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  1. #1

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    Default are kevlar coned speakers better ?

    I did try to do a master search so not to emparass myself if this was asked before and nothing turned up.So are the Kevlar coned speakers of I think B&W and some other brands or the ceramic aluminum type Klipsch uses any better than a standard paper cone.Looks wise I must say both syles look great but how do they compare w/ cloth doped surround paper, doped paper w/ butyl surround or just a paper cone w/ the ever present foam surround formally used by most companies.I own all 3 types of the latter varieties mentioned

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    They all have their pluses and minuses. Most Kevlar cones have a nasty break up like metal cones, but B&W's mids don't appear to have this issue, but for $400+ each I'd hope not. Ceramic type cones are similar to metal as they act like a piston throughout their optimum operating range and don't flex like paper cones, but ring like a bell in upper frequencies, requiring steeper crossover slopes. There are many methods of making paper cones, so just because someone states the cone is made of paper, doesn't mean it'll sound the same as another brand's paper cone. Along with plastic cones, paper is easier to work with than other materials and have less of a severe breakup up top.

    As far as surrounds go, newer foams last much longer than old school foam, and foam surrounds allow the driver to be more efficient in comparison.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Thanks, great write up......

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    Yup, breakup is the bugbear for Kevlar and many other 'exotic' cone materials - the passband (so to speak) of linear operation for a Kevlar-cone driver is rather narrow; this is fine as long as the crossover exploits the 'good' and eliminates the 'bad'. Strong, light, and linear (pistonic) are the watchwords - but sometimes (I'd opine) the cure can be worse than the disease.

    FWIW, I am still extremely partial to paper as the best all-round material for natural sound in cone drivers; Peerless proved a long time ago that even a paper coned tweeter could sound good; they made a 2.5 inch paper cone tweeter with AlNiCo magnet for many, many years; that tweeter was used by many loudspeaker manufacturers (including, e.g., Electrovoice, RTR, and McIntosh, just to pull a few from my own memory bank).
    all the best,
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    Default

    For example, a Nextel coated paper cone: http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...ne-4.5-woofer/

    Click image for larger version

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    And a Magnesium cone, otherwise same as the driver above: http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...m-cone-woofer/

    Click image for larger version

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    I happen to own a pair of each. I prefer the sound of the magnesium cone model better, it has a cleaner sound to it, but requires a more complex crossover with steeper slopes. On the other hand, the paper woofer has a more relaxed sound to it and is very easy to work with.

    I haven't gotten around to making a distortion comparison between the two, but off the top of my head, the paper model has slightly more 2nd order(non-offensive) distortion overall, but the magnesium model is almost painful to listen to without a crossover filter. Listening to this one full range will want to make you want to run out of the room, but it makes a world class woofer used correctly: http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...y-cone-woofer/
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    mhardy, you speak w/ an engineering background that really comes across well w/o talking down to someone.May I be so intrusive to ask what was/is your profession.Mine like I have said many times already was a security alarm installer..

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    Quote Originally Posted by leftwinger57 View Post
    mhardy, you speak w/ an engineering background that really comes across well w/o talking down to someone.May I be so intrusive to ask what was/is your profession.Mine like I have said many times already was a security alarm installer..
    I make drugs for a living. Sort of like that Breaking Bad guy but without all of the drama :-)
    I'm a biochemist.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    I make drugs for a living. Sort of like that Breaking Bad guy but without all of the drama :-)
    I'm a biochemist.
    Well HELLO HELLO my new friend......

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    You guys were all over this one, great responses. The thing to remember with cone material is that there is no best or better. There are SO many driver cones out there that sound great when one uses a a little science to get the most of of it. Look at what Scan can do with paper, what Seas can do with magnesium, what JM Labs can do with kevlar, composite sandwich, and beryllium, JBL with titanium, etc.

