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Model Seven XTRM


BKDad
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Bob, I know that a large part is the use of the bass system used in the Kénto's.  It's a special design that I believe is patent pending, but not sure totally on that.  It's surreal the amount of bass you can get out of the same dimensions vs teh traditional way it's been done.  Would love to own a pair of Quatro XTRM's... 😉.  Richard????  :).  Pretty please with ice cream on top, lol.   Can't wait to hear a pair, that's for sure.

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Kind of wondering why the apparent lack of information on the website about what the XTRM upgrade to the Seven MkIIs consists of, and its cost.  I've heard or read somewhere that one of its major features is better bass.   Since I recently ordered a pair of sub 9s to complement my Seven MkIIs, I am wondering if the subs would obviate or reduce the need for the XTRM upgrade, since the subs would presumably do so much for the bass.  Or conversely if the XTRM upgrade would obviate or reduce the need for the subs.   By the way, the subs will be my sixth pair of Vandersteens.  Jim Heckman, Pennsylvania

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Hi Bob,

Honestly I would hope and expect that the sub 9s should substantially exceed the XTRM upgrade, just based on size and scale.  Two separate rather large discrete components it seems to me should easily trump whatever can be enclosed in the existing Sevens enclosure.   It would be unVandersteenlike if that were not the case (not dutch efficient).   That being said, I do not know the XTRM upgrade or its cost.  But one must presume Richard had a business strategy (and probably an audio strategy) for introducing the upgrade that raises the obvious questions that I am asking (and have to assume others are).  If the XTRM upgrade came close, or even surpassed, the sub 9s, it would certainly be advantageous in taking up much less space in the room, which was the main difficult decision point in my deciding to buy the subs.  Richard, are you there?

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We have always recommended multiple sub-woofers that are located in different parts of the room because it will linearize the bass response (I have 6 sub-woofers in my system).  This fact and the room EQ at this level of performance is a big deal especially in larger rooms.  Adding the Bedrock and the SUB NINE's design goal is to lower distortion by limiting the SEVENS movement because of the kinetic energy of the Push Pull sub-woofer driver literally moving the entire speaker causing Doppler distortion in the midrange and tweeter.   It is important to note this is not the cabinet resonating as it is inert.   The Counterforce side firing 11 inch sub-woofers in the XTRM eliminate this movement because these kinetic forces are canceled.   I have not compared the SEVEN Mk II with SUB NINE to the XTRM  alone but do know in a larger room like I have the two together is a monumental improvement.  My guess is that the SEVEN Mk II with SUB NINE's performance is close in most but not all ways.  The cost of adding the SUB NINE is less money as the XTRM update cost is $24,300 to $36900 depending on model including freight both ways Business to Business.  Residential delivery is additional cost.  We are working hard on getting our dealers SEVEN's updated so our customers can come to their own conclusions.  In my opinion the Model SEVEN XTRM/M7-HPA  and the SUB NINE's define State Of The Art for time and phase correct reproduction at any price!

 

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On 8/25/2021 at 7:06 PM, ctsooner said:

Bob, I know that a large part is the use of the bass system used in the Kénto's.  It's a special design that I believe is patent pending, but not sure totally on that.  It's surreal the amount of bass you can get out of the same dimensions vs teh traditional way it's been done.  Would love to own a pair of Quatro XTRM's... 😉.  Richard????  :).  Pretty please with ice cream on top, lol.   Can't wait to hear a pair, that's for sure.

You can as that is what the KENTO is!

RV

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10 minutes ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

 is to lower distortion by limiting the SEVENS movement because of the kinetic energy of the Push Pull sub-woofer driver literally moving the entire speaker causing Doppler distortion in the midrange and tweeter.

I'll just stick my nose in on this.

True phase noise (aka "jitter") on a conversion clock in a digital converter (A to D or D to A) results in phase modulation of every tone in the converted spectrum.  The music, in other words.  That's just how conversion works.

This modulation can be either random (noise like) or periodic (tones).  Or, both.  When it's severe it shows up as sidebands like you see in Stereophile's Measurement reports for DACs.  Mostly, that measurement is optimistic because the spectrum is heavily averaged over a lot of sweeps to make the plots look nice.   Periodic based sidebands are easier to see, while random and basic chaotic noise tend to get averaged (!) out.  However, people's own organic sound systems - ears and the rest -don't necessarily work that way.

If  you really think about it, this modulation of the tones is conceptually not different from Doppler distortion.  The big difference is that the modulation is embedded in the electrical signal so the loudspeaker drivers faithfully move in response.  It also affects the bass, too.

Of course, there's the same kinds of issues in vinyl systems with wow and flutter due to plain olde mechanical imperfections.  Tape has its own conceptually similar flaws, too.  They just sound different.  One may be better to listen than the others, and different people almost certainly have their own preference.

In any case, the opposing subwoofers are a very clever solution to the problem at the speaker end of the system.

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Thank you for the good explanation, Richard.  (Bob, looks like you were right.)

