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  1. #1

    Smile Back from DIY N.E. Dec.1st!

    I want to start by thanking everyone who came today and Dave for opening his home ... this, from an advanced audio and practical DIY audio newborn who's never been to any such event. Dave's home and all who attended (right down to the canine residents!) were welcoming, warm and understanding of my lack of understanding - it was really nice to meet you all! Part of me is actually glad my car stereo was broken for the ride home because it's easier to still hear the wonderful music I heard today. Of course, I want to make a special thanks to Jaques and J-P for making the loooong trip down from Canada and to John for schlepping up from CT even with the threat of dicey traveling conditions.

    It's hard for me as a beginner to give good descriptions of what I heard and since it's late ... I'll just recap a bit of the day for now and come back with more later.

    Since it was a small group this year and we had the opportunity to hear Orions and John's new NaO Note II RS, Dave's idea was to set up the two dipole systems first so we could spend as much time as we wished with them before listening to a few more ... my cjd's RS150MT/peerless sub combo, Bill's self-designed Accuton/Hi-Vi 2-way, Dave's self-designed dipole downstairs and his Accuton 2-way upstairs. I went and got a camera on the way home because I can't believe I didn't have a camera for this ... these builds looked their parts as well. And we got to hear J-P's Class D amp/pre-amp kit build toward the end for an amplifier comparison. I'm sure pictures will follow from those who did bring cameras! I'm really glad we had extended time listening to them with everyone having time to hear music they brought with them and are familiar with. It was so interesting to just relax and hear your music in a new way again.

    For now, I'll say the Orions and the Notes exceeded, by far, my expectations as they are the only ones I'd heard of before meeting them today. What I heard from them was pure music ... clarity and realism that transcended the "speakers" in front of me. Never heard that before! I am definitely a dipole fan.

    Then come the monopoles ... also astonishing to me. I think Jaques put it perfectly just before we started, it's a matter of do you like this wine or that wine? (he, of course, actually named two types of wines). Personally, I have to agree, as these relatively simple 2 ways again left me caught up in the music, not the "speakers".

    I'll insert my only disappointment of the day here - just couldn't dial in my combo here - but it's only a mild disappointment. I was shocked how differently they sounded here than in my home. I learned about how hard it can be to dial in a single subwoofer (especially when you didn't bring the wire length to move that sub around enough), about how important it can be to have your no BSC version not on a bookshelf or wall without that sub, how much your HT receiver can help integrate the two, but most importantly how different rooms effect how you hear them ... among other things. My disappointment ends with the bummer of not having them shine at Dave's the way they do here, because between dumb luck, the great systems people here design and the help from them explaining how to choose from them, they really are remarkable in my home the same way the others were at Dave's today.

    So, pardon my over-excitement, but I'd be lucky to live with any one of the systems I heard today. It was an ear-opening experience for me!

    For those reading this who have not been to any of these DIY get togethers, take it from a shy noob ... just go! You'll be amazed at the skill, knowledge, the welcome, the music and the fun you'll have. My only question right now is ... when's the next meet in NE?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Back from DIY N.E. Dec.1st!

    Tahnks to dave for hosting again. A great, relaxing day with plenty of tiime to listen to each system with many varieties of music. Here are some pictureds.

    Orions




    Notes




    Jay's 2-ways



    Bill's 2-ways ( and one of Dave's dogs listening attentively).



    Dave's 2-ways

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    John k.... Music and Design NaO Dipole Loudspeakers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    487

    Default Re: Back from DIY N.E. Dec.1st!

    Any listeningimpressions?
    Darwin loves you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Canton, MA
    Posts
    2,988

    Default Re: Back from DIY N.E. Dec.1st!

    Thanks for providing the photos, John. It's frustrating when Cindy travels and takes my camera!

    dlr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Canton, MA
    Posts
    2,988

    Default Re: Back from DIY N.E. Dec.1st!

    Quote Originally Posted by oldloder View Post
    I want to start by thanking everyone who came today and Dave for opening his home ... this, from an advanced audio and practical DIY audio newborn who's never been to any such event.
    I would like to thank you for bringing that big batch of chili! That was a hit. I was first up, kept going back and going back and going back..., you get the picture.

    dlr

  6. #6

    Default Re: Back from DIY N.E. Dec.1st!

