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10-15-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
serenechaos
lost alamos
Posts 86
Joined on 12-01-2007

Post #: 1
Post ID: 8523
Reply to: 8523
RMAF 2008 observations, opinions 1) ceramic drivers
fiogf49gjkf0d

I don't know where this goes, so I'm just starting it as a new thread; please move (or even edit or delete) as appropriate. 
After reading too many wondourus reviews of ceramic driver speakers in general, and only having heard two pair, one time, (Kharma, last year @ RMAF) and having mixed feelings (not hearing what the reviewers heard), I thought I should spend some time listening to several different brands/types of ceramic driver speakers, and listen for a "family sound" as maybe what I hear (and disliked before) had more to do with set-up, amps, source, cables, room, listener; and maybe I could identify Sound of drivers within other "pieces of the puzzle"...
I was with my wife, also a trained musician and listener, with whom I often listen, and compare notes, to see if we here the same things, (or argue sound for hours...) 
There were several models of Kharma, Avalons, Marten Coltrane Supreme, and others. 
To try to make this as short as possible, of course everything has it's own "fingerprint", no two brands sound alike, and of course all the other factors make quite a difference. 
But listening to the Marten Coltrane Supreme through several known pieces was quite enlightening. 
The good part:
No, they don't really sound like Kharmas, and they don't have that "big" in your face sound that line arrays usually do (that I thought they might, and the Lamm ML3s didn't give them that Elephant in your face (that I thought they might have).  
The rest of the story:  
I couldn't live with these things if you gave them to me...  
They're like Kharmas but more so...  
That "detail" thing, that "superb imaging" thing.  
It really sux.  
Yes, detail -- It is like an etching instead of an oil painting.  
Harsh, and missing harmonics in recordings that we were used to.  
Shockingly so sometimes.  Rich voices lost timber, instruments lost identity... 
On one particular CD my wife brought in which an oboe leads a clarinet into a piece, you can't tell what either instrument is.  And on and on.  For another CD and two LPs.  
Imaging is very deep and distinct.  
Like cut-out siloets, and pop-ups, at various increasing distances.  
Not a three-diminsional sound, nothing in-between the pop-ups.  
It makes for a dramatic effect at first, then a confusing, "what's going on" thing, then "OH, Thats what's missing!"  
Yes, demo's like these (with Coltrane Supremes) make audio shows educational at least.  
After that, this "family sound" could be identified, to a greater or lesser extent, almost immediatly, in any speaker with ceramic drivers, by either of us, even with grill covers on, almost upon entering the room!  
YMMV, all that stuff, most people seemed to like them...  
Robert  

10-15-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
serenechaos
lost alamos
Posts 86
Joined on 12-01-2007

Post #: 2
Post ID: 8524
Reply to: 8523
RMAF 2008 observations, opinions 2) driver integration
fiogf49gjkf0d

I noticed quite a few speakers, various configurations, that sounded more like a collection of nice drivers wired together that what I would call a "speaker." 
I mean that you could clearly hear distinct tone, character differences between each driver, and could tell exactly where it was crossed over. 
Some made it really obvious like going from a bass reflex on the bottom, to a horn mid, to a ribbon top-- (I can think of two of these off the top of my head, Red Rock and Oswald Mills). 
Between that and no attempt at being time-aligned, well it is obvious what the sound would be... 
Just as obvious as the Lansche 4.1 ion tweeters sounding wonderful way up high, and everything else, well, the tweeters sounded nice, but you sure could here where they quit, and turned into another box speaker…

And on, and on…
And these were receiving high reviews by the "experts."
Robert
10-15-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 8525
Reply to: 8523
The boom-tssza-tssza sound from ceramics
fiogf49gjkf0d

 serenechaos wrote:

