ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted

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DaveC113

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ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« on: 3 May 2016, 11:59 pm »
If you're in the Denver area (I'm in Lafayette) and would like to come by to hear my speaker please let me know. It's a 3-way horn speaker with the midrange horn covering an extended frequency range.

I contacted people from the last thread in the Denver circle, if you didn't hear from me and are still interested please let me know by posting or sending me a pm/email to dave@zenwaveaudio.com

I'm interested in both overall impressions and more specific critiques, please be willing to be honest and critical. Any experience level welcome. Best to bring music you're familiar with, my Sony HAP can take just about any digital format. 

Oh yeah... free beer!  :thumb:




jtwrace

Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #1 on: 4 May 2016, 12:01 am »
Any measurements that tell the story? 

paul79

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Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #2 on: 4 May 2016, 12:08 am »
I would LOVE to hear these. I sent my buddy Mike an email to see if he will show up. He is close to you I think...

DaveC113

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Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #3 on: 4 May 2016, 12:34 am »
Any measurements that tell the story?

I'm converging on a final design but not ready to share specifics yet. I can say the design controls directivity down to about 400 Hz and that dispersion pattern and eliminating diffraction was a major consideration. Point source horn was considered the ideal starting point, my design sounds a lot like the ideal and is very coherent, you can listen very close for a fairly large speaker and soundstaging is incredibly good, live concert recordings can be incredibly realistic. Bass turned out really well too, I'm super happy with the bass considering it's not a bass horn or bass line array. And it'll get even better with the Hypex nCore nc500 modules that are on the way to power them. :)

But I gotta say I understand the speaker designer's choice to not share so much information and rarely if ever be seen on forums. Speaker design is a juggling act of compromises, all of which can all be critiqued, fairly or not... these compromises may not be understood without hearing the result, which is the important part. I want to be judged on the result and not an analysis of these compromises from folks who have never heard the speaker and just want to pick things apart. I've read people pile on critiquing excellent speaker designs on diyaudio and I'm not getting into it. I'll have to figure out some happy medium for me...

DaveC113

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Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #4 on: 4 May 2016, 12:34 am »
I would LOVE to hear these. I sent my buddy Mike an email to see if he will show up. He is close to you I think...

Sounds good!  :thumb:

beowulf

Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #5 on: 4 May 2016, 05:58 am »
Dave, I would love to hear these, but I'm in San Diego ... I think you should show them at T.H.E. Show! 8-)

Any pics that you can share or will that give away too many details?

mresseguie

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Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #6 on: 4 May 2016, 07:47 am »
Dave,

I'm game to listen, but I won't be in Colorado Springs until June 22nd or 23rd. We can work out a good day.

P.S. I did not bring my Gustard X20 along due to space limitations.  :duh:

Michael

Scroof Neachy

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Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #7 on: 4 May 2016, 11:54 am »
Is it just me or does that picture look a bit pornographic?   :icon_lol:
« Last Edit: 4 May 2016, 01:04 pm by Scroof Neachy »

xsb7244

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Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #8 on: 4 May 2016, 07:00 pm »
This is a beta test?  For those of you have heard the speaker please your comments.

DaveC113

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Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #9 on: 4 May 2016, 07:39 pm »
This is a beta test?  For those of you have heard the speaker please your comments.

More alpha than beta, there's still more to do including finalizing the cabinet design, active bass amplification and various details. But the initial prototype is definitely converging on a final overall design and I'm getting to the point I'm pretty happy with the result. My reference speakers are the Pioneer S-1EX, which share the same design and exactly the same mid/tweeter with the $30k TAD Evolution Towers and so far every single person hearing them, probably a couple dozen folks, has liked my speakers better so that's a very encouraging to me. But I'll be looking to improve on anything I can of course.  :)

I'd like to have the final enclosures, bass amps, etc. done before I'd want people to share their impressions publicly...

Dave, I would love to hear these, but I'm in San Diego ... I think you should show them at T.H.E. Show! 8-)

Any pics that you can share or will that give away too many details?

I'll plan on attending several shows per year, good chance I'll make it much closer to you than Denver!

I don't want to post more detailed pics as the final cab has not yet been built. But maybe some teasers... ;)

Dave,

I'm game to listen, but I won't be in Colorado Springs until June 22nd or 23rd. We can work out a good day.

P.S. I did not bring my Gustard X20 along due to space limitations.  :duh:

Michael

Sounds good!

Is it just me or does that picture look a bit pornographic?   :icon_lol:

Wait 'til you hear it playing some sultry female vocals! :)

beowulf

Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #10 on: 5 May 2016, 04:19 am »
Forgot to ask in my previous post (assuming they are a horn design, but just out of curiosity).  Are these going to be low watt S.E.T. friendly?

