new member - with Lynn Olsen ME'2..


2008-01-17 9:17 pm
Hi all , my first post from a less than novice DIYer (from England) but hoping i may be able to pick a few brains on here regarding a pair of speakers i have recently obtained. i was pointed in this direction as i believe the designer of my speakers uses this forum from time to time. who better to help me get the best from them???

anyway here are the little fellas:



and this is what i am using to drive them:


the kit is now in a bigger room and i have followed Lynn set up instructions regarding toe in (pretty extreme toe in!) and i must admit they sound fantastic, especially in the mid and treble - the bass is quite lightweight but very agile. the qulaity of the cabinet work would shame most speakers from manufacturers

the firts thing i want to do is mount teh two ugly crossover boxes into a single box that can be rack mounted and i am wondering if there are any issues with doing this - ie two crossovers in a single standard cd player width case rather than having each box sitting behind each stand?

any advice greatly appreciated.


Hi Steve,

Welcome! First off, you have a terrific looking set-up there with some great equipment - nice job. Guys like us could live in a room like that.

Second, I don't believe there will be any issues with putting your crossovers in the same box, as long as they're not jammed together - you want to keep all the inductors, especially the larger ones, separated so they don't interfere with eachother.

So, configure it so that no two inductors on the separate XOs are closer together than any two on each individual board, and you should be OK. Does that make sense? Also, perhaps a metal panel of some sort to give each XO a separate chamber, but I honestly don't know if that will make a difference.

Welcome to the ME2 club !

Wonderful speakers, aren't they? Put up a few pics of mine for camaraderie.

The crossover idea sounds like a good one to me; I personally think the conglomeration of inductors and Hovland capacitors is sexy, but I understand wanting to squirrel them away; if for no other reason than to keep the kids from stepping on them !

Question: in your picture, you don't show a whole lot of toe-in. Is this how you actually have them configured? In my room, they are almost pointing directly at my head (maybe about a foot or two in front of me). The spacial representation is striking.



2008-01-17 9:17 pm
hi, thanks for the welcome,

that photo is in my old bachelor pad..i am now moved in with the good lady. I have set them up with the very heavy toe in, in the new room and it has totally transformed them. I've got to be honest tho, they do look strange in this way. Once i get the crossover boxes sorted - they are currently in 2 galvanised type cases - i will be able to tidy cables up and i am sure they will look more acceptable.

i agree with the spatial thing, they really do throw it around a bit and the width of the image is so wide.

i may try my Rel sub with them once i have the crossover casing sorted out.
Glad you like them - take good care of them, I understand the Vifa 5.5" drivers are out of production now. Your cabinets are certainly gorgeous with that sparkly aluminum-accented finish - my Ariels are so much more mundane looking in plain old wood-colored MDF with surface sealant.

Hmm - as for the crossover, it's fine putting the crossovers anywhere you want, but I'd try and keep a little distance between the Left and Right crossovers, maybe a foot or so. I would NOT put them in any kind of metallic box, bad idea. Use wood or plastic. Karna rather cleverly concealed the crossover by using upside-down wicker baskets that were just about exactly the right rectangular shape to cover the crossover board.

You'll like the REL subwoofer, it's what I use, and it's one of the very few that integrates successfully with the Ariels and ME2's. You will find the ME2's are very revealing of changes you make to the electronics, so have fun tweaking your amplifiers.


2008-01-17 9:17 pm
wow..thanks Lynn..i feel a bit starstruck :D

i can take any credit for the build of these I'm afraid, i bought them from someone who had a friend who had built them for him. very thick laquer and faultless piant work. he also put together a design folder that is nearly 1" thick.

would it be ok to mount the crossovers in a plastic case but with a metallic fascia? it has to be aesthetically pleasing to `the boss' as will be in our lounge. You can see the galvanised boxes behind the stands in their current form, will the fact that these are mettallic after the crossovers at all? also i want the inputs from the amp to be on the rear of the case and also the outputs to the speakers on the same back plate. Will this cause any problems?
Welcome to diyAudio bourney! Wonderful system! :D :D :D
WARNING! DO NOT READ Lynn's "Beyond the Ariel" thread!!! :clown: Should you dare to wonder off there you will soon be plotting out space in which to locate "the new speakers" and seeing as they will be OB's they will consume a great amount of floor space. This will involve either moving to a house with a larger listening room - or knocking out a couple of walls!!! You only thought that you had a problem with where to put your x'overs for the ME2's. Hah - you ain't seen nothing yet!!! :bigeyes:
bourney said:

Would it be ok to mount the crossovers in a plastic case but with a metallic fascia? It has to be aesthetically pleasing to `the boss' as will be in our lounge.

You can see the galvanised boxes behind the stands in their current form, will the fact that these are metallic after the crossovers at all?

Also I want the inputs from the amp to be on the rear of the case and also the outputs to the speakers on the same back plate. Will this cause any problems?

