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  1. #1

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    Default Going to start looking for single driver speakers

    Well, I'm very happy with my SET amps and now I need to complete the final piece. Been doing a lot of reading and a lot of SET lovers say the real magic of SETs come out with high efficiency single driver units. Makes sense to me, high eff, flat imp curve is what these flea amps love to feed.

    So I'm gonna start looking around.

    I'd also appreciate any reccommendations. I'm looking for towers ranging from $1k to 1.5. Must be single driver, flat imp curve and high eff. I really want to try the back firing horns. And I want good dynamics as well.

    This is not going to be a replcement for the Klipsch. Just something I can switch around once in a while. The Klipsch are too damn good. The new speakers will be used when I just want to really relax and enjoy a better soundstage, mids and imaging.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  2. #2

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    Here ya' go.

    http://www.welbornelabs.com/recomendspeaks.htm

    Plenty to dream about there!!!

  3. #3
    Old Polk
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    Well Maurice, I'm partial to the Cain & Cain Abbey. It fits your bill and has remarkable bass. The Super Abbey has a rear-firing tweeter, and I've toyed with adding that to mine. Terry Cain was gracious enough to send me the parts list and instructions. Experimenting with a tweeter, adhered to the back of the enclosure with carpet tape, produced excellent results.
    Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say

  4. #4

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    Have never heard any of these but thought you might be interested to browse.

    http://www.commonsenseaudio.com/

  5. #5

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    Default

    www.thehornshoppe.com/
    and
    www.decware.com

    look through the DIY sites also, planty of good designs out there.

    have fun shopping, let us know what you find.
    Dodd - Battery Preamp
    Monarchy Audio SE100 Delux - mono power amps
    Sony DVP-NS999ES - SACD player
    ADS 1230 - Polk SDA 2B
    DIY Stereo Subwoofer towers w/(4) 12 drivers each
    Crown K1 - Subwoofer amp
    Outlaw ICBM - crossover
    Beringher BFD - sub eq

    Where is the remote? Where is the $%#$% remote!

    "I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us have...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."

  6. #6

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    I think it's time to start learning some woodworking skills :) Most the drivers in those designs can be had for a lot less than what you'd pay for parts.

  7. #7

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    The Abbeys are nice but a bit screechy for my taste. They're beautiful but they are tall (since they're not folded). That may or may not be an issue for you.

    Two inexpensive but very nice FR options IMNSHO.

    1) Folded, TQWT's a la Bob Brines' design for the venerable Radio Shack 40-1354 5-1/4" fullrange. These are a little inefficient but work OK with my SE 2A3 amps (Bottlehead Paramours). To be honest, they're better with PPEL84's (EICO HF-81, in my case).

    http://www.geocities.com/rbrines1/Pa...#RS%2040-1354a





    2) Fostex FE207E FR in a simple bass reflex enclosure. The Qts of the shieled 207 is (apparently) just high enough to get away with the simple enclosure. This speaker is fabulous with SE 2A3 (again IMNSHO).

    http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?...E-207&session=

    all the best,
    mrh

  8. #8

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    Oh, I plumb forgot -- the best resource going for FR drivers and designs:
    www.fullrangedriver.com
    all the best,
    mrh

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647
    The Abbeys are nice but a bit screechy for my taste. They're beautiful but they are tall (since they're not folded). That may or may not be an issue for you.
    Yeah but were you using that space above your speakers anyway :)

    Plus the shape keeps the wife from putting anything on top of them to rattle around.
    Gallo Ref 3.1 : Bryston 4b SST : Musical fidelity CD Pre : VPI HW-19
    Gallo Ref AV, Frankengallo Ref 3, LC60i : Bryston 9b SST : Meridian 565
    Jordan JX92s : MF X-T100 : Xray v8
    Backburner:Krell KAV-300i

  10. #10

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    If you get a chance to listen to Moth Cicadas, please do.

