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Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link

24.20.10.236

Posted on August 5, 2020 at 13:31:38
viridian
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I guess they were all the rage for a short window of time in the early 60s.I don't remember them but there is a widow speaker for sale locally, and I am intrigued. Anyone have listening impressions? Thanks, link below:

 

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RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 5, 2020 at 14:13:06
Bill Fitzmaurice
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Comb filtering on a massive scale.

 

Norwegian six, posted on August 5, 2020 at 19:29:59
Mats Gunnars
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A recent Norwegian Six.
From ETF 2019 I believe.

 

no, but..., posted on August 6, 2020 at 05:45:56
mhardy6647
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1) many folks have. There are still some old hobbyists on some forums that actually built these things! :)

2) very similar (at least visually) arrays of small drivers were not uncommon (empirically) in late-'60s/early-'70s "electronic" organ (Rodgers, Allen, & suchlike) makers -- used to see 'em in churches (and, more recently, for sale on CL) all of the time.

The photo above is (reputedly) a collection of speakers used with a Rodgers organ from a "prosound" forum website -- and was chosen strictly randomly and illustratively :) I have seen big "flat" (open-backed) 2D arrays of smallish cone (CTS) drivers that were basically "Sweet Sixteens" in attractive cabinetry. :)


all the best,
mrh

 

amplification ;) on the "Sweet Sixteen", posted on August 6, 2020 at 06:11:13
mhardy6647
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Thanks to the "World Radio History" website (erstwhile "American Radio History" site), "we" have access to the original publication(s) of the "Sweet Sixteen" and its descendents! :)

Link below is the original article, from Popular Electronics, Jan. 1961. The article starts on pg. 55 of the issue.




all the best,
mrh

 

Reminds me of my Straight 8s...., posted on August 6, 2020 at 07:51:48
Rod M
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Tube friendly and rock. The one on the right got damaged when the boys crew was partying and a young woman knocked it over onto a glass table. A few shards of glass might still be visible. And yes, alcohol was involved.

Oh well, remind to get speaker that can't be knocked down.




.

-Rod

 

That was about the time I became aware of "hi-fidelity", posted on August 6, 2020 at 09:11:10
M3 lover
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meaning something better than my parent's console system.

A couple of friends in college began assembling stereo systems from individual components. That was a wild concept to me.

But then one of the guys where I worked in a part time job invited me to hear his hi-fi. He and his wife were childless and had decent jobs so they could afford it. The system was a JBL Paragon speaker with all Mac electronics. That opened my ears and eyes to a new world!

But I never saw a sweet sixteen, just listened to Chuck Berry sing about her. ;^)

"The only cats worth anything are the cats who take chances. Sometimes I play things I never heard myself." Thelonious Monk

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 6, 2020 at 12:50:08
Chas
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Don't tell Dr. Bose!

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 6, 2020 at 16:18:46
Paul Joppa
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Yes, I remember when that article came out, and a few years later in college they had one in my preferred coffeehouse. Sounded better than a cheap AC/DC table radio, but not much - at that time I had a Mellow Monster that was *much* better. Back when stereo was just starting out ...

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 6, 2020 at 18:05:02
Coner
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I suspect that after bouncing of a back and side wall, combing
is a moot issue, lol.

 

the "Sweet Sixteen Chronicles" (not really, but sort of) :), posted on August 6, 2020 at 18:39:47
mhardy6647
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OK, OK. Here's the thing: I don't really suffer from "OCD", and I mean no disrespect to anyone who does. I don't even know if it's even still considered a "disorder" -- but -- I do get a little over-interested in things sometimes.

I got a little over interested in the subject of this thread.
On the plus side, it was a beautiful day here today & I was busy both personally and professionally with many things.
On the minu side -- not busy enough. ;)

So, I spent a little time at worldradiohistory.com :) and searched "Popular Electronics" for "Sweet Sixteen". I'd like to think I found the canon of articles (more or less) directly related to the original.

heh, heh, heh -- so, here they are. :)




















all the best,
mrh

 

Bose 901, posted on August 6, 2020 at 18:50:08
Bill Fitzmaurice
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That's correct. The 901 had eight drivers facing the wall, with only one facing the room. That controlled the high frequency combing, but it also created other issues, like vague imaging.

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 6, 2020 at 22:17:07
mnawaz3@aol.com
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sounds super-muddy .. why not try a modern line array which has proven to work and is reassonably price (especially if going diy)

from a practical point, testing each speaker making sure that they al all matched and that electrical connectioms are ok, sounds like a non-trivial task.

