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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 29th September 2012, 01:56 AM   #8161
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Me too!

I have a pretty good idea what your system sounds like, Pano. Big, vivid, and very alive-sounding - the traditional Altec virtues. The big multicells are just as good in their way as the latest fancy LeCleac'h, and all the hard work you've put into your very special A5's I'm sure has paid off.

But I've never heard Keele's CBT's and Danley's Synergy horns, particularly from the perspective an experienced Altec fan who owns probably one of the best speakers they ever made.
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Old 29th September 2012, 02:22 AM   #8162
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There is nothing I've heard that sounds the same as a Synergy horn. If you can imagine the clarity and freedom from room issues of good headphones, the sheer dynamics and unlimited output of horns, the coherence of a single driver fullranger with the wide sweet spot of a Geddes constant directivity speaker along with a very resolving midrange and a certain other hard to describe quality of an electrostat, if you can imagine all that lumped together into one speaker, then you can imagine the sound of a Synergy horn!
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Old 29th September 2012, 03:24 AM   #8163
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The Synergy is an interesting speaker. I'd heard it once before (briefly) and remained skeptical. Not this time. It really is a point source contained by a pyramid. Tom invited me to stick my head into the horn. I did. The sound seems to originate from a sphere about the size of your fist that is 6-8" forward of the horn apex. No hint of multiple drivers in space. And he does that with a passive crossover.

One of the funniest parts of the day was the PowerPoint slide that Don Keele had made proposing a 22 foot tall CBT made of Danley horns. That's a scary thought! Keele really liked the Synergy, and Danley was proud to be making a presentation in front of the master, Don Keele. Tom told me that when he was starting out Keele was one of the few speaker designers who would give him the time of day, and was a big help in some Danley designs. I forgot to take a camera, but there is a shot (I'll get it) of the two of them standing together beside their creations.

These are both controlled directivity designs, but thru vastly different techniques. Interestingly the tonal balance was similar (and good) on both, but imaging was very different. The Synergy can peg a phantom center image like few speakers I've ever heard. The CBT was more diffuse.
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Old 29th September 2012, 06:55 AM   #8164
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Which Synergy were you listening to? How was the room set up?
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Old 29th September 2012, 03:07 PM   #8165
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It was the SH-50. Typical medium size hotel meeting room. Horns were at one end, spread wide nearer the side walls than the center. One about 3 feet off the ground, the other about 4 feet. Pointed in maybe 30-40 degrees. In the photo posted below you see the table just to the right of the screen down front. One horn was at its far right corner, the other in the same position on the left side of the room. The CBTs were set up just inside (toward center) of that.
Room is 25 feet wide, 38 feet long (about 7.6x11.5 m) . I was about 25 feet back, centered. See below. If I can get photos of the setup, I'll post.

The SH-50s were used as P.A. All of the conference speakers used a wireless mic, some hand-held, some lavaliere, one headset. That was funny for me because it's what I do for a living, meetings. So every day I heard some guy or gal on a wireless talking and showing slides. It was a perfect reference for me. The SH-50 were astonishingly clean and clear, put the voice right in the center about 6 feet high and never had feedback. Don Keele stood right in front of one horn for most of his talk, his back almost touching it. It never squealed, not even close.

Both the CBT and the Synergy did exactly what the designers said they would do, as far as I could tell. Remember, Keele and Danley are engineers, not marketers, so their claims were technical and accurate. No spin, no BS, no fancy wires.
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Old 29th September 2012, 04:19 PM   #8166
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Based on that picture, both Keele and Danley have done an excellent job of making there rather large speakers completely invisible. Well done gentlemen! DARPA would like to have a word with the both of you...



Greg
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Old 29th September 2012, 04:29 PM   #8167
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LOL! DARPA wasn't there (or I didn't see them), but SANDIA labs was.
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Old 29th September 2012, 04:32 PM   #8168
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LOL! DARPA wasn't there (or I didn't see them), but SANDIA labs was.
Maybe DARPA was already invisible.....hmmmm. They are some sneaky little buggers. So both these guys were there giving presentations and you all were able to do some critical listening after hours?
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Old 29th September 2012, 04:38 PM   #8169
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Both the CBT and the Synergy did exactly what the designers said they would do, as far as I could tell. Remember, Keele and Danley are engineers, not marketers
Maybe they are better marketeers than you think Don't know why but suddenly I have to think of the McGurk effect.
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Old 29th September 2012, 04:52 PM   #8170
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No, no real critical listening or A/B tests on the same tracks, which is why I hesitate to give these a "review." But I did hear them in the same space not more than an hour apart, so it was informative - for me at least. Both work well, both sound much bigger than they look. The CBT is more "matte" sounding, for lack of a better term. A little cleaner, but less energy, in the bass than the Synergy horn.

The SH-50 will play insanely loud with no hint of strain. Mostly it was played too loud for the music type, I.E. louder than similar acoustic music would have been in the room. But it had no trouble doing so. Dynamic like crazy. The CBT is much less efficient and could not play as loud (as Keele pointed out) but could do very well, I think, in a normal sized living room/lounge.

Neither had the charm or warmth of my Altec rig, nor the musicality or smoothness. But they were not optimized to the room and were using typical pro electronics, not noted for warm or smoothness. Would love to hear the SH-50 on and SET amp. I'll keep bugging Tom about it.
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