View Full Version : Triamped L222/L220's

Steve Gonzales
11-20-2005, 01:11 PM
Hello to all,

I've taken my L222/L220's to the next level recently and thought to share my impressions. For those of you that don't know of my first experiment with these models, I originally replaced the LE5-9's with the L300/4333's H92/2312-LE85/2420's horn driver combo's. This was a very important discovery to me, as it introduced me to compression drivers, which I really like now. I had used the stock N220 passive crossovers which did a good job ,but as I said then, they were not perfect and I set my sights on some L300- N333's. Well, I did get some N333's but never tried them because in the meantime, a friend encouraged me to try an electronic crossover, which came in the form of a JBL M553. I needed some good amplification so, I got hold of a VTL model 45, EL34 based amp and a nice little M35 4ch to drive the 076's. While I waited for these pieces, I also got a pair of McCauley 451 elliptical 800hz horns. these horns are the same basic size as an H92/2312, but have much larger exit mouth. I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to install these horns into the L222's and have it work properly and also look stock from the front baffle. That is another thread in itself. I mounted a mint pair of LE85's on them. I also run 2397's with 2421's, they sit on top of the pairs on styrofoam sheeting until I can build some proper stands. The rest is basically stock stuff, LE14A's and H's run off a big Yamaha SS M80. Well, the results are spectacular!!. It was worth the effort. The M553 is wonderful! So simple and flexible. I also acquired a vintage Denon CD player with 20 bit Lambda D/A converters. I'm hoping that someone out there will try this with a pair of L220's too, they really come alive in this configuration. Steve G

11-20-2005, 01:50 PM
Hey Steve,

Good to see you back here, I missed your great posts on all the restoration and experimentation. The L222's look great. Should sound spectacular with that complement of drivers/horns.

Looking forward to more of your contributions.

Warmest Regards,


Steve Gonzales
11-20-2005, 02:01 PM
Hi Bart,

Thank you. I've been so busy this summer and just wanted a break too. I really can't say enough about this system. Really wonderful clarity. I've got some Altec 19's in the first stage of restoration right now. I'm going to use an LE85 on the 811 and maybe put an 077 or 076 and triamp them too. I've got a 4way in the works too. 136A/2123/2441/076 in custom enclosures. Good to hear from you

Uncle Paul
11-20-2005, 03:06 PM
Way cool, Steve, and welcome back!

Steve Gonzales
11-20-2005, 04:06 PM
Hey UNC,

Thank you too. I remember the tube vs. SS thread and it's very polarized responses, great exchange of ideas. I have always been the type that needs to hear for myself. I was skeptical until I heard these horns with the VTL amp. I had the luxury of A-B-ing it against a pure class A SS amp of VERY good quality. I decided beforehand to trust whichever actually sounded the best to me. I know that tubes are old news and outdated to some, and that is fine with me. I want the best for myself and that is determined by my ears only. I cannot believe that there is so much beautiful detail in music with the VTL!. There is something going on here that defies logic. Whatever the case is, I know that this particular marriage is made in heaven. The M553 is a great unit. Very quiet and accurate. I made the RCA to XLR cables from the best stuff I could find without a second mortgage-LOL-. Amazing also is the fact that one 45wpc tube amp is driving SIX compression drivers at the same time and without so much as a single hiccup!. You notice that one of the 2397's is blue with silver vanes? what do you think about that look? I know it was alot of work to do correctly, I used an automotive type lacquer with clearcoat, thoughts?

11-20-2005, 05:35 PM
Amazing also is the fact that one 45wpc tube amp is driving SIX compression drivers at the same time and without so much as a single hiccup!. I never thought of doing that.

That blue is unusual, too. :)

Uncle Paul
11-20-2005, 06:02 PM
Cool rig! I've never used tubes myself (have thought about it), but am not one of those who plays favorites with technology. Each has its own tradeoffs and uses. What sounds good IS good.

How about a closeup of the horn? I think it looks great. I bet those vanes must have driven you crazy!

11-20-2005, 06:23 PM
Nice VTL...well, and horns too but those ragged cats eyes have got to go. How about a nice piezo?:bouncy:

11-20-2005, 06:46 PM
Are you running all four of these together? As in, at the same time?

Steve Gonzales
11-20-2005, 06:48 PM
Yup, they are a pain to mask and paint!. I actually set them up on an old B&D workmate and used the vice feature to hold a yardsale blowdryer to pull the air through by setting the 2397's entry with the intake of the blowdryer. It works very well. Here are some pictures. BTW, Smithhorns are very, very sweet horns. I think that has been established here on this site prior to this, for sure, but I had to reinforce that, I am so pleased with them and what they do.

Steve Gonzales
11-20-2005, 06:50 PM
Are you running all four of these together? As in, at the same time? Ya mean the L220's and L222's? Yes, I do run them at the same time, works great and I'm happy with the output.

11-20-2005, 06:54 PM
Ya mean the L220's and L222's? Yes, I do run them at the same time, works great and I'm happy with the output.
Could you elaborate on what you are gaining by running all four, other than SPL? And if much of it is increased LF output, why not subs and a single pair?

Steve Gonzales
11-20-2005, 06:59 PM
Hey Mike, I hope this isn't one of those trick questions. I certainly hope that my time spent here is enjoyable too. As to your question, I have the pairs and I run them, no intent other than they sound good to me and I like it. I actually have 5 complete pairs of these with the horns in them, so to me, this is restraint ;)

A little more on the subject, I've lucked out an moved into a new house that really does these justice, I've never heard the low 20's (hz) so clear. You would think cancellation but I got lucky this time and the room is real good for audio.

11-20-2005, 07:06 PM
No trick, I just have come to the idea that listening to one stereo pair of drivers in each band is better. I f I need more output, then just ramp up the drivers and amps, but don't run multiple drivers same channel/same band, and avoid the detriments. Seems that most perm. installs and SR setups attempt to subscribe to this as well. I just find the approach preferable, but in the end, if you are enjoying the music, hey, no biggie!

Uncle Paul
11-21-2005, 05:38 PM
Beautiful paint job on that horn!