Quasars wins best sound - again! (BD-Design)

by GC @, UK, Friday, December 09, 2005, 16:21 (4424 days ago)

Hi Bert,

Not had much time for a long while to do much other than work but a couple of weeks ago a group of UK valve diyers got together at Eggbourough Powerstation to compare our systems. We had about twenty different amps and several different speakers. Pictures of the event are here http://homepage.mac.com/scress1958/Diary/PhotoAlbum23.html. The albums 'EggFest2' and 'Scary amp pictures' are also from the events. This was second EggFest, the first being in June.

Anyway to cut a long story short, at both events the Quasars were voted as best sounding system. In June being driven by a 45SE amp and in November being driven by a pentode Aikido 300BXLS SE amp. It is noteworthy that with just 2W of 45SE power they filled the room (about 25m by 35m) with sound! With the 8W of 300B they were very loud. We tried them with 40W of 212 SE power too and they were rocking hard.

I've had the Quasars three years now and they are still getting better! Several people commented on how much better they sounded this time compared to the June meet.

Bert, I still haven't been able to try the new filter design you suggested! One day I'll get to it...

ciao

James

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Quasars wins best sound - again!

by GC, Friday, December 09, 2005, 16:41 (4424 days ago) @ GC

Hi James,

Thanks for the link, always nice to see and hear about the Quasars... :)

Bert, I still haven't been able to try the new filter design you
suggested! One day I'll get to it...

If you like what you have then leave it as it is. Never change a winning team!

Ciao,

Bert

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Further EggFest comments

by James D, Saturday, December 10, 2005, 23:46 (4422 days ago) @ GC

I thought I should add some further observations of the Quasars at EggFest, so here they are:

One thing about the Quasars that really shocks people who think they know open baffles is that they are so strong in the bottom end. In the big hall driven by a 300B or bigger they are concert level loud and are quite explosive at the bottom. The weight of a drum kit really comes across and, of course, they are lightning fast throughout the frequency range. I just love them.

One chap commented that he thought the lower bass sounds came from the lower driver and didn't integrate with the AER, he was sitting about 1.5m from the speaker. I asked him to listen more closely and see if he could exactly hear where the low bass sound came from (like 41Hz E on bass guitar). After about 10 minutes he said 'it's not comming from the driver, it's comming from the floor!' The Quasars really do couple into the room properly and use the floor to lift the bottom end. And I think your filter judgement was good. They seemed a little lean in the mid bass a year ago but they have filled out in the last 12 months :-)


At EggFest they have a huge advantage over all the other speaker types as they are quite happy drving the big room. The huge electrostatics just don't cut it at all. They suffer from peak distortion as they can't produce any decent sound level in the room and the integral sub-woofer is completely discontinous with the panel...

The Ariels sound OK but do not have the speed, resolution, level or tone of the Quasars and just don't put the sound out in the room. They also start to compress and distort at high level.

The Lowthers are nice but not neutral at all - in fact they have a very vintage sound to them as that is how the owner designed them to sound. Interestingly he has moved from a pure back horn into more of a TQWT design by closing off most of the horn mouth and has got a more balanced sound from them.

The next best to the Quasars are the Fe206 in Jericho horns - although these have been worked on - the wizzer has been removed and a coat of C37 added then a Visaton super tweeter added. They are pretty good but still not close to the Quasars...

This makes the Quasars very popular at EggFest because they are so transparent and correct, they show the differences between amplifiers and record players very, very clearly. But they are not fussy. We tried an MP3 player with 128kb/s files and it sounded very nice. The musical performance came through and it was good within its limitations - Clearly not as good as the worst CD player but still nice.

ciao

James

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Further EggFest comments

by Bert @, Sunday, December 11, 2005, 20:00 (4422 days ago) @ James D

Hi James,

Thanks for the detailed "review" at the EggFest!

Happy listening! :cool:

Ciao,

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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Further EggFest comments

by goon-heaven, Monday, December 12, 2005, 08:31 (4421 days ago) @ Bert

Thanks for the interesting review of the Eggfest. Some people will do anything to get a clean PS.

James Quasar appears rather different to the Quasar that Bert sells. Have these evolved from the same original design or are they entirely different beasts sharing the same name?

Regards
Steve

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Further EggFest comments

by Bert @, Monday, December 12, 2005, 09:51 (4421 days ago) @ goon-heaven

Hi Steve,

James Quasar appears rather different to the Quasar that Bert sells. Have
these evolved from the same original design or are they entirely different
beasts sharing the same name?

James has my first trial in designing an open panel system which I offered shortly some time ago. The Quasar MkII is the next generation.

Ciao,

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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Quasar questions

by unknown, Monday, December 12, 2005, 10:54 (4421 days ago) @ Bert

Hi Bert
For those of us that have not had the opportunity to listen to open panel speakers, can you describe their strengths and weaknesses compared to rear loaded horns such as the Hedlund.
Does the bass have EQ and is the Fostex 206E driver selected for economy or would Lowthers or AERs do the job better.

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Quasar questions

by Bert @, Monday, December 12, 2005, 11:41 (4421 days ago) @ unknown

Hi Chris,

For those of us that have not had the opportunity to listen to open panel
speakers, can you describe their strengths and weaknesses compared to rear
loaded horns such as the Hedlund.

Strength Quasar MkII:
- no time delay
- deeper bass
- no colouration
- open sound
- easy to built

Weakness Quasar MkII:
- costs (i.e. extra amplifier, bass drive units)

Does the bass have EQ and is the Fostex 206E driver selected for economy
or would Lowthers or AERs do the job better.

Yes, the bass is EQ-ed. The Fostex is more economical but also has more body in the low-mids so that the BD15's can be crossed steeper. Lowthers will do a better job in dynamics, resolution and detail, AER's will do a better job in detail, clean mid's and transparancy.

Ciao,

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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Quasar questions

by James D, Monday, December 12, 2005, 21:10 (4421 days ago) @ Bert

Following on from Bert's comments, I can make the following observations from EggFest where we compared a Lowther EX4 in a home designed horn and a Fostex 206 (modified) in a Jericho horn.

First I should state that the back horns made a pretty good job of driving the big room we were in but they are better suited to a domestic living room - The Quasar is much less room fussy than any box design. However they all sound different in different rooms.

I guess the big difference is the coherence that the Quasar has due to the factors Bert mentioned above. The sound is all one. This is really noticeble on things like drum kit as the bass transient lines up with the mid and top so there is no bluring of the sound with delayed bass. So the Quasars can be much more explosive than box speakers as they stop and start as one. This lends a stunning clarity to the sound too - no time smearing - and it lets the true tone of instruments and voices come through. In particular it maintains the emotional purity of a performance... this is very important so I'll restate it... OBs let the emotional integrity of a performance come through much more than any box based speaker. So you enjoy your listening more :-) The back horns are not bad compared to bass reflex designs or tranmission lines but are clearly not as good as the Quasars.

The other thing they do is put the music 'in the room' rather than making it stay in the plane of the boxes. So you walk around through the music - just like listening to a live band in a dance hall (a proper band with acoustic instruments). Again the backhorns fall between the Quasars and BRs or TLs. TWQT fall between TL and back horns (in many ways TL, TQWT and back horns are all variants of the same design i.e. they work the same way).

In terms of speed, transient response, etc. My AERs sound faster than the Lowthers and much faster than any other drive unit such as the Fostex.

They were a bit lean in the mid bass but have filled out over the last 12 months (they are three years old now) - so much so that they don't sound lean at all now compared to other speakers.

Of course I'm biased but the same remarks have been made to me by many of the people who attended EggFest - some by the owners of other speakers there. Many people have asked about buying a pair but the cost is more then most are willing to bear. I find this extraordinary when compared to the amount they are prepared to spend on their valve amps!!! The difference between the same amp on different speakers at EggFest was many times the difference of different amps through the Quasars - and the Quasars showed the difference between amps much clearer than any other speaker...

Oh well, de gustibus non est disputandum.

How the Quasars compare with front horns is down to Bert to say. I have never heard a pair of Oris horns. One day I will and no-doubt then I will want them!


James

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Quasar questions

by unknown, Tuesday, December 13, 2005, 16:39 (4420 days ago) @ James D

Thanks James for a comprehensive comparison.

