SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews

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mcullinan

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #20 on: 14 Aug 2008, 01:12 pm »
Martin,
I wonder what it was making them sound so bright and irritating to you. Mine were close to the wall where you eventually put them.. And mine were a bit higher than usual speakers, though I compensated by sitting on pillows. hehe. They never sounded bright or overly lively in my space. I guess it comes down to the signal chain/ placement. Im way too lazy to do all that swapping though. :)
Mike

konut

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #21 on: 14 Aug 2008, 11:04 pm »
Just a guess, but mine seemed to relax at just over the 200hr mark. Or maybe its my imagination.

groovybassist

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #22 on: 14 Aug 2008, 11:26 pm »
I've found that listening directly on-axis brightens them up quite a bit.  Mine are now toed-in maybe a half-inch (maybe 10 degrees or so?).  I also found closer to the rear wall is better - mine are 16.5" from the rear wall (center of rear baffle), which better balanced the bass with mids/treble.  Finally, I've found that listening with my ears centered between the woofer and tweeter provides the most natural balance.  If you have hearing very sensitive to high frequencies, ear-height centered on the woofer cone might be better.  Bright recordings will still be bright, but well recorded material just sounds natural.  It's too bad many recordings are as bad as they are!

-Mike

Aether Audio

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #23 on: 14 Aug 2008, 11:49 pm »
Guys,

Just remember... you're listening to speakers that were originally designed to be highly accurate (extremely low distortion - not just a flat frequency response) recording studio monitors.  They will reveal every little thing that's connected to them - well, coming through what's connected to them and what the "thing" does to the signal anyway.

As a "for instance"... Old "dyed in the wool" engineer Bob never believed much in the effect of speaker cables.  Before he designed and built our stuff I guess he never had a pair of speakers that really revealed the differences. 

Well... then one day Bob puts some different wire to the tweeter in a pair of speakers and that wire is only about 2 feet long - mind you.  How much difference could 2 feet make even if it was pure silver (which it was)?  Just as a favor to a friend you know?  Bob then listens expecting nothing.  Bob quickly gets a serious education to the contrary of his "beliefs" and had to check his shorts directly thereafter. :lol:

Just ask Karsten (my "other half" in Denmark) if you don't believe me.  That guy has tweaked his Revelations to the degree that borders on insanity.  Actually, it would drive me insane (the rest of the way :roll:) if I had to stand by and watch him.  I can only imagine how many times he'd be demanding I come and listen to "what he's done now" if we were in the same local.  But, I guess that's his obsession and he serves it with all of his strength.  The point is, he would have nothing to obsess over if every little change he made wasn't audible.  I do know that he's not hearing things that aren't there either.  He proved that to me at CES 2005.  He heard stuff and proved it to me that I never would have thought would make a difference.

So... have fun guys!  :green:  Once you start down the path of changing cables, electronics and such, you're liable to end up like him.  The good thing is that with our stuff you can at least tell when something is really better or worse - not just "different" like so much other gear gives you.  Oh... and don't blame us if some beloved piece of equipment lets you down.  We only build the speakers.  :dunno:

Take care,
-Bob

mjosef

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #24 on: 15 Aug 2008, 05:39 pm »
Martin,
I wonder what it was making them sound so bright and irritating to you. Mine were close to the wall where you eventually put them.. And mine were a bit higher than usual speakers, though I compensated by sitting on pillows. hehe. They never sounded bright or overly lively in my space. I guess it comes down to the signal chain/ placement. Im way too lazy to do all that swapping though. :)
Mike

Initially I had them 4 feet into the room on 21" stands ,which placed the tweeter just below the level of my ears...that of course would accentuate the highs. Later, I settled on a makeshift stand 29" high, which brought my ears in line with the woofer...that coupled with moving them back to 2 feet from the front wall resulted in a much better blend to my taste.

And as Bob/SPTech wrote
Quote
Just remember... you're listening to speakers that were originally designed to be highly accurate (extremely low distortion - not just a flat frequency response) recording studio monitors.
When I first heard it, I immediately thought of studio monitors (dry/neutral).  :lol:
So I would say SPTech scored on that achievement.  :thumb:
But I think the speakers has crossed the 'break-in" threshold...the sound has shifted(from Monday) for the better (IMO). I am experimenting with cabling now, so will report back impressions as they take shape.


mjosef

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #25 on: 21 Aug 2008, 10:26 pm »
Well to wrap up the Mini's visit...it left the premises last night.
Really don't have much to add, I enjoyed their short stay and the opportunity to hear for myself how the Mini's sound. Its a sound that takes a little getting used to, myself being a 'full' range floorstander speaker guy, but once they were set up properly, I forgot about the speakers and found myself playing music.
They have a very neutral character and I found my sound-preference pairing it with a EL84 tube-based amp. Very detailed top end and a solid mid bass and up range, in the lower bass range(30-55Hz) you get a sense of presence, but compared with what I am used to I would have to say its on the lean side. Most of my listening was done late evening/night at levels from 65-80dB, and at my close (7ft.) listening position, it was a very immediate and involving musical experience.
If the Mini was a woman I would describe her as athletic-lean...my personal preference would be a woman with a little more meat to muscle ratio.
Contrary to what has been said about them, I found that the little Jolida102b was well able, within its power limits, to get some good clean vibes from the Minis in my small room(11x14).

