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post #21 of 30 Old 08-07-06, 02:00 PM
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Re: Tweeter preferences

This weekend I continued my audition of bookshelf speakers by listening to:

Insignia 6.5 – unmoded
Insignia 6.5 – moded with GR package

Tannoy SL8R


(not the newest version, dealer didn’t get shipment yet)

(listened recently to the Van Schweikert VR-1 (nice but very room critical and now RAM is offering a $795 mod to a $1500 speaker ?????? Also listened to the Polk LS9i which had an unacceptable bump in the lower midrange). Still waiting for delivery of the AV123 x-ls speakers.

The MSRP ranges from $50 to $1200 (using old price for the VR-1).

I like a detailed yet warm sounding speaker. One that presents a wide and deep sound stage without coming too forward and the sweet spot has to be wide. Seating in this particular setup is about 11’ from the speakers, with the speakers spaced 5 feet apart center to center. The top three are in my system, for my friend’s taste and mine, at modestly high volumes in a 2.1 setup:

1. Insignia 6.5 moded by a friend, because I’m all thumbs.
2. RBH 61-SE
3. NHT 2

First, the Insignia’s have been written and talked about ad nauseam, but I had to give them a whirl. Out of the box…not very good. Burned for about 40 hours on relatively high volume…not bad. Big sound stage, good overall tonal balance, nice lower midrange...but they have their limits. These speakers are really nice if you use them for background music or in an apartment setting where volume doesn’t go higher than normal conversation. Once you go past that loudness, they start to show their true price point and are not acceptable to my ears. The sound stage gets compressed and the upper frequencies start to get fuzzy sounding. The moded ones are a different story.

I picked the Insignia 6.5 moded as my #1 pick because it did so many things to my liking. Case in point, very wide and deep sound stage, horns and voices sounded detailed yet warm, and the lower mid-bass became well defined and tighter than the stock pair. These are in no way the final word on bookshelf speakers. There could be more detail, separation of instruments and a blacker overall soundstage. But for a total moded price of $150 plus some sweat equity, a speaker worthy of serious consideration.

The RBH 61-SE had the best detail and tonality in the upper frequencies, can be played loud, have great laid back sound stage but something was lacking in the mid bass area. The musical notes were defined below say 2000hz to 60hz but they lacked weight and presence at higher volumes. They are rear ported and would probably do better closer to the front wall in this region. In the application they were set up in, they will be about 30 inches from the front wall. We really liked these speakers a lot, but at $1000 for the pair we thought a little to pricey since they were lacking in a key area.

The NHT 2’s were good overall but did get a little fuzzy in detail on the highs when the volume was turned up. The new ones may have corrected this due to retooling the front baffle and some XO tweaks.

The biggest disappointment was the Tannoy SL8R’s. It used a co-axial driver similar in design to the Insignia’s but at a MSRP of 20X’s the price of the Insignia’s. We thought they would have the Insignia’s for lunch but it was not to be. For us the Tannoy’s were overly detailed and pushed the sound stage into your face. We tried different things to offset this but were unsuccessful. These were boxed up and never to be played again. My friend said they might do better in a near-field application further apart than we had them.

For anyone who is interested in Moding the Insignia’s, here are three options:

Again, the ones I listened to had the GR mods done to them. My friend said it took about 4 hours of actual time to perform and most of that was using the Plumber’s Putty.

Next, is to wait for the x-ls speakers to show up and compare them to a couple of the others.

YMMV, pick the poison you like and please take my opinion as just that and perform your own audition.

PS I may decide to keep the unmoded pair and perform the mod just for the fun of it. Lol.

Last edited by laserman; 08-07-06 at 02:16 PM.
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post #22 of 30 Old 08-07-06, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tweeter preferences

Well laserman, you've contributed a lot to this thread! Thanks a lot.

A good crossover that compensates well for it's baffle and any other baffle step related to ideal placing of the speaker comes a long long way in making speakers sound ThaT much better.

