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.
congrats those speakers look interesting and have some nice reviews..
would also be interested in your comparison between the Tekton SE's, in what areas you like and prefer in each brand. i assume the SE's would probably have better dynamics based on two 10" bass drivers?
I heard them on April 3 at a dealer. I was intrigued enough by the sound to get a home audition. I don't want to say much more because it was a system and room that I wasn't familiar with. I'm not sure when I'll get the home audition but I'll be sure to give a full report then.
I demoed the Nenuphar again today. It's a really incredible speaker. For my taste, however, it was a little 'dry' and didn't have the emotional impact that I'm used to and looking for. With the right associated equipment I suspect (hope) I could dial it in but it would be a work in progress rather than a plug and play purchase. I would describe it as a 'cerebral' speaker rather than soulful one. It really can be intoxicating in terms of its spatial presentation, clarity, and the way it energizes the room. It's really special.
Exlibris, I really think Zu Druid 6 could be right up yr street. It may be a little fussier than the 5 on amp demands as 213Cobra contends, but Zu is a highly emotional and immersive experience. Try to get a demo.
This thread is about the Nenuphar so I hesitate to talk about other speakers. I did demo a German horn speaker in the same system that I heard the Nenuphar. I found it shockingly good. My only decision now will be to purchase it or the model one above it. My search is over. I'll post about it over on thread that led to this thread. Let me just say again though how much I enjoyed the Nenuphar. I think the 6moons review pretty much nails it in terms of it being able to almost alter your state of consciousness. It's a heady experience and a very tactile one. Even the way it plays ticks and pops is fascinating - they dance around the room and it's like you can actually feel them on your skin. Prior to hearing the horns I was totally sold on the Cubes. I just figured I'd need a Koetsu or Benz-Micro and maybe some 300Bs to get rid of some of dryness and slightly 'bleached' quality of the sound and bring a little more warmth, soul, and testicular fortitude to the proceedings.
A very key aspect regarding the Nenuphar is it was designed 'specifically ' to be driven by SET amplifiers with high output impedance/ very low damping factor (DF). I could imagine a perceived "dryness" to the sound of this speaker if the amplifier DF is more than required for this unique speaker. It would effectively damp the life and "soul" of an already very damped/controlled driver with its exceptionally powerful magnet /motor unit. I suspect one wouldn't want or need a DF > 10 or so. Charles
A very key aspect regarding the Nenuphar is it was designed ’specifically ’ to be driven by SET amplifiers with high output impedance/ very low damping factor (DF). I could imagine a perceived "dryness" to the sound of this speaker if the amplifier DF is more than required for this unique speaker. It would effectively damp the life and "soul" of an already very damped/controlled driver with its exceptionally powerful magnet /motor unit. I suspect one wouldn’t want or need a DF > 10 or so. Charles
Hi Charles, I don’t think that it’s the architecture of the amplifier that is the cause; I think I’m simply hearing the paper in the driver. I drove them with three different amps: my 2 watt Thomas Mayer 45 SET, a 150 watt Solution SS amp and, finally, with a 30 watt Unison EL34 PSET integrated amp. In all cases I perceived dryness. I need to stress that what I hear as dryness, others may welcome as neutrality and honesty. Everyone should listen to these amazing speakers and decide for themselves. In Herb Reichart’s recent blurb he says "... (the Nenuphars) have a direct, fresh, nothing-between-you-and-the-recording presentation." I would agree with him but to me it felt more like "nothing between me and the stylus."
Hi exlibris, I get your point and understand the subjectivity we all experience with listening. No doubt that both the Nenuphar and Odeon horns are excellent sounding speakers but presenting their own individual sound/sonic character. Charles
What an interesting design!They do look like flowers.Single driver designs intrigue me,but there's none to be found around here to audition.I enjoy hearing about other's experiences though.These are particularly fascinating.
@roadwarrior75 @steakster and others.... I've been reluctant to post on your comparative questions due to my discomfort in possibly offending my fellow Tekton brethren. I have also developed a number of wonderful friendships initiated because of the Tekton Design speakers. However, I need to cover this, so it may as well be now.
I encourage @charles1dad to offer his take, as he's been with me throughout the move to the new amplification and speakers. He is more diplomatic than I and is better at communicating these matters, especially since he is approaching this from a non-emotional perspective.
First, I've heard the same regarding the presentation / performance at Axpona.
In summary, @douglas_schroeder was prescient in this post on the thread exploring my options prior to the Nenuphar purchase:
"When you build the alternative system and get it tuned up you will question everything you think you know about your reference."
