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Thread: RFC News

  1. #111
    Join Date: Dec 2011

    Location: South downs

    Posts: 3,482
    I'm James.

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    Return customers are a sure sign you're doing something right !

  2. #112
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: Gloucester, UK

    Posts: 91
    I'm Ben.

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    Yes indeed, one very happy returning customer here! :-)

    After the Goodwoods their first visit to RFC the speakers were revolutionised. As I think I've said somewhere above, when I purchased the Goodwoods they were "interesting", but not especially listenable. Paul's 1st refurb (mainly internal wiring and crossover work) made the Goodwoods very listenable indeed.
    After that first refurb, Paul did however suggest that if a further piece of work was worth carrying out then it was to replace the tweeters, which he felt were letting the (very good) side down. I seem to remember Paul mentioning something of a drop in sensitivity in the upper registers at that time.

    At first I was completely satisfied that the speakers were where I wanted them. However, over time I did sometimes find myself thinking the speakers were just a little mid-forward and that I would occasionally hanker for a bit more detail and high-frequency sparkle.

    Paul agreed to take them back and complete part 2, which was led with the new more sensitive, large magnet, bat mobile tweeters. Also included were accommodating tweaks to the crossovers, more bracing to the cabinet, adjusting internal wadding, cleaning up of the bass and mid drivers and sealing them in place.

    When I heard them last night at Paul's it was immediately apparent that the exact progress to the trebble detail that I had wanted had been achieved. And more besides. They sounded more dynamic, more separated and more realistic. Absolutely terrific across the whole frequency range. Tremendous.

    The bracing has had a remarkable effect too. Just tapping the panels is enough to signal how much more rigid they are. And, previously, when stopping loudly played music, there would be a definite reverberation for perhaps a second or so. I had assumed that this was all to do the room echoing to the efforts of the woofer. Well apparently it wasn't, as now most of the post-stop reverberation has disappeared. More importantly, the effect of this in normal listening is that the speakers sound more accurate and cleaner.

    One unexpected effect (unexpected by me that is, rather than by Paul, who actually predicted it) is that of the wave guides on stereo image. I am subconsciously used to the sound of the system changing as I move about. By moving about I mean incidental moving such as reaching for a cup of tea, bending forward to pick up a book from the floor, or standing up. It was really startling this morning when I lent across the sofa to reach for something on the side table and the sound remained utterly unchanged. This isn't a major issue under normal listening conditions, but was really weird when I experienced it.

    Any comments on Paul's work must include his methodical genius. He blends artistic creativity with scientific rigour to achieve the best possible results. All too often in the hifi world, the "subjective" and the "objective" are presented as alternatives. Well, Paul clearly shows what a crock of arse that is. Paul is both an objectivist and a subjectivist (a realist..?). He talks eloquently about the musical qualities of a particular design feature and then pulls up a graph that might indicate a particular measureable aspect that tallies with perception. This of course enables his engineering knowledge to work in tandem with his creative intuition during any design process.

    I feel a little uncomfortable bigging up Paul's refurbing work on my speakers. I am aware that he is soon to launch his own second speaker model. I am sure they will be superb. However, the work that he has carried out on my Goodwoods has gifted me a pair of speakers for 700 (including the original ebay purchase price) that are better than speakers that I have owned costing a grand more than that. I fear his outstanding refurb work has, in this case, done him out of one customer for his forthcoming Rhapsodies... Sorry Paul.
    NVA TFS media PC > One4 (Wonfor) Class A power amp > Homemade 3-way speakers
    DC blocker > Sovereign MTBPS balanced power supply.
    TQ (Wonfor) UB cables.

  3. #113
    Join Date: Mar 2012

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Posts: 3,950
    I'm Paul.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by docfoster View Post
    Yes indeed, one very happy returning customer here! :-)

    After the Goodwoods their first visit to RFC the speakers were revolutionised. As I think I've said somewhere above, when I purchased the Goodwoods they were "interesting", but not especially listenable. Paul's 1st refurb (mainly internal wiring and crossover work) made the Goodwoods very listenable indeed.
    After that first refurb, Paul did however suggest that if a further piece of work was worth carrying out then it was to replace the tweeters, which he felt were letting the (very good) side down. I seem to remember Paul mentioning something of a drop in sensitivity in the upper registers at that time.

