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Semi-DIY system, your thoughts, please.

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#1
I'm composing an audio system in my head and would like to hear your thoughts.

Current equipment: JDS Labs Atom, Drop 400i headphones, Drop Sennheiser 650 clone headphones, Topping D10
(plus, DT880's and a Bravo Audio tube hybrid headphone amp at work) . I have a THX AAA on the way in September.

My proposed system:
Satori Ara speakers with Beryllium dome tweeters ( and the off-white Egyptian papyrus woofer cones, for beauty).
https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/speaker-kits/satori-ara-2-way-speaker-kit-pair/
I would power these guys with an Onkyo receiver I have laying around (initially).

I have not heard the speakers, but people I trust say they are really good in their category. They sure are pretty. I like the lightweight kit idea.
Why Beryllium? For ego, mainly. Plus the pain of the $474 bump in price will fade and my vanity will last a long time.

Next step:
Set the receiver aside and buy the Neurochrome 286 kit. A very strong technical spec'd amp with a somewhat quirky designer, seems
like it would be a really good fit, plenty of power for these speakers. I'd probably use the JDS Atom as a preamp.

Lots of room in the future for additional projects: maybe stereo subwoofer integration, perhaps room DSP, streaming and source options.

I'm one of those people who takes joy in researching and getting the system set up and listens more to speakers than to music! typically I enjoy all kinds of Jazz, occasional hip-hop and blues, some classical.

Thanks!
 

digicidal

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#3
Well, the first thoughts I would have is that although they probably sound pretty good... if you're thinking about spending ~$2K on stand mount speakers... why not consider active monitors. Might not look as nice or have Beryllium tweeters (unless you step up a little more on price) but they will be more accurate and eliminate amp shopping.

If you can move the budget to $3K you can even have the B-tweets and actually you can almost hit the same price (in theory at least) by either buying used or better yet taking advantage of the exchange rate and skirting the tariffs by ordering from a european distributor. Be sure to check about duties though... there might be a 'gotcha' in there that I can't see at the moment.

However, if you give up the tweeters... there's lots of options that are flat as a pancake and DSP controlled in that area.

Obviously speakers are a very personal and subjective area in many regards... however, for that reason I'd hesitate on a kit-build unless you have personal experience with them. "People you trust" don't have your ears after all... now if you know other speakers they like, and have personal experience with and like them as well - then maybe that opinion is adequate for you.

I know with speakers (especially passively crossed ones) - I have to be able to audition and return them. If you're determined to have a kit for the sake of feeling "DIY" - then by all means I'm sure they'll be decent. I just tend to think kit speakers are often best left as a 2nd or 3rd pair. ;)
 
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#4
Hmmm. Those Focals do look lovely and undoubtedly sound great. I will try to audition a pair. Thanks for the comments. I do like the DIY aspect as I have some speaker building history (long ago) and having a really good, really portable pair of monitors has some allure. Maybe someone, somewhere has a pair of Satoris that I can listen to. (which is totally the rational thing to do).
 

digicidal

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#5
Hmmm. Those Focals do look lovely and undoubtedly sound great. I will try to audition a pair. Thanks for the comments. I do like the DIY aspect as I have some speaker building history (long ago) and having a really good, really portable pair of monitors has some allure. Maybe someone, somewhere has a pair of Satoris that I can listen to. (which is totally the rational thing to do).
If you can listen to them then I'd say that's the optimal solution - really for any speaker. I re-read my response and feel I should quality the "flat as a pancake" statement... despite it being true. Even while auditioning many active studio monitors that (on specs and measurements) were 99% equivalent to each other - they were still subtly different in sound, and many enough so that I would have returned them had I purchased them blind.

Based on the 'pedigree' of Madisound I would seriously doubt that the Satoris would sound "bad" by any stretch - probably quite the opposite.
 

fishball79

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#6
I owned the Ara (and later Ara-Be), along with a host of other kit speakers (SB, Seas, Volt, Fountek, Hivi, Peerless, Scanspeak, JBL/Acoustic Elegance and others).

The Ara is the most complete fullrange standmount with decent performance across the band. They had a tighter imaging, bass & all round fidelity than the Dynaudio C1 bookshelf that i had the opportunity to compare side by side.

Whilst they can be driven LOUD in a 700sqft space measured flat to 20hz, they need alot power, think minimum Hypex NC400 ([email protected], [email protected] I use 2x350w but tried bridging them to 1kw for fun and the Ara improved further still.