I don't know where this goes, so I'm just starting it as a new thread; please move (or even edit or delete) as appropriate. 
After reading too many wondourus reviews of ceramic driver speakers in general, and only having heard two pair, one time, (Kharma, last year @ RMAF) and having mixed feelings (not hearing what the reviewers heard), I thought I should spend some time listening to several different brands/types of ceramic driver speakers, and listen for a "family sound" as maybe what I hear (and disliked before) had more to do with set-up, amps, source, cables, room, listener; and maybe I could identify Sound of drivers within other "pieces of the puzzle"...
I was with my wife, also a trained musician and listener, with whom I often listen, and compare notes, to see if we here the same things, (or argue sound for hours...) 
There were several models of Kharma, Avalons, Marten Coltrane Supreme, and others. 
To try to make this as short as possible, of course everything has it's own "fingerprint", no two brands sound alike, and of course all the other factors make quite a difference. 
But listening to the Marten Coltrane Supreme through several known pieces was quite enlightening. 
The good part:
No, they don't really sound like Kharmas, and they don't have that "big" in your face sound that line arrays usually do (that I thought they might, and the Lamm ML3s didn't give them that Elephant in your face (that I thought they might have). 
The rest of the story: 
I couldn't live with these things if you gave them to me... 
They're like Kharmas but more so... 
That "detail" thing, that "superb imaging" thing. 
It really sux. 
Yes, detail -- It is like an etching instead of an oil painting. 
Harsh, and missing harmonics in recordings that we were used to. 
Shockingly so sometimes.  Rich voices lost timber, instruments lost identity...
On one particular CD my wife brought in which an oboe leads a clarinet into a piece, you can't tell what either instrument is.  And on and on.  For another CD and two LPs. 
Imaging is very deep and distinct. 
Like cut-out siloets, and pop-ups, at various increasing distances. 
Not a three-diminsional sound, nothing in-between the pop-ups. 
It makes for a dramatic effect at first, then a confusing, "what's going on" thing, then "OH, Thats what's missing!" 
Yes, demo's like these (with Coltrane Supremes) make audio shows educational at least. 
After that, this "family sound" could be identified, to a greater or lesser extent, almost immediatly, in any speaker with ceramic drivers, by either of us, even with grill covers on, almost upon entering the room! 
YMMV, all that stuff, most people seemed to like them... 
Robert 
A ceramic driver is like you are sitting in insulting first row and listen some kind kaleidoscopic sound of Mahler “Tragic” symphony. Your comment that they are “harsh, and missing harmonics” I find correct but it is what they call “quality” You see, the industry idiots have sold people to that “boom-tssza-tssza” sound and the ceramic drivers do the “boom-tssza-tssza” wonderfully. Those drivers have stiff cones in soft suspension and the cones can’t break up. Those not breakupbable cones are a tool of complete tonal castrations. Add to it the fact that the ceramic drivers have a very hard threshold between the speed of sound in ceramic and the speed of sound in suspension and the fact that the Morons tend to use the ceramic drivers at overly wide range and you have the complete picture.

The realty that ceramic drivers might be interning but they need to be tried in narrow bandwidth. I person do not feel that those Thiel & Partner/Accuton drivers might be used user 100Hz-300Hz, the fool drive then full-range however…

The Cat

PS:  Would it be possible that the easy-come-easy-go “leanness” of Marten Coltrane Supreme contra balanced the FM70’s Elephant effects?



"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-16-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 8526
Reply to: 8523
The RMAF 2008 pictures + a few comments.
fiogf49gjkf0d

The Federated Mike posted a set of the phonographs took at RMAF 2008 in Denver

http://www.audiofederation.com/hifiing/2008/RMAF2008/report/index.htm

I kid of do not like the pictures he did this year in past the images were much better. This year the images have no thoughts in them – juts a series of documents taken randomly. In past the was some “story telling” signature in the images and it was possible to see an interest in the way how the image line unfold. This tame it was boring – kind of it is what it is and it’s it. Anyhow, it is not the site to research the Federated Mike’s photojournalistic talents... However a few questions hat I though address from the RMAF 2008 photographers I was not able to juts because the right pictures from the right perspective ware not taken.

It looks like Thorens and DaVinci came with new interesting turntables. Good, now Mike the Framer need to invent a reason why his Continuum turntable sucks and to start to “processes” the Thorens and DaVinci….  BTW, about the DaVinci Audio Lab turntable – what is in the mind of those people who make white turntables?

The BD Design shows off in US, I think it is for a first time. The BD Design is absurd loudspeaker, completely idiotic in my view. I never heard anybody comment on BD Design sound, though I know very well how they shell sound. I think that the guy who runs BD Design is the key this company sonic misfortune, I forgot his name – Bret, Brext or Berett… The guy is quite knowledgeable, informed and under other circumstances is talented engineer. But, being exposed to Hi-Fi idiocy and to the Hi-Fi idiots the “Brext” demonstrates unambiguously-idiotic engineering tendencies that lead to predictable sound consequences. BTW, I was glad to see that RAAL room did not use the BD Design “digital” amps.

Feastrex showed out anew 5” driver. Would it be interning to try it for my MiniMe project? I do not know at this point. If I have a local guy who have them than I might try…

ViV Laboratory has some kind of new speaks with a small driver and a big skirt-horn. I read about them and about this rise of a driver with no suspension. It is controversial but to talk more about it is necessary to discuss the topology sitting in front of the speaker and putting the accrual sonic results behind the words that support or not the controversy.

I heard that the Classic Audio Reproduction had completely changed this year and that Bruce Edgar re-design them. I do not know what was done but I know that as long Classic Audio Reproduction bind itself to the sound of Atmosphere amp it will continue to impress with sonic nothingness.

Anyhow, one more comment I would like to make about the whole Hi-Fi show atmospheres. Looking at those pictures and recalling my memories from the shows I found myself incredibly bored with the format how the rooms present themselves. In fact it is revoltingly boring. I will not comment on what might be changed and would live it to the show played to discovers themselves but in the format it exist now it might feed interest and demands only of  some very idiosyncratically-desperate people. 

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
10-16-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
serenechaos
lost alamos
Posts 86
Joined on 12-01-2007

Post #: 5
Post ID: 8527
Reply to: 8526
RMAF more comments on picts
fiogf49gjkf0d
Interestsing...

I thought the BD horns sounded noticably better than any other exhibit. 
It was not without problems, but was suprisingly good. 

The Festrex 5" was good in a limited range-- but get it out of that frequency range and or dynamic range and it has real problems.  And that is as long as the part that the drivers are $40,000 / pair doesn't bother you... (No I didn't put in too many zeros). 