Aluminum, copper, and bronze are acceptable, but I really would keep any ferrous material at least 6 inches or more away from the inductors. Air-core inductors are inherently free-field and you have to keep in mind the field grows and shrinks with the current flowing through the inductors - the positioning of the inductors at right angles to each other keeps inductor-to-inductor interaction to a minimum, but they still interact with the outside world quite freely.

In terms of esthetics, have you considered glossy multi-coat piano-black paint or polished ebony wood for the fascias? That would be an elegant complement to the superb painted finish on the enclosures.

Don't see any problem with location of input/outputs. The only thing you really need to consider is physical isolation of the inductors from nearby ferrous materials (at least several inches) and mechanically quiet locations for the capacitors (which are quite sensitive to vibration). Resistors don't care that much about their surroundings, although keeping them well-ventilated is a good idea.

In terms of room positioning, any object closer than a metre to the centers of radiation of the drivers will create a noticeable image shift and flattening of stage depth. Properly operating Ariels and ME2's should routinely create stage widths of 100~120 degrees, very stable central and off-center images, and image depths from 20~30 feet deep as well as images that come into the room at least several feet. In the highest-quality setups (DHT triode amplifiers of high quality) you will hear images that come to your knees.

When I talk about "stage depths", that doesn't mean direct images of the instruments themselves, but the apparent space they are performing in. Even pretty bad recordings have apparent performing spaces - with good recordings these spaces are quite realistic, and with poorer (digital reverb) recordings the spaces are more "virtual" and insubstantial. With really atrocious recordings (Dolby Digital soundtracks) the apparent space can actually be program-modulated - that this escapes the mixdown process is a comment on the spatial fidelity of modern studio monitors.

The picture below shows the Ariels right after the last VSAC show in Silverdale, Washington State. That was 4 or 5 years ago, if I recall right. The living room I now have in Colorado still needs a lot of work - plenty of standing waves and a stairway at an awkward 45-degree angle that intrudes a few feet into one side of the room. The prospect of rotating everything around by 90 or 180 degrees is sort of appalling, but the new speakers might necessitate that. Maybe Karna and I can find artistic-looking rugs we can hang on the walls to deal with the slap echoes.


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Welcomee to the forum Bourney and congratulations with a nice system :)

I have crossovers in one box and in site of Lynn's advse it is located quite close to the power conditioner (at least 70 lb. of iron. Crossover box is second one from the bottom). Never had any problems.


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Here's an old film scan of the original habitat of the Ariels, taken in the early Nineties, shortly after they were designed. Note the absence of the Amity or Karna amplifiers - I have no idea which amplifier was in the system when this picture was taken. Looking closer, I'm guessing the amplifier was my late-Seventies Audionics CC-2 (upper left of the equipment cabinet), with the Monarchy DAC/Linestage and a Philips CD transport to the immediate right of the amplifier. That would date the picture to the Summer of 1993. The door to the porch is open - that must have been before we bought the A/C for the house (with a western exposure that place got pretty hot in the summer).

That living room in Portland had by far the best acoustics of any we've had since - it had a sloped ceiling from 8 to 11 feet high (highest above the listener), a floor plan 27 feet wide by 17 feet deep, and a huge brickwork fireplace on the left side of the room (just out of the picture). The big plants also made wonderful diffusers, as well as giving the room a sparkling "alive" energetic quality.

The view of the Oregon Coast range through the picture windows as the sun set and the music was playing was truly a breathtaking experience - both sonically and visually. The expanse of double-glazed glass behind the speakers had little effect on the sound, partly because the speakers were about five feet in front of them. That was a nice house we had there - the biggest drawback was the increasing congestion of the West Side of Portland (you could see the Hillsboro Intel plant from the porch) and the fact the house just wasn't big enough for our various hobbies and projects. We were in that house from 1990 through 2000, if I recall right.

The place in Silverdale, Washington (we were there from 2000 through 2004) was bigger overall, but the living room was regrettably smaller. For some screwy reason, all the houses in Silverdale had dinky living rooms, which made the house-hunting much more difficult.

I remember some of them being not much bigger than a walk-in closet - why bother at all? There was some kind of fad for "formal" living rooms in the front of the house, just big enough for three to four chairs and a coffee table, and the "real" living room, called a "family room", at the back of the house. It must of been one of those stupid "retro" fads that plagues America, building houses with useless Victorian-style "parlors" for formal company - geez, who would use such a thing? And taking away valuable space from the rest of the house, too. Anyway, nearly all the houses in Silverdale had these useless parlor-style living rooms - some kind of dumb retro fad when these built in the early Eighties.

The house we bought had a fairly decent and almost usable living room - once again, in the front, and a "family room" in the back. Both were too small, frankly, and why they were separated like this still makes no sense to me. But that's what we had when we were in Silverdale (the semi-rural west side of the Puget Sound).