    Thanks to Dave for hosting again. It was a small but fun and interesting crowd and it was nice to get a lot of time with the different speakers, etc. I sent a bunch of pictures I took to Dave who can post them here or on his site.

    Listening impressions?

    The Linkwitz Orions were up first. They were super dynamic and very easy to listen to. Bloom is the word in a couple of ways; The body of acoustic guitar was emphasized just a hair and voices had a bit more body to them. It was very subtle yet enjoyable characteristic. They also bloomed from a dispersion perspective. The the dispersion was consistent enough that one could move around and still get a stable sound field throughout much of the room. I loved how dynamic they were and the added ambiance from the rear wave was truly a treat. The best of about these speakers, however, was the bass. This was the kind of bass reserved for the best of the best speakers only. It was super deep, articulate, and seemed not to suffer from dynamic compression. Wow. They sounded better than the one other time I had heard them elsewhere. This particular set had the treble shelved a bit which I didn't even notice until I played some of my own music which was missing a bit of air. It's adjustable so it's not a criticism, just something I noticed.

    Build quality and workmanship on the Linkwitz Orions was insanely good. Impeccable really. Wow. Jacques did amazing work there. Mr Linkwitz would be very excited to see such a great build. They were even pretty from the rear.

    Next up were the NaO Note II RS. Wow. This is John K's best speaker yet. Proof positive that if you take moderately priced drivers but use them CORRECTLY you can do great things. In comparison with the Orions these had you closer to the stage yet were not in your face. They were more open and airy and had a sense of natural (dare I say organic) ease that very few speakers possess. They imaged slightly better in this room but that could have been due to placement. Top to bottom this was the first NaO speaker that I can recommend without hesitation. Ok... The we did tweak the bass a bit. It didn't match up to the Orion's bass but at this cost it's a great implementation. We created a dip around 80Hz which helped but it's likely some sort of cabinet resonance that John will find with an accelerometer. Additionally, John K mentioned that there is an option for some far more expensive but better woofers which are a lot better but really bring up the cost. Worth it? I'd suggest starting with the ones we played and upgrading later when the upgrade bug hits. These were my favorite speaker overall from the day. Note that it really just comes down to preference. As Jacques put it, Do you like Merlot or Bordeaux?

    I also liked the new look of the NaO Note II RS. The grill really cleans up the look for folks whose wives want something a bit more "normal". The gray grills and natural wood was quite attractive.

    Up next?

    We got a quick listen to Dave's dipole speakers set up in is basement lab while Jay was setting up. I didn't get a long listen but I liked what I heard.

    Poor Jay (oldloder) brought his first build ever there. He and his son built the sub sat set together. He decided to bring these super solid speakers along before he bothered to veneer, etc. What he learned was something that we've all found over the years; Setting up a sub-sat in a new room is not something that can be done correctly with any speed. We couldn't get the phase and levels to line up correctly for one thing. Then we found that these RS150MT's designed by undefinition (ie; cjd) were the ones without baffle step so the MT's were meant to be near the wall yet Dave's room isn't really conducive to that. What we DID find was that the speaker really was quite smooth, open, and clean and the sub itself was pretty darn strong. He got lucky in that they just worked in his own intended environment but not so much at Dave's. I think we all knew it was a competent build.

    ps. That was great Chili. I had more than I should have. The flavor was mild enough for all and even the texture was perfect. I learned something new there. Thanks!

    I brought my Xizzies which were a .5 cubic foot two way using a "budget" Accuton midwoofer (budget for Accuton of course) and a HiVi Rt2h-A planar ribbon tweeter. At home I stuff the ports with soft ***** and cross them over electronically around 40 or 50Hz to subs. I only brought the MT portion and just unplugged the ports instead. I found that when running them full range, I needed a bit of stuffing for the ports to get the bass balance correct so we got a good laugh about those funky inserts. I won't comment on the sound as it's hard to be objective with your own. I know I like them and if folks want I can share the design with others.

