Philharmonic Audio - Dennis Murphy - Page 301 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #9001 of 9298 Old 07-01-2019, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SunByrne View Post
Drivers definitely matter, but they most certainly aren't the full story. Consider Dennis's 2-way bookshelf speakers.

As noted earlier in this thread, the AAMs used really cheap bass drivers (~$20 retail) and I can tell you, they have no trouble reproducing decent bass. I mean, yes, sure, not super high-end in terms of things like transient resolution, but until Dennis said what they were, I would never have guessed the bass driver was that inexpensive.

And while the "New Philharmonitor" that used ScanSpeak woofer that retails for around $200 each, its little brother the "Mini Philharmonitor" uses a Zaph woofer that retails for a mere $50. According to the Philharmonic web site, the primary difference between the two speakers is bass extension—the Mini is designed to be a satellite speaker, so bass extension is not a major concern there.

So if you want to build a nice 3-way speaker, I'm guessing if you got a decent 7" or 8" woofer—say the entry-level 7" ScanSpeak for $70 retail—you could find a good $40 Seas tweeter, use the Zaph or maybe a similar 4" woofer as your mid, and you could get a pretty good speaker for around $150-160 in drivers. Find a good cabinet (8" wide Denovo MDF flat-pack for $70 on Parts Express—pretty loose on definition of "good" maybe more like "passable"), get someone like Dennis or DaveF to design the crossovers (definitely not trivial), and you could probably put together a really nice speaker. Someone would have to work out the port design on the cabinet, too, and then there's finishing it and parts for the crossovers, but I'm betting this could be pretty competitive with typical $1500/pair towers from {choose a decent big-name brand here}. And it'd probably be even better with upgraded drivers (but then of course you'd need to redesign the crossovers).

Now, of course, it probably wouldn't be in the same class as, say, the BMR or the Ascend Sierra since one of the stars of the show there is the RAAL tweeter, which I'm pretty sure you can't get for $50/pop. What does a RAAL 64-10 go for these days? $100-200 each? Not sure.

Why try to re-invent the wheel though? There are plenty of very good DIY designs out there that can be purchased and built and they run the gamut as far as pricing goes. And they all punch well above their price range. Even the $100 C-Notes on PE could easily pass for a $250 speaker if one had no idea.

But that's why something like the BMR would be a unique DIY design because there aren't a lot of really good 3-ways out there in the DIY world (as the crossover is pretty complex) and why I'm hoping that one day it'll be available to build.
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post #9002 of 9298 Old 07-01-2019, 08:34 PM
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Why try to re-invent the wheel though? There are plenty of very good DIY designs out there that can be purchased and built and they run the gamut as far as pricing goes. And they all punch well above their price range. Even the $100 C-Notes on PE could easily pass for a $250 speaker if one had no idea.
Agreed--I wasn't suggesting anyone actually go out and do it, I was just saying as a thought exercise, it's possible to generate a very good speaker without breaking the bank on drivers.

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post #9003 of 9298 Old 07-01-2019, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
Well, I just did a crossover mod to the Monoprice $140/pr minitowers, and they sound really good. Not a lot of bass extension, but otherwise they're very clean and balanced.
What a trip. I'd love to hear those.

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post #9004 of 9298 Old 07-01-2019, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
Well, I just did a crossover mod to the Monoprice $140/pr minitowers, and they sound really good. Not a lot of bass extension, but otherwise they're very clean and balanced. You should certainly be able to design a first class tower with a budget limit of $50 per driver. Seas has lots of fine tweeters in the $30-$40 range, and there are many smooth 3"-4" midranges that would fit within the budget (like the $18 BMR). You should be able to save enough on those drivers to spend a bit more on the woofers. The crossovers wouldn't be cheap, and there's always the cabinet price, but the driver component doesn't need to be all that expensive. You could certainly get even better sound and deeper bass by spending more on the drivers, but you will run into steeply diminishing returns very quickly.
Dennis how do you think these would compare to your New Affordable Accuracy Monitors? The standard BR-1 with your modified crossover?
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post #9005 of 9298 Old 07-01-2019, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Boro View Post
Dennis how do you think these would compare to your New Affordable Accuracy Monitors? The standard BR-1 with your modified crossover?
I don't have any AA's to do an A-B, but I suspect the sound would be very similar except for the deeper bass reach of the AA's.
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post #9006 of 9298 Old 07-02-2019, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
Well, I just did a crossover mod to the Monoprice $140/pr minitowers, and they sound really good. Not a lot of bass extension, but otherwise they're very clean and balanced. You should certainly be able to design a first class tower with a budget limit of $50 per driver. Seas has lots of fine tweeters in the $30-$40 range, and there are many smooth 3"-4" midranges that would fit within the budget (like the $18 BMR). You should be able to save enough on those drivers to spend a bit more on the woofers. The crossovers wouldn't be cheap, and there's always the cabinet price, but the driver component doesn't need to be all that expensive. You could certainly get even better sound and deeper bass by spending more on the drivers, but you will run into steeply diminishing returns very quickly.
Dennis, these I assume...

