RMAF room 2014, "Innovation Room", debut of the Azel loudspeaker

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Duke

Duke, the capacitor mention is a big improvement that separates $4,000 bookies from $6,000 bookies.  Rosso Fiorentino uses Mundorf capacitors in their speakers, and though they take forever to break in, they are well worth it in the end.  I also wouldn't discount your internal cabling either - not sure what you use.  I know if I were building a speaker, my top choice would be the Helicon 16 OCC from Wireworld.  The guys there are incredible to work with and their product is just as good.

From time to time a customer asks me to give him a quote for a capacitor upgrade... it helps if he specifies the caps because I'm not an expert on boutique capacitors.  But only twice has the customer actually gone through with the capacitor upgrade, even though I didn't tack on any extra markup.   And with specialty internal cabling, several times I've worked up quotes, again with zero additional markup.  No one has ever gone through with an internal cabling upgrade where I bought the cables, but two customers did supply the cable themselves for me to use.

I'm sure there is improvement from high-end capacitors... normally I use 1% film caps in the tweeter signal path, so I'm not using crapacitors... but I'm probably not going all the way up to Mundorf Golds or Duelands either. 

I'd love to host you sometime or even visit you and run through some cabling options so you can hear the differences.  I still consider, to this day, one of the best investments I've ever made to be the Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 USB.  People balk when they hear a price tag of $700 for a 1 meter, but it is something I refuse to take out of my system (unless i2s is used like we did at RMAF).

Thank you very much for the invitation!  I would very much like to spend some socio-audio time with you... you've got a LOT more cool stuff than I do, so maybe at your place first??

Tyson

I'm sure there is improvement from high-end capacitors... normally I use 1% film caps in the tweeter signal path, so I'm not using crapacitors... but I'm probably not going all the way up to Mundorf Golds or Duelands either. 

I've tried a bunch of them, and IME they are actually similar to wiring.  The 2 most important things are dielectric and conductor. 

Conductors - I find that copper is just a better conductor than tin or aluminum, so copper caps are almost always better than tin or aluminum caps. 

Dielectric - Teflon is a better dielectric than polypropylene, and the paper/wax sounds best of all. 

Resonance Control - One additional thing that is important with caps is resonance control.  Which is why things like Clarity Caps sound so good - they do serious work to try to control resonance.  But, the caps that do the most/best job at this are the paper/wax caps. 

So based on these 3 criteria, Dueland and Jupiter are the best options.  They both hit all 3 areas - conductor, dielectric and resonance control are all excellent.  Between the 2, IMO Dueland is not really any better than the Jupiters.

So there you go, my wholehearted endorsement for Jupiter Copper Paper/Beeswax caps :thumb:

Duke

I've tried a bunch of them, and IME they are actually similar to wiring.  The 2 most important things are dielectric and conductor. 

Conductors - I find that copper is just a better conductor than tin or aluminum, so copper caps are almost always better than tin or aluminum caps. 

Dielectric - Teflon is a better dielectric than polypropylene, and the paper/wax sounds best of all. 

Resonance Control - One additional thing that is important with caps is resonance control.  Which is why things like Clarity Caps sound so good - they do serious work to try to control resonance.  But, the caps that do the most/best job at this are the paper/wax caps. 

So based on these 3 criteria, Dueland and Jupiter are the best options.  They both hit all 3 areas - conductor, dielectric and resonance control are all excellent.  Between the 2, IMO Dueland is not really any better than the Jupiters.

So there you go, my wholehearted endorsement for Jupiter Copper Paper/Beeswax caps :thumb:

Hi Tyson,

Thank you for your thoughts and insights, very educational.   Everything I've ever heard about the Jupiters says they are superb, and you have explained what it is about their design that makes the difference.  The cap I have in mind is roughly 1/4 the price of those Jupiters, but at least one "capacitor shootout" ranked it just barely below the Jupiters.  I chose it based on things Chris Owen of Clarity Cable told me, and only later saw that it had done well in the shootout.   

Of course if I did use the Jupiters, and someone asked me what capacitors we use, I could reply, "none of your beeswax".  Oboy that's tempting!!


DavidS

Duke - have followed your speaker threads for many years and talked to you once about buying.  This new speaker seems to check a lot of boxes and will continue to watch for early impressions.

Apologies if this goes off topic but was curious about the jkenny DAC you guys had as part of your setup.  Had not heard about a new ciunas DAC (was an early adapter of his first DAC).  Curious about how you hooked up and thinking it worked out good if the whole system was sounding so good.  Any comments on this relative unknown? 

Duke

Duke - have followed your speaker threads for many years and talked to you once about buying.  This new speaker seems to check a lot of boxes and will continue to watch for early impressions.

Apologies if this goes off topic but was curious about the jkenny DAC you guys had as part of your setup.  Had not heard about a new ciunas DAC (was an early adapter of his first DAC).  Curious about how you hooked up and thinking it worked out good if the whole system was sounding so good.  Any comments on this relative unknown?

We were EXTREMELY happy with our front end, including the Ciunas DAC and lithium power supply for the Ultra Rendu.  Jim Romeyn is much more familiar with these than I am, so I'll let him be the one to go into detail.

Several years ago I sold a very highly regarded, fifty-grand-plus, three-piece CD/SACD player front end for a customer, and I had the equipment in my home for several weeks before it sold.  In my opinion, the ballpark 2.5 grand front end we had at RMAF, streaming Tidal, was better.  Maybe even a lot better, especially with Chris and Melissa's USB cable. 

JLM

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A bit late to the party, but big congrats on the Azel.  I do have questions/comments:

1.) From Dave's images am I seeing one LCS midrange and one LCS tweeter with 4 vents?
2.) What is the power handling capacity (what power amp/specifications would you recommend)?
3.) So would the Azel be 'too much' for my 8ft x 13ft x 21ft room? 
4.) For my room, would you recommend a swarm?
5.) Is the crossover in a separate compartment (to minimize vibrations)?
6.) Where can I audition them, close to Michigan's lower peninsula?
7.) I would match internal and external speaker cable, why not?
8.) What internal speaker cable do you use, external cable would you recommend?

Thanks Duke.
« Last Edit: 4 Nov 2017, 10:28 am by JLM »