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Old 6th October 2012, 05:53 AM   #1
qguy is offline qguy  Canada
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Default Which Kit to beat Usher X-719

I have the Usher X-719, its a 2 way with Usher 9950 tweeters and 7 inch mid woofers 8945. Want to build a kit that would be significantly better than this one. Looking at the Zaph ZRT and at $1000 for drivers and crossover, would this be a significant upgrade ?


Added Oct 8.

More info..

My Ushers are on the warm side of things, Vocals is great as well as bass enhanced tracks. What seems to be lacking is a bit more detail and snap on the percussion instruments. Would the ZRT fit the bill ?
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Last edited by qguy; 9th October 2012 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 6th October 2012, 06:50 AM   #2
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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Looking at the Zaph ZRT and at $1000 for drivers and crossover, would this be a significant upgrade ?
No. Yes. Really depends on what you are looking for.

Certainly improved bass response and dynamic "headroom".

But overall better sounding, unlikely - particularly if using a good sub-woofer. In fact I wouldn't be at all surprised that (absent extended bass and dynamic "headroom"), Zaph's SR71 sounds just as good. I'd also suspect that Zaph's SB 12.3 would sound better than either.. BUT there are no cabinets available for sale for that design that I'm aware of.


The ZRT is one of the few "kits" that includes cabinets, at least in the US. (..and note that they are almost 1,600 for the pair with cabinets.)

If you need something more dynamic (with greater "headroom"), then another kit to consider might be from Gedlee - however at least one subwoofer will be required (and preferably 3 or more). (..functionally they are like "mini" monitors with respect to low freq. extension, though they aren't "mini".)

..an alternative to Gedlee with similar limitations can be found here:
http://www.diysoundgroup.com/speaker-kits/mtg-kit.html



..just not that many kits with cabinets.

(..I think Tony Gee in EU has some as well, but believe they cost more.)


If you just want a well documented design to follow, and are willing to either do the cabinets & crossover yourself OR have someone else do them then your options VASTLY increase.
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Last edited by ScottG; 6th October 2012 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 6th October 2012, 08:06 AM   #3
xjr100 is offline xjr100  Europe
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Originally Posted by qguy View Post
I have the Usher X-719, its a 2 way with Usher 9950 tweeters and 7 inch mid woofers 8945.
Seems that drivers from Usher are available, maybe conversion to "Diamond" will make them better?
http://www.usheraudio.com/Drivers.html


Definitely it is not an easy process, but everything is possible.
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Old 6th October 2012, 02:40 PM   #4
Pallas is offline Pallas  Pakistan
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If that's the same speaker as the Tiny Dancer, it's not a hard speaker to beat. In a blind test, with sub/stands (Peerless-for-M&K SLS8's, closed boxes), I ranked it far below the KEF HTC-3001SE, Zaph Bargain Mini 4, Behringer B2031P, and Tannoy Arena.

The ZRT has the same basic design flaw as the Tiny Dancer: too large midwoofer and no directivity control on the tweeter. So the midrange won't sound right and the speaker will impart a spitty coloration to the music, unless one's willing to mutilate her/his room with "acoustic treatments" to compensate for the off-axis midrange response errors.


A Zaph DIY kit that would be far better sounding is the Zaph Bargain Mini 4 atop a powered bass bin, crossed at about 300Hz.
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Old 6th October 2012, 02:51 PM   #5
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by Pallas View Post

The ZRT has the same basic design flaw as the Tiny Dancer: too large midwoofer and no directivity control on the tweeter. So the midrange
won't sound right and the speaker will impart a spitty coloration to the
music, unless one's willing to mutilate her/his room with "acoustic
treatments" to compensate for the off-axis midrange response errors.

Click the image to open in full size.

ZRT - Measured 0,15,30,45,60 degrees horizontal off axis, 10ms window

Hi,

The above is just simplistic opinion about the ZRT. There is no
evidence of the problems described above, pure conjecture.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 6th October 2012, 02:55 PM   #6
qguy is offline qguy  Canada
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Forgot to mention, it would be paired with a sealed 15 inch Rythmik Subwoofer.
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Old 6th October 2012, 03:57 PM   #7
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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Forgot to mention, it would be paired with a sealed 15 inch Rythmik Subwoofer.
Ahh, good - more info.!

Need a bit more though, like desired performance characteristics. (spl requirements, impedance character (4 or 8 ohms nominal, "flat" or not), efficiency/amplifier power, imaging (localization and character), sound stage, improved clarity, tonal properties ("warm" or "clinical"), etc..
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Last edited by ScottG; 6th October 2012 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 6th October 2012, 04:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sreten View Post
Click the image to open in full size.

ZRT - Measured 0,15,30,45,60 degrees horizontal off axis, 10ms window

Hi,

The above is just simplistic opinion about the ZRT. There is no
evidence of the problems described above, pure conjecture..
umm....

Based on that graph, it seems pretty clear to me that speaker has excess power response between 1.8khz and 6khz or so. I won't comment on the audible consequences without knowing what room it will be in though. But not only is there evidence - it's right there in your own graph.
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Old 6th October 2012, 06:44 PM   #9
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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Originally Posted by RockLeeEV View Post
umm....

Based on that graph, it seems pretty clear to me that speaker has excess power response between 1.8khz and 6khz or so. I won't comment on the audible consequences without knowing what room it will be in though. But not only is there evidence - it's right there in your own graph.
..that 1.8 - 6 kHz is still pretty much "flat" for a full 60 degree window on-axis.

As long as the listener is within +/- 15 degrees, then their shouldn't be any problem (..except for the top octave which could be slightly "depressed").

Additionally, depending on how close the drivers are to boundaries like the floor and walls, the 400 Hz to 2 kHz "trough" at 45+ degrees should receive some "fill" at those extended angles.


In other words it's not perfect, but it really shouldn't be much of an issue.
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Old 6th October 2012, 07:04 PM   #10
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I was going to say, as 6.5" two ways go the ZRT uses a sufficiently low xover point as to dramatically minimise any issues in the off axis that would otherwise be present due to the woofer beaming.

Measurements on the X719 can be found here

Usher Audio Technology Compass X-719 loudspeaker Measurements | Stereophile.com

Looking a that, there's a lot that can be done to 'improve' the design from a technical point of view. From a subjective point of the view the loudspeakers will without a doubt have a character of their own so there's plenty of room for trying something different - if you prefer different is the question that none of us can answer.

As Scott said though, without knowing what SPL requirements you have it is difficult to make recommendations, but considering that you've got a sub, then absolute bass extension isn't a requirement. From that point of view it would make sense to also consider loudspeakers that use 5" drivers as the mid-range element.

As Pallas alludes to in his post, directivity control can also offer a presentation that can be captivating for a lot of people and a suitable design with a wave-guide would also perhaps be something to consider.
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