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In the Forum: Horn-Loaded Speakers
In the Thread: Macondo Frame modification.
Post Subject: Listening to the S2s for the first time. A long time ago.Posted by oxric on: 9/17/2011
 Romy the Cat wrote:

 oxric wrote:
And yes I'm perfectly aware of the vertical problems of having Lecleach profiles with a multi-way system and none of the horns I have ordered are LeCleach - they are all tractrix. I did some comparisons with the S2 in a Lecleach horn whilst a friend was here a few months ago. It was not a'kosher' comparison' but I personally preferred the LeCleach even though admittedly the horns from someone in Australia were not how I would have built them. It would be fair to say that my friend who likes the LeCleach felt the 400Hz tractrix combined better with his Fane in a Stereolab 140Hz upperbass horn. But all of this is really not pertinent to the subject of my post really as I doubt I will be able to accomodate Lecleach profiles and would only like to do these comparisons much later on for the sake of my own education.

When you say that your preferred the LeCleach over tractrix then can you elaborate what specifically your preference were based upon?

This comparison goes back to so many months ago and lasted for so little time that I hesitate to attach much importance to any of it.

The first time I listened to the S2 I was shocked by how bad they sounded, and could not be sure which I hated more, the nasal sound of the S2 or the honkiness which at the time I thought derived from the horns they were in. After this, I listened to them when I got to try them on the 400Hz Azura horn LeCleach and the Stereolab tractrix quite a few months ago and the rest of the system was such a mishmash of unlikely partners that I am not too sure my comments are worth taking too seriously at all. The amp was the Almarro 318A or 318B. We had 6-7 S2s here, some of them clearly had problems and were unlistenable but one or two of these gave us what I would now call the idiosyncratic S2 sound. Although the S2 crossed at 500Hz sounded good lower down, I would say what appealed most to me was its lack of distortion, transient speed and detail above. It was something that I thought only electrostatic speakers could achieve but the S2 put the life back into the proceedings and I did not know at the time whether to characterise it as some form of coloration or just having more tone than anything that I had heard until then. It could be for any number of reasons, but the LeCleach Azurahorn crossed high with a 3uF capacitor sounded more natural, with maybe less of the nasal character which I still could detect  underneath it all as some aftertaste of cheese that stays in your mouth long after you have had it . What is even more confusing is that I have now been told by Mike of Vitavox that some of my diaphragms were clearly not original Vitavox issue. Later on, I had a chance to listen to the S2 with plastic surrounds diaphragms in a single 400Hz Stereolab tractrix with the Fane 8Ms in a 140Hz Stereolab Uperbass horn. It is this memory that has convinced me most of the potential of the S2s but on that occasion we did not have the Azurahorn to hand. With regard to the construction of the Azurahorns, there are several reasons why I do not think they are ideal in terms of their construction. They ring quite badly, they are very light and they have a very glossy finish...My Musique Concrete 322Hz Lecleach by Marco Henri are considerably more promising... My horns once they are ready will be delivered to my place in France. I would like to take the Musique Concrete there and listen to these alongside the new tractrix horns, once I manage to buy, borrow or steal some suitable amps. I have over the course of the past two years sold all my amplifiers(other than some old Sony V-fet amps) including my battery powered Audio Consulting only two weeks ago...

With regard to the new listening room in France, I have of course never used it for listening to music as I have only moved there two months ago and most of my equipment is still here in the UK. The children’s toys, my wife’s clothes and some items of furniture had to take precedence when we moved believe it or not.

Best regards

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