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Chane L3c Review

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  • #16
    Originally posted by GUTB1 View Post
    Very disappointed to learn that the L series doesn't use ribbons. I wasn't following the development but since I learned about them being in the works a few years ago I was a little excited to see what was going to come out. Oh well!
    Why Do you complain to Wilson Audio or totem or Tekton that they are not using ribbons. I would hate to opine on speakers until I actually listen to them.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by GUTB1 View Post
      Very disappointed to learn that the L series doesn't use ribbons. I wasn't following the development but since I learned about them being in the works a few years ago I was a little excited to see what was going to come out. Oh well!
      You shouldn’t be disappointed. Current ribbons are unsuitable for use in a two way loudspeaker. Period. They don’t play low enough and their distortion under 3k is absurd even at nearly-background levels of playback. You can’t cross them under 3.5khz without accepting some serious, inherent performance flaws. And if you do source a true ribbon diaphragm that is large enough to accommodate a sub 3khz crossover point without literally falling apart, then those LITERALLY can’t even reach 20khz at -3dB. Might as well use a horn and compression driver at that point (where you can throw away 10-30dB of sensitivity in your contour shaping and in the passband)

      But, bottom line, you can’t have an informed opinion on a speaker until you’ve heard it. I say that as a full voting AES member. It’s just not possible.

      If you hear an L Series model and can point to some aspect of performance that it lacks and a ribbon doesn’t, then you’re entitled to that.

      I actually heard a pair of real ribbon small two ways at Gig Harbor Audio (they make then there) while demoing the L’s with the tube amp that I ended up buying and the L’s gave up nothing to them on the top end. Nothing.

      EDIT: These were the speakers. GHA Speedsters.

      https://www.gigharboraudio.com/gha-s...carmody-design
      Last edited by BufordTJustice; 12-31-2020, 01:44 PM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by 1st Time Caller View Post

        Why Do you complain to Wilson Audio or totem or Tekton that they are not using ribbons. I would hate to opine on speakers until I actually listen to them.
        Well, you're right of course. I do find it silly that speakers of Wilson's price don't use ribbons, and in fact appear to use off-the-shelf drivers. Tekton being budget speakers I can understand. I guess that also answers the question: I can't expect high-end parts in a budget speaker, which the L still is -- on the higher end of budget DIY-type speakers, but still. I supposed the use of ribbons in the A series set an unrealistic precedent when you try getting into higher performance while controlling costs.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by GUTB1 View Post
          Well, you're right of course. I do find it silly that speakers of Wilson's price don't use ribbons, and in fact appear to use off-the-shelf drivers. Tekton being budget speakers I can understand. I guess that also answers the question: I can't expect high-end parts in a budget speaker, which the L still is -- on the higher end of budget DIY-type speakers, but still. I supposed the use of ribbons in the A series set an unrealistic precedent when you try getting into higher performance while controlling costs.
          Good points, GUTB1, and they'll raise a little more perspective on choices and results.

          Not to be contrary, but ribbons simply aren't superior as an absolute quality. They are physical devices with pros and cons and the cons are just as significant as the pros are. Even in a no-holds-barred speaker design I can't say I'd default to a ribbon just because that's what its operating principle is. They market well but they're not magic. They're a Wankel engine to the conventional reciprocating type: Excellent performance potential with as many negative considerations as benefits.

          The L models, near as I can tell, are in the upper technical reaches of fairly externally conventional, "living room" speakers. They work well because they use bona fide performance drivers and highly developed design and filter architectures to give them that get-out-of-the-way sound we tend to prioritize here. To do that they have always had a specific design goal and that goal isn't served by ribbons. BTJ has the correct perspective - you have to use a ribbon deliberately and carefully. The design calls out the speaker's typical use as well as its driver map. I think the L's are very good but I can't say they'd be improved as much as they'd suffer with a ribbon tweeter instead of the 29mm ringdome.

          The A series actually uses a planar magnetic, not a ribbon. They're both thin film drivers but the planar magnetic has much higher dynamic reserve - exceeding the usual consumer-grade 25-28mm dome in our experience - but it's not a loose accordion pure ribbon. The ribbon is a more fragile device and as such the planar has far more leeway while also costing much less.

          It's the speaker's internal design that determines its central audible personality and no tweeter type will deliver, in our experience, complete primacy in that design. The rugged planar in the A models goes well with the SplitGap midwoofers to allow the whole speaker a dynamic envelope we think is well beyond the typical budget speaker. The L models bump up to a larger 6.5" driver but don't necessarily deliver more acoustical power. They bring the refinement of the improved drivers with the design goals the acoustically larger - but not more powerful - ringdome adds.

          Eventually we'll probably get into pure ribbons, but here again the design types and the tech have to compliment one another. This class of speaker still won't do anything magical - ribbons are just tweeters, after all - but we may eke out a touch more air and sparkle from them.

          I hope this helps. Appreciate your hanging in there for the in depth conversation.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by GUTB1 View Post

            Well, you're right of course. I do find it silly that speakers of Wilson's price don't use ribbons, and in fact appear to use off-the-shelf drivers. Tekton being budget speakers I can understand. I guess that also answers the question: I can't expect high-end parts in a budget speaker, which the L still is -- on the higher end of budget DIY-type speakers, but still. I supposed the use of ribbons in the A series set an unrealistic precedent when you try getting into higher performance while controlling costs.
            We need to get aligned before productive discourse can continue.

            1) Nearly every one of Wilson’s drivers are custom made for Wilson, with the odd top-tier ScanSpeak or SEAS driver used across several lines. You know, the Scan/SEAS drivers that cost $800 each. That kinda thing.

            2) Wilson actually has made an entire video on why they chose to employ a dome instead of a ribbon; it’s called their Convergent Synergy Tweeter. For speakers that cost $40k/pair and up (all the way up to $350k/pair), budget obviously was NOT a factor. They *selected* a dome. They tested all available materials and designs during development, but chose a silk dome. That’s a clue.

            3) Tekton makes good speakers using mostly SBA drivers.

            4) SBA drivers have seen wide use across several Revel upper tier product lines, in addition to Gamut Audio, Salk, and many other companies. SBA was founded by the two former lead design engineers at ScanSpeak. The very same engineers that masterminded the entire ScanSpeak Revelator driver series. So, though manufactured in Indonesia in a fully ISO certified facility, they are world-class drivers that compete far above their actual price brackets. Extensive testing by Vance Dickason at VoiceCoil has proved this many times over. His detailed measurement data would be a good read for you.

            5) The A series does NOT use a ribbon.
            Last edited by BufordTJustice; 12-31-2020, 04:44 PM.

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            • #21
              Unrelated question - is there a purpose for the dimple on the tweeter cover? Add strength to the cover or focus sound?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by kabin View Post
                Unrelated question - is there a purpose for the dimple on the tweeter cover? Add strength to the cover or focus sound?
                That dimple is on the tweeter diaphragm itself. It anchors the apex of the dome to the damper pad over the pole vent, making the tweeter a ring radiator. High extension is excellent and dispersion is controlled nicely. You can see how low this driver goes too - 600Hz fundamental resonance. Very useful.

                Click image for larger version

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                (A long time ago we used to burn a small hole in the dome tip and paint a ring around it in heat sink compound. Really cleaned up the sound. The ringdome achieves a similar effect, only in a far better tweeter...)

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by kabin View Post
                  Unrelated question - is there a purpose for the dimple on the tweeter cover? Add strength to the cover or focus sound?
                  It’s actually a central, internal anchor point for the diaphragm.

                  When you keep in mind that the two founders of SBA were the engineers behind the ScanSpeak Revelator driver Series, you realize that they identified the shortcomings of the current Scan speak ring radiator tweeters. They focused on motor linearity, distortion reduction, increasing bandwidth, increasing native sensitivity, and production consistency. They succeeded.

                  But Scan holds the patent for the small pointy thing that protrudes from the center of their ring radiator tweeters. It’s actually just a phase plug. So the engineers at SBA devised a different diaphragm profile. They made their driver with significantly more radiating area and contoured the face of the tweeter dome, with that center anchor point, in such a way that a phase plug wasn’t even needed anymore.

                  And we haven’t even dug into the enormous amount of R&D they have put into their highly effective damped rear chambers. This means more linear response, lower f3, much reduced distortion, and better phase performance at the top and bottom of the driver’s operating band.

                  And, kinda nothing’s changed at Scan since they left. Bit of a brain drain. ;)
                  Attached Files

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                  • #24
                    Wow, it covers some frequency. Thanks for taking the time to educate us. Impressive indeed!

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by kabin View Post
                      Wow, it covers some frequency. Thanks for taking the time to educate us. Impressive indeed!
                      It has such a wide usable bandwidth that it’s nearly a hybrid driver; combining some attributes of a good dome midrange with no meaningful sacrifices made to tweeter performance.

                      SBA calls it a “29mm ring dome”. However, if you measure it according to industry standard practices (from the midpoint of the surround), it’s actually a 37mm driver. That’s a 1.46” driver. Nipping at the heels of some actual 2” midrange (dome and ‘flat’) drivers for performance in that regime, while leaving absolutely nothing on the table up to nearly 30khz. No standard dome could accomplish such a thing with a diaphragm that diameter, even with exotic materials like diamond or beryllium. Except for a ring radiator with a silk diaphragm.

                      For the folks who wonder “why not make every model a three way”.... well you’re about to find out why that wasn’t necessary for the L3 and L3c. 😉😎👍
                      Last edited by BufordTJustice; 01-03-2021, 04:03 AM.

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