Listening impressions of some interesting drivers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 12-27-2013, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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A friend of mine is outfitting a home theater and the speakers are falling to me to decide. Given the budget and goals we have settled on going with bookshelf size speakers all around, matched to 3 or 4 Peerless XLS 12" subs. So I rounded up some drivers and set to work on some designs and thought I'd share what I found. This all very subjective, so don't shoot the messenger, and keep in mind it is only my own perception and tastes expressed.

The woofers are the Zaph ZA14 and Scanspeak Discovery SS15. Tweeters are Peerless HDS, Dayton RS28A, SEAS T25C001, and Vifa NE19VTC. Since there are some very good commercial designs in this price range I picked two: the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 and Kef Q100. Actually the Kef was not the retail speaker, but the raw driver, more on that later. The DIY designs all used the Dayton .38cf cabinets with the same driver layout so baffle diffraction would be the same. I used the minidsp for crossover work, and I have to say this is an invaluable tool for prototyping and quickly comparing changes. The other key thing is these are comparisons between single speakers in mono, since I would need 4 of everything instead of 2 of everything to do direct A/B comparisons if I wanted to do it in stereo. I'm not sure how listening in mono may change the sound, so keep that in mind. I used a 2khz crossover for the RS28A, HDS, and T25C001, but as I've found in the past I like the HDS a bit higher, so it was at 2.3khz for the final reviews below. The NE19VTC was at 3khz. I've also been doing final voicing on my Bosebuster v2 during this time and those made it apparent the NE19 likes to be crossed a bit higher than 3khz to get the cleanest sound. The grittiness or spittiness goes away very quickly above 3khz and I'm finding 3.3khz-3.5khz is probably the sweet spot. Anyway for this comparo matched with the SS15 they were at 3khz, so there are some improvements to be made later. For the Kef I used a LR4 2.5khz crossover to match the retail speaker. Where they might differ is BSC. I basically matched all the speakers to be basically the same, about 4db of BSC. I've heard the retail Kef can sound a bit lightweight, so it is possible they use less BSC, and they may not sound exactly like my version. All speakers were level matched from 200-10000hz.

I started with comparing the HDS/ZA14 versus the HDS/SS15, so basically just comparing the woofer. At 2khz these sound near identical, I mean it was really hard to pick out a difference. And this is even with turning off the tweeter to just listen to the woofer, a very enlightening thing to do, especially with tweeters. It really helped to narrow down which driver was misbehaving at times. I would find later the differences between these woofers become more obvious as you go up in XO frequency, with the ZA14 getting a bit forward and shouty by 3khz. But at 2-2.3khz, near identical. After a lot of switching back and forth my impression was that the ZA14 was just a touch more composed in the middle/upper midrange, and so this is the woofer I used when comparing the HDS, RS28A, and T25C001 to each other. Both ZA14 and SS15 had refined if not voluminous bass. Both stayed pretty composed when the cone really got moving, with maybe a slight nod to the ZA14 for being better behaved, but this is probably not much of a distinction since they both were well behaved right until they started bottoming at about the same point. So with the woofer decided on to the tweeters.

HDS/ZA14 vs RS28A/ZA14
I felt the RS28A was very clean and clear, but a bit more forward and harder or "clinical", while the HDS was more open, natural and spacious - vocals and many instruments just sound more real and present. The RS28A is very well behaved, probably more than any other tweeter I've used since the Scanpeak 9800 (which I've heard was the "inspiration" for Usher when making the RS28A style tweeter). The HDS will occasionally misbehave: there is some area on the low end of its range that will occasionally jump out at you. Not crossing too low helps a lot, but I really need to get around to using a waveguide to see if I can finally solve it, because to me the HDS is otherwise the best sounding tweeter here. Still both of these are very good tweeters, and if it sounds like I'm being a little hard on the RS28A with it being a bit harder or forward, it is only in comparison to the HDS in quick A/B switching, it is not a hard or forward tweeter in an absolute sense.

HDS/ZA14 vs T25C001/ZA14
These tweeters sound REALLY similar. In the end I felt the HDS was just a squidge more natural and spacious, while the T25C001 was a better behaved in that area the HDS isn't, but a bit harder and less spacious. I don't want to overdo the differences here though, they are very similar. If I can solve or just accept the occasional HDS misbehavior I'd go with it, if not the SEAS is probably the least troublesome pick while sounding much the same as the HDS in all the ways I really like about that tweeter.

