|Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers|
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|15th November 2004, 12:25 PM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2003
DIY Chicago results
First, a couple of links:
Pictures, thanks to Tim T:
A few comments from our host, Paul Hilgeman:
I've got a few honorable mentions and interesting thing's I've learned. I'm not going to hype up my own speakers, (every baby is beautiful to the parent) but I would like to mention everyone elses that I liked. We'll start with the honorables:
Best bass: Paul Hilgeman's dipoles. Clean, tight and deep, everywhere in the room. I'm now a dipole convert, I just wish my house was bigger. I need to finish my basement.
Best Midrange: This is a tough one, there were so many good designs. I'd have to say it was a tie between Paul's dipoles and the Vifa XT/Usher system. (was that Greg Gilver's also?) The XT woofer is one that has gotten mixed reviews, but for me it's at the top of my list. It had a level of detail that was just right for every test track but not overly detailed/distorted like some speakers can be. Note that while I love dipole bass, I'm not convinced of the value of a dipole midrange. Paul's sounded great, but it's a great driver with a well done crossover.
Best treble: I liked the Fountek ribbon in Greg Gilver's M130 speaker. Very nice.
I don't think I can pick a best overall speaker. It's too hard to choose.
Best bass out of a small woofer: Vince Corpuz Silver Flute TL. I think the depth and impact of this design suprised everyone.
Worst bass out of a small woofer: (I can say bad things about my stuff, heheh) My Audax Mini. We had talked about setting it up with active filtering, but the active equipment did not come together easily so we ran them full range. Those things are 80db efficient, handle no power and have no bass to start with, so we heard the sickening sound of cones bottoming. Worse for me, it was my design but I didn't build them - I borrowed them from a friend and the last thing I wanted to do was fry his woofers. But they survived. I ran a high level impedence curve when I got home - no nasty new jaggies indicating any problems. Whew.
Most creative design: Bill Horn's omnidirectional speaker. They weren't the smoothest and they had no top octave, but they were smooth enough and they had an interesting type of presentation that I haven't heard since an Ohm Walsh 20 years ago.
Other interesting notes:
A quick word about Lou C.'s Design using PE buyout mids and the Audax tweeter. Nice bargain design. It wasn't the same tweeter as in my Audax Mini's (3/4" vs 1") but I know it has the same bahavior - a rising top octave. Lou kept the design kind of simple... compare that to the more complicated design of my Audax Mini. Bottom line: I think many of us pay too much attention to what's going on in the top octave of a tweeter. I'm guilty of this. My rolled off 27TBFCG did not sound dull, and Lou's Audax did not sound too crisp. It was barely noticable other than a little more audible tape hiss in some recordings.
Dennis Murphy's rework of the Rat Shacks with the dipole tweeters: Nice improvement. One of the enclosures looked like it was used for a football, but it still made sound as required.
2-ways with large woofers: A lot of us around here ramble on about the importance of a smooth power response. I'm sure it is important, but after Saturday, maybe not as much as I thought. Jeff Yourison's 8" Audax 2-way, crossed at 3kHz... sounded great. Smooth, refined, relaxed, and no edgyness. Great speaker. Jeff gets bonus points for countersinking these freakin squared off French flanges. Heheh.
Good female singers: All of us had a thing for Sarah McLachlan and Allison Krause. These became emergency add-ons to the test tracks. When I design speakers, if it can't do female vocals well, what's the point? Scrap it and start over.
Real musicians: We had a few musicians among us, and I'd like to say that I value these guy's opinions more than I value so-called audiophile's opinions. These guys know what they are hearing, even if they are not speaker designers.
The bass track of death: One particular track was wreaking havoc with most of the smaller 2-way systems. The ones that handled it full volume were sealed designs. There must have been something really low in there. Later on we realized this track had some distortion built right into it, meaning some of the speakers handled it better than I thought they did - they were properly reproducing the distortion.
Next time I'll stay overnight in Chicago. On the long 4 hour drive home, it got hard to keep my eyes open. I had to crank the radio, roll down the windows, and slap my face a few times to make it home.
Thanks everyone for the kind words about my designs. Also note that I happily accept constructive criticism if anyone has any. Likewise, if anyone wants more detailed opinions of their speakers, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org while it's all still fresh in my mind.
I'm working on getting my Seas L18 design posted. Possibly later tonight, but more likely tomorrow.
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