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About uams

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    Synology NAS • DIY Mediaserver • JRiver MC24 DLNA • USB to S/PDIF converter: Audiophilleo 2 + PurePower • DAC/preamp: SOtM sDP-1000 • DSP: Xilica XP-3060 • Poweramp: Belles SA-30 • Main speakers: Simon Mears Audio Uccello • Subs amp: Crown Macro-Tech 1200 • Subs: 2 x lilmike's MicroWreckers (one front; one rear)

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  1. @avguytx -- Thanks for your interest Yes, the pair of MicroWreckers were finished by mid January, and since their arrival in my setup here have undergone quite the experimentation with regard to their placement in my listening room, as well as still undergoing the process of being progressively run-in. My initial plan to have them placed front center/rear wall was eventually replaced by them being positioned along each their side wall, symmetrically to the mains, and in stereo. Many if not most may argue the validation of running a pair of subs in true stereo crossed below some 100Hz - with reference both to whether musical material (certainly digital) is really recorded in stereo in the bass below 80-100Hz (some is), and whether we're able to discern stereo information this low in frequency (we are, I'd say) - but I can say for sure that running the MW's symmetrically to the mains has aided their integration, in a way even that now has the MW's integrate seamlessly with my all-horn Uccello's. Inherently though the MW's integrate better, even from the outset, than my previous SVS SB16-Ultra ever came to do - just to be clear. So here I am, having now finally found the placement for the MW's (after some 2 months with various positioning) and also settled on the cross-over frequency at 80Hz, where my mains are high-passed as well. The slope type, both the high- and low-pass here, is Linkwitz-Riley at 42dB/octave as is, with a high-pass on the MW's at 20Hz 24dB/octave Butterworth slope, for driver protection and theoretical distortion minima. Even closing in on 3 months of use it's clear the MW's are not yet fully run-in; every now and then I can hear how they develop in small, but still rather significant audible "notches" that has the bass gain in impact and becoming fuller and more enveloping. Those B&C drivers are stiffly suspended, and they move very little even being given a fairly good workout with Blu-ray movies in particular, so I suspect a lengthy process for them to loosen up. The MicroWreckers are crazy good subs, indeed I haven't heard bass this refined, effortless, smooth and enveloping/present. There's a natural, liquid warmth even to their reproduction (while sporting no overhang) that shakes the air in a way very differently compared to my earlier SVS, which had a more "brutal" along-the-floor and slab-like presentation of bass, but also having a more congested and "massive" feel to it as if it struggled with inertia and slight compression even. The SVS went slightly deeper, I'd say about 5Hz, and this is not insignificant with certain Blu-ray movies where below 20Hz reproduction creates a certain shudder effect - something many cinephiles crave. For my own part, while it felt like a sacrifice to begin with, the more the MW's are run in the less I feel is lacking here, to the point now where I feel the gains in the midbass down to 20Hz and overall bass character more than makes up for any loss of <20Hz extension compared to the SVS. Oh, I may have been rather "visible" in forums here and there in my insatiable appetite to know of horn bass in its different sonic incarnations - sorry if I've "pestered" any discussions here with my presence. I just find it interesting to know what others feel here, and how they come about their impressions of bass from both horns, other hidden-driver 6th order BP iterations, and direct radiator solutions. I've felt it necessary to help me hone in on where to put my efforts sub-wise, but it's an ongoing discussion I'm still invested in Regarding the CNC-machining: it was actually the cabinet maker that I hired (and knew beforehand) that suggested we go the route of CNC, so to make for the most sturdy, rigid (the horn panels are cut into the side walls) and aesthetically pleasing outcome of the cabinets. Though cab-build tolerances are, well, tolerated with bass horns, the final result here has all measurements fit to the mm, and there are absolutely no air leaks. A lesser build and ply quality would surely have been accepted, but I wanted a premium build quality to give these the benefit of the doubt, so to speak, in whichever way it may support the quality of the bass and resilience to high-power use (the pressure build-up inside the horn with high SPL's can be significant), subtle it may be.
  2. @ClaudeJ1 Being the two subs in your setup presently (and for some time now, it seems) are both tapped horns, is that a reflection of an actual preference for tapped horn iterations over "Full Horn subs"? It appears you've also used Mr. Fitz Maurice's THT at an earlier juncture, and if so how would you compare the bass from the THT to both the TH-50 and OThorn? Oh, and do you care to elaborate on your choice of two different tapped horn subs in your setup? If I had to guess the OThorn provides the most "musical" bass of the two, and the TH-50 extends a few Hz deeper to fill in and give some heft for watching movies..
