DIYSG Titan 615LX vs Boston Acoustics VR3 - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 260 Old 04-24-2019, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Before purchasing the Titans, i had participated in several and even started at least one thread about which DIYSG offering had the best sound quality. Owners would generally say all offerings sounded the best/similar, it just depends on what size, extension, and output you need, which is a false, terrible answer. Nobody wanted to commit to any consensus on which design was the king of the sound quality hill.

I specifically asked about the Maximus and i believe the feedback was that it only used a 10 inch waveguide and the bulk of the cost was the 12 inch woofer that can dig really low, as it is meant to be a standalone stereo speaker, which i dont need. Other offerings use a 12 inch waveguide, which allows for a lower crossover of the compression driver, which was supposed to improve sound quality.

There was some discussion of the Titan being the best in those threads because of the dedicated mid with waveguide and the compression driver used, but generally owners and Erich would try to shy away from making those claims so as not to offend designers of the other offerings (1299s, etc).

It is via PM where i got the most responses, and it was unanimous that the Titans were the best sounding offering via comparisons at gtg, driver selection, mid waveguide, etc. That is why i choose the Titans.

I didnt do any listening last night because everybody at my office has been sickand i picked up some congestion, and that can cause your ears to not hear as clearly, so i didnt want any unfair impressions. Hopefully tonight i can test with the 33 ohm resistor unplugged.
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post #62 of 260 Old 04-24-2019, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Modified the crossovers and decided i was only going to listen to the Titans tonight, as i had years and years with the Bostons. Song after song, the Titans sounded really great, i was enjoying what i was hearing, a very good pair of speakers. About an hour in, my gf came into the theater and started listening with me. She doesnt ever just sit and listen to stereo music - she will definitely watch movies with me in the theater, but not so much into music. She asked if these were the new big speakers playing, said they sounded good. Then she said she wanted to compare the speakers, which made me very happy, as she never takes an interest in the gear, and now i could get a second opinion.

I turned on the Onkyo for the Bostons and muted both sets of speakers. Then i played some of the song clips i knew she would like and i referenced the Titans and speaker 1 and Bostons as speaker 2 - by muting one receiver and unmuting the other i now have the quick switching virtually instantaneous, especially when im free to stand up and do it and not be the one in the chair critically listening. She was silent for a bit after the first two switches and then said speaker 2 sounds clearer and speaker 1 sounds muffled in comparison or further away. She stuck to her guns after 2 songs. To make things more interesting, i bumped the Titans up by a full 1db for the 3rd song. From my spot, standing near the right wall of the room, i had a great direct mono comparison, and the Bostons were definitely clearer, more realistic sounding, less boxy. Her reaction was the same, its not that they are louder, they are clearer.

Then she asked which was which - shes heard me talk well about the Bostons but she slso knows i was hyped about the Titans for a few months and was building them. She asked how many other people on this forum have the Bostons and why doesnt everyone just buy the Bostons - i explained there are a million speaker brands lol.

So at this point, either the Onkyo is a lot clearer than the Marantz (i will swap receivers tomorrow), the crossover of the Titans are off (hopefully unlikely), or the Bostons are just a better sounding speaker.

I should be ready to try them with a movie on friday night, probably Infinity Wars to get ready for Endgame Saturday. If they dont wow me beyond the norm of what the Bostons do for movies, i guess ill put them up for sale. Id been eyeballing these things for over a year....kind of disappointing. If they do magic with movies, then ill put the VR3s as the wides and use them as mains when i want stereo music listening.
@mtg90 - any other tips or checks i should do to make sure these are at their best? I want to give them their best opportunity. All 3 drivers on each speaker are definitely working, and again, by themselves, they sound good.
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post #63 of 260 Old 04-25-2019, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
Then she said she wanted to compare the speakers, which made me very happy, as she never takes an interest in the gear, and now i could get a second opinion
Sounds like a keeper

Since the majority of the DIYSG lineup wasn't designed for stereo listening, I'm really interested to hear your impressions on movies. I've been debating which speakers to build for a couple months ... the 1099, HTM-12, Statement II, or Maximus. So hard to decide when there's nowhere for me to hear them and none of the commercial offerings are similar. Like you, mine will be the mains in a home theater, but priority #1 is music sound quality.

