or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) › Digital Active Speaker Thread.....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Digital Active Speaker Thread..... - Page 5  

post #121 of 481
Thread Starter 
I think it's important to look at the final arbiter - the measured and subjective performance, not tiny little details. Of all the things that could go into a DSP speaker, the two things that would matter least is 1) an extra 24/96 ADC/DAC and 2) the speaker cable used.
post #122 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kotches View Post

I would love for the digital active speaker market to grow by leaps and bounds, but it isn't exactly taking off.

The demand for wireless speakers will change that. Fast. If companies aren't ready for it, they will be left behind. The foundation for this is currently being built. As I understand it, one of the reasons NHT is liquidating is so they can come out with some sort of wireless digital speaker thing. Well, that's the rumor.
post #123 of 481
Well John, we cannot force people to understand. As said one day we all drive electric, because after we did it, and it became mainstream, as usual we will scratch our heads why we didn't do it earlier.

I think the "ideal" solution is clear and already here, it only fails due to taste and a little bit cumbersome handling. The ideal solution is a fully digital chain.
post #124 of 481
A bit off topic, but does anyone have experience with active analog crossovers?

Several guys I know and trust have heard modded Marchand units and say the sonics are amazing.

I suspect a large fraction of the improvement we hear with active digital crossovers is getting the crossover in front of the amp, rather than digital vs. analog per se.
post #125 of 481
Thread Starter 
If an analog crossover is well done, it should work as well as a digital crossover +/-. The true advantage of the digital crossover is its ability to keep the signal digital as long as possible, to do time/phase adjustment, to do FR adjustment, etc, etc. Those are huge factors in the quality of a DSP speaker.

One of the things that is interesting about the NHT Xd is that it sounds so radically different from conventional passive speakers that hardcore audiophiles often either react negatively to the new sound or just don't know what to make of it. The more they listen, however, the more they like it IF you can get them to listen more (and usually they won't). But plain old music lovers had no such negative reaction. They fell in love with the sound within seconds. I believe that, in 20 years, people will look back at it and say 'wow, they really got that right and why the heck didn't it take off"
post #126 of 481
John

Keep in mind YOUR thread is NOT about the Xd.. Dang it John! It is a good speaker but it was lacking; the argument it is so good that people reacted negatively is flimsy at best.. On the crossover side I agre in part with you . It is not the ability to perform corrections that is the only advantage of Digital crosovers it is the fact that they can perform the needed mathematical function almost perfectly.. I keep on repeating it a crossover is a filter or several filters.. A filter is a device that at the core performs a mathematical functions (or at the very least should perform it). Analog Filters are a crude approximation of these functions.. very, very crude... A digital filter can actually perform the exact needed function with virtually no errors... That in itself should make them sound better in theory in practice there are implementation problems and they account for the widely different results...
post #127 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post

Keep in mind YOUR thread is NOT about the Xd.. Dang it John! It is a good speaker but it was lacking; the argument it is so good that people reacted negatively is flimsy at best..

It doesn't matter, Xd is gone! Well, almost gone. As is NHT. But what you see as 'lacking' is PRECISELY what I don't want to hear from a speaker - the sound of the speaker! All you had to do was drop these in the same room as a $20K speaker, almost ANY $20K speaker (including/especially Magnepans) and they would tell you exactly what is wrong with the other speaker, how it is coloring the sound, where the resonances were, the peaks, the dips. The Xd is NOT the best DSP speaker that can be built, but it remains better in many to most ways than many if not all passive speakers. I will not retract this, no matter how many times you push me to do so. Point source is just plain more natural than a large baffle of drivers. Buy a set of Xds, keep them in your house and I guarantee they will increasingly draw you to them and away from the Maggies.

Besides, I'm just pointing out that an ADC/DAC is simply not crippling, even though it is not 'ideal'.
Quote:



On the crossover side I agre in part with you . It is not the ability to perform corrections that is the only advantage of Digital crosovers it is the fact that they can perform the needed mathematical function almost perfectly.. I keep on repeating it a crossover is a filter or several filters.. A filter is a device that at the core performs a mathematical functions (or at the very least should perform it). Analog Filters are a crude approximation of these functions.. very, very crude... A digital filter can actually perform the exact needed function with virtually no errors... That in itself should make them sound better in theory in practice there are implementation problems and they account for the widely different results...

