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May CDApS Meeting (Read 33391 times)
Palomino
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May CDApS Meeting
05/05/17 at 16:42:04
 
Shaping up to be a killer CDApS meeting on Sunday.

Raven's "25th Anniversary Zen", my OBs and DBC's "SLAB" OB bass speakers running wide open - will all be put to the test.

El Presidente will call the meeting to order at noon.

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ProggRob
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #1 - 05/06/17 at 03:45:37
 
Jealous!!!
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Tripwr1964
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #2 - 05/06/17 at 15:26:30
 
your letting a springfield guy come to your meeting? Grin
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Donnie
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #3 - 05/06/17 at 15:39:20
 
They let a Decatur guy come once.
Springfield is the more or less the same except they have a Chili's and Decatur doesn't.
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Palomino
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #4 - 05/06/17 at 17:56:19
 
Come on up!  Seriously.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #5 - 05/06/17 at 18:02:50
 
Jealous too ProggRob.
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Dave1210
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #6 - 05/06/17 at 23:16:37
 
I too would really like to hear Pal's room and the holographic imaging and "being there" sense that he and el presidente keep schooling me on.

I'm sure my mind would explode and then I'd come home and tell my wife we have to move so I can have a dedicated listening room.

At which point her head would explode and she'd probably just toss all of my audio equipment out the window and when I went running after it, change the locks...
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Donnie
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #7 - 05/07/17 at 16:15:03
 
I woke up this morning thinking that I might need to take a nice motorcycle ride north, perhaps to Lisle, but my wife pointed to the stuff that she needed done today. Oh well, perhaps the next meeting.
Please keep us updated, I'm truly interested in what DBC's SLABS sound like in Palo's "Room of Truth".
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Palomino
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #8 - 05/07/17 at 22:37:02
 
Successful meeting.  

Lots to process about the SLABS.  They are quite musical and add a lot of presence.  I didn't know what to expect with them running fhull range but they don't seem to overemphasize any frequency.  They just seem to open up the mid range and provide tight articulate bass.  They paired well with my DIY 945s and Eric's Omegas.  

I don't think I have had this much trouble wrapping my head around a speaker before.  DBC knew this going in so he left  them so El Presidente and I could spend more time with them.

About the only defintiie opinion I can offer is they are more geared
to fast articulate bass then deep, hit you in the chest bass.  Augies on the crown seem muddy in comparison, but then again you feel the Augies more.

Far easier to offer a difinitive opinion on Eric's hot rodded Zen.  If Steve offers this as a 25th Anniversary edition...just buy it.  Don't think about it, just get your credit card out and and start keying in the numbers.  For a guy who doesn't own one, I have always preferred the sound of the zen to other decware amps.  I just didn't think it had enough guts.  This amp left Rachael in the dust.  Very articulate with lots of punch.  

More later as I spend more time with the SLABS but those are my first impressions.

I tried multiple times to get him toeave it here and he quite coldly said no.  
I am reevaluating our friendship.

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stone_of_tone
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #9 - 05/07/17 at 22:43:17
 
Yes, fast articulate with the Alpha's is what I wanted and expected. I do not prefer up to 3.5k.....between 55 to 80Hz....I'm awash in musicality right now. .......80Hz today...... .

Oh yeah, my beloved SE84CS.....Aniversary Amp might be coming in! LR WOULD NOT LEAVE IT PAL??
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Palomino
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #10 - 05/07/17 at 23:08:33
 
Stone, it is hard to wrap your head around running these wide open but my opinion right now is it works.

The seem pretty simple but the SLABS are precision engineered to get this sound.

And what's with Raven.  He has a mystery amp at home.  Why not leave that little Zen here?  Seems extremely selfish.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #11 - 05/07/17 at 23:24:47
 
I know he/DBC is using Alpha's...... I will have to learn more about it and inquire with DBC+ your ongoing opinion. Cool, DBC let you hang on to them for awhile.
I have an Internal Xover switch ~to~ Direct on my Velodyne plate amp. I will continue to try. Even though I'm summing and should hook it up to just one channel again. Or, better yet get my 2nd Alpha ASAP.

Now LR, .....geez, what do you do Pal.

Man, my Alpha is breaking in nicely....following bass lines and filling out the soundstage.
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Tripwr1964
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #12 - 05/07/17 at 23:27:32
 
yeah pretty crazy huh!  like i said i wouldn't have believed it myself if i didn't hear it.  Thats why i am building a 2.2 ht with a ufo2... cause that's what i heard at dougs place.

well while the cats were away today, the mouse got out his hillbilly wood shop and made some baffles.  making these for my augies to see what 1.5" does for these babies.

