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post #61 of 76 Old 05-01-2012, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

There are a variety of sites that tell a different story. I guess you are proposing that subwoofers that measure well aren't going to sound good?

If you would take the time to read my comments -- not read into them -- you'd see it's obvious that's not what I'm purporting. I merely said using numbers alone is a poor way of making a judgement, and that your own ears play as big a factor as anything else. Who gives a d@mn if the numbers are glowing, yet the sound isn't to your liking? When you show off that shiny new HT system and your friends go "why does it sound like that?" what are you going to do, pull out a chart and say "the numbers tell me it's great!"? I've said this to you countless times; numbers matter, no question about it, but they aren't the only factor. That goes for anything, not just HT.

The great reviews are 90% subjective and 10% objective. My reviews are only good at this point, because I cover the 90% part. But that's only for now; the other 10% will come when I can do it as well as the rest of it.

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post #62 of 76 Old 05-01-2012, 03:58 PM
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Have you figured out XTZ room analyzer yet Jim in order to take some measurements? I would love to see some frequency response measurements of your room Jim, as well as some measurements of the subs you review.

Sadly, no; life interrupted me again. My 81 year old mother fell and shattered her leg, so I've been dealing with that for the past 2 weeks. I try to find time here and there, but it's been tough to focus.


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I am intrigued by your background in speaker and subwoofer design. I myself would like to learn more about it. What are your goals? Are you choosing drivers based on T/S parameters and using modeling programs? I like to wander over the the DIY section and find it fascinating. I would like to learn more about what goes into designing subwoofers and speakers and your contributions.

The exact opposite, actually; I know what I want to achieve first, then I go about creating it using the best available components. I have a goal in mind for something in specific -- say a center channel -- and I know about the size and capabilities I want it to have. I then select the components and design parameters based upon that. Well, with one exception; the BMR driver. Once I heard the CA speakers I knew I had to do something just like it for myself. The Min 10, which I used as my initial test platform, is simply unbelievable for it's size and price. They lack only midrange, which I'm hoping to cure with a larger driver. Will it have the punch and depth of a 6.5" midrange? Not likely, but that's not what I'm looking for. I just want more presence then the Min 10 has, but I don't want to lose any of the extraordinary definition. HiWave makes the drivers for CA too, so I figured that's a good start for me as well.


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User reviews and subjective comments have their place. But I can pretty much make a judgement on if I would like a sub from detailed measurements such as those from Ricci. Even better is when I have them and user reviews and subjective comments.

Josh and I have exchanged a few emails. He's a real nice guy. Even gave me a suggestion for another sub to test. I'll more then likely be reaching out to him again soon. I don't envision myself ever getting to his level, but I hope to be close one day.

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post #63 of 76 Old 05-01-2012, 04:00 PM
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Hey Jim, out of pure curiosity in what capacity were you involved with audio for decades? I think it's awesome what you're doing (as far as getting to review subs and design stuff) and appreciate your reviews but I don't understand why companies who's purposes are to build subs/speakers would ask for your input unless you were some sort of engineer or something.

That probably sounded condescending but I assure you I am not trying to be lol. Looking forward to any more reviews you may make!

P.S. I personally do feel that numbers are very important; otherwise without quantification we'd still be stuck in the stone age. I like qualitative reviews like yours for other reasons though. It's nice to have both.
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post #64 of 76 Old 05-01-2012, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Test123455 View Post

Hey Jim, out of pure curiosity in what capacity were you involved with audio for decades?

Strictly as an audiophile.


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I think it's awesome what you're doing (as far as getting to review subs and design stuff) and appreciate your reviews but I don't understand why companies who's purposes are to build subs/speakers would ask for your input unless you were some sort of engineer or something.

Before I review any subwoofer I ask the manufacturer if there's any possibility the specific model in question will be updated in the next few months. I don't want to evaluate something that will be obsolete shortly thereafter. While lining up my next few candidates I ran across three manufacturers doing that very thing. My response normally includes telling them if they would like some unbiased input I'd be willing to provide it, if they supplied me a prototype of course. To my surprise one of them said yes, and the other two are considering it. Whether or not any of it happens is only something I'll find out as time goes on, but none of them seemed adverse in the slightest. My previous reviews and design work was sighted as a reason by two of them, so from that I have to assume it played a prominent role.


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P.S. I personally do feel that numbers are very important; otherwise without quantification we'd still be stuck in the stone age. I like qualitative reviews like yours for other reasons though. It's nice to have both.

