Horns vs. direct radiators, and their sonic differences - Page 4 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #91 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 02:43 AM
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SVS sub offerings are one of those things that looks great on paper and is cost effective compared to other OEM offerings. They aren't really that good though, except for their finishes.


Their ported offerings also compress way too early.
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post #92 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 05:08 AM
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Guys data driven doesn't have to be reductive and it sure as hell doesn't have to be abrasive. While I'm no fan of the witchcraft-audiophile club, a closER look at the way the brain works and how we hear sound lends credibility to people's impressions -at least in their own head. At the end of the day don't we all love music and movies?

For the record I'm a test engineer that leads some fairly complicated aerospace test setups with hundreds of pieces of instrumentation recording data at up to 100khz (most is less than that though, thankfully) so don't think for a second I settle for some bull**** comparisons or conclusions, but when you do enough testing and see how messy data really is, you begin to understand the futility of comparing impressions from words typed on a keyboard across the country from one another with non matching equipment in different rooms with different preferences, different hearing, etc. Then invalidating that with the "scientific method" as your backup. lol

I'm not saying it's not worth a level of methodical approach in evaluations at all. To the contrary. That doesn't change the fact that people are still people, and it's going to be really easy to lean on "science" to back your own biases (and be rude about it) pretending to hold the high ground when it's just biased humanity with a different fun tool. You know your intent and if this applies. The truth is -precious few people in here have the resources or know-how to really appropriately test things (if you wanna go down that path). There are a few that do a really good job, especially on a limited budget, and that's both impressive as well as helpful, but let's not all jump on the bandwagon of using our favorite "science" to invalidate someone elses' impressions in a thread that asked about preferences. The rest of the people will simply have to do the best job they can and at the end of the day that's gotta be good enough for them. They're not going to throw up their hands and listen to what SCIENCEMASTER6969 from EBF Wisconsin curtly said on a Tuesday morning.

Most of you (I hope) wouldn't need a double blind study to know that you don't like having potato chips jammed up your nose. A little perspective is helpful, that's all. See attached comic for, well, comedic value.

Back to OP; I still really like a ton of sealed boxes. Lots of cone area, smallish, easy to place, easy to eq, very low group delay, very low distortion (assuming you really have enough of them) no port or horn resonances, it's a bummer you lose so much on output but that's my fav. To go off the rails on the science approach I like the dry sound, and with enough cone area and the right room curve, I really love what I hear. I also have to admit I like having a ton of subwoofer drivers, maybe that biases me a little, don't know or care, love what I hear. I'm not at BTH territory but have a respectable number of drivers in the house.

Don't forget to listen to the music!

Chris
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post #93 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 05:32 AM
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I see no grounds for such a claim. It isn't that he has said there are no audible differences, just that the differences are measurable and explainable.

On that subject, yes, the literature fully supports the notion that the quality of a speaker can be predicted by its measured performance. You just have to know what to measure. We aren't talking a simple frequency response. More like power and polar response, distortion spectra, power compression, etc.
Yeah it's weird how a couple posters are insisting on this false dichotomy of it's either you have to disregard measurements, or else you're not listening with your ears, as if one can't do both... "Everyone please stop talking about the science of AV, on the AV science forum!"
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post #94 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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@notnyt --

I think I better call it quits. Sorry for any rudeness along the way.

@Chris Popovich --

Thanks for the perspective. I liked the comic.
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post #95 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Popovich View Post
Guys data driven doesn't have to be reductive and it sure as hell doesn't have to be abrasive. While I'm no fan of the witchcraft-audiophile club, a closER look at the way the brain works and how we hear sound lends credibility to people's impressions -at least in their own head. At the end of the day don't we all love music and movies?



