"Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's

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jsalk

"Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« on: 17 Sep 2006, 05:24 pm »
A question came up as to what we were going to be featuring at the upcoming Rocky Mountain Audiofest.  Since the question came up in another thread, I thought it would be a good idea to start a separate thread on this topic.

We are currently in the process of building a couple of special pair of speakers for the RMAF.  Among them is a special pair of Veracity HT3's.

I lived in Denver for a few months many years ago, and one thing I noticed about the area is a definite latino influence.  So when thinking about it, I wanted this pair of HT3's to reflect that influence.

I found a spectacular exhibition-grade piece of Mexican cocobolo lumber that will serve as the focal point of this new pair of HT3's.

Here is a picture of the board:


After finishing a pair of HT3's for Kirk (http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=30343.0) which featured a full-length solid wood front baffle, I thought this would be perfect for the same treatment. 

That problem was, the board was not quite wide enough since I wanted to lose the sapwood on the edges.  Fortunately, the board was quite thick, so I was able to have it re-sawn into enough pieces to enable me to splice the pieces into two book-matched front baffles.

As we progress with this project, I will add additional details to this thread.  So stay tuned...

- Jim

BradJudy

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #1 on: 17 Sep 2006, 07:39 pm »
I'm looking forward to seeing these Rocky Mountain Specials. 

randybessinger

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Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #2 on: 18 Sep 2006, 02:08 pm »
Jim,

Will these be HT3's or HT3a's?  By the way, looking forward to seeing you there.

Randy

jsalk

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #3 on: 18 Sep 2006, 09:51 pm »
Randy -

Jim,

Will these be HT3's or HT3a's?  By the way, looking forward to seeing you there.

Randy
They will be both.  I am going to build outbaord crossover enclosures so I can use them either way.

Glad to hear you will be at RMAF.  Perhaps we can have dinner again.

- Jim

randybessinger

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Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #4 on: 18 Sep 2006, 09:52 pm »
Sounds good to me!

lonewolfny42

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Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #5 on: 19 Sep 2006, 02:45 am »
Jim....Nice piece of wood there. Not only do your speaker's always look good...having heard them....they sound great as well. :thumb:
Quote
That problem was, the board was not quite wide enough since I wanted to lose the sapwood on the edges.  Fortunately, the board was quite thick, so I was able to have it re-sawn into enough pieces to enable me to splice the pieces into two book-matched front baffles.
I have one of those FYI questions....What size board is perfect for building an HT3 speaker....dimension wise ? I'm curious....thanks.
                              Chris

jsalk

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #6 on: 19 Sep 2006, 03:14 am »
Chris -

I have one of those FYI questions....What size board is perfect for building an HT3 speaker....dimension wise ? I'm curious....thanks.
                              Chris

Well, the ideal board would be just over 12" wide by 40" long and between 5/8" to 3/4" thick.  This is very hard to come by with most woods.  So I often look for much thicker boards that can be re-sawn and spliced.  Sometimes that restults in some very nice looking book-matched splices.

- Jim

lonewolfny42

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Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #7 on: 19 Sep 2006, 03:15 am »
Thank you Jim.... :thumb:

BradJudy

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #8 on: 19 Sep 2006, 04:34 am »
Jim,

I'm sure you get plenty of wood out there, but if you're interested while you're in town (probably don't have time), there's a place down the road from me that basically does urban tree removal and has their own sawmill.

The part of interest for something like your speakers is that the boards are all kept together in flitches for bookmatched furniture.  Of course, it's all domestic and not exotic, but there are some decent pieces.  It's run by the seat of his pants and any discounts/generous math are likely related to whether he likes you, and I expect to see it catch fire someday, but in the mean time it's an interesting place to pick up some wood.  :)

jsalk

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #9 on: 25 Sep 2006, 01:07 pm »
Just a quick update...

After considering quite a few options for the rest of the cabinet, I decided to go with high-gloss, hand-rubbed piano black laquer for the rest of the cabinet.  It should really set the cocobolo off.

It also looks like this pair will be a new model - the "HT3-N".  If so, it will use the Seas Excel W18 Nextel driver rather than the W18EX magnesium-coned driver.  Dennis Murphy just forwarded the preliminary crossover design and I thought it would be a good idea to introduce this HT3 model at RMAF.

More later...

- Jim

stereodad

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #10 on: 25 Sep 2006, 08:24 pm »
Jim.

  What is the motivation for the driver change and how will it effect the sound of the HT3?


  Thanks Larry

jsalk

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #11 on: 26 Sep 2006, 02:55 am »
Larry -

Jim.

  What is the motivation for the driver change and how will it effect the sound of the HT3?


  Thanks Larry
This is NOT a driver change.  We will still be primarily producing HT3's with the W18EX we have used from the start.  We are very pleased with its performance. 

But we are always evaluating promising new drivers and designs.  Sometimes they work out.  Sometimes they don't.

