Advice and help understanding, choosing a Widebander / Single Full Range Driver speaker?
I'm considering a second set of speakers for my primary system.
I'm satisfied and very happy with my current primary speakers (Tekton Design SEs), so this isn't about a replacement speaker, but I have been looking for something that is different enough from my Tektons, in terms of speaker type and design, etc.
My current top choices being Sound Labs or Cube Audio. Horns, maybe.
Srajan Ebaen's review of the Bliss C a year ago was what first exposed me to Cube Audio and his more recent review of the Nenuphar is stellar. Both reviews are copied in my follow-up post below.
I've been 'somewhat' exposed to full range drivers (or nearly so, with augmentation) as I've owned Zu Audio and Vaughn Loudspeakers and have been exposed to Teresonic speakers and Voxativ drivers. Still, I'm a neophyte with regards to this speaker type (single full-range driver).
Would love to learn more about the pros and cons of owning a true wide-bander and issues, pitfalls, etc. I should consider before moving forward.
Leaving this very general and open. Let's keep budget out of this also (I don't want to complicate the discussion).
More on my system and room and preferences in subsequent posts.
(BTW - I did search the forums and there is 1 wide bander thread and 6 full range driver threads. None apply directly, but I will review each to see what I can pull out that may be relevant).
The best iteration of the full-range driver concept remains the Ohm Walsh driver and speakers using it. Coherent sound from 30hz up to 8Khz +. Room-filling 3-D sound from anywhere in the room! Must be heard to be believed! I've had a pair for years! The Walsh's will literally put the performers right in your listening space!
I recall Srajan saying that he and his wife were both gobsmacked by the Cube Audio Nenuphar to the point of simply succumbing to it like no other speaker they have heard. It completely relaxed and lulled the both of them into a reverie of sorts (major poetic license in paraphrasing here).
If you can get a listen for yourself, I'd like to hear your impressions.
@roberjerman Thanks! The Ohm Walsh speakers are well regarded and I’m somewhat familiar with them. My brother-in-law has a pair.
Since you state that they are the ’best’ iteration of the concept, can you give me a feel for where they excel, in your opinion? Also, what other single driver speakers did you compare them to and how did those fall short in comparison? Thanks.
One thing to keep in mind is that The Cubes, according to "6 Moons", do not get on well with amps of a high damping factor. I suspect your T+A is of the high damping factor persuasion. Even the 30.8 is on the high side, if I remember correctly.
I am personally intrigued by the Nenuphar but until I've heard the low bass they are supposed to be capable of, I will remain doubtful. I also wonder about the severity of response peaks and dips in the real world as well. But intrigued, I am.
@acresverde Thanks! I have the same concern. From the review it would likely mean moving to another preamp and amp in my chain. Srajan preferred First Watt over the 30.8 and I would think it would only get worse with the T+A with respect to the Cube speakers.
Yes, Skylar is the primary, but , my opinion the full range single driver speaker still get disadvantage to compare all my speakers based on the wideband drivers. The best is Bache -002. They work perfect with 10-20 watt amp , and get bass . midbass and highs which coudnot compare with one driver
OHM speakers are unlike any others in 3D presentation. In my opinion. 25 to 25 with the 5000. 16 to 25 with the 5015! A long time OHM owner since 82. My brother and sister have or had OHMs as well. Once you have them for a while and have become acustomed to the spacious sound, other speakers don't sound right They do best with lots of clean power. Call John Strohbeen and he will tell you exactly which model to get.
@blueranger Thank you. I deleted my post because it was late at night and I figured I should invest more time reviewing Ohm's website, before asking you questions. I think I'm fine on room size and placement (even if I need to move them out into the room). And Ohm's 120 day trial period is extremely generous and enticing.
My main concern is not around the speakers themselves (similar to what I posted in response to Bache), but on my goal...which is to get a single driver unit in here.
You've got a strong thread for Ohm speakers so I'll take a look over there also.
@david_ten Hello , If you still looking for single , full range loudspeakers . and looking for Best, You have to choose best driver, I think the Voxative line is the best on the market now, My Skylar get a lot of upgrade option , and actually you can buy any Voxative drivers by yourself, and ship me to complete loudspeakers, we apply buffle step crossover , or you can connect bypass , for pure crossoverless connection.