    I remember for some reason I really loved the midrange from the old Illusion Audio Carbon Fiber cones drivers...another cone material that has issues that have to be dealt with. I thought they did a great job.
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    I will also add that it doesn't take innovative ideas to get sound out of any cone type. Take the Usher midwoofer for example. Its heavily based off a JBL design from 60 years ago.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    I will also add that it doesn't take innovative ideas to get sound out of any cone type. Take the Usher midwoofer for example. Its heavily based off a JBL design from 60 years ago.
    Along with their ScanSpeak based drivers...they excel at copying others designs. Except for the whole Beryllium debacle, where they were caught using only a small percentage of Be in their domes, opposed to SS's 99%.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by WLDock View Post
    ... There are SO many driver cones out there that sound great when one uses a a little science to get the most of of it...
    Heh... I do science all day; hifi is for my right brain :-)

    Actually, the good thing about scientific training/the scientific method is that it forces one to examine carefully any anecdotal data. Philosophically, I walk a tightrope between objectivism and subjectivism when it comes to hifi. I do believe that everything that's audibly important can (at least in principle) be measured... but that doesn't mean that we know what to measure nor how to measure it. I think that all of the lunatic fringe of "high end" hifi operates in this grey space - stuff that makes a difference but is hard (if not impossible by current models) to quantify.

    HH Scott's famous chief engineer, Daniel von Recklinghausen, probably put it best:
    "If it measures good and sounds bad, -- it is bad. If it sounds good and measures bad, -- you've measured the wrong thing."

    http://hhscott.com/vonrecklinghausen.htm
    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    I will also add that it doesn't take innovative ideas to get sound out of any cone type. Take the Usher midwoofer for example. Its heavily based off a JBL design from 60 years ago.
    'nuff said ;-)

    To quote Ecclesiastes:

    What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
    :-)
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 09-11-2013 at 07:48 AM.
    all the best,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Along with their ScanSpeak based drivers...they excel at copying others designs. Except for the whole Beryllium debacle, where they were caught using only a small percentage of Be in their domes, opposed to SS's 99%.
    I believe the supposed ScanSpeak "copy" is the JBL design I mentioned, but I could be wrong. I remember the Be issues, but that wasn't the point of this thread.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  14. #14

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    I've never heard a cleaner sounding cone mid than the old B&W kevlar from the 801/802. It must be doing something right.

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    Love the mids from the kevlar cone on the b&w's. Obviously there is more to it than just the medium, but sounds sweet to me
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    Quote Originally Posted by audiomagnate View Post
    I've never heard a cleaner sounding cone mid than the old B&W kevlar from the 801/802. It must be doing something right.
    On the other hand I'd say they are doing something wrong as they are one of the most non-musical speakers I've ever heard.
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    Jesse, B&W's Kevlar midrange from their TOTL speaker is a very well designed unit, it almost is as good as Accuton's $909 midrange(arguably the best midrange available). The issue lies in their crossover design, they cross the mid too high, to the point it's beaming. Due to the lack of off axis energy in the upper midrange, when the tweeter comes in, it sounds too hot.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  18. #18
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    As everyone knows, the driver is only half the battle, as the implementation is just as important. I saw an interview with one of the guys at Focal, and their philosophy is to manufacture their own drivers, so there is less crossover required than adapting an already manufactured unit.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    On the other hand I'd say they are doing something wrong as they are one of the most non-musical speakers I've ever heard.
    This is coming from the same user that once compared the B&W 802 and 803 to a pair of Bose...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RamZet View Post
    This is coming from the same user that once compared the B&W 802 and 803 to a pair of Bose...
    Yep, both are non-musical, but for different reasons. So, did you have a point to your comment or are you just flapping your fat lips?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Jesse, B&W's Kevlar midrange from their TOTL speaker is a very well designed unit, it almost is as good as Accuton's $909 midrange(arguably the best midrange available). The issue lies in their crossover design, they cross the mid too high, to the point it's beaming. Due to the lack of off axis energy in the upper midrange, when the tweeter comes in, it sounds too hot.
    Thank you Mike. As I said, they are doing something wrong and there it is.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  23. #23

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    Well, I think B&W did a great thing ages ago with the individual enclosure design. However, that design in the later versions (and of course other factors) contribute to the characteristics that some call revealing and others call bright. The supposed beaming of the upper midrange combined with that wide dispersion individualiy enclosed "tweeter eye" that some love and others hate. Love or hate seems to be the response about the 801, 802, 800 lines.