 

or maybe try a Bessel array?, posted on August 7, 2020 at 05:19:16
mhardy6647
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see, e.g., the link below (and references therein)

:)


all the best,
mrh

 

Grado speakers, posted on August 7, 2020 at 06:42:18
M3 lover
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At least 10 years ago, likely more, I was surprised to find tall and very narrow speakers in the Grado room at the CES. Talking with John about them I learned he utilized multiple drivers (maybe 20) from his headphones in a line array cabinet. As I remember there was a moderate sized sub with each stereo channel. I thought that system sounded quite good.

Following that I never saw a review or mention they were in production. But a photo in a recent interview with John Grado showed those speakers in the background in his listening room. So obviously he continues to use them.

Then there are Tekton speakers with their clusters of tweeters. I don't know enough about speaker design to understand comb filtering but apparently success with multiple drivers in a cabinet depends on how they are arrayed.

"The only cats worth anything are the cats who take chances. Sometimes I play things I never heard myself." Thelonious Monk

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 7, 2020 at 07:04:27
elflow
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I built a pair back around 66-67. Allied Radio had 5 inch speakers for 99 cents, I added a horn tweeter to each speaker. About all I could say was that they were big and loud and had no bass. I drove them with an Eico ST70.

 

RE: or maybe try a Bessel array?, posted on August 7, 2020 at 09:16:12
mnawaz3@aol.com
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just bought a pair of jbl cbt la50.. (80-20k) as an experiment. the smallest of its type -uses full range drivers. its based on keeles work. had been eyeballing bill fitzmaurice's line array but ended up buying a ready made product. will need to add a sub but thats down the road. still, adding a sub will be easier than making my horns work togethr

 

Thanks to everyone who joined in! My interest in audio and is historical so I am happy to learn more. nt, posted on August 7, 2020 at 09:48:33
viridian
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Nt

 

Is that really a problem?, posted on August 7, 2020 at 12:46:31
viridian
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I attend many concerts yearly, about half, acoustic music. All I hear in the concert hall is vague imaging. I have always considered pinpoint imaging to be a Hi-Fi artifact, YMMV, and probably will.

 

I agree, posted on August 8, 2020 at 19:24:03
1973shovel
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Holographic imaging, while an intriguing sound effect, has little to do with live music.

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 8, 2020 at 23:44:15
Bill the K
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I have often posted about the possibility of developing a multi diameter driver array with no crossover. The inmates expressed the impossibility of developing limited response drivers. My thinking is on the lines of some overlapping of frequencies but controlled by separate equalisers, perhaps powered drivers. This would stray into powered speaker field and into Dutch and Dutch domain. Some wild thinking! Wonder how the Sweet Sixteen sounded.

Regards
Bill

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 9, 2020 at 07:53:18
Paul Joppa
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It sounded like a table radio - no bass, crappy/weak treble, ragged midrange - except it could play louder before distortion became prominent, and it was very efficient.

Nevertheless, it always fascinated me too.

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 9, 2020 at 21:16:46
Coner
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That idea sounds like a train wreck, crossovers are your friend,
I don't think crossovers are THAT bad anyway.

 

Crossover is a friend..., posted on August 10, 2020 at 20:38:59
Bill the K
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from now on. Must try to find improvements in them like the changes Joseph Audio has made or other innovations. Maybe it is more economical to improve crossover than to work on drivers.

Regards
Bill

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 10, 2020 at 20:58:59
pictureguy
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What about building as a vertical line source?


Too much is never enough

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 11, 2020 at 01:40:03
thetubeguy1954
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If you start taking a bunch of similar drivers and place them vertically, you'll be entering the territory of my well-known friend, Roger Russell, of McIntosh fame, and his amazing sounding IDS-25 speakers! I can tell everyone here that after listening to these IDS-25 speakers in Roger's home, I was gobsmacked and immediately wanted a pair...




Thetubeguy1954 (Tom)

Central Florida Audio Society -- SETriodes Group -- Space Coast Audio Society
Full-range/Wide-range Drivers --- Front & Back-Loaded Horns --- High Sensitivity Speakers


 

Vertical lines, posted on August 11, 2020 at 07:29:38
Bill Fitzmaurice
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Vertical line sources aren't exactly new or unknown. Harry Olson was describing their benefits in the 1940s.

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 11, 2020 at 10:04:22
pictureguy
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You HAD me right up to the mention of Floirida, a place I will not venture again. And I lived there for several years in the 70s. Both Tampa /St. Pete and down in the Miami area. I was in Ft. Lauderdale several years ago at the END of a cruise. (panama canal) and maybe a week or so later, the airport was shook by some kind of terror attack. No Mas.