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20170507_140543.jpg

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Tripwr1964
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #13 - 05/07/17 at 23:28:36
 
cut out the holes tomorrow...

thats right, alcohol and power tools! Grin
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20170507_145302.jpg

CSP3 25yr, CAD 120s MKII, Sunfire Signature600, Sota Star Sapphire, SME309, Hana SL, JC3+, Schiit bifrost multibit, CXC, MG1.6QR w/ ext xo & mye stands, OB Augies. herbies iso, VH audio flavor diy pwr cords, Beden 8402 & Dueland IC's,
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stone_of_tone
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #14 - 05/07/17 at 23:31:08
 
Sweet! Stella after cutting today, right?  ;D
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DBC
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #15 - 05/08/17 at 01:40:40
 
Want to thank Palomino for being such a gracious host today. I know he put fourth a lot of effort to get the room cleared out to accommodate our meet. Also want to thank his wonderful wife for putting up with our nonsense when she could have been outside with her husband on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. Pal knows a keeper when he sees one.

Many thanks to Lonely Raven as well. He went to a lot of effort to box up his Omegas and cart those over. This added a great contrast to Pal's Decware monitor clones. I own a 15 year old Select and a 5 year old Super Zen upgraded to UFO. Was really a treat to hear LR's tricked out UFO.

Pal's Rachael and LR's UFO both sounded great with the SLAB's but it was very interesting how different the flavor was. Seemed to me like the UFO had a little More Balls when both were teamed up with the SLAB's. Bias Alert: I'm a big fan of the UFO.

As far as how the SLAB's sound / integrate, I will leave that up to Pal & LR in the coming days and weeks. I feel fortunate to have escaped Palomino's Audio Den of Lions with his kind words above.

As I said to Pal and LR as we parted, we will know how the SLAB's stack up in about a month. If the SLAB's are sitting in Pal's corner with three weeks of dust on them, then there is a lot of work to be done.

Thank you gentlemen.

DBC

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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Palomino
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #16 - 05/08/17 at 02:55:34
 
SLABS have kept my attention all evening.  I did put the OBs back in and dialed them back 4 notches on the crown and that got them closer to the SLAB precision/sound.  I also changed my rectifier to a 274B which got me a little more forward clear sound but still no zen.  UFO is probably the key here.

I have to say when I had the Augies back in I did say to myself "yeah, there it is."  "It" being the grunt but the grunt comes at a price of less transparency just as the SLABs come at a price of less grunt.   No speaker
comes without compromises so a lot of this boils down as the ratio of give up to get.

Tonight I listened to 99% jazz and really enjoyed the SLABs. We'll see over time how they sound with other stuff.
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Dave1210
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #17 - 05/08/17 at 12:01:44
 
Did you guys try using the SLABS and the Augies together at the same time?  

Glass half full...maybe with some crossover adjustment on the Crown, you could make this work and get the best of both worlds.

Glass half empty...it sounds like a hot mess and you have woofers all over your room.

Any comments on holographic imaging and "you are there" for the different combinations, etc?
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stone_of_tone
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #18 - 05/08/17 at 14:05:51
 
Just a quick sidetrack.....as much as the anniversary Zen intrigues me (see reply #8)....and I loved my SE84CS for 13 years.....the 6C33C Mono's within a year/flat plate, from Steve ......will be the most powerful Triode from him.  I am saving my schekles.......... .

See posts: #265 & #266......(and previous posts about them).
https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1408725911/276#276

Especially read, Steve's reply #260............. .  I just plain flat out want his maximum headroom Triode.... .  Mono-block 6C33C's.
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DBC
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #19 - 05/08/17 at 14:08:19
 
Dave 1210 wrote:

Quote:
Did you guys try using the SLABS and the Augies together at the same time?  


The answer is NO. I'm guessing Pal's room is approx 12' across the front and 16' deep at most? Four 15" drivers in their baffles would be a real crowd. Perhaps possible in a dedicated room but probably not practical for most where the listening space doubles as a living space.

DBC
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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
Room #2: Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CS amp, Omega Super 3i Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 12's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Palomino
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #20 - 05/08/17 at 14:13:53
 
Good thought Dave.  I thought about it last night, but we didn’t try it in the meeting.  Your issue would be real estate.  Doug feels that the SLABS need to be aligned with the baffle of the monitors and I agree.  To have three speakers side by side would require more room that I have.  Still I will try it by creating an arc or at least have the augies toe’d in so they would fit.

Also, not much focus during the meeting on the soundstage “presence” phenomenon.  Lots of switching and discussion.  Not a ton of music listening.

I would guess we made it all the way through one or two songs.  We probably played 20 or so, but more to check something out than to kind of relax into the music and feel the room.

I did put the OBs back in last night and the soundstage was much more to my liking.  But then again, there was no work done to optimize what we were hearing with the Monitors/SLAB combo.  Also, our stands were low and to me, that left the soundstage lower than I am used to.  I’ll play with that to see if I can get the same effect with this combo.

Doug did a lot of plugging/unplugging of the SLABS to hear the effect.  The consensus was that the soundstage collapsed.  But I’d like to experiment with this some more because I think going from 4 ohm to 8 ohm load has an effect and you need to turn it up a bit when you disconnect the SLABs.