I also compared the SS15 with the above tweeters versus the ZA14 versions, but as I said there just isn't much difference at this crossover point so I won't bother with any impressions. Now that I found a good combo in the HDS/ZA14 I compared it to the Kef Q100.

HDS/ZA14 vs Kef Q100
This Kef is sort of a heartbreaker. It does some things SO well, and than it falters a bit. First the midrange and lower treble are really good: coherent and solid. Nothing wanders back and forth between tweeter and woofer. More forward than anything else here (due to the solid upper midrange and possibly the directivity), and most of the time this was a good thing: vocals are very clear and real, solid. Instruments in that area are similarly clear and solid. It was really very different in presentation from the other speakers in this regard. Usually a big, solid image. But...the forwardness could really get "in-your-face" at times. The tweeter is a bit rolled off in the "sparkle" area, and can get gritty when pushed. The treble is unrefined compared to most others here. Imaging is very good, but spaciousness was not that great, it could often sound small and speaker-like for lack of a better term on some music that didn't have much content in that prominent upper midrange area. Besides a bit of tweeter grittiness, it could also get congested and closed or "hooded" sounding. The HDS/ZA14 in comparison was more relaxed and refined. More spacious and more "3D" like imaging. More musical and forgiving. If it sounds like the HDS/ZA14 was hugely superior speaker, well it was, except in those areas I noted on the Kef, where it really was no comparison. I think if the Kef woofer breakup could be better controlled or brought down in level, and the tweeter brought to the level of some here, its weaknesses would melt away and you would be left with a very clear, and realistic sounding speaker with big, excellent imaging. If appears the Kef LS50 made improvements in exactly these areas, and they may very well be the speaker to have, doing some important things much better than most DIY designs.

HDS/ZA14 vs Wharfedale 10.1
The first thing I noticed about the 10.1 is how "immediate" and "present" it was. I really like this in a speaker. Combined with a warmer character the music is very involving and enjoyable, just pulling you in. Percussion was very clear and lifelike, the shimmer and sparkle regions are prominent and pleasing. Total lack of sibilance. Overall a very pleasant, well behaved speaker. Except...a hint of constant graininess in the treble. Nothing that ever really annoys you, just overall not as refined and clear as teh HDS, RS28A, or T25C001. Could get a bit congested and honky on more complex material or higher volumes. Sounded smaller and more speakerlike in comparison to the HDS/ZA14. The HDS/ZA14 on the other hand was simply smoother, more refined treble. More spacious and bigger image. Cleaner, calmer, and more composed everywhere. The bass stronger than the 10.1, and much more refined, the 10.1 could get a bit flabby in this area. On the other hand it lacked that immediacy and presence of the 10.1, sounding more detached and colder, maybe harder, and so for all its refinement and clarity, it lost some emotion and musicality to the 10.1

HDS/ZA14 vs NE19VTC/SS15
I must say the NE19/SS15 combo surprised me. But then I made this speaker because I suspect that sometimes the push to lower tweeter crossovers to better match woofer directivity results in a less pleasing speaker,and I wanted to test this out. The problem as we all know is the prominent dip/hump in the power response with a typical speaker. IMHO waveguides are the way to solve this, but the fact is this is not very realistic for most DIY'ers, or at least common yet. Sans waveguide, I'm not always convinced pushing the tweeter lower is always the best way to deal with the dip/hump. Often the speaker can become forward and harder. I suspect it may be because we still have a hump, but now we are pushing it down into the 2khz area where the ear is very sensitive. I wanted to push that hump up in frequency. There will be other tradeoffs I think, in clarity and other aspects, but I was betting the overall sound be a pleasing speaker, versus a clear but hard one. And that is pretty much what I got. They ended up having close (but not quite) the same immediacy and presence of the Wharfedale, similarly lush sounding, though I wouldn't say too warm. Just a musical, involving, pleasing speaker, that pulled you in. The HDS/ZA14 in comparison sounded more distant, and sometimes "flatter" somehow, less involving. OTOH it had a bigger and more 3D soundstage, with smoother and cleaner treble.

NE19VTC/SS15 vs Wharfedale 10.1
The NE19VTC/SS15 was like a Wharfedale 10.1 on steroids. Presence and immediacy are almost (but not quite) as good as teh Wharfedale, but with a much cleaner midrange and treble. More spacious and 3D than the Wharfedale. And the bass of the SS15 was much stronger and more refined. While the Wharfedale always has that immediacy and warmth, in comparison it just sounded smaller, chesty, grainier/hashier. Better bells and sparkle on the NE19VTC also.

