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post #1 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Check out the Urban Fidelity website and see their new speakers. (urbanfidelity.com)

They are made in L.A. and are decorated with artwork from a wide range of artists.

I have no idea what they SOUND like, but the decor statement is certainly interesting, and the price is not bad.

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post #2 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 01:11 PM
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Really nice artwork but I certainly wouldn't recommend them for the sound...unless you like the Bose "direct-reflecting" sound.....I guess. Sound out the back too??? confused.gif

http://urbanfidelity.com/pages/tech
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 02:01 PM
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Neat idea thanx for sharing
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charmerci View Post

Really nice artwork but I certainly wouldn't recommend them for the sound...unless you like the Bose "direct-reflecting" sound.....I guess. Sound out the back too??? confused.gif

http://urbanfidelity.com/pages/tech
Like a dipole. Or a planar speaker, like Maggies or Logans. There have been a few other speaker designs that leave the back of the driver exposed, often called "open-baffle".
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jdcrox View Post

Like a dipole. Or a planar speaker, like Maggies or Logans. There have been a few other speaker designs that leave the back of the driver exposed, often called "open-baffle".

I stand corrected on the open baffle design. But that certainly puts into question their ". Urban Fidelity™ speakers are truly unique in the world of affordable audio."
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-05-2014, 12:15 AM
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As far as being unique, I agree because of

1) the artwork
2) built in the U.S.
3) open-backed systems using a fullrange driver are VERY rare compared to all the conventional box+woofer+tweeter systems out there.

FYI: lots of O.B. and fullrange driver talk here

Here's a 3-way O.B. system and imo probably one of the most attractive & striking speakers out there: Jamo R909 with dual 15" woofers

Lastly smile.gif: "Fast, fun, Inexpensive OB project"
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-05-2014, 12:26 AM
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Well that was interesting! Although I don't imagine the ones with the split images would do much for visual appeal if the speakers were 9' apart :rolleyes:

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post #8 of 17 Old 04-05-2014, 01:58 AM
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Interesting indeed but to be honest I never understood dipole speakers, I have read a Jamo R 909 review and I still dont get it... how a speaker can produce base without a housing :confused:

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post #9 of 17 Old 04-05-2014, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Tzuky View Post

Interesting indeed but to be honest I never understood dipole speakers, I have read a Jamo R 909 review and I still dont get it... how a speaker can produce base without a housing confused.gif

The Urban Fidelity speakers are IMO just another rehash of established speaker design art or the lack of it.

Scrapping tweeters for whizzer cones is an old trick and it is usually justified based on just one thing: Cheap!

As tough as it is to make the front side of a speaker have full range, making the back side have full range is even further into mission impossible. The magnet gets in the way of the highs, pure and simple.

Like you, I don't get trying to go full range without enclosures. One of the biggest proponents of bipolar speakers is well known and highly respected, namely Sigfried Linkwitz.

http://www.linkwitzlab.com/



I think I've heard his full range of speakers (as of a couple of years back) from small to large, with the upper end of his line being provided by him personally, and some smaller models being do-it-yourself products. Bottom line he makes a lot of claims for uniquely good imaging, but I've personally seen and heard their their $12,000 clocks being cleaned by humble but well-designed bookshelves costing less than $400 a pair.

Constant directivity is a good thing, but you don't need to pay $12K to get it! ;-) Leaving the back sides of woofers open vastly reduces their dynamic range and makes placing them far more difficult. Why do it?
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-05-2014, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Tzuky View Post

I still dont get it... how a speaker can produce base without a housing confused.gif
It can't, and that's the problem. When the baffle is less than 1 wavelength in dimension the front and rear waves will cancel each other out. 1 wavelength at 40 Hz is 28 feet. You can endlessly mess around with room placement and using multiple drivers to get usable results, but it's a lot easier to follow the laws of physics than to fight them.
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post #11 of 17 Old 04-05-2014, 11:36 AM
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I don't own any of them, but larger planar speakers from for example Magnepan and fully-electrostatic models from Martin-Logan can produce "respectable" amounts of bass with no enclosures needed. And as far as the open-backed + conventional woofer designs, a lot of them use special filter networks to depress the woofer's upper output to aid in restoring balance to the system's overall output.* Yes this can result in a steep drop in efficiency but in return you get bass that sounds better to certain listeners. There's always tradeoffs in loudspeaker design and some tradeoffs are worth more to some than others.

