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Selah Integrity DIY Speaker Kit Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Selah Integrity DIY Speaker Kit. @Selah Audio designed this kit in memory of DIY designer, Jeff Bagby, who sadly passed away due to Covid-19. The Kit was kindly built by @Rick Sykora. Meniscus Audio will be selling the kit and a portion of the proceeds goes to family of Jeff Bagby. The kit cost starts at $630 plush shipping for a pair.

This is a three-way design and built out of ultra dense and thick MDF:

Selah Jeff Bagby Integrity DIY Speaker Kit Review.jpg


As you can see, there is an oval passive radiator in the back. It was a pleasure to have a pair of binding posts where I could get my fingers in there. :)

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

I used over 800 measurement point which was enough to compute the sound field of the speaker within 1% error.

Temperature was 75 degrees. Measurement location is at sea level so you compute the pressure.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

Spinorama Audio Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

Selah Jeff Bagby Integrity DIY Speaker Kit Spinorama CEA-2034 frequency response measurements.png


The on-axis response looks very good. The only exceptions are the perturbation around 1.7 kHz and a bit of rising energy in the upper end. The dip at 1.7 kHz remains in off-axis as well:
Selah Jeff Bagby Integrity DIY Speaker Kit Spinorama CEA-2034 early reflections  frequency res...png


Resulting predicted in room response is what we already know:

Selah Jeff Bagby Integrity DIY Speaker Kit Spinorama CEA-2034 Predicted In-room frequency resp...png


So very good overall.

Digging into the source of that dip it appears to be the bottom end of the midrange driver:

Selah Jeff Bagby Integrity DIY Speaker Kit driver and port frquency response measurements.png


Speaking of mid-range, it seems to be playing louder than it can without distortion:

Selah Jeff Bagby Integrity DIY Speaker Kit relative distortion response measurements.png


I don't usually see correlations between frequency response errors and THD percentage but we have one here at 1.7 kHz.

Selah Jeff Bagby Integrity DIY Speaker Kit distortion response measurements.png


Impedance is around 5.5 ohm which is higher (better) than typical small speaker, putting less stress on the amplifier:
Selah Jeff Bagby Integrity DIY Speaker Kit Impedance and Phase response measurements.png


The mid-range provides wide beamwidth in the mid-range:

Selah Jeff Bagby Integrity DIY Speaker Kit Beamwidth response measurements.png


Here is the same as a heatmap:

Selah Jeff Bagby Integrity DIY Speaker Kit Horizontal Directivity response measurements.png


The 3-way design makes vertical placement less critical:

Selah Jeff Bagby Integrity DIY Speaker Kit Vertical Directivity response measurements.png


And here is the waterfall:
Selah Jeff Bagby Integrity DIY Speaker Kit CSD Waterfall response measurements.png


Speaker Listening Tests
Having seen the measurements before listening, I expected the sound to be good but it wasn't! It sounded muffled in the mid-range. Fortunately I quickly realized I had the EQ on from last test I was doing so turned that off and all was well with the universe. :) The experience was very good albeit with a touch too much upper end energy. I put it this way as opposed to saying "bright" as the treble response is not high enough to be annoying. It was close enough that I did not bother to EQ but you may want to.

I toed the speaker out a bit and while that did reduce the highs a bit, I had a preference for the more clear direct sound. Anyway, it is something you can play with.

The Integrity is very inefficient by the way requiring me to turn up the volume to very high levels. Fortunately it handled the power well and could get loud despite a single speaker playing.

My subsonic bass test tracks which I call "speaker killers" earned their designation though causing massive distortion. You better have a filter for such bass notes or not have as powerful of an amp as I have. Fortunately the woofer recovered as if nothing had happened and continued playing.

Note that 99% of my music and even those with heavy bass don't have the subsonic energy that cause the problem above.

Conclusions
I must say, I was very nervous going into this review. The work is for a good cause but so is transparency in speaker reviews. I had my fingers crossed that it would measure and sound well. What a relief it was that it did both.