Sigh... I'm really not sure how I've been unable to convey this message, because I've said it myriad different ways, but I'm not opposed to objective data. Far from it; I consider it to be as valuable as the next guy. Where I diverge from some others is that I don't use it as the sole reason for a purchase decision. I consider that to be unwise, not objective data in general. I get as much from Josh's work as everyone else does.

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post #65 of 76 Old 05-01-2012, 05:34 PM
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Alright, you can knock that off now.

Consider it knocked off.
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post #66 of 76 Old 05-01-2012, 05:36 PM
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Thanks for sharing your story Jim. I'm glad to see how it has evolved through happy happenstance for you.

From the info you've shared on your background, it appears you are an audiophile but not a person with a technical background related to audio. Your involvement in sub design is as a hobbyist on a handful of projects.

I guess all companies want something, which is exposure. The big brands would normally do it via advertising and submitting their products to the major audio magazines and websites. I expect there is a long queue for that and many of the smaller audio companies don't get their "15 mins of fame" via that avenue. This is where enthusiast reviews come in, with the rise of the Internet there comes a new breed of reviewers, perhaps more "real" or "raw" compared to magazines, representing a user's point of view. I've seen this happen a lot with many blog sites for all manner of different products. If you have good traction with readers then you are an avenue for a company to get exposure (particularly if they find it hard to get exposure through traditional media or bigger publishers). I guess you've now found yourself in those shoes.

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The great reviews are 90% subjective and 10% objective.

I'm a believer in both the subjective and objective components of a review. Though my own mix is probably 60/40.

Having objective data is only as good as your ability to interpret them and knowing how that data correlates to actual sound experience. As yet I don't have the ability to fully interpret all the numbers and graphs. Besides, I also feel that numbers and graphs can tell something about performance but it doesn't tell the full story about how a sub sounds. So you need the subjective review to fill in that portion. Nevertheless, reading a review is no substitute for you being able to demo a sub at a shop or better yet in your own home.
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post #67 of 76 Old 05-01-2012, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

Sadly, no; life interrupted me again. My 81 year old mother fell and shattered her leg, so I've been dealing with that for the past 2 weeks. I try to find time here and there, but it's been tough to focus.


The exact opposite, actually; I know what I want to achieve first, then I go about creating it using the best available components. I have a goal in mind for something in specific -- say a center channel -- and I know about the size and capabilities I want it to have. I then select the components and design parameters based upon that. Well, with one exception; the BMR driver. Once I heard the CA speakers I knew I had to do something just like it for myself. The Min 10, which I used as my initial test platform, is simply unbelievable for it's size and price. They lack only midrange, which I'm hoping to cure with a larger driver. Will it have the punch and depth of a 6.5" midrange? Not likely, but that's not what I'm looking for. I just want more presence then the Min 10 has, but I don't want to lose any of the extraordinary definition. HiWave makes the drivers for CA too, so I figured that's a good start for me as well.




Josh and I have exchanged a few emails. He's a real nice guy. Even gave me a suggestion for another sub to test. I'll more then likely be reaching out to him again soon. I don't envision myself ever getting to his level, but I hope to be close one day.

I hope your mother is doing better. I think you will really enjoy the ability to see what you hear when you get the XTZ figured out. It will be interesting to see the frequency response of your listening position with your sub in the same place you put all the subs for testing.

Are these the drivers you speak of.

http://hi-wave.com/products/audio-bm...r_products.php



Are you planning on using a 3.5 inch driver full range for Home Theater speakers? I have never really liked full range drivers myself as it is too much frequency response territory for a single driver to handle. Hiwave seems to make exciters as well.

http://www.parts-express.com/wizards...fg&srchMfg=467

All I saw on a quick search of the Min 10 was a frequency response of 140hz-20khz with no +/-. Never heard it, don't need too now, that one objective measurement was enough for me. It wouldn't satisfy my needs in a HT speaker. Want more presence than a min 10, get some bigger speakers. Honestly a single 6.5 inch woofer in my fronts wouldn't keep up with my HT demands. What speakers do you use to fill in above the subwoofer now for your reviews?

By CA speakers I assume you mean Cyber Acoustics.
http://www.cyberacoustics.com/
Thanks for pointing them out. I have been really thinking about getting some speakers for my computer for gaming. I will take a look at them.