Both the 8" and the 10" CubeAudio look like they might work really well in a line source array and perhaps wired in series/parallel or just in series.https://www.cubeaudio.eu/cube-audio-f10-neo I suspect though that a subwoofer is still going to be needed, but that 10" goes down lower than any full range drive I've seen so far (if their claims are true). If the FR really is 30Hz, a ported cabinet might be pretty cool.
I have Voxativ 5" AF2.6 in DIY enclosures - supplemented with a single REL S/5 SHO. In an open (non treated) listening room, nearfield ...they are fantastic. Over the past year, I matched the internal wiring to be same as my speaker leads (AP SilverOval2); I added Furutech 865 wirewound posts; I added BatPro2 super tweeters and GAIA footers. Basically, I now have the artists in my room. Sure, i've heard what more linear speakers sound like (>$35k) and have (maybe) been convinced that whizzer cones color the sound ...but single drivers are magical for convincing staging and voxativ are unmatched for timbre and transparency. And i only need 30watts to drive these. If you dont want to go full DIY, Voxativ now has their FIT product (five inch tower) that can be optioned to have the AF2.6 driver for under $6k. And you can buy a used REL for under $2k. Cables, supertweeter and footers bring the price to about $10k. If you dont need to fill a hall-sized room, this is the way to go, IMO.
When I’m the NY area make an appointment with Charney Audio in Somersett NJ. About 30-45 mins from midtown depending on traffic, and 10 min from Newark Liberty. All of Charney’s horns are true full range single driver designs that incorporate drivers from Omega, Lowther, Voxativ, and AER. No crossovers! No sub needed! That deliver in all the areas you are listening for! Clear noncongested engaging sound! He will be at Capital Audiofest in November.
The Charney system I heard with Voxativ driver sounded very good for a full-range dynamic driver system. To me, the only short-coming is that the top end is not fully extended.
I recently heard an open baffle system using a full-range G.I.P. field coil driver--a replica of the Western Electric 4165A driver--and this was the finest sound I've heard from a full-range system. But, the system actually has a tweeter that can be turned on and off to compare full-range to two-way. The tweeter is crossed in very high (more like a super tweeter) with a simple resistor-capacitor network (1st order crossover) and an L-pad to adjust level). I preferred the sound with the tweeter operating. The G.I.P. driver is extremely expensive, but better than any other full range driver I've heard.
I also like the vintage Jensen/ERPI M-10 field coil driver used as an extended range driver (i.e., with a tweeter).
Horning makes some very dynamic and exciting systems using full range drivers as bass/midrange drivers and add a tweeter. I like these systems too, although they are a touch bright and a little harsh sounding for my taste. On the MUCH cheaper side, Rethm makes a speaker named the Bhaava that is essentially a full range driver augmented by a built-in, powered subwoofer; a great sounding system for the money (around $3,000).
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/whizzer-cone-removal/post?postid=1584914#1584914 please take a look, My experience with design loudspeakers based on widebanddrivers say --- impossible to get good highs with whizzer cone. The best way is not just understand this and accepted or not, Just listen i with AB comparison on the same record. What is whizzer .Is just piece of paper How it been compare with new technologies tweeters? Historically whizzer cone drivers widely used in Pro sound starting long time ago. in Cinema theaters , and for some reason came up in High End.
@dmance Thanks for sharing your experience with Voxativ and how you've set them up and supplemented them. My room is a normal (largish) living room so what you've done and are suggesting will definitely work.
@rodge827 Charney is a speaker builder I'd love to meet in person and visit his shop in NJ. On my list of things to do when I get up there...though the audio related list is getting fairly long...might require two trips. : )
@larryi Thanks for the informative post on the GIF and vintage Jensen drivers; as well as the suggestion to consider Horning and Rethm. I came close to acquiring a Rethm product in the past but couldn't commit.
