|19th November 2004, 12:45 AM||#11|
Join Date: Mar 2003
I think the VSM White paper and Stereophile measurements are good starting points if you're interested in cloning this speaker.
The problem is getting your hands on the Esotar tweeter. The White paper suggests they use a Esotar D330/A, which may or may not be different to the T33D [rarely] available to DIYers. Another issue is that they profess to use a heavily damped variant of the ScanSpeak 18W/8545, evidenced by the shiny look of the cone.
The in-line equalisation network used to extend bass response looks simple enough to implement. Personally I don't see why they didn't just increase the cabinet volume and and/or retune the port.
Maybe it has something to do with being able to justify a retail price of US$8,000 to 11,000. Certainly the most expensive 2-way floorstander I'm encountered...
So even if you could find details of the the real VSM and able to copy the crossover, the commonly available drivers may be different enough to warrant a change in the crossover. Expect many more months or year of fiddly work.
This is a situation that happened with the ProAc Response 2.5 "clone". After so many crossover iterations, and/or cabinet changes, really I think the only thing that was the same was cabinet internal volume and overall tonal balance (fat bass and dizzy treble IMHO).
Both ScanSpeak woofers and tweeters used by ProAc (and they may have changed slightly during 1996-2003) were later confirmed to be different to off-the-shelf units. The differences are small, but explains why there are are several suggested tweaks and various crossover modifications. The final recommended crossover for the clone is not the same as the original crossover for the original ProAc.
For DIYers who want to use off-the-shelf components with minimum of fuss, why not build a 24L vented 8545/9500 Troels Gravesen ScanSpeak classic
Troels has done a lot of development on the ProAclone, has experience with both the T330D Esotar and 8545. I believe he is in a good position to evaluate the qualities of the 9500 vs Esotar, and the classic speaker should be very good.
I've built the one with even bigger box (ProAc clone box) and 18W/8535 woofer ((smaller magnet = deeper bass, but lower sensitivity) with Troel's crossover design. The different (less damped and lighter) cone of the 8535 makes for a more "vivid" sound than the 8545 (apparently).
I bought a bottle of Damar varnish a year ago but never felt the need to fiddle with damping the dust-cap...
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