Your suggestions for 6.5" two-way L/C/R speakers in $500/pair range? - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 148 Old 04-15-2008, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meparch View Post

It is possible the Rockets have a very different frequency response curve at the lower end than those other speakers. Unfortunately AV123 cut off the response curve at 200Hz and most other manufactures don't want to show any response curve. eD does an excellent job on their graphs but then again they only do so at one volume.

It is very hard to trust your own ears because of the bias problem. Is there an issue with the rockets that you have adjusted too and now don't notice or are they simple better than the other speakers? The human ear simply can not tell. You have to use the analytical devises to tell for sure. Our brains do far too much filtering.

These speaker manufactures are happy for people to believe it is all personal preference as it lets them off the hook. A professional piano tuner wouldn't randomly tune a piano and say it is all personal preference. A very specific tone has to be recreated perfectly by the piano or speaker (doesn't matter) and must be done without variance. At the same time the volume has to be very level over the frequency response range. None of this bright or warm stuff. If you hit a key on a piano and it produced a sound louder or softer than the other keys it would be unacceptable.

This is basic physics and it can all be measured. Of course normal guys like us don't have several grand in equipment to measure such things, just our imperfect ears. So I guess my rant here is simply trying to answer your question about which set of speakers is accurate, the rockets or the all the others. You won't be able to tell without every expensive equipment but these guys making the things do know. I guess you just go with what you like even if it is wrong.

The 250s also don't have an impedance over frequency response curve either. I guess those aluminum drivers can really take in the energy without blowing. As long as they can be heard with a normal amp there isn't a problem and having an amp that will blow long before it blows the speakers is a good thing.

Here is a link to some test results for the Rockets (see #8):
http://forums.soundandvisionmag.com/...cending&page=1

They look pretty good except for the in-room response, which will obviously be different for every room.
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post #122 of 148 Old 04-16-2008, 12:05 AM
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Nice find, thanks
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post #123 of 148 Old 04-16-2008, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Meparch View Post

The reference a piano tuner uses is a tuning fork, though I guess that is old school now of days. I would never used a recording as a reference. It is just too inconsistent and doesn't deliver precise tones to test with. It just isn't how one accurately tests, too much noise in the system. It is great for testing the feeling of the speaker but not as a tonal reference. I guess a keyboard and a set of tuning forks would be poor mans way of testing.

Thanks for the pdf, interesting read so far. I'll be treating my living room so I think part two will be a must read for me latter. He does make the point the speakers should be as accurate as possible and any defects should be in the source, ideally.

One thing I haven't thought about is the biological side of things. People can be partial tone deaf at different frequencies and not know it. A non-neutral speaker can sound better or a whole lot worse than an accurate speaker, depending on the tone deafness. Of course the guy standing next to him wouldn't hear the improvement. Be a good reason to hear the speakers yourself but I still think accurate as possible is best, especially for older people who would need a hearing aid tuned to their needs.

As to the heat cycle, heat causes resistance to increase. Speakers will put out heat just like everything else that uses fast moving electrons. The faster those electrons move and the more of them moving creates more heat, i.e. higher volume, more heat. If the speaker can not dissipate the heat as fast as it creates it, it will become increasingly hotter and hence its resistance will go up. As the resistance goes up, the Amp has to increase the voltage to keep the amps constant. More voltage is more energy, more energy is more heat, more heat is more resistance leading to an ever increasing need of voltage. At some point the amp can't increase its voltage anymore and that is were you get the clipping.

Since speakers move increasingly more air as they produce more sound they self cool, if vented/ported properly. If the air behind the rocket doesn't circulate then all the speaker is doing is moving increasingly hotter air back and forth, which itself puts kinetic energy into that air, making the problem even worse. Solution would be to insure it is breathing in cool air with a fan or good space behind it. You said you didn't notice the clipping problem with CDs yet didn't listen to too many. I am guessing the CD listening was over a shorter period of time and hence less heat build up while the radio was for a longer period of time allowing for more heat build up.

