Revelator Speaker Kit

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Trafford

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Revelator Speaker Kit
« on: 1 May 2007, 08:24 pm »
I am looking for a monitor speaker kit that will dip nicely into the 40's with tight base and clean highs that can do justice to Classical music and jazz but also allow me to rock out should the spirit move me. I would also like it to be an easy load to drive. I have tried to avoid 4 ohm speakers or the less efficient ones. I have looked at the kits from GR Research, Selah, RAW, Ellis and others. The one that looks most promising is the Ellis 1801b or the upcoming "C" version. The only downside would appear to be several comments on that speaker not being the particularly good with rock music (not sure how true that actually is), especially the harder stuff.

It appears that the Revelator line from Scanspeak performs very well and I have looked for something with the 7" mid woofer to get the better base performance. Selah has the SSR but I would prefer not to use a ribbon tweeter. I found the Leda Resources Eminent kit during my surfing but the site seems to be badly out of date and the unit uses the smaller mid woofer anyway.

Is there a monitor kit somewhere employing the Revelator woofer and tweeter that will give me what I am looking for? Is there another kit with quality components that can meet my needs? Or is the 1801b (or 1801c) the answer to my problem? The speakers I currently have are NHT's, Onix Rocket's, Athena's and none of them give me what I am looking for in my two channel set up.

I would like the kit to be under $1000 and preferably under $750 including the cabinet. This will also be my first attempt at speaker building so I guess a two way is preferable or at least a kit that includes the front baffle.

I appreciate any suggestions. Also if this is posted in the wrong forum please let me know. I looked over all of them and this one seemed to be the closest.

LadyDog

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Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #1 on: 1 May 2007, 09:29 pm »
Trafford,
Well it appears you have done some research and found some great manufactures.  All will have their

If you are interested in SSR, give Rick a call as I'm positive he can subsitute something in lieu of the ribbon tweeter and come up with a winner.

You may also want to talk to Jim Salk about an Usher design he builds.  Not sure if he is willing to do a kit for it though?

Not sure I'd say the 1801 doesn't rock well; people may be talking more about it being a fairly revealing speaker and rock isn't always the best recorded, so you kind of get the "garbage in-garbage out" message.

Good luck,
Jeff

edit: forgot to include what Jim offers
« Last Edit: 2 May 2007, 12:14 pm by LadyDog »

jsalk

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Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #2 on: 1 May 2007, 09:42 pm »
Ladydog is correct.

Speaker design is all about balancing trade-offs. 

The 1801 is an excellent speaker.  The Seas Excel W18 midwoofer is extremely detailed and accurate - one of the very best there is.

The ScanSpeak Revelator driver will play lower than the W18 and have a slightly "warmer" sound, but it will not be nearly as detailed. 

If you want to hear the subtle detail in a recording, the 1801 is the way to go.  If you want deep bass and aren't concerned about getting the most out of your recordings, a ScanSpeak-based design would be the way to go.

Most often, there is relatively little detail in a rock recording and most of them tend to be highly compressed.  Often they are mixed using small "radio-type" speakers since they are primarily mastered for radio play. 

So if you listen to a lot of rock music, the 1801 might not be for you.  But if you prefer a wide range of music, are willing to give up just a little bass extension and want to hear well-recorded music in all its glory, then go for the 1801.

I hope this helps.

- Jim

PS - I'm sure Rick would modify his design for you.

WEEZ

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Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #3 on: 1 May 2007, 09:47 pm »
A 7" Revelator/Hiq OW1 would be a pretty good combo, I'd bet.

WEEZ

andrewbee


Cacophonix

Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #5 on: 1 May 2007, 09:54 pm »
A 7" Revelator/Hiq OW1 would be a pretty good combo, I'd bet.

WEEZ

Second this.

I listened to W18 but didn't like its dry presentation. I prefer a slightly warmer sound. I listen to a lot of classic rock and indian classical music, so a warmer sound suits my taste. YMMV

Trafford

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Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #6 on: 1 May 2007, 11:56 pm »
Wow, a lot of great information. Thank you everyone!!!!!!

I know what I think is "dry", "detailed" and "warm" but I may be using these terms completely incorrectly. To me, the Onix Rockets are warm but not detailed. The NHT's seem to be the same way unless you dump a lot of power into them, then they seem to open up and become more detailed. The Athena's seem very warm and soft but they give me the impression that I am missing a lot in the music.

I have made most of my judgements from reading sites like this but I really have yet to hear any of these speakers. Are there any mass produced speakers that employ the Revelator or the Seas woofer that I can sample at the local stereo shop? I live outside of Pittsburgh so my choices are limited by reasonable.

I was interested in the Vifa XT/ Scanspeak Revelator combo. I know the XT is used in Polk speakers but I am not sure who employs the Revelator, the Seas or the Hiquphons. Can anyone give me a hint?

Once again thanks for the help from a novice that would like to take the next step in the audio world.

WEEZ

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Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #7 on: 2 May 2007, 12:04 am »
Check the Ellis Audio forum and the Selah forum here at AC. You might find someone in your area that has one or the other....

