How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 16 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #451 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 12:39 PM
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alot of speakers made measure really well...or well enough

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post #452 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 01:06 PM
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skepticism is what makes science...I still dont understand how the famous review/test of the jbl m2 and revel salon 2 resulted in the flattest measuring speaker losing. not implying anything as both are excellent 20k speakers. but science should of resulted in the m2 winning no?
-Bass performance accounts for around 30% of a subjective rating: the Salon2 digs deeper and with the bottom of its three 8" woofers sitting close the ground, the floor bounce cancellation dip is remedied.

-While the M2 is slightly flatter, the Salon2 is still very flat for a passive system, with only a small dip in the power response around its highest crossover points (which also accounts for vertical reflections - thus is likely to be inaudible)

-The Salon2 has a wider dispersion and will provide stronger early reflections, giving an increased sense of spaciousness. Since the test was performed in mono, this last point from what I concluded, was quite obvious

Does that make the M2 a less good speaker? I'd say it depends very much on your needs.
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post #453 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 01:15 PM
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The BBC back in the 1940s had a hand in working with Tannoy in developing/testing the dual concentric driver. THey have a rich history indeed.

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post #454 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 01:18 PM
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I'll just add: as someone who has actually read the blind test report from page 1, on the 228Be that Kevin Voecks posted: It actually came in close to the Salon2. From viewing the spinoramas on these speakers I would almost dare say the bass performance is probably what gives the Salon2 the edge in this case, with perhaps the fact that the 0° on-axis sound is very close to the overall listening-window, closer than on the on the 228Be.
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post #455 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by PrimeTime View Post
Flat sound power is a useful design concept if the target is casual listening -- that is, listening done while doing chores in an adjacent room/space. If the NS-10 had been designed for flat on-axis response, it would sound rather muffled while doing the dishes.


The Auratone was more representative of car audio before they started placing woofers in the trunk.
The partner speaker in the Yamaha line at the time, the NS1000 also was designed for flat sound power, but because it had more uniform directivity with frequency it sounded very good - just a bit bright, which tone controls fixed. Figure 18.3(e) shows it.

The designer told me that the assumption was that the NS-10, being a small speaker, would be placed against a wall, boosting the bass, and listened to in the far field, thereby doing a bit of what you are talking about - spatial summing of all radiated sound. Yamaha stopped designing to that target long ago, realizing the error of their ways. Strangely enough it was east coast US thinking that biased them. Consumer Reports was the most egregious source of bad consumer advice because of their faith in the sound power metric. Fortunately they were shamed into stopping such reviews by the publication of Dr. Sean Olive's papers, discussed in Section 5.7 in my book.

Really, though, if one expects good sound in the listening room as well as in an adjacent space, one needs more uniform directivity than the NS-10, a 7-8-inch two way, is capable of. See Figure 12.10 for an interesting comparison of two designs aiming at different targets.
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post #456 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 02:09 PM
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"Figure 18.5(f) shows the BBC LS5/8 which was not bad on axis, but not great off axis. It did not perform well in normally reflective rooms. This trait found its way into some other British loudspeakers, such as the KEF 105.2 shown in Figure 5.4"





Interesting. I'll never forget the excitement when my father brought home new KEF 105.2 speakers and Carver amplification. Lived with those speakers for many years in our normal living room and adored the sound. They blew the minds of our friends and acquaintances. At that point we weren't trained to perceive their faults, though


I feel I have a fairly vivid recollection of their sound and would love to re-visit the KEF 105.2s in a decent setup to see if I notice their faults now.
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post #457 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
I'll just add: as someone who has actually read the blind test report from page 1, on the 228Be that Kevin Voecks posted: It actually came in close to the Salon2. From viewing the spinoramas on these speakers I would almost dare say the bass performance is probably what gives the Salon2 the edge in this case, with perhaps the fact that the 0° on-axis sound is very close to the overall listening-window, closer than on the on the 228Be.


This is my main question with measurements versus double blind tests. For many people, you are pairing speakers with a subwoofer and crossing over at 80 Hz. It seems like a flaw in the double blind tests versus real world listening that speakers that can dig deeper might win even if they don't measure as well because of the bass perception, whereas in the real world the smaller speaker paired with a subwoofer might perform better. I'd be curious to do the same tests with all sorts crossed over with the same subwoofer. I'm wondering if the 228Be would actually win at that point.
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post #458 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 02:37 PM
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A naive question perhaps but how does the listening level affect preference rating? Speakers are ideally linear devices and hearing is most certainly not linear WRT level.