Did you consider the Statement II from Jim Holtz?
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post #64 of 260 Old 04-25-2019, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Respectfully, how does one design a competent speaker for movies that is not good for stereo, and vice versa? Make the movie speaker not as clear and realistic sounding as you can in exchange for greater efficiency? Sacrifice efficiency on the stereo speaker for greater clarity and realism? What yields the extra clarity and realism that cant be achieved with a high efficiency speaker - my VR3s are 93db efficient. I thought the goal of diysg speakers was to take the efficiency and dynamics typically associated with pro audio gear and integrate it with a hifi crossover and design to yield the best of both worlds.
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post #65 of 260 Old 04-25-2019, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Regarding the statements, this may sound extremely biased, but ive yet to hear a mtm design that has the imaging and soudstage size as a tm - vertical comb filtering usually diminishes these aspects.
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post #66 of 260 Old 04-25-2019, 12:19 PM
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i really enjoyed catching up here and seeing you did buy build and test the titans
i also get where all the discussion comes from, not exactly a perfect comparison but a good subjective test

i very much agree with an earlier suggestion to listen to one channel in mono.
calibrate both with audyssey to your one sitting position, should take 10 min or so to do both.
clearly not your preference but a good test nonetheless to see again if your original feelings remain.

run through a half dozen of your previous tests to recompare, if you still feel the same your tests will be more valid, if not, you need more comparisons.

i cannot escape the idea that how your room eqs each specific speaker is having a big effect, as could be the difference in vertical height of the tweeters(not sure how to easily fix that),

im very happy to see this thread, its another really good contribution on your part. the LLT threads remain a personal favorite
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post #67 of 260 Old 04-25-2019, 01:02 PM
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Just a random thought, but do you have a UMIK or any calibration type mic? Some sweeps of the speakers, as they are now, may help explain some issues you are hearing. I know not everything one hears is conveyed in a frequency response, but in my (limited) experience, 9 times out of 10 you'll see the differences between setups in a frequency response.

The only plots I saw posted in this thread so far were 'theoretical', and not 'as implemented' in your room, unless I missed something. Especially with how complicated modern day AVRs are, with the speakers on different branded AVRs, I would say you are comparing AVRs as much as you are comparing speakers.

Just some thoughts =)
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post #68 of 260 Old 04-25-2019, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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The AVRs are both in Pure Direct though, so they should be doing nothing more than applying a highpass at 40hz and amplifying the signal. Both sets of speakers are needing less than 30 watts too, so super easy load to drive. But in the interest of taking everything into consideration, tonight i will swap the receivers.

THEN, i will put one Titan and one VR3 on the Marantz as the L and R, and i will run Audyssey with the app. This will show me the before FR of each as well as allow me to EQ each. The rub here is that nobody really EQs above 1000hz because of the room anyway, and that seems to be where the differences are. The bass of the Titan and VR3 are both fine and indistinguishable. Its the upper end clarity that has differences, even after the crossover modification.

To be clear, the Titans are not faulty in any way - if 100 people listened to them in my room by themselves, they would say its a great sounding pair of speakers, much in the same way you might find a good looking woman beautiful standing on her own. But when you play the Bostons in quick succession, similar to putting Margot Robbie next to the good looking woman, they just arent as good anymore.

As im looking back at things, lets also keep in mind what initiated my testing - the fact that other owners simply havent done it. This is not a knock by any means, to each their own, but the other owners seem much more interested in max spl in their theaters than they seem to be in sound quality. The bulk of the discussion about Titans on this forum is how sensitive they are, how loud they can play, how much bass the woofer can put out with a 15db EQ boost, how much better it is with TWO woofers, how they can keep up with subwoofer systems EQ’d 25+db hot to reference, etc. Even the official AVS speaker reviewer doesnt appear to place the largest emphasis on sound quality, just look at the review on the Behringer monitors from a while back. Again, to each their own.

My aim, which is hopefully useful to some, is to have a great sounding speaker that can excel in music and movies, is neutral, can handle at least -12 from reference, and can keep up with my six 18 inch LLTs that are only running a few dbs hot with a slight house curve. I dont want anything exaggerrated, i just want clear, clean, powerful, and accurate. Impressive as the Titans are from an engineering and appearance aspect, theres no way i was going to let them take over my LCR duties without proving they are better than what was already there, and based on all ive read, i honestly expected the Bostons to get trounced. It surprisingly just isnt the case though.

But again, ill try a few more things tonight with music and then tomorrow will be a movie.
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post #69 of 260 Old 04-25-2019, 04:48 PM
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I think you may need to remove your years of bias from the equation and listen to them blind. If you pick your Boston’s blind there is nothing else to do. I don’t eq my speakers unless the design needs dsp in the design. Basically active vs passive. I find that running mono is not much of a difference than running music is Dolby mode with the center a little hot, I found the same results. Did you ever post a pic of the Bostons? Any speaker is limited by their weakest link, at MV -12 nothing should be a problem. I would think the titans would at least sound larger than the Boston speakers.

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post #70 of 260 Old 04-25-2019, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, I posted The Bostons. No soundstage advantage is noticeable.
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post #71 of 260 Old 04-25-2019, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Switched layout to BABA and switched the Titans to the Onkyo and the Bostons to the Marantz. Ugh. Now the Bostons sound advantage is even better. Top end is just more detailed, cleaner, more open.

