How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 114 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #3391 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
It seems like a lot of ports have their output centered around their (low) tuning frequency, but then also have an output peak much higher, e.g., the Primus 6.5" bookshelf speaker makes some noise around 700Hz:



https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements



While that peak doesn't seem to make much difference in the overall frequency response on that page, here are anechoic measurements of the speaker that show some presumably-related weirdness around 700Hz:



https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/me...y_primus_p162/



I'm not sure what causes this higher-frequency output from the port but it seems to be fairly common, and it also seems fairly common for it to affect the overall frequency response of front-ported speakers, to varying degrees.



Ports seem kind of like magic to me and I don't really understand them. Looking at the close-mic measurement of the Infinity port, it seems to be producing ~2 octaves worth of sound at clearly-audible levels (-10 dB or above) that would be completely out of phase with the desired signal. That sounds pretty awful to me, and you'd really rather have that stuff coming out the back and hopefully be absorbed by the room somewhat, vs. coming out the front. I think there's probably something I must not be understanding about ports though.



But either way, I notice that not very many speaker designers choose to have front ports even though they would make placement easier. (No requirement to be X inches away from a wall.) So I assume there must be a reason for that, acoustically-speaking?

Port... Resonance...?

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #3392 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
I assume that rear ported is better than front in general. Presumably that's why all (?) of Harman's speakers are rear-ported now.

Revel Perform3 floor standers and JBL M2 are all front ported, seems like they haven't necessarily gone away from that design.
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post #3393 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 02:33 PM
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Yeah, there are plenty of front-ported speakers out there that don't exhibit those sort of problems. If you have a nasty port resonance I'm not sure how much having it come out of the back is going to help. I consider use/placement a much bigger consideration--for on wall, in wall, baffle wall, etc, you'll probably have an easier time with a front ported speaker.
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post #3394 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by shoeboo View Post
Revel Perform3 floor standers and JBL M2 are all front ported, seems like they haven't necessarily gone away from that design.
Whoops, yup, thanks.
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post #3395 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 03:07 PM
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Kevin Voecks pointed out to me that the port becomes irrelevant if you are using subs and crossing over at 80 Hz.
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post #3396 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post
I've seen this said several times in this thread... that soundstage and imaging information is in the recording. I have no doubt that, if the imaging information doesn't exist in the recording, it can't, (and shouldn't) exist in the playback. Yet, IME, when imaging and soundstage information does exist in a recording, different speakers portray that imaging information quite differently. Some will sound like all the "images" are emanating directly from the speakers, i.e., like the speakers are the actual sound sources. Others will sound like the soundstage is huge, but the placement of individual instruments is vague and imprecise. Others still, will have "pinpoint" imaging of individual instruments, groups of instruments, and voices. In those systems, the soundstage is usually more compressed.

Sounds that are recorded in "dual-mono" will portray sonic "images" that sound as if they are originating from a point directly between the two speakers, (given the pre-conditions that the speakers are equidistant to the listener, level-matched and that the listener is precisely located at the central listening position.) If those conditions are met, the central image can be an uncanny point source... or it can be an excessively wide and imprecise image that sounds like the singers mouth is 10 feet wide... and this distinction is very much dependent on the speaker system.

In all these instances, when the exact same material is reproduced on different speakers, the SPEAKERS portray the imaging differently. I have listened to dozens, maybe hundreds, of speaker system in my 65 years of life and they all image differently. When I want to evaluate the imaging capabilities of a system, I will use one specific recording to do so, Chant, by FourPlay.

https://youtu.be/xYZ5qriC7M8

The very first note is a powerful strike of a floor tom. The apparent "size" of the note tells a lot about the imaging. Then there is a left to right pan of a set of bells. On some systems they "jump" from the left side to the right side. On other systems they smoothly pan between the speakers, as if the percussionist is swiping the bells from left to right. And on some other systems, the bells don't pan at all, the whole string of bells just "exists" in the front of the room. There are vocals and multiple other instruments that take up space in the recording, and their apparent "images" can be precisely located or imprecisely indistinct, depending on the speaker system involved.

In any event, IME, there is way more to it than just having the information available in the recording, and the speaker system is the primary determinant of the quality of the imaging, (when the information exists.)

