Can a speaker be judged on numbers alone? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 53 Old 11-27-2015, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Can a speaker be judged on numbers alone?

Basically I know this may be a contentious issue in here but, can the frequency response of a speaker tell me everything I want to know about about it? Would I be able to know about its sound signature by just looking at the numbers?

Examples;

Pioneer BS22
Frequency response: 55Hz - 20kHz

Klipsch R-14M/R-15M
Frequency response: 62Hz - 24kHz

Will they sound the same?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 53 Old 11-27-2015, 08:48 PM
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Negative. It is possible to make some comparisons with brand AND line but that's about it and even then it won't be overly accurate. There are some generalities amongst brands, Sound signature of brand. That can change over time though. Unfortunately there is no substitute for listening to a speaker and preferably in your own setup.

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post #3 of 53 Old 11-27-2015, 08:49 PM
 
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That general frequency response "spec" doesn't even tell you much about the frequency response (e.g. how well it adheres to that frequency range, i.e. within what dB +/-). Doesn't tell you much other than a general range of frequencies it can respond to....
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post #4 of 53 Old 11-27-2015, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
That general frequency response "spec" doesn't even tell you much about the frequency response (e.g. how well it adheres to that frequency range, i.e. within what dB +/-). Doesn't tell you much other than a general range of frequencies it can respond to....
I'm torn between these two speakers.

EMP Tek E3b and the Micca MB42X
The size is perfect for my desktop. And they definitely have better specs than my current speakers I know they'll sound better.
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post #5 of 53 Old 11-27-2015, 10:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Evildude View Post
I'm torn between these two speakers.

EMP Tek E3b and the Micca MB42X
The size is perfect for my desktop. And they definitely have better specs than my current speakers I know they'll sound better.
I've heard nice things about both speakers. I'd think they'll both be okay nearfield at low volumes, you might get a bit better bass out of the Micca's 4" midwoofer over the Emp TEK's 3", or will you be using a subwoofer anyways? Just what size max would you consider for the speaker? Where exactly will you be you placing the speakers?
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post #6 of 53 Old 11-27-2015, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
will you be using a subwoofer anyways?
Yes I have a Energy Energy Power 10" Sub along with A Yamaha RX-V377.

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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Just what size max would you consider for the speaker?
Someone on another thread recommended the Boston Acoustics CR8 or the new affordable accuracy monitors but they seem to big. I tried using my Pioneer BS21 and they just looked awkward on my desk.

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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Where exactly will you be you placing the speakers?
Next to my 27" iMac and about 3ft away from my ears. It is worth noting that they will be sitting literally next to the wall, does that matter? Should I go with something like the Infinity Primus 143 which are front ported?

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post #7 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evildude View Post
Basically I know this may be a contentious issue in here but, can the frequency response of a speaker tell me everything I want to know about about it? Would I be able to know about its sound signature by just looking at the numbers?

Examples;

Pioneer BS22
Frequency response: 55Hz - 20kHz

Klipsch R-14M/R-15M
Frequency response: 62Hz - 24kHz

Will they sound the same?

Thanks.
I think it would be foolish to purchase a speaker going on numbers and not using your ears.
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post #8 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 05:05 AM
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I wouldn't say it was foolish to by equipment and speakers unheard, but you have to do a lot of research on it. Read a lot of reviews, get a lot of feedback, listen to a few YouTube video keeping in mind that only 1 in 50 YouTube videos is better than pure crap. But, reasonably, you can't use YouTube alone, it is only one more aspect available to you.

Generally, you go by the price and the reputation of the company, as well as Review and User feedback.

And it depends on what number you have. If it is simply specifications on paper, that's not quite as good as a full review with detailed testing.

Then you have to consider the Design of the Speakers, what materials they are made out of. For example, Horn Mid/High have a distinct sound that some people like and some people don't. Myself I like the sound, if gives a light clarity to the mids and highs, though one of low quality or poor design can sound a bit harsh.

