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Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

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  • Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

    Before jumping into this topic, I want to first apologize to Jeff B. for moving some of my questions from PM to a forum post. I thought others might be interested in participating in this discussion and it seemed like a dedicated thread might be the most efficient way.

    Jeff, could you, or anybody else who has listened to these designs comment on the relative strengths and weaknesses of each? The Continuum and Kairos seem to have been the most broadly discussed thus far and seem to be somewhat comparable, particularly if the Continuum is used with a Sub. I don't have a sense for how the Adelphos or Solstice might fit into the discussion.

    More specifically, do we have a sense for which of these designs has the least distortion (on its own, or reinforced with a sub in the case of the Continuum)?

    How does the imaging and instrument placement compare?

    Are these designs all voiced similarly or, for instance, are some more mid-forward than others?

    I believe the Continuum is relatively less sensitive to placement than some other designs. Are any of the other designs flexible in this way, ie. forgiving with respect to either wall mount or placement perhaps a foot from a wall?

    Any plans for a more center channel friendly design that would match any of these? Similarly, in the case of the Solstice, any plans for a bookshelf version?

    By the way, my system is geared towards moderate SPL music and home theater use. In terms of music, I listen to a wide variety of styles ranging from Jazz, Rock, and Blues but seldom classical. I do not currently use a sub but could add one or two potentially, if needed. My room is large with vaulted ceilings. I'm using a Denon AVR-4520 receiver and I also have a B&K ST-2020 amp.

    Thanks! It seems we really have a WEALTH of great choices!

    Zach

  • #2
    Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

    I haven't heard the Solstice yet but have heard both the continuum and Kairos. The adelphos are so similar to the Kairos that it's really not much of a comparison. The continuums have absolutely fantastic midrange quality. Very smooth and effortless. But of course lack in the bottom end. The Kairos will dig deeper (I prefer the sealed version ) but still benefit from a dedicated sub. The imaging on the Kairos is fantastic and the best I have listened too. Both image incredibly well but the Kairos is just better imo. The soundstage is deeper and wider to me.
    https://www.facebook.com/Mosaic-Audi...7373763888294/

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    • #3
      Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

      Interesting! Thanks for the feedback.

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      • #4
        Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

        I'm building both the continuum and the kairos at the same time so I'll be able to comment back soon!

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        • #5
          Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

          I was reading the other day that a three way Kairo is in the works , the woofer section may be used with similar two ways , you may want to check on that before pulling the trigger .
          donc

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          • #6
            Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

            Originally posted by donc View Post
            I was reading the other day that a three way Kairo is in the works , the woofer section may be used with similar two ways , you may want to check on that before pulling the trigger .
            donc
            Yes, I am working on a bass module that will be more than a subwoofer that can work with the Kairos, Continuum, and several other speakers to convert it to a three-way. It will come two ways -

            The standard version will incorporate a passive crossover that will match the woofer section with the monitor with a 200 Hz crossover point. This was the tricky part - finding a woofer that matches the sensitivity of the Kairos passively, can work in the predetermined enclosure size, and still have the low bass performance to make it worth while (near 20 Hz with good SPL capability).

            I went through a lot of driver possibilities and have found one that appears ideal and meets all my criteria. I wanted the woofer to be available through Meniscus if possible and it is. Next, I picked up a couple samples of the woofer and measured it myself, and the T/S specs work even better with my measurements. Then I contacted the manufacturer directly to make sure the driver would continue to be available. They are planning another production run to accommodate this design, so all should be good.

            The other option is a powered unit that is biamplified with programmable DSP filters, for those who would prefer the flexibility of an an active module. The DSP module will arrive here on Monday. This unit can be adjusted to work with any monitor.

            I have several projects in the works, and will get to this one when these are completed. I have all of the parts to begin this one, but my target date to begin testing it is late April.It should be all finished in a couple months or less.

            Jeff
            Click here for Jeff Bagby's Loudspeaker Design Software

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            • #7
              Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

              YAY!!!!!

              Can't wait!!!
              -Robert

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              • #8
                Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

                Jeff, thanks for replying with the information about the bass module. Any chance you can comment on the Solstice vs. some of your other designs? If you could organize sort of a pecking order amongst them, or maybe strengths/weaknesses, it would be really helpful. I'm sure they are all great but struggling to decide which to build.

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                • #9
                  Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

                  Awesome. DSP version could be used with any bookshelf, most plate amps being able to run up to 200hz. A small pro amp might be better though.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

                    Originally posted by stook1 View Post
                    Jeff, thanks for replying with the information about the bass module. Any chance you can comment on the Solstice vs. some of your other designs? If you could organize sort of a pecking order amongst them, or maybe strengths/weaknesses, it would be really helpful. I'm sure they are all great but struggling to decide which to build.
                    There really isn't a pecking order, each has its virtues that would give it the nod over the others for different reasons. It's just a matter of what will meet your needs the best.

                    I voiced all of these, but they don't all sound the same. The Continuum sounds a bit different from the rest, since I was targeting the BBC response from their acoustic scaling papers and how it was implemented in the LS3/5a. As a result the Continuum will sound the best of the group when placed near a wall or on a desk top, but as others will attest sounds quite wonderful on stand several feet out too. It does certainly benefit from having a subwoofer, and it is obviously more limited in terms of ultimate SPL too. However, for jazz or vocals that don't push the SPL's it is an excellent small speaker and will satisfy most people.

