How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 149 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 6394Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #4441 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 10:01 AM
Member
 
Floyd Toole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: California
Posts: 837
Mentioned: 89 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 876 Post(s)
Liked: 3083
Quote:
Originally Posted by bodosom View Post
Yes. You can find more data at speakerdata2034 and Audioholics often publishes CTA-2034 data. I think Listening Window might be a reasonable proxy for 2034 data and that's available from the Canadian National Research Council (NRC/NRCC/CNRC) via Soundstage.


Perhaps @avkv and Dr. Toole have opinions about shopping in hostile retail world.
Life is not fair

FACT: The right set of anechoic measurements allows us to recognize the most neutral sounding loudspeakers. Such loudspeakers are sensible starting points if one is to avoid monotonous colorations added to all music and movies. Tone controls can compensate for some of the variations in recordings.

SAD FACT: Those measurements are hard to find. None exist for most of the products in the marketplace.

I find some consolation in the fact that as time has passed more manufacturers have discovered the science, and the merits of designing neutral loudspeakers. Although there are certainly some exceptions, it is true that the average sound quality of loudspeakers has gone up.

So, one can identify manufacturers that claim to follow the scientific guidance and trust that they are doing it. Ask for spinorama or comparable anechoic data - you might get it.

Failing that, one is left with listening evaluations. These "listening tests", as is well documented, are not reliable unless conducted blind, and with some basic controls. Different speakers in different rooms listening to different program material at different sound levels all contribute to evaluations that may not apply when you get the product home. Bass quality contributes about 30% of our subjective impressions of sound quality, and that is dominated by the listening room and setup. Comparing speakers in the same room is a good idea, positional substitution is even better. Comparing speakers auditioned in different rooms is a gamble.

Humans may or may not have degraded hearing (which leads to variable judgments), and even with perfectly normal hearing we are all notoriously susceptible to non-auditory biasing factors: what we have read, how something looks, the brand, price, etc. All of these biasing factors have allowed many truly mediocre products to survive, perhaps even to thrive, in the marketplace over the years.

Nevertheless, although fraught with difficulties, there is some personal satisfaction in finding the speaker "that matches one's taste". That is the ultimate defense: "I heard it and liked it".

Good luck.
Floyd Toole is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4442 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 11:52 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
bodosom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Niagara Frontier
Posts: 9,613
Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2103 Post(s)
Liked: 1637
Quote:
Originally Posted by bodosom View Post
I think Listening Window might be a reasonable proxy for 2034 data
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
Ask for spinorama or comparable anechoic data - you might get it.
So do you consider Listening Window sufficiently helpful as a figure of merit for sorting out the chaff or is there some other useful collection of measurements that are of value absent CTA-2034?

Full disclosure my speakers were measured at NRC (and 3D3A) but don't have explicit CTA-2034 and I used the NRC Listening Window metric to winnow. I suppose I'm a retrospectively interested party.

I might type 2K for 1080p.
UDP-203/ATV4K(6,2)/X3500/LG C8
bodosom is online now  
post #4443 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 12:06 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Central, PA
Posts: 170
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
Liked: 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by motrek View Post
Indeed, this thread has been a spectacular failure at its stated purpose. Kevin Voecks said they would use this thread to publish measurements and ended up posting spinoramas for only three speakers, seemingly selected to imply that the speakers made by his company/brand are superior to speakers made by two other companies. How this doesn't violate some forum policy re: marketing, I don't know. Of course Revel speakers would still be towards the top of my list of speakers to audition if I was looking for something in that price range, by this whole situation has lowered my opinion of Harman and Revel.

In addition to the sites mentioned above, Stereophile measures and publishes off-axis response data for almost every speaker they review. They go +/- 90 degrees horizontally and +/- 15 degrees vertically, so you wouldn't be able to reconstruct a spinorama from that, but the wealth of data is certainly helpful IMO.

