Khanspires vs Spassvogels - Page 7 - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #61 of 79 Old 12-29-08, 09:57 PM
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Re: Khanspires vs Spassvogels

Thanks for the reply Jon. I'm not looking to instigate anything. I think it's interesting reading the different opinions and and comments on what was heard from the 2 speakers by each person involved. I too would assume that the x-overs have a very large contribution to the character of each speaker. I would actually think that the drivers may be secondary to the enclosure also if they are of good quality to begin with as all of the drivers used here are. This is not to say that the drivers don't have differing quality or strengths, but that there is a very large amount of tailoring of the sound that can be done with the x-over and enclosure to achieve a certain sound one way or the other. Maybe 35% components, 65% implementation?

That Days of the New cd has a very rounded, or soft sound. Very lower midrange oriented. I like it but the one thing that bugs me being a drummer is that there is only one crash cymbal used on the whole album.
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post #62 of 79 Old 12-29-08, 10:23 PM
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Re: Khanspires vs Spassvogels

dlneubec wrote: View Post
Wow, Jon, you have some pretty strong opinions! So far you have trashed all open baffles (after hearing a couple) and 3ways (again), as well as calling all of your lower priced compeitors at Iowa inferior. I find this a strange position to take considering all the generous help you received during the design of the Spassvogels over at HtGuide. A little humility can go a long way, especially on the internet.
Hi Dan,

Thanks for mentioning this. I am very sorry to give that impression. Certainly not my intent. What I wrote must have come across quite differently than what I had intended. Hopefully this is only a case of true thoughts not coming across fully with only text. If I read something from someone else and had the same impression you did, I would certainly thing that fellow a jerk.

By no means do I consider myself an expert. I’ve only plodded through one design. And as you mention, it was all with tons of help from the htguide crew. Without all of them (including you) I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere close to a functional speaker. If you look at the Spassvogel thread, it’s mostly my asking questions and people helping me. I have not lost sight of that. , just Sunday I was telling Ryan and Steve how great I think the htguide crew is.

I definitely did not mean to trash open baffles. I said "just not for me." I’ve heard a few. My impressions are they have big, big soundstage but lack some of the precision that I really like. It’s an opinion based on not many examples and certainly subject to change. I know that some people love open baffles above all else. Great. I don’t mean to take anything away from them or steer anyone in a different direction. I happen to want to go in a different direction for myself. Nothing wrong with that, I think. Look at Ryan’s speakers. He’d never change them for mine. And I wouldn’t change mine for his. Everyone’s happy. Perfect. Here I offered my personal opinion as to why I prefer one speaker (or approach) over another. That was one of the intents of this thread/discussion, I think. Unfortunately that came across much more strongly than I ever imagined it could have. I thought I couched things sufficiently as only my opinion and not necessarily how I think other people should go. I'm not at all saying one approach is better than another. But apparently I was not sufficiently conditional about it. Sorry.

With regard to trashing 3-ways, there, too, I didn’t mean to trash them at all. I have nothing against 3-way (how could anyone?). I thought that I phrased things more neutrally than I guess they came off. For instance, when mentioning the forward mids of Ryan’s speakers, I said it’s different, neither good nor bad. And when I brought up this topic at the PE board I posted it as a question: Why did many of the 3-ways sound like they had forward mids to me? And I think I asked about which one might be more “correct.” Certainly I was trying to learn why I had that impression and if others had it as well. And maybe I should go more for that sound in my future projects. I don’t recall ever implying that the way my speakers sound was better and everyone else’s was worse. Gosh, I hope it didn’t come across that way. If it did that, too, was nowhere even near my intent. I was asking such questions so I could learn how to improve on my next project. There will be 3-ways in my future, I hope. So I am not trying to trash them at all. The impressions I seem to have given are very, very far off my actual thoughts. Not good at all. Sorry.

