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Author Topic: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295  (Read 15561 times)

Jeff Knorr - Cobra Sound

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Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« on: November 19, 2010, 01:07:56 pm »

I'll have my hands on a Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295 for the next week or so.  I'm planning on comparing them to each other as well as with an FBT HiMaxx40A and maybe even a Danley SH46.  

Is there anything that anyone would like to know about these boxes?  If the weather cooperates I will try to get some SMAART traces.  I will be using an Ashley NE4800 to perform Level 2 processing for the Fulcrum DX1295.

Jeff
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Caleb Dick

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2010, 03:16:32 pm »

Subjective max output, and sound quality at max output.

Pattern control as you move off-axis.  
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Grant Conklin

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2010, 06:08:41 pm »

Hi Jeff -
I'll be interested to hear your observations.  FWIW, Fulcrum doesn't really shine until you use Level 1 processing.  It's what flattens the phase response.

Grant
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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2010, 12:41:08 pm »

I'll be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the SM60F. I'm wanting to get a feel for how loud they are (I have no doubt about their SQ and pattern control - that's pretty much a given for me).

If you could make some kind of relative measurement of the SM60F and the SH46 with respect to max SPL, that would give me a handle since I know the SH46, as you know. Measurements of those two under the same conditions, in the same space would be great!
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Bob Kenton

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2010, 01:15:25 pm »

Very interested myself! I dont remember what Fulcrum box I heard but it sure sounded sweet. Interested how the FBT stacks up too!
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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2010, 03:27:58 pm »

Can you put some prosumer-level 3-way cabinets in the mix... (ie: KW153, PRX635, HD1531)?  

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2010, 03:54:18 pm »

Jeff,

This request is a bit off the path considering the venue, but if you have a chance could you see how the Danley SM60 performs in a home theater setting, say center chanel.

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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2010, 05:05:45 pm »

Luis Castro wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 15:54

Jeff,

This request is a bit off the path considering the venue, but if you have a chance could you see how the Danley SM60 performs in a home theater setting, say center chanel.



The problem with using the SM60 for a center channel is that in some cases the 60
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Jeff Knorr - Cobra Sound

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2010, 05:40:50 pm »

Reggie Kendrick wrote on Sun, 21 November 2010 15:27

Can you put some prosumer-level 3-way cabinets in the mix... (ie: KW153, PRX635, HD1531)?  


I happen to have some HD1531's on hand so I'll see what I can do!  You guys are quickly consuming my Saturday!

Jeff
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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2010, 06:11:09 pm »

Grant Conklin wrote on Fri, 19 November 2010 18:08

Hi Jeff -
I'll be interested to hear your observations.  FWIW, Fulcrum doesn't really shine until you use Level 1 processing.  It's what flattens the phase response.

Grant


flattens phase, amongst other things.

I am with Grant on this one.  No real point engaging with Dave G's brainchild when you are going to tie one hand behind the back.  

The processing is the box's magic, and there are plenty of options for level 1 processing.
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Dan Brown

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2010, 09:36:41 pm »

Phillip Graham wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 17:11

Grant Conklin wrote on Fri, 19 November 2010 18:08

Hi Jeff -
I'll be interested to hear your observations.  FWIW, Fulcrum doesn't really shine until you use Level 1 processing.  It's what flattens the phase response.

Grant


flattens phase, amongst other things.

I am with Grant on this one.  No real point engaging with Dave G's brainchild when you are going to tie one hand behind the back.  

The processing is the box's magic, and there are plenty of options for level 1 processing.


Why would there not be "Level 1" settings for the Lake processors

db
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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2010, 11:08:51 pm »

Dan Brown wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 21:36

Phillip Graham wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 17:11

Grant Conklin wrote on Fri, 19 November 2010 18:08

Hi Jeff -
I'll be interested to hear your observations.  FWIW, Fulcrum doesn't really shine until you use Level 1 processing.  It's what flattens the phase response.

Grant


flattens phase, amongst other things.

I am with Grant on this one.  No real point engaging with Dave G's brainchild when you are going to tie one hand behind the back.  

The processing is the box's magic, and there are plenty of options for level 1 processing.


Why would there not be "Level 1" settings for the Lake processors

db


Two thoughts on why this might be:

1. Fulcrum's market appears to be mostly the install market, and the processors with level 1 features are major players in that space (PV/MM Nion, Symmetrix Symnet/Jupiter, Soundweb London, Crown iTech HD).

2. Fulcrum needs to define their own custom filter set, be it biquads or FIR taps.  Having brickwall/equiripple class filters available in the DSP doesn't mean the Lake designers allow one to freely define their own filter taps.