Then i put one Boston as the L and one Titan as the R on the Marantz, moved the other two speakers out of the way, pulled both speakers up away from the screen a bit and ran the Audyssey app to see what the raw responses looked like. With the exception of the dip from 6-7khz caused by whatever in the room, the Boston tweeter is exhibiting a more linear ~2.5db output across its bandwidth as compared to the Titans compression driver, plus the Titans have an earlier, more aggressive top end rolloff. Thats tends to match up exactly to what ive been hearing. Claims of the Titans being bright are unfounded, these are very warm speakers.

To be clear, the Boston is the L and Titan is the R.
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post #72 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 03:44 AM
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I want to thank all your efforts in doing this comparison, Steve, and do believe it provides a lot of information. If you don't mind, I'll give my Newbie interpretation of the data with a couple comments first:


I think your generalization of the DIYers may be a little harsh. My impression is most DIYers have been around the block a few times with different speaker types/brands and that's what often pushes them to DIY in the first place--getting the sound they want at a price that's reasonable. I don't think it's a case of being happy with inferior sound because they don't know any better. I think speaker comparisons probably happen as much or more with them than your average store speaker buyer. They also tend to learn a heck of a lot more about speaker design in the process.


I also don't think your contention that few EQ their systems full range is accurate. Yes, many do limit it to the lower frequencies and there are good arguments to do so, but there are good arguments the other way as well (especially for less than perfect speakers). In fact, I'd guess somewhere around 99.9% of Audyssey users do it full range since it was impossible to limit the correction until relatively recently. It's probably only a very small percentage of "super users" who know about and have perfected using the App at this point. The standard Reference curve would likely be cutting both of those speakers at the very top end, the VR3 significantly more. If listened to in that condition the results may be significantly different.


With that out of the way, my conclusion from your comparison is more of a "you like what you like" type of feeling. Your VR3's measurements from the first post are confirmed with your in-room measurements (which look to be off axis a fair bit) show quite a bump (or hump?) up top. That's the sound you like, that's the sound you're used to. So naturally, another speaker which does not do the same is a speaker you won't prefer. There's nothing wrong with that.



However, I'm guessing more than a few people would find them on the bright side, for some probably "too bright." If I put them in my room, I would likely end up EQing that hump out, giving an in-room response that looks more like the Titan (and more closely resembles expected in-room response of a good speaker in various texts). For anybody who did that, which would you expect them to prefer?


Just to give you an idea where I'm coming from, I'm strongly considering the Titans for my new room when I build my new house (won't fit in current one) so I'm just trying to learn all I can. My requirements will be quite a bit different though, as my room will be very large and the listening distance larger. Currently planning a semi-baffle wall/plate so rear-firing tweeters and such are of no value.


Anyway, thanks again for all the info you've provided in this thread. I just wanted to give another perspective on it.
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post #73 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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@John AA - I don’t think I attempted to generalize DIYers, they tend to have a higher knowledge base then those who are strictly commercial. I think you are referring to the comments I made about a lack of listening impressions from other titan owners and what appears to be a primary focus on max spl. As a potential future titan purchaser, if you are aware of any other detailed listening impressions you could point me to, I would be interested. I searched the forum the best I could before I bought these.

In regards to EQing the top end, how exactly would that work? If using Audyssey in the receiver, any EQ in the higher frequencies is only going to be relevant to keeping your head within a very tight range - moving in your seat a little bit this way or that way could throw it off, and it is only applicable to one specific seat in the room. If you manually EQ the top end, like say a 3db boost from 10-15khz, I believe that defeats Audyssey, I don’t believe you can have the auto EQ on plus manually dial in filters in most receivers. If using the Audyssey app, you can do the latter method, but most with the app set an upper room limit of a few hundred hertz. If you know of a different way this is being accomplished, please let me know, I would be interested.

I’m looking at the graph of the VR3 and I’m not seeing a hump or bump on the top and that you are referring to. With the exception of a dip at 6 to 7 kHz, the VR3 is essentially flat the entire top end with no rise or rolloff. That would be classified as a flat or neutral speaker. That Titan has an easily distinguishable rolloff of approximately 5db by 20khz, which is classified as warm. Bright would entail a top end that is higher in amplitude than the average of the rest of the frequencies, or a rising top end. In regards to being on axis, the first picture shows the mic placement relative to both speakers, and I tried to get it as directly on access with stereo speakers toed in as possible.

When people say the Titan sounds clearer or more detailed than the HTM 12 or the 1299, it makes me wonder what the true frequency response of those other speakers is. Are compression drivers by nature more challenged to stay linear in high frequencies, or is it the waveguide that creates challenges?

