Just finished a ZRT 2-way build - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Whew. First real build.

First disclosure so you yall don't think I'm a poser later: Spec'd the cabinets but had them built up professionally because I'm no woodworker and don't have a shop to work in.

Highlights:
1) Went with a two way with a *sealed* alignment to accommodate my tastes for faster bass with an acceptably higher f3. I have a fathom 112 so I'm happy with an 80 Hz crossover point.

2) Changed two Xover values as suggested by zaph to adjust baffle step to near-wall configuration (I have a rather small listening room)

3) I used D3004/662001 tweets instead of the spec'd 660000's. madisound ensured same specs and I wanted the look. So far, sounds like they are appropriately equivalent.

4) sound damped with 2" top/bottom/back and 1" back of oc703 fiberglass equivalent

5) oh yeah, I built 5 of them. one tower is 10" shorter for center channel use. I wanted five sonically equivalent sound sources.

So far, I am happy with them, but not elated. maybe they need breaking in, maybe they need xover adjustments. damping should be ok with the fiberglass.

the sound isn't as dynamic as i'd like but it is smooth. there just seems to be something missing but i can't yet put my finger on it. i don't have measuring equipment (yet) so I can't show any diagrams.

source is a panny BD player into a denon 3808ci. used audyssey on and off. on-flat sounds better, but levels were off so i've been adjusting. xover points are all 80Hz overridden. speakers set to small and sub to LFE+main.

Thoughts/questions/criticisms welcome... thanks
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post #2 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 07:37 AM
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Criticism: no pictures.

I've always liked the ZRT design. I bet they sound phenomenal.
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post #3 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 08:53 AM
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Pics! Pics! Pics! Speaker Porn!!!


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post #4 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 09:56 AM
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Without pix, it didn't happen!
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post #5 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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doy. haha i suppose that would be the first criticism...

here yous goes:

















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post #6 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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sorry, had to resize them. if they're still too big let me know and i'll tinysize them further.
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post #7 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 10:12 AM
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Nice looking veneer!

Expensive looking xovers
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post #8 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 10:15 AM
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Very, very nice!

I hope they sound as good as they look.

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post #9 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Veneers are kewazinga! I love them. The xover upgrade wasn't a huge price jump actually
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post #10 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 11:30 AM
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Very nice looking.....I like the way you did your center channel....it ads a very nice touch.
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post #11 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah no need for MTM and weird lobing. They sound good but not where I want them. I think I need to take measurements.
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post #12 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 12:54 PM
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Nice build ! You have to remember they are 6.5" twoways and not cinema speakers like some of our coveted nut jobs are living with. There are going to be limitation to what those woofers can do. With an 80hz XO point and dynamics as a must, you may want to bump it up to 100 to take a little bit more bass out of their range.

If after a few month you feel they lack dynamics, you may have been bitten by the bug for sure....
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post #13 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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good feedback. I will try a 100Hz Xover and see if that improves things for me. that said, i'm not convinced it's a bass-mis transition issue. The speakers just dont seem to have attack. im wondering if they are underpowered actually.

also, audyssey set the relative levels between the sub and towers way off (too much sub) so there were higher-level dynamics to be recaptured there. that became obvious to me when I played the first dream sequence from inception. the subbass was there in droves but not mid-high frequency attack. adjusted the balance by +4 dB relative and it came together a bit more. I'm going to keep tooling around and of course breaking in my ears before coming to a harsh conclusion.

additional suggestions from you pros are welcome!

thanks so far for the compliments. i've wanted revelators ever since i first heard them ten years ago. finally being able to afford them is like a dream come true...
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post #14 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 01:55 PM
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Good looking speakers!
I'm sure the midrange surrounds will loosen up a bit after a couple weeks and your ears will also get more used to the sound.

"The boom is dead, long live the bass"
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post #15 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashmostro View Post

good feedback. I will try a 100Hz Xover and see if that improves things for me. that said, i'm not convinced it's a bass-mis transition issue. The speakers just dont seem to have attack. im wondering if they are underpowered actually.

How many subs are you running, and where?

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post #16 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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One f112 in between the left main and center. I'm going to experiment with positioning but my only other feasible location is between center and right main.
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post #17 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 04:31 PM
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Re: "dynamics"

You said you did the baffle step change. How far from the wall are you? And what is the cab width? I guess I could go look at zaphs site.

If you unnecessarily reduced BSC you may have sucked out some of the 200 to 600hz midrage that'll give that nice midrange punch. This I believe is actually one of the most important frequency ranges. Male voices, gun fire, punches, the crunchy part of a car crash, etc. The stuff I find critical to a dynamic sound mix.
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post #18 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Good question on the bsc change. I followed the recommendation on zaphs site for near wall.

I too was worried about the amount of suck out and figured I would try and see. Also, wanted to see if audyssey could compensate.

I think I should get a simple rta setup to see where I'm at. Am I wrong to expect audyssey to be able to compensate for excessive bsc?
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post #19 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 05:03 PM
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Auto EQs will usually nip off peaks where as you would need a broad ~2db boost. I'm not sure it would compensate. Others with more experience with Audessay could possibly tell you.
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post #20 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 05:13 PM
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Great looking build(s)! Thanks for the pics!


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post #21 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 06:14 PM
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Is there any way to run some sweeps to see whats going on, both with the mains and the sub, and the mains alone...
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post #22 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 08:30 PM
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ashmostro...congratulations on jumping in the pool!

- let's not kid ourselves, those speakers look beautiful! i can see that you put a lot of time and consideration into their planning.

- while i didn't dig into the crossover, the components look good and the ss mid-woofer is a proven winner for what it does.

- what is oc703 fiberglass equivalent?

