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Thread: Building my dream system, need lots of advise!

  1. #136
    Senior Member jmpsmash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.db View Post
    I´m just curious if you still enjoy your system or if you have changed anything since your last post?
    Well, long story. But audio is a journey, so long it is, bear with me. Since mid-November I got into an accident which resulted in a foot surgery to repair a broken bone. The accident was very much audio related but not for this pair of speakers... but that's another story . Anyhow, I was relegated to crutches so while I am able to do small stuff it was work to move around, so not much work happened. later in December, vacationing mean I didn't get to do anything.

    So when i was out vacationing, mom and I got really good front rows seat at Covent Garden and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. I rarely sit in such prime location in concert hall with top acoustics and that was eye... i mean ear opening. The sound was large, massive, enveloping, quick, detailed, and mostly, not loud. Pizzicato from cello/double bass was quick, details, and while not loud, i can not only hear, but feel the sound. Natural, not piercing.

    And most importantly, nothing like what I am hearing at home from the horns and the 15" woofer. At home sound was mostly too loud, when turned down to concert hall volume (I measured the dB at the hall, with my phone, I did... and matched it ), the sound was dull, compressed, no life. Sound stage was narrow, only between the speakers. Sound stage while still ok "deep", it wasn't massive. When loud, it was piercing. Details was ok. But overall, it sounded boxed in instead of this airy huge sound stage.

    I couldn't get that sound off my head, and want to see what can be done. After I came back, I keep thinking and then remembered that last year I bought a pair of Heil AMT tweeters. So I start messing around with it. And it sounded... really good! The dipole tweeter engages the room, sound stage was bigger, more airy, more open. It is not as detailed as the horns but it was natural and not fatiguing.

    I also posted a little in the other thread about it. But here is the story. I have been listening to and enjoying this new sound for the past week. It is not perfect, far from it, but at least from the sound stage point of view, I have not heard any non-dipole that sound like that.

    I am still using the 2216ND-1 as the bass up to 1.2kHz, and it is really quite impressive as REW measures it matching the AMT in distortion at the crossover point.

    Long way to go in this journey.

  2. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpsmash View Post
    ......The sound was large, massive, enveloping, quick, detailed, and mostly, not loud. Pizzicato from cello/double bass was quick, details, and while not loud, i can not only hear, but feel the sound. Natural, not piercing.

    And most importantly, nothing like what I am hearing at home from the horns and the 15" woofer. At home sound was mostly too loud, when turned down to concert hall volume (I measured the dB at the hall, with my phone, I did... and matched it ), the sound was dull, compressed, no life. Sound stage was narrow, only between the speakers. Sound stage while still ok "deep", it wasn't massive. When loud, it was piercing. Details was ok. But overall, it sounded boxed in instead of this airy huge sound stage.

    I couldn't get that sound off my head, and want to see what can be done......
    Ah, the Audiophile's dilemma. The realistic dynamics of high efficiency horns (limited by their shortcomings), or the enveloping 3 dimensional recreation of a live performance from wide dispersion, time coherent loudspeakers (limited by their shortcomings). We should all have 2 listening rooms.

  3. #138
    Senior Member jmpsmash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty jefferson View Post
    Ah, the Audiophile's dilemma. The realistic dynamics of high efficiency horns (limited by their shortcomings), or the enveloping 3 dimensional recreation of a live performance from wide dispersion, time coherent loudspeakers (limited by their shortcomings). We should all have 2 listening rooms.
    How about horns + full range driver/speaker pointing backwards?

  4. #139
    Senior Member jmpsmash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpsmash View Post
    How about horns + full range driver/speaker pointing backwards?
    Well thanks to MLK we have a 3-day long weekend and family is busy watching superbowl so I got the whole afternoon without interruption.

    Took down the Heil and put back the 2397/Fostex. I use another channel of the DSP and wired up my old amp and speaker point it backwards towards the front corners.

    I dug up some papers on concert hall acoustics and they referenced delay in the region of 100ms so I dial it to that. Initially I didn't quite like the sound, too loud and too bright, the highs makes it sound like everything are doubled. So I toned it down almost 10dB and tapered off the highs above 1kHz by another 3dB.

    The effect is... fun. but can't say it is totally real. It does make one step towards that direction. The room is filled, there is direct sound stage coming from the main speakers, and then a field of sound enveloping the whole front of the room.

