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Has anyone built or heard the Halcyons by Curt Campbell?

I’ve posted this same request on PE and so far no feedback, other than, “just build them”, which I decided was very good advice. But I’m still hoping I can find someone with first-hand experience. 


  • That was my first post. Apologies for announcement. 
  • I'm sorry, I haven't heard that design.  But I have heard lots of other designs Curt has created and they all sounded very good to great.  I can't believe Curt would publish a design that wasn't at least very good.  Now whether or not you like the sound of a fullrange plus woofer (no tweeter) no one can say.

    May I suggest you make a post in the "Introduce yourself" thread and tell us about yourself?  We're a pretty tight group on this board and it's more fun to converse and help each other when we know more than a screen name. 
  • My only comment would be with a lot of full range projects they are great on axis in medium size rooms, but the highs fall off quickly off axis. Curts graphs show decent off axis performance.
     John H, thanks to JP I did get that email
  • I never could get past that issue with FR drivers.
  • edited November 2019
    Hi Alan

    The Mark Audio Driver in the Halcyons is one of the better full range drivers that seem to do everything mostly right and there are a great many designs out there doing so. In this design it is a version of FAST (Full range Bass Augmented design). The Alpair 10P has slightly less bass extension so FAST design is a good choice, whereas the 10M has good bass response, especially in transmission lines and there are designs incorporating that if you want to stay single driver full range only

    All full ranges are part of the philosophy that you need to subscribe to - No, they don't have a tweeter, and will beam but toed in, on axis, if the driver doesn't go into break up mode and can play high enough it should be good. Stay in the sweet spot and decide if Full Rangers are for you.

  • I'd like to try it.  If I find that the highs are a problem, do you think a super-tweeter such as this Aperion would be a good solution?:

    Thanks for all the advice.  Most appreciated.  
  • alanhuth said:
    I'd like to try it.  If I find that the highs are a problem, do you think a super-tweeter such as this Aperion would be a good solution?:

    Thanks for all the advice.  Most appreciated.  
    Eh... No. A tweeter will be a good solution if you want good off axis, airy highs etc, but then that's not Halcyons... it will be some derivative of it.

    A premade crossover almost never works, and neither will this, would suggest if you want to add in highs, buy a 100$ usb mic, download some free software, buy a pair of 50$ tweeters and bug someone to help you with a crossover.

    Though i doubt you will be missing anything listening on axis - only when you start comparing to other competent designs in A/B testing and listening very critically, you might find some difference. if super tweeters do airy highs, full rangers do spooky vocals, take your pick... Like everyone said in here, Curt knows what he is doing and wouldn't release a design if it wasn't good - i heard both the Halycons and his singularity design another full ranger, and both are wonderful. Each speaker, each design and each type has its own strengths and weakness - there is no perfect speaker, hence the abundance of designs....!!!

    Also, what got you to select the Halcyons? what do you like about it?

  • While I like full range designs, and FAST/WAW designs as well... they have real limitations and unless you're already sold on their set of compromises and know you like them, this is an expensive way to find out if they're 'for you'. 

    In my experience, crossing a 'super'tweeter to a FR driver high enough to make sense (rather than just using a good midwoofer) is difficult to get right. Certainly not just a matter of top mounting a tweeter and throwing a cap on it for good results. 

    If I were to build a near-wall speaker from Curt, I'd take a good look at these instead:
  • ani_101 said:
    Also, what got you to select the Halcyons? what do you like about it?
    Well, as I'm new to this, my reasons may not be very compelling.  But here they are.  I rummaged around enough to learn that Curt is a great designer.  I built the Tritrix' and they sound great.  

    I send a video of my "listening room" to Jim Holtz and a few others, who, basically said move to a new house or use casters on the speakers to pull them out when you want to hear something properly.  So, I need something that can be flushed up pretty close to the wall.

    The fact that the Halcyons are almost 2 feet deep is good, because it puts the faces a little forward without looking like the speakers are sitting out in space.  Assuming that volume contributes to SPL and bass is all good.  

    Also, I have less than a foot of width to work with, but height not really a limitation.  

    And, I'm the only one in the house who cares about the audio, and I have my chair, so a requirement for "on-axis" listening doesn't seem like much of a problem.  I'm speculating here.

