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Old 27th July 2012, 09:07 PM   #111
StevenZ is offline StevenZ  United States
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Zia, they are in some hack job cabinets I built about a year or so ago. Here's the finished product. Steven's Alpair 10.2 Pensil Build Log
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Old 27th July 2012, 09:33 PM   #112
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Steve,

That build was cool...lovely finish. So you're an old hand at Pensil building!

Interesting to hear that A12P in the Pensil can surpass the A10.2 in bass output. Have read plenty of positive comments on the A10.2's LF capability. If imaging and resolution is close to Alp 7.3, these speaker must be very enjoyable.
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Old 27th July 2012, 09:44 PM   #113
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I have yet to hear the 12.2 yet, but the single element that differentiates the 7.3 from the 10.2 the most is clarity. After listening to the 7.3's, the 10.2's sound like something is missing. It doesn't show up all the time, but mostly on more complicated material. I would not call this a nuanced difference, either. The 10.2's are romantic and wonderful if you stay with simpler material like Jazz. Anything more involved and you begin to get a blending/loss of information. I cross to a woofer, so the bass difference is not in play.
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Old 15th September 2012, 08:46 PM   #114
cotdt is offline cotdt  United States
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Listening impressions after the 800 hour break-in period?
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Old 16th September 2012, 02:16 PM   #115
StevenZ is offline StevenZ  United States
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I only made it to about 200+ hours. I thought they were good driver, but in all honesty, I prefer my Alpair 7.3's more. The drivers are now sold and I'm working on a different project.

Last edited by markaudio; 16th September 2012 at 11:54 PM. Reason: edit last sentence - commercial conflict
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Old 17th September 2012, 12:49 AM   #116
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Hi Buzz, Steven, Guys,

I'm beginning to worry about some of the comparisons between the various sized Alpairs. Its creating some confusion for other members and especially beginners (my mail bag grows ever larger).

Its important to remember that driver size in relation to room size/volume is fundamental for optimised output. The Alpair 7 (gen's 2 and 3) will likely sound most impressive is room sizes up to 4 X 5 metres (depending on room damping). Above this size, they can be used but the balance of the emittance patten will change as the load on the 7's power-train increases. Alpair 10 (gen. 2) and Alpair 12P will easily out-class the Alpair 7 with a stable emittance patten in room sizes greater than 4X5m.

Driver performance is also dependent on box volume/design. Having spent time recently with standard 10's and MAOP's in Erich's slot box and Pensils, running these drivers "full-range" with no subs or large woofs, there's nothing lacking. The Alp10 performs as expected. Erich's design volume slightly increases the compression on the power-train which brightens the 10's mids, typical of this design type. The Pensils adjustable damping allows for some bass extension, potentially changing (favouring) the lower bandwidths.

However, I know that some members like to assist the low end with a large woof or sub. In these instances, the Alp 7 could be the best choice to do the lower-mids to highs. The load on the driver in FAST or multiway might well suit it to these applications.

Smaller full-range drivers, by cone size, mass and flex ratios (Alp6, 7, CHR et.al) will naturally optimise in the mids. My effort over the years has concentrated on making these smaller units become more efficient in the low and high ranges, extending their performance. Mid to larger full rangers (10's and 12's) will naturally offer up more bass. My effort with these designs is to balance the emittance, reducing the mid to upper mid "shout", typical of many low mass large full-range designs.

For those members who find the Alpair 10 "missing" a audible element, you'll need to look again at your set-up and application requirements. Or it could simple be that you personally favour the output character of small drivers. Its a matter of personal preference rather than any technical fault of the larger Alpair drivers.

Myself, Scott and others have regularly mentioned the pitfalls in comparing different sized drivers.

Thanks
Mark.

Last edited by markaudio; 17th September 2012 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 17th September 2012, 02:51 AM   #117
StevenZ is offline StevenZ  United States
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No disrespect was meant, Mark. The simple fact is this: They didn't suit me or my listening style. That's not to say that they're a bad driver, no. But in my situation, with my room, with my gear, with my music, etc., they just didn't work out.
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Old 17th September 2012, 04:41 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenZ View Post
No disrespect was meant, Mark. The simple fact is this: They didn't suit me or my listening style. That's not to say that they're a bad driver, no. But in my situation, with my room, with my gear, with my music, etc., they just didn't work out.
Hi Steve,
I fully understand and appreciate your comment. Its impossible for any maker to produce a driver that will suit all.

My previous post was an effort to encourage users to be more comprehensive when commenting on drivers; To look closely at their system optimisation and to emphasize their personal preferences in driver type and size as part of the overall comment. It will help other members who've not experienced Alpair drivers, especially beginners to make a more informed assessment.

For example Buzzforb's preference is the Alpair 7. I'm personally of the same feeling (hence my living room is mostly 7's), but audio friends of mine here disagree. Their preference is for the Alp10. Last June/July there was a 8 page test and review of the Alpair 10 in MJ magazine Japan. The review was independent. I had no idea its was taking place until a copy of the mag was sent to me. I'll see if its possible to get it translated and published in English. Given the Japanese full-range heritage, I'm certain Japan wouldn't be buying 10's if they lacked "clarity". Sales of standard and MAOP 10's are outstripping all other models. Meanwhile others have changed to the 12P. This driver is becoming well respected. So at the moment, there's no clear picture for me to know what and how to further develop the drivers, hence my encouraging folks to be more comprehensive when commenting.
Thanks
Mark.

