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Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) > Digital Active Speaker Thread.....
Morbius's Avatar Morbius 11:27 AM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post

1. While time may change this, there has yet to be a digital solution to speakers that can work (effectively and correctly) without any serious human intervention. The Audessy automatic solution is awful. I own a Tact and to get any kind of seriously good results requires lots of human intervention. And that is the problem.

audioguy,

I would agree with that. As a TacT owner; it is not a "plug and play" device. One needs
to spend the requisite time tweeking the "target curves" and crossover settings. If you
have the patience and the technical accumen to do this - then the TacT offers you all
the knobs and tools you need to optimize the performance.

Again, as always in the audio world; there's no free lunch. "You pays your money and
you takes your chances."

Lyngdorf, DEQX, and Audyssey are attempting to be more "plug and play"; they do the
tweeking. You describe how successful they are at doing this.

Again, as always in the audio world; there's no free lunch. "You pays your money, and
you takes your chances."

FrantzM's Avatar FrantzM 11:35 AM 02-24-2009
There is NO DOUBT that speakers are the weakest link of the Reproduction chain.. What we should refrain from are difficult to verify statements those that are based on a belief rather than tests.. Example : 3 cheap amplifiers will be better than one expensive one.. Have any of those advancing this have actually performed this experiment? And are able to conclude with certainty that it is so? Or is just well a belief and opinion, an "audiophile" hyperbole? There are various ways to make a system better and they all do not involve replacing your speakers so yes, Speakers are a factor not the only..

This was being written before Audioguy post... I beleive one of the current problem with the approachis the great difficultyto really obtain results... It requires, so far, I have only heard a few TaCT-based systed and only ONE DEQX s.. They sounded good in both instance but so far the best systems I have heard have been passive and none had active crossovers. It does not mean that I can infer that the best systems must use a passive approach.. simply that at this stage of the game although I BELIEVE that Active Digital Crossovers should present better results, the best systems, me, myself and I have heard have beem simple audiophile orthodox, less is more systems... Source--->Preamp----> amps--->speaker...
Tim916's Avatar Tim916 11:36 AM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by syswei View Post

JL Audio Primacy? (It seems that NO ONE has even reviewed the JL X3, which should be a hint of something.)

The JL has not been released yet.
sierraalphahotel's Avatar sierraalphahotel 11:39 AM 02-24-2009
Morbius,

I have great respect for your knowledge and enjoy reading your posts, but to suggest that great knowledge cannot come from sources outside of education and accepted science is just short sighted!


syswei's Avatar syswei 11:43 AM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim916 View Post

The JL has not been released yet.

Thanks for the info, Tim. Though judging from the Primacy X3 thread, there may not be very many people waiting with baited breath for it.
Morbius's Avatar Morbius 12:04 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraalphahotel View Post

Morbius,
I have great respect for your knowledge and enjoy reading your posts, but to suggest that great knowledge cannot come from sources outside of education and accepted science is just short sighted!

I don't know about "great knowledge"; but anything that will make our audio reproduction
system sound better will be grounded in science.

The devices that we use for audio playback obey the Laws of Physics; and the encoding
and processing done in digital audio obey certain laws of Mathematics.

We can't pretend that these devices are doing something "magical" that is outside the
realm of science and mathematics.

How you judge the results and how the music makes you "feel" and what your music
and audio preferences are; are definitely outside the scope of science and math.

However, the workings of the devices that we use to implement the reproduction of
sound in our audio systema; are definitely bound by the laws of Physics and Math.
RBFC's Avatar RBFC 12:10 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius View Post

However, the workings of the devices that we use to implement the reproduction of sound in our audio systema; are definitely bound by the laws of Physics and Math.

Agree without reservation. For those things that we observe, and they seem "magical", it is merely that we do not have the understanding of the scientific principle(s) involved and/or lack the ability to measure them.

Lee
sierraalphahotel's Avatar sierraalphahotel 12:10 PM 02-24-2009
I know, it was just a cheap joke!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius View Post

I don't know about "great knowledge"; but anything that will make our audio reproduction
system sound better will be grounded in science.

The devices that we use for audio playback obey the Laws of Physics; and the encoding
and processing done in digital audio obey certain laws of Mathematics.

We can't pretend that these devices are doing something "magical" that is outside the
realm of science and mathematics.

How you judge the results and how the music makes you "feel" and what your music
and audio preferences are; are definitely outside the scope of science and math.

However, the workings of the devices that we use to implement the reproduction of
sound in our audio systema; are definitely bound by the laws of Physics and Math.


