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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 28th December 2019, 03:45 AM   #1
Flaxxer is offline Flaxxer  United States
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Default Can compression drivers sound "high end" home fi ? Vortex 15 ?

Well ... I'm thinking about buying a Vortex coaxial speaker kit. But I have ZERO experience with compression tweeters. Can they sound as good as a Hiquifon, or an AirCirc, etc ?
Or what exactly should a person expect from a Vortex speaker system. I have cash in hand, but need info.
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Old 28th December 2019, 02:43 PM   #2
homebuilder is offline homebuilder  United States
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Default Vortex 15

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Originally Posted by Flaxxer View Post
Well ... I'm thinking about buying a Vortex coaxial speaker kit. But I have ZERO experience with compression tweeters. Can they sound as good as a Hiquifon, or an AirCirc, etc ?
Or what exactly should a person expect from a Vortex speaker system. I have cash in hand, but need info.
Flaxxer ask the designer Matt over on the DIYSG website. I've been thinking of buying a set of these, but not for chest pounding anything. Just because I think they might work well in a unique space I have.

Also, per your original, but very tough goal....look at Acoustic Elegance TD series woofers. Especially the M.
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Old 28th December 2019, 08:13 PM   #3
Brinkman is offline Brinkman  United States
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Can compression drivers sound "high end" home fi ? Vortex 15 ?
I’ve been eyeballing these same kits and considered suggesting them on your other thread. I’m already using a pair of 2-ways with waveguide & compression drivers for HF; I think the treble sounds crisp and clear with a wide sweet spot. Listening to dome tweeters takes some re-adjusting for me. While the vortex is not a waveguide (strictly speaking), the LF cone is definitely being used as one in these speakers. Constant directivity may or may not be a priority for you; it is for me and in that regard the polar response on these coaxials is pretty damn good.

Another reason I find these kits tempting is because a number of 60s/70s albums were mixed on 15” coaxials (Abbey Road) so this is a great way to recapture that in-the-studio fidelity some of us are after.

Not sure if these are going to have the high-SPL bass grunt and punch you sound like you are after but I’ve built a lot of DIYSG kits to know the specs are trustworthy (when used as directed). The performance you seem to be after is asking quite a bit out of two drivers that are each expected to cover 5-6 octaves. Running a pair of these atop a pair of midbass modules could be beneficial in that regard, assuming woodworking is a possibility for you, though technically it would be considered a 3-way setup.
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Old 28th December 2019, 11:04 PM   #4
mlee is offline mlee  Canada
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I have a pair. Subjectively tested them in sealed and OB (Original Spatial M3 rip off) format. They don't have the same dispersion pattern as a tweeter on a flat baffle, more of a semi controlled directivity speaker. Do you have experience with horned speakers?
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Old 29th December 2019, 12:25 AM   #5
homebuilder is offline homebuilder  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlee View Post
I have a pair. Subjectively tested them in sealed and OB (Original Spatial M3 rip off) format. They don't have the same dispersion pattern as a tweeter on a flat baffle, more of a semi controlled directivity speaker. Do you have experience with horned speakers?
Mlee: What is your opinion of how they sound? And, did you prefer them sealed, or OB? Thanks for the info.

Brinkman: in my case, some directivity would be helpful. Do you think you will buy a set?
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Old 29th December 2019, 01:23 AM   #6
Brinkman is offline Brinkman  United States
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Can compression drivers sound "high end" home fi ? Vortex 15 ?
Iím almost certainly going to buy a pair but Iím also waiting for the TBA flat packs to get listed as well. My plan is to use them with a passive radiator, then when we move out of our current residence (w/ itís severe electrical wiring problems), build them into aperiodic enclosures crossed over circa 200Hz to an active midbass module.

I am currently using a pair of Fusion 8s w/ an 88 Special for a center channel (coaxial surrounds). I have built and auditioned L & R Fusion 12 and 88 Specials for friends and definitely prefer either to the Fusion 8. Auditioned in the same room, same placement, same amplifier. Technically the Fusion 8 is ďsize appropriateĒ for my room but to my ears the Special 88 was the best of the three. Seeing as they were all designed and voiced by the same designer, I can only really chalk it up to the wider waveguide with itís lower pattern control as the winning attribute.
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Old 29th December 2019, 01:42 AM   #7
mlee is offline mlee  Canada
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Originally Posted by homebuilder View Post
Mlee: What is your opinion of how they sound?
I think they sound as good as any speaker I've had in my room. Some caveats as to where I'm coming from:

I like the sound of directional speaker from around 450hz to 20khz. I do stress that I'm hyper picky of the +8khz range in a speaker. If it doesn't have enough zing or too much I don't like it. That said the +9khz or so does get a little directional for my tastes. I added a super tweeter to spray some more HF around my room, kindof like the Wesminster royal from Tannoy. My room is deader than it should be. I have a multichannel and stereo system in the same space so I have compromises for stereo reproduction that others might not. In a different room I can easily see no super tweeter being used.

