Speaker Shootout - two of the most accurate and well reviewed speakers ever made - Page 58 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1711 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post
I predict that blindly comparing dipoles to direct radiating speakers would be rather obvious which is which...but who knows. It would certainly be an interesting exercise. Electrostats especially usually throw such a deep but narrow soundstage. I personally haven't heard a direct radiating cone & dome speaker that has that same quality (my ears usually say shallower, but off axis highs still comparatively in-tact), though a few of them that cost major bucks can get close in depth if the room is right.

I have to admit that I am a fan of ML stats, but practical reasons keep me with cones & domes. I have three kids, and stats are just too enticing to climb on, poke things at, etc. Traditional tower speakers though are big black nothings, drawing no juvenile attention whatsoever. Other than the occasional smudge on the grills from some sticky fingered careening toddler, they get left alone.
I do! At least for the dozen or so of each I have directly compared. If you damp the dipoles' back wave and first reflections from the conventional speakers and sit in the sweet spot they can be pretty close. Move off-axis and the difference is apparent, and of course the amount of treatment in the listening room is a big player in being able to tell the difference. And you still have other factors, like where (if) crossovers occur and how well they are handled, how loudly the panels can play compared to conventional (panels usually more limited, and distortion climbs very rapidly if you feed them large bass signals), etc.

ML uses curved panels to broaden the sweet spot and introduce some side reflections. Quad uses special design to try to maintain a point-source-like dispersion with frequency. Larger panels in a bigger room can provide a less-narrow (I would not use the word "wide") sweet spot. Etc.

So generally it is pretty easy to tell them apart, but if you manage to focus just on direct sound, they can sound pretty close. OTOH that is arguably not a very fair comparison...

Totally get the kids thing. Once upon a time a friend's toddler thought the sound coming from my big Maggie panels was so cool that he ran over, leaned against one, and started pounding his hands on it in joy. I was a little less joyful...

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post #1712 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
Simple:

Neutrality (flat frequency response both on and off axis, as in no obvious colorations to the sound)
Wide dispersion (provided the off axis response is congruent with on axis response)
Freedom from audible resonances

Really, none of that should come as a surprise
those characteristics cant really be identified from a listener in the sweet spot for evaluation can they? they have to be analyzed after the listening impressions are tallied and reviewed with electronics?

what I am trying to get a grip on is how harman research/testing can help individuals evaluate speakers when they demo. well other than just buying harman speakers.
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post #1713 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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For those late to the party, and curious about the "stereo vs. mono" and "location based rankings" discussion, Dr. Toole discusses all of that in this video (which I have posted before):


So much of what is being hashed out in this thread is covered in the video - well worth everyone's time, IMO.

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post #1714 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post
Yes, but once we test different types of otherwise constant directivity patterns the room is probably no longer a minor matter.
I, nor anyone else here (I don't think), don't deny that the room has an impact on the sounds we hear from speakers. What I don't understand is how what we see in the room will affect our opinion of what we hear from the different speakers if the both speakers are in the same room. The effects should be equal to all speakers so this should not be a variable that would affect the outcome of the tests.
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post #1715 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by davidrmoran View Post
>> acts somewhat like a port

can probably delete 'somewhat', since the slug of air in the vent is a mass quite the same as the mass of the PR
Here's a couple of figures showing the electroacoustic equivalent circuits of both vented-box and passive radiator systems from Richard Small's papers. First, the vented box:



The port is on the right, consisting of a series combination of an acoustic mass Map and an acoustic resistance Rap. The "currents" U are volume velocities (cubic meters per second), while the "voltages" across the elements are acoustic pressures.

For the passive radiator, this equivalent circuit applies:



They're almost exactly identical, except the passive radiator has an acoustic compliance Cap, due to the suspension of the passive radiator.
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post #1716 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torii View Post
those characteristics cant really be identified from a listener in the sweet spot for evaluation can they? they have to be analyzed after the listening impressions are tallied and reviewed with electronics?

what I am trying to get a grip on is how harman research/testing can help individuals evaluate speakers when they demo. well other than just buying harman speakers.
Excellent question, and essentially what inspired this thread! These characteristics are readily revealed by the Harman Spinorama measurements, and precisely why the CEA ended up adopting this measurement method as a standard - CEA2034. If all speaker manufacturers used the Spinorama method, it would really help consumers narrow down which speakers they should seek it for audition. As I mentioned earlier, KEF (for example) has started using Spinoramas.

