The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread

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jeffreybehr

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The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« on: 21 Feb 2016, 05:05 am »
First, a little about me.  I'm a chubby 72-year-old who has been retired for almost 16 years (lucky me!) and has been an audiofool since my mid-teens.  I've had dozens of systems over the decades, but one thing that hasn't changed is my love of large-scale Classical and movie music and movies.

I bought a pair of Vandersteen 5As perhaps a half-dozen years ago, improved them slightly (note 1), bought a pair of 650-into-8 McCormack DNA-750 poweramps that I improved substantially, and thought I had the very-best-sounding system I could imagine.  But...a couple years later I got tired of what I perceived to be occasional hardness and started looking around.  Meanwhile, I had fallen under the influence of audio-guru Jeffrey Glowacki of Sonic Craft; he told me of a speaker, the Super-7s, that he had heard at Danny's shop--they're long-time buddies--that he thought was simply excellent overall--not the best at anything, 'just' simply excellent overall--that I really ought to hear.  I contacted Danny, he pointed me at a pair sort of on demo in Albuquerque, and after many conversations and a couple goodguys having to move the speakers to a different house, etc., a friend and I drove over (c. 350 miles one way), heard them, and brought them home.  The latter occurred during a late-winter snowstorm in northern AZ, but we got them and us home safely.

Here's what they looked like early...

Note the Coincident Frankenstein II 8-Watt SET monoamps, the speakers' 'flying nun' bases, and the lack of toe-in.  Note also the pair of WAVAC 805-based SET monoamps (the version that retailed for $22K and that also had been retrieved in Albuquerque) far right in the pic.  Altho both pairs of these amps warmed the air in the musicroom nicely, neither warmed my heart, so I sold them. 

Bought one and then two Nelson Pass First Watt J2s...

...25WPC-into-8, all-class-A, all-JFET stereo poweramps...
http://s89.photobucket.com/user/jeffreybehr/library/J2%20amps?sort=3&page=1
...and wired the two channels in parallel for 25 Watts per chassis into 8 and 50 Watts per chassis into 4.

They sounded very smooth, detailed, and musical, and I improved some parts in them and used them for quite a while.

During the last couple years, I alternated a couple times between the S7s and a pair of much-loved, much-improved Audio Physic Avanti IIIs, and this January (2016) after I had taken the Avantis to an audio-club meeting, the S7s went back into the system.  While the Avantis were in active duty, I had bought a 250WPC c-j ET250S, stereo, hybrid poweramp that sounded excellent with the them, and I left that in the system when I reinstalled the S7s.  In spite of having about 220WPC more power than needed, the ET250S sounded excellent on the S7s, too, so that's where the system is now.  FWIW, since there's now 250WPC driving the panels of the S7s, I installed a 110Hz HP filter before the amp.  (I used no such filter while using the SETs or 50-Watt J2s.) 

Since the system sounded and sounds SO good, I decided to improve crossover parts from the good-to-very-good stuff Danny used to the best I could manage (2).  Without boring you with too much detail, I've replaced the 10uF tweeter-series caps with 10uF combination of two Platinums and a smaller SoniCap-I, the 15uF MR-shunt cap with 13uF of SoniCap 'propylenes plus 2uF of Platinums, and the 56uF MR-comp-network-shunt cap with 56uF of SoniCap 'propylenes and a half-mic of Platinum.  All three coils are now or will be Goertz/Bridgeport copper-foils...


The wiring will be all Neotec-UPOCC-solid-in-Teflon--23g. silver on the tweeter and 18g. copper plus 24g. silver on the MR.  These will be soldered to speakercable I had Sonic Craft make--again all Neotec UPOCC-silver-in-Teflon--18g. stranded plus 22-, 24-, and 26g. solid per pole.  The bass-system wiring I'm not touching except I've replaced the box-to-amp cable with a longer one.

The system sounds REALLY good--EXCELLENT in all aspects but perhaps a tiny bit less transparent than the best systems I've ever had (3), but they're also a good bit more spacious sounding and more extended and have the highest-quality bass I've ever heard.  I spent considerable time adjusting the bass-amps' controls (4) to achieve that bass quality and still have a bit to go.  FWIW, I use 31-band equalizers in the bass system; they help a lot.

