details

im not gonna tell you to upgrade, im not gonna tell you you are wrong. all i am going to say is, you need to warn people, and give them a chance to sit down before you use language like that!


Quote:
Originally posted by eStatic
Speakers, preamp/processor, power amps, and way way down the list, cable--plain ole 12 and 10 gauge speaker cable from Lowes and PartsExpress works just fine for me.
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Old 24th December 2003, 08:16 AM   #4
eStatic is offline eStatic  United States
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Now, now, I said "...what I perceive as the order of aural importance" That cant be scat, though my tin ear may be.

Ya know, by the time I'm done I'll have nearly 500' of cable in this. My money is finite and I have to ask myself how to get the most bang for my music bucks. For the money I save on this cable I could replace all those old freakin score reductions I have that my eyes can no longer deal with, not to mention that Roy Harris Symphony #3. Now there would be some serious pleasure. Not to mention my full size copy of the Beethoven's 4th. Man it's just tattered to pieces and fallin apart. Yeper, a couple of months snuggled up with those scores and my enjoyment of music would be permanently (well, for as long as I'm gonna last) enhanced. Yup, I talked me into it. Think I'll take those savings and head for Luck's Music Library. Ummm heaven. Better than doughnuts!

Ya pays your money and takes your pick--do it wisely!

eStatic
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Old 25th December 2003, 02:02 AM   #5
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Wow, the only other time I've seen so many speakers in one room has been at best buy . When I get into multi-amp setups myself, I think I'll build them myself. I'm sure the rockford fosgates are just fine, but I like building stuff, and I don't like spending a lot of money. I also don't want to go through the trouble of setting up an elaborate power system for them. As far as the speaker wire is concerned, I've only used 16-guage monster cable, myself, and even though it's not audiophile-grade, I don't have any reference to compare it to in terms of generic cable, but considering that my current speakers are cheap pioneers, I doubt that I would notice a difference with 4-guage solid silver cables, not that my speakers' spring terminals could accept it. Personally, I think you're doing it right. Let your ears be your guide. Even if there is emperical data to prove that one brand of cable has supperior electrical properties compared to another, that doesn't mean anything unless you can actually hear a difference. It doesn't make any sense to pay a lot more money for one cable when it sounds identical to a less expensive cable. Bottom line, go with what gives you the sound your looking for, not just what is trendy or popular. High cost doesn't always mean something is better. After all, Bose speakers are extremely expensive, and they are very poorly designed and poorly constructed speakers.
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Old 25th December 2003, 11:00 PM   #6
eStatic is offline eStatic  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by tpenguin
Wow, the only other time I've seen so many speakers in one room has been at best buy . When I get into multi-amp setups myself, I think I'll build them myself. I'm sure the rockford fosgates are just fine, but I like building stuff, and I don't like spending a lot of money. I also don't want to go through the trouble of setting up an elaborate power system for them.
Very laudable. I certainly admire people who build their own amps. Or their own anything for that matter.

The power system is actually rather simple. Charger/supply batteries and fuse blocks. But it aint cheap.

Quote:
Originally posted by tpenguin
Even if there is emperical data to prove that one brand of cable has supperior electrical properties compared to another, that doesn't mean anything unless you can actually hear a difference.
Personally, even if I can hear a difference, I have to ask the question, "Is the difference worth the money?" Is there something else on which I could spend the money that would enhance my involvement with music more than better wire?

Indirectly that raises and interesting question. How good is good enough?

Quote:
Originally posted by tpenguin
After all, Bose speakers are extremely expensive, and they are very poorly designed and poorly constructed speakers.
Yea, I think of Bose as the Beheringer of the speaker world without the virture of low cost.

BTW Someone asked if I had a fan on these things and the answer is no.

eStatic
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Old 27th December 2003, 02:48 AM   #7
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I am with you on the cables. I think some people are full of it and trying to impress people sometimes. And I am sure the system does sound good with the Fosgate amps. Nice looking rig man.
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Old 27th December 2003, 02:01 PM   #8
eStatic is offline eStatic  United States
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Hi Sauuuuuce!

Quote:
Originally posted by sauuuuuce
I am with you on the cables. I think some people are full of it and trying to impress people sometimes. And I am sure the system does sound good with the Fosgate amps. Nice looking rig man.
Sincere thanks for the vote of confidence in the amps.

You know, there is a very wise old saying that one should never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. I would like to introduce eStatic's audio corollary: Nastiness aside, never attribute to base motivation that which can be explained by honest passion. (But I'm still happy with the cheap stuff. )

Cheers

eStatic
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Old 29th December 2003, 12:03 AM   #9
eStatic is offline eStatic  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by eStatic

BTW Someone asked if I had a fan on these things and the answer is no.

eStatic
Bull poo! I am now!

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