Actually, he said they'd publish results as they became available. Yes, I realize the thread has been going for 9 months, but to say that it's a "spectacular failure" is just silly. This thread has provided more useful information, informative discussion and a more comprehensive exchange of ideas than any other I've read on AVS. It has also had a fair amount of the usual online forum bickering, but I know of no other thread on the site that is frequented by the people who actually pioneered the research, developed the science and then developed a highly regarded product line based on that science. See any threads on here where you can speak directly to the guy that developed Dirac? Yeah, neither have I.



If only a very few speaker manufacturers choose to provide product to be tested, how it that Harman's fault? Should Harman go out and buy a set of every speaker on the market to measure, and then publish the results?



It never ceases to amaze me at how worked up folks get over their "hobby". I may have to check some model railroad forums to see if any brawls break out over curve radius theory.
sdurani, krabapple, Muza and 5 others like this.
garygreyh is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4444 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 12:27 PM
Member
 
Floyd Toole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: California
Posts: 837
Mentioned: 89 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 876 Post(s)
Liked: 3083
Quote:
Originally Posted by bodosom View Post
So do you consider Listening Window sufficiently helpful as a figure of merit for sorting out the chaff or is there some other useful collection of measurements that are of value absent CTA-2034?

Full disclosure my speakers were measured at NRC (and 3D3A) but don't have explicit CTA-2034 and I used the NRC Listening Window metric to winnow. I suppose I'm a retrospectively interested party.
The direct sound is a prominent indicator of sound quality. If it is wrong, nothing else much matters. So, yes, look at the listening window data. The old NRC form or the new spinorama form will do nicely. A single on-axis curve is susceptible to acoustical interference effects that are not usually audible - the spatial average of the listening window is a better predictor. That said, if there is a large difference between the on-axis and listening window data there may be directivity problems - which would also be revealed in further off-axis data, or the early-reflections curve in spinorama.
bodosom, Muza and overg like this.
Floyd Toole is offline  
post #4445 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 12:50 PM
AVS Forum Club Gold
 
craig john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 11,799
Mentioned: 65 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1339 Post(s)
Liked: 1578
Here's my thought, for whatever they're worth:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
Life is not fair

FACT: The right set of anechoic measurements allows us to recognize the most neutral sounding loudspeakers. Such loudspeakers are sensible starting points if one is to avoid monotonous colorations added to all music and movies. Tone controls can compensate for some of the variations in recordings.
I agree with this, especially the "sensible starting point" comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
SAD FACT: Those measurements are hard to find. None exist for most of the products in the marketplace.
Also agreed and this is especially frustrating. The manufacturer of my own speakers, Triad, doesn't release ANY measurements whatsoever. The "spec's" on their speakers are trivial and, in some cases, suspect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
Failing that, one is left with listening evaluations. These "listening tests", as is well documented, are not reliable unless conducted blind, and with some basic controls.
Finding a blind listening test with some basic controls is even more rare than spinoramas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
Different speakers in different rooms listening to different program material at different sound levels all contribute to evaluations that may not apply when you get the product home. Bass quality contributes about 30% of our subjective impressions of sound quality, and that is dominated by the listening room and setup. Comparing speakers in the same room is a good idea, positional substitution is even better. Comparing speakers auditioned in different rooms is a gamble.
I believe the only *valid* listening test is an extended in-home test with enough time allowed to ensure complete and proper setup of the speakers, (positioning, toe-in, subwoofer integration, etc.) This is how I chose my current speakers. They were brought to my house and I was allowed to take in-room measurements and do some extended listening evaluations. They sound "neutral" to me, (no instruments or notes sound exaggerated or diminished, and sounds are articulate and distinct, depending on the recording.) However, I can't do spins myself, and, like I said, the manufacturer doesn't make spins available.

Having said that, I have also heard several other speakers that I like a lot, but that I know are not neutral. The Legacy's come to mind. I have heard several different models, (Whispers, Signatures, Focus and Studio.) They all have a somewhat rising high frequency. They're not "bright" or "shrill" or "biting" or anything like that. They just have more energy in the higher frequencies, which gives them an "open" "airy" sound, to use some audiophile terminology. I'm sure this is due to the AMT drivers and Bill Duddleston's integration of them, but they really "work." Again, Bill doesn't release any spins on his speakers, but they don't sound "neutral" to me. The higher end models also have excellent bass response.

In addition, I have yet to figure out how to glean certain aspects of sound reproduction from the spinorama. I don't know how to look at a spin and know whether a speaker will provide excellent sonic imaging. I don't how to read "dynamics" from a spin. I'm still making my way through Dr. Toole's book. Maybe it's all in there and I just haven't gotten to it yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
Humans may or may not have degraded hearing (which leads to variable judgments),
I have twice heard systems that were EQ'd to address the owner's hearing deficiencies. I couldn't listen to either one for very long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
...and even with perfectly normal hearing we are all notoriously susceptible to non-auditory biasing factors: what we have read, how something looks, the brand, price, etc. All of these biasing factors have allowed many truly mediocre products to survive, perhaps even to thrive, in the marketplace over the years.
This is certainly true. What's surprising to me is that so many people seem to truly *like* speakers that are not "neutral."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
Nevertheless, although fraught with difficulties, there is some personal satisfaction in finding the speaker "that matches one's taste". That is the ultimate defense: "I heard it and liked it".

Good luck.
Even with the science, that is all we can do.

My advise to the OP asking the question:
  • Use measurements when available to learn about the speakers you're considering. If measurements are not available, try to find the manufacturer's design philosophies.
  • Go listen to the speakers you think you'll like based on the measurements and or designs, and see if you actually do like neutral speakers. In my experience, in spite of what people prefer in a blind listening test, some people seem to like "bright" speakers, while some seem to prefer "warm" speakers.
  • Once you've found speakers you like in a listening test, arrange an in-home listening test in your room, with your acoustics and your setup.
  • Optimize that setup as best you can, and then decide if they will meet your needs.
  • If they don't, start all over again.
Craig

Lombardi said it:
"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

My System

Last edited by craig john; 08-23-2019 at 12:55 PM.
craig john is offline  
post #4446 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 12:56 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
DonH50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Monument CO
Posts: 12,345
Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3276 Post(s)
Liked: 3365
I wonder how many listeners who prefer "non-neutral" speakers are actually choosing ones that yield a (more) neutral response in their room with their equipment. E.g. a speaker with rolled-off highs in a live room, or with peaked upper-midrange "presence" in a room that is acoustically more dead than others. I already know plenty of folk choose subwoofers with higher distortion because they "sound fuller" to them since the 2HD is more audible than the fundamental. Easier to hear the distortion, so it makes the sub louder/"better"...

I fully expect Floyd to cite chapter and page! Which reminds me I need to get back to reading his book; I read the first two editions long ago but have not yet made it all the way through the third. It is a BIG step up from the last edition.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
DonH50 is offline  
post #4447 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 01:35 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 207
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 127 Post(s)
Liked: 160
How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows

Quote:
Originally Posted by garygreyh View Post
It never ceases to amaze me at how worked up folks get over their "hobby". I may have to check some model railroad forums to see if any brawls break out over curve radius theory.

made my day!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
gwthacker is online now  
post #4448 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 02:00 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
aarons915's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,339
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 898 Post(s)
Liked: 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
I wonder how many listeners who prefer "non-neutral" speakers are actually choosing ones that yield a (more) neutral response in their room with their equipment. E.g. a speaker with rolled-off highs in a live room, or with peaked upper-midrange "presence" in a room that is acoustically more dead than others. I already know plenty of folk choose subwoofers with higher distortion because they "sound fuller" to them since the 2HD is more audible than the fundamental. Easier to hear the distortion, so it makes the sub louder/"better"...

I fully expect Floyd to cite chapter and page! Which reminds me I need to get back to reading his book; I read the first two editions long ago but have not yet made it all the way through the third. It is a BIG step up from the last edition.
I don't have my book on me at work or I would help him out to give the man a break but there is a study cited on this. There were 3 rooms and 4 speakers (or maybe 4 rooms and 3 speakers) that all varied in dimensions and layout. The conclusion of the study was that the rooms changed the preference ratings of each speaker but they didn't change which speaker was preferred.
motrek likes this.
aarons915 is online now  
post #4449 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 02:26 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Kal Rubinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: NYC + Connecticut
Posts: 30,291
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1355 Post(s)
Liked: 1291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
The direct sound is a prominent indicator of sound quality. If it is wrong, nothing else much matters. So, yes, look at the listening window data.
Indeed. It seems to me that speakers which demand fussy adjustments of "toe-in" and, particularly, those which are not supposed to be listened to on-axis are revealing their flaws without any need to reference to CTA-2034 data.
RichB, DonH50, Karl Maga and 1 others like this.

Kal Rubinson

"Music in the Round"
Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

Kal Rubinson is online now  
post #4450 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 02:58 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
aarons915's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,339
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 898 Post(s)
Liked: 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
The direct sound is a prominent indicator of sound quality. If it is wrong, nothing else much matters. So, yes, look at the listening window data.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
Indeed. It seems to me that speakers which demand fussy adjustments of "toe-in" and, particularly, those which are not supposed to be listened to on-axis are revealing their flaws without any need to reference to CTA-2034 data.
I agree with these statements for the most part but doesn't this assume that we are all pointing our speakers directly to our listening position? I see in many peoples' setup photos speakers pointed straight ahead and I've done the same for awhile. If we were to assume that people don't toe their speakers in at all, the new listening window would be centered around 15 deg roughly and the 1st reflections would also be very close to this listening window. Is this wrong for any particular reason or just different?

The speaker I'm using without any toe is the LS50, since Stereophile rated it Class A, I assume you think highly of it Kal but if you look at the Soundstage measurements, it's clearly better at 15 degrees off-axis and Kef even mentions this in the LS50 white paper. Ideally it would be more neutral on-axis but I'm just saying this is one case of a speaker that many people think highly of but doesn't measure great on-axis.
Scotth3886 likes this.
aarons915 is online now  
post #4451 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 03:47 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1,402
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 956 Post(s)
Liked: 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
As I alluded to in my last post, if there is "environment" included in the recording, it's in the recording, and will play on any speaker just as any of the other instruments will.



If it's not in the recording, you're adding it with your room. And that's fine, just know that it isn't the same. That's part of the circle of confusion...we can never know exactly what the engineer intended.





Problem is, you can't. The physics of long wavelengths in small rooms are against you.



Have you heard a well-integrated subwoofer setup before? I'm talking multiple articulate subs (Rythmik, HSU), time-aligned, response flattened, tuned to blend with the mains?



The reason I ask is 2.0 purists like to bash on subs, and it's probably because they've had bad experiences. That in turn becomes their point of reference.
You said "if there is "environment" included in the recording, it's in the recording, and will play on any speaker just as any of the other instruments will."

If the environment (room etc.) Is included in the recording, would it sound like it sounded in the room during recording when played through a speaker in an anachoic chamber? If not why not?
SouthernCA is online now  
post #4452 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 03:51 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1,402
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 956 Post(s)
Liked: 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
Your comment was absolutely relevant and appropriate within the given context as it will be read by some who aren't familiar with your professional background and aren't likely to go check your profile. Anyway, those who make many productive contributions to the forum are allowed to be redundant.
Also, many people read this forum in their phone with Tapatalk where profile and signature information is not readily available.
drh3b likes this.
SouthernCA is online now  
post #4453 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 03:52 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Soulburner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lincoln
Posts: 4,904
Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Liked: 1635
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
You said "if there is "environment" included in the recording, it's in the recording, and will play on any speaker just as any of the other instruments will."

If the environment (room etc.) Is included in the recording, would it sound like it sounded in the room during recording when played through a speaker in an anachoic chamber? If not why not?
Somewhat, but I've never been in one so I am unsure. However, using headphones would give you the closest thing to the recording without adding your own effects.
Soulburner is online now  
post #4454 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 03:54 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1,402
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 956 Post(s)
Liked: 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zydeco67 View Post
I’ve been reading this thread from the start and it’s full of great information. That said, now that I’m starting to actively look for speakers it’s clear to me that it’s quite difficult to “use science to choose a loudspeaker”. If we take the premise that the research shows that off-axis performance is a key determinant of listener preference - and that I’m in the majority of listeners - then it’s still tricky. I could choose a pair of speakers based upon published spin charts but, basically, this limits me to a few high-end Revel / JBL, Neumann and the odd other speaker. A fall back decision criteria might be to look at brands that have a stated position on the science of speakers (e.g., KEF, PSB) but that is in dispute with, as per this thread, some models deviating from a brands historical record. Perhaps the answer is to select speaker based on obvious design criteria - so, for example, avoid 2-way dome tweeter / large woofer speakers whilst focusing on speakers with a wave-guide and/or wide baffle. So, all in all, I get what the science states but not how to apply this science to choosing a loudspeaker.
And that limits this thread's usefulness in selecting speakers. And that is very sad.
SouthernCA is online now  
post #4455 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 04:51 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Kal Rubinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: NYC + Connecticut
Posts: 30,291
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1355 Post(s)
Liked: 1291
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
I agree with these statements for the most part but doesn't this assume that we are all pointing our speakers directly to our listening position?
Not really.
I am asking why we are not all pointing our speakers directly at our listening position. To me, the answer is that it due to a dissatisfaction with what we hear on-axis and an attempt to ameliorate the situation. That leads to the question of why a speaker should not be designed and built to sound best on-axis. What possible good reason could there be?
Dimifoot likes this.

Kal Rubinson

"Music in the Round"
Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round


Last edited by Kal Rubinson; 08-24-2019 at 05:07 AM.
Kal Rubinson is online now  
post #4456 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 04:58 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Soulburner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lincoln
Posts: 4,904
Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Liked: 1635
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
I agree with these statements for the most part but doesn't this assume that we are all pointing our speakers directly to our listening position?
Not really.
I am asking why we are not all pointing our speakers directly at our listening position. To me, the answer is that it due to a dissatisfaction with what we hear on-axis and an attempt to ameliorate the situation. That leads to the question of why a speaker should not be designed and built to sound best on-axis. What possible good reason could there be?
One reason is that some people prefer the greater spaciousness they get from wall reflections.

So, in that sense, it would seem to me that the best speakers will have uniform response out to 30 degrees off-axis (and further) so they can be pointed straight ahead, giving the best of both worlds.
Soulburner is online now  
post #4457 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 05:05 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
aarons915's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,339
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 898 Post(s)
Liked: 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
One reason is that some people prefer the greater spaciousness they get from wall reflections.

So, in that sense, it would seem to me that the best speakers will have uniform response out to 30 degrees off-axis (and further) so they can be pointed straight ahead, giving the best of both worlds.
Exactly, it's all a matter of whether you prefer more direct vs reflected sound. Pointing speakers straight ahead may hurt imaging a bit but for those of us who prefer a wider soundstage and more of that "live" sound it can be beneficial.
aarons915 is online now  
post #4458 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 05:30 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
Somewhat, but I've never been in one so I am unsure. However, using headphones would give you the closest thing to the recording without adding your own effects.
That's what binaural recording is about.


As to listening in an anechoic chamber, it will feel highly unnatural because the sound will only come from the loudspeakers. Sound in the original room was a combination of direct and reflected, which came from all different directions.
NTK-129 is offline  
post #4459 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 06:56 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Scotth3886's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: New Albany, OH
Posts: 8,230
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3998 Post(s)
Liked: 2465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
One reason is that some people prefer the greater spaciousness they get from wall reflections.

So, in that sense, it would seem to me that the best speakers will have uniform response out to 30 degrees off-axis (and further) so they can be pointed straight ahead, giving the best of both worlds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
Exactly, it's all a matter of whether you prefer more direct vs reflected sound. Pointing speakers straight ahead may hurt imaging a bit but for those of us who prefer a wider soundstage and more of that "live" sound it can be beneficial.
For age 76 my hearing has held up reasonably well so I like an in-room roll off at higher frequency and mine are too hot when aimed straight at me. Most everything is. I use almost no toe-in and listen at about 40 - 45 degrees off axis with speakers that claim 30 degrees horizontal dispersion. Plus I listen extreme nearfield. So I've got the line source with moderately high directivity I need to not only have a wall to wall sound stage when appropriate, but great image specificity within that sound stage and scale on all, but the largest acoustic instruments. It took me a long time to get it right in this room and minimize other compromises, but I wanted it more 'right' than I've had it before because I knew as semi retired that I'd never have the money again to continue throwing ten of thousands at equipment in search of perceived improvement as I did the 90s. I had to make what I have work.
Scotth3886 is online now  
post #4460 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 08:36 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
bodosom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Niagara Frontier
Posts: 9,613
Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2103 Post(s)
Liked: 1637
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
The speaker I'm using without any toe is the LS50, since Stereophile rated it Class A, I assume you think highly of it Kal but if you look at the Soundstage measurements, it's clearly better at 15 degrees off-axis and Kef even mentions this in the LS50 white paper.
I think you're misreading the data. The Soundstage multi-trace plots can be hard to read so I suggest the Princeton plots, they use color. In the LS50 paper I interpret the 10º off-axis comment as compared to the LS3/5a 10º off-axis not the LS50 on-axis. The KEF waterfall/polar plots seem to support that.

But I make egregious errors all the time and having LS50s I certainly want to feel justified in my research and purchase.

I might type 2K for 1080p.
UDP-203/ATV4K(6,2)/X3500/LG C8
bodosom is online now  
post #4461 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 09:06 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Scotth3886's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: New Albany, OH
Posts: 8,230
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3998 Post(s)
Liked: 2465
Quote:
Originally Posted by bodosom View Post
I think you're misreading the data. The Soundstage multi-trace plots can be hard to read so I suggest the Princeton plots, they use color. In the LS50 paper I interpret the 10º off-axis comment as compared to the LS3/5a 10º off-axis not the LS50 on-axis. The KEF waterfall/polar plots seem to support that.

But I make egregious errors all the time and having LS50s I certainly want to feel justified in my research and purchase.
What is it or what does it look like? My attempts at google aren't finding anything on point.
Scotth3886 is online now  
post #4462 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 09:18 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 15,176
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2805 Post(s)
Liked: 2726
[quote=Kal Rubinson;58464204][QUOTE=aarons915;58463766]I agree with these statements for the most part but doesn't this assume that we are all pointing our speakers directly to our listening position?
Quote:
Not really.
I am asking why we are not all pointing our speakers directly at our listening position. To me, the answer is that it due to a dissatisfaction with what we hear on-axis and an attempt to ameliorate the situation. That leads to the question of why a speaker should not be designed and built to sound best on-axis. What possible good reason could there be?



I rarely (as in almost never) like the sound of heavy speaker toe-in (including Revels I've auditioned and a great many others). I understand that in principle if it's accurate on-axis it would make sense to have the speakers toed directly at the listening position. But in my experience this usually results in a constricting of the soundstage and instrumental "images," plus a sort of hardening/glazing over of all the sound. At least slightly off axis, speakers pointing slightly outward (some straight ahead) usually yields for me a nice balance where the sound becomes a bit more lush, rich, speakers "disappear" more, etc.
Scotth3886 likes this.
R Harkness is online now  
post #4463 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 09:27 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 15,176
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2805 Post(s)
Liked: 2726
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
Failing that, one is left with listening evaluations. These "listening tests", as is well documented, are not reliable unless conducted blind, and with some basic controls. Different speakers in different rooms listening to different program material at different sound levels all contribute to evaluations that may not apply when you get the product home. Bass quality contributes about 30% of our subjective impressions of sound quality, and that is dominated by the listening room and setup. Comparing speakers in the same room is a good idea, positional substitution is even better. Comparing speakers auditioned in different rooms is a gamble.

Yup, it's not easy for us consumers as you say.


Personally, the best method I've been able to come up with is to be as thorough as I can when auditioning a speaker. That means making sure it's position is adjusted to where I think it will sound best, and most often mimicking my own listening distance (from speakers and between the speakers).


As well, I do my own meager "spinorama" investigation. I listen from many different angles. So maybe starting at around an 8 or 9 foot listening distance, then moving closer, then to nearfield, then far back so I get a sense of the direct sound vs room sound. I stand up, crouch down, walk around, listen off axis, even from behind. And then I again optimize the listening position/speaker position for the best sound I can get, as "even" sounding as possible. I can generally tell if the speaker is going to work for me.



Obviously no match for controlled testing, but I can at least report that it seems to work somewhat, insofar as I seem to come away with a pretty good take on the character of the speaker and I'm rarely "surprised" in hearing it in other places. And each time I've brought a speaker home for audition after doing the above in the store, or having bought it, I've never been surprised by the sound at home. It sounded pretty much like the picture I garnered in testing in other rooms.
R Harkness is online now  
post #4464 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 09:39 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Scotth3886's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: New Albany, OH
Posts: 8,230
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3998 Post(s)
Liked: 2465
[quote=R Harkness;58465000][quote=Kal Rubinson;58464204]
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
I agree with these statements for the most part but doesn't this assume that we are all pointing our speakers directly to our listening position?




I rarely (as in almost never) like the sound of heavy speaker toe-in (including Revels I've auditioned and a great many others). I understand that in principle if it's accurate on-axis it would make sense to have the speakers toed directly at the listening position. But in my experience this usually results in a constricting of the soundstage and instrumental "images," plus a sort of hardening/glazing over of all the sound. At least slightly off axis, speakers pointing slightly outward (some straight ahead) usually yields for me a nice balance where the sound becomes a bit more lush, rich, speakers "disappear" more, etc.
Agree
Scotth3886 is online now  
post #4465 of 5323 Old 08-23-2019, 09:54 PM
Advanced Member
 
motrek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 653
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 518 Post(s)
Liked: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by garygreyh View Post
Actually, he said they'd publish results as they became available. Yes, I realize the thread has been going for 9 months, but to say that it's a "spectacular failure" is just silly.
...
If only a very few speaker manufacturers choose to provide product to be tested, how it that Harman's fault? Should Harman go out and buy a set of every speaker on the market to measure, and then publish the results?
Some context is necessary. Harman has been taking spinorama data since 2005 for sure, and probably much earlier. They famously claim to test all of their speakers in the spinorama as they're being designed. They also claim to not release a speaker until it has won a double-blind listening test against at least 3 competitive speakers. So they already have a bunch of speakers from other manufacturers and I see no reason why they wouldn't also test these competing speakers in their spinorama.

So either Harman has been lying through their teeth about their design process (which I don't believe for one second), or they're sitting on a mountain of spinorama data for their products and also many competing products.

Of course they were under no obligation to share any of their data with anybody.

But now that Kevin Voecks has started a public thread on a public forum for the express purpose of publishing these measurements, and he only posts three plots out of probably hundreds that they have on-hand, you don't see a problem with that?
motrek is offline  
post #4466 of 5323 Old 08-24-2019, 12:50 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Russia
Posts: 346
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Liked: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by motrek View Post
Some context is necessary. Harman has been taking spinorama data since 2005 for sure, and probably much earlier. They famously claim to test all of their speakers in the spinorama as they're being designed. They also claim to not release a speaker until it has won a double-blind listening test against at least 3 competitive speakers. So they already have a bunch of speakers from other manufacturers and I see no reason why they wouldn't also test these competing speakers in their spinorama.

So either Harman has been lying through their teeth about their design process (which I don't believe for one second), or they're sitting on a mountain of spinorama data for their products and also many competing products.

Of course they were under no obligation to share any of their data with anybody.

But now that Kevin Voecks has started a public thread on a public forum for the express purpose of publishing these measurements, and he only posts three plots out of probably hundreds that they have on-hand, you don't see a problem with that?
I think what he meant by "available" is not "availability" as in "having measurements saved somewhere on a server or hdd"(which he obviously has, no way they don't do a design confirmation on every model if they bothered to build an anechoic chamber and invest in all these measuring tools), but as in "getting through a corporate bureaucracy meatgrinder to not violate NDA". Well, I guess not gone too well.

Last edited by aats; 08-24-2019 at 12:54 AM.
aats is offline  
post #4467 of 5323 Old 08-24-2019, 01:08 AM
Advanced Member
 
motrek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 653
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 518 Post(s)
Liked: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by aats View Post
I think what he meant by "available" is not "availability" as in "having measurements saved somewhere on a server or hdd"(which he obviously has, no way they don't do a design confirmation on every model if they bothered to build an anechoic chamber and invest in all these measuring tools), but as in "getting through a corporate bureaucracy meatgrinder to not violate NDA". Well, I guess not gone too well.
That's a very charitable interpretation of what was posted, and I suppose probably correct.

I'm surprised corporate would let them go through the time and effort of making the spinorama an ANSI standard without the intention of releasing the spinorama plots for their own products, at a minimum. I mean, if they're not going to leverage the standard for marketing purposes by publishing their (presumably) good plots, then what was the point of it all?

I shouldn't be surprised when corporations do boneheaded things though, I suppose.
motrek is offline  
post #4468 of 5323 Old 08-24-2019, 05:11 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Kal Rubinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: NYC + Connecticut
Posts: 30,291
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1355 Post(s)
Liked: 1291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
One reason is that some people prefer the greater spaciousness they get from wall reflections.
I can accept that as an option but it is a little tangential to my point. To be specific, why are some speakers made so that their on-axis frequency response is not acceptable for on-axis listening so that one is forced to listen off-axis?

Quote:
So, in that sense, it would seem to me that the best speakers will have uniform response out to 30 degrees off-axis (and further) so they can be pointed straight ahead, giving the best of both worlds.
Completely agree.

Kal Rubinson

"Music in the Round"
Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

Kal Rubinson is online now  
post #4469 of 5323 Old 08-24-2019, 05:14 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Kal Rubinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: NYC + Connecticut
Posts: 30,291
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1355 Post(s)
Liked: 1291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
However, using headphones would give you the closest thing to the recording without adding your own effects.
No way. Unless you are listening to binaural recordings, headphones cannot reproduce the spatial aspects of the recording with accuracy.

Kal Rubinson

"Music in the Round"
Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

Kal Rubinson is online now  
post #4470 of 5323 Old 08-24-2019, 05:19 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Kal Rubinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: NYC + Connecticut
Posts: 30,291
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1355 Post(s)
Liked: 1291
[quote=R Harkness;58465000]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
I rarely (as in almost never) like the sound of heavy speaker toe-in (including Revels I've auditioned and a great many others). I understand that in principle if it's accurate on-axis it would make sense to have the speakers toed directly at the listening position. But in my experience this usually results in a constricting of the soundstage and instrumental "images," plus a sort of hardening/glazing over of all the sound. At least slightly off axis, speakers pointing slightly outward (some straight ahead) usually yields for me a nice balance where the sound becomes a bit more lush, rich, speakers "disappear" more, etc.
That is, imho, a matter of taste but your speakers are quite accurate on-axis (and nearly as much somewhat off-axis), so you can choose what suits your taste.

Kal Rubinson

"Music in the Round"
Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

Kal Rubinson is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Speakers

Tags
cea 2034 , double-blind , listening tests , loudspeaker measurements , spinorama

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off