So the S7s are my keep-for-a-long-while speakers, while the c-j ET250s is that poweramp.  Thursday and Friday I received, installed on the back wall, and tweaked a pair of Rythmic F15HP 15"-driver subwoofers, and the system sounds even better.   :green:


(1) with a crossover as complicated as this...

...'slightly' is all I could manage.   :wink:

(2) Fortunately, my friendship with Glowacki allowed me to accumulate a bunch of 5-star-quality SoniCap Platinum caps, sometimes used take-outs, sometimes preproduction versions, etc., so this wasn't unaffordable.

(3) The Avantii IIIs and V-steen 5As were best at transparency...or at least that's what my feeble memory indicates.

(4) the more flexible electronic devices are, the longer it takes to get them adjusted correctly and the easier it is to adjust them the wrong way.   :duh:

I hope other S7 owners will post here; maybe we can find all of them.  As of Feb. 24, 2016, I know of 3 pairs--mine, Danny's, and an acquaintance's in Flagstaff, AZ.
« Last Edit: 21 Mar 2016, 09:56 pm by jeffreybehr »

THROWBACK

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #1 on: 21 Feb 2016, 06:38 pm »
I'm a skinny 79-year-old, but I share some of your audio history. I actually have the GR LS-9s and continue to be amazed by them. They replaced a very expensive full-range ESL. Although they had great sound, they just did not have the dynamic range that the 9's have and I couldn't live with that.
You use a bass equalizer? Which one? I have played with the parametric EQ on the A370 servos for hours but I'm not q-u-i-t-e there yet.

jeffreybehr

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #2 on: 21 Feb 2016, 10:49 pm »
I'm a skinny 79-year-old, but I share some of your audio history. I actually have the GR LS-9s and continue to be amazed by them. They replaced a very expensive full-range ESL. Although they had great sound, they just did not have the dynamic range that the 9's have and I couldn't live with that.
You use a bass equalizer? Which one? I have played with the parametric EQ on the A370 servos for hours but I'm not q-u-i-t-e there yet.

Hi, THROW.  Yes, with my Super-7s' bass channels I use a pair of single-channel Dukane 31-band grafic eqs...

...can't find the model #--and a Phonic Personal Audio Assistant II, the model earlier than this one--
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Phonic-PAA3-Handheld-31-Band-Spectrum-Personal-Audio-Analyzer-with-USB-Interface-/371480898114?hash=item567dfcaa42:g:Ar0AAOSwc0FUpHLq
...for displaying the system-and-room response.  Some such machine is essential in knowing which frequency bands to increase or decrease to smooth the bass peaks and valleys in our rooms. My room is excellent in other ways, but it's almost square at 21' wide and 19' deep, and it has peaks at 27- and 30Hz, making a huge rise in bottom-octave energy.

I recently purchased a RANE-brand 3-band PEQ, model FPE 13...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rane-FPE-PE-13-rack-mount-parametric-equalizer-pair-RS-1-and-power-extension-/222020736204?hash=item33b17794cc:g:IuAAAOSwPc9Wu7UL
...and this pair appears to be quite reasonably priced.  (If you buy one or two, be sure you get the outboard powersupply 'RS 1' which is almost $100 each if purchased separately.) 


This unit is rather small--only one-half rack width--


It has no RCA-phono inputs/outputs; being a commercial product it does have XLRs and 1/4" phone plugs.  I bought 1/4"-phone-to-RCA-female adapters for $4-odd per pair at a local guitar center.

What attracted me to this piece is that the three bands are identical and start at 10Hz(!), so all can be used to smooth the bass.  Haven't yet connected it.  If it proves useful in replacement of the Dukanes, I'll buy another. 

Here's one channel's low-bass adjustments on the Dukane:

...and the low-bass response is still so strong and irregular that I've turned on the rumble filters--and that helps some.

So far, I've had no luck at adjusting the amps' PEQs.  I've been using my noise generator's 1/20-octave tones, but perhaps they're still too wide to allow me to hear or measure when I have the frequency knobs in the right place.  I'll use my sinewave generator* next time.  And I've recently doubled my problem by buying a pair of Rythmik F15HP 15"-driver subwoofers that use the same frontend on their 550-Watt amps.