Equally, on the broad scale, Metal Dome Tweeter can sound a bit bright than Silk Dome Tweeters. However, there are exception. I only heard a few Canton speakers, and they appear to use all metal drivers, I did not find them at all bright or harsh. So, for every generalization, there are exceptions.

I would not get Klipsch unless you have heard them and are sure you like the sound. The Pioneer has gotten very good reviews, but it is a cheap speakers, so while it will sound good, your expectations have to be consistent with a speaker in this price range.

How well the suggested speakers will work depends on how you use them. You've given us not context to help us determine what speakers would and wouldn't work for you. Is this Stereo or Surround Sound, music listening or home theater, or perhaps a computer desktop. With no framework to give perspective, there isn't much we can say.

Also, Frequency Response specs, if you dig deep enough, typically have a qualifier on them, such as -3db or -6db, both are usable, but there is about 5hz to 8 hz difference between them. So, a speaker rated at 48hz at -3db, is likely to go down to 40hz at -6db. You have to make sure you are comparing equal specs. That is, both speakers must be rated to the same qualifier. They must both be rated at -3db or both at -6db to have a fair comparison.

Next you want to compare the bass driver size. Most often the bass drivers are 5" or 6.5", a 6.5" is twice as big as a 5", though it does not seem intuitively so. Also, generally, 6.5" speakers will have deeper bass than 5" speakers. For Stereo that matters, though it matters less for Surround Sound with a Subwoofer.

As it stands now, the question is to vague to be answered properly.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #9 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 05:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evildude View Post
Pioneer BS22 Frequency response: 55Hz - 20kHz
Klipsch R-14M/R-15M
Frequency response: 62Hz - 24kHz
Would I be able to know about its sound signature by just looking at the numbers?
Not those numbers. You need SPL, polar, waterfall and THD charts, and the ability to read them, to make valid comparisons.
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post #10 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
You've given us not context to help us determine what speakers would and wouldn't work for you. Is this Stereo or Surround Sound, music listening or home theater, or perhaps a computer desktop. As it stands now, the question is to vague to be answered properly.

Steve/bluewizard
They will be used as a computer system. I currently have the Yamaha RX-V377 and the Energy Power 10" Sub.
I will be only used for music listening, as I spend a lot of time doing homework on my desk. They will be sitting fairly close to the wall and about 3 ft away from my ears. I like my music to sound accurate, clear, airy and open. Bass is important when listening to rock as I like to hear and feel the drum pedals. I never listen to music in super high volumes since the speakers are rather close to me while on my desk.

I'm about to go out and make the 30 minute drive to my closest Best Buy to take a listen at a few speaker brands I never heard of, such as Polk and Infinity (if they have them). Best Buy doesn't carry Micca, Boston Acoustics of PSB. I basically wanted to finally get me a decent ($100 +) set of speakers as a reward for getting good grades in school. I have never really sat down and listened to Klipsch, but for many here they seem to either hate them with a passion love them.
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post #11 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Tonycpa2004 View Post
I think it would be foolish to purchase a speaker going on numbers and not using your ears.
But it would be just as foolish to purchase speaker going on your ears alone.

I use measurements to rule out speakers, and use my ears to rule in those that are contenders.
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post #12 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 01:31 PM
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But it would be just as foolish to purchase speaker going on your ears alone.

I use measurements to rule out speakers, and use my ears to rule in those that are contenders.
I disagree, regardless of the specs, if a speaker sounds good to you then it's the speaker you should get.

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post #13 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 01:35 PM
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I disagree, regardless of the specs, if a speaker sounds good to you then it's the speaker you should get.
Sure, if you don't care about fidelity(accuracy).
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post #14 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post
Sure, if you don't care about fidelity(accuracy).
Are you purchasing speakers to meet some sort of spec or for you to listen to them?

Yamaha Aventage RX-A660
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Martin Logan Motion 8 Center
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post #15 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 01:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mdbrown View Post
Are you purchasing speakers to meet some sort of spec or for you to listen to them?
Both.