NE19VTC/SS15 vs Kef Q100
Again the strong points of the Kef, coherent, solid midrange/lower treble, solid imaging with usually big lifelike image (when content is in that upper midrange/lower treble area) are pretty unbeatable. Clear vocals are usually another plus. The NE19VTC/SS15 just doesn't have the coherence or forward-ish clarity. But its overall presentation was more relaxed, more musical, mostly better refined treble. Doesn't congest and instruments sound more pleasing. Vocals are not as big and clear as the Kef, but often they are more pleasing.

So takeaways...if I could have the coherence and prominent/solid midrange of the Kef, the immediacy and presence musicality of the Wharfedale or NE19VTC/SS15, and the overall refinement and clarity of the HDS/ZA14, well that would about be the perfect speaker. I think the DIY speakers acquitted themselves well, but the retail designs did some important things very well too. I could see someone else listening to these same speakers and - other than the more refined and cleaner treble/upper midrange of the DIY designs - really liking the retail designs for their strengths. In this price range, I could easily recommend either the Kef or Wharfedale to friends or family that wanted to buy a very good speaker for a reasonable price. And they are good speakers, at this price ($350/pr for the Wharfedale and $450/pr for the Kef) it is hard justify spending about the same money and getting covered in sawdust for a not hugely superior DIY design.

The NE19VTC/SS15 combo was a very pleasant surprise. I have a couple waveguides from Dave P. that I want to try to see how well behaved I can get that NE19VTC. I also have the new RS150P on the way and intend to see if it can replace the SS15 sonically. If so a NE19VTC (with or without WG) and RS150P combo could be a very enjoyable and cheap design, even if it is not quite as refined as the HDS/ZA14. I would like to hear some Kef LS50's If they can improve on the slight weaknesses of teh Q100, they could be VERY VERY good. I'm also almost done auditioning the different NE19 versions on my Bosebuster v2 design and I'll post those differences soon. I'll have the Kef Q100 drivers and Wharfedale 10.1's (only took one out of the box!) on sale soon in the classified forum
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post #2 of 40 Old 12-27-2013, 07:05 PM
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Nice write up. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your impressions with the paper Dayton References.
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post #3 of 40 Old 12-28-2013, 05:31 AM
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts and data on these DIY 2-way designs! I also love reading things like this with regards to DIY speakers as most of the threads here on AVS are all about subs

Very refreshing thread! Do you have any plans on building a passive crossover for the HDS/ZA14 or any other versions of these speakers? I would like to do a small build like the HDS/ZA14 to get my feet wet in this stuff, beyond what I have already created, but the problem is that I am unsure of how to design a passive crossover.
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post #4 of 40 Old 12-28-2013, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Once I settle on a design it will be passive. Using active now is just for fast prototyping.
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post #5 of 40 Old 12-28-2013, 03:45 PM
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Have you tried taking sweeps with REW, and THD% calculations, at say: 60hz, 100hz, 500hz, 1khz, 10khz, 15khz?
I'd be curious to see a graph of each one @ 1ft and @ the LP; and how they compare...

I know it is asking a lot (very time consuming etc), but it might give you an additional lens/information to explain what your were hearing. Perhaps the drivers that sound bad had higher distortion and/or had a less-flat response than the others; (and perhaps that could be compensated with EQ?)
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post #6 of 40 Old 12-28-2013, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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zaph measured these very drivers, you can see the results on his site.
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post #7 of 40 Old 12-29-2013, 11:25 AM
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Great comparison and write up. Thanks for taking the time.

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post #8 of 40 Old 12-29-2013, 06:32 PM
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I'm surprised you found the Wharfdale competitive. The Stereophile measurements show some driver resonances that are frankly surprising in a modern product.

Also, FWIW the stock Q100 doesn't use anything like a 4th order XO. Think "cap+coil+resistor."

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post #9 of 40 Old 12-29-2013, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

I'm surprised you found the Wharfdale competitive. The Stereophile measurements show some driver resonances that are frankly surprising in a modern product.

Well, it wasn't perfect, it's just that its misbehavior was more like constant low level stuff, that didn't really jump out at you and annoy. The tweeter could be unrefined/grainy, and now that you mention resonance there is a lower midrange or upper midbass resonance I did notice on certain material. I think that is why I wrote "chesty" in my notes. Still the overall presentation for this reasonably priced speaker was warm, sparkly, and involving.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Also, FWIW the stock Q100 doesn't use anything like a 4th order XO. Think "cap+coil+resistor."