For the record I'm a test engineer that leads some fairly complicated aerospace test setups with hundreds of pieces of instrumentation recording data at up to 100khz (most is less than that though, thankfully) so don't think for a second I settle for some bull**** comparisons or conclusions, but when you do enough testing and see how messy data really is, you begin to understand the futility of comparing impressions from words typed on a keyboard across the country from one another with non matching equipment in different rooms with different preferences, different hearing, etc. Then invalidating that with the "scientific method" as your backup. lol



I'm not saying it's not worth a level of methodical approach in evaluations at all. To the contrary. That doesn't change the fact that people are still people, and it's going to be really easy to lean on "science" to back your own biases (and be rude about it) pretending to hold the high ground when it's just biased humanity with a different fun tool. You know your intent and if this applies. The truth is -precious few people in here have the resources or know-how to really appropriately test things (if you wanna go down that path). There are a few that do a really good job, especially on a limited budget, and that's both impressive as well as helpful, but let's not all jump on the bandwagon of using our favorite "science" to invalidate someone elses' impressions in a thread that asked about preferences. The rest of the people will simply have to do the best job they can and at the end of the day that's gotta be good enough for them. They're not going to throw up their hands and listen to what SCIENCEMASTER6969 from EBF Wisconsin curtly said on a Tuesday morning.



Most of you (I hope) wouldn't need a double blind study to know that you don't like having potato chips jammed up your nose. A little perspective is helpful, that's all. See attached comic for, well, comedic value.



Back to OP; I still really like a ton of sealed boxes. Lots of cone area, smallish, easy to place, easy to eq, very low group delay, very low distortion (assuming you really have enough of them) no port or horn resonances, it's a bummer you lose so much on output but that's my fav. To go off the rails on the science approach I like the dry sound, and with enough cone area and the right room curve, I really love what I hear. I also have to admit I like having a ton of subwoofer drivers, maybe that biases me a little, don't know or care, love what I hear. I'm not at BTH territory but have a respectable number of drivers in the house.



Don't forget to listen to the music!



Chris

+100
Very well said and way to keep things in perspective. To most of us this is a hobby practiced for fun and entertainment that unfortunately sometimes devolves into arguing for moar internet points! Lol.

To dump my 2 cents in the pool, I have attached a measurement I did a while ago:

Driver: Dayton RSS390HF (same driver used in both enclosures)
Amp: same channel of EP4000 @ the same power
EQ: None
Environment: 18” away from living room corner
Mic: Dayton OMNI mic
Sealed enclosure: 7.5 ft^3
FLH enclosure: 24” wide THT @ 18 ft^3



In identical test conditions the horn enclosure offers significantly more output everywhere in the measured spectrum at the cost of added EQ and space, while the sealed enclosure offers a flatter response needing less EQ in a smaller volume. Both have their benefits and choosing an alignment would be dictated depending on if you are space, $, or power limited.

And now for the subjective part.... Even adjusted to the same output level, I prefer the sound of the horn for some reason. This I personally can’t measure and still don’t know why. To use some poor adjectives, the sound just feels more impactful with the horn and more mushy with the sealed. Both still sound good and the difference is small, until you really turn it up. Then the difference is much larger with the horn being the winner to my ears. If I now add a second or more sealed drivers, the impactful nature of the sound becomes more even, but still not the same. There must be a relationship between the working area of a driver relative to the volume of space the driver is working in that dictates this “impactfulness” since large speakers and large stacks of speakers (regardless of alignment) almost always sound better to me than smaller speakers or a smaller amount of drivers.
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post #96 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 07:11 AM
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Guys, it is not hard or scientific, the horn alignment does not sound better as an alignment, you are boosting all spls from a sealed enclosure which means to get the same spl you are using much less power which means very little distortion and no compression and that sounds much better. We never said, I never said, the horn is bad. If I can only have one sub with a limited budget a horn is a no brainer. What is being missed here is that the comparison is not comparing alignments because one has so much more spl than the other and for subs that is a huge deal. Look at Data bass and compare the GH vs a sealed LMS 5400 ultra. The horn has much more output but you are talking a 27 cubic foot box vs a 4.2 cubic foot box. So what I am saying is that you can throw 4-6 LMS 5400 drivers in that horn box, power the crap out of it and now a sealed box will have more output and less distortion than that horn. I would bet many would pick the sealed in the blind. Blind tests are a wonderful thing with fair conditions of course.

