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  • Upgrading from Zaph Za5.3T

    Hello everyone.
    I plan on upgrading from Zaph 5.3T.

    I've considered a few ;

    Paul Carmody Amigas or Classix 2.5 or Swope 3 Way
    ​​​​Javad Rivalries
    Wolfs Zingers
    GR Research XLS Tower
    Blues MTM
    HiVi 3.1A

    As you can see, I am not trying to exceed 300ish or so. Not including cabs.

    Last edited by Kustomize; 04-25-2020, 07:55 AM.

  • #2
    What music is your preference?
    Wolf
    "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
    "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
    "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
    "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

    *InDIYana event website*

    Photobucket pages:
    http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

    My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
    http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

    Comment


    • #3
      I am not the authority… But maybe the folks here can help you make adjustments to the crossover to tame the offending frequencies.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think some delicate steps should be entertained here, as the 5.3 likely is not a public xover design and intellectual property of jkrutke and Madisound. The likelihood of being able to resolve this via this method without revealing said info is pretty close to nil.

        ...and to the OP- any more information you can give about your preferences or expectations would help us direct you better.

        Later,
        Wolf
        "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
        "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
        "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
        "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

        *InDIYana event website*

        Photobucket pages:
        http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

        My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
        http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Wolf View Post
          What music is your preference?
          Wolf
          +1

          This is important so that people can steer you in the right direction: for example, when listening to options for my first build, I found that the less well recorded music - about 50% of our collection - sounded 'better' on paper based kit speakers of the shop's design than the aluminium based drivers in the Dayton RS621s they had on display.

          That is, they didn't bring out the faults and drawbacks of the recordings as much. So, Dylan's Basement Tapes, early Beatles, Hendrix bootlegs and Django Reinhart were easier to listen to on the paper/silk speakers. The RS621s brought out top end harshness, tape hiss, and mistakes in the records: but they were probably more 'accurate'.

          Well recorded and mixed music, such as Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and modern classical CDs was slightly more enjoyable when played through the RS621s: a bit more detailed, bringing out sounds I hadn't heard on the paper pair or on our existing home speakers.

          I ended up building a pair of Curt Campbell's "Slapshot" MTMs with the RS180Ps, which are paper/Kevlar/fibreglass blend cones, and they're great speakers. Detailed, great bass, lovely midrange for vocals, yet still make our lower fi stuff sound good. That said, about 10% of our music sounds a little 'better' on Curt's Tritrix or Paul Carmody's Classix II (TM). Hard to describe, but a little like the difference between LP and CD.

          I haven't heard the speakers on your list, but Wolf's Zingers, the Amigas and the Classix 2.5 get great reviews. Not sure how they compare budget-wise.

          Your room set up is also important, e.g. are there hard or reflective surfaces? At what level(s) do you listen?

          Zaph's speakers get pretty good reviews, but if you don't like the sound, you don't like the sound.

          Hope this helps

          Geoff

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Geoff Millar View Post

            +1

            This is important so that people can steer you in the right direction: for example, when listening to options for my first build, I found that the less well recorded music - about 50% of our collection - sounded 'better' on paper based kit speakers of the shop's design than the aluminium based drivers in the Dayton RS621s they had on display.

            That is, they didn't bring out the faults and drawbacks of the recordings as much. So, Dylan's Basement Tapes, early Beatles, Hendrix bootlegs and Django Reinhart were easier to listen to on the paper/silk speakers. The RS621s brought out top end harshness, tape hiss, and mistakes in the records: but they were probably more 'accurate'.

            Well recorded and mixed music, such as Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and modern classical CDs was slightly more enjoyable when played through the RS621s: a bit more detailed, bringing out sounds I hadn't heard on the paper pair or on our existing home speakers.

