Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

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JamesD
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Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by JamesD » Wed May 13, 2020 11:44 pm

Part of my new main system debate is what to do with the Quasars - Do I refurbish the AERs to the latest spec - most expensive option.
Do I replace the AERs with something else like Cube 8" or Sonido 8" or ??? Varying costs...
Do I start from scratch and build a different design???

Still exploring options but I need something to use on the end of the N43 amp. This is a temporary system so doesn't need to fulfil the main system brief but needs to be nice and sensibly priced... Since my favourite medium sized fullrange the FX120 is either unobtanium or really expensive I started looking and listening to other beasties and, to cut a long story short, decided on the Sonido 145mm speakers. I have a nice Ruark Log Rythum sub woofer so I can get away with satellite performance from these so ended up with sealed box design with system Q of 0.567 in just under 4 litre cabs. f3 is around 144Hz but that is fine with the Ruark although I wouldn't want it any higher... roll of is gentle and matches what the Ruark can do OK...

SO I've ordered the drivers and it should also help decide is their big brother in the Quasars is sensible or if I really do need to spend the money on the AERs...

Why the system Q of 0.567? Thats the Q valve with the minimum group delay across all audio frequencies... Q=0.5 is minimum group delay at the system resonance frequency only - normally called transient perfect. I'm not sure I can hear the difference with a sealed box and I still prefer the sound of sealed boxes compared to vented/ported designs.

ciao

James

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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by JamesD » Wed May 20, 2020 11:55 am

Well the Sonido drivers have been shipped :D

The intention with these satellites is to also build a pair of bass helpers using a pair of either the SB Acoustics SB29NRX-75 or the SB34NRX-75 in a sealed box with Q=0.567 to help keep the box volume sensible. The design parameters to start are an f3 of 40Hz, f5 of 33-35Hz and f10 of 20Hz. Quite demanding for a sealed box with fairly low Q.

For the SB29 I moved the parameters a bit and ended up with a box of 100l Q=0.5 f3=46Hz f5=35Hz f10=20Hz so that is a quite practical box with a bottom end that integrates nicely with a typical room.. Here is the sim freq. response
SB29NRX-75 Sealed Cabinet Q0.5 100l 46Hz.png
For the SB34 I have a box of 260l q=0.567, f3 35Hz f5 27Hz f10 17Hz for a truly prodigious hifi audio subwoofer (as opposed to HT sub woofer) :D A pair of these in a typical room would be amazing! Here is the sim frequency response
SB34NRX-75 Sealed Cabinet Q0.567 260l 35Hz.png
The drivers are only £20 different in price so its space that is the determining factor - wonder which one I will end up with :lol:

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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by IslandPink » Wed May 20, 2020 6:25 pm

It's a nice little unit the 145a, good find. I think I came across the bigger one when looking for alternatives to the twin FX120's, but wasn't sure if anyone actually had them on sale. 4L is a handy size !
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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by simon » Wed May 20, 2020 10:39 pm

IIRC my SB34 is in a 126L box q=0.7 f3=34Hz and it thunders. I've wondered a few times about trying a pair :-D.

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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by simon » Wed May 20, 2020 10:45 pm

Those Sonido drivers look interesting, I hadn't seen them before. Be very interesting to see what you think of them James.

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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by JamesD » Thu May 21, 2020 4:48 am

Very curious about the Sonidos myself :D

I've read some opinions from people who seem to have similar audio taste to me and read about the history of the company. Then I pursued an intensive listening campaign.... via youtube to get some impression of there characteristic sound... that was a real mixed bag of a few good videos that helped and a lot of rubbish that couldn't help much at all... so I decided to try a toe in the water with the 145s.

They make a nice 6*9 elliptical driver that has lower distortion than the circular drivers - I'm quite tempted by that one too :D

A pair of SB34s would be absolutely awesome :twisted: and I'm very mindful of the size of the cabinet at Q=0.7 as thats a very practical size compared to the 260l monsters I'm thinking about... but still smaller than the Quasars. and they could be made from Perspex...