I am happy to recommend the Selah Integrity DIY design Kit. I hope you all support the effort by purchasing them and getting experience with building your own speaker and doing some good in the process.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Our Italian plums are producing this year again and soon I need to dehydrate them as they won't last long on the shelf. No, I don't need your money for the dehydrator. Who do you think I am? A constant beggar??? No, I need money for the electricity to run the dehydrator. So please donate what you can using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Attachments

Beershaun

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#3
So sorry for their loss.
 

Ilkless

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#4
Seems to be a surround edge resonance. Aberration doesn't appear on the polars. A surprising number of modern high-end drivers (eg. SB Satori) have such aberrations ~1-2kHz due to very compliant, high-excursion surrounds, accompanied by a corresponding narrowband HD peak.
 

ROOSKIE

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#5
Cabinet not part of it, :(
I am sure you could find someone to make a cabinet or at least the front panel. Might be tough to flush mount the midrange if you are less experienced. All in all not a bad deal for the kit price wise.
 

bigjacko

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#7
It is interesting that both tweeter and mid range in near field had the same peak and dip around 1.7kHz. Does anyone has any assumption on what's happening?
 

ROOSKIE

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#8
The SB acoustics midrange sensitivity raw is only 84db, somewhat low and explains the low sensitivity.
That Dayton Esoteric woofer has been on my radar and looks interesting. $130 per driver and also lowish sensitivity. I wonder if anyone else here has used it.
 
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#9
Seems to be a surround edge resonance. Aberration doesn't appear on the polars. A surprising number of modern high-end drivers (eg. SB Satori) have such aberrations ~1-2kHz due to very compliant, high-excursion surrounds, accompanied by a corresponding narrowband HD peak.
Well, when you want a 5-6" woofer to play deep, something's gotta give. Literally.
I've mentioned this to people showcasing extreme cone-movement on smaller bookshelves a few times, but they of course always claim there is no distortion.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #10
It is interesting that both tweeter and mid range in near field had the same peak and dip around 1.7kHz. Does anyone has any assumption on what's happening?
All the drivers are playing in that test. It is just that the microphone is positioned in front of each one so the effect from others is low, but it is still there. So I would not look at that part of tweeter response as being from it.
 

napilopez

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#11
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Selah Integrity DIY Speaker Kit. @Selah Audio designed this kit in memory of DIY designer, Jeff Bagby, who sadly passed away due to Covid-19. The Kit was kindly built by @Rick Sykora. Meniscus Audio will be selling the kit and a portion of the proceeds goes to family of Jeff Bagby. The kit cost starts at $630 plush shipping for a pair.

This is a three-way design and built out of ultra dense and thick MDF:

View attachment 80689

As you can see, there is an oval passive radiator in the back. It was a pleasure to have a pair of binding posts where I could get my fingers in there. :)

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

I used over 800 measurement point which was enough to compute the sound field of the speaker within 1% error.

Temperature was 75 degrees. Measurement location is at sea level so you compute the pressure.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

Spinorama Audio Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

View attachment 80690

The on-axis response looks very good. The only exceptions are the perturbation around 1.7 kHz and a bit of rising energy in the upper end. The dip at 1.7 kHz remains in off-axis as well:
View attachment 80691

Resulting predicted in room response is what we already know:

View attachment 80692

So very good overall.

Digging into the source of that dip it appears to be the bottom end of the midrange driver:

View attachment 80693

Speaking of mid-range, it seems to be playing louder than it can without distortion:

View attachment 80694

I don't usually see correlations between frequency response errors and THD percentage but we have one here at 1.7 kHz.

View attachment 80695

Impedance is around 5.5 ohm which is higher (better) than typical small speaker, putting less stress on the amplifier:
View attachment 80696

The mid-range provides wide beamwidth in the mid-range:

View attachment 80697

Here is the same as a heatmap:

View attachment 80698

The 3-way design makes vertical placement less critical:

View attachment 80699

And here is the waterfall:
View attachment 80701

Speaker Listening Tests
Having seen the measurements before listening, I expected the sound to be good but it wasn't! It sounded muffled in the mid-range. Fortunately I quickly realized I had the EQ on from last test I was doing so turned that off and all was well with the universe. :) The experience was very good albeit with a touch too much upper end energy. I put it this way as opposed to saying "bright" as the treble response is not high enough to be annoying. It was close enough that I did not bother to EQ but you may want to.