Kishore

Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #11 on: 5 May 2016, 04:42 am »
More alpha than beta, there's still more to do including finalizing the cabinet design, active bass amplification and various details. But the initial prototype is definitely converging on a final overall design and I'm getting to the point I'm pretty happy with the result. My reference speakers are the Pioneer S-1EX, which share the same design and exactly the same mid/tweeter with the $30k TAD Evolution Towers and so far every single person hearing them, probably a couple dozen folks, has liked my speakers better so that's a very encouraging to me. But I'll be looking to improve on anything I can of course.  :)


Ahh Dave so your design is finally done  :thumb: Hope to hear them sometime since I am familiar with that reference speaker you mention  :P

Regards,
Kishore

DaveC113

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Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #12 on: 5 May 2016, 04:49 am »
Forgot to ask in my previous post (assuming they are a horn design, but just out of curiosity).  Are these going to be low watt S.E.T. friendly?

Yes, the speakers will be about 100 dB sensitivity with a 1st order crossover aligned with the natural roll-off of the horn. The super tweeter is also a first order xo with a very high xo point. Bass will be active.

It depends on how much output you want though, the speakers can play 120 dB peaks, unweighted, at the listening position easily but that will require more power, so I'd lean towards recommending a 100+ watt amp with them. Many would never play them that loud, but they can... and more.  :icon_twisted:

Folsom

Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #13 on: 5 May 2016, 04:54 am »
Jesus Christ... do you have an hearing aid plan to go with them?

DaveC113

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Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #14 on: 5 May 2016, 05:10 am »
Ahh Dave so your design is finally done  :thumb: Hope to hear them sometime since I am familiar with that reference speaker you mention  :P

Regards,
Kishore

If you're in the area feel free to stop by! I still love the Pioneers and they really are the last word... well, besides the reference series... in upper midrange and treble detail and clarity. Hard to beat a vapor-deposited beryllium tweeter custom made by TAD. But I think I've come close, the Fostex T500A MkII super tweeter turned out to be a seamless match tonally with my midrange driver, and this really made the high end come together for me. I have the Pioneer's bass beat by a mile, half the distortion or so... and max SPLs are much higher too :) But the key really is the close approximation of a point source horn speaker, it has a presentation that's very different from a regular speaker.

Jesus Christ... do you have an hearing aid plan to go with them?

Lol, gotta use some discretion! They play clean though, and way past 120 dB if you want them to. I think distortion at high volumes is really the problem with hearing damage, but yeah, high volumes are fun but should only be done in short intervals. It's nice to crank a favorite track to concert levels every now and then, especially when it's a live recording and you can achieve the same SPLs.

The woofers are 15" with 19mm xmax so they are just loafing along most of the time. They do drums really well, which was one of the main goals... gotta have that impact!




jhm731

Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #15 on: 5 May 2016, 05:34 am »
Good luck with your new speakers.

I had the Pioneer S-2EXs in my system, and IMO, they were far from the "last word," and build quality was a joke.


DaveC113

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Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #16 on: 5 May 2016, 05:39 am »



jtwrace

Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #17 on: 5 May 2016, 11:53 am »
Are they going to be at RMAF 2016? 

Chris Adams

Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #18 on: 5 May 2016, 06:59 pm »
Dave, I'm really looking forward to people's impressions as I'm in Vermont and won't be able to come by to hear these.  I've been looking at speakers that play loud with dynamics that don't need mega watt amps to power them. :D

DaveC113

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Re: ZenWave Speaker Testing: Volunteers Wanted
« Reply #19 on: 6 May 2016, 09:56 pm »
Are they going to be at RMAF 2016?

That's the plan!  :)

Dave, I'm really looking forward to people's impressions as I'm in Vermont and won't be able to come by to hear these.  I've been looking at speakers that play loud with dynamics that don't need mega watt amps to power them. :D

These can go loud and dynamics with 15" woofers and horns is excellent, good bass impact and extension. Drums sound really good, this was a major design goal as I find lots of speakers lacking in this area. It takes a big woofer. :)

The bass will be active, I might do a fully passive version but there will be tradeoffs as far as bass extension because I need a much more efficient woofer for passive. The active version will probably use nCore NC500 amps with a 384 kHz sampling rate DSP module, so you'll only need to power a very friendly 100 dB mid/tweeter combo and the amp should be sized according to how loud you want to go. A few watts would do it for most but 100W can be a lot of fun. ;)

You might be figuring this isn't going to be an inexpensive speaker and that's true, but I'm thinking of doing both a dealer and a direct sale version simultaneously. They won't be exactly the same of course, but there will be a period of time deals could be done before dealers are established, and I can offer upgrades to the direct sale model to get it pretty close to the dealer model. Biggest difference is the direct sale version will have a much more simple cabinet. Still nice, but not curved, less expensive finish options, etc.