WEEZ

tf121682

Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #8 on: 2 May 2007, 12:55 am »
To really rock out in a large room you will need a 3-way in my opinion.  But look at www.zaphaudio.com anywho, find the Seas L18/27TBFC/G design.  I think you will find what you are looking for there. 

Also try http://www.rjbaudio.com/, http://htguide.com/forum/forumdisplay.php4?f=39, and www.diyaudio.com.

These sites might also be worth exploring.   I apologize if I just made your decision 1,000,000 times harder.

musicman06

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Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #9 on: 2 May 2007, 06:49 am »
The Revelator driver doesn't lack for detail, it is easily the most detailed of the ScanSpeak line of drivers. It is definitely a woofer to be considered. That said I chose to go with Selah's Tanzanites that use the SEAS Excel 7" driver. I'm not a huge fan of the Vifa tweeter (or any metal dome tweeter) and went with the Fountek ribbon that is Rick's standard tweeter choice. These are 3-way speakers with the Morel dome midrange. This was a better match with my objective of a sealed with sub setup. Without a sub you may want the ScanSpeak as they are known for their bass. Talk to Rick he'll setup you up with pretty much whatever you want.



 

LadyDog

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Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #10 on: 2 May 2007, 12:20 pm »
Yep, bet the ow1/ss combo would be pretty sweet.  Can't imagine Rick would have much of a problem getting them to gel either.  As he could with other tweeters such as peerless, seas, scan speak.......your pick.  With Rick it is just a matter of choosing a budget, drivers, and what you are trying to accomplish.  He'll get it to work.



   




« Last Edit: 2 May 2007, 04:23 pm by LadyDog »

Christof

Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #11 on: 2 May 2007, 01:20 pm »
Is Ricks SSR kit a drop-in design for the PE cabinets? 

I would give this kit some serious thought. Rick will adapt it to fit your specific wants/needs.

Cacophonix

Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #12 on: 2 May 2007, 01:24 pm »
Is Ricks SSR kit a drop-in design for the PE cabinets? 

I would give this kit some serious thought. Rick will adapt it to fit your specific wants/needs.

Yup .. i was told that .75 cu ft PE cabinet would fit these designs just fine.
Ask rick to put OW1 instead of the ribbons.

Rick Craig

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Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #13 on: 2 May 2007, 03:25 pm »
Is Ricks SSR kit a drop-in design for the PE cabinets? 

I would give this kit some serious thought. Rick will adapt it to fit your specific wants/needs.

Yup .. i was told that .75 cu ft PE cabinet would fit these designs just fine.
Ask rick to put OW1 instead of the ribbons.

Actually it's .75 cubic ft. sealed or 1 cubic ft. ported. The Scan-Speak woofer can work with a variety of tweeters and is very flexible in that regard. I believe it is simply the best 7" driver available for 2-way applications.

jsalk

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Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #14 on: 2 May 2007, 04:53 pm »
Well, we could certainly make the Usher 2-way available as a kit.  However, the Usher woofer is a "clone" of the ScanSpeak 8545.  And while it does a respectable job when compared to the 8545 (especially considering the price differential), it is no competition for the Revelator drivers.  So I would steer clear of this option.

I am not sure I would go so far as to say the Revelator is the best driver there is for a 2-way.  It would certainly rank among the few candidates for this title.  But much depends on what you are looking for in a completed design.  In some applications, the W18 could be a superior choice. And there are a few other drivers that could compete for the title.

But in this application, my guess it that the Revelator, perhaps combined with the OW1, would be an ideal solution.  And I am certain Rick could hook you up with everything you need to make it happen.

- Jim
« Last Edit: 2 May 2007, 07:55 pm by jsalk »

Trafford

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Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #15 on: 2 May 2007, 09:46 pm »
Once again I have to say, "Wow, great info!"

I had assumed to go with a ported design to get better base response.

From the multiple sites I have read it seems that the Seas Millenium, the Scanspeak 9500 and the User 9950 got some good opinions expressed about them. I'm not sure how all of these would compare to the OW1. I also don't have a good feel for what price point these options represent.

I don't want to break the bank, I just want a speaker that sounds like I did. I am also concerned that this is my first project and I don't want to spend a bunch and then screw it up. Sites like this give me some confidence but reality can bring you down to earth pretty quick.

Am I on the right track with the Revelator mid-woofer and the tweeters above?

Danny Richie

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Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #16 on: 2 May 2007, 09:51 pm »
Ask 100 people even among loudspeaker designers and you'll get plenty of different answers about drivers.

I have worked with just about everything out there and have found most drivers to be a series of tradeoffs. Having worked with a lot of different drivers does allow me to derive many personal listening impressions. I can agree some opinions here, but disagree with others.

I have also been a dealer for PHL, Focal, Raven, etc.



I have worked with Eton driver and  Aurium Cantus ribbons offer a couple of kit using those.



I current stock planar magnetic drivers from BG Corp and they rank among my favorites for high frequency drivers.

Quote
The ScanSpeak Revelator driver will play lower than the W18 and have a slightly "warmer" sound, but it will not be nearly as detailed.  