    On a similar note I've been listening to my single drivers lately.
    Make it Funky! :)

  11. #11

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    Are these too expensive for what they are?

    http://www.madisound.com/bk16.html

  12. #12

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    Fostex drivers are an excellent value, in my opinion... The cabinets are a bit steep at $98 each- you can easily build them for about $30 each. However, if you're looking to build something, i'd go with a Cain & Cain abbey knockoff.

    If you use a FE166E, you get high end extension up to 22khz and you won't need the supertweeter, which saves you $280, plus no crossover. The TL design will get you just as much low end and the design can be banged out of MDF in an afternoon. The FE206E will get you more low end, but breaks up more in the high range and takes a somewhat bigger cabinet.

  13. #13

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    Default I don't get it.

    Not to hijack this thread but what's up with single driver speakers?? Are they really the real deal or just another esoteric way to enjoy music. I understand that single drivers may be very efficient but, having never heard any of these, do they really perform the way some of the testimonials suggest? How do you get all the low end out of some of these 6 and 8 in drivers simply by enclosure design?

    Here is an example of an email testimonial regarding a Lowther setup from Common Sense Audio:

    Subject: Lowther Evaluation

    Hi David,

    You're probably wondering what I think of your speaks. Here goes:
    Initially I was very skeptical about using a Lowther driver in a bass
    reflex cabinet. Several friends and hobbyists I know recommended that I
    not try your speakers. I almost didn't, however with your money back
    guarantee it was worth at least a try.

    Right from the beginning I found the speakers (2.8 Ambience with
    Lowther DX-3's and Audio Nirvana top drivers) to be well-packed and
    easy to set up. Upon listening I was absolutely flabbergasted and
    dumbfounded at what I heard. Imaging like I have never heard before!
    The voices were coming from what appeared to be 10 feet behind and
    around the speakers, simply amazing! The speakers disappeared in the
    sonic soundstaging all around me! All of the other usual superlatives
    apply here, however your speakers are simply incredible to listen to in
    every way; very engaging and realistic tone and timbre to the
    instruments, decent bass (surprising especially considering the small
    drivers) and incredibly holographic 3-D sound!

    After all of the time, money, and energy spent on getting my system
    right your speakers are a no-brainer.
    I also love the Ambience switch which is a touch of pure genius IMHO.
    It really does enhance the ambience to the soundstaging.

    All of this from my SET amp, which is presently running VT-25's (RCA
    10's) which has an output of only 1-2 wpc! BTW, the Soundstaging is
    bigger and better than I could have possibly have ever imagined it to
    be. I am now selling my Oris horns on Audiogon! I owe you big time,
    David. I highly recommend and endorse your speakers. I have about 20
    hours on them right now, and they sound terrific. I better get back to
    listening. Talk to you soon!

    First I listened to Cat Steven's "Tea for the Tillerman" on A&M Lp.
    Wow, Cat was right there in the room with me. The guitars sounded so
    real I could almost touch them!

    Then on to some more heavyweight listening. I put on RCA Living Stereo
    Jascha Hefeitz Sibelius Violin Concerto. Gorgeous violin tone, very
    difficult to get this instrument right, and I have never heard it sound
    so "right" ever before!

    Rock sounds really good on the Lowthers, too. Jeff Beck's guitar tone
    is absolutely to die for! Wow, what can I say? What words are there to
    express something this esoteric? I do not possess them.

    I don't know what possessed me, but I pulled out my old Pioneer PD-2 CD
    player (circa 1980's) and put on your demo disk.
    Oh my God! How could digital ever sound this good? I never knew that
    CD's could produce this rich, full-bodied tone I only heard previously
    on vinyl. Kudos to you, David Dicks for you have provided us with a
    product so good it should be almost criminal at this price point in
    today's marketplace. Please let me know how I can help spread the word
    about your speaks!

    Complaints? I only have one: The two cabinets don't exactly match in
    their shade of stain. Perhaps in the future you should strive for
    better color matching, because it is rather obvious that they don't
    match.

    Thanks for the 2A3's, too. They are truly wonderful, the best possible
    pair I have ever heard! They even look great!

    Thanks for everything. I think you're truly wonderful as a person. Best
    of luck on your quest to convince others of the "truth" when it comes
    to speakers and speaker desgn.

