Originally Posted by Nuance
Sorry guys, but I have to agree with John here (again? Wow, what is the world coming to?).
Those were *professional* speaker measurements taken by *professional* magazine reviewers (if you want to call them that). They were measured in an anechoic chamber.
The Magnepan measurements are just *horrid!* THe NHT's are ruler flat and accurate. Measurements are not the only thing that make a good sounding speaker, but they tell a *lot* and can help weed out the crap. Judging by the Maggie's FR measurements, I wouldn't ever consider buying them.
Now, I am not saying they don't sound nice to *some* people. I am sure Magnepan has the technology and skill to create a ruler flat crossover/FR, but they obviously deviated from this for a reason. They *wanted* their speaker to sound the way it does. It is a very inaccurate speaker, but perhaps this colored sound is what some people will prefer. In fact, we know their speakers sell, so they are doing something right. But what they aren't doing right is creating an accurate speaker. In fact, those Maggies are *far* from accurate. And when it all comes down to it in the end, most audiophiles seems to want an accurate speaker.
As far as Magazines go, are you guys really that clueless? Have you ever read a *bad* review from Stereophile, Home Theater Magazine, Soundstage, or UltimateAV? If you say yes then you are a liar. Instead of tell the truth and nothing but the truth, the reviewer will cover up the speakers' faults with compliments. For instance they will say something like "although the midbass was lacking the lush midrange put me into a nirvanic trance." Most of the time the person reading that review will instantly forget that the midbass STINKS! Magazine editors will not let their reviewers trash a speaker. WHy you ask? Because these speaker manufacturers are paying thousands of dollars every year to these magazines for advertisements. If a reviewer trashes B&W for example, do you really think B&W will want to continue to *pay* that magazine to advertise for them? If you answered yes then you are beyond help :D So in the end the reviewers are forced to dance around the faults of some speakers (the Magnepans in this case which have horrendous frequency response) rather than giving us the truth, the whole truth and *nothing* but the truth. Now don't get me wrong, their are *some* good reviewers out there. If the reviewer happens to be a good honest person (like our friend Kal) and they don't like the sound of a particular speaker, they will chose *not* to review that speaker at all since they can't find anything good to say about it. Thank you Kal for doing this for us.
If you didn't know this already and think I am full of crap, take this opportunity to read some reviews. Put me to the test and see if I am wrong (I'm not). Read what the reviwer says about the speaker and then look at the frequency response, step response and oscillation graphs. If the speaker has crappy phase response, a horrible FR, and the drivers ring well past the stopping point of the signal, that is an *innaccurate* speaker no matter how good the reviewer makes you believe it sounds (only your ears can tell if it sounds good, but FR measurements do tell a lot). Hopefully you will understand why so many trashy speaker manufacturers still exist today. All you need to do nowadays is create a crappy speaker, charge an arm and a leg for it (which will immediately get it some attention), pay a magazine to advertise it, and hope one of these magazine reviewers get his or her hands on them for a review. It's a win win situation for these companies and for the magazines but a lose lose situation for us consumers. This is why it is EXTREMELY important for you all to find out what sound you like. If it is an innaccurate sound, then it's okay because it makes you happy. However, if you want accurate sound, be weary of what magazines reviewers you listen to.
Okay, I am done with my rant now. In closing, there are some good manufacturers out there that make quality products and don't overcharge for them. I hope you can all find those manufacturers and I hope they bring you as much joy as they do me.
Nuance you fail to understand how difficult it is to measure panel speakers. Panels by their nature are designed to measure flat at the listening position, that is 8 feet or more away from the speaker and Stereophile simply cannot do that. Logans measure just as badly when measured in th nearfield. Oh yes and Stereophile DOES NOT measure in an anechoic chamber. Please get your "facts" straight.
For a bad review see the Ceramique review featured prominently on the front page of the website right now.
The 3.6 remains the most praised speaker since the LS3/5A.
