Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Sentient

OzMillsy's system

Recommended Posts

Thought it was about time I created a thread that captured abit of history on my system, and the changes that I make as they occur.

I've been into Hifi for around 20 years, but things got pretty serious about 5'ish years ago. Prior to that, like alot of people, I got right into surround sound audio in the late nineties, mainly home theatre. In the early 2000's I ran a Vaf DCX/DC7/DC6 5.1 speaker system, powered by Rotel power amps. For movies this system gave me alot of joy. I was also into crt projector systems. Here is a pic the projection system I ran, in a former home....

5m_nemo_1.JPG

That's me standing in the image. I'm about 6ft tall(180cm).

To this day, I regret selling that home. That home cinema system gave me endless hours of pleasure. But I did sell for various reasons, and in my next home my focus started to divert away from home cinema, back towards music.

For 2ch duties, the DCX's were ok, but I yearned for more. I started doing alot of reading about other speaker systems, and I became very interested in active speakers. I read up alot of information about the pros/cons of the active approach, and I was keen to hear some systems.

Nearly 4 years ago I was referred to SGR (Stuart), who was developing his active electronics, and building various speaker variations. After many exchanges of email, and a few phone calls, I decided to take the plunge on some early proto-types. A company called TAG had built a bunch of 3 way speakers using ribbon drivers and seas excel bass drivers. They had some surplus stock, which Stuart converted to active with his electronics (mighty mouse plate amps with builtin active crossovers).

Although I was starting to take 2ch music more seriously, I still ran a home theatre system. And Stuart built me a centre speaker with matching ribbon drivers, to go with the mains. It was very difficult to match the Beechwood finish on the mains, nothing would be an ideal match. So I decided to go for black on the centre.

I refer to the 3 speakers as "Bob and the Beechies" (bob being short for "black on black"), here's a pic;

Bob_Beechies_1.jpg

I've been enamored with these active ribbons since I bought them. They have a clean presentation, with a sense of air, great imaging, and sound very natural through the mids and highs.

What they lacked was some real bottom end weight. So, I added some subs into the equation. Enter the X-men.

The_Xmen.jpg

The X-men are sealed subs made from marine ply, they have 15" Tempest-X drivers, and are fitted with SGR plateamps. The plateamps have variable active crossovers, with high pass outputs. So I run my unbalanced cables into the X-men first, and then connect the Beechies in behind them. The main channels effectively becoming a 4way active speaker system, with the crossover point between mains/subs set at 80hz.

Here's another shot with them in-situ, shortly after receiving them;

The_Xmen_InSitu.jpg

It took some time and experimentation to dial in these subs. With this experimentation, I even had them incorrectly setup for a period, with the phase switch on the wrong setting. [doh] But with some guidance from Stuart and some measurements, I eventually got them integrated quite well.

Once dialled in correctly, the X-men took the performance of the system to another level. I obtained the bottom end weight I was looking for, and the mid-bass delivered by the mains seemed to benefit aswell.

At this point I was still exploring front end options. The system really came together and began to sing, when I introduced the Killerdac. This dac was an immediate improvement over anything I had previously had on the system. It delivered an uncanny analog like presentation, and added some real body to the music.

I also experimented with changes to the speaker placement, and found that positioning the subs behind the mains gave me better results. Pic;

DSCN0200.JPG

The big black amp looking box in the middle of this pic, is my (oz)Killerdac. *I ordered this case myself, and had Stevenvalve build the dac with it. I wanted something a little different (in appearance).

I ran the system this way for awhile. Before moving my centre speaker back in, and the front end gear to the rear of the room with the rest of the equipment.

The final touches on the system was changing the buffer over from a MFtube buffer to a Burson. This change gave a little more transparency. I also added a modified CD94 transport, running I2S into the Killerdac.

With all these changes, I had reached what I felt was at the time, nirvana. :)

It was time to invite around some SNA'rs, and get some feedback. So I held a GTG, thread can be read here: Click

With the system singing just the way I liked, what does 1 do? Make a big change, and bugger everything up! :)

The room above was in a centrally located open plan living area, and the sound travelled everywhere in the house. Not ideal, when you have a young family. Anything at moderate levels would disturb everyone in the house. My listening sessions were few and far between.

So we've sold that house, and have moved into a rental, while we pursue building our dream home. This project is still in the planning, but it will have a dedicated audio/ht room that is isolated from other living areas. Where I'll be able to retreat and crank the system, without worrying about waking our young kids.

In the mean time, the rental place has a smaller room that I am using as a music room. This room has totally changed the presentation of the system. The X-men take some reigning in, and bass heavy tracks can really boom at times. I've dialled them in as best I can, but in this room they are almost uncontrollable. The Beechies are also a tad brighter, in this smaller room. This isnt helped by the listening position being very close to the rear wall. So, unfortunately, the system has lost some magic it had in the last place.

I cant easily treat the room the way I'd like, given I am renting. But I am experimenting with system changes while I am here.

My plan for the next place we build (with dedicated room), was to add another 2 x active speakers for rears - so I would have 5 channels of active speakers running.

An opportunity came up recently, and I treated myself to a christmas present.

Here is a pic of the current room in our rental home, with a significant change to the system.....

OzM_CX3Bs.JPG

More on this change shortly......

Edited by ozmillsy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the new speakers Andrew. I have just skimmed through your journey but will re read properly tonight when I have more time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes i haven't read it thoroughly yet but thanks for posting. It's good to hear of other people's audio/video journeys.

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I digging this thread A. Some great shots there mate :)

Great to see your good old SGR Beechies agian. Congrats on your new Christmas Present mate, stunning speakers.

I will follow your dedicated room project as it unfolds with great anticipation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JohnA

Thanks for posting Oz

looks very nice mate, and congrats on the xmas pressie :)

thos subs do work great in that position. I found them to work best there in my room also, plus they look best there also...so double bonus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys, I'll do a good write up of the CX3B's another day soon. But I do like them. Stuarts done a remarkable job with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I will follow your dedicated room project as it unfolds with great anticipation.

Cheers mate, I'll definetly share floor plans and progress shots as things unfold. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks guys, I'll do a good write up of the CX3B's another day soon. But I do like them. Stuarts done a remarkable job with them.

Lookin' forward to it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thos subs do work great in that position. I found them to work best there in my room also, plus they look best there also...so double bonus

I should have listened to Harry when I picked them up. :) He gave me that positioning advise, but I didnt go that way for awhile. I had this silly idea that a "wall" of drivers was kinda cool. :) But they definetly work better behind the mains, once the phase is tweaked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice looking setup.

Is this a 4 way system or do the subs overlap?

What crossover frequency on the subs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Nice looking setup.

Is this a 4 way system or do the subs overlap?

What crossover frequency on the subs?

4-way. I'm currently using the sub output option on the 3b's, which is pre-set to 80hz. It's a really nice feature, placing the speakers ahead of the subs in the chain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4-way. I'm currently using the sub output option on the 3b's, which is pre-set to 80hz. It's a really nice feature, placing the speakers ahead of the subs in the chain.

I guess you can't time align the subs with the mains but how have you played with the phase? Is there phase control on the sub plate amps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats Millsy!

New speakers look great.

Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...