Audio Nirvana Drivers


Recently I had a chance to listen to the Audio Nirvana 15in Alinco driver, connected to a nice 300b amp. Quite frankly, I was blown away at what I heard. It was as if the speakers completely disappeared and the sound was appearing out of thin air. The vocals these things produced were incredibly realistic, the midrange was very fast and rhythmic, and the imaging was by far some of the best I've heard. The weak part of the driver was definetly the low end, but still went down to ~35hz. Not being in the audiophile game long, and still learning, I came here to get a few opinions. This was my first experience listening to a full range driver. Having no experience with manufactures in this area, I have a question. Who makes the best full range driver? Had anyone had a chance to listen to any drivers made by Audio Nirvana? Opinions? 
akwilson501
Hey AK.  I have been using their Alnico 8's (no whizzer) for about 6 months and quite like them.  I have inserted a small eq device to smooth things out a little. In my back loaded horn cabs, the bass is surprisingly good without a sub.

I am contemplating having some cabs made for my main system to house their 15's.
I find the sound direct and involving. Maybe not the smoothest (I have had Quads and Harbeths that are more obviously 'pleasing' but the dynamic aspects aren't as evident with them.
Cool. 

Roy C.
Thanks @zbpt, the 15in alinco is what I had a chance to listen to, they were startling good. In a well treated room they were able to completely disappear, as if music was coming out from the tip of a needle or a black hole(in the best way possible). I broke down and ordered the 8in neodymium along with there El-34 Class A Set amp. Although it is to late to rechoose, what are the pros to alinco vs neodymium in full range drivers? In your opinion, is one a superior driver over the other? I know what the owner of audio nirvana has to say on this subject, just wondering what the rest of the community has to say. I've heard conflicting information from the owner, which totally negates, the although limited, knowledge of what I know about full range driver operation and speakers in general. Examples: speaker cables dont matter, bass reflex box recommendation for full range driver, tubes dont make a difference... etc.
I am also not on here to bash them in any ways. I love the driver that I heard. They were in bass reflex cabinets(although very large) and were connected with standard speaker wire with there 300b amp with stock tubes. I’m just wondering, can more be done, or is it just not necessary for these drivers? Just so you’ll know that my system will be. Sonore Ultrarendu(streamer/jitter reduction)<Chord 2qute(DAC)<El34 Amp<8in Neodymium drivers. I will have a pair of audioquest water rca interconnects between the DAC and the Amp.
The 10" full-range drivers I bought years ago were OK but had limited high frequency range (rolled-off on the highs). Regardless of that, I really enjoyed them for the price, but I will say the "Common Sense" place that sells them is less than friendly. I did some experimentation with different cabinet designs and sent some photos to the "Common Sense" place and I complimented them on the drivers and said I liked them. The feedback I got was reprimanding me for not using their recommended cabinet design and experimenting with my own instead. It is not often you get reprimanded for giving someone a compliment. Again very difficult to deal with. The drivers are long gone and so are the cabinets but I have not forgotten the fact that a compliment and a friendly gesture on my part was returned in an unfriendly nature. No way to treat a customer.
Thanks for the info @j_stereo, i agree, from what I heard, the highs were definetly a little rolled off. What would your opinion be on throwing a crossover in the mix and adding a super tweeter?This of course would help with the high frequency roll off, but the owner of the speakers swears that would diminish the sound. According to him, the reason they use full range drivers to start with is so there isn't a crossover. Either way, I've definetly got some tinkering to do once I get the drivers. Maybe a subwoofer in my future as well. 
Guys,

I retrofitted a pair of 4 Inch Audio Nirvana Classic Full range drivers into my Energy Connoisseur C1 Cabinets which specs out around 53Hz-23Khz; 5 Inch Driver/1 Inch Dome tweeter. Not hearing any perceived roll-off in relation to the previous dome tweeter but the AN is just more vibrant and expressive.

No comparison! Right out of the box you will notice more transparency, clarity and a purity that is just phenomenal and talk about a disappearing act...I can hear unbelievable detail 50+ feet away on the other side of the house. The stock drivers were muddy and congested in comparison.

If this is what you get in eliminating crossovers/multi-drivers, I now see a change for me in the full range driver route. These are suppose to get even better with more hours and age.

I had outstanding e-mail correspondences from David, even though I wanted to use my current cabinets and not build one spec'd for his drivers; which I imagine would improve the sound of the drivers if I used his trial tested cabinet but I wanted to get a feel on the sound of a full range driver.

Wig
As an update to my previous post I received a very friendly message from "Common Sense" that shed some light on the situation. As I think back, we may have both just been having a bad day. Based on the recent correspondence, I would retract what I previous said, and I would like to say that "Common Sense" does seem to have a responsive and friendly customer service and that my previous experience was probably just a misunderstanding and miscommunication.
I've had the Classic 6.5 for a about 3 years and last year I put them in their recommended 2.8 MKII boxes which made a huge performance increase. I just received my Super 8s to replace the 6.5 and will install them tonight so I can't report on them yet. In my previous boxes (T-Line style) I've tried the Fostex and the Mark Audio and I like what the AN driver do more so. I know that Tang Band makes a decent driver but haven't used them. For the money and in my opinion the AN speakers are tough to beat.
@ sunshdw

Did you get your Super 8s installed? I imagine they are even more stunning :)

Wig
wig,
Yeah I did weds night. Straight out of the box the midrange and high frequency is more apparent than the 6.5s which covers the bass a little more. I would imagine once I can get some hours on them they'll sweeten up and settle down
@ sunshdw
Good to hear!

