Madisound RB3 complete! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-14-2010, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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https://www.madisound.com/store/prod...oducts_id=8697

Well my pair is finally done Sorry for poor quality images... Ended up using hammer paint, which worked quite well, could have used a few more coats, but I was just fed up of painting. The black hammer paint turned out to be somewhat grey, which isn't bad anyhow, it's MUCH nicer than the previous coats of black paint applied with roller, or the succeeding sprayed black matte... I'll probably use it again for my next pair if I go paint. Anyhow, looks is secondary. Nothing special really on the speakers, 3/4 inch MDF cabinet, added some bracing here and there, but nothing too serious, oh, lined the inside walls with Denin which I had sitting around... lol Not sure if it was a good idea but there, I did it anyhow, didn't want to order the rather expensive foam...


(Btw, on left the RB3, bottom right, Ascend 340SE and top right, Ascend Sierra-1, 2 shown for size comparison. The RB3s are quite big!!! )


So quickly, without any breakin, they sound pretty damn good! I haven't done a serious comparison yet, but I'd say that they're quite comparable to the Ascends in terms of overall quality. Which? That's what I'll try to find out, but my early thoughts were quite positive!

I've done a bit of A/Bin of the RB3 on QSC*** vs 340SE on T-Amp, then RB3 on QSC vs 340SE on T-Amp, and I've mixed my thoughts quite a bit, only thing I can really conclude on this, is that the T-Amp is inferior to the QSC... And surprisingly, even though the RB3 is less efficient than the 340SEs, they seem to mate better with the T-Amp than the 340SEs, probably because they have some emphasis in bass and the 340SEs tend to sound a bit dry on the T...

So I guess more listening, breaking in, and buying some banana plugs to be able to 'quickly' switch between speakers. But so far, great buy! For ---$ for 2 woofers, 2 tweeter and 2 crossovers, you get A LOT of performance! So far, detail is quite good, not top notch (JMLabs Utopias, etc.), but very respectable for <1000$, bass is also quite nice, definitely not boomy, just a tad bit emphasized which I'm sure many will like. I'm not a fan of bass heavy speakers, but this one isn't so bad so that it bothers me, unlike Totem Staffs I used to have a while ago... Just a bit of warmth which seems to add a bit of atmosphere, 'enveloping' I guess you could say... Highs seem clean, crisp. Very good speaker, definitely a big thumbs up so far for anyone looking for a cheap project.

***QSC 1450 amp (>200 watts pro amp) + Behringer as DEQ2496 pre, turns out to be a lot better than a Sonic T-Amp + mp3 player... Making comparisons unfair...
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-14-2010, 03:13 PM
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Well Done!!

Did the RB build recommend the tweeter to be centered on the baffle? I have read many comments and measurements on that topic and it seems that it peforms better off center.

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post #3 of 14 Old 08-14-2010, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thx Are you talking specifically about the RB3? Off center tweeter has to be taken into effect by the crossover as it affects the FR from the different diffraction characteristics, I haven't read anything about it for the RB3, I just used the cabinet specs which had the tweeter at the center.

I actually asked the question a while back here. But like I said, it has to be considered during the design phase, you just can't take an existing design and offset the tweeter, you'll most likely end up with worst results!
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-14-2010, 06:29 PM
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Cool, I agree. I was just curious.

I have the original RBs that Im not using any more. Just replaced them with Tannoy V8s.

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post #5 of 14 Old 08-14-2010, 08:38 PM
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How loud can these get?
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-15-2010, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Cool, I agree. I was just curious.

I have the original RBs that Im not using any more. Just replaced them with Tannoy V8s.

Very different animals, didn't the RB cost 59$? The RB2 was 169$ and the RB3 started its days at around 400$ or something but is now on sale at significantly less. So really, besides the name, the RB and RB3 have very little in common...

Btw, did you do anything about the bad inductor placement on the RB crossover? Looks like something which could have been easily fixed... Anyhow, with all your other speakers, I can understand the 60$ kit doesn't got much listening time Not like the inductor would have changed that either way lol Can't see Tannoys getting much listening time either...

Quote:
Originally Posted by datranz View Post

How loud can these get?