Speaker sound quality is like ice cream, everybody prefers a different flavor, with few people liking the exact same flavor. That said, you can’t really gauge your favorite flavor by looking at a graph, you have to taste it. To guess which speaker people would like based on those graphs is not a good practice, as my GF, who represents the absolute most casual listener possible, quickly reached the conclusion that the Titans sound muffled in comparison and preferred the Bostons. There is a percievable difference in realism/clarity in the sound when you compare the two speakers, but that will only be perceived when you compare the speakers. If you only listen to the Titans, you won’t kmow it’s missing, because acoustic memory is short, and ignorance is bliss. Additionally, I don’t believe most people want a rolled off top end, they want accuracy, which is flat. The Revel Salon Ultima 2, reguarded as the best speaker available today by most after beating the JBL M2 in a listening comparison, has undergone many listening tests with a variety of listeners, casual and hard-core in its development to see what most people prefer. The resulting top end frequency response is flat. When you have a rolled off top and, there is an airiness and sense of realism and clarity that disappears.

Take your favorite song, burn it on a CD, and then modify a second copy of it with a rolled off top end of 5db by 20khz. Play the two songs back to back on your favorite speakers and see how the second version sounds in comparison to the normal version. I would wager that at least 90 people out of 100 would not prefer the rolled off version.

The reason Audyssey wants to roll off the top end by default is because it assumes that most people are listening to movies in a living room without acoustic treatments, and having 5, 7, or 15 speakers in an untreated space with reflections can make things sound harsh.

My only recommendation to you, if interested, would be to make sure you listen to as many speakers as you can before purchasing anything. It seems so nice and convenient to be able to purchase a speaker online and assume it’s going to be the best one because of some positive reviews. If you are content to believe what you read, and don’t have a desire to make sure you have what really sounds best to your ears, then this hobby will be very easy for you in terms of time and money spent.

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post #74 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
Respectfully, how does one design a competent speaker for movies that is not good for stereo, and vice versa? Make the movie speaker not as clear and realistic sounding as you can in exchange for greater efficiency? Sacrifice efficiency on the stereo speaker for greater clarity and realism? What yields the extra clarity and realism that cant be achieved with a high efficiency speaker - my VR3s are 93db efficient. I thought the goal of diysg speakers was to take the efficiency and dynamics typically associated with pro audio gear and integrate it with a hifi crossover and design to yield the best of both worlds.
Two of the most popular 3-way DIY designs are the 1099 (movies) and the Statement II (music) - and I've heard both described as crystal clear and realistic, but completely different sound. If you can point me to a speaker that has the laid back, open, and airy soundstage of the Statements, with the dynamics and SPL of the 1099, I’d be all over it. I’ve heard the CD/waveguide combination described as a forward wall of sound, which is the opposite of what I listen for in music. If I go with the Statement II, I’ll be missing out on the impact and dynamics of the 1099. The compromises seem obvious, but that may be because I’m limiting myself to $1,200/pair DIY offerings.

I’d pay to hear this same comparison between your VR3’s and the Statement II. I’ve heard nothing but great things about them, with the exception that they don’t provide “impact” in rock music. I really appreciate the time you’ve put into this comparison. It’s one of the best references I’ve read for deciding on a DIY build that I can’t hear.

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post #75 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 08:21 AM
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Are the Boston's tweeter at ear height and the Titans above your head?

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post #76 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 09:00 AM
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There are those who will claim that compression drivers dont have as good a presentation for stereo music when compared to 'more traditional' hifi tweeters. I have read these claims both from internet nobodies and from people that have a VERY GOOD reputation in this community. On the contrary there are MANY extremely happy people using compression drivers for music setups. With that in mind I am not surprised the Bostons have won out on the music comparisons. Different speakers have different design goals and different people have different preferences and thats OK.

As a few have mentioned thanks for putting your thoughts up on the forum, been an entertaining and informative read.
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post #77 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 09:08 AM
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I might have missed this earlier, but are you listening to both speakers without any EQ? If so, you like the Bostons over NHT, Polk, other similar speakers you've heard because of the sound signature designed into them. It would be pure luck for the Titan (or the other home theater models) to have that specific sound signature you prefer 'right out of the box'. Titans aren't really designed like that. Seriously, the last speakers I would recommend for 2 channel music with *no* EQ being applied would be the 1099's, HTM's, Titans.

I don't think you can get good comparisons with no EQ because I believe the speakers in the home theater section are designed with a flatter type frequency response and less BSC knowing that virtually everyone allow their calibration software to adjust it or tweak to taste themselves. My understanding is the flatter type response allows for easier adjustments.

