Do you think smaller speakers ever sound clearer, crisp, and more detailed? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

The waveguide speakers sound nothing like cheap Klipsch speakers you may have auditioned at Best Buy. But I agree, most people don't want to build their own. I get that. And yes companies do have to make a profit. But saying that spending more money will get you better speakers is not really true. The Bose Lifestyle V35 system is about $3300 at most retailers. Now I am pretty sure I can find a much better system for about 1/3rd the price that would destroy the Bose system. So no, spending more money does not always equate to better sound. I have seen the same arguments with amplifiers and cables.

When someone claims you really need a $3K amp + $1000 cables to drive your $2K speakers and to get the best sound...
Everything that you state is obvious. Did you read the part of my post that said "This is a very general assertion but mostly true"?

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post #32 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 06:27 AM
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When you have a 3 way speaker and add a sub is that not essentially a 4 way?

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post #33 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

Everything that you state is obvious. Did you read the part of my post that said "This is a very general assertion but mostly true"?

I think it is partly true. There are just too many factors. If you walk into a high end audio store that has inflated markups, it probably is not really true at all. If you are bargain shopping on the Internet or are DIY, I would say it is mostly true. There are some huge markups on the higher end speaker and amp brands where I think you definitely hit the law of diminishing returns when you spend considerably more thinking you will get much better sound.

I have heard some $75K+ speakers several times and, too be honest, they sounded good, but to say they sounded better than a $50K set is probably splitting hairs..
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post #34 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by gferrell View Post

When you have a 3 way speaker and add a sub is that not essentially a 4 way?
No. But I understand your reasoning.

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post #35 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

For most if not all bookshelf speakers I've auditioned, they usually lack in the mid-bass, and I can not have that. And adding a sub does not address that short coming.
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Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

+1 A sub does nothing for mid bass.
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Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

That's not true at all.
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Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

You are not even close to being right.
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Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

We are not talking the same thing Those S2 are a 2-way, I am talking about a 3-way w/8" mid-bass driver which is rolled off @ 80.

Then you switched topics somewhere without mentioning it.

Though the same rule applies regardless (it's just less likely to be a problem in a three-way). LF (relative) output on any driver has the potential to affect HF (relative) output on the same driver in such a way that offloading that LF output would improve the HF output.
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post #36 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

The waveguide speakers sound nothing like cheap Klipsch speakers you may have auditioned at Best Buy. But I agree, most people don't want to build their own. I get that. And yes companies do have to make a profit. But saying that spending more money will get you better speakers is not really true. The Bose Lifestyle V35 system is about $3300 at most retailers. Now I am pretty sure I can find a much better system for about 1/3rd the price that would destroy the Bose system. So no, spending more money does not always equate to better sound. I have seen the same arguments with amplifiers and cables.

When someone claims you really need a $3K amp + $1000 cables to drive your $2K speakers and to get the best sound...

Well, we all know the Blose legacy...built for cheap, sound like crap, and charge 3x the price. And put out a marketing blitz to convince the uninformed that Bose really are the cream of the crop.

11 years ago I built a pair of speakers for roughly $500/ea. Which included $150/ea for just the XOs. For some company to duplicate those, of coarse, they would have to charge much more. Especially being my $500/speaker did not include my own labor. Just components, mdf, veneer, finishing.

Amps can/may make a difference....cables, not likely.
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post #37 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gferrell View Post

When you have a 3 way speaker and add a sub is that not essentially a 4 way?
Yes. By the same token a sub and 2 way is essentially a 3 way, etc. All that substantially differs is the number of boxes you have the drivers mounted in.
As to the original question, do smaller speakers sound clearer? Yes, because the smaller the driver the wider the angle of dispersion. Will they sound cleaner if they don't run as low? Yes, because IM distortion can create a lot of midrange smear when a driver is asked to cover too wide a bandwidth. The narrower the bandwidth it reproduces the more accurate it can be within that bandwidth. Reduction of IM distortion and a resulting cleaner sound is one advantage of bi-amping as well, realizing the benefit of reducing the device bandwidth back through the signal chain to before the power amps. And when you have a powered sub used along with mains driven by the AVR that is an example of bi-amping.

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post #38 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 07:39 AM
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^^^^Which is why I prefer a 3-way over a 2-way...as each driver is covering a smaller frequency range.
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post #39 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

^^^^Which is why I prefer a 3-way over a 2-way...as each driver is covering a smaller frequency range.
That's no magic bullet though. If you don't have a good crossover system then that is meaningless. I have heard many 2 ways that sounded better than 3 ways.

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post #40 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

Well, we all know the Blose legacy...built for cheap, sound like crap, and charge 3x the price. And put out a marketing blitz to convince the uninformed that Bose really are the cream of the crop.

11 years ago I built a pair of speakers for roughly $500/ea. Which included $150/ea for just the XOs. For some company to duplicate those, of coarse, they would have to charge much more. Especially being my $500/speaker did not include my own labor. Just components, mdf, veneer, finishing.

Amps can/may make a difference....cables, not likely.

I have recently gone DIY with my subwoofers. I bought a very popular $1K ID sub that gets rave reviews and then built four sealed 15" subs and powered them with a pro amp that had built-in DSP/EQ for the exact same price. There is no comparison. The DIY subs blow the single $1K ID sub out of the water (I was seeing 5-8db improvement and much better extension and smoother bass response due to having four subs vs just one). I am not knocking the ID sub. It is a very good sub, but it really opened my eyes. I would estimate $3-4K in performance in the ID world.

But yeah, DIY is not for everyone... As for amps, I agree that you would not want to power your 4 ohm speakers with an 8 ohm rated lower powered amp, but from everything I have read, power is power for the most part. There are extensive blind studies that have been done and people could not tell the difference between a high priced audiophile amp and a similarly powered much cheaper version. Same with cables. People claim they can hear it with their ears, but I have not seen scientific facts to back it up. In fact science seems to point to the fact that most of this stuff is just marketing.
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post #41 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 08:20 AM
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I would hope that DIY would give you more per dollar spent since you are providing free labor.

Also: regardless of B&M, ID, or DIY: 4 subs tend to sound better than 1 sub at a given price total.
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post #42 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 08:42 AM
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IMO, the discussions about bass are off the mark as to why smaller speakers sometimes sound "clearly, crisp[er], and more detailed."

The main reasons for that observation are, IMO, midrange pattern consistency and cabinet diffraction.

First, midrange pattern consistency. The IMO fatal flaw typical "high end" speaker (a 2-way with a ~7" midwoofer and a flush-mounted ~1" tweeter and a somewhere crossover between 2-3 kHz) is that the midrange pattern is not constant. Rather, it looks like a mushroom cloud: narrowing progressively as the woofer plays higher, and then blowing up wide open at the bottom of the tweeter's range. Compare the horizontal polar response of a very poorly designed big speaker:

(B&W N800 Diamond)

to the horizontal polar response of a very well designed big speaker:

(Revel Salon2)

A very small speaker (say, for instance, something along the size of an NHT Absolute Zero) keeps a fairly consistent (wide, but consistent) pattern, i.e more like the good Revel than the crappy B&W, because the mid doesn't play in its beaming range. The way to "fix" this problem in a larger 2-way is to use a waveguide to control the tweeter's pattern at the bottom of its range such that the tweeter's pattern down low matches the next driver down's pattern up high. That "waveguide" can be it a separate structure, such as in most of the Revel speakers and most studio monitors. The other way to do it is to concentrically mount the tweeter inside the woofer, and shape the cone to act as a waveguide, e.g. KEF Uni-Q, Tannoy Dual Concentric, and TAD/Pioneer CST.

Second, diffraction. Smaller speakers have smaller baffles, which pushes the diffraction effects higher. The way there to make a large speaker "sound small" is to design the baffle for lower diffraction, with curved surfaces and possibly surface treatments such as felt. (See, e.g., David Ralph's felt studies.)

So, to summarize, the way to get a speaker with the SPL capability to play music at realistic levels AND the perceived clarity and deta of a small speaker is to control the tweeter's pattern at the bottom of its range, and minimize diffraction.
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

80 Hz crossovers are generally safe, that is they are less likely to produce problems with bass imaging. This goes down hill pretty fast as the crossover frequency goes up. At 100 Hz your options for positioning the subwoofer are getting narrower.

My experience differs. I expect it comes down to an "s," though: subwoofer vs. subwoofers. With distributed subs around the room, I've not found imaging issues even with subwoofer lowpasses as high as 150Hz. (Any subwoofer I would use has extended smooth response well beyond 150Hz, so electrical highpass and acoustic highpass is the same thing.) Even with the mains highpassed at the same frequency (electrically, at least). At least, once various rattles were taken care of. The biggest enemy of non-localizable bass, IME, is sympathetic rattles...

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post #43 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

That's no magic bullet though. If you don't have a good crossover system then that is meaningless. I have heard many 2 ways that sounded better than 3 ways.

I was not talking about a cheap XO. The XOs I built for a pair of 3-ways cost $300, just for the components. And most of those components came from parts express, which sells good/better quality for less.
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post #44 of 44 Old 02-03-2013, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

I was not talking about a cheap XO. The XOs I built for a pair of 3-ways cost $300, just for the components. And most of those components came from parts express, which sells good/better quality for less.
I don't doubt that. I was just making a statement. I also prefer a good 3 way but they are usually more expensive and harder to find than good 2 ways. Especially in a bookshelf speaker.

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