Well, you still get ringing with any crossover. Meridian says that it has made what they call 'apodizing' filters, which, if I understand their press material (which remains press material), they are able to emulate a 'perfect' filter with little or no ringing. Or that's what they seem to imply.
post #128 of 481
Thread Starter 
Some digital speakers -



Legend Acoustics Tikandi w/DEQX



Acoustic Zen Maesto w/DEQX



Wasatch w/DEQX



B&O



SonicWeld PulseRod w/DEQX



Meridian DSP7200s



Arvus w/DEQX



Salk HT3 w/DEQX



JL Audios



NHT Xd w/DEQX



Phase Technology dARTS w/Audyssey
post #129 of 481
Why no pictures of Meridian speakers in your cavalcade of digital active speakers?
post #130 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post

Why no pictures of Meridian speakers in your cavalcade of digital active speakers?

Still looking for pictures, but was going from the new, more obscure ones first.
post #131 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

Still looking for pictures, but was going from the new, more obscure ones first.

Meridian currently makes five digital active speakers: the DSP8000, DSP7200, DSP5500, DSP5200 and DSP3100. All but the DSP8000 also come in horizontal center versions. In addition, they make two digital active subwoofers: the SW5500 and the SW1600. The digital active subwoofers have both a digital and analog inputs. Pictures are available on their website.

http://www.meridian.co.uk/product-mo...udspeaker.aspx
post #132 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post

Meridian currently makes five digital active speakers: the DSP8000, DSP7200, DSP5500, DSP5200 and DSP3100. All but the DSP8000 also come in horizontal center versions. In addition, they make two digital active subwoofers: the SW5500 and the SW1600. The digital active subwoofers have both a digital and analog inputs. Pictures are available on their website.

http://www.meridian.co.uk/product-mo...udspeaker.aspx

Yes, I know all this, being a Meridian dealer and all (and having just set up a 7200/3100 HT system a week or so ago). When you think digital speakers, the first thing that comes to mind is Meridian. I was looking for more obscure DSP speakers and was working backwards. I guess I don't talk about Meridian as much because it is the 8000 lb elephant in the room.
post #133 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post

John

Keep in mind YOUR thread is NOT about the Xd.. Dang it John! It is a good speaker but it was lacking; the argument it is so good that people reacted negatively is flimsy at best.. .

Frantz,

Additionally, John keeps attempting to make one of the FAULTS of the Xd crossover into
a virture - the high order, steep slope crossover. The steep crossover made the designer's
job easier by essentially "decoupling" the passbands.

Unfortunately for the end user; the steep crossover comes with a SEVERE price that is
dictated by the mathematics - the steep crossovers have "pre-echo" which is acausal
and smears the sound. John Atkinson actually MEASURED the pre-ring; so don't let
John do his usual fabrication that it was magically cancelled by the other out of passband
driver. It would have been a better speaker with smoother crossover transitions and an
improved radiation pattern if they had "blended" the drivers at the crossovers instead of
the discontinuous cut-off that was implemented.

Mother Nature is "continuous" and any product wishinig to emulate Mother Nature should
be free of artificial discontinuities.

The Xd is good - but it is definitely NOT "great"; as we have discussed many times
here before. For the low price; it's pretty good - although my colleague "smokester"
believes one can do better for the same price.
post #134 of 481
Thread Starter 
........

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Atkinson View Post

What can also be seen from fig.11 is that each drive-unit's step is preceded by some low-frequency ringing. But because the tweeter's and woofer's acoustic outputs appear to have opposite polarities, this pre-ringing should to a large extent cancel, at least on the tweeter axis. That this does in fact happen is shown by the XdS's overall step response (fig.12), the tweeter's positive-going step smoothly handing over to the woofer's negative-going step, this in turn correlating with the superb frequency-domain integration between the two drive-units seen in fig.7.