On the other side of the coin, designs like your Boston Acoustic speakers are probably similar to speaker kits like the Apollo, Helix, Statements, etc. where they were designed to sound a specific way right out of the box. Jeff Bagby's speakers have a specific frequency curve he shoots for in the final design.......and it's not a flat response. Same with the other designers. Those designers ask me how far they think a speaker will be from the wall, will most people use them as bookshelf speakers or on stands, desktop, etc. so that they can get the speaker to sound the way they want it to sound right out of the box, so to speak.

As far as I know the only monster speaker kit designed to have a very specific sound signature 'out of the box' was the 1899. And that's because they were designed in my living room and I was telling the crossover designer (Bill Waslo) how I was hoping they would sound. The extra 18" woofer was used to give it a midbass response I wanted without any EQ or boost needed, and it's quite hot! The compression driver response was given an upward tilt that he said would be considered more of a "Hi Fi' type design instead of a home theater speaker. Yes, he fought me a little along the way because the response was not going to be 'flat'. And he cringed at the bass response that didn't play at the same level as the mids and highs. But guess what? That was the sound signature I wanted, not flat. But even after 6 months, I still did a little bit of EQ work with my receiver. That speaker has my sound signature "built in" like your Bostons. But if I was designing it for home theater use it would have been designed with a flatter response that needed EQ....and certainly not enjoyed as much by me for 2 channel music without major EQ work being done.
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post #78 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 09:45 AM
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Wait...

You're comparing the speakers using different AVRs to power them?

Also, going by those locations, either the boston tweeter isn't aimed at your ear, or the titan tweeter isn't. Judging by your reactions, it's the titan that isn't.
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post #79 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 10:50 AM
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Wait...

You're comparing the speakers using different AVRs to power them?
He eventually used the Marantz to power one of each and came to the same conclusion.

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Curious to hear about a movie experience comparison as that is mostly what I view and from the few shows and movies I’ve watched on my titans I’ve been nothing but amazed. This coming from a Polk setup that cost $850 or so for the front stage compared to the $2000+ for the titans plus some hard work. Need to replace the surround with some diysg speakers as they can no longer keep up and we’re always a little lacking (Polk tsi200).
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I'm using HTMs and I EQ them. I'm using a Yamaha AVR and it's correction firmware, YPAO, does multi-position sampling and then offers a few options for EQ. Two of which I use most often; "Flat" and "Natural". Then you can take either of those and copy it to "Manual" and tweak with PEQ to your hearts content, which is what I do. I like a slightly tilted up graph on the top half. The point is, you should try EQ'ing these.

No one can ever accuse you of not going the extra mile to compare the BA's to the Titans. We've all done this and know how much effort it takes. But you might be doing yourself a disservice by not running your correction firmware (Audyssey in your case).

That being said, I still own a Boston Acoustics VR12 center channel. I replaced it with an HTM center but I remember how the VR12 sounds and can certainly believe that your VR3's are very detailed. If you can though, it might be worth EQ'ing the Titans. Like I said, I've discovered that like a slightly tilted up high-end which is the opposite of what your getting with the Titans in your room. Worth a shot to see how they sound with the high end at least flat.
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post #82 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
In regards to EQing the top end, how exactly would that work?
I was simply describing how Audyssey works (without app intervention)--it EQ's the speakers full range. The "Reference Curve" that most seem to prefer aims for a significant rolloff at the top end. A speaker with a hotter top end will be rolled off more.



Quote:
If using Audyssey in the receiver, any EQ in the higher frequencies is only going to be relevant to keeping your head within a very tight range - moving in your seat a little bit this way or that way could throw it off, and it is only applicable to one specific seat in the room.
While it tries to optimize for the MLP, the correction affects all seats. Think of it as a glorified tone control. It won't affect dispersion characteristics. With a good controlled directivity speaker, the EQ change will sound similar over a very wide area. For a speaker with poor directivity, it can't fix that and make it sound the same for all seats so if you optimize it for one it might sound worse in other locations.





Quote:
If you know of a different way this is being accomplished, please let me know, I would be interested.
The higher level room correction systems (Dirac, JBL, etc) have allowed this for a long time through customizing target curves. Now with the App, Audyssey can let you do some of this within limits (if a speaker has a really large rolloff it won't let you EQ it flat as the amount of boost is limited). While harder to use and not as powerful as some of the other systems, the app does allow you to try many different curves when before you were limited to two.


Quote:
I’m looking at the graph of the VR3 and I’m not seeing a hump or bump on the top and that you are referring to. With the exception of a dip at 6 to 7 kHz, the VR3 is essentially flat the entire top end with no rise or rolloff.
It's a hump (centered at about 9K) in the anechoic graph on the first page. In your in-room response that translates to a "lack of rolloff" that begins in the 6-7K region by rising again, where a flat speaker would generally have a flat line sloping downward. From the look of the picture, I had assumed the mic was off axis which would result in a more significant rolloff at the top end with a typical dome tweeter.



