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Best speakers for non pedal stops

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John Oss

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Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostMon Jan 30, 2023 5:28 pm

Hoping to get some suggestions on which all range speakers would work best for manual divisions (without heavy 16's). I have tried using some used Allen speakers and they seem to bring out sort of a high pitch buzz (distortion) in particularly the flute stops 8' and 4'. I have also tried Rodgers and Peevey speakers which seem to work a little better. If anyone has suggestions on what I might be able to purchase in a medium price range I would very much appreciate it. I'm looking for 2 different sets by the way and one would be without space limitations and the other space would need to be a little more compact. I'm looking for non-amplified speakers since I already have purchased a very adequate set of amplifiers.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
John
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larason2

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostMon Jan 30, 2023 7:10 pm

Have you checked the Allen's drivers? It's very common that you'll get foam rot, which develops exactly the problem you have. If so, you can replace the surrounds quite easily yourself using a kit from Simply Speakers, Parts express, etc. I've done this on four Allen HC12's, which I'm very happy with.

The Behringer 2031a's are frequently mentioned. They are not the world's best speakers, but they are probably the cheapest you will get reasonably good organ music out of. If you're going any fancier, make sure you have a driver at least as big as its biggest driver, about 9". I think Behringer also has a similar passive box, but I forget the model number. Don't skimp on the amps, I would suggest a Crown or QSC level of quality minimum.
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josq

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostWed Feb 01, 2023 4:51 am

KEF LS50 Meta is a beautiful and really excellent passive speaker (there is also an active version which is more expensive but which you don't need because you have an amplifier already).

Here is a review from a website which (unlike most other reviews websites) includes objective measurements:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/foru ... ker.25574/

I find webshops that sell the LS50 Meta for EUR 500-600 a piece, don't know if that fits for you but I think it is reasonable given the total cost of a Hauptwerk setup.
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mdyde

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostWed Feb 01, 2023 5:20 am

[Topic moved here.]
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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rayjcar

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostWed Feb 01, 2023 7:21 am

A fundamental decision is whether you want an "up front" sound from monitor speakers, or something with a wider image. I am extremely pleased with a pair of KEF Q950 tower speakers, positioned either side of the console, and spaced out from the walls about 18 inches. I have a Kube 10 subwoofer. The sound is very immersive, and very clean. The tweeters are bright but not harsh.

Ray
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neptune

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostMon Feb 13, 2023 8:53 pm

I'm going to disagree with some of the recommendations here. The KEF's are excellent speakers and yes they image extremely well. But right tool for the job; I find them fatiguing if I play baroque with mixtures.

Sound stage and imaging which the KEFs excel at, are less important IMHO for a multi-channel organ setup. I prefer speakers based on their neutrality (no harsh highs!) and greatly prefer folded ribbon style speakers from (say) Adam or Emotiva.

We all have different sensitives and preferences, so perhaps others aren't as bothered by ear fatigue. Owning both KEF R300's and Adams, there is no doubt that while the KEF is the better speaker for vocals, guitar, movies and have that smooth, tight clean bass and pixel perfect treble, I cannot listen to baroque organ music on them for more than 20 mins whereas the Adam's I can sustain 1.5+ hours before stopping for other reasons with no ear fatigue in sight. I do greatly prefer the KEF's for anything other than organ music, and it's been a dream of mine to make a 5.1 home theatre setup using KEF Meta's but I haven't quite made it there yet.
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josq

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostTue Feb 14, 2023 4:24 am

Adams are excellent too. The T5V's for example are not at all expensive, but measure very well (even compared to several more expensive speakers in the Adam product line).
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/foru ... tor.18122/

Those are active speakers though. Don't know if selling the amplifiers is an option. But keep an open mind: it is not impossible to achieve better sound and to get back some money at the same time.
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mnailor

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostTue Feb 14, 2023 5:44 am

I like my group of Adam T7V for manual stops. They sound best to me at 1 - 2 meters from my ears. They're on shelves with less wall clearance than recommended for the rear port, but switching the LF control to -2 dB makes that work.

