What to expect from a Linkwitz's Orion?


I am a newbie at building speakers, so I've decided to get a ready project. The Orion seems to be a very good speaker, and the documentation and information on several foruns is that very little can be done to actually improve it, so I am assuming it's original project is possibly at the limits of the drivers used(very good drivers...)

Given that, I am almost set into building it. The one thing that still bothers me is that the investment to buid one is very high(U$2.5K+ given customs taxes...), and I have no way of actually listening to one beforehand. Since this cannot be solved, I want to ask for opinions given by people that have listened to the Orions and have other high-end references to compare it to. I need to know what is the expected quality of a Orion in comparison to a Watt/Puppy, ML, Dynaudio Confidence, Nautilus and other High-End speakers. I am also specially interested in comparisons with Dynaudio Speakers(Audience, Contour and Confidence), since I have heard those, and like the overall sound signature. The relevant issue is that, in my country, an Audience72 speaker costs U$2.5k... So you can guess that I am considering the Orion if it can actually beat a much higher end speaker for the same price as a Audience 72.(no resale value DIY -> definitive speaker... )


ps. I've read most threads about the Orions in several forums. I just need a more complete set of comparative opinions, relating it to commercial offerings instead of DIY offerings... This way, I can establish a reference to speakers I can actually hear in my country...

ps2. Although I am newbie at building speakers, and the Orion is a somewhat advanced project, I am an engineer with experience building Airplane models, audio amplifiers and other gadgets. so as long as the project is well documented, I believe I can do it...
The building with your experience should not be a problem. You are aware that with the orion - in contrast to d'appolito's thor - the electronics plays a major role, as this project requires some serious amplification, active x overs and extensive bass correction.

I am looking at the orion as my next project, all my others having been sub woofer supported satellites in d'appolito config.
But I already have - being of the active xover school - enough amp and digital processing power (i hope) that this project will set me back just the price of the drivers.


2005-02-09 4:35 am
Rather than comment on the sound of the Orions, which is among the finest loudspeakers, regardless of price, why don't you look here.
Look at some of the speakers he has owned. Listen to how they compare to the Orions. The "Bob" he refers to are his Orion clones. Don't just take his word. Build a pair. Listen for yourself. You'll see.



I've already visited that site. Quite an upgrade to the original project.
I have at least two confirmed opinions about the results I can expect from a Orion pair. I am just interested in collecting more of those opinions, just to get over the possibilities of a few passionate fans tipping the scale... Usually, i would just go and listen to a pair to form my own opinion, regardless of what everyone else tought about it, but since it is not an option available for me, I am trying to cover my bases as well as possible... Getting informed opinions of lots of people with real life experience with those speakers and commercial offerings would assure me enough to take the risk. You know, I am not going broke if I try these speakers, but wages in my country are not great, and I do not favor throwing money away just for the experience... That's why I am only considering the Orion as a possible DIY solution to my speaker system, against mid-leve commercial speakers(mid-level for me, they are way cheaper in the US...) It's, quite possible, one of the better documented and commented speakers on the community...
Thanks for the input.


Actually, I believe the electronics costs may be quite similar, except for the active crossover. I believe that a very good passive speaker, like the Thor or Wilson Audio, Martin Logan, Dynaudio Contour/Confidence requires very good, and expensive amplification. My bet is that an active crossover design can do the same, or more, with less expensive amplifiers. Not to mention the fact that low power amplifiers tend to sound better than high-power ones, as long as the volume is low enough. The active setup fixes the volume caveat...
On my calculations, I will have to expend about 1.8K on the drivers, 200-300 on the cabinets, 500 on plans and crossover components. After that, I still need 2 amplifiers, probably rotel RMB-1066, for about 3K. Those prices includes all taxes, customs, etc... So you see why I consider this a big investment that requires lots of reasuring inputs from the audio community...


I have read about the NAO, but the amplification really does not worry me, so both the NAO and the Orion are the same complexity/cost for me. From what I understood, the NAO has a less complex crossover due to the better behaviour of the MID drivers, but then again, the Excel driver is quite excelent with an adequate crossover...(I've listened to a speaker built by a friend using this driver and a scan-speak tweeter, so I know I have no problems with the mid driver audio signature...)

Not sure about room acoustics though. My room is 26 square meters, 9-11 feet high(ceiling has variable height with the room width), and I can position the speakers 1-1.3 meters from the back wall and .8-1 meters from the side walls. Not perfect, but I think it should be good enough for the dipoles. The room is not the dead type, but have lots of difusion and a geometry that do not favor direct reflections.