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=35124

Can I assume that they don't hit anywhere near the suggested 40 hz target? Obviously, a really cheap tower, did you feel the crossover was the weakest link?

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post #9007 of 9298 Old 07-02-2019, 10:26 AM
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https://www.audioholics.com/tower-sp...5rt/conclusion

Audioholics did a review of them. They don't look to bad and with Dennis's crossover are probably pretty good for the price.
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post #9008 of 9298 Old 07-02-2019, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
Dennis, these I assume...

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=35124

Can I assume that they don't hit anywhere near the suggested 40 hz target? Obviously, a really cheap tower, did you feel the crossover was the weakest link?
Those are they. I would say they can hit 50 Hz cleanly. What is this "crossover" of which you speak? There isn't one on the woofer, and its breakup peaks around 3k are the main weakness of the design. The tweeter has one tiny NPE capacitor and a resistor. My mod has 7 elements and would cost from $27/pr to $35/pr depending on the type of capacitors.
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post #9009 of 9298 Old 07-02-2019, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
Those are they. I would say they can hit 50 Hz cleanly. What is this "crossover" of which you speak? There isn't one on the woofer, and its breakup peaks around 3k are the main weakness of the design. The tweeter has one tiny NPE capacitor and a resistor. My mod has 7 elements and would cost from $27/pr to $35/pr depending on the type of capacitors.
So what do you guys think would be the value king replacement right now of the BMR?

I'm on a tight budget and looking for my first high-end speaker, was going to get the BMR..now I'm not sure what to get. Looking for something that will perform well with off-axis listening and won't require a Sub.

Things I'm considering:
* Waiting until DIY build for BMR becomes available (never done DIY before, but I've heard it's not difficult?)
* I've heard Ascend is working on an improved Sierra 2 that will have never before seen levels of bass on a bookshelf. (Though I'm not sure what the price would be on this..with comment like that it's tempting)
*LS50-W, I found a store selling the floor model for $1600

Any other options I should throw on this list for consideration?
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post #9010 of 9298 Old 07-02-2019, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by basketcase14240 View Post
So what do you guys think would be the value king replacement right now of the BMR?

I'm on a tight budget and looking for my first high-end speaker, was going to get the BMR..now I'm not sure what to get. Looking for something that will perform well with off-axis listening and won't require a Sub.

Things I'm considering:
* Waiting until DIY build for BMR becomes available (never done DIY before, but I've heard it's not difficult?)
* I've heard Ascend is working on an improved Sierra 2 that will have never before seen levels of bass on a bookshelf. (Though I'm not sure what the price would be on this..with comment like that it's tempting)
*LS50-W, I found a store selling the floor model for $1600

Any other options I should throw on this list for consideration?
kef ls50 gets a bunch of love , and has been compared favorably..

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post #9011 of 9298 Old 07-02-2019, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by basketcase14240 View Post
So what do you guys think would be the value king replacement right now of the BMR?

I'm on a tight budget and looking for my first high-end speaker, was going to get the BMR..now I'm not sure what to get. Looking for something that will perform well with off-axis listening and won't require a Sub.

Things I'm considering:
* Waiting until DIY build for BMR becomes available (never done DIY before, but I've heard it's not difficult?)
* I've heard Ascend is working on an improved Sierra 2 that will have never before seen levels of bass on a bookshelf. (Though I'm not sure what the price would be on this..with comment like that it's tempting)
*LS50-W, I found a store selling the floor model for $1600

Any other options I should throw on this list for consideration?
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...l#post58226044

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post #9012 of 9298 Old 07-02-2019, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by basketcase14240 View Post
So what do you guys think would be the value king replacement right now of the BMR?

I'm on a tight budget and looking for my first high-end speaker, was going to get the BMR..now I'm not sure what to get. Looking for something that will perform well with off-axis listening and won't require a Sub.

