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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2009, 03:58 
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Joined: 21 Nov 2009, 03:25
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Hello everyone,
First of all allow me to thank you guys for the great forums and introduce myself, I have been a "lurker" on the forum for quite some time now, and have learned quite a sizable amount going through all the threads, yet if i have registered today, it's simply because i have some questions that remain unanswered, especially that i have been seriously considering my first DIY speaker enclosure.
So here it goes, i have just placed an order on my first tube amp, so far i have only been used to rather high end SS amps (rotel, teac etc...) with my 15 year old set of Tannoy speakers.
For this new amp, i would really like to build my own speakers, and have been considering Audio Nirvana's super 15" FR drivers, i just love the KISS concept of full range drivers, and it seemed to me the 15s will the ones best suited to the music i listen to, though it ranges from Opera to heavy metal.
The Audio Nirvana supplier states that the best enclosure would be a bass reflex enclosure.
My question is the following, are there any advantages of going for the Transmission-line option, since the way i understood this is that transmission line enclosures enhance bass response, which the AN Super 15 does not seem to lack.
Another thing, i am worried the speaker in its bass reflex enclosure would have the sound come out biased toward the lower end, and not having enough high(er) frequency response, are my doubts justified? if so, is there any way this can be compensated for through enclosure design?
thank you
Nick


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2009, 13:48 
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Hi Nick, welcome to the forum.

The two enclosures will sound different and which one will "sound" better is really is matter of personal opinion. As you noted, you can probably get more and a tighter lower end with a TLine. Both enclosures types are likely a good choice. If you took the time to design and tune a TLine enclosure you may well be able to get better sound than a bass reflex type enclosure. You could use Martin's software from http://www.quarter-wave.com/ to come up with a design. The TLine would likely be a larger enclosure.

With the CommonSense enclosure a lot of the work is already done for you. They seem to get fairly positive comments. As with everything, there is always room for improvement and really it is a matter of the time and effort you are willing to invest.

Uriah built a set of the Audio Nirvana Super 12 Bass Reflex Speakers and he really like them. Uriah could comment on how detailed the plans were and if they included tuning suggestions.

Hajj wrote:
Another thing, i am worried the speaker in its bass reflex enclosure would have the sound come out biased toward the lower end, and not having enough high(er) frequency response, are my doubts justified? if so, is there any way this can be compensated for through enclosure design?

I don't see any reason for this assuming the enclosure is suited for the driver.

One more thing. Regardless of weather you go with the BR or TLine you will likely find that you will need some level of Baffle Step Correction (BSC) compensation.

Cheers, Gio

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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2009, 15:34 
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Hi,
Like Gio said I have the 12" version and I would buy the 12 over the 15" since the 15 is lacking even more in the upper ends. I have seriously thought of going dipole with a 6" or 8" on the back side. Only for the fun of it though.
The sound I have with the BR is drop dead gorgeous. I have listened to a lot of really wonderful speakers recently, commercial and DIY. I have not heard any that I would replace my ANs with. Only one pair came close and that would be the Magnepan 1.6. I would call them even for different reasons where one pair excels in one arena and the other in, well, another arena.
These speakers as spec'ed with the regular plain old BR box are freaking incredible and I love them. I have built Fostex Fonkens and the difference is not even close. The ANs dont get confused with complex music. They DO go low. They benefit from a BSC which I recently found out. Everyone has told me to put in a BSC or put in some longer pipes in my ports but I have resisted a lot because the sound is so absolutely beautiful. I would say more about them but I think people would jump on me for exaggerating where I am sure it would not be an exaggeration. They are awesome.
Uriah

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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2009, 03:13 
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Thanks guys for your prompt and informative replies,
The problem is, and i'm sure you all have faced it at some point, the more you know, the tougher the decision.
So now, after reading your inputs, and weighing all my options, i'm starting to lean towards a 2-way speaker system, that will include the Audio Nirvana super 15s and possibly a ribbon tweeter (or any decent tweeter for that matter).
The graph for the AN super 15s show a marked roll off beyond 10khz, so i was thinking about using that roll off, in order perhaps to go with a tweeter without a x-o.
Ok, i know i've deviated quite fundamentally form the single driver FR concept, but it's the only solution i can think of.
Should you guys have any other solution, please do not hesitate to chip in with your advice and experience.
Thanks


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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2009, 08:46 
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I have never heard the 15", but I would still ask what is it about the 15" that you prefer it to the 12" or 8"? If you look at their frequency/SPL graphs there really is not an advantage to the 15".
I dont know why he came out with a 15". There doesnt seem to be a good reason for it when he already had better performance from the others. This one goes to 27Hz and the other 12 goes to 36Hz. You really dont need lower than 60Hz anyway. The power handling of the 15 is 80 music Watts while the cast 12" is 45. Seriously, you wont use more than 4 or 5 watts with these speakers probably ever. They are screamin loud with only 1 or 2 watts. The 15 drops off at 12.5k which is really early and the 12 drops off around 17k which is close to the top of anyone's hearing. If you pay $400 for the 15's then you need a tweeter that is as good as the ANs which is not going to be cheap, or you could buy the ANs with best frequency response for a lot less and no need for a tweeter or crossover.
So, here is my recommendation: If I were buying all over again I would not feel bad about buying my 12"ers. However, I think I would go for the Super Cast 10" because their frequency response is more flat, goes lower louder and extends right to 20k. It looks like the perfect speaker. OR I would buy the 8" Alnico for the same reasons and just to hear the Alnico and see if there is a difference. But honestly I think I would go for the Super Cast 10". Its a great deal and the specs are incredible.
Uriah

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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2009, 08:49 
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http://www.t-linespeakers.org/

:D

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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2009, 13:20 
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To my ears ribbons work well with highish XO point. Were you thinking of running the AN open and a first order XO on the ribbon?

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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2009, 03:21 
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Actually i was thinking more AN in a TLine and a ribbon tweeter with a 1st or 2nd order x-o at around 8-9khz
One problem i can foresee is that both ribbons and the FR drivers are very directional.
So the idea that i had, which was to also use the setup at the occasional parties i usually have at my place, is going down the drain.... fast!
And this is where your valuable input comes in, the kind of music i listen to is usually quite complex: complex orchestral arrangements and opera, fast paced Jazz (Arturo Sandoval, Perico Sambeat, etc...) and rock (Led Zep, Pink floyd, Genesis....) and the more i dig and look around concerning FR drivers, the more i find hints as to the limitations such drivers present when it comes to complex musical arrangements....
What do you guys think? and what in your opinion is a good ribbon tweeter to got with the ANs (the super 12s, Gio i'm sold on the 12's :) )
And concerning the amp, i just halted my order since with the high efficiency speakers, the one i had previously ordered is way too powerful, so i am now contemplating a 300B SET amp... 7-9 W @8ohm.
Any suggestion for the amp? or the tubes that would best fit the music i listen to... (i know that t"here is no such thing as the perfect tube setup for a certain music, it is all a matter of opinion", yet, i'm sure there's a baseline to start from)
I know, i look like i'm totally lost, and in fact i am... so may information to absorb, so little time (i'm all about instant gratification sometimes)
Bear with me guys...
Thanks
Nick


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2009, 09:15 
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Nick,
Your questions are right down my alley. I definitely have some educated answers for you.
The 12's are fantastic. They DO beam and are directional. However there is no reason they wont be great for a party. The put out enough decibels easily and still sound great. Hey, no one is doing critical listening at a party and they do not sound bad out of the sweet spot, they just sound awesome IN the sweetspot.
They sound really good with SS amps but the best I have ever heard them sound was with a 300B SET so you are going down the right path. The second best I ever heard them sound was with Bruce Heran's KT88 amp that is shown here in our projects but he replaced the KT88s with KT77s and thats when it got incredible.
These drivers are not effected by the problem most FR drivers have of getting congested with complex music. Flat out NOT a problem at all. If you want to listen to Metallica loudly and still have clear guitar riffs while the drums are going mad it will not be a problem. You can do this, it will sound good. One of my favorites to listen to really loud is Dire Straights - Money for Nothing. NOTHING is congested about this recording and it does not come out of the speakers congested.
Uriah

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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2009, 11:23 
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Thanks Uriah,
Your post cleared things up quite a bit, enough for me to actually stop wondering and make a decision:
- AN super 12s cast frame drivers in a t-line enclosure
and, in the event i might find these lacking in the upper frequency range, the basic setup will allow me to add tweeters later on.
If the choice of driver and speaker enclosure is now known, the amp is quite a different issue.
I have been doing some research about 300B SET amps, with a target output of 10 W. and these do NOT come cheap.
OK, price is not much of an issue ( and from i can tell, it cannot be for a 300B SET amp), but for a given budget, i would rather spend my cash on a great kit that i would build myself (i have enough experience in DIY electronics builds to do it) but i would need to buy a complete kit, and by complete i mean c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e, from tube, to transformers, to sockets and miscellaneous electronic bits, since i really do not have the luxury of time to spend on sourcing the items individually :(
Do you know of any such kit?
If not, and based on your experience, what is the next best option in the 300B SET amp field? assembled units are no prob, but the budget is limited to around 1000-1300$, the lower the better of course.

This is after all my first tube amp experience, and i know that bigger expenses are gonna follow, but i would like to get the best setup possible for that given budget...

Pardon the newbie questions, but there is so much to be learned, and i'm on really steep learning curve here... And as my knowledge stands today, i'd go with anything you guys propose as being the best option.
So, what say you?


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