Originally Posted by Dr. Crash
Yes... I need small. I mean, I was considering in wall speakers!
Thanks for your review of the SAM1. I am going to get on the tour. We need more West Coast listeners!
What do you think of that Little Mayhem vs the SAM1? Size is then comparable and while of course bass extension is not comparable at all... If you think the SAM1 benefits from a subwoofer (AJ said maybe/maybe not and said they'd go into the 20s Hz by themselves), do you think a Little Mayhem pair with a sub would give them a run for their money?
I am looking for the right combination of small and affordable with the best audio quality I can muster. A SAM1 pair plus center is shy of $2,000. And yes, I totally know that they have the huge advantage of being finished by someone competent (vs me: cabinetry is something I have zero expertise in).
I haven't heard the SAM1. I trust DS-21 when he says it is very nice speaker. With that said, I would definitely suggest something like the Little Mayhems instead. The Little Mayhems will give up some extension, but that is a moot point if you are going to use subs (which you should with any speaker if possible). They will be capable of far cleaner sound at high levels and will give you much better dynamic capability. Beyond that, they will do a better job of controlling directivity than the SAM1 coax.
Of course, they will be a flatpack which you will need to assemble and paint or veneer and if that is not a viable option than something like the SAM1 wins out even though it won't win on performance. Given the likely price difference, you could probably find an auto body shop that would bondo and spray the Little Mayhems and you would still spend less than the SAM1s. I'm a terrible woodworker myself so I usually find others to pick up the slack for me on that end when I want it look nice.
Originally Posted by Theresa
I'm well pleased with the results of my experiment. I do use very good drivers, mostly ScanSpeak Revelators. Yes the price of the amps and drivers was high but I had longed to do this for a long time. My recent investment in an Omnimic has resulted in even better sound. My previous mic/phantom power/ soundcard mic input using REW was too noisy. I make no assertions that the sound is better than an ideal passive crossover, except to say I like the results far more than what I achieved with passive crossovers. Measurements prove that the result is quite good. A little encouragement would be appreciated but is unexpected here.
Active can be great. Unfortunately most of the time people are not willing to take the necessary steps to do it right. You are obviously taking measurements (you'd be surprised the number of PMs I get asking for help with a DSP crossover and the person is either not measuring or doesn't know how to measure properly). Since you are enjoying the "journey" the MiniDSP is a great option.
The main point I make is that an active DSP crossover won't give appreciable performance gains over a good passive for speakers like a SEOS design. Unless someone just likes to tweak stuff, there isn't a financial, ease of use or performance case for going DSP over a well designed passive. DSP is best used for odd cases (some speaker designs are not reasonable to execute with passives), people who want to learn crossover design. It is not a shortcut as I'm sure you have found.
Originally Posted by noah katz
An additional reason for going active would seem to be making steeper XO's feasible, which would minimize power response anomalies in the XO region, make the woofer "shut up" sooner, and increase power handling/reduce distortion of the CD.
Question is, does that give an appreciable audible improvement.
Have you experimented with this?
IME, this is unnecessary and much of the time is a detriment to performance. More is not always better and much of the time is simply worse. Yes, in some cases a very steep crossover would be needed and in those cases DSP is the way to go. Fortunately, with speakers like SEOS-12 or 15 and quality 12 or 15" pro woofers you are better off with relatively shallow slopes. Look at Bwaslo's design for the SEOS-12/DNA-360/Deltalite12. He uses 2nd order electrical slopes which sum to something greater than that acoustically. Take a look at the polars, they are exceptional. The polars would actually look worse with steeper slopes. I haven't asked him, but I doubt he was simply trying to save on one or two components.
More is simply not better.
One of the advantages of a simple 2-way directivity matched speaker whether they are Pi speakers or a SEOS-12 or 15 design is that the passive crossovers are not ridiculous or expensive. There is a confluence of factors that comes together to make this type of speaker both high performance and high value. About the only compromise with this type of speaker is its size. IMO, to exceed the performance of a SEOS speaker you would need to increase complexity greatly (aka Synergy clone) or use a far larger horn with uber-drivers which makes them far too large and expensive for most (likely doubling footprint and price would be at least 5-10x higher).