MarkAudio Alpair full range Drivers... Any experience?

ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
I've been continually looking for options that are both cost efficient and of reasonably high quality to consider for building out my Atmos/Auro speakers. Full rangers and Coaxials always seem to come with a bevy of issues that make it hard to decide if its worth the gamble.
I stumbled on MarkAudio Drivers first when looking (last year) at the KJH website and their Hypex Amp offerings. Madisound carries many. This is the one I am most interested in, I think:

Anybody have any experience with these?
 
R

Russdawg1

Full Audioholic
I heard them at a small audio show in SF.

They are favorites for a very linear full range speaker. It checks the boxes of many different category of thoughts behind the best way to go about perfect audio quality.

Throw them into a TL or Horn enclosure and they can go very far.

Get some, play around with them. You might end up with some nice desktop speakers :)
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
I heard them at a small audio show in SF.

They are favorites for a very linear full range speaker. It checks the boxes of many different category of thoughts behind the best way to go about perfect audio quality.

Throw them into a TL or Horn enclosure and they can go very far.

Get some, play around with them. You might end up with some nice desktop speakers :)
Russdawg!!! You been on my mind lately, buddy! Hope you are doing well. :D

That one I linked to looks fully capable of being a good Atmos type speaker. Simple, small-ish box. Pretty good FR as reported by MarkAudio. Can't help but wonder how accurate their specs are. ;)
 
CajunLB

CajunLB

Full Audioholic
I've been continually looking for options that are both cost efficient and of reasonably high quality to consider for building out my Atmos/Auro speakers. Full rangers and Coaxials always seem to come with a bevy of issues that make it hard to decide if its worth the gamble.
I stumbled on MarkAudio Drivers first when looking (last year) at the KJH website and their Hypex Amp offerings. Madisound carries many. This is the one I am most interested in, I think:

Anybody have any experience with these?
@TLS Guy recommends them often. I believe that’s what he uses in his theater room.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Dunno, they apparently don't work right until you've got 800 hours on them :)

("Running in: Carefully run the drivers at low volume using light music (NO artificial signal generation of any-kind) for the first 100 hours. After this period, gradually increase to normal listening volumes with the introduction of music that contains some bass. The driver will reach optimal performance at around 800 hours of play time.")
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
Dunno, they apparently don't work right until you've got 800 hours on them :)

("Running in: Carefully run the drivers at low volume using light music (NO artificial signal generation of any-kind) for the first 100 hours. After this period, gradually increase to normal listening volumes with the introduction of music that contains some bass. The driver will reach optimal performance at around 800 hours of play time.")
Ooh! They must be good then! :p
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
I've been continually looking for options that are both cost efficient and of reasonably high quality to consider for building out my Atmos/Auro speakers. Full rangers and Coaxials always seem to come with a bevy of issues that make it hard to decide if its worth the gamble.
I stumbled on MarkAudio Drivers first when looking (last year) at the KJH website and their Hypex Amp offerings. Madisound carries many. This is the one I am most interested in, I think:

Anybody have any experience with these?
I use Mark Audio divers for my Atmos speaker. For that use they are the best drivers available. I use them in 0.25 cu.ft sealed boxes. They have an f3 of 91 Hz, which is fine for that application.







The finished view.



I would recommend these above any other available driver for Atmos ceiling speakers. They blend perfectly with the total design. You absolutely never localize to a single speaker. There is no cone break up until 20 KHz, and the HF response is superior to most tweeters. It is a far better option than the crude designs on offer as ceiling speakers. You won't go wrong with those.

As you know they are the latest development of the JW full range driver. Before Ted Jordan died he gave those developers the right to his patents. So they have a first class pedigree. I did use JW drivers initially, but they could not take the power. Fortunately those drivers have essentially identical T/S parameters to the JWs. So I could just swap them out.