There is no better way to elaborate on what I need to share... Douglas Schroeder's post conveys it all.
My reference has moved and changed, and in significant ways.
I have nearly 850 hours on the Nenuphars and am closing in on 250 hours on the Emission Lab 2A3 Solid-Plate tubes. The rest of the system, including cabling, has many, many more hours on it.
For all purposes the system is fully settled, though there are areas I will be addressing in the near future. For example, further positioning efforts, a new IC termination that will eliminate the adaptor, isolation, etc.
Three nights ago I brought the Tekton SEs into my system. This was a short A/B and I will be conducting a more thorough one. My family has been visiting this week and my brother was interested in comparing the two speakers (the rest of the chain was identical).
He asked that we move the SEs out after a half hour. I pulled them out at the 2 hour mark. The SEs, in comparison [EMPHASIS: In Comparison only], sounded veiled, flat, slower, less engaging and involving than the Nenuphars. He commented on how incredibly real and natural the music sounded via the Nenuphars and he was astounded at the level of clarity and musical information conveyed. He was especially surprised by the bass performance and insisted that I was 'lying' to him when I told him there were no separate bass woofers or subs in the system.
Nothing about the SEs has changed. They are likely performing at their very best at this point in time based on my current system. What has changed is my reference and preferences.
I have not heard the Tekton PS12 or PS15, so I cannot comment on them.
You carefully put together a different system that you are thrilled with.That shouldn't be offensive to your friends:)I'm happy with my Tektons,happy for you,and would love to hear your system.Thank you for the interesting thread.
David, I’m aware of how much you have enjoyed listening to the Tekton D,I. SEs and your genuine admiration of them. I’ve heard the SEs and can vouch for their excellent sound quality. With the Nenuphar you’ve moved into a very different direction /realm of speaker design. From multi driver with crossover design to a single driver crossoverless design.
The SE has really good coherency,openness and transparency for a multi driver speaker. These parameters are the purported areas of strength of a single driver speaker. Within this genre (single driver) there is a hierarchy of quality and implementation. By reliable sources the Nenuphar is in the uppermost tier for single driver speakers. They may offer a level of sheer purify that few or any multi driver speaker would be able to match.
Reportedly the Nenuphar has simply stunning good midrange purity/tone/transparency (speaker just disappears) without sacrificing exceptional performance in the bass and upper frequencies. Quite an accomplishment that many other single driver speakers fall short of achieving. Having become accustomed to this premium level of single driver execution/sound quality I could imagine that even a ’very’ good multi driver (with its necessary crossover components) may in direct comparison sound veiled and flatter/less alive.
The 10" driver used in the Nenuphar is said to be unique and superb with its very powerful magnet/motor assembly. I do not consider your comments of comparison a knock on the Tekton SE at all. It is competing against the very strengths of what highly executed single driver speakers are all about. Also factor in you are using the type of amplifier this speaker was designed to be driven with. Your Found Music 2A3 SET is an ideal choice. Charles
david this is a great thread! i get immense satisfaction from my omega speakers and decware set amp. i can only imagine what going up the the single-driver chain must be like. at least i can grasp the reality (:
I love single-driver and coaxial speakers and have owned several. IMO whizzer cones are a compromise and cause as many problems as they try to solve. Ex: (again IMO) the Omega 3 series sounds much better than the larger drivers. But they won't play as loud or as low. The Coherent line from Canada uses a different approach with it's Radian coaxial works great and doesn't suffer any "whizzer tizz."
Admittedly I have not yet had a chance to hear a pair of Cube Audio speakers but will at the first possible opportunity.
I wouldn’t make the assumption that the Cube Audio Nenuphar suffers from some "common" whizzer limitation. Based on all accounts I’ve have been exposed to the Nenuphar is in a completely different category of performance/design success. Generalizations don’t apply here. Charles
All speaker designers know what their speakers are and are not capable of, and all speakers are a collection of compromises. There is no perfect speaker - that's why there are so many speaker types on the market.
Whizzer cones are a useful tool to help redirect and disperse the high frequency energy from a single driver speaker. That's fine, but ALL whizzer cones change the response from the driver and add coloration. Maybe these guys have achieved a design and methodology that works better - I don't know because as I have stated I haven't heard these speakers yet. But based on what I have owned and heard up to this point, I will say that I prefer my single drivers to be whizzer-less. That's all.
