TDL RTL 2's impressive but then I am deaf. - diyAudio
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Old 23rd June 2004, 07:32 AM   #1
Plado is offline Plado  United Kingdom
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Default TDL RTL 2's impressive but then I am deaf.

Yesterday I heard a pair of TDL RTL2's in someone's house.
I was impressed for some reason. I suspect someone might put me wise on here.

I've been a fan of B & W speakers since 1971 when I bought a pair of P2 H Monitors with Fane Ionic tweeters (sorry that dates me as over 50!) But following serious hearing damage in the 1980's from motorcycle-racing I ended up seriously clobbering my high frequency discrimination. Don't laugh! I have to listen to all speakers now with the modification to my ear-ole input from a pair of Digital hearing aids made in Denmark (no not by Bang & Olufsen !)

So any speakers I judge are coloured a bit by the hearing devices.

I bought a pair of Second hand B & W 803's 2 yrs ago which are a bit laid back on the treble but smooth, syrupy & bassy. I feel I need something with more treble punch and better on speech.

The TDL RTL 2's sounded much more forward and transparent on solo piano music and actually had a sound-stage that I don't get with the 803 - Should I go and buy a pair of RTL 2's second hand, or would you guys tell me that I'm going to be disappointed because you know something I don't about their build-quality or lack of ability to cope with all kinds of stuff from jazz to classical to choral and rock?
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Old 23rd June 2004, 09:10 AM   #2
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Hi,
I think I auditioned a pair of RTL2s about 7 years ago (or ws it RTL 3s?)
Anyway, I remember thinking that the sound was rather muddy in the bass, and also that the bass seemed to lag behind the rest of the sound. Maybe this is a general problem with transmission line devides (I don't know, I haven't listed to enough of them to say).

In the end, I chose a pair of Mission 752Freedoms, which I still have. Not so much bass, but incredibly clear and uncoloured.

Arnie
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Old 23rd June 2004, 09:23 AM   #3
Gregm is offline Gregm  Europe
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I had TDLs for a while, many years ago. As far as memory serves (not that far) the sound was much like arniel's description.
EXCEPTION, the big model (TDL "Reference"? whatever) - it was wonderful to my, then, young & innocent ears.

Nowadays, quarter-wave design also has modelling available (only very recently, too). Back then it was based on experience & trial+error.

I believe you can find better sounding speakers on the used mkt. BTW, one successful transmission line design is the Ariel. Usefully, the design is in the public domain (i.e. diy)!
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Old 23rd June 2004, 09:31 AM   #4
Vikash is offline Vikash  United Kingdom
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Hi Plado. We like to talk about DIYing speakers on this DIY forum funnily enough. But this has caught my attention because I've owned a pair of RTL3's and IMO were superb for the money (200 I paid). They are the better respected between the RTL2, 3, and 4's, but if the 2's work well for you, especially in your unique case, then go for it. I've seen a few going on ebay...

Now, although I loved mine dearly, the DIY virus got the better of me and I've been using the drivers to make a new set of speakers: http://www.vikash.info/audio/mtm_floorstander/
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"The human mind is so constituted that it colours with its own previous conceptions any new notion that presents itself for acceptance." - J. Wilhelm. (But I still think mine sounds better than yours.)
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Old 30th June 2004, 02:58 PM   #5
Plado is offline Plado  United Kingdom
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Well thanks to all of you for that response.
I nearly bought a pair on Ebay but chickened out.

It's always the way with speakers that you haven't made yourself and tweaked yourself; you can't tell until you live with them for a week and try all kinds of music and dynamics on it whether it will suit the room or your own hearing.

Mine has of course gone ape and I have losses at 1000hz which is a very important point and most people's "reference" or best area. It even dulls sibilants in speech and so I probably need dare I say it? A graphics equalizer to shape the sound the way my hearing aids and rotten treble-less hearing take stuff in.

