SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews

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lonewolfny42

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SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« on: 13 Jul 2008, 04:01 pm »
Starting today my Mini's will be on an audition tour with members of the NY Audio Rave....so they can have an opportunity to try them in their systems....and comment on how they performed. :thumb:

I request that those involved please post to this thread....good or bad....its OK with me.....post what you hear... 8)

Also....please list what equipment you used for the audition.

Thanks.....happy listening.... :beer:


                            Chris

ted_b

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #1 on: 13 Jul 2008, 04:33 pm »
You are a trusting and wonderful man, Chris  aka......"Loan" Wolf ! :beer:

RodMCV

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #2 on: 13 Jul 2008, 05:41 pm »
Now we're talking.
I have being saying that anyone who has heard the SP Tech speakers knows its worth the wait,
and anybody that hasn't doesn't.

Now I know why you were so antsy to get the mini's ....     
  To get them out and get them heard.

Those that love SP Tech should not be such an exclusive group.

Way to share the wealth Chris,
  my hat is off to you!

Rod

lonewolfny42

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #3 on: 13 Jul 2008, 11:03 pm »
Thank you Ted and Rod.... :thumb:

The ability to try equipment in ones system always works the best...no second guessing....

As for all the "loans"...happy to report...with all the excellent guys on AC...never a problem.... a very responsible group here.... :beer:


The Mini's are now with BobM....... :thumb:

BobM

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #4 on: 15 Jul 2008, 03:53 pm »
Cris dropped off the mini's this Sunday and we gave them a listen for a few hours. I spent more time yesterdahy checking them out. I let them run all day so they have some extra hours of break-in on them (I think they needed a little more, because they did change and open up a wee bit more by the end of the day).

Here's a link to another review with my system components: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=50799.0

Bottom line; I'm driving them with a near Rev A McCormack DNA .5 amp (100W into 8 ohms).

Some preface first, before I tell you what I think so far. Chris also dropped off the 2.0's a few weeks back and I've been playing them (these are big cabinets and can never be called bookshelf, even though they need a stand). These do not have the upgraded tweeter and crossover, so therefore do not reflect the current model. In general I thought the 2.0's were fine sounding speakers at higher volumes. They DEMAND power and I don't think my McCormack drove them sufficiently. I had a few other audiophiles over and we pretty much concurred on the sound of these.

They have very good presence and excellent detail, with the feeling of live music. They are a speaker that a rock and roll musician should love (aka Chris). They play loud, need lots of power and sound dynamic when cranking. There's a switch on the tweeter that lets you adjust up or down a bit. I had this rolled down, since in my room they were a bit forward and light sounding. When I turned the REL sub on they sounded more balanced top to bottom - more weight on the bottom end made them sound just right.

At low volumes they weren't so good to my ears. The tweeter separated from the woofer and there was no "point source" of sound; a lack of continuity. The bass also appeared to be anemic (the sub helped tremendously at low volumes). I think the horn loaded tweeter dominates the mid/bass at low volumes. The distance between the two may be a factor, due to the horn camber on the baffle. They are far apart and didn't "gel" until the power was cranked up. Perhaps they needed to be placed farther back close to the front wall. Or perhaps they just need more power to drive the mid/bass more efficiently to keep up with the tweeter.

Next, my initial impression on the mini's ..

Bob

BobM

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #5 on: 15 Jul 2008, 04:05 pm »
Bottom line, I like these speakers a lot, so far. The smaller cabinet makes these more of a bookshelf. The smaller horn loading camber on the tweeter keeps it closer to the mid/bass driver, making them sound cohesive at all volume levels. They "gel" (are you gellin?). They are still a little light sounding at low volumes and I would highly recommend a sub with these. They give you an indication of real bass, but a driver of that size in a small cabinet can't do everything.

Again, the mid/bass fills in better at higher volumes. And yes, they want power-power-power. The tweeter is definitely more refined than the 2.0's, with better texture and presence. Imaging was very good side to side and top to bottom. There is little roll off when you stand up (I guess the horn loading helps this) so the height of the speaker stands is probably not as critical as it would be with other small speakers.

They sound very expansive, but lack the final bit of transparency and air in the top end that I get from my speakers (perhaps they still need more break in, perhaps the teflon caps in my speakers are the difference). They play loud without strain and seem to like it there.

I plan on trying them out in my home theater system and checking out Chris's Butler amp on them (250W into 8 ohms) if I get a chance.

