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Old 25th July 2013, 06:52 PM   #1
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Default Comparing three different Alpair's

Got a chance to do a little comparison of the A10P.1 with the A12P.1 and A7.3. I have at least 100hr on the A10P now and what? Maybe 1000hr on the A12P and several Khr on the A7.It may be too early to may any definitive comparison, but the A10P is probably 90% there.

Speakers: M12-A12 MLTL for the A12P,the M10-A10 MLTL for the A10P, T7-A7 for the A7.3.The M10-A10 is tuned slightly higher than for the A10M.2 -- 40Hz, but looking at the FR plot, I may want to tune it a bit higher yet. Also the materials and construction is different, but this is not the place to discuss that.

Signal path: Foobar2000 > M-Audio UltraTrac (USB DAC) > Topping TP-60. There were not filters in the signal path and no DSP. The speakers were on their own. I set FB2K to 100% and then adjusted the amp for 70dB 2.5m back from the speakers. Then I reduced the volume in FB2K to bring each speaker to 70dB at the listening position. The adjustment was 4dB for the A10 and 5dB for the A12P.

There really isn't much to choose from between these drivers. The differences are subtle and could be influenced by the cabinets. Each driver (speaker) has its strong points. The A10P is a bit brighter and more forward. The A7 is the most laid back. Alison Kraus ("Forget About IT") is a bit less spitty of the A10P. Diana Krall ("All or Nothing at All") is also a bit more laid back on the A12P, but both the A10 and A12 handle the double bass very nicely, the A7 needs a bit of help. Absolute top end goes to the A12P. There is a bit more sparkle to the mandolin in Fleetwood Mac ("Rumours"). This also shows up nicely in Vivaldi's concerto RV251 (Guiliano Carmignola-baroque violin).

On heavier music such as Norah Jones ("Tell Your Mama"), the A12 has more impact, even at the same SPL, while the A10 has more bass extension. As they say, there is no replacement for displacement. The A7 is and "also-ran" here. Strangely though, the A10P keeps its feet better on heavy orchestral music. I played Orff's "O Fortune" (Carmina Burana) at 80dB--this piece has a dynamic range of 30dB and just has to be played loud--the A12P was not as clean and clear as the A10. The A7 didn't do real well at this volume level.

I did not run through my really deep bass cuts, as this is not the forte of any of these drivers. Bass is adequate and fundamentals are there to the bottom of the double bass. As usual and particularly in my room, I feel that the bottom end needs a bit of warming up.

Here is an FR comparison. This was made with REW, same amp volume setting and no EQ or DSP. As REW does some magic with the SPL level, absolute SPL is not to be believed. The black is the A10P.1, red A12P.1 and gray A7.3.

BTW, a pair of A10M.3's are in the HT right now breaking in. They do sound very nice out of the box.

Bob
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Last edited by Bob Brines; 25th July 2013 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 25th July 2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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Thanks bob, nice to see side by side comparisons.

So the $300 dollar question, if you could own just one pair of Mark Audio Drivers, which would choose as your everyday, for every music type. Personal best sounding one?
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Old 25th July 2013, 11:57 PM   #3
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Stu,

There are way too many variables for me to tell you which Alpair to buy. Music choices, amp, room, full-range or mid-tweet.

For me, I would not consider the A7 for full-range unless using them in a small room or near-field. However, with help at the bottom, it is pure pleasure to listen to. Note that above 700Hz, the FR is a near perfect pink noise roll-off until 8kHz. The peak at the top and the sag in the low treble are easily EQ'd.

Either the A12P or the A10P work well full-range, the A10P better at first blush. All of those peaks and valleys below 200Hz are room modes, but the A10P is showing an F10 of ~30Hz. There is plenty of excursion for in-room flat to 40Hz, lower if you are careful with the throttle.

I am listening to the A10M.3's as I write this. The have maybe 50hr on them. They are in the HT: MusicChoice streaming though Suddenlink cable (most likely 256 ACC) >> TiVo Qbox >> Yamaha RX-V665. The EQ in the Yami is set for the A7.3's that normally live here and are crossed to a sub at 165Hz. Sounds really good, streaming Halvorsen "Norwegian Fairy Tale Pictures".

So. I suspect that I will put one of the A10's over over the Dayton RSS315HF-4 I just received. Probably 2-3 months before that happens, though.

Bob

Last edited by Bob Brines; 26th July 2013 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 26th July 2013, 08:44 AM   #4
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I have the Alpair 7.3 in small bookshelf boxes, plans from Mark Audio website, and am very pleased, I would like to add a helping hand for the very low as a lot of listening/watching is HD movie based and some have terrifying dynamic range and I worry about the excursion. But they do go plenty low enough, especially considering the cabinet size. I wish to try them sealed with a woofer and perhaps in a Pensil design or rear horn loaded.

I wont be going back to a mid and tweeter unless my horn speakers finally get built. When the Alpairs will be moved into the bedroom, maybe...
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Old 28th July 2013, 01:39 AM   #5
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Well d@mn! Here I am sitting in my easy chair listening to music streaming through Music Choice, surfing the web and sipping some Black Jack. I have the A10M.3's in a pair of 16l BR's driven by my HT receiver, and I wanted to see what kind of bass they would do, so I set the AVR to bypass -- turns off the sub and removes any EQ. Up come the Berlioz "Symphonie Fantastique". It was as good as I have ever heard it! I could feel the tympany. The orchestra was there all the way to the basses. Never go muddy then the orchestra was at full throttle. On to Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata". Alfred Brendel is in the room with me.

I'm going to have to take these speakers out to the shop and see it they measure what I am hearing. The model says f3=40. Maybe it does. I like these speakers!

Bob
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Old 28th July 2013, 02:37 AM   #6
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Keep the comments coming Bob. I am on the fence between the 10.1P and 10.3M Have been leaning towards the 10.1P but if you are getting that kind of bass response from the 10.3M then i would not need my sub and since my room is small I could use the saved space.

Andrew
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Old 28th July 2013, 03:07 AM   #7
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Excited for your Measurement result in shop.
Wonder if because of their extra lightness and extended top, if they have some a7.3 like ?, (ask because you know/have them too).
Myself have A10.2 in sealed box with linear fase eq for bottom end, sounds great but this senario have limited spl, needs nearfield carefull spl listening, but is quite close to headphone pure sound.
Ricky
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Old 28th July 2013, 03:39 AM   #8
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Chris and i had a brief listen to A10p, A10.3, & A10.2 today (all stock -- treated pairs are under preparation). The new drivers are, on this quick listen with low hrs an improvement, but we aren't getting the bass extention out of them as the earlier driver.

dave
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Old 28th July 2013, 10:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
Chris and i had a brief listen to A10p, A10.3, & A10.2 today (all stock -- treated pairs are under preparation). The new drivers are, on this quick listen with low hrs an improvement, but we aren't getting the bass extention out of them as the earlier driver.

dave

while we often use a highly modified Dyna ST70 or even smaller SE amps, in this case it was a beefy SS 100 - 120

group shot of the recent builds, Dave?
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Old 28th July 2013, 10:51 PM   #10
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group shot of the recent builds, Dave?
Likely won't have them all together till the FEST. You could post the FH3 vrs FHxL comparo.

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