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@VAF

 

Thank you very much for the info Simon.

 

Just a question regarding the SCIV, how do you think the Princess/Crown Prince compares?

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On 18/10/2019 at 9:32 PM, kelossus said:

@frednork

 

You are a legend mate. Thank you very much for that, particularly the schematic

 

I will replace all the resistors with MOX/Superes and replace the caps in the mid/tweeter section.

 

On a side note I heard a pair of Dunlavy's SCIV awhile back. I was not impressed at all so I was a little hesitant to buy the Princess'.

One "problem" with speakers like the SCIV is their "correctness". No frequency imbalance away from flat is present. Thus if your personal tast is for lively treble for example, they will not impress.  Then there's the flat phase response. Depending on the recording, this may present as a lack of spaciousness for example.  What you are hearing from them is the recording, warts and all.  Lesser "correct" speakers may emphasise or detract from the warts but that is not the way things should be.    There are other factors involved e.g. room effects influencing what you hear but accurate "correct" speakers are the ideal starting point in the quest.  I just enjoy my Black Knights knowing they at least are right.

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3 hours ago, Ahh- Schnoo Schnoo said:

Thanks Simon

 

Great info and very interesting as a Crown Prince owner 👍

+1

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4 hours ago, VAF said:

Dunlavy had the theory, if it measured correctly then it must be correct. Didn't matter about the cost of the drives, as long as they reproduced the measurements he deemed they needed to it was fine. Nice theory, but a little flawed. But that's another story. 

I have asked previously and havent received a reply thus far. what were the drivers actually tested for?

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20 hours ago, kelossus said:

@VAF

 

Thank you very much for the info Simon.

 

Just a question regarding the SCIV, how do you think the Princess/Crown Prince compares?

Hi Chris,

I've only had the one opportunity to listen to the SCIV in Vegas at CES some time ago. Given the usual caveats like show conditions, non ideal etc etc, I believe the Princess is/was a better speaker. More natural mids and highs with similar bass.  

17 hours ago, frednork said:

I have asked previously and havent received a reply thus far. what were the drivers actually tested for?

So that's a potentially long answer but I'll try to keep it short. The two main design criteria for the speaker based on Dunlavy original designs is to create a perfect 'step function' this is a time domain measurement that shows output over time when a full bandwidth signal is applied. The curve should be basically a 0 time increase in pressure to a given level that decays back to zero over a clean and perfect exponential curve back to zero. The only way to achieve this is with a perfectly flat frequency response with minimum phase characteristic. That is 0 phase shift across the unwaveringly flat frequency response. What also influences this is any resonant behaviour or stored energy, which can come from any number of sources in a speaker, so ignoring that side of it for the sake of a lot of typing... Now I can't say exactly what Dunlavy was doing at DAL, but his legacy thoughts and practices from Duntech were to find a driver that had a flat response and when combined with the other drivers to create a full range speaker you ended up with the flattest amplitude and phase curves. And if you could do that with a cheaper driver then so much the better. Looking at the DAL designs they all seem to be using much cheaper drivers than chosen at Duntech. He was very much set on the thought that the perfect speaker should be able to recreate a square wave. Also he was clearly looking at the stored energy issue at DAL - he started publishing Cumulative Spectral Decay measurements, which duntech was also doing at the same time, (and VAF by the way ;) ) but I think his belief in cheaper drive units didn't help him. And why I still say the Duntech legacy product he left behind, that we re engineered were better. (better quality drivers still).

So what were the drivers actually tested for - wide bandwidth, flat frequency response and minimum phase behaviour across the widest possible frequency range. Which is exactly what I still look for in a quality driver, however there's more to it than that - it's what john wasn't measuring that I personally think was blinding him from creating some really great speakers. 

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Thanks for that (and previous) info. Simon.   Now you can't leave us hanging when you say "it's what john wasn't measuring " ....  what was it?    

 

 

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@VAF

 

One last question if I may......

 

Can the Black Knight be considered an upgrade to the Princess? I have a 7x4m room with a high ceiling but from what I have read the Sovereign may be too large for that room. Looking at the Black Knight as it appears to be in between the Sov and Princess size wise.

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18 hours ago, vur said:

Thanks for that (and previous) info. Simon.   Now you can't leave us hanging when you say "it's what john wasn't measuring " ....  what was it?    

 

 

Haha, ok so I'm diligently trying to make a clear delineation of interest here which is hard to do - I honestly like to help people out with info in as unbiased way as possible. I worked at Duntech for nearly ten years and have a lot of accumulated knowledge, nostalgia and pride in what we accomplished there. I probably made a mistake to talk about what he wasn't measuring on a couple of levels - firstly its hard to separate out VAF and talk to fundamental design principles that VAF was actually researching here at the time. Secondly I'm just helping out on info because the Duntech story was unique in that an Australian company gained world wide attention no other company had achieved previously (or I believe since) and probably did more to jump start the Aus audio industry as a genuine world contender and as such opened doors to others in Aus. Which is fantastic!. Very cool period in history and I was lucky to be a part of it. 