Especially in gooddoc's case....
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post #16 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Both.

Especially in gooddoc's case....
To each their own. I listen to my speakers. I don't measure them or compare their specs.

Yamaha Aventage RX-A660
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post #17 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 01:49 PM
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Are you purchasing speakers to meet some sort of spec or for you to listen to them?
1) I purchase them to accurately reproduce the signal being fed them.
2) I purchase them to reproduce that signal as accurately as possible at a volume that is at least as loud as I want to listen
3) And of course, I purchase them to listen
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post #18 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 01:50 PM
 
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Suum cuique indeed. Do you know how to measure them or interpret the results?
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post #19 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 01:55 PM
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To each their own. I listen to my speakers. I don't measure them or compare their specs.
That's cool. I'd say you're in the majority. Many companies bank on it.
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Suum cuique
Had to look that one up
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post #21 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 01:59 PM
 
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Had to look that one up
Since he used the English version....and it wasn't long ago I learned that my Latin teacher was really old school when she had me spell it suum quique....
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post #22 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Suum cuique indeed. Do you know how to measure them or interpret the results?
Yes I do. The point is that I buy my speakers to listen to. If they are ruler flat across the spectrum that's great, if they aren't that's great too as long as I enjoy what I hear - that is the reason I purchase, not to meet some ideal sound curve.

Yamaha Aventage RX-A660
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post #23 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 02:09 PM
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That's cool. I'd say you're in the majority. Many companies bank on it.
Curious, what good is a speaker if it meets some textbook spec if you don't enjoy the sound? What difference does it make if it doesn't but you do enjoy the sound? I don't purchase my equipment for any reason other than to enjoy it, I quit the spec race a very long time ago.

Yamaha Aventage RX-A660
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post #24 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 02:20 PM
 
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Yes I do. The point is that I buy my speakers to listen to. If they are ruler flat across the spectrum that's great, if they aren't that's great too as long as I enjoy what I hear - that is the reason I purchase, not to meet some ideal sound curve.
Curious, so at some point you gave up on the practice of measuring your speakers in your room, finding it helped you not at all? Of course we buy speakers to listen to....altho for some or their SO it can be as much a visual thing.....but good measurements still tell a story and can help you with getting better performance in your room. Since the premise of this thread is to flesh out the measurements that might help make a buying decision (or give you a good idea of what the performance might be if buying without audition....since not everyone can audition speakers easily).

So when you listen to speakers you do so in a show room or only the room you will be installing them in?
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post #25 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 02:46 PM
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Curious, what good is a speaker if it meets some textbook spec if you don't enjoy the sound? What difference does it make if it doesn't but you do enjoy the sound? I don't purchase my equipment for any reason other than to enjoy it, I quit the spec race a very long time ago.
Have you listened to a lot of accurate speakers and discovered you don't enjoy accurate sound?
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post #26 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 03:16 PM
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Let's keep in mind that the Buyer has about $100/pr to spend. We have to make recommendation whether literal or conceptual in that context.

If the Original Poster (OP) has the space, here are some Yamaha 8" Speakers that might fit the bill -

Yamaha NS-6490 8" 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers - $129/pr -

http://www.parts-express.com/yamaha-...-pair--312-606

The rated bass response on the Yamaha is 45hz, with an 8" bass, 4" mid, and a tweeter.

In my opinion, the OP needs at least 5" bass drivers and, again in my opinion, preferably 6.5" bass drivers.

Since you have a Subwoofer, and presumably your computer has a separate Sub Out, speakers with 5" bass drivers would probably be fine. In fact, it might be easier to blend the Sub with 5" speakers.

If you didn't have a Sub, most certainly the Yamaha NS-6490 would be my first choice. But with a Sub, I would consider the Infinity Primus in either 5" or 6.5" -

Infinity Primus P153, 5" - $76 EACH -

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108P153...imus-P153.html

Infinity Primus P163, 6.5" - $86 EACH -

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108P163...imus-P163.html

There occasionally go on sale, so you might want to check prices on AMAZON, to see if you can get a better deal on the Infinity Primus.

