PAP Trio 15 and DIY - Discussion

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Hooncake, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. Hooncake

    Hooncake Mid-Fi Purgatory Redemption

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    There is growing interest in Trio 15 and its DIY approach in the forum and thought it might cool to share and improve on the crossover design, baffle size, orientation of MTM, MTT, what not..

    Obligatory picture to start the thread:
    [​IMG]

    So I recently acquired a used Trio 15 Voxativ 1.6 with some questionable replacements by the seller, especially the capacitor:

    ------------------------------------
    From what I can see:
    2 x inductors ~ both replaced with same value?
    2 x resistors ~ 1 of them replaced with same value? ( can't see in pictures i took from before)

    The most interesting (WTF) part:
    1 x 68 Mf Capacitor (M-caps? stock) ~ replaced with 68 Mf Clarity CSA + 4.7 Mf Alumen Z-cap + 2.2 Mf Junpitor copper foil + 0.01 Mf Dueland in parallel = 74.01 Mf

    so 68 vs 74 Mf, I don't know what this translates to: higher high pass? Enlighten a noob please.
    ------------------------------------

    Is mixing 4 different brand of capacitor like eating a sushi-burrito-kimchi-burger?
     
  2. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Can you measure the baffles exactly and also take pics of the mounting? Just curious for my own project using the woofers.
     
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  3. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Hard to know what the caps do unless there's a schematic. My guess is it's in series with the Voxativ as a high-pass filter. Adding capacitance would extend the low-end of the Voxativ a bit.
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The idea behind that is to parallel larger value expensive caps with smaller value higher quality caps to get better sound than just a single large value alone.

    In your case, in terms of quality, it can be argued that Dueland > Jupiter > Z > Clarity.

    The best approach is to use a single large super expensive cap, but Dueland might not make such a large value, or if they did, it might cost more than your speakers.

    There is no guarantee with this approach. Sometimes it works. Other times it sounds like ass. Some may argue that a single decent-good quality cap is better than this bulogogi-kimchi-taco-burger-burrito.

    68uF vs 74uF won't make a difference in this circuit. Maybe the high pass xover a few hundred Hz down. Caps only come in certain sizes so there is always a fudge factor.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  5. Muse Wanderer

    Muse Wanderer Friend

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    Great idea to start a dedicated thread on the PAPs trio 15 and DIY variants. Congrats on your new speakers @Hooncake .

    The PAP trio 15 Voxativ are the only speakers apart from @Serious DIY setup that left a lasting impression on me after attending the Munich High End show last year. It is essentially a combination of the open baffle sound hitting all the right attributes I value in music, the well behaved Voxativ widebanders and the engineering effort put out by Ze'ev Schlik, PAP founder, to tame the Voxativ to the Eminence OB-A15 neo woofers.

    Here's a link (click me) to my impression last November after living with the PAP trio 15 with wooden Voxativ driver (1.6-Pi-Fe).

    Obligatory photo...

    [​IMG]

    Speakers are very easy to move and are left against the back wall when not in use since this is the family living area. When in use, I am positioning the speakers much further into the room (more than this picture), with the left speaker slightly closer to the listening position in order to get a central image on mono recordings. I also put various acoustic dampening stuff behind the speakers and at first reflection points besides a carpet. I am currently installing custom made grills to the drivers because .. kids. The Yggdrasil is the source and the Rag is still the motor kept mostly at 3 o'clockish and medium gain.

    The widebander is lower than the ear in a normal seated position. I used to lie crouched in my seat for a good listen and considered platforms to lift the whole lot up. The PAPs have an adjustable tilt in the footers that limits this flaw. A new recliner sofa has solved my difficulty with getting the listening position right. Head reclined to Voxativ level brings the ear level to where the upper mids and treble lie. A D'Appolito MTM arrangement has a good horizontal but very limited and irregular vertical dispersion. It creates a vertical ''null' zone that is resistant to roof and floor boundary reflections further improving accuracy resulting in a monitor-like detailed sound that may be lost in a TMM arrangement. However, the ear has to be at the widebander height to fully appreciate its potential.

    Six months have gone by and I am still amazed by the sound from the very same setup. Last time I commented that, despite the glorious bass and mids, the treble was too hyperdetailed and at times bright, Utopia-like, and can be fatiguing without toe out and positioning. It did not resemble my neutral reference, ZX2-Andromeda, tonally. When assembling the PAPs I opted to keep the Voxativ driver without the 0.2mH coil that attenuates the highs. The Leonidas crossover has a bridge that can bypass the coil. I felt that the coil was hurting some micro stuff and bypassed it.

