How was today's get-together?

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Al Garay

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How was today's get-together?
« on: 27 Apr 2003, 04:45 am »
I was returning from Spokane to Seattle thinking about how the FAL speakers sounded.  I hope John had them ready for today's get together.


Al Garay


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How was today's get-together?
« Reply #1 on: 27 Apr 2003, 06:19 am »
Al,  how are you?

I got back from the gathering a few hours ago.  It was a blast.  It was really cool meeting people with the same passion for music and this hobby.  John was a very gracious host again, and is one of the most personable people in this hobby.  Thanks John for your hard work in organizing this.  Thanks also to Bob from CSS and Al Wooley for bringing a truckload of great speakers.

Now, the FAL speakers (the ones with the flat drivers, and ribbon tweeter), was played througout the day.  At first, I thought, well it sounds very clean, but so what?   Then, I sat in the center chair.  Wow!  These speakers have enormous potential.  The sound was totally enveloping.  Completely surrounds you.  Its ultra clean, but smooth at the same time.  In the future, John will use the Heil tweeter instead of the ribbon, and he says its even better.  Keep in mind, this speakers were only a day or two old.  They also had next to no x-over.  Just a high-pass.  Very impressive.  John had 3 watt tube mono amps powering them.  They can go very loud with even such little power, very efficient design.  The cabinet design is very unique, and its a matter of form following function.  The cabinets were built by Al Wooley of RAW Acoustics, and he did a fantastic job on them.  They would not be out of place in a Sci-Fi show.

Some other speakers of note were the tall array of tangband drivers (16 per side), with a ESG 3 ribbon in the middle (very much like Jim Griffin's Needles array, except this was sealed and active, and using a better ribbon).  They were very nice as well, although the Alpha's are still my favourite.

The Criterion's were also played, and again, great little monitors.  Very smooth, and not much to fault at.

Hopefully some other that were there will post their impressions.


How was today's get-together?
« Reply #2 on: 27 Apr 2003, 01:31 pm »
I agree with you on the FAL drivers 8)  the beaming of them makes only one spot in the room round GREAT not just good.You move off axis by 10-15 degrees and you loose about 35% of the sound quality,depth, imaging.But still the sound from just a walk in listen and say those do not sound bad , as John just had the cabinets arrive on Tuesday.
Cabinets all with adjustable tuning plates on the lower ports,going from ports 3/4" to 1.25" .Drop in tweeter plates as he is using the G2 and will try a few others he thinks.A open top plate that gives a open door to the top of the cabinet to add mass to change the volume.
All with T-nuts, and 7 SHEETS OF BH5.What a blast to build.

On the TB lines they were a design of Bob from CSS, he took the Needles design and went off the end.
The needles uses the G3 and 16 W3-871S per side in a sealed cabinet, the NOODLES I am calling them use a IB design with 2 layers of Cornings 705  2" thick sound insulation open backs and 16 W3-319S1 per side then the G1 ribbon and Hypex active 2ways on each cabinet.Matched with the DPL 12" and the DT 300 AMP in one of the lock miter cabinet designs with a down firing driver.

Thanks to Dan from Adire from Seattle  :mrgreen: for all the tweeks on them.He has good ears.We had just fired up the noodles and after 1hr you would have thought they were tweeked a few months time.
We had MLSSA and just never got time to measure them.John and I hope to get some measuring done in a few weeks.
In a day or so I will get some shots up on line of the FAL cabinets.And the noodles.


John Chapman

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How was today's get-together?
« Reply #3 on: 27 Apr 2003, 03:27 pm »

Thanks for posting some thoughts on the get together and good to hear from you Al G. - I hope all is well for you! Hopefully next time you can make the trip on up and join us if it works out for you.

It was a great day! I always feel a little bit (actually more than a bit) distracted all day - kinda skipping from room to room and running for the door! Sorry I did not have more time to spend talking with you all! It was fun again  and really good to see everyone who could make it.  We had about 30 folks like last time and lots of ones this time that were not part of the 30 we had last time. If everyone ever shows up together we'd have even more people packed into the rooms - kinda scary.....

The FAL's are off to a pretty good start. As Al and Ravi have posted you do need to be in the sweet spot for sure. This is the case with any driver that covers a really wide bandwidth from the low end to the treble region. I recall this from CES when I first heard them and it is not a problem for me at all. These are not theater speakers to be sure - they are really best for a music system where you hog the sweat spot!! I have only just slapped a cap on the ribbon tweeter (Thanks to Bob from CSS for getting the tweeters to me in time!) and I have not even started playing with enclosure tuning yet.

The ribbons are really good but the speakers as a whole do not yet sound as good as they FAL version I have heard before. The basic character is there and I am quite enjoying them for sure! But I know I can make'em better yet with some tuning. I would not say for sure that the Heil will better the ribbon. The ribbon is a great tweeter but the Heil may be a synergistic match with the FAL's since the FAL's were designed using the Heil. I'll have to dial in the ribbon and then compare with the Heil when it arrives - likely this summer.

I also had my new TX103 phono stepup enclosure done and it turned out really good. I usually try to downplay the stuff I make a bit but I am really proud of these! I'll have pics and descriptions out soon and we'll be making then up as pre-built units or selling them as part of a TX103 stepup kit. They'll also be availiable to anyone who has Naked TX103's running without enclosures as they fit into the system the same way as those do but offer easy cart loading changes and also great sheilding. Enough about that for now....

Anyway - thanks to everyone who made it over! We are going to try and have a meeting every 2 months or so and next month we might try and arrange an 'audio dinner' - somehwere to go eat, drink, and talk music and gear. Should be fun!

Many Thanks!

John Chapman