    Cheers,
    Dr. xxxxx xxxxx, Pharm.D., RPh
    Asheville, NC
    USA



    Are they THAT good and if so why aren't we all on this band wagon?? Why bother with amps capable of 200-300 wpc if you can get away with 15? If bass is the issue why not just throw in a quality sub and let the single driver handle the rest?

    I have to admit that some of the enclosure designs are WAY cool.

    Confused on Cape Cod

  14. #14

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    Well, the Lowthers are very quirky and most who know them well would agree that their Qts is FAR too low (i.e., their motors far too strong) to work as FR drivers in a bass reflex cabinet.

    Now, to answer your question: There are some marvelous FR drivers, and they're not all Lowther-expensive. They are a bit of an acquired taste, and they are not all super efficient. That being said, even the less-efficient ones (e.g., the already-mentioned R/S 40-1354's) often perform better with low powered amps than their efficiency ratings would suggest, because they lack the passive XO components that suck up power AND can suck the life out of music. If you subscribe to the 'less is more' philosophy of the single ended amplifier, you might like single-driver speakers.

    Probably the strongest point of a single driver speaker is it does a dang good job of approximating a point source. Thus, the stereo image can be superb on-axis. Dispersion, of course, is typically limited (especially with larger FR drivers). Eight inches seems to be a 'sweet spot' for overall frequency response (usually with a "whizzer" and/or "super" tweeter) and dispersion.

    Some of the high Qts FR drivers can sound amazingly good mounted on a simple open baffle (i.e., a piece of plywood with a hole cut in it for the driver). The Electrovoice "Wolverine" LS-8 is a good example IMNSHO.

    Listen... if you ever get to the other side of Boston... stop by some time and listen to some of mine! When it's all said and done, no one can tell you what you'll like -- but your ears will.

    EDIT: Oops, I forgot two things.

    1) Fostex indeed makes some excellent, cost-effective FR's (as well as some excellent, really expensive FR's and other drivers)

    2) The Madisound BK-16's by all accounts look to be a good value for anyone who wants to taste a FR (well, augmented FR) system and doesn't wish to (or can't) build a cabinet. I've never heard them, but I have heard other Fostex drivers and, based on reports from folks I know who've heard the BK-16's, I make the leap of faith.

    Did I mention www.fullrangedriver.com ? :-)
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 08-30-2006 at 02:13 PM.
    all the best,
    mrh

  15. #15

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    1) point source- you'd think that it doesn't matter, but having the lows & highs all coming from the same point does wonders for the stereo imaging & depth.

    2)No crossover- everyplace you've got a crossover point, you get some weird phase inversions as well as peaks & dips in the response. Only very well designed (expensive) speakers can come close to truly over comming this and it's never totally eliminated as long as you have a crossover. Single driver speakers eliminate this entirely.

    3)Low end extension. TL and horn designs can get -3db response just about all the way down to the driver Fs. So, yeah, they go low, but 40-50 hz is just about the best you'll see. Anything below that and you'll need a subwoofer.

    4)Subwoofers & supertweeters: Single drivers can be augmented with these- while you introduce the phasing/crossover isues mentioned above, the crossover points are pushed well outside the ranges where they really matter or w/ the subwoofers these can be compensated for.

    5)Yeah, there's only so much air that a 6" driver can move. They might be efficient, but they're not going to fill a huge room.


    So, the great thing about single drivers is that they're easy to experiment with and can be very cheap for the return you see. In small room & music that doesn't require huge bass extension, they're great. Will they beat a world class 3 way? No, but you can build a set of $200 speakers that'll put a lot of systems to shame.

