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Continuum's with split personality. My first DIY build.

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  • siggma
    replied
    Re: Continuum's with split personality. My first DIY build.

    Glorious!, what else can I say...

    Very, very nice. I especially like the wood pieces you've chosen. I used to work with hardwoods making pipes (in the 80's) then waterbeds and even speakers for a short time. I know the feeling of rubbing wood with sandpaper and watching it change shape and slowly come to life when you spit on it to see what you've done. Nothing like the first wipe with a tack cloth, seeing the inside of the tree for the first time. You've done justice to the wood from what I see. Hope they sound as good as they look.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jeff B.
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Originally posted by tyger23 View Post
    Jeff,

    Once again I want to thank you for this design. I've just spent the past hour stretching the legs of these speakers, and they are absolutely amazing.

    I've never heard such detail presented in such an exquisite, smooth manner. I've also never been brought to tears by listening to music, but these speakers did just that. They quite possibly provided me with one of the more emotional moments of my life in the span of a single two and a half minute song.

    All I could think about was how I'd never get to share these speakers and their unparalleled clarity and presentation with my former neighbor. Jackson Boyette was a preacher here in Austin who really took the time to show me what audiophile quality was. I always thought my Definitive Technologies were the beez kneez until he came in and said "That's nice. Let's go to my house." My world was never the same. He played some orchestral music over his original 1960's electrostatic Quad ESL's with 15W class-a tube amp and precision motor driven, floating turntable and my jaw dropped. He also dared me to find the differences as he flipped between a CD and Vinyl of the same recording. I won't go into the results of that one...

    Anyways, Jackson and his wife were killed in a car accident last year when I was on a business trip in Asia. He had just purchased a pair of Dynaudio floor standers for his vacation home and wanted me to hear them, but I never got the chance.

    I would have been proud to show him your speakers, and I know his face would be beaming as every minutia of the female voice, guitar, cymbals, tympani, brass, and piano were presented with unmatched realism and detail.

    Again, bravo and thank you. I am hereby indebted to you.

    Sincerely, Ty

    For the record, the song was "The Gift" by Thom Rottella. It's a guitar solo, but the sound of the acoustic guitar being rubbed against his leg as he changed hand positions on the fretboard was unmistakable, and a detail I've never heard in the 10 years I've used that song for listening tests. It is a recording on an old Alpine demo disc called "Speed of Sound" that I picked up back in my car audio days.

    Thank you. I am sure no speaker is actually worthy of all that you have thrust upon this one, but I am happy you are pleased with how the Continuums are performing for you.

    I am sorry to hear about your friends and the loss you have experienced. If his earthly experience involved living with a set of Quad ESL's then he knew more of the joy of music then most of us ever will. I am sure they are in an even better place now where the music is even more glorious.

    Again, thank you for the kind words.

    Jeff

    Leave a comment:


  • tyger23
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Jeff,

    Once again I want to thank you for this design. I've just spent the past hour stretching the legs of these speakers, and they are absolutely amazing.

    I've never heard such detail presented in such an exquisite, smooth manner. I've also never been brought to tears by listening to music, but these speakers did just that. They quite possibly provided me with one of the more emotional moments of my life in the span of a single two and a half minute song.

    All I could think about was how I'd never get to share these speakers and their unparalleled clarity and presentation with my former neighbor. Jackson Boyette was a preacher here in Austin who really took the time to show me what audiophile quality was. I always thought my Definitive Technologies were the beez kneez until he came in and said "That's nice. Let's go to my house." My world was never the same. He played some orchestral music over his original 1960's electrostatic Quad ESL's with 15W class-a tube amp and precision motor driven, floating turntable and my jaw dropped. He also dared me to find the differences as he flipped between a CD and Vinyl of the same recording. I won't go into the results of that one...

    Anyways, Jackson and his wife were killed in a car accident last year when I was on a business trip in Asia. He had just purchased a pair of Dynaudio floor standers for his vacation home and wanted me to hear them, but I never got the chance.