I'm going to add some T8V next, expanding a group of older A8X.
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Jan Loosman

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostTue Feb 14, 2023 7:42 am

neptune wrote:I'm going to disagree with some of the recommendations here. The KEF's are excellent speakers and yes they image extremely well. But right tool for the job; I find them fatiguing if I play baroque with mixtures.

Sound stage and imaging which the KEFs excel at, are less important IMHO for a multi-channel organ setup. I prefer speakers based on their neutrality (no harsh highs!) and greatly prefer folded ribbon style speakers from (say) Adam or Emotiva.

We all have different sensitives and preferences, so perhaps others aren't as bothered by ear fatigue. Owning both KEF R300's and Adams, there is no doubt that while the KEF is the better speaker for vocals, guitar, movies and have that smooth, tight clean bass and pixel perfect treble, I cannot listen to baroque organ music on them for more than 20 mins whereas the Adam's I can sustain 1.5+ hours before stopping for other reasons with no ear fatigue in sight. I do greatly prefer the KEF's for anything other than organ music, and it's been a dream of mine to make a 5.1 home theatre setup using KEF Meta's but I haven't quite made it there yet.


I have to agree.
I am a big fan off Kef and use them in my normal audio setup and also as rear and side speakers in my Hauptwerk setup (E305) but as nearfield upfront they were fatiguing.
i experimented with the R100, R300 en E305 in the front!
I now have as front speakers, one set scanspeak revelator drivers in seperate enclosures for the lower notes and maybe surprisingly also 4 stereo sets off rather cheap little fullrange surround cambridge minx min12 speakers with tonematching algoritm mode 2. (via the bass split option in Hauptwerk) These speakers use BMR drivers and have a wide uniform sound dispersion on all frequencies that i use them for !!(400 hz-20000hz) So no bundling in the higher frequencies as with most tweeters. Very good stereo image.
These speakers sound very easy on the ear , never agressive. In my opinion very suited for Hauptwerk nearfield setups esp. for mixtures reeds etc.

Jan
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John Oss

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostSat Feb 25, 2023 2:52 pm

Thanks for several different opinions/suggestions on which speakers I should consider buying for my church organ. I probably didn't explain the exact issue the first time, so will try again. The 2 new speakers I just tried are very unsuccessful. They are Rockville passive speakers with a 12" woofer. (SPG128 12) continued on next post
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John Oss

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostSat Feb 25, 2023 3:43 pm

The problem I am noticing is that the 8' flutes along with 4's in particular in the mid range area have a very noticeable high pitched sort of squeal on each note. I have very keen hearing so possibly some people might not hear this. I tested the same channel with some kind of cheap Peavey speakers that I already had available and the (high pitched squeal) sound went away. I think I need more research/suggestions before I would want to buy any more speakers since I have just wasted money on these. Thanks for any suggestions.
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larason2

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostSat Feb 25, 2023 6:38 pm

Oh dear, I'm not sure who recommended to you the Rockville SP128 12's, but I could have told you they were going to be bad for your application. It says right on their website they are intended as a PA system for DJ's. 800W! Such a large woofer and a tiny tweeter rated for that power output together would be useless for basically anything but the intended application. The huge woofer carries the low frequencies of the voice, and the tweeter the high frequencies (t, s, k, etc.) at very loud volumes. It says they have a crossover, but clearly the one they use is deficient for anything but the intended application. The squeak is probably the woofer struggling with high frequencies the crossover failed to filter out.

https://www.rockvilleaudio.com/spgn128/

I suppose I can blame myself a bit for your mistake though, given the advice I gave you above, so sorry about that. Unfortunately it is quite a bit more complicated.