Anecdote:

My buddy has a VERY large pair of classic american made fully horn loaded speakers known for their extreme sensitivity and output capabilities. To me these are fantastic sounding at low to moderate volumes but paradoxically are lets say harsh at higher spls. In the same room he has a pair of very nice danish high end speakers which can sound somewhat "boring" at low volumes but sound fantastic at higher volumes. I am sure my preference ranking would invert for these two speakers over lets say 85 dB.


I am sure this is inevitable interaction of the differing speaker characteristic and loudness curves for hearing. It sort of begs the question: are their variations in the ideal measuring loudspeaker for different levels?
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post #459 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
"Figure 18.5(f) shows the BBC LS5/8 which was not bad on axis, but not great off axis. It did not perform well in normally reflective rooms. This trait found its way into some other British loudspeakers, such as the KEF 105.2 shown in Figure 5.4"





Interesting. I'll never forget the excitement when my father brought home new KEF 105.2 speakers and Carver amplification. Lived with those speakers for many years in our normal living room and adored the sound. They blew the minds of our friends and acquaintances. At that point we weren't trained to perceive their faults, though


I feel I have a fairly vivid recollection of their sound and would love to re-visit the KEF 105.2s in a decent setup to see if I notice their faults now.
You raise an important point when you say "At that point we weren't trained to perceive their faults, though ". Training is not required. What is required is the opportunity to do multiple-speaker listening comparisons, preferably blind. Listening to a single loudspeaker type is woefully unreliable. Humans have poor memory for such things, we adapt very quickly and the adaptation is such that things tend to sound better. Music prevails through countless acoustical sins.

An A vs. B comparison is better, but when both speakers share a fault, it may not be noticed. This is why we have persisted with tests comparing 3 or 4 loudspeaker types in randomized fashion using multiple pieces of music. In such a situation it is easy to separate the tonal contributions of the loudspeakers from the inherent tonal attributes of the music. Listeners trained to recognize resonances (that is the total extent of the Harman training) zero in on the flaws very quickly and reliably, but naive listeners get there eventually, making more mistakes along the way, but in the end all listeners tend to vote for the same winners and losers. These days comparisons among the best of the best are really statistical exercises, and statistical ties are common. The program is the dominant variable. There is a point of diminishing returns.

When flaws are detected in these listening tests, listeners may have a hard time not hearing them in subsequent relaxed listening. So, the best description of loudspeaker sound quality is to say that the "best" loudspeaker is the one with the fewest audible faults. In the real world this means that if a good choice of loudspeaker is made, the real chore is dealing with the low frequency room problems - about 30% of our overall sound quality rating - and the speaker manufacturer can do little or nothing to help. See Chapters 8 and 9.
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post #460 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 02:44 PM
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This is my main question with measurements versus double blind tests. For many people, you are pairing speakers with a subwoofer and crossing over at 80 Hz. It seems like a flaw in the double blind tests versus real world listening that speakers that can dig deeper might win even if they don't measure as well because of the bass perception, whereas in the real world the smaller speaker paired with a subwoofer might perform better. I'd be curious to do the same tests with all sorts crossed over with the same subwoofer. I'm wondering if the 228Be would actually win at that point.
I completely agree, when I audition speakers at home I always use an 80Hz high pass on the mains to negate the bass advantage somewhat, I know that seems unfair to the speaker with better bass response but if I'm crossing over to a sub, I don't want the bass influencing my decision. Better yet would be for the MLL listening room to employ multiple subs and equalize each speaker to be relatively flat with an 80Hz crossover, I think this would be more realistic to more people but I understand it complicates the test. Or just do the test with an 80Hz crossover and no sub, which would also negate things like IMD distortion in KEF 2-ways which isn't a real world concern and always seems to get brought up when KEF is mentioned lol...

I think since it appears they generally compare towers to towers and bookshelf speakers to other bookshelf speakers, it's probably not a big deal, though.

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post #461 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 03:19 PM
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You raise an important point when you say "At that point we weren't trained to perceive their faults, though ". Training is not required. What is required is the opportunity to do multiple-speaker listening comparisons, preferably blind.
Couldn’t agree more Dr. Toole. I am definitely one in favor of organic spontaneous learning (& evolution) as opposed to teaching what is bad and what is good by drawing hard lines.

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post #462 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 03:25 PM
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Is there a spinorama repository accessible to the general public?

Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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post #463 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 03:28 PM
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Is there a spinorama repository accessible to the general public?

No. I stated in an earlier post I have lobbied for it. Kevin is working on getting more info posted in this thread.
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post #464 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 03:29 PM
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The fed signal is a standard sweep (flat line).
Do you have a graph where all the tones are fed all at once to the speaker? How did the speaker behave? Did it respond same as pushing in one tone at a time?
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post #465 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 03:34 PM
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-Bass performance accounts for around 30% of a subjective rating: the Salon2 digs deeper and with the bottom of its three 8" woofers sitting close the ground, the floor bounce cancellation dip is remedied.