Last edited by markaudio; 17th September 2012 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 17th September 2012, 05:38 PM   #119
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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For those of us who have played with as many makes and sizes of drivers and enclosure types over the years, it's hard not to make comparisons and have certain preferences, even if we sometimes are quietly disappointed (or deny it ) when we ask our favorites to perform beyond their capabilities -due to any combination of inappropriate enclosure design, room size, or volume levels.

I've not made it any secret that as different a flavor as they each bring to the picnic, I find the Alpair7 (and EL70) to be the "Goldilocks" drivers of MA range . In my case this is as much as anything due to domestic acceptable factors - I've long since surrendered to the need to sacrifice enclosure size in the two rooms available that have the better acoustics. In my 240sq ft , 8.5 x 23" L-shaped basement man-cave anything goes - but as might not be hard to imagine, larger systems / rear mouth BLH, etc don't work well in this room.

In the upstairs room, the A10.2 and 12Ps in MLTL/ SuperPensils definitely do many things that the smaller drivers can't - except pass the enclosure dimension constraints. Regardless of what an individual auditory system actually "hears", such an ethos plays a larger factor in our perception / appreciation than we might want to admit.
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Old 18th September 2012, 01:31 AM   #120
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Hi Chris, (Guys),

We used 7's in our living rooms (old and new place) since the Gen.1's. Technically, the 7 (current version) on paper might rate as my best driver, especially for those folks who look for extended bandwidth (with good reason in the case of the 7). Me personally, I love the 7, especially in a set up and room environment that optimises its characteristics.

Interestingly, Bernd Timmermanns of Hobby Hi-Fi magazine (Germany) in his recent reviews of the latest 7 and CHR, preferred the CHR. He criticised the 7's step up in frequency at around 9kHz, saying the CHR's more gradual output increase that peaks at around 18kHz was better. Given that Bernd is a professional reviewer and owner of Hobby Hi-Fi, I was surprised that he made a significant error in his assessment of the 7 by not demonstrating an understanding of bandwidth and compression. In any full-range driver (especially smaller units) designed for single point source point applications, one of the designer's challenges is to deal with emittance compression over cone's surface. The reason why many of us "love" the 7, is its delivery of ultra wide bandwidth at lower compression rates emitted from its cone substrate surface. That's why it sounds so detailed and balanced while remaining relatively neutral. I re-engineered the latest CHR to be "brighter" in the upper mids to highs as requested by feedback over recent times. Compression is still under decent control but its design emphasis is to cope with more general audio needs and have excellent off-axis performance. These 2 drivers are different design animals, designed to serve different audio groups. The 7 is very much for the "high-end" enthousiast and/or experienced Diyer. The CHR more for wider audio applications, OEM and beginners/less experienced or those wanting to get good audio output on a budget. The price points between these drivers is an illustration of the technical and performance differences.

Scott's Pensil designs have extracted some of the most pleasing performance I've ever heard from single point-source drivers run full range without other drivers being used and with no compensation of any kind. For those who'd like to take another look at my current living room set-up:

Mark's new home set up

However, my studio in Chia Wan is a larger space where the Alp10's and 12P's clearly excel. Demonstrating Alp6's and 7's in a room size bigger than 4X5 metres starts to show the limitations of small drivers, especially in smaller boxes. In larger room situations, cone acreage counts. The 10 has always remained faithful to its main criteria of being a "neutral" driver. Its rectangle wire wound coil won the end-user vote during its final pre-production phase (see various posts somewhere on the forum), thus the 10 Gen.2 came to exist. We could say that the 10 is very much a "people's driver" (excuse the term), as members of this forum steered its development. Under load, it has a very low output/compression ratio inside the telephonic range. It output in this range is very stable.

The 10 MAOP is a another step in the development in my sights to further stabilse emittance from a cone substrate. So far, the end-user vote (credit cards, cheque books etc) says MAOP is a step in the right direction, as 54 pairs are being produced this month. But will it suit everyone's taste, No it won't. Me personally, I'm enjoying the MAOP 10's in Erich's box design (as per previous post) - see pic. For me, detail/clarity is just about as good as it gets. The bass response is tight and detailed, not over-powering. This set up takes all my older CD's with no dramas, taming some most of so-so recordings. The eagle eyed amongst you might spot the drivers on the floor - more about these later.

Meanwhile, the 12P, another driver where its design was steered very much be this forum is doing well. From my engineering perspective (Mech Eng.), this is my favourite driver. Technically it shouldn't work. Matsuabara san (father designer of the Fe range) and me struggled for allot of hours to get the semi-free to air single mechanical suspension design to become stable under load. Why did we produce a driver with only one mechanical suspension? - simply because many members tasked me to make the 12 efficient and extend the usable bandwidth while staying with the single cone design. The mass of a larger cone usually limits high range emittance, so the design of the front suspension is critical in the extended bandwidth equation. The 12 and 12P work due in part to the re-distribution and change in compliance load bearing factors acting on the front suspension. Me personally, I really like this driver best on orchestral works. The cone does wonders for strings and percussion when mated with a nice valve (tube) amp. I've written about my impressions in other posts. Demand for this driver is much greater than the Gen. 1 unit so I guess we're heading in the right direction.

Hopefully, this post goes a little further along the way into explaining what's been done to date and encourages members to comment in detail, as I'm keen to get ready for further development work in the new year. At the end of the day guys, your the folks that live with these drivers.

Cheers
Mark.
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Last edited by markaudio; 18th September 2012 at 02:12 AM. Reason: additional info
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