BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm) (BD-Design)

by Chris Valder @, Thursday, December 17, 2015, 19:12 (705 days ago)

Hi Bert, I have a growing desire to build some dipole speakers and am looking at 15" base drivers. I have been recommended to use the Altec 416A because of the alnico magnets.

It suddenly occurred to me that I have a pair of BD15s for sale and this could prove to be perfect solution.

I can look up the parameters, but could you describe the sonic differences between the two?

Thanks Chris

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BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Bert @, Thursday, December 17, 2015, 20:00 (705 days ago) @ Chris Valder

Hi Chris,

I can look up the parameters, but could you describe the sonic differences between the two?

Looking at parameters will not tell you how they'll sound... ;-)

Using the BD15 for several open panel systems myself I can say that these are very suitable to provide good quality bass.

I haven't compared with the Altec so no comment on that but since you have the BD15's laying around then why not give it a shot with those?

Cheers,

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Chris Valder @, Friday, December 18, 2015, 00:16 (705 days ago) @ Bert

Thanks Bert

My major concern is that, in a very expensive front panel, the cut out for one driver may be wrong for the other, but I guess I could make a cheap mock up.

Normally people seem to have something like a 15" bass, 8" mid and 3" tweeter on a single front panel. Is there any sonic value to be gained by mechanically isolating every drive from its neighbours?

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BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Bert @, Friday, December 18, 2015, 09:32 (704 days ago) @ Chris Valder

My major concern is that, in a very expensive front panel, the cut out for one driver may be wrong for the other, but I guess I could make a cheap mock up.

Indeed... ;-)

Normally people seem to have something like a 15" bass, 8" mid and 3" tweeter on a single front panel. Is there any sonic value to be gained by mechanically isolating every drive from its neighbours?

If the mid is open at its back and the suspension is very flexible (like an AER) then yes, otherwise the diaphragm will vibrate with the same or even more excursion as the woofer at the same time.

Depending on a passive crossover too which acts as electrically damping but for the sound (read less distortion) it would be best to prevent this passive vibrating from happening.

Cheers,

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Chris Valder @, Wednesday, December 23, 2015, 17:48 (699 days ago) @ Bert

Have been doing a bit of experimenting with my BD15s lashed into various bits of ply wood.

My conclusion is that the BD15 shows itself as an even better speaker when removed from a box and placed on an open baffle. The downside is that the sound is pretty attenuated when mounted in the baffle size I want of 50cm wide 150cm tall.

So what to do?

1. Get another pair of BD15s so I have two per side.
2. Use EQ to bring up the volume.

It's probably not too difficult to guess your response. If it's to add two BD15s together, is the volume simply doubled or will the amp now see an 8 ohm load and produce still more volume?

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BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Bert @, Wednesday, December 23, 2015, 20:47 (699 days ago) @ Chris Valder

Hi Chris,

So what to do?

1. Get another pair of BD15s so I have two per side.
2. Use EQ to bring up the volume.

It's probably not too difficult to guess your response. If it's to add two BD15s together, is the volume simply doubled or will the amp now see an 8 ohm load and produce still more volume?

Both and at least EQ the deeper bass as well...

2x BD15 in parallel will give 8 ohms plus at least +6dB more output for the same volume setting.

The extra BD15 will get you more headroom to compensate the loss of the enclosed volume.

Cheers,

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Chris Valder @, Sunday, December 27, 2015, 10:11 (695 days ago) @ Bert

Bert, why am I struggling to find any info on the BD30?

BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by robert @, Sunday, December 27, 2015, 11:20 (695 days ago) @ Chris Valder

BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Chris Valder @, Sunday, December 27, 2015, 11:24 (695 days ago) @ robert

Thanks Robert, but that link only leads to the BD15 :)

BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by robert @, Sunday, December 27, 2015, 16:25 (695 days ago) @ Chris Valder

Ok i didn't read that good:blush:

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BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Bert @, Sunday, December 27, 2015, 13:22 (695 days ago) @ Chris Valder

Hi Chris,

Bert, why am I struggling to find any info on the BD30?

Because it is not on the website (the Hypex PSC2.400) is what is used these days.

More power and DSP crossover/EQ implemeted.

http://www.bd-design.nl/index.html?target=d83.html&lang=en-us#P111

The BD30's are still available though but these do not have any xover.

[image]

What do you have in mind?

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Chris Valder @, Sunday, December 27, 2015, 14:21 (695 days ago) @ Bert

I am still planning the open baffles with BD15's and would like to power the 15" drivers separately with some EQ.

My initial thought, remembering all that went before, was a pair of BD30s and perhaps a Behringer 2496 to achieve the EQ. So I was a bit surprised to see the plate amp was now the prime option. I cant find any 'Hi Fi' reviews on the Hypex amps, but am guessing that you are happy with its sound quality.

Cheers Chris

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BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Bert @, Sunday, December 27, 2015, 14:27 (695 days ago) @ Chris Valder

Hi Chris,

My initial thought, remembering all that went before, was a pair of BD30s and perhaps a Behringer 2496 to achieve the EQ. So I was a bit surprised to see the plate amp was now the prime option. I cant find any 'Hi Fi' reviews on the Hypex amps, but am guessing that you are happy with its sound quality.

The BD30's sound better but the Behringer not (makes a bit hissssss noise) and it brings extra cables and wiring.

The Hypex is more than OK for the bass and with everything on board...

I have a 2nd hand Behringer for sale if you insist though. ;-)

It will then be the cheapest combo too!

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Gasper @, Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 10:42 (693 days ago) @ Chris Valder

Hi Chris,

While BD30 is very good amp the only thing I noticed is lack of power - I needed more volume. Hypex is like Bert already mentioned VERY flexible and you have everythink on board... I am very pleased with it and there is also much more freedom in designing eq or filters. Try it...:bass:

Gasper.

BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Chris Valder @, Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 11:29 (693 days ago) @ Gasper
edited by Chris Valder, Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 11:36

Thanks for your input Gasper.

I am currently experimenting with the pair of BD15s I have, using makeshift open baffles. This allow me stereo with single drivers per side or mono with twin drivers :)

The baffles will be 140cm tall and 50cm wide so I am also looking at wings to reinforce the base.After that I will have a better idea of what EQ the base needs.

I am currently playing music with sub box on one side and open baffle on the other. What is reassuring is that with visitors over Christmas everyone said they preferred the BD15 in open baffle rather than box even with the loss of deep base. Some visitors who have no interest in Hi Fi even complimented the sound from the open baffle.

Gasper, am I right in saying that even when driving just a single base driver per side that you need a Hypex for each side (ie two).

BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Gasper @, Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 15:59 (693 days ago) @ Chris Valder

Hi Chris,

Hypex have two separate amps inside which can be used separately but it has mono input. Maybe digital input can be used as stereo - I do not know that since mine are not D. I am using two Hypexs (left & right) both in bridge mode.

Regards,

Gasper.

P.S. I was planing to go OB for bass to but I like "heavy" bass which OB (from my experiances) can not give.

BD15 vs Altec 416A (8ohm)

by Don Reid, Rural Northwest Georgia, USA, Tuesday, February 02, 2016, 20:15 (658 days ago) @ Chris Valder

Chris,

This post is quite off topic, but I just wanted to again say thank you for the invitation to your home and the hospitality of spending a good afternoon of listening to music with you and your friends when I visited England some years back. Your system was quite pleasing and musical then, but since you like me are one who is always striving for improvement I imagine it is even better now.

Don Reid

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