ViV Laboratory was really interesting to see, he just grabbed the phase plug and pulled the cone out of the driver while it was playing, like pulling an eye out of the socket, telling me how it was held in by magnetic force.  Not so interesting sound though, gritty, not to pleasant to listen to, but most people seemed to not notice that, they were "hearing what they saw." 

Classic Audio Reproduction sounded totally different than last year, suprisingly better.  (in spite of amps, time align...)  
Robert 
10-16-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 8528
Reply to: 8527
You say $8000 per driver’s inch?
fiogf49gjkf0d

 serenechaos wrote:
The Festrex 5" was good in a limited range-- but get it out of that frequency range and or dynamic range and it has real problems.  And that is as long as the part that the drivers are $40,000 / pair doesn't bother you... (No I didn't put in too many zeros).  

Wow, that is obnoxious! Their 8” drivers cost $4K-$5K but 5” costs $40,000? Ah, I see, it is perhaps a field-coils driver that powered not by regular electricity but by electricity generated by combustion engine fueled by Macallan 1926 Whisky.  I do not object the high price of Festrex but if they wish to sell the 5-inchers for $40,000 then they shell rise the price of their 8-inchers. From a different perspective the high price might juts reflects redistribution markup.  When Festrex just show up their price list was $1K-$6K for 8” drivers.

http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=1973

Let pretend that for last 2 years the price went up twice, the rest is look like a dealer mark up. It is not uncommon that for the product that need “efforts” to move the mark up might be huge. Many cables for instance are marked up plus 85% to the wholesale prices. Anyhow, I hope the Feastrex is able to demonstrate something that would justify the cost. I am pretty confident that using those drivers without any the high-pass is like peeing against wind but the “full-range people” do not get it.

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
10-16-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
serenechaos
lost alamos
Posts 86
Joined on 12-01-2007

Post #: 7
Post ID: 8530
Reply to: 8527
Festrex most justifiable pricing and more bs
fiogf49gjkf0d
I was going to post what I was told @ the show, but found a link (by Chris Widmer, what a suprise) middle of the page saying about the same thing:
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=1633686#post1633686 
This seemed to be the mantra, the justification of the otherwise seeming obsene pricing. 
(Which I discussed with the maker in the hall through a translator). 

The other comment I was going to make was that the 5" version on display was the D5e type III, the highest end model, which was probably why it cost more than the 8" you were thinking of. 
But the two year old price sheet shows otherwise, as it list that model at the price you mentioned!
Robert
10-16-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 8531
Reply to: 8530
About the big ‘however’ regarding prices.
fiogf49gjkf0d

Robert,

I think you completely misunderstood my comment and my complain about the high price of the Feastrex drivers.  Chris Widmer does not understand it as well not to mention that his attempt to explain the high price of Feastrex sound too bogus.  Mass production of permendur cost nothing and to make this driver cost nothing – two year ago they sold it for $1000, not the sell it for $40.000 – what, the turning permendur become 40 time more expletive? Anyhow, let to be adult about it – there is NOTHING expensive in driver’s mass production if the production is well organized.

I still do not want people to feel that I knocking off Feastrex just because they are expensive. I actually do not care how expensive they are – I more interested about sonic benefits the drivers provide. There is a big “however” in all of it.

If you read carefully the there about Lamm ML3

http://www.romythecat.com/GetPost.aspx?PostID=3475

then you might understand that I discard this SET amplifier not because it cost $150K but because for this a if amount of money the ML3’s SET topology become FUNDAMENTALLY FAILED. With any investment larger then let say $10K a SET designer begin to fight with specific limitation of SET topology that might be overridden with huge success and huge supplementary benefits of DSET topology. I feel that it is absolutely ridicules to pursue $150K SET of the very same ML3 amp in DSET configuration would cost 3 times lees and will perform contestably better then a full ML3 SET. So, the price in this case is not the cost itself but rather a moderating tool. It is like being a boxer - you might be a king in 140 pounds range but in 250 pound you are not even competitive – it is a whole different league. People are bitching to me that I do not “support” the ML3 but they just use ass instead of brain or common sense when they think about audio.

The very same is with Feastrex. Let even pretend that Feastrex is radically expensive, the ingredients not delivered by UPS and immensely difficult to get -let say the Feastrex used for their cones the toilet paper that was used already by Maria Callas. So, the par of Feastrex does cost $40K, so what?

With a desire to damp in acoustic system $40K juts for a cost of drivers a person shell be absolutely fool with stay with single driver topology. The single drivers are fine when a person use a little suffocated SET amp, a back loaded single driver, a keyboard to write  how close the virtual Patricia barber to his laps and the desire on Weekends nights do not do not smoke marihuana or drink vodka  but to listed some jazz by dripping very little audio blood. There is nothing wrong with it but this scenario fulfills the application of singe drivers. If the person willing to spend his time, money and have more objectives then juts “piano in the right and the girt on the left” then she/he is way beyond the single driver capacities. To spending $40K for let it be even good single-driver loudspeaker is a summing of absurdity in my view.

