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Upgraded Traps with SVS sub on the way (Read 1281 times)
kevtn8
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Upgraded Traps with SVS sub on the way
05/27/14 at 07:20:56
 
I have already sold my DM945 and companion cabinets because I wasn't as satisfied with them as I thought. The musicality and accuracy just wasn't there. Anyways, I have ordered custom Traps ( upgraded crossovers, hookup wires, binding post) a few days ago and just bought a Velodyne Minivee subwoofer today. I will be using them with my SE84CKCS. Due to room constraints, I have downsized into a reference desktop system. Has anyone tried this combo before and if so, how was the overall musical picture? Thanks.

Update: I have returned the Velodyne package to sender and instead ordered a SVS SB-1000 sub. SVS seems to be a better value and this model has slightly better LFE than the Velodyne and is nearly as small. Online reviews are both very good. Can't wait to try it out.  
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« Last Edit: 05/30/14 at 04:54:45 by kevtn8 »  
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dla405j
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Re: Upgraded Traps with Velodyne sub on the way
Reply #1 - 05/27/14 at 20:06:48
 
I have the SE84CKCS and two zen amps in different rooms & have used them all with traps & dm944s.  The traps are wonderful speakers and a great match with the zens.  I'm amazed at the quality of sound and range that they put out but to me the dm944 have a little more finesse $ quality but your upgrades to the traps may make a difference...how did you do the upgrades...?  special order or get the parts and do it yourself?  I have another pair of traps coming and have space constraints as well & love the small size and portability of the zen/traps combo.  I Also find that room size seems to mean more with these speakers.  I also moved the traps to mini stands and also have used them on full-size stands and this improved the sound...I may be interested in tweaking/improving the traps so please expand on the mods you had done...what and how...thanks
Dave
dla405j
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kevtn8
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Re: Upgraded Traps with Velodyne sub on the way
Reply #2 - 05/27/14 at 20:24:34
 
I'm working closely with Bob on this. I have reassessed every single part on this speaker and have paid Bob additional money to do these mods for me. This is very important because I'm using these as my reference desktop speakers. That's why I invested in the SVS sub. I wanted a complete n balanced system from top to bottom. Something that can last me a very long time in a small to medium room.
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« Last Edit: 05/30/14 at 04:57:51 by kevtn8 »  
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kevtn8
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Re: Upgraded Traps with SVS sub on the way
Reply #3 - 07/28/14 at 07:36:06
 
Just a little update for everyone:

I received my Traps last week and have been listening for about 10 hours total so far.

Just to refresh my audio journey to this point: At the beginning of the year, I was using the DM945 and few weeks later added the companion cabinets to them. I thought the DM945 sounded pretty good with great tonality, however the midrange clarity could be clearer and I didn't think it handled complex musical transients too well. With the companion cabinets, the soudstage opened up even more and there was more bass. However, I thought the musical tonality was off. My guess was that there was frequencies in the midrange and as high up as the treble was leaking into the horns.....this adversely affected the accuracy of the music for me. Keep in mind, this is all in my small unorganized room with no room treatments of any kind so obviously YMMV.

So long story short I decided to sell the DM945 and cabinets and downsized into a high-end audiophile desktop system. I then ordered the Traps from Bob and purchased a SVS sealed sub with sub bass augmentation in mind for my future system. Since the Traps were only 89db, I knew that weight and dynamics would be very important and so I also ordered the CSP3 to use as a preamp for my SE84CKCS.

Initial impressions of the Traps and CSP3 to my system:

I believe I have a pretty good ear for music. My taste in music is very diverse and I believe I know what I'm looking for. Since 2001, I've been using only hybrid tube based amps( Tube Driver Blue) in the car along with Dynaudio and Morel speakers. Aside from the DM945, I admit I do not have a lot of personal experience with other audiophile home speakers from other companies. However, most of my friends are all hardcore tube audiophiles and I have listened to their tube systems consisting of Proacs bookshelf to DIY speakers consisting of pretty good audiophile drivers such as Seas and Scanspeak( Jansen DTQWT most recent).

With my CSP3 as a pre to the SE84CKCS and without even using my SVS sub, after only about 10 hours total so far on my Traps I feel as if I'm in an audiophile dream. The sound I'm hearing is in another league. Here is a quote from a response that I recently emailed Bob:

First, please let your son know how much I really appreciate his design and concept on these speakers. I believe they are really unique, beautiful, and really excel at what they set out to do and more. They are in a class by themselves. The bottom slit bass port is ingenious and really gets the job done on the desktop without getting in the way of placement. I want to add that the addition of the CSP3 to my current system has been an unbelievable experience and a lot of what I'm hearing from the Traps ( weight and dynamics) would not be possible without it. With that said, all of this electrical energy has to be transferred into sound somehow and I believe my Traps does this better than any audiophile speaker I've listened to for the money. After listening for a few more hours tonight, this has only reaffirmed what I've written so far about these wonderful speakers. These speakers just has NO weaknesses. The bass detail and extension are just unbelievable for a speaker of this size. Even with a SVS sub bought for this potential system in mind, I have no desire to integrate it with what I'm hearing from my Traps. The soundstage is huge, the imaging is exceptional and vivid, the treble and midrange ( maybe the Vifa being discontinued was a blessing after all 😄) are world class. Perhaps to best sum up how I feel right now about these speakers: if I have a dream of what my ideal speaker would be like in terms of sound, size, and looks…. it would be my Traps 👍.  Thank you so much to you and your son for designing and building such exceptional audiophile speakers.

So to say that I'm impressed with these speakers is an understatement. Based on what I've gone through so far, the Traps ( with the help of the CSP3) has been like a gift from the audio gods  ;D

I'll just let my complete system break in and just enjoy the journey. I may give another update later if there are major improvements but I think you guys get the picture now.

Happy Listening everyone  ;)
Kevin T.
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HPDJ
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Re: Upgraded Traps with SVS sub on the way
Reply #4 - 07/28/14 at 08:31:54
 
This is awesome to read congrats! The traps are my main speakers because I'm desktop based for now, but I keep wanting to stretch them and put them on stands...I WILL do this eventually because I don't have the space or funds for bigger speakers... And bigger speakers could end up overloading my room... One things for sure though: I will never sell these speakers! They are too unique and great sounding!

Kevtn8, please detail the upgrades you got and post some pics if you can.

I put wooden butcher blocks under my pair (and studio foam under the blocks) because the bass was vibrating my desk too much.... Looks like you changed the binding posts on pair, I think that was a good move because the binding posts on the stock speaker are my least favorite part of them. I will also say that I have not been able to discern small changes to my system with the traps (tweaks like vibration control or cable rolling) which just means that maybe they aren't the most revealing speaker in that regard... And I kinda wish they were.... But for the price...... Maaaaybe I'm asking for too much Smiley
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kevtn8
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Re: Upgraded Traps with SVS sub on the way
Reply #5 - 07/29/14 at 04:22:19
 
HPDJ, I have no doubt that these speakers will work great on stands ( designed for the Traps bottom slit port) and can definitely give you the sound of much larger speakers in the right system with the right gear.

Synergy is very important with these speakers. My opinion of them so far is unique to my particular setup. They are a great match with the SE84CKCS and the addition of CSP3 takes this great combo up another notch or two.

Here are the final mods/upgrades done to my Traps:

1)Mundorf Supreme on tweeter ( w/ silver hookup wires)
2) ClarityCap on midwoofer shunt ( std hookup wires)
3) Upgraded binding post ( the back seems to be redesigned to accommodate the diff binding post...looks like HR1 or ERR in the back)
4) Baltic birch wood used on the main cabinets ( the sides are still MDF for weight/stability)
5) Bob used his 2nd best dampening materials w/ 3 diff layers

I have pictures of the rear binding post and the front of the system but the files are too large. How do you guys upload your pictures on the forums?

All of these modifications aside, the most important decision that I made regarding these speakers was to give Bob the go ahead to use the SB driver for the mids. I had been planing to use the Vifa mid driver ( which I ordered online before canceling) before Bob stopped me, on more than 1 occasion. Most of you guys have the Vifa mid driver. I've read a lot of good things about them here and online and I'm sure they sound great, however Bob and his son compared them side by side in the same setup in his music room and came to the conclusion that the SB driver was far superior. That was all I needed to hear and I then cancelled the Vifa order. In my particular setup with the synergy I have with the CSP3 and Traps, I believe these SB mid drivers are among the top 2-3 best 4inch drivers in the world. Bob and his son were really fortunate to discover these great drivers.

One of the most overlooked aspect of this great speaker is the design of the crossover. Bob has managed to take a very affordable speaker ( with very reasonably priced components) and get the sort of sound out of them that you'd only find on very expensive systems costing in the tens of thousands of dollars. The end results are nothing short of amazing. To my ears thus far, my Traps are the most neutral, accurate, and resolving home speakers that I've heard in a system costing less than 6K. Every single note, tone, timbre, instruments, and human voices are as natural and accurate as I've heard. In my current system, the Traps have NO weaknesses that I can think of.

My next update will be IF I integrate my SVS sub and right now with what I'm hearing, that's a very big 'if'  ;D




 
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« Last Edit: 07/30/14 at 02:59:59 by kevtn8 »  
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HPDJ
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Re: Upgraded Traps with SVS sub on the way
Reply #6 - 07/29/14 at 07:39:35
 
I believe you click the "Choose File" button below the reply box and choose the image you want to post...I think that's what I've done in the past...

And I haven't done this in a while, but I used to put my traps on my wooden floor and sit on the floor with them a few feet away and in b/t, and I was shocked at how good and big they sounded this way. Because of the slit at the bottom for the port, I'll have to place a wooden block under then with most of the options I have for stands online. Not a big deal Smiley

And thanks for the details on your special order Traps, sounds like they came out great!
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busterfree
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Re: Upgraded Traps with SVS sub on the way
Reply #7 - 07/30/14 at 03:59:27
 
A good read for me. Thanks for sharing.

My traps are not being used right now, and I wonder if updated mid drivers (& other options) are an available for existing customers. But, I would hate to have to ship them back.

I really liked my speakers as they are especially with the SE84CKCS.
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kevtn8
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Re: Upgraded Traps with SVS sub on the way
Reply #8 - 07/30/14 at 08:07:34
 
It was my pleasure busterfree. The custom Traps are the most fortunate and exciting thing to ever happen for me since I passed my board exams and started working  :) .

I had my eye on them since last year for a potential desktop setup. To me they are one of the most unique and beautiful speakers that I've seen in person and they sound even better than they look  ;D .

Anything is possible in a custom speaker (unless Bob says otherwise). Just communicate with Bob and let him know what you want to do.
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