Kit281 vs. HE12.1

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Jonathan T, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    I know this question has been asked many times, but my question is more specific. The general consensus is that the HE line is best with music and the Kit line is best with home theater. I need to order 1 of these speakers (kit281 or He12.1) for my father. My question, basically, is are the kit281's worse at music than the HE12.1s are at home theater? Right now, my father has old, old, stereo equipment and if I do one thing before I graduate from high school, I will build/buy him a better stereo system. I want to give him the ability to upgrade to an HT if he so desires but I want the best music quality possible. THe HE line doesn't have speciallly designed centers or as many options, but I guess I could use a ported HE10 for a center and surrounds if he does decide to build an HT before I graduate. The 2 kits are basically the same price, I really don't know what to buy. Help!

    Edit:the speakers music be able to play full range by themselves. I don't have money for a sub and amp right now and I don't think my mother would allow for another obtrusive object in our loft. She one of those women who HATES speakers "cause their ugly". O well, her loss......
     
  2. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Jonathan,

    By most normal standards, neither of those speakers are particularly good for music compared with the best today - just keep that in mind if dynamics aren't a priority. If you're mainly after a great music quality you could try something with smaller woofers or a lower crossover point. However I'm a big fan of the Kit281s (especially with an appropriate active crossover) anyway just because they're about the most exciting "normal" speaker I have heard. The problem is you are asking a loaded question, neither speaker is bad at anything. To be honest, I think the difference is more of a matter of taste and preferred form-factor (what kind of amplifier do you have; can you handle a speaker 14" wide).
     
  3. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    Dynamics are a priority. And the best speakers today are thousands of dollars, something I just can't spend on speakers. I guess I'm leaning towards the Kit281's.

    Do you know of any good DIY speaker designs other than the HE and kit281 series?

    Also, any news on the Extremis 6 and possible full range monitor designs?

    I'm not after the BEST speakers possible, I think that's something that is often forgotten when reviewing speakers. People tend to point out the differences between these speakers and, say, 15K JBLs. Naturally the JBLs are gonna be better, they are 15 thousand dollars. I'm looking for a good, but relativly inexpensive pair of monitors for my father. So, how do the Kit281s compair to DIY speakers of similar price and comercial speakers up to, but no more than, 1000 dollars.
     
  4. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    One big question is will your dad's equipment be able to handle the 4 ohm load of the KIT281's?
     
  5. Greg Monfort

    Greg Monfort Supporting Actor

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    WRT dynamics, the K281 has a bit more in the LF and the HE 12.1 gets the nod otherwise, but to get the most LF extension out of it requires a ~3x larger floor standing cab, though there's little difference beyond ~2x larger unless you're will ing to exceed Xmax. Since it does well in a ML-TL pipe, the footprint can be kept reasonable if a tall floorstander is acceptable, though wider is better WRT baffle step loss.

    I guess the choice comes down to whether the more coherent and horn-like sound of a duplex driver is enough to justify the differences.

    Anyway, if you decide on the 12.1s, I have some good pipe designs for it, at least so I'm told by their builders.

    GM
     
  6. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Greg,

    What advantages, if any, do you feel your pipe designs have over the basic HE12.1 cabinet design? What type of cabinet dimensions would we be looking at?
     
  7. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Without having actually listened to them, I guess the HE12.1 would have better dynamics in a home theater situation where the bass is filtered out. Most likely they'd still have better dynamics when run full range on music, especially if you use one of Greg's designs as opposed to the Adire recommended overdamped vented box. The overall sound quality, I'm sure, is much different. I would expect the HE12 is a bit cleaner sounding (less distortion) in the midrange and treble, though its frequency response is less flat ("accurate").

    I haven't listened to a passive Kit281 in a while, but I remember they're supposed to be as good as most $2k tower speakers. The same class as the PSB Golds, Paradigm Studio 100s, B&W 804s, etc. I don't know of a comparable new JBL speaker.
     
  8. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    Hmmmm, well considering that the Kit series have multiple designs, that are all matched and would reproduce a good home theater sound, I think I will go with the Kit series. Thank you.
     
  9. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    Also, I do believe his reciever can handle a 4 ohmn load.
     
  10. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    There you go! Enjoy building them... I know your father will enjoy listening to them. (I also built speakers for my parents, as a holiday gift this year. [​IMG])
     
  11. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    Thanks for the help!
     
  12. Greg Monfort

    Greg Monfort Supporting Actor

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    Greets!

    The 1/4WL resonances pump up cab efficiency a bit, lowering Fb slightly while allowing for a shorter vent length than the higher T/S predicted Fb requires (better damping). Tapered pipes are technically horns, so their loading can be somewhat greater than a straight tapered pipe for a given Vb and considerably more than a golden or acoustic ratio BR.

    A pity you couldn't make it to this year's DIY Meet, I brought a cobbled together pair of 4" loaded folded tapered pipes that when impedance matched to Gordon's PP tube amp was solid/well damped down to ~60Hz using an oversized baffle thickness vent, with no need for any additional BSC. In a BR they would have been done by ~120Hz without significant BSC and a long vent's midbass distortion if the same Vb/Fb was chosen.

    BTW, feel like gambling some time/wood building/testing a folded pipe for your Tumult? A sim I did awhile back implies considerable gain over an EBS, though how much more efficient it 'sounds' remains to be seen since it will require a solidly built room to keep any gains from being damped out by a 'weak' one, such as with my old shack's stick built, sprung floor construction.

    GM
     
  13. Brian_J

    Brian_J Second Unit

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    Well my old Denon 3801 powers through them with no problems whatsoever, something that surprised me. I have never had the receiver shut down no matter how hard I pushed them.

    Brian
     
  14. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Brian,

    Good to know!

    Greg,

    I've sold the Tumult so I'm in the market for a new sub. I'm probably going to shoot for an IB with a pair of the new Ascendant Audio Atlas 15's.
     
  15. Paul Spencer

    Paul Spencer Stunt Coordinator

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    Whenever I have looked into Denon HT receivers, they have been specified as stable down to 6 ohms. I would be wary of using one of them for 4 ohm speakers, since HT can place great demands on an amp. Unless used by someone who is going to be moderate with the volume control, I'd be wary.
     

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