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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

SBA 741 vs. SBA 761 for Classical Music
SBA 741 vs. SBA 761 for Classical Music
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Old 8th September 2019, 06:22 AM   #1
classicalfan is offline classicalfan  United States
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Default SBA 741 vs. SBA 761 for Classical Music

I listen only to classical music and opera, and am looking at taking the next step up in speaker performance.

After trying a full range driver approach and realizing that they are not very good for classical music, I moved up to a pair of 2-ways with Jeff Bagby's Piccolos. That was a major improvement over the full range and now I'm finally enjoying the music. However, as good as the Piccolos are, they still don't give me quite the "big" sound that I am looking for with classical symphonies.

So now I'm researching the next step up, and believe that it has to be at least a 2.5 or 3-way. Troels Graveson has two new open SBA Satori designs that particularly interest me.

SBA-761

SBA-741

The SBA 761 is a 2.5 way and the SBA 741 is a full 3-way. Both use the TW29RN-B-4 for the tweeter and the MW19P-8 for the woofer. The difference is in the midrange and the cabinet design. The SBA 741 uses a 4" MR13P-8 for the midrange while the SBA 761 relies on the 6" MW16P-8 for that purpose.

I'm not going to ask which one is better, because that probably can't be answered. What I want to know, however, is what differences to expect in the sound.

Troels discusses the main differences on his website as follows:

With the 761 he says that by mating the MW16 and MW19, the latter gives quite a lot extra power in the lower registers. The combined membrane area is 277 cm^2. And that pays off in not only bass, but also upper-bass and lower midrange, which is a very important frequency range giving volume to grand piano and the cello.

The 741, on the other hand, uses a 4" driver for the midrange, which is much better at handling the upper midrange and lower treble compared to any 6 or 7" driver. The lower treble range he specifies to be ~800-1300 Hz while treble starts at 1280 Hz.

He adds that it comes as a surprise to some that 6" drivers are very often used to handle the treble, although it is very common in 2-way configurations in order to keep the cost down. However, this in a way contradicts the idea of the 761, essentially diminishing its value as an alternative to the 741.

What I am particularly interested in is any difference in the way the two will handle a sudden sharp string attack. When I listen to classical music and there is a sudden attack by the violins, for example, I want to hear a very, very sharp "kzing" and not a dull mushy "zuhm". This might have a lot to do with transient response and the cabinet themselves, so it may be difficult to predict.

Finally, I have two questions.

Which of these, the 741 or the 761, do you think will give me the better "kzing" on sharp violin attacks?

If you listen a lot to classical music, which would you choose? The 741 or the 761.

Thanks.

Last edited by classicalfan; 8th September 2019 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 8th September 2019, 07:53 AM   #2
Juhazi is offline Juhazi  Finland
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My choice would be 741 no doubt. You will enjoy it's brilliance with piano and violin sound!

I haven't heard either one, so this is an educated guess.
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Old 8th September 2019, 08:19 AM   #3
Ugg10 is online now Ugg10  United Kingdom
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For classical music it may be also worth looking out some of Paul Kittinger’s designs as he almost exclusively listens to classical music based on correspondences I have had with him. His designs are well regarded and often placed at the various shows. However many are MLTL floor standing designs. The CanTiLena is a good place to start but certainly not budget though (woofer is c£250) or the Cornetta which uses more affordable drivers.

Note, he does have a design stile which is not to everyone’s liking, I am sure all of his designs can be adapted to conventional boxes.

Last edited by Ugg10; 8th September 2019 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 8th September 2019, 09:15 AM   #4
LineSource is offline LineSource  United States
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Spend some time searching for a 3-way design with a sealed 12" woofer like the SB34NRX75-6 in 3.5cuft cabinet volume for tight transient deep bass, supporting the 6" Satori MW16P-4 to cover the vocal range and a 1" Satori or SBAcoustics tweeter.
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Old 8th September 2019, 10:14 AM   #5
Juhazi is offline Juhazi  Finland
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Line source gave good advise. A floostanding 3-way can be your final speaker. From Troels SBA-10 is worth consideration, it has low tuned 10" bass. Most slim towers have too high br tuning, but that can be changed easily, or changed to sealed but then you need EQ.
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Old 8th September 2019, 03:30 PM   #6
LineSource is offline LineSource  United States
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A single (Sd=530cm^2) 12" woofer will generate the most coherent bass wavefront plus superior sealed-box transients to -F3=37Hz with SB34NRX75-6 in 3.5cuft.
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Old 8th September 2019, 08:34 PM   #7
classicalfan is offline classicalfan  United States
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I appreciate all the responses, but most of them miss my main issue. I may not have made it as clear as possible, so here again is the question.

