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post #1 of 28 Old 05-14-2012, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all --

So about ten months ago I took the plunge and bought the following:

- Peachtree iNova
- Totem Rainmakers
- Project Debut III Turntable
- Cambridge Audio P640 Phono Stage

At the time, I was buying a system geared towards the fact that about 90% of my listening would be via lossless digital. I added the turntable on a whim, thinking it would be a nice side addition to a primarily digital-centric system.

If I'm honest, I was never massively blown away by this setup. Everything sounded a bit on the tinny side; I felt like I was missing midrange. Beyond that, I wasn't massively impressed by the iNova as an amp. So two weeks ago, on a whim, I bought a used Adcom GFA 545-II from eBay. Long story short: I love it, and I feel like it's given me a lot of the power/oomph/warmth that I was lacking, but the addition of such power for a relatively little sticker price and the fact that I'm now using the iNova strictly as a pre/DAC has got me wondering whether I shouldn't get rid of the iNova and replace it with a dedicated DAC and a slightly better-rounded switcher. (Basically, I'm addicted to the upgrade and I'm looking to plus.)

To further complicate matters, in the past ten months I've fallen in love with vinyl and now find that vinyl accounts for approximately 30% of my listening. So a dedicated digital setup maybe isn't going to cut it anymore.

Anyway, apologies for the ramble, and of course I realize that what I'm asking is HIGHLY subjective, but I guess my question is twofold:

- Assuming I could get $1400 or so back for the iNova, would I be better off getting rid of this, getting a dedicated DAC and investing the money elsewhere?

- If you had these components and an additional $1k on top of any potential iNova resale value to sink into an upgrade, where would you spend the money?

Thanks all. In awe of the knowledge here and looking forward to your thoughts.
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post #2 of 28 Old 05-14-2012, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiscores View Post

Hi all --

So about ten months ago I took the plunge and bought the following:

- Peachtree iNova
- Totem Rainmakers
- Project Debut III Turntable
- Cambridge Audio P640 Phono Stage

At the time, I was buying a system geared towards the fact that about 90% of my listening would be via lossless digital. I added the turntable on a whim, thinking it would be a nice side addition to a primarily digital-centric system.

If I'm honest, I was never massively blown away by this setup. Everything sounded a bit on the tinny side; I felt like I was missing midrange. Beyond that, I wasn't massively impressed by the iNova as an amp. So two weeks ago, on a whim, I bought a used Adcom GFA 545-II from eBay. Long story short: I love it, and I feel like it's given me a lot of the power/oomph/warmth that I was lacking, but the addition of such power for a relatively little sticker price and the fact that I'm now using the iNova strictly as a pre/DAC has got me wondering whether I shouldn't get rid of the iNova and replace it with a dedicated DAC and a slightly better-rounded switcher. (Basically, I'm addicted to the upgrade and I'm looking to plus.)

To further complicate matters, in the past ten months I've fallen in love with vinyl and now find that vinyl accounts for approximately 30% of my listening. So a dedicated digital setup maybe isn't going to cut it anymore.

Anyway, apologies for the ramble, and of course I realize that what I'm asking is HIGHLY subjective, but I guess my question is twofold:

- Assuming I could get $1400 or so back for the iNova, would I be better off getting rid of this, getting a dedicated DAC and investing the money elsewhere?

- If you had these components and an additional $1k on top of any potential iNova resale value to sink into an upgrade, where would you spend the money?

Thanks all. In awe of the knowledge here and looking forward to your thoughts.

Why those speakers with that amp? I'd probably look for different speakers and add a sub.

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post #3 of 28 Old 05-14-2012, 08:52 PM
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^What he said.....first thing that came to mind was weak link speakers
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post #4 of 28 Old 05-14-2012, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiscores View Post

Hi all --
- Assuming I could get $1400 or so back for the iNova, would I be better off getting rid of this,

Yes.

Quote:


getting a dedicated DAC

No.

Quote:


and investing the money elsewhere?
- If you had these components and an additional $1k on top of any potential iNova resale value to sink into an upgrade, where would you spend the money?

Better speakers that don't have the tweeter cranked up so high, actually have low bass instead of a mid-bass peak, and are probably three-way speakers if I was sticking with conventional cone-and-dome designs.
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post #5 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry R View Post

^What he said.....first thing that came to mind was weak link speakers

I did a little research and came up with this:



People like to say that you can't tell how a speaker sounds from measurements, but these seem to agree with the OP when he said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiscore (OP) View Post

"If I'm honest, I was never massively blown away by this setup. Everything sounded a bit on the tinny side; I felt like I was missing midrange."

