DIY Speaker & Subs is What Set Me Straight on Sound - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-14-2019, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
Mark Henninger
 
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DIY Speaker & Subs is What Set Me Straight on Sound

I readily admit...when I joined AVS Forum 15 years ago, I held many mistaken audio beliefs. I was making my own speaker cables and obsessing over filtering AC power. I did not understand room acoustics and what happens to bass in a room below the Schroeder frequency. I did not own a calibrated measurement mic or software to do the measurements.

I had no idea how to properly calibrate a system and properly integrate a sub.

In other words, I was another member of the cult of audiophilia. I went to high-end shows, heard the big million dollar rigs and thought "oh man, this is it, true endgame sound"

And then, after a few years of making a fool of myself in the forum, I went to my first meetup with 30+ AVS Forum guys, hosted by @Gorilla83 . It was a mix of DIYers and owners of performance-first high-end speakers (like JBL M2 or JTR Noesis or Seaton Catalyst) plus some killer subs and DSP. At that and a couple subsequent GTGs, I learned that if you embrace subs and DSP and pro audio type speaker designs, you will catch that dragon the audiophiles chase and make it your pet.

It's never been the same since. Dabbling in DIY (including making speakers using active DSP crossovers) was very instructive, reviewing many dozens and demoing many hundreds (thousands, probably) of systems... also instructive.

AVS Forum, and in particular the DIY section there, is the best thing that happened to me when it comes to the audio hobby. It got my head straight on what really matters if you want sound that is next-level and not stuck in anachronistic notions.

Mind you, even in the high end now I see top systems that do embrace DSP and subs. Some of today's million dollar rigs actually do get it right and typically those designs are emulating what was already available on the pro side.

What a ride!

- Mark
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Mark Henninger
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Last edited by imagic; 12-14-2019 at 10:15 AM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-14-2019, 11:01 AM
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I’ve noticed when you do speaker reviews, you rarely comment on ability to place sounds (image) or soundstage size. These are not abstract audiophile things, they are real and easily picked up on, especially when comparing speakers. It’s not something you can EQ in or out of a speaker either, it tends to be a result of speaker component and driver layout design.

Any reason?
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-14-2019, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
Mark Henninger
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
I’ve noticed when you do speaker reviews, you rarely comment on ability to place sounds (image) or soundstage size. These are not abstract audiophile things, they are real and easily picked up on, especially when comparing speakers. It’s not something you can EQ in or out of a speaker either, it tends to be a result of speaker component and driver layout design.

Any reason?
I've generally gotten speakers to behave well when it comes to soundstage and imaging. I don't think there are huge differences in overall soundstage between the common cone and dome (or cone and ribbon) bookshelf and towers that I review. Speaker placement affects it, the room affects it and the recording affects it... more I think than driver layouts (unless we're talking an unusual design like the Polk L800).

Regardless, what has happened lately is I've grown a bit weary of reviewing speakers and trying to put the subjective experience into words.

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post #4 of 4 Old 12-14-2019, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
... Regardless, what has happened lately is I've grown a bit weary of reviewing speakers and trying to put the subjective experience into words.
That right there verifies your departure from the cult of audiophilia. True believers never tire of coining subjective terms to describe fundamental audio engineering measurables.
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