Most appropriate driver/enclosure/design for full orchestra source material?

I thought I'd decided which driver and enclosure to go with as my first project, until I came upon the opinion that full-range-driver designs generally didn't do well with music along the lines of, say, Wagner's Ring.

95% of my listening is acoustic, and most of it is simple, mainly classical/traditional world music and early music; I don't listen to much of the heavy-dynamic-complex sort of thing, but what I do listen to in this category is deeply meaningful to me. I'd love to be able to accommodate everything well in a full-range design.

Comments or suggestions, anyone?
 

soongsc

Member
2005-03-26 2:31 pm
Taiwan
DMD said:
I thought I'd decided which driver and enclosure to go with as my first project, until I came upon the opinion that full-range-driver designs generally didn't do well with music along the lines of, say, Wagner's Ring.

95% of my listening is acoustic, and most of it is simple, mainly classical/traditional world music and early music; I don't listen to much of the heavy-dynamic-complex sort of thing, but what I do listen to in this category is deeply meaningful to me. I'd love to be able to accommodate everything well in a full-range design.

Comments or suggestions, anyone?

My first recommendation would be systems using the Jordan JX92S if you really want the feel of the concert hall. That is listening levels would not be louder than what you would hear in a concert hall. My definition of concert halls is like those in Europe, old style non-rectagular shaped.
 
My musical taste is similar to yours, DMD.
I have a pair of Jordan JX92S. Currently in "open baffles" - each in half a sheet of chipboard. Excellent detail, but not much bass as you can imagine.
The "real" enclosures are still in the garage with the glue just dried. In a few days I can give you more information on how they sound.
As I am nearly 60 years old, my hearing is less than acute at the top end, but I like to hear bass as one would in the concert hall.
Here's hoping.
Regards,
Andy
 
dmd

if you really want big sound, you have to go with big speakers. i really enjoy full ranger drivers, but they do have their limits. if you listen at lower to moderate levels, full rangers work well. but if you listen louder and to more complex music, then they begin to falter. i find full rangers to excel at acoustic and small jazz groups. an amazing "thereness."

a couple options may be a full ranger with the bottom end rolling off, (say around 200-300hz) with a simple circuit, with a larger, pro sound woofer filling in the bottom. the pro sound woofers are light, quick and match well with the full rangers. you can find some posts here with regards to this. freeing the full ranger of the lower bass notes increases the dynamics and clarity of the full ranger. (a direction i'm serioulsy considering)

the other option would be to go big with horns and a large woofer, ala Pi Speakers. these take more room, but give a big, coherant sound.

full rangers aren't for everyone, but are very satisfying for those who have given them the opportunity. best of luck!
 
Adding to the chorus in favour of the JX92 ...

I've built a pair of GM's 48" MLTLs shown on the Jordan DIY page (www.ejjordan.co.uk/diy) and have been using them for a couple of months now on a range of music, including world, jazz and orchestral. They are wonderful on orchestral and opera (and I'm not a fan of opera), capturing a lot of the warmth and depth of a good performance. Live opera via FM radio is terrific, with a tremendous sense of where everyone is on the stage. The coherence of using a single driver per side really helps pull out the threads of classical music. At the moment, I'm really enjoying the BBC Proms season via these speakers.

I haven't heard the shorter MLTLs but Bruce, who started a thread on this forum, seems to have built most variants and commented that the taller design is warmer sounding and has more bass. I can confirm that they reach the mid-30Hz range and the stereo at those frequencies adds more to the music than I was expecting.

Ted Jordan is a mostly classical music listener, I believe, so these drivers are optimised for that kind of material.

Regarding volume level - I am using them in a 19 feet by 10 feet open plan lounge (it opens into the rest of the house) and have them along one long wall, listening across the width of the room. At this distance, their volume levels are fine for me on orchestral, using a 15 watt Naim amplifier.

So far, the only design I have heard to compete with them have been electrostatics, but these reach deeper into the bass.

Hope these impressions are of use.

Colin
 

Nelson Pass

The one and only
Paid Member
2001-03-29 12:38 am
DMD said:
I thought I'd decided which driver and enclosure to go with as my first project, until I came upon the opinion that full-range-driver designs generally didn't do well with music along the lines of, say, Wagner's Ring.

That is pretty much my experience - Full range drivers are at their
best with simple material, and when you get into the dynamics
and complexity of a full orchestra, they are not as satisfactory
as multi-driver setups.
 
What is your budget?

Also, what is the size of your listening environment and what sort of levels do you want?