Probably loud enough to damage your hearing... I didn't really test how insanely loud they'll go, but when I did push them a bit, they didn't seem to mind at all. On the QSC that is, the T with its 15 watts doesn't get that loud, so you do need a minimum amount of power, those not being the most efficient speakers out there... QSC also works wonders on the low end.

After listening a bit to the 340SEs, they impressed me again... lol Very fine speakers and quite hard to find anything wrong with them. On the T-Amp I was a bit surprised at their lackluster performance, but on the QSC they open up significantly, and from top to bottom they're very good.

In comparison, I think most people might prefer the RB3 for music listening. The RB3s seem to be a bit more detailed, they have a bit more bass (not really deeper bass, just more emphasized, bit of tube-like bass emphasis maybe?) which many seem to like, they're definitely quite good. RB3s also don't seem to do anything badly, good well rounded performers.

The 340SEs are definitely more efficient though, same amp volume position they'll play quite louder, so maybe a better match for HT, but then again RB3 is cheaper, even if you factor in the cost of additional materials, maybe end up 1 or 2 hundred less than Ascends.

I really need a quick switch method to alter quickly between them, as is it's not that easy to compare... Imaging/soundstage/dynamics/etc, hard to say, more listening required, but going from 340SE to RB3, then estimating volume match, didn't seem to lose much if anything, so big thumbs up for the RB3!
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-15-2010, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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The more I listen to them the more I'm impressed. Maybe it's breakin... I don't know, but they sound great on whatever I seem to throw at them. Bass is very respectable and imho doesn't require a sub for music unless you're going for organ or the such. Detail, realism, very good. Overall quality, it reminds me quite a bit of those 10000$+ systems or more at shows that you listen to, and you go: "Yeah, this sounds very good, but are they really worth 2-3000$?". Except these don't cost 2-3k they cost <500$... So yeah definitely worth their price in gold.

No direct A/B vs the Sierra, but I think it's around the same league. Not absolute performance, but for <1000$ they sound fantastic. And even next to the best (similar, 2 way) speakers out there, they wouldn't be ridiculed, could hold their own fairly well. Unlike a random 500$ B&M speaker who you'd put against and right away sarcastically go, gee, I wonder which one cost 500$ and which cost 5000$... People would probably choose the 5k as the better sounding speaker, but they'd go, this cost what <300$?! Holy ***!
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-15-2010, 12:54 PM
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Again Congrats! Its awesome to have you over on DIY!

You know how the $300 speaker sounds like a $5K speaker goes though

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-15-2010, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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lol, I did say, "(similar, 2 way)" Also I didn't say they sound like 5k$ speakers, more that they reminded me of, and that they wouldn't get ridiculed by What I mean by that, last local show for example (FSI, hundreds system demo'd averaging 20k or more), actually, the one before that, one of the most impressive pair was ProAc response 2D, because they cost around 2.5k and sounded very good. 2.5k for that show was like, extreme budget/poverty, that was the poor man's speaker there, if you were starting out and were poor, that was basically what you had to start at, according to the exposants... Well, maybe they didn't beat >10-20k speakers, but they came close to their performance at a reasonable price... So RB3 is like to the 2D to what the 2Ds were vs 'average' 10-20k speakers. Those ProAcs most probably (pretty damn sure) beat the RB3, but the RB3 is < 500$, and next to each other, I wouldn't be surprised if you found more similarities than differences.

Anyhow, good woofer, good tweeter and good crossover goes a long way. Pretty ridiculous the performance you can get for half the price of a B&W 600 speaker...

That slight bass boost is also pretty engaging, makes you bob your head and tap your foot. I'm maybe even getting a little fond of it. It's similar to hitting a tube emulator on the Ascends (which imho sounds pretty damn close to real tubes), I'm sure a lot of people would prefer on to off.

Very nice!

Now I guess on to the statement Monitors... Wood is cut, just need to cut the holes/recess for 6 drivers, twice because the front baffled is doubled (1 inch + 3/4), then glue everything together, which will be quite some work because it's quite a complex cabinet, then paint/veneer both speakers, then solder/screw drivers, sigh.. Lot of work... Oh yeah, and need to assemble the crossover too... Man, DIY is hard work...
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-25-2010, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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So to conclude, I switched back to the Sierras after a while with the RB3 and the Sierras are a step above the RB3s, bass is deeper, tighter, detail is also better, definitely better bass balance (RB3 has bit too much) so unless you really value a warm sound most would prefer Sierras IMHO.

