The Manipulated Vortex Waveguide speaker - the Event Horizon 210

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Berndt

Tantalizing adjectives.
With baited breath.

James Romeyn

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So, would this sub be good in a "swarm" config with Dukes upcoming 2-way?

My understanding and listening experience seems to confirm that MVW has at least three unique desirable features: unequivocally highest SPL per enclosure volume (by huge margin, my understanding is no one who auditioned MVW at high levels would contest this), dynamic range rises with increasing SPL (inverse of otherwise universal thermal compression), and a large dose of natural bass mode damping effect. 

Again, Dream Maker enjoys considerable bass mode damping effect via six different active drivers and eight ports.  That's a sum total fourteen bass sources each with disparate path length to room boundaries (plus each port can be either open or air-tight sealed).  Conversely, EV210 has effectively only two active bass sources (because each channel's dual 10s are tightly spaced) plus the vortex openings (unknown number). 

I'm convinced, when we switched from DM to EV210, the latter had more linear bass/less modal effects.  I am 100% supporter of Distributed Array.  But I also think the MVW approximates the linearity of a Distributed Bass Array more than any other architecture (except for possibly a Dual Bass Array, which in theory looks ideal but costs far more than a Distributed Array, requires eight subs in semi-permanent wall installation above the floor, and lacks the other ideal qualities of MVW).

The above, coupled with considerable minimum enclosure volume resulting from the vortex design, seems to minimize benefits of the Distributed Array when employing MVW. 

That said, I'm first in line to help setup and audition a Distributed Sub Array with four MWV subs in a sound room with suitable floor space!       

Russell Dawkins


 ....dynamic range rises with increasing SPL (inverse of otherwise universal thermal compression)....   
   

This characteristic alone has me completely baffled and curious.   :scratch:

I wonder if, when playing back a completely uncompressed recording of an orchestra, does this mean that the dynamic range produced would exceed that of the original source? If so, I would not want that. Are these aimed instead at dynamically expanding over - compressed pop music?
It seems to me that if dynamic expansion is taking place, then it might "work" for some recordings and at specific levels, but that would depend on the nature of the compression employed in the record production.

I don't want my playback system to interpret the signal–I just want the straight goods.

James Romeyn

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This characteristic alone has me completely baffled and curious.   :scratch:

I wonder if, when playing back a completely uncompressed recording of an orchestra, does this mean that the dynamic range produced would exceed that of the original source? If so, I would not want that. Are these aimed instead at dynamically expanding over - compressed pop music?
It seems to me that if dynamic expansion is taking place, then it might "work" for some recordings and at specific levels, but that would depend on the nature of the compression employed in the record production.

I don't want my playback system to interpret the signal–I just want the straight goods.

Yes, that makes sense. 

I suppose one would decide between two distortions as level increases: thermal compression or expanding dynamics.   

Also, one might prefer the SPL "sweet spot" of standard bass loading vs. MWV.   

From my three day exposure, I think I prefer the dynamic distortion of the MVW vs. standard bass loading.  I could see how/why a recording engineer might prefer the latter.     

Leland Crooks

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As has been the case so many times with this technology, many of the standard adjectives don't really reveal what we hear.  James is correct with the dynamic expansion, but only because it's the closest terminology we have.  What happens is as you increase the power to the cabs the vortex field expands.  It feels and sounds like sensitivity is increasing, which it does to a degree. 

In the PA world because we're covering such large area you can walk the sound field and hear the "event horizon".  In the space of about 2 ft you'll hear a sudden dropoff in the output.  It doesn't measure as a big change, 2-3db, but it's very apparent.  It's where the reverberant vortex field suddenly becomes a standard sound field.  It's not there with the home audio boxes, you have the vortex field virtually all the time, covering the entire area. 

It's incredibly useful for PA use.  You can mitigate the spill to unwanted areas by controlling the power.  A show I did last summer outdoors with 4 WT8's per side (2x8 PA Cab) 4 RachÉ18 subs dropped the event horizon about 300ft from the mains.  Perfect, right at the edge of the street, keeping the neighbors happier. 

Two of the home audio subs I think would be more than enough for virtually an installation.  They just don't interact with room modes the same as a standard direct radiator box.  I can get dead even coverage in a high school gymnasium with 2.  And those places are modal nightmares. 

