"The CSS 'Next Generation' High Resolution 'Triton' Kit" designed by Jeff Bagby
"The CSS 'Next Generation' (NG) High Resolution 'Triton' Loudspeaker Kit." designed by Jeff Bagby!
The Triton is a narrow, vented MTM, with drivers from CSS, Creative Sound Solutions Next Generation Drivers.....creativesound.ca. The new drivers included (2), are the VWR126X very wide range (VWR), 5 inch nominal cast-frame with the XBL (TM) motor topology. Jeff says....."it's nonlinear distortion levels in the midrange are world class!" And....I believe him!
The tweeter....LD25X, very low distortion tweeter. As quoted by Jeff....."The LD25X, which is a real gem and one of the cleanest lowest distortion tweeter I have ever seen". He is right on as shown with his charts!!! With a little encouragement from my "Best Buddy audio friend in Florida" I was more than ready to begin. (Ok, Jim are you happy now)!!! (::
The enclosure is 18" High, 11" Deep and 7.5" wide, with a slot port....in the rear in my project. The finish I used is satin black using MDF/Norez.
First of all, this is my "first" DIY speaker project and it was a challenge, since tools are minimal, however, with some background in wood, I made it through with minimal difficulty.
My room is approximately 20 X 24, 9' ceilings and hardwood with rugs....with all equipment close to a corner.
I own....a Marantz SR-7005 receiver, OPPO 93 Bluray, Comcast Receiver....Other speakers to compare with......Dennis Murphy's Philharmonic 2 towers, Philharmonitor 2 monitors, Philhacenter, Paradigm 7 (height speakers), 4 surrounds with BIC Venturis and Danny Richie's Direct Servo DIY sub.( Enclosure made "my buddy in Florida") (::
At first listen, which was in the office with the Musical Paradise 301 MKII 6.5wpc Tube Amp and the HRT Music Streamer II+......a little blown away with such clarity and detail. Sorry Bob and Jeff, I didn't expect this, but it honestly was jaw dropping!
Due to the living/theater room furniture upgrade, the Phils (superb speakers), were too big, so they had to be moved. My wife insisted more slender towers not as deep to be more compact, and since she is very important and gives so much, I would compromise. Thus the Tritons were chosen, recommended to me by a good audio friend who referred me to the Triton thread and the CSS webside and designed by a well respected designer, who I highly respect!
With my first crossover build, I was a little worried, but with Bob, Mark and Jeff, I made it and they both worked, just a little polarity problem, easily solved.
Most of the listening impressions are with Pandora, via OPPO, which does an excellent job. Some SACDs and blurays. I am no audio guru, actually as you read on is would be evident that my knowledge is very limited, but one's ears never lie! As mentioned the first listen was in the office with Pandora and Grooveshark.com, which is great streaming.....my favorite.
At the InDIYana April 2012, the Tritons were well received, many comments were made, this one just seems to stand out and confirmed my desire to do the build.....quoted as.........
"This MTM with all new CSS drivers so far gets my vote for most lifelike midrange. Song with strings were scary real and vocals were just stunning. Jeff is setting the bar so high for himself....what else is he going to come up with."
When "strings" were mentioned in a review of the Triton highs...that caught my ears as this is the most critical area for me as distortion seems to ring loudly with most tweeters, but not with the CSS! Piano and brass are critical as well. I have had and own such tweeters as the Hiquphon 2 dome, the RAAL and Fountek ribbons.
I enjoy most music except for loud rock/heavy metal! Favorites include, but not limited to Jazz, Brass, Techno, Classical, Electronic, deep beat bass and Dubstep, etc., etc., and are well received with the Tritons. As I mentioned earlier when strings are introduced, I cringe, but the Tritons deliver better than I have ever heard thus far.
A few song observations...Mr. Tea, Argenta Man, "Amour" on Worldbeat Radio is so detailed as a SACD, but only streaming. The instrument separation of the Tritons puts them in their own class.
Bohemia by Electric Dub Tango, again so much detail. I just love hearing instruments as clear as a live performance.
Concerto for Organ and Orchestra by Brixi, Xavier and Franz, very pleasing production with a realistic organ even with foot pedals thumping. The violins perked my ears to want more, major improvement in tweeter highs.
One of my favorite bands,
The Canadian Brass.... the Tritons really deliver, midrange, bass and especially the highs. The founted and RAAL do a good job here as well. Hearing each instrument was as live as one can hear. As Jeff mentioned the bass is surprising and I agree. While listening to minimal Techno, I notice huge bass and kept thinking that I need to turn off the sub, but I was sure I had placed the Marantz in Pure Direct Audio mode which does not use the sub, so I must have it on another setting. To my surprise and shock, I noticed the bass was NOT on. So I can report that the Tritons are superb in bass for their driver size. Some would prefer a sub, particularly with theater.
One other amazing factor, which still surprises me...they not only look like towers with the bases, but they sound like towers in every way.
Bass that blows me away, midrange that is very satisfying and highs that really is the icing on the cake. The speakers seem to create a broad sound and the only way I can describe them is like a megaphone projecting sound all around and very far.
One thing I have learned in my search for Audio Excellence is "quality in=quality out". Good, clean, solid amplification playing quality recordings with great speakers equals fabulous sound!
I also need to note that the bases were hollow originally, and there were resonances, so I filled them with cat litter for the lesser weight as the cabinets would be moved out for listening and the boominess was gone. They are heavy, but are easily moved.
With new banana plugs/sleeves/bases solid, etc on the Tritons, I am rediscovering the amazing sound quality these monitors produce all over again. I believe they were well worth the build and with the new CSS drivers with the XBL motor topology, the excellently designed crossover design by Jeff make these a worthy build and I think I can live with them a very long time. Thanks, Bob!