I had planned to run Stereophile test disc to see what the in-room response looked like but time and memory got the better of me.
Big thank you to Chris/Lonewolfny for his generosity in availing his brand new gear to the AC members. Give that man the highest medal of honor.  :lol:

lonewolfny42

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #26 on: 21 Aug 2008, 11:59 pm »
Thank you Martin.... :beer:

Glad I picked up the Minis last night....
because today was "Tow Truck Time"....(starter) :?  :shake:

SET Man

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #27 on: 22 Aug 2008, 12:59 am »
....
If the Mini was a woman I would describe her as athletic-lean...my personal preference would be a woman with a little more meat to muscle ratio.
....

Hey!

   I see.... now I know what type of women you like :jester:

Take care,
Buddy :thumb:

mcullinan

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #28 on: 22 Aug 2008, 01:30 am »
....
If the Mini was a woman I would describe her as athletic-lean...my personal preference would be a woman with a little more meat to muscle ratio.
....

Hey!

   I see.... now I know what type of women you like :jester:

Take care,
Buddy :thumb:
A bearded greek woman who plays for the NY Giants...???
Just a wild guess there.  :o
Mike

mjosef

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #29 on: 22 Aug 2008, 01:36 am »
Yeah Mike...underarm hair welcome too.  :lol:

Buddy, I like a juicy woman...who wants to bang against a bagga bones.  :lol: :lol:

Shit Chris...that's a bummer. Well at least a starter is not a boatload of money.

giantsteps

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #30 on: 5 Sep 2008, 05:41 pm »

 Many, many thanks Cris for giving us ravers a chance to hear the minis in our systems. Even though my time with them coincided with the US Open which held my attention morning to late evening/early morning I managed to hear a few CD's through them. I kept them busy listening to TV thru them also.
 First thing I noticed was the robust bass, considering they are "mini" monitors. Deep, tight and articulate. Nice. Mids/highs were very clean, detailed and fast(reminded me of electrostatics) with nice presence. Vocals are outstanding.
 BTW the minis need lots of power yet still like to be played loud...no problem for me. :thumb:
 If I were to nitpick I would have to say that I found them ever so slightly on the lean side. That is of course a characteristic of the very best studio monitors - neutral, linear/flat freq. response. But "listening" to the whole picture I was very impressed with the SP's. I like them a lot.
 Once again thanks Cris.


 Frank


 

lonewolfny42

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #31 on: 6 Sep 2008, 02:27 am »
Thank you Frank..... :thumb:

mikef

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #32 on: 12 Sep 2008, 02:58 pm »
Well, I dropped off the Minis last night to Mike (Topround) after my week with them, and I guess it's my turn for a review.

First, my equipment - Audio Note M2 Phono Preamp, Monarchy SE 100 Delux monoblock amps, Teres 135 turntable w/RS labs A1 tonearm/Denon DL103D, Bolder modded Squeezebox 2 using analog outs, VH Pulsar ICs, Straley Reality speaker cables. My regular speakers are VMPS 626Rs on 22" stands in my small, 12 x 18 living room, and everything is plugged into a PS Audio Quintet.

For whatever reason, in MY room with MY equipment, these speakers just weren't my cup of tea. First, the good - they image like champs. I could separate them by 8 feet and still get good center fill, with the speakers disappearing completely. They also did depth wonderfully well. They could play loud with out breaking up, and did bass surprisingly well for their size.

However, I tried the Minis on my 22" stands, on 28" stands, out into the room, close to the back wall, toed in, no toe-in, and I just couldn't get rid of a slight nasal sound or "honkiness" to them. They also sounded a little lean and closed in on top compared to the ribbons and 6.5" Mega woofer in my VMPS speakers. The Minis sounded much better when played loud, but did not sound as good to me when played at my usual listening levels - bass and treble not as well "connected", and bass not as subjectively deep.

These are just my opinions in my system and my room, at my preferred volume level. Anyway, I'm glad I had the chance to try these out. Thanks to Chris for making these speakers available.

Mike Fox


saisunil

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #33 on: 12 Sep 2008, 04:08 pm »
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. 

Thanks for sharing this very important observation:
Flat frequency response of a speaker is perceived differently at different SPL.
Paul at Tube Research Labs made me a pair of monitors for Reference. They sound full range (for most music) at ref SPLs but at everyday low listening level - they sound as if they do not have enough bass. I still prefer 2 way monitors for what they do.

The question is how to bring more bass at lower volumes while still maintaining flat frequency response? Add a pair of subwoofers with DSP?

PS: I did hear Chris's minis at the Rave - I think that SP Tech speakers should be heard with high powered amps ~200 wpc.

