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Old 1st April 2009, 10:02 PM   #1081
sts9fan is offline sts9fan  United States
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I apologize for the halfassed comment. The internet is too easy to take out you bad mood in the morning.

I honestly am super excited to build this kit and I recognize the heart that went into its design.
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Old 1st April 2009, 10:46 PM   #1082
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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If there are any parts that were missing then please let me know and I will send them. I believe that you said that you did not get the gasket sheet for the woofer, but I was not clear if you got the one for the tweeter (it should be mounted already as they ship that way). I can send you a strip of weather stipping for the back if you want.

As to the manual, I only recently got a camera for the precise reason to retake photos of the assembly. The photos in the manual were from the first wave of kits before I had John make the parts. So while they are not the exact same parts, they are quite similar. I have not built a Nathan since I got the camera so I have not had a chance to retake the photos. I also don't see a need to make two manuals for the Nathan and the Abbey since they are virtually identical in assembly, so one or the other won;t be represented.

This all takes a lot more time than people realize and as everyone knows, when you are overworked, the details fall off the table.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 12:36 AM   #1083
sts9fan is offline sts9fan  United States
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The tweeter is all set..
thanks for checking
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Old 10th April 2009, 03:40 AM   #1084
uhoh is offline uhoh  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by gedlee
If there are any parts that were missing then please let me know and I will send them. I believe that you said that you did not get the gasket sheet for the woofer, but I was not clear if you got the one for the tweeter (it should be mounted already as they ship that way). I can send you a strip of weather stipping for the back if you want.
A roll of weatherstripping from Home Depot for a few bucks would work for woofer, tweeter, and cabinet back. No big deal IMO. A bead of silicone might work even better. I used to hold JBL E150 drivers in using just silicone and nothing else.

Quote:
As to the manual, I only recently got a camera for the precise reason to retake photos of the assembly. The photos in the manual were from the first wave of kits before I had John make the parts. So while they are not the exact same parts, they are quite similar. I have not built a Nathan since I got the camera so I have not had a chance to retake the photos. I also don't see a need to make two manuals for the Nathan and the Abbey since they are virtually identical in assembly, so one or the other won;t be represented.
The manual I downloaded seemed more or less adequate. It pointed out the main areas where advice is needed (in my case anyway).

Better docs are always good, but they look workable as is. I'm sure that Earl would help out if anyone has questions too. He's answered all my questions and I'm a pest.

Quote:
This all takes a lot more time than people realize and as everyone knows, when you are overworked, the details fall off the table.

The proof is in the pudding, and this pudding is pure gold.

The Nathans are the best speakers I have ever heard, and that covers a lot of territory.

They do an extremely good job at classical music. Detail, air, space, weight, anything you can think of to describe it and the Nathans do it. It's not as powerful as being at a live concert, but it comes close enough to make me a very happy camper.

For blues, jazz, and rock, the most noticeable thing is the drum kit. These are the first speakers I've ever heard where the kit sounded like a full, real kit. I was a drum roadie at one point, and have worked in the studio, so I'm slightly familiar with what drums sound like. I listened a couple of weeks ago to a live Rush recording, and you could hear and distinguish all the toms, floor toms, kettles, and even the two kick drums. You could also hear the stick or beater hitting the head, plus the resonance of the shell afterward. Cymbals sounded like metal, with sharp strikes when appropriate, not just kind of a sshhhing white-noise-like sound as I hear with a lot of speakers.

I think someone else mentioned that a Marshall stack sounds like a Marshall stack. Damn straight. Ted Nugent and a full stack are in my living room. (Fender and Mesa amps sound quite realistic too.)

I also hear a lot of what you might call incidental noises. Things like singers taking a breath, finger noise on strings, valve clicks, chairs creaking, etc. All kinds of details that I never knew were on some recordings. They don't stand out, but they're not hidden anymore either. (In other words, you can hear them if you pay attention, but details are not exaggerated either.)

In no way, shape, or form do the Nathans have the typical colorations of horn loudspeakers. Instead, they sound incredibly neutral and take on the character of the individual recording.

Where they do remind me of horns is in their dynamics and effortlessness. They don't ever sound like they're straining. Impacts and transients can literally make you jump if you're not expecting them.

Then there's that unique effect where some sounds seem to be coming from behind you, even with a plain stereo recording and a single pair of Nathans. It doesn't happen with all recordings, and I haven't figured out any pattern as to why it might occur, but sometimes you feel like turning your head because something just happened behind you or somebody just made a noise behind you.

I've been telling a lot of people about the GedLee speakers, and I'm probably repeating myself and sounding like a broken record. Too bad I can't carry the pair of them around with me and just let people listen for themselves. (They're pretty solid and heavy for their size, so that's out.)

I am not 100% convinced that electronics are relatively unimportant (to the point where an inexpensive Pioneer receiver can provide audio bliss). But I'm getting close to that. I've tried a cheap old BPC receiver and some rather expensive "high-end" amps (tube and SS), and the differences are slight to the point where you wonder if you're really hearing them. (The tube amp sounded kind of loose and soft, so it was more noticeable than a couple of different SS amps.)

What I am 100% convinced of is that speakers are the most important part of a system.