James Romeyn

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I appreciate others such as Leland chiming in because MVW is difficult to explain.  To repeat what musicians said after hearing Mike Arnopol's MVW cabs for bass instruments: "There's skeptics and those who've heard it."  Duke first mentioned this technology to me several months ago.  I did not really grasp it very well with words.  Finally the day prior to setup for RMAF I arrived to pickup Dream Maker LCS and saw EH210 for the first time stacked up in Duke's entry hall way.  Wow, those are pretty cool, me thinks.  Kind of an industrial garage Leave It To Beaver era, retro chic Gestalt.  Interesting.  If you're old enough, think of furniture in glossy magazines around the time Master Soichiro Honda landed his Honda Super Cub 50 on these shores (while you're at it, you'll not find a more interesting success story than that of Soichiro, who started with better pistons and piston rings, delivered by family members on their bicycles, wrapped in bags in handlebar racks...then his fast growing industry decimated by war, and starting from scratch again...).   

The first time you hear MVW you just know, wow, whatever on earth I'm hearing it's unlike anything prior.  No matter what you might think you absolutely have no prior paradigm in which to fit these.

I definitely get the feeling, once tested for THD, these will stand atop the pyramid for quite a long time.  I wonder if anyone else might agree with this: It's like ultra-low distortion ultra-high output headphones, but with all the more pleasurable effects of listening to speakers properly setup in a well treated room.  But it's actually better than that.           

Leland Crooks

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It's like ultra-low distortion ultra-high output headphones, but with all the more pleasurable effects of listening to speakers properly setup in a well treated room.  But it's actually better than that.           

That is it exactly.  I've been saying it's like wearing headphones since I first heard them a couple of years ago.  I coined the phrase "Intimate Power" to describe it.   That's the tagline for my line of home audio, a tad more plebian than Duke's killer Event Horizons. 

Russell Dawkins

I would certainly jump at the chance to hear these. Anything fundamentally new always intrigues me.

atmasphere

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BTW Duke's room sounded really nice this year and it was good to have him and his lovely wife back at the show.

I was not expecting what this speaker did! It seemed very easy to drive, much more so than its appearance suggests. Imagining was first-rate. I found the speaker to be quite musical and a bit disarming, given its small size.

Any plans of a larger model??  :)

avahifi

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Quote
Now the MVW speaker is not without its idiosyncracies.  In some ways, it behaves more like a musical instrument than like a typical speaker system.   For instance the type of wood used makes a significant difference.   Many different types have been tried, and so far Baltic Birch gives the best results.

This comment raises a red flag for me.  I thought the only part of a loudspeaker system that should contribute to the acoustic output is the driven elements themselves and necessary manipulation of the air.  When some other hopefully inert part is making a sonic contribution, that can only be some spurious resonance in the structure.  Changing wood types should have no effect unless this is changing the basic stability of the cabinet structure.  My vote for an ideal cabinet would be solid concrete bonded and wrapped in lead.  Not very practical, but I want no sound from my speaker cabinet at all.

Frank Van Alstine

Quiet Earth

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I thought the only part of a loudspeaker system that should contribute to the acoustic output is the driven elements themselves

This is a common mistake in my very humble and unpopular opinion. A great sounding speaker does not always have to be made this way. I don't know why the cabinet (or room) is not allowed to contribute to the overall sound. This is a silly rule that needs debunking.

No disrespect to Frank or anyone else is intended in my comment. I just see this misguided statement made over and over and over. I think that's why so many acoustically inert speakers sound dull, lifeless, and boring. Again, it is just my observation over many years of trying to be a good listener.

Hope this vortex things works out. I would love to hear it some day. Good luck with it.  :thumb:

*Scotty*

I also have vote for as accurate as possible acoustic analogue of the electrical signal fed into the loudspeaker. If the intent is to accurately reproduce the incoming electrical signal, structural cabinet resonances approaching the same levels as the THD and IM that drivers themselves produce can only be viewed as an additional source of signal distortion.
 The room on the other hand, will always have a contribution to make to the sound we hear from our stereo systems, all we can do is attempt to manipulate it to our advantage.
Scotty
« Last Edit: 17 Dec 2013, 02:20 am by *Scotty* »

Leland Crooks

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MVW speakers bend the rules.  Or at least seem to create new ones.  One of those is the wood.  I believe the difference is the surface density of the wood.  The bass cabs are mostly done from poplar and Okume, for light weight.  It creates a slightly darker tone.  If you compare the surfaces of those vs baltic birch you'll see they are a much more open grain structure.  BB is so close it just about won't take stain.  These cabs are incredibly sensitive to teeny variations in layout, bracing, and the wood used.  They're not easy to build.  Back pressures are very high.  There's no cabinet resonances structurally, that's for sure.  The upper mids seem to be absorbed by the more open grain.  It all has to do with the vortex interaction in the cabinet. 