  5. #140
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    Just a crazy thought:

    Point the horn forward and remove the cover from the HF driver and let that bounce around off the back wall. ?

    Barry.
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

  6. #141
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    A lot of what you refer to in your comparison comes down to the recording and placement of your enclosures and the listening point also toe in.

    It can take a while to get it right as it can be.

    I start with an equilateral triangle and gruakually toe in the enclosures but not too much.

    I tend to find getting the blend from the sides with the centre image balanced to your liking is what does it.

    I also suggest you accurately measure and balance your L + R within 0.5 dB. You will find the sound scape snap right in once you do that.

    The above comment are referenced to my 4345 in a room 4 x 7 metres fully furnished with heavy velvet curtains and 2.7 m ceiling. The enclosures are on the long wall.

    As l said in is recording dependant . The Toy Yellow CD is an interesting recording but l find vinyl recording incl Miles Davis Kind is Blue and other classic vinyl albums superior in terms of that live / studio immersive listening experience.

    I have done phase correction of the system and the differences were subtle in the vocals but the impact of AD was not satisfactory. I prefer tonal accuracy and purity and a front row presentation over attempting pin point soundstaging any day if the week. For example in a jazz bar in San Fran recently we had front row seats and it was incredibly emotionally to be close to the musicians. The intensity and tonal purity is what defines the experience for me. a really good system just brings you ever closer to that immersive experience.

    I run a class A discrete analogue crossover specifically tuned to the voltage drive across the Vc of the drivers.

    The result is a significant improvement over standard crossover setting and is superior to a digital crossover based on listening tests compared to the Mini DSP HD. For analogue addicts there are nothing better.

  7. #142
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    @jmpsmash: Thanks for those insights.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    The Toy Yellow CD is an interesting recording
    I wonder how you have found that CD

  8. #143
    Senior Member jmpsmash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1audiohack View Post
    Just a crazy thought:

    Point the horn forward and remove the cover from the HF driver and let that bounce around off the back wall. ?

    Barry.
    That's a brilliant idea!

    I will try it out and report back.

    I did notice the horns are very piercing when compared to the Heil AMT. Mostly in voices which are 600-1000Hz. XO is 800Hz so that's right in the boundary. However, the harmonics are higher so perhaps the blending is not done very well, and human voice is harmonic rich.

    I also tried pushing XO to 1200Hz and that's better.

    Could be matching issues between the 2397 and 2216ND1.

  9. #144
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    That's a brilliant idea!

    I will try it out and report back.
    Hello jmpsmash


    What kind of compensation do you have on the compression driver?? The "backwave" is going to be the voltage drive to the CD without the benefit of any horn loading so it may not sound right. If you are using a CD horn it may sound too bright because on the lower mid roll-off. Conversely if you are using and old style like an exponential, with no compensation, its going to roll off the highs at the mass break point and again without the benefit of the horn may sound dull up top kinda like a plain wave tube measurement.

    You can't hurt anything by trying it out but just be mindful it may not match the horns output. And be really careful about any loose hardware you don't want a screw crashing into the diaphragm with the driver back off.

    Curious to see how it works for you. I have toyed around with using an open compression driver as a driver but have never tried it.

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

  10. #145
    Senior Member jmpsmash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robh3606 View Post
    Hello jmpsmash


    What kind of compensation do you have on the compression driver?? The "backwave" is going to be the voltage drive to the CD without the benefit of any horn loading so it may not sound right. If you are using a CD horn it may sound too bright because on the lower mid roll-off. Conversely if you are using and old style like an exponential, with no compensation, its going to roll off the highs at the mass break point and again without the benefit of the horn may sound dull up top kinda like a plain wave tube measurement.

    You can't hurt anything by trying it out but just be mindful it may not match the horns output. And be really careful about any loose hardware you don't want a screw crashing into the diaphragm with the driver back off.

    Curious to see how it works for you. I have toyed around with using an open compression driver as a driver but have never tried it.

    Rob
    That's a good point. I use DSP so I just tune it very slightly sloping down.

    Yeah. I don't want to have the diaphragm exposed coz those things are unobtainable and cost an arm and a leg!

    But i will try it anyway.

  11. #146
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpsmash View Post
    That's a brilliant idea!

    I will try it out and report back.

