W3-871s & Dayton 8" DVC listening impressions - diyAudio
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Old 21st May 2004, 12:40 PM   #1
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Default W3-871s & Dayton 8" DVC listening impressions

Right after I bought my Tangband 871s, I picked up the 8" Dayton DVC subwoofer to compliment them. Since then, I've noticed that this seems to be turning into a very popular combination. Since both of these drivers seem to have so much interest, I thought I'd post my listening impressions.

The tangbands are being used as computer speakers, but the 8" woofer enclosure is way too big to be a computer sub... plus I found out how good it sounds in my main system, so there it stays.

Anyway... last night I moved the Tangbands over to my main system and hooked them up. I adjusted the sub crossover point to approximately 120-140hz, and got the levels matched (by ear). Off I went...

First the tangbands. Overall, I'm extremely impressed with these little drivers. Every time I find fault with them, I just need to remind myself that they're only $10. These speakers have a very smooth sound throughout the entire frequency range. They provide a large soundstage and imaging seems to be pretty tight. My one complaint in this regard is that they seem to be very sensitive to placement. An inch here, a half inch there seems to have a bigger effect on imaging than it does on other speakers. I still couldn't get it quite right last night... vocals seem too far to the right of center on the soundstage.

Overall, the midrange is nice, though these speakers don't seem to convey the details as well as more expensive stuff. Although clean and articulate sounding, some of the finer subtleties just don't seem to be there. The midbass is weak (actually, there is none), so this causes male vocals to sound a bit on the thin side. When I get time, I'm going to build John Krutke's notch filter to see how that effects the sound. Part of the reason that I've always liked larger midrange/bass drivers is that I feel the smaller drivers don't provide the midbass impact necessary for a realistic sound. You can only expect so much from a 3" driver.

One thing that I really find pleasing is the liquid sound of the high frequencies. Cymbols had a clarity and a realism without being bright or too sharp. Fingers picking guitar strings were easy to hear in the music. I really like the high frequencies from these drivers.

Dialogue from TV is noticably cleaner and more intelligible than my current center channel. Softly spoken words are easy to recognize.

Ok... on to the Dayton 8" sub. I build PE's reccomended box, which is rather large. I only used a 2" port, which is probably smaller than ideal, but since 99% of my listening is done at very low volume levels, I seem to be able to get away with it. What strikes me about this sub is just how deep it gets. The F3 (according to PE) is 30hz... impressive for an 8" sub. I'm still running the sub amp with 6dB of bass boost at 35hz, so the music has a bit of an artificial depth to it... although honestly I find it somewhat pleasant. It's fantastic for movies. Anyway, it's been faithfully filling the sub-50hz gap of my main system for a couple months and I'm incredibly pleased with the musicality. Last night with the Tangbands I finally got to run a higher low pass frequency, and was still very impressed with the musicality. The low pass is set to 120 to 140hz. Bass drums are clean and realistic sounding.

Pairing the 871s and the Dayton 8" together provided a nice sound. The bass and higher frequencies didn't blend together as nicely as I'd like, but it wasn't bad enough to be unpleasant. Adding a subwoofer to such small speakers will almost always produce a bit of a "gap" in the transition. Although the TBs may produce an audible 100hz signal, it doesn't have the presence and the impact that a larger speaker would.

Overall, I think this is a very nice combination that sounds infinitely better than the combined $42 driver cost would ever suggest. I think the results are well worth the effort. I never expected these little $10 toys to provide such expensive sound.
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Old 21st May 2004, 01:17 PM   #2
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Probably the lack of mid bass is due to having no BSC.
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Old 21st May 2004, 01:19 PM   #3
jjdche is offline jjdche  United States
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Hey Jim, thanks for the review! It appears that I am following in your footsteps! Good to hear everything turned out up to expectations, hopefully I'll be able to get to my TB/DVC project sooner rather than later.
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Old 21st May 2004, 02:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Fitzpatrick
Probably the lack of mid bass is due to having no BSC.
I'm sure that's not helping, but I don't think that's all of it. I've listened to a lot of speakers without BSC that still sounded good, but I've found that typically, the smaller the driver, the weaker the midbass presence is.
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Old 21st May 2004, 04:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: W3-871s & Dayton 8" DVC listening impressions

Quote:
Originally posted by Jim85IROC
Although the TBs may produce an audible 100hz signal, it doesn't have the presence and the impact that a larger speaker would.