Raul GS's Avatar Raul GS 12:32 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post

There is NO DOUBT that speakers are the weakest link of the Reproduction chain.. What we should refrain from are difficult to verify statements those that are based on a belief rather than tests.. Example : 3 cheap amplifiers will be better than one expensive one.. Have any of those advancing this have actually performed this experiment? And are able to conclude with certainty that it is so?

This is actually quite well understood (from the days of active vs passive x-overs) as long as you consider some caveats.

1. You don't confound variables in your testing. If you compare very expensive SS amps with competent designed amps in the hundreds of dollars, the answer is generally yes. But if you compare tube and SS amps, then other variables may come into play (e.g. personal preference for tube distortions/euphonics).

2. Obviously the active x-over has to be designed to meet the needs of the speaker in question.

3. The amps are able to address the load needs of the drivers (this is actually less important than for some passive x-overs which can present horrendous loads for amps).

4. Lastly, proper blind testing procedures.

Active x-overs just eliminate some of the head aches passive x-overs create. In a similar vein, digital x-overs just give the opportunity to eliminate a number of head aches that analog x-overs create. In a manner of speaking Greg and John have made the same comment. The less issues you have to address, the better the problems can be addressed. However, the solution must be prudently applied and not pursued with the blind lust that more is better.

PS Syswei, the relative failure in the marketplace of active and digital x-overs has little or nothing to do with cost, since one can provide examples of speaker-amp combinations costing more while providing less. It is just a case of the marketplace dictating preferences that elevate certain paradigms over others.

PPS We can all remember inferior products bringing about the death of superior products in the marketplace.
faberryman's Avatar faberryman 02:22 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

It amazes me that people will spend $20K on a stereo amplifier, but wouldn't spend even $1500 on a 6-channel amplifier that would blow the big amp out of the water.

Do you have a $20,000 stereo amplifier and a $1,500 six channel amplifier which would blow the $20,000 stereo amplifier out of the water in mind? Would you please specify what "blow out of the water" means? What would the purchaser of the $20,000 stereo amplifier do with the extra four channels of the $1,500 six channel amplifier once he got it home?
Andreas's Avatar Andreas 03:08 PM 02-24-2009
And still the room is the weakest part in the chain of 95% of all listening setups.

John, Athena project does not ring a bell, more details pls. Obviously something that explains in "a different way" a pure stereo mic recording....so that it all the sudden needs sounded speakers to sound right. Maybe I'm just not understanding due to language barrier ?

BTW: it would be a dream, if we could mention in the facts given the relevance in terms of thresholds, that is what the human ear can actually hear/differentiate. It's cool to get physics straight, but for me it is more pratical and cooler to focus on what can be heard or not. The later saves time as well.

@Fabberyman, we should skip the discussion on amps. Pls do some level matched comparisons yourselve and then we discuss the relevance and differences between FET amps on "non exotic" Ohm loads in a different thread. For the time being, simply note, it makes more sense to have the amps after the x-over loading and controlling directly the drivers. If you are in doubt, ask yourselve why 99% of all good subwoofer are directly driven.....hence they are called "active subwoofers". Rings a bell ?
faberryman's Avatar faberryman 03:20 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas View Post

@Fabberyman, we should skip the discussion on amps...For the time being, simply note, it makes more sense to have the amps after the x-over loading and controlling directly the drivers. If you are in doubt, ask yourselve why 99% of all good subwoofer are directly driven.....hence they are called "active subwoofers". Rings a bell ?

You are preaching to the choir. I own Meridian DSP speakers and a JL Audio sub. I am simply trying to flesh out Alimentall's $20,000/$1,500 amp comment.
Dennis Erskine's Avatar Dennis Erskine 04:10 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:


We can't pretend that these devices are doing something "magical" that is outside the realm of science and mathematics.

I disagree here. Neither Physics nor Mathematics is magic...but Physics and Mathematics are magical in what they reveal to us.
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 05:23 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeycalda View Post

A while back I posted my experience with Meridian speakers as compared to the Revels with good electronics connected to both..Oddly it was deleted...I was curious as to what you feel sounds better. You seem to adore the Revels (like myself) , but you also like the Meridians...I don't. They are much less enjoyable to me.

Whats a better speaker?

Both, neither. It depends. The Revels have the better, certainly more exotic, drivers. Both have exceptional cabinetry. But the Meridian has the better crossover. The Revels are more resolving in a 'macro' kind of way, but the Meridians do better with letting you hear lower level sounds buried into a complex mix, or just at very low volumes. The Revels play loud, but the Meridians do it more effortlessly and with less fatigue factor. The Revels probably image a touch better, though I'm not sure about that one as I heard them in different rooms. If I had the $35K for the Meridians though, I'd probably buy the Studio2s and DEQX them. I asked Mark Glazer who is the chief engineer of the Revels if he could build a better Ultima with DSP and he said "Oh, of course, but is there a *market* for it".
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 05:26 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius View Post

John,

Mathematically, the TacT filters are better.

