The OFFICIAL Pioneer Dolby Atmos Speaker Thread - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 724 Old 06-26-2014, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by carfanm View Post
I know good sound and bad sound.
How do you know the difference between good sound and bad sound? What are the technical reasons between the two?
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post #92 of 724 Old 06-26-2014, 08:36 PM
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First, it's nice to see another player using concentric drivers in a speaker priced in reach of "normal people." (And also a reasonably priced center channel that's not one of those risible toppled-MTM kludges!) I look forward to hearing the Atmos stuff when I get a chance.

But I have a technical question for you (or Andrew, if he has the time/inclination to jump in).

It appears from pictures at least that the concentric MF/HF in the mains channel is the same part as the concentric up-firing height channel. One thing I've noticed about previous (TAD, Pio EX) concentrics is that you've targeted a fairly wide pattern. For example, here is the normalized horizontal off-axis response of the TAD Evolution One as measured by Stereophile:


(I could've used Stereophile’s normalized horizontal off-axis plot for the TAD CR1 or Pio S-1EX as well. The E1 was just the first search hit.)

Compare that to KEF's speakers, which generally target a narrower pattern exemplified by the normalized horizontal off-axis response from the KEF LS50 measured under like conditions:


(I could've used Stereophile’s normalized horizontal off-axis response plot for any of their speakers; this one was just the most recently measured.)

Did you target the same wide pattern as on previous Pioneer EX and TAD concentric drivers for the Atmos speakers, or in your view is a narrower pattern better suited for Atmos HT use? I ask because it intuitively seems to me that for the upfiring speaker to work as intended, it should have narrow enough pattern control to make the first arrival very quiet compared to the ceiling reflection.

(Also, as an aside, these multiple-channel-in-one box speakers seem to me like the perfect opportunity for consumeer-marketed speakers to ditch antiquated binding posts for the modern 4-pole Speakon terminal!)

By my reading of the curves, there is not a great deal of difference in the directivities, certainly nothing beyond that which would be expected from the difference in cone size.
Directivity is largely governed by cone size below 2 or 3kHz, and cone depth above. There are not that many differences in either between the KEF ad the TAD drivers.


For the Atmos driver, being smaller, the directivity is slightly wider still. However, the important factor for concentric drivers is not necessarily just how wide is the directivity, but how smooth it is over the frequency range. This is where the concentric approach scores over separated drivers. In fact, too narrow a directivity pattern is not a good thing. You can only narrow it towards the high frequencies, by using a deeper cone, but unless you use a large diameter midrange (>>10") you are not going to maintain uniform directivity down to the lower frequencies. You therefore end up with an imbalance in the ratio between direct and reverberant response, resulting in a sound balance that is lacking in top end and sounds mid forward. This was exactly the problem we had in the earliest incarnations of UNIQ when I was at KEF.
We have both learned our from those earlier mistakes :-)


For Atmos, there is a prescribed directivity that is required for the top driver in order to get the best result, along with some processing to compensate for any leakage of the upwards driver into the forward direct field. My new driver achieve the required directivity. A lot of the speakers you will see will utilize a single full range speaker for the top driver. I chose instead to use the identical driver as I use for the front. This way, I maintain identical phase responses between the drivers, which I believe will give a more seamless soundfield and more accurate placement of sounds in the object oriented approach that Atmos uses.


As Chris says, I was initially wary of the Atmos system, until I heard it. One of the few times recently where I have entered with a negative attitude, then been won over, and especially by the upward firing driver approach.
That's the reason I wanted to implement a speaker design to meet the Atmos requirements. It wasn't a marketing division directive...Chris and I are the team that determines what we design!!


Regards


Andrew
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post #93 of 724 Old 06-26-2014, 08:46 PM
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Andrew, nice to see you here! Will you be releasing just the top part of Atmos speakers?

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post #94 of 724 Old 06-26-2014, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by carfanm View Post
I know good sound and bad sound.
No, you know what you like and don't like. IF there was an objective "good sound", then every speaker manufacturer would be designing for it and all high end speakers would start sounding the same. But there isn't. Again, listen for yourself and decide.

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post #95 of 724 Old 06-26-2014, 09:40 PM
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And carfanm have completely ignored my response to his question...TWICE!!

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post #96 of 724 Old 06-26-2014, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by AndrewJ View Post
Of course it's way above your head. It's Atmos we are discussing, it's supposed to be above your head :-)
Ladies and gentlemen, Andrew Jones. Be sure to catch him at The Funny Bone next week. Meanwhile, try the veal, it's fantastic.
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post #97 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by AndrewJ View Post
the important factor for concentric drivers is not necessarily just how wide is the directivity, but how smooth it is over the frequency range.
I agree but this doesn't look particularly smooth above 5kHz:



Are the newer drivers better?