We played both the 12” and the 15” versions (Doug calls them 15 and 18 to denote the size of the SLAB).  We started with the 12” version because Doug felt the 15” would overwhelm the room.  This was not the case and Eric and I were looking for a little more bottom end so we transitioned to the 15s and that did the trick.  Eric felt that they helped at the top of their range too.  Maybe he can elaborate on that.  Anyway, we stayed with them for the rest of the meeting.  Doug felt that the room treatment helped my little room contain the larger drivers energy.

So I am coming along in my opinion that you need to separate your bass from the other drivers.  If you have the room, it’s something to try.  I also think that every time I have heard speakers made from Baltic ply that I like the more lively sound compared to MDF.

I’ll shut up now and let the others chime in on their thoughts.
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Palomino
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #21 - 05/08/17 at 14:26:55
 
Ok, so maybe I won't shut up.  But I wanted to offer some Zen thoughts.  I don't know how much of what I was hearing was UFO related, but I think based on my past listening on the UFO Zen there was something more.

The only observation I had that I didn't like was that I felt it had a less wide soundstage.  Would that loosen up with seasoning and/or tube time?  I don't know.
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DBC
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #22 - 05/08/17 at 21:33:52
 
Palomino wrote:
Quote:
There was no work done to optimize what we were hearing with the Monitors/SLAB combo.  Also, our stands were low and to me, that left the soundstage lower than I am used to.


For those reading, the monitor stands being used were the IsoAcoustic size medium. They are approx 10 inches high with a 7 degree tilt (front of the speaker is tilted UP towards the listener). Decware monitors are 16 inches tall so total height on stands was approx 26 inches.

Pal, your listening position Sunday is much closer to the speakers than in either of my rooms. Where I sit I have no sense of the soundstage being lower as you describe. As an experiment I moved my listening chair closer to the speakers (more in line with what you had Sunday). I was able to sense immediately the lowering of the soundstage as you describe. Also seems like the soundstage is not quite as wide sitting closer.

At my normal listening distance I can NOT see the top of the speakers. The drivers are more or less pointed at me ear level. As I moved closer to the speakers I could see the tops of the speakers and the drivers were more pointed at or just below my shoulders.

So based on what I hear in my rooms, I think the effect you were hearing was caused by the speakers being mounted too Low for such a close listening position.  Solution: Increase distance between listener and speakers or Increase height of speakers by placing IsoAcoustics on blocks.

Since I took the IsoAcoustics with me, you will be placing your monitors on your wood monitor stands. I noticed these are a bit short and of course have no tilt. You might pay close attention next time if these stands are tall enough to get to your ear level? May experiment with tilt by simply placing something between the stand and front of the speaker to give it a little tilt UP towards the listener.
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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
Room #2: Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CS amp, Omega Super 3i Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 12's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Palomino
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #23 - 05/08/17 at 21:43:26
 
The tweeter is just below ear level if I recall correctly.  I could always put them sideways on the monolith stands a-la-Stone to see if that helps.  I've never had an issue with soundstage height with those speakers running on the base cabinets.  

I'll do some mixing and matching.  Tonight I want to try the Tang Band OBs without the Augies running to see how they mate with the SLABS wide open.

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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #24 - 05/08/17 at 22:11:00
 
Pal,

My main point is that we may have handicapped the monitors Sunday by having the wrong speaker height for the listening distance?

Seems to me you mentioned "Lower Soundstage" and "Soundstage not quite as Wide" on Sunday. I was able to reproduce both conditions in my room by sitting too close to my monitors using the tilted IsoAcoustic stands.

I assume last night's Jazz listening was with the monitors on your wooden stands? If the soundstage height and width sounded correct then all is good.

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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
Room #2: Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CS amp, Omega Super 3i Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 12's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #25 - 05/08/17 at 22:18:12
 
I think we did handicap the situation but I also think that my OBs have a larger soundstage than either of monitors we listened to holding the listening distance constant.  It could be that monitors require more distance but OBs do not.

Last night I did have those old wooden stands going.  The soundstage was smaller and seemed more compressed to the back of the room.  I think with some playing around, this could be rectified.  But I was just digging the bass too much to fuss with it.
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #26 - 05/08/17 at 23:12:44
 
Pal,

You have your closer listening position dialed in for your Tang Bang OB's.

Monitors being a different animal may sound better with a bit more distance?

I know you mentioned you had experienced a Low Frequency Null seated further back. In my experience the SLAB's mated with monitors tend to eliminate the Null's.

DBC

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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
Room #2: Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CS amp, Omega Super 3i Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 12's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #27 - 05/08/17 at 23:34:48
 
No nulls since going to the OBs/OB bass.   I think I can get the soundstage better using the 945s and maintain that listening triangle.  I think that more toe in might help.  It's been so long since I have run them I don't recall the optimal position.  I'll keep fiddling.

I just think OBs present a better soundstage overall.  It's the reason I am experimenting with them despite's ow their other quirks.
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i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 3.5, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, Ven Haus DIY Silver ICs, 25th Ann. Zen, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, GR Research Speaker Wire, DIY Big Betsy and Crystal 10 Open Baffle Speakers
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Donnie
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #28 - 05/09/17 at 01:40:30
 
Palo,
Have you thought about plugging the ports in the back of your speakers?
It will move the bass response up a bit, maybe helping, or hindering.
It might be worth a shot. Or I may be totally wrong.
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #29 - 05/09/17 at 11:54:31
 
I hadn't thought of that. We did have the foam balls in Eric's omegas but then pulled them out.

I did some experimenting with my OBs and the SLABS last night.  I ran them with and without the Augies.  I adjusted the crossover on the Augies down to 50hz.  I also played Huh with the volume on the crown.

I couldn't get the three combined to sound as good as just the SLABS with the Tang Bands or the Augies with the tang bands.  But it did fill in the very bottom on songs that needed it.
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #30 - 05/09/17 at 14:19:42
 
Quote:
Donnie wrote:

Have you thought about plugging the ports in the back of your speakers?
It will move the bass response up a bit, maybe helping, or hindering.
It might be worth a shot. Or I may be totally wrong.


A little background. We started with LR's Omega monitors with foam balls installed in rear ports and SLAB's with 12 inch drivers. LR indicated he had been using the foam balls at his place to tighten up the low end (he felt the low end was a tad loose for his liking).

We listened a bit and I asked to remove the foam balls (I have similar Omega monitors in my system at home). The remainder of our Omega listening was without the foam balls installed. I asked LR if he noticed any tendency to be loose on the low end playing with the SLAB's and my recollection is he said NO. If I'm mistaken please correct me LR.

As Pal states, OB's and SLAB's have a somewhat magical ability to fill in low frequency room nulls (isolated areas of lower perceived bass).

On the flip side when I play my towers in my small room at home the towers sound less refined (a bit loose) on the low end. When I add the SLAB's to the mix that "loose" quality is diminished, the SLAB's seem to tighten things up quite a bit.

DBC
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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
Room #2: Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CS amp, Omega Super 3i Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 12's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #31 - 05/10/17 at 14:25:05
 
I wanted to get the soundstage topic off the table so I fiddled with it last night and got to about the best it is going to get with my monitors in my room.  Had I not started my journey into OBs I would be perfectly satisfied with this soundstage.

That leaves me three questions to be answered in the coming weeks:

1.  Do I need amplification of my bass drivers to achieve satisfying bass across a range of music?

2.  If I maintain amplification of my bass drivers, does that alter the bass sound too much?

3.  Does running 15a’s full range alter the mid-range in a good or bad way?

Oh, and one more question....how many times can I say the word SLABs in a Decware forum thread? Grin
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #32 - 05/10/17 at 16:26:32
 
I don't like how it alters my midrange run full 15a from ZMA. But, that is me and my preference.

I like amplification from my Velodyne 130 watt plate amp summed and between 65 an 70Hz OB BASS now for me is it.....this way.   .....stay out of my midrange thank you.  :D

I'm putting a new toilet in right now off the honey do list. .....then I'm going to enjoy some tunes .... Switching my Adagio's with Mundorfs back in to hear with OB......... .  DM's have been wonderful.
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #33 - 05/10/17 at 17:52:57
 

Sorry I've not chimed in sooner - I got a poke from Palomino via E-mail, so I figured I'd drop in with some notes. Doug also didn't want me to "make up my mind" till I've had the SLABs(1) in my room and played with them with my various gear.

Now, before I go on, I want to preface this with my biases to help the readers understand where I'm coming from.

First and foremost, I'm not an Open Baffle person. ProggRobs setup was one of the first that even interested me, and that was really only because of his tweeters. But then Randy's Betsy Baffles made me go Whoa, I can work with this. They do something special where they throw this huge wall of sound without need for a room full of diffusers. Not the Holographic, precision imaging I strive for, but something really beautiful and listenable.  So in short, OBs aren't my thing. Add to that, multiple drivers not perfectly time aligned...yeah, I can hear that time smearing. Add to that, to me, a subwoofer is a *sub* (below) woofer. So coming in, the SLABs(2) have everything against them in my biased mind. But, as I think many here have seen, I try to come in and listen as a clean slate, and leave my biases outside the listening room and just let my senses and my gut tell me what's what. For the most part, I think I do this pretty well.


So, Tom's room is well done. I've said this time and again. But in this session, we spent so much time swapping in and out, plugging and unplugging the SLABs(3) to A/B test and see what they bring to the table. Add to that, in order to get all this stuff in the room, Tom had the main drivers wider than I'm used to him setting them up, and while there was a clear and wide soundstage (clearly hearing instruments 45 degrees to the left and right, as well as roughly center and off center), imaging just really wasn't the focus of the day. Mostly it was trying to wrap our heads around what was going on when we added the SLABs(4) to the mix.

This is my short list of notes - and I wouldn't call this my final thoughts by any stretch, as I've not had time with them in my setup - so my thoughts could change completely. I also have photos to follow.

First off, Doug's slabs are slick - well designed (which means to me simple while still being stylish). Double layer Baltic Birch plywood with a nice looking clear coat. Black brackets with tall, durable, and slightly yielding rubber feet. They are an inspired design in their simplicity, and that appeals to me in a big way.