I meant 4th order acoustic, which I believe is what Kef used, though I don't remember where I read that.
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post #10 of 40 Old 01-07-2014, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's are for sale in the classifieds. Also:

Onix Rocket theater package: pair RS760, pair RS250, one RSC200. Very good condition, local pickup (Denver) only. $600

2 KEF Q100 raw drivers, also barely used. $175 shipped

2 Seas T25C001 tweeters. Maybe a couple hours on them, like new. $120 shipped

2 Acoustic Elegance IB15's, new in the box. $250 shipped

1 TC Sounds 12" TC2000, new in the box. $200 shipped

2 Eminence Deltalite II 2512's Only pulled out the box for measurements. $150 shipped

1 Beyma CP385ND, only pulled out of the box for measurements. $100 shipped

Paypal only. CONUS only. Direct all questions and comments to whippersnapper02 at yahoo
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post #11 of 40 Old 01-08-2014, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Also added for sale:
2 Vifa NE25VTC tweeters. New. $30 shipped

1 Usher 9950 tweeter. New. $30 shipped

Dayton grab bag: 1 RS225-8, 1 RS225-4, 1 RS100-4. Selling them together to make shipping worth it. $50 shipped

2 BG Neo3PDR tweeters with faceplates. Used but in good condition. $50 shipped

2 B&C DE160 compression drivers. Very nice sounding tweeter. Used but in good condition. $75 shipped
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post #12 of 40 Old 03-24-2014, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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So I've been listening to the SB26STCN and LD22C, both mated to the 15cm Scan Discovery woofer, for the last couple days. Started auditioning at 2.8khz LR4. Both are very good, and I'm not sure which I like better-or could live with longer-but I'm starting to lean toward the SB26STCN. It is CLEAR. The phrase 'bell-like clarity" come to mind. Nice presence, sparkle and tone. The LD22C is drier. Gives up some clarity and tone to the SB26STCN, but I think over time is the more non-fatiguing sound. And that is where I'm stuck. The SB26STCN will definitely impress out of the gate with its clarity and big image, but sometimes it seems too much in my lively room. The LD22C's drier/hazier sound would never fatigue. I should mention these qualities are relative to each other (with the exception of the big clarity of the SB) and not so much absolute qualities. IOW no one should take this as the LD22C is not a detailed or clear tweeter. It is. Just not like the SB. Both are very well behaved, with no strained or shriek sound that many small format with non-existent chambers have. They behave very well really. When they are pushed to misbehave, the SB starts to get very forward, the LD22C gets busy sounding with some hash/strain, but both are graceful compared to many tweeters. No scream or shriek. No sizzle.

Comparing to the HDS (at 2.8khz still), the HDS seems sort of a middle ground between the two. Which would be perfect to me, although it has its own misbehaviors too. A slightly strained or pinched sound on some material. Dropping to 2.4khz on all tweeters and things change considerably. The BIG CLARITY of the SB is indeed making me cringe when I switch back and forth. The HDS comes into its own compared with the other two as being big and clear like the other two, but more refined and well behaved. The LD22C sounds like it is working harder, getting a little busy.

So right now I'm narrowing in on where the tweeters like to be crossed, and do some massaging of the SB response to see if I can tame it a bit without losing its great clarity and tone. I think an experienced designer willing to tweak may in the end prefer the SB. Newer designers who want to measure, design for flat, and be done will love the CSS LD22C. Both are a bargain.
There are definitely some designs that will result from these excellent drivers. I've pretty much finalized the final baffle designs:



I also started comparing the NE19 on a waveguide. No definitive opinion yet, the sound was so different. At first I thought the WG version was messed up somehow because the loudness was quite different, but the impedance and response looked ok. I bumped the level up 2dB and suddenly they sounded much better. Switching back and forth, the flat baffle is open and spacious, the WG sounded little. More switching, the WG sounds more relaxed and more dynamic, but still sort of closed in, while the flat baffle is spacious, but splashy. More switching and more music the WG is definitely more controlled, and integrates well with the woofer, the flat baffle sometimes sounds like separate drivers playing sound. And that is about where my auditioning has progressed. The WG has some real pluses, but the spaciousness is a minus right now, so I can't say which I like better. However, I am still auditioning these in mono, my experience with more controlled directivity designs tells me that things might change a lot with the spaciousness when run in stereo. When you sit in the sweet spot of a high-ish DI design the image really snaps into focus and size, more so than conventional designs where all that treble/upper midrange is getting thrown wide.