  16. #16

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    Yeah, there's only so much air that a 6" driver can move. They might be efficient, but they're not going to fill a huge room.
    arrrrr, matey.... that's what horns are for! They're 'acoustic transformers'.
    Even my little Bob Brines TQWT's with 5-1/4" drivers provide good bass down to 50 Hz or even lower. They're surprising.
    all the best,
    mrh

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647
    arrrrr, matey.... that's what horns are for! They're 'acoustic transformers'.
    Even my little Bob Brines TQWT's with 5-1/4" drivers provide good bass down to 50 Hz or even lower. They're surprising.
    I dunno- i just never got that chest thumping feeling from my 6" fostex sigmas - even in a BLH.... 'course done right I'd need about a meter squared mouth on 'em- WAF doesn't really go for that.
    Gallo Ref 3.1 : Bryston 4b SST : Musical fidelity CD Pre : VPI HW-19
    Gallo Ref AV, Frankengallo Ref 3, LC60i : Bryston 9b SST : Meridian 565
    Jordan JX92s : MF X-T100 : Xray v8
    Backburner:Krell KAV-300i

  18. #18

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    I'm kinda handy when it comes to wood... id love to build a pair for my 10 watt push/pull console tube amp.. where do i get cheap drivers? :)

    way to go maurice, that little amp i sold ya would be perfect for these speakers
    MY HT RIG:
    Sherwood p-965
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    SVS pb12/plus2


    2 Channel Rig:

    nad 1020 Pre-amp
    Rotel 1080 stereo amp
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    kenwood grunt Tuner
    realistic lab 450 TT
    Signal cable IC

  19. #19

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    The only speakers at my house that can 'chest thump' are my Cornwalls -- and I've only experienced that with them when I had the luxury of 'testing' a Marantz 8B that I'd re-hab'bed for a colleague on them. Lordy.

    My Allison Ones come close, too, but it takes a fair amount of ss power to get 'em to do that.

    I am more interested in 'thwack' than 'thump', but of course de gustibus non est disputandum
    all the best,
    mrh

  20. #20

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    For sources of inexpensive FR drivers: well, Madisound has the Fostex Family of drivers; PartsExpress carries the TangBands (and some other odds and ends from Pioneer, Goldwood, and others). I am sure there are more.

    If you get really stuck, PM or e-mail me and I might be able to help you out :-)

    Since I am coming dangerously close to hijacking this thread myself (not to mention wantonly post-whoring), let me just (re)mention a couple of other things:

    1) FR's and open baffles can be a very interesting and cheap experiment. Try to find a pair of the LS-8's I mentioned above. Alternatively, the Goldwood FR's that PartsExpress carries ain't bad, either. Use a subwoofer if you really want some thump.



    2) The PartsExpress Pioneer 269-469 4" driver, tho' no longer available from them, was a HECK of a FR driver at a bargain price (as little as 69 cents per at closeout). A seemingly identical driver branded "Onkyo" is still sold by Madisound (although at significantly higher cost).

    http://ratch-h.com/69centwonder.html
    http://ratch-h.com/farm.html



    3) www.fullrangedriver.com Did I mention that already?
    all the best,
    mrh

  21. #21

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    While I said I hadn't heard of any of the single driver set ups like the ones above, I actually own a single driver speaker set that I didn't mention.

    About two years ago I bought a pair of home made speakers at a yard sale that were simply cube boxes made (nicely done) of cherry about 30" square. Owner said they were his dad's and "in the day" remembers them being quite loud. I couldn't take the grills off but I still bought them for $25 with no idea what was inside but thought the enclosures themselves were worth the $.

    Turns out they held massive Electrovoice 15TRX 3-way (horn tweeter) drivers with HUGE Alnico magnets in perfect condition ( A buddy of mine poked a small hole in the cone of one when he picked it up while I was showing them to him. Have since made quality repair that seems to have no impact on sound). I didn't know anything about them but have come to learn they are very desirable vintage speakers. These are really impressive, highly efficient and very clear with their integrated horn tweeter. Unfortunately the enclosure design is totally not right to let these speakers perform as they should be able to. They are way too bright and the 15 inch bass driver is not able to really get going. In the right enclosure I could probably rock the outer Cape with these babies. I have no real interest in doing anything with them right now so they are part of my garage rig at the moment. Someday would like to really hear what they could do.

  22. #22

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    You are right! They need much bigger boxes to breathe in. They are very good coax drivers, although they're not Altec 604's.