I get it, If I compared my two dts-10s subs to my 3 SVS 16-46cs+ subs or a single eD 190v2 sealed sub I could say man, those dts-10s kick the crap out of those others subs, it must be the horn alignment, no it is the output, lack of compression, in my case more extension, you name it. So when I compared the 8 sealed eD 18s to the DTS-10s I still preferred the DTS-10s. When I switched to Fi car audio IB3-18s gues what magically happened, IB rule right? No, I had massive output, no compression, deeper extension, less distortion, everyhting was better. It was not a horn vs IB thing.
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post #97 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rezag View Post
@notnyt --

I think I better call it quits. Sorry for any rudeness along the way.

@Chris Popovich --

Thanks for the perspective. I liked the comic.
If your perspective has changed please dont exit the conversation, this is actually the moment we might take a step forward.
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post #98 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 10:08 AM
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Guys, it is not hard or scientific, the horn alignment does not sound better as an alignment, you are boosting all spls from a sealed enclosure which means to get the same spl you are using much less power which means very little distortion and no compression and that sounds much better. We never said, I never said, the horn is bad. If I can only have one sub with a limited budget a horn is a no brainer. What is being missed here is that the comparison is not comparing alignments because one has so much more spl than the other and for subs that is a huge deal. Look at Data bass and compare the GH vs a sealed LMS 5400 ultra. The horn has much more output but you are talking a 27 cubic foot box vs a 4.2 cubic foot box. So what I am saying is that you can throw 4-6 LMS 5400 drivers in that horn box, power the crap out of it and now a sealed box will have more output and less distortion than that horn. I would bet many would pick the sealed in the blind. Blind tests are a wonderful thing with fair conditions of course.

I get it, If I compared my two dts-10s subs to my 3 SVS 16-46cs+ subs or a single eD 190v2 sealed sub I could say man, those dts-10s kick the crap out of those others subs, it must be the horn alignment, no it is the output, lack of compression, in my case more extension, you name it. So when I compared the 8 sealed eD 18s to the DTS-10s I still preferred the DTS-10s. When I switched to Fi car audio IB3-18s gues what magically happened, IB rule right? No, I had massive output, no compression, deeper extension, less distortion, everyhting was better. It was not a horn vs IB thing.
I stand by these comments and my own. its my semifirm belief that 50hz is 50hz no matter how you slice it. A horn may well eliminate distortion if very carefully built and theres no getting around that fact. Music lovers, imo, tend to love horns because they either have "left the building" when it comes to ULF or maybe never cared for it in the first place.

A sealed sub will in almost all cases be EQd to create the desired response...but they can play a fullrange better than the other alignments. Ported, if large and very well built can mimic most of a horns clarity and lack of distortion and can also play down much lower, esp when you reach the typical cabinet size of a horn.

Very few, even here, have really well treated rooms...and even those that do (i do) often have far from perfect room layouts to start from (i do). As such we all face choices.

If the choice is how to get really clear distortion free sound from the 30 to 80 range, we will be hard pressed to show with measurements anything better than a horn. Not a dts10 per se, a true well built horn designed to play a typical music subs range.

Likewise if one does care for or believe in concerning themselves with great respomse across multiple seats that also plays down to 10hz or below, DRs become a solution you will have difficulty out arguing DR fans with a horn. Horns "can" go low...if you provide conditions very very resource intensive -- tons of space, limited placement options...and it quickly becomes clear you are chasing a solution that can be solved much more efficiently with other alignments.

Then a few people have integrated multiple alignments,and enjoyed the benefits of all.

To the MAIN question-- I still respond that 50hz is 50hz. But in most rooms, 50hz will sound different if you play it at 110db using the different alignments.

