Author Topic: an afternoon at Gary’s and his Tang Band drivers  (Read 159 times)

Offline Nick B

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an afternoon at Gary’s and his Tang Band drivers
« on: October 22, 2017, 10:42:29 AM »
I visited my friend Gary’s place near Las Vegas this Friday. Gary is always tinkering, tweaking and trying new stuff. Seems he borrowed the 8” single driver Tang Band W8 - 1808s. They were mounted in a little, inexpensive square subwoofer enclosure that he says are designed for cars. His system consisted of an Audio Note dac...$1800?... , the teeny Bantam Gold Amps from the UK that produce maybe 15 watts or so, a Tortuga preamp, his solid core power cords and his liquid metal wires that he sourced from ???? The little Bantams use a Batcap battery that can be used for audio. The battery is super responsive, lightning fast. I also brought my Uber.
I’ve never had a single driver setup and have heard a couple at shows...I think. From what I’ve read, single drivers can’t handle high spls, can be “shouty” etc. I really wasn’t too interested, but I had to pick up my wife in Vegas anyway and Gary’s stuff does sound very good most of the time. Gary hooked everything up, excluding my Uber, and we listened to a lot of familiar artists like Diana Krall, Jennifer Warnes, Leonard Cohen, etc. The sound was quite good. The little Tang Bands could really rock and were wonderful to listen to. They produced beautiful sound from top to bottom. I was very pleasantly surprised and they only had 30 hours or so on them.
After considerable prodding, I asked Gary to hook up the Uber. Gary’s home grown power cords are very stiff and a bit difficult to hook up.
So the Uber was in and there was a nice improvement in clarity and resolution. Gary liked the improvement, but wasn’t blown away. After a while, the improvements became very, very obvious and we both thought the system sounded absolutely wonderful.
I’m so impressed and enthused that I’ll be buying the Tang Band drivers and looking for cheapy enclosures to test things. I fully expect the TBs will sound excellent. If so, this would allow me
to downsize, not grapple with 65 lb speakers and look for a smaller, lighter amp. Folsom’s amp may fit the bill.
I’m looking forward to some changes. I’m tired of unnecessarily big and heavy components and spending more money that I need to to achieve great sound. I’ll keep you posted on the progression.
McCormack DNA 1.0 Gold amp
SP Tech 2.1 speakers
Antelope Audio Gold dac
Auralic Aries Mini - Tidal
Roon Labs (upsampling to 24/192
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline richidoo

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Re: an afternoon at Gary’s and his Tang Band drivers
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 11:17:16 AM »
I had a lot of fun with TB 1772 drivers a couple years ago. There might a be a thread on AN for them? I put them in Bob Brines TL boxes and they sounded fantastic. I built the boxes of white pine for the full Mother of Tone treatment and I enjoyed it, mostly. The beaming high frequency was my sticking point so I returned the drivers to PE. PE sent one used driver and one new, so I didn't feel bad returning them anyway. When you order, make sure you get two brand new, unused drivers. A lot of full range drivers get sent back because people don't understand the tradeoffs and dive into the "simplicity" then the reality of no tweeter hits and they bail, like me. :)   If PE sells them as used items for discount then go for that, you can still return them for any reason. 

The TB full range drivers are especially nice because they are big so they play lower, but also they have very low mechanical resonance. In fact the 1772 is the lowest Qms of any driver I know of, like 1. So it is ideal for powering with a current source amp. Current source will remove any trace of shoutiness from full range drivers. I think First Watt F2 is current source?  Tube amps are still voltage amps, but have lousy damping because they are closer to current source than say, class D. I think that's why people like them so much.

Anyway, have fun with the FR project!

Unfortunately Bob Brines has retired from building speakers for sale, but maybe his speaker designs are still available. They come with the plans and the schematic for the passive electronic filter. No crossover, but you still need zobel network to flatten the impedance in treble, and you need baffle step correction to boost the bass to get flat FR. He does a good job overall, recommended. http://brinesacoustics.com/

Another design, very similar, is from Transcendent Audio.
http://www.transcendentsound.com/DIY_Speakers.html

I think I read somewhere that people liked the sound of 1772 a little better than 1808, and these Transcendent designs and Brines were for 1772. But you can do fine with 1808 too.

If Brines says no to selling you the plans, ask him for permission to build them using plans bought by someone else. If he says yes I'll send you my 1772 plans. It's a mini tower, a little bigger than Timepieces. Other smaller box plans on Transcendent link above, don't know if they are all 1772.
"I don't care much about music. What I like is sounds." - Dizzy Gillespie  (Audiophile or Liar?)