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post #98 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post
And carfanm have completely ignored my response to his question...TWICE!!
David, sorry I glazed over your post, and thanks for the info. I must not have noticed the first because I had just read multiple posts that either only attributed goodness to Andrew Jones or said I had a lot to learn but didn't teach me a thing. And with yours, I admit I scanned it quick and the main thing that caught my eye was Andrew Jones once again, so I discounted the rest. (Then I must have been typing right as you reposted so I didn't even see the second.

And, thanks to the other guy for posting the reviews...will give them a more thorough look.

To those saying there's no such thing as good/bad sound and only sounds people like/dislike...beg to differ. I have truly heard bad, and it was in a pair of speakers costing over $10k/pair. They had a huge frequency dip from 3-5k and dropping below 2 ohms below that, making them hard to drive for the low end. The vocals were quite clear however they were also very muted (made anything by Bruce Springsteen almost unlistenable), and the bass sounded like someone was banging on a bucket instead of revealing the full richness that should have been there.

I confess that on the speakers being discussed here, I am concerned with the concentric drivers. It would seem like vibrations from one part would intefere with vibrations from another and cause issues...like the unevenness shown in the graphs in the high end. It remains unclear to me how these speakers w/concentric drivers could avoid that unless there is some specific technoly trick being employed. I see the marketing speak back on page one, but I remain skeptical.

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post #99 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post
Perhaps not higher end but certainly not entry level.
I doubt if people buying AVRs at less than $700 will want to go to the time, trouble and expense of an Atmos installation. I agree with you - it is not for entry-level enthusiasts.
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post #100 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 04:41 AM
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$700 isnt cheap. As to whats reasonable that is, of course, entirely personal. My point was there is more to getting Atmos than just buying 2 more speakers as your post seemed to suggest.
I am not understanding your point I am afraid. Of course you need a new Atmos-enabled AVR. That is obvious I'd have thought - just like you needed a new disc player for Bluray etc. Other than that, all you need are two additional speakers. Those who find the upgrade too expensive won’t upgrade, just as with any other upgrade path.
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post #101 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by carfanm View Post
I confess that on the speakers being discussed here, I am concerned with the concentric drivers. It would seem like vibrations from one part would intefere with vibrations from another and cause issues...like the unevenness shown in the graphs in the high end.
Yes, that's one of the drawbacks of coax designs. There are diffraction effects from the joint between tweeter and woofer. Furthermore the woofer's cone movement is modulating the output from the tweeter.
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post #102 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
I am not understanding your point I am afraid. Of course you need a new Atmos-enabled AVR. That is obvious I'd have thought - just like you needed a new disc player for Bluray etc. Other than that, all you need are two additional speakers. Those who find the upgrade too expensive won’t upgrade, just as with any other upgrade path.
Nothing complicated about it really. While Im sure its obvious to you it may not be to others. Just wanted to make it clear that just buying a couple of speakers will not give you a "reasonable" upgrade to Atmos capabilities.

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post #103 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 07:52 AM
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Andrew, nice to see you here! Will you be releasing just the top part of Atmos speakers?
Hi David. Give me a chance...I just announce a new set of speakers and you already ask for something else! :-)
As Chris said earlier, we will be looking at what else we think I should design, so I'll add that to the growing wish list!


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post #104 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 08:33 AM
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Yes, that's one of the drawbacks of coax designs. There are diffraction effects from the joint between tweeter and woofer. Furthermore the woofer's cone movement is modulating the output from the tweeter.
Hi Markus.
Yes, a potential drawback of concentric drivers is diffraction of the wavefront due to the edge termination of the cone to the baffle surface. However, these effects manifest themselves mostly directly on axis. Typically by 10 deg off axis they are gone. However, the way Stereophile plots the directivity response, they choose the on axis response as the reference, then divide every other curve by that. Therefore, if the on axis response has an irregularity, and every other response was
perfectly flat, then by this approach every other curve in the plot would look uneven!
It therefore makes it more difficult to truly assess what the directivity function is. I prefer to divide through bt the 10 or 15 deg off axis response, then Only the on axis directivity response contains the irregularities, and I can then more easily see the true directivity performance.
This doesn't only affect concentric drivers. All tweeters have some degree of diffraction irregularities on axis, especially if a tweeter is not flush mounted into the baffle. But the cabinet edge causes problems (rounding of the baffle edge rarely fixes this unless the rounding radius is very large) and he frames of the grill will do this also.


