Is the Tempest the Sound I am Searching for? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

So I have moved my equipment into its dedicated room and finished my THT and I absolutely LOVE it. Ihave some questions about my other speakers though... Let me start with what I currently have.

I am running Rocket rs550 mkii for mains and rsc200 (bigfoot) center channel, paired with the THT and a denon 1713 receiver. Room is approx 3300 cubic feet. Listening position is about 11 1/2 - 12 feet from the mains. So here is the issue... I am wondering if the mains and center I have now are ideal for my situation They are relatively inefficient speakers, about 87-88 dbl I believe, so with that sensitivity, that receiver, and the distance I am nowhere close to getting reference level. That being said, I don't usually listen at reference, more like - 20 to - 15. Another issue I am having is dialogue not sounding the way I would like during movies. I guess it just doesn't have that crisp, in your face quality that I am looking for. I find my self having to crank up the volume to get closer to that sound, but then I'm constantly adjusting volume the whole time. So what do I do? I thought, well adding an extra amp would get a little more juice to the speakers, but let's be realistic, in order to really hit reference or close with headroom I'd need to send enough juice to cook an egg on the voice coil. Some of the most interesting info I've learned while doing my research here on theforum is tthat some things with speakers are subjective, and some are just plain math. I know the 550s are not the speakers I need to have dynamic peaks in a 3300 cubic foot room from 12 feet away.

So then I started reading about the SEOS designs and was intrigued. I also read about the noesis, the 212 and the 228. I read one persons opinion and they described some of the same issues I was having with dialogue, etc, and they were amazed at what a step up the 228s were in that category. Actually most of the SUBJECTIVE reviews I have read on the noesis sound like they would be a great fit, but I am much more in the budget of a DIY SEOS Tempest build. Now, this is NOT a noesis vs tempest thread, I know that the noesis line uses an expensive coaxial CD, and the sound between the Tempest and the noesis will be different, but honestly I would be just fine with that if a SEOS design gives me the sound that I am looking for, which is sharp, crisp dialogue with more dramatic peaks etc. I am wondering a CD based main is what I am looking for. I love the idea of a MUCH more efficient design. I can sometimes get things to sound a bit better if I use dynamic volume, but if I am smashing my peaks, that kind of defeats the whole purpose!!

To make things even more complicated, I worry about the CD based design really only shining at obscene spl levels. I have also heard that a more traditional tweeter may be actually more pleasing at moderate volume levels, and it's really only close to reference that people start to prefer the sound of a CD. Is this still the case with a decent quality CD like what the Tempest uses? Subjective I know, but I value the subjective opinions of the members here. Sorry to be long winded, and hopefully I have given enough info. Thanks in advance, guys!
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post #2 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 01:14 PM
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i would suggest that you upgrade one more notch and get the

td15m / seos 15 / dna360 / bwaslo crossover design

or

td15m / seos 12 / dna360 / mtg90 crossover design

your current speakers are more of a full range speaker and on the smallish side. as a result and as you know, that means low sensitivity in their passband.

the next step up from there would be something like a td15m / seos 18 / bms coax / not designed yet system.

that would outperform the noesis, so you would be on the upgrade path to the very high end with this plan.

you are in for a treat.

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post #3 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 01:31 PM
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The things you say you are looking for are exactly the primary strengths of a speaker like the Tempest, or any of the larger seos designs. Controlled Directivity speakers take more of the room's effects out of the equation, and it's usually the room that is making dialog sound unintelligible or anything other than "crisp and in your face". And "dramatic peaks" will certainly be the result of any of these speakers.

Listen to LTD and other experienced folks like him when it comes to the particulars, but IMHO you are absolutely headed in the right direction. cool.gif
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post #4 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 01:45 PM
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LTD02,
Why don't you recommend the Alpha-12 Zephyr with the 12" Definimax? Its a low distortion driver that is about $100 cheaper than the td.
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post #5 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 01:49 PM
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it is designed more for full range and or higher spl. as a result it has a larger coil. larger coils have higher inductance. higher inductance is bad for midrange among other things. this can be seen in the impedance sweep.

will it work? sure. will it work good? sure. will the td15m be better? sure.

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post #6 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

i would suggest that you upgrade one more notch and get the

td15m / seos 12 / dna360 / bwaslo crossover design
...

wait a little bit for the same on the seos 15, though you do a lot of waiting and not get much more in the way of performance.

Bill's crossover is for the SEOS-15. Unless you meant TD12M?

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post #7 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 01:57 PM
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I wounder if that has something to do with Jeff Bagby saying that he prefers the sound to the cheaper Tempest over the lower distortion Zephyr?
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post #8 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 02:00 PM
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thanks matt. this is the one that I meant:

http://www.diysoundgroup.com/forum/index.php?topic=182.0

hard to keep in my head because the designs are all over the internet.

corrections made.

