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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There is a DIY speaker head to head matchup planned for next weekend that I will be a part of which will compare ---k---'s Khanspires vs JonW's Spassvogels. Since I don't think I can link to other forums, do a search on google for those speaker names for more information and pictures. Basically the crux of our test is whether multiple drivers of medium quality and medium price (WMTMW using Dayton Reference series) will outperform fewer, higher quality and higher cost drivers (TM using Scanspeak). Other variables in play are the crossovers each creator settled on, the flat baffle of the Khanspires vs the slanted and heavily chamfered baffle of the Spassvogels, and a WMTMW implementation vs a TM.

Details aren't final, but I'm pretty sure the methodology will be one of blind preference. By that I mean we will play the same clippets of song or full song back to back and the listeners will note which presentation they preferred, not knowing which speaker is being used on each run.

Should be interesting, as every speaker I've heard with drivers above the tweeter seems to lose imaging quality and soundstage width, and at the same time, I feel strongly that a speaker with just a small midwoofer can't displace enough air for my needs. I will post back next weekend with my results - this post is just to build up any anticipation :bigsmile:

I think I may have found a few pictures that can be usable until the owners send me some directly.

Spassvogel unfinished cabinet


Khanspire
 

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Linking to most other forums is okay as long as that is not the only purpose of the thread. Linking and then keeping us updated is fine. :T

Appearance wise, it would sure seem that the Khanspire would win out hands down. I would be surprised otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't know, drivers above the tweeter really kills some of the spatial imaging for me, every single time. To add to that characteristic, the heavy chamfering of the Spassvogel should really let that tweeter shine with imaging and soundstage. On the other hand, the Khanspires should be able to play much more cleanly with much better midbass and bass.

My test disc will have songs that I feel will capitalize on each of their weaknesses. Good thing this test will be blind.....that way their feelings won't be hurt too much :R
 

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...
Appearance wise, it would sure seem that the Khanspire would win out hands down. I would be surprised otherwise.
I'm going to disagree with you there. To me, the Khanspire is just a big black rectangular, ordinary box. I find the Spassvogel much more aesthetically appealing. The raked front and rear baffles and heavy chamfering add unique character.

Sounds like an interesting comparison, Steve. My expectations would be the same as yours regarding performance advantage of the Khanspire. I hadn't heard of a problem with drivers above tweeters before. I'm curious to hear if it holds true for this trial as well. I don't have a particular use for designs with the driver above the tweeter. However, with my current speakers, a good argument could certainly have been made for a tweeter on the bottom, based strictly on height.
 

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To clarify... I did not mean appearance wise as is which one looks more appealing... he did not mention judging the appearance. What I meant is that from the appearance of the sheer number of speakers in the Khanspire... realizing both of these men are serious speaker builders, I would believe it to end up being the superior sounding speaker. :T

I am not crazy about the design of either, but I would still probably choose that big black rectangular ordinary box. The uniqueness of the other would wear off me pretty quick, although I don't think it's all that unique.
 

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Cool stuff. Who else is going to be on the listening panel Steve? I assume there will be numerous listening session notes :work:.
 

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I'm going to disagree with you there. To me, the Khanspire is just a big black rectangular, ordinary box.
I am not crazy about the design of either, .
Ouch, my feelings are hurt! :)

Finish carpentry was never my thing. I tell people, I like to "build things". How about this for a slightly better picture of a big ugly square box with the finished paint and the little legs:

More photos and info: http://htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=26309

Steve,
I can tell you it will be a good time. I don't want to bias you, but I've heard Jon's speakers before and there are some things that his do better than mine. But, there are also things that mine do better than his. (In my opinion, of course) I think you will be surprised. I'm not sure blind will be needed, because I think it is going to be instantly obvious which speaker is playing - but, I'll play along. Picking a winner will come down to preferences. Even at this price range these speakers are still a set of compromises. If money were no object, I would prefer to have a WMTMW with all Scan Speak drivers. :)

There are some other significant differences that may make crowning a champ a bit trickier. Probably just the opposite of what everyone out there would guess, but Jon's speakers are designed with full baffle step (meaning pull them out into the room more), ported and designed for the bass to be run full range. Mine are designed with only partial baffle step, (meaning place them closer to the wall), sealed and intended to be crossover to a subwoofer. Mine have a f3 around 53hz, so close to full range but the bass is rolling off. Building these ported was just a bit bigger box than I was willing to accept, and I have a pretty sub in the corner that isn't going anywhere.