    I would have been proud to show him your speakers, and I know his face would be beaming as every minutia of the female voice, guitar, cymbals, tympani, brass, and piano were presented with unmatched realism and detail.

    Again, bravo and thank you. I am hereby indebted to you.

    Sincerely, Ty

    For the record, the song was "The Gift" by Thom Rottella. It's a guitar solo, but the sound of the acoustic guitar being rubbed against his leg as he changed hand positions on the fretboard was unmistakable, and a detail I've never heard in the 10 years I've used that song for listening tests. It is a recording on an old Alpine demo disc called "Speed of Sound" that I picked up back in my car audio days.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jeff B.
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Originally posted by mattsk8 View Post
    Didn't want to rob the other guy's thread .

    Those look amazing! I love the creativity. That grade of oak w/ the maple and walnut works well! I'm sure you get a lot of comments about what kind of wood you used! And the danish oil ties it all together very well; good choice!

    Just curious, are the continuums designed w/ solid hardwood? Only curious because we always hear arguments for what wood is better between bb and mdf and that solid hardwood is a bad idea because of inconsistent density. Guess you rocked that one :D! Well done! I'd love to hear a pair of those someday.

    As far as challenging yourself on the woodworking front, I'd say major score
    When you're dealing with a box this size the cabinet is going to be very solid and mechanically inert with most materials you may use, whether MDF, plywood, or various hardwoods. In bigger boxes it is best to use MDF and bracing due to the ease with which you can fabricate your pieces and it keeps the cost low. The biggest legitimate knock against hardwoods in a larger speaker is the possibility of the wood splitting or warping, and wanting to pull away or create buzzes. I have never seen any issue in a small enclosure though. I have seen large enclosures use a lot of hardwood without any issue too.

    Leave a comment:


  • tyger23
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Thanks for the compliments! Jeff B's original speakers were solid maple. You can find them on this board.

    Leave a comment:


  • cowtown
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Nothing technical to add, but those may be the nicest-looking speakers I've ever seen.

    Leave a comment:


  • mattsk8
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Didn't want to rob the other guy's thread .

    Those look amazing! I love the creativity. That grade of oak w/ the maple and walnut works well! I'm sure you get a lot of comments about what kind of wood you used! And the danish oil ties it all together very well; good choice!

    Just curious, are the continuums designed w/ solid hardwood? Only curious because we always hear arguments for what wood is better between bb and mdf and that solid hardwood is a bad idea because of inconsistent density. Guess you rocked that one :D! Well done! I'd love to hear a pair of those someday.

    As far as challenging yourself on the woodworking front, I'd say major score

    Leave a comment:


  • tyger23
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Jeff - That's awesome information. I would have loved to see this prior to choosing the Continuum's, but I was able to essentially gather the same information over searching many different forum posts. It essentially confirms what I thought (and is currently being proven to me) - the Continuum's are the best choice for my application.

    Maybe it would be awesome to have a "buyer's guide" to your designs? Maybe the same from Wolf, Paul, and the other phenominal designers on this board that I didn't mention? Just a thought.


    Oh, and DANG, these things sound friggin amazing.


    I've already had to make big changes to my analog sources supply music. My NAD amp is keeping up just fine, but I had to abandon my XM radio. I know music over XM is horribly compressed, but it never mattered to me until I listened over these speakers. So, I switched over to using Pandora and XM from my computer (streaming from the internet). Oddly enough, there's much better fidelity when streaming XM over the internet than when using one of their dedicated radios.

    However that wasn't enough. I also had to add in a (self built and designed) custom line-driver between my computer and my NAD to improve the sound quality further. My line-driver greatly improves the treble, clarity, and realism of the music running through it. Previously, I used it on my headphones only, but now I have to use it on my Continuums. These things are really giving my Sennheiser HD cans a run for their money.

    Bravo, Jeff!

    Leave a comment:


  • Jeff B.
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Originally posted by Wolf View Post
    IMO- yep- the Mandolin are also smoke by the Continuums at least to 70Hz.

    The Satori tweeters are as yet not on the market.

