Originally Posted by ggunnell
Hopefully AVS members will be attentive enough to notice that the off axis response curves on those graphs are at 45 and 60 degrees off axis -- and to read the article through to it's conclusion.
These articles, like everything in the audio press, don't have anything put purple prose in the text section. The measurements are the only thing of value in any audio rag.
Your comment that first reflections can interfere with intelligibility is correct, although in most residential rooms the path length differences are not that significant.
Then we're in agreement that the critical listener will perceive a wildly awful frequency response from these things due to early reflections?
Your implication that because significantly off axis frequency response is not as smooth with horizontal arrays, that the first reflections of this uneven response will ruin the listening experience, is easily disproved by countless owner experiences and many professional reviews.
Not "not as smooth as the on-axis response," mind. Wildly different.
And the assumptions that the response everywhere except for dead center are more like the immediate on-axis response than any angular variation of it are, frankly, stupid.
And the only thing your last sentence proves is that many reviewers are tin-ears and countless owners haven't bothered to seek out better solutions.
Not that I disagree with your theory -- a point source is the best solution. Your physiology seems to be especially sensitive to 'time smearing' -- I happen to be especially sensitive to intermodulation distortion. Why don't you redesign the Altec 604G using modern materials and techniques?
IM distortion in coaxes is a bit of a red herring. It is trivially addressed to the point of irrelevance by using larger drivers (I employ a nearfield setup with 12" dual concentrics, for instance) that have to move less, and by steep highpass crossovers to limit excursion.
But I'm not advocating coaxes as the only way here, just one potential option that works reasonably well and has aesthetic benefits over some of the others at possible sonic costs. From a technical perspective, I'm not at all convinced that a coax is a better solution than an separate MT with a waveguide-loaded tweeter to even out the polar/power response in the midrange.
All I'm saying is that any speaker that has poor polar or "power" response is not worth of consideration. Toppled MTM centers are the absolute worst, but any speaker that puts the tweeter on a 180deg horn - i.e. a flat baffle - pays no attention to the directivity mismatch between the midwoofer at the top of its passband and the tweeter at the bottom of its passband is in my view unacceptable as well. In all honesty, attention to this kind of issue is what separates those who are capable of critical listening from those who may as well buy Bose.
And there already is a kind of modern take on the Altec 604G, the BMS 15M682.
Also, the driver used in the Avantgarde Solo may be thought of as such a thing.