Offline Nick B

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Re: an afternoon at Gary’s and his Tang Band drivers
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2017, 03:32:18 PM »
I had a lot of fun with TB 1772 drivers a couple years ago. There might a be a thread on AN for them? I put them in Bob Brines TL boxes and they sounded fantastic. I built the boxes of white pine for the full Mother of Tone treatment and I enjoyed it, mostly. The beaming high frequency was my sticking point so I returned the drivers to PE. PE sent one used driver and one new, so I didn't feel bad returning them anyway. When you order, make sure you get two brand new, unused drivers. A lot of full range drivers get sent back because people don't understand the tradeoffs and dive into the "simplicity" then the reality of no tweeter hits and they bail, like me. :)   If PE sells them as used items for discount then go for that, you can still return them for any reason. 

The TB full range drivers are especially nice because they are big so they play lower, but also they have very low mechanical resonance. In fact the 1772 is the lowest Qms of any driver I know of, like 1. So it is ideal for powering with a current source amp. Current source will remove any trace of shoutiness from full range drivers. I think First Watt F2 is current source?  Tube amps are still voltage amps, but have lousy damping because they are closer to current source than say, class D. I think that's why people like them so much.

Anyway, have fun with the FR project!

Unfortunately Bob Brines has retired from building speakers for sale, but maybe his speaker designs are still available. They come with the plans and the schematic for the passive electronic filter. No crossover, but you still need zobel network to flatten the impedance in treble, and you need baffle step correction to boost the bass to get flat FR. He does a good job overall, recommended. http://brinesacoustics.com/

Another design, very similar, is from Transcendent Audio.
http://www.transcendentsound.com/DIY_Speakers.html

I think I read somewhere that people liked the sound of 1772 a little better than 1808, and these Transcendent designs and Brines were for 1772. But you can do fine with 1808 too.

If Brines says no to selling you the plans, ask him for permission to build them using plans bought by someone else. If he says yes I'll send you my 1772 plans. It's a mini tower, a little bigger than Timepieces. Other smaller box plans on Transcendent link above, don't know if they are all 1772.


Lots of good info, Rich. I did find a thread on AC and also lots of info on the web. I’ll be looking more as well. Somewhere I have a link from Gary re a Madisound enclosure kit for the 1772. That one is nice because it uses a tongue and groove? system and the exterior needs to be finished. I’d hire someone to do that as my glued square would likely end up looking like a trapezoid.... Other kits would likely be too barebones and cost too much to have a woodworker do. Ideally, I’d just like an enclosure for a stand. A floor standing unit might be too much for the wife.

 I think I’ll start out by getting the dimensions of Gary’s boxes and go to Lowes  and have them cut the dimensions. I’ve got a jigsaw somewhere and I’ll just screw it together to see if the 1808s sound as good in my room. As to adding a sub or tweeter as what I saw on the web, I’d say no to that. I really want simplicity. Gary and I listened for at least three hours and there weren’t any obvious deficiencies with the TBs. It may be easy for me to miss some things, but Gary’s a musician.
I’m hopeful this may be the ticket for me
Nick
McCormack DNA 1.0 Gold amp
SP Tech 2.1 speakers
Antelope Audio Gold dac
Auralic Aries Mini - Tidal
Roon Labs (upsampling to 24/192
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline gander

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Re: an afternoon at Gary’s and his Tang Band drivers
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2017, 08:45:43 AM »
 Hi Nick,

Thank you for the kind words; that was a great listening session. I frankly was kind of surprised because the tang band speakers were new to me, on loan from a friend just to test the feasibility of   single full range drivers.  This got me started on doing a lot of research about single driver full range systems. And I have learned a lot in a short time.  My previous system used hemp cone alnico magnet custom made electro voice mid woofers with Great Heil tweeters and a Marchand XM66 dynamic active crossover, meaning that I can change the crossover point on the fly.  An extremely flexible system.

The liquid metal cables are made from thin vinyl tubing with liquid metal (Galinstan -  gallium, indium and tin) injected inside, with special terminating wire that liquid metal will not eat (liquid metal loves copper, and eat it like Pac-Man).  I got 250 g of the stuff from a company in Germany off of eBay. Oh one thing, it is literally a hazmat, heavy metal that is toxic, not nearly as bad as mercury, but still you have to be careful.  So you do have to dress the part when working with it - goggles, vinyl gloves, etc.  I got the idea from a company that sells their own liquid metal wires and since I don’t sell them but just using for my own personal use I can make whatever I want.

 However… I may have fell prey to the “if it is exotic and sounds cool it must be better“ syndrome. While they do sound excellent, literally the most “liquid“ sound, what I and another audio friend discovered when we were doing listening at my house, purely by accident, is that my previous design of interconnects that I built are actually a little better!  More detailed and a fuller sound, even with the digital interconnect swapped in.  These wires are the same type of wires that Nick has, and they are made with a very thin solid core wire with a very thin insulation. I am talking up to 43 gauge thin. So thin you can hardly see it. Thinner than any Litz wire you have seen.  So thin it isn’t even on US AWG wire chart. Why so thin? Because I tried thinner wire and it sounded better. And it just kept going.  And what is crazy is that the thinner with the wire, the better the detail and the better the bass. Crazy stuff.  I brought some of this interconnect wire over to Nick’s house, but a prototype that didn’t have a protective covering over it and it was so thin his cat thought it was great fun and chewed through it. So caveat emptor if you have pets. The current wire has a non-plastic sheathing around it.  My DIY power cords and my interconnects and my speaker wire have absolutely no shielding whatsoever. I think that shielding, and especially plastic coating kills the sound.  And for example, my power cords have absolutely crushed $2000 “game changer“ power cords. So much of what you read in audio magazines is hype and you can do much better yourself if you feel adventurous and a little crazy.

I do a lot of unique things that nobody has done and that every audiophile thinks my stuff is crazy, but if it works, it works.

 Also I have been using my Primaluna dialogue four tube amplifier with KT77 tubes, which puts out 21 watts in triode mode and 42 watts in ultralinear mode. A really sweet amplifier.

 Long story short, since Nick was here I have come up with a better sounding power cord, more flexible and more dynamic, replaced my liquid metal wires with my previous architecture wires, and with that have tried not only the tang band speakers, but a pair of Audio Nirvana 12 inch ferrite full range speakers  I had tucked away somewhere that sound great, especially in open baffle, which are not supposed to sound so great that way since they having so very small 1 mm Xmax.  But then the bumblebee isn’t supposed to be able to fly either.

 But my latest driver discovery is Mark Audio A10P speakers, 6 1/2 inch full range drivers, modified by Dave from planet10–hifi.com with what they call the “enable” process.  If you read what Bud says, the inventor of this patented process, the little bumps they put on the speaker cone and on the frame help to get rid of standing waves at the speaker; Possibly similar to what the military used on highly classified sonar so that they can get the detail that they have; not sure about that but somebody was talking about it online. It sounded a little hokey to me but I ordered a pair anyway, and they’re absolutely the best sounding speakers I have ever heard.  With the “enable” process, the speakers just kind of disappear.  More presence and detail, great soundstage with a kind of magical presence, and excellent highs, mids and bass. I can’t find a damn thing wrong with how they sound.  In open baffle they do have shortcomings, but in my larger, actually quite cheap vented cabinets, they are terrific and the bass is sometimes too much. They have a 7 mm X max so excursion is very good.

 But the most convincing thing I have heard from them is that I can hear plenty of detail and everything I want to hear at lower volumes, kind of like somebody in another post talked about listening to their system in an anechoic chamber, where no sound waves bouncing off the walls can interfere. That is the kind of thing that the “enable” process is supposed to do,  getting rid of standing waves at the speaker, and I guess it does it very well. The speakers cost me $340 for the pair plus shipping, plus I had to wait a few weeks to get them, but well worth the wait.  And planet10-HiFi.com Dave is a really a great guy and extremely helpful. One of these gems that you hope to find in the Audio world.

 Also I am going to be experimenting with cabinets. Possibly with building ported large golden ratio rectangular cabinets, or back horn cabinets, which Dave of planet10 hi-fi highly recommends and they have plans for that. Oh what fun.

 Also I’m probably going to open a thread about the crazy tweaking things I do in my DIY and tweaks that make a huge difference in the sound of my system.

Gary






Oppo 103, SSD drive
GanderWire ICs, speaker cables, power cords
Audio Note 2.1B DAC
Tortuga LDR passive pre
Primaluna Dialogue Four tube amp
Planet10-HiFi MarkAudio A10P eNabled modded speakers.

Offline Nick B

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Re: an afternoon at Gary’s and his Tang Band drivers
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2017, 12:51:59 PM »
Hi Nick,

Thank you for the kind words; that was a great listening session. I frankly was kind of surprised because the tang band speakers were new to me, on loan from a friend just to test the feasibility of   single full range drivers.  This got me started on doing a lot of research about single driver full range systems. And I have learned a lot in a short time.  My previous system used hemp cone alnico magnet custom made electro voice mid woofers with Great Heil tweeters and a Marchand XM66 dynamic active crossover, meaning that I can change the crossover point on the fly.  An extremely flexible system.

The liquid metal cables are made from thin vinyl tubing with liquid metal (Galinstan -  gallium, indium and tin) injected inside, with special terminating wire that liquid metal will not eat (liquid metal loves copper, and eat it like Pac-Man).  I got 250 g of the stuff from a company in Germany off of eBay. Oh one thing, it is literally a hazmat, heavy metal that is toxic, not nearly as bad as mercury, but still you have to be careful.  So you do have to dress the part when working with it - goggles, vinyl gloves, etc.  I got the idea from a company that sells their own liquid metal wires and since I don’t sell them but just using for my own personal use I can make whatever I want.