    Many like the 801 SII vs the more recent 800 offerings. The 801 SII powered by a couple of large Krell monblocks as well as MartinLogan have a special place in my memory because they were the first speakers that really got a rise out of me ages ago. I would love to listen to the 801's today.
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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    On the other hand I'd say they are doing something wrong as they are one of the most non-musical speakers I've ever heard.
    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Jesse, B&W's Kevlar midrange from their TOTL speaker is a very well designed unit, it almost is as good as Accuton's $909 midrange(arguably the best midrange available). The issue lies in their crossover design, they cross the mid too high, to the point it's beaming. Due to the lack of off axis energy in the upper midrange, when the tweeter comes in, it sounds too hot.
    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Yep, both are non-musical, but for different reasons. So, did you have a point to your comment or are you just flapping your fat lips?
    This! And more of "this". I couldn't agree more. B&W? Hand me the ear plugs, quick!

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  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    This! And more of "this". I couldn't agree more. B&W? Hand me the ear plugs, quick!

    cnh
    Wow, another on....I don't remember the 801's being that bright....but, I guess many have said the same. Man would I like to listen to them again. Hand me the ear plugs is what I was thinking after hearing some of the Kipsch models several times.
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  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by WLDock View Post
    Well, I think B&W did a great thing ages ago with the individual enclosure design. However, that design in the later versions (and of course other factors) contribute to the characteristics that some call revealing and others call bright. The supposed beaming of the upper midrange combined with that wide dispersion individualiy enclosed "tweeter eye" that some love and others hate. Love or hate seems to be the response about the 801, 802, 800 lines.
    If "revealing" is really just a poor designed speaker, I'll stick with non-revealing for now on, thanks.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  27. #27

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    Source matters for the B&Ws i have heard, including the ones i own. A well recorded source sounds phenominal while so so one sounds like crap in comparison. Just like any other speaker, you have to find the right synergy. They wont hide or color anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deronb1 View Post
    Source matters for the B&Ws i have heard, including the ones i own. A well recorded source sounds phenominal while so so one sounds like crap in comparison. Just like any other speaker, you have to find the right synergy. They wont hide or color anything.
    Every component colors the music one way or another. B&W is not the only speaker that shows all flaws and just about any speaker will shine with a good recording. Usher's are often compared to b&w due to their more prevalent top end and highly revealing nature. The difference is the ushers have a fuller sound and offer enough warmth to make it a pleasing experience.
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  29. #29

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    What B&Ws are you guys listening too?
    Sounds like you guys all walked into a best buy and demoed the speakers on a pioneer HT receiver being switched through a source selector.

    You need to sit down in a room with a nice Rotel, Krell, Mcintosh, Bryston or B&K amp and listen to some CDs. The way a few select members talk about B&Ws and almost go out of their way to bad talk the company whenever the product is mentioned is insane. What speaker do you think artist like Bob Dylan and Paul Mccartney chose to use in their homes ( and one of them is paid by JBL)?

    I understand if you dont prefer the sound vs another speaker, but to call a speaker of that caliber bad is just nuts and reflects poorly on your judgment. Saying things like "get me ear plugs" and comparing the 800 series to Bose is just borderline trolling.
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    I never could stand Dylan and after the Beatles, McCartney doesn't do it for me either. Maybe it's because they own B&W's.

    For the record, I've never demo'd any speakers at Best Buy, but I have demo'd plenty of B&W's at high end shops with high end gear. The results are always the same, hence my opinion. Obviously, it's a sound you like and that's fine, but don't you dare imply that my opinion reflects poorly on my judgement or comes anywhere close to trolling. Based on your posts here I believe it is safe to say that your experience with high end audio pales in comparision to mine, so I hope you'll consider that before commenting further.
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