Loudspeaker Designs and Articles for the DIY Enthusiast
|A high sensitivity / high SPL
design offered for PA, Music
and Home Theater
I've now spent some time with the Stentorians, letting them break in, and finding the best placement, and I've been pleasantly surprised with what I'm
hearing. It turns out that in my listening room they sound the flattest when raised off the floor approximately 8 inches, and are placed nearly against the
front wall. I run them with no toe in, but you can if you feel the need for more accentuated upper treble. Many speakers have a rather flat, shallow
soundstage when placed near the front wall, but these seem unhindered by the close proximity and give the impression of good soundstage depth. Of
course this is in stereo listening. For HT its ability to provide depth is unimportant, but its nice to know they can when called upon to do so. I find myself
turning them up louder and louder with no listening fatigue whatsoever. -A good subjective indication they have low distortion products.
Treble: Cymbals can sound a touch splashy at times, but usually only noticeable the source material is the was recorded with some cymbal splash anyway.
All in all, a pretty solid performance for a high value tweeter. Off axis performance verges on excellent, with the usual caveat that some minor changes in
voicing are apparent in the upper treble when moving from seated to standing. I thought they might struggle with high SPL's, but they seem to take it all
without audible complaint.
The midrange sounds entirely effortless and unstrained almost regardless of the SPL level. A touch more forward than many of my other designs, but
seems otherwise quite balanced, and works well here, especially I would think, for HT or PA venues. Resolution is surprisingly good for a multiple driver
setup. Complex music sources sound quite coherent, and its quite easy to hear the various instruments, or concentrate on one out of the group.
The bass was another surprise: Initial modeling suggested a higher f3 than generally considered acceptable for a full range speaker, and initial listening
tests found the response peak at around 150 Hz audible. This response aberration appears to have been completely tamed by the combination of
additional bracing, additional stuffing, the addition of aperiodic vents, and raising the speaker off the floor. Perhaps I shouldn't have been, but where at the
frequencies which have wavelengths measured in several feet, I was very surprised by the changes in bass response resulting from that 8" change in
speaker height. All these changes combined to lower the apparent f3 down at least into the 50's, with 40's still being audible. I still recommend using these
with a subwoofer, but they shouldn't disappoint if you don't.
In my listening room I have them orthogonal with the wall and about 10 foot apart. They are sitting about 4" from the front wall and on 8" stands. These love
to hug the wall, but respond favorably when moved out into the room as well. The further you move them out, the shorter the speaker 'stand' needs to be.
The Bottom Line:
OK, I know some of you are saying "All that drivel about balance is fine, but how do they ROCK?" To answer that very question, I recently spent many
enjoyable hours going through my old vinyl from the heady days of rock, and I'm here to tell you that the Stentorians can kick some serious booty.
These ain't no sissy audiophile speaker.
They like it LOUD.
Design Copyright 2011 by Curt Campbell and Wayne Wendel All rights reserved.
Free for non commercial use only