HoopsOnToast

Hoops, Cheese or Beans?

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Super Wammer

what do you like on your toast?

back on topic.....

i thought i would write a little 'blog' on my speaker experiences :) and in no particular order, and described in the form of alcoholic beverages -

KEF XQ1

These were an inpulse buy, i heard them while visiting my brother, i had a day to wonder the streets of Brighton, and searching out HiFi shops, went into Sevenoaks, had a nice nose about and saw that they had some lovely looking Kef's in the window, and on offer, hmmmm why not have a demo, i had some CD's with me.

I had them hooked up to some MF A3.5 CDP/Amp's and demo'd them against the MA RS6's. the difference between them was night and day, the RS6's literally lasted 2 minutes, IMO they sounded that bad (or in comparison to the XQ1's anyway).

To this day i think that the XQ1's delivered the best overall sound and were the least comprimised, they had a lovely smooth midrange, quite sweet treble, mabye slightly recessed, but very easy to listen to, but at the time they did not grab my attention as much as the Rega R3's (more later). They also had very tight bass, probably a little lean for some, but they were placed around 8" from the walls in a relatively small room, and there was no boom at all.

Overall i think they were the best speakers i have owned, and at the time a sold them, it was i did not want to bring them to uni, which was a mistake as it would have been fine, i miss them :( and sold them as i needed the money, less than i think they were worth....

I would describe them as probably a Gin based drink, very smooth, possibly under-rated, clean but still warm in the throat, easy to drink but will still get you smashed without knowing it! :D

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Old Hifi by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

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pict1184xq2 by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

Rega R3

These were also a impulse buy, after the slightly restrained XQ1's i went the other way and got these, i first heard them in HifiX in Coventry along side some Dynaudio 42's and B&W CM1's, these were by far IMO the best out of the three.

While in the same room as the KEF's i found they had quite lean bass, but for that, it was never boomy, not even at higher volumes, but i did find that sometimes it seemed to miss certain bass lines.

The mid range was nice, but i found the treble to be slighty abraisive at times, which spoiled it for me, but from that, they had a boogie factor that simply grabbed your attention, always got my foot tapping.

These had the best sound stage i have ever heard, their sound certainly bellied their diminutive size, even when i compared them to the R5's, which did not sound as 'together' and i was disapointed with the bass.

They also looked very cute, i got them second hand in the Beech finish, would have prefered the darker version (rosenut?) which looked nicer.

i would describe these as maybe Sambuca, like a shot it is fun, makes everything good (for a time), tastes nice, but in the end leaving you slighty 'thin'. and if drunk slowly, can be very 'nice' and rewarding. :)

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pict1169tb7 by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

Rega Planet Mk1

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photo00071ch4 by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

Tannoy Cheviot

These were a purchase of passion, i had always had a soft spot of older big Tannoys, since hearing some Lancasters when i was younger and my parents Juputer S's.

i got these seperatley, the drive units first that went into Open Baffle, which actually sounded very nice, although the drivers were not optimised for this, but they sounded a little thin, so i eventually sourced some of the Cheviot cabinets.

these were very easy to listen to speakers, and although being quite old, i did not find the treble rolled off at all, if i had the space, these would be my favourite, but in my smallish 11ft square room, they had a tendency to get overblown in the bass.

they did have a very nice midrange and imaging but the sound stage was dissapointing.

i think i would descrive these as a nice brandy, very smooth, quite warm, very 'homely', easy to drink but still powerfull.

6514893711_1dd703bc35_z.jpg

photo0163vh9 by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

i will post a few pics for reference, and some more 'comments' later :)

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Super Wammer

Tannoy DC1000

These were my first pair of speakers that i bought, after hearing the Lancasters and the Jupiter S's i had a look out for some of the smaller Tannoy DC speakers, these came up at an attractive price and i got them of ebay.

These lasted me from before i started into 'Hifi' to just jast year (5 odd years) as i sold them for the lack of room to keep them.

i think i had a sentemental atatchment to these, they had a nice warm feel to them, and i went back to them after most of the other speakers i owned, i think it was they sounded 'safe', not bright or dull, not lean and not boomy etc.

