As you know, I originally bought the kit version of the Trio 15. I had a pair of ——- that I really liked in another open baffle set so I saw no reason to buy new drivers. Another thing is that I own a First Watt B5 active analog crossover from Nelson Pass. It’s a very flexible unit for what we are doing here. I take measurements of my rig at my listening position. I just try to get an idea of what’s going on in the room where I sit. I was able to cross the Neo and the Lowther quite nicely. I crossed them lower than you typically recommend. The ——- starts to cut at 140hz and the woofers at 80hz. Phase looks good etc. Sounded pretty good and at times really exceptional. I kept reading about the Voxativ AC 1.6 and became really desirous! I ordered the pair from you.
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I installed the Voxativ and it turns out that I prefer the same crossover settings though I have widely experimented. I had been somewhat concerned about frequency response from the Lowther starting around 15khz up. Response above say 16khz was not so good. Not sure what frequencies I can hear anymore but the plots concerned me. I repeated the same measurements with the same crossover settings only the Voxativ had replaced the ——–. What a revelation. The Voxativ is just plain better and I would think most people could make that assertion after a short demo. At any rate, the measurements confirmed what I was hearing. No significant drop off with the Voxativ until close to 20kHz! The Voxativ AC 1.6 is an amazing speaker.
The Neo 15 woofers didn’t sound very good initially. As others have pointed out, there is a big break in period with these. After a few weeks they got pretty good but lately, I’m getting very deep, fast bass. Its almost like somebody hit the more faster better button. Previously, I owned two ——— subwoofers. BIG powerful sealed boxes. I’ve owned them since pre-open baffle. They worked ok with open ——– but not great all the time. That’s over $8000 worth of subs that cannot approach what four Neo 15 do in my room. Not close.
I run my Trio 15 in a bi-amp configuration. Initially I had been listening to a small 15 watt hybrid amplifier (pretty nice amp but no rare air) for the main and two hypex 400 watt modules in nice linear power supplies for the woofers. The First Watt B5 crossover allows me to “feather” in the bass/ treble response using two dials on the front of the case. This fine adjustment is helpful given that bass content fluctuates by recording. Recently I bought a new SE 845 amplifier. Holy schnikies! My system just bloomed. For 30 years I have built and sold audio systems for myself. Lots of speaker types. Efficient, not efficient. Ported boxes, sealed boxes. My own open baffles, rear loaded horns, planar types, small, big, ridiculous, monitors both current and vintage, single drivers and high end crossover designs. I haven’t heard it all but I’m not new to to this endeavor.
I would describe the sound of my system to someone as being fast, dynamic but nuanced, clear as a bell and extended up top with a great foundation. I mostly listen to live Grateful Dead, Charles Mingus era jazz (that’s a couple of eras with a lot of brilliant artists) and classical. This system is so dynamic and the music swells and subsides like I’m at the show or in the club. It breathes. Not quite like the Dead do in the arena but the closest I’ve heard in a home. One of my audio buds came over for a listen after I got the rig the way I wanted it. This friend runs a big McIntosh setup with some up line Focals. His system sounds very good. Actually, great. He was biased against open baffle for all of the reasons we hear about, no bass, etc. The first thing he says after a track is “you don’t need a subwoofer with these”. No you don’t. I played whatever he wanted via Tidal and a nice Mac based digital system. He says “I didn’t expect this”. Later I got this text:
“Dave–in all honesty–your system was one of the best sounding rigs I have heard in a long time…I doesn’t sound weak, which many boutique systems do. Also has a killer low end. Good job on it!!”
I’m not the King of Ears and neither is my buddy. However, both of us have attended audio shows, attended club gatherings at other audiophile’s homes, scoured the web about audio, we travel for live music and we both have owned more than a few systems. My Jams have never been better. Never. Who knows what I’ll do in the future but for now I’m a very satisfied owner.
It would like at some point to try your crossover and run the system on a single amplifier. I’m interested in hearing just the 845 as a full range amplifier. Also, my crossover is analog and does not allow me to attenuate the highs near 8khz as you suggested your crossover does. I’m not sure I’d welcome a change because I’m really happy but you have been vocal about how you feel about the full on Pure Audio Project experience.
Thanks for a great product.
The super tweeters in the photo do not come in until north of 19khz