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Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

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  • Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

    To those that could not attend, I like to solidify my thoughts and opinions for a chance at 'being there' without being there. I will state ahead of time that what I heard may not be what someone else also heard in another position in the room, and that I was just to the left and 2 seats beind the center judge, Jeff B.

    Starting from the rear-left corner we have:

    SP16 was an ND90 horn-loaded rear-wave mini-array called 'Owls' from John Hollander. I felt they really needed a tweeter, but even so- if you sat on the floor or lowered your listening height, they weren't AS bad as above. Bass was decent. Excellent paint work.

    Paul K's 'Cavatina' SP09 are next with the Fountek NeoCD1.0/SS 10F/Usher 8945A in a small MLTL. Paul won the $200+ category with these. They had a great tonality and balance in a diminutive size, but I was wondering if the mid's chamber was really small because they seemed a bit murky or congested on more complex source material. Congrats, Paul!

    Ed LaFontaine brought his Modula-MTM-TL SP034 for a second round with some tweeter cap mods. They sounded good as ever, and he took the 1st &win in the Dayton class. RS180/TBFC, I had yours 1st.

    6th planet (Eric W, SP08) brought his finalized cabinets with the contoured Audax HM200Z2 (I think that's right) cast-aerogels and a 12dB X'd RT2C planar at ~4K. Power port and very nice cabs! Being mainly designed as low-BSC, these did it with gusto. I had you as 5th in the $200+.

    Brewski (Jason S.) brought the 'Ruinations' SP06 and 'Levitations' SP05. You could tell the R had a BBC dip as designed, but were very easy on the ear. I actually felt the L had a cleaner bass presentation. Both were well balanced, but I preferred the accuracy of the L. I had you as 4th. DX25/2xFountek168, BC25/Fountek168.

    Dave Pellegrene brought his 'Panheads' SP21, and rumbled into 3rd place in the $200- arena. I think these are Dave's best speakers yet, finish has no equal, and they sounded great. FWIW- I had you in the 2nd on my vote. ND20(?)/RS100/RS180.

    Tony Hartman had the next 3 pairs here; 11/12/13('More is Better'). Tony likes huge woofer boxes, and apparently Low-Q designs. 12 I felt had #2 sound in Dayton class, but #13 had some large opposition in $200+. All of these looked unique with the antique finishes, and they all sounded balanced. #11 needs a bit of xover work, but it wasn't bad at all.

    I had entries #SP1/2, my 'Glucinium Amor' and 'Destinations'. TB W4-1798S/25-1743S MTM, SS D2905/97000 and Airborne FR213B8-10M with 2 Dayton passives per side. Other's words were 'Liked both!', '#2 a bit tubby.', '#2 very detailed bass!', 'Really liked the TB's! More bass than expected.', and '#2-How'd you do that!?!?'.

    #SP03 was Rory (Taterworks) 'Firestorms'. I thought maybe there were a bit shouty, or needing a touch more BSC. Very nice cabs! I had these at 4/$200-. TB 25-1719/W6-789.

    SP23 from Scott McMeans was on the floor. Thought they sounded a bit hollow, but gave them #2 Unlimited spot for my vote. I believe he received that prize too!

    Adam Malito brought SP07 'Number 2', and I was glad I could hear it pending one of my own with the D5G. He used the XT25SC90 for the topend. I liked the color/veneer scheme a lot. They were smooth, balanced, and had some bump, but I felt the bump was in a limited range, or kinda one-notish. Walking the bass didn't have as much definition as I would've liked to hear. I had you at number 7, $200-.

    SP31(Catalina)/32(Dayton Reference Stealth)/33(Art Decco) from Bogdan Petrescu. 31 sounded nice, but lacked some bass emphasis/detail. 32 had surprising lack of all bass. 33 was an infamous BestBuy Coax in a new cab. Catalina placed ___ in $200+.

    SP10 was Jim Griffin's 'Open-Minded' Mark Audio Alpair10 and Eminence Kappalite with a DBX active xover. Jim placed 1st in the Unlimited category. Where I sat, they weren't going to image well, and I felt the treble lacked resolution. Everything else was golden.

    ^^Door Prizes!!!

    SP14 was an all-in-one apartment 'Echoe5.1' system from Alex Sandaire with the W3-1335 and W6-1139 drivers. Barring demo problems, it didn't sound that bad. I think a bit of a notch filter on the satellite(s) portion would be helpful. Intriguing design.