We'll see.    :wink:


* one can tell I'm an amateur at this--pros would call it an oscillator.
« Last Edit: 21 Mar 2016, 09:59 pm by jeffreybehr »

THROWBACK

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #3 on: 22 Feb 2016, 01:37 pm »
Man oh man, Jeffrey. You go all out. Thanks for the very thorough reply. Not sure what to do with all that great info yet though. Gotta think about it some more.

Rocket_Ronny

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #4 on: 22 Feb 2016, 05:06 pm »
Quote
Yes, with my Super-7s' bass channels I use a pair of single-channel Dukane 31-band grafic eq   

Maybe thats where your last bit of transparency is taken, with the extra cables and e.q. 

Rocket_Ronny

jeffreybehr

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #5 on: 22 Feb 2016, 05:23 pm »
Maybe thats where your last bit of transparency is taken, with the extra cables and e.q. 

Rocket_Ronny

Probably not; they're in the bass channels only.

bdp24

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #6 on: 22 Feb 2016, 06:01 pm »
Probably not; they're in the bass channels only.

Agreed. That's why I feel free to insert a Gradient DSPeaker Antimode 2.0 Dual Core between my pre-amp and subs, only.

Danny Richie

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #7 on: 23 Feb 2016, 08:05 pm »
Jeffrey,

If you are having to adjust plus and minus 12db each way in the lower end then you have some real room related issues. I'd really consider a pair of our sealed 12" servo subs in the back of the room to try and even out your room issues. It should help a lot.

I don't get anywhere near that much low frequency variation in my room. But I am using a combination of diffusers and large tube traps. 



I once thought I'd never sell my pair, but with the impending move coming up and the realization that I have way more demo speakers around here than I can ever listen to, I then have to tell myself not to get so emotionally attached to any one pair of speakers. So I would consider letting them go to a good home if the price was right.

bernardo

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #8 on: 23 Feb 2016, 08:28 pm »
Danny-
Are you having the same thoughts about the line arrays?

Danny Richie

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #9 on: 23 Feb 2016, 08:30 pm »
Danny-
Are you having the same thoughts about the line arrays?

What line arrays would that be?

bernardo

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #10 on: 23 Feb 2016, 08:35 pm »
My mistake for assuming you knew which ones I was addressing. The open baffle ones with Neo-10's, Neo-3's and twin servo driven 3-12" subs.   

Danny Richie

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #11 on: 23 Feb 2016, 08:39 pm »
My mistake for assuming you knew which ones I was addressing. The open baffle ones with Neo-10's, Neo-3's and twin servo driven 3-12" subs.   

Oh that pair. They were sent to a customer in Panama. They were the best sounding pair of speakers that I have ever heard. I can't get the drivers for them right now so I am trying not to think about them. Otherwise, I'd be building me a pair of them.


bernardo

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #12 on: 23 Feb 2016, 10:43 pm »
OK - thanks for crushing that dream for me!

jcotner

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #13 on: 23 Feb 2016, 11:07 pm »
I once thought I'd never sell my pair, but with the impending move coming up and the realization that I have way more demo speakers around here than I can ever listen to, I then have to tell myself not to get so emotionally attached to any one pair of speakers. So I would consider letting them go to a good home if the price was right.

And I'm telling you this is like the dog waiting for a piece of steak to fall from the table. When Danny is selling personal speakers, it's a good time to buy. I got a pair his wife really liked and I'm happy I did. His personal speakers have every last tweak in them and fantastic sounds even better!

SoCalWJS

Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #14 on: 23 Feb 2016, 11:20 pm »
And I'm telling you this is like the dog waiting for a piece of steak to fall from the table. When Danny is selling personal speakers, it's a good time to buy. I got a pair his wife really liked and I'm happy I did. His personal speakers have every last tweak in them and fantastic sounds even better!
I already have too many speakers (maybe I should sell all of them), but the Super 7's are something special.  Combine the best of the spekers that I have (Super V's and LS 6'es) into 1 setup, then take it up another notch.  :thumb: Would be tempted if I could figure out how to pull it off.