Going in, I didn't expect to like running them full range - it just goes against so much I've learned about speakers and design and sound in general - the truth is though, they sounded good! First thing I noticed, is they projected a big wall of sound, much like the Betsy speakers do (huge plus). They add punch to the upper bass, and boost mids that reach into guitar, sax, and vocal range.  This made me realize that (IMHO) these aren't *sub*woofers, but midbass woofers that reach lower than our small 6" or 8" based main speakers do. Doug would probably disagree, but that's how I see them - and no matter how we poked at and reconfigured them, I kept coming back to this.  I'm not saying this is a *bad* thing, in fact they sounded good...it's just a different thing than I strive for.  It made me think they would mate quite well with my Betsy Baffles, and I'm really hoping that's going to be true - because I'm practically salivating at the idea of something that does what the Betsy speaker does, but just at a specific frequency range.

Now the stuff I didn't like. Again, grain of salt, this was in Tom's setup and some of this can probably be mitigated with tweaking - and I'm trying not to let 25 years of driving towards a different sound color these notes.

When we had the SLABs(5) placed poorly, the sound went to hell fast. I could hear major comb filtering and time smearing - this was especially apparent on cymbals where the SLAB(6) frequency overlapped with the more beamy upper frequencies of whatever speakers we had them paired up with. To some extent, this was also apparent in guitar, sax, and vocal sounds, though much less so. It's a trade off, more punch and room filling sound, at the expense of slight loss of detail and holographic imaging due to time smearing. I tried to mitigate this by connecing the SLABs(7) to Tom's Crown amp, and dropping the crossover, and it was better (less overlap so no comb filtering), but the drivers simply lost their magic when run through the crown - probably due to another layer of gear and/or crossover.

We went back and forth on this most of the night - while the SLABs(8) did what they did well, they go in a different direction than I build my systems around. Absolutely listenable, and quite nice, but takes away from that micro-detail and time correctness I favor, that gives you spacial cues and holographic imaging.

However, we finished up the night with the bigger SLABs(9) connected to my one off Zen UFO, and a lot of that high frequency comb filtering and smearing went away...it was as if we had a crossover very invisibly cutting off that mess - and the bigger SLABs(10) reached slightly lower. Now, I'm just going by what I heard - I liked this even more! But Doug sent me the frequency response charts of the two sizes of drivers, and they are so very close to being the same - but it doesn't take much to make a difference I guess!

I know Tom is doing some tweaking - as with the Betsy speakers, there is something special here, so it's worth the effort. I do intend to give them a fair shake in my setup - but that's probably 3-4 weeks away. But again, to me, a *sub* woofer covers the LOWEST octave - these are mid-woofers and in the long run I'm not sure they are right for *my* setup.

One of the tests that I hope to try out with these, once they are in my room; I'm hoping to get these as time-aligned as possible with my Betsy baffle speakers, run both the SLABs(11) and Betsy off my Decware amp, and supplement that with my 18" sealed box home theater style *sub*woofer crossed over at something like 55Hz. I have a feeling this would be pretty damn amazing, having both that huge wall of sound that both the Betsy and SLABs(12) produce, and the visceral bottom end that a large, long throw subwoofer gives you. Hmmm, now that sounds like some great "break out the good whiskey and zone out till 4am" listening.

Photos to follow.
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #34 - 05/11/17 at 12:52:27
 
Quote:
Lonely Raven wrote:

Going in, I didn't expect to like running them full range - it just goes against so much I've learned about speakers and design and sound in general - the truth is though, they sounded good! First thing I noticed, is they projected a big wall of sound, much like the Betsy speakers do (huge plus). They add punch to the upper bass, and boost mids that reach into guitar, sax, and vocal range.This made me realize that (IMHO) these aren't *sub*woofers, but midbass woofers that reach lower than our small 6" or 8" based main speakers do. Doug would probably disagree, but that's how I see them - and no matter how we poked at and reconfigured them, I kept coming back to this.  I'm not saying this is a *bad* thing, in fact they sounded good...it's just a different thing than I strive for.  It made me think they would mate quite well with my Betsy Baffles, and I'm really hoping that's going to be true - because I'm practically salivating at the idea of something that does what the Betsy speaker does, but just at a specific frequency range.


To me this paragraph from Lonely Raven's initial impressions of the SLAB's crystallizes where things stand after 3 hours of listening under less than perfect conditions:

Individual with decades of experience playing music, listening to music and building speakers goes in expecting not to like the SLAB's. This individual is open minded enough to give them a Fair listen (Thank You). Conclusion is there may be promise and further listening is warranted.

DBC
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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
Room #2: Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CS amp, Omega Super 3i Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 12's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #35 - 05/11/17 at 14:22:15
 
I got some more SLAB time in last night and again this morning.  This was the SLABs with the 15" driver.

I'm ready to answer question 1 above.  Do I need amplification of my bass drivers to achieve satisfying bass across a range of music?

The answer no.  I have listened to rock, jazz, techno (with pounding bass) and the SLABs performed well.  However, placement is key.

If I had to do anything over from our last CDApS meeting it would have been to spend more time on setup.  What we had was not even close to optimal.

Doug kept saying that they need room to breath and felt my equipment table was choking them.  The side of the table was somewhat perpendicular to the SLAB.  We did a few experiments and determined that might not be the case.

By experimenting around with them over the last couple days, I have determined that the openness behind the speaker is key to them providing enough room to breathe.  I now have them (and my DIY 945s) on the same plane as I run my OBs.  As a result, there is a much wider opening available to the SLABs before the sound wave hits the side of the table.  And it is pretty open on the other side as the 945 are on stands.

As a result, there is plenty of bass on all types of music.  Yes, they still lack that hit you in the chest bass feel, but I only look for that when I am rocking out.  Otherwise, I am looking to hear the quality of bass and these provide that quite well.

I like musical bass and have found the SLABs to be quite engaging.  Only on a couple of songs did I strain to hear the bass line.  Otherwise, they provide a nice pleasurable bass "buzz."

This morning I was actually thinking of transitioning from the SLAB 15s to the SLAB 12s because the bass was a touch too hot on a few songs.  That's how big a difference placement makes.

I'll probably move on to question #3 as the jury is still out on that one and I can address it without a bunch of getting up and down changing things out, etc.


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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #36 - 05/11/17 at 16:36:43
 
A bit of background:

One of the points that Lonely Raven makes is that the SLAB's are not True Subwoofers. I agree and that is why I have always referred to them as "Low Frequency Open Baffles".

My main speakers are Omega Alnico Monitors (single driver no crossover). Coupled to a UFO these have great transparency and clarity. Only downside is they lack some meat on the low end for my taste. The Omegas don't mate particularly well with traditional powered subwoofers. Subwoofers simply tend to sound a bit muddy compared to the Omegas.

The SLAB's were born out of a motivation to produce a product that would reinforce the lower frequencies of the Omega Monitors while matching the Transparency, Clarity and Speed of the Omegas. I also wanted something that required little or no room treatment (a trait of OB's), would be simple (passive) and practical (to be used in a typical living room or living space).

As Palomino states, some care needs to be taken on placement. Pal's room is tight mainly because his equipment rack is quite wide. The fact he is achieving good bass with such limited placement options is actually quite encouraging.

My main listening room is larger so this is how I normally recommend they be placed:



Photographed above are Tripwr1964's and now Stones Decware monitors with SLAB 15's (15 inch drivers). Four king size pillows along the front wall to damp the echo a bit. The wall above the pillows is bare since I project a 110 inch image directly onto the wall. I was quite impressed with how good the Decware monitors are in this configuration given they are half the price of my Omegas.
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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
Room #2: Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CS amp, Omega Super 3i Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 12's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #37 - 05/11/17 at 16:46:49
 
Yeah, I think that kind of placement would be optimal for these.  Real estate availability is one consideration for the SLABs.  

Not much I could do here except elevating them above the low slung table.  I might be able to do that with the 12s, but I'd want the stand or whatever to be pretty solid.  I think the thickness of the baffle and the rubber feet help in this regard but ideally they are coupled with the floor.
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #38 - 05/11/17 at 16:58:56
 
Pal,

Based on the placement you have now compared to that of Sunday I think this is a huge improvement. I don't think you are loosing much if anything now that they have quite a bit more room to breathe on the back side.

I agree, not sure elevating them would help. My sense is they really need to be anchored to the floor (sitting on the floor).
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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
Room #2: Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CS amp, Omega Super 3i Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 12's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #39 - 05/11/17 at 17:37:31
 

By the time Palomino is ready to hand the SLABs over to me, I'll have my living room/listening room/ theater cleared out in the front again. So I'm looking forward to more time with these!

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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #40 - 05/12/17 at 13:42:58
 
Here's the toybox I have at my disposal.\

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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #41 - 05/12/17 at 14:30:14
 
I have some new silver plated Cardas binding posts for my Zen UFO on the way (don't tell Steve I'm messing with the amp! LOL), some Xhadow silver speaker spades, and I've set aside some 8AWG Zen Styx type wire to make a nice 9' long power cord, and 10' long speaker cables.

If it wasn't Mother's Day this weekend I'd have time in the workshop to be building all this stuff (including some progress on my Betsy baffles). Hopefully I can get a couple hours of work in. I'm getting closer to being ready to try out the SLABs at my place, and getting closer to clearing out and painting the 3rd bedroom as a dedicated Zen chamber. You'll for sure see this in future CDApS) meetings.

Also, I've been trying to talk Tom into selling one of this (two!) Rachel amps and use that money to send in the other one for UFO upgrade. I'm betting Steve could do to the Rachel what he's done for my 20 year old Zen amp. We're both pretty broke with money needing to go to silly things like bills and college funds. (sigh) Good thing us Decware listeners are frugal and clever.
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #42 - 05/13/17 at 02:03:57
 
Decware listeners are clearly some of the most clever people on the planet. Smiley
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #43 - 05/13/17 at 05:39:29
 
Quote:
"Great sound for the sincere but broke music lover"


I think this is why Steve.

