As is customary whenever I work with a new woofer, I listen to it without any crossover. Hopefully, there’s something special I can work on. With the Anarchy 704, it’s the bass. I found traces of quality there. A bit rough at the edges but there’s power. That cemented the direction of the Anarchy-XT. I’m going to design a speaker with BASS !!!!!
Fig 1 – Anarchy 704 RAW response • Baffle Width=8-1/2″
Fig 1 is the RAW response of the Anarchy 704 loaded into a 13 liters bass reflex. Disregard the deep notch at 150Hz. It’s an anomaly caused by a floor bounce.
Looking at the plot, one would normally cross at 2kHz to a tweeter. Well, I did just that and it wasn’t what I was looking for. The midrange was far too prominent.
Fig 2 – Anarchy 704 with Low Pass Network
It took many attempts but I eventually found the right tonal balance. The Blue plot in Fig 2 is with the Low Pass Network. Don’t be alarmed by the response of the Anarchy. It will become clear as we move along.
The Black plot below 500Hz is the smoothed response. For clarity, I will not be using a nearfield response below 500Hz because it doesn’t show the bass clearly.
Fig 3 – Anarchy 704 Low Pass • XT25TG30-04 High Pass
The XT25TG30-04 crossover to the Anarchy at precisely 2kHz (Fig 3). I’ve lowered that nasty 4kHz peak by -20dB from the RAW response (Fig 1). Any lower and it’ll distort the crossover.
Fig 4 – Anarchy-XT Passband
The Black plot in Fig 4 is the crossover passband. Relative to the tweeter (80dB), there is a slightly emphasis centered at 1.5kHz. Higher up, there is no cancellation from the 4kHz cone breakup spike from the Anarchy. That’s a relief because that spike is horridly nasty. It whistles. I’m not joking. Listen to the Anarchy without any crossover and you’ll hear it.
Fig 5 – Anarchy-XT Frequency Response
The final frequency response of the Anarchy-XT is in Fig 5. Now, you can see why I opted to use a smoothed response below 500Hz. Taking 80dB as the baseline, the upper mids to the treble (1kHz to 20kHz) are now lowered to the bass (100Hz to 60Hz). Even the lower midrange, from 100Hz to 350Hz, is at 80dB. The suckout at 150Hz is a measurement anomaly.
Fig 6 – Anarchy-XT Null
The phases of the Anarchy-XT are well aligned. There’s a deep notch at 2kHz (Fig 6 -Violet plot) when I flipped the tweeter wires around. This is more of a bonus as I wasn’t trying to align the drivers. My main focus was on tonality.
Fig 7 – Anarchy-XT RAW Frequency Response
Fig 7 is the response of the Anarchy-XT with the unsmoothed response below 500Hz. This measurement was made with the speaker in full space (4 pi).
Fig 8 – Anarchy-XT with Nearfield Response below 500Hz
Fig 8 is with a Nearfield response below 500Hz. This is the reason why I didn’t use a Nearfield. It gives the impression the Anarchy-XT is designed with a High-Q bass which is completely misleading.
Fig 9 – Anarchy-XT Step Response
The Aranchy-XT Step response is quite interesting. For the most part, the transient is quite normal for a woofer of this size. It is what happens after the apex. It exhibits a fast decay before it slows down to a normal decline.
Fig 10 – Anarchy-XT Toneburst Energy Storage response
The plot in Fig 10 looks like there’s plenty of excess energy but it’s not something to be concerned about. The ones that can cause smearing is at 1.5kHz. All the light blue slices above that are insignificant.
Fig 11 – Anarchy-XT Spectrogram
The Spectrogram shows two hot spots, one at 1.1kHz and the other at 1.4kHz. They are stronger that normal but fortunately, they start to dissipate by 7 msec. During audition, I didn’t pick them out so they are quite harmless.
Sound of Anarchy-XT
This is one difficult speaker to design. Getting the Anarchy and the XT tweeter to cross properly is the easy part. Getting her to sing right is much more difficult.
I encountered multiple issues along the way. The initial one was to find the right balance between the midrange/treble and the bass. I went through a few changes before I finally found it. After that, something still wasn’t right. The upper bass was bleeding too much into the vocals, so that needed to be taken care of. If there’s one thing I really hate, it’s that. And when I thought I finally got it, the bass was bugging me. There’s no way I can get the kind of bass texture as in the Scanspeak 15WU or the Seas U18RNX but if I can tighten it up and get it to pump, it will be the icing on the cake. And pump it did. Now, the Anarchy-XT is ready to soar.
Believe it or not, one of the albums that is instrumental in tuning the Anarchy-XT is Billy Ocean’s Greatest Hits. In all the tracks, his voice doesn’t stand out. Worse still, the bass covers everything up.
Not so with the Anarchy-XT. In “I Sleep Much Better“, he is as clear as can be without being in your face. Even the exchange with his girlfriend later in the track came out audible, not a blurry mess. While all these are going one, the bass remains very distinct. It doesn’t over-ride his voice and it’s fast. This is where it starts to get really scary. It PUMPS.
Another track is Breathe Again (Toni Braxton). Notice from the beginning how you are immersed in a sea of bass. This bass runs throughout the song. With the Anarchy-XT, it is like an invisible rope tying you to her plea. Quite hypnotic but the lyrics are a bit too drama for me.
The Anarchy-XT is for bass lovers. The 704 may not be in the same class as the Seas U18RNX but she punches like no other. At $66 a piece, she’s hard to beat.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Erich of Denovo Audio for continuing with the Anarchy line. They are good drivers and deserve to be supported.
Unless otherwise stated, all measurements were made with the mic at 36 ins, tweeter axis. Impulse Window=5ms. No smoothing applied.
December 14, 2020HIFI DRIVERS, Projects