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Anyone heard the Timepiece speakers?

3032 Views 8 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  br85
Just wondering if anyone here has had any listening time with the Timepiece or any other SP technologies speakers? From what I understand they have very little marketing ability, but the feedback from those who have heard them is astounding! I've yet to hear one bad thing about them, and this just does not happen. There's always SOMETHING that someone doesn't like about a set of speakers. Maybe the DIY community can chime in...

If you haven't heard of them, look them up here:

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Basically they are studio monitors, but of a completely different caliber. It's not uncommon to see mastering engineers spend WELL over $30,000 on speakers alone to do their job, many feel that the timepiece 3.0's are an upgrade on said monitors. I think you'll find that their target audience believes they are on the unbelievably cheap side of things, given what they sound like.

Most of the value lies not in the woodwork, crossovers and drivers themselves (all of which are exceptional, save the drivers which are similar to the diy stuf we use, seas, vifa etc.) but in the thousands of hours of research spent in designing waveguides to virtually make PERFECT tweeter response down to 800hz without any "horn honking", and transmission-line/vented/sealed proprietry boxes for a subless 2-way system that can play loud and clear with BUCKETS of dynamics.

Or so I've heard.
I have heard of the Summas, and I am aware that Earl Geddes is at the forefront of waveguide tech for diy'ers, but from a few who have compared them to the sp's and heard both, they are seriously NOT in favor of Gedlee's creations.
Here is one such comment:

"Thanks for the comments. I too was very interested in the Gedlee Summa's as well. In my investigation here is what I found on the matter.

I asked one manufacturer what he thought the Summa's sounded like at RMAF two years ago, and I trust what he says cause he calls it the way it is. If it sounded good he would tell me.

"Well, I really don't want to take anything away from Mr. Gedlee. I think he is a brilliant man, but my impression of the speaker wasn't real favorable.

I heard it at the RMAF last year, or was it the year before? It might have been the year before last.

I was cruising some of the rooms with a few colleagues. They had gotten ahead of me and were coming out of that room as I was going in. They all told me at the door not to waste my time with this one as it was horrible. Regardless, I still wanted to hear them. They were right. It did sound pretty bad. I hate to say it, and if it were great, I'd say they were great.

However, Mr. Geddes was demonstrating that one didn't need all that high end gear and fancy cables to get great sound. He was using a cheap CD player and a receiver or something. All cables were generic Walmart type stuff. Unfortunately is sounded just like all the gear. It sounded like a radio from a car and the highs sounded like they were playing through a rolled up sock.

I am sure those things can sound a lot better than what I heard, but from what I heard almost anything at the show would have gunned them down before they could get their guns out of the holster."
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Well I'll concede, I am aware that many "audiophile snobs" will automatically give preference to something that looks nicer or has "better brand named" gear, but the point I'm really trying to get across is that studio monitors that professional engineers use (tracking/mixing/mastering) tend to be a LOT MORE expensive than the SP tech stuff, and these are not neccessarily snobs, these are people that need to hear it right or lose a job to someone who can. You don't see them using silly exotic speakers like JM labs utopia be or any diamond tweeter'd stuff, or $200 ceramic cups to keep their cables off the ground, but they will spend TENS OF THOUSANDS on speakers, especially if they're doing mastering. Since the SP tech is in such a category (i.e. originally designed for such a purpose), the price is not an expensive one. Period.

I would just like to hear someone who's heard them say they're too expensive. In fact, that is exactly what I WANT to hear so I can stop thinking about getting them for my own studio setup, since I cannot really afford them. But seldom comes along something where no negative feedback (inculding value for money) can be found ANYWHERE on the web. It is just startling. Do some googling for yourself and see if you're not perplexed.
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I think what sets the timepiece's apart from other simlar designs is not necessarily the waveguide (it does reflect the work of Geddes, though who came up with it first is of no real concern), but the way the midwoofer enclosure is treated.

Something crazy is going on there, and I think this must be how the minis with their 6.5" mids can try and keep up on the low end. First of all, using low sensitivity aluminium drivers with a large xmax is going to get you very good results in the low end. A 6.5" cone with 8mm of xmax is going to be as loud as a 10" cone with 2.2mm xmax (provided the fs is low enough and it's given enough power)

Second, there is the box itself. The marketing description says this regarding how they make the speakers sound "box-less":

"Others' attempts to eliminate this problem include "sealed box" design (anemic bass) and transmission-line design (very good but large and expensive). A "hybrid" solution was required to avoid these problems and has since been successfully developed for all products of the Millennial Reference Series™. The compact size and bass extension to 30Hz. (-3dB) of a ported design (as in the Timepiece 3.0) has been achieved with freedom from that "boxy" sound often associated with them. Low frequency transient response is fast and tight -- comparable with the best transmission-line designs. Boom-y, bloated bass with that characteristic "overhang," is a thing of the past. The resulting bass "authority" and power must be heard to be believed. When you consider that the addition of a sub-woofer is a ludicrous and unnecessary addition in light of our systems' bass performance, the value of our designs becomes even more obvious."

On the spec sheet, the enclosure type is not listed as "sealed", but "Proprietary 4th order Hybrid Reflex" which sounds very interesting, to say the least.
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The midbass/lower mid drivers are seas. I am pretty sure they resemble the L18 and L22 models but modified (painted cones, copper phase plugs) based on the sensitivity and description used. Diy'ers on this site and back here in aus seem to think they offer the "punchiest" or "snappiest" midbass available, what makes them unfavorable is the breakup nodes above 1khz, which in this case, is of almost no concern.

And like you said, it DOES sound like marketing BS, but all of that was written by the designer, not marketing people. SP tech has a $0 marketing budget, save to give out a few freebies for professional reviews. Obviously the designer may have gotten a bit overzelous trying to hype up the product, and I would LOVE to dismiss it all as BS, I just need ONE person who's heard them to say it is so. :eek:

And to be fair, the current pricing structure is almost double what it was a year ago, so a lot of that "cheap speaker" talk refers to last year's prices, and probably won't be updated. Considering the quality of the woodwork though, I would not expect to pay a cabinet maker less than $600 for a pair of those cabinets (they are not mass produced), plus, to buy what looks like the same driver range from madisound, you're looking at another $500. So without a crossover (which I imagine to be very expensive as al crossovers are), or paying for any of the R&D done, you'd still have to pay over $1000 to make your own active versions, assuming you're not counting any of the time spent on cabinet or waveguide design.
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Well ****, buy a pair and have a listen. If you don't like them it sounds like they'd sell just fine on the used market.

I'd love to hear your impressions.
That would be my plan, but i'd lose thousands. See, to get them into australia I'd have to pay up to $700 in shipping and then another 10% of the total in goods and services tax as well as 5% import duty. That's basically $1800 I could never get back on top of the price of the speakers, which I could never sell used at even close to what I paid for them. Not to mention given the tiny population we have here and the accompanied size of the second hand market, If I had to pay $10,000 AU all up I'd be lucky to get $4000 second hand.

This is why I have to rely on the USA citizens who have access to, or experience with, to concrete or dismiss my opinions before I blow 4 months wages, comprende?
I suppose I could try something like that. Heck, if no-one can give me a bad rap for them (even considering the price) it might even be worth looking into becoming Australia's only dealer for the things (depending on whether or not they can get any real production schedule happening). Of course we're talking about investing BIG dollars to do something like that, but it's something I'd love to get into, and I'm sure I could find a business angel willing to invest if I plan it right. There are a lot of studios in aus and many of them are running very expensive monitors, though the range and ability to audition is very small. There just might be a hole in our market big enough for such a thing...
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