Same story with the other speakers at Iowa. Not trashing them. I gave my own opinion but was careful to say that many others had a contrary opinion. Trying to put my opinions in the context of others and be clear that I'm the minority on that particular issue. I learned tons that day. I really enjoyed listening to all the speakers there. I thought that nearly every pair there was excellent. Your Duo’s (both flavors) and Maynard’s 3-ways were stand outs for me. But I decided to go a route using particular drivers and a more traditional design. And I’m happy with that. For me, at the time, it was a good thing to do. But it’s obviously a different route than what is best for you or others. I don’t see any problem with that.

In my posts here I tried to be up front about how it seems that we were each looking for something pretty different in a speaker. So that no one person has the right approach. And everyone’s opinions are equally valid. I acknowledged the bias I may carry toward my own design. I also tried to be forthcoming about the weaknesses in my speakers (hot bass, possibly recessed mids, etc.). And I made it clear that I’m no expert, having worked through only a single design. By no means am I trying to elevate my speakers or knowledge above anyone else’s. , I even called one of my opinions “dimwitted.”

I apologize if what I wrote made it sound as though I lack respect for what other people are doing. Definitely not my intent, of course. Nor is it anything even close to my actual opinion. Most people on these boards know far more about speaker design than I do. I read these boards (and sometimes participate in the discussions) to learn from you all. If I thought I wasn’t learning, I wouldn’t read the boards.

Again, very sorry for coming across this way.


Last edited by JonW; 12-29-08 at 11:09 PM.
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post #63 of 79 Old 12-29-08, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Khanspires vs Spassvogels

Pfff, I didn't interpret anything Jon said with ill intent

dlneubec wrote:
recognition of the effect that the room the "test" took place in can have. I'd imagine that Jon's speakers were voiced to sound the best he could get them in his room and conversely, Ryans for his room
Great point, although Ryan's crossovers and voicing were done by someone else, CJD I believe. But you are right, Ryan's speakers having more upper mids very likely is the result of Ryan's and or CJD's rooms being less reflective than Jon's, as Jon's has some windows behind the speakers, a hardwood floor (albeit with a large rug between the speakers and seating area), and no absorption panels. I feel like an idiot for skipping over that
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post #64 of 79 Old 12-30-08, 01:28 AM
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Re: Khanspires vs Spassvogels

I always love reading about these kinds of events. And I love the basic many drivers vs. fewer "better" drivers. The results kind of mirror my prejudices about speakers.. and also the importance of the crossover.

I have a couple of ponderings that I'm left with now.. one, obviously, is how much the room truly affected the product. Not only with respect to the speaker being next to each other but in general.

Also, how these speakers would be perform with a sub in the mix. Granted, that takes away from the purist aspect, but in the real world, most of us have a sub to handle the low stuff. Maybe the two might have done better handling the 80 and above stuff.

Thanks to all who participated and took the time to post their opinions.
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post #65 of 79 Old 12-30-08, 03:13 AM
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Re: Khanspires vs Spassvogels

I have enjoyed reading all the experiences and opinions put forth after this comparison. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, everyone! Obviously not being there, I can't add any sonic impressions on these particular speakers. However, I will say that many of the comments in this thread have only served to solidify some of the primary benefits to this 'hobby' of ours. Each builder creates his or her design to suit their particular sonic goals, their room, and even their musical tastes (not even getting into style or costs, which are also fun).
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post #66 of 79 Old 12-30-08, 06:58 AM
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Re: Khanspires vs Spassvogels

Hi Jon,

I'm glad to hear that your intent is not what I interpreted it to be. I apologize for any misunderstanding.

One thing I have learned over the last few years posting on the internet is that it is ok to talk critically about ones own creations but it is best to avoid giving any negative impressions about anyone else’s work. That is just my opinion and one a lot of forum participants don’t seem to value. We all our our hearts into our work and it is all too easy on the internet to misunderstand another’s intent, especially when it appears to be unfavorable in any way. Comments that might be construed as critical of someone else’s work, IMO, are best handled directly and privately. One of the main reasons many of us participate in these forums and in this hobby is for the “community”. I believe that should be valued. As someone else said, it could stand to be more about encouraging and supporting the designer than about the design.

It is obvious to me, from hearing the Spassvogels, that you have a good ear. I expect your future designs to be excellent as well. Keep up the good work.

