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post #181 of 1722 Old 02-10-2010, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevon27 View Post

Hifisponge.. Seriously, I think you should seek help for your addiction. This is NOT healthy.
What was once a passion has now grown into a monster. I'm not joking or trying to dis you in any kinda way dude.
I am seeing some of your over obsessive traits in myself and I had to cut it off.
I cannot afford the high end gear you can but I've upgraded receivers, speakers when I really did not have to.
Trying to find the right sound will be a never ending quest.
Dude, you have gone through so much high end speakers and you are still not satisfied.
Hmm.. How about building your own speaker (from the woofers, cabinets, crossover,etc). But doing that in itself may start another addiction.

Kevon -

Please don't hold back. Tell me how you really feel.

I totally get what you are saying, and I won't argue with you that I have been an obsessive perfectionist spun out of control over the past two years. But I'm all better now, really.

In all seriousness, and in my defense, if you look back at the last few pages, you'll see that I'm actually trying to be more level headed and practical about the hobby. My choice to change gear this time around is not because I'm disatisfied. I love the way the WB / Classe combo sounds. But after hearing a friend's system, that I helped pick out, that consists of a pair of NHT Classic Two's, being powered by a $500 Denon AVR, I had to re-evaluate the my need for $40,000+ in AV gear. I was so impressed by his inexpensive system that it brought me back down to earth.

I knew going into my last round of high-end gear purchases that I was paying as much or more for the cabinet, the exclusivity and the name, as I was for the sound quality. And ironically, I only went through so many high-end speakers because I was astonished at how bad so many of them sounded (to me). The high-end speaker market is a very tricky beast because I get the impression that having a distinct "house sound" is more important than accuracy.

I'm not saying that I won't switch out my speakers again in a year or two, but I'm doing everything I can to avoid going through a half dozen speakers each time I'd like a change. I learned more than ever over the past two years, that no speaker is perfect and every speaker imparts its own character on the sound. But I don't think that there is anything wrong with wanting a change once in a while.

Thanks for your input.
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post #182 of 1722 Old 02-10-2010, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenish03 View Post

Hifi, do you mind telling us what some of your reference material songs are?

Nish

Below is the list grabbed from my iTunes playlist of reference songs. I've briefly described what I listen for (in parentheses) after each track title.

No Ordinary Love 7:22 Sade - The Best Of Sade (natural, smooth vocals. Deep, warm bass)

Universal Traveler 4:22 Talkie Walkie Air (this song has a bottle or a block that is struck throughout that has a lovely resonance and sense of space around it, the bass is also very deep. If the bass is missing, strangely, the strike of the bottle can sound a little stripped of harmonics)

Svevende 4:59 :rarum VIII Bobo Stenson (This is a minimalist Jazz recording from the 70's. Close-mic'd cymbals should sound real. The alto sax is quite dynamic and should almost make you wince when he puts some energy into the instrument, but it shouldn't sound shrill.)

Lost Like The Wind At Night 5:23 Unmarked Road Doug MacLeod (A man with a steel guitar. His voice is raspy and dynamic. Can easily turn harsh on some speakers. The details of his guitar playing is also captured wonderfully. Should sound real.)

Almost Blue 4:05 The Girl In The Other Room Diana Krall (Listen mainly for vocal quality and for midrange presence.)

Angel 4:30 Surfacing Sarah McLachlan (Amazing sense of space on this one. Should sound like you are in a church hall listening to her play. Close mic'd piano has remarkable weight in the lower notes played.)

Top Of The World 4:42 Brandy - The Best of Brandy (Vocals can sound bright and harsh on some speakers.)

Till It Happens To You 4:39 Corinne Bailey Rae Corinne Bailey Rae (This female vocalist's voice rides a fine line between soulful and shrill. Certain high notes in her singing will highlight problems in the upper midrange / treble of a speaker.)

The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove 6:17 Into The Labyrinth Dead Can Dance (Recorded in a church, this Goth-ish track is another great test for judging soundstage size. The male vocalist can also sound overly raspy on many speakers and the wind instrument / horn can become shrill.)

