Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

    So Paul's latest design using the ScanSpeak 15W8530K00 got me thinking about a nice high end design. I've typically kept my limit for woofers about $60 max, but with people saying how amazing the Scan is really has me curious how much better sounding a design using one of these nicer woofers can be.

    Looking around at some higher end woofers, I found the following ones that interests me. These aren't uber pricey ones like C-Quence and such, but some are still well out of my realistic budget for now (it's nice to plan or dream for the future though). So if any of you have had experiences with these woofers, please provide your impressions and thoughts on both their individual performance, sound, characteristics, etc. and how they fare against one another.

    ScanSpeak 15W8530K00
    Seas W15LY-001
    Aurum Cantus AC130-50CK
    Aurum Cantus AC120-50CK
    Vifa NE149W-08
    Wavecor WF152BD04 and 06

    I've read some comments that the AC130-50CK is close to the Scan Revelator with the Scan having a smoother FR. The Seas looks nice, but worth the price considering the other options? I don't hear it mentioned much relative to the Revelator (which seems to be better than even higher priced woofers). The ACs don't get much attention here (or anywhere that I can find), but at least Zaph seems to have measurements for the 130-50CK. I can't find anything on the 120-50CK.

    I would be mating these to a Fountek NeoCD3.0 ribbon tweeter for my "dream" design (wherever that money is coming from).

    Thanks.
    Nichikuros - Peerless 831735 Nomex + Vifa NE25VTA
    Digger8 - Small compact 8" sub with F3 = 20Hz
    Madison-D and Madison-R - Tang Band W4-1720 + Vifa BC25SC06 or Beston RT003C (TM and MTM)
    Jeffrey - Tang Band W5-704D + Beston RT003C
    Jasmine - Fountek FW146 + Fountek NeoCD3.0 Ribbon in Pioneer BS21 Cabinet

  • #2
    Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

    I have heard the Wavecor in Vapor Audio's Breeze and I have used the Vifa NE180W (not the 149W but should sound similar) in a design for a friend. Midrange drivers I've used are the Dayton RS series and a Peerless HDS 5.5 in.

    I thought the Wavecor and Vifa NE brought out more low level detail than the RS or HDS and just seemed to have a cleaner midrange. I got the Vifa NE when the were still on sale for $90, and would definitely pay that again for them. But at the current price I would probably just move up to the Scan or Satori if I was going to spend that much.
    -Kerry

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

      Originally posted by jsr View Post
      ScanSpeak 15W8530K00
      Seas W15LY-001
      Aurum Cantus AC130-50CK
      Aurum Cantus AC120-50CK
      Vifa NE149W-08
      Wavecor WF152BD04 and 06
      The AC's tend to have bunk for spec T/S. They vary greatly from published, so that is why they tend to be overlooked. That said- if the driver was used with skilled hands, I've liked what I've heard from them. The AC130F1 is the one I like a lot (Continuums).

      The 15W/8530K00 is a marvel with the rep for 'best bass in 15 ltrs'. I built mine into 18 ltrs, and the difference between sealed or vented here at this volume is almost moot. So- I can seal it up if I want a change, and not miss much. It's a revealing driver for certain, and I feel it's one everyone should hear at least once. It's a classic driver as it's been around a long time, but it sets a very high benchmark for those trying to be in the same league. It's been used in tons of commercial designs as well.

      In comparison, I think Seas was shooting for Rev-range when they introduced the W16 driver a few years ago. The W15 Excel I heard for the first time back in 2003 in Salk's 'Veracity' as he was starting out. It's competent, but the bass range gets to be too much for it if you want moderate output. The W18/16 would be preferable in a 2-way for bass reasons, IMO.

      I also heard the Breeze at Chicago-DIY 2011, and the Wavecor was alright. In that brief experience though, I felt about it as I do the SB drivers- they don't emotionally involve me in the music like I prefer. I would take the Rev over these.

      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:
      https://app.photobucket.com/u/wolf_teeth_speaker

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

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

        Originally posted by Navy Guy View Post
        I have heard the Wavecor in Vapor Audio's Breeze and I have used the Vifa NE180W (not the 149W but should sound similar) in a design for a friend. Midrange drivers I've used are the Dayton RS series and a Peerless HDS 5.5 in.

        I thought the Wavecor and Vifa NE brought out more low level detail than the RS or HDS and just seemed to have a cleaner midrange. I got the Vifa NE when the were still on sale for $90, and would definitely pay that again for them. But at the current price I would probably just move up to the Scan or Satori if I was going to spend that much.
        Solen has them on sale for 97.13$ CAD, around 88$ USD.

        Chuck

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

          I haven't seen much of the AC120/50CK either. I used them in my Apaches and I absolutely love them, but I haven't had the chance to hear any of the other offerings you mention so I cannot subjectively compare. I have mine paired with the Usher 9950's and its personally my best design to date (which doesn't mean a whole lot around here).