Regarding modulation of the tweeter by the midrange cone, you might be surprised to know that the adjacent woofer on a conventional two way will also do this!! It is part of the baffle surface, and it is moving. The effect is not difficult to measure, and its effect is to create Doppler distortion. However, Doppler distortion has been shown to be not very audible at all. I remember back at KEF when we were developing the UNIQ, this question came up so we did some research. This is when we discovered that even the adjacent woofer can modulate the tweeter. We also recognized that if Doppler distortion is indeed audible then any speaker that reproduces simultaneously, from one diaphragm, both low and high frequencies should be subject to the effect. That means ALL large panel full range electrostatic loudspeakers!! Their diaphragms are moving up to 6mm peak to peak on bass signals, and we measured similar levels of Doppler to those that we got with UNIQ, yet know one has ever questioned the audible significance of the effect in their electrostatic speakers. At this point we decided that Doppler was largely a non-issue.
However, I did realize that there is another effect that can be significant, and that is modulation distortion due to changes in frequency response of the tweeter caused by the cone position changing the diffraction response of the tweeter wavefront. Of course, as I stated earlier, this happens primarily only directly on axis, but the war to mitigate against it is to make sure to minimize diffraction edges, but also to minimize cone displacement. This is done by limiting how far down in frequency the driver operates. For every additional octave of low frequency response, cone displacement quadruples, so I therefore pretty much always use a concentric driver only in a three way system. Crossing over at 270Hz as I do in these speakers results in cone movement that is barely observable except under very high drive levels, levels such that this form of distortion is the least of my worries!
This of course then requires a three way system , but I have no fear of three way systems. In fact, in an interview for the Absolute Sound about designing compact speakers, I stated that the best two way is a three way :-)
Designing speakers at any price point is all about choices, and how one choice will enhance or detract from some of the other choices, hence the skill comes in making those decisions that will provide the best balance between all of them. For me, concentric drivers give me more positives than they do negatives, and I think the proof has been in the reaction to the designs I have previously offered.
Of course, one negative is that it is not easy to extend the technology down to low price systems. It's not just the cost of the concentric driver, it's that you need an additional bass driver and crossover. I have not yet solved that issue :-)


Andrew
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post #105 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 08:57 AM
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Hi Markus.
Yes, a potential drawback of concentric drivers is diffraction of the wavefront due to the edge termination of the cone to the baffle surface. However, these effects manifest themselves mostly directly on axis. Typically by 10 deg off axis they are gone.
And that's exactly the problem. ±10° is the listening window. Here a speaker should be as smooth as possible unless the system is designed for off-axis listening.

The latest KEF and Genelec designs are very smooth in this regard.

P.S. Thanks for providing some insight into your design decisions.

Markus

"In science, contrary evidence causes one to question a theory. In religion, contrary evidence causes one to question the evidence." - Floyd Toole

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post #106 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 09:51 AM
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Hi David. Give me a chance...I just announce a new set of speakers and you already ask for something else! :-)
As Chris said earlier, we will be looking at what else we think I should design, so I'll add that to the growing wish list!


Andrew
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post #107 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 10:28 AM
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Hi Andrew,

Has the cosmetic finish on these Elite speakers been improved over you previous low cost Pioneer Speakers (WAF)?

Would you put these speakers into the same category sound wise as the KEF-LS50's?
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post #108 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 11:02 AM
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Hi Andrew,

Has the cosmetic finish on these Elite speakers been improved over you previous low cost Pioneer Speakers (WAF)?

Would you put these speakers into the same category sound wise as the KEF-LS50's?
The new elite speakers do have a nicer vinyl than the current models. Our original goal was to include wood vener, but we ran out of money.. there is a chance that we will offer these in a couple different finishes later on...

We have not done a direct comparison to the ls50, only the similar priced b&w and Martin logans...

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post #109 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 01:04 PM
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no andrew, i want them now now now!!! :d :d
no no no :-)
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post #110 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 02:08 PM
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Andrew,

Thanks for your explanation - makes sense what you are doing to try to minimize the risks inherent w/concentric. But I have to ask...why use concentric in the first place given the inherent challenges and risks?
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post #111 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 02:28 PM
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1. Sound quality wise, you can easily compare the Elite SC-75 ($1,500) to Krell Foundation ($7,000) I've done this test, level matched, using Cary 7.250 power amp in a dedicated theatre, 100% of the respondents (about 40-ish people, experiment done with 4-5 people at a time) prefer Elite SC-75 over Krell Foundation.
Seriously!
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post #112 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 03:17 PM
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Andrew,

Thanks for your explanation - makes sense what you are doing to try to minimize the risks inherent w/concentric. But I have to ask...why use concentric in the first place given the inherent challenges and risks?
Not sure if Andrew will be able to reply in a timely fashion so I will try and fill in.