The guys at elemental designs have a video, second one, showing speakers burning up. They don't explain what is going on very well but note it takes time for the heat to build up and burn out the voice coil. The heat is needed for increase resistance and hence the increase in voltage to finally push it over the burn temp.
http://blog.edesignaudio.com/?cat=5

Regarding the heat cycle, if resistance _increases_, the load on the amp decreases. Power (watts) = Amps x Volts. As resistance increases, amps decrease.

The 'ampere' is a measure of the flow of electrons (one amp = one 'coulomb' of electrons/second). Electrons always move at the same speed -- the speed of light (186,000 miles/second). See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampere

It is increased _current_ that causes clipping -- speakers that have low impedance require an amp to supply more current. To judge the capability of an amp look at its specs. What is the lowest impedance speaker it is rated to drive? Does the power increase as the impedance decreases? For example, most typical receivers aren't rated to power speakers rated below 6, or maybe 4 ohms at the least. Pro amps are very commonly rated to run 2 ohm loads. The Mackie FR-2500 amps I use are rated at 575 watts into 8 ohms, 750 watts into 4 ohms, and 1,400 watts into 2 ohms. Most receivers will supply say 100 watts into 8 ohms, 140 into 6 ohms, and (maybe) 160 watts into 4 ohms.

The Rockets aren't up against a wall. They have a ready supply of cool air -- in fact, we keep our house relatively cool (right now it's about 60 degrees). We use a wood stove and it doesn't make sense to fire it up when the outside temp is 45 or 50.

I didn't make myself clear about the clipping. Whether I am listening to XM radio or CDs most of the time I listen at about 85 to 90 db. When I noticed the OL LEDs lighting up with XM it was when I _briefly_ cranked up the volume -- not after a prolonged period of time at that that high level. The times I have listened (briefly) to CDs at that level I haven't seen the OL LEDs light.
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post #124 of 148 Old 04-16-2008, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Meparch View Post

Nice find, thanks

No problem. Actually, the credit should go to my coworker.

I was also frustrated with AV123's lack of complete frequency response graphs.
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post #125 of 148 Old 04-16-2008, 01:51 AM
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Well resistance=volts/amps. The resistance won't be static and does increase as heat builds. You need more current with the lower resistance speakers as much of that current passes through the speaker without transferring that energy. As heat builds so does the resistance but that energy isn't transferred to sound just heat. Either more volts or more amps are needed to create the same level of sound as the resistance builds. I am assuming it would need more volts to keep the amps level for the speakers use but I could have it backwards. It may need constant voltage. Either way it sounds as if heat isn't the issue in this case, just the speakers aren't as efficient as the other two pair. Only light (photons) travels at the speed of light. Electrons move just a bit slower and the speed is dependent on how much kinetic energy they have.
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post #126 of 148 Old 04-16-2008, 09:45 AM
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Hi. Just wanted to mention why the graphs on the site stop at 200Hz.

As you know, anything below 200Hz is very room interactive and we did not want to give anyone a 'false' sense of performance since it will change drastically from room to room.

Thanks,

Sean

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Originally Posted by sajohnson33 View Post

No problem. Actually, the credit should go to my coworker.

I was also frustrated with AV123's lack of complete frequency response graphs.


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post #127 of 148 Old 04-16-2008, 02:22 PM
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It's still very helpful to have the lower end so we know where the cut off is. Sure it could be more bumpy in different rooms but the room doesn't affect the physical limitation of the speaker which is needed for the crossover point, which seems to be a 80Hz?
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post #128 of 148 Old 04-17-2008, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Parque View Post

Hi. Just wanted to mention why the graphs on the site stop at 200Hz.

As you know, anything below 200Hz is very room interactive and we did not want to give anyone a 'false' sense of performance since it will change drastically from room to room.

Thanks,

Sean

Thanks Sean.

That's a good point about rooms affecting the sound in different ways -- particularly at lower frequencies.

Still, there does seem to be a convention of sorts to show response down to 20 Hz. I think most people know to take these graphs with a grain or two of salt, but it still helps to know what a speaker will do under ideal conditions.

