zaph L18


2004-04-08 11:44 am
Hello everyone I'm looking for a good 2 way kit for my Aksa Lifeforce 55 amplifier.
I like much Seas driver and kits by Zaph and Troels I would like a kit cheap but with highend sound.
I think the Zaph L18 is a good option but I have some doubt:
1-Bass impact
2-Spl db
My room is 6x4x3 meter and my amplifier only 55 watt.
Have you any idea?

Thank you Paolo

- How much bass impact you want
- How loud do you want to play your music

An active subwoofer may be in order. You may then find your existing amp is adequate if you high pass the L18s. This of course may not be an option to you if it is outside your budget.

A vented, floorstanding L18 is the alternative, but then the question of your amp comes back into the equation. Personally I would not compromise on the kind of speaker I wanted based on my amplifier - I would buy/build a more powerful amp.
I built a pair of the L18's about two years ago (Jan/Feb '05, when John Krutke first posted the design to his site). They replaced a pair of Paradigm Studio/20 speakers, and I run them full range, powered by a ~60Wpc EL34 PP UL tube amp. Compared to the Studio/20s, the L18's are a huge step up in transparency and resolution, with considerably stronger bass, and cleaner (if slightly more forward) treble. In fact, they had so much more bass, it took some getting used to. Going back to the Paradigms, they feel very anemic in the bass, I don't know if it's a lack of BSC or what, but I had become accustomed to that small-speaker sound. In short, the L18's blow the Studio/20s out of the water, no contest. Probably the only area where they are not quite as good is bass control, which is slightly tighter on the Paradigms. Not to imply that the L18 bass is loose, it's still quite punchy, but just a little bit less controlled at the very lowest frequencies.

My listening room is roughly 4 x 5.5m (2.5m ceilings), but also opens into a kitchen / dining nook area and a short hallway to the bedrooms / bathroom. I use the L18's for both music and home theatre... pop, rock, electronica, jazz, classical, blues, etc. and I don't find them lacking in bass at all, but I guess bass is also a matter of preference / expectations. Bass depth is of course not as extended as larger speakers can achieve, exactly as you would expect - they have the typical small-speaker frequency response: significantly rolled off at 20Hz, and 30Hz isn't strong, but 40Hz and up is just fine. However, bass *quantity* is excellent... these little speakers can move a lot of air for their size. When I demo'd these speakers at BAF, there were several comments from listeners impressed with how much bass these speakers can put out. I think most people (myself included) expect slightly weak-ish bass from a "bookshelf" size speaker, but the Zaph L18 is not weak.

Typical listening level for me is around 85-90dB, sometimes I run them up past 100dB SPL, and they don't show signs of strain, but I've never really pushed them all the way to the limit to see just how far they'd go. One thing I've noticed, is that these speakers hold together exceptionally well at high SPL - they do not fall apart and become muddy. My 60W tube amp still has some apparent headroom at 100dB+ levels, but again we're not talking solid state, where onset of clipping is drastic and ruinous to the sound - the tubes gently compress and in general, gradually push up against a very soft 'wall' at the top of the power range, so I find the 60W to be enough. If you really want these to play loud with a solid state amp, I think you'd better plan on at least 100Wpc. But also don't expect too much in the way of really deep bass from a pair of small drivers in small cabs. For movie duty, they do well, but of course you can't expect pant-flapping explosions


2004-04-08 11:44 am
Thank you very much,I listen a lot of jazz,blues and 70' rock as Pink Floyd,JethroTull,Genesis I like to play loud but not hard,around 90 or 100 db sometimes when I'm alone at home.
I don't like subwoofer I would like much the floorstander option it's really possible to build the L18 floorstander?

There is a vented floorstander version - not by Zaph but by someone else, but I don't remember who - anyone else who knows pleasw provide the link. But the Zaph design is vented already - my mistake.

He does also offer this for tube amps:

"Tube amp compensation circuit - Below is a compensation circuit that can be added to the crossover to flatten the midband impedance peak. Tube amps with high output impedances can be affected by this system's impedance swing through the midrange. The result will be a broad, audible peak in the response curve. This circuit can simply be connected accross the input terminals. You can use this along with the L-pad options or the response shaping option, but do not use it with the tweeter lower rolloff adjustment."
I'm not a "HT vs. audiophile listening" person, nor a "jazz vs. classical vs. rock" person when it comes to speakers - I'm a "lowest distortion" person. Both these designs are excellent and will give you faithful, realistic sound reproduction. Again, they will sound quite similar. You won't go wrong with either.

One option - Jay_WJ has an MTM version of the ER18:

This could provide more SPL, bass extension, and larger sound stage, but again that would be a benefit to any kind of listening you want to do.


2005-12-07 12:31 am

Here is an old photo of mine, showing the AMS standing next to a bigger 2-way floorstander (Troels Gravesen "2.95").


19cm wide cabinet, 91cm tall. Woofer centred and distance from the top edge is maintained. There is slight modification (modelled under BDS) in tweeter offset to accomodate for narrower baffle.

It works nice in a medium sized room.