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  1. #1
    Ajani
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    Audio Nirvana fullrange drivers

    So for those who have read some of my recent threads about ZU and Tekton, it's clear I'm intrigued by fullrange drivers... I've yet to try one though.. Anyway, I'm planning to order some Audio Nirvana Super 12 Cast Frame Drivers:

    http://www.commonsenseaudio.com/

    The cost and shipping to Jamaica is quite reasonable... I plan to use them both open air and then in my existing Technics speaker cabinets, just to give me an idea of whether I prefer the sound in a cabinet or open baffle... I can always build proper cabinets or a baffle later on... The speakers will be used with my Emotiva gear, and later on possibly a MiniWatt SET amp with my Benchmark DAC...

    So I'm curious to know if anyone has tried Audio Nirvana drivers or has an thoughts on my project...

    Basically I want to experiment with different techs for an affordable price and develop a clear preference, before I eventually take the plunge into more expansive speakers (such as the Revel Performa range or ZU Soul Superfly)...

  2. #2
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Great!!

    I think the idea to put them in the Technics cabs is a bad one. It won't give you a real idea about a proper boxed sound, because those weren't designed with the drivers in mind.

    Put them into properly calculated baffles and that's all you need. You're in for a treat. I highly doubt you'll miss the boxed sound, and you may find it hard to listen to. My Frugal horns are wonderfully open and dynamic, it's only when I hear my boxed speakers that I realise just how great the horn sound really is.

    I wish we could do an A/B between a SET and you Emo SS amp. One thing is for sure, any flaws (if any) that exist will be brought to the forefront. Fullrange are delightfully detailed and upfront.

  3. #3
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Great!!

    I think the idea to put them in the Technics cabs is a bad one. It won't give you a real idea about a proper boxed sound, because those weren't designed with the drivers in mind.

    Put them into properly calculated baffles and that's all you need. You're in for a treat. I highly doubt you'll miss the boxed sound, and you may find it hard to listen to. My Frugal horns are wonderfully open and dynamic, it's only when I hear my boxed speakers that I realise just how great the horn sound really is.

    I wish we could do an A/B between a SET and you Emo SS amp. One thing is for sure, any flaws (if any) that exist will be brought to the forefront. Fullrange are delightfully detailed and upfront.
    Putting them in the Technics cabinets is only a temporary step... I discussed it with David from Common Sense Audio, and they would help me with plans for adjusting the port, etc to get them to work at least decently in the Technics... However, I will get free plans with the drivers for building an ideal cabinet...

    It's just that I don't want to commit to building either an open baffle or a cabinet until I've at least done a little playing around with the two concepts... But eventually the driver will have it's own custom cabinet/baffle...

    Anyway it should be a fun project... And I can't wait for the day when I can do my Ultimate Amp Shootout between the 300 watt Emotiva XPA-2 & the 3 watt MiniWatt!!!

  4. #4
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    How do you plan to use them open-air if you don't have a baffle for them?

    On a side note, I think it's a fairly steep price to pay just to 'try it out'.
    As Ive mentionnedin the past I have plans to use some car speakers I have in an open baffle configuration to find out if I like the 'open baffle sound'. The car speakers have ideal specs for open baffle use. It's a cheap way to experiment.

  5. #5
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    Before going with an expensive very high sensitivity 12 inch drivers like the A.N. you might want to consider a pair of these as shown on youtube. They are many enclosure plans for these drivers which also work well in simple OB. I'll try and posts some other links later. These drivers with lower sensitivity are more compatible with your powerful Emo than the 12 inch A.N. would be.

    If the 12 incher A.N. has high enough Qts (over .5) to work in OB it will require a monster enclosure. My 8 inch Tang Bands need a 5ft high X 1 ft wide X 3ft deep cabinet which is why I haven't built them (that's close to twice the size of my big Zu's).