    SP29 '3-way Stops' from Julian Franke was demo'd to have "Sharp midrange, smooth treble, and smooth bass." as his goals. Dayton Silkie and Classic12, RS52. He achieved his goals, and the cabinet was aesthetically pleasing, but I really think the xover needs a lot more work. Dayton Class.

    (PWR-RYD) Craig's SP4 'Rushers' were a lot better, and the best RS28F rendition I've heard yet. Usher 8945A did not disappoint. I had you in 4th slot.

    Brandon (13 year old) flew in with his folks from Cali to play his RS125/BC25 combo, SP27. Besides lighting up, they sounded pretty darn good! As minimalist as the xover was portrayed, I can't see them sounding like they did.

    Moosespeaker (George's) 'Stormy' as SP15 did very well except in the bass region. #6 wire to tweeter for no signal loss, and a nice balance. Give them a sub, and get there! W4-1337/Vifa OX20.

    Meredith's 'TV Speaker for Mary Jeane' SP17 was a sum to mono project for multiple sitting spots in Mary's living room. Meredith did a fantastic job here! I think I voted him 2nd and he received 3rd place in Unlimited.

    Tom Bond's 'Daisho' SP19 was a much improved version from the year before. Seemless was the word, and his had the bass definition and reach that had my vote for first place. He received 2nd place in $200-.

    Scott had a 2nd Unlimited entry, and these used the Alpair 12 SP35. I found them nasal at my spot, and bass from the sub helped a lot. There may have been a hole between them though.

    Mr. Waslo brought the 'Big Wave' SP25 Gargantuan anti-WAF that needed a rabies shot, and the 'True Omni' SP26 lighthouses. Waveguides aren't for me, so I won't comment except that they were LOUD/costly. The Omni had a 'ring' somewhere that set me on edge, so I don't know what to say about those either. Fit/finish was better than average. I don't know the model numbers.

    Eric Levenchuck returned for a second year with his first 3-way, 'EL-110' SP18. He used buyouts for these, and they sounded alright. I heard a bit of a dip at the upper end of the midrange, but Eric knew about it. Nice job!

    Norman Cerveny made these wonderful looking diamond shaped cabinets, SP22. with the Dayton Reference from top to bottom. I should think we'll get to hear these again next year with a little more fine tuning. Being that it was a Dayton xover, the drivers' potential was not tapped well, and they didn't fare as well as hoped. I look to see him back with a vengeance next year!

    SP20 from David Crewe looked fantastic. He lathe-turned those copper bowls and hand beat the panels. Excel W18/SS Air-Circ. A step up in aesthetics from his fish-vases last year, but I felt the image was stretched. Everytime a lady would sing up in range, you could hear where it jumped from one driver to the next. He only had one hour on them, so I bet they'll be improved. I think he got third place in $200+.

    Dan N brought his usual off-the-wall stuff in the Contrapesso, SP30. 14 buyout drivers, under $200. Quasi-omni-bipolar-waveguided thingamajigs that sounded great. How can you compete with dual 12" in that category is beyond me, he placed 1st.

    Riaz Missaghi brought these actives for the Unlimited category. Dubbed 'Orokoy', I thought they had a very frown-shaped response. Great mids, but rolled off treble and bass. W5-704D/XT25SC90/SDVC270 in nicely fiished ply.

    I didn't get to hear Ed's sub under the table in the back:

    Sorry if I forgot anyone, or had places left out or wrong/forgotten. Please let me know and I'll edit the entry.

    "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:

    My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:

  • #2
    Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

    I was pretty damn sure I'd seen those birch-ply looking speakers before, I ran into them yesterday on Etsy.

    रेतुर्न तो थे स्रोत
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    deadhorse thread
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    instagram :: greywarden_13

    in war, victory . . . in peace, vigilance . . . in death, sacrifice.


    • #3
      Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

      Thanks, Wolf. Wish I could go to one of these. Sure a lot of stuff there, more than I imagined.



      • #4
        Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

        I really wished I could have made it. I will next year for sure. Thanks for the write up Wolf. When are you going to give us some more info on your towers?


