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Dayton Audio OPAL1 speaker launches

erin allegedly has a set coming up for review so obviously will be of high interest

and yeh i get that since this speaker has such a high part count, even if the parts are not hooked up in circuit you still need to buy the part, route the holes
 
erin allegedly has a set coming up for review so obviously will be of high interest

and yeh i get that since this speaker has such a high part count, even if the parts are not hooked up in circuit you still need to buy the part, route the holes
Already been reviewed, we just need to wait for it to be off patreon early access :) Or you can view it now if you have that patreon sub

If it measures well, could be tempted to buy a pair then get a nice wood cabinet made seeing as you can transpose or buy the extra parts and sell off the stock speaker once you clone the crossover and cabinet dimensions for your custom version.
 
$800 is a great price for something like this completed so a profit can be made.
As to the cost being 'worth it', it is!
Going from driver retail costs...
100 + 100 + 35 + 35 + 35 + 35 + 38 + 38 = 416
The cabinets are prefinished, but supposedly cheaper than the precut knockdown cabs would have been. Even if I say $100 for the mdf, the finish adds likely another $50-100 of cost for most of us to finish a set of cabs.
If you then add in the design time and R&D, that $616 will hit that $800 pretty quickly.

This is a commercial product, and has to make a profit upon sale. I see this way too often that commercial products could be made for much less, but when you figure in the overhead and time being money (labor), you have to include it. Free labor is only applicable if you do it yourself.

The better deal on the market is likely the SB Bromo kit, but it will not dig as low. Pick your poison.
The output was crazy on the OPAL1, lest you think the bass was not palpable or even barely noticeable.

The E150HE44 I own do not appear to have holey cones, same for the 7" PRs I also have.
Keep in mind they're not getting the drivers for $100, They're an OEM but PE is selling them so they're getting them for much cheaper, same w/ their crossover components and cabinets.

I will say tho Erin's review is out now and it doesnt look great, I think PE/Dayton could have done a better job given the resources they have.
 
+/-3dB is not really a bad alignment in such things. Sometimes more parts really aren't warranted if it still doesn't fix the issues for a preferably better result.

The lower dip is no different than the actual known BBC dip from the original LS3/5A, as it placed focus on the vocals and cleaned up the unnecessary warmth for radio. Many people love this about that old style, and even Jeff Bagby's Continuums were voiced purposely this way. Sometimes warmth can throw mud on the midrange.

The upper dip area is what is typically referred to as the most sensitive region to our ears, and what most people describe and practice as BBC dip, or a trough from 1-5k. It also makes forward/worse recordings easier to tolerate.

The 100-200Hz area is known to help fake a bit of bass in smaller designs for emphasis and make them sound larger and fuller than they are. In PR designs with the more than typical EBS rolloff slope on the low end, this can also help the sound with punch, as Erin described it.

Would I call these an 'accurate' speaker? I don't know that it's not accurate for someone with lesser recordings as their majority of their collection. It seems to me that these could totally satisfy a group of hard rock/hiphop followers, but maybe leave the orchestral or jazz lover a bit unimpressed.

My listening sessions were brief the twice I've heard them, but the bass was solid and deep, and the sound was not awful as we know some commercial outfits have been at these shows. I would like more time with them. However, I feel the tradeoffs made in this design lend well to better intelligibility for less fatigue, and likely target a certain area of listeners.
 
Is it rare to see such a pronounced edge diffraction dip like that? Is it because Dayton chose to put the tweeter just about equidistant from 3 edges instead of 2? Looking through various reviews of bookshelf speakers with non-rounded edges, they don't exhibit this same type of dip.
 
These are now available on Amazon with 30 days return, risk free purchase if you don’t like them.
 
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Is it rare to see such a pronounced edge diffraction dip like that? Is it because Dayton chose to put the tweeter just about equidistant from 3 edges instead of 2? Looking through various reviews of bookshelf speakers with non-rounded edges, they don't exhibit this same type of dip.
The edge diffraction would be one thing. But I think because upper mids, the 700-2k range is pulled up, the dip counter acts brightness which affects most instruments and vocals. Also it might be that this particular tweeter's power response or distortions make things stand out more than other designs. It is not the easiest tweeter to work with and not as good sounding as the one it replaced. Progressively beveling the front baffle edges from 1/3 up would most likely make the measurements and overall sound better.
 
