| Romy the Cat wrote:|
Read the 6moon article about the Living Voice Vox Olympian's speaker. It was pretty much what I expected. A few comments I would like to make.
It is good that Srajan used so many quotes by Kevin Scott as I would prefer to hear more form him them from the 6moon’s clown. Interesting that the language difference between the Kevin’s subject and the Srajan is very definite - Kevin talks more or less about tangible specifics vs. Srajan talk about generic BS. I said that Kevin talks “more or less“ about specifics as he was also not very clear and intentionally-fogy. Let me to address the specifics that I found worthy and then to pass some general observation.
The trip in the memory lane to some Vitavox History and the Living Voice former moder was OK . I do not feel that it was interesting or accurate but I guess it is a part of the Srajan’s “coming out” .
| Srajan wrote:|
|The Vox Olympian bass driver is the massively constructed Vitavox AK151. Designed specifically for horn loading, it uses a powerful AlNiCo magnet assembly, a light straight-sided paper diaphragm and an 8-ohm coil wound on a 57mm diameter former. It employs a custom suspension developed specifically for the Olympian. This unit is loaded by a modified exponential compound horn that is hand-fabricated from custom laminated and precision calibrated 30mm solid beech. |
Let leave all cap about the “hand-fabricated” and “custom laminated” aside and to look at what is important. The use of the Vitavox AK151 driver is very good. They went for 8-ohm coil. Well, this is interesting. Srajan promoted in his article Kevin and SET devote and then Kevin drops the AK151 impedance from 16 to 8 ohm. The only explanation that that I have would be that Kevin was trying to gain some dB-output from AK151 but he might loops in damping. With SET that use feedback it might be not a big deal but in “straight SETs” I would prefer to stay with high impedance bass drivers. Well, in my DSET world it is not a subject but I guess driving the Olympian from one amp Kevin needed to mitigate the output of the channels. The “custom suspension” that Srajan mentioned is sound “strange”. Again, those idiots always use word “custom” as sight id exclusivity but I said many times before and I say again - if you refer to well known design and insist that you use a custom solution then you need to highlight ether what you did, or what you intent to do or what you did not like in the default design/result. Otherwise what you say is just a pile of crap. I have seen MANY manufactures that made many claims about the “custom” modifications of drivers and in very many cased it was just a BS. Since the comment about the “custom suspension developed specifically for the Olympian” come not from Kevin but from Srajan I would discard it as Srajan’s typical mouth running. What however, is more important than anything is to learn if the Living Voice uses the vintage AK151 of the new production. If it is a new production then it is very much NOT NECESSARY that the AK151 share any sonic characteristics of the AK151 from 50s as they use very different vintage of papers and different of the cones.
| Srajan wrote:|
|The midrange driver is the famous Vitavox S2 AlNiCo compression driver. It uses a three-inch diaphragm and a custom suspension made specifically for the Vox Olympian. |
Again, there were a lot of conversations in the UK forum about the Kevin Scott customized or not customized the S2 driver. This all juts mouth running. Kevin said nothing about Kevin customization. Srajan runs his mouth about the “custom suspension made”. Kevin is in cooperation with Mike with Octave Audio who does for year his white suspended S2’s cones. Would it be recognized as “custom suspension”? I do not think so. Kevin very diplomatically keeps his mouth shut about the “custom suspension” and about the “specifics” of the upper knee of S2 driver. Did you wonder why? Because everything was said about it and there is absolutely nothing to talk. He let the Srajan to run his lips, I was surprised that Srajan did not tell the story that S2’s magnet was charged with radioactive isotopes and the S2’s cone was “charged” made by the Tibet monks….
| Srajan wrote:|
|Continuing upwards on the driver array, the remaining two horn-loaded units are of Japanese providence, TAD to be precise. Their 1-inch throat model TAD2002 combines a Beryllium dome with an Alnico 3 motor. This driver has a useable bandwidth of 1kHz to 27kHz, an extraordinary specification. Living Voice however uses this unit only for HF duties by loading it with a modified exponential horn fabricated from seven pieces of cast LG2 bronze. The final unit at the top is a modified TAD Exclusive ET703, a slot dispersive compression driver again with a Beryllium diaphragm. This unit has a useable frequency range of 5kHz to 45kHz but Living Voice only runs it above 15kHz as a super HF driver. |
OK, it is the TAD2002, loaded into this long bronze pipe, probably at 10kHz -12kHz and ET703 at 15kHz. I like how Kevin angled the slot of the ET703 driver – I hope he made the ET703 and the slot rotatable - I would.