I got the same impressions from the Revelator woofers. They played low for a small woofer but really lacked resolution in the upper vocal region on up. I worked with them as soon as they were released.



I really didn't care much for them.

Quote
The Revelator driver doesn't lack for detail, it is easily the most detailed of the ScanSpeak line of drivers. It is definitely a woofer to be considered.

I can't say that I would agree with that at all.

Quote
The Scan-Speak woofer can work with a variety of tweeters and is very flexible in that regard. I believe it is simply the best 7" driver available for 2-way applications.

I don't know which one you are referring to but can't really see any of them making it that high up on my list. Some of the latest Usher woofers that I have worked with sounded better to me.

I do like some of their tweeters though.

Quote
The 1801 is an excellent speaker.  The Seas Excel W18 midwoofer is extremely detailed and accurate - one of the very best there is.

Nothing against the 1801, but the Seas Excel woofers have never been too high on my list either. I find them a bit dry and lifeless, lacking in any natural qualities. They sound un-involving and lack any lushness or musicality. I have worked with most of them including the W18E and W18Ex models. There is also some nasty break up to contend with that is almost impossible to completely get rid of.

Here was an design I did several years ago for a customer.



Quote
To me, the Onix Rockets are warm but not detailed.

Which Rockets do you have? There are upgrades available for them that transform them quite a bit.

Dipping nicely into the 40Hz range, and capable of handling rock music well might be pretty tough order to fill for a small two way. You might have to consider a floor standing design.

My question would involve your room size and acoustics before making real recommendations. Your electronics will make a different too.

DSK

Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #17 on: 3 May 2007, 02:36 am »
Just as Danny agreed and disagreed with previous opinions, I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with Danny's opinions  :lol:

I agree on the preference for ribbons. I've listened to the Vifa RR and the Scanspeak RR and much prefer the Fountek NeoCD3 ribbon tweeter. To me it does a better job of bringing the performance to life and putting you in the room with the performers. It also has pretty good dispersion for a ribbon. I suspect that it would land on more audition lists if it was more expensive.

I also agree re the SEAS Excels. I too found them a bit dry, and lacking body, emotion, and musicality. They initially sound detailed and vivid but to my ears the detail is pushed forward at the expense of the overall presentation, body and dimensionality.

I disagree re the Scanspeak Revelator midwoofers, at least on the 18W8531G00 anyway. I find this midwoofer to have wonderful detail and musicality, sounding more natural and balanced than the Excels. The detail does not jump out at you, but it is there as part of a coherent and balanced whole ...just as it was at the original performance. It is a master at putting you in the room with the performers. Scanspeak describe it as their "absolute premium reference level, wide bandwidth driver". It has the bass performance of the SS 8545 (used in many very expensive speakers) but with a much more refined midrange and is well behaved to 5khz (not requiring notch filters). It readily highlights any changes or tweaks in your system, or differences in recording styles and quality. I wouldn't describe it as warm per se (as in smoothed over) though it is more full bodied and natural sounding than the Excels. To me, the Excels are more 'hifi' whereas the 8531G is more 'natural' and 'musical'. Perhaps I should also mention that I am using it in a very rigid, sealed enclosure (Selah SSR) and have not heard it in a ported box.

As always YMMV as we all hear differently and drivers will always sound different depending on the particular implementation. Good luck!  :D

Trafford

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Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #18 on: 3 May 2007, 01:03 pm »
I can see there is a lot of differences in opinion on the various drivers just like there are on the various speakers. That's why I was looking for some mass market speakers that have some of the drivers in them so I can hear them to see what I prefer.

I have the Rocket 550 MkII's (front and rear), RSC200, RSS300, UFW-12 in a home theater set-up driven by the MPS-1 in a 15'x27'x8' carpeted room. They replaced a NHT VS-2 set-up with a Velodyne F1200. The NHT's seemed to only really give me what I was looking for when driven to very loud levels otherwise they seemed to polite to me. The Rockets seem the same way but they have a little more of the detail I am looking for.

The room I have set-up for two channel is my livingroom and any item in there must get the approval of the boss. That is why I wanted a monitor. I may be able to get the F1200 in there but I doubt she would go for floor standers. The room is 16'x24' with a cathedral ceiling. I don't need ear splitting sound levels but this is the system for music for that part of the house. I woudl initially be running this system with an old NAD 40W integrated and I plan to upgrade to the Onix X-Empower or some other class D integrated in the near future.

I want to hear what I have been missing in my CD collection and I want a solid low frequency foundation for the music. I listen to lots of blues, some jazz, some rock and a little classical. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I would like to spend less than $1000 but preferrable less than $750. That is what is inspiring my desire for DIY, plus it sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

I appreciate all of the input, recommendations and other help.

tf121682

Re: Revelator Speaker Kit
« Reply #19 on: 3 May 2007, 01:48 pm »
Danny,

What experience do you have with the PHL drivers?  I was going to suggest those if a 3-way design was a possibility.  I think the PHLs will offer exactly what Trafford is looking for.