Shame about the directivity mismatch and diffraction, but I don't think those are huge issues to be honest - lots of good speakers with similar design. EQ the midrange down a bit and you get a pretty flat power response.

I'm more curious about the IMD which doesn't seem too bad for the size, but I still expected more (or less) considering how well the Epiques are Klippel-optimized. I wonder if the IMD testing "accounts" for low end extension somehow?
 
Erin got a nice email from its designer which he posted in the comments and is such a big contrast to Erics behaviour:

“Hey Erin, This is Matt Phillips, the lead designer on the OPAL1 speakers. I sent you an email about measuring something quite a while ago but I ended up going a different direction. A quick background on this design: These were originally built as a proof of concept in my down time here at the office. I used literal scrap wood to build the prototypes and do initial sims. Once they sounded promising the idea was to make them a kit, but the cost of a kit would not have saved the consumer much money. As they dropped more and more jaws at the office, these were chosen as Dayton's first flagship speaker. The response you measured is about what I expected. The elevated midrange was a compromise between an even lower sensitivity and final voicing, which occurred in no less than 5 different rooms at PE and in a few employees' homes over a period of a few months. These are meant to be fairly close to a wall, or even sat on a shelf, which will help dial that midrange back a little and help reenforce the lower octaves. The dip around 3.2k is simply due to diffraction and a lack of waveguide. Knowing these pitfalls, I aimed for a smooth sound power response. The overall design goal for these was a small footprint speaker that didn't need a sub, had ample output for small to medium rooms and generally sound exceptional with any genre of music. With the diffraction dip I knew these would not be perfectly linear and the design itself meant other compromises had to be made. We recommend 1-2 feet out from the wall, measured at the back of the speaker, with the tweeter at or close to eye level (tweeter axis for measuring). I was really hoping to see you at Axpona over the weekend! I was sad to hear that your flight left so early. Feel free to quote anything here you need to on your page and if you have any follow up questions don't hesitate to ask.”
 
Erin got a nice email from its designer which he posted in the comments and is such a big contrast to Erics behaviour:

“Hey Erin, This is Matt Phillips, the lead designer on the OPAL1 speakers. I sent you an email about measuring something quite a while ago but I ended up going a different direction. A quick background on this design: These were originally built as a proof of concept in my down time here at the office. I used literal scrap wood to build the prototypes and do initial sims. Once they sounded promising the idea was to make them a kit, but the cost of a kit would not have saved the consumer much money. As they dropped more and more jaws at the office, these were chosen as Dayton's first flagship speaker. The response you measured is about what I expected. The elevated midrange was a compromise between an even lower sensitivity and final voicing, which occurred in no less than 5 different rooms at PE and in a few employees' homes over a period of a few months. These are meant to be fairly close to a wall, or even sat on a shelf, which will help dial that midrange back a little and help reenforce the lower octaves. The dip around 3.2k is simply due to diffraction and a lack of waveguide. Knowing these pitfalls, I aimed for a smooth sound power response. The overall design goal for these was a small footprint speaker that didn't need a sub, had ample output for small to medium rooms and generally sound exceptional with any genre of music. With the diffraction dip I knew these would not be perfectly linear and the design itself meant other compromises had to be made. We recommend 1-2 feet out from the wall, measured at the back of the speaker, with the tweeter at or close to eye level (tweeter axis for measuring). I was really hoping to see you at Axpona over the weekend! I was sad to hear that your flight left so early. Feel free to quote anything here you need to on your page and if you have any follow up questions don't hesitate to ask.”
Seems like you knew how it measured. May i ask what is the next lottery numbers across the globe………………….? Thats far more important!
 