        • #5
          Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

          Wolf, my main goal for the Cavatina was that it be an as small as possible floor-stander that could reasonably be considered "full range". As in all speaker designs, compromises were necessary here and there. I would liked to have provided about twice the sealed volume for the midrange driver, not because I think it was necessary but "just because". I couldn't and didn't in order to maximize the performance of the ML-TL. As to the congestion/murkiness you heard on complex material, the only complex piece of the three music tracks played was the second one, the excerpt from the overture to Berstein's Candide Operetta. That's a great piece to use in theory, but the specific recording used was only fair in recording quality, making it all but impossible for any speaker to reproduce it without sounding congested or unclear (at least I didn't hear any speaker in that class sound good on that track). Instead of just complaining, however, I volunteered to put together a CD with multiple 1-minute excerpts from "classical" music to give to Rich, from which he will be able to select a different track for several years if desired. I assure you these recordings will have very good to excellent quality.

          Thanks for the congrats,


          • #6
            Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

            I was waiting for Wolf to put his thoughts up before adding the notes that I'd written down while listening. I was about 4 rows back and wasn't in the sweet spot so what I heard is probably different from those closer and in the sweet spot. For example I heard the Ruinations and was wondering if I'd taken too much out of the tweeter on my last tweak the week before MWAF. listening to them during the meet n greet I thought the tweeter sounded fine but they had a bit more boom than I'd expected.

            Listening notes from MWAF

            Unlimited class
            Speaker 026
            Track 1 During in the Deep thought the speaker wasn't as warm as I'd like maybe slightly bright
            Track 2 Thought the speaker was slightly bright / forward
            Track 3 Thought that the speaker sounded warmer (which I considered a positive than during the previous tracks (and was wondering if what I was hearing was track or room related)

            Speaker 028 - Orokey Bookshelf
            Nice overall
            Tracks 1 and 2 presented well throughout both tracks had good bass
            Track 3 Thought I heard a little bit of tweeter strain or ringing at one point

            Speaker 17 (I think this was Mary Jane's TV speaker)
            Excellent vocals was surprised at the amount of sound coming from a stereo signal fed into a single speaker

            Speaker 23
            Warmer/fuller sounding than other speakers to that point In my notes had as best to play in the class so far...

            Speaker 10 - Open minded
            Good lows/good highs did everything well very nice to listen to. Enjoyed listening to them during the sample tracks as well as the meet and greet.

            Speaker 14 – 5.1 in 1
            Difficult to judge the concept since it was playing a stereo source across the speakers rather than a 5.1 track

            Under $200
            Speaker 11
            Bass light slightly thin sounding not the amount of warmth that I find myself liking

            Speaker 18 EL110
            Track 1 slightly murky at different points
            Tracks 2 and 3 sounded great

            Speaker 15 Stormy
            Track 1 forward/bass light
            Track 2 excellent female vocals

            Speaker 16
            lacked detail and was a bit muddy when seated upright improved when bent over to listen from a lower vantage point

            Speaker 05 (Levitations)
            I thought they held themselves very well I knew what they'd sound like so instead was watching the reactions of the room.

            Speaker 21 (Panheads)
            They sound great on all tracks and look like art you've got to like them

            Speaker 30 (Contrappeso)
            Pro's incredible sound easily the best sounding speaker in the class
            Con's How is this able to complete in the Under $200.00 class... Completely makes me think I'll use buyout pricing if competing in the under $200.00 class in the future.

            Speaker 07 (Number 2)
            Track 1 slightly Forward/slightly bright during would
            Track 2 Fantastic on female vocals
            Track 3 sounds great

            Speaker 03 (Firestorm)
            Track 1 Forward or slightly tweeter hot
            Track 2 sounded great
            Track 3 maybe slightly bright but sounds fantastic

            Speaker 19 Daisho
            Track 1 Sounded great
            Track 2 had a note that during the female vocal track thought the speakers were slightly bright/piercing
            Track 3 Sounded excellent

            Speaker 27
            Track 1 slightly bass light
            Track 2 very good female vocals

            Speaker 33
            Surprised at how much you can get out of an insignia speaker in a different cabinet

            Over $200.00
            Speaker 13 - More is better
            Balanced smaller stage than expected slightly muddy

            Speaker 09 Cavantina
            Great sounding all tracks impressive Aesthetics and sound

            Speaker 31
            Sound is great now understanding the obsession with the raal tweeter

            Speaker 01 Wolf's G.A.
            They sound excellent with a surprising amount of bass present in what will eventually be the top of a three way speaker

            Speaker 06 Ruinations
            DX25 tweeter was out classed for the price point also sounded like I may have taken out a little too much of the tweeter. Waiting for feedback to see what changes I'll make.

