Matt's system part 2

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Matt's system part 2

Postby BenL » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:06 pm

Hi Matt,

I see some fairly major changes in you sig, what's been happening? :)

Ben
HiFi: Sonos & Primare -> ATC SCM40

AV: Pioneer 428XD / Onkyo SC886 -> Primare A30.5 -> ATC SCM11s, ATC C3C, Q7000 LR, ATC C2 sub

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Re: Hi Matt!

Postby MattSPL » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:20 pm

Who, me? :D

Yes, i have a new more recession friendly system :)

I had a tough task on my hands to find a system i could live with, on a budget. The hardest part was choosing which speakers to go for as there is a very limited market here in Ireland. I couldn't risk buying speakers blind in this price bracket after coming from large ATC's, it would have most likely ended in disappointment.

I wanted to stay with active speakers as i like their practicality and performance to price ratio. Being able to just slot them into my existing system was important too.
If i had bought new locally, i was limited to Focal CMS50's or 65's at a stretch, and Neumann KH120A's. I couldn't hear these in a shop, but could get a pair for home demo. I wasn't sure they would do what i wanted due to their size, so didn't want to commit to a home demo.

I kept an eye on the used market, and went for a listen to the Digidesign RM2's. They are made by PMC for Digidesign. They are about the size of a PMC TB2, and use its bass driver, but a different tweeter. They use Hypex digital amps feeding 100 watts to the bass and 50 watts to the tweeter, and use a digital crossover.
My goal was to find a good quality smaller speaker(for not much cash) that sounds bigger than it looks, so the transmission line was an obvious choice, and i had an idea what to expect having owned PMC's before.

I'm very happy with the sound, especially paired with the Velodyne DD12 sub.
I'll post some pictures up when i get a minute, and will post screen shots of the Velodyne software.
The Velodyne sub connects to your Hifi to receive a signal, and also with another pair of cables to send a signal for self generated frequency sweeps. This is very handy and allows you to see the system response upto 200hz, and you can also mute the sub and see the speaker frequency response, then make adjustments to the EQ to tailor the sound.
I've a pretty flat frequency response from 15hz up, and usable output at 12.5hz, and some output at 10hz.

Cheers
Matt
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: Hi Matt!

Postby MattSPL » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:26 am

Here's a few pics :D

Image

Image

Image

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And this is the Velodyne software showing the frequency response of the speakers
Image

And now with the sub
Image

I've spent quite a few hours playing with different settings and crossover frequencies on the sub, playing music and test tone cd's along with the subs frequency sweep. The final result sounds flat in-room from 15hz up. The peak at around 40hz is caused by the room and speakers, so i cannot fix this without something like an Antimode Dual core feeding the speakers.

Cheers
Matt
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: Hi Matt!

Postby mamo » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:48 pm

Matt,
Nice new speakers and sub, looking good to see you are up and running again.
I cant say i have ever heard of those active speakers before, nice find if yougot them here in ireland!!
I would love to get a sub next like your old system :D

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Re: Hi Matt!

Postby MattSPL » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:00 pm

mamo wrote:Matt,
Nice new speakers and sub, looking good to see you are up and running again.
I cant say i have ever heard of those active speakers before, nice find if yougot them here in ireland!!
I would love to get a sub next like your old system :D


Thanks Colum :)
Yes, good to be back in business again. I'd read about the Digidesign speakers before, so thought they were worth a listen.
Only problem is they are now discontinued. PMC made them, but sold all spares to Digidesign 18 months ago. When you contact Digidesign, they say to contact PMC. Let hope they last a while, although i got them at a good price, so it's not too bad. They could end up an interesting project if a driver ever fails.

You should give Rick a call about a JL Audio sub, or perhaps this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ATC-C4-Active ... 2ec7540ae5

Cheers
Matt
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: Matt's system part 2

Postby MattSPL » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:13 pm

I thought I'd just post a couple of additions to my system.
I had been using an old Philips DVD player as a cd transport for the last number of months, but it had a fault where the drive would emit a sort of screeching sound after playing for a short period. It got to the point where I could only listen to 20 minutes of a cd before the screeching, and it wouldn't go away by changing disc etc, I had to turn off the dvd player and wait a long time as if it needed to cool down or something.

Anyway, after barely listening to music for months because of this, I finally had enough and went out and bought a Sony BDP-s790.
This Blu-ray player also has wifi and smart capabilities.

I then started thinking about continuing my DIY sub box(which I might get round to in the summer), so I was looking on DIY audio forums and came across the SB acoustics Satori 165mm mid/bass driver.
I had been wondering if I could swap out the 170 mid/bass drivers in my speakers for something better for some time, but couldn't find a suitable driver.
The Satori seemed to be what I was looking for(4ohm and able to be crossed over at 3khz). Its 5mm smaller in diameter than the vifa unit in my speakers, but everything else looked good, so I ordered a pair over the Christmas.

I had to install new T-nuts for mounting the new drivers, but other than that it was a fairly straight forward process.
The result is very impressive :D Immediately noticeable was the complete lack of grain in the mids, similar to when you hear a pair of ATC's. This is what I was looking for :) Resolution has improved throughout the frequency range and things like reverb sound stunning now.