Quote:
That would be classified as a flat or neutral speaker......Additionally, I don’t believe most people want a rolled off top end, they want accuracy, which is flat. The Revel Salon Ultima 2, reguarded as the best speaker available today by most after beating the JBL M2 in a listening comparison, has undergone many listening tests with a variety of listeners, casual and hard-core in its development to see what most people prefer. The resulting top end frequency response is flat. When you have a rolled off top and, there is an airiness and sense of realism and clarity that disappears.
Yes, flat anechoically. Not in-room response. A speaker that measures flat anechoically won't measure flat in a room. How far off from flat depends upon the room, of course, and other aspects of the speaker. The expected in-room response of a "flat loudspeaker" will generally show some amount of boost in the bass region and a line that gradually slopes downward toward the top. How much it slopes down will obviously depend on the size and reflectiveness of the room. There are many example curves showing this in the work of Floyd Toole, Harman, etc, and is reflected in the "target curves" of many higher-end room corrections.


Quote:
To guess which speaker people would like based on those graphs is not a good practice, as my GF, who represents the absolute most casual listener possible, quickly reached the conclusion that the Titans sound muffled in comparison and preferred the Bostons. There is a percievable difference in realism/clarity in the sound when you compare the two speakers, but that will only be perceived when you compare the speakers.
I don't doubt that at all. Everybody will hear more detail with the treble turned up. What I'm trying to say is that many will eventually find that fatiguing and want to turn it down. Some people say they do prefer the Audyssey "Flat" curve for music--which will "turn up the treble" quite a bit for most speakers in order to get them as close to flat in-room as possible. A lot of other people find that setting way too bright. That's where the personal preference comes into play. The research such as that done by Toole and others shows most people will find that too bright--instead preferring the sound a flat loudspeaker (anechoically) which will give an in-room response that is gradually sloping downward.


And that's just for music. For anybody more concerned with movie watching, music testing is important but leaves some things out. For example, widely dispersing sound/dipole/rear firing tweeters, etc, can add a spaciousness to music that people find very pleasing...but also harm things like speech intelligibility, accuracy of directional cues, etc, which can be more important in movie watching when the spaciousness is supplied by the surround channels.
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post #83 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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@Angry jeremy - where are you located? Im in north central Indiana and i am willing to demo the Bostons and Titans. Regarding a speaker that has the dynamics of the 1099, how loud do you listen at?
@MKtheater - ear height ends up being just above the Boston tweeter and between the compression driver and mid of the Titan, right on the horizontal piece between the waveguides.
@Erich H - the problem seems to be that the Titans arent very flat up top, they have an upper frequency rolloff that puts a damper on clarity and realism when compared to a more neutral speaker. Im not looking for a unique sound signature, as there is nothing obscure going on with the Boston FR, it actually measures flatter.

What specifically about the design of the Titan, HTM, or 1099 is not conducive to stereo music listening with a 40hz crossover and no EQ? Im not accustomed to any speaker REQUIRING EQ to be suitable for music listening, as that would mean the speaker is deficient in design somewhere to begin with. If you mean to say your speakers are all designed to be ruler flat and then the user can EQ as they like, then im confident the Titan would have fared very well to my tastes. It didnt prevail specifically because its not panning out the way you are claiming it should, and the Bostons are because they actually have the flatter, more accurate frequency response.

As alluded to earlier, im confident that at least 90 people out of 100 would pick the Boston over the Titan if they could hear both speakers because the upper frequency rolloff hurts the clarity. Ill extend an open invitation to anyone who wants to come over and listen and i wont divulge which speaker is which until after a preference is chosen.



@STL D - yes, Onkyo TX-NR3010 in pure direct with 40hz crossover for the bulk of the Boston listening and Marantz SR8012 in pure direct with 40hz crossover for the bulk of the Titan listening, then i swapped them. Neither receiver is a slouch - the Onlyo weighs 60lbs - but most would consider the Marantz the better unit because of a dedicated torroidal transformer, high bit DACs with greater signal to noise ratio, and a little more power on tap. Neither set of speakers required more than 30 watts in these listening tests.

Dyter19 - hopefully a movie tonight, or at least clips from movies. Dropping $2k for the Titan LCR and, more importantly, spending free time to build them made and continue to makes me want them to succeed. I really do not want to try and sell these, thats going to be a pain, so i wish there was a simple answer to make them sound better.

