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post #1 of 15 Old 10-31-2014, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Do I need new speakers?

My fronts and surrounds are extremely old (25+ years) 4-ways (2x 12" woofers and 2x 4" tweeters in each). Up until now I felt I had to buy new speakers since I was using MultEQ XT and the sound was unsatisfactory. After switching to Dirac Live calibration I have achieved a near flat frequency response according to its graphs.

I'm now doubting whether I would objectively gain anything by buying new fronts and surrounds. I have a Wharfedale SPC-12 subwoofer. I also would like more bass and am wondering if my money is better spent on a second subwoofer.
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-31-2014, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by KurianOfBorg View Post
I also would like more bass and am wondering if my money is better spent on a second subwoofer.
Flat response is flat response, so you don't need to buy new speakers as far as that goes. OTOH having a single twelve inch woofer trying to match four twelves in your mains is a totally lopsided situation. If anything you should have four twelve inch drivers in your subs and only two twelve inch drivers in your mains for best results.
There is an argument for replacing the mains, that being dispersion. Measure one of your mains 30 degrees off-axis. If the result is off by more than 6dB from on-axis there's room for improvement. That would come from using no larger than 8 inch woofers and much smaller than 4 inch tweeters. You don't need twelve inch woofers when the lows are being handled by subs, unless you're playing at levels where you need multiple eighteen inch subs.

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post #3 of 15 Old 10-31-2014, 07:19 AM
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Maybe. But looking at your calibrated response all I can say is WOW! Dirac did an incredible job.

What is the brand and model? If they are good speakers you might benefit by re-capping them. The capacitors tend to dry up and drift after 15-20 years or so. A second sub would definitely benefit you. But I wouldn't get a second Wharfdale. I would get on of the ones everyone here recommends.

Television: Mitsubishi WD65737 DLP
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Amps: Carver AV 806x/Behringer EP4000
Mains: DCM TimeFrame 600 Center: AT 453C
Surrounds: AT 251.1 Sub: Danley DTS-10
Blu Ray: Panasonic DMP-BD655

Last edited by flyng_fool; 10-31-2014 at 10:02 AM. Reason: Stupid auto correct was wrong again
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-31-2014, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Flat response is flat response, so you don't need to buy new speakers as far as that goes. OTOH having a single twelve inch woofer trying to match four twelves in your mains is a totally lopsided situation. If anything you should have four twelve inch drivers in your subs and only two twelve inch drivers in your mains for best results.
There is an argument for replacing the mains, that being dispersion. Measure one of your mains 30 degrees off-axis. If the result is off by more than 6dB from on-axis there's room for improvement. That would come from using no larger than 8 inch woofers and much smaller than 4 inch tweeters. You don't need twelve inch woofers when the lows are being handled by subs, unless you're playing at levels where you need multiple eighteen inch subs.
My amp is only an SR5008. It can't seem to drive 8x 12" woofers no matter how loud I turn it up. Audyssey also crosses them over at 60 Hz and sometimes 40 Hz depending on the positioning. I get far more bass from the sub. Should I buy a power amp instead? I'm afraid of blowing the speakers with bass given their age.

I have all the speakers pointed directly at me and I sit exactly in the same place every time (I don't move more than 2" in any direction). This is a computer audio system for 1 person, not a living room HT. Would off-axis response still benefit me?

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Maybe. But looking at your calibrated response all I can say is WOW! Dirac did an incredible job.

What is the brand and model? If they are good speakers you might benefit by re-capping them. The capacitors tend to drum it and drift after 15-20 years or so. A second sub would definitely benefit you. But I wouldn't get a second Wharfdale. I would get on of the ones everyone here recommends.
They're one of the Aquarius models by Arphi. I don't have the time or resources for any DIY stuff.
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-31-2014, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post
Maybe. But looking at your calibrated response all I can say is WOW! Dirac did an incredible job.

What is the brand and model? If they are good speakers you might benefit by re-capping them. The capacitors tend to drum it and drift after 15-20 years or so. A second sub would definitely benefit you. But I wouldn't get a second Wharfdale. I would get on of the ones everyone here recommends.
I agree WOW. This may have just sold me. I have been looking at the mini dsp with Dirac. Maybe time to place an order.
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-31-2014, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by KurianOfBorg View Post
My amp is only an SR5008. It can't seem to drive 8x 12" woofers no matter how loud I turn it up. Audyssey also crosses them over at 60 Hz and sometimes 40 Hz depending on the positioning. I get far more bass from the sub. Should I buy a power amp instead? I'm afraid of blowing the speakers with bass given their age.
Audyssey sets the crossover frequency based on how low the mains will go. There's no need to go to lower than 60Hz, unless you don't have subs, so over-ride Audyssey. You're supposed to get far more bass from the sub. Power and driver displacement requirements double with each octave lowering of response, so the last thing you need is more power to the mains, you need more subs.