Take your friend's advice - widebanders/single driver FR all sound different depending on how the drivers are implemented, e.g., open baffle, horn-loaded, etc., etc., and more importantly depending on the partnering gear. You'll need to audition them person to decide which one you like. You may also find that your T+A gear may not be the best match for most if not all the speakers you audition. IME, albeit limited, a current source tube amplifier with a moderately high output impedance (low damping factor) tends to deliver a fuller mid/low bass from those drivers. Consider the cost of the total package.
@kalali Well put! I agree! And yes, I will (most likely) need to factor in the cost of a preamp and amp, plus cabling, isolation, etc. should I go with the Cube speaker, or something similar. Expense will be a factor.
I've always wanted to have tubed amplification in the chain, even while building this current system...so despite the cost, it's a worthwhile goal for me. All solid state, which I have now, happens to be new for me.
As I'm close to my original and overarching goal of having a system that can serve as a benchmark and reference (for me), it's now a matter of being patient with building something different that stands in contrast to what I have.
david_ten, if you have not owned multiple speakers at one time it will be an enlightening experience. The spectrum of performance is far wider than most know, and the mind can readily accept several different expressions.
People get all worked up over a speaker as though it is "the best", when in fact it merely captures some aspects of good sound. Hearing many different speakers and genres makes one less declarative as to the superiority of any one speaker, because the truth is driven home that no one speaker or technology can capture the ephemeral aspects of live music, and that every design has strengths and weaknesses.
It is also quite possible that with extended exposure to different genres of speakers you can change your mind and prefer a different genre. For the longest time I disdained horn speakers, but now I am rather drawn to them and wish to explore them further. Having experience with dynamic, hybrid dynamic, line source, panel, concentric, and Omni speakers, I now find the horn hybrid refreshingly different.
I'll just throw in my two cents here. I ordered a set of Ohm 1000s this summer and have had them about a month & a half now. 120 day trial or not, they are not going back. Tonally accurate, natural sounding, and best of all, just as with a live performance, you don't end up locked into one small sweet spot to get a realistic image.
@david_ten -- Interesting approach. My philosophy is to start with the speakers and then work backwards to the amp. But, if I understand this thread correctly, it looks like you are more looking to experiment and play with a second system rather than replacing your main system. That can certainly change the way one normally approaches things. Good luck with your venture!
@mlsstl Good points. The speaker first approach is clearly preferred by most folks. In this case I did and do have a speaker in mind, though I am not sure it will end up being the final choice.
I also know full well that this amp limits speaker choices. As you point out, this is about experimenting with a different chain and learning from it and seeing where it leads.
With respect to the Cube Audio Nenuphar, I have been in touch with the designer and he feels very comfortable pairing a 2A3 amp with it. He presented the Nenuphar at the Munich Show paired to Tektron (Italy) 2A3 and 45 amps.
I've been in touch with @almarg and Al has recommended more power, for obvious and valid reasons. Something along the lines of an 845 or 211 amp (with respect to the Nenuphar). In the case of the Found Music 2A3 amp, it is an all out effort from the designer and he feels confident that it will perform extremely well with the Nenuphar.
Whether the Nenuphar is my final choice is still unknown and up in the air.
My choice of Sound Lab (as stated in the OP) is no longer a viable option.
Horns were a maybe a month and a half ago when I started the thread...now they are a very likely option.
I think I know what you are looking for. A purist single driver system driven by a SET amp with no negative feedback. That means no crossover and no whizzer, as a whizzer is basically a mechanical crossover. You are okay without a super tweeter, as extension and linearity above 5k is less important than maintaining coherence in the treble and upper mid-range.
To get this done, a 3 inch wide-band driver may be just about ideal for mids and treble. A Tabaq transmission line quarter wave type design or for bigger bass, a Frugel Horn XL back loaded horn type of design using the Alpair 10 driver.
These are well engineered designs and are available for DIY. The commercial designers often times borrow from the DIY community...but in doing so they normally get away from the purist approach and add things like super tweeters, whizzers, baffle step correction, bass woofers, resistors, etc.
The purist single driver is a dream, the have big issues . If you ok without super tweeter , no whizzer cone. 10-12 khz is good enough. . good without good bass, or want to get sub, another big issues will make sound not good. midbass lack, make sound thinner them need to be. i explain already in different treads, -baffle step https://www.trueaudio.com/st_diff1.htm,