One of my primarily objectives is to hear a very sharp “kzing” and not a dull mushy “zuhm” sound from a strong sudden attack by 30 violins.

What’s not clear to me is whether this requires extra power in the bass, upper-bass, and lower midrange that Troels claims to be the main advantage of the SBA 761, or if it is more important to have the better handling of the upper midrange and lower treble he says is provided by the SBA 741.

Another objective, which I didn’t include in the previous post, is to hear music, violins solos in particular, that are so gorgeous musically that they can actually bring me to tears. I have experienced that previously with both recorded music and live concerts, and would like to have it be a part of whatever speakers I build next.

Juhazi gave me a specific answer and while I appreciate suggestions from others for speaker alternatives, I would first like to hear more opinions on which of these two designs from Troels, SBA 761 or SBA 741, would better meet my listening objectives.

“kzing” rather than “zuhm” and tears from Brahms Violin Concerto.

Again, thanks.
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Old 8th September 2019, 08:40 PM   #8
Dave Bullet is offline Dave Bullet  New Zealand
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I've been working on almost exactly the above for my next 3 way. I got this far with a passive XO before trying my hand at active. May give you inspiration / hope.

NB: this was using the more sensitive MR16P midrange driver. The MW16P is probably sensitive enough, removing / reducing the padding resistor.
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File Type: png satori 3 way 1261.png (127.2 KB, 446 views)
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Old 8th September 2019, 08:43 PM   #9
Dave Bullet is offline Dave Bullet  New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicalfan View Post
I appreciate all the responses, but most of them miss my main issue. I may not have made it as clear as possible, so here again is the question.

One of my primarily objectives is to hear a very sharp “kzing” and not a dull mushy “zuhm” sound from a strong sudden attack by 30 violins.

What’s not clear to me is whether this requires extra power in the bass, upper-bass, and lower midrange that Troels claims to be the main advantage of the SBA 761, or if it is more important to have the better handling of the upper midrange and lower treble he says is provided by the SBA 741.

Another objective, which I didn’t include in the previous post, is to hear music, violins solos in particular, that are so gorgeous musically that they can actually bring me to tears. I have experienced that previously with both recorded music and live concerts, and would like to have it be a part of whatever speakers I build next.

Juhazi gave me a specific answer and while I appreciate suggestions from others for speaker alternatives, I would first like to hear more opinions on which of these two designs from Troels, SBA 761 or SBA 741, would better meet my listening objectives.

“kzing” rather than “zuhm” and tears from Brahms Violin Concerto.

Again, thanks.
Have you emailed Troels? He would be best placed to answer. I'm sure he'd like to help you choose which of his designs might give you want you are after considering he also appreciates classical.
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Old 8th September 2019, 09:21 PM   #10
Juhazi is offline Juhazi  Finland
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classicalfan, did you notice that Troels shows a bass module designed for the 741?

A good hifi speaker will never sound zuhm,unless it is on the recording, no matter how low the speaker can go. The realism of classical recordings gets much better if the speaker can easily go to 30Hz, without blowing it through the reflex pipe. I was never happy with 2-way plus subwoofer, but a 3-way with capable bass made feel like I was at concert! I was surprised how important it is and it doesn't fight with good treble.

Commercial speakers that can go low without a subwoofer are rare, but the floorstanding B&W speakers do that. They have wobbly treble with sharp highs, but go to a hifi shop and listen to the bass!

You don't have to do like Linesource and I say, but a single 7" tuned around 38Hz is not hifi to us. Be warned!
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