I toed the speaker out a bit and while that did reduce the highs a bit, I had a preference for the more clear direct sound. Anyway, it is something you can play with.

The Integrity is very inefficient by the way requiring me to turn up the volume to very high levels. Fortunately it handled the power well and could get loud despite a single speaker playing.

My subsonic bass test tracks which I call "speaker killers" earned their designation though causing massive distortion. You better have a filter for such bass notes or not have as powerful of an amp as I have. Fortunately the woofer recovered as if nothing had happened and continued playing.

Note that 99% of my music and even those with heavy bass don't have the subsonic energy that cause the problem above.

Conclusions
I must say, I was very nervous going into this review. The work is for a good cause but so is transparency in speaker reviews. I had my fingers crossed that it would measure and sound well. What a relief it was that it did both.

I am happy to recommend the Selah Integrity DIY design Kit. I hope you all support the effort by purchasing them and getting experience with building your own speaker and doing some good in the process.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Our Italian plums are producing this year again and soon I need to dehydrate them as they won't last long on the shelf. No, I don't need your money for the dehydrator. Who do you think I am? A constant beggar??? No, I need money for the electricity to run the dehydrator. So please donate what you can using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Looks like an awesome kit! Directivity is some of the widest we've seen, so I think this looks like it's right up my alley. I'm moving to a place where I might finally have space to do build my own speaker and this looks like a good candidate.
It is thanks to Jeff Babgby's whitepaper on quasi anechoic measurements that I felt confident enough to start measuring speakers in the first place.

Also, is this the first speaker with a passive radiator we've seen that doesn't display a massive resonance around 500-600Hz? There's some extra distortion there but it's just a blip in the spin.
 
Last edited:

YSC

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#12
nice one but ignoring that this one needs to be built by yourself, the price of it plus the amp need likely can buy you a Genelec 8020/8030?
 

tktran303

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#13
Thanks for the measurements. Fantastic, high resolution, warts and all.

Apart from the minor dip (which is difficult to hear) this is one set of spectacular measurements. Watch the Preference -o-meter go!

It's a shame you didn't have a chance to listen to a pair to fully appreciate the benefits of it's wide dispersion.
 
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TimVG

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#14
Seems to be a surround edge resonance. Aberration doesn't appear on the polars. A surprising number of modern high-end drivers (eg. SB Satori) have such aberrations ~1-2kHz due to very compliant, high-excursion surrounds, accompanied by a corresponding narrowband HD peak.
It's likely. You've probably seen this but putting it here for others who haven't.

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Edge-coating.htm
 

tktran303

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#15
nice one but ignoring that this one needs to be built by yourself, the price of it plus the amp need likely can buy you a Genelec 8020/8030?
The 8020/8030 has a 4"/5.25 midwoofer
That 8040 is a 2-way model with the 6.5" midwoofer, which is US$2300 a pair.
Still it's a 2-way.
 

tktran303

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#16
It might not be a surround resonance of the midrange- because the actual midrange driver in question is clean across 1-2KHz.

My suspicion is the woofer’s out phase there, and interacting with the midrange, to cause a dip.

Rick, do I get a lollipop?
 

daftcombo

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#17
My subsonic bass test tracks which I call "speaker killers" earned their designation though causing massive distortion. You better have a filter for such bass notes or not have as powerful of an amp as I have. Fortunately the woofer recovered as if nothing had happened and continued playing.
Hi Amir. Nice review!
What tracks and what filter do you recommend please?
 

YSC

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#18
The 8020/8030 has a 4"/5.25 midwoofer
That 8040 is a 2-way model with the 6.5" midwoofer, which is US$2300 a pair.
Still it's a 2-way.
Yea I am aware of that, but isn't the final frequency response output being what matters? if the 8030 can be flatter, looks better and no need for trouble building yourself, why 2-way or 3-way matters?
 

AudioJester

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#20
For people such as me who like a flatter in room response and like the gratification of DIY this looks the goods! Thanks for reviewing.

Oh, and where are the preference score guys??
 
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