    After my MT, it inspired Dave (dlr) was inspired by the Accuton so brought out a set he had which used the more expensive ones that must be made of "unobtanium". They were in old re-appropriated cabinets using what I called a Frankentweeter. It had a Morel MDT3X (I forget which exactly) cone with a Dayton magnet. The combo was quite good. One could tell the tweeter was shelved down just a hair but it was still very nice. One benefit became obvious when John K put in some old rock music and we just rocked out like crazy. Those things handled it amazingly well. If I was blindfolded and you told me it was just an MT making that sound I would not believe it. That was fun. We then put in Percy Granger's Lincolnshire Posey which showed off both how delicate and detailed they can be but also how deep they could go. Very nice indeed. What fun!

    J-P brought a class D kit amp from classdaudio. After we listened to my speakers, we threw his amp in. I expected the typical "class D" sound that a lot of chip amps have. Nope. This amp sounded amazing. I have a set of class D monoblocks from Hepheastus audio at home which sound amazing as well but they are a home grown design without any off the shelf chips, etc. What we're finding here is that early class D sound is no longer an accurate depiction of what class D can sound like. What a bargain that kit is. We compared just the amplifier using a passive preamp, and then the amplifier as an integrated using the included active preamp. It really comes down to taste and system matching as to which one would say is better but neither had many flaws.

    This was a fun time for those who made it. I'm glad I was able to attend.

    Thanks again Dave,
    Bill
    The first one through the wall always gets the bloodiest...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Back from DIY N.E. Dec.1st!

    I just though I would add that the problem with the bass of the Note was that some how one of the biquads loaded into the miniDSP had a couple of coefficients messed up. I discovered this when I got home and started measuring the response of each individual driver. Fixed the woofer filters and the bottom came alive like it should have.

    Anyway, as you point out the XXLS woofer can be substituted for the SLS with the result that bass response should be pretty much the same as the Orions, or better?

    I can't wait for the day when I actually get everthing right at one of these DIY events.
    John k.... Music and Design NaO Dipole Loudspeakers.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Back from DIY N.E. Dec.1st!

    That is good news.

    I forgot to mention that some of us noticed that the transient attack on the NaO was very good.

    Bill

    Quote Originally Posted by johnk... View Post
    I just though I would add that the problem with the bass of the Note was that some how one of the biquads loaded into the miniDSP had a couple of coefficients messed up. I discovered this when I got home and started measuring the response of each individual driver. Fixed the woofer filters and the bottom came alive like it should have.

    Anyway, as you point out the XXLS woofer can be substituted for the SLS with the result that bass response should be pretty much the same as the Orions, or better?

    I can't wait for the day when I actually get everthing right at one of these DIY events.
    The first one through the wall always gets the bloodiest...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Back from DIY N.E. Dec.1st!

    Hi All!
    Nice write up Bill really I don't no what to add. Jay, the Chili was delicious.
    But above all I would like to thank Dave for having us over again to his house. It was truly a wounderfull afternoon meeting with you all particularly with you Dave and John, and to have the opportunity to chat and share with everyone about audio and DIY freely.
    Now for the record for anyone contemplating building a top notch speaker system the Nao Note II RS is a knock out at half the cost of the Orion, the Note II RS are a genuine bargain even with the SLS woofers.
    The two systems Orion and Nao Note II RS are two well accomplish design from two long time accomplish designers. Truly the DIY community should be thankfull to have people such s JohnK, SL, Earl Geedes, Lynn Olson and others to contribute so freely of there life long passion findings. But just as I have mentioned over at the meeting it is mainly a question of taste, do you like ''Burgundy'' or do you like ''Bordeaux''. So who can knock someone out saying that one is better than the other. As John would put it himself ''chose your your own poison''.
    Also, one should note the flexibility given to the end user with the Note II RS to operate room EQ or personal preferences with the help of the MiniDsp to taste is at a mouse click.
    Now altough I am very tempted to build the Note II RS I have already followed John's recomendation to shape the shelving filter + in and - out on the Orion with the help of the MiniDsp I have on hand and it works superbly. Thank you John I don't know why I had not tought about it before. It's a breeze to perform.
    Jacq.
    Last edited by Jacq.; 12-04-2012 at 06:55 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Back from DIY N.E. Dec.1st!

    Hi Jacq,

    Thanks for the favorable comments regarding the Note.
    Last edited by johnk...; 12-04-2012 at 09:15 AM.
    John k.... Music and Design NaO Dipole Loudspeakers.

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