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post #7 of 15 Old 10-31-2014, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Audyssey sets the crossover frequency based on how low the mains will go. There's no need to go to lower than 60Hz, unless you don't have subs, so over-ride Audyssey. You're supposed to get far more bass from the sub. Power and driver displacement requirements double with each octave lowering of response, so the last thing you need is more power to the mains, you need more subs.
In a showroom we calibrated a Wharfedale Diamond 159 which has 8" woofers and Audyssey set it to full range even with a sub. While testing it with the sub switched on and off in the receiver, the mains were producing as much bass as the SVS PB2000 the system was hooked up to! But In my case when I switch of my sub and set the mains to full range, it doesn't produce a fraction of the bass. Even with my sub, it doesn't produce as much bass as the Diamond 159 full range in the showroom.

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post #8 of 15 Old 10-31-2014, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by KurianOfBorg View Post
In a showroom we calibrated a Wharfedale Diamond 159 which has 8" woofers and Audyssey set it to full range even with a sub.
It did so because that speaker has 35Hz response.

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post #9 of 15 Old 10-31-2014, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurianOfBorg View Post
My fronts and surrounds are extremely old (25+ years) 4-ways (2x 12" woofers and 2x 4" tweeters in each). Up until now I felt I had to buy new speakers since I was using MultEQ XT and the sound was unsatisfactory. After switching to Dirac Live calibration I have achieved a near flat frequency response according to its graphs.

I'm now doubting whether I would objectively gain anything by buying new fronts and surrounds. I have a Wharfedale SPC-12 subwoofer. I also would like more bass and am wondering if my money is better spent on a second subwoofer.
You will most likely get better sound by getting new speakers, assuming you make good choices on new ones. Speaker science and manufacturing have significantly advanced in the last 25 years.

One of those scientific advancements is knowing what makes a good speaker. It requires a flat response on- and off- axis. The chart you show looks to be a steady state in-room response, which does not suffice. In particular, equalization will not solve dispersion problems above around 200hz. Search the web for Floyd Toole for more info on this front.

Also, it looks like your equalization boosts frequencies around 45hz by more than 10db. Can you see the measured equalized response and not just this predicted response? It's likely this boosting won't work -- a 45hz signal will require 10x more power from your amp and 10x more excursion from your bass drivers, and neither will like that.
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-01-2014, 05:30 AM
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Speaker science has changed very little in the past 50 years. The vast majority of drivers are still cones with voice coils attached to magnets. If speakers were so much better today, I don't think you'd see people paying ridiculous prices for some of the classics.

Television: Mitsubishi WD65737 DLP
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Surrounds: AT 251.1 Sub: Danley DTS-10
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post #11 of 15 Old 11-01-2014, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post
Speaker science has changed very little in the past 50 years.
The science hasn't changed a bit since the adoption of T/S specs. The way in which it's implemented has. What it used to take a 25 watt fifteen inch driver to get can now be done with a 200 watt eight. And it's not that they couldn't make 200 watt eights fifty years ago. They didn't because in 1965 25 watts was a big amp.
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I don't think you'd see people paying ridiculous prices for some of the classics.
Classics like 25 watt fifteen inch Altec 420s.

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post #12 of 15 Old 11-01-2014, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurianOfBorg View Post
In a showroom we calibrated a Wharfedale Diamond 159 which has 8" woofers and Audyssey set it to full range even with a sub. While testing it with the sub switched on and off in the receiver, the mains were producing as much bass as the SVS PB2000 the system was hooked up to! But In my case when I switch of my sub and set the mains to full range, it doesn't produce a fraction of the bass. Even with my sub, it doesn't produce as much bass as the Diamond 159 full range in the showroom.
It has already been stated, you need at least one more sub! Multi-subs provides a flatter bass response, along with higher SPL.
Your main speakers do not need to produce same much bass as the subs. Even if you run your system, mains full range + subs, as I do.
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post #13 of 15 Old 11-01-2014, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
The science hasn't changed a bit since the adoption of T/S specs. The way in which it's implemented has. What it used to take a 25 watt fifteen inch driver to get can now be done with a 200 watt eight. And it's not that they couldn't make 200 watt eights fifty years ago. They didn't because in 1965 25 watts was a big amp. Classics like 25 watt fifteen inch Altec 420s.
Makes sense. Thanks Bill.

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Amps: Carver AV 806x/Behringer EP4000
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post #14 of 15 Old 11-01-2014, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post
Speaker science has changed very little in the past 50 years. The vast majority of drivers are still cones with voice coils attached to magnets. If speakers were so much better today, I don't think you'd see people paying ridiculous prices for some of the classics.
Funny you said this because I posted videos the other day in Gorrillas GTG thread. The videos were of vintage Jim Lansing (JBL) speakers from the 40's. Pretty much still the same designs, just better drivers, crossovers etc..Not being able to hear the speakers in person, you can still get an idea from the videos that some of those speakers seemed to sound great even being 40, 50 and 60+ years old.
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post #15 of 15 Old 11-01-2014, 10:49 AM
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Funny you said this because I posted videos the other day in Gorrillas GTG thread. The videos were of vintage Jim Lansing (JBL) speakers from the 40's. Pretty much still the same designs...
Many current JBL drivers, for instance the 2226, are basically refined versions of the 1948 D-130.

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