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Can compression drivers sound "high end" home fi ? Vortex 15 ?
Can compression drivers sound "high end" home fi ? Vortex 15 ?
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Old 11th January 2020, 12:21 PM   #21
Patrick Bateman is offline Patrick Bateman  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishball79 View Post
Tried a SEOS15 + B&C DE250 + AE TD15M (design courtesy of bwaslo, thanks!) when I had several high end home audio speakers that had Scanspeak 9900 revelator tweeters and SB Satori ring radiator.

The DE250 sounded effortless but it was by NO MEANS high fidelity in the highs.

After chatting with pos, I jumped the gun onto a beryllium compression driver with another waveguide. The JBL 2435HPL matched to the JBL M2.

There was no going back, this was a whole 'nother level of fidelity transparent where the driver imparts nothing to the sound and reveals everything about the recording.

Silk dome tweeters now sounded like it has a flapping like distortion. I could only tolerate ring radiators, SS 9900 and the original Esotar. These arent as good as the JBL 2435, just merely tolerable.

I also sold my GPA 604 as whilst they shine with specific albums that were clearly mastered on them as it made no sense to keep 2 when the M2/2435/TD15M (and later SBP15) combo was far superior.

The cloest to this in the form of a coaxial are the Radian ones where you can upgrade to a beryllium diaphragm. Havent heard these though.
In the interviews with JBL engineers themselves, they openly admit that beryllium is top-of-the-class.

Basically, if you want the very best, and cost is no object, beryllium is it.

One solution that I like personally, is the combination of a small neodymium tweeter with some midranges on a Unity horn. This offers the 'sweetness' that you get with a small tweeter, along with bandwidth that exceeds what a beryllium compression driver can accomplish.

On the downside, putting holes in the waveguide hurts the overall response.

On the upside, the cost is about 10X cheaper than a beryllium compression driver.
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Old 11th January 2020, 12:26 PM   #22
Patrick Bateman is offline Patrick Bateman  United States
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Originally Posted by badman View Post
Not sure why anyone would need to knock off the WG. It's not that hard to come up with a design that performs. While some like to think of horns as unique designs they're really just a continuum and visually similar (to a trained eye that knows how to interpret profiles/diffraction sources, etc) horns/waveguides are generally very similar in performance.
My other hobby is bicycles.

In the bicycle community, there are endless horror stories about Chineses factories manufacturing knock-offs of popular designs. I get the impression that the factories don't know the first thing about what they're copying.

You see this with a lot of products from Pyle. Some of their waveguides are excellent. For instance, Pyle's clone of the JBL PT waveguide is nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. OTOH, they sell some clones of Electrovoice horns from the 80s, and the throat is easily 20% too big.

Anyone who knows how audio works can recognize that a 20% gap in the throat will make the horn unusable, but some dude at a factory in China just had no idea that it was a problem. They're copying products that they don't understand.
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Old 11th January 2020, 12:38 PM   #23
Patrick Bateman is offline Patrick Bateman  United States
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Originally Posted by Brinkman View Post
More of all sizes were ordered and should be here in December. This took a while and the explanation is below. Some people in this thread have known about most of this stuff and I've done my best to keep things going without allowing the design to get stolen. I've also done my best to continue offering cheaper kits using them.

Keep in mind that the SEOS project for just the waveguides alone has cost around $150k. After this huge 10 year project there are about 8 reviews on all the waveguides combined. Because the waveguides rarely got ordered or reviewed by themselves, when quantities got low, I put the remainder aside to be used with the kits. It made the most sense to me because that's how they pretty much always got ordered. There have been people contact me needing just the waveguides and I have shipped some out. I have no personal gain by hoarding them.


There are multiple issues that have come up that I haven't talked about in regards to this whole project. Some have been ongoing.

One is that there have been multiple companies try to copy the SEOS waveguide design or speakers that use the waveguide. A couple are not in the US, two are that I know of. One of the companies is a bigger fairly well known company on the west coast. I won't go into details about the other company because I believe that one is no longer an issue. The first company basically told me they were going to copy the design and use it in commercial speaker. I talked to the actual owner on the phone to explain the SEOS group project and told them I would be sure to let everyone know that they stole this from the DIY community and we couldn't wait to explain it on their Facebook page and as many forums as we could. That was about a year or so ago. I took the waveguides out of stock then and figured if they wanted to copy them, it will at least cost them two full kits to do so. At that point the quantity of SEOS-12's from the original group buy was already getting low, so it made sense to take them out of stock anyway so the kits could continue to be ordered. As mentioned, very few SEOS waveguides ever got ordered by themselves, so I didn't think it was a big deal either way.


So here's the issue with their replacements: And this is pretty much the case with every item on the site, including kits. Example - if you buy an item for $50 and sell it for $55 you don't get enough money back to reorder......until that item is nearly depleted. That's why some kits go out of stock for months. If a run of SEOS-12's cost $23k and they're sold at $28 each, then they can't be reordered with that same initial money until 820 are sold.

Another problem has to deal with shipping costs. When the SEOS-12 was first done they were shipped on a container with other parts that Bill Waslo and I had tested samples of, so a shipping container made it worthwhile and shipping averaged out okay. But shipping pallets of SEOS-12's would be very expensive due to the smaller number that can fit on a pallet versus the cost to ship a pallet. So because the SEOS-12 from the original group buy wasn't getting ordered very much anyway, I made a decision to hold off reordering until the SEOS-10 and SEOS-15 got low enough to justify reordering all sizes to ship in a container.

