Another thread on speakers for the ZV4.

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I ‘m building myself three zv4 amps. Next, I need a nice set of speakers to go along with it. I have narrowed down the candidates to 3 speakers. (1) The e.j.jordan jx92s full-rang driver in there standard transition line enclosure. (2)The North Creek Okara II Bookshelf Monitor and finally the Ariel. My room is small 9’ x 20’ and I will be placing it n the long wall, because that’s where they fit. Let me write down a little about each one of these for people who do not know of these speakers.
1.) The e.j.jordan jx92s full-rang driver in there standard transition line enclosure is by far the cheapest of the three. The drivers can be gotten in the U.S. for $100 each. It is also one of the easiest to build. The cabinet is 12” w and 4” deep, so if there is a problem with the wood working, as I know there will be, I can just fill in the side with fiberglass resin. The short comings of this speaker are that the driver is only a 5” driver. It has a sharp roll-off after 15 KHz. I have been told by many people that the bass on this driver is very good for its size because it is transition line. Konus Audio systems also make these speakers under the name “Essence” for the price of $3,500 per pair. At that price I would expect them to sound good. To spite this speaker’s low sensitivity of 88db Konus sells this speaker with there 50 watt amps. It is my 1st chosse at this point. If anybody wants a cabinet drawing I can post them.

2.) The North Creek Okara II Bookshelf Monitor uses the same drivers as the Ariel. Its cabinet is a little boxier then the e.j.jordan jx92s. This system has a nice full range response and its sensitivity is bout the same. My major complaint about this speaker is that North Creek has now decided to sell there cross-over in epoxy so I can’t build anymore of these without going throw North Creek nor can I try different caps and such. I’m not saying the quality of there crossover is bad; it’s realy very nicely made with all quality parts.

3.) I think most people reading this thread know about the Ariel. The cabinet work is a lot harder then the other two speakers. It cost a little more then the North Creek Okara. The main thing this speaker has going for it is it’s sensitivity of 92db. Mad_K post on the “ZenV4, SOZ, or Original Zen for Ariel?” thread has put me off of the idea off using the Ariel because the Aleph 3 and zv4 share nearly the same output stage. They have the same constant current Source, the same bias level (2 amps) and almost the same power output (25watt, 30watts). I still haven’t ruled out any of these possibilities. However the Ariel has drop down to the bottom of my list. This speaker was probably made for an amp that has almost no bass control. That’s probably why it sounds bad with some of this higher power ss stuff.

I would like some opinions from people who have herd any of these speakers. It would be nice if someone has herd two of the three speakers on this list so they can make comparisons between then. However, I would seriously doubt that anyone has ever gotten any of these speakers together because there all DIY speakers, so all opinions are welcome.

I have looked at pretty much everything the DIY community has to offer, with the exception of the long awaited claw by nelson pass, and these are the ones that seem to stand out in my head as keepers. :xeye:


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I expect you would need to be in an area something the size of the American Canyon to hear, or even feel El Pipe-O or The Claw.

What must the local natives think with This mad professor going up into the hills with a pile of lumber and a few 24" woofers in the back of his pickup not to mention the lights dimming in the immediate vacinity!



Regarding the Ariel, you'd probably missed the DF. I think Zenv4 has a lower DF than Aleph3 does. And DF plays an important role in Ariel (according to Lynn Olson).

Why don't you ask jh6you? I think he is still using Ariel with (baby) Zv4.

Regarding the OkaraII, you can build an alternate version of it using different tweets (Hyquphon OW II) and different crossover (same mid). Visit if you'd like to see.

What amp would you pair this speaker with ?

An other idea I had is pairing up the Aleph30 with the regulated supply for 10watt son of zen in fig 6 of Nelson’s Zen Variations - part 3. It has the right voltages. This should stop the buzz that everyone complains about with the Alephs.
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LBHajdu said:
What amp would you pair this speaker with ?

That is a pretty open-ended question -- a good one. The Z4 you are planning should do well. I'd probably pull out my PP EL34 amp and tweak it up Allen Wright style (about 10W). If you were going SS you'd perhaps want a little more power since a SS amp typically isn't as graceful when pushed -- a nice little 25 W amp say.

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…because the Aleph 3 and zv4 share nearly the same output stage. They have the same constant current Source…

I wonder why Nelson Pass is deaf to this.
Aleph 3 and ZV4 have active current sources, not constant.
The active current sources have the function to characterise
amp’s damping factor.

If the amp’s DF mismatches with a speaker set, tweaking
the fracture of the active current source could cure it. This
is a great advantage for us. Detail about the tweaking is in the
Nelson Pass’s article on ZV2.

Probably, someone was too busy to tell somebody the tweaking. ;)
Well, the feedback from the “Jordan 92S TL + ESg2 ribbon” thread seems very positive. I think I shall most definitely build the Jordan 92S TL and add the external ribbon later, as time and money permit. The only problem I have now is that, a few days ago I was shore that the ZV4 was the right amp for me. Now I’m not so shore anymore. I may build the zv4 or the Aleph30. I just hate it when that happens. Every one who has built it seems to agree that the Aleph30 and ZV4 sound very much alike and that the Aleph30 definitely has more base because of its lower DF. The question that I must ask myself is, is the extra cost of the caps for the three rail power supply and the extra cost of buying more mosfets and matching them worth the extra octave of base I get. You don’t have to answer that, I’m just thinking to myself.
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