There are so many speakers out there, and each of us has their ideas of what would be good. If you must get a passive organ speaker, get a hifi style one with at least an 8' woofer, a smaller woofer (maybe 4') a tweeter, and it must have a decent crossover for all three drivers. You don't need it to be loud, I would get it 300W at the most. If you need a 12' woofer, then make sure it has a smaller woofer (4-6'), and a tweeter with a decent cross over. If any driver is fed frequencies that they don't reproduce well you'll get distortion, and the louder it's driven, the worse the distortion will be. In my opinion, the ideal is actually a relatively low wattage speaker, like the ones Allen uses. My Allen HC12's use at most 50-60 watts, but they have a huge 12' driver, two 4' drivers, and a tweeter, with an enormous crossover. Each one weighs like 200 lbs. It's almost impossible to raise the volume so that organ music sounds shrill on these, which is the point. The highs are clear but never shrill, and the lows never get overpowering, even though the woofer is 12'. The cabinet is super heavy and well padded inside, so you don't get cabinet vibrations. The secret is the extremely effective passive crossover which is perfectly tuned to the drivers, and drivers that cover a lot of different ranges well. The problem you're having with your Allen monitors is almost certainly foam rot. If you replace the surrounds, you'll see that they sound much better. Just be careful not to drive them too hard. Another possibility for old monitors with passive components is that the crossover components have started to drift. You may need to get your crossovers rebuilt (usually it's the resistors).

Another possibility is that you're using the wrong Allen monitors for the job. Sometimes they put out monitors that were designed just for an antiphonal division or something similar (basically just trumpets). You'll never get a proper sound for the full division out of one of those.

You don't need Allen HC12's, but you do need a set of passive speakers that are designed for relatively low wattage reproduction of a very wide signal band without distortion, and the best for that is to have at least 3 drivers, one for the middle, one for the bottom ish, and one for the highs. If you have to get one with two drivers, then I wouldn't get one with a woofer larger than 8-10' and for the top one a 4'. The bigger the spread, the more likely the crossover is going to struggle to filter things properly, and for organ music, you get a lot of signal in the band between an 8' woofer and a tweeter that you're going to struggle to reproduce well. A 4' driver usually goes close to the top pretty well. I've seen some Hauptwerk contributors use nothing but a 4' driver for the manual divisions! I wouldn't do that, but they say it sounds pretty good! No matter what though, the biggest woofer will squeal the high frequencies unless you have a proper crossover, so don't cheap out on that!

Finally, it's a good idea to look at the intended application. PA type monitors almost always perform poorly with Hauptwerk, so that is a start. The best are Hifi type. Home theatre units sometimes work ok (mostly for subs), but sometimes they are missing robustness in the middle frequencies where you want them for Hauptwerk too (they tend to emphasize sound effects, and for that they need more power at the higher and lower frequencies).

Within the context of all that, it's a good idea to get a decent sized driver if possible, 8-10 inches at least, because at the bottom end the lowest pipes of an organ tend to produce a fair bit of bass frequencies, but again there are a lot of other factors at play. Those bass pipes are not as often played though, so also keep that in mind!

I feel like this post is rambling quite a bit, and feels a bit self contradictory at times, so sorry about that! I do feel a bit guilty for potentially misleading you though! It wasn't my intention. Sometimes it's challenging to communicate a complex system like this, and a complex answer that teaches the underlying principles is sometimes a more useful one.
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mnailor

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostSun Feb 26, 2023 8:58 am

What's your room size and listening distance from the speaker placement?
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John Oss

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostMon Feb 27, 2023 12:00 pm

Thanks for the new responses. I didn't think your response was rambling at all and had very good information. I guess I don't know enough about crossovers and speakers to be able to ascertain which
proportion is best for Hauptwerk. The church where this organ is installed seat 750 and it's in the round so there aren't any great distances away from any of the speakers and some of them are fairly close to the console and that's probably why I can hear these buzzy (high pitched) weird sounds coming through on some of the speakers. Thanks for any further input.
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mnailor

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Re: Best speakers for non pedal stops

PostMon Feb 27, 2023 12:31 pm

Then please ignore what I said about Adam T7Vs and T8Vs. Those are nearfield monitors, and yours is a farfield application.
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