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Old 12th April 2007, 10:41 PM   #201
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Default Impressions

Quote:
Originally posted by SunRa
Hello,

I've been following the thread for some time now and I must say I'm most interested as for some years now I feel there are some things changing in the audio scene. And I think that Mr. Lynn Olson is one of the most important designers who helped with this change in the perspective (only if I mention the design of new push-pull amplifiers like amity and karna).

As I know you are searching for a coax driver. I think you should consider the KM30 from PHY-HP

A search will reveal lot's of intersting reviews. A friend of mine recently auditioned a pair (he ownes a supravox 215 in OB with two 15" emminence per side, a la bd-design) and he said this is his reference driver for now on. Some other owners of the KM30 say it's superior to tannoy drivers. I am not really a fan of large midrange drivers but I guess this should suit the initial requirments.

Secondly I'd like to ask Mr. Olson why do you consider a concave shape being bad news for audio? I was considering a wide open baffle with a fullrange (or coax) on top and two 12" or 15" per side. The baffle I imagined was almost a clone of the SonusFaber Stradivarius having kind of a convex-concave shape, the main diffrence beeing the treatment I am still thinking at (foam, carpet, EnABL... I don't know, still watching this thread )
Concave is bad - what possible benefit is there except for artsy styling? Ultra-priced audiophile gear is designed for looks, not sound. Hate to shatter any illusions, but the more expensive audio gear is, the more input the marketing guys had on it - or even worse, the audiophile magazines.

The ideal shape for a monopole spreaker is a variation on a sphere, with the internal shape highly asymmetric, perhaps a wedge. This is simple physics and acoustics, which doesn't change with editorial and audiophile fashions.

And how many $10,000 to $150,000 boutique audiophile speakers look like this? Forget it. Instead we see a whole range of razor-edged prismatic and wiggly pseudo-instrument shapes. No cigar, guys. A Cadillac Escalade is better designed and better-looking than these absurdly over-priced boutique confections - at least the Detroit truck-in-drag can carry people around and works most of the time.

The ideal shape for a dipole isn't as obvious - a torus/doughnut shape is the first thing that comes to mind, with a flat asymmetric baffle with some sort of edge treatment coming in second.

As for the widerange speaker, there are several candidates in the running. Fertin, Radian, Hemp Acoustics, 18Sound, and other pro monitor drivers. The Fertin stirred strong emotions at the 2004 European Triode Festival I attended - some folks thought they were the best in the world, while others thought they were overpriced with way too much coloration. It all seemed to come down to a preference for "French" vs "German/Italian" sound.

As for my own preferences, I didn't care for the French audiophile drivers I heard at the ETF and the RMAF, so that leaves PHY, Supravox and Fertin kind of up in the air. Before I write them off completely I really need to audition them in something other than a hifi show setting. I don't know if I'll like them or not at this point.

I very much like the sound of field-coil-magnet speakers - and Alnico too - but if the essential cone/spider/dustcap have inherent design problems, it's not for me. Most audiophiles have far more tolerance for cone colorations than I do, so this is very much a personal matter.

The Hemp Acoustics and Radian 12 and 15-incher coaxials are looking the best - at the present - and this is subject to change. I feel a lot better modifying a $300 to $600 pro driver with underlying good design (pro build quality, low distortion, efficient, etc.) than a $2000 audiophile-only boutique speaker with unknown design principles.

It's the difference between modifying a Technics SL1200 (the choice of DJs the world over) vs modifying a Platine Verdier. I'd much rather modify a well-known quantity that's been in production a long time and has a large non-audiophile market.
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Old 12th April 2007, 10:48 PM   #202
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Bud,

I'm having trouble understanding exactly what the Mamboni and EnABL treatments are. I have some extra drivers I'm willing to risk. Can you direct me to specifics?
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Old 12th April 2007, 10:56 PM   #203
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Quote:
Originally posted by johninCR
Bud,

I'm having trouble understanding exactly what the Mamboni and EnABL treatments are. I have some extra drivers I'm willing to risk. Can you direct me to specifics?
Start the OHM Acoustics "Walsh F" thread here and follow the comments by Mamboni, BudP, and c2cthomas. Around Page 13 or so I have some suggestions of my own about the Mamboni felt triangles.

Sound quality is the result of physics, acoustics, ingenuity, and the skill of implementation. This is why a Mamboni/EnABL-modified driver could quite easily outperform a $2000 boutique driver - it's not the name, it's how it's built that matters.

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Old 12th April 2007, 11:36 PM   #204
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Default Terrific Thread

Baseballbat has made a terrific post in the "Why are prosound speakers made with paper cones?" thread.

In the German forums, they've come up with a method to overlay the standard waterfall plot (CSD) with a +40 dB raised version of the 3rd-harmonic distortion over time. Since the overlaid plots are in color, you can see the decay of the main component vs distortion - something I have never seen anywhere before.

What makes it even more interesting is that shows exactly why metal drivers sound wrong - the 3rd harmonic distortion persists quite a bit longer than the decay of the main sound. This is a big deal, folks - the first time I've ever seen a coloration unmasked this clearly.

This stored distortion is exactly what the Mamboni/EnABL modifications address - energy that is stored on the surface of the driver, and released over time as distortion. Dipoles that are relatively free of energy storage (compared to conventional boxes with internal standing waves) are also going to be better in this area, since there's no box to slowly feed stored resonant energy back through the cone.
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Old 12th April 2007, 11:47 PM   #205
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Default Re: Terrific Thread

Quote:
Originally posted by Lynn Olson
Baseballbat has made a terrific post in the "Why are prosound speakers made with paper cones?" thread.
Lynn,

When you want to point out a specific post in a thread, you can copy the link under the Post#xxx that appears in the top right hand corner of every post.

dave
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Old 12th April 2007, 11:52 PM   #206
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Old 13th April 2007, 09:02 PM   #207
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Default More Thoughts ...

