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I’m enjoying reading your detailed reviews Geo and appreciate all your hard work. If you saved the measured responses in REW, or whatever RTA you’re using for each set you tested, and layered them over each other for everyone to see then I think that would help some of us understand the differences in drivers you’re hearing and assuming they are all EQ’ed to the same target curve as you noted. Most likely these differences are attributable to different distortion characteristics of each driver.

Also, as I noted before, aluminum cone drivers (from my experience testing a few) tend to be very detailed and revealing at the expense of upper frequency response harshness (distortion) caused from the aluminum material actually ringing like a pitch fork. The only non-typical odd ball driver here that intrigues me are those XXM325 midranges, and only because that foam support behind its aluminum cone might be changing this normally predictable characteristic of aluminum cone drivers.

You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!
 
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Discussion Starter · #502 ·
I felt the same way between the MD102 vs MT171. MT171 has a little more detail. Expected more out of the MD102 based on the hype. Both weren’t my cup of tea though.
The MD102 is a nice tweeter. Just too laid back for me. It is pretty detailed if you listen real close. But, the details are so muted you hardly hear them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #503 ·
Interesting notes on the Dayton RS100. I ran the paper cone version for awhile in my last car and found them to be fairly smooth, but a bit grainy (assuming due to their distortion characteristics). I felt the Peerless TC9 was overall much better than the RS100 Paper (and I actually liked it better than the Scanspeak 10F 8 ohm midrange as well, which had weak lower mids and very harsh upper mids). The TC9 would be a damn-near perfect mid for me if not for its low sensitivity, regardless of the low price. They do lean towards the Dynaudio smooth/dark/warm character though, which isn't for everybody (even though the M series are excellent, I'm really not a fan of the Focal sound, to each their own). The 10F was a bit cleaner, more sensitive and dynamic.

Seems like the alu version of the RS100 is a much better performer than the paper version (though I generally prefer paper cones, probably due to their 2nd order distortion characteristics).
One thing the RS100 Aluminum cone drivers did better than the Scan 10F's is imaging. They created a better / deeper stage than the Scans. They were also a little more detailed. Besides that, the 10F's did everything else better. I think the 10F is a better driver. But, its also 2x the cost.
 
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Discussion Starter · #504 ·
I’m enjoying reading your detailed reviews Geo and appreciate all your hard work. If you saved the measured responses in REW, or whatever RTA you’re using for each set you tested, and layered them over each other for everyone to see then I think that would help some of us understand the differences in drivers you’re hearing and assuming they are all EQ’ed to the same target curve as you noted. Most likely these differences are attributable to different distortion characteristics of each driver.

Also, as I noted before, aluminum cone drivers (from my experience testing a few) tend to be very detailed and revealing at the expense of upper frequency response harshness (distortion) caused from the aluminum material actually ringing like a pitch fork. The only non-typical odd ball driver here that intrigues me are those XXM325 midranges, and only because that foam support behind its aluminum cone might be changing this normally predictable characteristic of aluminum cone drivers.

You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!
I do have screen captures of all my response curves. But, they won't all be on the same scale in the Y axis. Volume setting varied from sample to sample. Also, Y axis scaling may have been different. That might be difficult to align and get an apples to apples comparison.
 

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One thing the RS100 Aluminum cone drivers did better than the Scan 10F's is imaging. They created a better / deeper stage than the Scans. They were also a little more detailed. Besides that, the 10F's did everything else better. I think the 10F is a better driver. But, its also 2x the cost.
If you ever have the chance, check out the Peerless TC9. They're dirt cheap, but have measured surprisingly well on HifiCompass and Zaph Audio. I really liked mine in my last car, apart from the low-ish sensitivity.
 

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I did some reading about ferrofluid and how it damped the tweeter. Will see if I can notice. Broke down a couple old dyn md100 and removed as much as I could get out. I am curious to see if it helps the tweeters to be more detailed. Will be a couple says before i get a chance to listen and compare to ones with ferro.
i picked up some TC9 for cheap rear fill and was surprised. Curios as well as how they would do against the big boys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #507 ·
I did some reading about ferrofluid and how it damped the tweeter. Will see if I can notice. Broke down a couple old dyn md100 and removed as much as I could get out. I am curious to see if it helps the tweeters to be more detailed. Will be a couple says before i get a chance to listen and compare to ones with ferro.
i picked up some TC9 for cheap rear fill and was surprised. Curios as well as how they would do against the big boys.
Good luck with your mad experiment...
 

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I do have screen captures of all my response curves. But, they won't all be on the same scale in the Y axis. Volume setting varied from sample to sample. Also, Y axis scaling may have been different. That might be difficult to align and get an apples to apples comparison.
If they are all saved as REW files then you should be able to load them all and they "should" all fit to whatever x and y axis parameters you set. In addition, I'm pretty sure you can offset them if the measurements were taken at different levels so they are all at the same relative volume.

Also, thanks for taking the time to do this thorough review of so many drivers and combo's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #509 ·
I'll look into it some time today
 

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I do have screen captures of all my response curves. But, they won't all be on the same scale in the Y axis. Volume setting varied from sample to sample. Also, Y axis scaling may have been different. That might be difficult to align and get an apples to apples comparison.
this is easy to adjust. If you want, email me the file and I can do it for ya
 

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Discussion Starter · #511 ·
Review: ScanSpeak Revelator 12M paired with D3004 silk textile dome tweeter

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I went from 1 week of listening to the E430 directly to the 12M. My initial impression is the 12M has similar tonality to the E430 but has a much softer demeanor. This might not make a lot of sense but It’s like placing a layer of silk over the E430. It subdues the precision a little but places a delicate smooth layer over it. You lose some detail but gain a nice warm musical tone. The downside is that the lifelike image established due to the added detail starts to break down. Still sharp enough to make bad material stick out (like broadcast television) but much more forgiving than the Focal 3.5wm’s.

The ScanSpeak 12M’s were my favorite midranges until recently. Now it’s more difficult to choose since I’ve had a chance to listen to 3.5WM’s, E430’s, and surprisingly enough the XXM325’s. It’s debatable which I will actually like the best in a car with all of its hard surfaces for sound to reflect off of. Maybe the Scans would be more forgiving than the 3.5WM’s in this atmosphere. Maybe the E430’s would be the perfect balance? Listening to all of them sitting on a hardwood desktop on axis it’s a tough call.

Throughout Alice in Chains "MTV Unplugged" Layne Staley’s voice seems dull and somewhat lifeless when compared to the E430’s or 3.5WM. Not what I was expecting at all. The 12M's only have 3 hours of listening time on them so let's see if this improves. The 12M’s sound better at higher volume. But at lower volume they lose a lot of detail / and tonality. This is strange. The 12M’s are a great sounding loudspeaker. It’s just the E430 and 3.5WM are that much better.

The 12M’s do sound great playing back movies and music alike. They would be a great choice for home theater but maybe not the absolute best performer for music only. It really all comes back down to personal preference.

The sax transients in Joshua Redman's “Sweet Sorrow” get muted or clipped a little. Not as much dynamic impact as the Dyn E430 or Focal 3.5WM. Again, you hear beautiful sounding music. But, some of the realism is absorbed / subdued.

After one week listening to the 12M’s they did warm up a little revealing more detail. However, they are still a bit on the soft side. Paul Desmond's Sax on the “Time Out” album seems warm and musical using the 12M’s. West coast cool Jazz may be a good fit for this midrange.

The 12M's killed it on Chris Isaack's "Wiked Game". I would expect them to here. His voice is lush which is exactly how I would describe the 12M's tonal signature overall. The same goes for Kurt Elling during his song "In the Winelight". His voice was silky and smooth played through the 12M's.

The tom strike 6:15 into Patricia Barber’s song “Nardis” sounded a bit dull on the 12M’s whereas it jumps out at you on the E430’s and 3.5WM’s.

I found the 12M’s paired with the MD102’s to be way too laid back for my taste. Patricia Barber’s song “Nardis” had no pop. Switching back to the D3004’s it was a whole different song. It felt more lifelike and almost intimate like it does with the E430’s.

Coming back to Alice In Chains “MTV Unplugged” one week later I still think voices and instruments are too subdued. The soundstage is there but loses the holographic feel it has with the E430’s. Also, background percussion is muted / subdued.

Switching back to the E430’s from the 12M’s was like lifting a cloth off the speaker. Although similar tonally the “airiness” returned after switching back to the E430. The minute detail was back. The acoustic guitars on “MTV Unplugged” sprung to life. Layne's voice regained its lifelike demeanor. Percussion on Patricia Barber’s song “Nardis” also livened back up. Every little detail of hi-hats, cymbals, bongos, etc…

As nice as they are, I won’t be going back to the 12M’s. They were once my favorite. But, after listening to other top tier options they are now too laid back for me.

ScanSpeak Revelator 12M rating:

Tonality 4 of 4
Detail 3 of 4
Spaciousness 2.5 of 4
Harshness (lack of) 3.5 of 4
Dynamics 2.5 of 4
 

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Discussion Starter · #512 ·
this is easy to adjust. If you want, email me the file and I can do it for ya
Nick, let me take a stab at it first. This is something I want to learn to do. I will most certainly send them to you if I can't figure it out. I at least need to get to the point where I'm throwing sh!t and swearing before I give up 😉.
 

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Nick, let me take a stab at it first. This is something I want to learn to do. I will most certainly send them to you if I can't figure it out. I at least need to get to the point where I'm throwing sh!t and swearing before I give up .
Or text me and we can TeamViewer and I'll show you

Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #514 ·
Review: ScanSpeak 10F midrange paired with D3004 silk dome midrange

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I currently have 5 of these midranges mounted in my car. So, I had the unique opportunity to evaluate these drivers both in vehicle and on my test bench. Prior to starting these evaluations I was under the impression that I could buy a good / well built midrange and just “EQ” in the perfect sound. If my evaluations have shown me anything this is not the case. You can equalize two speakers' frequency response totally flat and they will still sound different. This has led me to reconsider my current install and in the process spend a ton more money than I was planning on. Oh well, let the good times roll.

The 10F was my beginning reference for these evaluations. At the time it’s all I had to go on.

I was evaluating the Dynaudio MF171 and decided to swap in my reference Scan 10F’s. I immediately noticed that the 10F’s were a lot more active and in your face. They offered greater detail. They emphasized more content in the upper midrange and were a tad bit more harsh. I checked levels with an RTA before moving on. I EQ’d the MF171 flat within +/-1dB in the 300Hz to 3KHz passband. The 10F had a +4dB wideband peak at 1.1KHz. The 10F was also considerably more sensitive than the MF171. I needed to cut gain 3 dB. I also cut -4dB at 1.1KHz with Q=2 to make the response ruler flat.

Even after equalization to match frequency response between drivers. Scan 10F emphasizes or “ brings out “ upper midrange more than the MF171. This makes it sound more lively than the MF171. The 10F also has a greater level of detail. However, it still sounds like you are listening to a set of speakers. Not as lifelike as the E430’s or 3.5WM’s. The 10F’s lack a sense of airiness and enveloping sound field. They sound a little lifeless. I attribute this to the reduced amount of detail vs. the higher end drivers.

Clapping at the beginning of the Alice In Chains song “Rooster” did not sound lifelike. Although, the guitars did sound nice and rich. Some of the undertone on Lane Staley’s voice was missing. But, the primary tone sounded nice and balanced. The 10F’s sound nice but they are not awe inspiring with their overall presentation.

Chris Isaak’s voice sounded nice tonally throughout “Wicked Game”. But, it was not silky smooth. Also, the percussion line sounded a little harsh.

The Scan 10F’s absolutely nailed the song Crumble by Calexico. Horns all sounded spot on tonally. The song had a high degree of energy as it should. Musical crescendos were hit perfectly. This can be said in general for the 10F’s. They replicate the sound of horns very nicely. Joshua Redman’s song Invocation sounded awesome played back on the 10F’s. High energy sax solo.

Michael Buble and Nelly Furtado’s voices sounded a bit stressed on “Quando Quando Quando” while listening through the 10F’s. There were periods where they seemed to distort and break up. The sax playback had a little too much high end energy. Maybe it’s just a function of the high dynamic range of the recording? Also, who listens to this "easy listening" song at high volume like me :). However, this song does sound smooth as silk given the same circumstances on other midranges.