Specifically how? Have you seen the algorithms for both?
Quote:



Additionally, TacT had the DRC - dynamic
room correction - capability that they pioneered. DEQX didn't have anything like it at
the time - in fact nobody did. Kal Rubinson added that Audyssey now has DRC.
It appears that DEQX has yet to master the technique of DRC.

That's because TacT is a room correction/FR correction device and the DEQX is a DSP crossover/impulse response correction device. Similar, but too different to be directly compared. If you are looking at mono amping or adding some subs and correcting your speaker/room, buy the TacT. If you are looking at eliminating passive crossovers and getting the maximum capacity from your speakers, buy DEQX. Its that simple.
faberryman's Avatar faberryman 05:27 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

The Revels probably image a touch better, though I'm not sure about that one as I heard them in different rooms.

If you are a dealer for both Meridian and Revel as you claim, why haven't you heard them in the same room, say the listening room at your audio store?
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 05:27 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post

Those so-called real world problems are math equations; you solve them with math equations; the resulting solution is a math equation. It is categorically wrong to say:

Okay, then please write the math equation for building a speaker.
NIN74's Avatar NIN74 05:28 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

Both, neither. It depends. The Revels have the better, certainly more exotic, drivers. Both have exceptional cabinetry. But the Meridian has the better crossover.


How can you know that the Meridian have better crossover? Better than, what?
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 05:30 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius View Post

John,

When we were discussing the Maxx-2; you didn't even know you had to keep UNITS
consistent. You gave an equation for force that ended up with the force having units
of kg per meter. You said the force exerted on the cabinet by the speaker was the
product of the mass of the driver and excursion divided by the area of the driver.

Big deal. That was a mental slip in the midst of an argument and you clutch to it every time you get behind in an argument. You on the other hand can't understand how you change the dispersion of a speaker system by varying the crossover slope. And think that you set up a dipole speaker based on some half-wave bass note theory, rather than the concept of delayed reflections.
Quote:



I would expect a grade schooler to do better than that.

Besides; John; do you mean to tell me that you know Fourier Transforms - which is
the mathematics needed here?

You always bring this stuff up when you can't win an argument with me. Which is pretty much 100% of the time. When you resort to attacking the person rather than countering his argument, you've already lost (again).
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 05:33 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post

I agree ... Not THINKING of it as such does not change what it is intrinsically.. A set of math equations.. The thing has aq physical existence, thus it can be modelized and indeed that is how one build a speaker these days, ANY speaker, through modelization...

Then there is no need to ever listen to a speaker, we can simply have a laptop design and build them.
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 05:42 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post

Do you have a $20,000 stereo amplifier and a $1,500 six channel amplifier which would blow the $20,000 stereo amplifier out of the water in mind?

Sure, let's just say the NAD 9060 and a Krell FPB whatever or maybe a LAMM tube amp.
Quote:



Would you please specify what "blow out of the water" means? What would the purchaser of the $20,000 stereo amplifier do with the extra four channels of the $1,500 six channel amplifier once he got it home?

Blow out of the water - perform obviously better in the context of a good active crossover as a replacement for the passive one in a speaker. There are a number of distortions, modulations and energy losses that go away that the lesser amp would not have to push its way through. This would be simple to test - just take any speaker that has a simple 12, 18 or 24 dB/octave crossover with no driver compensation in it and run it both ways, active and passive using the same slopes. The clarity level is pretty obvious. I've done this with DEQX. Let's face it, there's just not THAT much difference between two well-designed amps to cover that big a difference.
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 05:43 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

How can you know that the Meridian have better crossover? Better than, what?

Better than electrically lossy and inconsistent inductors, resistors, capacitors.
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 05:46 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post

If you are a dealer for both Meridian and Revel as you claim, why haven't you heard them in the same room, say the listening room at your audio store?

I sold the Revels and went back to Meridian. End of story.

You haven't submitted your math homework.
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 05:49 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas View Post

And still the room is the weakest part in the chain of 95% of all listening setups.

John, Athena project does not ring a bell, more details pls. Obviously something that explains in "a different way" a pure stereo mic recording....so that it all the sudden needs sounded speakers to sound right. Maybe I'm just not understanding due to language barrier ?