A thought occurred to me reading your explanation.  If the design goal of adding the Bedrock (which I have) and the Sub 9s (coming shortly), and then the XTRM modification, is to eliminate the whole speaker movement, why not, as an aid towards this goal, replace your steel spike shoes which have felt bases, which can move, with a spike base that cannot move, thereby presumably arresting the speaker in place?

To be honest, I tried this once with specially modified ebony pucks (to your scorn 🙂 which I'm sure you don't recall) and in fact it sounded a little better.  I've ended up months later putting your steel shoes back under the spikes at John Rutan's urging when he came to tune my Sevens, although John did not give the ebony a listen.

 A little ludicrous to proffer an idea that you no doubt have considered, and one from someone looking at it from a technically non-knowledgeable view.

 

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59 minutes ago, BKDad said:

I'll just stick my nose in on this.

True phase noise (aka "jitter") on a conversion clock in a digital converter (A to D or D to A) results in phase modulation of every tone in the converted spectrum.  The music, in other words.  That's just how conversion works.

This modulation can be either random (noise like) or periodic (tones).  Or, both.  When it's severe it shows up as sidebands like you see in Stereophile's Measurement reports for DACs.  Mostly, that measurement is optimistic because the spectrum is heavily averaged over a lot of sweeps to make the plots look nice.   Periodic based sidebands are easier to see, while random and basic chaotic noise tend to get averaged (!) out.  However, people's own organic sound systems - ears and the rest -don't necessarily work that way.

If  you really think about it, this modulation of the tones is conceptually not different from Doppler distortion.  The big difference is that the modulation is embedded in the electrical signal so the loudspeaker drivers faithfully move in response.  It also affects the bass, too.

Of course, there's the same kinds of issues in vinyl systems with wow and flutter due to plain olde mechanical imperfections.  Tape has its own conceptually similar flaws, too.  They just sound different.  One may be better to listen than the others, and different people almost certainly have their own preference.

In any case, the opposing subwoofers are a very clever solution to the problem at the speaker end of the system.

This is not a new concept as side firing Sub-woofers have been used by many designers for years but sub-woofer drivers were not available that were linier enough (different behavior plus vs. minus stroke) until this ScanSpeak design which is almost as linier as our push-pull driver we have used for years.   Now the kinetic energy cancelation is more important than the linearity.  Priorities, they are always changing when listening trumps measurements!   I guess we will have to make a speaker big enough some day to use 2 of the push-pull drivers in Counterforce.  Ha! Ha!

RV

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4 minutes ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

This is not a new concept as side firing Sub-woofers have been used by many designers for years but sub-woofer drivers were not available that were linier enough (different behavior plus vs. minus stroke) until this ScanSpeak design which is almost as linier as our push-pull driver we have used for years.   Now the kinetic energy cancelation is more important than the linearity.  Priorities, they are always changing when listening trumps measurements!   I guess we will have to make a speaker big enough some day to use 2 of the push-pull drivers in Counterforce.  Ha! Ha!

RV

You could build larger speakers from depleted uranium and put them on similar pillars that go through the floor to a piling in the earth below.  That'd be even more rigid and probably ideally damped, too.  Might be tough for second floor listening rooms, though.

I recall the Mirage M1's and M3's had what they called "bipolar" woofers, but I think they were front to back firing.  More or less a similar idea, I suppose, but not for the same reasons as in the Kentos and XTRM's.

Sub-woofers must be really hard because air itself is somewhat asymmetrical in its behavior, if I remember Physics 103 or whatever it was.

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22 hours ago, GdnrBob said:

@Jim Heckman,

Knowing how Mr. V. has worked in the past, Your 7 Mk2 with Sub 9's will probably be 90-95% of what the XTRM will be.

And, to be honest, if I had a pair of 7's and Sub 9's, I would be in Seventh Heaven...

B

Congrats Jim - The sub 9 is on my wish list also. The website always lags Richard who is in constant motion to improve the product line. I had been fortunate to chat with him about conceptual work on the new sub driver. i believe that the sub 9 benefits will be fully realized with any of the now 3 versions of the model 7. As you probably know the push pull driver in the 7 and 7 mk 2 is very difficult to beat. I am sure RV will weigh in here soon with changes and what we can expect sonically.

best to you

 

Jim

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OMG, we are off the rails here.  LMAO....

I'm blown away by what Richard is designing.  If someone hasn't heard the Kénto's, you really need to. The bass is just different.  It's a similar size cabinet to the Quatro's, but the bass is closer to the 7's.  It's THAT DARN GOOD.  I'd love to hear if others disagree or not.  To my ears, there was a big difference that I heard straight away when listening seriously for the first time.  I had no idea why, but when Richard explained it, it made sense on a basic level. Richard has had so many patented ideas in audio and marches to his own drummer.  That's what we Vandy owners are like too.  We aren't trying to find the 'next' speaker.  We just upgrade as needed (thanks for letting original owners do the upgrades when you make them).