What makes the Spinorama so valuable is that it shows the characteristics that matter. In fact, using Spinorama measurements Harman can predict the winner 86% of the time.

Here's a quote from Dr. Olive, in an interview with Sound and Vision magazine:

The problem is that the current standard audio specifications for headphones and loudspeakers are almost useless in terms of indicating how good or bad they sound. Often only the frequency response is given without any level (dB) tolerance or deviations specified—20 Hz to 20 kHz, for example. The world’s worst and best sounding headphone or loudspeaker would both meet that spec, which means consumers have no means of easily differentiating a good sounding product from a bad one based on its specification. Even if a level tolerance was given, a single curve still cannot describe the quality of the direct sound and early and late reflected sounds produced by the loudspeaker. What’s worse is the science to do better has existed for some time.

At Harman we can characterize and predict the sound quality of loudspeakers with 86 percent accuracy based on a set of comprehensive anechoic measurements. Our measurements are now the basis for a new ANSI/CEA 2034-A Standard: Method of Measurement of In-Home Loudspeakers so there is hope that eventually these will be adopted as standards for the industry. We are doing similar research to develop specifications for headphones that indicate how good they sound. So some progress is being made but there is still more work to do.



Read more at https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...Vx7BXxpPeiU.99
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post #1717 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
Mixing sealed and ported is a challenge because the response (amplitude and phase) is so different around and below the port tuning frequency. If you can cal them individually, or at least as two pairs (sealed and ported), then you can probably dial them in, depending upon how powerful your (or you SW's) ability to correct the phase is over frequency. When mixing like that just getting the phase right at the crossover frequency is not quite good enough since the ported and sealed subs will roll off in amplitude and their phase response is pretty different.

The good news for you: A passive radiator acts somewhat like a port and will probably make the job easier.

Personally, unless you have a very large room and/or placement problems with the four you have, I'd think as far as room response goes you are at the point of diminishing return. You'll get more output but may not see a significant improvement in FR.
I agree on what you wrote here. I have the disadvantage of having an L shaped room with one corner being actually a large cirkel, and different ceiling height, which makes it unpredictable.
After reading the Harman paper on multiple subs I think not to go beyond 4. Spending extra time playing around with different locations, time delay in minidsp might give the best outcome I think.
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post #1718 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Jan3 View Post
I agree on what you wrote here. I have the disadvantage of having an L shaped room with one corner being actually a large cirkel, and different ceiling height, which makes it unpredictable.
After reading the Harman paper on multiple subs I think not to go beyond 4. Spending extra time playing around with different locations, time delay in minidsp might give the best outcome I think.
IMO the best bang for the buck happens with 2 subs, which are already no walk in the park when it comes to timing them. My mains, for instance, each employ a pair of 8's in the bass bins (which yes, are already timed to each other), so with 2 subs I'm already trying to get 6 cones to move in unison around the crossover point.

4 subs, as long as they are equidistant from the MLP CAN be an advantage, but it all depends on your room. If they're all at different distances, good luck with that...you'll be neck deep in test tones for a while, with no real guaranty it will sound better than just a well placed pair of subs. It really all depends on your room and positioning within it, but each sub you add makes the timing complexity go through the roof, and you'll STILL have room modes to deal with, regardless of how much smoother it may present at first blush.

I really wish these AVR/pre pro manufacturers would include timing for 4 subs in their correction software. The best one I've used for dual subs is Pioneer's MCACC, with Audyssey XT32 a little less accurate. I currently use Anthem's ARC which does not include sub timing at all...it must be done manually before sweeps are run. In Anthem's defense, their EQ corrections are very good, and the timing omission is due to their unique approach of having a PC do the calculations, thereby making the wireless latency unknown and not practical for phasing.

