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is "Voicing" a speaker basically the frequency response of the speaker?

post #1 of 131
Thread Starter 
I ask because i was told that there is no way to "color" a speakers sound
and that characteristics such as "lush" or "silky" is not a trait of the driver or the speaker, that all there is accurate.
post #2 of 131
There are plenty of ways to color a speaker. The simplest is with EQ.

There are no completely flat at all SPL in 360degree x 360degree speakers. They don't exist.
Speaker design is about choosing compromises.
post #3 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

I ask because i was told that there is no way to "color" a speakers sound
and that characteristics such as "lush" or "silky" is not a trait of the driver or the speaker, that all there is accurate.
All speakers add coloration to some extent, some more than others, some a lot more. Voicing is far more than just frequency response, though that would be the primary component.
post #4 of 131
Thread Starter 
i was told by Dennis Murphy that distortion is the only way to color a speaker and that just makes it a worse speaker. basically saying that two speakers even with different material drivers, if measured the same would sound the same
post #5 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

i was told by Dennis Murphy that distortion is the only way to color a speaker and that just makes it a worse speaker. basically saying that two speakers even with different material drivers, if measured the same would sound the same
I suspect there's a good deal of equivocation happening here.

The factual claim is true: two drivers which in all ways measured the same would sound the same. Your ear is, in the end, just a measurement tool.

If "distortion" = "inaccurate" (as in "distorted from original"), then yes: all coloration is a form of distortion. The two words are synonyms.
post #6 of 131
I believe when it comes to sources, pre-amps, amps, and etc, the goal to be as accurate as possible is a good one.

The same is true with speakers, but a big caveat is that there is no such thing as speakers that are so accurate that you cannot tell them apart in a blind test. Fact is, no two speakers sound exactly the same. They will all have variations in their performance that is greater than the threshold of human ability to detect. The present conclusion is therefore that the current state of the art in speakers means the listener has to accept an imperfect audio reproduction device.

From that conclusion two different thought processes emerge. First the purists feel that even if you can't be perfect, you should still strive to be perfect. The argument here is that a more accurate speaker is ultimately a superior speaker. But as you get to a certain level of performance, the degree of accuracy between different speakers become asymptotic - they get close to but never achieve perfect audible accuracy. Furthermore, even if different speakers have similar accuracy, they would be inaccurate for different reasons, rendering them to sound different. So even purists will have to confront the second through process, which is to embrace the fact that there will be differences, and simply to choose which ever inaccurate speaker that best suits one's tastes. Take this a step further, and you have speakers like Wilson Art that gives up entirely on trying to be accurate and simply goes after a certain sound signature.

So my conclusion is that yes speakers can be voiced. There are good reasons for them to be voiced, if not simply because there really is no other alternative.
post #7 of 131
The term "voicing" is often used to describe what a designer does with the elements of a speaker system, most often with the crossover network, to get it to sound "right". After the drivers have been selected and the cabinet designed and built, the speaker designer needs to get everything working in a pleasant or accurate fashion and the tweaking is done with the crossover network which is at the heart of the speaker system's characteristic sound. Terms like "lush" or "silky" are nonsensical terms used by magazine reviewers to attempt to describe their personal perception of the sound of the speakers. Unfortunately, they may be terrible descriptions when you move the speakers from the reviewers listening room to your own.

I used to recommend listening to speakers in dealers showrooms. I don't think that is very useful any longer. You really need to hear them in your own room. So find a dealer that will let you do that or order from one of the online companies that do that. Ignore the review terminology and hook the speakers up at home and listen.
post #8 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

i was told by Dennis Murphy that distortion is the only way to color a speaker and that just makes it a worse speaker. basically saying that two speakers even with different material drivers, if measured the same would sound the same
High THD is one way by which a speaker can add coloration, but by no means is it the only one. Nor is high THD or even coloration necessarily a bad thing, many's the audiophile that will spend thousands on a tube amp to get the coloration they can give. Two speakers that measure the same will sound the same, providing all measurements are the same. That includes not only SPL but THD, maximum SPL, waterfall, group delay, polar response and more.
post #9 of 131
Thread Starter 
So if lush or silky isn't a coloration then what is? This understanding that i'm going for was initially conceived because i heard some b&w cm9's that with female vocals and stringed orchestral instruments sounded very very smooth to me. now i don't know what it was about this speaker and i give up trying to guess or describe but i have yet to hear it from any other speaker but when i did try to describe it and ask this is what i got from Dennis murphy