In a TL those speakers are capable of an f3 of 42 Hz. If there is interest here I may well do some designs for those drivers. One application they would be ideal for is an excellent center speaker. I used a JW driver as my center in our townhouse system, and it worked perfectly. It had no vices, an phenomenal speech clarity, with zero shout or sibilance.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
LOL, be sure it's "light" music, too....that heavy stuff just destroys them.
I'm driving them with a couple of Quad 405-II, which give 100 watts per channel. I have pushed them hard, including Jonathan Scotts Organ Prom, from RAH, at high volume. They reproduce the ambience of the RAH huge dome perfectly.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
A full-range 8" driver is just asking for trouble. It will start beaming heavily by 2kHz. It might be damped enough in the high-end where cone break-up will not be obnoxiously high, but if it is, the treble will be heavily attenuated. I wouldn't trust anything like that without very detailed measurements.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I'm driving them with a couple of Quad 405-II, which give 100 watts per channel. I have pushed them hard, including Jonathan Scotts Organ Prom, from RAH, at high volume. They reproduce the ambience of the RAH huge dome perfectly.
What, you didn't break in per the reco? :)
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
A full-range 8" driver is just asking for trouble. It will start beaming heavily by 2kHz. It might be damped enough in the high-end where cone break-up will not be obnoxiously high, but if it is, the treble will be heavily attenuated. I wouldn't trust anything like that without very detailed measurements.
Like everyone else Shady, you have not grasped the math and work of Ted Jordan. The JW module does NOT beam. It is a wide dispersion driver.

I was involved at the dawn of this JW driver as I think you know.

These drivers continue to improve. After this Covid is over I need to build some prototypes to demonstrate what they can really do. These cones are really the best bend cones ever produced. If you can decrease the radiating area of a cone in proportion to frequency, without abrupt breakup, then you get a phenomenal wide band driver with excellent dispersion. Ted left his patents to Mark Audio and his company E.J. Jordan designs. I have been assisting them of late. The fact is that driver design has made little progress over time, and following the wrong precepts.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Like everyone else Shady, you have not grasped the math and work of Ted Jordan. The JW module does NOT beam. It is a wide dispersion driver.

I was involved at the dawn of this JW driver as I think you know.

These drivers continue to improve. After this Covid is over I need to build some prototypes to demonstrate what they can really do. These cones are really the best bend cones ever produced. If you can decrease the radiating area of a cone in proportion to frequency, without abrupt breakup, then you get a phenomenal wide band driver with excellent dispersion. Ted left his patents to Mark Audio and his company E.J. Jordan designs. I have been assisting them of late. The fact is that driver design has made little progress over time, and following the wrong precepts.
What particularly about the construction and/or design of this driver vs others makes such a distinction?
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
What particularly about the construction and/or design of this driver vs others makes such a distinction?
The cone is difficult to produce. As in the JW driver, that actual cone diameter is 4". The cones are of spun aluminum. The trick is to have just the right variation of Young's modulus so that the variation of the cone bend is linear and uniform throughout the audio band. There must be no abrupt breakups as occurs in other drivers. In addition edge reflections have to be totally eliminated. The cone has to be selectively decoupled from the VC and suspension. It is very complicated. Ted Jordan was among the finest theoretical mathematicians of his generation. The construction of the JW and these drivers, is very different from others.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
I should have added, that the contour of the cone is also unusual. It is not a cone in shape, but a geometric tractrix.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Like everyone else Shady, you have not grasped the math and work of Ted Jordan. The JW module does NOT beam. It is a wide dispersion driver.

I was involved at the dawn of this JW driver as I think you know.

These drivers continue to improve. After this Covid is over I need to build some prototypes to demonstrate what they can really do. These cones are really the best bend cones ever produced. If you can decrease the radiating area of a cone in proportion to frequency, without abrupt breakup, then you get a phenomenal wide band driver with excellent dispersion. Ted left his patents to Mark Audio and his company E.J. Jordan designs. I have been assisting them of late. The fact is that driver design has made little progress over time, and following the wrong precepts.
Obviously, I don't have your level of experience with those drivers. However, as you will remember, I did review the MarcAudio speakers which look to be made under the direction of MarcAudio, and they had some real problems. It was hard to say they were truly wide dispersion since the directivity was so inconsistent. That was a speaker in desperate need of a real tweeter. From everything I can see about the MarcAudio drivers, they would make excellent wide-band midrange drivers, but don't ask them to do low-bass or high-treble. I ended up deforming one of the woofers with what had to be less than 20-watts of power at a low frequency, and I didn't even test these speakers below 30Hz! Maybe the other MarcAudio drivers are radically different, but I would say they really shouldn't be used as full-range drivers, merely wide-range.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Obviously, I don't have your level of experience with those drivers. However, as you will remember, I did review the MarcAudio speakers which look to be made under the direction of MarcAudio, and they had some real problems. It was hard to say they were truly wide dispersion since the directivity was so inconsistent. That was a speaker in desperate need of a real tweeter. From everything I can see about the MarcAudio drivers, they would make excellent wide-band midrange drivers, but don't ask them to do low-bass or high-treble. I ended up deforming one of the woofers with what had to be less than 20-watts of power at a low frequency, and I didn't even test these speakers below 30Hz! Maybe the other MarcAudio drivers are radically different, but I would say they really shouldn't be used as full-range drivers, merely wide-range.
The JW drive was a bit fragile in the bass. However, with TL loading cone excursion was well controlled and if you powered them sensibly, they were durable. My sister is still using a pair of single driver labyrinth bookshelf speakers I made for her around 55 years ago. It is still powered by the same Richard Allen 10 watt per channel class A solid transistor integrated amp. They have always been very nice speakers. The JW does start to very gently roll off above 6 KHz, and you can top them out with a tweeter and only use a first order high pass filter, no low pass.

