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The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style (Read 77377 times)
Donnie
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #50 - 09/20/19 at 18:02:25
 
Hydro dipping
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48jFJnuvE4g

I've seen it done, semi magical.
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #51 - 09/21/19 at 19:24:00
 


Hi Steve,

I have been giving some thought to possible additional finishes ..... we will definitely have to discuss the options when I'm in East Peoria.

So far, everything I have done has turned out pretty well ..... but the "Darth Vader" look is very appealing in my he shed listening room .....



I made another pair with contrasting (light colored) base screw buttons and they look pretty nice as well. That is probably the pair I will bring for audition to the Decware Fest.

Happy listening,
Randy

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waxburger
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #52 - 11/15/19 at 02:25:03
 
I've had my pair of Lii 15" OB from Caintuck  for a couple of weeks now and I can't imagine getting more speaker for the money.  They sound great, Randys craftsmanship is top notch,  they look exotic, they're user friendly, and one man portable.   I started out driving them with a couple of mono strapped ZKit1 amps and they were really impressive, then I hooked up the bigger  mono blocks and excellent became excellent-er with another 40-50 watts. I would definitely recommend these to a friend.  I predict that some day, when they don't make 'em anymore, the Lii 15" will be one of those legendary 'barn-find' type drivers people dream of getting their hands on.
JC
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HockessinKid
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #53 - 11/15/19 at 13:03:31
 
Greetings Everyone,

I thought I'd post my exploration and listening impressions of the Lii Audio F-15 drivers and purchase of a pair of Caintuck Audio Lii 15 baffles.

To begin I highly recommend the Caintuck Audio Lii 15 OB speakers. I listened extensively to the Lii Audio F-15 and Crystal 10 drivers at this years Decfest. The majority of the time was focused on Steve's wonderful Zen Master baffles, with an all 25th Anniversary Zen amplifier and CSP3 preamplifier. Some additional time was spent with a combination of a 25th Anniversary modified Mystery amplifier and 25th Anniversary CSP3. I also spent more limited time (a few hours early Saturday morning) listening to Randy's Lii 15 speakers with the same amp & preamp combinations as noted above. 

I really became enamored with the sound of the F-15 drivers, particularly in the open baffles. They handled all types of music and source equipment extremely well. Tonally these speakers sounded very natural on acoustical music and vocals. They also provided a solid bass foundation to the music which is sometimes lacking in single driver speakers. Steve's larger, 2" thick open baffles were absolutely amazing, but pretty large and heavy. The Zen Masters are definetly statement speakers anyone would be proud to own. Randy's smaller Lii Audio 15 baffles exhibited the same musical qualities, excepting the huge soundstage compared with Steve's Zen Master baffles. Soundstage height in particular seemed affected by the smaller baffle.

Given my interest in getting a second pair of speakers for my main system, I asked Randy to build me a pair of the Lii F-15's with sapele hardwood sides and a center maple board. The speakers look terrific and most importantly sound AMAZING in my small listening room (13.5'W x 15.5'L x 7.5'H).

I now have about 120 hours on the drivers, so they aren't fully broken in yet. In my listening room, the speakers present a super wide & deep soundstage with very realistic soundstage height. So any of my initial concerns about soundstage height were eliveated. Also, I tried placing the speakers on 10" high sand filled MDF boxes to see what would happen. Soundstage height did increase a bit, but the speakers simply lost their magic. These speakers need to be coupled to the floor to sound there best, right Randy😊.

In closing the Caintuck Audio Lii 15 OB speakers are one of the most satisfying stereo equipment purchases I've ever made. They represent an incredible value proposition for those wanting to simply hear great sounding music. Coupled with a Decware amplifier (mine being a Decware Mystery amp) and good source equipment you have system that sonically rivals the very best available at a cost most of us can afford.

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2LO cart + Modwright PH 9.0 phono pre > ZROCK2-25th OR Modwright modified Cambridge CNX V2 > CSP3-25th preamp > ZMA-25th amp > PI Audio Group UberBUSS PC > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Audio Lii 15 speakers > various cables.
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #54 - 11/15/19 at 14:44:50
 


Hi waxburger and HK,

Many thanks for the kind words concerning the Lii 15 baffles .....

