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On why audire, lyrita, rethm (S.D.S.) will never have mass appeal

Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 & 11.2 Speakers

suri

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observations are based on the events in the last few weeks -

I am now quite certain that single-driver-full -range speakers will always be niche products, and even owners of such speakers secretly long for those speakers with substance at their best friend's house.

listen to these comments by listeners-

1. 'fantastic speakers, outputs unbelievable bass for it's size"!

2. "2 twelve inch woofers per side to handle the lows - authoritative bass, nothing comes close to these"

3. "I like my bass" (no matter that what one is hearing is distorted)

4. "I love my wharfdales"

In the last few days, the number of visitors coming in to listen to my system has increased manifold - and what has changed? the addition of a (music) subwoofer.

the comments (after listening) have changed-

1. "the best system i have ever heard" - as opposed to "very clear, good clarity"

2. one chap after saying all of that, says - "very good, very good, now please put the subwoofer on, i want to hear home-theatre sound" ( like
'where is the distorted sound that i am used to hearing, and which I like so much"!

3. another person insisted that I make one for him - he would import all the parts

what has changed from earlier ? To say it again - subwoofer has been added.

what about me? - i must say a few things-

1. when I first heard the original RETHMs, i was stunned by the experience

and I still remember that experience.

2. subsequently, i have heard many high-end systems, and have liked them for their (3d) imaging

3. Single driver full range speakers cannot reveal a well rounded image, except for certain select chosen pieces of music

4. the speakers that i made, were very close to the original rethms, but after the addition of the subwoofer, almost every type of music that i play (and which I have heard hundreds of times) images far better, the soundstage has expanded enormously, and i never imagined that there would be such a huge difference.

That is why I now think that single driver full range designs will never be mainstream.
 
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marsilians

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3. Single driver full range speakers cannot reveal a well rounded image, except for certain select chosen pieces of music

Excellent observations in your note. The above point has been my hold up from fully embracing the design as I listen to a variety of music and would want something that sound equally good when playing them versus something that excels for a few genres.
 

reignofchaos

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Its all about whatever that floats your boat. I want my high frequency extension. The few Lowther/Feastrex/Fostex based single driver setups I've heard don't give me that. They do offer excellent coherency to the sound though,

Also single driver lovers, please don't start off about super tweeters. That is are like putting a band aid on a gangrenous wound.
 

suri

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Its all about whatever that floats your boat. I want my high frequency extension. The few Lowther/Feastrex/Fostex based single driver setups I've heard don't give me that. They do offer excellent coherency to the sound though.

Hi reignofchaos,

Again, if, in the past, single driver systems have floated one's boat, once that one has heard a (coherent) bass augmented system, then that same single driver system will not float that one's boat any longer.

and , reignofchaos, I am sure you like your Ushers because they do well at both ends of the audible frequency spectrum
 
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gobble

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the speakers that i made, were very close to the original rethms, but after the addition of the subwoofer, almost every type of music that i play (and which I have heard hundreds of times) images far better, the soundstage has expanded enormously, and i never imagined that there would be such a huge difference.

That is why I now think that single driver full range designs will never be mainstream.

Hi Suri

Won't pairing a subwoofer with single driver defeat the "coherence" ? Plus the signal path traveling through the sub on the way to the speakers - will it not degrade the sound?

Regards
 

prem

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The Rethm Saadhanas have a built in sub. So that take cares of the bass.
 

odyssey

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take a look at the PHY drivers and companies building speakers with these...
 

suri

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Hi Suri

Won't pairing a subwoofer with single driver defeat the "coherence" ? Plus the signal path traveling through the sub on the way to the speakers - will it not degrade the sound?

Regards

Hi gobble,

I do not think it will defeat the coherence as long as the main drivers can go down to about 70-80 hz, and the subwoofer/s is/are limited up to 60 hz. The wave length at 60 hz is long enough to escape localization by the human ear.

If the subwoofer has to duty above 60 hz (as is the case with the rethm saadhanas) the whole purpose of single driver (and it's attendant charms) is defeated. That is why, even as I was stunned by the original RETHMS, the latest rethm saadhanas with built in subwoofers failed to arouse me (this I say after much introspection)

The signal path to the subwoofer is completely independent of the pre-amp path of the full range signal to the main speakers in a two channel set-up thus-



the subwoofer has independent active amplification with EQ for suitable integration into the system (room)
 
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gobble

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Thanks Suri. What about using a passive sub? If I use something like a Wharfedale SW100 passive or any other with the fostex 166e speakers, will it work well?

Regards
 

GeorgeO

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I agree.

