About twelve years ago I was "clean". A Bose was making me happy. Then a friend gave me a pair of old Maggies.........
A few years later, a pair of Quad 57's, David Berning's amazing Siegfried ZOTL 811-10, an LP12 and a Mares Connoisseur 2,0 phono preamp and I was pretty hooked again. Frequent visits to the Triode Guild and a few kind emails from Gizmo, and horns were sure to be next.
I found a pair of old W-style corner horns made in Canada for Vitavox, and a pair of Tannoy 12" Reds. Very nice, but a difficult crossover to say the least. Arthur Loesch has some very refined ideas on this subject. I also used a Vitavox AK 120 with various high end pairings; Heill and Supravox 13cm drivers were especially fine. What I liked with the Supravox driver in a 7L reflex was the low x-over point, around 100Hz. Wanting the full Alnico magic and high efficiency and being wary of the struggles with wizzers and shouts, I went out on a limb and ordered the Supravox 215-2000. Lovely tone and it worked amazingly well full-range in my W-horns which are about 60Hz or so. 215-2000 also did quite well on a baffle over the horns with the AK 120's.
One thing was consistent however; a slight but troubling rise from the lower midrange up to 4-5kHz. Part of this I believe is the driver and part is baffle step problems. Not wanting to insert any electronic corrections in the signal path, and following GM's thoughts on applying acoustic solutions to acoustic problems it seemed time to call Bert.
Oris 150 arrived very smoothly via Ron Welbourne, and the fitting of the "ears" of the Supravox 215-2000's was achieved by grinding out the ring with a dramel bit on an electric drill. Not very elegant, but it worked. Everything else was strictly by the manual.
Bass is provided by the bargain of the century: JBL 4648 A via tent sale. Each box has two JBL 2226 drivers 16 Ohm in parallel, 8 Ohm net, $220 delivered. ( Thanks to my friends in the Chicago Horn Club for the heads up on this deal.) I drive the bass cabinets with two Parts Express plate amps that are fed speaker level from the Berning amp, and have their own 12dB x-over, phase and level control and possibility of a little low end boost. As of now the are good in my room down to about 25-30 Hz, and playing with the level is fun, as recordings vary so much in the lower frequencies.
The main goal of getting a rich midrange is wonderfully achieved. The horns lift perfectly the 215-2000 into that lovely tonality of old Quads with the added dynamics of horns. Bass integration is very natural around 200Hz. I believe this is critical as opposed to the 5-600Hz x-overs that many systems struggle with. Now, over 10kHz there is, as much as I'd like to deny it, a little air missing. I have been fooling around with some tweeters placed on the outside of the Oris at the 5:00 and 7:00 positions, and it does help, and integrates surprisingly well, but now of course I wonder how a driver with a whizzer cone would work.
So, round and round it goes, but I for one have had a lot of fun and music has never sounded better in our house. Much gratitude is due Joël at Supravox who made it very pleasant to be a customer, and to Serge of Audio-Consulting who answered countless questions about the 215-2000, and let me audition his wonderful Silver Rock Transformer Potentiometer which now makes magic here every day, and to the entire DIY audio community which blows my mind with its kindness and inspiration in these dark and greedy times, and finally, from the depth of my heart:
Thank You Bert!