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvmyH...eature=related

  6. #6
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    Here are some nice OB's and one example of the CSS FR125 in easy DIY folding wing design.


    http://www.audio-resolution.com/zhorn/ob.html

  7. #7
    Mutant from table 9
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    I don't know about the driver, but I can attest to what you are proposing with the Technics box. I had a pair of 1974 vintage Panasonic (Technics) sealed 5 ways with 6 drivers each, that I got from the original owner. While they originally retailed for like $1200 in '74, by the time I got my hands on them in '94 they sounded like garbage compared to a $300 pair of Boston Acoustics.

    But the 6 drivers were all of varying sizes and the box was super solid. I could just drop in all kinds of 1" to 3" drivers, 6" drivers and 12" drivers. All the original drivers except the 12" woofer had a sealed back, so only the woofer would act as a passive radiator if I put something in the one of the 6" holes. So I started swapping out drivers and got all kinds of nice surprises.

    I put in a 6 1/2" B&W woofer and its matching tweeter. Those originally came from a shoebox sized ported enclosure, but put into this massive sealed box with essentially a 12" passive radiator, they were awesome. Their power handling increased massively and they had a really rich sound that I really dug.

    Then I put some "fullrange" 12" 1950s vintage Alnico Western Electrics in there. Not as successful as the B&W, but very fun. I think they may have been meant to be horn loaded. I used a piece of crap Teac EQ to smooth them out a bit.

    Also tried a "fullrange" 4" Bose "Stardriver" from a pair of Bose 141. After a couple hours of listening to those I thought, "Not too bad." At least until I A/B compared to those Bostons (which served as a benchmark throughout all the combos). Entire instruments had been missing from the mix. But, again, still lots of fun tinkering in the basement.

    I went through probably a dozen combinations in those Panny boxes just for fun and had maybe 6 acceptable to very good results. All of them were at least interesting though.

    I think you should dive right in and have fun. Even though the AN are expensive, the worst case scenario is that you end up with two very good drivers in search of a proper cabinet. That is still not a bad place to be.

    EDIT: And I just put those Panny Boxes with all the original drivers to the curb this summer and they were garbage picked literally in 15 minutes. I never bothered to put them on Craigs List because they were in really rough shape by then.
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  8. #8
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    I don't know about the driver, but I can attest to what you are proposing with the Technics box. I had a pair of 1974 vintage Panasonic (Technics) sealed 5 ways with 6 drivers each, that I got from the original owner. While they originally retailed for like $1200 in '74, by the time I got my hands on them in '94 they sounded like garbage compared to a $300 pair of Boston Acoustics.

    But the 6 drivers were all of varying sizes and the box was super solid. I could just drop in all kinds of 1" to 3" drivers, 6" drivers and 12" drivers. All the original drivers except the 12" woofer had a sealed back, so only the woofer would act as a passive radiator if I put something in the one of the 6" holes. So I started swapping out drivers and got all kinds of nice surprises.

    I put in a 6 1/2" B&W woofer and its matching tweeter. Those originally came from a shoebox sized ported enclosure, but put into this massive sealed box with essentially a 12" passive radiator, they were awesome. Their power handling increased massively and they had a really rich sound that I really dug.

    Then I put some "fullrange" 12" 1950s vintage Alnico Western Electrics in there. Not as successful as the B&W, but very fun. I think they may have been meant to be horn loaded. I used a piece of crap Teac EQ to smooth them out a bit.

    Also tried a "fullrange" 4" Bose "Stardriver" from a pair of Bose 141. After a couple hours of listening to those I thought, "Not too bad." At least until I A/B compared to those Bostons (which served as a benchmark throughout all the combos). Entire instruments had been missing from the mix. But, again, still lots of fun tinkering in the basement.

    I went through probably a dozen combinations in those Panny boxes just for fun and had maybe 6 acceptable to very good results. All of them were at least interesting though.

    I think you should dive right in and have fun. Even though the AN are expensive, the worst case scenario is that you end up with two very good drivers in search of a proper cabinet. That is still not a bad place to be.

