Super 3 Desktop owner -- what should I do next?

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tumble2k

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Super 3 Desktop owner -- what should I do next?
« on: 17 Oct 2022, 09:30 pm »
This is Clif, and it's my first post on AudioCircle. I am the proud owner of the cheapest speaker in Louis's lineup, the Super 3 Desktop, which I bought in 2013 with the intention of creating the lowest priced system I could. These were ideal for their location on an actual bookshelf and sounded good in that location. Louis recommended I get a Bottlehead Stereomour 2A3 SET amp (3.5 Wpc), and so I've been running that pairing for since then.

Recently I have gotten upgraditis and improved the Stereomour with Mundorf interstage and parafeed caps, removed the cathode bypass cap, and added a Vacuum State shunt regulator. These changes have improved the integrity of the Stereomour sound. Bass is more solid, highs more resolved, and an upper midrange glare I always experienced has simply disappeared.

I put the desktops on stands on the long side of a 14 x 10 carpeted room with no acoustic treatment. They are 6" from the back wall about 3 feet from each other. They sound great. Tone is great. Imaging is spooky. They are fast and articulate. I can almost feel the instruments with my hands. With the amp mods, the bass is actually pretty solid for what it is.

I'm kind of wondering what the next step is.

I listen to classical music almost exclusively, mainly chamber music, but occasionally a full on symphony. Not too much choir. I love the articulation and intimacy of the sound, but the speakers are not necessarily the best for separating the musical lines from each other.

I'm wondering if I should get a Deep Hemp 8 subwoofer and feed the Super 3 Desktop with everything above 120 Hz or so or just sell the Super 3 Desktops and get a CAM.

I'm open any thoughts and suggestions. Thanks!
Clif

AllanS

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Re: Super 3 Desktop owner -- what should I do next?
« Reply #1 on: 18 Oct 2022, 11:46 am »
Yours is a pretty specific ask so I can’t offer any advice. I can only say welcome aboard Clif!

tumble2k

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Re: Super 3 Desktop owner -- what should I do next?
« Reply #2 on: 18 Oct 2022, 06:03 pm »
Thank you Allan!

I think my ask is too specific and not well expressed. Also what I'm asking something that has been asked and answered several times on this forum: Should I go from RS5 to Alnico? I've never been satisfied with the answers, but that is not the fault of the wonderful and generous people answering. It's because it may not be possible to express what Alnico sounds like to someone who has never heard it before.

A wise man once told me that you can study strawberries for your entire life and write a PhD dissertation on the taste of a strawberry. But if you haven't actually tasted it, you can bite into one and say, "I've studied strawberries all my life, wrote a dissertation on the taste of a strawberry, and I can tell you with certainty that this is not a strawberry!"

So I've been researching the taste of the Louis's Alnico offerings vs RS5 and have gathered this information:
  • The Omega website says that the Alnico mid bass is better than the RS5.
  • The Alnico layering is better. I assume that means that one can hear multiple instruments playing at the same time as separate. This is very helpful for composition and orchestration study. That's a function of linearity, which the Omega website says is also better on the Alnico driver. Linearity also provides a more relaxed presentation. I had a Proac Tablette and VTL Tiny Triode with some crazy expensive speaker cable that had those qualities. I miss that even though the Bottlehead/Super 3 DT combination has better texture and transients.
  • The RS5 has better highs. This might mean that ambiance might come through better on the RS5. Maybe the Alnico is not airy?
  • Alnico sounds more like music. Owners sometimes stop eying new speakers after owning them.
  • Others have said that the RS5 with subwoofer is better than CAM, but CAM is best if you're not pairing with subwoofer.
  • Alnico magnets have better overdrive characteristics than ferrite. They generate 3rd harmonic distortion that guitarists find pleasing.
  • Alnico magnets are stronger for a given volume than ferrite. This might improve linearity.
So that's what I know about the strawberries.

Maybe the better way to ask the question that is less specific is:
  • Between Omega's RS5 and Alnico offerings, which would you prefer for complex music (not at realistic levels) and why?
  • If you want to unwind at the end of a long day, do you prefer Omega Alnico or the RS5 speakers?
Sorry to ramble on and thank you for any feedback.

opnly bafld

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Re: Super 3 Desktop owner -- what should I do next?
« Reply #3 on: 18 Oct 2022, 10:16 pm »
Talk to Louis is my best answer.  :D

tumble2k

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Re: Super 3 Desktop owner -- what should I do next?
« Reply #4 on: 19 Oct 2022, 03:28 pm »
That's a great idea. Worked last time!

seikosha

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Re: Super 3 Desktop owner -- what should I do next?
« Reply #5 on: 19 Oct 2022, 04:07 pm »
I’ve got the 8xrs, SAM and rs5 and the longer I’ve lived with them, the harder it is to pick a favorite.  I actually cycle through all 3 speakers on a regular basis.  What happens is that after you’ve lived with one, you’ll start craving one of the others….you’ll stick that one in your system and no kidding, you’ll think…oh yeah, this is the best, but then you’ll start craving a characteristic of another one and for awhile, that one will be the best…. it’s an endless cycle.

Overall, I’d say the 8xrs is the most versatile of the three and generally speaking, the bigger the driver, the better the ability to unravel more complex music….but…maybe not all the time.  Good luck…you can’t make a wrong decision.  Sorry I can’t give you a better answer.

effluviography

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Re: Super 3 Desktop owner -- what should I do next?
« Reply #6 on: 19 Oct 2022, 11:05 pm »
I have the 3i, 3xrs and custom CAM's in a smaller cabinet. They all sound very good and are enjoyable. I'm a sucker for the strawberries. I am a guitar player and love the alnico sound on guitar. And the CAMs are my favorite because of the texture of sound. Texture is really the word - alnico has a very pleasing and particular aural texture. I still listen to the 3i and 3xrs in my other simpler systems, but really relish the CAMs for all types of music - simpler and more complex in terms of sound.

It is very difficult to explain the alnico sound signature. For me, there is no going back. I recommend talking to Louis - as I think he is much more articulate at describing the differences in his speakers sounds and what works better for different people's preferences.

I use a Deep Hemp Sub with my CAMs - and like having the extra richness from the sub.

tumble2k

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Re: Super 3 Desktop owner -- what should I do next?
« Reply #7 on: 20 Oct 2022, 12:59 pm »
@seikosha That is a very useful answer actually. What it tells me is that I should keep the Super 3T Desktop and not plan to sell it.

@effluviography Thank you for the description. Thinking I could learn something I listened to a few YouTube videos about Alnico pickups. All I got was that maybe Alnico pickups have a lusher treble when played clean. With distortion I could not really make out the difference.

I do have my plan though. First, get the Deep Hemp 8 to pair with the desktops. Then as money permits, get a pair of CAMs so I can swap easily with the Desktops on the stand.

effluviography

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Re: Super 3 Desktop owner -- what should I do next?
« Reply #8 on: 20 Oct 2022, 10:46 pm »
That sounds like a good plan. I think the smaller speakers do sound richer with the sub. I had a generic sub before the deep hemp and Louis' sub gels really well with his speakers.

In terms of alnico in guitar playing - it is noticeable with the pickups, but not nearly as much as with an alnico speaker with a tube guitar amp. I have ceramic and alnico speakers, and when you switch between them with the same amp, it is a pretty obvious change.

And lush but detailed is a good way of describing alnico. There is a richness to the texture that the word lush captures.

Cheers.