"Having designed the Salks, and a lot of other speakers, I never know what to make of descriptions like yours. The midrange or highs shouldn't be sweet, or romantic, or lush, or even emotionally involving--they should just be accurate. That's what loudspeakers are all about. It sounds like you're asking for some kind of deliberate coloration that would be very difficult to target from a design standpoint."

So what is it about the voicing of this speaker that made me like it.
post #10 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

I ask because i was told that there is no way to "color" a speakers sound

That's so wrong it must be a misunderstanding. All speakers are colored, many quite intentionally.
Quote:
and that characteristics such as "lush" or "silky" is not a trait of the driver or the speaker, that all there is accurate.

I would agree that "lush" or "silky" are not desirable traits of speakers, that the ideal is accurate.[/quote]

Note that accurate is not necessary synonymous with flat frequency response.
post #11 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post


So what is it about the voicing of this speaker that made me like it.

It may not be just the voicing. Our relationships with speakers can be more complex - sometimes people like a certain sound because they have been educated to believe that is the sound they should like.
post #12 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

So if lush or silky isn't a coloration then what is?
This may help a lot http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2011/04/version-204-of-harman-how-to-listen-now.html
post #13 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

So if lush or silky isn't a coloration then what is?
'Lush' and 'silky' aren't technical terms that have any definition with respect to loudspeaker design, so no one can say what it is you like about those speakers. All one can say for sure is that if you like them, buy them.
post #14 of 131
Thread Starter 
so what is coloring of a speaker then? how do you describe it
post #15 of 131
Thread Starter 
@Jerrylove i have tried using that app every day and plan to for quite some time until i can subconsciously hear the differences in frequency responses.
post #16 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

so what is coloring of a speaker then? how do you describe it
Any deviation from ruler flat response, any audible THD and IMD, less than perfect transient response, and less than perfect dispersion. That pretty much covers every speaker made.
post #17 of 131
Thread Starter 
so if companies "purposely color" speakers then this distortion is appealing to listeners? So where does that render a more accurate speaker? less appealing?
post #18 of 131
No universal answer. It is a matter of preference.
post #19 of 131
Thread Starter 
i'm sorry for so many questions but fishing seams to be the only way to get answers. i figure it's obvious what i'm trying to acheive
post #20 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

so if companies "purposely color" speakers then this distortion is appealing to listeners? So where does that render a more accurate speaker? less appealing?
Some people don't like reality.

Happens in video all the time. Move to high frame-rate, high resolution, and accurate color reproduction and people sometimes just stop liking it. Lucas did a lot of work with the more recent StarWars trilogy to downgrade the video realism as he was having a problem that wigs looked like wigs and props looked like props.
post #21 of 131
Thread Starter 
24p is where it's at
post #22 of 131
A follow-up question would be "Which speakers are 'voiced' or 'colored'?" biggrin.gif

My definition of "voiced" or "colored" is anything that is not flat/accurate, which means a FR deviation greater than +/-3dB. wink.gif
post #23 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

A follow-up question would be "Which speakers are 'voiced' or 'colored'?" biggrin.gif

My definition of "voiced" or "colored" is anything that is not flat/accurate, which means a FR deviation greater than +/-3dB. wink.gif
On which axis?
post #24 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

i'm sorry for so many questions but fishing seams to be the only way to get answers. i figure it's obvious what i'm trying to acheive
No, not at all.

It's not clear if you're trolling, since you're not really paying attention to the answers or trying to understand them.

It's not clear if you're trying to show how much rubbish people here can post, you've done a pretty good job of that but that's probably inadvertent.

OF COURSE speakers are and can be colored. The idea that "they should just be accurate" is like saying ice cream should only come in vanilla. Some people like, say, caramel.