Put another way, I am confident MK could build me a near perfect DR sub that plays from 30 to 80 without distortion and without much EQ and sounds just as good as a horn, Thats an opinion, not close to a fact. But ported or sealed subs that only play that range are usually crap subs bought from a well known brand, thus leading so many to look elsewhere and many to think ported sucks!

Theres no way around the fact that a well built horn can use very little power and with a great driver sound "perfect" in a certain range, and most DRs cant match that. But beyond that, my OPINiON is still that there are NO actual differences beyond the space they are played in and its own acoustic issues.
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post #99 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
I stand by these comments and my own. its my semifirm belief that 50hz is 50hz no matter how you slice it. A horn may well eliminate distortion if very carefully built and theres no getting around that fact. Music lovers, imo, tend to love horns because they either have "left the building" when it comes to ULF or maybe never cared for it in the first place.

A sealed sub will in almost all cases be EQd to create the desired response...but they can play a fullrange better than the other alignments. Ported, if large and very well built can mimic most of a horns clarity and lack of distortion and can also play down much lower, esp when you reach the typical cabinet size of a horn.

Very few, even here, have really well treated rooms...and even those that do (i do) often have far from perfect room layouts to start from (i do). As such we all face choices.

If the choice is how to get really clear distortion free sound from the 30 to 80 range, we will be hard pressed to show with measurements anything better than a horn. Not a dts10 per se, a true well built horn designed to play a typical music subs range.

Likewise if one does care for or believe in concerning themselves with great respomse across multiple seats that also plays down to 10hz or below, DRs become a solution you will have difficulty out arguing DR fans with a horn. Horns "can" go low...if you provide conditions very very resource intensive -- tons of space, limited placement options...and it quickly becomes clear you are chasing a solution that can be solved much more efficiently with other alignments.

Then a few people have integrated multiple alignments,and enjoyed the benefits of all.

To the MAIN question-- I still respond that 50hz is 50hz. But in most rooms, 50hz will sound different if you play it at 110db using the different alignments.

Put another way, I am confident MK could build me a near perfect DR sub that plays from 30 to 80 without distortion and without much EQ and sounds just as good as a horn, Thats an opinion, not close to a fact. But ported or sealed subs that only play that range are usually crap subs bought from a well known brand, thus leading so many to look elsewhere and many to think ported sucks!

Theres no way around the fact that a well built horn can use very little power and with a great driver sound "perfect" in a certain range, and most DRs cant match that. But beyond that, my OPINiON is still that there are NO actual differences beyond the space they are played in and its own acoustic issues.
These are all 50hz. They will all sound different. This isn't even looking at transient response, compression, decay, etc. All of which will also affect the sound.

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post #100 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 02:32 PM
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Accuracy still favors the LLT alignment. It is what it is.
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post #101 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 04:39 PM
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Accuracy still favors the LLT alignment. It is what it is.

(link to article in S.C.'s sig)
So If I understood the article correctly, you can safely have a tune as high as 15Hz without a HPF, so long as the box is big enough (23 cu. ft. for an 18" driver) to manage port resonance, allow clearance for a big enough port (> 8" dia.) etc.

But the single digit frequencies wouldn't still cause it problems, so far below the tuning frequency?
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post #102 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 04:45 PM
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So If I understood the article correctly, you can safely have a tune as high as 15Hz without a HPF, so long as the box is big enough (23 cu. ft. for an 18" driver) to manage port resonance, allow clearance for a big enough port (> 8" dia.) etc.

But the single digit frequencies wouldn't still cause it problems, so far below the tuning frequency?
You should always have a highpass.
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post #103 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 04:51 PM
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You should always have a highpass.
Okay that was my understanding too, just got excited from the following quotes in the article, which I have misinterpreted (like "discrete" hpf).




Quote:
Originally Posted by LLT article
The lower tune means that the 4th order roll off (which occurs below tuning) occurs at a much lower frequency as well, and a high pass filter and its accompanying negative side effects can be avoided.

.
.
.

What makes a LLT different from an EBS? A LLT has to meet certain minimum specifications to ensure a certain performance, whereas the EBS definition is broad and encompasses almost any design.

- Tuning <=15hz
- Cylindrical port diameter >= 6” for 15" drivers and >=8" for 18" drivers
- Port opening clearance equal to at least the port diameter in all directions
- First port resonance >=190hz
- No discrete high pass filter
- FR with a ~4db/octave rolloff between the tuning frequency and the lowest room node
- Minimal resonance enclosure
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post #104 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 05:32 PM
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I’ve had the LLTs since 2005 with no highpass and ive never bottomed them with low frequency bass. In fact, in 14 years, ive only managed to bottom one of the subs twice, and it was due to a faulty rca to 1/4 jack.
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post #105 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 06:40 PM
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Speaking of which, my 4 LLT subs never bottomed and my two DTS-10s complained only a couple times. I have a smaller room though, well actually, I don’t anymore.

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post #106 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 07:55 PM
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Everything was perfect with min so long as at 9hz and above, but I was getting undesirable output starting exactly at 8Hz (don't know what exactly was going on, chuffing, or driver mechanical noises... "flapping" IDK) and happening with only a 250w amp. When I upgraded to a 1k watt amp, at the same time lowered the tune from 16Hz to 14Hz by chimneying the port, and set HPF at the lowest the amp could go, what I understand is at 12.3Hz, and now with more watts no less I am no longer getting any of the previous unwanted output. I do not have anything close to a LLT (mine at 13cu. ft. is 10cu. ft shy!), the dream of upgrading to that would be better if I thought I could live without a HPF. Otherwise super happy.

Super interesting thread, and article about the LLT to finish, excellent.
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post #107 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 09:58 PM
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Accuracy still favors the LLT alignment. It is what it is.

That statement doesn't mean much w/o qualification (nor does what follows), but from an objective standpoint, ported is the least accurate owing to the higher group delay and transient ringing of the port.
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post #108 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 10:17 PM
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I like EBS/LLT as far as ported go, my target was always under 20ms of group delay at 20hz which kept most of the gripe-able things concerning a ported design in the inaudible (to me anyway) range. I then went the passive radiator direction for a while, which I still prefer over ported, (the cost is worth it IMO) but again as watts became inexpensive and my space for audio equipment expanded, 6 million sealed and eq'd boxes is my new fav. I've also grown to appreciate sheer cone area as a mechanism to keep excursion low to moderate, minimize box air non-linearities, help with dynamics, etc.

I never did a perfect A/B comparison of ported to PR. Any time I did an alignment change it was either a tweak to the existing design or a completely new driver in a new box so it ends up being worth little more than anecdotal data with some sim backup and fuzzy memories. Good times. PR's have their own set of issues but I really liked no port resonances or chuffing sounds, and at some point the port takes up enough volume that a PR enclosure outside dimensions are usefully smaller. If you're close on speaker box size fitment it might push you over the edge and make the cost of the PR's worth it.

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post #109 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 11:00 PM
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Open baffle subs rule all.
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post #110 of 188 Old 05-21-2019, 11:23 PM
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as a neophyte horn builder
3 THTLP's
Submaximus V2 and V3,
pair of Lowarhorns, > TH (re-config'ed Ghorn)
and failed scientist about any of it

but immensely enjoying the discussion to no end

What I really want to know is-

Which one of you guys, and you know who you are, is responsible for THIS:

https://www.livescience.com/65519-lo...ter-sound.html
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post #111 of 188 Old 05-22-2019, 04:44 AM
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@noah katz - which set of characteristics below in the subwoofer range will result in the biggest loss of accuracy:

Linear distortion - a frequency response that isn’t very flat. Either a rocky top end or a low end that rolls off around or above 25hz.

Non linear distortion - high levels of THD, usually when the going gets tough below 25hz.

Group delay - a increase in milliseconds between the time the signal should have resulted in sound and when it actually did, in the frequencies below 15hz only.


Hint - it’s not #3

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Originally Posted by notnyt View Post
These are all 50hz. They will all sound different. This isn't even looking at transient response, compression, decay, etc. All of which will also affect the sound.

What I was saying is if you remove the imperfections in a design/build i.e. resonances, and play a 50hz tone without testing limits it should sound the same.

I think these are impulse graphs showing resonances of the boxes/room?

So free air, well built alignments free of resonances will sound the same. (Theory)

Let me know what you are showing here and maybe I can learn something.
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post #113 of 188 Old 05-22-2019, 04:51 AM
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I had eng399 build me a beautiful LLT monster I call Thunder Mountain.

I dont have the courage to go without a HPF, but I will say for ported its tough to beat and sounds incredible.
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post #114 of 188 Old 05-22-2019, 07:43 AM
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Since I have to rebuild my theater I think I will build two 24 cubic foot boxes for my RE-XXX-18s and tune them to 12hz. Maybe 4. I could always seal the port if I don't like them.
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post #115 of 188 Old 05-22-2019, 08:00 AM
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True, but the first two can be held in check with enough Vd, one of the many unmentioned qualifications.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
@noah katz - which set of characteristics below in the subwoofer range will result in the biggest loss of accuracy:

Linear distortion - a frequency response that isn’t very flat. Either a rocky top end or a low end that rolls off around or above 25hz.

Non linear distortion - high levels of THD, usually when the going gets tough below 25hz.

Group delay - a increase in milliseconds between the time the signal should have resulted in sound and when it actually did, in the frequencies below 15hz only.


Hint - it’s not #3

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post #116 of 188 Old 05-22-2019, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
I think these are impulse graphs showing resonances of the boxes/room?

I believe that the graph shows the higher-order distortion components; all the spikes are in increments of 50 Hz.

The ear is much more sensitive to those than the 50 Hz fundamental, which is why their level and distribution will affect the perceived sound.

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post #117 of 188 Old 05-22-2019, 10:12 AM
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@noah katz - you stated ported is the LEAST accurate of these alignments due to group delay. That is false. Linear and non linear distortions result in far less accuracy than group delay - if group delay were bad enough, it would show up as linear distortion. LLT has the flattest natural fr with lowest accompanying distortion.

If you want to create a wild scenario where you say 10x drivers with 10x power and infinite equalization options vs a single driver LLT, then ok, other alignments can be more accurate.
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post #118 of 188 Old 05-22-2019, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
What I was saying is if you remove the imperfections in a design/build i.e. resonances, and play a 50hz tone without testing limits it should sound the same.

I think these are impulse graphs showing resonances of the boxes/room?

So free air, well built alignments free of resonances will sound the same. (Theory)

Let me know what you are showing here and maybe I can learn something.
No, these are just generated RTA graphs showing first a 50hz fundamental, then a touch over 5% even order distortion, then odd order, then even+odd. Just an example to show what distortion looks like.

This is distortion by frequency of the dts-10. You can see it reaches these levels of distortion well before it's max output limitations.

There are other horns that can do this cleaner, but just using this as an example since it's been talked about quite a bit.

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post #119 of 188 Old 05-22-2019, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
@noah katz - you stated ported is the LEAST accurate of these alignments due to group delay. That is false. Linear and non linear distortions result in far less accuracy than group delay - if group delay were bad enough, it would show up as linear distortion. LLT has the flattest natural fr with lowest accompanying distortion.

If you want to create a wild scenario where you say 10x drivers with 10x power and infinite equalization options vs a single driver LLT, then ok, other alignments can be more accurate.
He actually said it's not group delay.

"Hint - it’s not #3 "
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post #120 of 188 Old 05-22-2019, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notnyt View Post

Is that for EQ'd or raw response?

If the latter, I believe distortion is being overestimated because peaks are at resonances that would be EQ'd down.

But maybe not, as I don't see the 54 Hz spike.

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