Jordan JX92s - Supravox 165 GMF - Veravox 7x
I am so sorry for posting another of these threads, but I have read through so much without arriving at any conclusion. I probably never will, but maybe someone can push me in the final direction.
For a long time I have been wanting to go fullrange. I have tried cheapers units, and all sofar, has blown me away.
So I think it is about time for a more serious investment. My approx. max amount available for each driver is 300$.
I am going to be driving these new speakers with a GainClone. And the reason that this fullrange topic has once again emerged, with great intensity, in my mind. Is that I feel like celebrating the recent purchase of a Pro-Ject Xpression MKII Turntable. I mostly listen to soft rock, jazz and blues.
One of the qualities that appreciate the most of great loudspeakers is transparancy. Sometimes almost to the point of appearing thin. But I also enjoy being wrapped in the music, or rather feeling like I am watching a huge orchestra on the empty wall. But maybe soundstage and transparancy doesn't come hand in hand :0( ?
The final requirement is attack and dynamics. Bass is not a huge requirement, just need a little that is very well controlled.
Whatever driver I choose now, will probably end up in an enclosure. But my experiments with OB sofar have been very nice, and I suspect that I might, at any moment, rip this new driver from that enclosure and put it on an open baffle. With seperate Sub. So it would be nice with a driver that would do well in this condition as well. Uhh I am asking a lot.
The driver that are currently driving me crazy, are as stated in the topic name:
I have heard so much nice stuff about this driver, and tend to like the sound of a metallic membrane. However I am, as everyone is I guess, a little concerned about the efficiency of this driver. I don't listen at extreme levels, and I mostly sit quite close to the speakers anyway, but still it worries me. Also the dynamics of this driver, it has a very nice Bl to movin mass ratio, but is it very dynamic and punchy. How would it compare to the other two?
Supravox 165 GMF:
I have read some good things about this driver as well, especially the dynamics. However, I doubt it goes high enough on its own. I have plenty of BG Neo3 Tweeters at hand, so it wouldn't be a problem to pair it to one of these, but they might lack a little sensitivity, and how would it integrate. Would I ruin a lot of the full range experience, crossing over at eg. 8000-10000 Hz?
I read somewhere that the soundstage was huge with this driver. but apart from that I haven't noticed much. Not much info available on them.
Hope you can help me! And please point be in whatever direction outside of what I have touched in this, by now, far too long post.
that is a tough one..
None of the 3 are suited to OB use without a "helper" midbass. But of the 3 the best driver in this application would likely be the Supravox because of its x-max and its lower midrange "bump" - which would work well with a more modest baffle and a helper midbass.
All three are well suited to backhorns (..though not "traditional"l backhorns). The Jordan driver actually has a plan for it - "Jordan Horn". (..also Nelson Pass and Co. created one I believe.)
Likewise the Jordan has more flexibility with other designs, and designs that can improve extension at the cost of higher distortion at louder volumes.
The Supravox and the Veravox would likely be well suited to large boxes with aperiodic venting. The Supravox with that lower-mid. "bump" will likely be more linear in this BSC region.
I have no idea about the linearity of the Veravox, but the Supravox is fairly linear with the exception of the midrange "dip" from 500-900 Hz. That "dip" with the coresponding behaviour above 900 Hz will prob. make the driver sound a bit more "forward". On the other hand its likely that NONE of the drivers will exhibit such a clean linear response below 700 Hz that the Supravox has.
Given your desire and that you have several Neo 3's at your disposal I'd suggest this:
The Supravox in a large volume box with an appropriate aperiodic vent and minimal interior dampening. Hopefully in a truncated pyramid shape (..at least for the interior). Targeted for a listening axis about 40 degrees off-axis of the driver. Use two Neo 3's per side in parallel (2 ohms with the gain clone) and a good capacitor to blend them in with the Supravox at that 40 degrees off-axis position. If you listen in the near field then essentially the speakers will be "fireing" forward into the room with no "toe-in". That should give you the sound you are looking for, and latter you could always find a nice OB midbass driver(s) to use with the Supravox for a good OB solution.
what size of OB are you looking at? For a fullrange to work with a sub (about 100hz) the OB would have to be plenty large. Tthat said the Jordan would be my bet as it is more flexible and maybe even available than the others. it is also a bit smaller. The JX92 is more like the Veravox 5x and Supravox 135.
Just to add to Scott's excellent assessment ...
I've only got experience of the JX92 out of your three drivers. From what I have read it doesn't work well in OB situations - you'd have to crossover around 300Hz or above. (I think GM mentioned a baffle size for that freq on a thread somewhere.)
It goes well to 20kHz so doesn't (IMO) need a tweeter, although Jim Griffin has designed a system with a ribbon HF if you feel the need. So it lends itself to running with a sub without any additional drivers needed.