But in the end, they just back up speakers, i wanted more excitment, but not being bright.

i compared them to the Cheviots when i had them, and although they sounded alright, they could not match the magic of the larger paper bass/midrange, they seem to miss somthing, and a sense of scale in comparison, imaging was better though.

they had very cheap chipboard cabinets in a nice rosewood viynl finish though.

i would recomend these for someone wanting a good, clean, smooth speaker for around £100, if i was not into hifi as much these would have done for me.

i would descibe them as mabye some vintage Port, its never going to set the world alight, easy to drink, quite a safe drink, not too strong, but not tastless like water :)

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Old Hifi by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

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Old Hifi by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

And in my first real hifi system-

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pict0105a by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

DIY Full Range Drivers -

CSS FR125S

These were made for a little project, a quick small sealed 11L box, they were quite inneficient, 86dB, and probably around 84dB in the box, they sounded very 'nice', the treble was slightly rolled off, but it was not a problem, they imaged very well and had a nice soundstage, bass was very tight but lean and they could not go very loud.

Still certain songs remind me of them to this day, and the full range idea still appeals.

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pict0734zm1 by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

Omnes Audio L8

These were my first open baffle specific drivers, they have a very retro design, with a very lightweight paper cone and integrated surround (which looks cool) and a nice wooden phase plug, these were the 'Spec' version which means they had a slightly 'improved' voice coil iirc, and they had a boosted treble, they are also very efficient at around 95dB.

i found the treble slightly too much on these, it rather spoilt the rest of it for me, the had a very very nice mid-range, the voices seemed to come out of the soundstage and it all sounded very natural, but with a Fs of around 100Hz they did not do bass, nor did i expect them to, and some sort of active bass would be needed.

i would like to experiment with the normal versions of these some time in the future.

Bandor 50mm

These were another impulse buy, they were going very cheap and a got them for a cheap omni-directional project, but recently i have been using them as normal mono-pole speakers. they sound very good, perfect for near-field listening, they also seem to produce a huge soundstage and spot on imaging when used at far-field as well, kind of surprising, especially given their size, efficiency (84dBish), bass and volume is very limited, again as to be expected, but for casual listening they are great :)

diyfullrangeph5.jpg

:)

And this all happened in around 2 years :roll:, come to think of it, it really started changing when i joined the tent :?:nerves: :lmfao:

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Nice one Robert. And what about your current speaks? How are they performing? Have you managed to get any bass out of an OB yet?

I have a plan to build some high efficiency speaks. I've looked at loads of drivers and loads of plans and pretty much given up on the idea of high efficiency OB bass. I would need 8 or more 15 inch drivers each side. This might present a slight problem.

So it looks like it will be ported bass using a 15 inch P.Audio SN15-MB, open baffle midrange using a P.Audio SN12-B and a horn tweeter using a B&C DE250 polyimide compression driver in a horn of some sort (maybe the B&C ME45 or one of the ellipsoidal ones from 18 Sound). Should end up at 100 dB/Watt (and I expect to have 35 quality Watts available).

http://www.p-audio.co.uk/products/db_product_1_12_sn-15_mb.htm

http://www.p-audio.co.uk/products/db_product_1_12_sn-12_b.htm

http://www.bcspeakers.com/index.php?sez=1&categoria=4&id_descrizione=46&prodotto=62

http://www.bcspeakers.com/index.php?sez=1&categoria=5&id_descrizione=47&prodotto=89

http://www.eighteensound.com/index.aspx?mainMenu=view_product&pid=178

http://www.eighteensound.com/index.aspx?mainMenu=view_product&pid=179

That's today's plan anyway :D

But then the 35 quality Watts haven't arrived yet so I don't know how the Celius's will respond :dunno:

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Super Wammer

i would recomend you look at the new Hawthorne Audio Drivers, the new Sterling 15" ers, they should do bass and everything else, but around $1400 a pair, will not be cheap, but should be really amazing, i will write review of the current speakers tommorow, when i am sober haha :D

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Cheese, with ESL's on top!

Nice review,

Have been in that 7oaks a few times, don't know why but have never bought anything there, must be all the MA everywhere!

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Super Wammer

Ta for the comments :)

Right as promised -

Silver Iris 10's

These were the sensable choice, when looking around (a lot) for Open Baffle drivers, there is a lot of choice in the DIY market, namely just about anything will work, but then you need extra amp, active bass, active crossover etc, and i did not want the hastle and all the experimenting to be honest.

So my main choices were either Full Range drivers, i could roll of 10's of different ones, and the main choice for this is the Visaton B200, which is somthing of a legend in the DIY Open Baffle community. The other choice was a Coaxial design, and there are not that many that also supply dedicated crossovers, namely Radian, were the most obvious, then i came across the Hawthorne Audio dedicated Open Baffle drivers, that at the time i foind them only came in the 15" version.

