Okay, so now that I've written down my thoughts on the Funk planar style speakers and wanted to give some thoughts on the more pro style speakers like the 1099`s, 228HT`s, Tempest and Tux`s TWW speakers.
So after the Funk`s it was time for the 1099`s to show everyone what they were capable of. I already had about a day and a half head start hearing the 1099`s because tyee was kind enough to bring the pair of 1099`s over from the island for Tux and wanted to drop them off at my place early. I hooked them up and I ran my REW sweep and also wanted to check their sensitivity compared to my 228`s. So far these speakers are the closets that`s come to matching the sensitivity of the 228HT`s, they are basically identical but the nice thing about the 1099`s is that they are an 8ohm load where my 228HT`s are a 4ohm. So the 1099`s are a little kinder to anyone who has a receiver that isn't 4ohm rated. So after having spent about 4hrs listening to the 1099`s before the GTG I knew somewhat to expect from them and let me just say that they didn't disappoint. I thought they imaged really well and were very dynamic for both music and movies, they lacked a little mid bass but it still didn't really stand out as something that was a problem. They just seemed to have a little less then what I was use too with my 228HT`s. And there was a few moments that I thought they sounded a little bright, but it isn`t something that I would consider to be a problem. They just had a little more snap to them on the top end. If you were considering placing them behind an AT screen it wouldn`t even be an after thought because the screen would knock them down a decibel. They were excellent with both instrumentals and again great with male and female vocals. Overall I just have to say that these are awesome speakers, and anyone considering DIY should have them right at the top of their list.
I`ve had a few guys pm me asking how I thought the 1099`s compared to my 228HT`s and I have to say that after hearing them for two and a half days I have to say that I`m EXTREMELY impressed with Tux`s 1099`s. They do a few things different then my 228`s and I do still slightly prefer my 228`s but that could be from me being use to how they sound. I personally was able to buy my 228HT`s back when they were at the pre-order sale price of $999ea, they have since then gone up to $1299ea. Honestly after having heard the 1099`s if I was starting over again I can honestly say that I think I`d have to buy the 1099 kits. They are basically the same performance for half the price, so how on god`s green earth could you say no to that......lol
So after the 1099`s it was time for a speaker that I`m very familiar with, my 228HT`s. And I was looking forward to having everyone else hear them too. As it was with all of the other speakers we started with 12 music tracks and then 5 movies clips. As I`ve always thought the 228HT`s were great with vocals, both male and female vocals. One of the biggest things that I love about the 228HT`s is their ability to bring voices to life while watching movies. Even when I watch a movie with my volume at -40 I never have to strain to hear what people are saying while watching movies. They image extremely well and excellent with instrumentals, I`m not a huge Eagles fan but I absolutely love listening to the Eagles Hotel California from the Hell Freezes Over live album. Every time I hear that song on the 228HT`s it just puts a huge smile on my face.
So after hearing the 228HT's the Tempest were up and I have to admit that I was starting to have a little listening fatigue.....lol
Warren had dropped the Tempest off to we the week before so I was able to watch a few movies that I had seen a few times and again listen to music that I knew fairly well. And again they sounded pretty good even though much has been made lately that something must be "off" with the set of them that we had because of a measurement that I had posted. I don't really know what else can be said about that. The speaker was built with a pre-assembled crossover, everything was wired the way they were suppose to be and Warren swares that he's double checked them. And the cabinets weren't over stuffed with insulation. I felt that they did everything that the 1099's and 228HT's did just not quite as well, and at times I even thought they sounded a little bright. Not harsh at all but bright at times. Anyone reading this that owns Tempests should take it as a negative, they aren't a bad speaker and don't think you need to sell them and build yourself some 1099's. They are a great speaker but I think they just get a little left behind when comparing them to the 1099's and 228HT's. Before even hearing the 1099's I felt that the 228HT's had better highs and were more detailed. At first I thought that the Tempest had more mid bass and it was probably me just think "well heck it has a 12" driver, it must have more mid bass" but the more listening that I did I started to realize that the 228HT's still had better mid bass. And I'm not the only one saying that now, with a few that have heard the Tempest and 228HT's saying the same thing. I still think the Tempest is a great speaker, I just don't think it really did anything that stood out as better at one thing over any of the other speakers.
And finally last up was Tuxedocivic (aka Ryan) the man, the myth, and legend's new TWW design that he decided to build just for fun. I have to admit I was really excited to hear this speaker. I know that he has been a little critical in how the finish on them turned out, but I have to tell you that they looked awesome! The molded in waveguide was awesome and looked really sharp, I wish I had the skills to do something like that....lol
And I really liked how he's made them modular, just another really cool thinking out of the box design. By now I had heard the music & movie playlist 5 times so I was more then familiar with how things should sound in my mind. I was also thinking in my head that I knew that the crossovers were still a work in progress and Ryan was saying that he's still not 100% happy with them and was going to try a few things. But I have to say that I thought they sounded good. The voices and vocals where a little strained but I thought that they imaged nicely and instrumentals were good, they had great mid bass and I actually wish we could have really cranked them up to hear what they could have really done. I would say that they were a tad bright at times but again I think it's just something that Ryan will dial in. Overall a very nice speaker with tons of potential once fully dialed in to Ryan's liking.
So probably no big surprise to anyone I would still have ranked my 228HT's as my favorite speaker with the 1099's right behind them. I can easily say that the 1099's are 95-97% of what the 228HT's are but at almost 50% of the cost. How can you argue with that? I know some guys would still rather buy a speaker then build a speaker, and to that guy I say take a serious look at the JTR 228HT's. I still have yet to hear a speaker for movie use that I think sounds better within its price range and that the 228HT's can actually punch severely notches about its weight class. But to the guy ready to safe some money, have a little fun and take a little pride in enjoying a speaker that they built. Do yourself a HUGE favor and take a real close look at the 1099's to see if they'd work for you.
After the 228's and 1099's I would have ranked Tux's TWW next followed closely by the Tempests. I say that based on what I heard and knowing that Ryan still has some refining to do on them being a little bright.
Lastly I'd like to say that all of my comments are simply that, my own opinion and just how I felt about the speakers. I feel that a few might think that we`ve beat up a little on the Tempest and that simply isn`t that case. I think they are a great speaker and its hard to say anything bad about them at their price point, I just think that on the DIY side of things Ryan has stepped up the game a notch and raised the bar with the 1099's and that IMHO the 228HT's always sounded better then the Tempest in my mind.
Now I just need to hear more details about these "high end" designs that Erich keeps talking about and teasing us with!...lol
Then I might have to consider selling the 228HT's to make way for one of those builds, or possibly some of the designs that I've been talking to Ryan about building.