Craig
Craig,

I got a chance to listen on one system. Nice recording with nice soundstage. However, most of that one images within the boundary of the speakers. You might want give this one a try and 'see' where the bari, alto and soprano sax are This one even works on my desktop speakers so you'd think it would 'work' on just about anything. Plus, the three dimensionality is uncanny.


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post #3397 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 03:41 PM
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Huh? Your point has been that different speakers produce different imaging and soundstage? Has anybody disagreed with you about this?
Not in this thread.
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post #3398 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
Not in this thread.
Primarily in this thread.
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post #3399 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motrek View Post
It seems like a lot of ports have their output centered around their (low) tuning frequency, but then also have an output peak much higher, e.g., the Primus 6.5" bookshelf speaker makes some noise around 700Hz:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements

While that peak doesn't seem to make much difference in the overall frequency response on that page, here are anechoic measurements of the speaker that show some presumably-related weirdness around 700Hz:

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/me...y_primus_p162/

I'm not sure what causes this higher-frequency output from the port but it seems to be fairly common, and it also seems fairly common for it to affect the overall frequency response of front-ported speakers, to varying degrees.

Ports seem kind of like magic to me and I don't really understand them. Looking at the close-mic measurement of the Infinity port, it seems to be producing ~2 octaves worth of sound at clearly-audible levels (-10 dB or above) that would be completely out of phase with the desired signal. That sounds pretty awful to me, and you'd really rather have that stuff coming out the back and hopefully be absorbed by the room somewhat, vs. coming out the front. I think there's probably something I must not be understanding about ports though.

But either way, I notice that not very many speaker designers choose to have front ports even though they would make placement easier. (No requirement to be X inches away from a wall.) So I assume there must be a reason for that, acoustically-speaking?
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Kevin Voecks pointed out to me that the port becomes irrelevant if you are using subs and crossing over at 80 Hz.
If it's a 40 or 50 Hz tune, yeah. But if it's a 70Hz tune, it's still going to be near max output with only an 80 Hz crossover. But you're right, you can consider most ported speakers to be like large internal volume sealed speakers when using subs, from what I understand.

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post #3400 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 04:43 PM
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If your speakers cant image properly, yes you will have an imaging problem. It can also be the amps fault too. I have listened to plenty of amps that kill the soundstage and phantom imaging (comparing on the same speakers.) in my experience amps do have different imaging. I am at the point that I want to start a thread “ How to choose an amp: what the science says’ to establish what qualities and specs a good amp needs to properly reproduce stereo imaging with no variance.
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post #3401 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 04:45 PM
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I would agree with that only if you're including the room and speaker setup within it as part of the "system." I always remember something Dennis Erskine once said--"with 2 channel stereo, your room is your surround processor" or something to that effect.
Yes. But the point is that in the same room and with content different speakers will display different amount (or quality) of imaging.

Do you agree with this statement?
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post #3402 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Primarily in this thread.
It was discussed at length when discussing the validity of using one speaker for speaker quality assessment and what is responsible for excellent imaging and disappearing nature of an speaker.
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post #3403 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motrek View Post
It seems like a lot of ports have their output centered around their (low) tuning frequency, but then also have an output peak much higher, e.g., the Primus 6.5" bookshelf speaker makes some noise around 700Hz:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements

While that peak doesn't seem to make much difference in the overall frequency response on that page, here are anechoic measurements of the speaker that show some presumably-related weirdness around 700Hz:

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/me...y_primus_p162/
That reveals a fault in those designs that is more fundamental than port location.

Quote:
But either way, I notice that not very many speaker designers choose to have front ports even though they would make placement easier. (No requirement to be X inches away from a wall.) So I assume there must be a reason for that, acoustically-speaking?
IMHO, bottom ports are the way to go with floor-standers because the loading is designed in and consistent.

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Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #3404 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
It was discussed at length when discussing the validity of using one speaker for speaker quality assessment and what is responsible for excellent imaging and disappearing nature of an speaker.
And also when I mistakenly brought up the topic of 'scale'.
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post #3405 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 05:41 PM
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Do you agree with this statement?
Certainly. I was just pointing out that room interaction is such an inseparable part of the end result it seems to me it would be really difficult to objectively test speakers and get an answer that would be universally applicable.
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post #3406 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 05:50 PM
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Given the wavelengths involved and the dimensions of most home loudspeakers, it is hard to think that where the port is placed on the cabinet will have much effect.
Yes. The rule of thumb is you want the distance between port and driver no greater than a 1/4 wavelength of the tuning frequency. If you look at the wavelengths, the rule is easily satisfied. Example: 60 Hz is around 18.8 feet long, so 1/4 wavelength is around 4.8 feet.
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post #3407 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 06:24 PM
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Cleanup in aisle, "What the Science Shows" (re: imaging)

Quote:
Originally Posted by motrek View Post
Huh? Your point has been that different speakers produce different imaging and soundstage? Has anybody disagreed with you about this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
Not in this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Primarily in this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
It was discussed at length when discussing the validity of using one speaker for speaker quality assessment and what is responsible for excellent imaging and disappearing nature of an speaker.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
And also when I mistakenly brought up the topic of 'scale'.

Sorry, I was off a bit. This is my own post below, which put forth a quick summary outline about the source of imaging, based upon the cumulative commentary found within this thread (and it was "liked" by Floyd and Rex, so I probably got the gist of it correct):

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...l#post57796926
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post #3408 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
Sorry, I was off a bit. This is my own post below, which put forth a quick summary outline about the source of imaging, based upon the cumulative commentary found within this thread (and it was "liked" by Floyd and Rex, so I probably got the gist of it correct):

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...l#post57796926
I may be misremembering, but I thought a main point of the Toole/Olive/Harman research is that a speaker will have better imaging, soundstage, sense of spaciousness, and not-boxyness when its reflected sound better matches its direct sound (thus making the speaker harder to localize).
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post #3409 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
Sorry, I was off a bit. This is my own post below, which put forth a quick summary outline about the source of imaging, based upon the cumulative commentary found within this thread (and it was "liked" by Floyd and Rex, so I probably got the gist of it correct):

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...l#post57796926
I agree with those three points, but there's more to it than just that, IMO, of course. I've long said that the three speaker measurements that I'm interested in are impedance, efficiency and side to side tracking or linearity. The last one is especially important. If they don't track within a 1/10th of a db or so, up and down their available FR then you would have mighty strange imaging as that saxophonist boogies back and forth as he/she/it goes up and down the scale. Sometimes though, they are actually moving around. Obviously, it's got to be in the recording. Of course the room is important, but I find the affect intensifies the more nearfield I listen, within reason, i.e., the speakers are further away from boundaries. I can generally make 'it' happen in any room, but I've run across speakers that won't do 'it' in any room. Harmanites want wide dispersion where I generally want more narrow dispersion to reduce, but not eliminate crosstalk at the MLP.

I'm not sure how deep we want to get into this given how many times we've been through this. Probably easier to go back to the location you linked and read back and forth from there. On the other hand, I'm sure AVS needs the page views for the advertisers since it's been a little slow around here lately.
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post #3410 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 07:16 PM
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Can anyone help me interpret the following two graphs? They have different y-axis so not as straight forward to do a direct comparison. Looks like the Monitor Audio (MA), in the listening window, has a flatter overal response. But the low-end appears more linear overall in the Revel and doesn't roll off as fast? The MA has a significant dip around 4khz and 7-9khz.



This is Revel Concerta2 F36 freq response graph:



This is the Monitor Audio Silver 300 graph (from Stereophile, only shows the listening window):


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post #3411 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 07:58 PM
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I agree with those three points, but there's more to it than just that, IMO, of course.
I think that is what defines the different camps in a nutshell--the percentage of the "more to it than just that". I feel comfortable with 5-10% not being easily defined in the measurements, and I'm sure your percentage would be much higher. I imagine there would be a wide, varying spectrum among the AVS membership, but not as much in this thread. You're the outlier. The good news: there is a lot we all agree on.

There are some things in audio that aren't easy to completely define by the numbers, like imaging--like scale. There are subjective aspects that involve personal preferences.

I was glad to see you mention efficiency. With amp power dropping in price, there has been a trend of placing less importance on efficiency/sensitivity. I think it might be one of the missing puzzle pieces in the matter of image size/scale.
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post #3412 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 08:15 PM
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Can anyone help me interpret the following two graphs? They have different y-axis so not as straight forward to do a direct comparison. Looks like the Monitor Audio (MA), in the listening window, has a flatter overal response. But the low-end appears more linear overall in the Revel and doesn't roll off as fast? The MA has a significant dip around 4khz and 7-9khz. ...
Both look extremely flat to me. John Atkinson frequently discusses how his measurement technique results in a bass bump so I wouldn't worry about the bump for the MA centered around 150Hz.