    I did notice the horns are very piercing when compared to the Heil AMT. Mostly in voices which are 600-1000Hz. XO is 800Hz so that's right in the boundary. However, the harmonics are higher so perhaps the blending is not done very well, and human voice is harmonic rich.

    I also tried pushing XO to 1200Hz and that's better.

    Could be matching issues between the 2397 and 2216ND1.
    That is surprising for this Smith horn and 2440 compression driver.

    I would re check your acoustic crossover points and slopes. Try 12 dB , 18 dB and 24 dB acoustic slope and up to 36 dB per octave back at 700- 800

    Don’t be fooled into thinking that a 24 dB slope in the dsp is going to give you a 24 dB acoustic slope. You will need to assess with REW in each case manually. The horn and driver has its own native frequency response and phase response.
    You don’t want to be adding more digital filters than you actually need. Less is alway more in dsp.

    Then apply phase compensation on a needs basis and reverse the compression driver polarity to check you have a uniform null at 800 hertz. Measurements don’t always tell you what you are hearing.
    You could be hearing the ragged edge of the 2216? Up at 1200 hertz and above.

    On the imaging bear in mind it’s a pa horn designed to project into a large listening space. Your expectations might be beyond the component combinations you are using. Consider a 2311/2308 combo for better integration and a tighter dispersion aka the 4355. In comparison l personally preferred the 2307/2308 to the 2397. The 2311 should yield similar results when done properly.

    Next l would run the setup using the drivers natural response without any dsp EQ response correction or room curve. Unless you have a very good understanding of the horn and room interaction leave it alone for now. The less processing the better. These components have been used for decades without any dsp diddle dee. In the pa world DSP rules with vast arrays and complex systems.

    Your inside a relatively small space trying to make something better than listenable compared to a Walmart special. Otherwise what’s the point?
    The sledgehammer approach is not appropriate when you have a lot of unknowns.

    Dsp is not a workaround for problem solving in design of a loudspeaker system.


    Greg Timber has recommended 18 dB slopes on the horn and the uhf device at 8000-10000 hertz generally.

    I would stick with that recommendation.

    Edit if you have a tilted response downward towards 20,000 this will highlight the mid range 600-1300 hertz. I would leave it natural and bring your uhf up in level to the point it adds crystal detail and air to complete the horns smooth midrange.

    Always listen before asking the dsp to modify the responses.

  12. #147
    Senior Member jmpsmash's Avatar
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    My best guess is the mismatch in dispersion between the 2397 and top end of the 2216ND1. I haven't done any off axis measurement for either. However, we know that 2397 go as wide as 160deg. I am betting that 2216ND1 narrow quite a bit at the high end. Since I only tuned them on axis, which may mean at crossover region, a lot more energy is projected into the room by the 2397 than the 2216ND1. My room has a decent amount of acoustic treatment with absorption at front and side wall. But still not gonna get rid of them.

    Time to do some off axis measurements to confirm.

  13. #148
    Senior Member pos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpsmash View Post
    I also tried pushing XO to 1200Hz and that's better.

    Could be matching issues between the 2397 and 2216ND1.
    Quote Originally Posted by jmpsmash View Post
    My best guess is the mismatch in dispersion between the 2397 and top end of the 2216ND1.
    http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...l=1#post425668

  14. #149
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    I agree with Barry’s comments on the 2397 application. You might try another horn as discussed much earlier in this thread. What l previously did was test and compare by ear 3 different horns.

    I had previously used the 2397 with an Altec 515 @800 hertz. It worked okay.
    I then added a 2405. Better.
    Then l added an Audax hi sensitivity 8 inch mid driver from 250-1000 hertz. More improvements.
    A pair of 2245’s replaced the Altec. Much better.
    After l while l found the system struggling on classical music.
    So l compared the 2397 to a 2344 and a 2307/23008. I preferred the 2307 with the 2405.
    At that point a decided the clone a 4345. Far superior.

    Building your own diy speaker is very challenging. Most likely you will fail or it might take years. I recommend you clone an existing Jbl system and spend more time listening to the music.

  15. #150
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    If you are proposing to continue with the Heil l suggest you email Nelson Pass at Passlabs on how best to set up the Heil. He previously worked in the R&D department at ESS when they introduced the Heil and build the crossover networks and has a wealth of expertise. He will respond.

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