Originally Posted by gtpsuper24
That doesn't give license to make a crappy speaker though. Its also assuming that a crappy speaker will sound nice and a well designed speaker will sound no different. Which is similar to Ian's/Axiom design ideas, combfiltering was prefered in a DBT performed by us there for combfiltering should be used to create a plesant sounding speaker. And is actually perferred.
Well, that seems to be a bit too oversimplified, at least the first sentence. Now, I too am a bit troubled by that specific blind test but that's mostly because the full details have not been forthcoming AFAIK. If it's only done with one person, then it wouldn't be unreasonable to make the case that all that person was able to accomplish was to reliably identify a particular speaker. As to whether their particular arrangement of tweeters actually results in audible cancellations as one moves horizontally, I have no idea. Comb filtering can do that but it can also have the effect of a 'smearing' of the sound, which as Toole has noted that when it comes to wall reflections gives an enhanced perception of spaciousness. As to which it is, well that's for people who've actually heard the speaker to decide.
10 Axiom employees participated in a Axiom DBT and found that they couldn't tell the difference between an M80 with cheap caps vs expensive caps, there for there no difference, between cheap low end crossover components and high quality xover components. Even though it was extremely limited and use a flawed design they jump at the first thing.
IMO that is a bit of an oversimplification. There are cheap capacitors whose values tend to fall at the bottom of their tolerances and are unreliable for long term use and then there are inexpensive capacitors that don't exhibit these issues.
Some time ago, Clarity introduced a rather expensive line of capacitors. They said that their testing showed there were audible differences between their premium line and others that were attributed to vibrations within the speaker. A paper was even published. I was curious about this and contacted one of the authors by email asking for a courtesy copy of the paper as well as his off the cuff remarks. What I found was that in their testing, they designed a capacitor that actually was susceptible to vibration. Now, what would have happened had they used a Solen or some other brands? Don't know but I've got a feeling. Even with their test, the author who wrote back to me stated that the differences that were heard were extremely subtle and were only manifested using specific program material with trained listeners. Well, that's enough for the marketing department!
WRT to inductors, folks love copper air core inductors. Some love copper foil inductors even more. Iron core inductors, not so much. Cited as disadvantages to the typically less expensive iron core inductors are higher DCR and that they can exhibit hysteresis. Well, a higher DCR is a problem only if the overall design actually calls or mandates something lower. As to hysteresis effects, this can be a moot point if the inductor never sees the kind of power that can cause this effect. On another website, the designer of the Philharmonic line wrote that he could make a less expensive speaker by not using copper air core inductors with no audible consequences but did not do so because the buying public would publicly rail against it and this would cost him sales.
Our Axiom stamped drivers vs our cast drivers sound no different there for cast drivers are a waste and good sounding speaker don't need high end drivers. Even though it was performed with lower quality drivers to begin with.
Both you and they are likely right there, IMO. A higher quality, more expensive driver may simply not be feasible with their pricing structure. Certainly there doesn't appear to be much problem in finding alternatives at the same price points.
Our listening panel could not tell the difference between an M80 with 2 braces and one with 5 braces. There for bracing isn't a big deal and more doesn't equal better.
I admit I just might be mistaken here but I seem to recall reading that Toole wrote there comes a point where more bracing doesn't result in audible improvements. So the question then becomes just how much or what type is enough to ensure structural integrity and result in largely inaudible coloration? Consider the following. Typically, Atkinson in Stereophile uses an accelerometer to measure cabinet vibrations. It's not unusual for him to comment that despite finding some which appear on the face to be sufficiently strong, he notes that the reviewer never made any mention of an audible anomaly. This would appear to be somewhat consistent with my recollection of Floyd's writings and Axiom's approach.
Thats their kind of reasoning, which I think leads to bad choices later on.
Maybe yes, maybe no.
I'm sure it seems to you, GT, that I'm siding with Axiom and ragging on you. I'm going to try and straddle both sides here.
If you buy an expensive car, you don't expect to see cheesy looking plastic, which even if fitted perfectly, still is cheesy because then it makes you wonder where else they cut corners. Same as if you go to one of Mario Battali's or Morimoto' restaurants. You don't expect to be served on melamine dinnerware with light, cheap silverware. Now, if I were blind this might not matter so much and even then if I were told about it, it would diminish my enjoyment.
The same I think holds true for speakers. There comes a point, and maybe it's a price point, where even if things don't actually matter, that you've got to do them because maybe your competition is doing them and it's costing you sales. I think there's a reasonable expectation by consumers to expect certain amenities at various price points. This might be brand name capacitors and resistors which have audiophile cred. Or more sophisticated bracing. Or thicker MDF. Or having the inside holes in the cabinet rounded over. Or a lot of things. I'm not privy to Axiom's books and what their goals are for gross and net profit margins. I'm trust they have accountants and people who project sales and what not advising upper management what cost to build amounts have to be in order to be financially healthy. While everyone can rail against the bean counters it helps to keep in mind that if one were to chronically dismiss their advice, they might well find themselves eating rice and beans.