I spend a lot of time doing live sound, and were I inclined to obtain a tinny sound, I'd dial in that peak starting at 3500 Hz and peaking around 11 KHz. If I wanted weak midrange, I'd put in the broad suck-out we see above between 300 Hz and 4 KHz.

Then there is the Totem's bass roll off starting at about 120 Hz. The broad rise around that frequency usually sounds boomy. Boomy, no midrange and tinny - just what I don't want in a small speaker.

Compare that with this speaker:



This is the classic NHT Superzero. Note the generally smooth response and absence of peaks. A little less bass, but look at the comparison in physical size: 5.5" W by 9" H by 5" D. External volume 247.5 cubic inches. Compare the SZ to the Totem: 14" H by 6.8" W by 9" D. External volume 630 cubic inches.

The Totem has poor volume efficiency - it is large for its bass extension, no doubt due to higher efficiency which is not necessary in a modern speaker given the many opportunities for clean amplifier power at low prices.

I'd say that the Totem was designed to sound impressive for no more than 5 minutes, and only to people whose ears lack experience. It has long been known that limited bass extension is more tolerable if overall response is smooth - that's the charm of the classic LS3/5A. The SZ designers seem to have known that for 17 years, but Totem's must still be learning.
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post #6 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 04:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting feedback.

FYI I bought the Rainmaker because I've had Totem Mites for the last ten years and absolutely love them, but yeah... they've been disappointing.

To the poster who recommended getting rid of the iNova but not replacing it with another DAC.... not sure I follow?

Thanks all for your help.
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post #7 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiscores View Post

Interesting feedback.

FYI I bought the Rainmaker because I've had Totem Mites for the last ten years and absolutely love them, but yeah... they've been disappointing

That's one of the failings of brand loyalty, especially 10 years later. Lots of things change and few manufacturers hit the ball out of the park with every speaker in their line.

Quote:



To the poster who recommended getting rid of the iNova but not replacing it with another DAC.... not sure I follow?

Hold that thought. If there are two camps on AVS, one would be the people who put all their sound quality eggs into a basket called "electronics" and the others who have a lot of respect for the sound quality benefits of good speakers matched to listening rooms with good acoustics.

Right now, who do you believe? ;-)
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post #8 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 05:36 AM
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^^^

to use one of my favorite phrases....

"graph don't lie"....


- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #9 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^

to use one of my favorite phrases....

"graph don't lie"....


That's related to the old one about "figures don't lie but liars figure".

In this case the graphs were made by the same guy - John Atkinson. I disagree with a lot of things he does, but his measurements seem to be consistent and thus can be useful. Just about nobody else is doing the same volume and quality of work, and has done so for as long. In that way he thoroughly eclipses his predecessor, the inestimable JGH.
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post #10 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 08:59 AM
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Apparently you have never heard the speakers in question with a really good amplifier; they are excellent-sounding speakers. The only small speakers I know of that might be a lot better for under $1500 are the Dynaudio Excite X12 speakers.

No weak link there!!! That is a crock of crap. They will definitely sound great with the right amplifier; I have heard it and you should too! The very slight mid-bass peak in the test graph is insignificant compared with the variability of floor-effect reinforcement and other variable room effects at those frequencies. The Adcom amplifier was a big improvement here over its predecessor, and IT is not all that good and is greatly outperformed by some good integrated amplifiers in the $1500 or so price range.

The right integrated amplifier is the only thing missing here for excellent sound quality. Dump the Nova and the Adcom and get a good integrated amplifier. If you put garbage into a good speaker, it will faithfully reproduce that garbage; is that the fault of the speaker? Nope. You are blaming the messenger.

The rise between 7 and 10 Khz would concern me if you could identify ANY significant musical content at those frequencies, which is non-existent in almost all music. Otherwise, it is of no concern, since a slight boost of nothing is still nothing.

My first choice to upgrade that system would be the Musical Fidelity M3i integrated amplifier; those speakers will show what they can do with the right amplifier. The Cambridge 651A is good, but the M3i and Creek 5350 amplifiers are much better.

I have heard those speakers with the M3i, and NO ONE who hears that combination will criticize those speakers much once they actually hear it. Excellent sound.

