Originally Posted by aarons915
I'm mostly in agreement with you and yes 5 and 6 inch woofers are considered small compared to the bigger towers but there are still differences in directivity as is evidenced by the measurements. So people can choose a slightly more timbrally neutral speaker or have slightly more output.
I just don't agree that a 5 inch woofer is more timbrally neutral than a 6 inch woofer, all things being equal.
Something like the Wavecrest HVL-1 or HTM-200SE vs the Ascend CBM-170SE (same designer and goals for all) spring to mind or the very neutral Phil AA's vs the smaller "matching center." Likewise the Mini-Phil vs. the New Phil and the Sierra-2 vs. Sierra Luna. You would be hard-pressed to find more universally recognized "neutral" speakers on this forum or elsewhere than the New Phils, AA's and CBM-170's. IOW, I don't think many would call the Wavecrest, HTM-200SE's, AA center, Sierra Lunas or Mini-Phils "more timbrally neutral" than their larger brethren
Counter examples also abound and that shows that size is not the grand arbiter of timbral neutrality.
I usually find 5 inchers on the light and lean side of things and lacking dynamics compared to their larger stablemates, even when crossed to a sub. Again, that's purely subjective on my part and is a 100% personal preference. I would never claim universality on that opinion.
So we may be at a crossroads here, and that's totally fine. But, I am enjoying the discussion so I genuinely appreciate the arguments you've presented here.
Also, if I may, I greatly enjoy your reviews and I think you offer good advice, in general. 5 inchers have benefits of size and cost I won't deny, but I will disagree that they mate better with a typical dome tweeter than anything larger.
Originally Posted by aarons915
The reason the M106 to the Focal 906 isn't a good comparison is because almost nothing is similar in each design, in the M105 vs M106 you're comparing the identical tweeters matching with the different cone size and we just so happen to have measurements of each from the same company. It compares real world trade-offs between a 5 and 6 inch driver which is what we're after.
I understand the attraction to making an M105 vs M106 comparison be definitive or even representative but I think that's faulty thinking.
Ideally we would want the best example of a 5 incher and the best example of a 6 incher. I think the M105 would be a great candidate, but I think the M106 would be a poor one. We don't know how much time was spent perfecting the M106 crossover, cabinet, woofer, waveguide, etc.
They obviously worked very hard on the M105, but for all we know, the M106 was just "putting a bigger woofer in a bigger yet similar box." The other speakers in the Performa line use a 5 inch midrange, so reason dictates that the tweeter waveguide, cabinet geometry, and crossover topologies were all optimized for that particular woofer.
What if Revel had decided to optimize the 6 inch woofer for use as a midrange across the line instead? I'm sure they went with a 5 inch because in a three-way it makes more sense when using 6 and 8 inch woofers. But why not a 4 inch? Would it not be even better like in the Salon2 especially since, as you claim, distortion in the mids is moot?
That's my thinking, anyhow...I'd want the best examples of both designs, ideally.