The 'ringing' caused by two drivers not in perfect synch off vertical axis is far more audible, measurable and dramatic, especially with D'Appolito speakers. The Xd is absolutely 'great', as has been said in every review. "Class A" for instance.
post #135 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

Yes, I know all this, being a Meridian dealer and all ...

You need to get in touch with Meridian to update their website. You are not listed as an authorized dealer.
post #136 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

........



The 'ringing' caused by two drivers not in perfect synch off vertical axis is far more audible, measurable and dramatic, especially with D'Appolito speakers. The Xd is absolutely 'great', as has been said in every review. "Class A" for instance.

John,

The "ringing" that John Atkinsons refers to here is NOT due to drivers being "out of sync"

It is the ringing can be a part of high order crossovers. John will probably ignore this
reference as he always does - but for those interested - the "pre-ringing" is described
by Keith Howard in his Stereophile article: "Ringing False":

http://www.stereophile.com/reference/106ringing/

Specifically look at the graphs of impulse respons [ first column ] for minimal phase
filter and compare to all the others. The minimal phase filter is the only filter in the
group that doesn't "pre-ring". The Xd filters were NOT minimal phase.

http://www.stereophile.com/reference...ng/index1.html

The Xd had an acausal, unphysical "pre-ring" that can not be acoustically cancelled
exactly because the two drivers have different passbands. The "pre-ring" is mitigated
to a degree on the speaker axis, as John Atkinson points out - but who is seated
simultaneously on the axis of both speakers?

The "pre-ring" is audible - and that's what counts.
post #137 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post

You need to get in touch with Meridian to update their website. You are not listed as an authorized dealer.

They'll get to it. We just signed back up after letting things lapse for a year or two.
post #138 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius View Post

The "ringing" that John Atkinsons refers to here is NOT due to drivers being "out of sync"

I'm talking about the 'ringing' that would occur in, say, a Wilson X2 in the upper bands off axis. Not exactly the same thing, but the poor vertical dispersion is much more problematic. With DEQX, you can choose any filter you want, from 6dB to 300dB/octave. You simply choose the slope that results in the best sound. Period. NHT and others have found that the steeper crossovers fix more subjective and objective problems than they create.

Ringing is a tiny problem because it is self canceling at tweeter axis. However, steep crossovers lower motor distortion, cone resonance, improves horizontal dispersion, dramatically improves vertical dispersion, increase SPL, etc. Adding one smaller problem substantially improves 4 or 5 other areas of performance. Great tradeoff.
Quote:



The "pre-ring" is mitigated
to a degree on the speaker axis, as John Atkinson points out - but who is seated
simultaneously on the axis of both speakers?

Everybody if you're seated. It's a *horizontal* axis. Therefore, at anywhere approximately 32" off the ground (typical head height when seated), the pre-ringing cancels.
Quote:



The "pre-ring" is audible - and that's what counts.

So is lobing. So is motor disortion. So are cone resonances. So are +/-8dB frequency response errors. It's like saying Halle Berry isn't hot because she has a mole on her butt or something.
post #139 of 481
What are the drivers in the Acoustic Zen Maestro and the Wasatch? (Particularly the mids and the ribbons.)

How do the Maestro's use DEQX in a four way? (Where is the passive located, or is there a non DEQX in the chain somewhere?)
post #140 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

What are the drivers in the Acoustic Zen Maestro and the Wasatch? (Particularly the mids and the ribbons.)

Not sure. I wasn't thrilled with the sound of the treble on the Wasatch speakers. I think they applied too much correction or something, but the mids and bass sounded great.
Quote:



How do the Maestro's use DEQX in a four way? (Where is the passive located, or is there a non DEQX in the chain somewhere?)