Also, note the drivers and crossover for mine were $650 per speaker, while Jon's are like $1200 - $1400. That is sort of the point of the exercise. But, this isn't a competition between equally priced speakers.

Sounds like I'm already making excuses. But truth be told, I love my speakers and I wouldn't trade them for Jon's. I'm sure he would say the same. Like I said, it is going to come down to preferences. I'm really looking forward to it. I always have a lot fun at these types of get togethers and probably learn about 10x as much as I do from 6 months of forum reading.

So, what music is on that test disc of yours?
 

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Referring to Dayton RS drivers as medium quality is ridiculous. These drivers are at about the same quality as SEAS EXCEL. They may be low priced, but they are by no means low or medium quality.

-Chris
 

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I didn't take exception to medium quality. Simplistically on a scale of Low Quality, Medium Quality, and High Quality, the RS would be medium and the Scans would be high. I think the RS drivers are a very high value driver. I'll leave it at that. If people want to dig into it further, they can read Zaph's test results.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Exactly, the Dayton Reference drivers offer tremedous performance for the dollar, but on a static performance scale, they would fall into the medium classification. The ScanSpeaks Jon is using would fall into high. As Ryan mentioned, same with crossover components.

Jon's whole purpose with these speakers - if I'm not mistaken - was to see what happens when top notch drivers, top notch cabinet, and top notch crossover components are used. He didn't go full 3 way because he needed to cut his teeth on a two way first, as it is an expensive "test".

Ryan, it's not a test to see who's are better, it's more a test of a theory or a philosophy. We can test both full range and then both crossed to his sub at 80hz.

I'll hold off on naming my songs until we meet up, otherwise someone may complain my music isn't audiophile enough :sarcastic:
 

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Unless it's an electrostat, I probably wouldn't be crazy about any design. :hide:

That is a much better pic that the first one. I would not have a problem parking those in my dedicated home theater room (if I had one that is). Knowing you built them, they would probably sound better than anything I've ever had in my "former" HT room, save the ML Ascent i's.
 

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I didn't take exception to medium quality. Simplistically on a scale of Low Quality, Medium Quality, and High Quality, the RS would be medium and the Scans would be high. I think the RS drivers are a very high value driver. I'll leave it at that. If people want to dig into it further, they can read Zaph's test results.
Oh, I'm familar with the Zaph tests. But in reality, the RS drives overall are 'high' in quality, not medium. They can easily be transparent drivers if used properly, at least most of them. The ones that come off to me as simple 'high quality' right off the bat based on objective measure are the RS52, RS150, the RS tweeter and the 12" RS HiFi woofer(which has a superb Klippel analysis report).

-Chris
 

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Jon's whole purpose with these speakers - if I'm not mistaken - was to see what happens when top notch drivers, top notch cabinet, and top notch crossover components are used. He didn't go full 3 way because he needed to cut his teeth on a two way first, as it is an expensive "test".
Are the cabinets built to a far higher than normal standard, using special provisions to be audibly inert in so far as panel cabinet resonances? I find most all DIY cabinets and hi fi commercial for that matter, to have substantial panel acoustic output that causes significant timbre coloration. I did not notice if these cabinets have any special design to actually minimize this effect.

-Chris
 

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Unless it's an electrostat, I probably wouldn't be crazy about any design. :hide:

That is a much better pic that the first one. I would not have a problem parking those in my dedicated home theater room (if I had one that is). Knowing you built them, they would probably sound better than anything I've ever had in my "former" HT room, save the ML Ascent i's.
No surprise here. You are used to virtually zero timbre resonances if you use high grade electrostats for music, primarily. Extremely few box speakers can manage this.

-Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Although I don't like where you are headed with this, I believe his front baffle is 4 layers thick of 3/4" Russian Baltic Birch with a a few layers of horizontal bracing. That's about as overkill as you can get for a smallish midwoofer. I also think he has some dynamat lining his walls and a wad of batting behind the midwoofer.