Things I'm considering:
* Waiting until DIY build for BMR becomes available (never done DIY before, but I've heard it's not difficult?)
* I've heard Ascend is working on an improved Sierra 2 that will have never before seen levels of bass on a bookshelf. (Though I'm not sure what the price would be on this..with comment like that it's tempting)
*LS50-W, I found a store selling the floor model for $1600

Any other options I should throw on this list for consideration?
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post #9013 of 9298 Old 07-02-2019, 05:51 PM
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Thanks! Crossovers for that come unassembled it looks like, I'm not looking to assemble that as a first timer. And I'll have to go back to a different store to demo those ls-50w properly. That other store selling at 1600..the guy had no idea how to work them and was steering me away trying to get me to buy some 300$ paradigm monitor with an amp ><. It's funny because I was pretty set on buying them when I walked in. Bad sales rep ftl.

Anyway's I'm in no rush..will probably just wait a few more months and see what happens with Ascend and this BMR kit.
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post #9014 of 9298 Old 07-02-2019, 06:07 PM
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Have a look here: https://meniscusaudio.com/product-ca...rby=price-desc

Maybe the Statements?
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Or Finalists?
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post #9015 of 9298 Old 07-02-2019, 08:36 PM
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Ohh awkwarddd, yeaa I can't make the cabinets either. If I was going DIY route it would be with included crossovers and cabz. I wasss looking at the Apollo 7 MTM over at DIYSoundgroup - which should have all of the above. Out of stock at the moment though. Not sure how those would compare to BMR or ls50-w.
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post #9016 of 9298 Old 07-02-2019, 08:42 PM
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Ohh awkwarddd, yeaa I can't make the cabinets either. If I was going DIY route it would be with included crossovers and cabz. I wasss looking at the Apollo 7 MTM over at DIYSoundgroup - which should have all of the above. Out of stock at the moment though. Not sure how those would compare to BMR or ls50-w.
https://www.speakerhardware.com/stat...-flat-pack.php You're in luck!

I have no experience with these.

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post #9017 of 9298 Old 07-03-2019, 05:22 AM
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Ohhhh that's great, didn't know they had those! This is definitely a strong option for me, thanks!
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post #9018 of 9298 Old 07-03-2019, 05:42 AM
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https://www.speakerhardware.com/stat...-flat-pack.php You're in luck!

I have no experience with these.

I'm sure those are nice quality, but minimum $300/pr for flat packs? Convenience has its price.

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post #9019 of 9298 Old 07-03-2019, 09:59 AM
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Yeaaa definitely a step up in cost compared to diysoundgroup. It's also alot more difficult to find reviews on DIY stuff, but what I did read up on it sounded favorable atleast.

But what's the risk of not being able to assemble it? It's pretty easy if you get it with the cabinets and crossovers already assembled or no?
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post #9020 of 9298 Old 07-03-2019, 04:32 PM
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I'm sure those are nice quality, but minimum $300/pr for flat packs? Convenience has its price.

As I said a (couple) page(s) back, talk to a local woodworker/cabinet maker. I got an estimate for about $150/pair - though that was with 1" thick - that's very thick for a speaker - MDF.
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post #9021 of 9298 Old 07-03-2019, 05:50 PM
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a great 2 channel option from DIY Soundgroup would be the Helix Dome MTM. I have the MT version and I would put them up against anything you can buy at ~$1k retail.

https://www.diysoundgroup.com/home-a...e-mtm-kit.html
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post #9022 of 9298 Old 07-04-2019, 01:43 PM
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HOLY F'n MOLEY!!!!


If you have a spare $2K (or less if you're close by) and are already on AC - get these!!!!


https://www.audiocircle.com/index.ph...164567.new#new
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Well, I blew that cash on the S400's + stands, so I'm out of the running

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a great 2 channel option from DIY Soundgroup would be the Helix Dome MTM. I have the MT version and I would put them up against anything you can buy at ~$1k retail.

https://www.diysoundgroup.com/home-a...e-mtm-kit.html
How would you say the difficulty is for a first time DIY? And what do you think about the Helix mtm vs the Apollo 7 mtm? Apollo's out of stock at the moment but Erick said it'll be back in a few weeks.
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post #9025 of 9298 Old 07-04-2019, 03:39 PM
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It’s fairly simple, especially with assembled crossovers.

I have not heard the Apollo but it looks like a nice design.