| Kevin wrote:|
| All I was interested in was achieving the best possible result in musical terms. I am interested in music and in particular capturing human expression in musical performances. All design decisions were subject to this principal consideration. For example, we know that a drive unit’s behavior in its stop band (where it is progressively rolling off) is just as important as its behavior in its pass band. It is therefore preferable to operate the drive units comfortably within the most linear part of their bandwidth. I experimented with a lot of HF drivers and found that those which worked to my liking at 5kHz were attenuated or untidy by 20kHz.
On the other hand the HF drivers that I was happy with at 20 or 30kHz sounded weak and fragile at frequencies below 10kHz even with third order filters. A two drive-unit HF solution was the best way to resolve this problem and achieve the results I found musically satisfying. We therefore operate the very high frequency unit or super tweeter only in its uppermost bandwidth, thus allowing it to behave tidily below its pass band. Similarly the main HF unit is used well above its low-frequency limit. This driver is loaded with a long bronze horn which has two functions. On the one hand it provides a strong and assured coupling of the driver to the room, something I find musically important.
On the other hand it provides a low-pass acoustic filter which helps us achieve a seamless integration with the super tweeter above it. This is an elegant solution that I find musically insightful, persuasive and engaging. I've worked on this project for 6 years and tried a great many reasonable and unreasonable permutations and this HF arrangement was very much to my liking. In the empirical development process, you discover odd little things that have great significance, are impossible to quantify but need to be understood and replicated. Similarly things of great theoretical importance can be quite benign.
This quote is important and I read it a few times. You see, in this quote Kevin is trying to defend his decision of use the double-tweeter in the way HOW he did it. Interesting that I do not question he double-tweeter as a concept but I only question the shape of the lower tweeter horn. I understand that Kevin found the sonic character of the LG2 bronze very valuable and that he is trying to use it almost as I use my Injection Channel. I love the radial texture that he did inside of his bronze pipe (Thanks to Srajan for high-res pictures). However, the 120 degree horn with S2 works right along with extremely narrow –shooting bronze pipe. It dies does not make sense. I do not say that it is “wrong” I just do not see WAY it would be necessary. What would be different if the TAD2002 be sitting not bend the bronze pipe but behind a convectional bronze horn? Kevin did not want to use low-pass filter on TAD2002 driver and deans to roll it with VERY deep horn? Well, let see the penalty we pay for it in term of unnecessary shrinking of dispersion…
| Kevin wrote:|
| For example I did not find that time-aligning the bass and midrange drivers was musically that significant. What I did find critical however was the time alignment of the midrange, HF and super HF drivers. These drivers are adjustable for output level via attenuators on the back of the cabinet. This allows for adjustments to be made to the tonal balance to suit different room types and sizes as well as partnering electronics. The super HF unit and HF units are therefore independently mobile relative to the midrange to allow in-situ fine tuning of the phase alignment. The super tweeter is mounted on a mobile carriage with a calibrated helical worm drive. Similarly the HF driver and horn is also independently mobile against a calibrated inlaid bronze index. |
It is not all so accurate. The precession of time-aligning between bass and midrange drivers has less significance then in HF channels but the fact of time-alignment is not different – it is just necessary to know WHAT to listen when you make your claims about the “musical insignificance”. If Kevin went to some extends to make the HF time-aligned and if he feels that it is important at HF then why he feels that it is not important in lower frequency? The length of the wave is longer the need for the alignment precision is lower but the concept is very much there. Ah, it does not comply with the Vox Olympian design? Probably THAT makes it “musically not that significant” ….