          For the sake of topic, here is a screen shot of the AC120/50CK impedance. Nice flat curve and low Le (measured at 1kHz BTW) suggest a nice motor design. Note the Mms as well. Yes the T/S parameters are miles off from published and I've yet to find an AC woofer that doesn't measure this way, but its hard to ignore the results. I would love to see someone else use these puppies in a different design and share their impressions.

          Your results may vary.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

            FWIW, I hope everyone realizes that all the responses are based on subjective opinion which is what audio always becomes in the end. Crossovers and voicing are critical for great sound. Voicing is still the black art of speaker building. So here we go;

            Revelators are great sounding drivers. Seas Excels are too but have a different sonic signature. I haven't heard the new AC drivers but I liked the AC130 mkII I used in my line arrays. They were a bit on the sterile side but very clean sounding. I haven't heard Wavcor so no opinion on them.

            Now the NE's are the midst in the Finalists and I find then to be superb. I've A\B them with accomplished Revelator, Accuton and RS designs. IMHO, they easily hold their own against the much more expensive drivers and provide a much more natural sound quality to the performance. They don't disappoint.

            All my opinion of course. :-)

            Jim

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

              Originally posted by NyxOne View Post
              Solen has them on sale for 97.13$ CAD, around 88$ USD.

              Chuck
              Thanks for the heads up.
              -Kerry

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

                Navy Guy,
                Can you give more thoughts on the Wavecor? I was told by another member that he feels the Wavecor could do quite well with the right hands working the XO, so with you having heard the Vapor Breeze, I'd like to hear more of your thoughts on how the Wavecor sounded since I think it's safe to safe Pete's hands are quite right for XO design.

                Wolf,
                I thought I recall you used the AC130/50CK in a design? Did that design ever come to fruition?
                For the Seas Excel Nextels, the next size up I could find with the Nextel cone is the W18 and unfortunately the breakup seems to come too early in frequency for me to use it with the NeoCD3.0 tweeter which I'd like to cross around 3kHz. Aside from the bass issue, how would you describe the midrange? I've been told it can be a bit "clinical" or "sterile", which surprised me since it's a paper cone. I tend to associate that character with metal cones.
                Your comment about the Wavecor is interesting and those subjective impressions are part of what I'm looking for. That's the way I feel about the Peerless Nomex cones...they seem to involve me more in the music than metal cones, even though if I really critiqued the difference, I'd say the metal is more accurate.

                NyxOne,
                Thanks for the info about Solen. I'll check them out and see how much shipping would be.

                mattp,
                I'm going to look at your Apache thread right after this. The limited measurements I find on AC's higher end drivers seem to all suggest well designed motors, if not a bit of energy storage in the upper midrange based on Zaph's CSDs. How would you describe their sonic character?

                Jim,
                Can you go into more detail on the sonic signatures of the Revelators and the Seas Nextels?


                I did up some quick sims based on either measured FRs and T/S or datasheet ones, depending on what's available for the woofers I've mentioned.

                SS Rev:
                - Lowest sensitivity, about 2-3dB on average lower than others. I used Zaph's graphs which don't really match SS's datasheet. The bump from 700-1000Hz is lower and his doesn't have a rising top end like the datasheet.
                - Can't quite get as good phase alignment before and after the XO point. It's fine right at the XO point. May be the same problem Paul has as his design has some phase cancellations above the XO. Mine's not cancelling, but just not as good as the others.
                - 2dB dip from 1k to 1.4kHz from the SS FR.

                Seas Nextel:
                - Got the 2nd flattest FR in the group with the tweeter with perfect phase alignment better than an octave below and above the XO point (best phase alignment of the bunch).
                - A couple of wide bumps from 800Hz to ~1400Hz, but they're fairly slow moving.

                AC130/50CK:
                - Good phase alignment and pretty good FR aside from the twin peaks at ~2.2kHz and ~3.6kHz. Got them down to ~2dB magnitude, but the fact that they're "peaks" and thus fast changing has me wondering if I'd hear these.

                Vifa NE149W:
                - There's a peak followed by a dip starting ~800Hz to ~2.2kHz due to the NE149's FR which is ~5dB magnitude from peak-to-peak. Not sure how others have dealt with this, but it's the bumpiest of all the woofers to work with. Results in a wide valley from 1kHz to 3kHz. Sounds like the NEs are amongst the best subjectively, but their FR isn't pretty to look at. Maybe I won't hear that?

                Wavecor WF152BD04:
                - Smoothest FR of the bunch and highest sensitivity. 2nd best phase alignment behind the Seas. Just very easy to work with.
                Nichikuros - Peerless 831735 Nomex + Vifa NE25VTA
                Digger8 - Small compact 8" sub with F3 = 20Hz
                Madison-D and Madison-R - Tang Band W4-1720 + Vifa BC25SC06 or Beston RT003C (TM and MTM)
                Jeffrey - Tang Band W5-704D + Beston RT003C
                Jasmine - Fountek FW146 + Fountek NeoCD3.0 Ribbon in Pioneer BS21 Cabinet

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

                  Originally posted by jsr View Post
                  mattp,
                  How would you describe their sonic character?
                  I hate trying to describe a sound (it's like describing a color) but in a nutshell, compared to paper-type or "self damping" offerings which I usually use, I would say these are more revealing and surprisingly sensitive for their size. The very low Mms and huge motor seem to let the details and intricacies in the recording stand out. Recording flaws are easier to hear than when I had the D5G woofers and these are much more dynamic and less "colored" (no pun intended). The two peaks in the upper response are easy to work with and I don't notice them being 25 or so dB down only using a first order filter on the low pass. I don't claim to have golden ears but these mid-basses provide a very raw and unhidden type sound which I happen to like very much.
                  Your results may vary.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	Merged response.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	230.3 KB
ID:	1157387

                    this is a merged response of the speaker that I brought to NE DIY. It uses Vifa NE149-04. There's only capacitor and a coil on the woofer. The -08 has a slightly different response but it's quite possible to flatten it out. Got to play with the crossover a bit more.
                    Of course, if you dont want to play with the crossover, then Revs are even easier to deal with.
                    http://www.diy-ny.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

                      Originally posted by jsr View Post
                      Wolf,
                      I thought I recall you used the AC130/50CK in a design? Did that design ever come to fruition?
                      For the Seas Excel Nextels, the next size up I could find with the Nextel cone is the W18 and unfortunately the breakup seems to come too early in frequency for me to use it with the NeoCD3.0 tweeter which I'd like to cross around 3kHz. Aside from the bass issue, how would you describe the midrange? I've been told it can be a bit "clinical" or "sterile", which surprised me since it's a paper cone. I tend to associate that character with metal cones.
                      Your comment about the Wavecor is interesting and those subjective impressions are part of what I'm looking for. That's the way I feel about the Peerless Nomex cones...they seem to involve me more in the music than metal cones, even though if I really critiqued the difference, I'd say the metal is more accurate.
                      I've not ever used an AC woofer.

                      The Nextel isn't the better measuring of the W group from what I've been told- get the natural Mg cone. I didn't know at first that you were thinking ribbon, but yeah- you'd require a 5" or smaller there most often. The midrange on the W15-Mg I heard was nice and clean. Dennis Murphy knows his stuff though, so the xover was done right. I've not heard the Nextel drivers, and didn't know there was a paper/Nextel model- thought they were all metal cones under that paint.

                      I've only heard the Wavecor once, and in one designer's hands, so I can't say that my opinions on that one are extremely valid. Wavecor seems to be an under-utilized manufacturer at this point, as the company is only a few years old now. I liked the tweeters I heard at MWAF last year- those were nice!

                      I know you are looking at 5/6" woofers likely for a 2-way, but if you want to go 3-way or smaller 2-way, I would wholeheartedly recommend the TB W4-1757S for use with that Neo3.0! There is something absolutely special about those TB flat-cones.

                      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:
                      https://app.photobucket.com/u/wolf_teeth_speaker

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

                        Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                        I've not ever used an AC woofer.

                        The Nextel isn't the better measuring of the W group from what I've been told- get the natural Mg cone. I didn't know at first that you were thinking ribbon, but yeah- you'd require a 5" or smaller there most often. The midrange on the W15-Mg I heard was nice and clean. Dennis Murphy knows his stuff though, so the xover was done right. I've not heard the Nextel drivers, and didn't know there was a paper/Nextel model- thought they were all metal cones under that paint.

                        I've only heard the Wavecor once, and in one designer's hands, so I can't say that my opinions on that one are extremely valid. Wavecor seems to be an under-utilized manufacturer at this point, as the company is only a few years old now. I liked the tweeters I heard at MWAF last year- those were nice!

                        I know you are looking at 5/6" woofers likely for a 2-way, but if you want to go 3-way or smaller 2-way, I would wholeheartedly recommend the TB W4-1757S for use with that Neo3.0! There is something absolutely special about those TB flat-cones.

                        Later,
                        Wolf
                        +1 on the TB flatties. they are great drivers, I am sure it has something to do with a mass of 5 or 6 grams and the phase, or lack of phase I should say.
                        craigk

                        " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

                          mattp,
                          Thanks for your descriptive words. I know what you mean about describing sound, I'm poor at it myself, but thank you.
                          The peaks I'm referring to aren't the ones well up in the frequency range, but ones within the operating band. Here's Zaph's graph that shows the twin peaks I'm referring to at ~2.2kHz and ~4.5kHz. The 2.2kHz one shows up primarily in my sim with the 4.5kHz one still contributing a good amount of energy to the overall FR.


                          Roman,
                          I looked at the NE149W 4ohm version and e-gads it's so much easier to work with and smoother! I got a sim pretty quickly with FR within +/-1.5dB with the 4ohm. I didn't consider the 4ohm as I was concerned the load would be too difficult, but it just barely dips below 4ohms from ~180-300Hz and phase is fine at that point. Only weird thing is using the datasheet T/S parameters, it shows the 4ohm needing a really small enclosure.

                          Wolf,
                          Sorry, I must've mixed up something in my head (happens far too often). I didn't consider the Mg versions as I was afraid of the breakup, but I'll take a look at them. Perhaps the impressions I've gotten on the Seas being clinical/sterile have been the Mg versions and not the Nextel as not many perhaps have had experience with the Nextel.

                          I'll take a look at that flat TB. I'm not looking for a really small 2way right now, but a flat cone sounds interesting.
                          Nichikuros - Peerless 831735 Nomex + Vifa NE25VTA
                          Digger8 - Small compact 8" sub with F3 = 20Hz
                          Madison-D and Madison-R - Tang Band W4-1720 + Vifa BC25SC06 or Beston RT003C (TM and MTM)
                          Jeffrey - Tang Band W5-704D + Beston RT003C
                          Jasmine - Fountek FW146 + Fountek NeoCD3.0 Ribbon in Pioneer BS21 Cabinet

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

                            Originally posted by r-carpenter View Post
                            [ATTACH=CONFIG]45796[/ATTACH]

                            this is a merged response of the speaker that I brought to NE DIY. It uses Vifa NE149-04. There's only capacitor and a coil on the woofer. The -08 has a slightly different response but it's quite possible to flatten it out. Got to play with the crossover a bit more.
                            Of course, if you dont want to play with the crossover, then Revs are even easier to deal with.
                            Yeah, not sure what the design differences are between the -08 and -04, but all of the -04s are listed as fullrange and have a smoother overall response. I used the NE180W-08, but crossed to the RS28A at about 1.9khz. It was fairly flat up to that point after diffraction and baffle step.

                            On the Wavecor: I thought it was a good driver, but it is also in a very heavy hitting price range at the normal retail price. I think they are around $150, so for that price you can get a Satori or for a $30 more a Revelator. I haven't heard those drivers to be able to compare, but the Satori definitely measures with lower distortion in the midrange. The Scan and Wavecor measure close, but obviously the Scan has a huge following. Overall though, in the Breeze I thought it was very transparent and neutral. I think it is crossed somewhere around 3-3.5 kHz on the hight end and had an f3 of around 55hz. Like stated by mattp, it is difficult to describe how something sounds and it's been a while since I listened to it. What I do remember is that I thought the bass was a little lighter than I would want (although it was only a 5.5") if I wasn't using a sub, but what was very natural sounding. I thought it did well on acoustic guitar too. It was a really nice woofer, but not something that would make me say "damn, I need this."

                            The Vifa NE series, along with using it in a design, I also head it in Vapor's Aurora (the NE225W). I thought the Aurora was a superb speaker. If I was picking between the NE line or the Wavecor, I would choose the NE, especially considering the price difference when on sale.
                            -Kerry

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Your impressions of these nicer woofers: AC, Vifa, Scan, Seas, Wavecor

                              Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                              The AC's tend to have bunk for spec T/S. They vary greatly from published, so that is why they tend to be overlooked. That said- if the driver was used with skilled hands, I've liked what I've heard from them. The AC130F1 is the one I like a lot (Continuums).

                              The 15W/8530K00 is a marvel with the rep for 'best bass in 15 ltrs'. I built mine into 18 ltrs, and the difference between sealed or vented here at this volume is almost moot. So- I can seal it up if I want a change, and not miss much. It's a revealing driver for certain, and I feel it's one everyone should hear at least once. It's a classic driver as it's been around a long time, but it sets a very high benchmark for those trying to be in the same league. It's been used in tons of commercial designs as well.

                              In comparison, I think Seas was shooting for Rev-range when they introduced the W16 driver a few years ago. The W15 Excel I heard for the first time back in 2003 in Salk's 'Veracity' as he was starting out. It's competent, but the bass range gets to be too much for it if you want moderate output. The W18/16 would be preferable in a 2-way for bass reasons, IMO.

                              I also heard the Breeze at Chicago-DIY 2011, and the Wavecor was alright. In that brief experience though, I felt about it as I do the SB drivers- they don't emotionally involve me in the music like I prefer. I would take the Rev over these.

                              Later,
                              Wolf

                              The only one I have not heard has been the wavecor. I think Wolf nailed it here.
                              .

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X