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Have been enjoying my BMR’s since early May. Dennis made a fine speaker as it is very balanced and so well integrated. Since I am also into DIY speakers and amplifiers, I can really appreciate the skill dennis has. He is truly gifted at this speaker design thing. Now that he doesn’t have the day to day worries of production and operation of a speaker business, I see he is back doing what I can only guess is what he truly enjoys(just an educated guess based on his passion that is evident here on display) of speaker design and being a wealth of knowledge and information to us all. I learn so much just reading his insights and explanations.

I’m curious how you design your crossovers and what program you use and a little about the process. I looked over the crossover of the BMR Phil’s and I followed the circuit board traces and didn’t see that any of the inductors were in the tweeter circuit??? Is that correct or did I miss the connection for the inductor? I only noticed 3 elements on the tweeter circuit and only one capacitor in series. The other capacitor is from TW+ to TW-. Are you only doing 1st order on the tweeter or did I make a mistake following those traces.?

I’m a little baffled how you pulled this off.
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post #9027 of 9298 Old 07-04-2019, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by LADIY View Post
Have been enjoying my BMR’s since early May. Dennis made a fine speaker as it is very balanced and so well integrated. Since I am also into DIY speakers and amplifiers, I can really appreciate the skill dennis has. He is truly gifted at this speaker design thing. Now that he doesn’t have the day to day worries of production and operation of a speaker business, I see he is back doing what I can only guess is what he truly enjoys(just an educated guess based on his passion that is evident here on display) of speaker design and being a wealth of knowledge and information to us all. I learn so much just reading his insights and explanations.

I’m curious how you design your crossovers and what program you use and a little about the process. I looked over the crossover of the BMR Phil’s and I followed the circuit board traces and didn’t see that any of the inductors were in the tweeter circuit??? Is that correct or did I miss the connection for the inductor? I only noticed 3 elements on the tweeter circuit and only one capacitor in series. The other capacitor is from TW+ to TW-. Are you only doing 1st order on the tweeter or did I make a mistake following those traces.?

I’m a little baffled how you pulled this off.
Hi LADIY Thanks for the nice words. I do have several projects in various stages of completion. I'm listening to one now, and it's not bad for what started as $140/pr towers. You are quite correct about the BMR tweeter circuit. Although I wish it were otherwise, the 64-10 and 70-20 OEM tweets both use the inductance of the transformer as a parallel coil, and that inductance is chosen to produce a 4th order roll-off when used in conjunction with a series cap and a resistor. I guess the idea is to minimize the number of components. The problem is that you have very little control over the tweeter's acoustic slope, which usually needs adjusting to reach a flat response when the acoustic centers of the mid and tweet aren't the same. With the BMR, I had to spend most of my time with the midrange low pass filter to get the mid and tweet in phase with each other. It would have been easier if I could have also futzed around with the tweeter slope. I use Praxis for measurements, and lspCAD for design.
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post #9028 of 9298 Old 07-04-2019, 09:56 PM
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Thanks for clearing that up, now I know I’m not missing the trace. So wouldn’t a shunt inductor with an on series capacitor make it 2nd order electrical crossover? How did it become 4th order? Also what is he inductance value in that tweeter?

Yes it looks like the midrange circuit is 8 elements. Quite complex.

The speaker took a few hours to get used to the somewhat laid back and smooth midrange presentation but I must say it just really sounds very real and accurate and something you can just live with and enjoy. You definitely deserve all the credit and praise because you have made an $20 midrange sound really good.
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post #9029 of 9298 Old 07-04-2019, 09:57 PM
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Some typos. On=in and he=the
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post #9030 of 9298 Old 07-04-2019, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LADIY View Post
Thanks for clearing that up, now I know I’m not missing the trace. So wouldn’t a shunt inductor with an on series capacitor make it 2nd order electrical crossover? How did it become 4th order? Also what is he inductance value in that tweeter?

Yes it looks like the midrange circuit is 8 elements. Quite complex.

The speaker took a few hours to get used to the somewhat laid back and smooth midrange presentation but I must say it just really sounds very real and accurate and something you can just live with and enjoy. You definitely deserve all the credit and praise because you have made an $20 midrange sound really good.

It's a second order electrical circuit, which produces a 4th order acoustic slope due to the natural roll-off of the tweeter at the low end. Electrical slopes don't really matter in and of themselves-=-it's what kind of acoustic slope comes out of the tweeter.
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