If you check out the article Stereophile did on the Rainmaker, you will notice that the Creek 5350 amplifier was used, and there wasn't even any suggestion of any sonic deficiencies in this speaker; on the contrary; the sound qualities were thoroughly analyzed and praised all the way through on a wide variety of music.





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Originally Posted by Perry R View Post

^What he said.....first thing that came to mind was weak link speakers

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post #11 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 11:25 AM
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I've heard these speakers many times, with many different amplifiers.
They are found at multiple Canadian retailers, I have friends that own a few different Totem models.

Personal preference decides weather theyre "Excellent" or not so it would be hard to sway either of us.
In MY opinion you can do so much better for the dollars. Leaps and bounds better if you can DIY
cabinets for many of the internet offerings......its amazing whats available for $1500 these days.
Of course if youve never heard what a $500 kit can buy you then you wouldnt know.....a $1500
kit could be your last speaker purchase.
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post #12 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Apparently you have never heard the speakers in question with a really good amplifier; they are excellent-sounding speakers.

Ah, we now receive input from the "the right amplifier fixes substandard speakers department".

Quote:
The only small speakers I know of that might be a lot better for under $1500 are the Dynaudio Excite X12 speakers.

God help the speaker industry if that is true!

The L100 was an interesting speaker back in the day, but even then it was well known as an example of what we then called "The West Coast Sound" which was bright and brassy.

The problem with the L100 was and is its crossover's design. These problems are particularly audible in the midrange. It is not about frequency response per se, its about a crossover that is very substandard by modern criteria. It's main fault is that it wasn't enough crossvover.

Here is a schematic of the L100 crossover that is usually given:



The first noticable problem is that the woofer driver is driven full-range. The second problem is that the midrange driver is not attenuated at high frequencies.

This shows up in actual performance as shown here:



This plot clearly shows that the woofer is active and producing audible sound over much of the range of the other drivers (only 3 dB down around 5.5 Khz) and that midrange is producing audible sound over much of the operational range of the tweeter (only 10 dB down around 4 Khz and 8 Khz). as the lower plot shows, the drivers are nothing like in phase with each other at these frequencies leading to very odd directionality and probably some comb filtering that does not show up in speaker frequency response plots with the usual amounts of averaging and smoothing. one artifact that does show up despite everything is the notch at 5 KHz.

Many owners report oddness and confusing sound, particularly with human voices. Note that the modern P163 uses Linkwitz-Reily crossovers which attend to all of these details in the interest of smooth sound and improved imaging.

Quote:
No weak link there!!! That is a crock of crap. They will definitely sound great with the right amplifier; I have heard it and you should too! The very slight mid-bass peak in the test graph is insignificant compared with the variability of floor-effect reinforcement and other variable room effects at those frequencies. The Adcom amplifier was a big improvement here over its predecessor, and IT is not all that good and is greatly outperformed by some good integrated amplifiers in the $1500 or so price range.

You can call it a crock of crap, I call it science. At this point the L100 is one of the most analyzed loudspeaker around and multiple authors (only a few of whose pages I have cited measurements from) report pretty much the same difficulties, largely due to the primitive crossover. Amplifiers can't fix bad crossovers.

Quote:
The right integrated amplifier is the only thing missing here for excellent sound quality. Dump the Nova and the Adcom and get a good integrated amplifier. If you put garbage into a good speaker, it will faithfully reproduce that garbage; is that the fault of the speaker? Nope. You are blaming the messenger.

The messenger in this case is the loudspeaker itself, whose original design is grotesquely flawed by modern standards. If you take a P163 apart and compare it to a L100 you will see that the P163 drivers lack the visual refinements of the L100 parts. Lots of stamped metal in place of some pretty nice looking castings. What you can't see are things like the far longer xmax and voice coil power capacity of the P163. Actually the drivers in the L100 aren't all that bad - many people have worked over the crossover situation and benefitted from improves sound quality - better frequency response and imaging.

Quote:
The rise between 7 and 10 Khz would concern me if you could identify ANY significant musical content at those frequencies, which is non-existent in almost all music. Otherwise, it is of no concern, since a slight boost of nothing is still nothing.

All I can do is show you the relevant facts from this independent source:



Letsee the only instruments with significant response above 7 Khz are the:

Piano, pipe organ, violin, cello, bassoon, clarinet, oboe, flute, picollo, trombone, trumpet, cymbals, and female voice.