I'd wager that level 1 filtering will be available for the Lab Gruppen PLM amps fairly soon.
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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2010, 12:19:23 am »

Dan Brown wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 20:36

Phillip Graham wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 17:11

Grant Conklin wrote on Fri, 19 November 2010 18:08

Hi Jeff -
I'll be interested to hear your observations.  FWIW, Fulcrum doesn't really shine until you use Level 1 processing.  It's what flattens the phase response.

Grant


flattens phase, amongst other things.

I am with Grant on this one.  No real point engaging with Dave G's brainchild when you are going to tie one hand behind the back.  

The processing is the box's magic, and there are plenty of options for level 1 processing.


Why would there not be "Level 1" settings for the Lake processors

db

I started this response earlier, and it confirms some of what Philip is saying:



I just briefly scanned the features on the LM26.  Unless I'm missing something, it doesn't appear to have FIR filters?  

Among other basic things required for Level 1 TQ processing is the following:
FIR Filter with 384 taps (@ 48khz) asymmetric, with randomly assignable coefficients
Minimum of 8 Biquads

Fulcrum is aggressively supporting many processor platforms, and I presume that they'd offer Level 1 settings for Lake if it offered the features necessary.  

Thanks,
Grant



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Dan Brown

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2010, 12:29:45 am »

Grant Conklin wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 23:19

Dan Brown wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 20:36

Phillip Graham wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 17:11

Grant Conklin wrote on Fri, 19 November 2010 18:08

Hi Jeff -
I'll be interested to hear your observations.  FWIW, Fulcrum doesn't really shine until you use Level 1 processing.  It's what flattens the phase response.

Grant


flattens phase, amongst other things.

I am with Grant on this one.  No real point engaging with Dave G's brainchild when you are going to tie one hand behind the back.  

The processing is the box's magic, and there are plenty of options for level 1 processing.


Why would there not be "Level 1" settings for the Lake processors

db

I started this response earlier, and it confirms some of what Philip is saying:



I just briefly scanned the features on the LM26.  Unless I'm missing something, it doesn't appear to have FIR filters?  

Among other basic things required for Level 1 TQ processing is the following:
FIR Filter with 384 taps (@ 48khz) asymmetric, with randomly assignable coefficients
Minimum of 8 Biquads

snip

Thanks,
Grant






A quote from the LM26 manual

Quote:

Finite impulse response (filter)
An alternative design of crossover filter realisable in the digital domain, providing linear phase characteristics. FIR filtering is provided in the Lake Processing within the LM 26.


It most certainly does have FIR filters.
In fact it was one of the first units to have these

FYI

db
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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2010, 12:42:28 am »

Dan Brown wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 23:29



A quote from the LM26 manual

Quote:

Finite impulse response (filter)
An alternative design of crossover filter realisable in the digital domain, providing linear phase characteristics. FIR filtering is provided in the Lake Processing within the LM 26.


It most certainly does have FIR filters.
In fact it was one of the first units to have these

FYI

db


My guess then, is that it has something to do with the "randomly assignable" part.  I know that the Xilica XD series also has FIR filters, but for whatever reason was not up to the task.  

Grant
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David Gunness

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2010, 11:15:31 am »

The short answer is that the Phil and Grant are correct: the LM26 is FIR-based, but it doesn't offer the option of entering arbitrary coefficients.  

The longer answer is that the FIR processing in the LM26 is not implemented conventionally, so providing conventional arbitrary coefficient FIR support is not a trivial task for them.  I shouldn't get into the details without finding out exactly where Lab Gruppen's trade secret line is drawn (they may have told me things they didn't want publicized).

In any case, those details don't really matter.  They are working on adding support for TQ Level 1, and should be able to provide it early in 2011.

Jeff - give us a call and we'll see if we can't get a level 1 capable processor into your hands for your test.

David Gunness

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Jeff Knorr - Cobra Sound

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2010, 12:44:49 pm »

David Gunness wrote on Tue, 23 November 2010 11:15

Jeff - give us a call and we'll see if we can't get a level 1 capable processor into your hands for your test.



Thanks David!  I just got off the phone with Steven, He's going to see what's available to send down.

Thanks again,

Jeff
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2010, 12:36:30 am »

I would like some sort of direct comparison to a KF650. These cabs seem to be all in the same market and the KF650 is a cabinet that many of us have direct experience with. It should help to quantify some of your impressions.

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Jeff Knorr - Cobra Sound

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2010, 01:11:38 pm »

I have some apologies to make, I wasn't able to perform as in-depth review as I would have liked.  I should have planned this for a non-Holiday weekend and when there would have been better weather for some outdoor measurements.  Both points are duly noted for any future reviews.

