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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

What to upgrade to from ZD5?
What to upgrade to from ZD5?
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Old 27th August 2019, 09:35 AM   #1
zdr is offline zdr  Belgium
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Default What to upgrade to from ZD5?

Hello Folks,

I recently moved into new house and now have more space, so looking for a way up from excellent Zaph Audio ZD5 which served me well over the years. I am looking at something that can potentially beat awesome Dynaudio Focus 340 I audited recently that blew me away (discontinued now), so basically a three way floorstander. I was looking at Troels' Ekta MkII, but read about some doubts about the potential baffle step diffraction issues and the tweeter which is not from the same series as the rest of the drivers.

Any recommendations welcome.
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Old 27th August 2019, 03:07 PM   #2
ernperkins is offline ernperkins  United States
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IMO it's really going to come down to which designer's crossover voicing you prefer. Four designers I'm familiar with are Zaph, Troels, Paul Carmody and Jeff Bagby. Give them the same drivers and enclosure and all four will come up with excellent designs, but they will sound different. Which one you'll prefer isn't necessarily the one I'd prefer. I'm an old guy with suspect hearing, but I can still tell the difference of 0.5 dB in the female vocal range when I'm voicing my crossovers. Which gets you back to the old conundrum: you can't really make a good choice without hearing the speaker, but you can't get the speaker to hear.

If you're really impressed with the Dynaudio Focus 340 I'd go for those. A quick google found a lot of used ones for sale, both in the US and Europe. I'm a DIY guy, but I have some commercial speakers too.
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Old 27th August 2019, 03:39 PM   #3
Forane12 is offline Forane12  Bulgaria
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Wise words indeed! It is difficult to find a DIY speaker that just improves on the ZD5. It is still magical for me as well but I am tempted to go for a higher sensitivity speaker when I move to the house I am planning to build. The coherence you probably like in the ZD5 is difficult to find in a DIY design, I have built more than 12 as well and I still come back to the ZD5 as the best one I built.

Dynaudio has enormous experience designing speakers and it is no surprise they sound great. If I were to start over I would just buy a used one and use my woodworking skills to build a beautiful rack.
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Old 27th August 2019, 03:41 PM   #4
morbo is online now morbo  Canada
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why not add bass bin stands to the Zd5? An active highpass @ 125-150hz should make them sound a lot cleaner in the midrange. And I am willing to bet that with the addition of a pair of Hivi D8.8+ (if you want to try to 'clone' dyanaudio) or Satori WO-24 woofers your system would compare very favourably to the dynaudio flooorstander.
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Old 28th August 2019, 11:16 AM   #5
Mario Pankov is offline Mario Pankov  Europe
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What to upgrade to from ZD5?
The XT25TG30 distorts a lot (mostly 3rd order) when driven hard with a 2.5Khz (so slightly higher than the ZD5) LR2 and has almost zero presence above 15Khz. Converting these to a 3-way may be the best bet with a crossover more like at 2.7Khz or higher.
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Old 28th August 2019, 02:37 PM   #6
Juhazi is offline Juhazi  Finland
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Making a bass stand might be a good idea, and activate the whole thing with Hypex FA amp! 2x10-12" sealed box is a good starting point. If your room is rather small and positioning difficult, make the bass module cardioid either passively or actively.

Me and my daughter are happy with a downfire 10" woofer in 3-way. SEAS MR18 3-way

You can also integrate the ZD5 in the 3-way box, but keep baffle dimensions about the same.
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Old 28th August 2019, 10:34 PM   #7
zdr is offline zdr  Belgium
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Thanks for all the replies, I just found a good deal on Focus 340 and pulled a trigger. An upgrade from ZD5 in absolutely every way, which was not easy at all. Very happy!
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Old 21st September 2019, 09:50 AM   #8
zdr is offline zdr  Belgium
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Default What to upgrade to from ZD5?

Just discovered that I lost the midbass notch filter on the right ZD5 during house move, which in large part contributed to my excitement with upgrade to focus 340. Now that everything is back in place, I can report that upgrade to Dynaudio was a waste of money. Good to know though that ZD5 holds its ground against 5k eur speakers, and even excels in some areas! I do have a modified box with 0.5 cu feet vented and tuned to 30Hz, and the bass goes lower, cleaner and tighter than Focus! I also have ClarityCap MR for the tweeter.

Awesome design from John Krutke. I’d say save your upgrade money until you are ready to spend 10k (maybe even more).

ZD5 and Focus are powered by RMI-FC100, another gem from this forum.
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Last edited by zdr; 21st September 2019 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 21st September 2019, 09:56 AM   #9
zdr is offline zdr  Belgium
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