Nowadays, the hot ticket with these processors is how many more holes you can put in your ceiling, with almost complete disregard of the bottom end of your system (where the most correction is needed) potentially sounding like an elephant fart. Sure, they EQ a summed sub channel, but timing is where the real magic happens. Let's hope they get with it soon.
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post #1719 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
Simple:

Neutrality (flat frequency response both on and off axis, as in no obvious colorations to the sound)
Wide dispersion (provided the off axis response is congruent with on axis response)
Freedom from audible resonances

Really, none of that should come as a surprise
It's only been mentioned 77 times in this thread. Perhaps another 77 times will finally do the trick.

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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
It's only been mentioned 77 times in this thread. Perhaps another 77 times will finally do the trick.
but are the listeners calling this out? no way they would know while listening imo....

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post #1721 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post
I predict that blindly comparing dipoles to direct radiating speakers would be rather obvious which is which...but who knows. It would certainly be an interesting exercise. Electrostats especially usually throw such a deep but narrow soundstage. I personally haven't heard a direct radiating cone & dome speaker that has that same quality (my ears usually say shallower, but off axis highs still comparatively in-tact), though a few of them that cost major bucks can get close in depth if the room is right.

I have to admit that I am a fan of ML stats, but practical reasons keep me with cones & domes. I have three kids, and stats are just too enticing to climb on, poke things at, etc. Traditional tower speakers though are big black nothings, drawing no juvenile attention whatsoever. Other than the occasional smudge on the grills from some sticky fingered careening toddler, they get left alone.

"Electrostats especially usually throw such a deep but narrow soundstage"

In my nearly 60 years with dipole ESLs, but also two to four other concurrent systems with cones a domes, I haven't found this to be true. (I might mention that at one time I also had omnis with first Ohm As and the later Ohm Fs and could compare all three types). Soundstage with ESLs or Maggies can be appropriately huge in all three dimensions depending on material and of course positioning. I think the advantage to me with ESLs are that they were to me more transparent than Maggies. They did more of the reproducing the original three dimensional live soundstage complete with the illusion that no speakers are in the room period. Nothing else I've listened to ever, does this as well. You bet it's obvious when you switch from a unipole to a dipole. However, there downsides in that they are difficult to drive and not every amp is happy. They are generally big, and positioned properly, way out into the room so WAF becomes a marriage killer. It's true full range ESLs must be really huge to have enough diaphragm to move air at low frequencies. The smaller ESLs that are hybrid with a cone woofer can have integration issues between panel and woofer. So none of this is easy to get where I needed to be.

I bought the little guys, the EM ESLs because they were cheap, and I had just taken five years off of work to take care of two parents' with Alzheimer's so my income had fallen to next to nothing. This was after the real estate collapse of 2008, although commercial caved about six months after residential. I moved from the big deals of SoCal back to the Columbus Ohio area to take care of parents and deals were much much smaller so you made less or worked far harder. So had I zero business going out and spending $50 or $60k on speakers, but I still wanted to have my tunes back, preferably brought to me by ESLs. So 'value' was key for the first time ever in my life. I bought a closeout Hegel H100 and credit card reward points paid for a good part of the ESLs. Plus, I got a great deal on the MLs back in the day when you got a W700 sub included with the pair of speakers. I did spend moderate money on the analog front end of $15k for cart, table and phono stage, but figured it was good enough that I would stay with it for a while. I've since bought a second sub and good cd player plus a couple of other budget systems and restore my dad's old dynaco stuff for a vintage system. What I did find is that I was far happier with the cheap ML ESLs than I thought I'd be, and since I wasn't buying speakers every few months, took the time to set these up properly. Got far further with them than I thought possible.

"I have three kids, and stats are just too enticing to climb on, poke things at, etc. Traditional tower speakers though are big black nothings, drawing no juvenile attention whatsoever. Other than the occasional smudge on the grills from some sticky fingered careening toddler, they get left alone."

Although given the current fad of running big cone and dome towers without grill cloths of any type, it's probably easier to damage those than it is the ML ESLs. I did, however, get away with it when my kids were young by having the big system in a separate lockable room.