With regard to giving people a false indication of performance, I would suggest that AV123 and other mfrs might simply state that the response shown is under ideal conditions and that it will vary depending on a number of variables including room size, wall/floor/ceiling materials, furnishings, etc. In other words, "your mileage may vary" (YMMV).

I understand what you are saying and it makes sense, it's just that with almost all other mfrs showing response from 20 to 20K Hz, the fact that the frequency response graphs at AV123 stop at 200 Hz makes it look like the Rockets may have a problem that AV123 doesn't want people to see.

I know that's not the case, but appearances are important.
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post #129 of 148 Old 04-17-2008, 03:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sajohnson33 View Post

, the fact that the frequency response graphs at AV123 stop at 200 Hz makes it look like the Rockets may have a problem that AV123 doesn't want people to see.

I know that was my first thought the first time I saw one of their graphs - Hmmmm......nice and flat all the way through but what happens at the lower end, does it fall apart or bump up a couple of db or what?

As was stated most people looking at the graphs understand they are done(or should be done) in an anehoic chamber and the room plays a huge role in how the speaker will sound, the graphs are just a place to start from when looking for new speakers and a full range graph would be helpfull, IMO.
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post #130 of 148 Old 04-17-2008, 09:49 AM
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The F3 is always listed so you always know where the low end begins to roll off.

Thanks,

Sean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meparch View Post

It's still very helpful to have the lower end so we know where the cut off is. Sure it could be more bumpy in different rooms but the room doesn't affect the physical limitation of the speaker which is needed for the crossover point, which seems to be a 80Hz?


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post #131 of 148 Old 04-17-2008, 09:58 AM
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You make good points and we've thought of this before too. There are a lot of variables here due to the education level of the person reading and viewing the graphs. This isn't something new; we've had this same discussion internally many times

Quote:


it's just that with almost all other mfrs showing response from 20 to 20K Hz

There are plenty of graphs that stop at 200Hz just like these do... some post to 20, some to 200. It's a mixed bag. Some companies also post 'power handling ratings' that are completely useless. Like I said, it's mixed.

Quote:


the fact that the frequency response graphs at AV123 stop at 200 Hz makes it look like the Rockets may have a problem that AV123 doesn't want people to see.

I agree - if one does not think about it logically. Anyone with ~$1K worth of measurement gear (Praxis is $999 I think) and a computer can measure the speakers so if there was something 'wrong' 'down below' , it would be found out pretty darn quick (I know you were not implying anything!).

Thanks for the notes sajohnson33.

Sean

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Originally Posted by sajohnson33 View Post

Thanks Sean.

That's a good point about rooms affecting the sound in different ways -- particularly at lower frequencies.

Still, there does seem to be a convention of sorts to show response down to 20 Hz. I think most people know to take these graphs with a grain or two of salt, but it still helps to know what a speaker will do under ideal conditions.

With regard to giving people a false indication of performance, I would suggest that AV123 and other mfrs might simply state that the response shown is under ideal conditions and that it will vary depending on a number of variables including room size, wall/floor/ceiling materials, furnishings, etc. In other words, "your mileage may vary" (YMMV).

I understand what you are saying and it makes sense, it's just that with almost all other mfrs showing response from 20 to 20K Hz, the fact that the frequency response graphs at AV123 stop at 200 Hz makes it look like the Rockets may have a problem that AV123 doesn't want people to see.

I know that's not the case, but appearances are important.


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post #132 of 148 Old 04-17-2008, 10:03 AM
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I would have to politely disagree there. I've been here for 6 years now and into audio for 20 and in my personal experience, most people don't know understand the graphs or how they should be read (many do! - it's just that a lot don't). This is evidenced by the types of questions and statements I receive/read on a daily basis. Nothing against these people; it is reasonable that they don't know what they are looking at as many have never taken the time to educate themselves (no time or don't want to etc).

Until you've been on this side (and I've been on both - I used to be a customer of AV123's), it is hard to imagine the decisions one must make regarding information dissemination on a website. I've found that lots of info can actually backfire on you as many misinterpret the data.