Here's another idea for the coaxial driver - why not bring back H.F. Olson's pattern of 5 dot/cones glued on the cone of the 15-inch RCA LC-1A? As mentioned in his original writings, these dot/cones improve cone characteristics, break up the usual side-to-side and 4-symmetric rocking modes of straight-sided cones, and also (last but not least) break up the HOM modes of the conical horn formed by the bass-driver cone.

The LC-1A is a quasi-coax, but all of the design criteria of the LC-1A cone modification apply to a coax driver as well, particularly one following the Tannoy/Radian design where the cone is an extension of the internal compression driver. Using the LC-1A dot/cones should substantially improve the HOM of the compression driver. I suspect the only reason Tannoy didn't do this "back in the day" was a combination of RCA patents and the usual "Not Invented Here" syndrome of big manufacturers.

With the original set of RCA LC-1A and Tannoy Dual Concentric patents expired many decades ago, we are now free to use the best of these technologies - yes, hemp cones, too, since guess what, hemp has been used as a "secret ingredient" in loudspeaker cones for many decades!

With the religious war against Demon Marijuana going on since the 1930's, it's a more than a little ironic the Constitution of the United States of America is written on - wait for it - hemp paper! I wonder what the signers would have thought of that turn of events. (In the 18th and 19th Centuries, all drugs were legal in the USA, including heroin, cocaine, and extract of hashish, and were common ingredients in patent medicines and early soft drinks. The War on Drugs only really began with the collapse of Prohibition.)
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Old 13th April 2007, 09:23 PM   #208
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Default Re: More Thoughts ...

Quote:
Originally posted by Lynn Olson
why not bring back H.F. Olson's pattern of 5 dot/cones glued on the cone of the 15-inch RCA LC-1A?
Something that has crossed my mind as well. A vestigial version of which can be seen in the Fostex FExx8eSigma drivers.

Quote:
With the religious war against Demon Marijuana going on since the 1930's, it's a more than a little ironic the Constitution of the United States of America is written on - wait for it - hemp paper! I wonder what the signers would have thought of that turn of events. (In the 18th and 19th Centuries, all drugs were legal in the USA, including heroin, cocaine, and extract of hashish, and were common ingredients in patent medicines and early soft drinks. The War on Drugs only really began with the collapse of Prohibition.)
Who knows.. the raw hemp for the paper of the day that the constitution was written on could well have come from George Washingtons hemp patch.

The War on MJ in particular is another example of lobbying & contributions by (a) big business playing a (too) large role in determining law. The last aspect you mention sheds another light ... (drug) law enforcement needing another target to focus on to keep their little empires going (IMHO one of the reasons Wondows remains dominan in corporate institutions... IT managers not wanting to lose or have their little empires shrunk -- which would happen with OSes that needed less tech support.

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Old 13th April 2007, 09:57 PM   #209
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At the risk of hijacking my own thread (I can do that, can't I?) I think it's always instructive to look at history.

My own interests are the history of technology, but this is inseparable from the history of corporations, the development of international monopolies, social control through persecution of minorities, and the rise of highly effective and insidious PR methods to shape the social concensus of "reality". Minor examples of the latter are RCA's decades-long disinformation campaigns against Major Armstrong (inventor of the superheterodyne and FM) and Philo Farnsworth, inventor of electronic television.

The destruction of the US hemp industry and the rise of Harry Anslinger's War on Drugs appear to have multiple and overlapping causes: DuPont promoting synthetic substitutes for traditional hemp products, keeping city, state and federal "vice" squads employed and in the newspaper headlines, and a renewed campaign against immigrants from Mexico and black jazz musicians who were "corrupting the youth of America" with their degenerate "jungle music".

Sigh. Some things don't change (I live only a few miles from Tom Tancredo's district in Colorado).

All politics and economics are short-term, but the social causes go on for centuries, even millenia - the endless struggle to keep an aristocracy on top, and the counter-struggle for intellectual freedom. Inventions are made, books are written, printed, suppressed, and re-emerge, and ideas come and go, dressed in different clothing, and with different advocates.

During all this disorder and power struggles (and don't kid yourself, ideas and inventions are all about power, as writers and inventors quickly discover) good, even wonderful ideas fall by the wayside. Hemp products are just one example of a product that doesn't really have any equivalent synthetic analogs.

In the hifi field, due to excessive corporate secrecy and a dysfunctional patent system, many good ideas are discarded when the original engineer leaves the company and is replaced by an incompetent hack. (That last sentence is practically the entire history of hifi; two steps forwards and two steps back.)

It's not that I think the past is some kind of Golden Age; it wasn't. But - a lot of things have been forgotten or intentionally buried, and these have application right today. As a writer who is mostly retired and doesn't have to answer to a corporate boss-man, I have the luxury of sitting on the sidelines and writing acerbic little commentaries about the industry - and starting threads like this one.
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Old 13th April 2007, 10:24 PM   #210
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I'm just waiting for the next big technology breakthrough by someone like a Nikola Tesla, but with the ability to share that the internet now affords. Whether it's something in the areas of Tesla's work or simply breaking water into hydrogen and oxygen, I don't know. We're due for a big leap forward, since things have been stagnant for over half a century.
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