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Hell, those aren't big ! (Read 144920 times)
Steve Deckert
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #15 - 12/28/02 at 04:56:18
 
Continued...



The bass was very dry and super tight.  We quickly decided to change the send from the monitors to an aux channel where the output was not high-passed and more listenable.  At the same time both channels were mixed to mono so we wouldn't be hearing just one channel anymore.  From this point forward, the speaker was pleasing to listen to.  That was motivation to put on a CD and loose the crappy radio and so it was done.  

We listened to a couple of songs on CD at a high playback level looking for that familiar "Imperial Power" that wrecks the room also known as bass notes from hell and well you get the idea.  Remember, all prior models (about 6 pair) had all been done with a single 15 inch driver and built like the original plan.

I think we were both floored at what we were hearing.  First of all you forget the effortless power these speakers have - at least we did.  The most prominent thing that was different from prior models was the tightness.  The only speaker I've ever heard with bass that tight is my Acoustats.  They can play at 115 dB with less than 1% total system distortion and are the definition of tight.  This single Imperial sounded exactly like it but on steroids.  

When you attend a live rock concert with a sound crew that knows what's going on and is having a good night, you find yourself amazed by the power and the tightness of the kick drum.  Stereo speakers at home simply do not do that.  If you can picture this kind of sound in your mind, what we head come out of the Imperial was over twice as tight and extremely flat with bottomless extension that can and did shake the concrete floor.

Paul noticed that nothing in the room was getting wrecked.  By that he means vibrating.  Usually there are 20 things in the room that have to be quieted down because they buzz or rattle when you play the Imperial.  We just always thought this was normal but this time the sound pressure level was way louder than what it usually takes to start wrecking the room and not one peep from anything.  

Good room you say?  Not from this perspective, no.  There should have been 20 or more things that needed moved or weighted down.  We learned that the velocity and transient response (tightness) was so superior that it didn't give anything in the room time to be wrecked.  More like shooting a bullet through a door vs. someone pounding on it.  For both of us, this was some genuine enlightenment that basically means the nasty resonances of objects in your room are excited by distortion not pressure.

continued....
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« Last Edit: 12/28/02 at 05:00:46 by Steve Deckert »  
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #16 - 12/28/02 at 05:31:19
 
We ran through several more songs with different type of music and before you know it we weren't finishing the cabinets like we planned to.  

I think we both found it interesting that two grossly mismatched woofers could hit so precisely as one, not to mention sound even listenable in the midrange and high frequencies.  We simply ran them full range with a flat signal.  Now, unlike the original design that took months of playing musical woofers until we found ones that worked, this new cabinet design is obviously not going to give a shit what you put in it!

The horn lenses you see in prior pictures setting on top are not hooked up.  We don't have the drivers for them yet.

I expected to turn this speaker cabinet on, crank it a few times and reduce it to a background listening level so I wouldn't become tired of crappy mismatched speakers.  Instead we spent the rest of the evening from I guess around 7pm to 2am listening to it with bigger than life grins on our faces!

What clinched it was around 8pm when Paul flipped the crappy little tuner to our local public radio station that played jazz and blues.  It was the first time I heard the tuner sound good.  But it goes way beyond that...  Good is okay for about an hour.  Anything longer than that usually has to be great.  We had it cranked, but it was so clean that it didn't seem the 120 db it probably was.

Song after song, the cabinet just sitting there in the middle of floor and no good reason why it should be sounding this good.  Hour by hour and beer by beer we simply couldn't turn the damn thing off.  I started to have disturbing thoughts about the fact that I'm listening to "inferior" electronics when compared to our Zen Triodes, yet somehow this was sounding incredible.

Towards the end of the night, still listening to the radio in mono cranked to the wood on great jazz and enjoying it as much as stereo I had a good idea.  I decided no one would believe this if we told them, so I was going to get some proof.  All I had to do was go over to the computer by the mixer and start the recorder.  I used the two boundary mics also known as room mics (CROWN PZM) fed into the board in stereo.  

The songs kept coming and I recorded 4 of them.  Then we took a break and I just had to hear what the recording sounded like so I hit play.  Now, here we were sitting in the same room listening to a recording of the Imperial - ON the Imperial.  It was playing a recording of itself.  That was interesting.  There was a noticeable difference in the sound of the recording.  It was less detailed and less tight and slightly smoother sounding.  But considering we recorded the room and the speaker was 90 degrees off axis to the mics this effect is normal.

I have saved the recordings because I think you'll want to hear this.  Even though a conventional stereo will never be able to fully recreate it, you will get a taste of it, perhaps 50% which is enough to hear what is so special about it.

I'll post a link to a 30 second clip of song 2.  It is about 2.5 meg in size.  The whole song is 43 meg, and I'm trying to figure out what is the best way to present it.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #17 - 12/28/02 at 05:39:14
 



Here is the sound clip.  It is a recording of us listening to Jazz on the radio in mono using one of the new Imperial cabinets exactly as it is shown in the picture.  

In short this is a recording of the new Imperial speaker in the room as pictured.  It is a 44.1kHz 16 bit stereo wav file.  

This is a stereo recording of one Imperial playing in mono.

Be sure to burn this to CD and play it on your real stereo.  Don't waist your time trying to listen to it on your computer.

http://www.decware.com/imperialsample.wav

Durring the recording I had Joe (who was also there- a friend of ours) take some shakers and walk by the mics so everyone could see this was not a faked recording.  In the complete recording you can hear all of us from time to time in the background.  