This increase in performance makes you wonder why most loudspeaker companies use cheap drive units, even in expensive loudspeakers and also shows what good value ATC's are, especially the entry series, employing state of the art drive units even in the new scm7 at about £800.

Here's a pic of the new driver in place. I prefer the look now without the silver ring around the driver, even if the new driver has a couple of millimeters around it.
Image

Cheers
Matt
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: Matt's system part 2

Postby Alexk » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:05 pm

Interesting, how did you match them to the tuning of the transmission line?

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Re: Matt's system part 2

Postby MattSPL » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:38 pm

Hi Alex

When I bought the RM2's, I contacted Digidesign and PMC about replacement drive units. Digidesign said to contact PMC, and PMC said they sold all spares to Digidesign 18 months previous(as the RM2's were no longer in production).
Basically this left me with a speaker that would only be fit for the bin if I ever fried a drive unit. Having fried the bass drivers on some PMC DB1i's a few years back, I was a little worried it might happen to the RM2's as they use a similar but larger bass unit as the DB1i.
This made me want to look for possible replacement drivers, also to see if I could squeeze more performance from the speakers as the drive units are only cheap but achieve pretty decent performance, leading me to believe the speakers/amps have far more potential.

All I had to go by for driver specifications were physical size, 4 ohm impedance, amp to speaker power ratio and a crossover point of 3Khz. I realised it was a bit of a gamble as I didn't have the sensitivity of the RM2 driver, or any other specs, but there are a few speaker kits that have been designed around the Satori drivers, so figured I could sell the new drive units if it didn't work out.

As for Tuning of the transmission line, that was a gamble, but I figured the transmission line is tuned to absorb the upper bass and mid energy from the rear of the driver, and augment only the lowest bass frequencies, creating a back pressure to prevent over excursion etc. So, in(my) theory, the transmission line would absorb the same upper bass and mid energy even with the new driver, and augment the lower bass in the same way as before, so I hoped having a similar sized driver would work, and it has done exactly what I had hoped for.

These SB Acoustics tweeters have exactly the same size face plate and mounting holes as the RM2 tweeter, so I might give these a try at some point.
http://www.falconacoustics.co.uk/drive- ... eeter.html

I'm so impressed with the Satori mid/bass in my speakers, I'd like to compare them to a pair of PMC twotwo.6's which cost £4,200. I have a feeling they would do very well against the PMC's.

Cheers
Matt
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: Matt's system part 2

Postby Musicraft » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:41 pm

Hi Matt

Looks and sounds good :)

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
Musicraft is Derby's foremost dealer for the finest specialist Hi-Fi, Home Cinema & Multimedia components/systems. So, if you would like to know more about how our products can enrich your life, then please visit us or contact Rick.

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Re: Matt's system part 2

Postby MattSPL » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:06 pm

Thanks Rick :)
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: Matt's system part 2

Postby Muser » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:13 pm

Matt:
Nice catch.
If you can get hold of the stuff, I highly recommend the antivibration magic. But for an itch, I would not have spring for a bottle of the stuff, but it seemed to make a substantial difference in my DVD player. I just bought an Oppo 105, but I'm reluctant to paint it until it's out of warranty. :-)
ATC SCM20-2A, Onkyo 885(a) preamp processor, YBA 1 Alpha preamp, Amazon Model 2 tt, Moerch DP6 arm and Dynavector XX2MkII cartridge, Oppo 105, Twisted Pear Audio Buffalo 32S DAC (balanced out) Kubala Sosna Expression cabling. Two 15" Acoustic Elegance subwoofers, powered by QSC RMX 2450 amplifier w/ minidsp equalization.

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Re: Matt's system part 2

Postby MattSPL » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:29 pm

Thanks Larry :)

The Antivibration magic sounds good. There seems to be a number of products recently that are dedicated to reducing vibrations in components within hifi. It leads me to believe they might just be onto something.

Great news that you got an Oppo105, very nice machine :mrgreen: Is it a significant upgrade over your last player? Perhaps you could just paint the Oppo's fuses for now?

Cheers
Matt
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: Matt's system part 2

Postby MevDinc » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:05 am

Enjoy Matt, yes it does look nicer without the silver ring :)
Audirvana+3.0 - Mac Mini, Lindermann Musicbook 20 DSD, ATC EL 150ASL (with the ATC tweeter!)

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Re: Matt's system part 2

Postby MattSPL » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:44 am

Thanks Mev :)
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: Matt's system part 2

Postby Alexk » Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:58 pm

MattSPL wrote:The Antivibration magic sounds good. There seems to be a number of products recently that are dedicated to reducing vibrations in components within hifi. It leads me to believe they might just be onto something.


Sounds like they're onto your bank account! The 'physics' of vibration-reducing paint are somewhat questionable (to say the least).

If you want to reduce vibrations in a piece of equipment (which isn't itself producing vibrations), then I'd suggest placing it on a thin ply panel placed atop a thin bed of RS60 rock wool or similar. Dress it up to look as nice or ghetto as you like.

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