Thanks for the review. I am now a little more certain of my own driver selection. I am in the process of ordering 28 of the TBs. I will be creating a 7.1 HT system using 4 of the TBs per channel with the goal of getting somewhere between 102 and 105 dB output. For the front (L, C, R) I will be using the TBs in the 200 Hz to 3750 Hz range. With 4 of them in a sealed enclosure, I'm hoping that the "presence and impact" as well as the transient response will be good. For the surround speakers I may try using 4 TBs by themselves in a TL enclosure to maximize the bass.
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Old 21st May 2004, 06:19 PM   #6
SQ Kid is offline SQ Kid  United States
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i'm another fan of the TB's. i've got a pair in the larger boxes designed by john. i plan on eventually building a spires 5.1 setup. and i'm pretty sure i'm building my parents a 5.1 setup with the elf setup (kit is a decent price and i think i'm too lazy to cut 5 identical boxes). i may even work on building a set of the TL's that someone has posted about. always wanted a set designed for the TB's, but never really was good with the whole math/calculating stuff

now as for the sub, i'm still trying to come up with a setup, whether it be the dayton you used or one of the aluminum TB's to match the other speakers......

once again, thanks for the review. there's a pretty decent following for these little guys....
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Old 22nd May 2004, 02:50 PM   #7
Zaph is offline Zaph  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim85IROC

I'm sure that's not helping, but I don't think that's all of it. I've listened to a lot of speakers without BSC that still sounded good, but I've found that typically, the smaller the driver, the weaker the midbass presence is.
Hi guys,

Bill Fitzpatrick is probably right to some extent. One thing a lot of people don't realize is that the notch filter on my site is BSC. It basically brings the midrange down in level a bit to match up with a midbass and treble. (The driver has a natural bump in the baffle step area too which is also helped by the notch.)

This arrangement works on a lot of full range drivers that have slightly depressed treble output. On some other drivers with more treble output (such as the Jordan JX92s for example) a more traditional coil/resistor combo will work better.

The only real negative to the notch is effectively lower power handling. The driver will hit xmax faster because reduced mid output will require you to turn it up more to compensate. For some people, this is reason enough to not use the notch and live with the slightly shouty mids / lower midbass output.

There's a few setup details to really help the 871's integrate with a sub. First, if using a HT receiver, set the crossover to 150 hz if you can. Then, set your sub's plate amp crossover to 150hz too. Then you get the natural 2nd order 871 rolloff with the plate amp 2nd order rolloff to assist the HT receiver rolloff (usually 4th order but sometimes only 2nd) to an effective tall order, usually around 6th order.

The only other thing, and this is usually the hard one, is to place the sub as close to between the satellites as possible. Localization of a sub is way less noticable if the sub is in the center and IMHO that's the only way to can get a high crossover point to sound good. Stay far away from the "single sub in the corner" syndrome unless you're crossing over at 50hz 4th order or lower.

For more power handling, set the crossover at 200hz and then run the plate amp full range for the smoothest integration. In this situation, it's even more important to have the sub exactly between the satelites. Right under your TV if you have one there.

At one point, I did the above setup with a Panasonic XR-25 receiver I had laying around and visitors were shocked at how good it sounded.

ps. There's still a lot of those XR-25's on Ebay. Snatch them up. They sound nearly as good as the XR-45 big brother, which I also owned at one point. A Panny XR-25 with 6 871's and a small sub w/plate amp makes a great sounding cheap HT system.

Cya,
John
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