Seeking recommendations for sanely-priced full-range speakers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Benzion, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    The "sub" part makes me wince - for some reason I dislike them. Besides, I don't even know how to use a sub with a 2-channel amp.
     
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  2. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    I was told the Caintuck Betsy has more midrange finesse and texture than the Lii-15. The latter of course has the bass advantage
     
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  3. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I think that if you go for smaller box speakers like the HEresy III's or a single driver in a thin cabinet with a smallish driver, you might need to consider that you will need a sub to pull it off to your satisfaction.

    Using a sub with a stereo amp is not rocket science, though some would have you believe that it is.

    With a 2-channel system, you are not using your sub for low frequency effects, only to augment the lower frequencies where you single driver speaker or woofer rolls off at the lower frequencies.

    Being that 2/3 of a typical amps energy might be directed to the lower frequencies, a sub can keep you 300B amp more focused on the midrange, leaving the sub to support the bottom end.

    When I run the A7's with the 3.9-Watt Decware Mini Torii, I use a Polk sub to augment the lower bass and the sub bass and it really makes a difference in how full the entire system sounds.

    Since my A7's play down to around 47-Hz. at their -3 dB. point, I keep my subs crossed over at 40-Hz. or slightly higher, in the case of the Polk sub.

    When you are working with these low frequencies, the bass is omnidirectional so you can use a small sub and its placement is not critical.
     
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  4. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Another ida I had is maybe using the Crystal 10 drivers in your Zu's?

    "Revolutionary product and the new flagship among all Lii audio drivers. The Crystal-10 surpasses all our expectations in the area of price versus quality in our driver range. Take a leap of faith and try our outstanding product of which we are extremely proud. Fantastic performance in both the low, mid and high frequencies. Clear and truly beautiful sound combined with the benefits of high sensitivity. Ideal for use with low power valve or solidstate amplifiers but also superb and surprising with larger amplifiers above for example 20 watts. Be prepared to enjoy the absolute beauty of single driver wideband speakers of the highest quality."

    It's possible that they will fit right in the same openings that you Zu drivers fit in already?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    You could put your $1200 toward two SVS SB-1000s and high-pass your ZUs, thus freeing up all the Coincident's power for the midrange and highs.

    Stereo subs are one of the best upgrades I've made and I wouldn't want to be without them. The issue with most affordable full-range speakers is they play the low bass (though not the lowest octave), but that bass is of low quality compared to a decent sub.
     
  6. Nephrodoc

    Nephrodoc Forum Resident

    I have the same speakers, got them about 2 years ago. In the high efficiency speaker world, the Zu’s are a great buy. Mine took about 3-4 months to fully break in. After about one year of having them, I upgraded to the Clarity caps just as a curiosity. The cap upgrade made much more of an improvement than I was expecting. I mainly listen to acoustic music, rock, and Reggae and think they sound pretty good. I never played electronic music on them, so I can’t comment on this aspect.

    Im powering my Omens with a Raven Audio Blackhawk, it’s Class AB Ultra Linear Push-Pull 6L6GC 20wpc. I’m happy with the amp/speaker combo for now.
     
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  7. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    When I say "electric" music I do not mean EDM or alike. Electric to me is any music played with predominantly electric instruments, be it bass, guitar, keyboards, etc. Rock would be a fine example. I played Gino Vanelli, and, aside from his voice, everything sounded sub-par, 'cause it's all electric. When I tried playing jazzy trip-hop, mostly electronic computer-produced music, it was so laughable I didn't even bother letting it finish. That's with the 8 WPC SET amp. It was somewhat better with a 35 WPC push-pull PrimaLuna, but nowhere near as good as tube pre/SS amp system in my living room. I guess a powerful SS amp is just better providing the dynamic slam and powerful bass that some music styles need to sound good.

    The closest comparison I can make is like trying to play AC/DC on violin and flute. Can it be done? - Sure. Will it sound like AC/DC? - No. So I'll stay away from electric music on this SET/Zu combo, I guess, and just stick to acoustic Jazz, with which the combo sounds sublime.
     