                    The Kairos is voiced for a rich full tonal balance when placed on a stand a few feet out from the wall. It will sound overly warm and heavy if moved against the wall. It has better bass extension than the Continuum and sounds pretty balanced without a subwoofer for most things, but obviously if you want serious bass then a sub will still be necessary. The Kairos is one of the few speakers you can build that is quasi-transient perfect with flat response and a minimum phase summation. Now, can you hear this difference? I don't know, if you can then it is subtle, but it is still there and purist will know they are getting something other speakers don't deliver - correct time and phase response to go with that perfect tonal balance. So far, by itself, the Kairos is my favorite stand mounted two-way.

                    The Adelphos uses the same drivers and cabinet volume as the Kairos and I captured the Kairos response and used it for the target for the Adelphos, however, in this case the crossover was optimized for the standard flat baffle. The crossover ends up being an LR4 acoustic crossover at 1.8 khz (same point as Kairos, but different slope). This makes the Kairos / Adelphos the only speaker I am aware of that can be built with two different crossovers. For the most part they sound very similar, but their power response and their time domain response is different. If someone can build the slanted cabinet then I recommend the Kairos, if they want a more conventional box, then they aren't giving up a lot to go with the Adelphos. In both cases, the Satori woofer has a truly magical way of transitioning from the bass to the midrange.

                    That brings us to the Solstice. Like the Kairos, the Solstice is time aligned, but it is not transient perfect because I am using LR4 acoustic crossovers. The Morel woofer I used in the Solstice is state of the art and the midrange from this speaker is some of the best I have ever heard. I coupled that with a Mass Loaded Transmission Line loading that extends the speaker flat to 30 Hz, and in my room was pretty flat to 25 Hz. The Solstice is larger than the others and definitely has more bass extension. It may be the best sounding two-way I have done to this point from top to bottom. But it's still a matter of what you are after.

                    You asked about imaging. That a tough one, because it depends on different things. In my room my Continuums image the best and disappear the most completely, but it is close with the others, especially the Kairos. In terms of distortion, the Continuum continues to have the lowest nonlinear distortion of any of the speakers, but again, the drivers in all of these speakers are designed for low distortion and deliver very well.

                    It's been a long time since I have listened to a couple of these, and I have never listened to all of them at the same time, so some comparisons are impossible for even me to make.
                    Click here for Jeff Bagby's Loudspeaker Design Software

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                    • #11
                      Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

                      Hmm! Interesting... I feel like I should build all of them! I think the Continuum might not be ideal for my needs (you actually suggested this point to me already via PM). Tough call between the Solstice and Kairos for me though. Do you have plans for other designs using any of these drivers?

                      I realize you have several designs that use similar(ish) drivers to the Kairos (assuming that some of the lesser SB Accoustics drivers have similar tonal qualities) so perhaps this question is more geared to the Morel drivers in the Solstice. Thank you again for all the feedback.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

                        Originally posted by stook1 View Post
                        Hmm! Interesting... I feel like I should build all of them! I think the Continuum might not be ideal for my needs (you actually suggested this point to me already via PM). Tough call between the Solstice and Kairos for me though. Do you have plans for other designs using any of these drivers?

                        I realize you have several designs that use similar(ish) drivers to the Kairos (assuming that some of the lesser SB Accoustics drivers have similar tonal qualities) so perhaps this question is more geared to the Morel drivers in the Solstice. Thank you again for all the feedback.
                        Well, I have the Satori -RAAL speakers. The Testarossa is my normal standard these days. I have another design that doesn't get mentioned a lot, but is a very good speaker. You might want to give some consideration to this one too:
                        http://meniscusaudio.com/docero-full-pair-p-1408.html
                        Click here for Jeff Bagby's Loudspeaker Design Software

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                        • #13
                          Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

                          Hi Jeff,

                          How did you come up with the 200Hz crossover point for both monitor speakers?

                          Still enjoying your Kairos!

                          Cheers,

                          F

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                          • #14
                            Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

                            Originally posted by Jeff B. View Post
                            Yes, I am working on a bass module that will be more than a subwoofer that can work with the Kairos, Continuum, and several other speakers to convert it to a three-way. It will come two ways -

                            The standard version will incorporate a passive crossover that will match the woofer section with the monitor with a 200 Hz crossover point. This was the tricky part - finding a woofer that matches the sensitivity of the Kairos passively, can work in the predetermined enclosure size, and still have the low bass performance to make it worth while (near 20 Hz with good SPL capability).
                            Jeff
                            I am really curious as to what woofer you are going to use, but I think you don't want to reveal it just yet so people won't be analyzing and second-guessing your choice. Since Meniscus carries it, there are only about a dozen drivers it could be, based on your criteria.
                            I like the 8" Vifa NE225W-4 Neo driver, but it's a little pricey. But still, seems to perform well in a smallish bass module function, according to my primitive models.
                            However you talking about another production run makes me think you are talking about the Eclipse W1038R.

                            I am still wrong, however.
                            Last edited by djkest; 03-09-2015, 02:11 PM.
                            -Dan
                            Mandolin Curved Cabinet Floorstanding; Dayton Reference 18" sealed Subwoofer; Sealed 12" Dayton Reference Subwoofer ; Overnight Sensation builds

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                            • #15
                              Re: Continuum vs. Kairos vs. Adelphos vs. Solstice

                              Originally posted by FrancoB View Post
                              Hi Jeff,

                              How did you come up with the 200Hz crossover point for both monitor speakers?

                              Still enjoying your Kairos!

                              Cheers,

                              F
                              Given the impedance of the woofer, the value of the parts required, and the fact that the existing monitor crossovers are already designed to compensate for baffle step, 200 Hz became a very nice compromise for all of these factors. A lot of three-ways will have crossover points between the woofer and the midbass in the 200 -300 Hz range, especially when the midbass to tweeter crossover is already low at 1.8 kHz. What crossover point did you feel would be more appropriate?
                              Click here for Jeff Bagby's Loudspeaker Design Software

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