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
10-16-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
serenechaos
lost alamos
Posts 86
Joined on 12-01-2007

Post #: 9
Post ID: 8532
Reply to: 8531
Price equals sound quality
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy,

I think I didn't explain myself very well. 
I was agreeing with you, and still do. 
I posted the Chris Widmer link to show that the same fanaticism is going on, but even more so, from  the thread two years ago which you posted the link to. 
Also, that the price are right there in black and white, from only two years ago, with the crazy explanations I heard, and Chris was repeating on that link. 

Value? 
The first thought I had when I heard the pricing (the cabinet is an additional $20,000, is plywood, but finished in special lacquer), was that for that much money, one could easily build a set of five-way front loaded horns, which would Sound much better, have better dynamics, range, not break down, be able to play the whole symphony, etc...
The second thought was how they sounded just about the same as the 4" Jordan's down the hall, and the drivers cost ~$400...

Lamm ML3?
When in the Audio Federation room, I actually heard some guy saying "Those new ML3s cost $xxx,xxx (I forgot the amount), so they must be the best!"  The other guy agreed, "Yeah, they're the most expensive amps in the show, so they must be the best!" 
I'm turning around to tell them what stupid logic that is, how cost has nothing to do with sound quality, and my wife's telling me to shut up...  (For I lost count of how many times). 
Those are quotes, too, I'm not exaggerating, I still can't get over it that some people can actually think that way... 

Permendur costs
If you know a source of inexpensive permendur, I'd sure like to know about it. 
I'll build some drivers, but they won't be full range...
Robert
10-16-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 8533
Reply to: 8532
The Permendur saga.
fiogf49gjkf0d

 serenechaos wrote:

If you know a source of inexpensive permendur, I'd sure like to know about it. 
I'll build some drivers, but they won't be full range...

I do not remember now the numbers exactly. At the time what I was thinking to experiment with my Quartopuss driver:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/GetPost.aspx?PostID=3151

…I was researching this subject. At that time I found that permendur was expensive for me as I was just experimenting with it not rendering any defined final version. Still, it was not true astronomical if I desed to pursue it. Also, my machine shop told me that it is not problem to machine permendur, in fact I consulted with a number of machinists. The whole project was around 1.5-2 times more expensive to round in permendur then with any more common core. So, it was nothing too dramatic.

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
10-17-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
cdwitmer
Posts 5
Joined on 05-20-2007

Post #: 11
Post ID: 8543
Reply to: 8531
Correcting a few misunderstandings . . .
fiogf49gjkf0d
Dear Robert and Roman,

 Romy the Cat wrote:

Chris Widmer [sic] does not understand it as well not to mention that his attempt to explain the high price of Feastrex sound too bogus.

The Cat


You are certainly welcome to speculate about such things as much as you like, but I'm going to point out the fact that what you are saying is sheer speculation. Just in case anyone suspects that I might have some ulterior motives for posting that information, or for frequently posting online about Feastrex, let me state again for the record that I have no financial interest in any audio-related business whatsoever. The last time I received any compensation from Feastrex was in January of 2006 when I invoiced them at standard market rates for my interpreting services at CES. (I interpret and translate for a living.) Also for the record, I do not even use any Feastrex products at the present time. (Perhaps someday I may, if I can get my wife's approval. In any case that is likely to be several years hence as I still have several children to put through college.) My reason in making the referenced explanation was exactly the same as my reason for posting here now -- to correct ignorant, baseless assertions critical of products and people that I personally admire. I think it takes a lot of courage and character for a garage maker to successfully manufacture a product like the Feastrex fullrange drivers, and for that I admire them. I know it is quite beyond my ability to do such a thing.
 
 Romy the Cat wrote:

Mass production of permendur cost nothing and to make this driver cost nothing – two year ago they sold it for $1000, not the sell it for $40.000 – what, the turning permendur become 40 time more expletive? Anyhow, let to be adult about it – there is NOTHING expensive in driver’s mass production if the production is well organized.

The Cat

Where do I begin with all the errors in that statement? First, even accepting that you were using hyperbole, to say "production of Permendur costs nothing" and to make Feastrex drivers "costs nothing" is patently ridiculous. If anything, I greatly understated the actual cost of Permendur to Feastrex. I referenced prices for mass-produced Permendur which is called "black rolled"; Feastrex will not use black rolled Permendur for several reasons. Sumitomo Metals, which supplies Feastrex with Permendur, will not give any quality guarantees on black-rolled Permendur: beneath the black coating there could be any sort of cracks or other imperfections that would render the affected section of the material useless and require it to be simply thrown away. Furthermore, they would make no guarantees as to the compositional purity of the material. Feastrex always has their Permendur manufactured on a custom order basis to the dimensions that they require, and they always have it manufactured oversized so that they can have it milled down to the correct final dimensions with a high degree of precision and assurance that there are no imperfections. They also receive guarantees on the compositional content and perfect physical integrity of the material. As a result, their materials costs regarding Permendur are actually considerably higher than what extrapolations from black rolled Permendur would suggest. Another thing that must be kept in mind about Permendur is that any prices that may have been quoted to you a year or more ago are long out of date. The price of this material, along with the prices of many other materials, has been skyrocketing and the simple fact of the matter is, in today's market nobody can tell you what the price of Permendur will be until you actually order it. They will come back with a quote that will be valid for a very limited time and after that the price will be different again -- almost certainly higher. As for the ease/difficulty and associated costs of machining Permendur, that will depend on the actual composition of the material, the size, and that shape that needs to be achieved. Don't believe everything a machinist tells you before he actually tries to do the work. Japan has no shortage of excellent machinists with the best tools and several times they had machinists accept the task of machining their Permendur motors only the return the Permendur to Feastrex unmachined, saying, "Forget it; we can't/won't accept this task as is it is beyond our capabilities/simply too uneconomical for us to accept." And they have also had companies do the work one time and then tell Feastrex, "We will never accept this kind of work again." (Their reasons were the same as the companies that rejected the work after seeing what was actually required.) It is hard to blame such companies -- Permendur is so hard and brittle that it is easy to crack or chip during machining and if they ruin a piece of material that costs thousands of dollars, their loss could be huge relative to the amount of money that they can make from he machining operations. But all these companies were initially interested and offered to accept the work. So -- simply because a machinist says one thing prior to doing the work does not mean it is the truth even for that job, and even if it does turn out to be true in that case, it may have little or no application to understanding the costs involved in a very different job.