Well, this, and the fact that you're so open with your knowledge, give the forums lots of room to breathe, and you cause us to question everything.

All of that attracts the clever and provides fertile ground for ideas to grow.

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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #44 - 05/16/17 at 14:43:25
 
Definitely LR, look forward to Pal's and your ongoing SLAB's listening observations (once you get them over to your place).

Hey, you bring up an interesting point above (you wrote):
"Also, I've been trying to talk Tom into selling one of this (two!) Rachel amps and use that money to send in the other one for UFO upgrade. I'm betting Steve could do to the Rachel what he's done for my 20 year old Zen amp. We're both pretty broke with money needing to go to silly things like bills and college funds. (sigh) Good thing us Decware listeners are frugal and clever."

Interesting thought? I would like an UFO Rachel with what he has done for your 20 year old Zen Amp!  Can you do that Steve and PM me a price?

Yeah, bills and college funds.....sure get in the way! I chose not to take my ex to court for long term spousal maintenance.....as long as she covered quite a bit of their tuition. I sleep well at night with my lower standard of living....post divorce.....knowing they are getting there best shot at capitalism.  
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #45 - 05/16/17 at 15:15:10
 
Quote:
I sleep well at night with my lower standard of living....post divorce.....knowing they are getting there best shot at capitalism.  


That's the American way! Ugh.

Call Steve and see if he can soup up a Rachel like my Zen UFO!

That said, I've still not heard my Zen UFO next to, say a Select UFO. But then ProggRobs Zen UFO was the best I had heard till mine.

Also, my upgrade was about $700!!  And that was with a small  "friend discount" or something.  So yeah, I put $700 into an amp I paid $499 for, and had previously spent $350 on upgrades and retubing.

But now I'm super happy with it. The little Zen does stuff even the ZMA can't, but nothing can touch the grunt of the ZMA - so I swap them back and forth.
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #46 - 05/16/17 at 15:31:50
 
LR, yes, I'm going to contact Steve about it. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

I agree, the ZMA will not be replaced from its throne. I simply want Steve's pentode in triode back in the house to switch in and out, as you mentioned. My SE84CS is missed and with the advent of the UFO upgrade and what he has done to yours, would be nice to experience.....but, with the Rachel an the EL34.

Furthermore, facing reality/budget, I won't be able to swing his pure triode 6C33C mono's. An UFO+ Rachel would be sweet.....pentode in triode here again.
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #47 - 05/16/17 at 15:39:09
 
Thought for the causal follower of this thread I would try to update from time to time a running "Condensed Synopsis" of observations / comments by Palomino and Lonely Raven relating specifically to SLAB listening impressions. Recognizing that I am biased, I will do my best to include performance observations whether Positive or Negative.

Quote:
Palomino wrote on 05/07/17:

"I don't think I have had this much trouble wrapping my head around a speaker before.  DBC knew this going in so he left  them so El Presidente and I could spend more time with them.

About the only defintiie opinion I can offer is they are more geared
to fast articulate bass then deep, hit you in the chest bass.  Augies on the crown seem muddy in comparison, but then again you feel the Augies more".


Tripwr1964 wrote on 05/07/17:

"yeah pretty crazy huh!  like i said i wouldn't have believed it myself if i didn't hear it.  Thats why i am building a 2.2 ht with a ufo2... cause that's what i heard at dougs place".


Palomino wrote on 05/07/17:

"SLABS have kept my attention all evening.  I did put the OBs back in and dialed them back 4 notches on the crown and that got them closer to the SLAB precision/sound.  I also changed my rectifier to a 274B which got me a little more forward clear sound but still no zen.  UFO is probably the key here.

I have to say when I had the Augies back in I did say to myself "yeah, there it is."  "It" being the grunt but the grunt comes at a price of less transparency just as the SLABs come at a price of less grunt.   No speaker comes without compromises so a lot of this boils down as the ratio of give up to get.

Tonight I listened to 99% jazz and really enjoyed the SLABs".


Palomino wrote on 05/10/17:

"I wanted to get the soundstage topic off the table so I fiddled with it last night and got to about the best it is going to get with my monitors in my room.  Had I not started my journey into OBs I would be perfectly satisfied with this soundstage.

That leaves me three questions to be answered in the coming weeks:

1.  Do I need amplification of my bass drivers to achieve satisfying bass across a range of music?

2.  If I maintain amplification of my bass drivers, does that alter the bass sound too much?

3.  Does running 15a’s full range alter the mid-range in a good or bad way?"


Lonely Raven wrote on 05/10/17:

"First off, Doug's slabs are slick - well designed (which means to me simple while still being stylish). Double layer Baltic Birch plywood with a nice looking clear coat. Black brackets with tall, durable, and slightly yielding rubber feet. They are an inspired design in their simplicity, and that appeals to me in a big way.