Dreams 4:16 The Very Best Of Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac (Another high quality recording from the 70's, before all Rock was compressed within an inch of its life. Listen for separation of the musical elements, vocal quality, detail, and dynamics. Cymbal hits should be faint but detailed, with an occasionally dynamic splash. This one can sound overly bright on lean sounding speakers.)

Last Night 4:47 Justified Justin Timberlake (This one is more just for fun, though his voice can sound shrill and thin if the speaker highlights the presence region. Sibilance can also be a problem.)

Fever 3:52 Michael Bublé Michael Bublé (Not the best recording, as it tends to sound a bit granular on speakers with good detail retrieval. But it is a good test for midrange coloration, as his voice can sound aggressive on the high notes on some speakers.)

Don't Know Why 3:06 Come Away With Me Norah Jones (This is a recording that can be a bit aggressive through the midrange on many speakers, but if the speaker isn't brash in its presentation, it goes from aggressive to pleasingly present and dynamic.)

Frederic Chopin: Scherzo in b-flat, 9:49 Stereophile Test (Disc 1)
Stereophile (Listen mainly for how the speaker handles the dynamic swings in this one.)

Acoustic Drum Solo 3:39 Stereophile Test Disc 2 Stereophile (listen for definition in the cymbals and dynamics throughout. Need to turn this one up though.)

Acoustic Guitar Solo 3:08 Stereophile Test Disc 2 Stereophile (Naturaly mic'd and mixed. Should sound real.)

Temptation 4:28 The Girl In The Other Room Diana Krall (Same as the other dianna Krall track. Listen mainly for naturalness of vocals.)

Liszt: Les Préludes, S 97 17:06 Bolero! - Orchestral Fireworks Eiji Oue; Minnesota Orchestra (Another one for testing dynamics.)

Come Away With Me 3:18 Come Away With Me Norah Jones (Same as the other Norah track. Can sound forward and aggressive on many speakers.)

Golden Rain 5:16 :rarum VIII Bobo Stenson (Same as the other Bobo Stenson track. Should sound real, with excellent detail.)

Whew!

Hope that helps.
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post #183 of 1722 Old 02-11-2010, 01:37 PM
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Sponge,

"Elegance is the attribute of being unusually effective and simple"

I believe you are now in a quest for hi-fidelity elegance.

Am I wrong?

Cheers,

Korboduze
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post #184 of 1722 Old 02-11-2010, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorboDuze View Post

Sponge,

"Elegance is the attribute of being unusually effective and simple"

I believe you are now in a quest for hi-fidelity elegance.

Am I wrong?

Cheers,

Korboduze

Yes, elegance as you have described it is certainly a strong consideration, as is value.
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post #185 of 1722 Old 02-13-2010, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

I'll put a list together tonight and post it.

Much appreciated, since I am fairly new to the hobby its good to understand what individuals try and listen for when testing out speakers/gear.

Thanks,
Nish
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post #186 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 07:24 AM
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what setup is next?
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post #187 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 07:27 AM
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Guess it is safe to say the Cantons did not make the cut.
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post #188 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Canton's out, now a two month wait to see how the new B&W 805 Diamond speakers sound.
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post #189 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 12:56 PM
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Hello Tim!

I'm not going to start with you because you know that I know what's going to happen. The same thing that happened before! The swap out of 20 different sets of speakers! (You see, I can't help myself, I started!). And you can say what you want, but you my friend, are jaded! The Wilson-Benesch's have for intents and purposes have spoiled you. Unconsciously, the WB's have set the standard. It's sound quality has been burned/imprinted in your snapses! Tim, face it! You're done! Scarred for life! For you, objectivity is but a distant memory!

So I want to make a suggestion. While you're waitng the for the Diamonds to be released, Kef has a very nice line up also. As a matter of fact, their Reference series is pretty impressive.

Enter the Kef Reference 201 Full range Bookshelf speakers.

http://www.kef.com/us/Loudspeakers/Reference/201


Granted, not the most efficient speakers out there, but that has never been a concern for you. Then again, you didn't have a Denon AVR pushing your WB's either! I really do not think that 5308 would have a problem powering the 201's though.

By the way, aren't the Diamonds floorstanders, or is there a bookshelf model in the lineup?