Next, Feastrex never sold any driver with an all-Permendur field coil motor for $1,000. You are confusing these with the entry-level D5nf permanent magnet models.

Finally, you speak of "mass production" but there simply is no mass production of anything in a Feastrex driver, and that fact alone will always cause the drivers to be more expensive.

 Romy the Cat wrote:

To spending $40K for let it be even good single-driver loudspeaker is a summing of absurdity in my view.

The Cat


For some people that is almost certainly true. But to turn it around, there are also some people who simply could not be satisfied with the world's best horn speakers, regardless of whether they could afford them. Different people have different needs in audio, and that is why different types of loudspeakers continue to exist. One of the great things about the free market is that consumers in Feastrex's selected niche market will be the ones who judge whether these entreprenuers are ultimately a success or a failure.

Romy, if you ever have another opportunity to hear Feastrex drivers I hope you will do so . . . they may never be your cup of tea but they have come a long way from where they were when you heard them in January of 2006.

Best regards,

-- Chris Witmer
10-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tuga


Posts 174
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 12
Post ID: 8544
Reply to: 8543
Wide range, but not enough.
fiogf49gjkf0d
 cdwitmer wrote:
Dear Robert and Roman,

 Romy the Cat wrote:

To spending $40K for let it be even good single-driver loudspeaker is a summing of absurdity in my view.

The Cat


For some people that is almost certainly true. But to turn it around, there are also some people who simply could not be satisfied with the world's best horn speakers, regardless of whether they could afford them. Different people have different needs in audio, and that is why different types of loudspeakers continue to exist. One of the great things about the free market is that consumers in Feastrex's selected niche market will be the ones who judge whether these entreprenuers are ultimately a success or a failure. r
Chris, (Unfortunately) there's no relation whatsoever between market success and audio. I too have experimented with wide band (single) drivers but there's no denying the fact that wide range is not enough for sound reproduction. There are other "problems" as well but I won't go into them (just go through the Horn-Loaded Speakers forum). Buying a $40K pair of single drivers make no sense.

Cheers,
Tuga


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
10-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 13
Post ID: 8545
Reply to: 8543
Continuing battle the full-range hallucination.
fiogf49gjkf0d

Chris, I certainly did not mean “costs nothing" in the literal sense. I meant that it costs as much as any other driver to make that Feastrex. Come on! If it is an electromagnetic driver then how much does it cost to make a few pounds of core (even if is an exotic one) and to wind a few hundred turns of coil (let it be even squared wire). BTW, I feel that electromagnetic drivers shell be less expansive then perm magnets driver as it is easier to make them in the environment of small manufacturing. The rest elements of the driver: cone and suspension are at in 40K Feastrex as I understand are the same type as it was in $1K “entry-level D5nf” Feastrex. Well, it is posble that the $40K Feastrex’s come need to be manufactured in a sealed atmosphere that contains a last fart of Aristotelis Onassis but it would be a story for different audio publication…

Infesting that as the justification for high Feastrex price you brought alleged high cost of Permendur but why it is Permendur was not pronounced anywhere. I have a very high suspicion that if the very same driver would be made with more conventional core then the driver will be only better in context or ration use. Let me to explain. Permendur is a core that favorite to work very high saturation point. So I see absolutely no need to have all-Permendur driver as only the rind under electromagnet might be Permendur-made. Then why to use Permendur even there? The constant BS that filed–coil supporters spread (that filed–coil driver have more flux) is very much bogusness of the people who juts recite sound bites. I battle this notion at the following threads, if you wish you might read them:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?postID=1929

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?postID=3023

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?postID=5901

The whole point that higher flux in the gap is beneficiary ONLY of high frequency extreme (HF) and the very same higher flux very much reflects negatively for opposite frequency extreme or even at mid range as it overtrump the suspension at lower end. So, before to go into extremes and trying to convince yourself as damp on others Permendur spiel I think it would be reasonable to question the justification of Permendur use. I did not see from you or anybody else any comments about the sonic objectives that Feastrex was trying to accomplish or had already accomplished by use of Permendur. Would Feastrex be the same if the use M3 steal? Oh, but no one will be able to write that 2342 Japanese machinists committed suicides while they worked with Permendur. I hope you undusted what I am coming from…