This is from the measurements section of the Maggie and EVERY large panel speaker has the same type of disclaimer. Please try to get even a basic understanding of things before spreading misinformation. Your rant has no basis in fact.
the microphone was at a 50" distance, which results in a significant proximity effect with such a physically large speaker. This accounts for much of the downward response tilt evidenced between 200Hz and 2kHz in this graph. The level mismatch between the midrange diaphragm and the ribbon tweeter is still evident, but I wonder how this will manifest itself at a normal listening distance. (Circumstances dictate that I use a 50" microphone distance for my acoustic measurements.) The logistics of the magazine's relocation to New York meant that I could not perform in-room measurements in BD's listening environmentAs I have written before in these pages, measuring physically large speakers with in-room quasi-anechoic techniques is in some ways a fruitless task. The usual assumption, that the measuring microphone is very much farther away than the largest dimension of the speaker being measured, is clearly wrong. Yet without access to a large anechoic chamber costing many hundreds of thousands of dollars, in-room measurement techniques are all we have to rely on.
I hope you know who Mr. Linkwitz is:
Siegfied Linkwitz comments
Editor: The review of the Magneplanar MG3.6/R in the August Stereophile caught my attention. I am a proponent of open-baffle speakers because of their room acoustic advantages and the absence of sound coloring boxes. So I looked with great interest at figs.2 & 3 on page 89 showing individual driver frequency responses and their summation.
The nearfield measurements of woofer and midrange in fig.2, presumably taken only an inch or so from the driver surface, are a valid set of data. You also could have measured the tweeter at such close range and obtained useful information. Where things fall apart is in fig.3 when you form the complex sum of nearfield measurements and the 50" tweeter "farfield" measurement. This curve does not represent the frequency response a listener might experience at any distance and is therefore extremely misleading.
The nearfield frequency response of an acoustic source is only proportional to its farfield response if the source is small, ie, omnidirectional, and if it is in free-space. Summing a driver diameter corrected woofer nearfield response to a farfield midrange response works for a small monitor on a stand, but already has errors when the speaker is larger and the woofer is close to the floorâ€”when the conditions move away from free-space or anechoic.
The Magneplanar is clearly not a point source and, being open-baffle, it has an acoustic short circuit between front and back. This causes a 6 dB/octave low-frequency roll-off in the farfield response. So from all open baffle nearfield measurements you have to subtract first a 6dB/octave (= 20dB/decade) slope before you can sum the data with other farfield measurements. When you apply this correction to the MG3.6 woofer response you see that it flattens from 400Hz to 60Hz and shows a peak at 47Hz. Similarly the midrange has to be corrected before you can use it for the composite response. The actual room response is still different from this composite, though, primarily due to the effect of the floor on woofer radiation.
You might consider to add a measurement taken with a 50ms time window at your listening position, spatially averaged and half-octave smoothed to include the room. I think as a measurement that allows true comparison between speakers, this would be more useful than the composite data that are correct only in a few special cases.
I hope this letter helps your readers to understand the difficulties in describing a loudspeaker by measurements.
No bad reviews? You sure seem set on this train of thought.http://www.stereophile.com/floorloud...rs/kharma1000/
My first clue was that, as I put the CE-2.0s through their paces, some subtle aspect of visceral enjoyment eluded me. In the best of times, the music or the sound has the power to stop me in my tracks as I go about my other activities. The Kharmas never snared me as I passed through the music room. Moreover, when I auditioned familiar discs, I rarely got that jolt of presence when I didn't expect it, or even when I did. I know that I've written that I prefer neutrality to euphonics, but the Kharmas were just uninvolving. Whether this is due to the inherent performance of the driver, its interactions with the enclosure, or its phase/amplitude behavior with the crossover, I can't say. (But I betcha John Atkinson can!)
Male announcers on WQXR-FM sounded more baritonal than ever. In mono, they were bottled up in the CE-2.0 box with their voices escaping just from the midrange diaphragm. Male singers were just as near as ever, but lacked immediacy and impact.