Regards,

"Chance favors only the prepared mind. "Louis Pasteur"

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post #190 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldgibson76 View Post


By the way, aren't the Diamonds floorstanders, or is there a bookshelf model in the lineup?

Regards,

B&W recently announced a "new" 800 series lineup called 800 Diamond. Now every speaker in the 800 series has a diamond tweeter. They also added piano black as a finish option.

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post #191 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 01:37 PM
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I can't help but wonder if those darn passive x-overs,
after all is said and done, are bugging our friend Tim.
If yes, I can relate.
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post #192 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ldgibson76 View Post

Hello Tim!

I'm not going to start with you because you know that I know what's going to happen. The same thing that happened before! The swap out of 20 different sets of speakers! (You see, I can't help myself, I started!). And you can say what you want, but you my friend, are jaded! The Wilson-Benesch's have for intents and purposes have spoiled you. Unconsciously, the WB's have set the standard. It's sound quality has been burned/imprinted in your snapses! Tim, face it! You're done! Scarred for life! For you, objectivity is but a distant memory!

So I want to make a suggestion. While you're waitng the for the Diamonds to be released, Kef has a very nice line up also. As a matter of fact, their Reference series is pretty impressive.

Enter the Kef Reference 201 Full range Bookshelf speakers.

http://www.kef.com/us/Loudspeakers/Reference/201


Granted, not the most efficient speakers out there, but that has never been a concern for you. Then again, you didn't have a Denon AVR pushing your WB's either! I really do not think that 5308 would have a problem powering the 201's though.

By the way, aren't the Diamonds floorstanders, or is there a bookshelf model in the lineup?

Regards,

I wouldn't argue with you, except... if you remember, I still enjoy the "premium" sound system in my BMW (only cost $1500), and I also really enjoy the Monitor Audio Radius system in my game room (about $2000 for five speakers and a sub). If I can enjoy the sound coming from those two comparatively inexpensive systems, I'm sure that I can find something less expensive than the WBs that will float my boat. Sure, I may go through a few speakers to get there, but I never said I was getting out of the hobby, or that I would settle for something I didn't like, I'm just taking the whole thing down several notches in cost.

The main reason I'm still playing in the league of the B&Ws, which ain't cheap by any stretch of the imagination, is because I still value aesthetics and build quality as much as sound quality. And because I know people that know people that will take the sting out of the $5000 / pair price tag.

The KEFs are on my short list, but I'm a bit apprehensive about them. I didn't care for the Ref 203 V1's I used to own, and the word on the street is that the new Kef refs sound very similar to the last version.

Wish me luck.
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post #193 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 01:41 PM
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Hello BigRed.

Thanks for the update and clarification. My bad. I assumed Tim was waiting for the Signature model to be available.



I now undertand that "Diamond" is the name of the new tweeter technology and is available in the 800 series.

Thanks for the head's up.

Regards

"Chance favors only the prepared mind. "Louis Pasteur"

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post #194 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpmct View Post

I can't help but wonder if those darn passive x-overs,
after all is said and done, are bugging our friend Tim.
If yes, I can relate.

Hey mp -

What is it that bugs you about the sound of passive x-overs? Let's see if it matches up with what I commonly hear.
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post #195 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 01:53 PM
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I am lost for words on your amazing set up. Great job and thanks for all the helpful information. Just stunning!
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post #196 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

Hey mp -

What is it that bugs you about the sound of passive x-overs? Let's see if it matches up with what I commonly hear.

It's that pain near the top end Tim, near the x-over point
for many loudspeakers. It's just hashy to my ears, and wears me out.
But no wonder, it's full of distortion, by definition.

Here we go, from another forum ...

"A while ago on this forum there was some discussion about loudspeaker crossover networks and the relative merits of the active and passive approach.* This prompted me to investigate passive crossovers further.
First, some background:

Loudspeaker drive units are designed to be driven by a very low impedance, and the published frequency response plots from the manufacturer will always be shown with the drive unit driven directly from an amplifier, without any intermediate crossover network.* If the driving impedance is not low, the response will be adversely affected, and the amplifier will lose control over the speaker cone motion.* The degree of control is termed 'damping' and is defined by a 'damping factor', which is simply the ratio of the nominal speaker impedance (usually 8 ohms) to the driving impedance.* So for example, an amplifier having an output impedance of 0.5 ohms would have a damping factor of 16.