Another things. There is absolutely no need to battle your own “ulterior motives” around me. I, as well as anybody else with non- artificial awareness, have absolutely no fear of you association Feastrex. I always welcome anybody with any agenda to lobby any audio topic they feel inspired - the juts need to leave with consequences :-). All that I usually demand is to express own judgment and do not to be a damn zombie brainlessly reciting empty phrases. In your case you are not the Feastrex’s puppet. Despite of your desire do not look like you are on Feastrex’s payroll (if you are not then you are fool) you Chris is the voice and the brain of Feastrex for use Western audio people. So, wish you or not but you are the Feastrex. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it and I have no idea why you need to feel like you are a witness protection program escapee…

Now is the main point of my reply. With all presumed glory of Feastrex quality (do not BS me with low tolerance of manufacturing but talk to me about sonic results) this is still a driver that implies the notion of so called full-range driver. It is absolute not about the “different people have different needs in audio”. We do not talk about people – this would be a subject for marketing meeting at Feastrex HQ. We talk about pure audio subject and the means of various audio tools to address the pure audio subjects. So, in context of pure audio subjects the idea of a full-range driver does not exist….

It does not exist a full-range bowed string musical instrument in orchestra but strings devised on sections: violins, violas, violoncellos, upper basses. The very same is with Woodwinds – the sections divided by size: flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons... Brasses in the same scale:  trumpets, trombones, horns, tubas... The point is that for each tonal range there is own optimum condition to produce sound but there is even bigger point. When you have different musical instrumants care full composite range then composers/musicians have opportunity to add different level of expressivity at the each instrumental group and to capitalize and to animate the on integration between the instrument groups. The very same is with the elements of multi-channel playback. The notion of full-range loudspeaker does not exist as it is just an illusion. Any singe Hz of deviation from MF is a compromised, it might better or worse in context of limited expectation but it has absolutely no competition with multi-channeling. Even the alleged advantage of full-range speaker: phase coherency is not really there as if the full-range driver does relatively low (let say 70Hz) then it has considerable exercise and Doppler distortions offset all phase unanimity. (I would not even mention the case when a back-loaded horn is being used as any prejudges about time accuracy are gone then.)

There is another ugly moment that I never accept with full-range drivers – then all make any music less complex and more simplified, even though I never have seen any full-range driver system with objective to get complexity out of sound. So, the full-range driver idea is not something that shell not exist - “different people have different needs in audio” – but the if to perform cost-benefit analyzed then the full-range driver ideas is wonderful for low level investment and low level of blood spent for playback implementation. I see absolutely no justification why there is a need to improve the full-range drivers if it increases its cost. The entire idea of a full-range driver is to take off the shelf a driver, nail it to a baffle and to have ready to go speaker to listen the Prairie Home Companion or some trampy jazz sessions. To have too good full-range driver is like to invest time money into coaching a talented basketball player who use handicap chair to compete with NBA players. He might be great player but only in context of the handicap Olympics…

I do not make any claims about Feastrex. I heard it once, it was not serious but there are zillion reasons why a playback might not sound right – at the shows I pay attention only to accidently-positive results. Sure, I have that $40K Feastrex around New England then I would be interested to hear it. Still even if it was good and I decided to use it (for instance for my MiniMe project) then it would be in pass-band application. The question then would be: how contestable and how reasonable to use $40K Feastrex against for instance $0.1K JBL LE5-2 if both drivers are use within just 3 octaves.

Chris, I do not want to sound like I am trying to knock down Feastrex. It might be a good driver and most likely it is. Still, I think that Feastrex move into $40K was not a something that makes since to me, regardless how justifiable the price would be. Did you even see a car with two cylinders to be luxury cars with $100K price tag? That is exactly what I am trying to advocate. Let for instance to take my Macondo. I am not proposing that Macondo is capable for more superior result then Feastrex but if Macondo is contestable then Feastrex then Macondo costs $20K. The Feastrex twice more expensive, does it mean that it is twice more capable?  Well, if you find yours in Boston then bring this 5” Feastrex driver. I am sure that playing Feastrex we will find opportunity for mutual education… So far I feel I have expressed my view.

Rgs, 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
10-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 488
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 14
Post ID: 8546
Reply to: 8545
Cost-benefit ratio of full range drivers
fiogf49gjkf0d
Ultimately, as I have said in other threads, different people hear in different ways which will necessarily compel them to gravitate to different audio solutions.

We have to ask, when there are multiple paths to an audio solution, is the cost practical compared to other solutions? Just because something CAN be done does not mean it should be done, as every solution is a compromise of sorts.

You can hire a jazz band or small classical ensemble to come to play a private party and play any selection you want in your house every weekend for a year for the price of the Feastex driver.

Consider it.

Adrian
10-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 15
Post ID: 8547
Reply to: 8546
There is something more beside the cost-benefit
fiogf49gjkf0d

Still, with stepping away from my position that any so called “full-range” driver shell, be $200-$300 easy came easy go solution, like Fostex for instance , I would like to note the not the price itself  or topology is something that alert me in Feastex. What I find peculiar is the Chris Witmer’s desire to defend the new prices.