I don't know which drivers were in those Sota speakers. I always thought that the JW modules always sounded best as single drivers and not multiples.

These drivers I'm using for the Atmos speakers, have not caused offense once, and I have not blown them up so far. I have them crossed at 100 Hz, so they should be safe. The JWs used as midrange drivers actually took a lot of power. It is the LF that destroys them.

I guess I need to design some enclosures for those Mark Audio drivers and see what they will produce. As far as Atmos speakers go they seem absolutely ideal.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
The JW drive was a bit fragile in the bass. However, with TL loading cone excursion was well controlled and if you powered them sensibly, they were durable. My sister is still using a pair of single driver labyrinth bookshelf speakers I made for her around 55 years ago. It is still powered by the same Richard Allen 10 watt per channel class A solid transistor integrated amp. They have always been very nice speakers. The JW does start to very gently roll off above 6 KHz, and you can top them out with a tweeter and only use a first order high pass filter, no low pass.

I don't know which drivers were in those Sota speakers. I always thought that the JW modules always sounded best as single drivers and not multiples.

These drivers I'm using for the Atmos speakers, have not caused offense once, and I have not blown them up so far. I have them crossed at 100 Hz, so they should be safe. The JWs used as midrange drivers actually took a lot of power. It is the LF that destroys them.

I guess I need to design some enclosures for those Mark Audio drivers and see what they will produce. As far as Atmos speakers go they seem absolutely ideal.
The MarcAudio drivers did have very good midrange performance. I could see them being used as good wide-band midrange drivers in a three-way speaker. I would definitely want to low-pass them though, the cone break-up on those things was very audible.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
I have a pair of the MA 10.3M to build at some point into one of the Fonken designs, maybe. I have the drivers, and the plans to all of the related cabinet design options for these drivers. Also have information forwarded to me by TLS Guy for a TL that uses 2 of these (4 total) drivers and a specific tweeter.

I have another build based on wide band drivers, and without a tweeter, that are designated to be used with subs, and crossed over at 100 or more hz. They sound actually very good and only use one cap to protect the tweeter. I ended up leaving them in play for 3 months!

Not the MA per the OP, but maybe a less expensive option to try wide band drivers. These use the Peerless TC9FD18-08 3.5", and accompanied by two Peerless 8" subs made just for this project.







I should add, that I totally underestimated these little drivers, or I would have built much nicer cabinets for them. I have since bought another set of these and 2 more caps to build another pair. A friend measured these in my room and he and I were both quite impressed. I was more surprised by his admission, because he hates everything that isn't his. My surprise was even greater when I put them on my desktop, with the subs just half under my desk. If for some reason I could no longer have a full sized system, I could live with these as a desktop option. There is a thread about these on the diyaudio.com website covering the NOLA Brio Trio clone project.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
Sorry to be checked out on my own thread, friends. That Honey-Do list is a doozy! :rolleyes:

There is a lot to unpack here, and I really appreciate the dialog. Thank you!

@TLS Guy , It's been a while since we talked TQWT builds. I would be very interested in seeing what you come up with for some of these drivers.

On a side note, I saw several of their Speakers using multiples of their Full Range Drivers in what appear to be 2-way builds.

From my own DIY perspective, I still feel wanting for a better solution. I guess the hope of finding a single-Driver option is not very likely. I suspect a coaxial option may be the best from a standpoint of keeping a smaller box, avoiding stacking 2 drivers next to each other in the more standard 2-way configuration.
Considering I have 4 of the Zaph 5" Mid-Woofs hanging out, they become an interesting option. Their performance in the Mini Phils is strong, and in my smaller room, I don't think their performance would be problematic.

Needless to say, there are options. I'm still gonna chew this over some more!

Cheers!
 

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