1801C Discussion String

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David Ellis

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1801C Discussion String
« on: 12 Feb 2008, 03:24 pm »
I will address any and all questions regarding the 1801C in this discussion string.  I am receiving fair amount of 1801C questions, and prefer to address them herein.

This first post is in response to a couple questions received yesterday.  I will post the question in quotes, then my response via clear text. 

Quote
Thank you. So what would be the difference in cost between the floor stander and stand mounter -- kit and fully assembled? 

I haven't yet decided what flavor of cabinet I will build.  I will build only 1 "flavor" of cabinet from my workshop.  The flavor of cabinet depends on my test with the 1 1/2" roundover.  If the cabinet with the 1 1/2" roundover sounds better (imaging??), then This will be the only cabinet I build.  If there is no difference in sound quality I will most likely chose to build only the floorstanding version of the speaker.  Either way, the cost will likely be about $1k more than the kit-cost for a completed 1801C in a floorstanding version or 1 1/2" roundover version. 

Based on historical feedback, it seems like most folks preferred the floorstanding version of the 1801 over the sand mounted version having a 3/4" roundover on the front baffle.

I am sure that Jim Salk http://www.salksound.com/ will continue entertaining those folks having more specific cabinet desires.  Jim retired from his job that paid real money $$, and does sublime work in the cabinet shop.  Jim will also continue having a much shorter lead time for completed speakers.  I simply don't have dedicated time in the workshop.  My 3 boys, and very fully-time employment remain a higher priority.

Quote
Do you have any preliminary pricing on the 1801 C?

The price of the kit will be within 5% of the general consumer cost of the components.  Unfortunately, the C95 jumped in price from $275 to $368 in the past few months  .  Much of this is due to the declining value of the dollar.  I believe that many European drivers should be more expensive, but the US market is trying to hold cost down.  This is only possible within reason. 

I just had an epiphany this morning.  Reduced interest rates are CAUSING the devaluation of the dollar.  This is because bank loans actually "create" money.  Since there are more dollars in the marketplace, the value of each individual dollar is reduced.  The result is the value of the EURO has almost doubled in the past 7 years  :oops:.

Quote
Will you be looking for any "listeners"?

Not initially, but there will eventually be a pair of 1801C speakers that travels for audition.  This is because I believe that I will run-out of C95 drivers relatively fast, and I only have 20 of them.  I don't know how many drivers other folks have in the USA, but do know that Accuton has the longest lead-time of any manufacturer - 8-12 months.


mdfoy

Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #1 on: 21 Feb 2008, 12:04 am »
So, on those notes; when is the 1801C going to be available?

Al Garay

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #2 on: 2 Mar 2008, 08:37 am »
I will be glad to host a 1801C in Seattle. Let me know when the tour model is ready.

Al

Guilhermejs

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #3 on: 8 Apr 2008, 09:28 pm »
Dave,

Do you have a picture of the 1801C finished?  :green:


regards,

Guilherme

Kris

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #4 on: 13 Apr 2008, 10:00 pm »
Was this project abandoned?

David Ellis

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #5 on: 15 Apr 2008, 02:55 am »
I don't have much time this evening, but owe an explanation to the queries above.  However, before this, I would like to offer some information regarding WHY the delay has happened  :(.

I have suffered with a sore right elbow for 14 years.  I learned early last month via an MRI that I had significant scar tissue in my right elbow :)  and that microfracture surgery would happen on 1 April.  Following this surgery I would have little/no weight bearing use of my right arm for about 6 months.  Because of this, my priorities shifted immediately toward the things I really needed to accomplish around the house.  I did a bunch of painting and finished some cabinet work (non speaker related).  I did this because these are my (my wife's  aa ) life priorities and following 5 enduring years of small children these items really did need attention before my surgery on 1 April.

The surgery didn't go as expected.  The ortho doc unexpectedly found cartilage and really didn't know what caused the significant scar tissue in my elbow.  Nonetheless, he spent a significant time in my elbow and I have a fair amount of stiffness as a result.  This morning I had my 2-week follow-up and the doc said that I could return to somewhat normal activities - including using the computer and picking up my 35lb toddler.  As such, gently moving a 50lb speaker will be no problem.

I will have some productive time tomorrow morning, and will provide an update tomorrow evening.

Quote
Do you have a picture of the 1801C finished?   
  I do have a pair of speakers that LOOK finished, but I am not sure this will be the chosen cabinet configuration.  This cabinet has squared edges.  There might be a reason that Kharma uses a large radius roundover.

Quote
So, on those notes; when is the 1801C going to be available?

My timeline is not solid.  I have many other priorities that often overcome my hobby.

Quote
Was this project abandoned?

Nope, but I can easily understand how this could be perceived.  I was fully aware that folks were curious, and also fully aware that my life priorities had to be redirected for a period of time.  Then... using the keyboard and  felt very uncomfortable on my elbow after surgery.  This environment has been somewhat frustrating for me too.  Nonetheless, I do appreciate being asked these questions.

For the time being, I feel medically liberated.  I can return to my life before the surgery for a short period of time.  In about 1 month I will likely visit with an elbow specialist.  I am guessing that another surgery will be necessary, but am not certain.

Dave

KS

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #6 on: 15 Apr 2008, 05:12 am »
It's good to hear that your surgery went as well as it did, and here's hoping they find and fix whatever else needs fixing--how about just using the surgeon to get in and out of your elbow and have Jim Salk do the elbow carpentry on the joint?  I hear that Dennis Murphy's heart valve replacement surgery went well.  You two guys hurry off the disabled list.

I'm about ready to start making sawdust when you're ready to finalize the cabinet plans.  Keep your chin up and get well soon, and keep grinding away at the honey-do list.

Regarding your previous posting about interest rates and currency values...reduced interest rates lower the value of the currency in relation to some other currencies by making it less attractive for foreign investors to make investments denominated in U.S. dollars.  Yes, due to the fractional reserve banking system, making more loans does increase the money supply, and both have an effect on relative currency values.  In 2006 the Federal Reserve System stopped publishing a measure of the money supply called M3, the broadest measure of currency, checking and savings deposits, CDs, money market funds, eurodollars, repurchase agreements and some other large accounts.  Skeptics feel that the latest reports of M3 would have shown an intentional greatly increased supply of money that can lead to devalued currency and inflation, but low interest rates.  Personal, corporate, and government debt are all through the roof.  Devaluing the currency through inflation makes the debt easier to pay off, though.  Savers get hurt; borrowers pay back their debt with cheaper dollars.
« Last Edit: 15 Apr 2008, 05:30 am by KS »

David Ellis

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #7 on: 16 Apr 2008, 01:19 am »
Quote
In 2006 the Federal Reserve System stopped publishing a measure of the money supply called M3
  :evil:

Quote
Skeptics feel that the latest reports of M3 would have shown an intentional greatly increased supply of money that can lead to devalued currency and inflation, but low interest rates.

I am one of these skeptics.

Quote
Devaluing the currency through inflation makes the debt easier to pay off, though.  Savers get hurt; borrowers pay back their debt with cheaper dollars.
:evil: 

I am generally a saver.

You conveyed all of this very well.  I didn't realize there was a formal declaration of M3, but the lack of this public declaration is bothersome.  I am not a conspiracy guy, but have watched the value of the USD plummet recently against the EURO just like the USD plummeted against the German mark in the 1980s.

Until a few years ago I didn't realize that banks could effectively "create" money  :duh: :duh:.  My wife explain the very simple guidelines.  This still doesn't seem right... but it's the banking system that we have.

Anyhoo, on the speaker end of things, my elbow felt okay while puttering in the workshop for a few hours this morning.  It was somewhat stiff, but this is expected and tolerable.  I have a few days off this week and will be able to make further progress.  For now, the only conveyance I have is a photo.  The 1801C could come out looking something like this. 




TomW16

Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #8 on: 16 Apr 2008, 01:53 am »
Wow Dave.  Those look spectacular for prototypes!   :thumb:  If you find that these don't meet your expectations due to diffraction effects with the sharp edges and need to get rid of them, give me a call.  :lol:

Congratulations on the new speaker and all the best with your recovery.

Take care,
Tom

KS

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #9 on: 16 Apr 2008, 04:44 am »
Our fractional reserve banking system is not the problem.  It does not necessarily lead to lack of control over the money supply.  We have had periods of time of stable, low inflation and decent growth of the economy.  The problem is with the people that manage the money supply.  We certainly are in a recession at this time, and may be entering a period of stagflation...stagnant growth of the economy and related low wages and high unemployment coupled with price inflation.  Of course, we now have deflation in housing prices and in some retail goods and lumber, but inflation in the prices of energy, food, imported goods, and many basic materials--steel, copper, cement, etc.  Stagflation is one of the most difficult macroeconomic conditions to deal with.  Isn't Dennis an economist?  He'll have expert thoughts on all this.  We used to ski in Canada when 68¢ bought a Canadian dollar.  Now a Loonie costs about a buck-two and we ski here.  A buck buys about 100 yen or two bucks for a pound Sterling.  Buck-fifty-eight for a Euro.  The price of crude oil figured in Euros has risen about half as fast as the price figured in USD.  We're a low cost country for every one except ourselves.

Those speakers look great.
--Are the stand-mounted speakers and the floor-standing speakers acoustically the same inside, with just an extended box for the floor-standing?  Can either configuration be made from the same plans with just longer sides for the floor-stander?

David Ellis

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #10 on: 16 Apr 2008, 11:17 am »
I truly am interested in continuing the economics discussion, but would like to push this towards Dennis Murphy in the General discussion forum.  I will try to ping Dennis later today for his thoughts on the matter.  This is a huge issue and there are some great minds posting on this web page. 

Quote
--Are the stand-mounted speakers and the floor-standing speakers acoustically the same inside, with just an extended box for the floor-standing?  Can either configuration be made from the same plans with just longer sides for the floor-stander?

No.  The internal cabinet dimensions are not the same.  However, the general volume of the cabinets is very similar.  21-25 liters will work and have been tested.  Since the T/S parameters of the C95 are similar to the SEAS W18, I thought the previous cabinet volumes and configurations would work well. This has been true.  I have a hunch the C95 MIGHT "tolerate" a slightly larger cabinet, but don't plan to test this for a considerable time.  For now, I am confident the 1801b stand mounted and floorstanding cabinets will work - but with a few very minor tweaks.  There will be more to follow regarding these tweaks.

Dave

David Ellis

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #11 on: 17 Apr 2008, 03:14 am »
This afternoon I found no significant measurable difference between the 1801C with a 1 1/2" radius roundover on the baffle and the 1801C with a sharp/square cabinet edge.

Dave

TomW16

Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #12 on: 17 Apr 2008, 05:18 am »
Shoot!  So the square edge works.   :lol:

I'm happy that you didn't go to all that work only to find out that you preferred the sound of the radius-ed edges.

Take care,
Tom

David Ellis

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #13 on: 17 Apr 2008, 09:25 am »
Quote
Shoot!  So the square edge works.   

Well... hmmm... there are 2 other possibilities.  Yesterday I used an MLS measurement.  Today I would like to follow-up with some gated measurements.  And, quite often there are audible impacts that are totally unmeasurable using today's equipment. 

Probably the best example are different capacitors.  Their impact is obvioiusly audible, but not easily measurable.

More to follow...

Dave
« Last Edit: 10 Jul 2008, 08:01 pm by David Ellis »

mzbrahce

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #14 on: 10 Jul 2008, 07:54 pm »
Hi Dave--

Nice to see and read your latest comments (on the OW4??? topic).  Your viewpoints are always interesting and worth thinking about.

I was glad to see your comments about Danny Richie.  I just finished building a pair of A/V-3s for a friend of mine and am very impressed with their musical sound, fine soundstage and accurate bass.  We preferred them over her Paradigm Studio 60v3s.  This was my first experience in DIY speakers and I'm hooked.  I may have to start on a pair of one of his latest, the Neo 2X, next.

But what I really want to build is a pair of 1801cs aa!
How about an update on your progress with the 1801c?  :drool: I'm sure I'm not the only one out here interested in your latest....

----------Mark

satfrat

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #15 on: 10 Jul 2008, 08:11 pm »
Quote
Shoot!  So the square edge works.   

  And, quite often there are audible impacts that are totally unmeasurable using today's equipment. 

Probably the best example are different capacitors.  Their impact is obvioiusly audible, but not easily measurable.

More to follow...

Dave

You have my admiration for making that statement,,,, there are many more manufacturer's that would say their instruments are the final word.  :notworthy: I look forward to seeing your final design, whatever that may be. :thumb:

Cheers,
Robin

David Ellis

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #16 on: 12 Jul 2008, 03:56 pm »
There are several items that I would like to address in this post.  I will do this in no specific order:

Quote
I was glad to see your comments about Danny Richie.  I just finished building a pair of A/V-3s for a friend of mine and am very impressed with their musical sound, fine soundstage and accurate bass.  We preferred them over her Paradigm Studio 60v3s.  This was my first experience in DIY speakers and I'm hooked. 

Well...Hmmm, I wish to convey what is safe and prudent regarding this.  You are not the first customer that has conveyed the results of a a comparison between a good DIY speaker and a Paradigm.  A few of my customers have conveyed comparison's between Paradigm speakers and the 1801s too.  In all situations the results have been as you conveyed.

I will also convey that the propensity of commercial folks spend more on their binding posts than their capacitors.  This is simply because most customers believe a substantial binding post correctates to a quality speaker.  It is clear from the picture that Danny invests a considerable quantity of money inside the speaker.  I convey this because I believe it matters - significantly.




Quote
I may have to start on a pair of one of his latest, the Neo 2X, next.

I feel the need for continued commentary.  Danny does good work, but I prefer the sound of Danny's dome tweeters over the NEO planar tweeters.  I do understand that various tweeters have a "religious" following and wish to convey that these comments are simply MY subjective opinions.  While Danny's silk dome tweeters are a standout product ( I use a pair in my 2nd system ), the NEO planar isn't something that I would live with in my home.  Yes, they might have appeal for some folks, but not for me. 

In my opinion, if you like the sound of the AV3, add some .1uf sonicap Platinum Bypass Capacitors (6).  This may seem like overkill, but the end result will remain less expensive than anything commercial at this price.  It appears that Danny already uses some flavor of bypass capacitors, but I am fairly certain that Danny will agree that the .1uf Sonicap Platinum is truly the cats-mow.  The sound improvement and change when adding the .1uf Platinum capacitors is ALL GOOD. 

Quote
How about an update on your progress with the 1801c?

Yes, ooooh, I haven't attended to this string for too long.

Quote
Shoot!  So the square edge works.

No.  The bottom line... I will never purvey, or build a speaker with less than a 1 1/2" radius roundover in the future.  If the subjective value of the Sonicap Platinum bypass capacitor implementation is $180, the subjective value of the 1 1/2" radius roundover on all edges of the baffle is $400-$500.  This is my conveyance and and the believe of the other local gentlemen who performed the a/b testing during the final stages of the 1801C.  I will explain the history and backround. 

I made several incorrect assumptions.  First, I assumed that if having a large radius roundover on a speaker was important that ALL truly high-end loudspeakers would implement a large radius roundover.  This assumption was incorrect.  Second, I assumed that a 3/4" roundover should have a some impact, but in very thorough previous testing (objective and subjective).  This assumption was incorrect.  Third, I assumed that if a large radius roundover was significant, then surely the DIY crowd would implement this in their workshops.  This assumption was incorrect.

Several months ago I asked Dave Elledge what he thought of large radius roundovers.  I deeply respect Dave's opinion.  His commentary and insights are on par with Jeff Glowacki's insights.  Over the years, I have eventually learned that many of their opinions are true and valid.  Dave conveyed that the radius has to be large to be effective.  He further explained that a 1 1/2" radius would be effective and I agreed to try this.

My experiment was setup in my living room using outboard crossovers and two pairs of 1801C loudspeakers.  Both pairs of speakers used the Accuton C95 woofer and the Hiquphon OW1 tweeter.  As mentioned above, there was no discernable measurable impact.  While there were measurable differences, they were very small and nothing that would indicate a difference between the two cabinets.  One pair of cabinets was the 1801 floorstanding version having square edges.  The other cabinet was the 1801 stand mounted version with a 1 1/2" radius roundover. 

I also understand that visual appearance can be a factor in the subjective opinion regarding a loudspeaker.  On this subject, the audibly superior cabinets were quite... ugly.  The 1801 floorstanding cabinets ware nicely finished with a cherry veneer.  The 1801 stand mounted cabinets were raw MDF.

Several pieces of music were used and 3 pairs of ears were subjected to the a/b test on different occasions.  The commentary was universally similar.  There was a significant difference. The difference was not subtle. The impact of the large radius roundover was easily superior.

At this point, I am certain there will be those who feel the need for a gazillion listeners performing a double-blind test.  My response to this is two-fold.  First, it doesn't matter how much recorded historical evidence is present, folks will still chose to deny historical evidence.  Second, I build speakers for me.  I have no interest in spending the time and finances necessary to conduct a thorough scientific examination.  //  Hmmmm, these comments seem abrupt and my credibility might be at risk.  Okay, truthfully, I am from the government and here to help  aa.

After my experiment I learned via the rumor-mill that another well respected direct to consumer Loudspeaker vendor in the Midwest verbally conveyed that the radius has to be about 1 1/2" before becoming subjectively affective. 

Okay, then what about the 1801C progress??

Objectively - it's done.  I have absolutely no desire to tweak or putter with any aspect of the design or performance.  And, candidly, I never thought it could sound so good and so right. 

However there are some other matters:

1.  I need to get the 1801C rhetoric published on my web page.

2.  I need to build a pretty pair of speakers (or several).  And, I need to take a plethora of photo's during the process.  My current speakers are splash painted MDF following an elbow surgery. 

3.  I need to find a viable solution for pre-cut baffles.  Cutting a 1 1/2" roundover requires significant tooling for a single project.

The cost the 1801C kit will be $1400 with Black Hole 5, Continuous Cast internal cable, and the Sonicap Platinum Bypass capacitors.  Yes, this is expensive.  If I could build a better speaker for less $$ inside the cabinet, I would.
« Last Edit: 12 Jul 2008, 05:30 pm by David Ellis »

JoshK

Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #17 on: 12 Jul 2008, 04:47 pm »
This afternoon I found no significant measurable difference between the 1801C with a 1 1/2" radius roundover on the baffle and the 1801C with a sharp/square cabinet edge.

Dave

were these measurements all on axis.  try taking some measurements at some angles off axis and see if that still persists.  i might also look at the time domain for differences rather than frequency domain. 

David Ellis

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Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #18 on: 12 Jul 2008, 05:35 pm »
Quote
were these measurements all on axis.  try taking some measurements at some angles off axis and see if that still persists.  i might also look at the time domain for differences rather than frequency domain.   

I accomplished 30-50 measurements (MLS and Gated) attempting to discern any notable differences - most of them off axis.  Most of the measurements were horizontal variations and a few vertical variations.

Dave

JoshK

Re: 1801C Discussion String
« Reply #19 on: 12 Jul 2008, 05:42 pm »
That's interesting.  I always knew that 1.5" was acoustically small, but I didn't know it was non-measurable.