A/C plywood won't stand up to the pressures.  It has voids, and MVW cabs will find it.  We've blown plys apart in the subs. 

MaxCast

Quote
We've blown plys apart in the subs.
He he he, I want see it.   :D

Duke

BTW Duke's room sounded really nice this year and it was good to have him and his lovely wife back at the show.

I was not expecting what this speaker did! It seemed very easy to drive, much more so than its appearance suggests. Imagining was first-rate. I found the speaker to be quite musical and a bit disarming, given its small size.

Any plans of a larger model??  :)

Thank you, Ralph!

Yes there is something a bit larger in the works, as well as something a bit smaller. 

This comment [the wood makes a difference] raies a red flag for me.  I thought the only part of a loudspeaker system that should contribute to the acoustic output is the driven elements themselves and necessary manipulation of the air.  When some other hopefully inert part is making a sonic contribution, that can only be some spurious resonance in the structure.  Changing wood types should have no effect unless this is changing the basic stability of the cabinet structure.  My vote for an ideal cabinet would be solid concrete bonded and wrapped in lead.  Not very practical, but I want no sound from my speaker cabinet at all.

Frank Van Alstine

Philosophically I agree with you, that the cabinet should be sonically inert, and don't blame you for your skepticism of a design where the type and quality of the wood is critical.  But the big picture is, what gives the best overall results?  This design has some extremely high internal pressures, and if those high pressures aren't dealt with by using high quality plywood and aggressive bracing, then performance suffers unacceptably.  But if we effectively deal with the design's idiosyncracies, imo we end up with some very worthwhile benefits. 

And if the whole idea is still just too unorthodox for you, I still do conventional cabinets.   
 

Russell Dawkins

Merry Christmas, Duke! :xmas:

mamba315

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Something bigger.. Same top w/ bigger sub(s)?

Will the smaller 2 way be mainly designed to run solo, or with sub support?

Some version of this technology is definitely my next speaker purchase or two.  The way these (are purported to) spread sound evenly throughout a room is a big deal to me.  Who wants to sit in the sweet spot all the time?

Leland Crooks

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Duke and I have split up the home audio world.  He handles the high end, I do the middle and entry level.  The smaller system can be run with or without subs.  The GC25H upon which it's based is good to 40hz.  I highly recommend it with the RachÉ12 sub though.  Cross at about 60hz.  The RachÉ12 sub with it's chosen driver for home audio is the best I've ever heard.  Seamless into the GC25h's, and utterly transparent. 

It's not in the Event Horizon range in absolute bottom end, but then again I'm not sure what else is.   8)

Vlad

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Hi Duke,

Any update on the MVW speakers? I am interested in the smaller 2-way you mentioned before.

Thanks,
Vlad

Duke

Hi Duke,

Any update on the MVW speakers? I am interested in the smaller 2-way you mentioned before.

Thanks,
Vlad

Hi Vlad,

The smaller two-way is in the refinement stage of development.  Unfortunately that is very time-intensive for the enclosure designers because it means building test enclosures and/or modifying existing ones.  I'm not at all qualified to do the actual cabinet design on these - that is done by the inventors.  I will do the crossover design when they are done with their work.

The direction of the two-way version changed several weeks ago.   I worked on the crossover design for a two-way bass cab that uses four 6.5" woofers, and I was so encouraged by its performance that I asked the inventors to let me shift directions and do a home audio version thereof for this two-way project.  They agreed, and that is what is in the refinement stage right now.

My version will have different drivers and probably a slightly-to-somewhat different enclosure (depends on which direction the refining process goes), but it will retain the sort of impact that is dominating the high-end bass guitar cabinet world (in that market I compete against this technology, and so I get to see it from a competitor's standpoint as well, and it has superior low-end extension AND pitch definition AND dynamic impact relative to my cabs). 

So this project is definitely moving forward, but I can't yet project a date.

Duke