Tang Band W8-1808 open baffle impressions - diyAudio
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Old 23rd May 2010, 05:25 AM   #1
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Default Tang Band W8-1808 open baffle impressions

First let me submit the disclaimer that I'm a full range newbie. I recently bought a pair of W8-1808s and put together a somewhat odd, but I think creative, semi open baffle design. Basically I unhooked the compression drivers in my Klipsch KG 5.5s, turned them sideways to point the woofers to the side walls and present the larger side surfaces to the listener, put together a pair of open baffles made from MDF stair treads and mounted the TBs in those and stood them next to the Klipsch speakers so that the front baffle of the "stair tread" is an extension of the side of the Klipsch (I'll try to post pics sometime). Then I ran my Golden Tube Audio amp direct to the Tang Bands, ran a solid state Crown to the Klipsch, and ran my Audible Illusions preamp through an Ashly active crossover and sent the mids/highs to the tube/Tang Bands and the bass to the Crown/Klipsch. This currently is fed by my Rega Planet CD (my turntable is in the middle of another upgrade project). The system isn't optimized yet - the Tang Band speakers aren't broken in, and I need to bypass the Klipsch crossovers and wire those woofers directly to the amp. I plan to do a few more mods (mostly adding some bracing) to the Klipschs while I'm in there. I played with the crossover a little, but most listening was with the crossover somewhere in the 150 to 200 Hz range.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed. Well recorded CDs sound amazing. There is a bit too much "zing" in the treble, but that improves if I move away a few feet (my normal listening spot is about 10 feet from the speakers), so I think some adjustments in speaker position may solve that to some degree. I'm hoping the mids will bloom a bit and the treble will tame down a tad as they break in. I'm not ready to add any electronics to "fix" that just yet. There is a slight tendency for a loss of realism with loud passages using multiple instruments, but overall definitely the best sound I've had from my home system yet. There is a definite change in balance as you move from the listening area consistent with the loss of the "beaming" treble; on "edgy" material its an improvement.

I have little idea how these compare with Lowthers or other high dollar speakers, but I'm pretty happy with them.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 05:40 AM   #2
borispm is offline borispm  Hong Kong
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Will they sound better in a conventional BR?
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Old 23rd May 2010, 02:53 PM   #3
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I'm sure that would improve the balance between highs and mids, but then I'd loose the openness of the dipole arrangement. I may try it sometime, but plan to stick with this approach for now.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 03:47 PM   #4
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>>> I ran my Golden Tube Audio amp direct to the Tang Bands, ran a solid state Crown to the Klipsch, and ran my Audible Illusions preamp through an Ashly active crossover and sent the mids/highs to the tube/Tang Bands and the bass to the Crown/Klipsch. This currently is fed by my Rega Planet...

You have some excellent and interesting gear! You just need to play around more and figure out what you want. I think you have all the right ingredients but see you in an experimental mode to determine which type of speakers you like best. This is probably the perfect forum to discuss your situation.

I like the 1808 a lot and think it's maybe the best full range driver i've heard to date. But it's not perfect... just better than many others. It does have a treble zing at first and it is more prominent when closer to it. But i noticed this went away after a few hours and has not come back. It works great in open baffle AND bass reflex. I may do a BR cab for it soon and compare to my OB setup to see how the driver behaves differently in both types of cabs. It's not really an OB speaker but just happens to work well this way. I think once you dial in the correct bass from your helper woofers (whatever they end up being) you will find you have balanced sound from top to bottom. I also have a super tweeter on my 1808 and think it helps fill out the top octaves adding dynamics, punch and realism.

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