I would suggest the Rinjani if you can afford it. It would need half as much power and has none of the mdf cabinet ringing in the Ara.

Anything better than the Rinjani would be 5 figure sum speaker kits imo, until SB releases the Menara's plans, a 3.5way using their new 2.5" satori mid dome and three 7.5" wofoers.
 

Juhazi

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#7
I owned the Ara (and later Ara-Be), ...

Whilst they can be driven LOUD in a 700sqft space measured flat to 20hz, they need alot power, think minimum Hypex NC400 ([email protected], [email protected] I use 2x350w but tried bridging them to 1kw for fun and the Ara improved further still.....
Sorry to say, but I can't believe that. A 6½" midwoofer in reflex cab tuned around 45Hz can not reproduce loud spl below 40Hz, it will explode well before that. But still, ARA looks like a nice minimonitor ... just add a Minidsp 2x4HD and a pair of good subwoofers!
 

fishball79

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#8
Juhazi,
Got to reread before i post, i meant they can be played loud in a medium space and seperately, they have been measured flat at normal levels.
 
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#9
I'm going to audition the Focal Shape 65 which is the closest in the line that I can find locally. Not ideal, but should be a good baseline, anyway.
I can't find specs for the distortion/noise of the Focal Solo6 Be amplifiers anywhere.

Do audio professionals not care, or do they just assume that they are well bi-amplified?

thanks to all.
 

fishball79

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#10
At the budget of the Focal Shape 65 and for the ability to return, I would consider the JBL LSR705s... very complete speakers imo.
This is coming from a SB fanboy.

Dont consider the Solo Be6. Their beryllium tweeter/highs sounds... off, worse than Utopia, SB Satori and other beryllium tweeters ive heard. Im not sure if its the amp or tweeters but they are best to be avoided imo.
 

digicidal

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#11
Juhazi,
Got to reread before i post, i meant they can be played loud in a medium space and seperately, they have been measured flat at normal levels.
Are you sure you didn't mean "flat to 20kHz"? Because I guarantee they can't hit 20Hz (as @Juhazi stated). Hell, my 12" sub struggles with that.
 

maxxevv

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#12
A 6.5" driver isn't likely to get near 30Hz, much less 20Hz .

Even if it does get near 20Hz, likely its a -10dB or even more attenuation at that frequency. Not the typical -3dB that frequency ranges are rated at I believe ?
 

fishball79

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#13
I do mean flat to 20hz. All i did was point the Umik at the speakers a few cm away and swept it in REW, wish i kept the measurement file so i can show here.

Maybe there was some resonance that low that rang along with the speakers or the way i measured was wrong *shrug*
 

NTK

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#14
A 6.5" driver isn't likely to get near 30Hz, much less 20Hz ...
The late Siegfried Linkwitz has an article on his site on how to estimate SPL from loudspeaker cone size, travel, and frequency.
http://www.linkwitzlab.com/SPL nomographs.htm

TL;DR - Formula is:
dB SPL = 94.3 + 20 log(x) + 40 log(f) + 40 log(d) – 20 log(r)
where x = loudspeaker cone peak-to-peak excursion in meters, f = frequency in Hz, d = effective cone/piston diameter in meters, and r = distance from the loudspeaker in meters.​

The max SPL of a loudspeaker goes down 12 dB/octave with frequency.

Please note that the SPL given by the formula is for a single loudspeaker in free space (which should match its anechoic measurement) and is without including any room gain. So, yes, a 6.5" driver can produce 30 Hz ... but only a teeny-tiny bit of it.
 

Juhazi

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#15
It is very easy to take measurements with long gating and low spl,that are erroneous in many ways showing air ventilation hum, fridge, traffic etc. and room modes.
 
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#16
I'm putting off my purchase a bit (the thrill is in the chase). I'm finding both the Focals and the Satoris to be really hard to find a pair to audition.

My thoughts right now are: The Focal Solo 6 Be are appealing. B-stock factory refurbish are available for $1k apiece. Major risk is that Focal has a somewhat poor reputation for amplifier repairs. I like the autonomy of powered monitors.

The Satoris with Be tweeters are ~$1800 the pair, which is comparable, if you neglect budgeting $700-$7800 for a high quality amplifier.
No repair issues here, until the drivers go end of life. Some joy in completing the assembly.

Jack
 

fishball79

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#17
Also consider the JBL LSR705Ps, especially the refurb ones at ~$1k a pair (Amazon and JBL has refurbs)
I use a pair in office with the Khadas Tone and find the sound very very appealing.
 
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