 However… I may have fell prey to the “if it is exotic and sounds cool it must be better“ syndrome. While they do sound excellent, literally the most “liquid“ sound, what I and another audio friend discovered when we were doing listening at my house, purely by accident, is that my previous design of interconnects that I built are actually a little better!  More detailed and a fuller sound, even with the digital interconnect swapped in.  These wires are the same type of wires that Nick has, and they are made with a very thin solid core wire with a very thin insulation. I am talking up to 43 gauge thin. So thin you can hardly see it. Thinner than any Litz wire you have seen.  So thin it isn’t even on US AWG wire chart. Why so thin? Because I tried thinner wire and it sounded better. And it just kept going.  And what is crazy is that the thinner with the wire, the better the detail and the better the bass. Crazy stuff.  I brought some of this interconnect wire over to Nick’s house, but a prototype that didn’t have a protective covering over it and it was so thin his cat thought it was great fun and chewed through it. So caveat emptor if you have pets. The current wire has a non-plastic sheathing around it.  My DIY power cords and my interconnects and my speaker wire have absolutely no shielding whatsoever. I think that shielding, and especially plastic coating kills the sound.  And for example, my power cords have absolutely crushed $2000 “game changer“ power cords. So much of what you read in audio magazines is hype and you can do much better yourself if you feel adventurous and a little crazy.

I do a lot of unique things that nobody has done and that every audiophile thinks my stuff is crazy, but if it works, it works.

 Also I have been using my Primaluna dialogue four tube amplifier with KT77 tubes, which puts out 21 watts in triode mode and 42 watts in ultralinear mode. A really sweet amplifier.

 Long story short, since Nick was here I have come up with a better sounding power cord, more flexible and more dynamic, replaced my liquid metal wires with my previous architecture wires, and with that have tried not only the tang band speakers, but a pair of Audio Nirvana 12 inch ferrite full range speakers  I had tucked away somewhere that sound great, especially in open baffle, which are not supposed to sound so great that way since they having so very small 1 mm Xmax.  But then the bumblebee isn’t supposed to be able to fly either.

 But my latest driver discovery is Mark Audio A10P speakers, 6 1/2 inch full range drivers, modified by Dave from planet10–hifi.com with what they call the “enable” process.  If you read what Bud says, the inventor of this patented process, the little bumps they put on the speaker cone and on the frame help to get rid of standing waves at the speaker; Possibly similar to what the military used on highly classified sonar so that they can get the detail that they have; not sure about that but somebody was talking about it online. It sounded a little hokey to me but I ordered a pair anyway, and they’re absolutely the best sounding speakers I have ever heard.  With the “enable” process, the speakers just kind of disappear.  More presence and detail, great soundstage with a kind of magical presence, and excellent highs, mids and bass. I can’t find a damn thing wrong with how they sound.  In open baffle they do have shortcomings, but in my larger, actually quite cheap vented cabinets, they are terrific and the bass is sometimes too much. They have a 7 mm X max so excursion is very good.

 But the most convincing thing I have heard from them is that I can hear plenty of detail and everything I want to hear at lower volumes, kind of like somebody in another post talked about listening to their system in an anechoic chamber, where no sound waves bouncing off the walls can interfere. That is the kind of thing that the “enable” process is supposed to do,  getting rid of standing waves at the speaker, and I guess it does it very well. The speakers cost me $340 for the pair plus shipping, plus I had to wait a few weeks to get them, but well worth the wait.  And planet10-HiFi.com Dave is a really a great guy and extremely helpful. One of these gems that you hope to find in the Audio world.

 Also I am going to be experimenting with cabinets. Possibly with building ported large golden ratio rectangular cabinets, or back horn cabinets, which Dave of planet10 hi-fi highly recommends and they have plans for that. Oh what fun.

 Also I’m probably going to open a thread about the crazy tweaking things I do in my DIY and tweaks that make a huge difference in the sound of my system.

Gary


Hi Gary,
Glad those Mark Audio drivers are working for you. Hard to believe those 6 1/2 “ drivers....with the right cabinet....can produce good bass. I’ll be interested re the results of your cabinet build as well.
When I started using your power cords and interconnects, it brought the performance level up quite a few notches. The most interesting feature was the thinner the IC wire, the better is sounded. Once you put the sheath on the ICs, the cat also lost his appetite:) Do post re your tweaks. You come up with lots of interesting ideas 👍
Nick
McCormack DNA 1.0 Gold amp
SP Tech 2.1 speakers
Antelope Audio Gold dac
Auralic Aries Mini - Tidal
Roon Labs (upsampling to 24/192
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A