Anyhow I think I'll audition the TDL's a few more times on a bigger range of music and see if they still thrill me with their clarity.
I'm not into DIY speakers since I saw how complicated setting them up can be if you haven't got your own anechoic chamber - and I ain't going into a professional one because I'll end up with raging tinnitus spending ten minutes in one of those places!

However you probably don't remember that back in the 1960's Richard Allen made a bookshelf speaker by strapping a three-driver system baffle to a cocoa tin and demonstrated the astoundingly good effect, at the Hi Fi and Audio Fair in the Russell Hotel in London.
Those were the days when everyone was striving for Electrostatic purity from something that you cobbled together in the garden shed!

Cheers and Beers
Plado
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Old 11th March 2009, 04:01 PM   #6
Plado is offline Plado  United Kingdom
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I sent a personal reply to the analogue_s enquiry about hearing aids but have had no response from them, so I have no idea if they got my reply.

Anyhow I'd just like to say thanks to you folks who did respond to my wrongly directed posting. What information you did give me was all useful in its own way.

I've got fixed up now with some ideal speakers ready-made B & W small ones.

I'm mindful now that this is a DIY speaker makers corner on this forum and I've made a few speakers in my time but I get more involved now with furniture than electronics when household DIY is involved rather than Technical.

Still it was useful coming here and you learn something ever day by reading this type of forum.
Best Regards
--
Plado
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Old 12th March 2009, 05:11 PM   #7
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I bought a pair of TDL RTL2s back in the early 90's (300) and still own them. Like others, I quickly tired of their tweeters (in about 3 weeks), and replaced them with an Audax 1" dome unit that Maplin supplied at the time, for a vast improvement. I also lined the insides of the cabinets with carpet, and played with the capacitors in the crossover.

In this configuration, they still have a lot to offer, and if you can get your hands on a pair inexpensively, they are fun to play with.

I remember listening to the RTL2 alongside the RTL3, and thinking the smaller speaker was better. The RTL3 was rather bloated sounding, at least in that demo room. The little bookshelf, RTL1 also sounded very good, but one hardly ever hears of them nowadays.

Ed
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Old 26th March 2009, 07:36 PM   #8
Plado is offline Plado  United Kingdom
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Well I've sort of gone off the idea of auditioning any TDLs now because the Bowers and Wilkins CM 1s I bought in November last, have turned out to be beyond my wildest dreams for a sound that I can live with. There's nothing they're not good at.
My wife acts as discriminator now for me as she's got normal hearing for her age. She thinks they're as musical as I used to think all B and W speakers were.

The technology in Loudspeaker transducers seems to have moved on beyond any level of purity that technicians thought it could back in the 1980s. They thought that Speaker design couldn't go any further without some radical new invention coming along. Even then Electrostatics produced a more accurate sound than anything from a cone. There was also some talk of speakers that modulated a flame in the corner of the room. That sounded bizarre to me.

But they moved the drivers on with some very hi tech stuff in them in the 1990s and now I can honestly say the CM1s are better than my original P2H Monitors that had Ionofane Tweeters (valve driven ionic glass cells producing zero distortion) and a massive bass eliptical EMI bass and midrange driver. I used them from 1970 until 2001.

So I think the B & Ws now are all I need to reproduce music from CDs TV and Radio to my total satisfaction. They'll do me nicely but they weren't cheap. You only get what you pay for at that area of the market I'm sure.

There's no need now for me to try any RTLs but thanks for the kind tip. I don't remember them from years gone by though, I remember JBL but not RTL
who made them?
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Plado
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Old 27th March 2009, 08:10 PM   #9
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No problem Plado - sounds as if you have found an excellent speaker, anyway!

The RTLs were made by TDL electronics who were based in Buckinghamshire:

http://www.t-linespeakers.org/classics/TDL.html

Sadly, not so long after the RTL line was launched, the founder died, and the company closed shortly thereafter.

Ed
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