So when I heard Wilkin was building a very ambitious pair with the famous Visaton B200 mids, AMT ribbon tweeters and push-push configured 15 inch woofers, this I gotta hear!
Back view of speaker with notch filters for the MTM mids and tweeter.
When I visited him, it was not only the speakers that surprised me, but a PC streaming loss-less(loss less is the word, I still don't believe there's no loss in digital streaming. Not yet anyway!) WAV files to a Behringer pro DAC which converts the signal to analogue, which feeds the converted 2 channel signal to another Behringer pro three way active electronic cross over to output in 6 channels of 3 way stereo high, mid and low.
The loss less source.
Behringer pro DAC (top)and 6 channel Electronic Cross Over.
The 6 channel signal is now passed on to a DIY remote controlled, 6 channel pre-amp which acts as the unified or master volume control for the whole system. The six channel signals now feeds 2 pairs of DIY, tube(a pair of 6922s each) buffered LM3875 chip power amps to send amplified signal to the AMT tweeters and dual Visaton B200 mids, arranged in MTM or Di Apolito configuration. The 15" subwoofers are powered by a 200W Rotel stereo power amp.
6 channel DIY pre-amp.
Tube buffered LM3875 chip power amp.
Wilkin says he felt short changed by our beloved TNB(Malaysian monopoly power company), which supplies his area with RFI/EMI dirt contaminated power. His solution, is a DIYed Felix power cord(see www.audiocircle.com for details) to supply filtered current to a PS Audio Power Plant, which in turn feeds the whole audio system.
PS Audio Power Plant regenarator.
Listening to this system brought back fond memories of my first pair of Vandersteen speakers. But only this time, the sound stage scale is bigger, wider and deeper. Image focus is very good for open baffle type speakers, which in my experience, can never quite rival the best of the common box designed speakers. The system dynamics is explosive, as expected with the 4 push-push configured 15" sub woofers. This is a fun system to experience rock, pop and other less stuffy, fast paced music. Not a system for the "audiophilia nervosa" type character, where you nit pick it's short comings. As with most DIYed systems, nothing is ever static as DIYers, are the type who can't sit still and must always be tweaking something. (yeah! I surely know.)
The 15" sub excursion while playing the Manger CD track 15, Jazz Variant. (BIG FUN!!!)
Wilkin tells me it took him more than a year to build the system, before he heard it's first musical (or is it test tone?) note! He's been tweaking it ever since, because with the flexibility of the 3 way electronic cross over, the scope of setting the speaker's cross over points & slopes, individual driver phase and gain is endless and can be extremely daunting, with all the options available. One really must know a few things about basic audio engineering, before embarking on such a huge undertaking.
Wilkin's DIYed Still Points Isolation Footers. He's got 3 pcs under every electronic component.
The cost to build the system is no small change, this I must stress! Not to mention the effort, blood, sweat and tears, plus countless sleepness nights to make it all come together. I'll have to take my hat of to him, for having the guts and commitment to go with the path least travelled. Well done my friend, and do keep tweaking!