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Old 24th August 2006, 05:44 AM   #1
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Default Is your speaker better sounding them B&W 800 Series?

Hi

Just wondering of those who have built a high quality sounding speaker, how do you compare it to the B&W 800 series?

I am basing my new speakers off the 800 series, hopefully it turns out well.
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Old 24th August 2006, 07:03 AM   #2
Daveis is offline Daveis  United States
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3 sets of ears. Myself and two unbiased friends say that my own best efforts are not as good as B&W 800 series. Very disappointing, but I'm an amateur and it was my first attempt.

Beating the B&W 800's is my own personal goal in DIY speaker building.

My drivers
2 Seas Millenium tweeter
2 BG RD40 ribbons
4 scanspeak 21w8554's
2 Dayton RS alumimum woofs

crossover: all digital PC

My speakers sound detailed and at times lifelike. But they lack coherence. I'd estimate they sound better than NHT ST4's and lowend Maggies, but lag the B&W's by a large margin.
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Old 24th August 2006, 04:31 PM   #3
Salas is offline Salas  Greece
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Your digital pc cross is a major bottleneck qualitywise.
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Old 24th August 2006, 09:13 PM   #4
Daveis is offline Daveis  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by salas
Your digital pc cross is a major bottleneck qualitywise.
Salas, you are the first person who has ever said that a digital crossover was inherently worse than an active or passive analog crossover. Most of the comments I've seen say that passive speaker level crossovers are still very good possibly better sounding than active analog crossovers such as the Marchand. Have you tried digital crossovers? In particular either Voxengo or Thuneau ones using VST plugins?

I listened to several FIR based crossovers and decided I didnt like the sound. But the IIR type crossovers sound very natural to me.
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Old 24th August 2006, 11:05 PM   #5
Salas is offline Salas  Greece
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I have compared Soundblaster Odigy VS Behringer DCX2496 VS XTA. Sorry to say that PC card was worse enough than DCX and DCX was a tin can VS XTA (Euro 4.500). Best compromise is line level passive.
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Old 24th August 2006, 11:58 PM   #6
preiter is offline preiter  United States
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What's the quality of the A/D and D/A on your sound card? What's the quality of the output stage? The connectors? How much electrical noise is there in your PC?

PC sound cards aren't really that hot for audio quality.

And an active crossover using op-amps is not very difficult to build.
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Old 25th August 2006, 12:20 AM   #7
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The sound blaster audigy was probably resampling (poorly) the 44.1khz cd audio to 48khz, it isn't a very useful card to comment on the performance on for (CD Audio) imho
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Old 25th August 2006, 12:27 AM   #8
Salas is offline Salas  Greece
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Still, a Behringer DCX 2496 was bad and I dont know which proper sound card trumps it.
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Old 25th August 2006, 12:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Daveis
...Most of the comments I've seen say that passive speaker level crossovers are still very good possibly better sounding than active analog crossovers such as the Marchand...
The Marchand crossovers may be good within their limits, but if you read Linkwitz you will see that they are missing important bits to work with modern stiff cone drivers. They will do fine with forgiving drivers operated away from their limits, but do nothing for breakup modes, baffle step and other response irregularities or phase matching.

Active boards such as Linkwitz' ASP and the group buy board here offer various equalization options and phase correction. The latter is probably more important - Linkwitz says active crossovers without it are marginally useful. I won't go that far, since if each section of a filter can be tuned individually you can get phase correction without a dedicated section. Marchand would require some surgery to accomplish this.

So, yes, a properly designed passive crossover will beat a generic active crossover, no matter whether digital or analog. Just like going to the formulas and cranking out a crossover for your 8 ohm woofer and 8 ohm tweeter generally doesn't work well.

I am more likely to go the whole way through a few iterations with an active crossover because I can change out a few cents worth of resistors and have something new. Beats the heck out of rolling $25 caps in and out of the crossover.

There are cards MUCH better than the Audigy - take a look at M-Audio or other pro level cards. Soundblaster is all about making MP3s bearable.

/rant, and back to the original topic.

I don't know. Mine certainly are better than what I've heard. I've tried to listen to them at two different stores. The first had obviously (to me at least) partially cooked the tweeters - they were harsh, spitty and the demo was so uncomfortably loud I had to walk out. (A generally well regarded Long Island store, but the salesman didn't know jack about his products. The Dunlavys also had blown tweeters...)

The second store refused to demo them, saying that the neighboring stores would complain about the noise. I went after work, in a good suit, so I don't think it was because he didn't think I could afford them. I guess their sales pitch is "trust me they're great. Shall I put them on your Visa?"
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Old 7th March 2007, 08:57 PM   #10
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Would be great to get/know some DIY speakers that beat the B&W 800 series.
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