I don't know Josh besides what I read on the boards. I do know his reviews, data-bass, and his contributions on the boards are a real asset to audio. I think it would be good to get as much advice from him as possible. Maybe he can help you with your speaker designs as well.
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post #68 of 76 Old 05-01-2012, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Test123455 View Post

... but I don't understand why companies who's purposes are to build subs/speakers would ask for your input unless you were some sort of engineer or something.

Firstly, I'd say the companies' primary purpose is to sell subs

In line with that often the feedback they want or need is not necessarily technical only but also a feel for the market and what do potential customers want. My own impression from reading the above is that Jim doesn't so much provide the hard technical sub design (going into all the electrical and mechanical engineering stuff) but rather soft design issues plus consumer feedback. Just my impression and I'll happily let Jim correct me if I'm wrong.
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post #69 of 76 Old 05-01-2012, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jchong View Post

Thanks for sharing your story Jim. I'm glad to see how it has evolved through happy happenstance for you.

From the info you've shared on your background, it appears you are an audiophile but not a person with a technical background related to audio. Your involvement in sub design is as a hobbyist on a handful of projects.

I guess all companies want something, which is exposure. The big brands would normally do it via advertising and submitting their products to the major audio magazines and websites. I expect there is a long queue for that and many of the smaller audio companies don't get their "15 mins of fame" via that avenue. This is where enthusiast reviews come in, with the rise of the Internet there comes a new breed of reviewers, perhaps more "real" or "raw" compared to magazines, representing a user's point of view. I've seen this happen a lot with many blog sites for all manner of different products. If you have good traction with readers then you are an avenue for a company to get exposure (particularly if they find it hard to get exposure through traditional media or bigger publishers). I guess you've now found yourself in those shoes.



I'm a believer in both the subjective and objective components of a review. Though my own mix is probably 60/40.

Having objective data is only as good as your ability to interpret them and knowing how that data correlates to actual sound experience. As yet I don't have the ability to fully interpret all the numbers and graphs. Besides, I also feel that numbers and graphs can tell something about performance but it doesn't tell the full story about how a sub sounds. So you need the subjective review to fill in that portion. Nevertheless, reading a review is no substitute for you being able to demo a sub at a shop or better yet in your own home.

+1
Reviews without numbers is just one more opinion, no more valid than the next person.
If you know what your room is doing then you can take the subs numbers and get a good idea what to expect.

Use both and you're a bit better off than just numbers. How many times have we've seen X sub rattled my room/blew me away and the sub was a polk sub (example). To them it was awesome to others it wouldn't. This is why opinions shouldn't carry much weight regarding sound quality and response. However, the more the subs the reviewer has heard can add a bit more weight to the review.


imho
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post #70 of 76 Old 05-01-2012, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post
I hope your mother is doing better.
Thank you. It's gonna be a looong haul I'm afraid...


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Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post
Those are HiWave BMR's, but not the new ones. The HiWave part number will be HiBM65C20F-8, and PE should have them very soon. I attached the data sheet, in case you're interested.


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Are you planning on using a 3.5 inch driver full range for Home Theater speakers? I have never really liked full range drivers myself as it is too much frequency response territory for a single driver to handle.
Full range in the sense they'll be configured without a crossover, and no additional drivers, but they won't be expected to cover the entire audible spectrum. I love that type of speaker; I've heard some pretty elaborate ones, and the sound can be quite amazing, but I'll definitely be using a sub.


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Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post
All I saw on a quick search of the Min 10 was a frequency response of 140hz-20khz with no +/-. Never heard it, don't need too now, that one objective measurement was enough for me. It wouldn't satisfy my needs in a HT speaker. Want more presence than a min 10, get some bigger speakers.
Precisely, which is why I'm making my own. The depth of midrange is simply not their with the Min 10's, but everything else is. I'm just assuming the new drivers will be more of the good stuff, and include some depth.


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Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post
By CA speakers I assume you mean Cyber Acoustics.
Sorry for the confusion; the CA I was alluding to is Cambridge Audio.


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Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post
I don't know Josh besides what I read on the boards. I do know his reviews, data-bass, and his contributions on the boards are a real asset to audio. I think it would be good to get as much advice from him as possible. Maybe he can help you with your speaker designs as well.
I'll try and glean knowledge from anyone who has it, but I don't suspect Josh is really interested in helping me quite like that.