Hard to find, not sure if it was published on the net. What I am saying is that the FR of a speaker should be flat. HOWEVER, whether it is a real instrument in front of you or a speaker, the room, no matter how it is treated, will change the sound somewhat because of distance and because of room gain. This will result in a warmer sound than perfectly flat. Perfectly flat is what Audyssey does in "flat" mode and very few people like it. Most will tell you that it is too bright, too harsh and too lean in the bass. The Athena Project set out to find out what 'target curve', flat or otherwise, sounds most *natural* at the listening position.
FrantzM's Avatar FrantzM 05:51 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

Then there is no need to ever listen to a speaker, we can simply have a laptop design and build them.

Do you read the posts from you own thread? Did anyone say that ALL that was needed to design a speaker was knowledge of mathematics?
Alimentall's Avatar Alimentall 06:03 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post

Do you read the posts from you own thread? Did anyone say that ALL that was needed to design a speaker was knowledge of mathematics?

That appears to be Greg's and Faberryman's assertion. It's all a 'math equation'. I disagree. You use math to solve problems, but humans are the ones that decide how to do that and what problems are most important and how, in the real world, the result is. Either it's a math equation or a real world problem requiring human problem solving skills. You can't have it both ways.
Mark Seaton's Avatar Mark Seaton 07:57 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius View Post

We can't pretend that these devices are doing something "magical" that is outside the
realm of science and mathematics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

I disagree here. Neither Physics nor Mathematics is magic...but Physics and Mathematics are magical in what they reveal to us.

Nice one Dennis. I commend your skill in sculpting an argument where for the most part you already agree. Now only if so many weren't so skilled in this...




To be sure though, that really was a deep assessment of the situation.


FrantzM's Avatar FrantzM 08:19 PM 02-24-2009
John

The Mathematics, DeQX are , were said by all, to be tools.. Can you show me where anyone said that Mathematics were sufficient to build a speaker? Come On!!!! What we keep on repeating and that you childishly refuse to accept or try to distort is that a speaker can be modelized through mathematics.. The behavior of the driver can be modelized... What do you think the DeQX do? How do you think it corrects for driver aberrations? What do you think any digital crossover does? What do you think a crossover slope is? 48 dB per octave is a mathematical representation of the slope (another mathematical concept) of a crossover Isn't that maths?
Now the job of the speaker designer /engineer/scientist is to find the best set of compromises to approach an ideal.. What are you trying to refute in this.. Please do tell us? if you simply need us to agree with you on all your faslseties you are knocking at the wrong door.. Bullying tactics, Puerile behavior or distortion notwithstanding you have the facts wrong on this... that takes us away from the discussion at hands strangely enough thanks to you the original poster which is somewhat unusual... we were trying to discuss the merits of Digital Crossover and in some ways of the active approach which is quite valid in my opinion and if applied properly should IMHO leads to better results than the current more orthodox passive crossovers approach... Notice the "leads" for now the results may not be there.. I haven't heard that many Digital Active Crossover systems.. so I don't know how they compare to the current SOTA... So let us try to reset if your position is about getting the last word ...well you will and the thread will simply die on your word ...else , I believe this is be a very interesting thread.. I want to know more about people experience with Digital Active Crossovers and if you will speakers as well and tell us how they compare to the passive approach... You will help by dialing down the hype machine and maybe not mentioning the X + a NOT vowel thing at all ..
faberryman's Avatar faberryman 08:30 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

Either it's a math equation or a real world problem requiring human problem solving skills. You can't have it both ways.

This is a classic example of the logical fallacy of false dilemma which permeates your thinking, and leads you to hyperbolic positions and untenable conclusions. Contrary to your assertion, speaker design can be both a math equation and a real world problem requiring human problem solving skills.
faberryman's Avatar faberryman 08:50 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

Sure, let's just say the NAD 9060 and a Krell FPB whatever or maybe a LAMM tube amp.

Blow out of the water - perform obviously better in the context of a good active crossover as a replacement for the passive one in a speaker. There are a number of distortions, modulations and energy losses that go away that the lesser amp would not have to push its way through. This would be simple to test - just take any speaker that has a simple 12, 18 or 24 dB/octave crossover with no driver compensation in it and run it both ways, active and passive using the same slopes. The clarity level is pretty obvious. I've done this with DEQX. Let's face it, there's just not THAT much difference between two well-designed amps to cover that big a difference.

So the NAD 9060 blows the Krell FPB out of the water, but only if you also buy a DEQX and then go home and take your speakers apart, remove the crossovers, wire in the DEXQ, learn how to use it, buy some test equipment and learn how to use it, and futz around hoping to find some settings which make your disassembled speakers both measure better and sound better than what you remember (if you can) your speakers originally sounded like. But now we are not really comparing amplifiers any more are we? It's no wonder more people don't do as you suggest. What are they thinking? How many customers have you convinced that this is a good alternative?
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