Amplifier designers generally strive to achieve a damping factor of 50 or more, and for good ones it can be several 100s.* But what happens when you insert a passive crossover network in between the amplifier output and the speaker drive units ?

The effect of the passive crossover :
To quantify this, we need to establish the impedance of the crossover network output, since this becomes the new driving impedance for the speaker unit.* The plot below shows this impedance for a 2nd order passive Linkwitz-Riley crossover network with a crossover frequency of 2kHz.

As you can see, over most of the audio band the impedance is not very low, reaching a maximum value of 8 ohms at the 2kHz crossover frequency.* By calculating the ratio of this impedance to 8 ohms, we can establish the effective damping factor when the crossover network is in circuit.* This is shown in the plot below.

At 30Hz, the damping factor is a just about tolerable 34, but it drops sharply as the frequency is increased, dropping to less than 2 right from 500Hz to over 7kHz.* At the 2kHz crossover frequency the damping factor is just 1 !

So what does this mean ?
The results show that a typical passive crossover has an absolutely disastrous effect on speaker damping.* Over most of the audio band, the damping factor is very low, so the amplifier will have almost no control over the cone movement at all.* Were it not for the mechanical self damping in the drive unit suspension, the cone would be flapping around wildly.* As it is, the cone movement will certainly not be accurately following the applied signal voltage from the amplifier.

What about active crossovers ?
With an active speaker, the crossover network is connected at the amplifier inputs, and the amplifier outputs drive the speaker drive units directly.* In this case, the excellent damping factor of the amplifiers is maintained, and the cone motion is accurately controlled at all frequencies.* In the past, the main argument against the active speaker approach has been the cost.* But these days, power transistors are cheap, so there really is no excuse !

........

I must say that when you look into it as we have in considerable detail, you just keep asking yourself why anyone would even consider passive speakers, they are a horrendous bodge!

A passive crossover produces about 1% distortion and an active one 0.001%, so that's a no brainer too.
The problem probably is that non technical audiophiles are persuaded that in order to find true system synergy they must accumulate the different parts of an audio system from different companies who are best at each of these. It's arrant nonsense but it has give dealers and magazines scope for "building systems" and selling endless upgrades, something I suspect that enthusiasts will be reluctant to give up on.

I'm very glad that a non audio industry scientist has presented the facts ...

I do agree that passive speakers can sound pleasant and there is a place for them, but not for hi end if we agree that the highest possible sound quality is the goal.

..........

Active crossovers normally use a 4th order Linkwitz-Riley response, since this gives large attenuation in the frequency ranges where the drivers can 'misbehave', but also has quite a benign transient response due to the low Q (0.5).* Another property of this type of filter is that the output from the two drivers is precisely in-phase at all frequencies, so the polar pattern (and hence imaging) is stable.

Although it is possible to implement such 4th order filters in a passive crossover, component tolerancing is a nightmare, and you also need to accurately correct for the frequency dependent impedance of the drive units.* With active filters, on the other hand, it is easy to obtain very accurate 'textbook' responses.

........

Yes, damping at bass frequencies is important because the cone motion is largest there.* But you can see that the damping factor is still quite poor even at low frequencies.* The biggest difference is at or near the crossover frequency, where the damping is almost non-existent so the cone/dome motion will be completely uncontrolled.

Changing the amplifier power won't really make any difference because the amplifier's output impedance will normally be very low (few milli ohms).* It will be swamped by the effect of the passive crossover network."

..........

And finally, quoting Linkwitz ...

"Crossovers may be implemented either as passive RLC networks, as active filters with operational amplifier circuits or with DSP engines and software. The only excuse for passive crossovers is their low cost. Their behavior changes with the signal level dependent dynamics of the drivers. They block the power amplifier from taking maximum control over the voice coil motion. They are a waste of time, if accuracy of reproduction is the goal.

SL - October 2009"

......

