My experience with Acoustic portrait. I am buying them.

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#1 erstellt: 02. Mai 2005, 08:00
Hi Guys,
I just placed an order for the acoustic portraits from siva/prithvi.As usual, prithvi was very helpful in letting me keep the demo pieces for a while and listening to them in detail. As he always says, it is very difficult to judge a speaker without listening to them extensively with a variety of music and then again keep on listening. I listened to them in detail for almost a week before deciding. I thought I will share my observations and reasons for buying them. My room is not prefect and my hardware is decent entry level (Nad electronics).

1. I have developed a dislike for boxy sounding loudspeakers. The AP is very non-boxy. It has a clean, open characteristic which basically paints a picture of sound around the speakers without the cabinet calling any attention to itself. The mids and highs just appear out of thin air and floats out to you.
2. The bass has a open and dry character which I noticed on speakers like the diva and proac. The bass had a bit of bloom in my room when I play very bass-heavy songs but I didn't notice it in prithvi's hall so I guess it has to do with my room. The low frequency extension is great without losing control and attack. Even with complex bass heavy tracks the woofers does its job without muddying anything. I guess the high end vifas are doing its job nicely. I can hear drum beats nice and clear with the bass guitar in the background without getting mixed up even at high volumes. All instruments are there in layers which in really commendable.
3. Honesty and transparency. A guitar sounds like a guitar without getting metallic and spitty. Most speakers will emit a clear metallic spitty sound (which satisfies most people) but the AP gives me the sound of the guitar like it actually sounds. The double bass strings can be seen and heard very organically. Very uncolored sound. This is true with any instrument but I checked them with instruments that I am familiar with. Basically guitar, trumpet, sax, piano, tabla and snare drum.
3. Very wide and tall soundstage. The soundstage exceeds the boundaries of the speakers horizontally and vertically. I can't locate the drivers. They just disappear leaving a tall and wide soundstage.
4. I do not lose any details even at very low volume levels in the entire frequency spectrum. The other day I was playing Dave brubeck's "take the A train" at very low volume and all the details and were there without any smearing or loss. The soundstage is still very wide and tall which makes low volume listening very entertaining. I can still feel the hit on the leather and detail on the cymbals clearly. Just play the jazz at low volume and sit around sipping a nice whiskey on ice.:)
5. Tonal balance across the frequency spectrum is just great. Nothing is added or taken away.
6. The highs are very open and detailed without sounding cold or brittle. But bad recordings get ripped apart.
7. The speakers sounded very good with most of music that I listen to so that helped make up my mind. It was like listening to most of my music again.
8. Most branded floor standers speakers I heard anywhere in this price bracket seem to sound boxy and impart a certain color to the sound which makes most music sound very predictable but the AP does not do that. Listening to most of my music was a pleasant surprise..:)
9. Very easy to drive.
10. Very dynamic. The drum sequence on some dave brubeck's tracks was a revelation.
11. The speakers are very scaleable. I can keep them for a long time without upgrading. I can keep on upgrading my other hardware and extract more out of them.
12. They are very sweet and clean with such music but can catch you by the throat and rattle your bones without sounding harsh if you play very dynamic music which makes them a very versatile speaker. That is why I like them.

Guys, I feel we should give our own people a chance to prove what they can do. People like siva, prithvi and viren are doing a great job. I have lost faith in cheap branded speakers after this experience. By the time a 50k branded speaker reaches India at your doorstep, you will be lucky if you get even 15k worth of materials in them. Rest of the money goes for all the neon bulb advts, margins for a lot of people in the pipeline, overheads, shipping costs etc.. I guess you need to go very hi-end if you need to get better sound than what these people can offer. Thanks prithvi / siva in helping me take the right decision......Keep up the good work.
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#2 erstellt: 02. Mai 2005, 08:30
Hey Sq_wave

i personallly will like to come over to ur place and listen to them when they arrive, cause i plan to use the same drivers that are being used in ur speakers in the future.
i am already getting a pair of Vifa tweeters that are similar to urs but mine is silk domed and not aluminium. The twweter iam getting is the d27tg35.
Regarding the wooferrs anyone who wants to have a look at some other designs that they are used in then try this out....

The tweeters that are used in the AP( i think this is the one)

and the ones am getting are these
there are many other projects in which they are used, even one in which the same woofer is used in vance Dickson's design recipes.

