However, my major hobby is high fidelity equipment and technology.
I've just finished building a system consisting of a 140cm (40") ribbon and two Scan Speak 21w/8554-00 (8" kevlar units) pr. speaker with a serial cross-over between midrange and ribbon (at 1 kHz) and a 15mH Torobar inductor in series with the woofer. The speakers are ported and tuned to 26 Hz. The cabinets are shaped like mirrored 145 cm tall Ds (sort of like the dolby symbol) veneered in bleeched birch plywood. I think they look pretty cool. I'll post a picture when I get around to photographing them. My first impression is that they have tremendous dynamics, good width and depth of image and pretty good level of detail. I will have to work on speakerplacement because localisation of instruments is only fair. Female voices are a little withdrawn, while there is a sharpness on cymbals and brass instruments. The problem probably lies in the dustcap of the midrange unit. The units are also still not burned in. I do not dare remove the dustcaps because manual dexterity is not my strong point (I'm not good with my hands, I even left the woodwork to my father). I'm told that coating the dustcaps with pva glue will remove some of the problem, so i will try that when the speakers are properly burned in. The reason for my choice ribbon hybrids is that I like the sound of ribbon speakers, except for the low end which lacks the impact of good dynamic systems. Before I decided on this system, i considered importing hybrid speakers in kit form, such as Newform, VMPS and Bohlender-Graebner, but I was lucky to find a Danish manufacturer of ribbons to supply me the ribbons.
I have composed a page of links related to loudspeaker technology (mainly ribbons and planar-magnetic): Go there.
The rest of my system consists of a Sony CDP X303ES CD-player which I selected after extensive comparison with other players in its price range, LC Audio Krypton/Dantax PRE1/PA1 amplifier (250 w/ch.). Wiring is Monitor PC PC-OCC interconnects and speaker cables. Occasionally, I listen to my old vinyl LPs using a Sanyo PLUS Q60 direct drive turntable (which still looks really high tech and cool even though it is now 16 years old) equipped with an Ortofon MC10 Super fed to the MC input on my old Denon receiver. I don't plan to upgrade my turntable.
A few years ago I was thinking about waiting for speakers based on ATC's hypersonic sound technology because of the media hype, but ATC now seem to target the technology at special applications exploiting the beam dispersion characteristics of HSS. Perhaps this implies that the boasted performance advantage over traditional speakers was just marketing hype. The promise of truly digital loudspeakers also seems to be fulfilled in the not so distance future according to the 1... Limited Company. Closer to commercial availability are digital power amplifiers, for example the Tripath class-T modules, Apogee DDX, or the TACT Millenium.
Another fascinating technology is digital room compensation, where a few models are already available, namely from TACT Audio,Snell, Perpetual Technologies, Roister and Sigtech. Canton's largest model employs digital compensation of both speaker and room. Does anybody know of other products belonging to this category? I know of digital equalizers like Accuphase , Audiocontrol DIVA and Z-Systems rdp-1. I have also read that Vantas presented one at the CES 2000, but their homepage does not describe it. I have read that Theta and Meridian are developing room compensation modules for their pre-amplifiers and D/A converters, but these are not yet available? I am seriously contemplating buying a processor from either Perpetual Technologies or TACT, but I think I need new speakers first.
Another form of signal processing, which might
be interesting (no dealers in Denmark, so I haven't been able to hear it)
is True Dimensional
Sound and the SCE Harmonic Recovery
System, but the descriptions of the technologies are quite (intendedly?)
Some of my favorite links are:
Apart from the usual search engines (check out
Jeeves), I use the The
Enthusiast's Page, AUDIOWEB
DIRECTORY, Soundstage , AudioNova andAudioCafe,
who have a number of links to companies and magazines. For reviews of hifi
equipment, I recommend Stereo411 who collects reviews from the internet, Audio Reviews by consumers,
Choice, Enjoy the music,
Soundstage, Audio Revolution, Audio Ideas, Audiophilia,
HiFi and Audiofile.
Last update: 16. March 2000
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org