Enjoy,
Bob

mcullinan

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #6 on: 15 Jul 2008, 04:09 pm »
Nice Review Bob.
Mike

Wind Chaser

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #7 on: 15 Jul 2008, 04:29 pm »
They are still a little light sounding at low volumes...

Again, the mid/bass fills in better at higher volumes. And yes, they want power-power-power.

They play loud without strain and seem to like it there.


I noticed a phenomenon with inefficient speakers about 30 years ago.  If you don’t turn it up, the bass presence is weak.  It doesn’t exude until you open it up.  That’s why if one listens at softer volumes, they’re better off with more efficient speakers.

Perhaps this is why... http://www.diracdelta.co.uk/science/source/t/h/threshold%20of%20hearing/source.html :scratch:

IronLion

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #8 on: 15 Jul 2008, 06:13 pm »
Thanks for the impressions Bob.  Out of curiosity, what are the speakers in your home system? 

BobM

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #9 on: 15 Jul 2008, 06:23 pm »
They "were" made by a company that is no longer around - Just Speakers - using Scanspeak drivers. However, I am a modder and nothing in my system is stock anymore. Everything has been tweaked, improved, and some rebuilt. Here's a system picture.



Carl V

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #10 on: 15 Jul 2008, 09:12 pm »
Bob M that design reminds me of a pair of Northcreek Rythm speakers I built.
8546 midwoofers & 9500...later became revelator.  Another guy
in town built them with the 8545 & North-28.  Big ass North
Inductors & his signature bypass caps.  Nice desgin.  Big sound.
Warm Sound. Good soudnstage.

I have the SP tech AV2 a MTM with large Peerless 8" midwoofer &
that Vifa Tweeter which was in the TP2.0.  Again Big warm sound.
Better sensitivity about 91-92dB.  The increased Sensitivty allows
them to be played well at moderate levels & at high levels...stupid levels.

ooheadsoo

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #11 on: 16 Jul 2008, 01:32 am »
Here's something to consider.  The fletcher-munson (and later updated by other researchers) curves indicate that as SPL drops, the ear is more insensitive to bass.  That means that a speaker voiced to have a flat frequency response will sound weaker in the bass region at lower levels.  At higher levels, starting roughly around 85db or so, the hearing of the ear becomes more linear.  Doesn't this then mean that speakers that have flat frequency response will unavoidably sound like they have weaker bass at low levels?  Meanwhile, a speaker that is intended to be played at low levels may need to be designed with a big bass bump at the bottom.  What are you then to do about a speaker designed as a true reference?  I suppose you have no choice but to voice them flat and hope the end user knows what he is doing.  Good engineers mix at higher levels because of this.  If you mix at a low level, you end up putting a ton more bass in the mix, which won't hold up when they blast your mix in a club.  You'll blow everyone's speakers out.

BobM

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #12 on: 22 Jul 2008, 02:53 pm »
The mini's have had a bit more break-in now and the top end has opened up. They are nice and airy, with good detail and soundstaging. I'm really liking that tweeter.

I tried them in the home theater but ... they need more power than my AV receiver can deliver (same story). They didn't balance well with the AR speakers in the rest of that system.

They'll be going to crazy Mike's next. Thanks again for the loan Chris. I really enjoyed them while they were here.

Bob

IronLion

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #13 on: 22 Jul 2008, 03:05 pm »
Interesting, I guess I should expect more break-in of my Minis even though they probably have about 50 hours on them now.  I recently hooked them up to my Signature 30.2 and haven't put the CIA D200's back in place since, the Sig 30 is driving them very well in my smallish room and once again I find I'm hooked to the tripath magic of that amp.  I'll try the D200's again in a bit but for now I think I've found a system I could very easily live with. 

mcullinan

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #14 on: 22 Jul 2008, 03:15 pm »
Yeah!!! Crazy Mikes.. Who is that? Hey!
Mike :o

mfsoa

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #15 on: 22 Jul 2008, 03:18 pm »
You are known as "Crazy Mike" in our household too!!!

(With affection, of course)

 :thumb:

-Mike

mcullinan

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #16 on: 27 Jul 2008, 02:54 am »
Oboes, acoustic guitar, electic guitar, standing bass, alto sax, trombone, drums.. perhaps someone playing a kitchen sink?
First. My sub went off and the family went out! I turned the SP Techs up to what Id consider a moderate level.. No wife with the peg leg to brandish me with the tattoo of turn it down please. hehe.