Steve


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« Last Edit: 12/28/02 at 05:53:03 by Steve Deckert »  
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Terry
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #18 - 12/28/02 at 07:43:35
 
I can't believe it, I gotta hear the full song.  I have never heard 15" woofers produce such treble before.  What are those crappy woofers you dug up, you might be disappointed in the ones your ordered.  Which you haven't told us what drivers they are yet!!  One thing I have learned is not to under estimate vintage drivers, and pro drivers, they can do more than we imagine.

Cool suff keep it comming!  I think I might just have to make a pair of these, when will the plans be available?  But it have to wait until I get done with another project.

TG Grin

P.S. Looks like someone else has a Shopsmith.
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« Last Edit: 12/28/02 at 07:46:58 by Terry »  
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Peter
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #19 - 12/28/02 at 11:44:39
 
Shocked
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Albert
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #20 - 12/28/02 at 15:21:39
 
Ok now wouldn't it be wild if when you put in the "correct" speakers that you lost all the magic! I know you guys have thought about that Grin
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hurdy_gurdyman
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #21 - 12/28/02 at 15:37:47
 
Maybe the secret to the "magic" is the mis-matched speakers. Each could be correcting the flaws of the other.
Dave Grin
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Corpsdriver
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #22 - 12/28/02 at 16:01:33
 
No way! That wonderful High End was your buddy with the shakers, right?  :o
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Corpsdriver
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #23 - 12/28/02 at 16:08:12
 
increadible... even the top of the ride and the splash were there... Once again, i am on my knees, facing east, bowing to the Deckert. you need to hang a sign on your shop door that says "Welcome to Mecca"
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #24 - 12/28/02 at 16:48:39
 
Yes, Paul and I had this exact conversation.  I personally expect to like the miss-matched pair better.  We plan to install the fresh woofers in the second cabinet and compare once they come in.  To keep costs down I'm going to be using some no-name woofers from China.  They might be a flop, if there are you will all know about it --- as the Imperial turns.

Like I told Paul, don't laugh, we may have to find another pair of miss-matched woofers that match these!

I agree, you all need to hear the entire song.  I will post the 43 meg file on the site soon.  I will also remove it shortly afterwards.  Perhaps a few days.  Those without high speed Internet could possibly do an all night download while they sleep.

I thought many of you would find the highs interesting... we did!  Hell, why don't you all drive or fly over here and we'll roast a pig on the wood stove and have another go at it!

I'll be honest here for a minute... what is really sick is the fact that a single cabinet playing in mono with a poor source, crappie wire, and so so solid state amp can be as rewarding to listen to as the high end gear in stereo.  And in many ways it goes well beyond it.  At least that is what went through my mind at least 40 times on Thursday night Smiley

Of course the main course still awaits.  A finished pair set up properly being run by Zen amps.
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earwax
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #25 - 12/28/02 at 17:47:42
 
Stevie!...Sweetie! I can believe you and Paul put another set of Imperial's together. And I can believe your finding something magical about them...but, did I read this right..you let Joe within striking distance of them! You know Japan has Godzilla, and well, from past experience, Godzilla has met his match. I have no doubt Japan would reward us handsomely if we were to keep Joe safely contained here in the U.S.

I shall have to stop by sometime and give them a listen to.
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Terry
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #26 - 12/28/02 at 17:53:00
 


I posted this a while back, it is all about tone.  The only reason for trying to get a stereo set up correctly put together is to get the right tone.  Phase coherency is just one aspect of that.  What you are saying is not surprising to me in the least, we have been so misguided by manufactures.  In the realm of speakers, one thing has proven true, BIGGER IS BETTER.  I have got to make a pair of these speaker for my garage.  No matter how nice I make them look, I don't know if my wife will let them in the house, but I will try.  Perhaps when she is seventy and doesn't care any more I could hire a moving company to move them in the house then, but I gotta have a pair now.

I think those china cheapies might just work fine, but you have got to try a few different speakers in them to help us understand what will work and what will not.  I find pro-drivers and vintage speaker drivers to be more forgiving of enclosers.  I mean in the scale of 12  cubic feet, what is one foot here or there.

I guess Steve doesn't have to worry about WAF when his business is audio, you just go to work and enjoy.

TG Grin
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Terry
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #27 - 12/28/02 at 21:40:50
 

One more thing, I am real curious how 15" drivers sound when set up in proper stereo imaging, as they tend to beam start at round 600Hz.  So you would probably have a narrow sweet spot, and I wonder if they would sound as good on axis as the would slight off axis.  Just some thoughts I am wondering if a person can overcome.

TG Grin
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Eerie_Von
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #28 - 12/29/02 at 02:42:43
 
Wel that just proves, there's no substitute for a big a-s-s pair of speakers. I listened to the WAV file, and it sounded pretty good, but that's because I've got my WebTV box hooked into my home theater/surround rig.

Why do I bring this up? Well, my processor has five LEDs that glow with varying brightness to indicate the relative strength of the signal going to each channel. And even the TWO channel recording Steve made does have some embedded ambient/surround information.

When the recording started, it was like being transported into the room that the big ol' Imperial was playing in. I even played the thing a few times through, just to confirm it wasn't a mistaken impression. It was like I was in the room with the speaker. If any of you decide to burn a CD, try listening to it in a surround rig, preferably in a matrix mode with NO room simulations. You may be suprised.
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steve_f
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Re: Hell, those aren't big !
Reply #29 - 12/29/02 at 03:19:56
 
Hi Steve,
I am IMPRESSED... wow.  With junk drivers,even.  So when will the plans for the Decware Imperial become available?
Steve F
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