So I find myself in a little dilemma. 

So ignoring that - We're all on the quest to make a better speaker, however it's commercial reality that you're always working with compromises - FACT, don't care which speaker you're looking at. Simply looking at phase and amplitude response from a driver isn't the whole story, also when you include pure electrically first order crossovers with cheaper drivers you really start to limit what's possible. There's many other influencing factors including the cone material, magnetic circuit, back emf's , internal cabinet reflections, stored energy within the cones, suspension, cabinet and on and on it goes. These things called speakers are very complicated - in fact there's SO SO MANY compromises no one is completely across right through the whole chain from recorded artist to end reproduction! 

 

I had the pleasure of spending some time with Rob Watts, lead consulting DAC engineer for Chord UK. Over dinner we spoke to life the universe and everything audio and it was clear he was thinking about the same things I've been wondering about. Even the most advanced DAC technology still falls short of reproducing reality- their DAVE DAC and scaler is using bit rates and scaling speeds no one ever would have thought needed, but as he says each time he goes to the next level of resolution there's audible improvements - if you had the opportunity to hear Rob speak at the presentation we put on at the last hifi show you would have walked away amazed at the digital resolution he's using to try and recreate sounds to trick the human brain into believing it's 'real'. My point is NO ONE is measuring EVERYTHING needed to make the perfect reproduction that mimics reality.

 

So with all that ramble, back to the question! - I'll give you a simple answer - I think one fundamental issue was the use of cheaper drivers and adherence to 1st order crossovers simply pushing those drivers outside their useful operating range. That is quite simplistic I know, but basically higher tolerance, better made drivers should have better performance across a wider range and therefore more suited to this design type. I don't think they were properly measuring the distortions outside the cross over region that are still audible if not appearing directly in the response measurements. I don't believe they were looking into the higher level contributing harmonics produced and i'm not convinced there wasn't quite a bit of stored energy that muddied the midrange. Even though they did publish some cumulative spectral decay plots especially on the SCIV that looked incredible, and would dispute the stored energy comment, we did spend some time recreating their setups based on the time axis and well, i'd question the usefulness of the plots to be honest... 😕 

 

I think overall speakers have their strengths and weaknesses, there's lots of reasons for doing this or that. Personal preference, listening environment, source all contribute to the end result and a bunch of other things. I've probably rambled on way too long - so my apologies. Hope it's half interesting anyway. Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, kelossus said:

@VAF

 

One last question if I may......

 

Can the Black Knight be considered an upgrade to the Princess? I have a 7x4m room with a high ceiling but from what I have read the Sovereign may be too large for that room. Looking at the Black Knight as it appears to be in between the Sov and Princess size wise.

Hey, sorry Chris.

No, I wouldn't rate the black knight as an upgrade to the Princess. Different beast really. I think the mids on the princess are better than the Black Knight. The polyprop cones on the knight are more coloured. However, the knight wins on dynamics, bass (obviously) and impact. If Sov is too big, so is the knight. Both really need a ton of amplification to control the bass, which will overpower many rooms. The knight was designed to be a cheaper high volume alternative to the Sov, not as refined. If you have the choice of picking up a Sov or black knight.... get the Sovereign. If you've got a few mates to help lift it!

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3 hours ago, VAF said:

Hey, sorry Chris.

No, I wouldn't rate the black knight as an upgrade to the Princess. Different beast really. I think the mids on the princess are better than the Black Knight. The polyprop cones on the knight are more coloured. However, the knight wins on dynamics, bass (obviously) and impact. If Sov is too big, so is the knight. Both really need a ton of amplification to control the bass, which will overpower many rooms. The knight was designed to be a cheaper high volume alternative to the Sov, not as refined. If you have the choice of picking up a Sov or black knight.... get the Sovereign. If you've got a few mates to help lift it!

Last question. I promise!

 

Do you think a 7m x 4m (3m ceiling) is large enough for the Sovereign? I definitely have enough amplification for them.

 

Chris.

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I think it would be fine provided you commited to full room treatment. I would much rather 7x4m and treatment than 8x6 and no treatment. A smaller room will sound much larger/spacious if its treated.

Edited by mondie

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11 hours ago, kelossus said:

Last question. I promise!

 

Do you think a 7m x 4m (3m ceiling) is large enough for the Sovereign? I definitely have enough amplification for them.

 

Chris.

No problems Chris, questions are for asking.