            Speaker 04 Rusher
            excellent sounding speaker crisp detailed very nice

            Speaker 20 G3.1
            Air circ tweeter is amazingly crisp and detailed. Brass work on the speaker is beautiful

            Speaker 08 Audax/HiVi project
            Sound wise I really enjoyed them the mids weren't as detailed some of the three ways but they sounded great non the less. Aesthetically they were very well done speaker a very nice build.

            Speaker 02
            Tweeter sounded very crisp and detailed with very good bass provided via the airborne woofer.

            Take it easy
            "I like Brewski's threads, they always end up being hybrid beer/speaker threads based on the name of his newest creation." - Greywarden

            Breakfast Stout - HiVi RT2 II/Aurasound NS6
            Imperial Russian Stout - Vifa DX25/Fountek FW146/(2) Fountek FW168s - Built by Fastbike
            Ruination 2.5 way - Vifa DX25/Fountek FW168
            Levitation TM
            - Vifa BC25SG15/Fountek FW168


            • #7
              Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

              Really nice walk-around, Ben!
              Click here for Jeff Bagby's Loudspeaker Design Software


              • #8
                Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

                thanks ben. perhaps next year i will win the dayton class, yes? they maybe need to do a buyout class.
                " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

                Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
                Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??



                • #9
                  Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

                  Originally posted by View Post
                  they maybe need to do a buyout class.
                  Yes, they do. I'll pick you up on the way.
                  Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.


                  • #10
                    Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

                    ill be ready.
                    " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

                    Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
                    Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??



                    • #11
                      Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

                      I knew the Contrapesso would be the winner as soon as I heard them. The design shouldn't really work, but they were amazing. They certainly outclassed the rest of the under 200 category, including my sorry showing with "The 110s". I promise I'll never show up with another speaker that hasn't been tweaked.

                      Also, Ben has very good ears indeed, as he called exactly what was wrong with my speakers. They played alright in the largish room, but in smaller rooms they're bass heavy and completely recessed in the upper midrange. I'll keep working on them.

                      Great job everyone! I've been a speaker builder for fifteen years, but I'm fairly new to this great community of fantastic builders. You've all been very nice and great to talk to.

                      As has been previously stated, we need to help Norman with SP22. With a proper crossover, this design will surely shine. I hope to see it in next year's Unlimited class with a good 3-way crossover at the top and a good plate amp (even though Norman hates them) for the woofers.
                      Eric L.


                      • #12
                        Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

                        Thanks for taking the time to post this Mr. Wolf...
                        I was there and I still discovered a few things through reading this.

                        I was almost all the way at the back for the times that I was there and didn't get much of the good sound, but I did have a few favorites and noticed a few sets that needed further tweaking/revising.

                        I just had to say that Ed LaFontaine's Modula-MTM-TL was a showcase in woodworking and I thought it was amazing how he inlaid wood in the top of the baffle to cover up the end grain of the top of the baffle. I saw that it wasn't end grain, and realized what he did, but how he did it, I couldn't say, that was the coolest wood working trick of the bunch of them if you ask me.

                        Also, I thought that Dave Pellegrene's 'Panheads' sounded good, but what surprised me was how big those things were. I though they were a lot smaller than that. In reality, they were kind of huge!

                        I missed listening to probably almost half of the speakers present. I missed the first hour because of getting hung up at the tent sale... man were they busy! Also, my wife was with me, and I didn't want to leave her in the room by herself for the whole day, so we took a longish lunch which ate up a little more time. I'm glad she came with me though, she enjoyed everyone's speakers a lot, and appreciated all the work you guys put into your creations. It was a great time. I WILL be there next year with a creation of my own!
                        Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                        *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF


                        • #13
                          Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

                          Thanks for posting the writeup and photographs. Wish that I could have been there.


                          • #14
                            Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

                            Tom, Thanks for the comments. To shed some light on the construction:

                            I applied the 1/4" veneer from the bottom/back to the top/front. I chose the layering so that the exposed end grain would the least visible from the front/top. The baffle was "picture-framed" with mitered stock, thicknessed and then over-laid with a 1/4" thick piece on the face.

                            The baffle consists of a 1 3/8" thick LVL with the 1/4" bubinga face added. The baffle is rebated into the mdf casework.

                            The interior of the cabinet is lined with 1/4" ceramic tile underlayment using silicone caulk as the adhesive. It is an attempt at constrained layer construction.
                            Mongo only pawn in game of life


                            • #15
                              Re: Belated- MWAF2011 Virtual Walkaround!

                              Thanks, guys!
                              I'm glad it was worth the read.

                              Chuck- what you wanna know about the Destinations?

                              "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:

                              My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE: