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davesbimmer 31st December 2016 05:51 PM

Opinions requested to help me select the best horn/fullrange drivers
I've made a couple decisions and would appreciate some feedback to make sure I am not going going down a rat hole. I've sent a note to Dave at planet 10 but I understand he is ill.

I am a cabinet maker and am looking forward to building something nice for my mancave.

Dave has recommended the Alpair 7.3eN to others and I plan to aquire some from him. My question is about power. I have 85w of clean power (not tube), a cluttered 22ft x 16ft room and most interested in listening to blues and roots rock. So I think I need to build one of the double driver sets and am thinking something like the Woden Design Coniston^2 Twin Vent MBVR for CSS EL70 0v96.

Anyones opinions would be appreciated.

chrisb 1st January 2017 02:17 AM

A few of my own thoughts, in no particular order:
> The A7.3 is an excellent driver-probably my favourite of the scores I've heard in the wideband/single driver class- but it's not immune to the laws of physics, which I suspect even two running full range per side will not contravene. Of literally dozens of separate designs I've built with them, the most satisfying results I've had have been in a "FAST" type 2way, using a pair of 7 - 8" woofers in either TMM or MTM configurations. That acronym does not accurately describe what these really are - 2ways with a large components mid- tweeter, and crossover at or slightly below the bottom of the "telephone band"

> There are several ways to power such a multiway - and while thanks to the incredible flexibility and relative affordability of DSP, active bi-amping has never been so accessible, a well executed "old school" passive high level XO can still work very well - I'm living with such a system right now. Of course, when you cross over anywhere below 500Hz with anything more elaborate than a simple first order - and I think it should always be the drivers' parameters that determine the filter function topology, rather than preconceived notions of " simpler must always be better " - the parts scost can easily exceed that of the drivers. It sounds as if you have more than enough power to go this route.
I've taken three different approaches with the most recent MTMs- passive line level bi-amping, DSP active bi-amping via a particular model of 7.1 channel receiver offering such function, and the passive speaker level. The last worked best to my ears.

> The room you describe is only slight smaller than my downstairs space, which usually hosts a 7.1 system, but is easily converted for serious listening to 2 channel audio only.

>Dr Scott has no doubt numerous thought experiments or even fleshed out designs for 2ways with the A7.3 as mid-tweeter simpler than my recent builds. While I very much like the A12PW as a woofer, 2 of them per side is getting a bit spendy, and there must be literally dozens of suitable candidates for woofers that would be employed to approximately 200-300Hz.

chrisb 1st January 2017 04:55 PM

Dammit - missed two silly typos and iPad auto-fills in that above post - but I think the general tenor still shone through.

davesbimmer 1st January 2017 09:17 PM

Thanks for the advice and my choices are still quite fluid but, as I continue to view the opinions of the masses I'm leaning towards a MTM or MMTM with a ribbon for my old ears.

I would like to support a canadian adventure and creative Sound Solutions seems to fit my criteria. And I would really like to build someting big for no other reason that I like the idea.

silverhairbp 1st January 2017 10:21 PM

My room dimensions are not too different from yours at 24 x 14. I have found that a simple pair of A7.3 Pensils at about 7ft to 8 ft from the listening position well out into the room provides plenty of musical satisfaction. Nice dynamics and a pretty good bottom to top frequency response. I agree with chrisb that a FAST system will allow for higher listening levels, but first you should try full range. It's VERY dependent on your listening and musical preferences.

Blues and rock might require a FAST system with the A7.3s or may not. A more nearfield listening and speaker position may be the full range solution.

chrisb 2nd January 2017 05:34 PM

daves - I'm not sure how up to date Bob's site is in terms of specials or clearance items, but if he still has any left, the WR.3 MTM looks like a silly good value at $249 CDN pesos, although I'd avoid the PE boxes noted therein.
If you're looking for something more substantial, either of the Critons are worth a look, but the ribbons add as much as $200 to the cost - less enclosures.

I've actually not heard the more recent Criton2TRs, and to be honest have never been blown away by most ribbons - except the ESS AMT. From your description of room size above, I'd opine that a simple TM would be more than satisfactory.

Of course as our silverhaired friend suggests, it couldn't hurt to start with a simple single driver system, and you could do far worse than the A7.3 - with or without polka dots. Even though Dave is out of commission for a while yet, I still have access to his inventory, as well as a few ideas of my own to share, if you're so inclined.

davesbimmer 2nd January 2017 06:07 PM

Thanks, I'm exchanging emails with Bob right now.

I am enjoying this adventure so far and appreciate everyone's input. Since I have a solid state 85w and want a little loud rock sometimes some of the reviews and discussions I've read are stearing me away from the single driver towers(but love that big wood) and am seriously considering spending $1k+ for a bigger 3way, even though I do have an ok sub.

I'm a grey hair as well and as such my listening habits don't include music parties.

Oh what to do........

chrisb 2nd January 2017 07:36 PM

Who doesn't like the idea of big wood - even those of us who can't routinely sport it anymore without pharmaceutical assistance.

If you've already got what you consider a suitable sub, I'd suggest that a simple 2-way - either TM or MTM would suffice. My current main system is a big floorstander MTM with dual Alpair12PW and single A7.3 per side, crossed over around 300Hz and they can rock as loud as I need.

Not to subvert what you might have in mind, but as I've said before, I'm not convinced that the extra expense of ribbon tweeters would be justified in your case.

davesbimmer 2nd January 2017 08:02 PM

Which of the many MTM's using dual Alpair12PW and single A7.3 and big wood like yours should I consider?

davesbimmer 2nd January 2017 08:13 PM

Well, just looked at prices on Planet10 and noticed that 4 A12pw's might be outside my budget thoughts. Maybe just a TM then.

You could convince me to double it up if you think it is worth the price.

Dave in Regina's wonderful winterland. Time to go watch hockey, eh!

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