Anyone that wants to give me a call about this or about anything regarding speakers and such, I'm here (I think I actually live here)

Sean

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Originally Posted by jakewash View Post

As was stated most people looking at the graphs understand they are done(or should be done) in an anehoic chamber and the room plays a huge role in how the speaker will sound.


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post #133 of 148 Old 04-17-2008, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Parque View Post

I would have to politely disagree there. I've been here for 6 years now and into audio for 20 and in my personal experience, most people don't know understand the graphs or how they should be read (many do! - it's just that a lot don't). This is evidenced by the types of questions and statements I receive/read on a daily basis. Nothing against these people; it is reasonable that they don't know what they are looking at as many have never taken the time to educate themselves (no time or don't want to etc).

Until you've been on this side (and I've been on both - I used to be a customer of AV123's), it is hard to imagine the decisions one must make regarding information dissemination on a website. I've found that lots of info can actually backfire on you as many misinterpret the data.

Anyone that wants to give me a call about this or about anything regarding speakers and such, I'm here (I think I actually live here)

Sean

Very interesting post Sean, thank you.

I may try to give you a call later -- that way I won't have to type so much and this thread won't go further off topic.

FWIW, all of the speakers I've tested so far were very close (if not almost indistinguishable in some cases) in the lower couple octaves. IOW, my subjective listening tests seem to confirm the results posted on the S&V forum (linked to in my post above). The "pseudo-anecoic response" graph indicates that the Rockets are very well behaved from 20K down to 50 Hz.
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post #134 of 148 Old 04-17-2008, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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[For those not familiar with Sonance, they make a lot of in-wall speakers -- that's why the speaker name includes the word 'cabinet']

This Sonance speaker fits the 6.5" two-way profile, but it is a sealed cabinet and they cost $500 each(!). They are also THX 'select' certified.

This is of course _way_ over my stated budget of about $250/speaker.

My coworker recently snagged a pair of these speakers off eBay for $200 ($100 each) so we thought it would be interesting to compare them.

He has heard the Rockets in his house, and seems to prefer the Sonance, but there was no direct comparison.

This Sunday we will set up both pairs of speakers at my house and do a listening test.

Sunday, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!
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post #135 of 148 Old 04-17-2008, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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This was just a quick test in mono, because only one of my Pinnacle speakers is working.

I did a similar test with one of the first replacement speakers I bought, the B&W 685s. In that case however, I think I used one of the Mackie amps in stereo and simply turned the balance control on my Yamaha receiver from left to right. That wasn't ideal because on some recordings the left and right signals are very different. Still, I found enough material that was similar L+R to determine that the B&W and Pinnacle speakers sounded very close in most ways.

This time I switched both Mackies to mono and used one to power the Pinnacle and the other for the Rocket. Then I matched the levels and was able to use the Sony switch box the way I normally do.

The Pinnacles held their own pretty well, but (as you would expect) a 10 year old speaker (that cost $125 each at the time) wasn't quite in the Rocket's league. I didn't do a lot of listening last night (and had to keep the spl low due to late hour and wife sleeping) and didn't have much time today, but my impression is that at higher levels the Pinnacles are more strident and although the Pinnacles have an 8" woofer the Rockets have more low end punch.

Interestingly, although the Pinnacles and B&Ws sounded similar, the Pinnacles sounded closer to the Rockets in this test.
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post #136 of 148 Old 04-20-2008, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sajohnson33 View Post

[For those not familiar with Sonance, they make a lot of in-wall speakers -- that's why the speaker name includes the word 'cabinet']

This Sonance speaker fits the 6.5" two-way profile, but it is a sealed cabinet and they cost $500 each(!). They are also THX 'select' certified.

This is of course _way_ over my stated budget of about $250/speaker.

My coworker recently snagged a pair of these speakers off eBay for $200 ($100 each) so we thought it would be interesting to compare them.

He has heard the Rockets in his house, and seems to prefer the Sonance, but there was no direct comparison.

This Sunday we will set up both pairs of speakers at my house and do a listening test.

Sunday, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!

We just finished an extensive listening test.