The edge diffraction would be one thing. But I think because upper mids, the 700-2k range is pulled up, the dip counter acts brightness which affects most instruments and vocals. Also it might be that this particular tweeter's power response or distortions make things stand out more than other designs. It is not the easiest tweeter to work with and not as good sounding as the one it replaced. Progressively beveling the front baffle edges from 1/3 up would most likely make the measurements and overall sound better.

I'm just curious because Erin specifically attributes the dip to baffle edge diffraction. I have never seen such a pronounced dip before. It's kind of odd to me for the designer to acknowledge the baffle diffraction given that its such a severe dip and there are obvious enclosure design techniques to minimize its effect - moving the tweeter's vertical height, rounding the edges, making the front baffle wider... etc. Based on the directivity measurement, there is a mismatch at this dip as the woofer hands off to the tweeter. I guess there is just really no good way of dealing with this mismatch without a waveguide, changing the crossover point, or changing the woofer design. So maybe the diffraction dip was a voicing choice to balance against the tweeter's wide off-axis response and get at a smoother sound power like the designer described? That would be a rare technique. A more common approach would be to fix the diffraction issue and roll off the tweeter's response more in this region, which would reduce the off-axis levels while providing a smoother on-axis response. But then the IMD distortion may be somewhat higher since the woofer would be generating more of the upper midrange. However, looking at the distortion graphs, the woofer seems to be well behaved in general so this may be the lesser evil?

Interesting design, nonetheless.
 
Does not measure well.


Thanks for sharing!

Not a huge surprise given Dayton’s recent history that these do not measure well. It is not that difficult to do better so suspect that is not the target market for them. As @Wolf suggests probably made more for the party crowd that is looking for something with some decent bass output that does not take a lot of space. Could see how it might appeal to those looking to upgrade from bluetooth speaker listening.
 
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Anyone know if Erin has the new Dayton A400 amplifier in his queue?
 
just for the sensitivity alone they are to trash, no offense, but what the hell
Or think about it the other way...

How much optimizing / EQ went in in order to result in that sensitivity. So it might be a good thing instead.
 
Or think about it the other way...

How much optimizing / EQ went in in order to result in that sensitivity. So it might be a good thing instead.
The drivers sensitivity/efficiency is actually so low - heavy cone/voice coil assembly to keep FS low, and then you just can't make the spider too soft either. As with everything in life ruled by physics, no free lunch. Myself, I rather have 3dB more in efficiency than f3 lower by 5Hz. And I bet the X-O is nothing special knowing Parts Express and Dayton. If they wanted to there would be no huge hump between 700 and 2k and no hole in lower mids). Also tweeters response would be better optimized around crossover point, but it cost money.
Remember the Parts Express kits Erin reviewed, this project would be similar. I would love to if Erin could measure drivers responses as he did in Samba so people could redesign the crossover and improve it. It was a good CAD exercise.
 
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The drivers sensitive is actually so low - heavy cone/voice coil assembly to keep FS low, since you just can't make the spider too soft either. As with everything in life ruled by physics, no free lunch. Myself, I rather have 3dB more in efficiency than f3 lower by 5Hz.
The raw driver sensitivity appears to be closer to 80dB in the midrange region. It's curious that the speaker is down by 5-6dB in this region. There is something else going on here. I am guessing there is a HUGE inductor performing a shallow roll off of the woofer response at a fairly low frequency pole, resulting in the reduction in midrange sensitivity. We can guess this by looking at the early rise in impedance curve heading towards the crossover point, highlighted in yellow below. Further looking at the impedance curve shows us that the effective crossover point is actually around 700Hz. This leads me to believe that the peak centered around 1-2kHz is due mostly to the tweeter crossover shaping. This is a very curious design choice to me unless they are trying to avoid/mask some linearity/distortion issue of the woofer in the midrange.

1713899218678.png
 
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I see. Most likely something resembling inductor in series for baffle step correction around 120-150zHz, plus capacitor with resistor in parallel. No RLC notch filter to reduce the midbass hump. And if there is one, just not enough correction.
My take on Samba, easiest one I could come up with. But the Bass hump still bothers. Should try to rework the woofer leg with series RLC parallel with first inductor.
 

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