The benefits of a concentric driver over a traditional coplanar or coaxial speakers far outweigh the challenges it creates. Andrew has spent the last 25 or more years developing Concentric drivers for KEF, TAD and Elite.

Below is a link to a document that explains the benefits of our concentric drivers compared to Coaxial and Co-Planar speakers. I am sure Andrew will be able to explain more, however it is not a bad document (A in-wall speaker brochure from a couple of years ago).

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ep...re%20FINAL.pdf

Thanks,

Chris Walker
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post #113 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 03:24 PM
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Not sure if Andrew will be able to reply in a timely fashion so I will try and fill in.

The benefits of a concentric driver over a traditional coplanar or coaxial speakers far outweigh the challenges it creates. Andrew has spent the last 25 or more years developing Concentric drivers for KEF, TAD and Elite.

Below is a link to a document that explains the benefits of our concentric drivers compared to Coaxial and Co-Planar speakers. I am sure Andrew will be able to explain more, however it is not a bad document (A in-wall speaker brochure from a couple of years ago).

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ep...re%20FINAL.pdf

Thanks,

Chris Walker
Question Chris - when you mentioned earlier that you compared in-ceiling speakers up against the Atmos-enabled top firing drivers, what sort of demo was playing? were the in ceiling speakers also optimized and enabled using the same Atmos receiver? Thanks.
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post #114 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 03:41 PM
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Question Chris - when you mentioned earlier that you compared in-ceiling speakers up against the Atmos-enabled top firing drivers, what sort of demo was playing? were the in ceiling speakers also optimized and enabled using the same Atmos receiver? Thanks.
It was at Dolby's facility. Everything was running through the same professional decoder and amplifiers. The speakers were all Triads (Both in ceiling mounted and dolby enabled). Everything was setup by Dolby engineers. The content we listened to contained both movie clips and Atmos Trailers.

I am not saying one is better than the other, however after listening to both it would be hard to justify paying for or the hassle to have in-ceiling speakers put in.

Of course that is exactly what I will have to do. I have vaulted ceilings in the living room and cannot use our Dolby enabled speakers (at least the top driver).

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post #115 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 03:44 PM
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Chris,


Thanks for sharing that. While I can read the words and fully understand them, I have to say that what is written sounds like marketing-speak (no offense, please). The physics behind what's claimed are certainly not readily apparent, and I can't see why the negatives of co-planars would apply to all co-planar and why the positives would apply to all concentric. It appears to me that the physics involved could make co-planars as good with respect to what it claimed as any concentric - if the crossover circuit and cabinet were each design properly for each application.


It appears to me that the main benefit of coplanar is that space is saved in a cabinet to provide multiple drivers in 1 hole in a cabinet.


Frankly, from back when I knew Pioneer more closely, having a coaxial or triaxial speaker for a car allowed us to put 1 speaker into 1 hole (in the car door, the kick panel, or shelf behind the back seats). This was of great value because we often had to cut the holes ourselves to install these very speakers in our cars as no holes were provided by the manufacturers of cars back then (late '70's through at least the 80's). (Raise your hand if you have done that yourself!!!)


So, for wall or ceiling mount speakers...yes...makes perfect sense. People want 1 small hole in the wall, so concentric seems great. For floor-standing or typical critical listening...not sure. It seems like other constraints are driving the choice to do concentric, like space or cabinet constraints or...?


Of course, I am not a speaker designer, so I obviously defer to the experts on this. But, I am seeking to understand.
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post #116 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 03:48 PM
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Chris,


Thanks for sharing that. While I can read the words and fully understand them, I have to say that what is written sounds like marketing-speak (no offense, please). The physics behind what's claimed are certainly not readily apparent, and I can't see why the negatives of co-planars would apply to all co-planar and why the positives would apply to all concentric. It appears to me that the physics involved could make co-planars as good with respect to what it claimed as any concentric - if the crossover circuit and cabinet were each design properly for each application.


It appears to me that the main benefit of coplanar is that space is saved in a cabinet to provide multiple drivers in 1 hole in a cabinet.


Frankly, from back when I knew Pioneer more closely, having a coaxial or triaxial speaker for a car allowed us to put 1 speaker into 1 hole (in the car door, the kick panel, or shelf behind the back seats). This was of great value because we often had to cut the holes ourselves to install these very speakers in our cars as no holes were provided by the manufacturers of cars back then (late '70's through at least the 80's). (Raise your hand if you have done that yourself!!!)