I've been curious about those AV123 X-ls bookshelfs. @ Their price they seem like a steal considering the parts used...i am looking forward to your follow-up laserman,

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post #23 of 30 Old 08-17-06, 01:11 PM
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x-ls speakers

I received my x-ls about 10 days ago and loved the sound and would have been happy with them in stock form. However, since I had read Danny's comments about being able to squeeze a little more from them ,, I decided to purchase the No-Rez, bypass caps and bypass resistors from Danny. I am in no way a DIYer (just ask Danny), but I felt this project was well within my circle of ability. Yesterday, I performed the mod. The No-Rez took a while since I don't have a table saw and used a utility knife and a good heavy usage pair of scissors to cut the required pieces and affix them to the cabinet.

Danny said the caps and resistors will need a good 50 hours of burn in but after 20 hours of white noise on moderately high volume (my spouse said she thought it was raining outside when she awake this morning. lol) I had to give them a sneak listen. So about an hour ago, I used my cd to test differences and noticed an improvement over all in the upper midrange of the speakers. The 1.8 ohm bypass resistor is suppose to lower the resistance of the tweeter and thereby increasing overall output of the tweeter by 1-1 1/2 db. The bypass .1 uF Sonicaps also seemed to give me a cleaner less smeared sound in that upper midrange area. The No-Rez dampened the cabinet. I will put white noise on for another 24 hours and see if it gets even better. If it stays exactly the way it is now, I will be happy with the little additional expense and sweat equity. These speakers are truly a bargain whether in stock form or moded.
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post #24 of 30 Old 08-19-06, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tweeter preferences

Awesome, just awesome. keep us up to date on that

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post #25 of 30 Old 10-23-06, 02:05 PM
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Re: Tweeter preferences

Factors to consider are the overall build quilaity/features of the driver and the ipmlimentation of the crossover by the designer. I've heard some good soft domes /metal domes as well as some bad ones of the same types. A well built crossover can do wonders with the right driver(s). I myself prefer a soft dome. Had some Polk Audio Monitor 7B's a long time ago that I really liked a lot. They had 1" textile dome tweeters.
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post #26 of 30 Old 11-05-06, 12:41 PM
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Re: Tweeter preferences

I personally favor silk ones but I am new convert to ribbon tweeters. In any case, they are not all created equal so for me its hard to say I will like this one over the other one without demoing them.
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post #27 of 30 Old 01-22-07, 04:57 PM
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Personally I'd have to say that the metal dome tweeter sounds a little brighter & perhaps a little more detailed then the soft dome. But theres not a great deal of difference in it
post #28 of 30 Old 01-22-07, 05:13 PM
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Re: Tweeter preferences

I have to vote for metal dome tweeters.

, if I win the lottery all of my drivers wil be metal when I buy a set of Canton Vento Ref 1's
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post #29 of 30 Old 02-20-09, 09:05 PM
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Re: Tweeter preferences

A resurrection

Popped in the Chicago soundtrack tonight,... no particular reason. Reminded me of this old thread because, I listened to it on my PC and the speakers have 1" aluminum dome tweeters. Last time I really "listened" to this CD was with my Monitor Audio Silver 5i's,... which really shined with this soundtrack,.... (mid bass and horns) something about metal tweeters just seems to bring to life a myriad of horns that, as much as I love the silk domes, they really just fall short when listening to something like this. As much as I hate to admit it,... my MA Silver 5i's just totally blew away my RBH Sound 1266-SE's with this soundtrack. As do my old RBH Sound MC-4C,.... my PC speakers.

Not saying the 1266-SE are poor performers,....cause they are awesome,... but with certain music/soundtracks,.... the metal tweeters really can't be beat.
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post #30 of 30 Old 02-21-09, 10:47 AM
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Re: Tweeter preferences

I tend to lean toward metal tweeters. I personally just built a pair of Natalie P's and the RS28a aluminum tweeter is bright ebough, but laid back and never harsh. It definitely has presence and openess. Some tweeters find a very nice balance.

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