Introducing the V3

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 6655 times.

jsalk

Introducing the V3
« on: 21 Dec 2006, 02:41 am »
I haven't had time to design any web pages yet, so this will be an owner's forum exclusive.

I will start by posting three messages in this thread.  This, the first, will explore the story of how the V3 came about.  The second will be more technical and the third will include some pictures of the first production cabinets and preliminary pricing information.

the story

When we originally introduced the Veracity HT3's, the price was set at $3495.  After building a few pairs, it quickly became apparent that the labor involved was far greater than anticipated.  So the price increased accordingly. 

The HT3's quickly became our largest selling speaker by far.  And we soon outgrew our space.  We needed a facility and help to fill all the orders that were coming in.  With the new space came new overhead - more help, more tools, etc.  So the price increased again.

The HT3's are VERY labor intensive and not as profitable as they should be.  The cost of parts has increased with higher copper prices, better finishing materials and the falling value of the US dollar.  So further increases may be inevitable (although we will resist as long as we can).

As the price of the HT3's increased, we noticed more and more people vowing to eventually have us build a pair for them - as soon as they could afford it.  All the necessary price adjustments had put the HT3's out-of-reach for some people.  So we started exploring how we might produce a speaker that was very comparable to the HT3 in terms of performance, but at a target price of the original HT3's - roughly $3500.00.

There are basically two parts of the cost equation - parts and cabinets.  On the parts end of the equation, we knew that even if we were able to find alternative drivers, the quality requirements would be such that not a great deal of savings would be available here.  But we started looking anyway.

On the cabinet side, the key would be to build a simple cabinet that was easy to construct.  And anything we could do to eliminate labor would help the cause.

A few months ago, Dennis Murphy asked if I was interested in evaulating a driver he had heard some great things about.  It was a 4" midrange from the German manufacturer Visaton.  It was reputed to feature a very flat frequency response and capable of resolving high levels of detail.  It certainly looked promising.

Looking at the entire Visaton line, I saw they also had a couple of 8" woofers that looked promising.  So we ordered one of each for testing.

When Dennis measured them, they looked very good indeed.  And we thought that perhaps they would pair nicely with the LCY pure ribbon tweeter that had been performing very well in the Veracity HT2's.

Now that we had the drivers selected, it was time to work on the cabinet.

In order to keep costs down, it was decided that we would need to work with a standard rectangular cabinet.  No fancy, labor-intensive tapers, curves or other design elements. 

Since the 8" driver would allow a slightly narrower cabinet than the HT3, we opted for a 10 1/2" wide format.  But the woofer needed slightly more volume than the HT3.  That was OK, though, since a lower cost cabinet would not include plinths (which we would still make available as an option).

We ended up with a design that was 43" tall, 10 1/2" wide and 16" deep.  The midragne/tweeter section of the cabinet is sealed while the woofer section is ported.  Once that was decided we built a test cabinet and sent it on to Dennis for crossover development.

While Dennis was working on the crossover, we started building the first production pair of cabinets.  We made a few modifications to the internal bracing based on Dennis' feedback.

As soon as Dennis finished his work on the crossover design (another stellar job, by the way), we ordered crossover parts and began preparing them for the new cabinets.

Last week it all came together and from the instant we fired up the first pair, it was evident all of our work had paid off.



...to be continued

jsalk

Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #1 on: 21 Dec 2006, 03:09 am »
Here are a few preliminary specs.

The V3's are a 3-way design featuring LCY pure ribbon tweeters and Visaton midrange and woofer drivers.  It is a nominal 8-ohm design.  The frequency response is approximately 35 Hz to 60 Khz +/- 3db.

The following measurements will provide some clue as to how ruler-flat the response actually is (it fits within a + or - 1.25 dB window). (Ignore the room response dip on the bottom end.)



How do the V3's sound?

In a word - wonderful!

The top end is every bit as open and transparent as the HT3's.  The midrange is very slightly fuller sounding.  The bass, while not quite as extended (35Hz vs. 29Hz with the HT3's), is solid and tuneful.  The dispersion of the midrange allows the V3's to sound slightly more open than the HT3's, while the HT3's are perhaps slightly more "focused."

But we're splitting hairs here.  I could easily live with either speaker.

We invited a few people familiar with the HT3's in for a quick audition.  While most of them were highly sceptical at first, as soon as the music started playing we saw nothing but smiles.  Most still preferred the HT3's due to the additional bass extension (there is something magic about the TC Sounds woofers in the HT3's).  But they were all very impressed and were unanimous in their opinion that we had another winner on our hands.