So, for wall or ceiling mount speakers...yes...makes perfect sense. People want 1 small hole in the wall, so concentric seems great. For floor-standing or typical critical listening...not sure. It seems like other constraints are driving the choice to do concentric, like space or cabinet constraints or...?


Of course, I am not a speaker designer, so I obviously defer to the experts on this. But, I am seeking to understand.
Hopefully Andrew will be able to post soon..... And he can explain better than the document....
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post #117 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 04:22 PM
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The new elite speakers do have a nicer vinyl than the current models. Our original goal was to include wood vener, but we ran out of money.. there is a chance that we will offer these in a couple different finishes later on...

We have not done a direct comparison to the ls50, only the similar priced b&w and Martin logans...

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post #118 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 05:37 PM
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Chris,


Thanks for sharing that. While I can read the words and fully understand them, I have to say that what is written sounds like marketing-speak (no offense, please). The physics behind what's claimed are certainly not readily apparent, and I can't see why the negatives of co-planars would apply to all co-planar and why the positives would apply to all concentric. It appears to me that the physics involved could make co-planars as good with respect to what it claimed as any concentric - if the crossover circuit and cabinet were each design properly for each application.


It appears to me that the main benefit of coplanar is that space is saved in a cabinet to provide multiple drivers in 1 hole in a cabinet.


Frankly, from back when I knew Pioneer more closely, having a coaxial or triaxial speaker for a car allowed us to put 1 speaker into 1 hole (in the car door, the kick panel, or shelf behind the back seats). This was of great value because we often had to cut the holes ourselves to install these very speakers in our cars as no holes were provided by the manufacturers of cars back then (late '70's through at least the 80's). (Raise your hand if you have done that yourself!!!)


So, for wall or ceiling mount speakers...yes...makes perfect sense. People want 1 small hole in the wall, so concentric seems great. For floor-standing or typical critical listening...not sure. It seems like other constraints are driving the choice to do concentric, like space or cabinet constraints or...?


Of course, I am not a speaker designer, so I obviously defer to the experts on this. But, I am seeking to understand.
Matching the directivity (difference between off axis and on axis sound pressure level as frequency changes) of the tweeter and the midrange driver is the most important advantage of concentric drivers, in my opinion. Of course, you can do this with a separate waveguide also.

The difference is, with a normal, non-concentric loudspeaker, the vertical off axis frequency response has peaks and dips of varying degrees in the cross over region. If you measure the distance to the tweeter and then measure the distance to the midrange at 0 degrees vertical, and then do the same at 45 degrees vertical you will find that the tweeter path length difference is different. This creates misbehavior as the drivers interfere with each other. With a concentric driver the acoustic centers are the same so there is no path length difference anywhere off axis.

So the concentric drivers are well behaved off axis both vertically and horizontally. I'm not sure how perceptually important good vertical off axis sound is, but you might as well have it if you can. The "drawback" of diffraction ripples on axis is questionable. Diffraction is not unique to concentric drivers and if it vanished with the listening window spatial average I doubt if it is audible at all.

One thing I am curious about is it seems to me that concentric drivers usually have narrower horizontal dispersion patterns than separate cone and dome systems with a waveguide. This is one potential drawback as it seems evident that all things being equal (they never are) people seem to prefer wide dispersion. Narrower dispersion can be useful in a lively room though.

Theater room: Sony VPL HW30ES, DIY 100" screen with Seymour Centerstage XD, 5 Revel M105, 2 JBL Studio 210, 4 SVS SB12-NSD, Anthem MRX-300
Living room: Panasonic TC-P60VT60, 3 KEF LS50, Pioneer SW-8, Marantz NR1603
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post #119 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 07:33 PM
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Thank you Mr.Walker and the almighty Mr. Jones for taking the time to be apart of this forum, that in its self is a fulltime job. And thanks for providing the details that rarely come from a creator or designer. You fine engineers don't have to explain yourselves or anything to us but you both choose to do so. You both have turned this world upside down with the 22 series and once again will do the same. With all the amazing processing Dolby has and will create just continues to impress. Respect is and should be given when due, and you sirs deserve it! Mucho Starbucks on me!!!!!!

Brian in Fresno...
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post #120 of 724 Old 06-27-2014, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Steve Munz at Audioholics has written an article, "Pioneer Atmos Speakers (SP-EFS73/SP-EBS73L/SP-EC73 and SW-E10) Preview" which includes a few pictures.
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