  3. The closing statement of Kevin Fisk's 2014 review of the Uccello's might be worth stressing: http://simonmearsaudio.com/uccello-review.html An homage and development, not a ripoff - if it makes any difference among the diehard Klipsch Heritage fans here
  4. Thanks, they're actually Simon Mears Audio Uccello's, inspired by the Belle
  5. Sorry for the late follow-up. The two MicroWrecker tapped horns of "lilmike" (over at the Avsforum) have now been implemented, though only for about a week and a half. Those B&C 15TBX100 drivers are still very stiff (forgot to run them in before mounting them) leading to a somewhat lean and slightly lack-of-impact bass, and optimization still has a long way to go, but overall I'm impressed by their imprinting. As of now am toying with delay and crossover between the MW's and mains via the Xilica XP-3060 and the XConsole control software, presently sitting at 90Hz x-over with 48dB/octave slope, Linkwitz-Riley. I'm also running a HPF at 20Hz 48dB/octave Butterworth, mostly as a means of theoretical diminishment of distortion. I've yet to start PEQ, but later will try a REW-treatment (maybe also DRC Design) to see how that fares.
  6. Thanks, @Chris A - will get back to you shortly.
  7. Is there a recommended high-pass crossover frequency for the Belle's when integrating them with subs? I've read about the folded bass horn of the Belle and how it supposedly stops acting like a horn below some 100Hz(?) or a bit higher, please correct me if I'm wrong here, and therefore I'm thinking the ideal high-pass frequency would be where this occurs (i.e.: where the folded bass horn stops acting like a horn). Of course this needs for the subs to cleanly reproduce at +100Hz. My main speakers are inspired by the Belle, and the folded bass horn is similar (while the rest is not). I have a pair of tapped horn subs being build as we speak, lilmike's MicroWrecker's, and so am very interested in learning about the above. Initially I planned to run my main speakers full-range with the MW's (crossed about 60-62Hz), but I've got hold of an excellent digital XO, a Xilica XP-3060, that I would like to try inserting over my main speakers (with their passive XO's still in the chain), and experiment with high-passing them. I intend to start with a 100Hz high-pass to the MW's.
  8. @avguytx Sorry I never got around to get back to you on your question, until now. The status currently is that my pair of MicroWreckers will finally be finished within a month or so. I've hired a cabinet maker to build them, and we've sent CAD-drawings of the MW to a company that will CNC-machine the 11-layer Russian Birch ply boards, and then the cabinet maker will start the assembly - if all goes according to plan in about 2 weeks time. With quality ply like this I've decided to have them finished in clear oil only, nothing more. The drivers I've bought for the MW's are the B&C 15TBX100 (the sibling model 15SW115 also comes recommended here), which models very well for this tapped horn (this driver is also used in Danley's TH-115). I'm unaware of anyone having tested these drivers in the MW, so I'll be the "test rabbit" with this particular driver combination. They're rated at 1000 watts RMS, but in the MW will hit mechanical limit at about 600 watts according to poster @lilmike (the creator of the MW) over at the AVSforum. The sub amp I've bought is a used Crown Macro-Tech 1200, and I have a Xilica XP-3060 digital crossover on the way "as we speak." Earlier I intended to let my main all-horn speakers run full-range and have the MW's low-passed at about 60-65 Hz, but now my revised plan is to high-pass my mains somewhere between 90-100 Hz. Although the MW is a tapped horn it looks to be quite well behave even beyond 100 Hz, from the measurements I've seen, and so I hope crossing them up to 100 Hz won't be problematic. Relieving both the mains and amp used for them below some 100 Hz should prove favorable, and likely make for better integration with the MW's for a couple of reasons. As an outset at least I intend to place one MW on its side between my main speakers, and the second one against the rear wall - hopefully to make for a rather effective loading of the room. We'll see how it all turns out - I'll keep you informed.. /Mikael
  9. It's certainly more evident than pairing the most inefficient speakers with the most inefficient "form of application" Indeed it's the obvious pairing figuring you'll likely only need up to the first watt or so, where SET's supposedly shine, not to mention others areas where all-horn speakers are said to be a shoe-in with the those glowing (and inefficient) tubes. Class D amps and the likes conversely have the juice to kick some life into the low to moderate efficient direct radiating speakers, not that they really succeed anyway..
  10. It seems most here prefer tube amps for their high-efficiency Klipsch Heritage line speakers a la K-horns, La Scala and Belle's. What in particular makes the difference with lower wattage tube amps here compared to Solid State offerings in general? Myself I use the Solid State pure Class-A Belles SA-30 poweramp with my Belle's inspired Simon Mears Audio Uccello speakers, but have pondered converting to a tube-based amp - preferably an SET. One of the options I'm currently looking into is the Line Magnetic LM-210IA, its 8 watts likely plentiful with my 105dB sensitivity Uccello's. Please chime in.