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post #9 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome, thank guys! LTD, thanks for the link. Anyone close to AZ with these? I'd really like to hear some!!
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post #10 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 02:16 PM
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Hmm, the rsc200 uses the vifa RR tweeter, which I've used. It's a really nice tweeter and sounds very clear. The driver arrangement is also good. Sure, it won't be a dynamic speaker at 100db peaks, but if you're not up at that level I'm surprised you find these speakers give that type of poor sound quality. I can't help but think there's something more to your problem than the speakers. Unless the rsc200 is just a bad speaker. If your problem is the room, then antisuck is correct, the SEOS speakers will help with that. If it's cause you actually listen louder than you think, it could be the speakers. Maybe try something cheaper like the Fusion 8 and see how that goes, and if it's what you need, then move the Fusion 8s to the rear and go bigger (tempest or something). Then you'll have only spent a few hundred bucks to find out your problem a little better.

Only a suggestion, from a SEOS fan.
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post #11 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion! I have always been happy with the Bigfoot... I have figured out REW at a very elementary level and will try to post some graphs to see if you guys see anything funny going on in the mean time. I live the idea of building the fusions first since I don't really have surrounds to speak of, just some generic ones that are filling the space for now.
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post #12 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 04:15 PM
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here is a link to the other one: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1457166/s-e-o-s-r-mega-build/1110#post_23796258

4 ohms on that one. looks pretty sweet to me. :-)

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post #13 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 04:25 PM
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I think part of your problem is the AVR that you are running. You might try to upgrade that, and possibly add an amp. Those are great speakers, IMHO, and I would bet that they would out perform the others mentioned in music listening.
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post #14 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t3steve View Post

I wounder if that has something to do with Jeff Bagby saying that he prefers the sound to the cheaper Tempest over the lower distortion Zephyr?

Jeff liked the Tempest because it had more of a mid bass kick from the Delta Pro woofer.

The Definimax has shorting rings that I believe are suppose to help with what LTD02 was saying.

But I personally thing there's a bit of hair splitting when it comes to hearing actual distortion differences between some well designed woofers. Now if we were comparing a really nice woofer against a low end woofer, sure.


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post #15 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

Jeff liked the Tempest because it had more of a mid bass kick from the Delta Pro woofer.

The Definimax has shorting rings that I believe are suppose to help with what LTD02 was saying.

But I personally thing there's a bit of hair splitting when it comes to hearing actual distortion differences between some well designed woofers. Now if we were comparing a really nice woofer against a low end woofer, sure.

Thats true, I wonder how much audible difference there is between the Tempest, Zephyr and the one with the more expensive AE td?
The Definimax is used as the upgrade woofer in the 3Pi also.
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post #16 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I think part of your problem is the AVR that you are running. You might try to upgrade that, and possibly add an amp. Those are great speakers, IMHO, and I would bet that they would out perform the others mentioned in music listening.

A watt is a watt and at his levels, a hand ful of watts is enough. Building a pair of surrounds wouldn't cost much and could confirm some thing. But then again, I've never heard his speakers. If they are that good, then maybe it's his ears smile.gif

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But I personally thing there's a bit of hair splitting when it comes to hearing actual distortion differences between some well designed woofers. Now if we were comparing a really nice woofer against a low end woofer, sure.

Agreed.

On axis FR
Frequency response extension
Polar response horizontal
Polar response vertical
Sensitivity
Distortion.

Pretty low on my list.
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post #17 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 04:47 PM
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"I think part of your problem is the AVR that you are running. You might try to upgrade that, and possibly add an amp. Those are great speakers, IMHO, and I would bet that they would out perform the others mentioned in music listening."

no chance.

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post #18 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 04:57 PM
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"Distortion."

...is a tricky one. it may be a primary contributor to listener fatique, so perhaps not something that you'd be likely to pick up in a a-b comparo.

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post #19 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

"Distortion."

...is a tricky one. it may be a primary contributor to listener fatique, so perhaps not something that you'd be likely to pick up in a a-b comparo.

true Wayne claims the biggest improvement by going to the lower distortion woofer.
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post #20 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 05:32 PM
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also, most folks have no idea how much distortion there is already in their system.

when you get a chance to play music on a system that is virtually free of distortion, you'll end up with the volume turned up much, much higher.

like I said, tricky.

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post #21 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I think part of your problem is the AVR that you are running. You might try to upgrade that, and possibly add an amp. Those are great speakers, IMHO, and I would bet that they would out perform the others mentioned in music listening.