| Kevin wrote:|
| Also of great significance was the choice of materials throughout. A prior bespoke project involved casting a loudspeaker carcass out of LG2 bronze. This material had some very helpful and unexpected characteristics that I came to greatly admire. We therefore decided to prototype the HF horn of the Olympian in LG2 bronze. Simply replacing our preferred and highly evolved cast aluminum geometry with cast LG2 bronze was a delight and wonderful improvement. It revealed a lithe, supple and succulent quality to the tonality, a radiant and naturally heterogeneous quality that made the aluminum sound pale, pastel and dry in contrast. We finally built the Olympian's modified exponential HF horn geometry from seven threaded sections of LG2 bronze*. The sections screw together on fine threads and are separated by a combination of paper and Sylomer** gaskets, which damp resonances in the bronze |
Possibly. I do not know anything about the LG2 bronze. The question that would ask – if the “significance was the choice of materials throughout” is suck a subject and if the LG2 bronze is such a wonderful then why Kevin did not make an attempt to made the S2 MF horn from the LG2 bronze?
Anyhow, let go not to the general observations. With whatever it is the Living Voice Vox Olympian is juts MF speaker and it would be nice if Srajan or Kevin talk more about the supplementary LF sections. It would be very interesting to know if they do the new production of AK151. It might be interesting to hear the Vox Olympian. I still do not feel comfortable with Olympian lower tweeter. The time-missalignment of the upperbass I do not consider as a “problem”. Many speakers do the same and they sound OK. Can they sound better if the upperbass was aligned? Unquestionably!
However, looking at the first appearance of the Vox Olympian I would say that I do not like what 6moons did for Living Voice. I know that Srajan and Srajan read this site and I think they were a bit misguided with my initial speculations and skepticism. As the result, the format of the 6moon’s auricle was in a away a response to my sentiments of the sentiments of the people like me. I think it was a mistake on Srajan/Kevin’s part. The 6moons article is the Living Voice’s investment. I do not talk about the fact that the Living Voice ad “suddenly” show up at the 6moons’s site. I am talking that for the Living Voice and 6moons is was an opportunity to deliver a message to the prospective customers and the massage in my view was dreadfully weak. How many people out there truly understand of care about the specifics of design? How many of them would consider buying the Vox Olympian?
My interest to the Vox Olympian is very atypical for the people out there. I have my interest because I am familiar with S2/ AK151 drivers and I am curious to see what others would be able to do with them. The normal people out there do not have those interests and I have no idea what interest they would have to read the 6moons article. Frankly, if not my interest in general horns subjects and in the Vitavox specifically then I would probably not read the Living Voice/6moons article. How many people out there like me? A handful?
The point that I am trying to make is that Living Voice shall use this marketing actions (and the print by 6moons is one of them) not targeting the freaks like me but appealing to the interests of wider public. Kevin Scott has some tendency to talk about “capturing human expression in musical performances” and the “musically satisfying results”, so instead of singing the songs about the importance or non-importance of time alignment and the diameters of the driver’s voice coils Kevin had to stress his semi-spiritual objectives in audio and his feeling that he have accomplish it with Vox Olympian. I think THAT would give to readers a feeling that the Vox Olympian might be “special”. Most of the 6moons readers are idiots and they will not consume valid information. Kevin Scott knows is, Srajan Ebaen know is, the idiots- readers know it about themselves – anyone know that nothing sensible might be posted at 6moons. The only option is to post the “sensual”.
Pay attention what speaker advertisers do nowadays. Take a look the Wilsons. They do not sell the “secretive material”, the “modified drivers” and the “proton crossovers” anymore – they sell the “promise of experience”. David Wilson is crying in those ads telling stories that listening his speakers his customers made the decision to run marathons, switch political affiliation or undergo the sex change operations. The same level of “expected BS” Living Voice shall be deploying to their perspective customers during own initial introduction by 6moons. If I was Kevin I would ask refund from 6moons but it is not a completely the Srajan’s fault. Srajan is in away a stupid Lawn Mower – it will go wherever it will be pointed. I think Kevin Scott did not set the right boundaries for Srajan and as a result the information that was passed to public was not as potent as it might be.
Rgs, Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche