How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 126 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #3751 of 4521 Old 07-16-2019, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red MC View Post
Sorry in advance for the thread-jack.

I have a couple of Rythmik F12G subs. Rythmik's crossover controls are confusing and I had to email Rythmik to get the full explanation.

First, the LFE input bypasses the phase and crossover controls. It is meant to be used with an AVR or pre/pro that handles all the bass management. The slope you're seeing with the LFE input is a fixed 12 dB/octave low pass filter that offers the maximum extension within the design envelope of their servo. The servo requires a band-limited input to be stable.

The phase and crossover controls work with the Line input. The crossover is actually a combination of two cascaded low pass filters. The first LPF is controlled by the switch and the selections are:

50Hz/24 = fixed 50 Hz, 12 dB/octave (not 24!)
AVR/12 = bypass, no filter
80Hz/24 = fixed 80 Hz, 12 dB/octave (not 24!)

The second LPF is variable, controlled by the knob, and its slope is 12 dB/octave. So if you choose AVR/12, you get a single 12 dB/octave variable filter. If you choose either 50Hz/24 or 80Hz/24, you get a combination of a fixed 12 dB/octave filter and a variable 12 dB/octave filter. If you set the knob to the same frequency as the switch, you'll get a combined 24 dB/octave response. If you don't set the knob to the same frequency, then the slope will be 12 dB/octave between the corner frequencies of the two filters and 24 dB/octave above whichever is higher.
Thanks. This is not something I have read, anywhere. Not even in the Rythmik thread. I have always had the practice of leaving the crossover knob at its max, because I set the crossover with my AVR. So you're saying it's best to turn the knob to my chosen crossover frequency to set the filters at a constant 24? Can you see any hints that the slope is variable in my screen shot? I can't, but maybe you have a better eye.

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post #3752 of 4521 Old 07-17-2019, 03:25 PM
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Yeah, the single page of instructions they give you for the plate amp controls is a little misleading IMO. After reading the instructions, I assumed that the crossover frequency control knob was only in play when the switch was set to AVR/12, and if you picked the 50Hz/24 or 80Hz/24 option then it was really a fixed 24 dB/octave filter. So I was surprised when the crossover knob setting still had an effect on the amount higher frequencies I could hear coming through the sub, and asked Rythmik for clarification.

If you're using an AVR with automatic calibration including subwoofer time delay and EQ e.g. Audyssey, then you should be able to use the LFE input and ignore the knob. On the other hand, if you need to manually set up the sub configuration in your AVR, then you might have use for the phase control for fine tuning, which is only available with the Line input. In that case, you could use the AVR/12 setting with the knob turned up to the max to get the subwoofer's LPF out of the way. In theory, it's better for the AVR's crossover to do all the filtering because you would have matching slopes on the LPF and HPF. However, if you get better results by using the sub's crossover to roll it off faster, then by all means go with what works best.

I took a look at your measurements and I can see a hint of a variable slope in the third trace labeled "Line 120 80/24". It looks like the initial roll-off up to ~110 Hz is closer to 12 dB/octave and then from there on it's closer to 24 dB/octave. The trace labeled "Line 120 AVR/12" looks like a pretty consistent 12 dB/octave from 80 Hz on, and the trace labeled "LFE 80 AVR/12" looks like 6 dB/octave from 80-120Hz and 12 dB/octave above that. Your measured response looks remarkably flat below 80 Hz, so I'm guessing it's equalized. If so, the EQ is probably affecting the slopes somewhat and would make it harder to interpret what the sub's crossover is doing.
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post #3753 of 4521 Old 07-17-2019, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Red MC View Post
.... Your measured response looks remarkably flat below 80 Hz, so I'm guessing it's equalized. If so, the EQ is probably affecting the slopes somewhat and would make it harder to interpret what the sub's crossover is doing.
Since your EQ was already active during your measurements, I am suspecting that your AVR is already applying a 12 dB/oct LP filter at 80 Hz to you sub(s).
Here are what I think. For the "LFE 80 AVR 12" curve (the top one), it began to slope down 12 dB/oct at ~80 Hz, and the slope increased to -24 dB/oct at ~180 Hz. I'm guessing your AVR is applying a 12 dB/oct LP at 80 Hz, and your sub's 12 dB/oct protection LP filter kicked in at 180 Hz. For the "Line 120 AVR/12" curve (the middle one), both your AVR and sub were applying their 12 dB/oct LP filters at 80 Hz, giving you a -24 dB/oct slope. For the "Line 120 80/24" curve (the bottom one), the sub added an additional LP filter, steepening the slope to -36 dB/oct.
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post #3754 of 4521 Old 07-17-2019, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Red MC View Post
Yeah, the single page of instructions they give you for the plate amp controls is a little misleading IMO. After reading the instructions, I assumed that the crossover frequency control knob was only in play when the switch was set to AVR/12, and if you picked the 50Hz/24 or 80Hz/24 option then it was really a fixed 24 dB/octave filter. So I was surprised when the crossover knob setting still had an effect on the amount higher frequencies I could hear coming through the sub, and asked Rythmik for clarification.

If you're using an AVR with automatic calibration including subwoofer time delay and EQ e.g. Audyssey, then you should be able to use the LFE input and ignore the knob. On the other hand, if you need to manually set up the sub configuration in your AVR, then you might have use for the phase control for fine tuning, which is only available with the Line input. In that case, you could use the AVR/12 setting with the knob turned up to the max to get the subwoofer's LPF out of the way. In theory, it's better for the AVR's crossover to do all the filtering because you would have matching slopes on the LPF and HPF. However, if you get better results by using the sub's crossover to roll it off faster, then by all means go with what works best.

I took a look at your measurements and I can see a hint of a variable slope in the third trace labeled "Line 120 80/24". It looks like the initial roll-off up to ~110 Hz is closer to 12 dB/octave and then from there on it's closer to 24 dB/octave. The trace labeled "Line 120 AVR/12" looks like a pretty consistent 12 dB/octave from 80 Hz on, and the trace labeled "LFE 80 AVR/12" looks like 6 dB/octave from 80-120Hz and 12 dB/octave above that. Your measured response looks remarkably flat below 80 Hz, so I'm guessing it's equalized. If so, the EQ is probably affecting the slopes somewhat and would make it harder to interpret what the sub's crossover is doing.
My response was pretty badass in that room. Flattest bass response I've seen. That was indeed post-Audyssey, which was post-placement and a little PEQ on the sub amps. The steeper slope was chosen due to its better sound, but I will reevaluate in the current room. The AVR has changed as well, so I traded Audyssey for Dirac, and 12dB filters for 24dB filters in the crossover. So I may very well end up with a different setting when I get it all optimized. Ideally I could use the LFE input since it can be used up to the 100Hz crossover I sometimes use, depending on measurements. The Line-In starts rolling off at 80Hz, as you saw. However if I end up with the LFE-In, I need the subs to roll off faster than it did on the Denon.

If you hadn't before, can you post a link to your previous post on this in the Rythmik thread?

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post #3755 of 4521 Old 07-18-2019, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
My response was pretty badass in that room. Flattest bass response I've seen. That was indeed post-Audyssey, which was post-placement and a little PEQ on the sub amps. The steeper slope was chosen due to its better sound, but I will reevaluate in the current room. The AVR has changed as well, so I traded Audyssey for Dirac, and 12dB filters for 24dB filters in the crossover. So I may very well end up with a different setting when I get it all optimized. Ideally I could use the LFE input since it can be used up to the 100Hz crossover I sometimes use, depending on measurements. The Line-In starts rolling off at 80Hz, as you saw. However if I end up with the LFE-In, I need the subs to roll off faster than it did on the Denon.

If you hadn't before, can you post a link to your previous post on this in the Rythmik thread?
Another technique at your disposal to increase the slope of the crossover is to cascade LPF's. Set the LPF in the subs to the exact same frequency you use in the AVR. This will give you a *combined* LPF at the crossover point that is the sum of the two LPF's, (i.e., two 12's will yield 24, etc.) (Disclaimer: I'm not totally familiar with all the inner workings of the Rythmic subs, so I can't say for sure this is possible.)
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post #3756 of 4521 Old 07-19-2019, 01:16 AM
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Anyone knows what spinorama ACTUALLY is?
Like numbers and such?
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post #3757 of 4521 Old 07-19-2019, 01:39 AM
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However if I end up with the LFE-In, I need the subs to roll off faster than it did on the Denon.
Just so people know, for those with newer Audyssey equipped processors that can use the App, you can make the rolloff whatever you want for both the subs and the speakers. You have to do it manually, but it can be done for those so inclined.
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post #3758 of 4521 Old 07-19-2019, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by aats View Post
Anyone knows what spinorama ACTUALLY is?
Like numbers and such?
Start at the beginning of this thread. Numbers are less useful than graphs for it.
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post #3759 of 4521 Old 07-19-2019, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Jon AA View Post
Just so people know, for those with newer Audyssey equipped processors that can use the App, you can make the rolloff whatever you want for both the subs and the speakers. You have to do it manually, but it can be done for those so inclined.
I have bought the Audyssey app but have not been able to use it reliably with my new Denon receiver. By the way, this Denon receiver is buggy.
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post #3760 of 4521 Old 07-19-2019, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post
Another technique at your disposal to increase the slope of the crossover is to cascade LPF's. Set the LPF in the subs to the exact same frequency you use in the AVR. This will give you a *combined* LPF at the crossover point that is the sum of the two LPF's, (i.e., two 12's will yield 24, etc.) (Disclaimer: I'm not totally familiar with all the inner workings of the Rythmic subs, so I can't say for sure this is possible.)
This does not work properly as if the crossover is already a Linkwitz Riley , then cascading 2 sets of filters will get you 12dB down at the corner frequency rather than 6dB and a less sharp response eating into the pass band, Of course if the crossovers were implemented as 2nd order Butterworth, cascading 2 of them would get you a proper 4th order Linkwitz Riley crossover.
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post #3761 of 4521 Old 07-20-2019, 05:32 AM
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Start at the beginning of this thread. Numbers are less useful than graphs for it.
I've made it through like 50 pages and if there was something useful it was buried under pointless arguments.
Have found a non-complete answer (complete answer seems to be under around $200 paywall) somewhere else, maybe I can once find it for free, but I'll take a non-complete for now.
By "numbers and such" I meant how these graphs are measured of course.

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post #3762 of 4521 Old 07-20-2019, 09:06 AM
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I've made it through like 50 pages and if there was something useful it was buried under pointless arguments.
Have found a non-complete answer (complete answer seems to be under around $200 paywall) somewhere else, maybe I can once find it for free, but I'll take a non-complete for now.
By "numbers and such" I meant how these graphs are measured of course.
See page 7 here: https://www.harman.com/sites/default...RoomsPt2_0.pdf
Here's another take: https://www.sausalitoaudio.com/wp-co...ama-Charts.pdf
And, of course, there's: https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reprodu...9XWEQP2ESH25RB

Many more references embedded in this thread.

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post #3763 of 4521 Old 07-20-2019, 09:18 AM
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I've made it through like 50 pages and if there was something useful it was buried under pointless arguments.
Have found a non-complete answer (complete answer seems to be under around $200 paywall) somewhere else, maybe I can once find it for free, but I'll take a non-complete for now.
By "numbers and such" I meant how these graphs are measured of course.
There is an article in Audioholics with help from Dr Toole explaining what the different curves mean.
https://www.audioholics.com/loudspea...er-performance
Neutral sounding loudspeakers will have a flat on-axis frequency response curve. All the other curves must also be smooth (free of undulations, although not necessarily ruler flat or straight). Dr Toole also gave examples on how to interpret the measurements from real speakers (starting on page 13).
https://www.harman.com/sites/default...oScience_0.pdf
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post #3764 of 4521 Old 07-20-2019, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aats View Post
I've made it through like 50 pages and if there was something useful it was buried under pointless arguments.
Have found a non-complete answer (complete answer seems to be under around $200 paywall) somewhere else, maybe I can once find it for free, but I'll take a non-complete for now.
By "numbers and such" I meant how these graphs are measured of course.
You might find some insight in my McGill University lecture on YouTube:

The description of spinorama begins around 21 minutes into the lecture.
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post #3765 of 4521 Old 07-20-2019, 10:09 AM
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Some good pics of one of the anechoic chambers here: https://www.facebook.com/RevelSpeake...5206507844950/

https://www.cepro.com/article/harman..._facility_tour

I was at Harman a few weeks ago and will post more pics when I can.
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post #3766 of 4521 Old 07-20-2019, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
See page 7 here: https://www.harman.com/sites/default...RoomsPt2_0.pdf
Here's another take: https://www.sausalitoaudio.com/wp-co...ama-Charts.pdf
And, of course, there's: https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reprodu...9XWEQP2ESH25RB

Many more references embedded in this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NTK-129 View Post
There is an article in Audioholics with help from Dr Toole explaining what the different curves mean.
https://www.audioholics.com/loudspea...er-performance
Neutral sounding loudspeakers will have a flat on-axis frequency response curve. All the other curves must also be smooth (free of undulations, although not necessarily ruler flat or straight). Dr Toole also gave examples on how to interpret the measurements from real speakers (starting on page 13).
https://www.harman.com/sites/default...oScience_0.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
You might find some insight in my McGill University lecture on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrpU...Ji_scYd0WgC12g

The description of spinorama begins around 21 minutes into the lecture.

Thanks.

What was more interesting to me what "early reflection" is when I asked that question. Obviously not every reflection in the room is "early", you need to know angle to the wall. So what I wanted to look at what is that "early reflection" curve is, at what angle these "early reflections" are measured. Is this an average of measurements at angle? Are these averages are weighed based on some statistics on rooms gathered over the years what angles of these reflections are more probably to happen?
I've found the answer (short one, full one requires to look at that ANSI standard and to purchase a paper from AES, the paper is more of curiosity).

The second question I had was regarding smoothing but this was found (1/20 was the answer for Harman measurements) in this thread.
I had these kinds of questions, I prefer to know things about any measurement if I am going to somehow use it.


And real question about spinorama that I haven't found yet - where is the scale for Directivity index? I can't see it at all on many spinorama measurements.
Where it is on this graph for example?
Spoiler!

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post #3767 of 4521 Old 07-20-2019, 12:38 PM
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Thanks.

What was more interesting to me what "early reflection" is when I asked that question. Obviously not every reflection in the room is "early", you need to know angle to the wall. So what I wanted to look at what is that "early reflection" curve is, at what angle these "early reflections" are measured. Is this an average of measurements at angle? Are these averages are weighed based on some statistics on rooms gathered over the years what angles of these reflections are more probably to happen?
I've found the answer (short one, full one requires to look at that ANSI standard and to purchase a paper from AES, the paper is more of curiosity).

The second question I had was regarding smoothing but this was found (1/20 was the answer for Harman measurements) in this thread.
I had these kinds of questions, I prefer to know things about any measurement if I am going to somehow use it.


And real question about spinorama that I haven't found yet - where is the scale for Directivity index? I can't see it at all on many spinorama measurements.
Where it is on this graph for example?
Spoiler!
The DI scale may not always be shown in the automated measurements but it should be in all of the plots that I show in my lectures and papers. It is not difficult to figure out because at low frequencies the DI always goes to zero (omnidirectional). So the adjacent line is 0 dB and otherwise the scale is the same as the main scale on the left - 5 dB increments. As you know the traditional DI is the difference between the sound power and on axis response. In this case it is calculated as the difference between sound power and the listening window so that it is not corrupted by irrelevant acoustical interference irregularities that sometimes show up in the single on-axis curve.
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The DI scale may not always be shown in the automated measurements but it should be in all of the plots that I show in my lectures and papers. It is not difficult to figure out because at low frequencies the DI always goes to zero (omnidirectional).So the adjacent line is 0 dB and otherwise the scale is the same as the main scale on the left - 5 dB increments. As you know the traditional DI is the difference between the sound power and on axis response. In this case it is calculated as the difference between sound power and the listening window so that it is not corrupted by irrelevant acoustical interference irregularities that sometimes show up in the single on-axis curve.
Thanks, that is good to know.

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post #3769 of 4521 Old 07-21-2019, 01:09 PM
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It's been a while since I've participated in this thread as this is a very busy time of year for my business. That said, I just returned from a week long vacation and wish to thank all the recent participants in this thread for the entertaining, and sometimes informative vacation reading. Goes great with a mountain sunset and a fine single malt.



The most significant contribution to sound stage depth and stereo imaging is in fact, the recording itself. If every individual instrument or voice in a recording is close mic'd, there will be very little information in the recording to provide any significant sense of depth. The sense of depth in a recording is dependent on microphone location vs. the source sound. Obviously, the farther the mic is from the source, the more "room sound" is picked up in the recording. Microphones don't know what they're supposed to pick up. They only respond to air pressure. The loudest sound at the mic wins every time. By moving the mic away from the source, the ratio of reflected to direct sound increases, creating the sense of depth you hear. Most modern "pop" recordings use a combination of room and close micing techniques to locate instruments and voices in the sound stage. Additionally, many recordings are chock full of time based processing like reverb generators, delay lines, chorus and phasing effects that can all play a part in the sound stage of a recording.



The speakers being used for playback, and their location in the listening room will certainly effect how the sound stage is presented, but they're not going to create a sound stage that doesn't exist in the recording. Speakers with wide dispersion will certainly put more energy on reflecting surfaces, resulting in a more diffuse sound, which some might interpret as "better".



Left to right panning is another issue. That is created by simply reducing or increasing the level of that particular recorded signal in either the left or right channel of a stereo mix. If this signal is sent in equal amounts to both the left and right channels, it should "locate" dead center between your speakers.



As Craig John has so eloquently stated (twice- at least), a single loudspeaker cannot "image" on it's own. A stereo image is reliant on more than one source (in this case a speaker) in order to provide your brain with the information it needs to create the phantom images that appear between (or in some cases outside) of the physical speaker locations. Do speakers that measure well on a spin image better than those that don't? My professional experience tells me that they should, but I have no scientific evidence to prove it. There's certainly no reason that I'm aware of that they wouldn't image well. That said, some speakers (much like brains) just do some things better than others. Why can't the college professor change a tire? Why couldn't my dad (a military pilot ) program a VCR? Beats me.



All of this has been discussed previously in this thread, but frankly, it was just faster to say it again than to search through the enormous number of posts to find it.


If anyone finds the elusive data that can correlate some repeatable measurement with sound stage presentation, I'm sure they'll be the next Floyd Toole. Then we can move on to defining what good sound staging actually means to different people. That should be even more fun.
@garygreyh ,
thank you for such a thorough answer. I need to learn more about the music production processes and stages rather than the reproduction. I was very happy to find out so many different music recording methods in this thread.
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post #3770 of 4521 Old 07-21-2019, 08:44 PM
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Here is an article about how our vision can override our sense of taste.

http://nautil.us/issue/26/color/the-colors-we-eat


It is an easy step to wonder if our vision can override our sense of hearing.


Is it possible that a speaker which measures as less accurate can actually sound better than a more accurate speaker if the accurate speaker is in a cheap black vinyl box and the less accurate speaker is in an enclosure with an exotic wood veneer finish?



With all respect to Dr. Toole and the rest of the crew at Harman, has all their work been for nought if the appearance of the enclosure is the deciding element in how good a speaker sounds to any given listener?

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Originally Posted by SourNote View Post
http://nautil.us/issue/26/color/the-colors-we-eat


It is an easy step to wonder if our vision can override our sense of hearing.


Is it possible that a speaker which measures as less accurate can actually sound better than a more accurate speaker if the accurate speaker is in a cheap black vinyl box and the less accurate speaker is in an enclosure with an exotic wood veneer finish?



With all respect to Dr. Toole and the rest of the crew at Harman, has all their work been for nought if the appearance of the enclosure is the deciding element in how good a speaker sounds to any given listener?
Sit in a first row of a orchestra concert and you can increase volume and "detail" of any musician just by looking at him and watching him play. Here it is more of an aid rather than "override" (well, it is an "override" because certainly musician didn't start to play any louder when you looked at them). Not sure if you can observe this effect, but personally I and some of my friends do.
So I'd say more likely yes than no.


And the second question is of course yes - that is what blind tests are for - to eliminate the looks and other factors.

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post #3772 of 4521 Old 07-22-2019, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by SourNote View Post
It is an easy step to wonder if our vision can override our sense of hearing.
Easily:
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post #3773 of 4521 Old 07-22-2019, 11:46 AM
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The HARMAN science fixes this, right?
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post #3774 of 4521 Old 07-22-2019, 11:52 AM
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The HARMAN science fixes this, right?

No, Harman can't fix human nature but its testing ad design methodology eliminates products being released on "looks" alone
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post #3775 of 4521 Old 07-22-2019, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SourNote View Post
http://nautil.us/issue/26/color/the-colors-we-eat


It is an easy step to wonder if our vision can override our sense of hearing.


Is it possible that a speaker which measures as less accurate can actually sound better than a more accurate speaker if the accurate speaker is in a cheap black vinyl box and the less accurate speaker is in an enclosure with an exotic wood veneer finish?



With all respect to Dr. Toole and the rest of the crew at Harman, has all their work been for nought if the appearance of the enclosure is the deciding element in how good a speaker sounds to any given listener?
You're late to the conversation. This subject has already been discussed earlier in the thread and was demonstrated at Harman 25 years ago:

seanolive.blogspot.com/2009/04/dishonesty-of-sighted-audio-product.html
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post #3776 of 4521 Old 07-22-2019, 03:33 PM
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any scientist can brainwash their test subjects to respond a certain way...this has been proven with rats and all animals. If I train you and I test you, I will expect results...now if klipsch or svs trained you and you got results it means more. I have taken the harman online listening tool and I think its basic. I have listened to revel and they a bit more refined than some speakers, but I honestly like some klipsch and focal more...my brain and ears just dont think the music I listen to is best with many brands. I dont care what their response graphs look like....any speaker in any of the 5 rooms in my home with music all sound different. as of today I have klipsch, magnepan, and focal all in same room....they all play some music better tha others and all have been calibrated to be smooth in room with similar house curves. the focals are the flattest and they dont sound the best with all music....I will concede they best at all around avg. so imo take avg into account....if you like avg.

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post #3777 of 4521 Old 07-22-2019, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by torii View Post
any scientist can brainwash their test subjects to respond a certain way...this has been proven with rats and all animals. If I train you and I test you, I will expect results...now if klipsch or svs trained you and you got results it means more. I have taken the harman online listening tool and I think its basic. I have listened to revel and they a bit more refined than some speakers, but I honestly like some klipsch and focal more...my brain and ears just dont think the music I listen to is best with many brands. I dont care what their response graphs look like....any speaker in any of the 5 rooms in my home with music all sound different. as of today I have klipsch, magnepan, and focal all in same room....they all play some music better tha others and all have been calibrated to be smooth in room with similar house curves. the focals are the flattest and they dont sound the best with all music....I will concede they best at all around avg. so imo take avg into account....if you like avg.
Apparently you haven't been reading. The training did not change the results. It only made the testing proceed at a more efficient pace.

And, the entire point of the testing is as summarized by Manny LaCarrubba:

Quote:
The upshot of a Spinorama chart is that it tells us much (but not all) of what we need to know regarding how “good” a speaker is likely to sound when we put it in a room.
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post #3778 of 4521 Old 07-22-2019, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
Apparently you haven't been reading. The training did not change the results. It only made the testing proceed at a more efficient pace.

apparently you were there and believe all you read


I will take what my ears brain believe with the gear I have listened to and used...science is good start tho.

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apparently you were there and believe all you read
Are you accusing Toole of scientific fraud?

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post #3780 of 4521 Old 07-22-2019, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
Are you accusing Toole of scientific fraud?

if he says it all sounds better, good for him....thats why he mounts 20k speakers on wall i guess upside down...and also swears by 20 speakers setups for music....cant win em all i guess.

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