I could potentially EQ the Titans on the Marantz with the Audyssey app to flatten the top end with boosting and compare that to the raw Bostons. Just seems disappointing that a speaker like this needs EQ boosting just to get to flat from the get go i guess. The main characteristic difference then would be the vocals always being locked 3 feet in front of the Titans whereas the Bostons can vary it.

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post #84 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 01:12 PM
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This just goes to show that everyone has different hearing and tastes... I had pretty much the OPPOSITE experience that you did!

I actually demoed (I think it was the VR90's) against my t1000-ii and t1030's and didn't like them as much, neither did my dad (who still owns the t1000II and 1030 speakers). We demoed the boston's against the titan's and my diy Swope 3-way towers with the sb tweeter, the titans again his Klipsch Forte-ii's, DIY Tempest Fusion and my custom JBL 4700n's.

For my listen experience (with realism and audio listening being the most important) I graded them: JBL's (by far - no contest in any category) >>> Titans > Swope Towers > DIY Tempest > Boston t1030 > t1000-II > Klipsch Forte II. (Bostons had the least amount of dynamics, midrange clarity and detail of these speakers to my ears but the top end was better then the Tempest Fusions).
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post #85 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
@Erich H - the problem seems to be that the Titans arent very flat up top, they have an upper frequency rolloff that puts a damper on clarity and realism when compared to a more neutral speaker. Im not looking for a unique sound signature, as there is nothing obscure going on with the Boston FR, it actually measures flatter.
The graph is squished in a small window that makes it harder to view, but the Bostons look to have a dip starting around 5khz then a rising upper end. That's a specific sound when 5khz - 7.5khz is 7db less than 8khz and up. Compare that to a speaker that doesn't have that dip and it will sound much different. You like that dip with the rising response, some would not and might think it was overly bright. That's a certain sound the speaker designer chose while designing it.

If someone's never EQ'ed speakers for 2 channel listening then my guess is they would go through many different brands/models until finding one that happened to have a sound signature they prefer. Everyone has a favorite sounding curve. Yours is the Boston model, others would prefer Polk that might have a dip at 3khz - 5khz with a rising upper end. Others might prefer Klipsch, or possibly want the 1899 sound.

But with so many different sound preferences, I can't imagine buying a pair of speakers for 2 channel music and NOT tailoring them to what I like. I think people have forgotten the great 10-30 band equalizers that were almost always used for 2 channel. If I bought a nice set of speakers and thought they were a bit too bright, I wouldn't move to the next brand/model before I just pulled that frequency down a little bit, or boosted an area I thought needed it.

I need to post a frequency response of your compression driver so you can see how it looks around 10khz and up to show that it has lots of room for boosting if you like that. With your microphone distance from the speakers and the high end still up like that on the Bostons, I believe a lot of people would think it was a bright sounding speaker.

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post #86 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
Switched layout to BABA and switched the Titans to the Onkyo and the Bostons to the Marantz. Ugh. Now the Bostons sound advantage is even better. Top end is just more detailed, cleaner, more open.

Then i put one Boston as the L and one Titan as the R on the Marantz, moved the other two speakers out of the way, pulled both speakers up away from the screen a bit and ran the Audyssey app to see what the raw responses looked like. With the exception of the dip from 6-7khz caused by whatever in the room, the Boston tweeter is exhibiting a more linear ~2.5db output across its bandwidth as compared to the Titans compression driver, plus the Titans have an earlier, more aggressive top end rolloff. Thats tends to match up exactly to what ive been hearing. Claims of the Titans being bright are unfounded, these are very warm speakers.

To be clear, the Boston is the L and Titan is the R.
I think these frequency response graphs show why everyone says EQ can be important. When looking at the quasi-anechoic response for the Titans (from the designer's original thread) it is very flat up to 17-18kHz. If you take the in-room Titan frequency response graph that you provided and draw a line through the average dBs from 1k to 20k you will be at -3 or -4 db. If you do the same for the 1k and below you see that your average is probably much closer to 0db (especially if you disregard the room null at 300). This is where EQ would help, it would pull the <1k down on average 3-4dB (maybe slightly more) and you would end up with a very flat response. This isn't the Titan's fault, this is interaction with the room.

The Bostons are flatter in the room without EQ, but if you look at Sound and Vision's quasi-anechoic response for the VR3 you see that the frequency response does happen to have a upward sloping response with a huge spike at 10k. So in your room this slightly upward sloping response is much more pleasant because the room is providing a natural boost to everything below 1k and a natural loss above 10k. So the room happens to be providing perfect EQ for the VR3's natural response.

If the Titans were EQed for the room it would pull the lower frequencies down and you would have a response flat up into the 17 or 18khz range and would have no issue with driving the Titans at that level. (i.e. EQ the lower frequencies down and then could raise the overall volume to get the volume back to wherever you wanted it).