If you can imagine it, Hans Theesink's voice on "Call Me" (from Burmester Sampler CD II) was big, but more bluff than buff. Female voices suffered, too. For an analytic example, use any of Rickie Lee Jones' recordings and dissect her voice into three components: the pitched tones, the nasal twang, and the breathy overtones. Only with the proper balance of all three does Jones sound like Jones. Unfortunately, the CE-2.0's low-mid bump sapped the breathy overtones and emphasized the nasal twang. Result: Jones sounded just like Jones, but with a head cold.
The consistent mid-low bias, coupled with the de-emphasis of breath and mouth sounds, made most male and female voices rounder and richer than normal, but less explicit. Even such a gorgeous recording as Lorna Hunt's All in One Day (Classic DAD 1015) was rendered unexciting and a bit plummy over the Kharmas. I once had the pleasure of hearing Hunt sing many of these songs as I sat about as far from her as I do from the speakers in my room, and I know that this 24/96 disc captures her voice and presence with accuracy. With the Kharmas, she was somewhere else; consequently, so was I.
When I pushed the CE-2.0s in order to assess their dynamic capacity, the lower-midrange bias very quickly became obtrusive. Sure, they played and pounded real loud with no sign of stress or distortion, but it was too easy to play them louder than I cared to hear them.
All of these problems seemed to result from a tonal bias at the expense of presence. I have no reason to believe that these samples were not representative, and the removal of the fabric grilles had no significant audible influence. I've recently added a pair of double-sided panels in the corners behind the speakers, and another pair of single-sided ones on the walls to catch the first side reflections. Repositioning or even removing these failed to change the Kharma's midrange.
The Kharma CE-2.0 is a wide-range, low-distortion speaker of high quality. A pair of them driven by good electronics will make many listeners very happy. Aside from that midrange bump, the CE-2.0's performance and panache are everything one demands from a speaker in its exalted price range. Others of us would not accept the midrange aberration even in a $500 speaker, although application of equalization confirms the Kharma's superb potential. Like noble Achilles, the CE-2.0 has every strength but one fatal flaw.http://ultimateavmag.com/surroundsou...ors/1205arcam/http://www.stereophile.com/loudspeak...nt/index1.htmlhttp://www.stereophile.com/loudspeak...on/index1.htmlhttp://www.stereophile.com/loudspeak...5ml/index.html
blame this on the cabinet and port. "Way Down Deep," from Jennifer Warnes' The Hunter (CD, Private Music 01005-82089-2), did indeed go way down deep at moderate levels, with substantial air movement at the rear port and only moderate vibration from all surfaces of the main enclosure. If I turned up the volume to the point where it impressed my friends, the port volume increased a bit but the cabinet vibrations rose in alarming proportion, accompanied by a loss of that delightful bass definition. I didn't remove either mid/bass driver to see how the cabinet was made, but it doesn't matter. Whether a matter of materials or of assembly, no speaker enclosure should vibrate like this unless the design brief is to have the whole thing act as a sound source.
Like Kal, I found that the Montage reached its dynamic limits sooner than I was anticipating. During the review period I was working on a new recording of Cantus, Comfort and Joy, Volume Two, the second part of the choir's Christmas music project, due for release in the fall. On one track, the African "Betelehemu," the singers are accompanied by a battery of percussion, including two djembes of different size. The djembe is a relatively small drum held between the player's knees; it is basically designed to be a bass "cannon," producing an enormous wash of low frequencies when struck. Asked to reproduce these drums, the Montage lost definition, blunting the attack and reducing the differentiation of the drums' pitches.
Was it the cabinet resonances that were muddying the sound? When I auditioned the half-note-spaced toneburst track on Editor's Choice (CD, Stereophile STPH016-2), while I could hear the coloring effect of the resonances mentioned above, they were definitely in the lower midrange rather than the upper bassâ€”too high in frequency to explain what Kal and I heard. A mystery.
There are many examples of extremely bad reviews. The Audio Research LS8 springs to mind and as you seem to be so up on things I am sure you've read Collom's blistering attack right?