I've heard most of it Tim, although I've owned only half the loudspeakers
you have, over the last 30 years. Who hasn't? ( Kidding! )
Transducer technology, cabinet claims, just never cut it for me. I don't buy it, not anymore. I think those things are stop-gap and unique selling points, and they don't solve the real issue.
Just MHO, YMMV, I respect other opinions, etc etc.
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post #197 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 02:38 PM
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Well Tim, you asked for it!

Excellent post mpmct. Very informative and enlightening.
So according to the post and Linkwitz, when it comes to speakers/crossovers, we've all been sold a bill of goods! That's just great!

Regards.

"Chance favors only the prepared mind. "Louis Pasteur"

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post #198 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 02:45 PM
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I don't pretend to understand all the technical issues. However, when a guy who co-invented the Linkwitz-Riley filter makes such a strong statement (passives are "a waste of time"), it gets me thinking. From a marketing perspective, it also makes total sense why passive crossovers have persisted. The mere notion of needing so many channels of amplification is dizzying to some people. How much does 32 channels of Classe amplification cost anyway?

The fact that this upper midrange harshness has existed in so many of the speakers you guys have heard is telling. I'm not entirely sure that all of them had metal drivers either, so that's not necessarily the cause.

I do know that when you hear a speaker that is so integrated that you don't know when the midrange leaves off and the tweeter picks up, it's pretty special. It's like a certain amount of tension in the recording is just gone.
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post #199 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 02:48 PM
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ldgibson76, I don't know about the bill of goods part, but
yes, I am suspicious ... Particularly when I visit my local
pro-audio friends' shop, and listen to their M-Audio and Genelec active
monitors -- the ones many of the doods use to mix and master the music
we listen to through passive x-overs. It does give me pause, being
the suspicious type. "Trust everyone, but cut the cards."
Assumption ... pro-audio loudspeaker systems, not quite as good as consumer
loudspeakers systems? Wait just a minute, lemme get this straight!
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post #200 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vantagesc View Post

i don't pretend to understand all the technical issues. However, when a guy who co-invented the linkwitz-riley filter makes such a strong statement (passives are "a waste of time"), it gets me thinking. From a marketing perspective, it also makes total sense why passive crossovers have persisted. The mere notion of needing so many channels of amplification is dizzying to some people. How much does 32 channels of classe amplification cost anyway? :d

the fact that this upper midrange harshness has existed in so many of the speakers you guys have heard is telling. I'm not entirely sure that all of them had metal drivers either, so that's not necessarily the cause.

I do know that when you hear a speaker that is so integrated that you don't know when the midrange leaves off and the tweeter picks up, it's pretty special. It's like a certain amount of tension in the recording is just gone.

+1
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post #201 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 03:33 PM
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Quote:


Assumption ... pro-audio loudspeaker systems, not quite as good as consumer
loudspeakers systems? Wait just a minute, lemme get this straight!

Like I said, A bill of goods!

Regards,

"Chance favors only the prepared mind. "Louis Pasteur"

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post #202 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 03:41 PM
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Now we get down to it. This will cause all sorts of consternation
and gnashing of teeth. Just you watch. There's a whole lot of turf
we've just infiltrated, and a whole lot of belief systems, and a lot of
bottom lines. Duck.
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post #203 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpmct View Post

It's that pain near the top end Tim, near the x-over point for many loudspeakers. It's just hashy to my ears, and wears me out. But no wonder, it's full of distortion, by definition.

That description lines up with what I hear, but I suspect, like many things in this world, there is more than one path to a given destination.

Quote:


Loudspeaker drive units are designed to be driven by a very low impedance...

The effect of the passive crossover :
The results show that a typical passive crossover has an absolutely disastrous effect on speaker damping.* Over most of the audio band, the damping factor is very low, so the amplifier will have almost no control over the cone movement at all.

Yes, damping at bass frequencies is important because the cone motion is largest there.* But you can see that the damping factor is still quite poor even at low frequencies.* The biggest difference is at or near the crossover frequency, where the damping is almost non-existent so the cone/dome motion will be completely uncontrolled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vantagesc View Post

The fact that this upper midrange harshness has existed in so many of the speakers you guys have heard is telling. I'm not entirely sure that all of them had metal drivers either, so that's not necessarily the cause.