    EDIT: And I just put those Panny Boxes with all the original drivers to the curb this summer and they were garbage picked literally in 15 minutes. I never bothered to put them on Craigs List because they were in really rough shape by then.
    EXCELLENT! I really want to be able to use the Technics cabinet as an experiment box for projects... Despite being cheap, it is is very solidly put together and should be fun to play with...

  9. #9
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    How do you plan to use them open-air if you don't have a baffle for them?

    On a side note, I think it's a fairly steep price to pay just to 'try it out'.
    As Ive mentionnedin the past I have plans to use some car speakers I have in an open baffle configuration to find out if I like the 'open baffle sound'. The car speakers have ideal specs for open baffle use. It's a cheap way to experiment.
    The Audio Nirvana'a should be good enough for at least a second system... My fear with cheaper drivers is that they won't sound good and then I'll blame the concept of a single driver rather than the low quality of the driver itself...

    My first 2 (utterly crazy) experiments were to use first the 12" woofer and then the 4" woofer in my Technics as full range drivers... The 12" clearly needed the assistance of a tweeter but otherwise wasn't too bad... The 4" actually sounded quite good and left my wondering why the Technics needs a tweeter at all. Naturally the bass was pretty much non-existent with the the 4"...

    As for how to try them out without first building a baffle, well that just required some really ghetto techniques: basically I just propped up the drivers on the top of the cabinet, and played them in free space (they did have a cute plastic ring around them)... The 4" driver sounded really good that way even though scale and impact was virtually non-existent...

    Also while the the Nirvanas are indeed expensive just for a test, I intend to use them in my second system (computer) at a minimum, so they won't just be tossed in the trash come upgrade time...

  10. #10
    Mutant from table 9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    The 4" actually sounded quite good and left my wondering why the Technics needs a tweeter at all.
    The 3 way set up that those Technics use was ubiquitous in the 80s and 90s. In college in the 90s I knew lots of people that had similar speakers, and a couple that had the same (I think Technics has offered that speaker for a long time now.). On more than a few, I rewired the cross over to feed the highs to the midrange driver after the tweeter would get fried during a party. Sounded good to us.
    ______________________
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    "Tha H-Dog listens easy, always has, always will." - Herbert Kornfeld (R.I.P.)

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  11. #11
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    You were feeding both highs and mids to the midrange driver? How is that possible?

  12. #12
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    The 3 way set up that those Technics use was ubiquitous in the 80s and 90s. In college in the 90s I knew lots of people that had similar speakers, and a couple that had the same (I think Technics has offered that speaker for a long time now.). On more than a few, I rewired the cross over to feed the highs to the midrange driver after the tweeter would get fried during a party. Sounded good to us.
    It was probably the same speaker... The LX70 was around for quite awhile and before that there were numerous versions of the same 3 way speaker...

    It does make me wonder why 2 way designs are traditionally a midrange and a tweeter... Why not a bass and a small midrange?

  13. #13
    Mutant from table 9
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    You were feeding both highs and mids to the midrange driver? How is that possible?
    Just take the positive output from the high pass crossover and splice it with the positive output to midrange. Do the same for negative. It is all the same circuit from the same amp, so there is no short. Another way to visualize it is that you are just hooking up the dead tweeter with a parallel circuit to the midrange. You are just taking the tweeter out of the high pass circuit and inserting the midrange.
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  14. #14
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    The DIY guys use complicated math cad programs to determine type/size of enclosures based on driver specifications. Anyone can stick a driver in any enclosure and get ok sound but great sound can not be achieved unless all the variables are accounted for. Folks it's a lot more science than just trial and error. With the high cost of drivers and materials plus all the sweat equity that goes into a project I would never attempt a speaker build that wasn't a proven design.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    The DIY guys use complicated math cad programs to determine type/size of enclosures based on driver specifications. Anyone can stick a driver in any enclosure and get ok sound but great sound can not be achieved unless all the variables are accounted for. Folks it's a lot more science than just trial and error. With the high cost of drivers and materials plus all the sweat equity that goes into a project I would never attempt a speaker build that wasn't a proven design.
    Same here. At the very least I would model the given speaker using winISD or another such program

  16. #16
    Mutant from table 9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    The DIY guys use complicated math cad programs to determine type/size of enclosures based on driver specifications. Anyone can stick a driver in any enclosure and get ok sound but great sound can not be achieved unless all the variables are accounted for. Folks it's a lot more science than just trial and error. With the high cost of drivers and materials plus all the sweat equity that goes into a project I would never attempt a speaker build that wasn't a proven design.