One of the best fullrange enclosures is GM's MLTL, shown on the Jordan site - it's also the one Jim is working with at the moment and there's a separate thread here for that. The 48" version which I'm running gives good output to 35Hz and lends a welcome weight to bass, especially acoustic. I can't really comment how loud it goes as I don't go very loud - but it's quite efficient and creates a good volume on opera with a 15w amp. Nelson Pass's horn aims to give greater output below 100Hz, which is then balanced down to midrange levels again to give the whole driver an additional 10dB headroom. However I suspect Nelson likes loud. (Looking at what he did to his El Pipe-O drivers, very loud!)
The JX92 is very transparent but has a distinct character to the upper mid and HF. It also needs to be toed in but then throws a wonderful soundstage - combined with GM's enclosure you get a terrific sense of stereo down into the bass. GM has commented that the 48 enclosure is less accurate than the 31 so may sound warmer in the bass. I think it helps and have only been caught out by a couple of tracks (one was Massive Attack from the PI film soundtrack - it sounded too strong in the bass but, on the other hand, there were all sorts of rhythms going on down there I hadn't heard before).
The Konus Essence (a commercial version of the VTL on the Jordan pages) was designed with the Gaincard in mind and there are some reviews on the net which may help form an impression of the driver. I think the best analogy is that the 92 is a moving coil version of the Quad ESL but with the potential for added bass, depending on enclosure.
That probably hasn't helped much as you now have two advocates for different drivers ...
Jim's ribbon MLTL
Nelson's horn design
Yes, I just recently read the reviews of the Essence loudspeaker. It sounds very interresting. However they almost make it sound as if the sound is a bit dead and not involving... But I doubt that that is true, based on what I have read about the driver elsewhere, and now heard from you too. The character of the mids and highs of the Jordan that you mention, could you descibe it in more detail?
For a Jordan in OB, I do have a pair of Eton 7-372 that has been modified. No heatpipe. Specs as follow:
Nominal Impedance 8 ohm
DC resistance 7.0 ohm
Resonant Freq. 39 Hz
The driver has a very analytical sound, which I like. The cone has some quite awkward breakups, that are hard to avoid with low order filter in a two way. But if it only needed to fill the lower regions, I suspect that the sound would match the Jordans quite well. Still, 300Hz is quite a critical place to be crossing over...
And the Supravox, your ideas are very interresting. I do have excellent experience with minimal damping of the cabinet, it really brought out the sound of my Vifa XT18's in a 15 Liter Closed Cabinet.
The only thing that I do not like about the GMF, is that I have to add tweeters. Have you tried this yourself? How does it integrate, is it even noticeable at such high frequencies. I probably wouldn't even notice, but knowing it is enough to make me nervous :0)
Thank you for the quick replies!
300Hz isn't a bad spot to cross over. My previous Jordans crossed at 500Hz and it was almost seamless. I mentioned that freq because that's where GM suggested as roll off for an OB. I haven't tried it. Yet.
The upper mid and treble character is noticable against something smoother and with more extension, in my case a pair of JXR6s I'm experimenting with. They go to 30kHz and are very delicate in the treble, whereas the 92s can be a little brash, especially if you sit on axis (though as I said, they're designed with a rise in the freq response to counter sitting off-axis by turning them inwards). Against that, in their present cabinet my pair of JXR6s don't image as spectacularly as the 92s.
I've read of several people who use the 92 in an 8 litre sealed cabinet and cross to a bass driver at 100-150Hz. Thor, on fullrangedriver.com, runs the Jordan without any high pass filtering and lets the cabinet do it (the cab is an egg-shaped ceramic enclosure) and reckoned it ran rings round the Essence. From a brief listen, I prefer the MLTL to the Essence/VTL cabinet.
I haven't tried tweeters with the JX92 although I did try using them as bass units for the JXR6s, crossing at 120Hz (ish). Interesting but I lost some of the imaging magic. It was a very rough and ready cobble together and anyone who actually knew what they were doing could do it much better.
There's more on the VTL and Thor's system here
Anyone looking at 24-28" MLTL? My contraints are to build a speaker that will mate with a a 42" LCD screen. So I was considering a 24"x6"x4.5" (about 8-10 liters) sealed until I saw the MLTL. Now I ma dreaming about a shorter version of it. F3 of 80Hz is fine by me.
The problem with the Jordan in the OB is excursion - it has a lower fs and the driver diameter is considerably smaller than the others. All of this means that you won't be able to go to loud without some serious distortion UNLESS you have a highpass for the driver (..and IMO simplicity and/or sonics will be compromised with that filter). It may however sound fantastic (filterless) like that at or below say 85 db. On the other hand a simple large aircore inductor for the lowpass should not be a problem sonically.
What I described for the Supravox was rather complex acoustically, though fairly simple from the viewpoint of construction.