I have shipped several pairs to customers and received very positive feedback on all of them .....

HK is absolutely correct about the "driver / floor" relationship.
In a larger baffle (with more surface area) like the ones Decware is offering, the drivers can be a greater distance from the floor ..... but in the smaller baffles the coupling to the floor is an integral component of the low frequency tonal balance.

The stereo image / soundstage "floating" above the smaller baffles is a pretty amazing sonic illusion, for sure.

My hat is off to the designers and engineers at Lii Audio and to Steve for turning the Decware forum members on to these amazing drivers.

Happy listening,
Randy

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Tone-Deaf
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #55 - 11/15/19 at 16:19:35
 
Waxburger and HK - Thank you for the informative reviews - lots of good information there.  I am curious about a couple of things:

(1) Have you used a ZROCK with the speakers, and if so how did the speakers respond?  Or is there plenty of bass without the ZROCK?

(2) Are the "high end" frequencies satisfying?  I believe that the Lii-15 frequency response is pretty flat up to about 14,000 hz.  From what I read, that is about as high as a "mature persons" hearing goes, but am curious about your thoughts.

Again, thanks for providing these reviews
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HockessinKid
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #56 - 11/15/19 at 17:51:10
 
Tone-Deaf,

(1) Have you used a ZROCK with the speakers, and if so how did the speakers respond?  Or is there plenty of bass without the ZROCK? Yes, I use the ZROCK2 between my phono preamp and CSP3+ preamp. Adds plenty of bass and lower midrange emphasis. Sounds great. My ZDAC has a built in ZBIT, so I don't use the ZROCK2 in my digital (PC, CD transport & DAC) chain. I have plenty of bass with this option as well.

(2) Are the "high end" frequencies satisfying?  I believe that the Lii-15 frequency response is pretty flat up to about 14,000 hz.  From what I read, that is about as high as a "mature persons" hearing goes, but am curious about your thoughts. These speakers have plenty of smooth treble and high frequency response. I haven't measured the frequency response in my room.  The Lii-15's ssem to have just as much high frequency response as my Omega SAHO-XRS speakers, which claim a 40Hz - 20,000 Hz response.  Also, I have played around a lot with toe-in of the Lii-15's.  I don't notice any loss of treble with the speakers firing straight ahead or pointed directly at my listening position. These speakers appear to have have a very wide dispersion of all frequencies, my guess a characteristic of the OB design.

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2LO cart + Modwright PH 9.0 phono pre > ZROCK2-25th OR Modwright modified Cambridge CNX V2 > CSP3-25th preamp > ZMA-25th amp > PI Audio Group UberBUSS PC > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Audio Lii 15 speakers > various cables.
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Tone-Deaf
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #57 - 11/16/19 at 01:39:54
 
HockessinKid - Thank you for the reply - very useful information!

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howard1818
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #58 - 11/22/19 at 05:00:52
 
I've been talking with Randy about a center channel, my mains are 4 way speakers with a woofer in a cabinet and the mid in another cabinet with a mid tweeter and super tweeter in an OB. Any thoughts on how a Lii15 would do as a center channel? I know it's tough to know but lets see what everone thinks, thanks
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HockessinKid
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #59 - 11/23/19 at 19:10:21
 
I am closing in on 200 hours with Randy's Lii-15's. They just keep sounding better. The treble has really smoothed out. The bass, well that is something truly amazing.

I spun my new 45RPM MoFi Dire Straits "Love Over Gold" release yesterday. I was simply overcome with the intensity of deep bass notes on several songs. These speakers sound so incredibly fast with Decware 25th modded amplification that nothing gets lost in complex musical passages. It's absolutely magical.

I am looking forward to blowing a few minds of family members on Thanksgiving. Something tells me few guests will be watching football games here on Thursday.