I'll let Jon elaborate on his cabinet when he gets a chance to show up.
 

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Hi Guys,

I have to get my post count up and then I can give some details on the Spassvogels. In the mean time, I'll answer a question here...


Are the cabinets built to a far higher than normal standard, using special provisions to be audibly inert in so far as panel cabinet resonances? I find most all DIY cabinets and hi fi commercial for that matter, to have substantial panel acoustic output that causes significant timbre coloration. I did not notice if these cabinets have any special design to actually minimize this effect.

-Chris
I won't comment on the normal standard, but I can tell you what I did. My front baffle is 3 layers of 3/4" baltic birch plywood thick, to 2.25" total. The other 4 sides are single layers. Then I have 3 shelf braces inside. And there are 4 corner braces, each 1.5" x 3". So I'd say the cabinet is pretty solid- as much as can be done, really. Total weight of each speaker is 87 pounds. Any more than that and I can't really move it around the work bench. I hope that answers your questions.

Edit: This link has pics of the cabinet design in posts 1 and 2:
http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=25031

-Jon
 

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Although I don't like where you are headed with this, I believe his front baffle is 4 layers thick of 3/4" Russian Baltic Birch with a a few layers of horizontal bracing. That's about as overkill as you can get for a smallish midwoofer. I also think he has some dynamat lining his walls and a wad of batting behind the midwoofer.

I'll let Jon elaborate on his cabinet when he gets a chance to show up.
Thanks Steve. I just posted the general construction features. In the end, I did not add any vibration damping material. The cabinets feel pretty substantial as they are. (To me, at least.) There is some acoustic damping in there (OC703 and Acoustastuf).

Now let's see if my post count is high enough to post what I just wrote up, with links...
 

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Hi Guys,

Steve pointed me to this thread so I thought I’d stop by and say hi. Thanks for the thread, Steve.

Some things about the Spassvogels, in case anyone is interested…
The design and build thread is here:
http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=25031
And a couple photos are below.

Steve hit my design goals exactly dead on, in post 12: top notch drivers, top notch cabinet design, and an all-out crossover. I restricted it to a 2 way MT design because it’s my first speaker. Other than that, it’s pretty much a no-compromise exercise.

Regarding the facets and sloped baffle… I decided on these features after building and taking measurements in lots of different types of test cabinets. The details are mostly on pages 10 and 11 of the design thread. Here are the test results, starting with post #321:
http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=25031&page=10
The facets seem to help baffle diffraction. The sloped baffle also helps baffle diffraction (that was a surprise to me) as well as provides a little alignment of the driver acoustic centers. So that’s why I went with them.

I do think these features contribute significantly to the overall presentation of the speakers. That said, I’m not sure I would consider the sloped baffle and facets a major difference when comparing the speakers to the Khanspires. The raw measurements are taken in each of our cabinets. And the crossover is designed accordingly. So, to some extent, the cabinet differences can come out in the wash. But there are still differences. Like where the sweet spot of the drivers are pointing/summing (i.e., polar resonse), off axis performance, baffle diffraction, and alignment of the acoustic centers.

Sonnie-
You said that you’d think the unique appearance would grate on you. I totally understand. After I did all the testing and the slanted, faceted design came out as the winner, I was a little disappointed. These cabinets were very difficult to build. At least for me, a pretty novice woodworker. A simple box would have been much, much easier. So when I look at the speakers in the room, my typical thought is to curse them for being so extremely complex and taking ages to design and build. :)

Ryan, feel free to bring your center or any electronics that you want. We’ll see what time permits.

We might have a fourth friend stop by. If anyone happens to be in the area (Lafayette, IN) and wants to join us, that might work, depending upon what else is going on at home that day. I will try my best to judge things in an unbiased manner. But I have so much effort invested in these speakers that I have no defense against charges of extreme bias. :) Like Ryan said, I’m not sure if we can do this blind in that you tend to be able to tell which speaker the sound is coming from. We could put a screen in front of the speakers… but that’s probably not such a hot idea.

Should be fun! :)

-Jon



 
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