Pay attention, nether Chris nor anybody else say that the new $40K Feastex drivers (probably the whole speaker cost 10K more) is able to do  sonically something that the former Feastex drivers can’t. In fact they might be able but no one task about. Instead Chris dives into debating the fear of Permendur… As far as I can see it, it is radicals or it least it might work only for DIYAudio-level of simpletons.

So,  what I would like to see is Chris Witmer along with his Fostex propaganda machine shell drop any conversation about price they are obviously at disadvantage in this filed. Chris shell state that it is his price and suggest disagreeing parties to go fuck themselves. He reply to price-critique shell be something like this: “OK, the $40K Feastex is expensive, but look what result the numerous alternative multi-channel speaker deliver foe the same price?” Actually if he ask like this then he would be greatly correct: look what the industry sell for $40K. Well, in the world where people sell turning knobs for $500 or SET amplifier for $300K why a full-range driver shell not cost $40K?

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
10-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
serenechaos
lost alamos
Posts 86
Joined on 12-01-2007

Post #: 16
Post ID: 8549
Reply to: 8547
Cost-benefit or fanaticism
fiogf49gjkf0d
1) No, the cabinet is not 10K more.  It's 19.5K more...  and not even Baltic Birch, but Douglas Fir.  Again, with a long justification about the special laquer finish used how expensive it is, how long it takes to apply, etc... 

2) Not much talk about the Sound of the driver, or speaker... 

3) I was told long ago that a definition of "fanatic" was "once losing track of the goal, to double one's efforts in attaining it."  The (what seems to me fanatical) argument seems to ignore Sound!  
It seems to have degenerated into some kind of contest of how to build the most expensive driver possible, and finish it in the most expensive, manner possible, not about how to make a speaker that Sounds good...  
It's more about building a heirloom collectable piece of furniture than a Sound reproduction device.

4) I'm really not all against this driver, or cabinet...
When I auditioned it, my wife and I had just listened to Marten Coultrane Supremes. 
We listened to the same CD and three more. 
When not played too loud, (dynamic compression), Feastrex actually sounded better.
e.g. you could tell the difference between an oboe, a clarinet, and a soprano sax. 

5) But still, what's the point, for $59.5K you can have a far superior performing horn system, and a lot left over for a whole lot of ...
Robert
10-19-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
el`Ol
Posts 225
Joined on 10-13-2007

Post #: 17
Post ID: 8550
Reply to: 8545
Minimalism, Zen and Natureflux
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Romy the Cat wrote:

The whole point that higher flux in the gap is beneficiary ONLY of high frequency extreme (HF) and the very same higher flux very much reflects negatively for opposite frequency extreme or even at mid range as it overtrump the suspension at lower end. So, before to go into extremes and trying to convince yourself as damp on others Permendur spiel I think it would be reasonable to question the justification of Permendur use. I did not see from you or anybody else any comments about the sonic objectives that Feastrex was trying to accomplish or had already accomplished by use of Permendur. Would Feastrex be the same if the use M3 steal? Oh, but no one will be able to write that 2342 Japanese machinists committed suicides while they worked with Permendur. I hope you undusted what I am coming from…



Hello Romy!

Natureflux is also something I don´t understand. While I was planning an FAL clone I tried different shapes of pole pieces. I stumbled across triangular pole pieces Jim Thiel uses
http://www.thielaudio.com/THIEL_Site05/PDF_files/PDF_product_lit/CS3_7literature_high.pdf
and found that very much the sharp kinking in the field gives a higher and constant flux around the air gap:
http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/9600/thiellikevo3.jpg
http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/1504/quereo6.jpg
In a streight magnetic circuit the field was rather "running into the iron" and using permendur further reduced the flux around the gap. Maybe Japanese highend is often rather Zen philosophy than engineering: Use as few, simple and as expensive components as possible.
I think one has to see the 40K in conjunction with bowls for tea ceremony in the same price league. Concerning valve amps this philosophy has become mainstream around the world. Engineers from the times before the transistor came up wouldn´t have understood that the most expensive amps get along with that few valves today.

Regards,
Oliver
10-19-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
cdwitmer
Posts 5
Joined on 05-20-2007

Post #: 18
Post ID: 8553
Reply to: 8547
Read my lips
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Romy the Cat wrote:

What I find peculiar is Chris Witmer’s desire to defend the new prices.

I don't like having words put into my mouth. I'm not trying to "defend" anything. I explained why the price is what it is. Whether that's a bargain or a waste of money is something that I am not in a position to debate, and I made that clear at the outset. People are free to make those value judgments on their own, and they will make those value judgments on their own in any case, regardless of any opinon I might have on that subject. But quite apart from that, some people might find it useful to know why the price is what it is.

 Romy the Cat wrote:

Pay attention, neither Chris nor anybody else says that the new $40K Feastex drivers are able to do sonically something that the former Feastex drivers can’t. Instead Chris dives into debating the fear of Permendur.

No, you pay attention, please. I only explained why the price is what it is, and I'm not going to make any assertions about what the drivers can or cannot do relative to anything else. Again, I'm not debating anything about Permendur, but simply stating facts about costs that could be objectively verified by anyone who cared to do so (as opposed to simply making a bunch of unverified assumptions, including the convenient and self-flattering assumption that whatever has been assumed to be correct must actually be correct).