    Finally, I would like some SPL and some bass, so bookshelves seem like a less attractive option.  Plus, putting them on stands is a non-starter.  

    How do those reasons add up?  Am I blinded by something important?
  • If I were to build a near-wall speaker from Curt, I'd take a good look at these instead:
    Another BIG reason why I'm interested in the Halcyons, which I forgot to mention above, is that there is a full kit AND flat pack for them.  These Uluwatus look marvelous.  They look like they meet all my requirements, but constructing those cabinets is probably beyond my ability or ambition level.  You can't have a speaker that big or fancy looking like it was put together with duct tape.  But, if anybody knows of someone who does builds like that for other people, I'd love to hear. 

    Thanks again for the quality feedback and advice.  
  • Ask on this forum, flat packs are possible for any speakers, quite a few people have CNC machine and will get you a custom flat pack for very reasonable amount. Fully finished cabinets are also doable...

    When in doubt just ask!
  • BTW the uluwatu's are very dynamic.... Very very enjoyable speakers.
  • As Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say, ‘it’s always somthin’ –which is what makes speaker building an interesting balance between an art and a science.  

    As with many planar speakers, full rangers will roll-off quicker off-axis than a small dome tweeter, but they do avoid the issues of dealing with nasty crossover affects.

    The fun thing about going to the DIY events is getting to see and hear the different speaker approaches,  the downside is what to do with the previous 3 sets of speakers in the basement you’ve made in your quest for incorporating what you’ve liked from the last event...

    Go for what subjectively pleases your ears.

  • ani_101 said:

     if super tweeters do airy highs, full rangers do spooky vocals, take your pick... 
    Well, learn something new every day.  I thought "full range" meant 20-20k, or whatever the range of a regular loudspeaker can produce.  But since I saw this comment, I looked up "full range speaker vocals" and some people seem to say that "full range" means the full range that the human voice can produce.  Hmm.  

    So, this leads me back to the Halcyons again because:

    a) I can't hear anything over 10k anyway, and the Halcyons reportedly have plenty of bass, which I can hear
    b) my biggest gripe when listening to my stereos is that I want the human voices to be clearer

    So when you (ani_101) say "spooky vocals", and I assume that means in a good way, then maybe I should give full range a shot (?)

    I'm getting a sense that some of the more experienced audiophiles on this site are trying to warn me against full range because I really don't know what I'm getting myself into.  And maybe I should start more conventionally first while learning more about what my real tastes are.  Absolutely true.  I'm trying to reason myself into a decision which would possibly be dead simple if I had examples to play with.  

    But since I have no examples to play with, I'm seeking your advice, and I deeply appreciate everyone's generosity so far.  

    BTW, the Madisound site says the Uluwatu driver kit is unavailable.  I've asked for more info, Anything to do with the fact that a set of Ululates requires (12) SB13PFC25-08 5" Paper Cone Woofers?
  • Probably because the square frame SB are on the way out.
    I have a signature.
  • Its surprising how well people with less than perfect hearing can resolve the better sounding high frequency speakers.  I assume that's due to the harmonics and off axis performance.  I would not sell your hearing short. Instead buy what you think is the best value for your money.

    Depending on how close you are to Craig and a trip to Fort Wayne Indiana this Spring you could listen and compare a number of speaker types for yourself.  You could probably buy a pair as well
     John H, thanks to JP I did get that email
  •   I'm fairly young and love this hobby. I also love a good full range speaker. Full range speaker love is not limited to old ears. Sometimes an ommision is better than a guilt.
       I have some extra boxes for the Dayton Rs100 and a pretty good sounding "crossover". I plan on building better boxes for the components I have but if you want the boxes let me kbow and they are yours. 
      They don't meet any of your requirements for a final build but they would be a simple way to get taste of full range goodness. With minimal cost/time investment.

  • Thank you, Ken.   That is a very thoughtful offer.  I may take you up on it.  I'm this close --> <-- to just pulling the trigger and hoping for the best.  But if I get smart, I'll get back to you.  Are you anywhere near Chicago suburbs?
  • I can get them to chicago pretty easy.  These are my favorite full range speakers to date and should be a good sample of what good FR speakers can do.
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