Next up, several "Thank You!"'s need to be mentioned:
Silas Pradetto for loaning me a Crown Itech HD5000
Stephen Siegel, Dave Gunness from Fulcrum Acoustics for loaning me a Soundweb London
Lienau AV Associates for providing the Fulcrum and Danley boxes

Fulcrum Acoustics DX1295
The Fulcrum Acoustics DX1295 is a very nicely constructed, dual 12" co-axial 2-way loudspeaker.  It's low/mid frequency drivers are both front loaded in what appears to be a separately tuned bass reflex configurations (i.e. the lower 12" driver has differently sized/tuned ports than the upper 12" co-ax driver).  With dimensions of 28.0 x 18.0 x 16.0 in and weighing in at only 63 LBS, it is a fairly compact and portable enclosure.  With that said, this model is currently geared for installations so it did not have handles, corner protectors, or a more robust cabinet finish (it's painted).  From what I have read, it does sound like you can order the cabinet with optional handles and a pole cup.  This speaker is designed to be bi-amped with "Level1" or "Level2" Digital Signal Processing applied.

Danley Sound Labs SM60F
The Danley SM60F takes the Synergy Horn technology and shrinks it down to fairly compact cabinet.  The trapezoidal cabinet is 20.6 x 20.6 x 16.3 in and weighs in at 50LBs.    The internal speaker components are a 5" co-axial driver and dual 8" low-frequency drivers all loaded/time aligned onto the same Synergy Horn.  This cabinet was built for portable use with handles along the top edges and a truck bedliner like exterior finish.  This speaker is configured as a passive 3-way design without any manufacturer requirements for processing other than a 50Hz HPF.

The Setup
Due to reduced time and poor weather I was only able to conduct indoor listening comparing these two cabinets directly. I listened to them over several days with a variety of music genres and sources.  The final listening configuration, and what I gave the most credence to, was the following:
Macbook Pro used as playback source (using .Wavs and high bit-rate MP3s)
RME FireFace 800 serving as the DAC
Soundweb London providing manufacturer recommended processing/routing
QSC PL380 amplifiers (Two channels used for the DX1295 in bi-amp mode, One channel of a second PL380 to power the SM60F)

Care was taken to try to match the sound levels between the two cabinets during the listening session.

My Thoughts
What initially drew me to wanting to review these two cabinets was that they were both fairly small/portable, around the same cost, and were likely candidates as an upgrade from our existing inventory of FBT HiMaxx40A multi-purpose speakers.  After handling and listening to both cabinets, I realized that this was more of an apples to oranges comparison.

I want to make the following disclaimer before I share my opinion on these products, the following conclusions were drawn from fairly limited testing in an indoor environment.  If you're seriously interested in either of these cabinets, arrange for your own demo and try to take them out on a gig.  

If you fire up either of these cabinets and start listening, I think that you'll be fairly impressed with how they sound.  The tuning of the SM60F isn't necessarily ideal out of the box but with some slight EQ, I feel that it sounds pretty good and would probably work extremely well for our SR gigs (primarily bluegrass and acoustic music events).  The DX1295 seemed slightly sharp in the midrange area to me but was otherwise almost ruler flat from the midrange up (actually measured in the listening room with SMAART) and sounds VERY good.  

In a room with decent acoustics and a short throw, the Fulcrum box would be ideal and offer very hi-fi sound quality.  Obviously, this fits in with the original intent for the model to be an installation box.

The SM60F offers a more controlled pattern and would offer increased performance in areas with poorer room acoustics and/or where the need for increased gain before feedback is required.  

DX1295 Summary
Pros:
-Excellent sound quality
-Fairly compact & lightweight
-Reasonable price

Cons:
-Requires Bi-amping and Level 1 processing to reach full potential
-Doesn't offer significant pattern control due to lack of horn loading


SM60F Summary
Pros:
-Very small and compact
-Good sound quality
-Reasonable Price
-Good pattern control

Cons:
-Not impressed with the out of the box tuning

Final verdict
Which model am I going to buy?  In the end, I've decided to hold off on purchasing either cabinet.  I could see either model working out very well for us but have decided to wait to see what develops next year as some of our annual events might fall through.  In the mean time, the FBT's will have to continue to earn their keep (which they do admirably).