    In February, Meir Mordechai , Morel Audio's CEO, visited Malta and asked to listen to my setup through Ze'ev. Lucky me, he prefers classical music as a genre. I installed a new 0.18mH coil sent by Ze'ev and removed the bypass bridge. The sound with the coil in place was way more neutral. The treble shined but there was no hint of brightness. I could hear better imaging and staging as the speakers could be toed in even fully with no fatigue. Meir preferred adding a further 0.2mH coil (the one in the original crossover), reaching 0.38mH, to reach a warmer sound. However this deadened the air and sparkle up top too much for my tastes. I kept the 0.18mH coil in since then, slowly acclimatised to the new sound (treble turkey?!), and started to realise what I was missing. Basically, I now have the ZX2-Andromeda neutral tonality married with the PAP's better defined bass, timbre, much greater clarity, resolution, microdynamics, and detail. Cherry on the cake - fantastic highs with no fatigue inducing sharpness at all, not to mention the obvious way better imaging and staging as a result of toeing in the speakers at leisure.

    Listening to the organ playing the lowest octaves along with the tune of Saint-Saens Organ symphony just now. The gorgeous bass dominates even the imposing highs, rightly so. Bass to die for, mids that are omnipresent and highs that sparkle in a right way. All in one package.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  6. Btdk34

    Btdk34 Almost "Made"

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    I finally was able to purchase the parts for the PureAudioProject Trio15TB, and I finished my rough build of the speakers on Thursday. I figured this would be a good place to document my build progress so far. I apologize for how long this post is! I had more pictures than I originally thought I would.

    I purchased the two Tang Band W8-1808 from Parts Express for ~$400. I purchased the woofers and crossover components directly from PureAudioProject for ~$1200. The MDF, carpet spikes, and paint cost ~$100, so the total cost of this build was roughly $1700.

    On to the build! I started with a couple of 2'x4' sheets of 3/4" thick MDF and first rough-cut the 6 baffle pieces to size:

    [​IMG]

    My table saw isn't the best as the fence is slightly concave, and it doesn't always lock parallel to the blade, so I had to square up the baffles. An aside, MDF dust is really, really nasty stuff.

    [​IMG]

    My next task was to cut the driver openings, but I had to first mark the circles where the screws would secure the drivers to the baffles. I realized I didn't have a compass so I had to get creative and make my own! I tested the diameter of the compass several times to make sure I had it locked down right and then drew the circles on the baffles:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Finally, on to cutting the actual driver holes in the baffles. I used the Jasper Router Jig to cut my circles. Super easy to cut accurate circles with minimal cleanup afterwards, and it's oddly satisfying to use. Beware, this part makes the biggest dust mess, by far. Wearing a mask is highly recommended!

    [​IMG]

    Now that the baffles were roughly complete, I moved on to building the frame parts. I wanted something a little fancier than a plain rectangle, so I originally decided on a shape that's similar to how a bell curve would look if it was cut in half. As I got further, I decided that would take too long. I ended with a design that is basically a narrow trapezoid with the top corner rounded over. It's easier to see the profile in the final pictures as I didn't get great shots of this part. Sorry! I learned a new trick for cutting tapers on the table saw by drilling a sacrificial guide board into the frame piece at an angle:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The last picture shows a partial cut because at that point I thought I was going to follow the curve by hand and then clean it up. I actually continued the cut all the way through the piece for all 4 frame pieces. I cut a curve in the top part of each frame piece to give it a more graceful/professional look. I also tapered the base of each frame by 5 degrees so the speakers would lean back a bit. Then, I drilled and counter-sunk all the holes for mounting the baffles to the frame. After rounding over each exposed edge with a 1/8" rounding-over bit, I attached the baffles to the frame pieces. Rounding over the edges really makes it look more professional in my opinion:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a better shot where you can see the profile of the frame, as well as the effect of cutting a 5 degree slant at the bottom of the frame so the speakers lean back a bit:

    [​IMG]

    Next, I cut a piece for the base that would attach to the frame. I used the Jasper Jig again to create a template of a piece with rounded corners and copied that to both bases, and also rounded over each edge with a 1/8" rounding over bit. I drilled holes for the carpet spikes, attached the spikes to the base, and then attached the base to the frame:

    [​IMG]

    At this point, all I had left to do was drill the mounting holes for the drivers and screw them into place and then build the crossover. Aside, the capacitors are absolutely massive! That all went very quick, and I was left with this:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I absolutely love how they sound so far. I'm running on a fairly modest setup at the moment: Macbook Pro => Roon => Modi Multibit => Emotiva BasX A100 => PAP Trio15TB. The bass is absolutely spectacular! It's fast, so not "boxy" sounding, accurate, and it plays deep. I'm hearing low level bass details I've never heard in my songs before.

