I love my current setup of a Graaf GM5050, a pushpull stereo 50 watter using 6550's, driving a pair of original JMlabs Micro-Utopias. The best I've ever heard was at Deja Vu Audio listening to a setup of their custom tubed preamp and amp driving their own speakers using a custom tubed crossover. Wow! Something to aspire to, I guess. Though I must say Miles Davis is sounding awfully good right now as I type this.
C.A.R. Classic Audio Reproductions or Coincident speakers with Atma-Sphere OTL amps. Very nice. Cheers!
Jond: I am currently listening to a custom built preamp using 6922 tubes with a Deja Vu Audio PP 2A3/ 6SN7'PVK power amp built around a pair of '50's vintage "Chicago" transformers. Driving a rather modest pair of "original" circa 1998 Soliloquy 5.3's speakers with a REL Stentor playing full range from 30 Hz on down. Some of the best transients I have ever heard and completely transparent. Great match!
I guess I just disagree with the original premise.
It is polypropylene, not paper, to my ears, that is dark, smooth, and rich. Most paper drivers I have heard are more light, clear, and fast. I think a lot of us bought into paper drivers being inferior when the polymer drivers began coming to market. But, now I see a growing sentiment that paper is something we should be going back to.
Of course, if the paper driver is heavier than normal, than perhaps this changes things...
I've heard VU's horns and amps in his shop and the sound of those big horns is unforgettable. I have Avantegardes at home and they sound small in comparison!
I had some paper drivers driven by tube for some time, it was very "Lush" and good but was a Horn system, this would be in my eye considered a very forgiving system in general... But Paper to me always sounds better than even the most advanced Kevlar or whatever else they can throw at you, more natural, and plays just about every frequency naturally, as soon as you add metal or carbon fiber they seem to react different and unless it is the sound you are looking for sometimes they ring a little off colored... But for low Frequency stuff, metal and carbon's can be pretty good they take a beating without breaking up, but so can some of the best paper drivers. So hearing it is key.
And I also agree go back to the basics and just make it better, "paper" should be considered a standard if done right, for the acoustical sense they have, get too much composite's and metal whatever and they introduce other issues.
Bbro and ChrisKeating,
Even Vu was taken aback at how good his system sounded when he fired it up that day. He was testing it out for last years RMAF show and he threw a Mel Torme disc in an Esoteric DV50 player and it was like he was standing right there in front of us. Truly amazing!
for a different spin, I find electrostats like my ESL-63's with a Berning EA-230 triode amp, a match made in heaven.
I'm loving Piega P-10 and all tube BAT VK-75se, D5se, and 5i.
I think the Piega's world class ribbons mate very well w/ the tubes.
I'm running a Yarland el-84 based tube amp with some paper cone Castle Trent speakers in my Kitchen system and find them to synergize very well. Using CDP as a source and it sounds very natural and alot like vinyl. To my ear dosen't sound dark at all and has plenty of life
CAT JL2, CAT Ultimate MK2 and Avalon Osiris. I tried a Levinson 436 monos but I will probably never venture solid state again. Avalons need tubes.
I've heard and owned several ceramic composite cones with tube amps,i.e., the ceramic metal matrix diaphragms in the Infinity Intermezzo 2.6 and Prelude MTS with the Cary SLI-80. With the right tubes, these are glorious combinations. My advice is buy neutral speakers, i.e., with flat frequency response and impedance curves, and adjust "richness" via tube rolling. This approach will give you maximum flexibility with minimum expense over the long term, and you won't be forced to use cables as tone controls.
It's funny how everyone has mentioned the paper vs. metal or kevlar debate. Or electrostat's/ribbons, although I guess it's not really applicable to what I'm about to ask.
Why in the cone speaker debate does everyone leave out the differences between nickel-cadmium and neodymium magnets?
Anyone have better experiences with one or the other? I know neodymium is supposed to be "faster" sounding, but I don't know that I have ever heard it with paper cones.
Jburidan, I agree wholeheartedly with your post. That's why I love tubed equipment. Just by rolling the signal tubes you have whatever sound you desire.
Triangles. They are tipped up in the treble which makes a good match. And very efficient
i have had all materials, and paper sounds the best to my ears. I have used tube amps from McIntosh, Dynaco, Berning, SET's, PP, you name them, and the I just am drawn at how natural and dynamic in a good way the paper drivers sound.
I dont think the material that makes the magnet is as impoartant as people wants us to believe. I also had all kinds of magnet types..ainico, ceramic, neo...etc
Well, My favourite combo is Bozak B-410's driven by a Berning EA-230 triode amp. After that comes EV12trxb's driven by 2A3 SET's.
I have the seas' with magnesium cone material, big heavy solid copper phase plug. Its not a tube friendly speaker, at all. Rates like 87db and will suck most any tube amp dry.
My Jadis Orch Refer does bring dynamics to this speaker, amazingly. Jadis makes the claim their amps, even the baby of them all the Orch, will drive any speaker. And its the truth. I hooked the Orch up to a huge thristy Mirage 1 speaker and she managed, though for how long under that stress? btw the JOR has KT90's, a tube that to my ears gives the best overall balance in bass, mids, highs. The KT88 is not a tube for me. The dynamic separation is just not there.
From my experience I agree that paper is most ideal.
I'd consider 3 speakers for most any tube. Cabasse's 2 lines, primarily their top line with the white cone (foam)material. Also any spaeker with the Scan Speak paper drivers. There are several labs that use these, ProAc is one.
But I never cared for any propylene(plastic) style drivers. They still seem to make drivers with this outdated material.
I can always tell a difference in magnets, but I have never done a "pull the speaker out of the system, plug in a different one with different magnets" test.
Not sue what you mean, pull the magnets?
Besides how can you hear a magnet?
Its the entire driver you hear, not just a magnet.
Bartok -- Bio means, changing drivers: from one that has a cheaper ceramic magnet to one with a neodym.
There are drive units with identical mechanical parts -- but different material magnets (Supravox for example).
Alnico and neodymium can offer much higher magntic flux and in a more seamless manner.
The result is audible in operation.
The down-side is, Alnico is very expensive, neodym is expensive -- whereas ceramic is usefully cheap.
Actually the perfect driver is one which combines the best tonal aspects of both schools.One such driver is the Gorlich from Germany.Amazing tone and speed.
Thanks man, I couldn't have said it better myself. Ceramic, kevlar and carbon fiber (all useful cone materials) are amazing, but I sometimes wonder about production methods and companies using what's cheapest instead of what's best, although uniform production should count for a lot on dB matching speaker to speaker. I have heard that ceramic is a perfect material for this, so you get thousands of speakers off the same line that test nearly identical. Notice the key word there being test... I have heard a few neodymium drivers and they are amazing, but it seems like the implementation is usually with metal cones and gold silk tweeters, and they don't test as uniformly, but sound really transparent and silky in application. So yes, I was wondering if anyone had done any side by side testing with paper, which usually use more common types of magnets, or knew of any paper cones being used with more exotic magnets like neodymium. Or why it is not a good match, if in fact there aren't any made this way.
Well not true actually,Tannoy uses Alcomax3 magnets with their Prestige series paper cones.Speaking of Neo structures and paper, SEAS has a 6.5" mid bass in the Excel series using paper.
Merlin VSM MX & Joule Electra VZN 100 monos.
Meadowlark Kestrel I HR and Music Reference RM10
Conrad Johnson CAV50 powering Vandersteen 2Ce Signatures.
Heaven on earth.
Thiel 2.3s with a Cary SLI-80
1979 Klipsch Cornwalls with Wright monn 3.5 2A3 set amps
both sound great.