The simplest examples of preferences are tube amps and vinyl, they are not accurate but many find them euphonious. Presumably no one would say that no one should listen to tube amps, or vinyl, because they're not accurate. (Telling them to knock off the spew about them being better isn't the same as telling them they can't listen to them.)

It's not about THD. It's not about on/off axis response. Although those are audible, that's not what this is about. There are other audible differences among speakers too.

I'd suggest the simplest way to think about it is, as mentioned, frequency response vs. a flat response.
post #25 of 131
Thread Starter 
frequency deviation of +/- 3db i understand. but that's just frequency response. As been told on here, distortion is also considered coloring. Is there a vocabulary explaining the effects to the ear of this distortion?


[URL=http://www.headphone.com/learning-center/build-a-graph.php?graphID[0]=123&graphID[1]=&graphID[2]=&graphID[3]=&scale=30&graphType=4&buttonSelection=Update+Graph]http://www.headphone.com/learning-center/build-a-graph.php?graphID[0]=123&graphID[1]=&graphID[2]=&graphID[3]=&scale=30&graphType=4&buttonSelection=Update+Graph[/URL]

if you check out the audio-technica ath-w5000 the frequency response is confused.gif wild, the distortion is:eek: and the square wave response is horribly inaccurate. but if you check out what people have to say about this headphone they absolutely rave about how musical it is.
Even the beloved hd800 has a rather loose nature to it compared to some of the ortho's but people love it.

and yes, accudeftechguy, it is obvious what i'm trying to achieve and yes "A follow-up question would be "Which speakers are 'voiced' or 'colored'?" biggrin.gif"
post #26 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post



OF COURSE speakers are and can be colored. The idea that "they should just be accurate" is like saying ice cream should only come in vanilla. Some people like, say, caramel.

The simplest examples of preferences are tube amps and vinyl, they are not accurate but many find them euphonious. Presumably no one would say that no one should listen to tube amps, or vinyl, because they're not accurate. (Telling them to knock off the spew about them being better isn't the same as telling them they can't listen to them.)



I'd suggest the simplest way to think about it is, as mentioned, frequency response vs. a flat response.
Yes i am listening and no i am not trolling.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1496745/throw-out-some-names-of-speakers-under-4k-that-in-particular-are-known-to-have-sweet-mids-and-highs-or-are-tonally-emotional
read the first page.
"Having designed the Salks, and a lot of other speakers, I never know what to make of descriptions like yours. The midrange or highs shouldn't be sweet, or romantic, or lush, or even emotionally involving--they should just be accurate. That's what loudspeakers are all about. It sounds like you're asking for some kind of deliberate coloration that would be very difficult to target from a design standpoint."
Straight from Dennis Murphy's mouth
So did not object to that advice but still had a question as to what voicing meant but i figured i knew, i just wanted to make sure.
Then i got this from Bill
"All speakers add coloration to some extent, some more than others, some a lot more. Voicing is far more than just frequency response, though that would be the primary component.

So now, i am trying to figure out how all this adds up and if there is coloration, how to identify it when listening to a speaker and what vocabulary should i use to describe it.
post #27 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

On which axis?

Yeah, good point.

But to me personally, it's not so much whether the speaker is voiced or colored; It's whether it sounds crystal clear (instead of muddy) and whether the bass sounds full & great (instead of weak & thin).

Some people consider B&W speakers "voiced" & "colored", but I think my B&W speakers sound crystal clear and great as long as I have my subs playing along.
post #28 of 131
Thread Starter 
sweet, i mean that's an accurate response ADTG and i appreciate it.

do you think you could balance an 802D2 on top of another one to make one super large 1604D2 speaker and then do the same on the other side so i could make a larger in height image?

JK figured it was time to actually troll
post #29 of 131
Thread Starter 
post #30 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Some people consider B&W speakers "voiced" & "colored", but I think my B&W speakers sound crystal clear and great as long as I have my subs playing along.
My experience has been with the 801's. Most of the good critical work with the 801S2, which was an amazingly neutral speaker.

My favorites now are , of course, the Salks.
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