  11. Sufficient space is certainly needed, and it's not that I got loads of it in my listening room either, but with some minor rearrangements a pair of MicroWrecker's should see their proper place. Room-fill wise a single one would be enough, but when I've heard well-implemented dual sub setups through a variety of system I've always had that similar-ish sensation of an important aspect being added to the experience. It's hard to describe, really, but the perceived quality is something like a sense of enveloping presence that frames the whole of the sound sphere more effectively - indeed more naturally. I'm sure some may take issue with my way of describing it, pointing out that it's more about smooth response and "attacking" room modes more effectively, but perhaps we're saying the same thing differently here. It may also have to do with relieving the subs or some SPL's when they're in pairs (or more) which, even at volumes that aren't extreme by any measure, makes for a more relaxed, effortless presentation. In that regard it's surprising, to me at least, when this effect of ease is heard - that is, even at more moderate volumes. I guess there's something to be said about ample headroom, and sheer air displacement area.. I intend to cross to MicroWrecker somewhere between 60-65Hz, and the measurements I've seen of if indicate that the "ringing" phenomena typically associated with TH is less pronounced, if really at all easily up to 100Hz, so I suspect there should be no issues here.
  12. @Tarheel TJ and @Kalifornian Thanks for chiming in. I think for a while I intended for the build of a single horn sub only, with the option to possibly add another and similar horn sub later for an eventual pair. As is now though I want to go dual from the get-go, as I'm under the impression that duals in itself will be a rather substantial upgrade over single use. Moreover I've narrowed down the specific horn sub of choice, namely "lilmike's" (from the AVS Forum) MicroWrecker tapped horn, intended for the use with a 15" driver. A fitting unit from Italian manufacturer B&C that models very well in the MicroWrecker will fill in the duties, and with two of those TH subs there should be ample headroom to come by in my listening room. The 2. runners up was the Othorn by Josh Ricci, but the 21" units used here, also from B&C, are quite pricey, and a pair of those would be too much of a cash outpour to begin with. I could've started single here, but I'm set on getting a horn sub pair from the beginning. For HT use the Othorn may also have a low corner a bit too high. Even though two of those in a moderately sized listening room is the equivalent of hammering down sparrows with ship cannons, they certainly have me intrigued (with two MicroWrecker's insert Howitzer's instead of ship cannons). Of course I also considered lilmike's F20 as well as Mr. Fitzmaurice's THT. I'm sure both of those are excellent horns as well. I'm aware some here have advised against tapped horns for use with main speakers the likes of Belles and La Scala's, and that Front Loaded Horns are preferable here, but tapped horns come in many iterations of varying quality and for different use, and I'm quite confident the MicroWrecker's are fine tapped horns that will suit my needs for both music and Home Theater use. As pre-assembled horn subs Danley's TH-50 would also fit the bill, but this is a DIY project. I'm hoping my horn sub project will commence sometime this summer.
  13. uams


    Thanks, folks, for the encouragement. The deciding factor to me is the easier (i.e.: cheaper) build, being that I'm going to have a cabinet maker build the F20's to me. He told me it might even be a bit cheaper building two F20's in 18mm ply than a single THT in 12mm ditto, and then the thought of a pair of F20's suddenly becomes very appealing. Knowing what (all things being more or less equal) a dual sub setup is capable of compared to a lone one, that choice, if economically and practically feasible, is rather easy. The bass becomes enveloping and present in a way going dual that's really quite addictive once you get a knack for it. And, as has been just pointed out, more headroom is only a good thing. Initially I never thought horn subs would be a viable solution in my listening room due to relative size constraints, but once the sidewall option presented itself, not least duals on opposing side walls, the picture changed. Thing is though, I've never heard a horn sub in a domestic environment, and this explains my eager to have people in the know elaborate on what is perhaps a given to them: why horn subs? Why are they preferable to some and not others? I know; there's the advantage of sensitivity, less cone movement for a given SPL, typically lower distortion, overall loudness capabilities, and though horn subs may be big I often get the sense they can out-muscle larger numbers of more expensive direct radiating subs with bigger drive units. What I'm mostly after though is the elusive qualities, at least going by the challenge of articulating them, that may come from a horn sub driver's particular coupling to the air and ultimately the room, and its sense of, say, ease and relaxedness of reproduction? Obviously I can't know that, only guess, but if my all-horn main speakers is anything to go by I may have a bearing as to what to expect, even though I'm quite sure I'm in for a surprise no matter what. The goal for sub 20Hz reproduction into single digits has me confounded insofar the audible bass range and its actual audible characteristics become secondary. Bass is hardly bass, and when the focus is <20Hz something tells me there may potentially be consequences in the frequencies above. I'm saying this to counter the sentiment that blindly points out horn subs are less proficient below 20Hz, an infra-range that has accumulated quite the following. As a sealed sub my current SVS SB16-Ultra may go deeper and touch 10Hz in-room, but it will be interesting to trade that with what a pair of horn subs are capable of...
  14. uams


    The cost saving of building the F20 (compared to the THT and others) is likely to settle this, why I may just have two F20's build - if all goes well during the summer. It'll be overkill in my 1,900 cu ft. listening room, but bass distribution will be smoother and more even.
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