If you want to be the dude in that old Maxell ad, single driver won't do it unless you get into really nice drivers in large backhorns.

On the other hand, I find my FE207E in simple vented cabs pretty darned good even with "heavy" material. But I live in an apartment and couldn't listen at very high levels even if I wanted to.

I would try to find someone with a single driver setup in your area and audition.

One more question, how skilled are you at woodworking? If so, a backhorn for an 8" driver could give you a lot more punch than a simple vented cabinet.
 

soongsc

Member
2005-03-26 2:31 pm
Taiwan
Re: Re: Most appropriate driver/enclosure/design for full orchestra source material?

Nelson Pass said:


That is pretty much my experience - Full range drivers are at their
best with simple material, and when you get into the dynamics
and complexity of a full orchestra, they are not as satisfactory
as multi-driver setups.

I would agree with this before I started to try out some 3" full range (well not so full) drivers. Some full range drivers of 20 years old did show these limitations. Now these limitation have been reduced significantly at levels one would experience about 10th two 20th row in a European concert hall. Many people like to listen at levels higer than this, then you will reach these limits more frequently. If the resolution of the drivers are not good enough, one would tent to turn up the volume to hear the details, then yes, you will reach these limitation easily. Not all full range drivers are equal.

A recent comparison among some full range drivers show that all soound quite good, better than what I listened to (Jordan Watts) for many years. But the current Jordan drivers just give that little more resolution revealing those details a little better. The sound field is also more coherent. I wish I could explain why through some measured data, but I currently see differences that I'm not able to relate with what I hear yet. Perhaps I need to rethink some of my test method hierarchy.
 

soongsc

Member
2005-03-26 2:31 pm
Taiwan
audiotux said:
Hi DMD ,
i like the Baßtuba with the Mangers and Pass-Amplifiers .
See the webpage from Horst Möller :
www.hm-moreart.de

Greetings from Germany

Jürgen

Lots of people like the MANGERS, I had listened to their 103, and for some reason they did sound a bit muffled. I though it might have been due to the humidity here, but MANGER insisted that they feel the surrounding damping material would not attract humidity, so I don't really know what the cause was. The store had more expensive equipment than I.
 
I'll never get over these forums. It's always mind-blowing how many right-there and helpful, experienced people suddenly appear around an important question. I really appreciate it.

I read through the Jordan JX92S/MLTL thread that Colin mentions, ("First Impression: GM's Jordan JX92S MLTL Speaker", started by Bruce about a year ago), and a couple of times I had to laugh out loud because I noticed I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat! (The only reason I can think of that that driver/enclosure evaded me so far is my former preoccupation with very high efficiency, which has relaxed lately. I had this nebulous idea the the Jordans were magnificent but out of the running for some reason, and I never looked into threads that had to do with them).

Andy, is the enclosure you're talking about GM's MLTL, or...?

Re my budget and listening room, um, D------s (it's not easy to address someone with your moniker): Room is small and soft, 14 X 19, with carpets, book/media shelves, curtains, and no furniture other than the sound system and the listening seats. Budget is whatever it takes as low as can be arranged.

Again, I really appreciate this, Everybody,
Don
 
D-----s, I forgot to mention in response to your questions:

Re listening levels, (thanks for the hilarious mental image of that Maxell logo, BTW), I listen at softer than average volume, and it's very quiet here. Our front gate is over half a mile from our front door.

Re my woodworking skills, they are largely "latent"; IOW, I haven't done a lot of woodworking in my life. Everything I have done, though, has gone nicely. I have simple tools, but I do know people with the big, fancy, noisy stuff. I definitely don't think that something like a backhorn is the first step I should take into this field, though - a MLTL sounds about perfect.
 
Don,
the enclosures are of Mass Loaded Tapered Quarter Wavelength design. See Peter Millett's site (http://www.pmillett.com/jx92s.htm) for the starting point, and Martin J King's site for his MathCad worksheets.
(www.quarter-wave.com)
Just off to the garage to make progress. Will report to the forum when they are working.
Regards,
Andy
 
How is everybody driving these?

BTW Colin, I was very glad to hear of your experience with 15wpc.

I just finished reading the 48" version spinoff thread, and saw some almost diametric opinions there on appropriate power for the JX92S/MLTL design, some ideas leaning more toward the theoretical/general, and some more toward the experiential/specific. I'd be VERY interested in hearing more from others' direct experience.

My ASL puts out 5wpc in triode and 15wpc in pentode mode. I also have a modified Dynaco ST70 that I can run non-triode at the stock 35wpc if necessary.