 

PDS-HIBM65C20F-8 (3.5 BMR Driver).pdf 266.990234375k . file
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File Type: pdf PDS-HIBM65C20F-8 (3.5 BMR Driver).pdf (267.0 KB, 5 views)

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post #71 of 76 Old 05-01-2012, 08:02 PM
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In line with that often the feedback they want or need is not necessarily technical only but also a feel for the market and what do potential customers want. My own impression from reading the above is that Jim doesn't so much provide the hard technical sub design (going into all the electrical and mechanical engineering stuff) but rather soft design issues plus consumer feedback. Just my impression and I'll happily let Jim correct me if I'm wrong.

With the exception of the subs Peter and I designed -- which I was integral in every single aspect of -- I'd say you're mostly correct. I'm not delusional, even if to some it might appear as though I am. I don't honestly believe these folks are leveraging my engineering background, because I don't really have one. A few of my comments to them, like you need a brace or there's not enough damping, have been heeded in the past, so I've had success contributing some engineering changes. Beyond that I suspect my influence has been similar to your impression.

Just being included makes for a somewhat interesting situation for me though, one that I don't imagine too many others are involved with to the same level. In that regard I'm in a fairly unique position, and it's proven rather enjoyable to be perfectly honest.

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post #72 of 76 Old 05-01-2012, 08:24 PM
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A few of my comments to them, like you need a brace or there's not enough damping, have been heeded in the past, so I've had success contributing some engineering changes. Beyond that I suspect my influence has been similar to your impression.

To me those kinds of recommendations fall within the "soft design issues" I mentioned above. And they are perfectly valid comments - if I saw a sub with little or no bracing or damping I would point it out and suggest that bracing or damping be added.

Where it falls into the realm of "hard" technical input is if I can specify the design or location of the brace and even predict the changes in cabinet resonant frequency (through modelling or experience). Or in the case of damping, to specify the type, weight or density of the fill material and how it affects the performance. This is just to illustrate what I mean by "soft" vs "hard" design issues.

No doubt being included is interesting and enjoyable. Glad you found a niche.
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post #73 of 76 Old 05-02-2012, 10:04 AM
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If you would take the time to read my comments -- not read into them -- you'd see it's obvious that's not what I'm purporting. I merely said using numbers alone is a poor way of making a judgement, and that your own ears play as big a factor as anything else. Who gives a d@mn if the numbers are glowing, yet the sound isn't to your liking? When you show off that shiny new HT system and your friends go "why does it sound like that?" what are you going to do, pull out a chart and say "the numbers tell me it's great!"? I've said this to you countless times; numbers matter, no question about it, but they aren't the only factor. That goes for anything, not just HT.

The great reviews are 90% subjective and 10% objective. My reviews are only good at this point, because I cover the 90% part. But that's only for now; the other 10% will come when I can do it as well as the rest of it.

Jim, sorry to hear about your mother. I'm sure she is in good hands.

You still have not answered the question; do you believe that a subwoofer can measure well in the critical areas of extension, output, flat frequency response, and low distortion (at progressively higher output levels), and not sound good?

So, you think Chad Kuypers got a lousy review of the Epik Conquest? I know Chad doesn't think so. I have a copy of the comments he made after Tom Nousaine issued his review. Chad said:

"Tom Nousaine recently measured and tested our flagship subwoofer, the Conquest. He has been reviewing subwoofers for many years and has earned a reputation as an incredibly knowledgeable reviewer. We were excited to see how our flagship subwoofer stacked up alongside of the best subwoofers he has ever measured."

What Chad does is more clearly present how the Conquest compares with 2 of the highest rated/highest performing subs Tom ever tested, the $15,000 Velodyne DD-1812 and the $10,000 Genelec HTS-6.

Tom summarizes his test of the Conquest by saying:

"This system has Herculean SPL capability compared with most other products available. The sole exception of course is the Eminent Technology rotary fan subwoofer that costs $13,000 and has an upper bandwith limit of 25Hz. The uniformity of the Conquest dynamic capability exceeds that of any commercial products I've ever measured."

Chad was pretty happy that his $1,600 offering could compete very successfully with subs costing 6 or 9 times the price (of the Conquest). Maybe someone here can arrange a head to head comparison of the Conquest to the finished EbenLee ELA 3 that sells for $1,600. One thing is for certain, the ELA3 will win the cabinet finish comparison.

I guess Gene DellaSala at Audioholics doesn't agree with your 90% subjective, 10% objective notion. Josh Ricci is doing a great job and the numbers play a large part in Josh's reviews.