I'm also convinced that Earl paid attention to the details that really mattered, and nothing about the design of the speakers "fell off the table." Maybe the kits require some effort from the builder, and maybe he needs to polish the order fulfillment and other business aspects, but the speakers themselves are Ready for Prime Time.
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Old 11th April 2009, 03:46 AM   #1085
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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What can I say, but thanks for the very nice review. I hope that you enjoy them. I know they will be the last speakers that you buy, unless you buy a bigger set of Geddes.
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Old 12th April 2009, 05:14 PM   #1086
uhoh is offline uhoh  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by gedlee
What can I say, but thanks for the very nice review. I hope that you enjoy them. I know they will be the last speakers that you buy, unless you buy a bigger set of Geddes.
Maybe you'll someday do Super Summas with an 18" driver? Or I think I saw a 21 incher made by someone. :-)

At what point does bringing 90 degree dispersion down towards 500 Hz cause problems with less than 90 degree dispersion at the crossover point (since you can only run the waveguide/compression driver down so far)? Have you tried anything larger than a 15"?

I also wanted to fill in a couple of things that my original review missed.

You need a sub or subs to form a complete system with the Geddes speakers. It isn't even relevant to comment on their low bass response, because they're not meant to be used for that. You need to use the Nathans with subs. Yes, with subs is how the Nathans are meant to be used.

Some more details on how classical music sounds (presupposing a good recording):

Voices sound rich and full, with a proper balance of "mouth and chest" sound. You hear the voice from the singer's mouth, but you also get a feel that you are hearing their chest resonance too. the voices don't sound disembodied. (Thank you to Frank Van Alstine for teaching me to listen for this type of thing.)

The string section sounds wonderful. Full and complex, smooth or strident. I hear the strings as separate instruments to a greater extent than with other speakers. Not really separate as in space, but in sound. You can tell there are multiple musicians playing different instruments, and even amongst the violinists you start to pick up the differences in their playing. (I think I'm more able to pick out the differences in string technique between the different orchestras too. Kudos to Bud Fried for teaching me what to listen for here.)

Brass sounds great too, and you can hear those rather harsh overtones at times that you also hear live. Again, I'm hearing more definition between the various musicians performing. It's not just a great wodge of brass horns like with some speakers.

So the Nathans can be said to excel at clarity.

Percussion sounds amazing. There really is no substitute for being able to move some air, and little dinky mid drivers and tweeters just don't do it. (If you add lots of drivers like some designers do, you get into issues with multiple early sources, and it sounds like dung. Just like if you leave sharp edges on the enclosure front, although I think multiple drivers sounds even worse.) (Sorry Brian and Roger.)

But it is solo piano that I think is the best. I can almost imagine there is a piano and pianist in front of me. Some recordings do weird things because of their microphone technique, but timbre and dynamics always sound correct on the Nathans.

On the other hand, I hooked up an inexpensive Yamaha keyboard that has a sampled piano voice, and it was not so good.

I've used the Nathans for home theater too, or at least I've used them to play the sound from TV and DVDs. ("Home Theater" always makes me think of something much more elaborate than what most people can have in their homes.)

Speech exhibits good clarity. Sound effects either sound very real or very spectacular (as appropriate).

I'd rather have a stereo pair of Nathans for watching movies than 7 channels of some other speakers.

It's hard to write a glowing review, because it starts to sound silly. The damn things just can't be _that_ good, can they?

I'd say they can. I think the only area I have left to improve on is to apply some room treatment near to the speakers to kill any early reflections, and perhaps work on placement. (I'm sitting a bit too close with the way my room is currently arranged.)

I also will be adding subs in random places. No hordes or swarms, but maybe a small pack of woofers or a flock of ducts (ducted port subs).

Other than that the only thing I can see doing is as Earl suggests - going with a pair of Abbeys.
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Old 12th April 2009, 05:59 PM   #1087
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by uhoh


Maybe you'll someday do Super Summas with an 18" driver? Or I think I saw a 21 incher made by someone. :-)

At what point does bringing 90 degree dispersion down towards 500 Hz cause problems with less than 90 degree dispersion at the crossover point (since you can only run the waveguide/compression driver down so far)? Have you tried anything larger than a 15"?

Thanks again

No I haven't tried anything bigger than a 15". Even the 15" has very little appeal due to its size. The 12" and 10" seem to be the sweet spot with the larger 15" being only for the person who doesn't want any compromises, which isn't very many people. B&C makes a 21" woofer.
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Old 12th April 2009, 06:40 PM   #1088
uhoh is offline uhoh  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by gedlee


B&C makes a 21" woofer.
So you'd call that model the Tim the Tool Man.
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Old 12th April 2009, 07:34 PM   #1089
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Quote:
Originally posted by gedlee


Thanks again

No I haven't tried anything bigger than a 15". Even the 15" has very little appeal due to its size. The 12" and 10" seem to be the sweet spot with the larger 15" being only for the person who doesn't want any compromises, which isn't very many people. B&C makes a 21" woofer.
It's hard to appreciate how hyoooge the Summas are unless you have something in the picture to give it a sense of scale.

Here's a pic of some audio nerd with a Unity horn, which is widely considered to be a "large" speaker. (These aren't mine btw.)

Click the image to open in full size.

Here's a pic of a friend of mine posing with one of the first Summas, almost half a decade ago:

Click the image to open in full size.

The Summa is quite a bit larger than the Unity.
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Old 13th April 2009, 12:39 AM   #1090
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Well built! The speakers that is.
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