Again, with most speakers with bass emphasis, sometimes is sounds great, other times it just muddies things up and seem to mess up the soundstage. Ex: guitar with guy hitting guit with palm won't sound as life-like as on Sierras since the bass is emphasized and sounds 'bigger' than the rest of the guit... (same for low notes)

So RB3 are closer to the 340SEs in terms of sound quality. RB3 is warmer, 340SE is a more neutral and more efficient speaker. Detail is similar, maybe a tiny edge going for RB3, extension is also fairly close but with the bass emphasis of the RB3 it's a little hard to tell exactly. soundstage/imaging, fairly close, didn't notice any dramatic change, so about in the same ballpark.

So for a beginner's kit, can't go wrong. I might be tempted to go for the Zaph SR71, and in retrospect, could have gone with it, it's only --$ more and seems to have a flatter FR, but for ---$ the RB3 is definitely not bad.
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post #11 of 14 Old 08-25-2010, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf View Post

So to conclude, I switched back to the Sierras after a while with the RB3 and the Sierras are a step above the RB3s, bass is deeper, tighter, detail is also better, definitely better bass balance (RB3 has bit too much) so unless you really value a warm sound most would prefer Sierras IMHO.

Again, with most speakers with bass emphasis, sometimes is sounds great, other times it just muddies things up and seem to mess up the soundstage. Ex: guitar with guy hitting guit with palm won't sound as life-like as on Sierras since the bass is emphasized and sounds 'bigger' than the rest of the guit... (same for low notes)

So RB3 are closer to the 340SEs in terms of sound quality. RB3 is warmer, 340SE is a more neutral and more efficient speaker. Detail is similar, maybe a tiny edge going for RB3, extension is also fairly close but with the bass emphasis of the RB3 it's a little hard to tell exactly. soundstage/imaging, fairly close, didn't notice any dramatic change, so about in the same ballpark.

So for a beginner's kit, can't go wrong. I might be tempted to go for the Zaph SR71, and in retrospect, could have gone with it, it's only --$ more and seems to have a flatter FR, but for ---$ the RB3 is definitely not bad.

Try listening to the RB3 pulled away from the walls a foot or two. This should reduce the amount of bass that they have and may clear up the midrange.
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-25-2010, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Nah it's really the speakers, they're sitting in the exact same spot as the Sierras, 4 feet from the back wall and about 2 feet from the side walls. There's a bit of room gain but really not that much...

Madisound graph: https://www.madisound.com/catalog/im...eRB3-curve.jpg Almost like 4dB difference < 150hz vs mids... I knew it before hand, I just wanted a cheap kit for a bit more practice (router + circle jig, plus try paint finish) before I jump to the statement monitors. As I said, it's not too bad... Listening to the same DVD (Peppino Dagostino playing guit with a percussionist) on both, on the RB3 it's enjoyable, I think most people wouldn't notice anything wrong on the RB3, it's just a serious improvement when you switch to Ascends. Everything snaps into focus, the bass significantly tightens up and has more snap, punch...

It really depends on the material, by themselves, RB3 have quite respectable performance, can't fault them because of their very low price, and they hold quite well against 340SEs, just is a big gap between RB3 and Sierras... Still, for what they cost, they sound great! My guess though, Zaphs might have been closer to the Sierras... I might try to play with the EQ though, see if once EQ'd flat (relatively), they improve comparatively vs Ascends...
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post #13 of 14 Old 08-25-2010, 07:48 PM
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i am looking forward to your thoughts on the statements, i am also looking at that kit too. i prefer a warmer sound. i care less about flat fr and more of what sounds good to me. its just a preference that's all.
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-02-2012, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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The Holtz Monitor statements are finally complete... lol

Build and comments soon to come in thread here: http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=40062

Summary of first thoughts in two smilies: eek.gifbiggrin.gif Check out the other thread for details!
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