Sure, why don't we forget about accurate reproduction of all of those instruments so that the L100 advocates can stay happy. Hmmm, not so much! ;-)
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post #13 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 11:57 AM
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The best amp isn't going to help crappy speakers, period. As far as excites go, they were the least exciting bookshelfs I've heard for the money. Im quite surprised not to find commy recommending the cambridge audio 650 to fix the problem with the speakers... He threw a curve and recommended a 651 instead.
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post #14 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 12:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

No weak link there!!! That is a crock of crap. They will definitely sound great with the right amplifier; I have heard it and you should too!

Aren't you the one who doesn't understand what proper level matched comparison is?:
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

That doesn't make sense. Using a SPL meter and repeatable test tones is an excellent method for matching levels, as any qualified audio engineer will tell you. They have been doing it that way for many years, and everyone except you is satisfied that it does the job very well.

In any case, I am perfectly satisfied that it does the job well, and is an accepted and proven method among those who are highly qualified in the field.

Given that, all your claims about hearing difference between amps or disc players would come from mismatched levels, not sonic characteristics.
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

...The rise between 7 and 10 Khz would concern me if you could identify ANY significant musical content at those frequencies, which is non-existent in almost all music. Otherwise, it is of no concern, since a slight boost of nothing is still nothing.

If you check out the article Stereophile did on the Rainmaker, you will notice that the Creek 5350 amplifier was used, and there wasn't even any suggestion of any sonic deficiencies in this speaker; on the contrary; the sound qualities were thoroughly analyzed and praised all the way through on a wide variety of music.

Hilarious. First, you say the range from 7 to 10kHz can be ignored in audio? That's groundbreaking stuff there. We shouldn't ignore this. Can we also conclude that the range above 10kHz doesn't matter either (it matters less, I admit)? If that's true, we can just say that the entire range from 7kHz and on up doesn't matter. That will lead to some HUGE bandwidth benefits in audio codec design. I'll let my associates know about this game-changing development.

Second, have you ever seen a Stereophile review that doesn't praise the sound qualities of whatever is being reviewed, regardless of what the measurements ultimately show?

For every new thing I learn, I forget two things I used to know.
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post #16 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

The best amp isn't going to help crappy speakers, period. As far as excites go, they were the least exciting bookshelfs I've heard for the money. Im quite surprised not to find commy recommending the cambridge audio 650 to fix the problem with the speakers... He threw a curve and recommended a 651 instead.

Perhaps he's out of stock on the 650's.....
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post #17 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone... I think?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

perhaps he's out of stock on the 650's.....

lol!
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post #19 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Perhaps he's out of stock on the 650's.....

Well, Audio Advisor is out of stock on the 650, which have now been replaced by the 651....

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post #20 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by beaveav View Post


Second, have you ever seen a Stereophile review that doesn't praise the sound qualities of whatever is being reviewed, regardless of what the measurements ultimately show?

He is a walking almanac for anything related to "phile" and "rags". Reviews, graphs and written words in print can never be misleading or skewed..
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post #21 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiscores View Post

Thanks everyone... I think?

Well, like I said I think it's your speakers that sound tinny (it's mostly about the speakers is also MHO). I'd still recommend a sub with bookshelf speakers in any case. Don't let the commsysman group distract you...and I have no idea about the big thing with L100s....but that commsys guy is a bit strange in his posts and whereever he goes he creates a separate discussion it seems lately.

My original comment was not with the Adcom in the mix particularly, but why you chose your original equipment as a group. How old is that Adcom?

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post #22 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiscores View Post

Interesting feedback.

FYI I bought the Rainmaker because I've had Totem Mites for the last ten years and absolutely love them, but yeah... they've been disappointing.

To the poster who recommended getting rid of the iNova but not replacing it with another DAC.... not sure I follow?

The DAC is not going to make a significant difference in the sound. It's very likely that you couldn't hear a difference between it and the ipod's built-in converter in a blind level matched comparison (expectation bias and the placebo effect help in sighted comparisons).

Speakers can make a _huge_ difference for better or worse.

Although sound quality does not necessarily correlate with price (companies can spend lots of money on marketing, lots of money on nice cabinets, and not do a good job at engineering), applying money you'd otherwise spend on a DAC to your speaker budget gives you more options there which include nice 3+ way speakers and non-traditional designs that lack the flaws inherent in conventional cone-and-dome 2-way speakers with traditional cross-over points.