    The Continuum 2.1 is Jeff's answer to the '3-way' question.
    Later,
    Wolf
    Each of the speakers listed in the posts above are different and each has its place. The Continuum isn't always the better choice between it and the Piccolo in my opinion. If the speakers are placed on a stand, out from the walls, running without a subwoofer, then the Piccolo has a more natural tonal balance and a more extended, more balanced low end. For many people, especially those who don't want their music real loud, this would tip the scale in that direction for them.

    If the speakers are near a boundary at all, or the subwoofer is turned on then the Continuum stands out as the superior speaker. Don't get me wrong, I love the Continuum by itself, but it is not as extended as the Piccolo, so head to head the Piccolo has a lower end that the Continuum doesn't have for the same size speaker. And if the Continuum is running by itself and turned up loud the lack of low bass can sometimes really make itself known.

    Now, having said that, the Continuum has the lowest non-linear distortion of any of the speakers listed and I think that really contributes to its sonic character. That was not a conscious design goal. I mean I always want low distortion, but it just worked out that the Continuum has the lowest distortion across the board over all of the SB designs. This is especially true in the bass too. So, although it is not as extended as the Piccolo, it has much lower distortion at 100Hz and an octave on either side.

    I have my Continuums set up right now with my subs on and they are amazingly clean and transparent. Right now, the 2.1 version (or 2.2 as I am runnng things) is my preferred way to run the Continuums. I have often thought of incorporating the Continuum as the midrange and tweeter in the true three-way speaker, but I would probably be forced to a pretty low crossover point with the woofer to maintain continuity and keep the magic of the Continuum, and then I may be back to subwoofer range getting pretty close again.

    The Kairos are arguably the most accurate speaker of the bunch with the flattest frequency response and excellent overall phase response. I love the speaker and will listen with it for long stretches. Unfortunately, SB just hasn't gotten around to releasing the tweeter yet. I don't know why. Hopefully someday. This will be an expensive kit, but in my opinion it will be worth it.

    Jeff B.

    Leave a comment:


  • c09
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Those look awesome, man.
    Plus I learned about two cool local shops in this thread that I didn't know about before.

    Leave a comment:


  • maynardg
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Anyone wanting a bit more bass out of Continuums can build the Continuum MLTL. MLTL with 38.5 sq in. cross section, interior height at 40", woofer set 7.5" from the interior top, 2" dia X 3" long port set 2" from inteior bottom, stuffing in top half to taste.

    Search on Tzu Jan or Continuum TL should find some comments on bass quality. They actually go much lower than you'd expect.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ryan
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Very nice work!

    Leave a comment:


  • tyger23
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Originally posted by Wolf View Post
    Piccolos are inferior to the Continuums, IMO.
    Wolf
    Oh yeah, and I've seen that exact statement written before, so the Continuum's got the easy nod. And they're cheaper (at least for the kit).

    Leave a comment:


  • tyger23
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    Originally posted by fakeout
    Why did you choose the Continuum instead of the Picolos? I though the Picolos had more bass.
    Bass wasn't a large factor for me. I'm using these as desktop reference monitors at relatively low to moderate volume. At these volume levels, even the Piccolo's wouldn't be able to produce satisfying bass without artificial improvement. Don't get me wrong, I plan to stretch the legs of my Continuums every once in a while, but not on a normal basis.

    I was mostly interested in having a true vocal reference monitor - and everything I've ever read about the Continuum's pointed to their being the best choice. Also, the cabinets for the Continuum's are hardwood (which I wanted to try). I guess you could make a Piccolo out of hardwood, but MDF is recommended.

    Oh, and to top it off, I've got a 10" Klipsch reference sub under my desk. Bass is no issue. Vocal reproduction is of utmost importance.

    So, it just depends on what you want to accomplish. I wanted the Continuum's.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wolf
    replied
    Re: qbnbntaeo

    IMO- yep- the Mandolin are also smoke by the Continuums at least to 70Hz.

    The Satori tweeters are as yet not on the market.

    The Continuum 2.1 is Jeff's answer to the '3-way' question.
    Later,
    Wolf

    Leave a comment:

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