[Beitrag von benkenobi am 02. Mai 2005, 18:00 bearbeitet]
#3 erstellt: 02. Mai 2005, 08:36
Square wave,
Thank you very much for such a wonderful analysis,it helps others as well.
By the way which speakers you are referring, Tacet or Monitor and which model?
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#4 erstellt: 02. Mai 2005, 08:40

square_wave schrieb:

I have lost faith in cheap branded speakers after this experience. By the time a 50k branded speaker reaches India at your doorstep, you will be lucky if you get even 15k worth of materials in them. Rest of the money goes for all the neon bulb advts, margins for a lot of people in the pipeline, overheads, shipping costs etc.. I guess you need to go very hi-end if you need to get better sound than what these people can offer. .

This is very true,
actually if u break up the price of the drivers in ur AP ,
just the woofers alone cost 12k and the tweeters an additional 4k.
now that is great considering that u get 16k worth of bare drivers for the money. this is leaving the cabinet and crossover components. compare that to Wharfedale diamond 8.4 taht i have that is only 22k!!
The Product is far above the entry level ones that i have come across and have to agree that it is one of the better choices out there.
The build quality too awas excellent.
would love to spend a couple of hours with them sometime so sqQ_wave, let me know if that is number is 9886574770.

[Beitrag von benkenobi am 02. Mai 2005, 08:41 bearbeitet]
#5 erstellt: 02. Mai 2005, 09:32
Hey benks,
I have returned the demo pieces. Siva takes ten days to make the new ones. I am hoping to get them before the 10th of this month. Will let you know once I get them. You are welcome anytime to listen.
It is the monitor series floorstander which is the flagship model range.
Ist häufiger hier
#6 erstellt: 02. Mai 2005, 13:21
Hi Sq Wav,
Would it be an indescretion to enquire about the prices? If so can you leave a PM for me and details about the dealer. If its prithvi thats fine - I do have his contact details,
#7 erstellt: 02. Mai 2005, 15:48
Hey Benks,
How are you planning to do the speakers? I don't think you will get good sound if you just buy the parts and crossover and put it some cabinet. Are u importing the entire kit from somebody who has a proven design? Matched drivers with a carefully tested and proven crossover designed for them working in tandem with a tested cabinet design are needed to produce coherent music.
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#8 erstellt: 02. Mai 2005, 16:03
Hey square wave,

wel,, am planning to go for a 3-way system.
basically am going to be using the same murphy cabinet that i have(but, the option of constructing a new cabinet from scratch is also on the cards.).
the thing is this is going to be my first of many projects and am doing it to gain experience and continue this as a hobby.
will most probably be using the Indian Peerless driver.
The crossover design will be done with the help of the forum and from my friends at also have a couple of books on this and a software to design crossovers.

since the murphy is made from pure teak , i will try to use it and choose drivers that will suit it.
if am not able to do so then i will design one from scratch.
will be using Win ISD for desiging the speaker anclosure and will be using a 1 inch MDF for the front panel of the baffle(regardless of whether i will be using the smae murphy cabinet or buiding my own).
u see i will be out of college by 4th of next month and will have all the time i will need.
also will be buiding the P3A amplifier of Rod Elliot after a couple of months(will start designing the PCB for it with the help of and my uncle who has a lot of experience in designing PCBs).

regarding the speaker, hoping to use a isobarik config (puch-pull) or go for a push-push configuration.(this is only if i feel i have enough cash to go for two pairs of 10 inch or 8 inch drivers). else i will go for a conventional 3 way full range monitor.

[Beitrag von benkenobi am 02. Mai 2005, 17:47 bearbeitet]
#9 erstellt: 03. Mai 2005, 08:12
Dear Vinny,
Your welcome. Congrats on the purchase and happy that you made the correct decision.

#10 erstellt: 03. Mai 2005, 11:27

Congrats on the decision. We are sure you will enjoy the speakers for a long time to come.


Truly appreciate your effort in DIY. But i do not think you are on the right track. Your proposed project sounds more complicated than an expensive Wilson Audio.

My recommendation :

Step 1: Buy a DIY Kit and experiment with different cabinet, dampening, crossover, components, etc., You will be suprised - how complicated it would be to arrive at the right dampening for your project. It could take months or even years of experiments to get the speakers perform to thier full potential.

Step 2: Based on your experience from Step 1; Start with a simple two-way speaker design of your own. Three way speakers are a difficult to even the most experienced of loudspeaker designers.

Step 3: After a few simple projects (and a few years), you should be ready to design the project of the type you are proposing currently. Let's not discuss this further on this forum. Probably is a better place.

There is one factor that most people miss out :

For designing any audio product...more important than technical expertise, is the experience/knowledge you gain from listening to various hi-end systems. For example, my strength is the fact that - i was lucky to spend many years abroad and had the chance to listen to a variety of hi-end setups. Murthy and Prithvi have even more experience than me and i regard thier inputs with great respect.