I'd say the same thing until you've put $10-$25K (assuming no DIY; that can get you down to $2-$5K if you can use power tools and a soldering iron. Used speakers might put you in the $5-$12K range) into the right speakers which is enough for the best possible realization of what we know about speaker design and spending money on electronics instead of even more expensive speakers isn't going to hurt you.
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post #23 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I did a little research and came up with this:


It's actually worse than that. This polar plot is normalized to the above graph and shows how much louder or quieter the speaker is at various frequency and horizontal angle combinations than it is on-axis.

Quote:



People hear timbre as a combination of the spectra believed to be the direct sound and its reflections, especially those off the side-walls which come from far (like 60+ degrees when speakers are toed in to face the listener) off the speaker's design axis. Continuously decreasing high frequency content in the reflections sounds natural to us (perhaps because things in our environment like plants diffuse and absorb more at high frequencies) although reversals in that trend make those frequencies sound louder and the sound less natural.

Cone and dome 2-ways with traditional cross-over points and nothing done to physically prevent the tweeter's nearly uniform radiation into half space have an output drop moving through the midrange followed by an abrupt broadening crossing to the tweeter which yields reflections that contain disproportionally more more energy in the 2-4KHz range than elsewhere with surplus energy in that frequency range associated with "harshness"

Note the peak from 3-4Khz.

Quote:


People like to say that you can't tell how a speaker sounds from measurements,

We can do better than merely telling how speakers sound.

We can actually predict preference based on measurements thanks to Sean Olive's 2004 formula built on numbers like flatness and smoothness of on and off-axis response plus bass extension.

He works for the Harman research group where Harman has a vested interest in making speakers that people prefer to buy.

Quote:


Compare that with this speaker:



This is the classic NHT Superzero. Note the generally smooth response and absence of peaks. A little less bass, but look at the comparison in physical size: 5.5" W by 9" H by 5" D. External volume 247.5 cubic inches. Compare the SZ to the Totem: 14" H by 6.8" W by 9" D. External volume 630 cubic inches.

The NHT polar response (normalized) looks like this



Note the 3-4KHz off-axis peak which is why most speakers sound like speakers and I recommend a less conventional design that avoids the problem (tweeter wave guide matching the mid-range directivity at the cross-over, acoustically small point source approximation, acoustically small dipole, Danley Synergy Horn or Unity Horn, for limited output levels a small full-range driver on a back-horn terminating at the floor designed to account for baffle step, there are _lots_ of engineering options with different trade-offs), a beefier tweeter crossed over lower, and/or a 3 or more way with a smaller midrange.

These are my favorite small speakers (Linkwitz Pluto, as in designed by Siegfried Linkwitz of Linkwitz-Riley cross-over fame with an additional thirty years of speaker design experience/experimentation and Audio Engineering Society paper digestion under his belt plus the Stereophile Loudspeaker of the Year award for the lowest-cost version of the flagship model from his first commercial venture) that I use in my bedroom system. I've heard $40,000 (with Pass Labs electronics) and $80,000 speakers which didn't do as well overall (although the $80K pair played a lot louder cleanly and had good bass through the first octave).

The premature roll-off is an uncorrected artifact from the measurement microphone; they actually extend to 15Khz in this version. 6" wide at the top, 4.5" for most of their height, with a 12x8" footprint on the floor. 42" high, but you want to get the tweeters at or a little past ear level and would be using stands to do so with "book shelf" speakers.

Measurements are of the original version; the current 2.1 version is flat to 40Hz (-3dB) not 60Hz and compensates for the high frequency roll-off (one great thing about active speakers is that you can boost output without compromising sensitivity at other frequencies).



Nothing stands out about the sound which is excellent - you want to be engaged by the recordings and not be distracted by the speaker's editorial contributions (a little brighter here, a little boom there, a little dull elsewhere). Music sounds like music played by musicians and is very natural as long as you respect their output limits (no worse than other speakers with 5-6" mid-bass drivers) just as you might predict from the measurements (I bet $800 on that building them without hearing them first. I was right).

They're a $1000 (inflation stinks) DIY project (with one afternoon of soldering (a lot more than in a passive speaker - you're building two power supplies, six amplifier channels, and time-alignment circuits plus fourth order filters and the usual accommodations for drivers) and one putting everything together) and $3000 commercial offering including built-in amplifiers which puts it within hiscore's budget if he sells his speakers too.