And btw, all the speakers above are incredibly low on WAF - heck even I have problems with some of the more "normal" sized O.B.s i.e. versions that can measure roughly the same size as a 46" flatscreen TV. But I am still seriously considering building one myself.

All the factors above keep these systems from being commercially viable on a large scale (i.e. you won't see them sold at a big-box store), but not being commercially viable doesn't mean a system cannot sound good.

* the classic and nearly-famous BBC mobile monitor speaker, the LS3/5A, used such a technique. As a result its crossover was so packed with components it was almost half as large as the speaker itself! But it was a tradeoff that was accepted because a small speaker with X amount of bass was required.
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-05-2014, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by donutfan View Post

I don't own any of them, but larger planar speakers from for example Magnepan and fully-electrostatic models from Martin-Logan can produce "respectable" amounts of bass with no enclosures needed.

If that's true

1) Why do people end up supplementing the Magnepan bass module with a subwoofer? Common complaint is that they don't have enough bass.
2) Why aren't their commercial subwoofers built with planar magnetics? I have the HE-400 headphones which have marvelous, extremely detailed bass, but it's my understanding it's extremely impractical to build a planar magnetic subwoofer. Otherwise, from listening to the bass in the HE-400s, I'm sure someone would be selling them. It's THAT good smile.gif
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post #13 of 17 Old 04-05-2014, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

If that's true

1) Why do people end up supplementing the Magnepan bass module with a subwoofer? Common complaint is that they don't have enough bass.
2) Why aren't their commercial subwoofers built with planar magnetics? I have the HE-400 headphones which have marvelous, extremely detailed bass, but it's my understanding it's extremely impractical to build a planar magnetic subwoofer. Otherwise, from listening to the bass in the HE-400s, I'm sure someone would be selling them. It's THAT good smile.gif

That's why I placed quotes around the word respectable i.e. it's a subjective issue. Plus many music fans don't listen to rock or pop with powerful and/or very low frequency bass notes, so they're not missing anything. And even if they did, based on what I've read over the years, some are willing to sacrifice that low bass in exhange for the airy qualities dipolar speakers produce (for myself, I would supplement a planar with a [conventional] subwoofer).
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-05-2014, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by donutfan View Post

Plus many music fans don't listen to rock or pop with powerful and/or very low frequency bass notes, so they're not missing anything.

I think the balance is always shifting more every year as more music makes use of deeper bass frequencies. If you go back to dance music of the 70s, it rarely needed more than midbass, and now almost all modern dance/EDM genres could benefit from a sub. Modern rock makes more use of lower frequencies as well. The more ubiquitous presence of subwoofers in our culture among home audio users, as well as the Beats fad, might be accelerating this shift. I was just thinking this week how the influence of DAW's digital effects and electronic instrument use is now starting to leak into pop music as well.

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post #15 of 17 Old 04-05-2014, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I think the balance is always shifting more every year as more music makes use of deeper bass frequencies. If you go back to dance music of the 70s, it rarely needed more than midbass,.

Yes. I caught a bit of the old Blues Brothers movie on TV the other day and one of its musical dance scenes can't of had any bass below 80 or 90hz. It just sounded flat and boring compared to musical soundtracks on movies today. Time does indeed move on.

I listen to a lot of jazz and folk music and good bass coverage down to around 25hz is just as important for me on that, than it is for watching movies. A good jazz track with a nice double bass in the background is bliss!