Our current place here in Colorado is substantially bigger and brand new, thankfully. Colorado has more lax zoning and fewer building restrictions than any city on the West Coast, so there are many more new homes at reasonable prices. Of course, most of that is simply due to geography - the cities on the Front Range, spread out all the way from Cheyenne in the north to Colorado Springs in the south, can just keep expanding all the way into Kansas as time goes on. Instead of space, the real limit is water - developers cannot get permission to build unless water rights are acquired (at considerable expense) from farmers. (Colorado is high and dry - rivers here are so small you can jump across them.) By contrast, pretty much all the space in the West Coast cities, from San Diego to Vancouver BC, is already spoken for, and that restricts new construction considerably. You win some, you lose some - just depends on where you live.

I sometimes have mixed feelings about the Ariels and ME2 - they were developed and balanced in a very large (10x17x27) room with superb acoustics. Their small size is deceiving - they sound their best in a large, spacious, and lively-sounding room. They look like home-theater speakers but are balanced like a minimonitor, and pretty much require high-quality tube electronics. They sound quite flat and uninvolving on almost any transistor amplifier, and sound particularly bad - nearly unlistenable - on Krell and Pass amplifiers. I don't know why this is, since they were balanced on the perfectly conventional Audionics CC-2 transistor amplifier.


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2007-12-13 9:48 pm
Hi lynn olson

I know about you for along time. i had your plan and keep it about 12 years. But i have not time to build it. I'm glad to see
you on this web. i would like to read your new design. But
i'm not a chance because you write very long words and too much pages. it's dificult for me to may be long time.


:D /Thawach
Well, some people in (north) Asia have built the Ariels and ME2's. I haven't received any letters from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, or the Phillipines, so I don't know if any builders are close to where you live. Hong Kong, possibly. There's a very enthusiastic DIY community in Hong Kong, and they take on ambitious projects.

P.S. I can hear the coyotes howling outside our house again. I've seen red foxes calmly walking down the middle of the street late at night, and Karna saw a full-sized mountain lion not that far from the house a year ago. If the neighbors are foolish enough to leave their cats out overnight, they certainly will be gone by the morning. This is a wild place.


2007-12-13 9:48 pm

i saw your project on magazine at first. i had ever seen some people tobuilt it. after that time to built for sale. About hi end speakerin Hong kong. I think Thailand is larger than about 100/1.
You may be not know.At now the lowther and tube amp in thailand i don't know why is much more than i think.the Ariels i had ever seen in magazine thailand to tested. They tell
that It is good for tube amp. But i never listened it.

;) /Thawach


2007-12-13 9:48 pm

i see thai web yesterday. They build the Ariels speaaker.
he tell that the Ariels is difficult to build. But he likes
it.He say he isn't like a single driver.he build it for
tube amp that he build. he is happy that it's successful by
a little tool.

Hi-end room in thailand(Thai peoples like acoustic room)

The photo about: thai Drum long is the first idia of norh
speaker.America engineer design and thai Product.




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2007-12-13 9:48 pm
Lynn Olson said:
P.S. I can hear the coyotes howling outside our house again. I've seen red foxes calmly walking down the middle of the street late at night, and Karna saw a full-sized mountain lion not that far from the house a year ago. If the neighbors are foolish enough to leave their cats out overnight, they certainly will be gone by the morning. This is a wild place.

It's romance really. it's seem that i had ever seen some word
in stereo magazine Thailand as a long time. Olson, i have just
known about letter do not write to you. They can not type the
english language.But they would like to know about you all the time.




2002-01-07 6:02 pm
I built a set of Ariels (V6) and they were excellent speakers, probably the best I'd had until that time, with the exception of the Isobariks, but they were very different.

I'm not exactly a skilled woodworker, but I built them wothout too much difficulty. I have a spare set of NIB drivers that I intended to build a set of ME2 with, but never got around to it. Then I found horns and big HE direct radiators. Yum.
Scottmoose said:
FWIW Lynn, my mate Ed is currently running his Ariel's (V6) on the end of a First Watt F4 he built in his studio setup & he's over the moon with this combination. It's different, that's for sure. I'm hoping to get a listen over the next week or so -last time I heard it was when he had his SE EL34 amp so the comparison will be interesting.
Be interested to hear what you think of the combination.
Hi guys

sorry I'm a bit late to this thread. I've been defending the ariels against a bit of dissent in the uk since I wrote the review for HiFi World some years ago.

I'm so glad to hear there are some folks who like them over here. For my money they are still one of the most transparent boxes I have ever heard. I havn't heard the ME2s but reading between the lines they seem to be in the same league.

My ariels are still in daily use in the project studio and as Scott says, hooked up to my F4, a startling combination.

If anybody is interested in building, then speaker city still had some vifas left when I last looked. There is a blow by blow account of how to build on my web site.