Hope this helps. All the best for your project.

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#11 erstellt: 03. Mai 2005, 11:58

i take in all the opinions and good wishes and want to say that yes, it is a complicated thing to do a 3 way on the first go.
but that does'nt measn it can't be done.
as a matter of fact many people move away froma 3 way speaker and prefer only a 2 way or at best a 2.5 type system.
but ihave heard many systems and nothing comes close to the mids that u get froma decent 3 way speaker.
yes it is best to discuss this on than here. but i will do so as soon as i start building it.
besides i have already contacted many people on who are willing to help me and they concur that a kit is the best way to go if u are going to build one system and get on with ur life. else they say u buy some budget drivers and experiment and carry on the knowledge u derive from the previous experience.
i plan to do the latter and for that reason i donot mind spending money and bombinmg out.
like they say in diy audio if u don't build it nice then build it twice.
so i take into consideration all the opinions of the forum members but i have decided to go for a 3 way system as i like my music to go low, something which i find lacking in the best of two way speakers and from the drivers that are on offfer from various distributors. i like bass and i like huge woofers. hence, my adamant desicioin to go for a single 10 inch or an isobarik 8 inch combination.
#12 erstellt: 03. Mai 2005, 12:06
Way to go Ben ! Just in case you need to use any of my software & testing instruments I would be happy to have you make use of the same.

You are right a Three way system building is not Mission Impossible !

#13 erstellt: 03. Mai 2005, 12:10
hey sachi,

just keep us informed about your proceedings and outcomes..whether positive or negative.....or I will let basaveshwarnagar Anna fix extortion due to your continued loud music... :D.

BTW happy to see you are pursuing what you liked ---3 way ....way to about 10 inch isobaric with horns..... built one for me:D

cheers for your 3 way

[Beitrag von SUB_BOSS am 03. Mai 2005, 12:12 bearbeitet]
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#14 erstellt: 03. Mai 2005, 12:13
sure man...will do. and just in case ur frnd the basaveshwaranagar anna drops in i'll play music so loud and low that his ears will go 'POP'.
#15 erstellt: 03. Mai 2005, 12:17
way to go......

BTW what LF drivers are you using.....
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#16 erstellt: 03. Mai 2005, 12:20
mostly Peerless . i will check out dainty(lot of quality issues,mostly u find knockoffs) but Peerless are about the best drivers u get in India nowadays.
in future when i have enough experience i'd use a adire audio shiva or the brahma.(for a sub)
#17 erstellt: 03. Mai 2005, 12:23
hey benks,
any estimate about the Driver prices (Peerless) !!
#18 erstellt: 03. Mai 2005, 12:24
man didn't you try the JBL drivers....or why not use Klipsch get em as buying a single component is no issues...
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#19 erstellt: 05. Mai 2005, 22:43
Wonder what type of config the acoustic Portriats are using.
Does anyone know?
#20 erstellt: 11. Mai 2005, 10:36
Dear ben,

Its strongly recommended to use the softdome tweeters rather than the aluminium domes coz the soft domes are far fast than the alu domes... The prob with alu dome is that... it has got harmonic distortions which are introduced in the high freq regions.. use the D27TG series...

The alumins have some advantages but not much. sometimes it sounds harsh.
#21 erstellt: 11. Mai 2005, 11:09
square wave you are right... even the krell lat speakers raw drivers cost and the crossover costs dont even come close to 2 lakhs change but the cost of the system at the dealer will be 18 lakhs...

Even the wilson audio sophia the costs come close to atleast 5 times the cost of the real cost of manufacture.

But it all goes to the name and the quality of research for the speakers..

But at the same time its not impossible to build our speakers on ourselves..but it needs very very vast knowledge about almost everything.. so dont just get the drivers and then stuff it into the box but know everything before you proceed... its not that easy task...
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#22 erstellt: 11. Mai 2005, 11:32
Dear Sonic,
yeah i know abt the aluminium drivers.(read a lot in but keep forgetting some things.
i did buy the d27tg35 silk dome tweeter.
also bought a pair of vifa midranges and dayton 10 inch woofers.