    Telex has much legacy EV documentation up on their website. You can view the 1960's era EV recommendations for cabinets for those. There are more recent, more scientific approaches based on Thiele-Small analysis of the drivers, but the EV 'designed by ear' approach oughta be quite satisfying.

    http://archives.telex.com/archives/EV/
    http://archives.telex.com/archives/E...ulletin10A.pdf


    FWIW, I own SP8B's, LS-8's, SP12's, SP12B's, LS12's, LT12's and TRX12B's, but none of the 15-inchers :-)

    Also FWIW, I have a pair of 604B's, but haven't gotten around to having cabinets built for them. :-)

    The harsh treble sort of comes with the territory on those EV horn tweeters. That said, many claim that the EV coaxes benefit considerably from new XO caps. You're probably giving up enough LF with the small, cubic enclosures to make 'em sound brighter/harsher than they should. What have you used for amps? Low to mid-power tubes is the way to go IMNSHO. SE 2A3, PP EL84, or PP EL34.

    I am currently completely infatuated with the Marantz 8B. Wish I had/could afford one!
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 08-31-2006 at 01:28 PM.
    all the best,
    mrh

  23. #23

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    I am currently running from a Pioneer SX-1050 because that is my garage unit. Sharing sound with vintage Marantz 6G two-way speakers which are surprisingly good. I also have a Scott 222B integrated amp (also yard sale pick-up) which I know would be the better match for the EV's but I don't want to put that Scott in the unheated garage. Frankly, I don't have a clue about the tubes in the Scott.

  24. #24

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    well, the Scott would help heat the garage! Besides, it's (relatively) mild on the Cape in the winter. At least compared to Boston "MetroWest"!

    I've probably wasted enough bandwidth OT on this thread... PM me if you want to continue a coax discussion :-) Or we can start another thread.

    Heck, Polk makes coaxes... for cars.
    all the best,
    mrh

  25. #25

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    These don't mean the requirements of the thread starter but are awesome in any event...designed by the legendary Roger 'McIntosh' Russell:

    http://www.ids25.com

  26. #26

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    Thanks for the replies and links guys. I really appreciate it. So far I'll probably be checking out those Omega speakers. They look good and the towers are in my price range.

    Mike,
    I'd love to own a pair of Abbeys but my parents will freak out big time. Definitely someting for me to look forward to when upgrading to another pair of single drivers. I'm looking for something smaller than my Klipsch or the same size is as far as I can probably go.

    hoosier,
    I'll definitely let you know what I come across on this new adventure.

    Unc,
    Can't really do DIY. I have no tools and suck big time working with them. I'm only good with a soldering iron.

    Gidrah,
    I'll add Moth Cicadas to my list. Thanks :).

    Mhardy,
    OMG, you are hardcore man! Killer systems you got going there. I had no idea there are quite a few poeple who love single drivers here.

    Don't worry man. No hi-jacking here. Let's just change this thread to single driver discussion. I love talking audio.

    How would you describe the sound of 2A3 tubes? My SET adventure is not over. My 6C33 are indirectly heated triodes. I'll be trying directly heated triodes in the future. Either 2A3 or 300B. Single ended has really spoiled my ears. They sound so much more 'complete'. And the way they handle delicate parts is simply amazing! I've yet to hear SS do it the way tubes can.

    Cliff,
    Oh yeah. I'll be trying them out with all my amps. It's so nice to discover new stuff and start learning about it.

    Capecodder,
    Interesting story. You can always adjust the x-over or try a different driver if you find the stock EV drivers too harsh. But remember to use tweets that will work with the given horns.

    Toka,
    Those are creepy and sweet. Wonder how they sound. I've never heard line arrays before.



    OK, I've got another question. How much do these single drivers lack in the high frequency extension? I was checking out the specs for some of them and quite a few can reach 20Hz. Just curious because I saw you guys posting about adding super tweeters. I like everything I've read about full rangers but along with the great mids/soundstage/image, etc, I still want good high frequencies and a nice sense of air.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

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