That's why the SEOS-10,12, and 15 have been out of stock for a while.:
If you think this is bad, here's one of my stories from my day job:

During the day, I write, support and develop software. A few years back, I was introduced to a small company that was deploying a piece of software at a company that's a household name. (Name redacted, of course.)

The company was a grand total of four employees. They had a salesman, a CEO, a PM and one "techie."

I was personally working with the techie, to get the software deployed. (My employer purchased the software.)

Within a few days, it was clear to me that all they'd done was steal a piece of open source software, remove the original author's names, and replace it with their own. This company had basically taken a piece of software which is free, added a couple of bells and whistles, and then re-packaged it and sold it to my employer.

Of course, my employer could have simply used the FREE software, but the author of the FREE software wasn't a salesperson. They'd created the software to solve a problem, and then they'd moved on to something else, like engineers do.

One day I came to work, and the "techie" that I was working with looked like he'd seen a ghost. While we're working on the install, he reveals that the company he works for had been acquired. Because there were only four employees, he'd become a millionaire overnight. A multi-billion dollar company had acquired his employer, lock stock and barrel, and his equity stake was now worth seven figures.

If you look at the history of Linux, it's a similar story. Giant chunks of it were brazenly stolen from the original authors of UNIX.
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Old 13th February 2020, 01:15 PM   #24
Brinkman is offline Brinkman  United States
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Can compression drivers sound "high end" home fi ? Vortex 15 ?
I emailed Erich again regarding the flat pack for the Vortex-15. I’ll post what I hear back.
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Old 13th February 2020, 08:31 PM   #25
powderfinger is offline powderfinger
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I built a pair of Volt-6s and a single Volt-8 last weekend to use as surrounds and center channel, respectively, in my living room home theater. But first I hooked up the 6s to my two channel system in a different room to give them a test run. WOW. While I wouldn't call them true hi-fi speakers, between the output capabilities and the coaxial design, they sound amazing (augmented by a powerful array of subwoofers).

I'm now absolutely replacing the speakers in that system with a pair of the Vortex-12s (the 15s definitely won't fit, unfortunately).

Biggest question for me is whether I want to wait for the flatpacks. I do want to try my hand with cabinets someday, but the DIYSG flatpacks are so affordable and easy.
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Old 14th February 2020, 02:05 AM   #26
Soldermizer is offline Soldermizer  United States
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Great "instant millionaire" story. I hope techie had the sense to jump ship before the Co.'s new owner found out that all its acquisition does is remarket public domain code As for Linux, I don't claim your IT background, but tend to concur. UNIX was an AT&T/Bell Labs product from 1969?-early 1980s, they were not allowed in the computer business, so UNIX was refined in academia. Then they were allowed to make it a commercial product! WTF? Did all those university coders get compensated? I doubt it. So you could argue that it should have been open source from the start. In any case, I never heard that AT&T or its descendants ever made any money on Unix licensing. Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; problem is sometimes it can be deemed "intellectual property theft." But is it any wonder the minnows robbed the "Whale" blind: The company is a regulated public utility, no wait, it's a for-profit company, no wait, it is a dozen Baby Bells, no wait, it's Lucent, no wait [my knowledge fades by early 90s, I have no idea what tumult has happened since...]
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Last edited by Soldermizer; 14th February 2020 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 14th February 2020, 06:19 PM   #27
Brinkman is offline Brinkman  United States
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Can compression drivers sound "high end" home fi ? Vortex 15 ?
I heard back from Erich. Tower-style flat packs are planned for the Vortex lineup “at some point” but Erich doesn’t know when, as he’s still waiting on the cabinet company he uses to deliver the 15” subwoofer enclosures that were supposed to be delivered last month.

Not great news, I know. I personally was looking forward to using a pair of Vortex 15 as mains while I finished getting the 3D printer up and running to print Bill Waslo’s unity horn, for which I already have the drivers. I could try building my own enclosure but I’m not much of a carpenter, perhaps now’s the time to address that.
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Old 14th February 2020, 06:52 PM   #28
Brinkman is offline Brinkman  United States
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Can compression drivers sound "high end" home fi ? Vortex 15 ?
I just requested T/S parameters for the Vortex LF drivers. Here’s the thread if anyone else is curious.
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Old 15th February 2020, 02:28 AM   #29
fishball79 is online now fishball79  Singapore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Bateman View Post
Basically, if you want the very best, and cost is no object, beryllium is it.
Are there affordable alternative material for the CD diaphragm that comes close? Peerless' recent titanum ones have great bang for buck but still doesnt come close to even the latest home audio ones like SB ring radiators.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Bateman View Post
One solution that I like personally, is the combination of a small neodymium tweeter with some midranges on a Unity horn. This offers the 'sweetness' that you get with a small tweeter, along with bandwidth that exceeds what a beryllium compression driver can accomplish.
So what if we have a home audio beryllium tweeters and top of line Scanspeak/Satori drivers in a unity horn?
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Old 15th February 2020, 03:41 AM   #30
Patrick Bateman is offline Patrick Bateman  United States
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The advantage of beryllium is bandwidth. This means you have three options:

option 1) You spend $500 for a beryllium tweeter with wide bandwdith

option 2) you spend $50 for a one inch tweeter with an aluminum dome that runs out of steam at 16khz

option 3) you spend $25 for a 3/4" tweeter with a 3/4" dome that plays to 24khz. On the downside, it's maximum output is terrible. On the upside, you can fix that with a waveguide.
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