Using the stock crossovers shows very good polars and there are jumpers to add some tilt. Also lots of work went into custom mods of the drivers from the standard Eminence KL3015CX-8. I believe some curve linear cone and some different soft parts as well as smaller foam are just some of the differences. To me the differences were more than enough to push me to purchase a pair from DIYSG.

I wanted no taller than 32" speaker but wanted the large drivers. I like large drivers as I listen at low volumes and there seems to be an ease of reproduction with the 15" drivers that the smaller monitors do not have. The Vortex has as good a bass driver as I've had in my space period. If I had to nit pick the HF reproduction was not quite as good as some of my other speakers, but not far off. The point source and reduction of speaker space was enough to make that compromise worth it for me. We never get the perfect speaker so we have to pick our poison.

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Originally Posted by homebuilder View Post
And, did you prefer them sealed, or OB? Thanks for the info.
My preference for reproduction is OB for 30hz to around 400hz and directional speaker for the rest of the response. I don't know if its my room or personal preference but at low level listening, the OB sounds better in those frequencies. Going full OB didn't sound quite right on vocals and going all sealed created a room pressurization that I didn't like. I found OB in those frequencies a good compromise. Also going OB in the lower frequency one might get lower pattern control without the need of a super large horn, but OB rear radiation would be the compromise. I like it though. So if I had to pick 1 I'd go with OB but the ultimate for me would be sealed Vortex to around 400hz and OB below that. That said I dropped the XOVER frequency of the compression driver to 900hz so the OB wasn't far off from my ideal.

With the pickyness I have don't get me wrong. It looks like it has some of the best polars of any speaker bar non. Combined with the efficiency they could easily be the base of a very nice sounding System. I listen to them on a daily basis so they are here to stay. They are not perfect but some of the best Coaxials if you are wanting Coax.

Separate note the first production run seems to be sold at a discount. I don't have any affiliation with any speaker company, I'm just a customer.

Happy Listening!
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Old 29th December 2019, 01:57 AM   #8
Brinkman is offline Brinkman  United States
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Can compression drivers sound "high end" home fi ? Vortex 15 ?
Thanks for the write-up mlee. Iím looking at these as a last stop before I go the Unity horn route, assuming my 3D printer is ever completed.
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Old 29th December 2019, 06:24 PM   #9
homebuilder is offline homebuilder  United States
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Default Vortex 15

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Originally Posted by Brinkman View Post
Thanks for the write-up mlee. Iím looking at these as a last stop before I go the Unity horn route, assuming my 3D printer is ever completed.
Brinkman: That was a pretty good endorsement of the Vortex by mlee. Have you also considered the 12"? For the small additional price, I ruled that out in favor of the slightly more efficient 15".

Mlee: Thanks for those detailed comments. Your situation is a bit different than mine, but the points you make seem to be on target. I have separate listening spaces, but am really interested in routing a hole in my wall of cabinets, and mounting the 15" in that wall. The cabinets I would mount them in could be used in IB mode initially. It is a very lively room, so I doubt it would need to have a super-tweeter. (Although my JBL 2404H would probably do just fine)

Brinkman, like me is waiting on the flat packs to arrive at DIYSG. Coincidentally, yesterday I scoped out a pair of super heavy older oak file cabinets at a local Goodwill, made out of thick plywood. I'm going back to pick up the pair for $40, pull the drawers out, and glue in some corner blocks and dowels for bracing. 18-19"w by 26"d by 33"h exterior dimensions. Should make a good pair of test cabinets for some project. They are in really good shape.

Thanks again.
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Old 29th December 2019, 06:50 PM   #10
mlee is offline mlee  Canada
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Don't get me wrong. I do have better speakers, but I've not had better coaxials. If you are used to perfect treble and perfect midrange you will be dissipointed as these are not the last word or holy grail in speakers and I don't want to oversell them. They have their coaxial compromises but if space demands it they are great option.

If u try hard you could get better results with a very well designed horned 2-way speaker. But everything will have to be very good and taken care of correctly. Crossover diffraction and driver choice. Also the package will be 2 times as large so depends on your goals.
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