BTW, I hope to change your impression of open baffle speakers this year.
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post #67 of 79 Old 12-31-08, 05:47 PM
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Re: Khanspires vs Spassvogels

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this thread. I didn't get home Sunday night until around 9:00 pm. Then on Monday I flew to both Philadelphia and Dallas, then trip was then reversed on Tuesday.

First, I want to thank Jon and Steve for the great time. It is amazing how much you can learn for getting together and actually doing some listening. Having met both, I know they are not as big of jerks as they come off as here on the boards. Its tough though to post after these things, everyone is demanding to hear your thoughts, everyone wants there to be a winner. But putting impressions into words without sounding overly harsh - especially when your discussing minute differences that really aren't big negatives - is really difficult.

I'm not an expert here. I don't claim to be one. I have never designed a crossover and this is only the first pair of speakers I've built. So, nothing I say should be taken as fact or too personal. Also, I think that the listening session was in general too short to identify subtle differences between the speakers. I think most of the time, everyone but Jon, was likely hearing only the tonal differences in the voicing.

The songs I brought were, all songs in heavy rotation in my player:
Andy Palacio - Watina
Damien Rice - 9 Crimes
Racheal Yamagata - Be Be Your Love
Jack Johnson - Staple it Together
Los_Lonely - Boys-Crazy Dream

Jon's Spassvogels sounded very good. I think most people would enjoy them. In general, I think I could hear the difference in quality of the Scan Speak drivers from my Dayton RS drivers. Instruments on my Khans had just a subtle edge to them that they didn't have on Jon's. Just a hair smoother, more natural. This was very subtle. They also had great imaging and soundstage. I didn't notice this as much this time as I did the last time we got together, but I think that was more the nature of where I was sitting and bouncing around and chatting. However, Jon's speakers have some pretty hot bass. I said several times I found it "obnoxious". Jon only agreed on two songs: Jack Johnson - Staple it Together and a song by Grant Lee Buffalo. I think Steve agreed with me on like 4 songs of the probably two dozen. So, it is definitely a personal thing. And, not really a big deal since it can be easily be modified to taste by modifying the enclosure volume, tuning and stuffing. I was shocked that as we turned the volume way up on a couple of songs, that Jon's speakers never sounded like they were falling apart. I thought that would be the difference maker.

Listening to the Khans side by side with speaker that uses drivers that cost 2x as much made me love them even more (same reaction after Iowa last year). I've very happy with them, but yet they did disappoint me in some ways. While, I thoroughly enjoy them in my home, at Jon's I did find the bass weak and them to be a bit more forward than I'm used to.

There was also a very subtle edge to them compared to Jon's, like I stated before. I think this is 100% attributed to the drivers.

There was definitely a big difference in the voicing of the speakers. The Khans were sounding forward. Jon would often be describing how the vocals sounded and I would agreed fully with what he was hearing, but he would conclude that his was better while I was left saying I liked mine. The vocal on Damien Rice was an example of this. I think - and here is where I struggle to find the right words - there was a bit more richness on Jon's and it sounded like a bit of struggling in the voice on the Khans. I think mine sound correct, Jon thinks his sound good. - I have no idea which is correct.

I consistently thought I heard more of the room where the recording was made on my speakers. On the painful piano recording Steve brought, Jon's sounded like you were very close up to the piano where mine sound like you were a bit further away and could hear some of the reverberation of the room.

The Khan's bass is definitely on the dry side and doesn't extend as far down, but this was also a design factor. As I stated, I have a sub the size of a small refrigerator, so why build an even bigger ported speaker? If you want lots of bass, build them ported. I admit that I have found the bass somewhat lacking at times at home and have experimented with stuffing some, but I've never viewed it as a problem. But, I'm listening to the same CD here in my room now, and not nearly as dissapointed as I was at Jon's. In fact, I sit here and think that it is right!