While we feel the magnesium-coned W18 is one of the finest drivers of its type on the world, some people simply do not like metal-coned drivers. While we don't hold that view (obviously), we wanted to accommodate those who do.  So when Seas introduced the W18 Nextel (paper cone with Nextel coating), we thought we'd take a look. 

Dennis found it to be very smooth and was able to integrate it very well with the G2 and the TC woofer. 

Here is a preliminary frequency response graph for this design (ignore anything below about 200Hz as it is mostly floor bounce):



The FR is so flat and smooth, we thought it might be nice to offer it as an alternative for those so inclined.  And since we were building a pair for the Rocky Mountain Audiofest, we thought it would be nice to introduce it there.

As for how the sound might differ from the orignal HT3, it is a little too early to tell.  We do not yet have a pair to A/B with the original design.  Stay tuned...

- Jim


brj

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #12 on: 26 Sep 2006, 03:12 am »
Jim, is there any chance that you could overlay the FR plot of the Excel driver version on top of that from the Nextel version?

Thanks!

BradJudy

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #13 on: 26 Sep 2006, 03:32 am »
As for how the sound might differ from the orignal HT3, it is a little too early to tell.  We do not yet have a pair to A/B with the original design.  Stay tuned...


Will you have one of each at the RMAF?

DMurphy

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Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #14 on: 26 Sep 2006, 01:45 pm »
I finally got around to setting up a serious listening environment in my new rec room, and spent the night checking out the prototype of the nextel HT3.  Unfortunately, I only have one HT3, so I can't A-B it with the Magnesium.  And I had to trash that crossover anyhow to find suitable parts for the new board.  I did A-B it with my own CA0W1, which is a small 2-way using the 0W1 tweeter and a Seas midwoof.  That was just to check for midrange and treble balance.  Of course, there's no comparison in the bass department.  Otherwise, the balance was similar, but the HT3 had a little more relaxed presentation with more open highs at the very top, thanks to the ribbon.  Is the Nextel more relaxed than the Magnesium?  I really don't know.  I wish I could get a bunch of people who think metal = zingy or harsh into my rec room and let them hear the W18 magnesium playing alone with the HT3 mid crossover components in place.  I think they would be amazed at howl dull and relaxed it sounds.  The mid only handles 3 octaves, and the metal break-up mode is quashed by a trap circuit, and then depressed way down by the series inductor.  If you bring in the tweeter above that, I just don't see how any remnants of the breakup would be audible.  But as I told Jim, sometimes it's best not to argue and just provide a viable alternative, which I think we have done.  Besides, the Nextel is a great driver with super smooth response.

PeteG

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #15 on: 26 Sep 2006, 03:41 pm »
Dennis
 Good info: Thanks.

jsalk

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #16 on: 26 Sep 2006, 10:04 pm »
Quote from: BradJudy

Will you have one of each at the RMAF?
For the first day and a half I will.  I am currently finishing up a pair for a gentleman who lives in Littleton, CO.  Since he is currently working in Utah and only home on some week-ends, we decided that I would bring them to RMAF and he would pick them up on Saturday afternoon.  So I will have both his pair and the HT3-N's Friday and half of Saturday.

- Jim

klh

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Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #17 on: 26 Sep 2006, 10:29 pm »
Although not super important, the Nextel midrange will aesthetically match the other speakers nicely. Do you think the HT3-N will be more forgiving?

jsalk

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #18 on: 27 Sep 2006, 03:50 am »
Although not super important, the Nextel midrange will aesthetically match the other speakers nicely. Do you think the HT3-N will be more forgiving?

I would hate to speculate at this point.  Since it is a paper-coned driver (with Nextel coating), there is a chance it may be.  But until we get a pair of speakers built, I would only be guessing.  Stay tuned...

- Jim

jsalk

Re: "Rocky Mountain Special" HT3's
« Reply #19 on: 27 Sep 2006, 04:01 am »
I thought I might mention that we are building two additional pairs of speakers for RMAF.

The first will be a pair of HT2's. 

I happen to own a Tom Anderson guitar (one fabulous instrument!) that was done in a traditional sunburst color pattern over quilted maple.  Tom builds a small number of guitars each year.  Each is a work of art as well as a wonderful musical instrument.  If you want an electric guitar, you simply can't do better.

I recently purchased a batch of Western Big Leaf quilted maple for another project and decided to try the sunburst technique on a pair of HT2's.  It is turning out to be an interesting project and my hope is that the finish will be of the quality of my Tom Anderson.  Since this will be my first attempt at this type of finish, the risk is rather high.  But so far at least, I feel I can pull it off.

The other pair of speakers will be HT1's.  I had some very nice fiddleback plum pudding mahogany wood lying around just looking for a project.  Then, cleaning out my veneer storage, I came across some really nice crotch mahogany.  So I thought I'd combine the two.  It should be a very nice combination.

I'll keep you posted on our progress...

- Jim