I've certainly considered "cross-over distortion" as a possible cause for the problems I heard in so many speakers, but if the general idea here is that the distortion is caused by a lack of amp control due to high impedance in the cross-over region, lets take a look at the impedance plots of some of the the speakers I've owned. The solid line at the bottom of each chart is the impedance vs. frequency plot.


These sound fine through the upper mids / lower treble:

Revel Studio2


Vienna Acoustics Mozart


Paradigm S2 (I owned S4, but crossover is the same)



These bothered me through the upper mids / lower treble:

Focal Electra 1037Be


Monitor Audio Platinum PL100 (I owned the 300's, so this impedance plot may not represent the the sort of impedance swings in the model I owned.)


KEF Reference 207 (I owned 203's, but crossover from mid to tweet is the same)


You'll notice that the impedance rises significantly through the crossover point in all of the speakers. Some sounded fine, some didn't. I also have to say that at the crossover frequency, the cone excursions are so small, that it could very well be that all that is needed is the suspension to keep the driver in control. I'm not saying it is so, but just thinking logically, I'm not sold on the idea that damping factor is a big deal in the upper mids and treble.

My thinking is that the problems I heard could be the result of a variety of causes, unique to each speaker. Distortion from crossing over the tweeter too low, resonances / break-up in the top of the midrange's pass band creeping through, too much overlap between the drivers at the cross-over, a hump through the presence region, cross-over distortion, overcooked recordings, a personal sensitivity to a particular frequency range, etc.

So we are right back where we started, with the only answer to all of this being to let our ears guide us, while at the same time doing our best to keep from being seduced by how pretty and expensive the box looks.
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post #204 of 1722 Old 02-16-2010, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigred7078 View Post

B&W recently announced a "new" 800 series lineup called 800 Diamond. Now every speaker in the 800 series has a diamond tweeter. They also added piano black as a finish option.


For anyone curious as to my choice to try out the new 805Di's, here's the short backstory.

I've been in the hobby for the better part of 15 years, so I'm not easily impressed anymore. I can count on one hand the number of speakers that have left an impression on me in the past 5 years, and I've listened to just about every well-known speaker brand and a good number of the obscure ones too.

One speaker that was added to the list just last year is the B&W Signature Diamond. What a wonderfully balanced, expansive, resolving, and natural sounding speaker. And it has no right to have the bass extension it does for just a single 7" mid/woof.

Several people that have heard the Sig Diamond's have also said that the 805Di is in the same league. I hope this means that the 805Di has mids and highs that match the Sig, without the bass extension (due to the smaller cabinet). If so, I will have found my next set of speakers. And likely ones I will own for more than a week.

BTW - I'm very happy to see that they finally updated the styling of the line. It was looking rather dated.
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post #205 of 1722 Old 02-17-2010, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

I can count on one hand the number of speakers that have left an impression on me in the past 5 years...

Hi Tim.

Just curious as to what speakers left such an impression.

Sorry to hear the Cantons didn't do it for you. Well, bring on the 805Di's

Growing Older But Not Up
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post #206 of 1722 Old 02-17-2010, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Waboman View Post

Hi Tim.

Just curious as to what speakers left such an impression.

Sorry to hear the Cantons didn't do it for you. Well, bring on the 805Di's

Hey Waboman -

(in order of preference)

High End
B&W Signature Diamond
B&W 802N
Wilson Sophia (paired with Acoustic Research flagship gear)
Dali Helicon 800
Wilson Benesch
Focal Utopia Mini
Dynaudio Special 25
Linn Akurate

Good Value
Paradigm Signature
Vienna Acoustics
Monitor Audio GS
Era D5
NHT Classic series
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post #207 of 1722 Old 02-17-2010, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

You'll notice that the impedance rises significantly through the crossover point in all of the speakers. Some sounded fine, some didn't. I also have to say that at the crossover frequency, the cone excursions are so small, that it could very well be that all that is needed is the suspension to keep the driver in control. I'm not saying it is so, but just thinking logically, I'm not sold on the idea that damping factor is a big deal in the upper mids and treble.