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post #1722 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 05:53 PM
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but are the listeners calling this out? no way they would know while listening imo....
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ok so harman should reverse engineer the tests and just let listeners look at spin graphs to pick their favorite...if they get 86% right they have a valid test right?

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if that was case...m2's would win vs salon 2's right?

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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
LOL! It's pretty sad. They keep cluttering up this thread over and over with the same tired "Well I like ______ speakers and the test didn't cover every possible scenario and speaker on the planet, so it's not a valid test".

It's so easy to criticize.......
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this test was m2's vs salon 2's. m2's measure better. salon 2's won. so questions/debate follow.

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post #1727 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by duckymomo View Post
LOL! It's pretty sad. They keep cluttering up this thread over and over with the same tired "Well I like ______ speakers and the test didn't cover every possible scenario and speaker on the planet, so it's not a valid test".
Who has said that? Please quote it.

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ok so harman should reverse engineer the tests and just let listeners look at spin graphs to pick their favorite...if they get 86% right they have a valid test right?
I really don't mean to insult or be dismissive. But these things have been explained several times in this thread (and elsewhere), and by those more capable than myself. Not sure why you're still having so much trouble grasping even some of the more basic information being provided here.

It sometimes seems as if you understand some of it, then a couple weeks go by and then you're back posing questions as if you're starting all over again at thread page 1, having forgotten everything.
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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
I really don't mean to insult or be dismissive. But these things have been explained several times in this thread (and elsewhere), and by those more capable than myself. Not sure why you're still having so much trouble grasping even some of the more basic information being provided here.

It sometimes seems as if you understand some of it, then a couple weeks go by and then you're back posing questions as if you're starting all over again at thread page 1, having forgotten everything.
its ok, I have tbi and lesions in my brain which causes my memory to falter. i use forums to keep my brain working/thinking. sorry for repeating myself. my dog doesnt provide the same feedback as you guys do.
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Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post
Who has said that? Please quote it.
I'm paraphrasing 100+ different posts. Here's another example

"I love maggies and you can't test them in mono.

I've been listing to maggies for 85 years and they're so good.

You didn't test maggies, you can't test maggies in mono.

Why has no one compared maggies?

Testing in mono is dumb.

Why has no one compared these speakers to maggies

Have I mentioned how great maggies are?"

And on and on......and on....

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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckymomo View Post
I'm paraphrasing 100+ different posts. Here's another example

"I love maggies and you can't test them in mono.

I've been listing to maggies for 85 years and they're so good.

You didn't test maggies, you can't test maggies in mono.

Why has no one compared maggies?

Testing in mono is dumb.

Why has no one compared these speakers to maggies

Have I mentioned how great maggies are?"

And on and on......and on....
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the point about maggies is that they measure worse and I bet more than 14% would say they sound better. I love ml and maggie speakers...just not the right layout for em.

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post #1733 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 06:39 PM
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its ok, I have tbi and lesions in my brain which causes my memory to falter. i use forums to keep my brain working/thinking. sorry for repeating myself. my dog doesnt provide the same feedback as you guys do.
Really sorry to hear that.

I'll cut you some slack then. But if you find some of your posts going unanswered, chances are either you or someone else has already asked it before, or the ground had been covered in detail at least a few times before.
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post #1734 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
Really sorry to hear that.

I'll cut you some slack then. But if you find some of your posts going unanswered, chances are either you or someone else has already asked it before, or the ground had been covered in detail at least a few times before.
its cool. I probably ask dumb questions alot...I used to be smarter. but I never ever was as smart as some of these pro's in this thread.

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post #1735 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 06:45 PM
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its cool. I probably ask dumb questions alot...I used to be smarter. but I never ever was as smart as some of these pro's in this thread.
Join the club...
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post #1736 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by torii View Post
but are the listeners calling this out? no way they would know while listening imo....
The question, may be, torii was asking was, what should a customer listen for during demo to select a speaker. I think it is covered in Harman training to its experiences listeners. If someone here knows, please summarize.

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post #1737 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
The question, may be, torii was asking was, what should a customer listen for during demo to select a speaker. I think it is covered in Harman training to its experiences listeners. If someone here knows, please summarize.

