Again - I was just about to post an update! You guys are one step ahead of me as usual! I have had a good start with the FAL drivers. They have been great to deal with and I have an order in place as of yesterday for 4 drivers to mess with - likely in a config much like they had at the show as to my ears it worked very well. I'll tackle the questions you had 'in-line'....
>New speaker kits without XO!!???
>Danny I saw your CES (long) post but just looked at some of the URLs >posted. Like this one... http://www.furuyama-audio.com/english3.htm
I know Danny's supposed to be the 'speaker guy' - I am John the 'transformer guy'. Just play'n
>Holy Crap! usable frequency range 25hz - 16 khz
Quite a few drivers offer that kind of range on paper (Lowther's, Fostex, and others). The difference I noticed with these were that they had a really nice bottom end - not massive but ballanced and full. Also these did not seem to 'shout' like some of the full range speakers I have spent time with.
>Their speakers with a single panel are 45 hz and they XO at 14khz, >might make an interesting little monitor. Twin drivers are -3 at 30 hz!
I'll have to measure to confirm and see what it looks like here. Again - these are not bass thumpers for movies or rap music! The fact that they did not seem lacking at all with a variety of music at normal playback levels is promising. BTW - I had thought the Heil tweeters were starting at about 10K or so.
>Are you going to make the kits XO less?
For sure. That's a big part of the attraction from my point of view. Xover on the tweeter will be needed.
>Any ideas on price or configuration? FAL uses a 2 panel with a tweeter in >the middle XO'd at 14KHZ
To get started that's my goal - although I'll pay a bit I'm sure with the point the tweeter kicks in. Price is a struggle. Even with my usual 'silly low' margins these are not going to be cheap. The finished system is likely a $25K retail proposition from comments at the show. My goal is to do a kit with 4 panels and tweeters and cabinet for about $5K or so. There are lots of options at that price but these fit a special need. Most of the other decent options fall away when you want to run them well with 8W or so. These impressed me more than any other speaker at CES. They made me want to listen to music and I really look forward to getting the first pair up and running here.
>Seems like you might not even need the tweeters.
I'm not one to miss high frequencies - usually when they are not done well (most of the time) I'd rather get rid of them! We'll see but I'm guessing the tweeter will be needed. The panel would get pretty directional up there as well and the tweeter would help that out. MLSSA will help to see what's going on up top and we'll go from there.
>I know you are heading to Japan and will look into these, any info you >can share?
As I mentioned above next step is to get'em here and get cabinets made, etc. Then I'll listen / measure to get a handle on'em and we'll go from there. I do hope to meet with them in Japan.
>Also it has been reputed that ribbons just can't move enough air to give >the right feel for the lower frequencies. How do these panels do in that >department?
These are not ribbons in the traditional sense - they have a surround and some excursion. As mentioned above I did not think they sounded thin at all. As an point - they got tired of answering the question "are there woofers inside the cabinet?" and put a little sign at the speaker - "No Woofers Inside". I have to add that they are not GR alpha's or RM40's, etc. For rock concert levels and wall crack'n bass look elsewhere! They will fit for someone wanting a really natural speaker to use with high quality but modest power tube gear.
>At 93 db effecient these panels look like they could make a great >speaker for tube amps.
Exactly! They are not huge (compared to the big horn loaded monsters I have played with) and the latest drivers are all Neo N45 magnets for even a bit higher efficiency than listed.