Originally Posted by aarons915
I'm not sure how you figure the M106 is the more neutral speaker, the listening window of the 105 looks better to me and many people in the Revel thread consider the M105 to sound better as well. Also Floyd's quote doesn't support a larger woofer being better, really the opposite since he's saying the smaller midwoofer has the potential of being more timbrally neutral. Common sense also tells you that if bigger woofers were better for midrange accuracy wouldn't the midrange drivers in a 3 way be larger? B&W is the perfect example of why a large midrange hurts performance, most of them measure terribly in the midrange. Also, the primary concern isn't just midrange accuracy, but integration of the 2 drivers, the larger the woofer, the harder this is to achieve and requires a very low crossover point that most tweeters can't do.
There are also many examples of the smaller woofered bookshelf speaker being preferred most times over the larger one. The M105 over the m106 like I mentioned, the KEF Q100 over the KEF Q300, Polk RtiA1 over the A3. If someone isn't using a sub I could see the argument of preferring the larger driver but otherwise subwoofers negate that advantage and a 5.25 has no problem with midbass over 80Hz.
His quote supports the fact that the difference in sound quality between 5 and 6 inches of woofer is negligible in a two-way. Read again:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole
The small off-axis dip around 2-3 kHz common to most cone & dome systems is indeed a flaw, but a very, very small one. If the dominant direct sound is intact, which it is, sound quality is not likely to be consequently altered.
The M106 and F208 listening windows and on-axis curves are just as smooth and flat as their smaller counterparts if not more so. We are talking fractions of a dB. Also, comparing Revel to itself says nothing since there are other brands that do much better off-axis with their 6 inch two-ways like Kef and Focal.
I certainly don't argue that there are 5 inchers that are preferred. But, the fact that it is a tossup whether which is preferred should tell you that size isn't the fundamental determinant of sound quality and that it's more a personal preference.
A 6 inch woofer won't start beaming until 2.5-3.0kHz and any decent tweeter can be crossed that low no problem.
B&W's issue isn't the woofer size, it's the crossover. They often employ a minimal crossover point north of 4kHz. And that's consistent across their lines regardless of woofer size. It's their trademark "house sound" and isn't really pertinent to this conversation.
Three-ways are a totally different situation and 3-4 inches is common for 3-way midranges. I don't see many people claiming that 3-4 inch 2-ways are superior to 5 inchers because of their better mid/tweet integration, do you?
5 inchers have a *significant* disadvantage with midbass even when crossed at 80Hz. That's obvious to anyone who has listened to larger bookshelves. I'm can't imagine that even being a controversial opinion at all since I've heard many of them.
Far off-axis response is SO far down on the list of priorities when comes to making a good-sounding speaker, that touting its importance serves no purpose other than to confuse the issue.
Even Toole himself says that the listening window response and bass capability (which directly affects distortion and dynamics) FAR outweigh all other factors and that far off-axis response is a very low priority.
I'm not saying that larger bookshelves are better for everyone in every situation, but they have many advantages that outweigh their smaller brethren in many cases. There has been a trend of calling any two-way woofer larger than 5 inches "flawed" and that simply is untrue.