The SpTech Minis are perhaps one of the most linear speakers I have ever heard. And nothing is covered and everything is exposed. Exposed, you say and I say the minis play some of the most real, live sounding instruments I have ever heard with my ears. While my ears are getting a treat playing some Grateful Dawg, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, my eyes are going buggy from the realistic pluck of the mandolin/guitar. The leading edge of the Mandolin leading to the depth of the rest of the note, something which is a nuance but has gone amiss with my Merlins. HEaven in some solid, tank like well built, over built creations from someone who could only be a mad scientist of sorts. His name is common enough, but his effort/ knowledge, near heroic.

Ok Im waxing. Yes the Merlins are to die for musical. And they are equally extended, but somewhere along the line they add a subtle color and lose the linearity and that magic that makes a voice or instrument alive. The Merlins are close though. But it is all in the subtelty that makes a world of difference.

Now I dont have any pipe organ music and they are minis, but not so mini... but they flesh out probably 95 percent of the instruments with depth, breath, air, solid exposure. Good stuff!

The minis have been loved while they are here and will be missed. Dont worry I put a giant condom over the minis before I romanced them! Wow! That is SICK.

Id like to thank Lonewolf for the opportunity to listen to them, a real treat.

Also Im probably reviewing on more of an emotional level than scientific, so take it for what its worth.
Peace! 
Mike

topround

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #17 on: 27 Jul 2008, 03:03 am »
TURN IT DOWN!!
I have children sleeping here!

He used to be such a nice boy

mjosef

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #18 on: 11 Aug 2008, 04:58 am »
Its been about a week now since I have Chris' SPTech Minis...it actually came at an opportune time, as my main speakers(VMPS RM1s) were in down-time, awaiting replacement/repair of bass drivers. I had been using a VMPS long discontinued monitor, Q404's, in the interim.
The Minis were initially set up with Chris' 21" stands in the position of my normal speakers, 4' from the front wall and about 5' apart. Yes, my room is fairly small and I sit about 7-8 feet away. The playback chain is CA Azur 540 cdplayer>Usher 307 pre>CJ Sonographe 250> Minis, with Grover Sc and Luminous Audio Technology Synchestra cabling.

On initial setup, big 'bright' sound. . Nice texture in the mid bass but kinda hot to my ears in the mid/uppers. Amp is CJ Sonographe 250, a pretty warm amp with laid back/smooth mid range. So getting such a 'bright/hot' sound balance from the Minis' with this amp was a surprise. It can dish out a big sound, however I can detect some 'crowding' in massive orchestral sections of some music at volume above 90+ dB.
Over the next few days I experimented with different placement, pushing them back closer to the wall and finally settled with them 26" out, and raised them 29" high. This placement had a better balance in the mid/tweeter-bass spectrum. After a couple days I found the sound was still not wooing me for extended listening periods...the mid/hi's was still too prominent for my taste.
Out went the pre and amp, and in went a Jolida 102b...and bang, a much much better presentation, better midrange, more body to the bass, smoother details...middle/upper piano notes sound more "real". I have always found this Jolida to be more detailed than the Sonographe in the mid/hi's. I find the Mini's to be better suited for listening at levels above 80db than at my usual late night levels of 62-70dB. In my small space, less toe in beats more toe in...and I am able to get a nice wide 190-200 degrees soundstage.
I had also swapped out the Grover ICs for Silver Fi ICs with the amp switch.

Over the next few days I hope to experiment with some cabling changes, swapping out the speaker cables which are silver solid core for some copper Groneberg Quattro .

More to follow...

Edit(8/12): Strange...yesterday I powered up the system, and surprisingly the sound was much warmer and smoother. I didn't change a thing  :scratch:
Well I did rebuild my Felix using Occam's latest cord/parts...but that was in since Saturday night...or maybe, the Minis suddenly crossed the threshold of virginity and is now ready to put forth the fruits of her womb. Suffice it to say, I am hearing things of the microtonal range and beyond...
Now this sound I really like.  aa
Quote
I call my Baby pussycat...meow


« Last Edit: 13 Aug 2008, 03:32 am by mjosef »

lonewolfny42

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #19 on: 14 Aug 2008, 08:09 am »
So....the Minis are....purring now Martin ?  :lol: