dipping my toe into the ddk flow.....

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#61
If you sit in Davids room and listen to some solo vocalists you can literally see down the singer's throat and hear every movement of the tongue or the glottis moving with swallowing is about as real as it gets. I've never heard that in any system including Jim's in Manila which for my ears is the greatest system I've ever heard. People need to hear David's system to understand the beauty of the mid range in his system. IMO this is not only a result of the Bionor speakers but also the Lamm electronics which do mid range in a magical way for my ears.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
143
63
#62
I've been pondering your question, trying to consider just how I feel about it. listening to my system yesterday and today, thinking about my experience on Wednesday afternoon at David's, I think I would say my particular 'box and cone' system maybe has a bit of 'horn' to it. and how I mean that, is that (1) I have such a huge amount of driver surface likely compared to any other 'box and cone' set-up I know of, (2) my room has such an ultra reflective floor, walls and ceiling around the speakers, (3) I have painstakingly treated all the necessary surfaces of all that reflective surface, (4) my speakers are very efficient and easy loads, (5) I have a huge amount of headroom in my amplification, and (6) I sit in the extreme nearfield where I get maximum musical engagement. so while a horn like David's Bioner's has greater 'jump factor' and 'projection' in degrees, my system can get close enough to the effect of horns that it is able to approach that feeling.....even while the character of the presentation has clear differences.

where I came up with that is simply from listening to my system this last 36 hours and trying to connect the dots on why our systems have so much in common. sure; David's system does these unique things, but musically I'm hearing the same reality if with slightly different attributes.

they attain their particular performances with radically different approaches.

this is just my own 2 cents about how things look after reflection from my visit and subsequent listening to my system. if 10 people were to listen to both systems back to back I'm not sure all would share my viewpoint. I like to think that my approach to the whole room, speaker, and total system building challenge has allowed my system to get very close to what panels do best, what other non cones do best, and what horns do best. I know what sort of effort it has taken me to get where I am, and I can see what effort David has made in his system too.

and when you think about it, as any design approaches optimization it should then take on characteristics of the best of other designs. we are all trying to reproduce music as a common goal.

on the pathway to music reproduction nirvana there is quite a bit of divergence of approaches, but as we move down that road farther and farther I think maybe the paths get closer and closer together nearing the goal.
great post...
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#63
We only sampled a little classical, jazz and vocal selection (see below) and not everything on each tt. The system's FR is near 20hz - 20khz and everything we listened to is very much within that range so there's nothing missing in the sound. There's an ocean of difference between the wholesome presentation of an all tube SET based system vs the somewhat parsed (IMO!) way of solid state electronics giving the impression of extra detail, takes time to adjust from one to another. Bass presentation is also part of our individual philosophy and understanding of reality, personally I find SETs can deliver the most natural bass among different topologies and Lamms deliver it all, even my subs are driven by SETs for best results. Whatever one's tastes I doubt anyone would argue the differences in presentation between tubes and ss. Then there's the personal approach and relationship to enhanced bass in setup as it's own entity or not. Many enjoy that extra overhang, octave, extension or whatever you call it when there's a bass note which admittedly can be very impressive in the context of a system and might enhance one's sense of reality but I find that impression a distraction and diversion from the music and something I'm never impressed by individually at a live venue. I have eliminated that impressive element from my system to keep the whole experience natural and real. This will very much affect one's perception of system's FR.

Hi Mike

The bolded part of David's post is IMO the very essence of his system philosophy and it has been overlooked by readers here. IMO there are no similarities between the two systems but rather a different presentation. I've heard your system and it is wonderful and world class but honestly there is nothing in your system that reminds me of horns. The bottom end of your system definitely is vastly different than David's with your woofer towers. Secondly you are comparing a world class SS amp to a world class SET amp both of which paint a different picture IMO. I have discussed David's philosophy of "above all else it must sound natural" so I understand what he says about the bottom octave extension and tend to agree with him---however my comment does contain some bias because I too own the same front and back end Lamm equipment as David and I understand his point of view. IMO the Lamm ML3 amp and LP1 phono together the the LL1 pre all serve to maximize the midrange sound on David's system which IMO is the best I have ever heard anywhere. The Lamm Signature electronics are IMO game changers as there is nothing like them anywhere. Yours is near field listening and in David's system I feel like I am in a different zip code than his speakers because you are so far back

As my buddy marty says, "there is vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. You pay your money and take your chances". Yours are two world class systems in which I see more dissimilarities than similarities. It's all good. Both of you have everything with which to be proud
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,903
1,597
113
London
#64
I was asked by Ron yesterday if Mike is near-field listening. I said that physically yes, but listening wise not necessarily, given how far back his stage extends. In other systems when you sit that close, the sound is usually only flooding you, but not giving you that deep view (distance from stage)
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#65
I was asked by Ron yesterday if Mike is near-field listening. I said that physically yes, but listening wise not necessarily, given how far back his stage extends. In other systems when you sit that close, the sound is usually only flooding you, but not giving you that deep view (distance from stage)
but it's near field listening
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,774
926
113
#66
Hi Mike

The bolded part of David's post is IMO the very essence of his system philosophy and it has been overlooked by readers here. IMO there are no similarities between the two systems but rather a different presentation. I've heard your system and it is wonderful and world class but honestly there is nothing in your system that reminds me of horns. The bottom end of your system definitely is vastly different than David's with your woofer towers. Secondly you are comparing a world class SS amp to a world class SET amp both of which paint a different picture IMO. I have discussed David's philosophy of "above all else it must sound natural" so I understand what he says about the bottom octave extension and tend to agree with him---however my comment does contain some bias because I too own the same front and back end Lamm equipment as David and I understand his point of view. IMO the Lamm ML3 amp and LP1 phono together the the LL1 pre all serve to maximize the midrange sound on David's system which IMO is the best I have ever heard anywhere. The Lamm Signature electronics are IMO game changers as there is nothing like them anywhere. Yours is near field listening and in David's system I feel like I am in a different zip code than his speakers because you are so far back

As my buddy marty says, "there is vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. You pay your money and take your chances". Yours are two world class systems in which I see more dissimilarities than similarities. It's all good. Both of you have everything with which to be proud
Steve,

I generally agree with you and it is a matter of what each of us expect from our own systems and then what reference we then pursue. where we decide to compromise, and where we go for all the gusto without limits. and what we might view as a correct approach for the music can legitimately vary.

and then we are left to listen and determine for ourselves (with our personal template of values) what the equation appears to be.

everyone approaches a new experience carrying our own set of biases and references into that experience. so reactions to experiences are going to vary, and then even meanings of words we use can be less than transparent.

we like to believe we are being objective. but all we can really do is try our best.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#67
but all we can really do is try our best.
absolutely and for that you both deserve high kudos
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,774
926
113
#68
I was asked by Ron yesterday if Mike is near-field listening. I said that physically yes, but listening wise not necessarily, given how far back his stage extends. In other systems when you sit that close, the sound is usually only flooding you, but not giving you that deep view (distance from stage)
but it's near field listening
the math does say 'near-field' for where my listening position is. 109" tweeter to tweeter, 94" tweeter to ear.

however; the reflectivity of my room changes how this works as there is so much real estate behind, above and to the sides of my speakers (and the reflective floor). so practically speaking the actual 'apparent' location of my speakers is farther back.

when the lights are off there is zero sense you are sitting too close. it sounds completely natural. and remember I have treated all the reflection points so I don't get that reflective hash.

you have to find your listening position front to back by listening. every room will be different. and your eyes (and personal comfort zone) are your enemy with this.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,903
1,597
113
London
#69
the math does say 'near-field' for where my listening position is. 109" tweeter to tweeter, 94" tweeter to ear.

however; the reflectivity of my room changes how this works as there is so much real estate behind, above and to the sides of my speakers (and the reflective floor). so practically speaking the actual 'apparent' location of my speakers is farther back.

when the lights are off there is zero sense you are sitting too close. it sounds completely natural. and remember I have treated all the reflection points so I don't get that reflective hash.

you have to find your listening position front to back by listening. every room will be different. and your eyes (and personal comfort zone) are your enemy with this.
I emphatically agree with Paras 1 and 2 with the caveat that this would have made no sense based on experiences prior to the visit
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,963
498
83
Utah
#70
the math does say 'near-field' for where my listening position is. 109" tweeter to tweeter, 94" tweeter to ear.

however; the reflectivity of my room changes how this works as there is so much real estate behind, above and to the sides of my speakers (and the reflective floor). so practically speaking the actual 'apparent' location of my speakers is farther back.

when the lights are off there is zero sense you are sitting too close. it sounds completely natural. and remember I have treated all the reflection points so I don't get that reflective hash.

you have to find your listening position front to back by listening. every room will be different. and your eyes (and personal comfort zone) are your enemy with this.
The room will always dictate the setup, inescapable fact. It's the same in my 2nd listening room which is very reflective, there's only one location for the speakers almost halfway into the room and seating has to be near field, exactly 6' from the from of the speaker and then everything falls into place. It's only a smallish room but tons of depth in this setup.

david

Edit- I have to add that near field setup isn't a compromise and when done right is incredibly successful!
 
Last edited:

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,595
489
83
#71
Many thanks Mike and David. Another really interesting thread coming out of the experience of DDK's rather extraordinary and unique horn setup.

Just wondering given Mike's experience and his benchmark system in what could be seen as perhaps reflecting clearly different and maybe balancing approaches while still centred around chasing shared goals of some kind of musical truth it would be a really a great contribution to our understanding to get both your thoughts (and also all who have had the experience of either of these systems) about potentially clearly different listening perceptual sets triggered by these different speaker types.

Listening to full range horns is clearly a different experience to a full range box based system or even full range panels.

After listening for any length of time to the Tune Animas going to any other type of speaker required a complete reset of listening and perception and some essential sense of a loss of a unique quality of experiencing. They seem to feel so very different in essence and whole and they lead you to understand and feel different things. David earlier pointed to some very clear points of difference in experience. It would genuinely be fantastic to get more of your thoughts in the fundamental difference in perception between great horns and virtually everything else.
I'm glad you noticed and commented on that. When comparing speakers it's a really big deal... you get acclimated to a certain type of sound and it takes the brain a while to adjust. This is the main reason why I almost completely discount the Canadian/Harman preference testing that supposedly revealed the preference for 1st reflections. Because the testing made no mention of acclimation and how this was accounted for I believe they have completely failed in their attempt to characterize preference. What I can say, is I do account for it by letting the listeners brain adjust, and taking that into account and allowing the listener to experience the new dispersion pattern of horns, I get the exact opposite result.



I've been pondering your question, trying to consider just how I feel about it. listening to my system yesterday and today, thinking about my experience on Wednesday afternoon at David's, I think I would say my particular 'box and cone' system maybe has a bit of 'horn' to it. and how I mean that, is that (1) I have such a huge amount of driver surface likely compared to any other 'box and cone' set-up I know of, (2) my room has such an ultra reflective floor, walls and ceiling around the speakers, (3) I have painstakingly treated all the necessary surfaces of all that reflective surface, (4) my speakers are very efficient and easy loads, (5) I have a huge amount of headroom in my amplification, and (6) I sit in the extreme nearfield where I get maximum musical engagement. so while a horn like David's Bioner's has greater 'jump factor' and 'projection' in degrees, my system can get close enough to the effect of horns that it is able to approach that feeling.....even while the character of the presentation has clear differences.

where I came up with that is simply from listening to my system this last 36 hours and trying to connect the dots on why our systems have so much in common. sure; David's system does these unique things, but musically I'm hearing the same reality if with slightly different attributes.

they attain their particular performances with radically different approaches.

this is just my own 2 cents about how things look after reflection from my visit and subsequent listening to my system. if 10 people were to listen to both systems back to back I'm not sure all would share my viewpoint. I like to think that my approach to the whole room, speaker, and total system building challenge has allowed my system to get very close to what panels do best, what other non cones do best, and what horns do best. I know what sort of effort it has taken me to get where I am, and I can see what effort David has made in his system too.

and when you think about it, as any design approaches optimization it should then take on characteristics of the best of other designs. we are all trying to reproduce music as a common goal.

on the pathway to music reproduction nirvana there is quite a bit of divergence of approaches, but as we move down that road farther and farther I think maybe the paths get closer and closer together nearing the goal.
I'd definitely agree with your comments...Horns do two things, match the mechanical impedance of the driver to the air, greatly increasing it's efficiency and effective surface area, second is control dispersion so there is more direct vs reflected sound. With larger conventional speakers you usually have larger driver surface area, which is closer to a horn and by using a nearfield setup you are experiencing more direct vs reflected sound. IMO, direct radiating speakers have the potential to be cleaner sounding vs horns as the physical horn it's self always stores more energy vs a baffle so they do have their advantages... I notice this on female vocals the most.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#72
I have to add that near field setup isn't a compromise and when done right is incredibly successful!
Totally agree. My point was merely the dissimilarity of setups
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,595
489
83
#73
I was asked by Ron yesterday if Mike is near-field listening. I said that physically yes, but listening wise not necessarily, given how far back his stage extends. In other systems when you sit that close, the sound is usually only flooding you, but not giving you that deep view (distance from stage)
Ironically a near field setup often leads to a deeper soundstage as you get a greater proportion of direct vs reflected sound. If all else is good, this results in your brain latching onto the spatial cues in the recording, if they are present in the right form to present a deep soundstage then that's what you get.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,903
1,597
113
London
#74
Ironically a near field setup often leads to a deeper soundstage as you get a greater proportion of direct vs reflected sound. If all else is good, this results in your brain latching onto the spatial cues in the recording, if they are present in the right form to present a deep soundstage then that's what you get.
Precisely.
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
3,810
338
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Eastern WA
#75
The bolded part of David's post is IMO the very essence of his system philosophy and it has been overlooked by readers here. IMO there are no similarities between the two systems but rather a different presentation. I've heard your system and it is wonderful and world class but honestly there is nothing in your system that reminds me of horns. The bottom end of your system definitely is vastly different than David's with your woofer towers. Secondly you are comparing a world class SS amp to a world class SET amp both of which paint a different picture IMO. I have discussed David's philosophy of "above all else it must sound natural" so I understand what he says about the bottom octave extension and tend to agree with him---however my comment does contain some bias because I too own the same front and back end Lamm equipment as David and I understand his point of view. IMO the Lamm ML3 amp and LP1 phono together the the LL1 pre all serve to maximize the midrange sound on David's system which IMO is the best I have ever heard anywhere. The Lamm Signature electronics are IMO game changers as there is nothing like them anywhere. Yours is near field listening and in David's system I feel like I am in a different zip code than his speakers because you are so far back
There are some similar aspects say between MikeL's setup and horns. Ironically from the description I wouldn't say as much with David's. MikeL's speakers have a mile of free space so the sound comes at you in the midrange and up, unhindered. The bass region can hit the floor easily but so can David's subs. I disagree with MikeL's surface area comment. The midrange of the MM7 is just two drivers, in an MTM configuration, and there's countless MTM. We've got two 7" midranges per MM7, and two 12/15's per Bionar. But yes, both hit your ears without a bunch of room interactions so they can give you that purity of midrange - soundstage or not, which is the ironic part because most horns can give a good soundstage due to lack of room interaction.

Overall I don't think they share a sound, but that's a good thing to my ears. Frankly most horn setups I've heard I didn't like, where as MikeL's setup is a pleasure.

Compared to tubes I find they're on opposite sides of a fence. Tubes often give a bit of over-done aspects, over cooked if you will, and SS often gives a slightly under cooked. They accomplish different things often, and while not hearing David's, I'm sure he has come to that as much as MikeL has come to his goals.

I was asked by Ron yesterday if Mike is near-field listening. I said that physically yes, but listening wise not necessarily, given how far back his stage extends. In other systems when you sit that close, the sound is usually only flooding you, but not giving you that deep view (distance from stage)
It's wild isn't it, how much it sounds like music can come from way back deep into the room, if it's recorded that way like with some classic. First glance was, hmm, that close? Then you hear it, and you know his placement is just right.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#76
I disagree with MikeL's surface area comment. The midrange of the MM7 is just two drivers, in an MTM configuration, and there's countless MTM. We've got two 7" midranges per MM7, and two 12/15's per Bionar.
you are forgetting about the -4- 11" woofers in each main tower.....as well as 97db, 7 ohm ease of amp load. those cover 40hz-250hz, the mid and upper bass, where the music lives. that is much more cone surface area in this critical music FR than almost any other cone speaker. and it's the energy and ease in this FR that get's the performance to another level......as well as the ease and coherence in the deep bass from the active bass towers.

most mid-range drivers drop to a lower crossover point than the MM7 design.

Overall I don't think they share a sound, but that's a good thing to my ears. Frankly most horn setups I've heard I didn't like, where as MikeL's setup is a pleasure.

Compared to tubes I find they're on opposite sides of a fence. Tubes often give a bit of over-done aspects, over cooked if you will, and SS often gives a slightly under cooked. They accomplish different things often, and while not hearing David's, I'm sure he has come to that as much as MikeL has come to his goals.

It's wild isn't it, how much it sounds like music can come from way back deep into the room, if it's recorded that way like with some classic. First glance was, hmm, that close? Then you hear it, and you know his placement is just right.
 
Jan 23, 2011
3,858
3
36
Amsterdam holland
#77
I agree with mike , you have a lot of membrane surface in those MM 7 main towers alone in a very important area , and more in total then in the Bionor s i assume , one could count that off course .
But membrane surface is not an absolute, it also counts of what its made , does it sound natural , what about the low freq roll off , 1 15 inch unit isnt the other 15 inch unit regarding specs .
But fact is also ( if i understand correctly ) your having a compression driver/horn doing the high freq /high mids in the bionors , its a fundamental different design and hearing the comments its probably more detailed in some areas then cones
 
Last edited:
May 30, 2010
15,505
714
113
Portugal
#78
I agree with mike , you have a lot of membrane surface in those MM 7 main towers alone in a very important area , and more in total then in the Bionor s i assume , one could count that off course .
But membrane surface is not an absolute, it also counts of whats its made , does it sound natural , what about the low freq roll off , 1 15 inch unit isnt the other 15 inch unit regarding specs .
But fact is also ( if i understand correctly ) your having a compression driver/horn doing the high freq /high mids in the bionors , its a fundamental different design and hearing the comments its probably more detailed in some areas then cones
Besides drivers characteristics, the main difference between these designs is the acoustic impedance - the horn matches the acoustic impedance of the drivers to the room air, creating a very different type of sound.
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
3,810
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#79
At what frequency do the Bionor's start to roll off?

BTW I love what the 4 11" drivers of the MM7 can do for things like bass and cello. A+
 

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