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2LO cart + Modwright PH 9.0 phono pre > ZROCK2-25th OR Modwright modified Cambridge CNX V2 > CSP3-25th preamp > ZMA-25th amp > PI Audio Group UberBUSS PC > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Audio Lii 15 speakers > various cables.
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Casey
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #60 - 12/05/19 at 04:16:44
 
Okay was approaching 100 hours on my Lii15 Caintucks and honestly not super happy.  Had this midrange glare that no matter what got swapped - preamps, source, cables, never fully went away except with great recordings.  Thinking the Lii15 and Decware amp were probably a mistake.
took
Yesterday morning I tore it all apart and built things back up from real minimal system level.  Wasn't really expecting much

took out the preamp (s) and used the Exogal dac playing dsd straight into the Decware amp
pulled out cheapish dueland interconnects and ran them from dac to amp
replaced expensive cat8 ethernet cables with affordable blue jeans cat 7
put a herbies tube damper on the decware driver tube
put a hardcover book about UK golf courses on top and feet under lumin streamer (which has a new power supply breaking in too)
ditched the lampizator dac

the sound - don't think my jaw dropped but if I thought about it it would.  Detail, seperation, dynamics, tone.  Affraid to turn things off they sound so good - even xmas music for my granddaughter.

Not sure what which change is responsible.  This hobby can be frustrating!

have EtherRegan coming and improved power supply for Exogal and have been reading about Sophia Electric 274B for the rectifier on amp but am I going to mess with this fine art of balance I have found.  Just listening for now - Andrew Bird and Molly Burch sounding sweet tonight and no not a mistake - lovin this sound and presentation in my small room.
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #61 - 12/05/19 at 14:58:08
 


Hi Casey,

First of all ..... many thanks for taking the time to experiment with your system setup. Component matching and system setup can make a HUGE difference in the overall sound .....

The customer feedback on the Lii 15 baffles has been very positive.

Based on the emails I have received from customers, the Decware ZROCK can be a very useful addition to the Lii 15 baffles to customize the tonal balance.

Another option for those who are considering components for a new system is the Decware Rachael amplifier. The EL34 tubes give you a totally different sound than the EL84 / SV83 tubes in the lower powered Decware amps and the Rachael sounds superb with either the Betsy baffles or the Lii 15 baffles.

Just something to think about ..... it's good to have options .....

Happy listening,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
AudioQuest DragonFly Red USB DAC / tablet
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Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles and Alpha bass baffles
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Archie
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #62 - 12/05/19 at 18:29:53
 
I wonder if any of it has to do with better isolation?
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ArtMan
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #63 - 12/06/19 at 01:00:53
 
I also have Randy's Lii 15 speakers and have the Sophia Electric 274B Aqua's in my system. Everything sounds better in my system with the Aqua as my rectifier tube. I highly recommend it.
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Casey
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #64 - 12/06/19 at 17:09:01
 
Thanks for the feedback everyone

seems clear to me that the Lii15 and UFO combo are a lot more revealing about problems upstream and/or poorly recorded music.  I had a big power Class D amp with KEF ls50s in exact same place before.  

Some of my thoughts:

The Exogal dac never got to play as preamp direct into amp in past - seems to really enjoy this elevated role direct to the Decware amp.

cabling might be really important with this increased sensitivity

I really like the UFO - in fact will think about the 25th anniversary in future

I have some really good gear sitting on sidelines - over next month will rotate some of that through.  Especially my much loved Lampizator dac that doesnt do upsampling or volume control but just always sounds great.

Will be curious how a higher power amp will play with the Lii F15s - have been curious about something like the Schiit Aegir.

going to order one of SE 274bs rectifier

Speakers only have about 100 hours, played at pretty low volumes - they seem to be great low volume speaker.  Will have to crank some Chieftans Christmas music soon.
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HockessinKid
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #65 - 12/15/19 at 18:12:04
 
I thought it might be helpful to share some suggestions based on advanced listening observations of the Lii Audio F15 speakers. Suffice to say this open baffle speaker and Steve's offerings have simply been revelatory.

Suggestion One: My 13.5' x 15.5' listening room had some limited Eighth Nerve room treatments prior to purchasing a pair of open baffle speakers. The room worked fine with my Omega SAHO XRS box speakers, which have a rear firing back port. The Lii Audio F15's really benefited from a set of good diffuser panels.

I used a set of 4 Pi Audio Group 2'x4' high density foam diffusers to start. One set placed directly behind the speakers and the other centered on the rear wall behind the speakers. I played around with several positions of the panels, this worked best in my room. The result was a super clean sound from my system, along with pin point voice and instrument placement with the expanded listening soundstage.

The diffusers seem to reduce/eliminate time smearing from the OB speakers. Diffusers made such a huge difference, I ordered a second set as previously recommended by Lonely Raven.

Suggestion Two: This morning I inserted a Pi Audio Group uberBUSS power conditioner. I seasoned it for 10 days with various appliances plugged in per recommendation of Dave Elledge (Pi Audio Group guru). All of my source equipment is plugged into the uberBUSS now. While the new power conditioner caps are not yet fully seasoned, I experienced the most enjoyable Holy Crap listening session of my life this morning. It's pretty amazing what room treatments and power conditioning improvements bring to a system and listening room.

My system sound quality now rivals what I heard at this years Decfest. With the possible exception of an upgraded turntable and phono preamp, I have reached that seemingly unobtainable level of listening pleasure that I really never thought possible. The level of true audio Zen.

Thanks to Steve, Randy, and so many Decware forum posters for the invaluable advice and guidance along my journey.  It's been an incredible ride and most enjoyable hobby pursuit for sure.

Enjoy the journey my friends. Hoping you all find your audio Zen moments.

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2LO cart + Modwright PH 9.0 phono pre > ZROCK2-25th OR Modwright modified Cambridge CNX V2 > CSP3-25th preamp > ZMA-25th amp > PI Audio Group UberBUSS PC > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Audio Lii 15 speakers > various cables.
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Archie
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #66 - 12/15/19 at 18:50:06
 
Hock, can you post a picture showing the speakers and diffuser panels?
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
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ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
ZLC
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers
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HockessinKid
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #67 - 12/16/19 at 00:01:01
 
Archie,

Here you go. I plan on mounting the panels above the floorboard when my 2nd set comes this week.

HK
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IMG_20191215_162019_compress87.jpg

Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2LO cart + Modwright PH 9.0 phono pre > ZROCK2-25th OR Modwright modified Cambridge CNX V2 > CSP3-25th preamp > ZMA-25th amp > PI Audio Group UberBUSS PC > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Audio Lii 15 speakers > various cables.
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Archie
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #68 - 12/16/19 at 00:57:51
 
Thanks!  I was curious to see the set up since I've always maintained that I couldn't pull off treatment in my space.  I could possibly do some of what you've done but not in the center.

BTW, love the garden hose powering the ZMA!   Cheesy    Do the pucks under the ICs and speaker cables do much for the sound?  I could imagine static charge in the carpet.
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
ZLC
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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HockessinKid
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #69 - 12/16/19 at 01:24:43
 
Hockey pucks under the IC's and speaker cables??? Who knows Grin

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2LO cart + Modwright PH 9.0 phono pre > ZROCK2-25th OR Modwright modified Cambridge CNX V2 > CSP3-25th preamp > ZMA-25th amp > PI Audio Group UberBUSS PC > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Audio Lii 15 speakers > various cables.
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: The Lii Audio F15 driver - Caintuck Audio style
Reply #70 - 12/17/19 at 15:21:21
 


Thanks for sharing, HK .....

Here is a smaller photo of the HockessinKid listening room that doesn't require scrolling .....



For a fact, diffusers work very well with open baffle loudspeakers.

I have a section of panels on the front wall of my listening room and am very happy with the sound.
These panels were originally found on the original Decware forum many years ago. I built them from plans that were provided (and no longer available, unfortunately) and they are perfect for my room.



Happy listening,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
AudioQuest DragonFly Red USB DAC / tablet
Schiit Audio Eitr USB to RCA converter
Decware SE84UFO amplifier
Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles and Alpha bass baffles
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