Cube Audio's website (regarding the F10 Neo driver in the Nenuphar):
"Cones and whizzers"
"Once we had the motor ready and capable to control heavier moving cones and suspensions mass, it was time to do the cones. Plenty of experience for experimenting with 8" drivers came in handy. We knew where to start with. But that was basically it. 10" is a completely different beast. For a very long time we were not satisfied with the sound. There was a time where we didn't have more bass than from 8" driver which is basically pointless. Multiple times we had a prototype cone geometry that on measurements was absolutely linear and looking amazing to the point that studio monitors could be really envy, but the sound was dull and boring. Those times were very frustrating. Sometimes we thought that it is impossible to do a really amazingly sounding 10" fullrange driver. But we never gave up and experimented more and more with even more drive every next day.
It was definitely worth it. The final design consist of 4 cones. One being the main cone and 3 whizzer cones. The smallest cone is responsible for highest frequency range. With only one standard whizzer we never would never be able to go up to 18 kHz with a driver that in proper cabinet reaches 30 Hz region. So adding that little whizzer, solved one of the issues that we had. But there were plenty more of them. When you add a whizzer to the cone, there is additional interference between the cone and the whizzer. The mini high frequency whizzer and the main whizzer got together really well and the sound was way better than without it. There was still a geometry issue present though. Its diameter, height, surface, geometry, stiffness, damping, coating all are a part of final sound equation.
To achieve the right amount of sound pressure in desired frequency region the most important of them all is geometry. There was one geometry that gave us amazing rich, colourful midrange, but on the other hand it interfered with the main cone in such a way, that a mods were pumping up mid frequencies. Since "shouty" vocals were not desired, we had to do something about it. Here's where the third whizzer comes into play. That is a very elegant solution to change the interference mods of the whizzer and the cone. Due to changed geometry and distance, amplitude of the modes decreased. As a result overall sound became sweeter, richer and more natural. At that moment we knew that this is the way to go."
More information on the driver design and approach here:
I have heard both the Magus and Nenuphar. Not as much a difference as I was expecting! I heard the Magus after the Nenuphars, and they really wowed me. The Nenuphar's had more bass extension, but everything else impressed me slightly more with the Magus, so much so that I didn't even care about any bass that might be missing. The Magus are even faster than the Nenupars, with more air and treble extension. Like the Nenuphars, the treble and the entire frequency spectrum is wonderfully balanced and coherent, coupled with stunning resolution that I think really is state-of-the-art. These Cube Audio drivers with their very unique spiders are true innovations. While listening to them, its strange hearing such transparency and 3-D tactile presentation while observing their simplistic appearance. Listening to The Fairfield Four a cappella had more realism than ANY loudspeaker I've heard, they sounded so real in the room it was unsettling in a way. The Nenuphar's can play louder and are more forgiving of poor source material. I'm preferring the Magus now because their smaller size will work better in my listening room. I'm trying to decide whether to buy the Magus or buy the Magus drivers and put them a DIY sealed box with a subwoofer... leaning towards the DIY for flexibility in room placement.
Jon, importer of Cube Audio, is sending a pair of Magus to Steve Guttenberg for review!
Hi deepfield, Thanks for posting your listening impressions of the Cube Audio speakers. I do not doubt a word you have written. If I were to ever change my speakers the Nenuphar would be my choice. This Polish company in my opinion has raised the bar for premium tier single driver speakers. I'm also curious to know what amplifier you used to drive these Cube Audio speakers. Charles
I had the Nenuphars at home for a few weeks where I listened with my SET amps: Korneff 45, Fi X 2A3 and Line Magnetic LM805ia (805 power tubes); and non-SET amps: Linear Tube Audio ZOTL40, Schiit Ragnarok, and Nord One SE NC500DM MKII Dual Mono digital amp. I used my NAT Symmetrical line preamplifier when needed. With the Nenuphars, the 2A3 had the best overall sound at lower volume, but, as I cranked things up the Nenuphars liked the Line Magnetic and Linear Tube Audio amps. My source was a Mojo Audio Deja Vu music server and Rockna Wavedream DAC. Cabling was all Clearday. The Magus speakers I heard at Jon Ver Halen's house with First Watt SIT3 and F7 amps. His source was a Pass Labs preamp with a Metrum Pavane DAC, not sure what music server he had. He was using Duelund speakers cables which had me intrigued and impressed.
So, in fact, I was comparing the speakers in the context of completely different rigs, but their superb resolution, tonality and imaging came through in both instances.