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Re: ZALYTRON DIY speaker

My very first pair of high-end speakers were Zalytron MTM speakers with a pair of SEAS mid-bass drivers in each and a Morel MDT-33 tweeter. These speakers sounded excellent-- very detailed. I also listened to several other models of his, including the more expensive Aria 5, which my friend owned. I will say that, at first, I thought they were marvelous and I pledged to NEVER AGAIN BUY another commercial.... dot dot. HOWEVER, I realized, as I bought more and more different pairs of speakers and compared them, notably the LS3 5a and Dynaudio and Quads and Spendors and Proac and etc.., I found the Zalytron speakers to be very-- detailed. Yes. Very detailed indeed. They imaged great. HOWEVER, the better "commercial" models I have owned, such as Totem Model 1's and my current JM Reynaud Twins are (and were) more coherent, have more spot-on tonality and just play plain music more musically.
Zalytron's formula is--- Take extremely expensive drivers (wholesale of course!)--- put them in a VERY THICK, well-built box and then get a famous man to design a cross-over. Sounds great, right? Except if it were that simple, everyone would have a perfect recipe for speakers-- there would be no real need to shop around-- just throw money at the drivers and box and use a computer for the crossover and PRESTO!! Then why do the top speaker designers at say, B&W or JM Reynaud or Merlin spend so much time and effort tweaking and refining and changing wires/drivers/crossovers/many parts of the equation? Because they've got too much time on their hands and just cant find Zalytron's phone number over in the states????
NOOOOOO!! Because the simple fact is that it is VERY DIFFICULT to design an excellent speaker. It is not a matter of buying a great Focal midrange, great accuton tweeter etc. and having Elliot bust his knuckles on a box 3 feet thick. So while some of Zalytron's speakers offer excellent value indeed, many simply do not possess the organic completeness of many excellent "commercial" speakers. And I aint talkin' bout Bose here-- I am talking about Merlin etc.
Ever wonder why you dont see hardly ANY accuton or Focal kevlar or whatever Zalytrons top drivers are this month in many companies pricier models? Hint: it aint because, as he says, they are too expensive. These guys, like Bobby at Merlin and Jean-Marie at Reynaud charge THOUSANDS for their top products. They certainly could use these drivers and make their box "THE THICKEST." They've been at this a lot longer than you and I and you dont think such things have occured to them?
The fact is, it is too hard to integrate some of these "wonderful" tweeters and "space-age" woofers into a cohesive, musical unit. That's why we all dont have plasma tweeters in our system. This tweeter was PHENOMENAL. Good luck finding a woofer to mate with it.
So if you want a good speaker for not a lot of cash, some of Zalytron's (or Madisound's for that matter) cheaper speakers put up a good fight in the budget category. But as you move up in cash, your money would be better spent on the products of designers who possess a single unifying vision of speaker design, causing them, in pursuit of said vision, to optimize each parameter carefully toward that end. Not on a thick box with "great" drivers and a famous guy somewhere who has a great idea for a crossover.

yours in the dharma,


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