Going in, I didn't expect to like running them full range - it just goes against so much I've learned about speakers and design and sound in general - the truth is though, they sounded good! First thing I noticed, is they projected a big wall of sound, much like the Betsy speakers do (huge plus). They add punch to the upper bass, and boost mids that reach into guitar, sax, and vocal range.  This made me realize that (IMHO) these aren't *sub*woofers, but midbass woofers that reach lower than our small 6" or 8" based main speakers do. Doug would probably disagree, but that's how I see them - and no matter how we poked at and reconfigured them, I kept coming back to this.  I'm not saying this is a *bad* thing, in fact they sounded good...it's just a different thing than I strive for.  It made me think they would mate quite well with my Betsy Baffles, and I'm really hoping that's going to be true - because I'm practically salivating at the idea of something that does what the Betsy speaker does, but just at a specific frequency range."


Palomino wrote on 05/11/17:

"I got some more SLAB time in last night and again this morning.  This was the SLABs with the 15" driver.

I'm ready to answer question 1 above.  Do I need amplification of my bass drivers to achieve satisfying bass across a range of music?

The answer no.  I have listened to rock, jazz, techno (with pounding bass) and the SLABs performed well.  However, placement is key.

This morning I was actually thinking of transitioning from the SLAB 15s to the SLAB 12s because the bass was a touch too hot on a few songs.  That's how big a difference placement makes.

I'll probably move on to question #3 as the jury is still out on that one and I can address it without a bunch of getting up and down changing things out, etc."

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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
Room #2: Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CS amp, Omega Super 3i Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 12's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #48 - 05/17/17 at 23:28:14
 
I have been busy but able to listen most nights and some mornings.  It's great to have all these combos to try out.  The SLABs mate well with the Betsys but not as well with the Tang Bands.  Because they are passive with no crossover they are pure but might not work with all speakers.  They could always be amplified and/or crossed over but that would be more akin to what Randy is doing than Doug.

Also I have been doing a lot of comparisons of amplified to non amplified and I am afraid I am landing firmly in the amplified camp.  

One thing that I have definitely learned from the use of the SLABs is that I needed to turn the bass down.  I was just too high on the crown.  Take it down a few steps and the bass doesn't have as much impact but it's a lot more musical.

Keep in mind that this opinion was formed using my equipment. If I had ravens hot rod zen I may come to another conclusion.  The bass was fuller and hit better using his amp.

I can see the attraction for all these bass solutions.   They all have their merits.  12s are tighter, 15as are more melodic and Augies are richer.  SLABs wide open are more pure.

I don't think you can lose with open baffle bass.  It just depends on what you have in terms of room, main speakers and amplification.

More later but these are my thoughts for now.

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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #49 - 05/17/17 at 23:55:49
 
Palo, The secret is 4 15's!
Nothing needs to be pushed, just bass floating in your room, no pain no strain.
But then I am kind of known as a wildeyed cornfield dweller!
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #50 - 05/18/17 at 00:42:38
 
Donnie you just need to come up with a name for your creation!
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #51 - 05/18/17 at 01:49:09
 
Palo, I've came up with a name for my speakers. They are called "El diablo bad mother bear mambo jambos ". Or maybe "Angie's" after a acquaintance that has the correct amount of both top and bottom end.
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #52 - 05/18/17 at 12:55:46
 
Quote:
Paraphrasing excerpt from Palomino 05/17/17 post:

I can see the attraction for all these bass solutions.   They all have their merits.

SLAB 12's ----------------------------  TIGHTER
SLAB 15's ----------------------------  MELODIC
Augies --------------------------------  RICHER      
SLAB's running wide open --------  PURE


TIGHT, MELODIC, PURE: Three out of Four, Not Bad.

More later.
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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
Room #2: Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CS amp, Omega Super 3i Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 12's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #53 - 05/18/17 at 15:30:46
 
Yes but I think you may have missed the point of my post.  To achieve those results the first 3 need amplification.  I don't consider this a bad thing.  Just my observation.
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #54 - 05/18/17 at 15:46:18
 
Pal,

When I read the post that point was not clear to me. Thanks for the clarification.

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Room #2: Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CS amp, Omega Super 3i Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 12's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #55 - 05/18/17 at 22:00:46
 
Quote:
Palo, I've came up with a name for my speakers. They are called "El diablo bad mother bear mambo jambos ". Or maybe "Angie's" after a acquaintance that has the correct amount of both top and bottom end.


I like the way you think.

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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #56 - 05/18/17 at 22:05:54
 
Correct proportions are very nice.
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Re: May CDApS Meeting
Reply #57 - 05/27/17 at 14:38:23
 
I meant to amend this post last week after Palomino's clarification and got distracted with work and family matters.

Quote:
Paraphrasing excerpt from Palomino 05/17/17 post:

I can see the attraction for all these bass solutions.   They all have their merits.

SLAB 12's Amplified with Crossover -----------  TIGHTER
SLAB 15's Amplified with Crossover -----------  MELODIC
Augies      Amplified with Crossover -----------  RICHER      
SLAB's      Passive  & No Crossover -----------  PURE


Pal, just curious, when amplified in the first three cases where do you tend to set the crossover point? Is it the same for all three or different?

DBC
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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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