    At first I was completely satisfied that the speakers were where I wanted them. However, over time I did sometimes find myself thinking the speakers were just a little mid-forward and that I would occasionally hanker for a bit more detail and high-frequency sparkle.

    Paul agreed to take them back and complete part 2, which was led with the new more sensitive, large magnet, bat mobile tweeters. Also included were accommodating tweaks to the crossovers, more bracing to the cabinet, adjusting internal wadding, cleaning up of the bass and mid drivers and sealing them in place.

    When I heard them last night at Paul's it was immediately apparent that the exact progress to the trebble detail that I had wanted had been achieved. And more besides. They sounded more dynamic, more separated and more realistic. Absolutely terrific across the whole frequency range. Tremendous.

    The bracing has had a remarkable effect too. Just tapping the panels is enough to signal how much more rigid they are. And, previously, when stopping loudly played music, there would be a definite reverberation for perhaps a second or so. I had assumed that this was all to do the room echoing to the efforts of the woofer. Well apparently it wasn't, as now most of the post-stop reverberation has disappeared. More importantly, the effect of this in normal listening is that the speakers sound more accurate and cleaner.

    One unexpected effect (unexpected by me that is, rather than by Paul, who actually predicted it) is that of the wave guides on stereo image. I am subconsciously used to the sound of the system changing as I move about. By moving about I mean incidental moving such as reaching for a cup of tea, bending forward to pick up a book from the floor, or standing up. It was really startling this morning when I lent across the sofa to reach for something on the side table and the sound remained utterly unchanged. This isn't a major issue under normal listening conditions, but was really weird when I experienced it.

    Any comments on Paul's work must include his methodical genius. He blends artistic creativity with scientific rigour to achieve the best possible results. All too often in the hifi world, the "subjective" and the "objective" are presented as alternatives. Well, Paul clearly shows what a crock of arse that is. Paul is both an objectivist and a subjectivist (a realist..?). He talks eloquently about the musical qualities of a particular design feature and then pulls up a graph that might indicate a particular measureable aspect that tallies with perception. This of course enables his engineering knowledge to work in tandem with his creative intuition during any design process.

    I feel a little uncomfortable bigging up Paul's refurbing work on my speakers. I am aware that he is soon to launch his own second speaker model. I am sure they will be superb. However, the work that he has carried out on my Goodwoods has gifted me a pair of speakers for 700 (including the original ebay purchase price) that are better than speakers that I have owned costing a grand more than that. I fear his outstanding refurb work has, in this case, done him out of one customer for his forthcoming Rhapsodies... Sorry Paul.

    Thanks for the very kind feedback Ben (and thank you James); I'm delighted that the end result has vindicated your trust and is pleasing for you. Don't write off the Rhapsodys toppling the Goodwoods just yet

  4. #114
    Join Date: May 2011

    Location: Glasgow

    Posts: 7,333
    I'm Brian.

    Default

    Well I don't have a problem 'bigging ' up Pauls work on older speakers Ben . His repair and refurbishment of the crossovers on my old Rega EL8s has totally transformed them . I really liked these little floor standers and was a bit miffed when they began to cause problems . However now that Paul has done the work on the crossovers ( at a very reasonable price I may add ) they sound fantastic . I already own and use a pair of Pauls Reference Pluto interconnects and so was well aware of the fantastic quality and service he provides . He has carried this over to his work on speakers which I will wholeheartedly recommend to anyone . I'll be back too

  5. #115
    Join Date: Oct 2011

    Location: London Town

    Posts: 2,387
    I'm Julian.

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    I'd love you to do some work on my Chatsworth cabs when funds permit Paul! The HPD's sound special as they are but I know you could get more out of them for me ...
    Allo Digione - Topping D70 DAC - Chinese RVC - Audio Synthesis Desire Decade - Sonus Faber Venere 2.5

  6. #116
    Join Date: Mar 2012

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Posts: 3,950
    I'm Paul.

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    I'd be delighted to help out Julian and have a few tricks up my sleeve for those HPD crossovers too

  7. #117
    Join Date: Mar 2012

    Location: Cambs

    Posts: 107
    I'm Dave.