Mind you, with subs handling the lower frequencies it doesn't really matter what the main speakers play down to.
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post #16 of 17 Old 04-05-2014, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Yes. I caught a bit of the old Blues Brothers movie on TV the other day and one of its musical dance scenes can't of had any bass below 80 or 90hz. It just sounded flat and boring compared to musical soundtracks on movies today. Time does indeed move on.

I like a lot of the very old school rap and hip hop. I've been wishing some DJs would do a little mixing/mastering on them and add a little depth and impact to the bass response. Someone who know what they were doing could definitely do it so it would sound great. For example, for a more radical mix than what I'm suggesting, I've been enjoying David Gerrard's Drop the Pieces, which reworks the Average White Bands Pick Up the Pieces. It's fun to hear that with some more bass impact smile.gif

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post #17 of 17 Old 04-05-2014, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post


The Urban Fidelity speakers are IMO just another rehash of established speaker design art or the lack of it.

Scrapping tweeters for whizzer cones is an old trick and it is usually justified based on just one thing: Cheap!

As tough as it is to make the front side of a speaker have full range, making the back side have full range is even further into mission impossible. The magnet gets in the way of the highs, pure and simple.

Like you, I don't get trying to go full range without enclosures. One of the biggest proponents of bipolar speakers is well known and highly respected, namely Sigfried Linkwitz.

http://www.linkwitzlab.com/



I think I've heard his full range of speakers (as of a couple of years back) from small to large, with the upper end of his line being provided by him personally, and some smaller models being do-it-yourself products. Bottom line he makes a lot of claims for uniquely good imaging, but I've personally seen and heard their their $12,000 clocks being cleaned by humble but well-designed bookshelves costing less than $400 a pair.

Constant directivity is a good thing, but you don't need to pay $12K to get it! ;-) Leaving the back sides of woofers open vastly reduces their dynamic range and makes placing them far more difficult. Why do it?

 

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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post


It can't, and that's the problem. When the baffle is less than 1 wavelength in dimension the front and rear waves will cancel each other out. 1 wavelength at 40 Hz is 28 feet. You can endlessly mess around with room placement and using multiple drivers to get usable results, but it's a lot easier to follow the laws of physics than to fight them.

My point exactly it just is not possible with a stereo setup! Or if it is possible excuse me but it it will be half ass job lol (still don`t get it how whathifi.com I think it was gave 5 star to the Jamo`s.. probably sounds good placed in the just right angle in the just right corner.. in the just right room.. and thi "just right" thing is bullcrap... aand sorry again lol.

And

  • donutfan I agree with you Martin Logan`s electrostatic midrange.. slash twitter thing is something amazaing but the speaker from Martin Logan that I had the chance of listening to had some small enclosures with a lowrange speaker in in and also a little twitter on top of it. I never knew the model it was 5 years ago I was not that in to audio cuz I could not afford 1/100-th of that system so my story is... the sistem was owned by the father of a really close friend of mine (tha amp was a Naturel.. russian tube amp.. i`m not sure this company still exists) when I heard it.. I told my frend that there was not enough base (we ware listening to norah jones.... I just was not feeling it that much) he told me that I`m a base junkie and I this is the real deal (his father had this system for not more than a week at this point).... one week later he called me and he told me "I guess you ware right... my father just got a Martin Logen Sub for the system" and the guy also listens to rock.. come old some new... but my point is... you can produce hi-range ....even midrange... without a housing but when it comes to base... now way you can make it better than "acceptable" and half of this brands are selling these products for a price that.. they just can not afford to be half-ass! And I guess its all about what you listen to... the speakers in that thread aint that expencive I think (havent read the price correct me if I`m wrong) so it is ok... get a good Sub that can cover `em at 100 Hz or above and you are good... If you are not listening Rap/Hiphop music as cel4145 mentioned because I listen to a lot of modern and oldschool underground rap and the thing I need a lot is midbase (50-100 Hz) andlowend.. below 50.. so I got a sub. Sorry for the log post guys that is my opinion! :)
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