I think they are operating it as a 3-way with the bass/midbass running parallel. That's a guess, but it's either that or they're adding another crossover for the bass only, either active or passive.
post #141 of 481
Ringing is not a matter of DRIVER John it is a function of the CROSSOVER.. VERY steep Croosover slopes DO produce ringing... It is measurable... IT WAS MEASURED.. I know you will come with some twist of language to show that it is not.. Steep crossovers are NOT a panacea they create too many problems of their own... If it were so easy to "just choose" the best slope PERIOD then everybody given a DEQX would produce infinitely great speakers.. Wait! Sorry I think that is your point... Sorry...

I will just leave you with the opportunity to derail and/or destroy your own thread by a quasi compulsive tendency to inject ANY discussion with a mention of the absolute superiority of he Xd over anything else...
post #142 of 481
And that is what is so maddening about hyperbolic statements.. At the current price of the Xd ($3000) they are the proverbial steal... You get a pair of speakers, amp and a sub.. Very good simple system.. I might just grab a pair of X-2 for a FL apartment..

Good they are! Perfect they aren't.. Wilson X-2 Territory? Not on this planet!
post #143 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post

Ringing is not a matter of DRIVER John it is a function of the CROSSOVER.. VERY steep Croosover slopes DO produce ringing... It is measurable... IT WAS MEASURED.. I know you will come with some twist of language to show that it is not.. Steep crossovers are NOT a panacea they create too many problems of their own... If it were so easy to "just choose" the best slope PERIOD then everybody given a DEQX would produce infinitely great speakers.. Wait! Sorry I think that is your point... Sorry...

Frantz, where are you getting this? And please behave more like the Frantz I know. Yes, there is ringing. Pretty much all crossovers ring. What I am saying is a) this largely cancels on horizontal axis (as John Atkinson says) and b) by allowing a little more ringing in the system, you are able to improve 4 or 5 other parameters simultaneously, parameters that are extremely difficult to improve without the steep crossovers.
Quote:



I will just leave you with the opportunity to derail and/or destroy your own thread by a quasi compulsive tendency to inject ANY discussion with a mention of the absolute superiority of he Xd over anything else...

Again, I didn't say that Xd has ''absolute superiority over anything else". I said that it does many things better than virtually any passive speaker I have ever seen measured. This is factual, not hyperbole. That does not make it 'better' subjectively or objectively as it doesn't do *everything* better. However, it points out the flaws in current passive speaker design very nicely. I expect these kinds of asymmetrical arguments from others, but not you.
post #144 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post

Good they are! Perfect they aren't.. Wilson X-2 Territory? Not on this planet!

Again, I never said they were perfect. Nor have I ever said that anybody would absolutely prefer them over X2s, though i imagine somebody might, including probably me. But they will absolutely do some things better than X2s. Vertical dispersion, for instance. Horizontal dispersion. Measured FR accuracy. X2s will likely play louder with lower motor distortion. That is not hyperbole, it is factual and predictable.

Even if the X2 sounds subjectively better to most people, does it, in fact, make sense to spend 20 times as much for a speaker that is measurable inferior in many ways? In this day and age, I think we would both say it does not. Not when we can see what $3300 in processing and amplification does for $2700 worth of speakers.
post #145 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

I NHT and others have found that the steeper crossovers fix more subjective and objective problems than they create.

John,

NHT may have concluded that - but that is NOT the conclusion of Keith Howard and
Leo Spiegel, the chief designer for the original Apogee speakers:

http://www.apogeespeakers.com/leo_spiegel_interview.htm

Leo Spiegel states that they tried steep crossovers when designing the Apogee Stage;
and found that the drivers in this two-way unit didn't integrate. He stated that when
steep crossovers were employed, one could hear the two drivers distinctly instead of
the desired effect of having a seemless whole.

Leo Spiegel used a lower order, more gradual crossover to "blend" the output of the
drivers over the crossover range.

Theoretically, one would expect a more seamless transition in such an approach. If
you suddenly switch from a large driver to a smaller driver - which is what a steep
crossover does - for nearly the same frequency; you shift from one size "antenna"
[driver] to another. You have a sudden shift in radiation pattern - the larger driver
has a narrower dispersion since it is closer to the beaming limit, where as the small
driver is more isotropic.