Yeha i agree that speaker builing is an art and a science.
needs a lot of knowledge of a whole lot of things.
but , i have been folllowing for the past 2 years and have got access to some great books and software. also, i will have 3 months on my hand(completely jobless) after the 1st week of June so i am confident of finishing up the speakers by then.
we'll see how things progress.
u please keep me posted on ur designs too. would love to know about ur designs.
#23 erstellt: 11. Mai 2005, 15:50
Very true !
Finalizing the right type of dampening for the cabinet itself took Siva almost 4 months. Getting a speaker to measure right is just half the story. Voicing it right and fine tuning the details take a long time. As they say "the god is in the details ", if the fine-tuning and detailing is not right, the speaker just won't sound right. It is the personal attention to details in the manufacturing process which helped make my decision.
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#24 erstellt: 11. Mai 2005, 15:56

square_wave schrieb:
It is the personal attention to details in the manufacturing process which helped make my decision.

well, it does'nt get more personal than DIY.
#25 erstellt: 11. Mai 2005, 22:11
hey ben where did u get the dayton 10 inch woofers?
what are the specs?

#26 erstellt: 11. Mai 2005, 22:13
and especially what is the inductance of dayton 10 inch one and what is the magnet size? wattage and also sensitivity
#27 erstellt: 11. Mai 2005, 22:16
check this information regarding the aluminium dome tweeters i hve the following inf:

Advances in German metallurgy (at Elac and MB) resulted in thin profile titanium and aluminum domes in the mid-Eighties, with drivers from several vendors in Germany, Norway, and France now available. This type of driver can offer very transparent sound, rivaling the best electrostatics if correctly designed.

The downside is the lack of self-damping, with aluminum coming a little ahead of titanium in being better behaved in the ultrasonic region. At the present, all metal-dome drivers have significant ultrasonic peaks, ranging in magnitude from 3 dB (excellent) to 12 dB (not so good).

There’s controversy about the significance of this ultrasonic peak, since the engineers of Philips and Sony have gone to great lengths to ensure that none of our wonderful new "Perfect Sound Forever" recordings ever have any musical information above 20kHz. Not withstanding limitations of the signal source, power amplifiers (and CD players) can generate spurious ultrasonic signals, especially at or beyond clipping. These ultrasonic signals can excite the metal-dome resonance, causing IM distortion to fold down into the audible region.

Strengths are: Uniform piston action right up to the HF resonance, providing sound of very high resolution, transparency, and immediacy if correctly designed. Dispersion is typically excellent, since the metal domes have flatter profiles than soft-domes.

Weaknesses are: Potential for (dare I say it) "metallic" coloration caused by the HF peak intermodulating with the inband sound. Some early designs have restricted power-handling. If overloaded, breakup distortion can be extremely harsh.

Best Examples are: Vifa D25AG-35-06 1" aluminum dome, which is even better with the plastic phase disk removed. This dome has a vented pole piece, so power handling is quite good, and the ultrasonic peak is only about 3 dB even with the phase disk clipped off (recommended). The Focal tweeters are reputed to be even better.
#28 erstellt: 19. Mai 2005, 13:58
Square wave did you get your speakers???.I'm sure you are looking forward for them.
#29 erstellt: 19. Mai 2005, 15:18
Getting them tommorrow....will keep you posted..:))
#30 erstellt: 19. Mai 2005, 22:42
well dont go for the metal domes like aluminium like I have replied above... read it throughly... they have IMDs which will excite the dome alot in the HF region. Instead of that go to the textile dome these are nice and are very good.
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#31 erstellt: 17. Jun 2005, 13:24
square wave where's that update on the speakers...
u going to invite me for a listening session or what..
call me 9886574770..
#32 erstellt: 17. Jun 2005, 16:11
yeah any pics?
#33 erstellt: 17. Jun 2005, 16:13
hey sachu did u finish ur project?
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#34 erstellt: 17. Jun 2005, 17:09
no i am waiting for my drivers to arrive ..
meanwhile am building a 3 way active crossover and have ordered for 2 sets of mono chipamps PCBs (gainclone amps), one with 50watts and the other with 70 watts(stereo)/120watts(bridged)..
will let u know as things progress..
the active crossover PCB has been given for etching...will have it by next week, also the torroidal transformer for it..

[Beitrag von benkenobi am 17. Jun 2005, 17:12 bearbeitet]
#35 erstellt: 18. Jun 2005, 06:35
ben can i get some gainclone amps pcbs? for LM3886 mono and bridged. One of my friend need and how much each pcb costs?

so what about the toroidal that u are using which value?
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#36 erstellt: 18. Jun 2005, 12:09
Hey sandeep,
i don't think it is appropriate continuing this conversation here, so i suggest u mail me in the future regarding my speaker project..

the gainclone PCBs are for me(only a single set) and hence i cannot spare sorry pal.
Regarding the trannie, it is a 20VA with twin 15V secondary rails. Cost me 235rupees..
Will get it on Tuesday or Wednesday..

#37 erstellt: 18. Jun 2005, 12:57
ben i wanna chat with u ben come online when ever u login to hififorum just login to messenger so that we can chat....

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