Comparing the Scan Discovery 15W to the SB Acoustics SB15NRX is interesting. They both sound very excellent so far LR4 @ 2.8khz. I find the breakup of the SB to be not so benign, I would say it is required to suppress that breakup, otherwise a hissy “shh” sound can get through on some material, and at higher volumes. After I programmed a notch (just to match the Scan roll off, not as a bottomless sink) for that it was much better, but still there a bit, probably harmonic distortion tickling that area. The bass is more solid and more defined versus the Scan. I think the Scan is just a bit sweeter and somehow more 3D. The SB sounds more consistent from one song to the next, sometimes the Scan sounds like the clearly better driver, then the next song it just doesn’t. I really go back and forth on which I like better. If it was for a design without a sub I think the SB is a no-brainer – provided the breakup is really sunk. As a mid I think I’d probably go with the Scan. Really makes me wonder how the pure mid 15M Discovery with the phase plug is.

The Aurum Cantus AST2560 has just arrived to see if I like the sound well enough for a 3-way I’m building right now. Also the Silverflute 14cm is on the for a hopefully excellent match with the SB26STCN. And the B&C 8CXN51 will be done for the next round too.
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post #13 of 40 Old 03-25-2014, 06:51 AM
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Nice write up! I remember reading the first part of this thread back several months ago!

I am curious as to where , and how you came up with a waveguide that will fit with a dome tweeter? I have often wondered why we don't see many waveguides for non-compression driver tweeters??

I wonder how a well designed waveguide would sound with a high quality dome from the likes of Seas, ScanSpeak and/or a high value tweeter like the Dayton RS28? I would imagine that with a high quality Seas/ScanSpeak dome , you would likely get the benefits of the domes compared to compression drivers, and also get the dispersion & directivity control that comes from using a waveguide...right?
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post #14 of 40 Old 03-25-2014, 09:48 AM
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Augerpro, thank you so much, your comparison thoughts are always a good read. And for me ... it's been a while, so thanks.


Marty, the Triad Platinum three way MTMs employ a waveguide/horn lens in front of their (iirc) silk dome tweeter. AVSer CraigJohn absolutely loves his Triad Platinum LCRs ... so that's one such example.

Also, iirc ... zaph has testing and comments on waveguide loaded dome tweeter.
And, I believe that Klipsch uses/used typical metal dome tweeters in their line of RB and RF offerings, loaded into those horns. Their best stuff had real compression drivers, RB75, RF7, ... etc, but just wanted to point that out.... they're out there.

Thanks

Also, iirc

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post #15 of 40 Old 03-25-2014, 10:05 AM
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Dave Pellagrine over at TechTalk forum has also done a number of threads about using dome tweeters on home-made waveguides, lots of data and results
http://techtalk.parts-express.com/showthread.php?241874-Deltalite-II-2512-TB75-1558-AudaxTW25A8-Combo-Waveguide

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post #16 of 40 Old 03-25-2014, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post


I am curious as to where , and how you came up with a waveguide that will fit with a dome tweeter? I have often wondered why we don't see many waveguides for non-compression driver tweeters??

I wonder how a well designed waveguide would sound with a high quality dome from the likes of Seas, ScanSpeak and/or a high value tweeter like the Dayton RS28? I would imagine that with a high quality Seas/ScanSpeak dome , you would likely get the benefits of the domes compared to compression drivers, and also get the dispersion & directivity control that comes from using a waveguide...right?

Lots of people doing this. Including myself. I've done quite a few smaller speakers with small waveguides. There's another guy on tech talk, TNAllen who has a CNC and plays with waveguides. I used to chat with him quite a bit. I haven't for quite a while. But he'll cut you waveguides out of wood. I've tested a lot of his waveguides and they're very good.

The ring radiator tweeters like the SB Acoustics SB29 and Vifa XT25 do really well in waveguides. I've even hacked up a few Denovo waveguides and fitted the XT25 to them. The SB29 in the Dayton 8" round horn is a monster.

