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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 19th November 2012, 12:06 AM   #1
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Default Two Hundred Bucks for Natural Soundk[

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Here on diyaudio, we have a lot of fans of dipole speakers.
It's a bit interesting that bipoles and omnipolars don't seem to get the same level of attention.

As I type this, I'm listening to a very inexpensive (<$200) dipole, using a pair of the JBL Control NOW monitors.

If you want a loudspeaker that sounds natural, but doesn't 'break the bank', here are a few reasons why I think this configuration works:
  • IMHO, the 'magic' of dipoles is not the fact that they don't have a box; the magic is because the radiation pattern is more consistent front-to-back. (IE a dipole sounds nearly the same from the back as from the front)
  • I'm not 100% sure why this is, but bipoles seem to be more difficult to 'pinpoint' than conventional loudspeakers. They sound more 'diffuse' than a conventional speaker. I wish I knew why this is. Perhaps it's because our ears are very good at localizing early reflections? And bipoles have more early reflections, since they radiate front *and* back?
  • At low frequencies, power handling and efficiency of a bipole is greater, because the drivers are withing one-quarter wavelength of each other, so they operate like "one" woofer.


Running these as a bipole is an interesting setup, and sounds a lot less like a loudspeaker and a lot more like the actual recording. Definitely worth a look, especially at the low price (<$200)

I bought mine at Costco for $80 each, but you can find them on Craigslist and eBay routinely.
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Old 19th November 2012, 07:58 AM   #2
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Are these what you are listening to indoors at the moment? (With the Summas not fitting in your decor?)
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Old 19th November 2012, 02:02 PM   #3
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I'm thinking a 90 degree wedge in adjacent corners of a small room, high enough to clear door jambs and windows that usually preclude floor level corner placement. Perhaps up against the ceiling for a little more bass boost...
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Old 19th November 2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEdwards View Post
Are these what you are listening to indoors at the moment? (With the Summas not fitting in your decor?)
Yes, I used to have a dedicated listening room, but my new house is too small for that. Summas are in the garage until I have enough room for them, and the JBLs are in the living room now, flanking a flat screen.

Once concession I made to good sound is that my room is set up the way that Steve from Decware recommends. Basically everything in the room is at a 45 degree angle.

By doing this, the speakers are a good 1-2 meters away from any wall. Helps with imaging.
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Old 19th November 2012, 03:21 PM   #5
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How does this work as a dipole? I don't understand where the rear radiation comes from.
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Old 19th November 2012, 03:23 PM   #6
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He's running them as a bipole.
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Old 19th November 2012, 04:27 PM   #7
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Oh, OK. So running them as a circle? Makes sense!
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Old 19th November 2012, 05:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melo theory View Post
He's running them as a bipole.
Yep.

I've heard dipoles like the Alon, and omnipolars like the B&O speakers. (The ones with the Sausalito Lens.)

It's interesting to me that a cheap bipole can get so close to the sounds of these $$$ speakers.

I tried a similar experiment with my Summas, with similar results. The speakers are noticeably more 'diffuse' as a bipole.

Of course, bipole Summas are an expensive proposition! One of the things I like about the Control Now is that it's cheap to experiment with. You could do a five channel Control Now setup with bipoles for less than $1000! Also super easy to experiment with.

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Old 19th November 2012, 05:27 PM   #9
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Funny anecdote - I had the Control Now bipoles set up in the living room yesterday, and my girlfriend was out at the mall while I was tinkering. When she came home she commented on how good it sounds.

Kinda funny, because this is someone who hasn't complemented me on ANY of my stereo purchases in two decades! (IE, she's not "into" stereo at all, yet she noticed in a matter of seconds that the dipole setup sounded more natural; I didn't prod her at all, she commented on it the moment she walked into the room.)
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Old 19th November 2012, 05:29 PM   #10
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Are those attached by magnets on the inside?
They look like curling stones!
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