But an equalized linesource DOES sound like it could be wonderful. Maybe add a super tweeter? With a simple capacitor cross, it could work?

Here in SoCal we have Audience. They MADE (past tense) a tower using either 8 or maybe a dozen of their proprietary driver. Now? Just a single and a double. But still VERY nice. I saw the towers at a show but I guess the response was UnderWhelming.
Too much is never enough

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on August 12, 2020 at 12:08:44
b.l.zeebub
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This thread might be of interest:

 

RE: Vertical lines, posted on August 13, 2020 at 14:01:28
Coner
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Hey Bill, Just read your horn building article in
the Jan. 01 Audio Express. Laughed at the "Red Green"
horn with duct tape, lol.

Not familiar with the mag., but was given huge stacks of
those as well as Speaker Builder, Voice Coil, and Audio Amateur.

Looks like 300+ mags. total!.

Did you write alot for A.X.?. Wonder if Mr. Edgar did also.

 

RE: Vertical lines, posted on August 13, 2020 at 19:29:19
Bill Fitzmaurice
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I wrote for Speaker Builder and Audio xPress. I've lost track of how many articles I had published but I'm sure it was over thirty.

 

Thanks a lot, posted on August 16, 2020 at 21:20:30
Bill the K
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for that thread on the Towers. It took a long time to digest, especially the cabinet part. What motivation! In spite of losing his job. Wonder if there are newer modified or smaller versions. Perhaps 5 drivers. Maybe of varying dia. Just a thought. Maybe just 3 of these Vifa drivers in a simple cabinet which could be marketed for a budget price. Wild thoughts.

Cheers
Bill

 

Russell IDS-25 clone, posted on August 18, 2020 at 10:36:24
E-Stat
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I'm all about full range line sources. ;)

 

Lots of moving parts, but so does a V-12 engine. ~ nt, posted on August 18, 2020 at 15:38:10
Coner
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nt

 

Indeed, posted on August 18, 2020 at 15:42:04
E-Stat
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I prefer using a single moving part for each speaker. Sixteen square feet for each just about does it. ;)

 

RE: Indeed, posted on August 18, 2020 at 17:42:11
Coner
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Yes, sheer sq. ft. would do it nicely.
Another engine reference: "There's no replacement for displacement".

 

RE: Russell IDS-25 clone, posted on August 18, 2020 at 18:54:31
Bill the K
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Did Roger Russell ever make small speakers with fewer number of drivers? Or with different size drivers? And a remote equalizer to adjust the sound from the listening seat. I mean powered drivers. Will it be a train wreck as Coner nicely put it?

Cheers
Bill

 

RE: Russell IDS-25 clone, posted on August 18, 2020 at 19:29:21
Coner
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Does Parts E. still sell that curved line array. I was thinking
that was a Russel design.

 

Sure, posted on August 19, 2020 at 05:30:52
E-Stat
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he was the Director of Acoustic Research at McIntosh labs for years. His first speaker was an ordinary three way.

The reference to "train wreck" was for the Sweet Sixteen possessing the odd grid of drivers which surely resulted in substantial comb filtering. Which has nothing to do with Russell.

 

RE: Russell IDS-25 clone, posted on August 19, 2020 at 05:32:26
E-Stat
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I was thinking that was a Russel design.

It was Don Keele.

 

You're the Man! No disorder at your border! GREAT stuff!... N/T, posted on September 16, 2020 at 13:29:07
musetap
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a
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure


 

RE: You're the Man! No disorder at your border! GREAT stuff!... N/T, posted on October 6, 2020 at 06:17:33
zen6c45@yahoo.com
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I believe when I was about 13 I heard a Sweet 16 that my uncle had built being driven by a single ended 300b tube amp. Years later I hear the speaker with a solid state amp and noticed it just didn't sound as good as with that old 300b tube amp.

 

RE: Have you heard the Sweet Sixteen speakers? link, posted on November 9, 2020 at 16:59:34
maxhifi
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I built a pair in 2014, using MCM full range drivers. The article spoke to me years ago and I could never get the idea out of my head. Building them was extremely fun, I even used an extremely dangerous hole cutter just like the original article. They are almost insanely loud between about 250Hz and 3kHz. They sound quite awful, but would probably be great for making announcements in a huge building.

Not wanting to give up, I got a minidsp, and programmed it to give them some bass. This improved things substantially, but they required so much bass boost that it killed the efficiency and the power handling.

These are a 10/10 as a DIY project, and a 2/10 as a speaker system. Every once in a while I pull them out to try and then put them away.

 

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