I'm sure we will eventually see a Sub 9 XTRM and possibly a Sub 3 XTRM.  No, I haven't spoken to Richard about this, but it would make some sense I THINK (What the heck to I know, lol...not much, but thanks for letting me play).  Jim's idea of an XTRM Wide Body sounds intriguing too.  I know Richard wanted to make a model 9 and that's how the Sub 9 came about.  The cabinet was just too large I believe.  I had a conversation with my reviewer buddy last week about some of the speakers he's heard that are very large cabinets.  He always complains about the raised soundstage etc..  Too many obstacles to making a great speaker with huge cabinets (mostly this is done to charge prices that are just as large).  I have heard many of the huge speaker designs over the years and most don't have a 'realistic' soundstage.  Like my friend said, it's way too elevated and not fun to listen to.

By keeping the size of the Model 7 and rebuilding the bass (it's actually not an upgrade, but a new evolution of speaker design that others aren't doing yet (but they will copy).

I wonder how many of you guys have heard a full Sub 9 system?  Adding those subs to the 7 mk 2's takes the sound to a different place.  It's a very large upgrade in sound. Richard explains it best, but in layman's terms (may of us are still using training wheels), by taking that deep powerful bass and moving it to a different cabinet, the main speaker doesn't need to work as hard (and the amps don't have to work nearly as hard).  You can heard the music from 200hz up sounding so much better and I assume it's because there is just less bass needed to be produced and that the cabinets don't move nearly as much and the drivers seem to have a bit less distortion.  Not sure I have it right and it doesn't even matter other than to enjoy a discussion on it as the music is what counts.  It's a huge upgrade putting the subs in.  Now if you are doing XTRM with Sub 9's it probably is what Richard says it is (haven't heard it so I can't say it is better, lol).

Jim, so happy you have the 9's coming in.  Once Johnny sets your system up and then comes back to dial it in with you, it will be amazing.  You won't want for more, unless you really are an audiophile and then you will upgrade to the XTRM with your Sub 9 (and at that point, why wouldn't you just get the M7 HPA's with the new preamp, lmao.... 

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Pete,

I'm not fully knowledgeable about using this Forum--I just want to respond to your post, but I hit reply and for some reason it filled in the space with an earlier post of mine in this discussion, which I deleted to enable me to enter this post.  I'm not sure if I'm supposed to use the Quote box to reply.  Anyway I hope you see this.

Your idea about an XTRM Sub 9 occurred to me, too.  If the new design is so good at improving bass, why not incorporate it into the big sub, which I presume would then be a much smaller sub for people who don't want to go the XTRM route in the Sevens.  (Would be nice if Richard did that to my 9s before shipping...:))  But then maybe it'll eventually be an upgrade to the Sub 9.  Not that I care, at the moment at least--I DO plan on this being my last stop on the audiophile train (hearing guffaws in the background).

As for very large speakers, one of the things I like about the Sevens is their size.  They don't take over the room, and for someone like me for whom the beauty of the listening room matters (there's more than sound quality to the listening experience!), that's important.  And their appearance--I think they're beautiful.  To me some of the very large speakers look like huge animals sitting in the corner of the room waiting to pounce as you walk by.

I appreciated your explanation of the effects of the Sub 9 on the system, and of course was elated by your description of what I can expect.  Of course it was you, plain and simple, who stimulated me to buy them.  I do not doubt that hearing a full system with the Sevens XTRM, the Sub 9s and the big amps would be amazing.  Would be worth the 3.5 hour drive to Johnny's shop if and when he can get it set up.

  

 

 

 

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yes, Jim I was having same problem posting yesterday w quote box…seems fixed today. Richard and i had a nice Friday catch-up conversation yesterday, so i will put my inputs in on what i heard and spin from my own listening experience w 7 and 7 ( what i call the pairing of amp and speaker… )

 

Yes the form factor and beauty of the speaker - low diffraction, low resonance are crucial. Ask yourself when litening to tweeters and a mid  firing down from above - is Diana Krall really 9’ tall ? So yes, i love the svelte 7, Kento, Quattro ad Treo..

The extreme uses opposing force AND the granite / constrained layer base to cancel vibration. The 12” push pull bass driver is slightly more linear and IF ( a big IF ) you could package two into a 7 cabinet one might end up with slightly better sound, but at what expense ? The push pull is essentially unique and custom to Vandy, so €£¥§ and $$$$$.

On to the 9 deployed with 7 of any flavor. This box and driver are optimized for 50 hz and below, taking load off the main sub in the speaker. You also get the “ swarm “ effect of node smoothing because of additional bass sources BUT in a Vandersteen SWARM you get time and phase correct bass and above. Yes, of course that matters.

In my smallish room 15’ x 17’ with a very high sloped ceiling and many openings, i don’t feel the need for a 9 ( eyes roll, i know… ) but i am considering the bedrock upgrade for Winter project. This room interaction is super critical and another reason why the strong Vandy dealer network, this forum AND RV participation can help you choose right products that yield big improvement in your space. They understand wall coupling, floor bounce, etc..

Have fun, enjoy the music..

Jim

 

 

 

 

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