Loudspeaker Designs and Articles for the DIY Enthusiast
While I tried the Sten II's at various distances from the front wall, they are voiced to be placed close/in the wall. They will work further out, but with some loss
of bass. My impressions are with the speakers near the front wall and placed on stands such that the tweeter was near seated ear height.
The bass is reasonably good with surprising extension considering the modeled response. Most of you will no doubt be using subs anyway, but they are
certainly tolerable when pressed into service as conventional bookshelf stereo speakers. As expected, I noticed a significant reduction in the tactile
presence compared to the Stentorians.
Midrange and highs are much the same at the Stentorians. I'll reproduce parts of their listening impressions here as they are still germane to this design:
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.
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 venues. Resolution is surprisingly good and I found it imaged a bit
more like a point source than the Stentorians. Complex music sources sound quite coherent, and its quite easy to hear the various instruments, or
concentrate on one out of the group.
These are wall huggers, but can work well out into the room as well, especially if supplemented with a sub. I liked them best with no toe-in but certainly toe,
and wall distance can be used to adjust them to your listening preferences.
The Bottom Line:
These are a worthy complement to the full size Stentorians, and should work very well as surround speakers, or even mains for those who are of a frugal
state of mind. They can get satisfyingly loud with respect to many other designs, but not with the aplomb of the Stentorians. In most cases the Sten II will not
be appropriate for the center channel. These quickly develop a very significant drop in response centered between 1K and 3K if listened to more than 10
degrees off axis. This is a direct result of the crossover frequency chosen for the Stentorians, and my choice to keep the two systems voiced as closely as
Design Copyright 2011 by Curt Campbell and Wayne Wendel All rights reserved.
Free for non commercial use only
|Big sound for a very small
price. Suggested for
bookshelf or near-wall /