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The Loudspeaker-1, built by PieterJan

Copyright 2021 © Troels Gravesen

Having completed the build of the Troels Gravesen design for "The Loudspeaker" here some initial impressions.
 
My audioset consists of T+A HV equipment, DAC8DSD, Melco N10 and Kef Reference R5 speakers. A very good set with excellent soundstage, deep bass and clear highs. The acoustics of my listening room are good and I employ modest equaliser settings to compensate for room modes.
 
I had been looking at Troels's website for quite some time and I have been impressed with his descriptions, detailed knowledge and clear information. So given the Corona lockdown I decided to go and build the
TL1 as a way to keep myself (and my wife...) sane. Given my audioset I opted for the passive TL1 set with the best components and ordered the
Level1 set at Jantzen audio. At the same time (December 2020, just before Brexit kicked in) I ordered the speakers at Lean, and the speakers arrived after 3 days, well before the 31st.
 
Jantzen delivered the level1 set the first week of January. The Baltic birch at 27mm and 20mm took some time but by mid January all components where in house. In the meantime I had completed a set of detailed drawings based on my build approach (see pic dsc_0361smallest.jpg). I decided for that way since that would give me more flexibility in glueing the cabinets together and to address any issues with routing or sawing mistakes. And yes there are a few of those inside the cabinets.
The build itself was straightforward, routing, sawing etc etc went smoothly. I must admit though that I have a decent set of tools available to me. One can not complete this project without quality tools!
 
Putting the crossovers together was a treat. The supplied schematics are clear and the approach Troels advocates works very well. I noticed a significant difference between the first crossover I assembled and the last one, the last being my best of course.
 
After 9 layers of semi gloss lacquer, the moment to hoist these beasts to my audio room at the first floor arrived. I installed the drivers in my listening room (save 15kgs of weight while moving to the first floo) and after positioning the speakers the moment of truth arrived.
Disconnect my Kef Reference R5's and hook op de TL1's. Will they work?
Pfff... all drivers work.
 
Sound? Well, first impressions where favourable, but the speakers need time and the equalizer in my pre-amp needs to be setup for these guys.
After completing measurements and equalizer setup (markedly different from the setup requirements for the Kef's, the graphs for the TL1 are much smoother then the ones for the Kef's) the speakers had about 4 hrs of time and started to loosen up. The sound is amazing. The Kef's are good, but these are better! Specifically at low SPL's the soundstage is broader, bass is certainly there but not "in your face" and the high frequencies are more refined. Listening to my favourite tracks I heard additional detail I do not recall having heard before. Specifically the album "Same before" from Youn Sun Nah was incredible.
 
At the start of this project it was not clear to me if the TL1's would surpass the Kef R5's. I took a a gamble based on reading a lot of Troels's material and my gutfeel (and on the quality of drivers and xover's as far as I could ascertain from the pictures and descriptions by Troels) but even after only 5 hrs of playing time it is clear to me.
The TL1's stay and the Kef's will have to look for a new home.
 
Troels (and Michael of Jantzen audio) thanks very much for your insights and occasional help. My wife and I are very pleased with the result.
 
Best Regards PieterJan

 

04-03-2021
Troels,
2 shots of the final feet.
Stainless steel platform with isoaccoustics GAIA1 decouplers.
I love the sound of the TL1. It is full, clear and crisp. My T+A's drive this set easily and with finess. Thanks again for your excelent work, anybody in the Netherlands asking questions feel free to get them in touch with me.
Best regards.
Met vriendelijke groet
PieterJan