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Author Topic: Danley SM60F and Fulcrum DX1295  (Read 14903 times)

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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Phillip_Graham

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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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Grant Conklin

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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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Grant Conklin

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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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Cobra Sound
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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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