Building the arraysWhatsNew

Switching to the 10F/8414G10

First of all, we’ve had a room renovation a while back, so over time expect new pictures on the main page to reflect that upgrade. As that’s what we feel it is anyway, an upgrade. Further plans include the move to another driver for the array. After having bought the TC9/FD18-08 way back in 2011, I have no regrets as it has done a marvelous job. However, due to moist or old age, I suffered from some broken drivers. in comes the 10F/8414G10.

Disassembly of the drivers proved that these drivers were showing an open circuit right where the voice coil is attached to the lead wires. Corrosion underneath the glue was the main reason for these open circuit failures. To repair a failure like that isn’t easy, as it’s all hidden beneath the dust-cap. I tried to contact Tymphany, sadly I got no response.

Scan Speak

I figured I’d ask Scan Speak, as they were the company that designed this driver way back when. They were able to confirm they have had similar problems with the glue that was used to secure that specific connection. They did change the glue on their complete driver line a while ago. That fact made me consider swapping to a different driver. I’ve always lusted after an array full of Scan Speak 10F drivers. We only live once, right!

The 10F/8414G10 seemed to be the most suitable replacement. Almost a direct drop-in. It only needs some shaving of the basket to fit…

Update June 2022: these new Scan Speak drivers are in! The arrays now are sporting 25x Scan Speak 10F 8414G10 per side. Lots more info on that driver can be found here (including Klippel test information). It is clear that these new Scan Speak drivers are a close relative of the Vifa/Peerless I was using before. The Scan Speak driver does use a bit more care in all of it’s parts though. The aluminium basket, the resonance free fiberglass cone, a more powerful neodymium magnet…  it makes a difference.

Differences

How much of a difference was for me to find out. I’ve used my arrays with the Vifa/Peerless brand drivers for quite a while and I sure wasn’t displeased with the results I got. So what’s different? In making the needed tweaks to get the system up and running again, I came across a few of these differences. Will it be audible differences? My time with the frequency shaded arrays while using the Vifa/Peerless drivers was limited. I could measure differences though.

Distortion

I’ve measured the arrays in stereo with both the Scan Speak 10F/8414 10 and the Vifa/Peerless TC9/FD18-08, here’s a comparison:

2x Arrays consisting of the Scan Speak 10F/8414G10 at 80 dB and at 2.7 meter distance:

10F/8414G10

2x Arrays consisting of the Vifa/Peerless TC9/FD18-08 at 80 dB and 2.7 meter distance:

Be aware that outside noise can easily creep into any measurement in my living room. These two pictures are more alike than they are different. A trend can be witnessed after some more extended measurements and use. The Scan Speak 10F/8414G10 is cleaner on the top end while the Vifa/Peerless TC9/FD18-08 has a better performance at the lower end (below about 300 Hz). I wouldn’t dare put the same boost on the low end of the Scan Speak drivers that I used before on the Vifa/Peerless drivers. It would result in having more distortion that could also cause less desirable effects at mid frequencies.

Bottom end

The bottom end is adjusted a bit different with these new drivers from what I used to run. There’s a low-pass crossover at about 200 Hz on the subwoofers. First we EQ the arrays flat and shortly after that a low shelf is added to the arrays of -8 dB instead of using a high-pass here. At 50 Hz there is a final high pass to relieve them of any low bass duties. Each pair of an array + sub-woofer (left and right) is EQ-ed together to get the best summed output, making use of what the room adds for their specific position. That way the bass stays stereo right down to the lowest notes.

I’ll talk about the use of some bass tweaks in another post soon, as it can be lots of fun to adjust the bass and keep it running in stereo (below 500 Hz) with some mid/side EQ.