            I ended up building a pair of Curt Campbell's "Slapshot" MTMs with the RS180Ps, which are paper/Kevlar/fibreglass blend cones, and they're great speakers. Detailed, great bass, lovely midrange for vocals, yet still make our lower fi stuff sound good. That said, about 10% of our music sounds a little 'better' on Curt's Tritrix or Paul Carmody's Classix II (TM). Hard to describe, but a little like the difference between LP and CD.

            I haven't heard the speakers on your list, but Wolf's Zingers, the Amigas and the Classix 2.5 get great reviews. Not sure how they compare budget-wise.

            Your room set up is also important, e.g. are there hard or reflective surfaces? At what level(s) do you listen?

            Zaph's speakers get pretty good reviews, but if you don't like the sound, you don't like the sound.

            Hope this helps

            Geoff
            Well said. Favorite music, favorite volume is critical. Off the top of my head, the Rivalries or Slapshot MTM would kick ***, yet remain clear and non harsh.

            I think I hear a difference - wow, it's amazing!" Ethan Winer: audio myths
            "As God is my witness I'll never be without a good pair of speakers!" Scarlett O'Hara

            High value, high quality RS150/TB28-537SH bookshelf - TARGAS NLA!
            SB13/Vifa BC25SC06 MTM DCR Galeons-SB13-MTM
            My Voxel min sub Yet-another-Voxel-build

            Tangband W6-sub

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Wolf View Post
              I think some delicate steps should be entertained here, as the 5.3 likely is not a public xover design and intellectual property of jkrutke and Madisound. The likelihood of being able to resolve this via this method without revealing said info is pretty close to nil.

              ...and to the OP- any more information you can give about your preferences or expectations would help us direct you better.

              Later,
              Wolf
              So, a crossover design is some kind of a sacred cow with an implied IP NDA? It seems odd....every other aspect of loudspeaker hardware is thoroughly dissected/discussed. These circuits aren't secret....and far from unique. Seems like the purchaser should be able to discuss/modify at will, especially if they are not performing to his satisfaction.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thankyou everyone for the replies!

                The issue that I have with the Zaph is just that, the vocals aren't as pronounced/clear as i'd like them to be. Imaging is good, as in I can hear separation between my Left/Phantom Center/Right. And the speakers often extend all the way to my surrounds on some tracks, which does tell me the sound stage is quite big, although it feels like it might be some of my room reflections causing the surroundish effect. What I mean is, i have to TRY hard to listen to what the lyrics actually are saying, like I have to be VERY critical or I wont understand much, the weird part though is if its JUST the vocals coming out, like no music, its SUPER clear, so i guess it feels like the music is overpowering the mids/vocals perhaps? This doesn't happen on ALL my tracks, but most of them. It may be that my music selection is not right for my speakers / or flat speakers in general perhaps?

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo00cjk9Xyo

                Something like that, i can understand/hear everything with my headphones.

                Or even this

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF-k...&start_radio=1


                As for my requirements, I want to be able to play fairly loud. I listen at a distance of about 10 feet away, my speakers are about 8 feet apart, 3 feet away from all the walls. Currently placed in a bedroom, will move them later!

                Any comparison to be made with significance of the B&W I mentioned?
                I would prefer keeping my budget low, but if its definitely needed, I could extend abit.


                EDIT :

                Id like to add a link, where Zaph shares tweeter options, if thats what you mean by changing crossover parts. http://zaphaudio.com/ZA5/
                http://zaphaudio.com/ZA5/ZA5.3t-options-R4.gif

                CROSSOVER :

                http://zaphaudio.com/ZA5/ZA5.3t-crossover.gif

                Right now I am guessing its the default, because I had madisound do my crossovers, so I am not sure.
                Last edited by Kustomize; 12-11-2019, 04:30 AM. Reason: EDIT LINK

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is not a comment on your listening preferences, but if the sound of the Youtube links have similar sound to the original tracks, they're very bass-heavy and perhaps that's masking the vocal? On my AT50X headphones, the vocals on those tracks are clearer than through speakers as there's no room effect to interfere with your ears. The bass on the Daft Punk track is too far up in the mix for me.