BobM

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #34 on: 12 Sep 2008, 04:49 pm »

The question is how to bring more bass at lower volumes while still maintaining flat frequency response? Add a pair of subwoofers with DSP?


I think that was the original impetus for the "Loudness" button.

Bob

miklorsmith

Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #35 on: 12 Sep 2008, 05:20 pm »
Brief explanation of the ubiquitous Fletcher-Munson Curves which now apparently should be called Equal Loudness Curves:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher%E2%80%93Munson_curves

Basically, the human ear's receptiveness to sound varies with frequency.  The "presence" band from about 1 khz to 4 khz is much more sensitive than the rest of the spectrum and bass frequencies are much less.  Note that at reference "100" db, 20 hz is about 35 db less sensitive than the presence band but at reference "0" db, that range is about 80 db less sensitive.   :o

Implications?  Speaker tuning is only truly optimized at one volume level in a room.  Early TacT owners often had several settings for different volume levels, the TacT 2.2XP now has a feature that allows customized Equal Loudness compensation that theoretically makes a system sound equally balanced at all levels. 

Having played around with different room EQs for several years this stuff is real and significantly affects our perceptions of our systems.  Having a setup that sounds truly full and balanced at low volumes will almost certainly sound bass heavy as the wick gets turned up.  The corollary is that a good crankin' setup will probably sound lightweight when played quietly.

It's not just the speaker, rather the speaker/room acoustic interface.  Any speaker will find it's best frequency balance at a different level depending on the room it resides in.

lonewolfny42

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #36 on: 15 Sep 2008, 02:01 am »
Thank you Mike (Fox) for your comments..... :thumb:

Rocket_Ronny

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #37 on: 9 Oct 2008, 03:04 am »

I know I am late to the party, but I might as well crash it anyway.  :lol:

While I am not listening to Wolfy's mini's, I bought my own, I can share some thoughts.

I would say these are a music lovers speaker. They make listening enjoyable with their flat frequency response, lively dynamics, and fantastic imaging. Bass is not bloated, but lean and visceral. These are anti-boxes. They just are not there and completely  d i s a p p e a r . Don't let the small/big size fool you. They will put the musical event in front of you. If you want more, get a bigger room, the mini's will strut their stuff even better.

These speakers, mated with some good subs, take you to a very high level of sound. Are they the best speakers in the world, well no, but one could buy these and enjoy them all through one's audio journey. It would be a nice way to put a stop to the merry-go-round. I could see these being sought after jewels in years to come just like the Roger's LS35a's of old.

I have yet to try these mixing albums very near field, as was my intended purpose for the purchase. Don't know how they will blend sitting 3 feet away from them. Been so busy lately that I have not time to do that. It's just been, work, work, work.

Anyway, great job Bob. Very nice speakers.

Rocket_mini_Ronny   
« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2008, 12:56 am by Rocket_Ronny »

Rocket_Ronny

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #38 on: 12 Oct 2008, 07:05 pm »

K O W A - B U N G A A !!!     :o

The Mini's are now in my near field rig, and they are:

Absolutely Beautiful !

They make music, breathtaking music. Aaaahhhhhh.

I love the way vocals lock in the image. Let alone everything else. And the tonal balance is just so right.

Tons of detail without the fatigue. Are these electrotats? Very lively and engaging.

I can mix with these knowing the speakers are not lying to me, and have a good time at the same time.

Though I am only sitting 32" away from each speaker, and have them 32" apart, they blend very nicely, better than I was expecting.

Only problem I find now is that I am not getting my work done, and just listening to music. Am I in trouble or what?  :oops:

System is I-tunes on Mac laptop, out of the headphone plug, into some el-cheapo mini to rca connecters, into a Little Dot T-100 digital amp, then cat 5 cable to the Mini's. I am not even using the Metric Halo ULN-2 as a dac.  :duh:


Negatives: 

They like power. Like was said before, 200 watts would be a nice pair. The 75 watt McAlister was a beautiful match with the mini's to a fairly loud level in the main rig, probably 95 db peaks in the chair - guess, but I could see having another 3-4 db of headroom there if you listen really loud.

This may seem like a negative at first, but really is not. The metal woofs are so fast, and lack any bloat, that one may think there may be a lack of bass. This was more evident with the already lean sounding Little Dot amp, than with the robust McAlister. This takes a bit of getting used to, but in the end I think most will highly appreciate the fast detailed bass. Frequency response is claimed to go down into the 40's -3 dbs so the bass is there, just different than paper woofs. Add a sub below 40 hz if you crave the really low stuff.

All in all, these are my new friends, and very good friends they are.  :wink:


Rocket_Ronny




konut

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Re: SP Technology Timepiece Mini....Comments/Reviews
« Reply #39 on: 12 Oct 2008, 09:17 pm »

 Only problem I find now is that I am not getting my work done, and just listening to music. Am I in trouble or what?  :oops:

 


LOL, that depends. If this is your sole source of income, then yes, you're in trouble. OTOH, what a way to enjoy being poor! If you think they sound good now, just wait until they have about 500 hours on them.  :drool: