Playing around...

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jsalk

Playing around...
« on: 24 Mar 2021, 08:36 pm »
One of the things that I enjoy most these days is playing with all kinds of new drivers.

Take this one:


I had talked to the guys at Arya Audio Labs a few years back when they were working on a new tweeter concept.  Time went buy when I ran into them again at an audio show.  This time around they were showing their new AirBlade tweeter prototype.  It is an AMT tweeter, but as you can probably see by the design, the on-axis response is about 140 degrees.  It has perfectly flat impedance and Arya rated it as capable of performing flat down to 1kHz. Very interesting.

A few months later, I learned they were finally in production and emailed to make sure I could get an early pair.  I now have #'s 24 and 25 off the assembly line in my possession.

Like any early adopter, there were some issues Arya was still working on.  Specifically, the tweeter could handle audio down to 1kH, but the frequency response was down quite a bit compared to the output at 2kHz...so much so that if we were to develop a passive design with it, we would have to use it at 2kHz and above.  Of course, we already had a couple of very good tweeter options that cross at 2kHz or slightly lower and cost considerably less.  But since we had purchased them, we felt the need to do something with them.

We realized that if we did an active design, we could easily correct the frequency response, so that is what we decided to do.  The only question was what woofers to use them with.

Purifi woofers seem to be the hottest new midwoofer design on the market.  So we ordered four of those and a couple of dual channel plate amps with DSP we could use to generate a crossover.

Now we had a ton of money invested in parts.  So it was time to make some sawdust...



The first thing I noticed was that I didn't have to do anything special with the Purifi woofers.  They were flat to begin with.  So creating an active crossover for these was not difficult at all.

How do they sound?  In a word, GREAT!  The problem is, the resulting speakers would be VERY expensive and our customers don't seem all that enthused about active speakers.  So it is unlikely that we will ever offer them as a regular product on our web site.

But it was an interesting project and I now have a one-of-a-kind speaker to add to my personal collection. That's my idea of fun.

- Jim

Ulmer

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Re: Playing around...
« Reply #1 on: 24 Mar 2021, 09:28 pm »
Finally something to satisfy the customer who says "I'd like a speaker that sounds great and that looks like it could bite you, please."

That's certainly like nothing I've ever seen before. Very interesting.

DMurphy

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Re: Playing around...
« Reply #2 on: 24 Mar 2021, 09:37 pm »
Is your accountant having fun too?   I worked up a passive version of this because I wanted to hear the general sound even if the higher crossover point and lower sensitivity pretty much ruled them out as a commercial product.  The tweeter needs some work, although it's perfectly fine for an active application.  What impressed me was the impact and clarity of the dual Purifi woofers.  Others have had trouble making these work, but the ported version Jim designed for the prototype I was working on is great--no port noise and lots of detail, with solid extension down to 32 Hz.  It would make a remarkable conventional passive speaker with a different tweeter. ...... 

WGH

Re: Playing around...
« Reply #3 on: 24 Mar 2021, 09:47 pm »
That tweeter would look perfect in an omnidirectional out of this world speaker design


Boybees

Re: Playing around...
« Reply #4 on: 24 Mar 2021, 10:48 pm »
Jim, how does it sound compared to your other designs? Is the listening experience similar to one of your other models, or does it stand alone?

Barrelfish

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Re: Playing around...
« Reply #5 on: 25 Mar 2021, 12:55 am »
I'm sorry but... :lol:

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artur9

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Re: Playing around...
« Reply #6 on: 25 Mar 2021, 01:05 pm »
Sorry, it  really does look like a speaker from an audio nightmare.  It comes to life and turns into an Alien.

Early B.

Re: Playing around...
« Reply #7 on: 25 Mar 2021, 01:23 pm »
Looks pretty cool to me. Great concept, too. Tweeter of the future.

JCarney

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Re: Playing around...
« Reply #8 on: 25 Mar 2021, 01:36 pm »
Why does the right speaker have a small black square under the lower woofer?
That is one wild looking driver for sure.

