Only part way DIY - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 6 Old 11-24-10, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Only part way DIY

I put together a pair of "Eton S7" kits from Madisound. I did not use the passive crossovers, except to test them out, and used active crossovers (miniDSPs) and Parts Express curved .5cf enclosures. I didn't properly research them but there don't seem to be any reviews of the Symphony 7-200/A8/32 and 26HD1 (magnesium incased in ceramic) but the reviews of older Eton drivers have not been good. Anyway, I find that they sound better to me than the Scanspeak Revelator and Discovery tweeter I have for my center channel. I don't know if its the tweeter or what. I am very pleased with these Etons having watched Battlestar Galactica and listened to complex music with them. They do not have copper pole pieces or sleeves so I am certain the high order distortion is higher than the ScanSpeaks which should make them congested with high volume, complex sound, but they don't. Their crossover frequency and order is the same and their sensitivity has been compensated for. It might be the placement of the ScanSpeaks directly above and slightly behind the screen. There is a big cavity there that could be causing a resonance, but the placement is dictated by the room.
Anyway, I really like the Symphony drivers.

Last edited by Theresa; 11-24-10 at 06:01 PM. Reason: spelling error
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-24-10, 07:09 PM
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Re: Only part way DIY


I noticed that you built the S7s. I have been considering them. My take on them without listening to them is:

They look good on the frequency response test - very flat
The tweeter looks interesting - Magnesium between ceramic layers. How close to a diamond tweeter and how detailed and open is this tweeter.
The woofer cone looks good - very rigid
The woofer motor is not the best and, therefore, suspect. I would prefer the ScanSpeak 18W/8531G or 18W/4531G - fabulous motors and fabulous sound!
The tweet looks to be crossed 2nd order - can put a nice Mundorf Supreme Silver/Oil or Silver/Gold/Oil cap in series with the tweet at a "reasonable" price.

Your listening impressions would be helpful. However, I might need to look elsewhere due to the mid woofer employed.

Also interested in how your miniDSP work. Are they software or are they stand alone units. Would be interested in the details of the implementation, cost and benefits to employing these units.

I am looking to get as close to the B&W 805D sound without the $5K price tag. If you have not heard the B&W 800D line you need to hear them. I listened to an McIntosh (tube pre amp with 1200W solid state mono block amps) paired with the 802D's. Best set up that I have heard to date. Very natural and liquid sound. Unbelievable sound stage. However, at $70K for the system it should do the dishes, the lawn, your income tax returns, etc.

Plan to drive units with Emotiva XPA-1's or a heavily modified Cary SLI-80 The SLI-80 now drives upgraded and further modified Madisound Solists with fabulous results. Very open sound and killer, tight bass. I have not measured just how low it will go. However, set up produces relaxed, detailed and effortless sound. It was the best set up that I heard until I ruined my life by listening to the 802D set up described above.

Thanks in advance for any information that you can share!

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post #3 of 6 Old 12-13-10, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Only part way DIY

I like the Symphony's a great deal. They seemed a bit bright but there doesn't seem to be any baffle compensation with the included crossovers. I use the miniDSPs for crossovers so I just added a shelf filter that gives a +4 db compensation on the woofer. I also cut the tweeter level by 3db. They sound almost identical to the ScanSpeak center now. I like the idea of magnesium sandwiched between ceramic. On the Zaph audio site he debunks the use of exotic materials and somewhere else I read that diamond does not have good audio characteristics. I don't hear much difference from the ScanSpeak though now that the Etons are tweaked. I would not get that midwoofer again simply because for its price it could be better and the ScanSpeak 7" cannot be improved on. I do not hear any signs of high order distortion so its probably theoretical. The curves supplied for the Eton woofer do not show any higher distortion than 3rd order. I don't think they want this known. The woofer has much higher third order distortion than the tweeter. I wish the woofer cutouts in my Eton cabinets matched the size of the ScanSpeaks then I could try switching them.
I would not go back to passive crossovers.

Last edited by Theresa; 12-13-10 at 12:15 PM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-13-10, 01:21 PM
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Re: Only part way DIY

Thanks for the information.

I think that I need to look elsewhere (something other than the Eton midwoofer) or stick to what I have.

I agree that the magnesium sandwiched ceramic tweet looks very interesting as well. I have heard some well executed ceramic tweets in the Monitor Audio's GS10. Very nice!

It is interesting to note that Avalon Acoustics uses what appear to be Eton Woofer in some of their mega buck "high end" models. They all use ceramic midwoofers and ceramic or diamond tweets. Yeah, I have read Zaph's site and his "position statement" on exotic materials. However, I will tell you the 802D's that I listened to were absolutely halographic. Just a fabulous set up. I wonder just how much of this presentation was due to B&Ws use of Mundorf Silver/Gold/Oil crossover capacitors and crossing their tweeters first order. However, the mega $$$$ price tag is enough to give me serious heartburn. I think that I am on the quest for this halographic sound. However, I refuse to pony up for the 802D and McIntosh system. It's fabulous system, however, not $70K fabulous.

As you might have gather, I am all about "bang for your buck" rather than just spending "mega bucks" for loudspeakers.

Unfortunately, stereo and home theater equipment (Automobiles as well for that matter) are for men what shoes and handbags are for women: You just can't have to much or too many! It appears that both sexes have their vices! LOL

I have been reading Siegfried Linkwitz's material on active crossovers and Orion open baffle speakers. Active crossovers and dipole speakers are very interesting concepts. Your miniDSPs are a similar concept and appear to be an excellent approach to loudspeaker design and voicing, as well as, optimizing the performance of a current speaker. Did you source the miniDSPs from their internet site? I have been looking at a Behringer active crossover at Parts Express to do the intial design duties.

I think that I will look at some dipole designs and will likely go the active crossover route. I think that this approach will result in the most flexibility and hopefully the liquid, halographic sound that I seek.

I would be interested in how the ScanSpeak midwoofs sound with the Mg++/Ceramic Eton tweets. You might consider an open baffle (dipole) design and could easily "dial in" the crossover with the miniDSPs!
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-14-10, 03:39 PM
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Re: Only part way DIY

Ceramic combined with Metal is really good. Infinity has some excellent drivers which use this combination.

IMO the best overall materials are beryllium tweeters and titanium mids. Zaph is right though that driver material isn't the most important thing in the world... it's all about implementation.

Last edited by GranteedEV; 12-14-10 at 03:51 PM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-14-10, 07:44 PM
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Re: Only part way DIY

GranteedEV wrote: View Post
Ceramic combined with Metal is really good. Infinity has some excellent drivers which use this combination.

IMO the best overall materials are beryllium tweeters and titanium mids. Zaph is right though that driver material isn't the most important thing in the world... it's all about implementation.
the infinity drivers are amazingly low distortion. I'm not a fan of their tweeters though.
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