I agree that damping factor isn't the only factor at play here. It's also driver resonances and poor driver selection. I don't know if the suspension is enough damping at high frequencies or not.

Edited: See post #228 below

Given what you can do with active crossovers, it seems like even if the problem isn't caused directly by the passive crossover, some of the problems with certain speakers with resonances etc could have been solved with active. It's not a magic elixir, but from the start, a passive speaker seems handicapped. Not to mention the amp power that gets wasted in a passive system.

Quote:


...while at the same time doing our best to keep from being seduced by how pretty and expensive the box looks.

I feel that way about cars. That's also the reason I won't sell my PL100s and will use them as surrounds. It seems like you keep going down the same path over and over. Pretty speaker that you ultimately don't like. Been there, done that. Time to try something different IMO! Heck, try some JBL Arrays or something. A duck is a duck is a duck.

B&Ws may end up being fine speakers if they don't bug you over time. There are plenty of good sounding passives, but I figure you might as well try something new. You've tried everything else.
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post #208 of 1722 Old 02-17-2010, 08:44 AM
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So for using active crossovers you would need a dedicated amp channel per driver? That's probably the problem right there why something like that hasn't taken off mainstream if it's actually better... So for my 5 channels in my 5.1 system I would need 13 channels of amplification! (3 3-ways up front, and 2 2-ways in the back).

Now I remember someone mentioning somewhere else that the problem with active crossovers is that they don't take into account things such as phasing/time alignment tweaks built into the factory passive crossover. That might not be exactly the wording, but I remember something said along those lines that theirs tweaks build into the factory crossover that the active crossover wouldn't take into account.

Now the million dollar AVS question (ahem)....lol....has anyone done a double blind test with active vs passive crossovers?
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post #209 of 1722 Old 02-17-2010, 09:03 AM
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Active crossover designs have been around for a long time.

As a matter of fact, John Bowers actives, from circa the '70s ( I think ) ...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1125102

Most pro-audio loudspeaker systems are active design.
Actives require significantly less power though more channels of it.
If the amps are designed and built along with the speaker design, it's a win-win situation. Kind of like having BMW go ahead and build and install the motor on your new 6 series convertible, rather tthan shopping around for one after taking delivery without the motor. So hard to find a motor with
... 'synergy'. ( just poking a little fun at all us audiophools with that. )

The audible difference between active line-level design, vs passive,
is one of those 'that's pretty clearly evident' things, in my experience.
It's not like wondering if those silver interconnects actually sound different -- do I hear it, or do I not?
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post #210 of 1722 Old 02-17-2010, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emig5m View Post

So for using active crossovers you would need a dedicated amp channel per driver? That's probably the problem right there why something like that hasn't taken off mainstream if it's actually better... So for my 5 channels in my 5.1 system I would need 13 channels of amplification! (3 3-ways up front, and 2 2-ways in the back).

Now I remember someone mentioning somewhere else that the problem with active crossovers is that they don't take into account things such as phasing/time alignment tweaks built into the factory passive crossover. That might not be exactly the wording, but I remember something said along those lines that theirs tweaks build into the factory crossover that the active crossover wouldn't take into account.

Now the million dollar AVS question (ahem)....lol....has anyone done a double blind test with active vs passive crossovers?

1. Yes, you need a single channel of amplification per driver generally, but my active speakers have two tweeters running in parallel off of one channel. Suitable 8-channel amps that will run a stereo pair of speakers can be found for well under $1k. It does take more space though. Some active speakers are also self-powered though, so the amp is inside the speaker cabinet.

2. Not really true. That only happens when you take a passive speaker, remove the factory crossover, and try to make your own basic active crossover in an attempt to get true bi-amping or the like. An amateur trying to make an active crossover is going to get blown away by a professional making a passive one everytime. From the factory, the passive crossover is heavily optimized for the drivers used in that particular speaker. Amateurs often take some product like DEQX, input the same crossover points, and expect the results to be better. An active crossover does the same basic thing as a passive one, it just does it before the amplification. Time, phase, notching out resonances, etc. are all possible.

3. There are a few speakers that are available with both, but in some instances the comparisons aren't valid because the speaker was primarily designed as either passive or active, and less care went into the other version.
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