JCarney

jsalk

Re: Playing around...
« Reply #9 on: 25 Mar 2021, 01:45 pm »
Is your accountant having fun too?   I worked up a passive version of this because I wanted to hear the general sound even if the higher crossover point and lower sensitivity pretty much ruled them out as a commercial product.  The tweeter needs some work, although it's perfectly fine for an active application.  What impressed me was the impact and clarity of the dual Purifi woofers.  Others have had trouble making these work, but the ported version Jim designed for the prototype I was working on is great--no port noise and lots of detail, with solid extension down to 32 Hz.  It would make a remarkable conventional passive speaker with a different tweeter. ...... 

Stay tuned...

- Jim

jsalk

Re: Playing around...
« Reply #10 on: 25 Mar 2021, 01:55 pm »
Jim, how does it sound compared to your other designs? Is the listening experience similar to one of your other models, or does it stand alone?

I had a very critical friend come over to listen.  He loved the sound, but commented that, considering the cost, he would rather opt for a pair of SS9.5's and use the savings to purchase a good amp.  I couldn't argue with that logic.

They do sound wonderful.  There are two areas where they may have an edge over some existing higher-end designs.  When you walk around the room (listen off axis), the tweeter levels are consistent.  The tweeter level does not fall off like most other tweeters do, even at extreme off axis positions.  The other thing I noticed is that the distortion levels are extremely low.  This is more due to the Purifi woofers.  You have to exercise some restraint with the volume control as you do not get as much in the way of distortion cues to let you know you are playing them too loud.

We were so impressed with the woofers that I am certain we will be introducing a new model using them along with a beryllium tweeter.

- Jim

jsalk

Re: Playing around...
« Reply #11 on: 25 Mar 2021, 01:57 pm »
Why does the right speaker have a small black square under the lower woofer?
That is one wild looking driver for sure.

JCarney

That is an IR receiver for remote volume control and input switching.

- Jim

JCarney

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Re: Playing around...
« Reply #12 on: 25 Mar 2021, 03:28 pm »
That is an IR receiver for remote volume control and input switching.

- Jim


Right, because they are active. Thanks!

JCarney

ddps

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Re: Playing around...
« Reply #13 on: 25 Mar 2021, 04:24 pm »
You have to exercise some restraint with the volume control as you do not get as much in the way of distortion cues to let you know you are playing them too loud.

Jim, this is already true with the SS9.5s...

Cheers,

Drew

bkatbamna

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Re: Playing around...
« Reply #14 on: 25 Mar 2021, 04:28 pm »
How much would they cost if you had to sell them as a commercial product?  I am not in the market.  I am still very much enjoying my Salk V3 speakers.

jsalk

Re: Playing around...
« Reply #15 on: 25 Mar 2021, 05:16 pm »
How much would they cost if you had to sell them as a commercial product?  I am not in the market.  I am still very much enjoying my Salk V3 speakers.

Probably somewhere between $10000 and $15000 per pair.  But I never took the time to figure it out.

- Jim

ermd1

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Re: Playing around...
« Reply #16 on: 25 Mar 2021, 06:48 pm »
Is that tweeter the one that you showed us in August when we visited your place?  You said that you had just received a new tweeter that looked like the one in this post.

Marbles

Re: Playing around...
« Reply #17 on: 25 Mar 2021, 07:27 pm »
Looks like it would be great in a movie room where several people might not sit in the sweet spot.  Maybe as a center channel?  Don't know how dialog would be though with the XO at 2k.

jsalk

Re: Playing around...
« Reply #18 on: 25 Mar 2021, 08:05 pm »
Is that tweeter the one that you showed us in August when we visited your place?  You said that you had just received a new tweeter that looked like the one in this post.

Yes, it is.

- Jim

jsalk

Re: Playing around...
« Reply #19 on: 25 Mar 2021, 08:06 pm »
Looks like it would be great in a movie room where several people might not sit in the sweet spot.  Maybe as a center channel?  Don't know how dialog would be though with the XO at 2k.

Marbles - Nice to see you again!

If you did a powered center, you could cross at 1000-1100Hz.  But if passive, there are other tweeters that would work well at a much lower cost.  These are very expensive!

- Jim