Visaton B200, Silver Iris or Hammer S12? - diyAudio
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Old 21st September 2006, 08:54 PM   #1
Jolojl is offline Jolojl  Sweden
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Default Visaton B200, Silver Iris or Hammer S12?

I'm in need of some advice from persons who have heard these speakers. I'm using a NOS DAC (Derek Shek), a DIY Paradise Charlize (probably to be complemented by an Almarro 205 or Decware Taboo in the future) and (currently) a pair of Snell K original. Music: jazz, blues, classical and some classical rock.

I haven't heard any of the speakers I'm looking at. Of the open baffle alternatives I'm leaning towards the Iris because of it's (as I have understood) fuller frequency range, but I'm also very curious about the Hammer (at least with regard to the constructor's intentions: "The S-12 represents my efforts to create a loudspeaker that sounds like Quad ESL 57s with much greater dynamic range, sensitivity and another octave on the bass-end"). Budget is an issue.

Advice or opinions anyone?

Thanks!
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Old 21st September 2006, 10:39 PM   #2
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Visaton B200 is my favorite of these. I couldn't live with the other 2.

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Old 21st September 2006, 11:18 PM   #3
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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Old 21st September 2006, 11:52 PM   #4
preiter is offline preiter  United States
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I have the Silver Iris. Never heard the B200, but read much about it.

My impression of the difference between the two is this.

The Silver Iris is more forgiving with respect to a smaller baffle, it won't dominate your living room as badly.

The Silver Iris has a better low end, you are more likely to accept it without a subwoofer. I like it better with a sub, but I like my bass.

The B200 has no crossover. Even the best crossover is going to color the sound somewhat.

I mean to buy a pair of B200s someday, I don't think you can go wrong with either one. Open Baffle is where it's at.
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Old 22nd September 2006, 01:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by preiter
The Silver Iris is more forgiving with respect to a smaller baffle, it won't dominate your living room as badly.
True -- larger bass driver with higher Q, you should actually use it on a specific size baffle to bring the Q down,

Quote:
The Silver Iris has a better low end, you are more likely to accept it without a subwoofer. I like it better with a sub, but I like my bass.
and it throws a huge -- as in big -- soundstage, a bit 2 dimensional but big -- this can be very appealing.

The deal killer for me is that the 15 just doesn't seem to be able to do the critical mids... there is a discontinuity right around where the woofer tries to get up to where the tweeter is. A lot of the music i listen to really stresses this area ....

Darryl suggests that i need to listen to the SI on a proper size baffle (the one i heard it on could be too big), and i have an open mind. And if when Bob gets that done and we get a chance to listen to it, that still doesn't do it, i have permission to go at the driver with my modification tricks.

BTW -- the B200, with phase plugs, has a better top end than the SI.

The Hammer -- asked about but not mentioned yet, is to my mind a non-starter.

dave
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Old 22nd September 2006, 04:13 AM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Well, on the few occasions that I've heard the SI, I think it's fair to say that while they don't approach the magical midrange of the Quad ESL57 (a daunting task, even 50 years later!), they certainly do dynamics, image size and bass very well indeed.

As to the Hammers, it's a bit of apples vs oranges comparing them to any OB. The SI15 and Visaton B200 have got to be the most affordable of current new production in this latter category to deliver great performance. If room considerations dictate a more conventional enclosure design, any of the Fostex 16X or 20X series in MLTL or BIB would be my recommendation over the Super12's.
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Old 22nd September 2006, 11:19 AM   #7
Jolojl is offline Jolojl  Sweden
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This is a great place to put a question. Thanks all for your input!

I'm more and more leaning towards the Iris (both because of size and of frequency response) even though the Visaton and Hammers are very tempting (besides, in time one doesn't exclude the other...)

I've posted this question on other fora too, and someone on Audiogon mentioned that Hemp Acoustics are planning an OB baffle driver for the near future and that they also have other DIY options. Will have a further look at these.

planet10 -- I have seen your comparison (in AudioCircle?) between the Iris with old cross-overs and the Visaton (where you clearly prefer the Visaton). I was wondering if you've had the opportunity to listen to the Iris with the new cross-overs? You don't seem to like the Hammers, are they really so much worse than the OB alternatives?

ScottG -- thanks for the link. I've been contemplating that set-up for a while, but it's just too expensive

Preiter -- I've had e-mail contact with Darrel at Hawthorne on baffle design and he was very helpful. This might just be my next speaker.

ChrisB -- It's true about the apple and oranges, but I'm really still not fixed on a particular design for design's sake. I'm just looking for a good but not too expensive speaker. An MLTL or BIB is still an option and the Hemps provide yet another alternative to the Fostexes.

Jolojl
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Old 22nd September 2006, 04:33 PM   #8
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jolojl

ScottG -- thanks for the link. I've been contemplating that set-up for a while, but it's just too expensive
I just provided the link after Dave's suggestion. IMO this would be a *VERY* easy to "duplicate" pair of loudspeakers. A pair of piano hinges and 6 sheets of void free plywood with some veneer and a hole for the driver cut into two of those sheets. Not too expensive at all.
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Old 22nd September 2006, 05:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jolojl
(besides, in time one doesn't exclude the other...)
Bob, the local fellow with the SI here in town, also has a pair of B200s sitting downstairs having their prepratory run-in before i take the knife to them.

Quote:
planet10 -- I have seen your comparison (in AudioCircle?) between the Iris with old cross-overs and the Visaton (where you clearly prefer the Visaton). I was wondering if you've had the opportunity to listen to the Iris with the new cross-overs? You don't seem to like the Hammers, are they really so much worse than the OB alternatives?
We have heard them with new XOs -- a good improvement, but not head-to-head with the B200 yet.

I burned the Hammer boxes (held onto them for a year -- no one wanted them). I'll let Chris & Frank comment on the sound, they had many more miles on them than me.

dave
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Old 22nd September 2006, 05:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by ScottG
IMO this would be a *VERY* easy to "duplicate" pair of loudspeakers. A pair of piano hinges and 6 sheets of void free plywood with some veneer and a hole for the driver cut into two of those sheets. Not too expensive at all.
Probably get away with 2 sheets of ply and a saw... i'll have to get a set of those baffles. They might make B200s habital in my room. The 1.2m x 1.1m flat baffles are of necessity only ever temporary.

dave
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