Driving home gave me some time to think about why I found the bass lacking and them more forward. My laundry list is (maybe not entirely accurate, but it makes me feel good! ): 1) It was a comparison with a speaker that had hot bass and more laid back. A big anchor point. 2) I told CJD when he designed them that I liked speakers a bit more forward. 3) My room is very absorptive with two sofas directly adjacent to them, full carpet, and some 3" thick OC703 sound panels. Jon's is pretty reflective with an area rug and single sofa. 4) My speakers were designed with baffle step to be close to the wall and were probably a hair further away from back wall than normal. 5) Jon has a more open floor plan than my square room with one open doorway, so maybe I pick up more room gain. 6) The one speaker was really close the wall and maybe was really energizing that tweeter that I placed on the outside to widen the sweet spot. 7) Jon used 10' longer speaker wires on mine to roll off my bass.

(Obviously that last one is a joke)
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post #68 of 79 Old 12-31-08, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Khanspires vs Spassvogels

---k--- wrote:
Also, I think that the listening session was in general too short to identify subtle differences between the speakers
This has been mentioned a couple times now, and I have to strongly disagree. I can only speak for myself, but across the range of songs each of us used, I felt I had a complete picture of what each speaker was capable of in that particular room. I'm repeating myself, but it would have been nice to have had a wider room where we could have spaced the speakers further apart, because to my ears, it is only with wider spacing that one can fully appreciate good imaging and soundstage presence. My place is available for any future testing - I've got a wide room with carpet and several absorption panels - though I doubt you would want to make the 5 hour trip.

PS. I'm willing to somehow post the version of Moonlight Sonata I brought so others can try it out if anyone wants - Jon and Ryan don't seem to listen to much classical or instrumental, and particularly didn't care for this song, but for me it is going to be an absolute staple for any future audio testing. Not only do I like it, but this up close and personal recording of a piano is perfect for showcasing the differences in tone and voicing of different speakers.
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post #69 of 79 Old 01-01-09, 08:38 AM
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Re: Khanspires vs Spassvogels

You obviously have a better ear than I. I can hear the tonal balance differences between speakers pretty quickly. But to memorize where one speaker is placing instruments in space and textures in order to compare to another takes me really focusing and a lot longer.

You also mentioned soundstage and imaging. My four test songs admittedly weren't big demonstrators imaging. These were just some of the songs I listen to and enjoy the most, and all studio recordings with any imagining being artificially created. But, I thought I threw some music at them afterwards that really demonstrated imagining and soundstage.

What did you think about that jazz song I played from The Body Acoustic? In my room, it really demonstrates imagining. I beleive that it is a natural recording with just a single mic. You can hear very clearly where each person in the jazz assembly is in all 3 dimensions. The sax is clearly off deep to the right, the bass is right in front, with the the drums behind him, and the piano and trumpet are way off back to the left. My impression was pretty much the same at Jon's.

The African drums on Olantunji's Drums of Passion also really demonstrated imagining. I remember very clearly on the first song hearing two of the same drums being played and commenting how you could hear each distinctly and each on each side.

Finally, you mention that maybe if if Jon's bass wasn't so hot and mine weren't sounding so forward, we could have done a more blind test and I wouldn't have been picking mine every time. I'm not so sure this is the case. I think I was picking mine because I like, or have become used to, the sound. Jon, I'm sure, is the same. And what is to say you weren't picking the better speaker, but the one that you thought sounded the most like your Boston's? Way to much of this is personal preference. I could never handle Jon's bass, but he likes it. So To each his own.

We need to have a rematch with these speakers in my room.
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post #70 of 79 Old 01-01-09, 11:54 AM
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Re: Khanspires vs Spassvogels

SteveCallas wrote: View Post
I Kissed a Girl - Katy Perry - picked this one to see which speaker can hold together at high volumes, sound stage width, and which could accuratey deliver the pounding bass sounds of the chorus line which I really love on my system at home - unfortunately neither could do the bass right
You're right, neither sounded good at high volumes. This was surprising, because I've listened to some things at really high volumes in my room and have never experience what I was experiencing on Sunday. I think it had to be a function of the room.

But your comments about the bass has been bothering me for a while. Then I remembered Jon's friend asked you how you knew what was the "right" bass. Your response was, "Because I have two of those giant subs in my room."

You're not biased because you built one or the other speakers, like Jon or I. But, you're still biased.
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