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Old 22nd February 2006, 07:39 PM   #1
sqlkev is offline sqlkev  United States
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Default Which mids and tweeters have the "velvety" signature to them?

As please as I am with the dipole setup that I'm running (dayton RS and seas tweeters), I still prefer the velvety and airy sound that I heard from the focal/jmlab profile. Not sure if it was $3200 cd transport or the krell class A amp, but the profile sounded much smoother and I felt that every note of the flutes were prancing right in front of me. I just don't get that with my speakers.
Is there anything I can do with the current setup to tailor that sound? or should I look for other drivers?
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Old 22nd February 2006, 08:21 PM   #2
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Tough to narrow down just from what you've said.

Maybe controvertially, I think that the Focal range of speakers sound up front rather than smooth. Which makes me believe that you heard differences in sources and amplification, whilst not forgetting rooms which can subdue or accenuate mid/HF.

One amp that I've come into contact with recently has such a signature that you describe and that's the SKA or GB150 as its now known. But its not quite as simple as swapping an amp out or voicing your speakers to get the qualities that you like. Its all about system/room/voicing synergy.

I'm sure others will suggest drivers and components which perhaps have been associated with smoothness but even they can be made to sound harsh with improper setup, partnering, crossover design and reverberant rooms. I feel that on this one you will have to experiment somewhat to get where you need to go and there is no one single right answer.
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Old 22nd February 2006, 09:11 PM   #3
sqlkev is offline sqlkev  United States
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You're right shin, the profile was a bit up front. But, it wasn't the "in your face" type of speakers. Furthermore, it has dimension and depth. The shop was using all high end components, even room treatment,which is something I haven't done. That may account for something. Still, the velvety sound was there in the midrange, while mine is still very dry.

I haven't had a chance to experiment with high end amps yet, but I'm building the gainclones soon. (been saying for months, yet the kits are still there in the closet) Hope to hear some differences, otherwise I'm building another set of speakers.

BTW, have you ever got that 3 way project of yours done?

*edit*

should I swap out the seas tweeters for some ribbons?
I want some air
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Old 22nd February 2006, 09:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by sqlkev
You're right shin, the profile was a bit up front. But, it wasn't the "in your face" type of speakers. Furthermore, it has dimension and depth. The shop was using all high end components, even room treatment,which is something I haven't done. That may account for something. Still, the velvety sound was there in the midrange, while mine is still very dry.

I haven't had a chance to experiment with high end amps yet, but I'm building the gainclones soon. (been saying for months, yet the kits are still there in the closet) Hope to hear some differences, otherwise I'm building another set of speakers.
And there's the crunch.

Room treatments can make a big difference to intelligebility and imaging. The 2" Auralex studio foam wedges I use are primarily effective in the 500hz+ range. I thought I'd got a great room until I tried these but they do make a very real difference.

Its dropping into place now, they'd got a sorted room with correctly setup speakers and high quality ancilliaries. My first port of call would be room treatments before you swap out your speakers, they'll benefit for sure but to what extent I don't know - like I said, I thought I'd got a good room but I was surprised at the difference I hear with the diffusors and absorbers in place. The treatments will move through a few sets of speakers whilst providing the same benefits.

The only real problem with room treatment is that it doesn't really do anything for below 100hz unless you start to use rather huge bass traps that will dominate the room. Use EQ below 300-400hz to correct your response and room treatment above that. Perhaps another problem is that it all looks a little off in a regular WAF approved front room, don't get me wrong, you can make it look tasteful in a contemporary way. The other is perhaps price, its a one shot thing but I'm not pretending its cheap and the larger the room the more expensive its likely to be.

The positioning of the room treatments is also key, I spent a few days tacking the tiles to the walls in various positions until I found the greatest improvement and then went about permanantly attaching them. Key area's are sidewalls and rearwalls. I used a mirror and an assistant to locate the best spots, I sat in the listening position and the mirror was moved along the wall at ear height until I could see the reflection of the speaker in the mirror and that was the spot of the first reflection off the side wall.

Quote:
BTW, have you ever got that 3 way project of yours done?
Short answer is yes and no. I've had them working on and off for the last few months. But I rebuilt some stuff to accomodate the swap to ATC bass drivers and they aren't finished to the standard I want so that means spraying them up when time/weather allows. The project is still very much alive but its slow moving as I want it to be as good as I can make it.
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Old 22nd February 2006, 09:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
*edit*

should I swap out the seas tweeters for some ribbons?
I want some air
I wouldn't do that immediately.

Its possible to get air simply by lifting the treble in the 6Khz+ range using an all pass filter of a dB or two. Although air or spaciousness generally comes from from low distortion drivers, good phase coherency, wide even dispertion and low colouration cabinets. Then you've got the room and front end to consider. A single driver is pretty much useless on its own and the 'system' as a whole needs to be addressed.

I'm not familiar with just what your using - could you outline it.
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Old 22nd February 2006, 09:51 PM   #6
morbo is offline morbo  Canada
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I would guess it was the room treatment much sooner than electronics, room treatment can make gross differences in FR and time domain that haflway decent electronics will be free of. And if you just want 'air', try some contouring as Shinobiwan suggests, or put a parametric EQ in the chain, even if temporarily, and I think you'll see just how much 'airniness' 'velvetyness' etc have to do with small, broad FR variations.
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Old 23rd February 2006, 07:51 PM   #7
sqlkev is offline sqlkev  United States
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shin,
Right now im running a dipole:
pioneer elite dvd-->deq2496-->mixer-->dcx2496--> 2 akai amps & pioneer elite receiver (i know, the weakest link) --> rs180 mtm with 27tffc + 4 gefco 12"

Last night I got around to play with some of the drivers I have in hands,
the vifa xt19 is more directive BUT smoother than the seas tweeters, it has a better topend to it. I havent try to push it to play low. I'm not sure if I should. But, mated with the rs125 mids, I like the midrange better of this combo than the rs180.

Just for kicks, I opend up my new dipole aura linaeum (sp?) tweeters. These have the signature of ribbons to them. Sounds good on certain music, but I don't think I can listen to them for a long period.

I'll EQ and try to contour the FR a bit more, but I'm not getting that sound that I want.

My listening room is the living room, not sure if i want to start sound deadening/acoustic treating to the room just yet.
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