                  Yours or anyone's music taste is what it is: the speakers should let you enjoy your music.

                  May I suggest some 'test tracks' which have really clear, well recorded vocals with a nice sound mix: here are the Youtube links but it would be better to listen to higher definition versions, of course.

                  'Ballad of a Runaway Horse', Jennifer Warnes: only Jennifer's voice and an upright bass on this track https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BD7CFwiIsI

                  'Angel', Sarah McLachlan, great song, lovely vocal and well-recorded and mixed bass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SiylvmFI_8

                  'Happiness is a Warm Gun', The Beatles, John on lead vocal. He sings in a wide range of styles which is useful for testing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIR6AAjEg5U

                  If the vocals on these tracks don't sound good on your speakers, I'd first play with speaker placement and look at what's around your room. You might also try your system in another room with different furniture and see how you go.


                  Geoff

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As per the original post, I have long puzzled over why Dire Straits, Cowboy Junkies and much classical music, cello, opera sound so great on my Statements II, and mainstream/classic rock so poor. It seems to be directly related to dynamic range....and compression levels which reduce it. For me, high levels of compression manifests as distortion in the upper vocal range. While I wouldn't give up my speakers and their marvelous performance on well recorded music, it would be nice to have a switch to flip.....

                    In fairness, this characteristic of the Statements was made very clear by the designer and I knew (and somewhat poo-poohed it) before construction.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Geoff Millar View Post
                      This is not a comment on your listening preferences, but if the sound of the Youtube links have similar sound to the original tracks, they're very bass-heavy and perhaps that's masking the vocal? On my AT50X headphones, the vocals on those tracks are clearer than through speakers as there's no room effect to interfere with your ears. The bass on the Daft Punk track is too far up in the mix for me.

                      Yours or anyone's music taste is what it is: the speakers should let you enjoy your music.

                      May I suggest some 'test tracks' which have really clear, well recorded vocals with a nice sound mix: here are the Youtube links but it would be better to listen to higher definition versions, of course.

                      'Ballad of a Runaway Horse', Jennifer Warnes: only Jennifer's voice and an upright bass on this track https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BD7CFwiIsI

                      'Angel', Sarah McLachlan, great song, lovely vocal and well-recorded and mixed bass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SiylvmFI_8

                      'Happiness is a Warm Gun', The Beatles, John on lead vocal. He sings in a wide range of styles which is useful for testing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIR6AAjEg5U

                      If the vocals on these tracks don't sound good on your speakers, I'd first play with speaker placement and look at what's around your room. You might also try your system in another room with different furniture and see how you go.


                      Geoff
                      Thankyou for that.


                      Only the first track you mentioned was clear enough.
                      The beatles one wasn't.
                      And Angel by Sarah was very hard to understand. I played it on my phone and could understand all the lyrics clearly. But on my speakers, I had to pay a LOT of attention and would get some of the words.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Btw if it helps. I do have a UMIK 1 if measurements are required.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If I were in your position I would consider pulling the Zaph 5.3 crossover, set them aside, and start new ones from scratch. I am sure you could get lots of help here.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            They might be more "fun" if you had a sub (those don't really go down far enough for MY taste).
                            Also, all tracks are not created equal.
                            Even though I know my top octave is nearly gone (hearing), and we don't have a CC, some TV/movies have voices that are pretty garbled, while SOME are clear as a bell.
                            I'm sure the recording engineer (& audio mix) has a LOT to do w/that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ontariomaximus View Post
                              If I were in your position I would consider pulling the Zaph 5.3 crossover, set them aside, and start new ones from scratch. I am sure you could get lots of help here.
                              Woah. I never thought of that. But I am so down for that, I'm scared to step into this given my lack of experience and expertise. That's why I wanted to try something different thinking maybe the drivers are not upto mark.

                              Comment

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