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Patrick Bateman 26th November 2006 06:06 PM

Best Cheap Speaker for Single Ended Triode
For the longest time I've been meaning to build the "ultimate" high efficiency speaker. If I could pony up the money for a pair of Summas, I would do it today. But you know how it goes, great speakers are very expensive, and DIY projects never seem to get finished.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find a high-efficiency two-way for just THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS yesterday. Even better, it's NEW, and you don't even have to buy it online. I bought my pair just 15 minutes from my home in Tacoma Washington. If they don't have a store near you, you can buy them online, for $450.

If you read these specs, you'll see that it's perfect for SET amps. It has an efficiency of 99db, a very light paper-coned 15" midbass, coupled to a waveguide driven by a compression driver. What really sold me was the attention to detail in the waveguide; it's not as "perfect" as the waveguide in the Summa or the Klein & Hummels. But it's light years ahead of the crummy horns that you see in many high-efficiency designs.

Keep in mind these speakers are $300. I still want to build something better, and if that doesn't happen, I *will* buy a pair of Summas. But until then, I'll enjoy what may be the best $300 high-efficiency speaker you can get right now.

If anyone is interested in getting a pair, you'll have to act fast. The pair that I bought were the last two in the store. But the store has outlets ALL OVER AMERICA, in fact it's the largest chain of it's kind.

Here's a few pics. Does anyone want to guess what this is?

:: PB :: is it??? is it??? is it???

freddi 26th November 2006 07:42 PM

so its a MP215 JBL with plywood cabinet? - it is plywood and not beaverboard??? (IIRC pix I saw had large side handles)

if so the graph shows tuning and midbass set for pole-mount. if it were "this" cabinet, might it be tuned a tiny bit lower for home hifi use?

might the mystery speaker crossover look something like the following?

what do you think TS for the woofer might be? - cone looks likke Eminence's Beta and kinda like EV SP15B

does it play a tuneful drumkit? can it play good bowed bass viola trax? can it be found online? - I have no mobility and things are getting worse.

Geoff H 27th November 2006 11:12 PM

It's a JBL MT Pro. Says so on the handle.

Patrick Bateman 28th November 2006 05:18 AM

I <3 Guitar Center
and Musician's Friend has 'em cheap too.

Pano 28th November 2006 08:10 AM

Sure looks like a JBL MP215.

Never heard one, but if it sounds like its powered cousin the 15" EON, then you can keep it! Yuck....

Hopefully, it will sound better. The 15" woofer just doesn't play well with the 1" horn on the EON. Maybe this is better?

Patrick Bateman 28th November 2006 08:16 AM

The horn on the EON is about 1/4 the size of the waveguide on the MP215. So I'd be willing to bet that the MP215 has a far superior polar pattern, better power response, and a lower xover point.

Did I mention it's just $300?

:: PB ::

Pano 28th November 2006 10:16 AM

Most likely, yes. The size of the waveguide on the MP215 is encouraging. The box looks bigger than the EON, too. The crossover point could be lower, but who knows if it is? It's hard to get a 1" driver to work well with a 15" woofer. At least in the systems I've heard.

Of course with an SET setup, you won't have to worry much about power ;) so you could make a "better" crossover for the MP214.

FWIW, I always wanted to try a non-powered Meyer CQ-1 with an SET amp. Great sounding box, might work nicely with a tube amp. Sure does not cost $300 though.

For $300 the MPro 215 sounds like a great deal - as long as it doesn't sound like the EON!

freddi 28th November 2006 03:08 PM

specs on MP215 say 1.7Khz xover - whats a 2412 HF look like? what it sound like with pp-tubes or solid-state? - does it do a good drumkit with Billy Martin/whomever? my diy SET is only about 5W and I like 120dB peaks (near the speaker) any on-line better prices than Musician's "friend"?

Pano 28th November 2006 07:43 PM

freddi, where did you find the 1.7Khz for the crossover? I don't see it.

FWIW, the M115-8A 15" driver has the following specs.

Fs: 46
Qts: 0.39
Qms: 5.1
Qes: 0.42
VAS 225
EFF: 5
Xmax: 5.1
Re: 5.5
Le: 1.3
BL: 14
Mms: 53g (that seems very light for a 15")

The compression driver looks like a 4 ohm model?

Geoff H 28th November 2006 10:18 PM

Freddi, sorry to hear about your situation, makes me realise the value of my freedom.

I don't think this speaker is for you. Its a sound reinforcement unit. Not a hifi type. Probably fine on drums, but not sure about bass strings.

IMHO JBLs and similar come into there own in larger rooms or auditoriums. I nearly had my ears torn off by JBL ring radiators! HF horns in confined areas will do the same.

What you are looking for needs smooth response down to 40Hz, and good transient response, with high sensitivity. Regards, Geoff

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