The only problem the steep crossover really solves is the designer's problem of doing
what Leo Spiegel does and blend the driver output in the crossover regime. The steep
crossover decouples the crossover problem and makes the DESIGNER's job easier
by not having to blend together the output of two drivers as does Spiegel.

However, the price of making the designer's life easier is paid by the end user in a
poorer quality listening experience.
post #146 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

Adoes it, in fact, make sense to spend 20 times as much for a speaker that is measurable inferior in many ways?

If the speakers which are "measurably inferior"in the few aspects of speakers that are actually measured sound better, yes. Measurements do not tell the entire story.
post #147 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius View Post

John,

NHT may have concluded that - but that is NOT the conclusion of Keith Howard and
Leo Spiegel, the chief designer for the original Apogee speakers:

http://www.apogeespeakers.com/leo_spiegel_interview.htm

Leo Spiegel states that they tried steep crossovers when designing the Apogee Stage;
and found that the drivers in this two-way unit didn't integrate. He stated that when
steep crossovers were employed, one could hear the two drivers distinctly instead of
the desired effect of having a seemless whole.

Leo Spiegel used a lower order, more gradual crossover to "blend" the output of the
drivers over the crossover range.

Theoretically, one would expect a more seamless transition in such an approach. If
you suddenly switch from a large driver to a smaller driver - which is what a steep
crossover does - for nearly the same frequency; you shift from one size "antenna"
[driver] to another. You have a sudden shift in radiation pattern - the larger driver
has a narrower dispersion since it is closer to the beaming limit, where as the small
driver is more isotropic.

The only problem the steep crossover really solves is the designer's problem of doing
what Leo Spiegel does and blend the driver output in the crossover regime. The steep
crossover decouples the crossover problem and makes the DESIGNER's job easier
by not having to blend together the output of two drivers as does Spiegel.

However, the price of making the designer's life easier is paid by the end user in a
poorer quality listening experience.

Exactly. Because Apogee doesn't use pistonic drivers. They have distinct coloration that MUST be blended in order to prevent the drivers from being audible as distinct entities. But if you use drivers operating pistonically in the used range, then you can pass from one to another steeply without audible seams. Apogees and other ribbons sound nice in a euphonic way but are increasingly irrelevant. I have not liked the sound of ribbons in conjunction with DEQX ever time I have heard it. But pistonic drivers are an entirely different story.
post #148 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post

If the speakers which are "measurably inferior"in the few aspects of speakers that are actually measured sound better, yes. Measurements do not tell the entire story.

No, but it does allow you to immediately see what even $100K+ passive speakers do not do well.
post #149 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

No, but it does allow you to immediately see what even $100K+ passive speakers do not do well.

I don't think I would buy speakers blind based on measurements, and I don't think I would buy one speaker over another if it didn't sound as good even if it measured better. Perhaps you, like DougWinsor who also worships at the alter of measurements, would.
post #150 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

Some digital speakers -

Salk HT3 w/DEQX

Since you listed the DEQXed Salk HT3A, this might be a good point to also repost what their designer, Dennis Murphy, had to say about DEQX:

Again, I don't really disagree with you about the superior flexibility possible with DEQX-type machines. But I do know that if you start with high quality drivers that don't have weird peaks that can't be deat with using a simple trap circuit, it's possible to match the sound of the DEQX, or at least come close enough that most listeners could not pass a blind test. Actually, that's wrong--the DEQX can fix room bass peaks (and so can much cheaper devices). Aside from room effects, Jim and I strained to hear a difference between the HT3 and the HT3A. We finally decided that there was a bit more presence in the DEQX in the upper midbass. I switched the bass-mid cross to second order acoustic, and that fixed that (this was a long time ago). We could hear no advantage to whatever phase correction DEQX was implementing, and this has been my experience in other demonstrations. There is a theoretical advantage, but the real world advantage just hasn't been substantiated yet. Still--if the price were much lower, and I thought people would put up with the added complexity, I would recommend that Jim switch out of passive Dennis to Active DEQX.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post15520811
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+)
This thread is locked  
AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) › Digital Active Speaker Thread.....