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Thread: Urei 809a

  1. #1
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Urei 809a

    I was between projects and had to let the UREI 811 speakers go, but I have collected 2 pairs of the smaller UREI 809A coaxial speakers
    and have been VERY happy with the sound of them in our multimedia system. Basically, all they needed was to redo the surrounds,
    and the quality of the single point source is amazing! I generally leave the grills on, tho they are off for most of these pictures.

    They are VERY efficient and don't need a lot of power. We don't play stupid loud anyway at such a close distance.

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    I got the lower cabinets from a local AK seller - he had snatched a pair of Stevens coaxials from them, and sold me the empty wood cabinets
    I put some JBL style dark blue monitor cloth on them just for fun - and really liked the look with the blond wood.
    I found the cabinets were a perfect fit for some 2214 woofers I had, and subwoof gave me some tips on setting them up as helper woofers
    [and stands] under the 809As I am using as front main.


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    I do have an 18 inch JBL 4641 sub in the front right corner for movies and TV sub use.
    Its not really needed for music.

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    I had some spare teak dining room chairs I found on the curb - they needed reupholstering, but the danish design and wood is superb.
    I found if I took the seat and back cushion off, they became great stands for the 2 side surround speaker

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    I do have a spare pair of coaxial drivers - I may take one and make a center channel from it -
    Overkill, I know, but so far it hasn't been needed.
    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
    7: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460,

  2. #2
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    I do have a spare pair of coaxial drivers - I may take one and make a center channel from it -
    Overkill, I know, but so far it hasn't been needed.
    I think if it was my room, I'd take one of the rears and put that into Center service and use a pair of small "whatevers" for the surrounds. I just think the Center is far more important than the surrounds. We hear in front of us much better than we do to the side or rear... also, having a separate dialog speaker is usually a real step up.

    You could certainly give it a try to see what you think. A pair of anything decent... even LSR305s will do fine as surrounds, especially for a quick test.


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  3. #3
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    I think if it was my room, I'd take one of the rears and put that into Center service and use a pair of small "whatevers" for the surrounds.
    I just think the Center is far more important than the surrounds. We hear in front of us much better than we do to the side or rear...
    also, having a separate dialog speaker is usually a real step up.

    You could certainly give it a try to see what you think. A pair of anything decent... even LSR305s will do fine as surrounds, especially for a quick test.

    Widget
    Thanks for the feedback - We actually DO have a center speaker - its a Vandersteen VCC-1 from the days when I ran the room on Vandys.
    The VCC-1 is "a small 2 way, with a 6 1/2" die-cast basket polycone woofer and a 1" critically-damped, alloy dome tweeter".
    Its the short black cube near the center, and it sounds very good for dialog - close, tho not a complete match for the UREIs.
    (It has a wood base and top cap, but I made a black cloth "cap" to cover the top wood so it doesn't reflect light from the screen).

    It just "barely" fits below the set without blocking the screen (just under an inch).
    The 809As are much taller, even when I lay them sideways and block at least 6 inches of screen. I tried one there once.
    The real problem is the TV is hoisted as high as it can be on the wall mount - I'll have to do something to the windowsill to get the TV any higher.
    I can drop the wheels from the Salamander console to gain maybe 2-3 inches, but that's about it ... and that's not really enough. I tried that once.

    I do have DCM TF600s as rear surrounds so the system is set up to do full 7.1 - the DCMs are a transmission line speaker that are quite thin
    and can fit up against the rear wall for the few 7.1 films we do find and play.


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    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
    7: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460,

  4. #4
    Senior Member Don C's Avatar
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    I just re-foamed a pair of these myself. I loved it, the twin spiders hold the cone straight, making for the easiest re-foam I've ever done.

  5. #5
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Thanks for the feedback - We actually DO have a center speaker - its a Vandersteen VCC-1 from the days when I ran the room on Vandys.
    Obviously I didn't look or read closely enough.

    Sounds like you you have it "wired" to fit your space and needs.


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    Senior Member fotodan's Avatar
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    I love the idea if using the chair as speaker stand.... OUTSTANDING Idea.....

  7. #7
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotodan View Post
    I love the idea if using the chair as speaker stand.... OUTSTANDING Idea.....

    Thanks. We have an expanding scandinavian table and another batch of those chairs in the kitchen,
    but when I saw 4 of them on the curb, in good shape except for bad upholstery !!
    it killed me to see them on the curb just waiting for the crusher trash truck!
    Such a gorgeous design ... and real wood!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
    7: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460,

  8. #8
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Karlson Cabinets for the helper Woofers ..

    My friend Wilfredo picked these up for me at the last MidAtlantic AK Listening party near Frederick, MD.
    They came from a collector (a Karlson Kab Kollector??) who brought them down from NJ for me -
    the pictures intrigued me and I never played with Karlson cabinets before
    Anyway, the story is they were made in SE Asia at different times (slightly different wood and inlay designs on top) -
    and had that hideous 60s era brown grill cloth with gold threads ...

    Anyway, I pulled the grill cloth yesterday and wiped the outer sides down with Orange oil - not sure what I'll do to the unfinished curved panels -
    the wood veneer has a very nice grain (Cherry stain? Pecan? Danish Oil?). Something light to accent against the dark stain on the cabinet.