    Yeah. I should point out that I wasn't spending any money, but was having fun with stuff that otherwise was headed for the trash heap. Also, I was messing around with sealed boxes, which, IMHO, tend to be more forgiving.

    Ajani said he was getting help to make the Technics boxes a better home for the ANs and that it was only a temporary home. I still say jump in the deep end.
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    "I lick the mothra moniters because they pump up the base!!" - Dusty Beiber

  17. #17
    Ajani
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    Gentlemen, I agree that any serious DIY undertaking should involve either a tested and proved project or serious measurements on the part of the DIYer, however that does not contradict with my plans at all...

    Audio Nirvana (like the other full range driver manufacturers I've researched) supplies plans for custom cabinets for their drivers... I've even read reviews on some of these builds... So when I get serious I will build their recommended enclosure... Until then, I will have some fun playing around with the drivers in free air and in the Technics cabinets...

  18. #18
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    Looks like the AN 12 inch with a Qts of .48 may lack some bass in OB but fits in a monitor sized cab of 24" X 13.5" X 11.25" ( maybe get by with one sheet of plywood? ) which is a nice size to build. It will no doubt sound fantastic in the monitor size enclosure.

    At $250 there are other great choices like the two 8 inch Tang Bands (17 and 18 hundreds ) which are cheaper on ebay than Parts Express.

  19. #19
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    Looks like the AN 12 inch with a Qts of .48 may lack some bass in OB but fits in a monitor sized cab of 24" X 13.5" X 11.25" ( maybe get by with one sheet of plywood? ) which is a nice size to build. It will no doubt sound fantastic in the monitor size enclosure.

    At $250 there are other great choices like the two 8 inch Tang Bands (17 and 18 hundreds ) which are cheaper on ebay than Parts Express.
    According to David of Common Sense Audio, I shouldn't expect to get bass below about 63 hz with either the 12" or 15" in an OB design...

  20. #20
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    Based on his website OB is sort of an afterthought with him anyway. His plans for OB won't give much bass regardless of the driver.

  21. #21
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    Based on his website OB is sort of an afterthought with him anyway. His plans for OB won't give much bass regardless of the driver.
    Actually I wasn't planning to use his OB design... For a cabinet I'd use one of his designs, but his OB doesn't seem like a serious effort...

  22. #22
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    The Tang Band W8-1772 is the subject of this huge thread. I'm in a discussion group with Bob Brines of Brines Audio, master speaker builder, who is very high on the 1772. Although I love my W8-1808 's in OB the 1772 appear to be a better choice for enclosures. From everything I've read and the discussions I've had I would expect the Tang Bands to be of superior quality and to perform at a higher level than the AN's. Parts Express has the 1772 on sale for nearly the same price as the AN's. You may want to google what others have to say about 1772 as well as CSA.

    http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/full-...pressions.html

  23. #23
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    Here's the AN 12" in a easy to build OB. A 12 incher in a folding wing design could serve as a room divider :-)


    http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=88253.0

  24. #24
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    Here's the AN 12" in a easy to build OB. A 12 incher in a folding wing design could serve as a room divider :-)


    http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=88253.0
    His original version is actually the one I was planning to build... I wish I knew whether his mods were just for aesthetic purposes or improved the sound...

  25. #25
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    I also used the "shelf" above the drivers on my OB's primarily because I saw it on several others and it was a good location for the binding posts.

    I plan to build two OB's like these for two 15 inch full range Alpha bass speakers and drive them with the Emo/Dayton shoe box amp.

    It's important to tilt the AN upwards as it's so close to the floor.

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