Stentorian DIY Speaker Review

by admin
Summary

The Stentorian speakers are a relatively balanced sounding pair of speakers with a slight dip in mids to bring out details. The speakers provide solid performance across all ranges, but it will still benefit from having a subwoofer. Their strength is reproducing both solo / vocal works and heavily layered tracks in a natural and balanced way, but they suffer in soundstage width and soundstage depth quality, which probably is related to characteristics of a paper cone.

I’m not sure if they have a place since we now have popular waveguide speakers and drivers are hard to come by, but if you can grab drivers for really cheap and want balanced sounding speakers for a medium to large room, these might work very well.

Build Notes
None – Just be prepared to do a lot of drilling and cutting circles.

Sound

The Stentorians are tuned to bring out details, so they have slightly dipped mids. Thanks to the crossover utilizing all 6 drivers, you can get a ridiculous amount of excursion from these speakers, and they get LOUD.

Highs – These tweeters are solid for how cheap they are. The Vifas are enjoyable to listen to, providing a crisp and fast sound. While there are few moments here and there where I felt like the details or sparkle didn’t come through, they perform adequately well for the most part and are a step up from the overnight sensation tweeters.

Mids – Mids sound very natural and deliver enough detail, which is something I haven’t heard in a lot of speakers. It’s likely due to the paper cone design, so they feel like PA speakers more than hifi speakers.

Bass – Extension is decent, but a little bit disappointing for being full towers with 6 woofers. It’s tight and fast, but you’ll definitely want a pair of subs for music purposes.

Soundstage – Depth is very disappointing for these speakers, but there is enough of separation when listening to heavily layered music.

Overall, these speakers do rock and can get really loud. The natural paper cones provide a unique sound that made me want to do some listening sessions, and all the music I throw at it sound pretty good for the most part. Their biggest advantage is being able to fill a large room with sound.

Music section
Giorgio by Moroder – Daft Punk
  • 00:00 – 00:36 – His voice is the focus, and both the bass extension and background chatter are subdued. The paper cones result in his voice sounding very clean.
  • 00:36 – 1:08 – Bass is tight and extension pretty good, albeit slightly low. Guitar pop is clearly audible, and highs are balanced and not overwhelming while being tight and enjoyable to listen to. There’s enough separation to isolate any instrument, but it’s not a ton of separation. Soundstage depth quality is ok.
  • 6:58 – 7:30 – Bass extension is clean and tight, but you might still want to throw a sub on these. Highs perform adequately and provide a crisp sound with enough details. Overall, the presentation is well balanced with enough separation and quality all around.
Tom Sawyer – Rush
  • 00:00 – 00:50 – Definitely a U shaped response with highs and low end coming out quite a bit. Even when his voice comes through, guitar and highs are just as dominant. Highs remain tight and crisp, but the low extension is slightly lost, especially with a soundstage that’s not particularly wide.
Come Away with Me – Norah Jones
  • 00:00 -1:00 – The paper cones makes her voice sound natural and captures the airiness of her voice, which not many other drivers do. The speakers sound more like PA speakers than hifi speakers. The additional instruments remain in the background, and they can be heard if focused on.
Four seasons L’estate III Presto – Vivaldi (Pavel)
  • 00:00 – 00:44 Violin attacks are sharp, and lower strings are audible but not quite enough. There is just enough soundstage depth and separation to sound pleasant, but nothing that performs outstandingly.
  • 00:45 -1:04 Pavel’s aggressiveness does come through pretty well, with attacks sounding nice and sharp.
  • 1:05 – 1:20 – Lack of low-end extension and soundstage depth is very evident since the section falls pretty flat.
Count Bubba – Gordon Goodwin
  • 00:00 – 00:41 Bass extension is pleasantly audible and tight, and the highs continue to perform well by providing a crisp and detail-filled sound. All the instruments sound very balanced with the sax section not being overwhelming, and soundstage separation is just adequate enough to hear all the instruments separately.
  • 1:10 – 1:39 This section sounds natural and detailed, and it feels a bit closer to PA speakers reproducing live music than hifi speakers, which isn’t a bad thing.
 Closing thoughts

I’m not sure if I would build these again, especially given how much effort these take to build. This build made a ton of sense 6 years ago because the NS6 drivers were less than 10 dollars per each, and we didn’t have flat packs for waveguide speakers; however, I think most people would be better off building waveguide speakers now that options are available, which make me a little sad since I put so much effort into these speakers, and they look pretty kickass.

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