Carl Hancock Rux “Asphalt Yards” the 10F’s did not throw as wide and convincing of a sound field but did hit musical transients without issue. Carl's centered voice sounded a bit harsh at higher volumes.

The 10F’s gave Chris Cornell’s voice a nice tone in “Call me a Dog”. However, it sounded slightly stressed in the upper registers. Lower midrange was quite pleasant to listen to. His guitar had a nice and rich tone. However, you only hear primary tones and not overtones like you do in more detailed drivers. A slight bit of sibilance. They nailed his scream at 3:35 into the song rather nicely.

The 10F’s were a good pairing for the Igorrr song "Viande". Shredding screams, high intensity metal guitar riffs, etc. Here a little bit of distortion is masked by the huge and intense sound field thrown in your face.

The 10F's faired well though my ten song Patricia Barber suite. They did a decent job replicating her velvety voice and absolutely nailed her highly dynamic crescendos. It's weird. The 10F's can seem harsh and stressed where you would not expect them to but absolutely nail highly dynamic sections you would expect them to puke.

I think the 10F and MT171 tweeters are a good pairing and would be a decent budget oriented midrange and tweeter combination. That is if you can find a set of MT171’s by themselves. However, the D3004 silk is a better tweeter and I suspect it’s similar in cost to the MT171. So, a better pairing might be a Scan 10F and D3004 combo like reviewed here.

So where does that put me with the 10F? Well, if you’re on a budget they are better than a heck of alot other options out there. They are a good lower mid tier option. You can buy a set for roughly $235 shipped from Madisound. However, for just a few dollars more you can buy a set of Xcelsus XXM325’s for about $300 shipped. The XXM325 is a far superior driver in my opinion. For the minimal cost difference I have a hard time recommending the 10F’s

ScanSpeak 10F midrange rating:

Tonality 3 of 4
Detail 2.5 of 4
Spaciousness 2 of 4
Harshness ( lack of) 2 of 4
Dynamics 4 of 4
 

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Discussion Starter · #515 ·
Review Brax ML3 paired with ScanSpeak D3004 and Focal TBM tweeter.
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See review of the ScanSpeak 12M above. The Brax ML3 may sound ever so slightly brighter than the 12M’s but for the most part sound exactly the same to me.

Just to be certain I mounted one 12M on the left side speaker and one ML3 on the right side speaker. After a minor gain adjustment (Brax +1dB) I went about listening to music. I noticed no difference panning left to right. The same still held true downmixing stereo to mono to assure the exact same material from both sides. Still no difference panning left to right.

I wasn’t expecting this especially noting the significant design differences between drivers. But, it is what it is. I have no complaints about the Brax ML3. It doesn’t stand out above the rest but doesn’t suck either. It is a nice sounding speaker.

Rumor has it a set of Brax ML3 drivers is about the same price as a set of ScanSpeak 12M’s. If you are looking for a mellow / laid back midrange and have the 12M on your list then maybe consider the Brax ML3. The ML3 is the smallest 3” midrange I’ve come across. It’s very shallow. I could fit into spots the 12M will not.

Brax ML3 midrange rating:

Tonality 4 of 4
Detail 3 of 4
Spaciousness 2.5 of 4
Harshness ( lack of ) 3.5 of 4
Dynamics 2.5 of 4
 

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Discussion Starter · #516 ·
Almost caught up. I have about 3 tweeter reviews to post. Then onto the next round of testing...
 
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Discussion Starter · #518 ·
This is really cool. Thank you for the hard work and time you have invested in these reviews. This is my favorite thread on the forum.🍻👍🏻🍻
Thank you.
 

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Amazing work geo, im gunna do my best to keep you enslav.... entertained with new drivers as i can, xxt30w's your way soon hopefully, id really love for someone to send you some Blam stuff..... ill make some calls, but itll probably be out of my reach. really want to see how a d2404 or d3404 would stack up, its a shame scan dont wave guide either of them...
 

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Discussion Starter · #520 ·
Amazing work geo, im gunna do my best to keep you enslav.... entertained with new drivers as i can, xxt30w's your way soon hopefully, id really love for someone to send you some Blam stuff..... ill make some calls, but itll probably be out of my reach. really want to see how a d2404 or d3404 would stack up, its a shame scan dont wave guide either of them...
Got some coming
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