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Discussion in 'Meadowlark Audio Forum' started by Pat McGinty, Feb 2, 2018.
It was worth a try anyway.
I'll use your numbers as a guide.
Wow, just stumbled on to this thread and am blown away. Bought my first pair of Kestrel Hot Rods back in the late 90s and that speaker was wonderful. Throughout the years I owned 5 pairs of Kestrels, 2 pairs of Shearwaters, and a pair of the Kestrel IIs.
I plan to come back and read this thread more thoroughly and absorb Pat's thoughts.
Want to say thanks to Pat for sharing his story.
This is a great thread with lots of great info. Thanks so much to Pat for, your great speakers first, but also for the info you've provided here. I have a pragmatic question. I just realized today that I have a blown tweeter in one of my Meadowlark Kestral Hot Rods. If the original is not available, is there something that would be an acceptable replacement for both tweeters? Thanks so much!
Sorry to hear that, Sam. The Peerless 811815 hasn't been made in years.
Unfortunately the first problem is that the diameter spec for the faceplate is 100mm instead of the industry standard 104mm. So there are only a few tweeters that could fit without tearing into the cosmetics of the baffle.
I'm aware of two possibilities.
It looks as though the face plate thicknesses are similar to the Peerless. I can't tell about the thru hole specs but, if need be, enlarging the thru hole can be done without making a mess of the cosmetics.
I work with SB woofers regularly but have not heard their tweeters. I use another SEAS tweeter model regularly and love it but have not heard the H1280. It might be good to compare them.
The 'fly in the ointment' is that, electrically, they are each very different from the Peerless so the crossover won't work and for several reasons. Also, the tweeter has to 'shake hands' with the woofer so both circuits are likely to come into play.
I've been resisting being drawn into this problem because first order crossover work is so darn time consuming. But I've begun to think it may be worth a shot. This keeps coming up and a standard solution would be nice. Trouble is, I have no Meadowlark legacy product on hand of any kind to work with. So what we need is a guinea pig.
Pat thanks so much for all the info... Good to hear from you, we met a few times in NYC at some retail demo's... I own 2 pairs of Kestrels, a Petrel, and Hot Rod Shearwaters... Still Love everything after ~17 years of ownership. The Mid Woofer in one my Shearwaters just gave up, so thrilled to find your info posted and just ordered a new pair of 18W8545-01's from Madisound. The foam surrounds are a mess though, been trying to work something out on that for some time...
What are your current projects? Love to hear about what you are currently working on...
Glad to hear you're enjoying your Shearwaters, and am happy to help.
The foam "donuts" were made of a 1/4' thick open cell foam commonly used in industrial air filters. Our fabricator is gone along with the cutting dies. You can get similar foam sheets in small quantities on Amazon. Cutting the stuff nicely with scissors is gonna be tricky, though. Maybe Exacto knife.
We're busy with a new set of technologies that let us do things with speaker design that we could once only dream of. There are big changes coming in audio and I'm both pleased and surprise that we're out ahead of it. Really fun.
There's a ton of detail on our site about how we're doing things in "Designer's Bench". We just posted Issue #7.
Here's our custom site.
Good Stuff Thanks Pat and good luck... BTW, I found this foam that I am going to give a try... https://www.thefoamfactory.com/opencellfoam/filter.html
Pat, thanks for pointing us towards your Designer’s Bench. Reading those helped me better understand your new DSP/Amp design goals, the flexibility that the new tech offers you as a designer, and the step up in acoustic realism it offers consumers like me.
I haven’t invested in any HD music or subscribed to any HD music streaming services yet (I assume Tidal would be the only HD streaming service available?). Using your current implementation, how would I, or could I incorporate my current phono and preamp; AND my current CD transport and DAC into, for instance... a set of your current Kestrels and still be able to stream HD music if I chose to subscribe to Tidal? I also understand that vinyl and CDs defeat your goal of moving away from those media and up to HD, but I still have a decent amount invested and still enjoy my collection that’s made up of vinyl and CDs. I think I recal reading that the current Kestrel has one analog and one digital input, so it seems to me that I’d have to switch interconnects between sources?
Pat, Question on the Shearwater tweeters... Do they wear out... I mean, they are 18 years old now, should they be replaced? I just replaced the woofers, and i swear they sound better out of the box and not even broken in...
Tweeters are good until they fail. The tiny braided wires that deliver signal to the voice coil flex with motion and finally give up and break. Until then you're fine.
Scan Speak recently revised that woofer so that may be what you're experiencing.
We can build the systems in two different formats. Each pair is made to order so it's not a problem
1) Local amps and local processors. Local meaning onboard the speaker. The processors accept SPDIF or AES/EBU at up to 24bit/96KHz. There is one digital and one analog input so you can deliver analog from your preamp to each speaker in the same way you now bring it to your power amp. Each speaker can be toggled between its digital and analog input via a network connection - which is also how you adjust the PEQ and select from any of the four presets. You can set each of the four presets as you wish so one could be set for analog input plus have an unique PEQ that favors your vinyl rig. The downside is: to toggle between inputs you need your PC, laptop or phone. I find this very convenient but other guys, not so much. This arrangement is a no-brainer if you're going straight digital because, aside from your source, it eliminates the mess. Good for the WAF.
2) Local amps and central processor. The central processor looks like a slim preamp, accepts multiple inputs both analog and digital and has IR control for volume, input selection and preset selection. As with the local processors, each preset can have its own PEQ, input selection and input sensitivity setting. It's a learning IR - I use my phone instead of a dedicated remote. If you don't want to see the the processor you can hide it somewhere and use an IR extender.
Note that, since these systems do the work digitally, the first thing that happens to an analog input is it's digitized. So there's a double conversion when using a conventional CD player - a good reason to take the time to rip your entire library and go digital all of the way. It took me weeks to rip my library - but now the hundreds of pounds of CDs are happily in the attic. I've made copies for the lab laptop, a portable hard drive and the home server and am not looking back.
We're using an streamer that seamlessly integrates our local library with Tidal. You can even build playlists that draw from both sources. It really does put the entire world of music on your iPad. Point, click, delightful. Not expensive at all. Great for discovery and keeping up to date. FWIW: we've noticed that some of Tidal's Grateful Dead classic recordings are far-and-away superior to the same music in our local library. So they seem to be paying attention.
I know this is sacrilege - but we're starting to see both phonographs and phono pre's that do both the analog to digital conversion and the RIAA equalization in their own processors. This brings the surprise advantage that the processor can also be used to equalize the cartridge nonlinearities, maybe reducing the need for expensive cartridges. We've already enjoyed that advance for lab microphones; we no longer spend big $ on mics, now an eighty dollar mic with a factory EQ file is plenty good. Here, digi-tweeking an old Grado cartridge worked wonders. I think, soon enough, digital wireless turntables will come our along. The integration issues that you see now will go away.
By the way, I'm not trying to move away from vinyl and CD as sources, they're good. But HD brings new challenges and the opportunity for big improvements. That doesn't exclude, it includes. A system that can reproduce HD works great for LP and CD.