One last note to this review, we are Danley dealers and I have been a Danley fan for a few years now.  I tried to stay as impartial as possible in this review but caveat emptor.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Jeff
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Jeff Knorr - Cobra Sound

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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2010, 01:14:50 pm »

Tim Weaver wrote on Tue, 07 December 2010 00:36

I would like some sort of direct comparison to a KF650. These cabs seem to be all in the same market and the KF650 is a cabinet that many of us have direct experience with. It should help to quantify some of your impressions.




I don't think that that comparison is applicable for these cabinets.  The KF650 has a rated max SPL almost twice as loud as what these cabinets are rated for, is  tri-ampable, and is significantly heavier than either of the boxes in question here.

A much better comparison to the KF650 would be the Danley SH46 or D&B C series.

Jeff
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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2010, 01:20:02 pm »

Jeff Knorr - Cobra Sound wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 13:14

Tim Weaver wrote on Tue, 07 December 2010 00:36

I would like some sort of direct comparison to a KF650. These cabs seem to be all in the same market and the KF650 is a cabinet that many of us have direct experience with. It should help to quantify some of your impressions.




I don't think that that comparison is applicable for these cabinets.  The KF650 has a rated max SPL almost twice as loud as what these cabinets are rated for, is  tri-ampable, and is significantly heavier than either of the boxes in question here.

A much better comparison to the KF650 would be the Danley SH46 or D&B C series.

Jeff


I think you guys are overrating the KF650. It's still a single front-loaded 15, it's not magic or physics-defying. While the MF and HF will far outrun the LF, in a single-to-single comparison the KF650 probably won't beat out the dual-12 Fulcrum box, nor the dual-8 horn-loaded Danley box, or at least by much.

Also remember, the KF650 is rated "calculated max SPL" and both the Danley and Fulcrum are rated "this is the real maximum output we measured."

Fulcrum is letting me demo the DX boxes this weekend, and I've had a limited demo of the SM60. I've used the KF650s quite a bit.
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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2010, 04:03:41 pm »

Silas Pradetto { wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 13:20

I think you guys are overrating the KF650. It's still a single front-loaded 15, it's not magic or physics-defying. While the MF and HF will far outrun the LF, in a single-to-single comparison the KF650 probably won't beat out the dual-12 Fulcrum box, nor the dual-8 horn-loaded Danley box, or at least by much.

Also remember, the KF650 is rated "calculated max SPL" and both the Danley and Fulcrum are rated "this is the real maximum output we measured."

Fulcrum is letting me demo the DX boxes this weekend, and I've had a limited demo of the SM60. I've used the KF650s quite a bit.


Hi Silas,

That's a good point, but the KF-650 low frequency drivers will couple when arrayed (and thus help to even out the frequency response/maximum SPL).

I don't think Fulcrum would intend for the DX1265/95 to be used in arrays of 2 or more per side.

One other note, while Danley lists a realistic Sensitivity and power rating for their products, they do not list the Measured Maximum SPL (it's calculated).

Please add your results once you've concluded testing too.

Jeff
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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2010, 02:00:01 pm »

Hello Jeff,

I was wondering how you would compare SM60's and SH50's?  I know you have not had the chance to directly compare them. However, I do know you have had a lot of experience with SH50's.  

The Calculated output is similar.  The weight on the other hand is very different.  Would you say that the SM60's still have that clean high output sound like the SH50's?  

I run SH50's at there peak output levels often. I love how after hours of listening I don't feel much ear fatigue.

If the SM60 is capable of similar high output yet easy listening. Then I am very interested in these cabinets..  

Danley sound on a regular tripod speaker stand!   Nice...
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Re: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2010, 08:19:33 pm »

Jeff Bailie wrote on Fri, 10 December 2010 14:00

Hello Jeff,

I was wondering how you would compare SM60's and SH50's?  I know you have not had the chance to directly compare them. However, I do know you have had a lot of experience with SH50's.  

The Calculated output is similar.  The weight on the other hand is very different.  Would you say that the SM60's still have that clean high output sound like the SH50's?  

I run SH50's at there peak output levels often. I love how after hours of listening I don't feel much ear fatigue.

If the SM60 is capable of similar high output yet easy listening. Then I am very interested in these cabinets..  

Danley sound on a regular tripod speaker stand!   Nice...

The big performance differences are that the SH50 goes lower in freq, and can handle a good bit more bass than the SM60.  You can do more boosting on the low end of the SH50 than you can on the SM60.  This may or may not be important in a particular system (like where the subs are crossover over and how they are run).

Te SM60 has a max output several dB lower than the SH50.

It is also a smaller horn, so the pattern control does not extend as low as the SH50.

Regarding sonic differences-people have different opinions, but on some material I like the SH50 better and on others I like the SM60 better.  

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