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Some monitor advice needed
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tlj



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:42 pm    Post subject: Some monitor advice needed
Subject description: 'Pro' nearfield monitors, or 'flattened hi-fi speakers
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I'm looking to invest in some passive monitors and am not sure about which to go for. I was browsing in a speaker shop and the salesman claimed Czech made Tesla speakers give a very 'neutral' sound

http://www.tvm-valmez.cz/forums.html?id=116&catit=12&catg=1

The frequency range of 50 - 20000 looks favouable compared with the budget passive studio monitors. Also it has variable nominal impedience of 4/8 ohms, while the Alesis Monitor One MKII only has 4ohms. I'd be grateful for any suggestions about flattening hi-fi speakers, whether it's worth attempting, if not which studio monitors to look at. They need to be well insulated because there's a telepfone mast on the roof the building I live in, so I won't get Behringers.

I'll be using the monitors with a beautiful sounding 2 channel 100w Tesla Valve amp y; 1972 with mic, guitar, radio and turntable inputs and effect send/return, which I just got for about £50 / $85, which I reckon is a bargain Very Happy and can't wait to use it at home. As well as for amping mic and guitar, I'm planning to run final mixdowns through it, thus my thinking that passive monitors should be sufficient.

Any advice would be much appreciated, cheers.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Some monitor advice needed
Subject description: 'Pro' nearfield monitors, or 'flattened hi-fi speakers
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tlj wrote:
any suggestions about flattening hi-fi speakers



flattening?

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.




Question


Shocked Laughing

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Neutral isn´t always neutral and neutral isn´t always what you need. That said, I am sure those Tesla speakers are rather decent all things considered. If you get some studio monitors later on, these ones might be cool to have around anyway. Don´t expect too much.

That Tesla amp.. do you have any pix of it? Sounds interesting. It is from 1972? Tubes and 2 x 100watts? Shocked Question

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Most hifi speakers are suited for mid to farfield listening. Dispersion/spatiality etc is usually very bad in a near field setting. I suggest comparing the tesla speakers to something like the small Samson ribbon thingies, the Yamaha MSP5 or even the new Alesis Mrk3. -All active. An old amp like that, even though it sounds very cute and warm.. ( and is most probably a collector´s item )is surely very dated ( Man.. I want one already and I don´t know a thing about it yet..)

Anyways, listen to various monitors and then make up your mind. The hifi route might work well for you at this stage anyway.

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tlj



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:34 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quite an extreme piece of machinery you've found there, please let me know if you find a compatibility between some audio gear and a steamroller.

Re flattening: I've heard this expression, meaning to use an equalizer to cancel out hi-fi speaker charactistics, (attenuation of certain frequencies) and getting a more 'neutral' rendition. Hope this makes it clearer.

As for the Tesla amp, it's made in 1972/ 1973 and called Music 130, total 270 watts. I can't find where I put the layout plan right now, but I think there's six valves. Sorry, I don't have a picture.

BTW, did you look at the Tesla site? They have a range of 'professional' components, and I'm thinking of enquiring if they could maker a custom pair for monitoring purposes.
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tlj



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I wasn't keeping up with your posts, thanks very much for your advice. If you are interested in more info about Tesla amps and can't find much in English, let me know and I'll see what I can find in Czech and translate it for you, for a very large fee of course Wink only joking.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is the Tesla website?
http://www.tvm-valmez.cz/
?

This is an old brand I guess?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Are there any interesting vintage Czech audio devices still around? You know, like open reel tape recorders, studio gear, amps.. you know?
Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Czech synths? Shocked Idea
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Is this info correct?

Quote:
Teslar
A company that was based in Litovel in Czechoslovakia (now in the Czech Republic) that normally traded under the Tesla brand. A huge company by Eastern European standards it manufactured anything from light bulbs to tape recorders, but was especially famous for it's turntables that occasionally turned up in the west under a variety of names including National Aura and Thorens. When the company was broken up in the early 1990's the turntable manufacturing part continued and produced the original Pro-Ject turntables. The turntable division was actually later taken over by Pro-Ject and serves as their main factory and parts of the Teslar valve manufacturing operation survive as JJ Electronic and KR Audio Electronics. P.S. Not to be confused with the Yugoslavian Tesla electric manufacturing company (More appropriately named since Tesla was a Serbo-Kroat).

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

More:

Quote:
Tesla
This Czechoslovakian company made some quite good tape recorders from the 50's into the 80's. These sold very well in Germany due to a keen price and late models can often been seen there for sale and were also the most common brand to be seen in the DDR. The models that might be most interesting to a modern user are the B113 was the predecessor to the 115 and had quite similar specs, the B115 was a 1/4" 4 track recorder with a built in amp (2x 10W at 4 ohm) and supported speeds of 9,5 and 19 cm and had reasonable technical specifications or 40Hz to 16KHz at 9,5cm and 40Hz to 18KHz at 19cm, you could also get a remote control for that model, this type was made well into the 80's. B116 was the same model as the 115 except that there was no built in amp. Slightly earlier modles were the B730 and the CM 130 that shared similar specs. All these recorders can nota bene work with both 115/60Hz and 230/50Hz voltages and oddly enough have English markings despite never having been sold in a English speaking country in any numbers.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Re using "EQ" for correcting speaker/room problems:

You can achieve some improvements, but IMO this is rarely worth pursuing unless you have fairly high end gear designed in order to be tweaked this way. The filters used have to be very well designed and you will also have to use various gear for measuring what is needed and what is happening. Most rooms have acoustic problems you can never really solve using any sort of EQ.
That said, perhaps your HIFI speakers can work well anyway if you focus on solving room problems rather than speaker problems. In some cases improving the enclosure can change things a lot.

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tlj



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Tesla was founded back in the twenties and was the largest electrical technical enterprise in Czechoslovakia. My guess is that www.tvn-valmez.cz , which produces only speakers, went independent post 1989. Incidentally, in the seventies there was a drive to equip every village here with a PA system, pretty successful too judging by the proliferation of loudspeakers still screwed to lamposts. Yup and all the loudspeakers were Tesla.

I haven't heard of any Czech synths, I guess Vermona and Soviet synths had the monopoly pre 1989. If you're interested in Soviet synths and you haven't heard of it, http://www.ruskeys.net/eng/synths.php is a great site. I try and stay away from it because it leads to frustration at not having the time and money for a shopping trip to Russia.

Having said that, yesterday a friend gave me a tip for a second-hand shop on the edge of Prague, apparently loads of old Soviet synths and vintage audio gear. I plan to visit it next week.

As for reel to reels, no Czech makes I know of, Recently I saw a 20 year-old Grundig reel to reel in a second hand shop for about 180 Euros, Akai reel to reel for a similar price
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

tlj wrote:
As for reel to reels, no Czech makes I know of, Recently I saw a 20 year-old Grundig reel to reel in a second hand shop for about 180 Euros, Akai reel to reel for a similar price


It seems that Tesla made a lot of open reel decks. I have been googling for more Tesla info.

Re the prices for the Grundig and the Akai- sounds pretty expensive unless these are very special models in mint condition and then some.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

http://www.ruskeys.net/

GREAT SITE Very Happy
THX!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Again I haven't kept up with you. Thanks for the extra advice about EQ. I'll look out 4 Tesla reel to reels. BTW did you look at www.tvn-valmez.cz ? I'd be interested to hear if you think the professional componants might be appropriate for nearfield monitoring (obviously a huge deal would depend on how they are assembled).
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

http://www.tvm-valmez.cz/forums.html?id=113
these?
All of these seems like PA/ instrument cab drivers and not quite like something you would want in studio monitors or in home hifi gear.
The prices? These aren´t in Euro I hope? Shocked

However, stuff like..: http://www.tvm-valmez.cz/forums.html?id=107&catit=194&catg=5

Promising!

It is not unlikely that some of these drivers are of fairly decent quality. That being said, these could even be far better than what is inside of for instance studio monitors like the Alesis or the Behringers. Building a good monitor is another matter altogether. I wonder, isn´t it highly likely that you have "local" hobbyists, "local" electronics/hifi magazines or small specialist companies selling either plans or kits based on Tesla drivers?

Hmm.. I am even getting ideas here.
What is something like 253.5 Kc in euro?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have been reading up on these now. Unless you can build a proven project designed by someone who really knows their business.. stay away from any DIY project.

None of these Tesla drivers seems to be what I would call of "modern" design. That doesn´t mean they are bad in any way though.