These full range AN drivers has a unique ability of sounding real, especially when listening from another room.

Wig
@wig 

Well here's an update. I returned my AN Super 8s for a refund. The mid/upper midrange was so "shouty" that I (nor my hifi friends that listened to them) couldn't live with it. I tried moving my speakers around and a different amp but it wouldn't quiet them enough for me to be happy with them. I contacted Mr Dicks and he certainly lived up to his last name by blaming my entire system except the one thing that changed, the Super 8 drivers. 
I have since installed the Tang Band 2145 and ,in my opinion, it absolutely crushes the Super 8 in every fashion. 
Cheers!!
@wig how long did you give them to break in. My 8in neodymium took quite awhile before they lost there "shout". I think part of the problem is that they are very very directional. I have them paired with my el34 amp still, but have gone up to the 15in classic alinco driver for my main system. The 15in Audio Nirvanas are connected to an Audio Note Kit 1 300b set amp. With an Ultra Rendu and Chord 2qute feeding the amp, the sound is sublime. Far better than I ever thought was possible, for what I paid. Very happy with the drivers, albeit not for everyone I suppose. Does dramatically improve sound with every backend component upgrade.
I assume you meant me. I had the drivers for about 6 months and probably a couple hundred hours on them. I have a smallish dedicated treated room and I moved my towers in a 2ft circle with no toe to pointing directly at me and could not get them to quiet down. I've got a tubed front end and I tried an A/B, D class and a pure class A amp and it still didn't help. I would imagine if I had a big room they would have worked better but I don't so they had to go. I agree that to some they work fantastic and in all fairness the Classic 6 I had before worked better than the Super 8 for my application. 
In November 2018 I purchased the Audio Nirvana Super 8 Plus Alnico horns and built some very custom (veneered) Japanese Tamu Ash 2.8 cabinets (with down firing ports). My background is building custom cabinets, and it has always been on my bucket list to build a pair of speakers. I did a lot of research and spoke with Audio Nirvana owner David Dicks a few times. David said that he never had experience with someone building the 2.8 cabinets with down firing ports, so it was uncharted territory what kind of bass they would produce.

After sending David pictures of the completed speakers, David told me they were some of the most beautiful speakers he had seen.

Of course, what matters most is how do the speakers sound. When first turned on, compared to my Silverline Grandeur II speakers, the Audio Nirvana speakers sounded thin and lifeless. Where was the detail?

What I discovered is these speakers need a lot of play time to break in and produce a good balance of sound through the audio range. I can put my head at the bottom of the speakers and hear the bass they are producing.

My Super 8 Plus speakers will never come close to getting as low as my Grandeur II speakers, but they have a balance of sound that appeals to me. I don't "feel" the treble or bass missing on most music, it just sounds real. Because of the depth of music these speakers reproduce, I can immediately tell a well produced recording from an average to poor one. When it's a well-produced recording, these speakers draw me into the music like no other speaker I have ever owned.


I meant to state that I can put my head at the bottom of the speaker cabinets and hear the bass they produce. At the bottom of each of the cabinets are two 3" round ports, 1" in length. There is a clearance of 1 3/4" between the base of the cabinet and the wood platform below it. This is where the additional bass is generated, which is very audible close up. 
Yes they can sound OK and are very efficient but there are problems. Low bass is obvious. To get anything out of them you have to use reflex enclosures. You could get around this by crossing to subs at 100 Hz and put them in sealed enclosures. Then there is the high end. Their marketing supposes that most of us can not hear over 16 kHz. Then they use as an example that FM radio rolls off at 15 kHz. I am 65 years old and just tested my hearing and I make it up to 18 kHz. Then there is the beaming problem. A 15" driver is going to start beaming at around 1000 Hz getting progressively worse as the frequency rises. By 15 kHz which has a wavelength slightly under an inch, if you are not exactly in front of the driver you will not hear it. Both channels have to be pointed exactly at your ears. You might as well use headphones. So these speakers will work well for someone with a low powered amplifier who listens to back ground music. Serious listening is difficult at best. A driver has to be smaller than the smallest wavelength you want it to produce if you want the driver to disperse. If you want an efficient speaker I would go with horns. The advantage of horns is that you can control the dispersion and not bounce sound all over the place but create a condition where you have a broad listening area. Honk, Honk:)
I have the 12 in ferro's in the 5.6 ported cabs. dont listen to these armchair engineers... the sound is great and the beaming is hardly the problem some here say. i am using a a set amp  w 8wpc and i use a sub crossed over at 45 just becuz i had one and i use them for movies too. have tried various cabs and baffles, these drivers are a bargain and deliver slam and great mids. the lows????? get a sub if thats your hangup.. for this price what speakers would get you to 25 hz anyway? might as well use headphones??? haaaaaa. another expert with no listening experience heard from.
I use audio nirvana 5” classic drivers which are 93 dB in a smallish big front ported box with subs tuned below 80hz with excellent results.