Originally Posted by chucks0
Thought I would add to my previous thoughts on this subject and my current understanding of REW interpretation.
Frequency Response - This one is pretty easy to understand and is a simple measurement of the SPL at a given frequency. This is probably the graph people focus on the most although almost all of us have more SPL than we really need.
Distortion - This one is pretty easy to understand as well and shows how accurately the subwoofer reproduces what is being asked of it. I have always thought this was a really important measurement to determine how clean a subwoofer would sound, but nearly all of the high quality subs have similar distortion numbers.
Waterfall, Spectogram, etc - I am starting to understand that these paint the real picture of how clean a subwoofer will sound. REW is usually used to measure how things sound in a room and these graphs are usually used to determine what room treatments are needed. However, when measuring just a subwoofer, it also shows how long it takes for the subwoofer to stop producing sound after the input signal stops. Smearing of the bass or a lack of tightness doesn't come from what is happening while the subwoofer is receiving an input signal from the amplifier. Instead, it is the result of how quickly the subwoofer stops once the input signal is removed. Rhythmik uses Servo to use the amplifier to stop the woofer when needed while pro audio drivers like the iPal are better at stopping on their own. Big heavy objects in motion typically like to keep moving.
Of course, I could be way off base and should just sit back and enjoy the iPals.
In the context of audio, in general, what you are saying makes perfect sense to me. "Clarity" in sound is characterized by precision--separating each sound as distinctly as possible from the sounds which precede it and follow it. That is especially easy to perceive with human speech. Clear diction involves careful enunciation of each syllable.
With respect to treble sounds in music, some people value that clarity more, and some people like a warmer, sweeter tone. I think that is why different kinds of tweeters, capable of playing the same frequencies with the same amounts of distortion, may appeal to one person's preference more than another. Some types of tweeters seem to separate sounds more distinctly than others do.
It makes sense that the same basic principles could apply to bass sounds as well, particularly as they get up into frequencies above about 40 or 50Hz where our hearing is better at picking up nuances in sound. So, I think your explanation may be right on the mark. Subwoofer drivers which don't
start and stop quite as quickly and precisely, and which have longer corresponding decay rates, could have a somewhat thicker heavier sound compared to those that do.
Whether everyone would notice the difference as much as some other people would, or prefer the difference as much, are slightly different questions. But, the Neo's and iPal's seem especially well suited for those who value clarity and precision. All kidding aside, if you like the sound of your TV36 iPal as much as you seem to, and can afford to do so, it really would make sense to buy another one now at the pre-order price. I can only imagine the price going up in the future.