That's also why Chinese food also will never have mass appeal here in India nor will Indian food not have mass appeal in the US. I must confess that I have just ventured into building a FR speaker system, which will be ready in the next day or two-BUT have been listening to two ways for the past 8-9 years, paired with a sub.


At the end of the day, IMHO:


1. Every chain is only as strong as it's weakest link-an exotic speaker paired with a not good amp will not perform to potential.

2. One probably needs to have more than one speaker system to enjoy the different flavours. I realise that audio and video for example may have different needs. Female vocals have a different sound, than heavy metal, for example and some speaker systems will bring out each better than another.

3. Similar speakers are never mainstream anywhere else in the world, so there is no reason why it should be different here in India. The same is true is also for valve amps..


4. Each person's mileage may vary.

Cheers

George
 

suri

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Thanks Suri. What about using a passive sub? If I use something like a Wharfedale SW100 passive or any other with the fostex 166e speakers, will it work well?

Regards
hi gobble,
passive subwoofers (in effect, subwoofers without independent amplification) are not going to integrate well for the simple reason that the subwoofer transducer needs much more current than the other transducers in the system, and most amplifiers supply equal current per channel. Therefore a passive subwoofer will underperform, and will not allow the user latitude for good integration.
 
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suri

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I agree.

That's also why Chinese food also will never have mass appeal here in India nor will Indian food not have mass appeal in the US. I must confess that I have just ventured into building a FR speaker system, which will be ready in the next day or two-BUT have been listening to two ways for the past 8-9 years, paired with a sub.


At the end of the day, IMHO:


1. Every chain is only as strong as it's weakest link-an exotic speaker paired with a not good amp will not perform to potential.

2. One probably needs to have more than one speaker system to enjoy the different flavours. I realise that audio and video for example may have different needs. Female vocals have a different sound, than heavy metal, for example and some speaker systems will bring out each better than another.

3. Similar speakers are never mainstream anywhere else in the world, so there is no reason why it should be different here in India. The same is true is also for valve amps..


4. Each person's mileage may vary.

Cheers

George

George,

All true-

and the thread topic should have been - " Do single-driver-full range loudspeaker manufacturers like Audire and Lyrita offer a good bass augmentation option to complete the system?"

After all, at the end of the day, there is no denying that single-driver FR loudspeakers are electrifying, and marsilians is not buying simply because
the outlay on two systems is, perhaps, not worth it.

And us, as DIY'ers, must we not include such an option when we build such loudspeakers?:)
 
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GeorgeO

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Suri

I don't have enough listening experience with my new system, but yes, as the owner of two subs you are speaking to the converted! For me listening to music without a subwoofer takes an essential dimension out of my music.

I was extremely surprised at how effectively the bass reproduction was on the Lyrita T-Ls when I heard them at Viren's place last year. y impression at that time was that really was no need for a sub-and when I built my FRs, my plan is to use them as multimedia speakers without a sub-I don't have space near my computer to keep a sub- my subs are for HT and two channel audio use with my stand mounted systems-in rooms where there is space for subs.

I will report on my lstening impresions after a few days.

George.
 

stevieboy

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ROTFL

suri,

i think it's quite funny to claim that one particular system approach is the be all and end all. yes single drivers will remain niche but claiming a bass augmented system is the secret craving of those who own single drivers well :D

regards


PS: this is a popular opinion on many forums online and in articles i've read over the years. those with single drivers and SET amps tend to settle down with them while those with multi-driver, bass augmented systems tend to keep upgrading components, searching for that perfect system that will give them happiness, that extra treble that extra iota of bass. the point is not that they're wrong, i'm sure they derive great happiness from upgrades but a single driver and SET amp tends to be more emotionally satisfying and a more 'final' system, all its shortcomings notwithstanding. i will maintain an open mind and will pm you if i ever come down that side for a listen but i really doubt i'll hear the emotion and soul i hear compared to what i've got now :)
 

arj

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I will second Stevieboys statements in some way and may contradict it in some other way ..although i myself am not really a Single drive fan.

To start with the audiophile "sect" itsef is not mainstream as the mainstream does not really care about the technology..for them SET/Horns/Single driver et al are 1 music system and nothing else.

even within audiophiles, within speakers themselves you find
1. Single drivers
2. Horns
3. Crossoverless designs
4. Phase/Time aligned systems
5. Sealed Box designs
6. Planars
7. Electrostats
8. infinite baffle designs..

So on and so forth. not to mention various combinations of the above..and this is just about speakers :) in fact some folks dont like speakers at all and use only Headphones !


I guess the more "specialised" you get into this hobby the more clearly defined your tastes become and in the end tastes are so individual. And so in some funny way ones likes does manouever one into one specialised sector in some way or the other.
 