Lots of fun.
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post #17 of 40 Old 03-25-2014, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the comments everyone! I got my waveguides from Dave Pellegrene, he has a website Pellegrene Acoustics I think. Dave and Pete Shumacher are both doing projects with a "hifi" dome and pro audio 8" (both B&C I think).
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post #18 of 40 Old 03-26-2014, 06:32 AM
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Thanks for that information fellas! I had no idea there were so many different dome tweeter/waveguide implementations already, although I vaguely remember reading about the one that Zaph used. I have a few more questions regarding waveguides on done tweeters that I am hoping to find some answers to.

First, how do you go about finding an ideal waveguide to compliment a particular dome tweeter? Is it a matter of pattern dispersion that needs to match up to a mid or woofer, and is it going to depend, heavily on the intended lowest crossover point of the dome tweeter?

Can Dave Pellegrene design custom waveguides for domes, or does he just build them to someone else's specifications?

I have been stuck thinking about compression drivers, ribbons, AMT's ect...for so long that I am not even sure what good domes are out there at the moment. I absolutely love my RAAL's, and I am also curious to try a waveguide for those as well.
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post #19 of 40 Old 03-26-2014, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Dave's waveguides are adapted to specific tweeters he's tested. Good ones too like the Dayton RS28A and Scanspeak HDS. He's working on one right now for one of the Aurum Cantus AMTs. I think he'll do custom if it is a tweeter he's interested in.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augerpro View Post

Dave's waveguides are adapted to specific tweeters he's tested. Good ones too like the Dayton RS28A and Scanspeak HDS. He's working on one right now for one of the Aurum Cantus AMTs. I think he'll do custom if it is a tweeter he's interested in.

Sweet! Can you PM me or post up his contact info?
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post #21 of 40 Old 03-28-2014, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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post #22 of 40 Old 03-29-2014, 04:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I couldn't find the response plots of his guides, but if you contact him he will show you
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post #23 of 40 Old 04-11-2014, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Had a chance to play with the Aurum Cantus AST2560 air motion tweeter. I took the felt off the back, built small enclosure behind maybe 2" deep, and filled it with that denim stuffing from HD. Here is the response on 8" x 14" baffle from the Dayton .38cf cabinet that I've been using:



The dip at 3khz and peak at 4-5khz is baffle diffraction and will be easily corrected on a baffle for a final design. I've only been able to compare to the Peerless HDS, both crossing 2.5khz LR4 and matched to the Scan Disco woofer I've been using (and growing very fond of). These are very well behaved tweeters. No weird resonances, no sibilance or splashiness, just very calm. Decently open sounding. I think it gives up a bit of musicality *at times* to the HDS, but only in the areas where the HDS excels past everything I've heard anyway: bells, plucked strings, *some* female vocals and piano. But everywhere the HDS falls short, the AST2560 is just playing along calmly. Integrates well with the woofer and doesn't bring attention to itself. I would say better behaved than maybe even the RS28A, but more open and dry sounding.

Played with the Silverflute 14cm to pair with the SB26STCN and I don't think there is a better sounding woofer for <$50. Really good, just open, smooth, and with good bass. Yeah high frequency non-linear distortion ultimately limits it, but not easily, and not as much as you'd think versus much higher priced woofers like the SB 15NRX. Definitely going to have a cheap design coming with this woofer for friends dipping their toes into good audio.

Using the SB SB26STCN tweeter with the Fountek FR88 in my Bosebuster sequel is a done deal. Love it. You would think these would only be good at easy listening music while hard rock or metal would bring them to their knees, but playing some Tool or NIN really brings these little buggers alive!! I have them crossed to Silverflute 8" subs that impress the hell out of me for 12" cubes. I'll finish the documentation and publish that if anyone is interested.

I tried the poly cone SB15MFC for the heck of it to see how it compares to the paper version I already reviewed above. I like it better than the paper. It is a bit more liquid and fuller sounding, and before you write that off as detail killing warmth, I think it actually has a slightly more detailed midrange than the paper. OTOH the paper is just a bit better behaved on the high notes, but the presentation is just flatter and less real. Now these are aren't huge differences, I'm playing music for hours while switching back and forth via minidsp, so it is easier to the tell the difference. I had pretty much decided to go with the Scan Disco over the paper SB15NRX for musicality, but with this poly SB having some of those same strengths - maybe 1/3 of the way from the paper NRX to the Scan Disco- it makes the choice much harder since with the SB I'll also gain stronger and more defined bass than the Disco. More investigation needed there.

