SP38, built by Emil, Macedonia
April 4th 2006:
Finally finished the SP/38/XT25 ! Will
make sure to shoot some pictures and send to you with
some more comments.
In the meantime first impressions : very, very positive!
Note I have the "old" V.7 x/over, i.e. the mid
R is 3.8 and the tweeter (XT25) is in-phase, and will
have to execute those changes which I only saw the other
day, having wired and installed everything.
The sound is very - what's the word? - well,
present(able). I mean it's all there, effortlessly
presenting the sounds with plenty of details.
"Detail" could be the key word here. Along with
the BASS!! This is incredibly deep and powerful bass. I
found it hard to believe, having had the same SP18 in a
17 or-so liters BR in two-way with XT25 and AR-series xo.
On some bass-rich music (Patricia Barber, Cassandra
Wilson..) I found that I need to stuff the BR with a roll
of poly-wadding. As I said, details are aplenty, the
highs very smooth, detailed and "there", but
not shrill or aggressive. The cymbals have etheric aura
around going on and on... just like it happens in real
I am eager to try the recommended 4R7 in the midrange and
reverse the tweeter phase... But even as it is now
is very good. I realize it will need some more hours
breaking-in so will keep this configuration for another
week or so.
With the point of reference being Manger active system,
the spatial presentation is not quite as big or deep (nor
would I expect it to be!), but it is tonally (timbrally?)
correct. However compared to "itself" i.e.
AR-series-xo-based two-way using the 18SP + XT25, this is
NIGHT AND DAY difference!! I do allocate this high
performance on the crossover and I congratulate and thank
you for making it available to the rest of us! The
driver-to-driver integration is as seamless as it can be
- very smooth.
You are right in mentioning somewhere that SS 38 is
probably the most under-rated SS driver! Phenomenal
driver. As I said, the only "problem" might be
the excessive bass (or I need to re-adjust myself..), but
one easily solvable (to my ears) with stuffing the BR
tube. I really have a problem perceiving the
enormous bass energy from such a modest-sized unit.
Having said that, I do know the difference between
"boomy" and "strong-but-accurate"
bass. This is clearly the latter .. and probably need
some more room positioning experimenting (they ARE a
little too close to the back wall now..).
April 24th, 2006:
Finally got some photos of the SP-38. The
final version is with 4R7 in the mid, and reversed phase
on the XT25. Like I commented two weeks ago, the sound is
very articulate - details!! - very dynamic and
"strong", the 4R7 did subdue the mid to just
the right level (I tried 5R6 as well, it was, I felt, a
little too much..) Coherent, again I stress due to the
excellent x/over, integrating the units seamlessly. The
bass is just unbelievable ! Need to be pulled out at
least 50-60 cm (or more). I found that on some records,
mostly classical, I prefer the port open. On others,
jazz, rock ... I do plug the port . Matter of taste I
Next in line - A4 ..... finishing the enclosures.
Will post on them as well.
Rgds, Emil, Macedonia
Thanks for your mail. A lot of effort
and considerations went into the SP38 and I can't tell
how pleased I am from your report. Please allow me
to report your comments and pictures, once available. It's been a long
time since I've heard the SP38 and I'll set them up again
this evening to hear them again. Attenuation of
the 3806 certainly may depend on personal taste and room
acoustics, but the 4R7 may be worth a try. Basically it
may provide a more tolerable speaker from poor
recordings. The voicing of the upper midrange and
lower treble is always a compromise as a flat response
may reveal more details - but poor recordings
may be just too much. Indeed the 8531 is a potent bass
driver and yes, too close to the wall and they get too
much room gain and the bass may get too excessive.
Looking forward to the pics.
I must say these are some extremely fine
looking speakers. The work of a perfectionist! I couldn't
be more pleased. May they provide you with many enjoyable
hours of music listening.
SP38 and Monitor A4 built by Emil
Enclosed some pics of the A4's I just finished.
These are my third version with these drivers!
Originally I used the Dutch A4 x-over. Frankly, I
was a little disappointed,
the sound was somehow flat and of a separate bass
and treble - as opposed to a coherent one ...
Later I tried a three-element (no cap) series
x/over . The sound was different, albeit not
necessarily better - more bass (a lot more - I
guess the L2 inductor was not the happiest
choice) and the whole thing sounded too mellow,
syrupy. Anyway, after Papa and Mama Bear,
now came the Baby Bear ! The Ellam is just right
Having listened to it a couple of days (still
breaking in, the units were not used for a
several months), and confirming the impressions
with my audio friend and a cousin (himself a
Lowther and tube type), I can say that the system
- the crossover first and foremost - is very
accurate , coherent and balanced at both ends.
The bass is superb (but we all know already about
the bass capabilities of the small 15W) , the
mids are very smooth ( although not as detailed
and of studio-monitor-type class as in 18SP38 )
and the highs are perfect! The metal dome D2800
is really a top driver but it
takes a proper x/over to exploit it.
In short - an excellent small-box system, of a
highest caliber . Reminded me very much of an
original ProAc Tablette - similar easy
presentation , but with a lot more bass.