I've paid particular attention to home audio speakers for a looong time and from what I've seen and heard over the past 15-20 years, the sound is NOT the part that has been getting "better" for average Joe Consumer. Marketing? Check. Appearance/WAF? Check, at least in many cases. Quality of drivers, crossovers, cabinets, build quality and sound? Ummm, nope, 'fraid not.
EH, that's a broad generalization that I'd have to disagree with. While the low end will never appeal to the audiophile, the upper mid to high end certainly has been improving. A few world class commercial speakers that are available now that were not around in the 1990s, include Audiokinesis, Gedlee, Salk, Seaton, Audio Artistry.
I don't know how you can say there's been no progress given the above list alone.
The inexpensive towers I recently bought, while decent, simply cannot muster the full-bodied sound of many of yesteryear's speakers.
But you're comparing one pair of inexpensive speakers, to "many" of yesteryear's speakers. Am I the only one who sees the issue?
Sure they might image better at lower volumes and maybe even spec out better thanks to CAD and technological improvements. But there's something about these multiple-mid/bass-drivers-in-slender-HT-friendly-high-WAF towers (which everyone seems to be turning out these days) that always leaves them sounding a bit lean or sterile to me.
There has been a shift towards a more forward sound lately, but is that because it's "lean and sterile" or because yesterdyear's sound was "tubby and bloated"? I have to wonder. Beyond that, there's a lot of "You hear what you see" involved. Why would a speaker with three 8" woofers for example, by any less capable than a speaker with a single 12? I know I've got some 15 inch woofers on order - but I'm doing it for the directivity advantages only. I'm sure I could get the same output from multiple small drivers on a thing tower - just not the directivity match to a SEOS-15.
But I'm looking for speed, quickness, delicacy AND the roundness of a French horn, the warmth of a cello, the body of a clarinet, the soul of the human voice.
Well the latter criteria are very much a consequence of the crossover/voicing/measured behavior. The former three all seem to be synonyms for the same thing.
Like you, I believe the type of speakers that are being built here are going to get people like myself at least 98% of the way there for about, well, what you said one-quarter or less of the cost of purchasing retail or Internet direct. For most of us, we (and our pocketbooks) can do without that last two percent.
I'm hoping that the SEOS-15 + Compression driver lives up to my expectations. But honestly I do suspect I'll lose the resolution that i'd get from, say, the Philharmonic 2 speakers I've got on order. That's why I'm ordering both - I can do a direct comparision.
I just hope that a few proven designs offering different cost/quality levels of drivers will spring forth, particularly in the 12" woof/12" SEOS configuration. Seems like this would hit the sweet spot for many of us.
That's why 12" was chosen for the plastic SEOS
- BTW Bill Waslo has put out a crossover design for the SEOS-12 + Eminence Delta 12 already on the DIY Sound Group forums, in case you missed it.
What are the issues with running a larger woofer than waveguide? Let's say an 15 or 18 on a SEOS 12.
The 18 is probably stretching it, but I'm sure the 15 should have decent horizontal response. You do lose some CTC spacing and polar perfection though, I'd bet.
Let's say someone wanted to do a MTM or MMT with the 16ohm 2226's. Would anyone with crossover experience be willing to help with something like that? Assuming he has 6 left
While a TMM or MTM would make sense for PA with a 2 inch compression driver, for a home application it just seems like the pros (more output/sensitivity) imo are gonna be outweighed by the cons ( vertical polar response, price, size, probably even coherency)