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Minimal footprint 14 channel system using BMR speakers

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Jan Loosman


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Minimal footprint 14 channel system using BMR speakers

PostMon Oct 19, 2020 2:59 pm

After reading many positive revieuws over speakers with BMR drivers and so becoming curious,
i decided to try them myself.
I ordered 2 small Cambridge minx min12 surround speakers to experiment with these speakers/drivers in my Hauptwerk setup.
These speakers use BMR (balanced mode) drivers, have a very large freq. range from 300-20000 hz so they can be filtered very low if needed! they also have an almost uniform radiation pattern through the whole freq range. So no bundeling off the higher freq. as most speakers do, and no crossover used in the phase sensitive midrange of our hearing. It occured to me that this would be very favorable for a nearfield hautwerk setup.

General info over BMR speakers on Cambridge and Naim site ... ay2009.pdf

I already own a custom-made mid/bass speaker with a high-end scanspeak illuminator midwoofer driver.
In my setup, using bassplit function in Hauptwerk, i send every organ pipe under 300hz including the harmonics to these scanspeaks and every pipe above this frequency to the minx min12.
So a crossover is not needed, thus avoiding phase shifts because every note has a dedicated speaker now.
Then i started listening and the sound immediately appealled to me. Very open, good stereo immage also when moving arround, and no aggresive highs. Maybe a little laidback but always very easy on the ears. No more harsh sounding reeds, mixtures etc. which irritated me the most in a nearfield configuration.

Then i thought why not use multiple little BMR speakers to create a genuine multi channel system as favoured by many Hauptwerk users (so to reduce intermodulation distortion) but with a footprint not larger then a standard speaker. Also avoiding large speaker arrays which compromise the correct stereo immage when placed to close in front off you.
I purchased 3 more pairs of Cambridge min12 speakers and bought some more full digital Denons PMA 60 amplifiers and a RME digiface USB to add more digital channels.

So now i use four denon pma 60 amps for the BMR’s, one Denon pma 50 for the scanspeaks and a QLS qa 100 for the Kef e305 rears.
Exept the subwoofers (2 Rel q200 front stereo and a Jamo for the rear), i have a full digital system.
Hidden in my console i also use a simple pc speaker system for the tracker sounds.

I made a simple box for the four BMR speakers per channel separating the speakers with cellfoam, and distributed the stops above 300 hz with the Hauptwerk cycling algorithm to these speakers.
Van den Hull clearwater speaker cables are used to add maximal clarity.

here you can see the result.

It is a trial setup so i have to work on the looks with speaker clothing etc.


How does it sound?
well very transparant for shure, non fatiguing, perfect stereo image, also when moving around and esp. with full registration you get more insight of the added stops and improved dynamics (this improved over using four BMR speakers v.s. a single speaker).

so i think the strenght of this system is.

Minimal footprint for the five stereo front channels.
Phase coherent sound, also skipping crossovers
Good insight in sound,

Regards Jan Loosman

my setup

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