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suri

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ROTFL
a single driver and SET amp tends to be more emotionally satisfying and a more 'final' system, all its shortcomings notwithstanding. i will maintain an open mind and will pm you if i ever come down that side for a listen but i really doubt i'll hear the emotion and soul i hear compared to what i've got now :)

seekers of the holy grail, all of us!:)

well, yesterday evening i had a religious experience - I felt close to jesus, krishna and allah, while listening to the pink floyd album (redbook cd) "the Wall". I swear, i held back that tear, i kid you not!

the same album I heard through the rethms with SET amps - god was very distant

the same album with the subwoofer turned off - god was very distant

and diana krall? again, with the subwoofer off, the music lost intimacy

and diana krall heard on the rethms (SET amp) was very good, but the subwoofer lacked the speed of the lowthers and there was some confusion in the upper bass.

I will be in bangalore sometime this month, and i would like to listen to your system, so please send me your contact details (superent@mac.com), that is, if you do not mind:)
 

stevieboy

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suri my friend you're forgetting the most important factor in music, our ears! i bet everything i have that no two ears hear alike, also no two people are looking for the very same thing in their music. one man's food is another man's... you know the old saying :)

do you use two subwoofers or only one?

pming you my number. call when you're dropping in.
 

suri

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suri my friend you're forgetting the most important factor in music, our ears! i bet everything i have that no two ears hear alike, also no two people are looking for the very same thing in their music. one man's food is another man's... you know the old saying :)

do you use two subwoofers or only one?

pming you my number. call when you're dropping in.

stevieboy, i started this thread because- (i need to understand why)

a number of friends and I have listened to the rethms, but I was the only one among them who liked them. (was absolutely stunned hearing stevie ray vaughan's "Tin Pan Alley" - still lingers in my memory).

these same friends and I heard (on different occasions) B&W 802d and the Wilson WATT/puppy. All of them and I liked what we heard.

Different ears, different minds, different subjective sensations, but why did all of us like latter systems? That has intrigued me, and I must seek answers.

On a tangent, (but still relevant to my search for the truth) but out of a hundred randomly selected people (who like to listen to music, we must avoid selecting Taliban), 88 of them will like the Bose music systems.
Why is that? perhaps, the sound of mother's heartbeat reaching our ears through layers of tissue and fluid while one was in the womb were very comforting, and one seeks to re-create that environment ( you know, muffled bose (bass) sound?:rolleyes:!! that 6th order bandpass system that bose uses for bass (acoustimass module) is just a "whoosh whoosh" pneumatic pump!
 
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psychotropic

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I have never heard a single driver speaker, and so this post is pretty much just informed speculation without the benefit of experience, but it occurred to me, so I am posting it.

I was reading J Gordon Holt's article about the mid-range and how it is the most important and how the bass and treble can essentially go to hell. I can totally understand that coming from the fact that he's someone who listens to jazz and classical. The sound of a violin or a saxophone or a human voice is definitely in the mid-range and therefore the mid-range would have a disproportionately high amount of importance for fans of such music.

On the other end is electronic music, and in this I include most kinds of rock, where even the "live sound" that people are hoping to recreate is almost always mic-ed and amplified, and in the case of electric guitars, it's amplified multiple times, not to mention processed and distorted. When I go for an Iron Maiden or Deep Purple concert, it is important to me that the kick drum has thump and bite, that the overdriven powerchords have sufficient weight. A concert sound setup would not really fly (small concert-sound pun here, for those interested) if it had gorgeous mid-range but was a little deficient in the highs and lows.

Similarly if someone is trying to recreate the experience of listening to iron maiden or deep purple live (or even pink floyd...i've seen roger waters live, so perhaps that counts), the system would have to have the capability of producing the full range of sound with equal competence, so that the mid-range doesn't shine at the expense of the sonic extremities.

I did read stevie's point with regard to a tube-SET setup and rock, and I can totally understand how that works for him (and I do hope to be able to listen to his setup someday and judge for myself), but I can also understand Suri talking about how Pink Floyd did not sound as satisfying on a full-range speaker than his subwoofer enhanced setup. When there's moderately heavy drums, electric guitars and synthesisers, I have a feeling that full-range speakers may not be the most adept, whereas for jazz and classical and stuff like that a full-range speaker would exceed a 2-way or 3-way design.

So the hypothesis I have to offer up is that the reason single-drivers speakers will remain niche is because their strengths lie with niche areas of music such as jazz and classical, and multi-driver speakers will excel with pop, rock and so on, which is why the mainstream will be dominated by multi-driver speakers.

Again, this is speculation based on information, not on experience. I apologise in advance if there are some glaring errors in what I've said above, out of the fact that I don't have the experience :).
 
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