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  8. TSWisla

    TSWisla Forum Resident

    @Helom @beowulf Does Caintuck make a speaker using the Crystal driver that you know of?
     
  9. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    I don't believe so but I'd bet they could. You'd basically be paying them for an attractive baffle and mounting of the driver.
     
  10. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    They do the Lii 15. I see no reason why they shouldn't do the Crystal 10 as well, just drop them a line

    Lii_15
     
  11. RiCat

    RiCat Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Do you hear the differences in sound quality as per music types through the headphones as well as the speakers? That may give some direction as to the source of interference. Also since the dynamics of the two music types is so different, having the sources (turntables) right in between the speakers might not be the best choice for "electronic music playback". I know you have done a great job trying to isolate but even our best efforts do no eliminate but only reduce the effects of acoustic feedback.
     
  12. olegrayman

    olegrayman Forum Resident

    Location:
    IL, USA
  13. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
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  14. olegrayman

    olegrayman Forum Resident

    Location:
    IL, USA
    You're absolutely right. Reading is the skill that I must acquire - I missed the amp requirement.
     
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  15. Nephrodoc

    Nephrodoc Forum Resident

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  16. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I must say, this is the first recommendation of this thread that almost entirely (outside of the desired price) corresponds to my description. Thank you.

    I know of Tekton, but wasn't aware of this model. The price is more than I want to spend at the moment, but is doable nevertheless. I will keep these in the back of my mind.
     
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  17. Nephrodoc

    Nephrodoc Forum Resident

    I have had my eye on these since they introduced the 12 inch model, now they also came out with the 15 inch model. These look to be a 3- way design with that array. I have yet to hear either model.
     
  18. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    The 15" would probably be too big for my bedroom, the 12" should be a better fit - it's only slightly bigger than the Zu. And yes, I'd be interested to hear them as well.
     
  19. enginedr

    enginedr Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New York
    Perfect SET
     
  20. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks, but this review pretty much mirrors my own description of the Zu speakers - they're great with jazz and vocals. That I already have. For that alone there's no reason to change them for the Tektons. I wish he had played some electric music through them and posted that in his review, as well.
     
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  21. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Perhaps you should confine your SET listening to cool jazz and acoustic music. I think for electronic you are going to require more power even with 91db efficient speakers and more. I can't recall a show demo with low powered amps that wasn't playing Jazz, Acoustic or Chamber music. I'm sure Rock or a full orchestra will be too much for the available power causing soft clipping. I would go for efficient speakers with good power handling such as Tannoy Cheviot or Klipsch Forte III. If funds are limited why not try the new Lintons? Swap amps according to music style maybe.
     
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  22. Tim Irvine

    Tim Irvine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    If you are open to the “different path” of Tekton speakers, I believe Eric will provide Pendragons with front ports. It’s worth a call or email. Although they are quite large, the footprint is modest. I’ve found them to be a ton of fun with pretty much all kinds of music. They are touted as 95 dB. I don’t know if that can be confirmed, and I have 100 wpc so I really wouldn’t know how they’d fare with SET amps. As Eric’s cavalcade of new models continues the pricing on the Pens has come down.
     
  23. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've solved the puzzle by combining the two systems into one, having arrived at the same conclusion as you are suggesting empirically. The SET amp with Zu speakers play Jazz/Acoustic, and the SS amp with Wharfedale's - everything else.

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    Glad you found a solution, even though it doesn't meet your original specs.

    I was going to saw with that list:
    94db+
    Full range
    Fairly small footprint
    Single full range driver
    Front ported
    Under $1500
    Sounds good with everything

    ...sounds to me like you're ready to get into the speaker design business and make something to shake up the industry because I don't think you'll find it on today's market. At least one of those specs would need to go, and I think the price tag is the one that really needs to change.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  25. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Actually, if you subtract one different item from the list, the "sounds good with everything" - the Zu' also fit the list.
     
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