    Imaging is also great, I get a very good sense of the recording space and where instruments/performers are located. I have to say, compared to Axpona, these are way punchier and the sound isn't as "hollow" as I expected them to be. They have a very full sound while still being detailed. I do miss the horns that I heard though, those had a ton more detail and sounded more realistic than the Tang Band drivers do. The horns did tonality very well. Still, the Tang Band drivers are fantastic for the price, and are not too far behind overall. These speakers are still breaking in and I don't have that much experience with them yet, so I'll try to post again in a few weeks with my updated impressions.

    Let me know if you guys have any questions!
     
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  7. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    Nicely done! So PAP charged you ~$450 for the x-over w. those parts?

    @zerodeefex - the smaller panel is 29.9cm tall, the larger 41.9cm tall, and both 53.8cm wide. The whole thing reaches 121.92cm off the ground.

    @Cspirou, we have this schematic the owner of PAP posted on DIYaudio back when he was messing about with Lowthers. Here's the back of the Leonidas (Vox version, I believe). I have some of the recommended part values.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Btdk34

    Btdk34 Almost "Made"

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    Yep, that’s correct. I was really tempted to ask Ze’ev for the component values and buy a cheaper brand of components, but I liked the idea of using the actual Leonidas board and Mundorf components because I wanted to use the “standard” option as my baseline. I plan to experiment more with the crossover in the future!
     
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  9. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    Awesome post! Can you show a picture of how the drivers are mounted to the frames?
     
  10. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    FYI he’s since modified his XO after a professional orchestral musician tweaked it. He talks about it in a recent PAP Facebook post.

    @Btdk34 awesome posts. Thanks for sharing your build!
     
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  11. Btdk34

    Btdk34 Almost "Made"

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    Sure! The full-range Tang Band drivers are front-mounted:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The woofers are rear-mounted. These woofers are apparently a slightly upgraded version of the OB-A15Neo drivers. They have a wire basket/phase plug in the center and I was told they sound roughly the same as the Neo version, but they have slightly better specs:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Btdk34

    Btdk34 Almost "Made"

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    Very interesting! I just contacted them to see what sorts of changes Deb made, I would love to test out the differences for myself.
     
  13. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    If you just bought your XO from them I’ll bet you already have the new spec.
     
  14. Btdk34

    Btdk34 Almost "Made"

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    Yep you’re absolutely right, I just confirmed that with PureAudioProject!
     
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  15. Hooncake

    Hooncake Mid-Fi Purgatory Redemption

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    Did you happen to take a picture of the back of the xo board? What were the values of your components if you dont’t mind sharing?

    I wonder how much of a change it is. I think mine is the older one because my xo doesn’t have the neat white written labels on it.
     
  16. Btdk34

    Btdk34 Almost "Made"

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    I just snapped a quick couple of photos of the board and the components. I'm sure the values will be slightly different for the Voxative AC1.6 vs the Tang Band version, though, so it'd probably be best to contact PAP directly to see what the "current version" is for your setup.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    Thanks for the pictures. At first I thought they must be screwed into the back but then I thought the screws would have to be really short and it wouldn't be secure enough. My only experience building enclosures is custom sealed subwoofer boxes and I always drilled holes and bolted the subwoofers to the box with silicone, a washer, and a nut inside. Since this isn't sealed, or being banged around a car trunk, I'm sure those short screws are more than adequate.
     
  18. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    The more I see these, the more curious I become. Thanks for posting, makes it look so easy.

    I picked up a pair of cicadas in case I need a good full range driver but it seems sacrilege to sacrifice such an icon.

    The good thing is the @ZD and @Marvey will have the crossover optimized for these drivers

    .. dB
     
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  19. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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  20. Btdk34

    Btdk34 Almost "Made"

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    @Hooncake and @sphinxvc, do you still prefer these configured in the TMM arrangement? I think I might try experimenting with that a bit later on this week.
     

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