I waited until they released the 10" Cast Frame model, these are made specifically for HA by Eminence, and the tweeter is a modified version of one of theirs aswell. And these really are cracking for the money, they cost me just over £200 for the drivers, crossover and shipping Inc tax to the UK (they are from the other side of the pond) and put them into a 'baffle' that i already had used for the Omnes Audio L8's and when i had the Tannoy DC1000 drivers in OB aswell. They took a while to burn in, i guess from their Pro-Audio background, at the start they were a little thin and the treble was slighty bright, but this went after about 2 months or so.

They are also very efficient, around 94dB and being pro, they have huge head room, i have yet to hear any stress, apart from my ears at that time ;), the crossover is brilliantly simple, just 4 components, with big hand wound inductors :cool:

so how do they sound? well, the first thing which hits you, and one of the main attractions of Open Baffle is the Bass. it is simply natural, there is no box to colour the sound, its tight, and supprisingly extended given the small'ish baffle, and it actually sounds better at higher volumes;) where there is no boom at all.

The midrange is relativey restrained, it does not draw attention to it, but its not boring, and the treble, although its quite a cheap compression driver, i have never found it to be bright.

one of the things that really impresses me is drums, aparently one of the people who

was tweaking them, used to be a drummer, but drums seem to have great attack and accuracy, these things really do ROCK, especially when you turn up the wick, and at lower volumes they slightly lack bass, but to be honest i have gotten used to it and i its only about 10% of the time i would like more bass :)

One thing is that they dont seem to do much of a soundstage, it can be extended behind the speakers, but not as much wider than them, which is maybe they need a larger room, but thats only a small point really.

I would describe these as possibly an 'Old fasioned' Cocktail, takes a while to make, slightly sweet, but with a strong taste, would get you smashed easily, but you could drink it all night. ;)

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Hawthorne Audio Silver Iris 10" Coaxial by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

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Old Hifi by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

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Old Hifi by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

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Old Hifi by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

Tannoy Sensys DC1

i had these a while ago, unfortunatley i can not remember much about them, at the time they were used in a sub-optimal setup, i remember they sounding 'good'. But at the time, not as good as the DC1000's, they sounded cleaner, and had better imaging iirc, but missed out on somthing.

i got them cheap of ebay, and in the maple they were not really lookers, and i had them on some tiny thin stands as well.

that was a little short compared to the others.... :?:D

pict03896tu.jpg

:cool: there :D

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Super Wammer

oh and if i was not obvious, i like hoops on my toast! :D

if not that, then cheese, or just plain butter, with beans a sloppy last :P

:lmfao:

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Well I like beans with cheese on top :P

From what I've read about OB, the key to the soundstage is to get them away from the wall so that the sound reflecting off the wall is significantly delayed reaching your ears compared to the direct sound. This way the ear interprets the reflected sound as ambience. If the delay is too short, the ear mixes the direct and reflected sound and the result is smearing and confusion and a consequent lack of soundstage.

One answer is to put absorption or diffusion on the wall behind the speaker.

The first reflection off the side walls can cause the same problem. The distance to the ceiling is usually sufficient and the floor reflection is usually damped by a carpet or rug.

Would be interesting to measure your OBs and see what they are really achieving because all the available science suggests that they should not have much bass.

Anyway, glad you're enjoying them :)

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Super Wammer

yeah im guessing i am getting flat to say 90Hz ish then dropping to around -6dB around 60/70Hz ish, but in reality you dont really notice it, CableMonkey made a comment (iirc) that while they are bass light you can still hear every note perfectly.

well they have a high Qts, 0.68 i think, which means that they have a natural bump around the Fs (55Hz) which helps in Open Baffle (0.5-0.7 is considered the best for bass quantity and quality)

would be interesting to measure them :)

and thats the problem that i have quite a lot of stuff in my room, which does not help.

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Super Wammer

well there maybe a new addition in the coming week, new to me anyway, its cheap, should have good bass (as well as other great qualities) and its not DIY ;)

:cool:

a dave whitter style vague comment :D

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Super Wammer

ah, i was thinking about it ;), but no, its not DIY, its a bit of a side grade, but a bit of fun at the same time, all should be revealed in a week at the most ;)

:nuts:

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Super Wammer

i was, and might be some time, but its a little out of my price range at the moment :)

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