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Old 12th July 2010, 11:52 AM   #1
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Default Newbie recommendations/ fullrange consideration

Hi all, hope everyone's well. General bullet point ideas/tips/recommendations I'm after here please.

Let my start by explaining I'm totally out of my depth. I've recently sold a lot of SS equipment and plunged into the wonderful world of tube amplification. I'm pleased so far but i need suitable speakers to complement my modest KT88 integrated setup.

I'm looking for completed (or flat pack) fullrange speakers ideally to give me the realism of the instruments and prescence of voice/emotion that I know is possible. The room is mid to large but this may change in future, so (large) bookshelf or ideally floorstanding/tower cabinets are preferred.

I listen to rock and pop but also jazz, classical and metal (all genres really).

My budget isn't what I'd like (it never is) but I have a few hundred pounds (let's say $400) to throw at it. If there's something you can sell me or even recommend that would be great.

I'm not very DIY minded although there are people i know who will help. Prioritise simplicity over anything else i guess.

Many thanks
Nathan
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Old 12th July 2010, 04:39 PM   #2
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Hmmm...

Perhaps a 3-way with a wide-band midrange is in order: full-range drivers rarely play metal as well as a multi-way can.

Instead of getting a flat-pack (I assume you mean as a kit), why not get some drivers and have the cabinets CNC cut? We'll help you with the design work, but making your own speakers means you can pick something exactly right for you.
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Old 12th July 2010, 04:53 PM   #3
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Nathan,

If I understand you have 400 quid and want to cover all music tastes with speakers driven by a tube amp that are easy to build. That looks pretty tough to me.

Alas, I'm no expert and don't know the answer

but I would think about a 2.1 system. You would buy a powered subwoofer to get the bass punch and excitement you need for your tastes in rock music which would not burden your tube amp. You can always upgrade the subwoofer and I'd say best spend most what's left on two good high quality full range drivers to cover the upper frequencies - a 4.5" driver might be big enough to cross over to the sub and still have good sensitivity for the tube amp ?

Then you make something out of plywood to house your full range drivers, perhaps an open baffle to start off the fun and then something more complex once you have that under your belt.
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Last edited by Bigun; 12th July 2010 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 12th July 2010, 05:49 PM   #4
chrisb is online now chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanjh13 View Post
Hi all, hope everyone's well. General bullet point ideas/tips/recommendations I'm after here please.

Let my start by explaining I'm totally out of my depth. I've recently sold a lot of SS equipment and plunged into the wonderful world of tube amplification. I'm pleased so far but i need suitable speakers to complement my modest KT88 integrated setup.

I'm looking for completed (or flat pack) fullrange speakers ideally to give me the realism of the instruments and prescence of voice/emotion that I know is possible. The room is mid to large but this may change in future, so (large) bookshelf or ideally floorstanding/tower cabinets are preferred.

I listen to rock and pop but also jazz, classical and metal (all genres really).

My budget isn't what I'd like (it never is) but I have a few hundred pounds (let's say $400) to throw at it. If there's something you can sell me or even recommend that would be great.

I'm not very DIY minded although there are people i know who will help. Prioritise simplicity over anything else i guess.

Many thanks
Nathan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigun View Post
Nathan,

If I understand you have 400 quid and want to cover all music tastes with speakers driven by a tube amp that are easy to build. That looks pretty tough to me.

Alas, I'm no expert and don't know the answer

but I would think about a 2.1 system. You would buy a powered subwoofer to get the bass punch and excitement you need for your tastes in rock music which would not burden your tube amp. You can always upgrade the subwoofer and I'd say best spend most what's left on two good high quality full range drivers to cover the upper frequencies - a 4.5" driver might be big enough to cross over to the sub and still have good sensitivity for the tube amp ?

Then you make something out of plywood to house your full range drivers, perhaps an open baffle to start off the fun and then something more complex once you have that under your belt.

Nathan:

Do you still have any ole SS amps not yet divested from your collection? Garth's suggestion of 2.1 ( or even a full blown bi-amped 2way) makes a lot of sense. It would allow for a modest sized "mini-monitor/bookshelf" sized wide-band (i.e. "full-range") enclosure running on your KT88 amp, and eliminate the need to spend new $ (quid or euros) on bass amp(s).

FWIW, in my limited personal experience, and notably in smaller rooms, I've preferred stereo woofers (even as small as 8" and XO from as high as 300HZ) to monolithic big boys.
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Old 12th July 2010, 06:17 PM   #5
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This is great, thanks, certainly food for thought.

I had a feeling it would be tough to do on that budget but I've got to try something.

I've no SS left but I can put up with my makeshift speakers at the moment and save up a bit more. Let's say, after my summer holiday, i save up 1000. That should get me something with a bit more shout or would you still recommend the same setup?

Many thanks again guys
Nathan

PS A friend is building me some cabinets for some B&W drivers I salvaged from an old three way 220i model of theirs. It's perhaps not what i'll end up with further down the line but it sounds like it might be a reasonable enough starting point. The sensitivity is 90dB and they are happy with 10W - 100W (mine amp is 20W). I'd love to give a 300B SET a try one day looking at what i've read about them so i think these speakers wont be nearly sensitive enough for that anyway.

Last edited by nathanjh13; 12th July 2010 at 06:26 PM. Reason: cut myself short
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Old 12th July 2010, 06:50 PM   #6
chrisb is online now chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanjh13 View Post
This is great, thanks, certainly food for thought.

I had a feeling it would be tough to do on that budget but I've got to try something.

I've no SS left but I can put up with my makeshift speakers at the moment and save up a bit more. Let's say, after my summer holiday, i save up 1000. That should get me something with a bit more shout or would you still recommend the same setup?

Many thanks again guys
Nathan

Well I guess it depends on how well you could live with the putative limitations in terms of SPL/bass extension of a smaller "full-range" unit - and of course there's no way to be certain of that 'til you've taste tested.

Thinking ahead for how you might want to implement things when the budget accrues for the "more shout" part, it wouldn't be too difficult to take the first step with a simple sealed or vented box for any of a number of affordable wide-band drivers. Recommendations for either will vary of course.

Planning ahead for what would comprise the separate bass support module(s) that I suspect you're anticipating for the "added shout", keep in mind the physical dimensions of each, so they would look like they were made for each other.

And, a total budget of 1000 leaves lots of room for something pretty special.


edit:

in regards to your edit on last post - this type of repurposing doesn't always work out as well as you'd hope, particularly if you sidestep the XO / EQ network that is often designed to compensate for individual driver's "idiosyncrasies"
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Last edited by chrisb; 12th July 2010 at 06:56 PM. Reason: PS
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Old 12th July 2010, 07:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanjh13 View Post
This is great, thanks, certainly food for thought.

Nathan, if you're ever in Hull you are welcome to drop by. I have a few pairs of different speaker types that you are welcome to listen to. It might give you an idea of what you like, or what to aim for. I also have a fair selection of amps, including a kt88.

email me if you're interested

Ed
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Old 13th July 2010, 09:38 AM   #8
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One again thanks so much!

I've kept the XO from the other unit so hopefully it will be ok. Vitalstates that's very kind (i'll take you up on that)!

Nathan
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