...to be continued
« Last Edit: 21 Dec 2006, 04:32 am by jsalk »

95bcwh

Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #2 on: 21 Dec 2006, 03:12 am »
Jim, kudos to your new work..!! Hopefully I'll get to hear them at next year RMAF.. :thumb:


Oh by the way, I have never seen a frequency curve for HT3, did you post it somewhere in this forum before?

jsalk

Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #3 on: 21 Dec 2006, 03:22 am »


There will be two cabinet variations available with the V3's.  The first is fully custom.  This, of course, will be more expensive (starting at about $4500), but the sky is the limit in terms of what can be done. 

The second cabinet variation will be our standard (starting at about $3500) and we are still working on the details.  This version will have a limited choice of finishes and no plinths.  At this point, it looks like either the cabinets will be built with pre-finished veneer or will be built off-shore to our specifications.  We hope to have the details worked out in the next month or so.

Grills will be optional with either variation.

At this point, the first production pair was fully custom.  It was done in African bosse pommele and mahogany trim adn plinths and bueld walnut stringers on the sides.   Here are a few pics...




A close-up of the sides showing the burled walnut stringers...



A close-up of the front...



And a shot of the side...



- Jim

jsalk

Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #4 on: 21 Dec 2006, 03:25 am »
Barry -

Jim, kudos to your new work..!! Hopefully I'll get to hear them at next year RMAF.. :thumb:

Thanks!


Quote
Oh by the way, I have never seen a frequency curve for HT3, did you post it somewhere in this forum before?

I don't recall if I ever posted one or not, but it looked very similar.

- Jim

DMurphy

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1486
    • SalkSound
Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #5 on: 21 Dec 2006, 04:23 am »

Oh by the way, I have never seen a frequency curve for HT3, did you post it somewhere in this forum before?
[/quote]

I have an HT3 on hand and will run a plot when I return from a short Xmas vacation.  I don't think I have any plots saved other than my software simulation.  There will be some differences in the midtreble area (2.5 kHz - 5 kHz).  The Visaton mid has wider dispersion at the top end than the larger W18 used in the HT3, and this calls for some shaping in the on-axis response to avoid too much off-axis energy.  That's why the plot Jim posted shows a slight shelving down in that region.  I got interested in the Visaton after it received rave reviews in a small 2-way monitor that was demonstrated at the Iowa DIY2006 extravaganza last Fall.  It really is an exceptional unit, as is the 8" driver we're using for the woofer.  They're not exactly cheap, but definitely worth the money. 

Rob Babcock

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 9131
Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #6 on: 21 Dec 2006, 11:48 am »
Very nice looking!  I must say that you really go out of your way to satisfy not only customers but potential customers.  It's nice to see a the more affordable version isn't merely cheap.  That kind of false economy isn't worth it in the long run.

Big Red Machine

Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #7 on: 21 Dec 2006, 04:27 pm »
You're killin' me.   :notworthy:  I want a pair, but where will I put them?  :duh:

The look came out just as you described them to me.  Are you bringing that pair or are you gonna make a standard finish pair to show off?

jsalk

Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #8 on: 21 Dec 2006, 05:20 pm »
Pete -

You're killin' me.   :notworthy:  I want a pair, but where will I put them?  :duh:

I'll help you find a spot for them  :icon_lol:

Quote
The look came out just as you described them to me.  Are you bringing that pair or are you gonna make a standard finish pair to show off?

I'll bring these unless I have a standard pair of cabinets by then.  I am still trying to determine the best way to accomplish the edge round-over without resorting to a lot of finishing labor.  If I sort that out in time, I will build and bring a standard pair to your event Jan 20th.

- Jim

LadyDog

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 737
Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #9 on: 21 Dec 2006, 05:29 pm »
Jim,
All I can say is "wow", just beautiful.  Equally as impressive as the HT3's.  Love the stringers.

Regards,
Jeff

ctviggen

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 5111
Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #10 on: 21 Dec 2006, 06:31 pm »
Here are a few preliminary specs.

The V3's are a 3-way design featuring LCY pure ribbon tweeters and Visaton midrange and woofer drivers.  It is a nominal 8-ohm design.  The frequency response is approximately 35 Hz to 60 Khz +/- 3db.

The following measurements will provide some clue as to how ruler-flat the response actually is (it fits within a + or - 1.25 dB window). (Ignore the room response dip on the bottom end.)


Were those measurements actually taken inside a room?  Or a quasi-anechoic chamber?  If you took them inside a room, how did you get them so ruler-flat? 

meby

Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #11 on: 21 Dec 2006, 06:50 pm »
That has to be one of the nicest looking pair of speakers you have built.  Bravo! :thumb:

chaz1

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 38
Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #12 on: 21 Dec 2006, 11:49 pm »
I would have to say that me being in the market soon for a new 2 channel system, I have been dreaming and craving a pair of HT3's and have heard about the new v3. At first I had doubt that jim could make anything that looks as nice as the T3's especially at the lower price point. But after viewing this pair, I've erased any doubt.