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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by IslandPink » Thu May 21, 2020 9:33 am

JamesD wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 4:48 am
They make a nice 6*9 elliptical driver that has lower distortion than the circular drivers - I'm quite tempted by that one too :D
Ooh, I must have a look. I remember looking at the Saba greencone ellipticals ( 9 x 6 or 7 ? ) on EBay and wondering if they would have different breakup modes to a circular driver.
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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by Cressy Snr » Thu May 21, 2020 3:44 pm

I built a speaker in 1974, with an EMI 13in x 8in driver. It had twin tweeters mounted on a bar across the front of the driver and came with a crossover and cabinet plans. Wasn’t bad at all IIRC. Innocent days. :)
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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by simon » Thu May 21, 2020 7:05 pm

JamesD wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 4:48 am
A pair of SB34s would be absolutely awesome :twisted: and I'm very mindful of the size of the cabinet at Q=0.7 as thats a very practical size compared to the 260l monsters I'm thinking about... but still smaller than the Quasars. and they could be made from Perspex...
I'd be using them instead of the 285GMFs and they're not in their league, so I haven't tried it. But the extra grunt beneath the Supravoxes is enticing :-D. Probably needs a different solution in this application, but we've discussed this before :-).

Without having heard the Sonidos they should make a heck of a system with SB34s. And 4L cabs are super, like big bottles of milk! I've not seen any prices for Sonido drivers so no idea what they cost though.

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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by JamesD » Thu May 21, 2020 7:18 pm

The 145s are €225 a pair
The ellipticals are €450 a pair.

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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by simon » Thu May 21, 2020 10:23 pm

Very tempting!

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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by simon » Thu May 21, 2020 11:20 pm

I really think you should try some perspex cabs for the S34s James, it would be fascinating to hear how they perform. :-)

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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by Paul Barker » Thu May 21, 2020 11:50 pm

James is it the BD1 we’d need to replace our foam suspension corroded AE1’s? €2,300?

Dont think I’ll ever afford those; I’m going to have to try wing it with some very thin Chamis leather or something. Nothing to lose.
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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by JamesD » Fri May 22, 2020 4:18 am

Hi Paul,

This cost includes replacing the cones as they have developed new cones that are a significant upgrade on the ones I have. A foam only refurbishment is less than half that - not sure how much less - they used to have the prices on the web site but now you have to email them for a quote. It took Fillip about two weeks to reply. Mine are MK 1 that preceded the BD1.

I tried the chamois leather approach and found it deadened the sound and was very difficult to apply. I concluded that the leather I had was much too thick. This also muck up the cones so they have to be replaced too...

Hi Simon,

Seriously thinking of doing it - how would you characterise the difference between the GMF 285 and the SB34s??

ciao

James

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Re: Sonido SWR-145/a Satellite speakers

Post by simon » Fri May 22, 2020 5:21 pm

Hi James, that's a great question and one I'm a little nervous of answering on a public forum. So, caveats first.

I've not heard them in the same system, though I currently have both driven by notionally the same cheap but capable enough 3116 eBay specials.

The single SB34 is in the same, albeit partitioned, box with the Alpair 12Ps, and the 2A3 SE amp driving the 12Ps has a roll off below 40Hz. Even without the bass amp turned on I'm fairly sure there's output coming from the SB, which I'm guessing is mechanically induced from the 12Ps. I have little to base this on, but if this isn't happening the 12Ps in sealed 7?L boxes are extraordinary.

On the other hand the 208s roll off a touch higher than the 12Ps so there is more contribution higher up, I'd guess 90Hz to 110Hz, from the 285GMFs. And as there's a pair of them I think there's more spatial info from the 285s than the 34 inevitably.

And the 208s are driven by copper GM70s so the overall sound balance in the 285 system is more brightly lit and spatial anyway than the 2A3/12P sound. If that makes sense.

So, all that said, I'd say that the difference is the 285s have more definition and detail, more tunes if you like, but the 34 goes lower, and it's the low stuff that surprises, when it's there.

The 34 is a fun speaker - I remember running through a few tracks when I first got it up and running and was really quite surprised when I tried a Blondie track - 11:59. The grunt was compulsive, it felt much more like being at a gig than listening to hi if. I suspect this may be due to 12Ps and SB34 both covering the c100Hz to 180Hz range. But what's wrong with exciting :-).

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