- "So far, I am happy with them, but not elated...the sound isn't as dynamic as i'd like, but it is smooth" that is because you chose a midwoofer with those properties. if you were hoping for dynamic speakers, then why did you choose the ss mid-woofer as it is a low sensitivity driver that has a smooth frequency response. it is 88db 1w1m, iirc. with a 100 watt per channel receiver, your speaks won't even hit 110db at 1w1m. for dynamic music, you need upwards of 120db+ at the listening position in order to not compress the peaks. if a classical music crescendo doesn't make you jump/scare you just a little bit, you are probably compressing either in the electronics, the speakers, or both.

- sealed bass is no faster or slower than ported bass. you just have to use a driver with a stronger motor in a ported enclosure, so that it will not become distorted. some of the subjectively "fastest bass" comes in ported enclosures with very, very strong motors.

- i would suggest that you take most of the heavy lifting off your mains and direct that to a really good subwoofer. the ae speakers td18h+ is a great one. plop it in a ported enclosure of around 8 cubes and tune it to 22hz ported. then place it in between your mains and cross it is around 100-120 hz or so. that will make your system sound much more dynamic.

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post #23 of 49 Old 03-19-2011, 10:28 PM
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i have a set of zrt too, i haven't put it to much use because i feel something is missing. When i get a chance and some help i will lug it up stairs and put some power to it. Maybe next week or something. Currently testing it with a pioneer 92thx, not sounding too good.
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post #24 of 49 Old 03-20-2011, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post
ashmostro...congratulations on jumping in the pool!

- let's not kid ourselves, those speakers look beautiful! i can see that you put a lot of time and consideration into their planning.
thank you very much for your kind words! they may appear like child's play to some pros but this was my first honest to goodness build, and while I didn't do the woodwork, I still feel like these are my babies- long awaited babies

Quote:
- what is oc703 fiberglass equivalent?
http://www.atsacoustics.com/item--AT...f-6--1035.html

Quote:
if you were hoping for dynamic speakers, then why did you choose the ss mid-woofer as it is a low sensitivity driver that has a smooth frequency response. it is 88db 1w1m, iirc. with a 100 watt per channel receiver, your speaks won't even hit 110db at 1w1m. for dynamic music, you need upwards of 120db+ at the listening position in order to not compress the peaks. if a classical music crescendo doesn't make you jump/scare you just a little bit, you are probably compressing either in the electronics, the speakers, or both.
noted, and something that took me not long to come to terms with. i'm already looking into separates to lay some real power into these puppies (after looking into the Xover design some more first).

Quote:
- sealed bass is no faster or slower than ported bass. you just have to use a driver with a stronger motor in a ported enclosure, so that it will not become distorted. some of the subjectively "fastest bass" comes in ported enclosures with very, very strong motors.
yeah, you are right. i've been away from audio too long and have gotten rusty on the nuances and pitfall assumptions of how motor structures and *systems* actually work.

Quote:
- i would suggest that you take most of the heavy lifting off your mains and direct that to a really good subwoofer. the ae speakers td18h+ is a great one. plop it in a ported enclosure of around 8 cubes and tune it to 22hz ported. then place it in between your mains and cross it is around 100-120 hz or so. that will make your system sound much more dynamic.
well, i am trying a 100Hz xover point now... going to exercise that for a week or so to get acclimated and tweak levels more. see what that affords me.

the sub is a JL fathom f112. in my small space, it's more than adequate. and as you probably know, very musical. it makes me feel less concerned with moving the xover pt dangerously close to directional frequencies.
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post #25 of 49 Old 03-20-2011, 01:56 AM
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you have a VERY nice combo there. there are many folks who would jump on your setup if they could afford it, as it does many things right.

if you want to scout new territory, a good primer may be william cowan's website. his site is here:
http://www.cowanaudio.com/

have you picked up a copy of toole's book:
http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reproduc.../dp/0240520092

i haven't read it, but from all of toole's past works, i generally agree, so i suggest it as a good read.

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post #26 of 49 Old 03-20-2011, 01:59 AM
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Wow those look awesome. Makes me want to go to the shed and get started on my clones.
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post #27 of 49 Old 03-20-2011, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the feedback (both positive and critical)! I am always looking for more to learn so I appreciate the book references a lot!

And yes, the jl sub does sound incredible...

Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate these speakers- I just feel they aren't optimized and are capable of more... I will get there!
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post #28 of 49 Old 03-20-2011, 10:43 AM
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There is really only so much a lower sensitivity 6.5" driver can do. What reference point are you coming from when you are looking for more out of them??

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post #29 of 49 Old 03-20-2011, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashmostro View Post

One f112 in between the left main and center. I'm going to experiment with positioning but my only other feasible location is between center and right main.

I would consider two things:

1) A better main subwoofer. The Jellos get loud and low, but there's only so much music one can expect from a long-coil driver with no shorting ring. Even if the BL(x) is as admirably linear as the Jello's.

2) Multiple subwoofers around the room. Well-deployed multisubs will do two things for you. First, smooth out upper bass response. Second, allow you to use a much higher xover frequency without worrying about localization. (The bass will be coming from all around you anyway)

Alternately, you can use your Jello as the "main" sub (considering it gives you adequate low end, is small, and you already have it) and just build two or three smaller subs.

Yes, everybody's right that there's only so much "impact" a set of inefficient tiny-driver mains can have, but with a good multisub setup I think you'll be happier. More power to them will likely just result in more power compression.

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post #30 of 49 Old 03-20-2011, 06:13 PM
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Eh, I'm not sure. Nearly everyone on these boards is quick to the subs. he had the sub before the ZRTs. I think its:

1. Low sensitive drivers.
2. Xover changes.
3. Tweeter changes.

You could consider the 2.5 version of the ZRTs if you determine it to be sensitivity. For now I suggest you just sit back and enjoy them a while
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