In Josh's recent test of the $9,000 Paradigm Sub 2 the measurements take up twice as much of the review as the listening section of the review.
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post #74 of 76 Old 05-03-2012, 09:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

With the exception of the subs Peter and I designed -- which I was integral in every single aspect of -- I'd say you're mostly correct. I'm not delusional, even if to some it might appear as though I am. I don't honestly believe these folks are leveraging my engineering background, because I don't really have one. A few of my comments to them, like you need a brace or there's not enough damping, have been heeded in the past, so I've had success contributing some engineering changes. Beyond that I suspect my influence has been similar to your impression.

Just being included makes for a somewhat interesting situation for me though, one that I don't imagine too many others are involved with to the same level. In that regard I'm in a fairly unique position, and it's proven rather enjoyable to be perfectly honest.

You're right. That is why you see some folks buying subs, based on numbers alone, end up returning or selling them because they don't like how its sounds/performs in their system/room.
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post #75 of 76 Old 12-18-2012, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post


Quote:



Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post

I hope your mother is doing better.


Thank you. It's gonna be a looong haul I'm afraid...




Quote:



Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post

Are these the drivers you speak of.

http://hi-wave.com/products/audio-bm...r_products.php



Those are HiWave BMR's, but not the new ones. The HiWave part number will be HiBM65C20F-8, and PE should have them very soon. I attached the data sheet, in case you're interested.



Quote:



Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post

Are you planning on using a 3.5 inch driver full range for Home Theater speakers? I have never really liked full range drivers myself as it is too much frequency response territory for a single driver to handle.


Full range in the sense they'll be configured without a crossover, and no additional drivers, but they won't be expected to cover the entire audible spectrum. I love that type of speaker; I've heard some pretty elaborate ones, and the sound can be quite amazing, but I'll definitely be using a sub.



Quote:



Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post

All I saw on a quick search of the Min 10 was a frequency response of 140hz-20khz with no +/-. Never heard it, don't need too now, that one objective measurement was enough for me. It wouldn't satisfy my needs in a HT speaker. Want more presence than a min 10, get some bigger speakers.


Precisely, which is why I'm making my own.
The depth of midrange is simply not their with the Min 10's, but everything else is. I'm just assuming the new drivers will be more of the good stuff, and include some depth.



Quote:



Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post

By CA speakers I assume you mean Cyber Acoustics.


Sorry for the confusion; the CA I was alluding to is Cambridge Audio.



Quote:



Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post

I don't know Josh besides what I read on the boards. I do know his reviews, data-bass, and his contributions on the boards are a real asset to audio. I think it would be good to get as much advice from him as possible. Maybe he can help you with your speaker designs as well.



I'll try and glean knowledge from anyone who has it, but I don't suspect Josh is really interested in helping me quite like that.

PDS-HIBM65C20F-8 (3.5 BMR Driver).pdf 267k .pdf file

Hi Jim,

I have been looking at buying the miniCubes from EbenLee, and came across this thread in my research.

How do you compare the HIBM65C20F-8 to the Fountek FR88-EX that EbenLee currently uses in his miniCubes? In a 5.1 setup for example.

Thanks
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post #76 of 76 Old 12-18-2012, 06:58 PM
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How do you compare the HIBM65C20F-8 to the Fountek FR88-EX that EbenLee currently uses in his miniCubes? In a 5.1 setup for example.

Sadly, I got tired of waiting for HiWave to release those BMR drivers. It took over 1.5 years for them to get something to market, an in the ensuing time I just got fed up and moved on. They missed countless deadlines, had delay after delay, kept changing the spec's, had two different versions, then one, then two again, now it seems like it's only one, and then... well, you get the idea. It was quite the debacle.

The FR88EX is a nice little driver, that has an amazing sound when you consider how small it is. You'll need a sub that has an upper frequency into the 120Hz (or higher) range, because they liked to be crossed over above 100Hz, but with the right sub they work very well.

The BMR driver is very special, and my time with the Cambridge Audio Minx speakers proved that to me. They use a 2.25" version, while the HIBM65C20 is 50% larger (3.5"), so I can only imagine what it's capable of. Peter and I have discussed using that in a special version of the MiniCube speaker, but he probably got tired of all the machinations HiWave was going through and may have ultimately dismissed the idea of using it. Now that HiWave has finally produced something perhaps he'll readdress the issue, but I can't speak for him. I would love to see it though, that's for sure.

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