Only had about 30 minutes to listen to the B&C 8CXN51 coaxial driver. I love these pro drivers, just great percussion and liveliness. The tweeter seems a lot like other B&C polyamide CD's, which is to say at or near the top of the heap. But still not as well behaved or smooth as a really good hifi dome. I think the sweet spot might be 8" pro woofers matched with good hifi domes on waveguides. But still haven't spent enough time to see where to cross, or where to smooth the response so this is still very much a work in progress and I have high hopes.
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Wow, again, AurgerPro, I must say that I am so appreciative of you taking your time, & money to do these listening test!

Quick question, what do you guys consider the absolutely best done tweeter that is $350 or under? Just curious!
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I'd agree on the dome / waveguide /8" woofer comment. But directivity doesn't extend that low.

I was playing with the SB29 in an 8" WG paired with the Silver Flute W20 when the seos12 came along. That ended it. It is a sweet spot in terms of cost, size, performance. And domes sure are nice to work with.
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post #27 of 40 Old 05-04-2014, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Transducer Labs tweeters are on the way! Will be interesting to see how they compare to the AC AST2560 and Scan HDS (just replaced my Peerless HDS with the Scans on the off chance there has been a modification improvement). Hope they are a real step up and end up in my 3-way using the TangBand 3" dome mid.

And the final designs that resulted from this thread are being fabbed as we speak, here are about half the baffles:



Several flavors depending on what my friends decide to do, Silverflute woofer & SB26STCN in MTM, SBA poly cone & SB26STCN in TM and MTM, Scan Disco & HDS in TM and MTM, and possibly SBA poly cone & HDS in TM and/or MTM.
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Originally Posted by augerpro View Post

Transducer Labs tweeters are on the way! Will be interesting to see how they compare to the AC AST2560 and Scan HDS (just replaced my Peerless HDS with the Scans on the off chance there has been a modification improvement). Hope they are a real step up and end up in my 3-way using the TangBand 3" dome mid.

And the final designs that resulted from this thread are being fabbed as we speak, here are about half the baffles:



Several flavors depending on what my friends decide to do, Silverflute woofer & SB26STCN in MTM, SBA poly cone & SB26STCN in TM and MTM, Scan Disco & HDS in TM and MTM, and possibly SBA poly cone & HDS in TM and/or MTM.

What is the best dome tweeter that can reach down to at least 1,800hz to 2,000hz, in the $300 to $400 dollar price range? Looking for something that can compete with the RAAL in on the top end?


Any plans to try out some other ribbons? Perhaps the RAAL? I personally own some Ascend Acoustic RAAL equipped Sierra-1's and after spending some time with them I am convinced more now than ever that the RAAL is the best tweeter ever made.

I am, however, highly interested in finding a dome that would have the detail, clarity, and revealing qualities that the RAAL possesses. I want to eventually try a design using a high end dome tweeter mounted on a custom waveguide, and perhaps pick up the Seos waveguide for the RAAL and make a controlled directivity semi-ish high efficiency speaker that can reach higher SPL with lower distortion than using a typical ribbon or dome in a traditional design.,
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post #29 of 40 Old 05-06-2014, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I've never tested any tweeters in the $300-400 range so I can't help you there. But I have high hopes for the TL's. They seem to get rave reviews from everyone that has used them, including those that have used the RAAL's too. I'd love to try the RAAL's someday, but at $400 it won't be soon. I like the weight of dome anyway, the Fountek's I've used just seemed too lightweight for my tastes.
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post #30 of 40 Old 05-20-2014, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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So after 5 months I have distilled my experiences in this thread down to some finished designs that I just finished constructing. First is super cheap and easy Silverflute W14 and SB26STCN MTM, using the 4 ohm drivers in series for an easy load:

IMAG0212.jpg

For my buddies home theater, SB15MFC woofers and SB26STCN in MTM or TM:

IMAG0211.jpg

For my own home theater I'll be using the ScanSpeak Disco 15cm and Scanspeak HDS in TM, here is the MTM:

IMAG0213.jpg

I'll also be doing versions of the SB15MFC with the Scanspeak HDS, but no pics yet.

New reference 3-ways for my music room. Peerless Exclusive 8" woofer (I'll also be doing a version with the SB 8"), Transducer Labs tweeter, and a mid to be selected after auditioning: either the TangBand 3" dome or BG Neo8:

IMAG0214.jpg

And pending a writeup my BoseBuster version 2 are done finally:

IMAG0215.jpg
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