Both speakers look to be generally +/- 1 dB to me. Eyeballing it, the MA has two little dips that go below -1 dB, whereas the Revel has a little dip at around 12-13 kHz (remember to look at the blue line and not the red line). These variations are so small that I would say that both are impressively flat and it's basically a tie and you should be looking at other characteristics to decided between the two, like off-axis dispersion.

Too bad I can't find an off-axis FR plot for the Revel similar to what Stereophile has for the Monitor Audio. Here's a review for an older model of Revel:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements

Seems like the Monitor Audio has broader, smoother dispersion to me, and a much cleaner cumulative spectral decay plot. Dunno what the new model of Revel would look like...
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post #3413 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 08:31 PM
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I think that is what defines the different camps in a nutshell--the percentage of the "more to it than just that". I feel comfortable with 5-10% not being easily defined in the measurements, and I'm sure your percentage would be much higher. I imagine there would be a wide, varying spectrum among the AVS membership, but not as much in this thread. You're the outlier. The good news: there is a lot we all agree on.

There are some things in audio that aren't easy to completely define by the numbers, like imaging--like scale. There are subjective aspects that involve personal preferences.

I was glad to see you mention efficiency. With amp power dropping in price, there has been a trend of placing less importance on efficiency/sensitivity. I think it might be one of the missing puzzle pieces in the matter of image size/scale.
I'm 100% of the 14% !!!!

"image size/scale"

I do not believe these two terms are interchangeable. Related, yes. Interchangeable, no.
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post #3414 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
I may be misremembering, but I thought a main point of the Toole/Olive/Harman research is that a speaker will have better imaging, soundstage, sense of spaciousness, and not-boxyness when its reflected sound better matches its direct sound (thus making the speaker harder to localize).
You may be right. But I think the gist was that speakers with more direct sound will have more stable imaging. But it was not clear what ALL variables are that dictate which speaker will have better imaging and which won't. I don't think imaging and transparency were the key questions Harman research was trying to answer.
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Both look extremely flat to me. John Atkinson frequently discusses how his measurement technique results in a bass bump so I wouldn't worry about the bump for the MA centered around 150Hz.

Both speakers look to be generally +/- 1 dB to me. Eyeballing it, the MA has two little dips that go below -1 dB, whereas the Revel has a little dip at around 12-13 kHz (remember to look at the blue line and not the red line). These variations are so small that I would say that both are impressively flat and it's basically a tie and you should be looking at other characteristics to decided between the two, like off-axis dispersion.

Too bad I can't find an off-axis FR plot for the Revel similar to what Stereophile has for the Monitor Audio. Here's a review for an older model of Revel:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements

Seems like the Monitor Audio has broader, smoother dispersion to me, and a much cleaner cumulative spectral decay plot. Dunno what the new model of Revel would look like...

Thanks. It was hard to read the color coding, I was looking at the black line as I thought that was the listening window, but I guess that's the First Reflections line. The blue line does look much better. Now to see if I can demo the MA Silver 300 somewhere. I remember always liking the MA sound, but that was 10 years ago and never actually bought one, and I think my preferences have changed a bit over time though for speakers I prefer flat with a bit of well controlled bass emphasis as I listen to a lot of bass heavy music.



There used to be this hifi shop near where I used to live that had all the major brands, I could demo 10 different speakers in similar price ranges at once. But that's not the case now It's all very spread out.


There might be a store near my work that carries them. Also another store near my work that carries Dali, but I recall not really liking the Dali sound all that much 10 years ago, wonder if they've improved. This weekend I'll try to demo Paradigm and Elac. Dynaudio is unfortunately out of my price range.


Once I have my shortlist of candidates I'll have to do more online research about the objective differences and read subjective reviews to get a sense for things that don't show up as well in measurements, such as soundstage, imaging, etc. That's all I'll be able to do as no one store carries them all
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post #3416 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 09:35 PM
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Can soundstage and stereo phantom imaging be measured in a recording and compared with measurement to what the two stereo speaker are putting out? Is it possible for a speaker or system to measure well with no or poor reproduction of soundstage or imaging?
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post #3417 of 5318 Old 07-08-2019, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesyates View Post
Can soundstage and stereo phantom imaging be measured in a recording and compared with measurement to what the two stereo speaker are putting out? Is it possible for a speaker or system to measure well with no or poor reproduction of soundstage or imaging?

my focals measure better than my magnepans so far...the magnepans have better imaging and soundstage and depth and separation imo. focals have more dynamics, spl, fill my room better, position closer to wall, etc...lot of give and takes...I dont see how one could say they dont like these new magnepan lrs. I also dont see how people wouldnt like the focals but they really different.

Power: Marantz sr7008, NAD C 275Bee x 2, Video: Oppo 103, Samsung 75un6300
Speakers: Focal aria 948, Focal cc900, Klipsch synergy KSF 10.5, Magnepan LRS
Subs: Rythmik FV25HP, Rythmik FV15HP
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post #3418 of 5318 Old 07-09-2019, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesyates View Post
Can soundstage and stereo phantom imaging be measured in a recording and compared with measurement to what the two stereo speaker are putting out? Is it possible for a speaker or system to measure well with no or poor reproduction of soundstage or imaging?
I'm not sure I would say 'no reproduction' at all, but poor or inappropriately diffuse soundstage, imaging, focus or scaling, yeah, and yet their standard 'Harman' type FR and spinomatic measurements could be fine. It's also not as price dependent as we would think. I more frequently hear issues with certain manufacture's top of the line than middle range products. Some designer/acoustic engineers whom I've known for a long long time chase 'this' as if its the holy grail. Others don't care, deny it exists or 'blame' it on our imagination so it runs the entire gamut. While 'uncolored' and 'neutrality' are worthy goals and watch me bitch up a blue streak when something I hear or worse yet buy (hello B&W) isn't. However this hand waving, hocus pocus, three-dimensional stuff with few if any metrics to define how, when, where and why are why I'm in the hobby and have been since the 50s. I have many questions, but few answers as to the 'why' of all of this, but I sure know it when I hear it. It's just my thang just as some folks are very 'tuned' into pitch where I'm clueless. Maybe I'm 'brain damaged' from the early exposure to lots of live unamplified music, mostly big band, starting in 1947, but whatever it is, I'm more aware of this aspect of music reproduction than any other.
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post #3419 of 5318 Old 07-09-2019, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by torii View Post
my focals measure better than my magnepans so far...the magnepans have better imaging and soundstage and depth and separation imo. focals have more dynamics, spl, fill my room better, position closer to wall, etc...lot of give and takes...I dont see how one could say they dont like these new magnepan lrs. I also dont see how people wouldnt like the focals but they really different.
That's always been my goal is to have several systems and all different. Maintains your objectivity and doesn't allow you to get too accustomed to any one system. Spent the last two or three weeks with the new Magnepans, but yesterday went down and fired up the previous and wow is that different. Sure different rooms and different placement, but still quite different.
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post #3420 of 5318 Old 07-09-2019, 06:14 AM
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Can anyone help me interpret the following two graphs? They have different y-axis so not as straight forward to do a direct comparison. Looks like the Monitor Audio (MA), in the listening window, has a flatter overal response. But the low-end appears more linear overall in the Revel and doesn't roll off as fast? The MA has a significant dip around 4khz and 7-9khz.
I think the F36 has a flatter listening window. The line labeled listening window is, I think, the data most comparable to the stereophile chart. It is the trace almost underneath the on-axis trace.
I am also interested in directivity changes and the stereophile chart doesn't give you that directly. If you had the on axis and listening window charts you could make a good estimate.
By the way, I thought the F35 chart looked virtually the same as the F36, ignoring bass response (assuming a subwoofer).
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Living room: Samsung PN60F8500, Sony X800M2, Roku Premiere+, Revel W763, Revel M16, Hsu HB-1 MK2, RSL C34E, Rhythmik D15SE, Denon X4200W; Zone 2: Speaker selector, Yamaha RX-V495 (1999); Bedroom: Panasonic P50U54, Oppo BDP-80, Chromecast Audio, Advent Legacy III (1994), Denon 2310ci; Cabin: Roku 3, NHT Super Zero (1996), Hsu VTF-2 MK4, Denon 1712
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