I recently purchased three Tempest Kits along with three 2 cu ft. flat packs and assembled crossovers from Erich. The crossovers were built by Matt Grant for an insanely low price and, on top of that, they look real purty. Thanks Matt!!!!.
All Kits/Flat Packs were shipped to a Friend in Buffalo (I live in Ontario, Canada), as it was much more economical than having things shipped directly to Canada, even when you factor in the time/expense in making the cross-border trip to pick them up.
As noted quite frequently in the various AV forums, Erich’s packaging skills are legendary and my shipment proves that once again. Thank you Erich!!!!!.
It took me about a full week to glue the boxes together as I only had 6 clamps and could only do one part of one box at a time. I also waited a full 24 hours before I proceeded to the next step just to be sure everything was fully dried. After that, installing the parts, stuffing, applying wood fill in the seams, sanding and painting (duratex) went really fast.
It must be mentioned that Erich’s flat packs are incredibly precise. The pieces fit perfectly and, considering the price, it’s sure to entice those who are on the fence about going DIY. Truth be told, I was very apprehensive about trying this whole DIY thing, but with the availability of Flat Packs and assembled crossovers it became a no-brainer. Of course, this might detract from the personal satisfaction of cutting your own panels and assembling the crossovers. However, I am not as gifted as some on the folks on the Forums with woodworking, nor do I own the tools to make my own precision cuts. I think I can follow the schematics and do my own crossover, but I doubt they will ever look as good as Matt’s creations.
Looking at the pictures in the various SEOS builds, the sheer size and weight are not clearly indicative of their real-life appearance. They are very imposing and very heavy. Perspective builders might want to keep that in mind and generally you will want to minimize the number of times you move/reposition them.
Then came the big problem. After finishing all three Tempests, it was time to remove my (AT) screen and put them in their permanent places. Being so much larger (in every direction) than my current speakers, the waveguides were about a foot above ear level from the seated position. So now I have to adjust my false wall, which entails a lot of work, to ensure the proper height of the waveguides. I really don’t look forward to that.
Of course, despite the disappointment noted above, I just had to do a quick audition. I turned of all (Anthem ARC) room correction settings and ran them full range in a stereo pair. The first thing that jumps out at you is the great scale that these speakers are capable of (at least in comparison to my Acoustic Energies and all other speakers I have owned in the past for that matter). Dynamics are incredible and the overall resolution in the midrange is so lifelike that I wanted to keep listening to familiar music just to see what I have been missing. What was intended to be a short listening session turned into a 3 ½ hour marathon.
The bottom end of these Tempests is so full and tight that in a smaller room you may be able to get away without using a subwoofer. The highs, though crystal clear, did appear to be a bit harsh on some songs, but I am fairly certain that the source material on those occasions is to blame. On better, high quality sources, the highs were smooth and non-fatiguing. I can’t wait to get my false wall adjusted, run Anthem ARC, and introduce the Tempests to a few Blu-rays with some fine lossless soundtracks.
I had originally wanted to go with the Sentinels but Erich didn’t have the Flat packs available. Not sure if I am missing anything with the Tempests but, damn, they sure sound spectacular.
PS. Although my warden gives me a hall pass when it comes to my dedicated room (basement), she did comment on the unusually large dimensions of the Tempests. However, while I was testing the speakers with some familiar songs she came downstairs and commented that it sounded like a live band was playing. Now she says I can build anything I want regardless of size. I am planning on quad SI 18s subwoofers in four of Erichs sealed flat packs, as well as two more SEOS kits for surrounds. This DIY thing is addictive.