It is amazing. Many of these drivers are looking quite similar to norwegian/scandinavian products of the 60s and 70s. You know, brands like SEAS and similar.

On the other hand, the HIFI stuff - like http://www.tvm-valmez.cz/forums.html?id=116&catit=17&catg=1
Impossible to say for sure, but these might be quite OK.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:35 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanx for looking into that, all crucial advice. Yes, there are many dedicated hi-fi hobbyists here, but
Quote:
Unless you can build a proven project designed by someone who really knows their business. stay away from any DIY project
. Wise words

All the same Tesla gear has a reputation here for being sturdy and functional, and I'm dubious about the overall quality of mass produced 'budget' monitors (lots of reports about duds, bad isolation'). Are hi-fi speaker drivers fundamentally different from those used in nearfield monitors? If so, perhaps someone at Tesla would 'modify' a pair of their hi-fi speakers for monitoring for a reasonable fee. Wishful thinking probably.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

tlj wrote:
All the same Tesla gear has a reputation here for being sturdy and functional, and I'm dubious about the overall quality of mass produced 'budget' monitors (lots of reports about duds, bad isolation'). Are hi-fi speaker drivers fundamentally different from those used in nearfield monitors? If so, perhaps someone at Tesla would 'modify' a pair of their hi-fi speakers for monitoring for a reasonable fee. Wishful thinking probably.


I am sure it is sturdy and functional. I am sure it is possibly to build excellent speakerss from Tesla components. And you are right about the budget studio monitors too. There are some truly bad producs out there.

I might be wrong, but from what I am seeing form the product pages, you can build both monitors with a british 70s-mid 80s sound and US style late 60s to early/mid 80s sound. You will not need any modification of the drivers, but you will need a decent design made by a skilled engineer. The enclosure, internal damping and crossover filers.. all of this is not easy to get right. I am sure there are hobbysists in your country who have already made such designs.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I "renovated" an old set of "hi-fi" speakers from the 80s. It's a very tricky thing experimenting with x-over designs, trying to remove peaks and troughs, compensate for bad room acoustics etc.
One thing I would say is that the only sure fire way of "flattening" hi-fi speakers is with that steam roller!! There are just so many variables to be taken into account. I used to work with a guy who knew it all like the back of his hand, he could calculate x-overs, enclosures, ports, roll-offs etc. in his head (or on his pre-programmed hand held speaker-designing computer which he kept in his pocket), but even then he would still end every sentence with "well,... theorically."
Basically he taught me that if you want a set of speakers to sound like Waldorfs,..... buy some Waldorfs. And if you want them to sound like they did in the shop,..... go and live in the shop!! Wink

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
I am sure it is sturdy and functional. I am sure it is possibly to build excellent speakerss from Tesla components. And you are right about the budget studio monitors too. There are some truly bad producs out there.

I might be wrong, but from what I am seeing form the product pages, you can build both monitors with a british 70s-mid 80s sound and US style late 60s to early/mid 80s sound. You will not need any modification of the drivers, but you will need a decent design made by a skilled engineer. The enclosure, internal damping and crossover filers.. all of this is not easy to get right. I am sure there are hobbysists in your country who have already made such designs.


Unkle Krunkus wrote;
Quote:
I "renovated" an old set of "hi-fi" speakers from the 80s. It's a very tricky thing experimenting with x-over designs, trying to remove peaks and troughs, compensate for bad room acoustics etc.



This is encouraging. I shall see if I can find someone. I shall also consult a friend who has implemented impressive accustic treatment in his studio.
BTW; Krrunkus, were you pleased with your renovated speakers?

Many thanks for your help.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah, I was.
They probably don't stack up against expensive modern ones, but they sound alot better than they did. And that was better than some new ones you can buy now. Sometimes it's good to hear a mix through a slightly rougher than normal set of speakers. It gives you an idea of how well it will come across under less than perfect conditions. They were given to me by my Dad when I was 12 years old, (I'm 39 now) and he's passed away now, so they are pretty special to me and will probably become a family heirloom!!
BTW I do most of my mixing etc. through a pair of B&W DM110s which (apparently) are quite well respected near field reference speakers.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

They sound like a special pair of speakers. I did a quick search and found a lot of praise from hi-fi buffs, but I guess expert modification is crucial. I shall definitely contact Tesla. I'll post on this topic if I get any joy. Thanx again for sharing your knowledge.
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