Bottom line -- they are almost indistinguishable with most material. This is particularly surprising because not only are they from different mfrs, the Rockets are ported and extend down below 50 Hz while the Sonance speakers are sealed and begin to roll off at 80 Hz (the THX spec).

The $500/pair Rockets sound as good as $1,000/pair THX certified Sonance Cinema Select Cabinet speakers! In addition, the Rockets are much more attractive (for those who care about aesthetics).

I thought the Sonance speakers sounded a bit better with some material, and would probably give them the nod if price and appearance weren't important (especially if a person could get the deal my coworker did!).

They are so close however, that at regular MSRP the Rockets are the clear winner. In fact, if I wasn't watching I often could not tell that my coworker had switched speakers -- they were that close.

The Sonance speakers are lighter (about 15 lb vs. 26 lbs) and smaller so they should be easier to mount. They don't have any threaded inserts but the cabinet is finished with plain black vinyl so it shouldn't be too painful to drill into it.

The Rockets are available individually (for $250 each), I'm not sure about the Sonance speakers, but I think they are only sold in pairs. If so, that could get expensive. If a person wants 3 identical speakers for L/C/R that would mean buying 2 pairs for a total of $2,000 vs. $750 for 3 Rockets.

After hearing both speakers side by side my search is over -- I'm keeping the Rocket RS250MkIIs.
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post #137 of 148 Old 04-21-2008, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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We also did a quick comparison of the Sonance speakers and the Polks.

We both noticed the same differences that I had between the Rockets and the Polks -- the Polks have chesty/warm male vocals and do not have a strong center image. The Sonance speakers have a good center image and more 'presence' -- male vocals sound much more live, as if the singer is right there in front of you as opposed to sounding as though there is a curtain in between the listener and the performer.

In this case, the differences we heard turned out to be a good predictor of how the Rockets would compare to the Sonance Cinema Selects (see above).
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post #138 of 148 Old 04-21-2008, 12:03 PM
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The $500/pair Rockets sound as good as $1,000/pair THX certified Sonance Cinema Select Cabinet speakers! In addition, the Rockets are much more attractive (for those who care about aesthetics).

Very cool, I have the sonance as an option for my in-cabinet configuration. I have RS450s from AV123 so its nice to have an early comparison. I can not use the RS450s in a cabinet though

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post #139 of 148 Old 04-21-2008, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Very cool, I have the sonance as an option for my in-cabinet configuration. I have RS450s from AV123 so its nice to have an early comparison. I can not use the RS450s in a cabinet though

I forgot to mention -- we also did a reference level "Star Trek test" and the Rockets passed with flying colors.

The Star Trek test involves a scene that is very loud with a lot of bass content (Enterprise circling the Earth). The audio from this scene destroyed one of my coworker's Boston Acoustics speakers ('Micro 90' IIRC) and stressed the Micro 100x speakers he is currently using (at least until he gets a third Sonance speaker).

Which Sonance speakers are you considering using?
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post #140 of 148 Old 04-21-2008, 12:55 PM
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Im considering the Sonance - CINEMA ULTRA II speakers because I need speakers that work within a cabinet.

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post #141 of 148 Old 04-21-2008, 01:55 PM
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I'm considering speakers in this range, and was about to pull the trigger on BIC Acoustech HT-75 mains and a 65 center. I discovered that the enclosure that will hold the center is too small, though - the maximum width it 17" - so I'm back to square one. One option is to use a Premier Acoustic 4.2C instead of the HT-65, but I'm not thrilled with that idea.

I had been looking at the Elemental Designs 6T6 towers. The 6T6 MTM center will not fit in the space I have, but the 5t5 will. Would it be a bad idea to stick with the 6t6 towers and use a 5t5 center?

Another option is the HTD level 2s. The center looks like it might be able to just squeeze in.
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post #142 of 148 Old 04-22-2008, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sajohnson33 View Post

We just finished an extensive listening test.

Bottom line -- they are almost indistinguishable with most material. This is particularly surprising because not only are they from different mfrs, the Rockets are ported and extend down below 50 Hz while the Sonance speakers are sealed and begin to roll off at 80 Hz (the THX spec).

Thanks for the opportunity to compare speakers, eat pizza and become drenched in dog slobber.

The Sonance Cinema Select Cabinet and Rocket RS250 MkII sounded remarkably similar in your room.

Although I haven't compared the Rockets and Sonance speakers directly in my room, I have compared each with my Boston Acoustics A100x speakers. I think there is more of a difference between the Rockets and Sonance speakers in my room, my preference being the Sonance.

The differences in room acoustics, speaker positions, speaker frequency response, receiver crossovers and subwoofer equalization may explain my preference. In your room the Rockets did not have the somewhat bloated bass that I heard in my smaller room.

I noticed the Sonance (with silk dome tweeter) has better off-axis response than the Rocket (with ring tweeter), but the difference was only apparent at wide angles, greater than 30 degrees.

Test conditions in sajohnon33's room:
* Each pair of speakers was powered by an identical pair of Mackie FR-2500 amps.
* Sound pressure levels were matched.
* Yamaha HTR-5250 receiver was used as a pre-amp/processor, speakers set to small. I believe the Yamaha's crossover is 90 Hz and the slope may also differ from THX specification (3rd order low pass?).
* Bass was directed to my Boston Acoustics PV-800 subwoofer.

Differences between tests in my room and yours:
* Room acoustics.
* Crossover: My Onkyo TX-DS898 has the THX specified crossover of 80 Hz, 12 dB/octave high pass, 24 dB/octave low pass.
* No equalization was applied to the subwoofer in your room; the subwoofer is equalized in my room.

In your room I didn't hear the tight bass and low end imaging from either speaker that I hear in my room with the Sonance. For example, "They Never Really Wake Up" by Viva Voce, the bass guitar has a remarkable center image and smooth, even response in my room. The center image of the bass guitar was lacking in your room.

We didn't have time to equalize my Boston Acoustics PV-800 subwoofer for your room; I think that may be part of the problem. The subwoofer is equalized with a Behringer Feedback Destroyer and Real Time Analyzer in my room. The Yamaha's crossover may also be a factor.

The speakers sounded good, but you can look forward to better bass when you upgrade your subwoofer and equalize it.

It's most disappointing. I shall have to go all-out on some modifications.
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post #143 of 148 Old 04-22-2008, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the opportunity to compare speakers, eat pizza and become drenched in dog slobber.

The speakers sounded good, but you can look forward to better bass when you upgrade your subwoofer and equalize it.

No problem -- I think the dogs had at least as good a time as we did!

As for upgrading my subwoofer, remember, you haven't yet experienced the massive Earth-shaking power of my circa 1984 Cerwin-Vega 12" passive sub!

Actually, while it clearly can't run with your PV-800, it does do surprisingly well at lower volume levels.

I suppose now I should start another thread:

"Your suggestions for a passive subwoofer for a 2,700 c.f. room?"
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post #144 of 148 Old 04-22-2008, 11:33 AM
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"Your suggestions for a passive subwoofer for a 2,700 c.f. room?"

Build it or wait for the new HSU sub or simply pick a sub from the Craigsub list...its that simple.

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post #145 of 148 Old 04-22-2008, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Build it or wait for the new HSU sub or simply pick a sub from the Craigsub list...its that simple.

Thanks penngray.

I just started a new thread for this in the 'Subwoofer' forum.
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post #146 of 148 Old 04-22-2008, 03:50 PM
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You are going to love shopping for Subs

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post #147 of 148 Old 04-22-2008, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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You are going to love shopping for Subs

I'm assuming that you're being sarcastic.

Hopefully, it won't be nearly as frustrating and time-consuming as finding and auditioning speakers was.

My choices are very limited since I'm looking for a passive sub. Also, my understanding is that it is a bit easier to buy a sub based upon test results and specs -- that the audible differences between good subwoofers is much less than with speakers.

Please check out the thread I started in the 'Subwoofer' forum.
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post #148 of 148 Old 06-27-2008, 02:46 PM
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Does anyone have an old Pinnacle pn8+ speaker for sale. I need one bad. Private message me with info. Thanks, Hutch
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