North Creek Okara

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  • Joe
    Junior Member
    • Jan 2003
    • 2

    North Creek Okara


    I just joined this forum. I am well on my way to improve my HT system with home built speakers. I built my sub with inspiration from the aerila SW-12 and aerial stryke -15 that Thomas and Jon have chronicled so well.
    Now I am ready to tackle the surrounds and replace the tiny Bose temporary cubes with something more fitting the rest of my components. Since the sub was such a gas to put together, I figure I will build my own surrounds.
    I don't want to start this project with the task of designing, researching, and assembling the crossover circuits. I don't realistically have the time to do it right. Especially with all the expertise out there.
    So I am looking for a kit that will supply the drivers and crossovers with plans for the cabinetry and assemblage.
    North Creek seems to fit the bill.
    My question to all of you is to describe your experience with the Okara II speakers. What can they be compared to? Are they a good quality company? the Website seems to indicate that quality is the priority but I don't know if it is just marketing. George answers emails quickly that is for sure and a good sign.
    Who has experience with their products and can give me some feedback?
    My center and L/R fronts are Aerial's. Will the North Creeks match the sonic signature of the Aerials?
    Since the Okara's will be used for my surrounds, it may not be critical that they match. But if they are good i may try to build the visions to replace the Aerial 7's.
    Also, I will post photos of my finished sub if someone can tell me how to do that.
  • JonMarsh
    Mad Max Moderator
    • Aug 2000
    • 15269

    Hello Joe!

    Welcome to the HTGuide forum!

    I've been aware of North Creek Music Systems for a number of years, and have sourced parts from them occasionally- they'll do some hellaciously big inductors with low DCR on special order! My opinion is that they are reliable business wise and quality conscious.

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    I haven't built any of their complete systems or kits, being sort of an onery curmudgeon that would rather make and learn from my own mistakes....

    The Okara II is a two way system with a 5" Vifa polypropylene cone and a Scanspeak silk dome tweeter. It's intended to be placed on a true bookshelf or other mounting close to a wall; it relies on bondary loading to fill in the lower midrange and midbass. It's a ported system which relies on the port in order to get extension on the bottom end down to 60 Hz. Owing to the Scanspeak tweeter with an Fs of about 500 Hz, they are able to use a crossover frequency of 1.8 kHz with 3rd order acoustic slopes, avoiding the upper range where cone modes of the Vifa may smear midrange detail.

    I haven't heard an Okara, but it looks promising on paper- provided that your listening arrangements will work well with speakers which must be close to the walls. For music, I don't usually like that kind of setup, becuse of the likelihood of early reflections at high level (from furniture, TV, etc) which can cause comb filtering in the frequency response and degrade imaging cues. I'm also not a big fan in general of poly woofers, but this one is being crossed over fairly low.

    If it fits in with your listening environment, and your desired room placement, I expect you might be very happy with these crossed over to a good sub at about 90 to 100 Hz. Becuase there should be close to an octave of overlap between the sat and sub, I don't think you could use a crossover point lower than about 90 Hz with these speakers without running into integration issues. That means that you'll have to use some care also that the sub isn't located too far from the acoustic plane of your front speakers, so that integration with the mains and center channel will be solid and smooth through the critical midbass. For surrounds, your expectations may not be as high as for mains, but I tend to adhere to the WSR philosophy that the front mains and surrounds should be equally capable and of course voiced the same.

    Good luck with your project, and thanks for the kind words- keep us posted if you decide to build the Okara's, and let us know what the experience was like and how the results turn out.

    Best regards,


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