Originally Posted by coytee
Can you explain the color coding? I've done a quick review of the thread and still don't see any commentary about what the colors mean.
If there is some meaning, I'd suggest a color code on the chart itself with your numbers so it will be there to reference.
If it's only to make the chart prettier, well.... it worked.
I'm glad you asked, because this is one of many issues with which I need help.In Flux
Like any project that is rushed out the door, the color coding has changed. It started as quick conditional formatting, and then as more data was added, I saw I was being inconsistent in colors, and I've tried to address that over the weekend. And I want feedback on the data presentation, so I expect more changes are in order.
Ha, and the question just prompted me to look at the ranges and see if Green = 105db, and I saw that the "100 Watts dB" column had 105 as yellow. This is due to how Google treats the number '105' with respect to 'less than 105db' and 'more than 105db.' It apparently was placing 105db in the yellow bin. I've updated the spreadsheet to use 104.99 as yellow. Make Visual Sense of Data
One purpose of the color coding is to convey more rapidly the relative differences between the numbers. It's more difficult to discern patterns in a sea of black text little numbers.
To this effect, some kind of gradient needed to be applied using conditional formatting.
If Google had some sort of auto-coloring: "pick range granularity, toggle low=good or low=bad, pick low color, mid color, high color," it could do its own "color-normalization" of the data. Alas, it doesn't so I'm left to pick the ranges.
I chose reds for "badder" and blue for "gooder,"
Oranges are "not as bad," yellows "almost good enough," greens "reached acceptable," light blues "more than good enough," and super blue "superlative."
While this is dividing the available specs, and calculated fields, up into ranges, there's still a judgement call being made by what's considered "acceptable." Many publications avoid this by not passing any judgement and just presenting the "sea of numbers." But I think part of the purpose of this list is educational.
I also did a manual normalization by noticing, for instance, a lot of one color green, and very few speakers using, say, yellow. So I adjusted the ranges for that column so that a more-equal number of speakers fell into each color range.Judgement
Another purpose was to provide some sort of editorial judgement call.
By default, I'm aiming for 105db from 12 feet. But the other sheet named "Calcs" in the document has the values that are used in the calculations: 105db, 12ft, etc. Changing these would change the "watts to reach 105db" calc and all the SPLs that are calculated from 12ft. For instance, if your listening position was 15 feet, you could change that value, and the SPLs would drop. Unfortunately, changing the 105db target wouldn't render the colors as meaningful, because the conditional formatting ranges are static and not formulaic (eg referencing a field of data).
I inwardly wince at each area that I'm passing judgement. But the pragmatic reality is that there are already subjective, loose definitions involves, such as "High SPL" and "High Dynamics." I thought it too narrow to say, "These speakers that will do 105db at some distance 'Pass' and these that don't 'Fail'. So the color gradient is a way to more gently make these distinctions.
While this is more related to the first point, that it more rapidly conveys info, I found it interesting that some speakers stuck out like sore thumbs. In a sea of blue, for instance, they'd have some spec that was orange.
In some cases, to my chagrin, it was a data-entry problem, either copying from the published spec, or my previous manual process of using an SPL calculator (this is now automatically calculated from distance/watts/sensitivity).
But in other cases, it serves to highlight speakers that are extraordinary in some fashion. For instance, the only way that a low-power-handling speaker can end up at the top of the list (eg if sorted by "Watts & Db") is if its sensitivity was amazing, like 103dB. Examples of this are the Klipschorn, Cornwall, and Fostex LS/2. You also have cases of low sensitivity and high power handling, such as the ElectroVoice ZX-1 and Energy RC-10. And there you see the purpose of the "watts to reach 105db" and "100 watts db": I wanted to easily highlight to people that a speaker might be capable of reaching 105db within its power-handling capabilities, but it's going to require a bigger amp than what's in the typical 100 watt receiver. More educated viewers should be able to make their own judgement that "Oh, it requires 300 watts per channel? I've heard this is a great speaker, and I happen to have three 300wpc amps."Questions
What do y'all think of the ranges, the coloring?
What do y'all think of comparing these speakers in terms of reaching 105db? For instance, we could instead pick 100db, but then you'd always have people coming in saying, "Hey, I thought reference level was 105?!"
What can be improved about the coloring?
I hesitated to colorize the price and scoring. The price, because as a number by itself, I don't know that it should be treated as bad or good. Although I do incorporate it to various extents in the scoring. And the scoring itself, well it's too in flux and subjective. Which is another topic.