I actually thought about this, but when you do the math, you could put 500W+ to the 550's and not get anywhere near the dynamic performance of the SEOS designs on just receiver power. Now, pure sound quality comparison between the 550's and the SEOS at MODERATE levels, I guess that would be more subjective, but I'm more like 90% movies and am looking for a more exciting presentation I guess...
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post #22 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t3steve View Post

Thats true, I wonder how much audible difference there is between the Tempest, Zephyr and the one with the more expensive AE td?
The Definimax is used as the upgrade woofer in the 3Pi also.

I wondered this same thing. There are fairly considerable price differences, which isn't a huge deal, but I always wonder exactly how much more I am getting for the extra money smile.gif
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post #23 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

"Distortion."

...is a tricky one. it may be a primary contributor to listener fatique, so perhaps not something that you'd be likely to pick up in a a-b comparo.

I agree with this, which is why its actually on the list. Just when making broad comparisons of drivers, its more about the implementation in the speaker. It's why it's hard to read someone's comments about how great driver x is and how bad driver y is when they like used driver y the wrong way.
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post #24 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 06:04 PM
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^^ yeah...just kicking around ideas on the topic.

all these things are interrelated as well. low sensitivity speakers will "clip" the amp more frequently than high sensitivity speakers all other things equal. that introduces very high order distortion, so even though the distortion isn't coming from the loudspeaker per se, it is caused by it in some sense.

and it is worse for passive speakers because that clipping, which is almost always woofer caused, sends energy through the top end, so folks might be reporting that the top end sounds "harsh" when the top end actually sounds just fine. it is just the high order harmonics from the clipped woofers that are being sent through the top end that makes it sound harsh.

hhmmm...I must admits that is the first time that I ever fully made that connection and could explain why so many people report compression drivers/horns sounding harsh is that they are both more likely to be found in systems that are being clipped to hell on the low end and more capable of reproducing without compression the clipped harmonics distortions...

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post #25 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 06:12 PM
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so...get the 15's. :-)

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post #26 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

also, most folks have no idea how much distortion there is already in their system.

when you get a chance to play music on a system that is virtually free of distortion, you'll end up with the volume turned up much, much higher.

like I said, tricky.
Tricky? No. Just buy a cheap SPL meter and spend some time monitoring it for a while until you acclimatise to the new system's sound. Once you get used to it, it will be less of an issue. Later when you are used to it, you might be surprised how bad some supposedly 'good' systems sound with complex material and/or decent SPL.
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post #27 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 06:31 PM
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tricky is teasing out all the effects related to listener fatigue, which is what i was referring to.

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post #28 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkkwaz View Post

I worry about the CD based design really only shining at obscene spl levels.
It's really only close to reference that people start to prefer the sound of a CD.
Is this still the case with a decent quality CD like what the Tempest uses? Subjective I know, but I value the subjective opinions of the members here.
Thanks in advance, guys!

Simply untrue, grab your headphones and take a listen for yourself.

This is starting at about 40db, and at around 7mins+ it is 120db or more.
No audible distortion and it can play at this level for days.



My DAC is an ESS Reference Sabre 32:
http://www.esstech.com/PDF/ES9018%20ES9012%20Product%20Brief.pdf
http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-105/blu-ray-BDP-105-Features.aspx
My pre-amp is an Emotiva Extreme Reference Stereo Preamp XSP-1: http://shop.emotiva.com/products/xsp1

End-To-End Balanced XLR (in 2-ch at least.) and is rated for -120db THD and a 133db Dynamic Range.
This is world-class results, pretty much the best there is as of 2013,
and NOT retarded expensive either... as some Hi-Fi stuff gets (& with worse results I might add).

My tweeter amp is a Lab Gruppen clone [& friends], yes that's 10600watts going to my SEOS's.

Class A and Class A/B.


The distortion from my speakers is 0.0%, in fact it measures better than my measurement mic does (which actually adds more distortion LOL).


and it's flat too: 9hz (with subwoofers) to 18.3khz +- 2.7db.



If you can't like the sound of this rig (in-person at least).. then it simply can't be done!

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post #29 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

tricky is teasing out all the effects related to listener fatigue, which is what i was referring to.
OK. I read it as more an SPL issue.
I don't think LF is that tricky; keep the transfer function as linear as possible, minimise ugliness in the polars and keep the time domain response short. Easier said than accomplished, but not all that complex an issue.
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post #30 of 56 Old 10-15-2013, 07:09 PM
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what about weirdness in intermodulation distortion that might not be audible at first pass or in a relatively short a-b, but is very hard for the mind to sort out because it is not harmonically related distortion, very unnatural, and in turn very "fatiguing" to listen to. not that you can really tell that there is anything wrong with the music, it is just tiring and you want to turn it off.

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