No EQ is needed for the Bostons because their frequency response happens to mesh with the response of the room.
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Hmmm, im not sure you two guys are reading the graphs properly. Keep in mind the scale.

Ill hop onto a PC and post a followup to explain further.
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post #88 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
In regards to EQing the top end, how exactly would that work?

I was simply describing how Audyssey works (without app intervention)--it EQ's the speakers full range. The "Reference Curve" that most seem to prefer aims for a significant rolloff at the top end. A speaker with a hotter top end will be rolled off more.

Quote:
If using Audyssey in the receiver, any EQ in the higher frequencies is only going to be relevant to keeping your head within a very tight range - moving in your seat a little bit this way or that way could throw it off, and it is only applicable to one specific seat in the room.

While it tries to optimize for the MLP, the correction affects all seats. Think of it as a glorified tone control. It won't affect dispersion characteristics. With a good controlled directivity speaker, the EQ change will sound similar over a very wide area. For a speaker with poor directivity, it can't fix that and make it sound the same for all seats so if you optimize it for one it might sound worse in other locations.


Quote:
If you know of a different way this is being accomplished, please let me know, I would be interested.

The higher level room correction systems (Dirac, JBL, etc) have allowed this for a long time through customizing target curves. Now with the App, Audyssey can let you do some of this within limits (if a speaker has a really large rolloff it won't let you EQ it flat as the amount of boost is limited). While harder to use and not as powerful as some of the other systems, the app does allow you to try many different curves when before you were limited to two.

Quote:
I’m looking at the graph of the VR3 and I’m not seeing a hump or bump on the top and that you are referring to. With the exception of a dip at 6 to 7 kHz, the VR3 is essentially flat the entire top end with no rise or rolloff.

It's a hump (centered at about 9K) in the anechoic graph on the first page. In your in-room response that translates to a "lack of rolloff" that begins in the 6-7K region by rising again, where a flat speaker would generally have a flat line sloping downward. From the look of the picture, I had assumed the mic was off axis which would result in a more significant rolloff at the top end with a typical dome tweeter.

Quote:
That would be classified as a flat or neutral speaker......Additionally, I don’t believe most people want a rolled off top end, they want accuracy, which is flat. The Revel Salon Ultima 2, reguarded as the best speaker available today by most after beating the JBL M2 in a listening comparison, has undergone many listening tests with a variety of listeners, casual and hard-core in its development to see what most people prefer. The resulting top end frequency response is flat. When you have a rolled off top and, there is an airiness and sense of realism and clarity that disappears.


Yes, flat anechoically. Not in-room response. A speaker that measures flat anechoically won't measure flat in a room. How far off from flat depends upon the room, of course, and other aspects of the speaker. The expected in-room response of a "flat loudspeaker" will generally show some amount of boost in the bass region and a line that gradually slopes downward toward the top. How much it slopes down will obviously depend on the size and reflectiveness of the room. There are many example curves showing this in the work of Floyd Toole, Harman, etc, and is reflected in the "target curves" of many higher-end room corrections.

Quote:
To guess which speaker people would like based on those graphs is not a good practice, as my GF, who represents the absolute most casual listener possible, quickly reached the conclusion that the Titans sound muffled in comparison and preferred the Bostons. There is a percievable difference in realism/clarity in the sound when you compare the two speakers, but that will only be perceived when you compare the speakers.


I don't doubt that at all. Everybody will hear more detail with the treble turned up. What I'm trying to say is that many will eventually find that fatiguing and want to turn it down. Some people say they do prefer the Audyssey "Flat" curve for music--which will "turn up the treble" quite a bit for most speakers in order to get them as close to flat in-room as possible. A lot of other people find that setting way too bright. That's where the personal preference comes into play. The research such as that done by Toole and others shows most people will find that too bright--instead preferring the sound a flat loudspeaker (anechoically) which will give an in-room response that is gradually sloping downward.

And that's just for music. For anybody more concerned with movie watching, music testing is important but leaves some things out. For example, widely dispersing sound/dipole/rear firing tweeters, etc, can add a spaciousness to music that people find very pleasing...but also harm things like speech intelligibility, accuracy of directional cues, etc, which can be more important in movie watching when the spaciousness is supplied by the surround channels.
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post #89 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 02:35 PM
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Oops. For some reason I couldn't see my post...until I re-posted. Doesn't look like I can delete. Sorry for the double post guys.
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post #90 of 260 Old 04-26-2019, 02:35 PM
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Hmmm, im not sure you two guys are reading the graphs properly. Keep in mind the scale.

Ill hop onto a PC and post a followup to explain further.
Your chart posted here has a clear dip at 5.5k and a boost at 10k, that will have a significant coloration to the sound. Obviously something you like. I would not consider that flat by any means...
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