Another Shawn A Arpeggios Build
I have recently finished putting together Shawn A's Arpeggio's. 8948a, 9950. PE .75cu cabs with vinyl tiles, underneath modelling clay, underneath 1/2in Ultratouch felt. ~35-40lbs each. I have built 6 or so 2-ways in the past few years as well as quite a few full rangers. As much as I try to find a problem with these speakers I end up relaxing and enjoying what they have to offer. They are laid back but engaging. The sound is BIG. Even though I have them only 2ft from the rear wall. They pack a punch I just could not get from full rangers, except the Alpair 10 - which in turn could not meet the dispersion and naturalness of the 9950.
Listening to them I keep straining to get more splash or sizzle but then I am reminded of Jay Kim's observation that the Usher's low distortion can give the impression of warmth. By comparison I know that the Arpeggio's are not giving me any less detail than the FRs I have had or other 2-ways. In fact there is a depth and background quiet that I have not heard since the SB17 2-way I built 2 years ago. Except the midrange in the xo area is more seamless (I know it's been 2 years but I spent a LOT of time playing with the SB17/DQ25 xo and sure it's possible that it would aquit itself better today; maybe in the future I will compare for sure). The imaging is really a standout. Like having a plain old In-N-Out burger vs. Big Mac. You realize how less can be more, and the real flavor you've been missing underneath all the crap. The music *rarely* feels like it's coming from the cabs - either in front or behind, mostly behind. And the bass hits you without boom. Carlton and Aston Family Man Barret of B. Marley and the Wailers cement their status as a preeminint drum and bass rhythm section on these speakers. The big 2khz dip in Shawn's XO detracts a *teeny* bit from vocal punch IMO, but I listen at lower levels. It's a very minor complaint, because everything else really comes together. I have a smaller listening space, but at higher SPLs they just open up. I have added polyfil and played with port length to compensate and accomodate my room. I am very, very happy. No fatigue, the 9950 is clean and despite the rise (when measured) doesn't bother me the least bit. Pardon the cab, power tools are the least of my skills - but I'll get there one day.
Big thumbs up.
Re: Another Shawn A Arpeggios Build
Nice review and good to hear your thoughts and comments. It confirms what others have found: that Shawn's Arpeggio is a great design with high quality, good value drivers.
I agree with you that the 9950 doesn't naturally have much sparkle or sizzle, like say a Vifa tweet, but is very smooth and easy to listen to. By tweaking the XO, you can bring out a more clinical/analytical, detailed sound, but I personally do not prefer it that way.
I haven't heard the Arpeggios myself, but from your commentary, I think I would like them (and Shawn's voicing) very much.
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