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Old 27th August 2009, 12:45 AM   #1
mikje is offline mikje  United States
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Default Pioneer B20 comparison???

I've heard some great things about the Pioneer B20FU20 full range speaker. I'm thinking of making it the center of my next project. Has anyone actually compared any of the different B20 builds? The different Chang builds look good and are held in high regard, so I'm thinking that might be the way to go. However, I'm all ears for any and all suggestions.
Thanks,
Mike
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Old 27th August 2009, 01:54 AM   #2
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I'm working on a nelson pass TL for them, but have only used them in small semi-aperiodic (vented but tuned super-low) boxes thus far.

It's not a superman in any one category, but it's a very enjoyable driver. Think pedestrian JBL LE8T.

I like the TL over the chang because with appropo stuffing I can smooth the impedance down low pretty nicely, and also the form-factor is very appealing to the wifely sensitivities. Every once in a while I do a build with her in mind and keep it in place for a while.

For some reason, it placates her, when I build more speakers than most anybody, pro builders excepted (that includes dave).
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Old 27th August 2009, 05:03 AM   #3
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I have a pair in half-Changs (with the cheap Parts Express neo dome tweeters), and they work very nicely. They will be the mains in the living room surround/AV system once I finish the surrounds. Those will be more B20's in smallish sealed boxes, tweeterless, firing upwards in the back corners of the room.

Full Changs should be even better, but the WAF didn't meet hurdle. I've also heard them in BIB's - big box, big sound. Did I mention they were big?

Bill
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Old 27th August 2009, 05:25 PM   #4
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I participated in the build of some B-20 half and full changs at the same time. They were about equivilent as builds.

Both speakers sounded terrible in my room, but quite acceptable in the rooms they were intended for. I think my listening position was too close. The full changs were more impacted by this than the half changs.

The FullC's really like rock hard, and the HalfC's never seemed to rise to quite the same level of destruction, though some of that might be based on ancillary equipment.
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Old 27th August 2009, 05:58 PM   #5
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I haven't looked at the plans, but this seems reasonable if the halfCs have the same Fb with literally half the vent radiating area.

GM
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Old 27th August 2009, 06:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamThorne View Post
I participated in the build of some B-20 half and full changs at the same time. They were about equivilent as builds.

Both speakers sounded terrible in my room, but quite acceptable in the rooms they were intended for. I think my listening position was too close. The full changs were more impacted by this than the half changs.

The FullC's really like rock hard, and the HalfC's never seemed to rise to quite the same level of destruction, though some of that might be based on ancillary equipment.
Adam,
Any details on your room? I have a few different rooms in which I might use them, so this knowledge might help me decide if they're worth pursuing.
Thanks,
Mike
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Old 27th August 2009, 06:25 PM   #7
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Really just wanted to share a pic of my 'new' thirty year old Onkyo TX-5000 i found in the trash a few blocks away from my house a week or so ago. All cleaned up and playing thru my Pioneer B20's... a great match btw!

If i were to build another box for the B20's (which i enjoy very much) it would be the Half Chang for its nice proportions. I also like how the Fostex 207e could replace it as an 'upgrade'... question is does it really need to be upgraded?

IMO, the Pioneer B20 is NOT the best sounding driver. But this is only when compared side by side with other drivers like Fostex and TB. On their own, without comparison, they simply play music in an un-fatiguing manor. I listen to them more than any other speaker i have ever built over the last 20+ years because they just don't offend in any way. I enjoy them with a cheap piezo tweeter on the rear with a 20ohm resistor, a 1uf cap and an L-pad to adjust to taste. It's a great way to enjoy that easy to listen to full range sound on the cheap. Mine are in sealed 1.3 cubic foot boxes but i bet the Changs would offer a fuller, bigger bass response. I'd LOVE to hear them in BIBs!

Compared to the Fostex drivers i have (165k, 168s, 127e) the B20 sounds slightly garbled from top to bottom. Mids are recessed (but Fostex is forward). They are not clean and crisp rather full and relaxed. They don't seem to care about fine detail too much. It's there if you care to listen for it but not put in your face. A musician friend of mine thinks they are the best sounding speakers he's ever heard... even compared to Fostex.

If i could not afford Fostex drivers i would be completely satisfied with the Pioneer B20/piezo speaker. But i would know there is better sound out there. Otherwise, i really think the B20 done right (proper tweeter integration) is THE best value full range driver out there.

http://www.zillaaudio.com/pioneerb20-3cubox.htm

Enjoy!
Godzilla
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Old 27th August 2009, 06:44 PM   #8
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My setup is across the short dimension of a long narrow room. The backs of the speakers are by openings into different rooms. Seating is only maybe 6 ft from the speakers. The speakers are perhaps 5 or 6 ft apart. The setup was very bass heavy, and other aspects of the music were hard to make out.

The full changs live in the corners of a larger and more rectangular room. They are maybe 15 feet apart, and you can hang out probably 10 feet from either speaker. In this room they are very engaging, especially if you crank the volume. The vocals are still a bit recessed though.

The half changs are in a small room, but it is more square than my living room. The seating position is not very far from the speakers. The owner ended up treating the drivers with modge podge and (I think) damar to get more midrange out of them. This was successful, but he says they needed more power to get 'em jumping afterwords.

There could have probably been more experimentation with stuffing levels during the construction. Foam carpet underlay (couldn't find felt) was used. Maybe we used too much. It was on the back, bottom, one side, on some of the brace and I think there was some more as well.
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Old 27th August 2009, 07:57 PM   #9
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I have a pair of B20's in my BOB's (Big Open Baffle) at the
moment. They work very well, and are one of the few drivers
that deliver bass without a subwoofer. They really do appreciate
a tweeter at 10 KHz and above, however.
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