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IMO the room plays so much into how your speakers sound that it is extremely difficult to ascertain what any speaker will sound like without first putting it in YOUR environment.

Commercial listening and demo rooms are almost always considerably larger than your own room, and the gear being used to demo is almost always nothing like your own.

Having said that, the main thing I listen for is coherence, closely followed by the timbre of the tweeter.

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the B&W diamond tweeter, as I think its one of the best in the business. When I audition, very good tweeters (the diamond does this) have a tendency to not perceptibly increase in amplitude as you approach the speaker. Some would say that this is because there is very low distortion with these tweeters, as the breakup modes are WAY up there. I don't know if that's why or not, but its an eerie phenomenon that many of the best speakers share. That is one of my yard sticks.

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post #1738 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 09:50 PM
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Well, yeah, probably, you're as bad as I am for avoiding absolutes.

My basis is my long-ago grad acoustics class where we actually waded through all the math. (I refuse to do that again, call me lazy, old, stupid, whatever. I thought it'd be fun, then we start by solving differential/integral wave equations in several dimensions, blah.) IIRC the suspension (flexibility, extension, excursion, etc.) of the passive radiator impacts the acoustical impedance and as a result it is not quite the same as an open port. Small impact (negligible) when in the linear region, bigger if you overdrive the radiator and the box starts acting in a quasi-sealed fashion. But for all practical purposes, yah, the same; just Don being anal, sorry.
Right, the mass and the behavior of the mass are not exactly the same as the slug of air.

Of course at your knowledge level (beyond mine) you could also have studied the air temperature in the vent, also the effect of cannabis smoke, cat hair, and so on.

All the articles about vent shape (length, smoothness, flare, folds, enclosure loading within enclosures) point out their importance as well. Did you study xmission lines too?
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post #1739 of 1751 Old 10-21-2017, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
Understood, but keep in mind that in our test the speakers were moved into identical positions, so that factor was equalized. My room is neither dead nor live. First reflection points were treated with a mixture of absorption and diffusion.

So, while of course we can't account for every room situation, there is nothing unusual about my room compared to most home theater rooms I see.

As duc135 pointed out, there was no variability in the room, lighting, or speaker placement during each of the listening trials. And I was referring to Dr. Toole's statement that preference rankings did not change during his much more exhaustive tests, no matter where the speaker was placed in a room. The overall scores would go up or down based on room position, but the preference ratings stayed the same.

For example:

Speaker A Location One: Rating 7 out of 10
Speaker A Location Two: Rating 5 out of 10

Speaker B Location One: 5 out of 10
Speaker B Location Two: 3 out of 10

I'd find the relevant post, but as others have mentioned, this thread is getting really long and it's getting hard to find specific comments anymore
You don't need to look up specific quotes. I'm very familiar with the topic and literature. What I'm asking for goes beyond the simple (?) "smooth constant directivity is best" findings. And, it is good science to repeat/validate experiments and keep questioning.

Markus

"In science, contrary evidence causes one to question a theory. In religion, contrary evidence causes one to question the evidence." - Floyd Toole
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post #1740 of 1751 Old 10-21-2017, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by andyc56 View Post
They're almost exactly identical, except the passive radiator has an acoustic compliance Cap, due to the suspension of the passive radiator.
Neat! Thanks. I don't see the components for cannabis smoke and cat hair, though.

One of the cooler things on my audio TD list is to go through the box or two of RSmall papers I received from Roy Allison's family after Allison died a year ago --- extensive letters, other correspondence, assistance, loans of equipment, sharp observations about reviewers and researchers and standards. Plus RA's markup and suggested edits of Small's doctoral thesis. Some of the letters are wickedly funny. For decades they gave each other intellectual support and sounding of ideas. At the outset Small, on a visit, did not much care for the Allison One's presentation (not balance), and RA knew why. RA initially thought it was the dinner he'd just served ... Anyway, cool stuff, such as I have skimmed it.
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Last edited by davidrmoran; 10-21-2017 at 09:35 AM. Reason: augment
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