Take a look at Meadowlark Audio... there are some cross sections of speakers in photos on the website as well as Pat McGinty's philosophy on speakers and such...
Off the top of my head(in alphabetical order), Bugtussel, Fried, Meadowlark, and PMC.
The Bugtussels look attractive, though I wonder about the cheap looking tweeters. I need to give them a listen. Yesterday was a good opportunity, as I was around a bunch of them, but we only listened to the Von Schweikerts and Ushers. Fried, which I am a part of, is releasing a real TL right about now. I have heard it, and it is a very open, clear sounding speaker. While I have not heard the big Meadowlarks(would like to), the weak kneed bass of the smaller ones make me wonder why they even bother. PMC speakers seem interesting, and probably offer the real deal.
There are many different types of designs that fall under the category of "transmission line". Some offer a consistent size "tunnel" from start to finish, some are tapered, some are flared, front or rear loaded, etc... Each has their own benefits / drawbacks. I think that "Audio" magazine had a pretty decent article about the variations that one could encounter on these designs, but that was probably at least 25 years ago or so.
While i don't know if they are still around, Kinetic Audio used to use a TATL ( Tapered Acoustic Transmission Line ) design. Some brands, like Von Schweikert and DCM, who claim to have TL designs, are not anywhere near what one would consider to be a "true" TL.
Audio Xpress ran an article on a "DIY" speaker project that utilized TL back-loading of the woofer. Several graphs and charts demonstrating how hard it was to properly fine-tune and the amount of reflections / standing waves / non-linear output that one encounters using this approach. One of the hardest to build & design correctly, hence the lack of information and commecial offerings.
Old Colony Sound Labs just released a computer program that allows for various TL designs to be simulated, so those that are truly interested in DIY'ing a set of TL's might want to check into this. Sean
Kehut, I think they were the X-929. They were a tall, slim, high gloss black and maple (REALLLLLLLLLLY beautiful) speaker, using a D'Appolito arrangement. Not the deepest, punchiest, most resolving, or fastest speaker I have ever heard, but extremely easy to listen to. I would say that as my first encounter with the company, I was more than impressed. In my opinion, they were much superior to the Von Schweikert VR4Jr speakers that were next to them. Most in our group also strongly agreed.
Peter_s, if you liked the Frieds at CES2004, you will really love the current speakers. They are at least two steps up on the scale. The new ones are better in each and every way - more attractive proportions and incredible veneer, much better drivers (Vifa - low Qts, instead of Peerless), correct line damping, better crossovers (with correct values). Let's just say that what you heard was an early prototype, the current product getting released as we speak is just a speaker that one can take to market. How this translates sonically is night and day better imaging (you will be amazed that a big three way can do this), a lot more speed, clarity, resolution, deeper bass, more easy to listen to (the others were harsh), and the superior attack and decay of the notes from the low Q drivers and good line damping is something of note.
Yes Kinetic is still around. I've had a pair of Labyrinths
since 1996 and I can't imagine ever getting another pair of
speakers. Production is very limited now however. I think
Ted Karson owner/designer is looking towards retirement.
Ted manufactures all of his own drivers. He makes some of
the best 12" woofers on the planet and sells them raw if you
like DIY projects. He's a big fan of Bud Fried dating back
to his original IMF designs.
As far as his speakers are concerned, his larger designs are
what this thread is calling "true TLs." My Labs have a 12"
woofer loaded at the end of a 1.2:1 ratio tapered line
that's 10' long. The terminus is 10" and located near the
top of the rear panel. They're 52" tall and weigh 250lbs
each. F3 is given as 16Hz. I have mine vertically biamped
with a pair of ARC D400mkIIs and I can shake the foundation
if I turn up the volume.
His smaller designs are quasi-TLs with tuned pipe approach.
He prefers simple 1st order crossovers although diverges
from Bud here in that he sticks with parallel crossovers.
He uses L-pads for driver attenuation instead of fixed
value resitors. Common back in the 70s but seems to have
fallen out of favor.
Anyway, check out the web page www.kineticaudio.com. The
pics of the Labyrinths are actually my speakers. I had them
veneered with real pre-quarantine Brazilian rosewood. He had
a small amount left in stock which dates back to the late
70s. It wasn't cheap but man it's gorgeous. Hence the pics.
If you want more in the way of TL design theory, check out
the sites www.t-linespeakers.org and www.quarter-wave.com.
As a side note, some of you may find it interesting to know that there is one bass cabinet manufacturer that makes transmission line cabs (almost exclusively) - Euphonic Audio. I have a number of their bass cabs, and not only are they deep, tight, and very uncolored (for a bass cab, mind you), but they also sound great for PA use. Their older, VL-series cabs are their best, IMHO. If this is of any interest, check out www.euphonicaudio.com.
Their lead designer, John Dong, started out in the high end audio speaker manufacturing business.
In terms of the sound, what distinguishes a TL from other designs? Do they throw a more halographic soundstage? Are they extremely transparent and open with lots of air around the instruments? Can the listener typically identify instrument positio with TL's? Are the benefits of a TL only realized by a small sweet spot, or do they have a forgiving or roomy sweet spot. Are TL's more dynamic with a heavier bass sound than other designs?
I ran across these in the for sale section http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrfull&1101500158
I listened to some IMF's at a shop in Sagnaw Michigan years ago...stunning bass quality and over-all one of the best speakers I had ever listened to at the time (another being an old pair of linn (Isobaric?) not sure of spelling.
Follow the info. link on this old pair and you can read the lit. from that time.
Note; I do not know this seller and only refer the link info.
This may be irrelevant because They are so old, and apparently scarce . . .
I have a pair of Infinity Monitor IIa speakers that I bought in 1974/5. They are described in the user manual as Transmission line and go on to elaborate on the spec's (ie the length of the line). They listed in 1975 for $700. The published frequency response is 22Hz - 27kHz +/- 3dB. Regardless of whether they really do 22 Hz at -3dB, the bass I hear is wonderful. They are a 4-way design - the super tweeter is an inverted cone Walsh tweeter. I still love to listen to them. I switch between them and my Totem Sttafs. They don't image as quite nicely as the Totems, and the upper bass isn't as well defined, but I get that good, deep, and natural bass with them that works better on a lot of music.
I'd like to have another pair for my home theater . . . but haven't found anyone else that has a set, much less one they are willing to part with.
Alxg, although this will sound kind of like a copout, what was wrong with the VR4Jr speakers is very difficult for me to put my finger on. Most of our group of 15 or more felt the same way. One person even owns an older pair of Von Schweikert 4SE(?), which he seems to enjoy, and also felt these speakers to be horrendous. All through the day (and it was about a half day), people were talking about being shocked at how poor, "hi fi", and Best Buyish the speakers sounded.
I think that the overwhelming thing I can say was that they were all wrong. Particularly, in the tonal characteristics. But, also in the bass alignment, which stood out like a sore thumb. The treble, which I find to be a strong point of the VR1 was also weird.
In short, while most feel that the VR2 and VR4Jr are among the best speakers out there, I must say that I feel the hype surrounding them is far in excess with their performance. And, while some may think I am bashing the company, I would like to say that the VR DB99 we also heard during this listen were very, very good. And, the VR1 and VR2 are nice enough speakers at their price points. Maybe even among the best in their field, just not really for me.
Trelja, your response puzzles me. I went out and compared VR-2 to VR-4jr speakers. All I can tell you is that I was blown away with VR-4jrs.
VR-4Jrs were driven by the Gamut CD 1 CD Player, Rogue M-150 Monoblocks, and Ninety-Nine MAGNUM preamplifier.
I used Dave Brubeck - Quartet Time Out, Dinah Washington - the Diva Series, Monty Alexander Trio Impressions in Blue, and Sheffield Lab James Newton Howard & Friends CD.
The first thing that shocked me is the sheer dynamics presented by the VR-4jr. It was like being at a live concert, where you fill the impact of the drums in your ribcage, the drums sounded real, musical and articulate. What I was not prepared for is to hear the resonance of the bass strings, I continued to shake my head in disbelieve of the juniors ability to resolve not only each note but also its true harmonics. I thought that VR-4jr had the help not from one but multiple subwoofers, but there were none in sight.
The second thing that shocked me is the seamless integration between all drivers. Not one frequency range was out of place. The soundstage was wider, and deeper and also imaged much better then VR-2.
What equipment was used to drive the VR-4jr?
Where these speaker using 50-pounds of lead, and where they on spikes?
What is speakers do you prefer?
The Reynaud's I am familiar with are more line tunnels than transmission line, but I gather you have all been over these differences.
I haven't read the entire thread, but I heard the VSA 4 Juniors in the same room on the same day as the rest of PAAG. It was a small room, about 13 by 17, totally untreated, without a lot of speakers on display. The Ushers were close to the side walls. Both pairs were within about four feet of the wall behind them. I listened via the 30 wpc Granite Audio tube integrated and one of the Granite Audio CD source units.
The tonal balance and sound stage seemed way off to me. There may have been a hint of that snap others have alluded to. I cannot believe the 4 Juniors were sounding their best in this situation, but only based on hearing other VSA products in show settings.
Just for reference, the DB's in their larger room sounded better to me than the 4Jr, but not nearly good enough for 8k or whatever, imo. No deep bass in particular. (Others disagreed with this last judgement....)
Yes ! the bass of the TDL's are amazing.
" Poems of thunder ( Chinese Drums ) " sounds simply breathtaking. A good trait of the TDL's - the bass does not overpower the rest of the spectrum as you increase the volume. I own a Reference Studio Monitor 'M' which used to retail at about $7500. Sometimes they turn up here used & you can pick them up at great prices. Good luck with your search.
Dear TL enthusiast, contrary to Brians assertions, we at Buggtussel are not dead and buried, just daised at the loss of our shop and thus manufacturing abilities. As memory serves, Brian decided agains the Amygdala because I would not undersell a dealer and sell him the speakers below dealer cost. While I do utilize some rock music in the development of a speaker design, it is not our primary focus. The majority of our customers listen to classical and jazz music, where sonic quality also counts. To expect the Amygdala to outperform the TDL Monitor below 40 Hz is foolhardy at best, Brian.
Your memory does not serve you well Kevin. First off, forgive me for saying you are out of business, I was just repeating what I have been told by several people locally; and seeing one of your main employees working at the local stereo shop seemed to validate this.
Back to your memory, I didn't chose your speakers because of exactly what I said above. If I would of been totally convinced of them I would of purchased them. Furthermore, I never asked you to undercut anyone; the speakers you offered were some of your blemished speakers, which you gave a modest discount for.
As for Foolhardy, Kevin, did I ever say anything about the Amyg's versus TDL's? No.
Kevin: Having spoken to Brian on more than a few occassions, i don't think that it was his intention to spread rumours or attack Buggtussel's reputation in the least. Brian is a very polite and conscientious individual to say the least. I'm quite certain that he was only sharing his own personal experience with the speakers based on the interaction with his components in his room & system. As to his comments about Buggtussel being out of business, his assumptions would seem logical if one lived locally i.e. the production facility is no longer where it was and former employees are working elsewhere, etc... As such, while i'm glad that you are still with us, and i would venture to say that Brian is too, there's no need to get hostile. Your post more than cleared the air about any misconceptions.
As far as the TDL's go, Brian never mentioned them at all. As such, it was not he that drew any conclusions or made any comparisons between them. You might want to re-read his posts and those of a few others to address the individuals that made such comments. Sean
It was TDLs that you brought to our sound room for a comparison with the Amygdala. It was TDLs that we moved to position the Amygdalas in your home for evaluation. It was TDLs that were in your home when we retrieved the Amygdalas. The Amygdalas were a blemished pair in Ropey Cheery which we later sold for asking price. Your statement to us was that you wanted a better deal! You did not mention the TDLs in your posting yet, they were there in real life. Like most audio-on-line, you do not seem to let facts get in your way.
Dear Kevin...spare me all the belittling. It seems you are offended because I didn't like your speakers enough to purchase them and you are allowing this to affect your posts. I am not hiding any facts, as you say; I didn't mention the TDL's as it had nothing to do with what I posted. (Btw, I prefered the tighter bass of the Amyg's over the TDL's.) So yes, I owned TDL's when we first met, but I don't see what I posted has to do with that. (And for clarification, I did not come to your shop to compare the TDL's to the Amyg's, but for you to consider modding them, we did end up comparing though.)
As for you retrieving the Amyg's and TDL's being here, yes they were, but if you would remember correctly, I had B&W N803's setup when you arrived, and they are the reason I didn't purchase the Amygdala's. If you chose to believe it was me wanting to undercut your dealers on some blemished speakers, so-be-it, but the N803's that I purchased say otherwise.
Domo, apart from the Transmission Line, PMC bears little relations to IMF.
The other facets of Bud's speaker design philosophy are not implemented in the PMC speakers: series crossovers using slow slopes, low Qts drivers, accuracy of phase and time.
Fried is now back in business. Watch for things at CES 2005.