    I have JBL 2214 woofers and inductors in the "blonde wood helper cabs" under the UREI 809As as front mains -
    I plan to move those woofers and inductors into these Karlsons and see how they sound there under the UREIs.
    I heard Karlsons are supposed to do bass well - and I do like the look of the karlson panels ... hope the sound is as good.

    (They are just temporarily "staged" in the upstairs room - next to a pair of JBL L212s, and Von Schweikert VR-4s)

    Size is 23" wide by 18" deep by 35" tall (including a 2" or 3" plinth/riser).
    Cutout hole is 12" but the cab dimensions could work with a 15"


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    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
    7: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460,

  9. #9
    Senior Member hsosdrum's Avatar
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    Looks like it'll be fun! Interested to hear your opinion of how they sound once you get them done.

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    Those are Groovy!

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    Yes, I heard some tales of Karlson's doing an amazing job with bass. Unfortunately the only pair I ever heard had some crappy EV's that didn't work well in the box. I am very interested to hear your thoughts, once they are up and running.

  12. #12
    Senior Member hsosdrum's Avatar
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    The opinions I've read over the years about the Karlson speakers range all over the map, from "best I've ever heard" to "worst I've ever heard", but I believe those referred to them doing full-range duty. Very interested to hear how they do when limited just to bass.

  13. #13
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hsosdrum View Post
    The opinions I've read over the years about the Karlson speakers range all over the map, from "best I've ever heard" to "worst I've ever heard", but I believe those referred to them doing full-range duty. Very interested to hear how they do when limited just to bass.
    Sounds like you read the same reviews on the Karlson designs that I did!

    When I first got the UREIs, I could tell they needed to be higher in the room, not used as floorstanders, and I had some "blonde wood" cabinets I got earlier that might do the job. I also had some JBL 2214s, so I asked SubWoof for some tips on how to use them. He said to low pass their input:

    "12mh chokes are on that page (Madisound) - scroll down. $30ea for sidewinders. I prefer the steel laminate core over the powdered ferrite because you can screw them down to the cabinet walls without worry. My stuff gets "ahem" moved around with attitude at times. It goes in series with the helper woofer, fini. It will raise the system 3db since power output is much greater in the lower octaves ( basic physics ) and you now have TWO cones, not one. Look at the published specs for the (JBL) 4430 / 4435."

    "12mh chokes are the page (Madisound) - scroll down. $30ea for sidewinders. I prefer the steel laminate core over the powdered ferrite because you can screw them down to the cabinet walls without worry. My stuff gets "ahem" moved around with attitude at times. It goes in series with the helper woofer, fini. It will raise the system 3db since power output is much greater in the lower octaves ( basic physics ) and you now have TWO cones, not one. Look at the published specs for the (JBL) 4430 / 4435."

    So - I plan to move the 2214 and the chokes into the Karlson cabinets, and see how they play underneath the front main UREIs. Of course, I also have a 3rd pair of the UREI 809A coaxial drivers (based on the JBL 2214 woofer) - and they came with some crossovers allegedly for the drivers (tho they look nothing like the crossover cards that came in the 2 pair of complete UREI 809As I got elsewhere). Anyway, the spares need refoaming, but afterwards I could always pull the chokes and pop them in the Karlson kabs with the crossovers and see how they play full range ...
    (Pix of a pair of refoamed 2214s, and a UREI pair that did NOT need refoaming)

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    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
    7: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460,

  14. #14
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Okay, I did some staining of the Karlson curved panels. and the lower speaker mounting panel in the cabinet with
    Minwax Pecan to protect the previously unstained wood. Seems a good match.
    I cut a hole in the bottom for a pair of JBL speaker connector cups, then moved the 2214 woofers and chokes from the old
    "blonde wood" cabinets into the Karlson cabinets. By this point the cabinets had gotten HEAVY! But we moved them down
    into the multimedia room ... and got them into place.

    Now I just need to find time to LISTEN!!


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    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
    7: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460,

  15. #15
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Final analysis - the Integra Preamp/Processor cuts off the low-end of the signal going to the front mains (and feeds it to the sub channel instead) - so between that, and the low-pass choke I put in the "Helper Woofer" cabinets which limits them to just low end, there is effectively no significant signal going to the Karlsons. No point in them being there (!). Just FYI - I did the original test with the older "blonde wood" helper cabs and the 809As on my 2 ch system upstairs in the plant room, as fed by the Jolida integrated amp, so I know the design works there on a full-range system.

    So I pulled the Karlson Kabs out of the stack, pulled the chokes and JBL 2214s out of them, rotated the front UREIs to a horizontal configuration, and grabbed another set of teak chair frames from the shed for them. I thought they looked kind of cool.
    (You can just see the edge of the empty Karlson Kabs in the far left of the picture, ready to move them out of the room).

    I found a buyer for the now empty Karlsons, but Emma commented that she preferred the "architectural" look of the Karlsons to the UREIs on the chair frames in front of the room, so even tho they are doing nothing, I cancelled the sale and slipped the empty Karlson Kabs back into place.

    SAP is SAP, you know?

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    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
    7: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460,

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