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    I've just bought an old tatty pair of Goodwoods from ebay!
    The tweeters are not original (Motorola plastic ones now) but the speakers do seem to sound alright
    A bit of promise lurking in the background somewhere
    I'd be interested in some special RFC 'enhancement' once I give them a proper check out to make sure its gonna be worth the
    Mac OSX Amarra/Decibel → Musical Fidelity X-Can V8 → AKG K702/Grado SR80 Headphones

    WD NAS → Naim ND5 XS → Densen B200 Pre → Focal CMS 50's
    Squeezebox Touch → HRT Music Streamer II+
    Also Rega P3/Rb300/Ortofon Blue → Pro-Ject Phonobox II → Amptastic Mini-T → Ruark Talisman II

  8. #118
    Join Date: Mar 2012

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Posts: 3,950
    I'm Paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Griffy View Post
    I've just bought an old tatty pair of Goodwoods from ebay!
    The tweeters are not original (Motorola plastic ones now) but the speakers do seem to sound alright
    A bit of promise lurking in the background somewhere
    I'd be interested in some special RFC 'enhancement' once I give them a proper check out to make sure its gonna be worth the

    If you have a chat/PM with Ben (above, who has the Goodwoods) I'm sure he'll be able to give you some pretty reliable feedback on what can be achieved with these. I did a lot of searching to find the most optimal tweeters and crossover values to use, plus a lot of work went into the cabinets. What sounds relatively good can be made to sound pretty amazing with some tweaking

  9. #119
    Join Date: Mar 2012

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Posts: 3,950
    I'm Paul.

    Default

    Update on Reference Rhapsody Loudspeaker Development

    Just a few notes on where we are with this. The drive units were delivered and tests run using audio software analytic tools. Whilst the tweeters performance and Thiele Small Parameters were in accordance with the manufacturer's published data, the woofers were s country mile out so sadly have had to be rejected. As the cabinet dimensions are tied to the TS parameters for the woofer, this could have been viewed as a major setback, but determined to find a worthy replacement that matched the parameters wanted, I have now secured new, better units which promise even better performance. These were specifically developed for another bespoke high-end project buy the manufacturers and have only recently become available in their current form, so the Rhapsody may well be one of only a very small number of commercially (bespoke) available loudspeakers available using these. Sneaky preview:



    Crossover development has continued apace and the crossover development board is now looking very battle scarred. Each inductor is hand wound to precise values for each drive unit to get the best matched response, and all board values are individually matched (components selected to within 1% tolerance for development):



    System response was measured using the latest crossover development for the older drivers:



    The crossovers are doing their job well and the resultant system impedance curve is nice and smooth with no nasty amplifier loads, plus phase angles are nice and low...easy amp load. The problem lies in the free air resonance of the original woofers specified, which were twice as high as the manufacturer claimed. At first, it was suspected that test voltages and currents were not sufficient to replicate the claimed response, but these were all checked and the measurement tools certified to be within 1% accuracy. The woofer manufacturer later claimed that specifications had changed over the years and apologised saying that they should update them. Yes, they darned well should. Many people will be out of pocket and will not be getting what they thought they were getting otherwise.

    Luckily I have found out now rather than later by my own testing, and the new replacement units are a very modern take on the ones specified originally (and from a different source), but are bang up to date in terms of materials technology and construction. Of particular appeal is the lightning fast transient response of the new woofers and the fact they'll work well in ported enclosures. I take delivery of those next week and then the poor old crossover board will go under the knife once again! Cabinets will be ready in a few weeks.

  10. #120
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: Gloucester, UK

    Posts: 91
    I'm Ben.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Reffc View Post
    If you have a chat/PM with Ben (above, who has the Goodwoods) I'm sure he'll be able to give you some pretty reliable feedback on what can be achieved with these. I did a lot of searching to find the most optimal tweeters and crossover values to use, plus a lot of work went into the cabinets. What sounds relatively good can be made to sound pretty amazing with some tweaking
    Griffy, if you want to listen to the RFC-Goodwood sound, you'd be welcome to pop in if you're near Glawster.
    NVA TFS media PC > One4 (Wonfor) Class A power amp > Homemade 3-way speakers
    DC blocker > Sovereign MTBPS balanced power supply.
    TQ (Wonfor) UB cables.

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