I can only imagine how good the OB Neo3/Neo10's sound :drool:

S Clark

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #15 on: 24 Feb 2016, 12:07 am »
Never did I return from the RMAF thinking I had heard something superior to my LS9's... until I heard the Super7's.  But even they couldn't match those latest line arrays.  Sitting in with Danny, Gary Dodd, and Rich Hollis in Danny's living room.... I don't think I'll ever hear anything that good  :green:.  And they were certainly out of my price range.  :o

jeffreybehr

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #16 on: 24 Feb 2016, 03:42 am »
Jeffrey,

If you are having to adjust plus and minus 12db each way in the lower end then you have some real room related issues.  YUP; it's almost square at 21' w. by 19' deep.
I'd really consider a pair of our sealed 12" servo subs in the back of the room to try and even out your room issues. It should help a lot.

I don't get anywhere near that much low frequency variation in my room. But I am using a combination of diffusers and large tube traps. 



I once thought I'd never sell my pair, but with the impending move coming up and the realization that I have way more demo speakers around here than I can ever listen to, I then have to tell myself not to get so emotionally attached to any one pair of speakers. So I would consider letting them go to a good home if the price was right.

Danny--
How about a few pics of your crossovers, pls?

What are the big, blue, tubed poweramps?

And FWIW, I too am using bass traps, two BIG ones:



JerryM

Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #17 on: 24 Feb 2016, 04:50 am »
What are the big, blue, tubed poweramps?

Those are Danny's 'Blue Monsters'. Statement amps from master builder Gary Dodd.  :thumb:

jcotner

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #18 on: 24 Feb 2016, 05:09 am »
Danny--
How about a few pics of your crossovers, pls?

I deleted my earlier post because I confused your earlier post referencing active EQ
with this last question regarding pictures of crossovers.

bernardo

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Re: The OFFICIAL Super-7 thread
« Reply #19 on: 26 Feb 2016, 09:46 pm »
I think I may have slightly diverted the purpose of this thread with my inquiry to Danny about the line arrays so let me see if I can get it back on track. I am an owner of the Super-7’s. I bought the used pair that was for sale a little over a year ago mentioned in the thread prior to this one (Super-7s how are they doing?). My pair are a darker shade of silver than Jeffrey’s. I bought them purely on reputation and some input from other Audiocircle members that heard them at RMAF and could compare them to speakers I am familiar with. I have never bought any piece of audio equipment in this manner before but fortunately for me I am very happy I did so – I  remember wishing I had pursued purchasing a pair when they were initially sold after the RMAF show. Well I got my second opportunity and jumped all over it.

It’s a little embarrassing to say I still have not determined their optimum position yet but that’s mainly because when I sit down to listen I prefer to listen than spend time fooling around with positioning. The sound I am getting exceeds any set-up I have had prior to the Super-7’s. I have the speakers sitting on unspiked Sound Anchor bases I had made for previous speakers to allow me to slide them around to experiment with positioning when I get the itch to do so. I have a 15W x 24L room with cathedral ceiling and carpet. The speakers are about 9 feet from the front wall and about 3.5 feet from the side walls. Currently I am using a near field set-up (8 foot equilateral triangle). I have GIK soffit bass traps in the corners behind the speakers and GIK Monster Traps and PI Audio Diffusers on the wall between the soffit traps. Thanks to Danny for the PI Audio diffuser recommendation – they work very well with these speakers. I have tried both Monster Traps and diffusers at the first reflection points on the side walls with no audible impact at all. I was fortunate enough to acquire a used Spatial Audio Black Hole a year and a half ago which does an admirable job of cleaning up the bass. If anyone out there has one they are willing to sell I would be interested in acquiring a second one.

I have a Marantz Reference SA7 CD player, SC11S1 preamp, and SM11S1 stereo amplifier all resting in a HRS SXR rack with M3X isolation bases. Power supply is provided by a RGPC 240V substation, 400S PLC, and power cords. Servo amps are plugged into wall receptacles on a circuit separate from the substation. I have Zenwave D4 interconnect cables and BEL speaker cables.

So here is what I’d like to ask the Super-7 owners out there. How much toe-in do you have on your speakers? Where are your speakers with respect to your listening room size and listening position? Have you experimented with SS and tube electronics on your speakers and which do you prefer?

Jeffrey – where do you have your Rythmik F15HP 15"-driver subwoofers set up in your room?