I pair them with the Pluto+ sub-woofers to get more mid-bass headroom and have the first octave.

When you position a Pluto, one Pluto+ sub-woofer, and microphone next to the ground and drive them off Siegfried's cross-over designed for the purpose they measure like this (if I used the system for critical listening I'd probably increase the system high-pass pole frequencies to avoid room gain):

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post #24 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 11:08 PM
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I would not dump the Adcom. I have had the same power amp for a long time and power my JBL L-100's with it. they sound much better when driven by the Adcom than with my Yamaha AVR. I used to have the same power amp and sold it to get a very fancy Denon. My JBL's suffered. Went back to a new Adcom and have never looked back. It is a terrific piece of equipment. Mine is 20+ years old now and I bought it used. Make sure your new Receiver, if you get one, has line outs so you are able to use the Adcom.
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post #25 of 28 Old 05-15-2012, 11:38 PM
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I would not dump the Adcom. I have had the same power amp for a long time and power my JBL L-100's with it. they sound much better when driven by the Adcom than with my Yamaha AVR. I used to have the same power amp and sold it to get a very fancy Denon. My JBL's suffered. Went back to a new Adcom and have never looked back. It is a terrific piece of equipment. Mine is 20+ years old now and I bought it used. Make sure your new Receiver, if you get one, has line outs so you are able to use the Adcom.

I have five of the 100W 545iis (one on the Pluto+ sub-woofers, four running my actively tri-amplified Orions in the main system with one on each pair of bass drivers) and two of the 200W 555ii amps. I think I got the first one brand new in 1995 and the others have been running fine in the decade I've had them.

They work well down to 2 Ohm loads, are durable, not ugly, and very affordable on the used market.
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post #26 of 28 Old 05-16-2012, 05:02 AM
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People hear timbre as a combination of the spectra believed to be the direct sound and its reflections, especially those off the side-walls which come from far (like 60+ degrees when speakers are toed in to face the listener) off the speaker's design axis. Continuously decreasing high frequency content in the reflections sounds natural to us (perhaps because things in our environment like plants diffuse and absorb more at high frequencies) although reversals in that trend make those frequencies sound louder and the sound less natural.

Cone and dome 2-ways with traditional cross-over points and nothing done to physically prevent the tweeter's nearly uniform radiation into half space have an output drop moving through the midrange followed by an abrupt broadening crossing to the tweeter which yields reflections that contain disproportionally more more energy in the 2-4KHz range than elsewhere with surplus energy in that frequency range associated with "harshness"

I agree that maintaining constant directivity across crossover points is a very good idea that improves sound quality - one that is difficult with unassisted direct radiator speakers as you point out.

One workable approach is to modify the directivity of the upper range driver with a waveguide. JBL of course made their name in this business with compression driver-based waveguide-assisted speakers over 50 years ago.

It is also possible to assist the directivity of direct radiator speakers with waveguides. JBL is doing this with some of their studio monitors, and has done with some home systems, at least in the past.

I've heard Linkwitz Orions blind-compared to a number of other speakers including of all things Behringer Truths (no pneumatic positioners, sorry!) and actually prefer the Truths. If it is any consolation, the Truths have direct radiator tweeters with waveguides assisting them.
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post #27 of 28 Old 05-16-2012, 10:57 AM
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I've heard Linkwitz Orions blind-compared to a number of other speakers including of all things Behringer Truths (no pneumatic positioners, sorry!) and actually prefer the Truths. If it is any consolation, the Truths have direct radiator tweeters with waveguides assisting them.

The Orion polar response still broadens after crossing to the tweeters. While not as bad as it could be (the mid-range directivity broadens before that as the rear wave begins to sum in-phase with the front, and there's some dipole cancellation at large off-axis angles in the tweeters) it's not optimal.

SL has added a shallow shelving low-pass filter which compensates for that (version 3.2)



although avoiding the problem instead of applying a band-aid seems a better solution.
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post #28 of 28 Old 05-17-2012, 12:46 AM
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Before any new buy,I would clean all the contacts (contact spray for audio) - from 230v outlet to speakers and then conect digital filter to any digital equipment.The quality of your miniature circuit breaker is important as well...clean it as well...believe me...you will be surprised by the sound improvement
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