It does depend on a few things including what the construction is and what your preferred setup is in terms of speaker placement in the room - the main thing I see there is the speakers are going to be close to the side walls if you want a decent sound stage assuming your setup is on the short wall - on the long wall you're too close. So you'll definitely want some good acoustic treatments in that space. (in fact regardless of the room it's always going to benefit from a better acoustics). We recommend Vicoustic products, they have an excellent service to model your room and design a layout for you. It's completely worth the trouble - do it once and do it right. Happy to chat about that if you'd like. Jump on our web site and send me a mail, or just call. :)

Cheers

Simon

 

 

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17 hours ago, VAF said:

Haha, ok so I'm diligently trying to make a clear delineation of interest here which is hard to do - I honestly like to help people out with info in as unbiased way as possible. I worked at Duntech for nearly ten years and have a lot of accumulated knowledge, nostalgia and pride in what we accomplished there. I probably made a mistake to talk about what he wasn't measuring on a couple of levels - firstly its hard to separate out VAF and talk to fundamental design principles that VAF was actually researching here at the time. Secondly I'm just helping out on info because the Duntech story was unique in that an Australian company gained world wide attention no other company had achieved previously (or I believe since) and probably did more to jump start the Aus audio industry as a genuine world contender and as such opened doors to others in Aus. Which is fantastic!. Very cool period in history and I was lucky to be a part of it. 

 

So I find myself in a little dilemma. 

 

 

So ignoring that - We're all on the quest to make a better speaker, however it's commercial reality that you're always working with compromises - FACT, don't care which speaker you're looking at. Simply looking at phase and amplitude response from a driver isn't the whole story, also when you include pure electrically first order crossovers with cheaper drivers you really start to limit what's possible. There's many other influencing factors including the cone material, magnetic circuit, back emf's , internal cabinet reflections, stored energy within the cones, suspension, cabinet and on and on it goes. These things called speakers are very complicated - in fact there's SO SO MANY compromises no one is completely across right through the whole chain from recorded artist to end reproduction! 

 

I had the pleasure of spending some time with Rob Watts, lead consulting DAC engineer for Chord UK. Over dinner we spoke to life the universe and everything audio and it was clear he was thinking about the same things I've been wondering about. Even the most advanced DAC technology still falls short of reproducing reality- their DAVE DAC and scaler is using bit rates and scaling speeds no one ever would have thought needed, but as he says each time he goes to the next level of resolution there's audible improvements - if you had the opportunity to hear Rob speak at the presentation we put on at the last hifi show you would have walked away amazed at the digital resolution he's using to try and recreate sounds to trick the human brain into believing it's 'real'. My point is NO ONE is measuring EVERYTHING needed to make the perfect reproduction that mimics reality.

 

So with all that ramble, back to the question! - I'll give you a simple answer - I think one fundamental issue was the use of cheaper drivers and adherence to 1st order crossovers simply pushing those drivers outside their useful operating range. That is quite simplistic I know, but basically higher tolerance, better made drivers should have better performance across a wider range and therefore more suited to this design type. I don't think they were properly measuring the distortions outside the cross over region that are still audible if not appearing directly in the response measurements. I don't believe they were looking into the higher level contributing harmonics produced and i'm not convinced there wasn't quite a bit of stored energy that muddied the midrange. Even though they did publish some cumulative spectral decay plots especially on the SCIV that looked incredible, and would dispute the stored energy comment, we did spend some time recreating their setups based on the time axis and well, i'd question the usefulness of the plots to be honest... 😕 

 

I think overall speakers have their strengths and weaknesses, there's lots of reasons for doing this or that. Personal preference, listening environment, source all contribute to the end result and a bunch of other things. I've probably rambled on way too long - so my apologies. Hope it's half interesting anyway. Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Simon for your thorough and carefully-considered answer.    You have provided us with expanded knowledge, and in the process possibly explained my only "issue" with my Black Knights.

 

On delivery I thought the mid-range on female vocals was not as good as my (wooden-finish...not chrome-ended) Gale 401's.  John D had provided me with a freq resp graph between 500Hz and 20K. It showed a -3dB point between 2.3 and 4.5K. (The x-over is at 4K).  I tried to boost signals over that band with a digital equaliser but could not hear an improvement.

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9 minutes ago, vur said:

Thanks Simon for your thorough and carefully-considered answer.    You have provided us with expanded knowledge, and in the process possibly explained my only "issue" with my Black Knights.

 

On delivery I thought the mid-range on female vocals was not as good as my (wooden-finish...not chrome-ended) Gale 401's.  John D had provided me with a freq resp graph between 500Hz and 20K. It showed a -3dB point between 2.3 and 4.5K. (The x-over is at 4K).  I tried to boost signals over that band with a digital equaliser but could not hear an improvement.

Pleasure, brings back some good memories. 

So female vocals would be influenced - typically the range is around 350 to 3Khz with harmonics going out to roughly 12kHz. So I'd suggest it's th higher order harmonics that are causing some issues. Depending on the band width of the dip you mention, it's unlikely you'd hear an effect - which I guess you proved. Sounds like you have some experience and tech capability, if you want to squeeze the most out of those you might consider a DSP like the DEQX - they're damn good and if you can bi amp and run a quasi active arrangement you'll be able to balance the woofer to mid transition better, where some of those problems are. I see you're in Adelaide, happy to have a chat if you want to drop in or call. No problems either way.

cheers,

Simon

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