 Romy the Cat wrote:

Chris shall suggest that disagreeing parties go fuck themselves.

Those are your words, and emphatically not mine, and they reveal a great deal more about what's in your heart than anything else. What I will do is state the obvious, which is that although you have many excellent insights in many areas, you also have some character defects that interfere with your judgment and which I hope you are someday able to overcome. In the meantime I trust that most rational people, in the event that they might be interested in your opinions, will be able to tell the difference between when you are talking very good sense and when you are verging off into nonsense and speculation.

Good day, gentlemen.

-- Chris Witmer
10-19-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 19
Post ID: 8554
Reply to: 8553
My verging off into nonsense and speculations.
fiogf49gjkf0d

Ok, Chris, I will take a bite. I do agree that some of my judgments, particularly those that violate the other people’s desire to hear specific agreeable things from me, do derive from my inherent character defects. However, my handicap judgment permit me to ask myself questions that do makes sense.

I understand that you explain prices, comfortably forgetting to mention that Feastrex might not even use the Permendur.  Yep, Permendur is a marketing trade word that there many alloys that at different time and by different companies was called Permendur. The ingredients with all those Permendurs are different and the price/comfort working with greatly varies as well. So, when you “explained why the price is what it is” I think it is does make since to explain price not from position of Feastrex metallurgic anonymity but from the position of consumer advocacy. If to accept your explanation as the explanation then all that you said that to make a whole drive from Permendur is very expensive and very difficult and it might be so. However, making a whole driver from Permendur (the polls, the return passes and so on) is juts unnecessary waste of Permendur. The near-saturation Permendur advantage are no in the picture at all. If the driver has not enough surface under the coil and the core is driven to “hot” then make the coil larger. Permendur does have advantage in the speed of re-magnetization and it might lead to faster transients, even though I did not hear you ever complain that the non-Permendur Feastrex driver experience any HF transients deficiencies and need for improvement. Then is the key point. The Permendur expose it’s benefit ONLY while it is being magnetized by filed coil. So, a ring made by one of the Permendurs inserted into magnetic pathway does make sense if the capitalization on Permendur is what Feastrex want to accomplish. This Permendur ring does “cost nothing”, Chris, and it was what I inquired with my machinist in past.  To make the whole driver from Permendur as the Feastrex claim to be is just a ridicules waste, completely not justifiable by any reasons. In this context to defend “how expensive it to make” is absolute irrelevant. With the same success you can glue Fabergé Eggs on the back of the driver and to propose that the driver cost $2.000.000 each. Yesterday, I spoke to a very knowledgably guy who is working with theories and practice of magnetic cores for 40 years and asked him about any possible benefits of making whole magnetic pathways from Permendur. He was laughing and suggested that it is a complete waste of money and material.

 cdwitmer wrote:
I explained why the price is what it is. Whether that's a bargain or a waste of money is something that I am not in a position to debate, and I made that clear at the outset. People are free to make those value judgments on their own, and they will make those value judgments on their own in any case, regardless of any opinon I might have on that subject. But quite apart from that, some people might find it useful to know why the price is what it is.

Well, and those value judgments on my own is something that I am trying to do. I have to note that you Chris is right that there is a great dose of speculations in my views regarding of Feastrex. What however is interesting in this debate is that Chris points out the speculative character of my remarks but do not acknowledge the none-speculative facts. The $40,000 for a $1000 driver with Fabergé Eggs and to play them with only simplistic music and at no more 68dB? I think somebody needs to explain to me something that I do not understand…. I wish someone would stop to talk nonsense and start to talk about the Sound of these things…

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
10-19-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
cdwitmer
Posts 5
Joined on 05-20-2007

Post #: 20
Post ID: 8555
Reply to: 8554
He might be surprised to hear such a difference . . .
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Romy the Cat wrote:

Yesterday, I spoke to a very knowledgeable guy who is working with theories and practice of magnetic cores for 40 years and asked him about any possible benefits of making whole magnetic pathways from Permendur. He was laughing and suggested that it is a complete waste of money and material . . . I wish someone would stop to talk nonsense and start to talk about the Sound of these things…

The Cat


If Very Knowledgeable Guy ever had an opportunity to do a listening comparison between a Feastrex Type II field coil driver, which has a Fe main yoke with a Fe49–Co49–V2 pole piece and a Fe49–Co49–V2 top plate, and a Feastrex Type III field coil driver, which has yoke, pole piece and top plate all made of Fe49–Co49–V2, he would no longer be laughing. He might recoil at the price, but his ears would not be telling him that there is no significant difference. There is a significant, very audible difference in the sound between the two drivers even though the only significant physical difference is the use of all-Permendur in one and Permendur plus Iron in the other . . .

It would be irresponsible of me to attempt a detailed discussion of the sound because 1) I am not a well trained listener and analyst of audio, and 2) it has been a full year since I have listened to any Feastrex speaker and I am in fact not at all familiar with the sound of the most recent products. But the sonic difference between the Type II field coil drivers and the Type III field coil drivers is not insignificant.

-- Chris Witmer
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