At the current price point, it is hard to say on the Horn Mid/Tweeter JBL speakers, but again, you want at least a 5" bass driver, though since you have a AV Receiver and a Sub, that is less critical. I can't say how the horns would sound on the JBL. In general, I like horns, but at that very low price point, it is impossible to say what the results will be. Though JBL does make some nice Active Speaker at a reasonably low price point that have been getting some positive feedback, so the passive speakers you listed might be OK.

The Pioneer, are an Andrew Jones design, and apparently he was able to wring a lot of sound quality from some very low cost speakers. Though only 4" bass drivers, since you have an AVR and a Sub to go with them, they should also do a good job.

So, correct me if I'm wrong -

You have -

Yamaha RX-V377 AV Receiver
Energy 10" Sub


You are looking for -

Bookshelf speakers up to (I speculate) $150/pr.

Speakers will be used for Computer Audio.

Can you confirm this, and is there anything you would like to add.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #27 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post
Have you listened to a lot of accurate speakers and discovered you don't enjoy accurate sound?
I know what I like, if it's accurate great. If it isn't, who gives a flying rats behind if I enjoy the sound?

Yamaha Aventage RX-A660
Martin Logan Motion 12 Mains
Martin Logan Motion 8 Center
Martin Logan Motion 2 Surrounds
SVS SB-1000 Subwoofer
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post #28 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Curious, so at some point you gave up on the practice of measuring your speakers in your room, finding it helped you not at all? Of course we buy speakers to listen to....altho for some or their SO it can be as much a visual thing.....but good measurements still tell a story and can help you with getting better performance in your room. Since the premise of this thread is to flesh out the measurements that might help make a buying decision (or give you a good idea of what the performance might be if buying without audition....since not everyone can audition speakers easily).

So when you listen to speakers you do so in a show room or only the room you will be installing them in?
If I can listen in my installation that is preferable, if not then at least in a showroom. I know the sound that I like, it started with the Yamaha NS-1000 speakers. It continued with the Infinity RSb speakers, then my JBL L112s, and finally my Martin Logan Motion 12s. Are any of these accurate? Couldn't tell you one way or the other but they all sound very good to me and that's why I bought them.

In a manner of speaking I suppose I do look at a few things, I prefer a proven company that is known for superior products. The problem I have is that specs are a very tiny part of the equation. You can have two similar style speakers (3 driver, ported cabinet, 8 ohms impedance) with 45hz - 22khz +/- 3db that should sound very close but can sound markedly different.

As for measurements, no I have found that the Audyssey MultEQ XT32 in my receiver handles the job rather well. After over 100 major concerts and hundreds of local bands at local venues my hearing is not what it used to be.

Yamaha Aventage RX-A660
Martin Logan Motion 12 Mains
Martin Logan Motion 8 Center
Martin Logan Motion 2 Surrounds
SVS SB-1000 Subwoofer
Sony Bravia XBR-55X930D
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post #29 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 08:43 PM
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I know what I like, if it's accurate great. If it isn't, who gives a flying rats behind if I enjoy the sound?
Umm, ok. Nice talking with you.
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post #30 of 53 Old 11-28-2015, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
So, correct me if I'm wrong -

You have -

Yamaha RX-V377 AV Receiver
Energy 10" Sub
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
You are looking for -

Bookshelf speakers up to (I speculate) $150/pr.

Yes, I must say that I can actually spend a maximum of about $250 with tax included.

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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
Speakers will be used for Computer Audio.
Yes. My receiver is connected via spdif to my iMac.

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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
Can you confirm this, and is there anything you would like to add.

Steve/bluewizard
I would like to add that yesterday afternoon I got a pair of Klipsch R-14M and I was quite frankly expecting a harsh sound base upon the fact that many seem to complain that's Klipsch sound signature. I wasn't that impressed.
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