Bert, I have another question :-)

As the BD15s do so well in open baffles (with EQ) then how does this compare to the BD15 in the Reference bass reflex.

Which is the best configuration?

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Quasar questions

by Bert @, Wednesday, December 14, 2005, 00:06 (4419 days ago) @ unknown

Hi Chris,

Bert, I have another question

As usual... :)

As the BD15s do so well in open baffles (with EQ) then how does this
compare to the BD15 in the Reference bass reflex.

In the Reference the bass drivers have to work less hard (less EQ needed) and the bass is more capable to pressurise the room (no cancellation). Such bass is more present in the room.

With the Quasar the bass is "lighter", less prominent and somehow more at a distance.

Which is the best configuration?

That depends on the room and the person. I like the open panel for what it does, in combination with the Fostex/AER/Lowther loaded in a similar way..., in combination with my Oris horns I prefer the enclosed bass system more (my room, my taste). :satisfied:

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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Quasar questions

by goon-heaven, Wednesday, December 14, 2005, 11:24 (4419 days ago) @ Bert

Thank you for expanding on this thread - very interesting.

I am also very interested in reading the experience of others who have heard both Quasar and Oris Reference (preferable during the same listening session).

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Quasar questions

by ALF, Friday, December 30, 2005, 23:10 (4403 days ago) @ goon-heaven
edited by ALF, Friday, December 30, 2005, 23:17

The Quasar certainly is a beautiful looking speaker!
... I have been into open baffles for a while now so perhaps I'm prejudiced a little bit :smile:

Can you tell me please where the full-range and the bass drivers cross over?
Anyone got a photo from the back side?
ALF
nnew Years Greetings from Australia:smile:

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Quasar MKII picture from the back...

by Bert @, Friday, December 30, 2005, 23:29 (4403 days ago) @ ALF

Hi Alf,

Can you tell me please where the full-range and the bass drivers cross
over?

Close to 250Hz, the Fostex is playing full-range though...

Anyone got a photo from the back side?

Like this one? :smile:

[image]

Happy New Year!

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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Quasar MKII picture from the back...

by ALF, Friday, December 30, 2005, 23:36 (4403 days ago) @ Bert

Thanks Bert ... they are beautiful from any angle!
(Unlike me :grin: )
ALF

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Quasar MKII Questions

by ALF, Sunday, January 01, 2006, 23:27 (4401 days ago) @ ALF

Just a couple questions.

Most OB designs I have seen have had a much thinner baffle. Is the Quasar II sandwich baffle 156mm thick to add mass to the structure or is there another reason. (Certainly these sandwiches aren't going to vibrate much :grin: )

If the weight of the baffle isn't important, could the inner sandwich layers be made from some other material, eg like dense cardboard, fibreboard, or (shudder) polystyrene? (I saw an OB on a web site where the baffle, except the driver support, was made from polystyrene foam sheet - I laughed a lot for a while, then I thought "why not?" - but I never tried it - wood is nice, wood is our friend).

The drivers in Quasar II sit in their own little tunnel-like compartments - does this form resonant spaces behind the drivers that affect the sound?
Do these speaker holes produce some sort of compression/'horn' loading on the back wave?

Sorry to plague with probably naive questions, but I'm an OB fan, and I am fascinated by these beauties! :cool:

Cheers
ALF

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Quasar MKII Questions

by Bert @, Monday, January 02, 2006, 11:21 (4400 days ago) @ ALF

Hi Alf,

Most OB designs I have seen have had a much thinner baffle. Is the Quasar
II sandwich baffle 156mm thick to add mass to the structure or is there
another reason. (Certainly these sandwiches aren't going to vibrate much

This is to add mass and stifness to the panel for a more tight bass. The panel should not make its own sound for the cleanest reproduction, I only want to hear the drivers and not too much of the character of the panel itself.

That can sound pretty good though but those resonances also disturb...

The drivers in Quasar II sit in their own little tunnel-like compartments
- does this form resonant spaces behind the drivers that affect the sound?

Yes, but not by much, not disturbing at all and mainly present in the lower midrange.

Do these speaker holes produce some sort of compression/'horn' loading on
the back wave?

No, too much space and too short.

Ciao,

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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