Great work jim! I can't wait to have a listen.


DMurphy

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1486
    • SalkSound
Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #13 on: 22 Dec 2006, 12:28 am »
[Were those measurements actually taken inside a room?  Or a quasi-anechoic chamber?  If you took them inside a room, how did you get them so ruler-flat? 
[/quote]

Good question.  They were taken in my design room, but using quasi-anechoic measurement software (Praxis, in this case).  The speaker is fed a very quick impulse signal that contains the full frequency spectrum.  The mic gets the impulse as reproduced by the speaker and, and then the software "windows" out any delayed reflected information above about 200 Hz.  The software compares the input signal with the speaker output, and the difference appears as peaks and dips in the plotted response.  Below 200 Hz, Praxis is able to provide the actual room response, which includes reflected sound and the resulting peaks and dips in the room response.  Due to limitations in the sampling rate, Praxis (or any other software) cannot give you anechoic response below 200 Hz.  I just showed the anechoic portion of the frequency spectrum.  You can see a sharp dip at the very low end of my plot, which is where the room response kicks in.  Between 20 hz and 200 Hz, the response isn't pretty.  Any speaker, particularly one with the reach of the HT3, will excite room modes, and produce peaks and dips from standing waves.  I find this information very valuable in optimizing the degree of baffle step correction I use, but it would be pretty alarming and confusing to the uninitiated.  So, to minimize the risk of a heart attack at the Salk residence, I didn't show it.

randybessinger

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 107
Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #14 on: 22 Dec 2006, 04:50 pm »
Jim,

Congrats!!  I hope you sell a million of them!  It is really great to have two (you and Mr. Dennis) people who care so much about sound, value, and craftmanship.  I would encourage everyone that is interested in great sound to let them know about Jim and Dennis's great speakers.

jsalk

Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #15 on: 22 Dec 2006, 07:11 pm »
Randy -

Congrats!!  I hope you sell a million of them! 

It would be a real challenge to build that many.  I don't know if we're up to it. :icon_lol:  But it sure would be fun trying.

Seriously though, after listening to this speaker for a while now, it should be a very popular model - especially when you consider the price.  It is a steal.

I was trying to come up with some ideas to get a few user reviews and generate some advance orders so we can get cranking on them.  Any ideas would be appreciated.

- Jim

MaxCast

Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #16 on: 23 Dec 2006, 04:08 am »
Randy -

Congrats!!  I hope you sell a million of them! 

It would be a real challenge to build that many.  I don't know if we're up to it. :icon_lol:  But it sure would be fun trying.

Seriously though, after listening to this speaker for a while now, it should be a very popular model - especially when you consider the price.  It is a steal.

I was trying to come up with some ideas to get a few user reviews and generate some advance orders so we can get cranking on them.  Any ideas would be appreciated.

- Jim
You could always send a pair to one or more of the regional circles.  Toronto is not too far away is it?

warnerwh

Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #17 on: 23 Dec 2006, 07:51 am »
That frequency response is amazing. I don't know if I've ever seen a speaker measure that well. Nice job, that's not an easy trick. Btw you have some of the best looking speakers I've ever seen in 35 years of this hobby.

zybar

Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #18 on: 23 Dec 2006, 12:33 pm »
Randy -

It would be a real challenge to build that many.  I don't know if we're up to it. :icon_lol:  But it sure would be fun trying.

Seriously though, after listening to this speaker for a while now, it should be a very popular model - especially when you consider the price.  It is a steal.

I was trying to come up with some ideas to get a few user reviews and generate some advance orders so we can get cranking on them.  Any ideas would be appreciated.

- Jim

Jim,

Since the HT3's have such a great reputation (especially here on AC), maybe send a pair out to a current HT3 owner and have them do a comparison.  I think this would be an effective way of putting some context around the V3's performance.

I would love to do the comparison myself, but I just don't have the time.

George


avahifi

  • Industry Contributor
  • Posts: 4275
    • http://www.avahifi.com
Re: Introducing the V3
« Reply #19 on: 23 Dec 2006, 01:21 pm »
Well, I just ordered a pair of V3s from Jim.  Solid walnut on the entire front of the speaker and macassar ebony on the rest.   :D

They will replace Patty's light heartwood HT3s in my home AV sysem as her family room is almost finished and they will be going away soon.  My walnut HT3s will keep their job as references in my audio lab.

I will let you know how they compare.  I don't have any reservations about the order at all.

Merry Christmas to all.

Frank Van Alstine