Read more about this speaker and specs at.......creativesound.ca or talk to Bob, who has been a great help in my build!
Now I am thinking of doing another one as a center!!! ( ;
Now for a few pics.......Norez was my choice for the inside for dampening.
OK you like yours.
But the things sure are TINY.
Not likely to get a helluva lot of bass Or feel it in your diaphragm dynamics from that. Notice you need a sub (or 2?)
Hopefully those are inexpensive to buy.
As for ~$1K one can buy a pair of Used Vandersteen 2Ce's which have ..proven.. Very good as an affordable speaker system, by anyone's yardstick, and do not require subs.
Did you read the review, the bass is surprising and acceptable for 2 channel listening. Jeff's special crossover design works magic there. Not a "helluva lot of bass" as you said from these, but as I said huge sound super high quality sounding drivers. I have other speakers with plenty of bass without a sub.
For me and the movies we watch one servo is sufficient, but I enjoy music without one on most songs. The tweeter is what caught my eye/ear and the upper end can break the whole design, but these are prestine and suit my listening at any level. In fact they play loud and the depth is astonishing, very bold, detailed and clear. I won't listen to headphones, (mainly can't affort 1K ones), car radios, traditional store bought desk top speakers, etc. etc.
No, I don't like them......I love them :D.....have you ever heard the Philharmonics?
Vandersteen's are great speakers as many, many others, but I wanted to DIY a pair myself for fun, of course 600, is a bit, but in the end the tritons were worth their money. I wasn't looking for huge bass anyway. It can be distracting and overpowering and damage one's eardrums...LOL.
And the woofers are small, but just goes to show ya, size doesn't always matter! Big sound can come in small packages.
Thanks, for your input and suggestion!
Very good review, Robert! Thought this may be a good build for you, especially since you needed smaller speakers and your willingness to appease your beautiful wife! When I first heard about these drivers and how Jeff B. and Curt C. talked about their performance, I figured there had to be something to them. Of course their is a limit to how much low end that can be produced, the bass rated at 50Hz and possibly more, in room. This should be more then acceptable for most music and of course you have your Rythmik Servo Subwoofer, that should be a good match for the Triton, due to all of these being low distortion designs. The Rythmik should fill in any low end that the Tritons can't reach and from your feed back it sounds like it has, although surprisingly the low end output on the Tritons seem good enough for most 2 channel music you listen to. Glad to hear you really like these and I am looking forward to a CSS build!
Thanks, you were certainly right about these speakers. These were a very good build....challenging, but really, really rewarding.
How can one go wrong with the measurements, comments and designed by on of the best....Jeff Bagby. And yeah, with the servo makes a perfect match, but like you said I love the 2 channel without the servo most of the time. I am blown away with the bass produced by these and the test has been techno/bass/jazz, and other music that intergrates strong bass.
I am also looking forward to another CSS build, since the Tritons were so much fun, I would really like to try one more....particularly the Motus version (coming soon to CSS).
:D We'll see.
This is the second polycone D'Appolito design (aka as MTM to the those sadly addicted to obfuscating acronyms) we have seen at this forum in a couple of days. And very nice it is too. This time a small one (< 20 liters) suitable for small rooms I reckon, and having a PROPER crossover and evidently very uncoloured and low distortion. Any whining about bass performance misses the point I'd reckon. :)
2x 5" CSS VWR126X polycone bassmid and the CSS fabric LD25X tweeter. Whole drive unit and crossover kit available at CSS: Creative Sound Solutions - Loudspeakers, Parts and DIY Speaker Kits
Naturally the review is incomplete for me without a schematic and frequency response, so I'll save you some legwork. Beats me why there is a 0.47uF/0.25mH tank at 14kHz on the bass filter...but I'd trust Jeff Bagby's reasons...:D
Calling the VWR a poly cone does not tell the whole story, it is a poly derived weave cone that is then heated until it becomes a non-homogenous whole. Dan Wiggins is very keen on this tech and took a long time finding the original manufacturer (it was 1st done over a decade ago (for Wilson-Benech?) and then lost). I believe SEAS also now has a driver using a similar technique.
And that XO drawingyou posted. That is my original EL166 + ERT26 drawing with new values and then jpged to death. It is embarrassing to see such abyssmal treatment to the original. I will redraw that and get it to Jeff/Bob. I did what i could to clean up the one you posted Mr. 7.
To answer the questions above about the notch filter on the woofers - I haven't seen any higher resolution response curves posted for the woofer that I am aware of, but it has a 20dB spike at 14khz due to ringing in the aluminum dust cap. I felt it prudent to notch that out even though it was a long way from the crossover point. I don't like to excit that kind of ringing in a driver if I can avoid it.
This thread makes it reallly tough for me to decide between a Transducer Labs N26C and the LD25X. :o
I think perhaps the origin of those driver representations & parts has just faded from your mind. That is my generic bass driver & tweeter drawing (nowdays i usually draw something closer to the real thing -- snapshots below just taken from my CAD files). It was what i used for the drawings i did for your 1st passive XO design SS software (late 2001 & early 2002) and for the earlier this article on TLS.org. I guess you have been using them over and over again, and each time saved as a jpg more noise added.
I misspoke when i said it was my EL166 XO revised (i did representitive drawings for that), i can now see the origins going back mush further than that -- sorry about that.
If you have been jpging all your drawings as much as this one, you should be embarrased by their quality, it is not commensurate with the quality of your XO & speaker design prowess. Just look at all the noise around the text. A drawing like this should always be saved as a gif or png. You have not been kind to the originals.
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