Since GM's MLTL design appears on the Jordan site itself, it would seem that there must be quite a number of these speakers out there by now; perhaps the power subject should have its own thread?
 
Hi DMD

I am facing a similar quandary to you and have come up with two options, based on the suggestions of others I trust (and have similar musical tastes) on several sites. These should provide what you are looking for at a reasonable cost and prevent the desire to upgrade/change after a couple of months (as seems to happen with many full-range advocates).

Supravox 215 RTF64 (ie. non-whizzer) in sealed, ported, TQWT (on Supravox website), or TL enclosure – with a decent helper tweeter (singe cap in series with tweet). These should be good when matched with lowish power SET amps.
Driver Specs: http://www.supravox.fr/haut_parleurs/215_RTF.htm
TQWT design: http://www.supravox.fr/kits/tqwt215rtf.pdf
Use Babelfish to translate: http://babelfish.altavista.com/
US Dist: http://www.supravox.com/
Contact Franck at Supravox Fr (can communicate in English): [email protected]

Hartley 220msg in recommended cabs, with supertweet if you feel necessary (not essential); email Richard for details and current pricing: [email protected] These appear to be a unique driver and should be good when matched with tube amps of 8W+ in smaller rooms.

I currently believe that you can get a decently wide frequency response from many smaller full-range drivers. However, I feel that a 'speaker should be able to reproduce music with a semblance of ease and dynamics (in addition to other requirements) to be emotionally satisfying. Accordingly, a minimum of 8” full-range driver is generally needed.

Kind Regards, Ray
 
I used to use a JX52/125 system which was rated about 2-3dB less than the JX92s (possibly even lower when the x/over was taken into account). They worked fine on the 15w Naim Nait but I did feel it was a little constrained by the available power. There is no such feeling with the JX92.

I think people get a little too hung up on power handling/sensitivity. One textbook I have suggests that an orchestra, heard from a good concert hall seat, will reach about 90dB. The Jordans will happily reach that, even allowing for distance from the speakers, driven by the Nait.

I was a bit bothered that I was asking a lot of a little driver but GM's design seems to bring out the best in them. The driver movement decreases as they go below 70Hz and output from the port takes over.

Ted has developed a design for Mark Audio (www.markaudio.com) which uses two JX92s per enclosure, presumably to allow a trade off between bass extension and maximum output.

I think the MLTL design is on the Jordan site for a couple of reasons - partly as a service to GM, who was otherwise having to keep giving the spec, but mostly because it looked like a good design and Jordan wanted to display the best of the DIY enclosures featuring his drivers. Peter Millet's design is also linked on the Jordan site (as are several others) but as he already has an excellent description of it on his website, there was no need to repeat it on the Jordan site.

BTW, the taller MLTL I've built is the triangular enclosure. My boxes look a bit prototype as yet and I'm plotting getting some better-looking ones made (which is why I haven't given them a write up on a thread of its own).

Colin
 
I think people get a little too hung up on power handling/sensitivity. One textbook I have suggests that an orchestra, heard from a good concert hall seat, will reach about 90dB. The Jordans will happily reach that, even allowing for distance from the speakers, driven by the Nait.

I remember decades ago at Optimal Enchantment in L.A., when Randy Cooley put on the music to demo the new Vandersteen 2Cs, he surprised everyone in the room with the very low volume. The sound didn't impose itself on the listener at all; the listener had to come to the sound. Everyone suddenly got a notch more quiet and attentive, and thus the "volume" gradually "increased." The experience was actually quite illuminating - obviously I never forgot it!

Great, you made a pair of the triangular speakers. I wonder:

1. Did you build them with an equilateral cross section like the ones at the Jordan site, or isocoles like Bruce's? (I've wondered why Bruce chose that particular proportion, the larger-area baffle perhaps?)

2. By chance did you glue the cabinets together using the mitre, tape, glue, and fold method of "joinery"? I've been fascinated by that no-clamp technique of clamping since I first read about it on the single driver website a couple of years ago (TC's BIB). In that article, Terry Cain speaks of the method's remarkable simplicity (if one has the equipment) and the joints' superlative strength.

Please do take your time getting around to answering these things at your convenience, Colin. You've been so helpful, and I don't want to exploit that helpfulness by asking too many questions. I'm really rather nuts about all this news; the prospect of the JX92S prism-shaped MLTLs in my listening room sounds roundabout like paradise right now.

BTW, being triangular, these already have a built-in high WAF (she is almost a crazy about triangles as I am).