Since it's about 6 months since
I completed construction of Delta, I thought it's a good time to
finally put down my listening impressions.
I'm using a Sony XA5ES CD player, and initially a 60 Watt Metaxas
Ikarus amplifier *.
The room is fairly small living room 4m x 2m x 3m (whd) , moderately
damped and carpeted, and I'm seated 9 feet from the main speakers.
The external crossover allows me to disconnect drivers individually
to listen for specific characteristics.
Initial impression of "Delta"
is in a word, natural. It feels right - nothing jumps out at you,
no obvious frequency response or other aberrations. No fatiguing
"hi-fi" sound. I wouldn't call them overly-analytical,
nor unduly warm, just natural and relaxed. Poor recordings are obvious,
but usually still bearable (i.e they are slightly forgiving). There
is no congestion, even at very high levels and the constrained layers,
heavy bracing and felt gaskets have been very successful in virtually
eliminating all vibrations on the baffle and sides.
Bass is excellent - powerful,
tuneful, clean and extended. Extension is very good, reaching down
to 25Hz (tested with tones), and no hint of boom. If anything it's
slightly dry but that's my preference. The 10" carbon/paper
Scanspeak in a sealed enclosure is very solid and mates very well
with room gain. I think the partnership of 10" and 7"
woofers has come together exactly as expected. A subwoofer would
be virtually unnecessary for music, though I may add one later purely
for ultimate movie effects.
The top end from the Morel
Supreme is very dynamic and detailed. Extension and air at the extreme
top end could maybe be a bit better, but that's probably an artifact
of off-axis response rather than outright extension. Maybe an 18mm
dome would have made a better choice, or I should reduce it's attenuation
to compensate? **
Midrange is lovely, natural
& dynamic. Ambience and low-level detail from the 5" Audiotechnology
mid is excellent.It deserves it's reputation as one of the finest.
The lower mid from the paper Scanspeak seems to be a touch warm,
but very natural and full sounding. Male & female voices, the
hardest & most important area, come across beautfully and truly
sound "in the room". Coherency of vocals, a weakness in
my old speakers, is excellent, a function of 1 driver handling the
300Hz-5kHz range. I've watched several movies and I've satisfied
myself completely that a centre channel is superfluous. Ambient
levels are almost up to my old Dynaudio D52af
dome which excelled in this area. Imaging is excellent though height
strangely appears to be that of the bass/mid driver rather than
the design axis at centre of the 5" midrange. I suspect this
is due to the downward tilted lobe of the 1st order crossovers.
In regards to amplifier loading, my little 60W Metaxas was struggling
a bit at high levels. The 3 ohm load must be sagging its power supply.
The sound would easily harden and become edgy (clipped) when pushed.
I've now purchased a much more powerful 100W Primare
A30.1 and the improvement at higher levels is very substantial.
Bass is more powerful, dynamics are greater still and the clipping
at high levels is completely gone. Delta defintely needs 100W (high
current) to show it's best, and so far I haven't been able to produce
any audible distortion when driven with the Primare.
The grill has a definitely
audible supression of high frequencies, and so is always removed
for serious listening.
So, to sum up I'm very pleased
with the performance, and at this stage really don't know how I
could significantly improve on them.
* Later changed to a Primare
A30.1 100W/8ohm, 180W/4ohm.
** I've now made a 1dB increase in level to the tweeter which has
provided a little more liveliness.