The nice thing here is that you don't have to add a tweeter, you can instead listen on the driver's axis with only a penalty with cymbals, triangles, and top octave "air". The midrange however won't be as linear and the sound will become more "forward" because of the midrange "dip". And you never know - you may actually like it like that.
The "two-way" crossover design that I've described I have tried generally, but not with either of those drivers. It does this:
1. Bad: doesn't allow you to move around and listen at the same time (..though it isn't the "head in the vise" that an electrostat often is).
2. Good: Provides a wide soundstage with imaging (recording dependent) that will extend beyond the driver's boundries.
3. Good: Provides good soundstage depth. Particularly at the 40 degree axis where the midrange dip will be considerably lessened.
The single capacitor will impart some coloration, but it doesn't have the effect of a typical passive crossover network that tends to suck the life out of the driver. In fact it sometimes enhances what is often referred to as image "density" or "palpability" depending on the capacitor, amp, and drivers. (..Tony Gee has an excellent capacitor evaluation page in case you are interested - the net effect of which is to suggest the Clarity Cap SA grade for the best price vs. performace ratio.) Note that the capacitor value will be large because of the 2 ohm impeadance of the paralleled Neo 3's and I suspect at 40 degrees off-axis that the crosspoint would be around 3 kHz which would give a cap value near 26 uf. Now a gainclone generally does not like lower impeadances, but I don't think it will have any problem with this configuartion for several reasons (..not the least of which is the extremely resistive load that the Neo 3's will provide).
With regard to the aperiodic enclosure:
IF the enclosure volume is large with non-parallel walls - then you can often obtain better depth than even an OB will provide. Additionally, it will have superior dynamics than an OB - AND will have more linear operation because it will allow better motion control near the driver's in-box resonance (..due to the aperiodic "vent" and its beneficial alteration of system compliance).
Again.. Complex, yet not complex to construct.
Yes the OB problem with the Jordan does worry me! I found a german magazine with several measurements of the Jordan, in the TML design suggested my Jordan him self. It looks good! In general I am sure the Jordan will not disappoint me whenever it is in a box of some sorts. So all that is left, is for me to finally decide on how important the OB upgrade option is. That is where the Jordan failes, or at least doesn't triumph, it seems...
Yes the design you mention for the Supravox sounds quite complex, but I think I understand it. I love closed boxes, aperiodic comes close, but do you lack control, or is the loss big, compared to closed boxes? How well exactly would the Supravox do in an OB configuration. Maybe it is still not quite near the best in this league. What would be great, you know of any drivers that do both well?
In the German magazine I talked about before, I also found extremely interresting measurements on the FW168HP-X. Extremely low distortion, and a quite even frequency response. After having read the review at 6moons of the Tonian Speakers:
I am very drawn to this speaker, anyone has any experience with it? I love the way that I seem to be surfing from one favorite to another, all of which are probably not at all appropriate for OB :0) Please point to new ones: (criteries)
1) Low distortion
2) Hard cone material
3) No whizzler cones
4) Preferrably max 7 Inches
Whether the Jordan will do it for you or not I would think would depend entirely on its "dynamic" character. I can assure you that it won't have the propulsive rythmic character of a good pro driver/studio monitor. So my suggestion here is going to a dealer that has some Klipsch Heresys or more likely a music instrument dealer with studio monitors/sound reinforcement. Sure, these speakers will have some significant flaws - not the least of which will be ear-bleeding "brigntness" from the horn loaded compression driver and a solid-state amp, BUT it should give you an idea of sort of dynamic character you will be missing by going the route of the Jordan. If you can deal with that then I think you'll be OK with the Jordan.
The aperiodic box will have INCREASED control (not decreased). What it won't have is *quite* the air compression and delayed resonance in the lower midrange/upper bass that a sealed box has (..that add's to the sensation of "punch").
The Supravox would do VERY well OB from about 150 Hz (baffle size dependent) to 7-8 kHz (on-axis) when considering freq. linearity in addition to numerous other factors.. Here the midrange dip and and the slight increase in spl above that dip will be off-set by the dipole radiation. (i.e. the rear-radiation of the driver up to 1 kHz will be strong and will reflect and add to the spl in-room, but above 1 kHz the spl from the rear will be attenuated and NOT add to the in-room spl.) If you wanted a more extended freq. response then you could always add the Neo 3.s around 10 kHz on-axis, or lower if listening off-axis.
The 168HP-X would be VERY well suited as a *midrange* driver in an OB on-axis with no low pass or high pass. Don't expect the dynamics OR the incredible linear decay of the Supravox however.
With gain clone's lack of "impeadance gain" I don't think that ANY non-eq'ed drivers will offer the upper bass/lower midrange response that will achieve a linear response while still having extension into the mid-treble region UNLESS the baffle is H U G E. That said.. note that one1speed uses the Veravox OB with a gain clone:
..but the baffle he is using isn't exactly small is it?
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