-While the M2 is slightly flatter, the Salon2 is still very flat for a passive system, with only a small dip in the power response around its highest crossover points (which also accounts for vertical reflections - thus is likely to be inaudible)

-The Salon2 has a wider dispersion and will provide stronger early reflections, giving an increased sense of spaciousness. Since the test was performed in mono, this last point from what I concluded, was quite obvious

Does that make the M2 a less good speaker? I'd say it depends very much on your needs.
Having heard them both, I'm not sure the Salon 2 plays lower. The effective area of the woofers is 14" (read that somewhere, not calculated) for the Salon2 versus 15 for the M2. They're both ported.

How did you reach this conclusion?
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post #466 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 04:47 PM
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I suggest a read-only thread separate from this.

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Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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post #467 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
Thanks.

May I suggest that Kevin and others also publish their equation that they used to convert Spinorama data to "speaker preference score". I am assuming that it would be a mathematical equation.

This calculated "speaker preference score" can then be compared with actual preference data obtained by double blind testing.

This will allow other independent labs to duplicate the results.





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Any comment from Kevin or others?

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post #468 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
I'll just add: as someone who has actually read the blind test report from page 1, on the 228Be that Kevin Voecks posted: It actually came in close to the Salon2. From viewing the spinoramas on these speakers I would almost dare say the bass performance is probably what gives the Salon2 the edge in this case, with perhaps the fact that the 0° on-axis sound is very close to the overall listening-window, closer than on the on the 228Be.
I had puzzled about this, as well, after mentally accounting for the differences in scale which exaggerate the Salon 2 and measurement techniques which were referenced in https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...l#post57359530, but are much more obvious in figure 12.1 in the the book), but some of the factors I came up with included:

1. The curved baffles on the Salon 2 reduce diffraction, which I wondered might at least partially explain the MUCH more similar on-axis and listening window responses for the Salon 2, as opposed to the F228Be which show more differences between 700-800 Hz and 1-10 kHz between the two response curves.
2. Both of the Olive models use smoothness and/or flatness of on-axis but NOT listening window response as dominant factors. The on-axis smoothness (narrow band or not) actually outweighs the bass extension in both models, so whether the bass or the on-axis response gives "the edge" could be a matter of contention
3. Although the F228Be initially appears smoother overall, the two significant deviations in the on-axis curves are bumps around 700-800 Hz (broader) and 5 kHz (narrower). These are of similar magnitude and width in the sound power curve, which is also a direct factor in one of the Olive models and indirectly (though the predicted in-room response) in the other. The Salon 2 bumps are generally of less magnitude in the on-axis curves, also less magnitude and/or width in the sound power curves, so one tends to smooth out compared with the other. I didn't know whether the F228Be bumps could represent some sort of resonance.
4. Dips in the on-axis or sound power curves are less audible compared with bumps.
5. The Salon 2 does have a larger dip in the sound power curve (above 2 kHz, almost reminiscent of the BBC dip but likely due to the crossover and directivity of the drivers), but the sound power curve is a significantly smaller factor in both Olive models compared with the on-axis curve, plus less audible as above in 4
6. Wider bumps or dips are more audible than narrow ones.
7. The F228Be's 700-800 Hz bump is relatively wider and higher than any of the Salon 2's, using a broader baseline, like 500 Hz-10 kHz

TL;DR The F228Be may look smoother but isn't, may not be as smooth when and where it counts, may have flaws of commission that are more audible rather than omission, and may have less bass?

Young-Ho
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post #469 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
Any comment from Kevin or others?

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Page 137-140 of the book gives two such speaker preference prediction models, which I referenced already: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...l#post57363638

If you'd like further details about how it was published or publicized almost 15 years ago:

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=12794
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=12847

If you'd like specific details, which is also easily accessible by Googling terms like "Harman speaker preference prediction model":
https://patents.google.com/patent/US20050195982

Young-Ho
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post #470 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngho View Post
Page 137-140 of the book gives two such speaker preference prediction models, which I referenced already: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...l#post57363638

If you'd like further details about how it was published or publicized almost 15 years ago:

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=12794
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=12847

If you'd like specific details, which is also easily accessible by Googling terms like "Harman speaker preference prediction model":
https://patents.google.com/patent/US20050195982

Young-Ho
Thank you very much.

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post #471 of 3755 Old 01-04-2019, 09:38 PM
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I had puzzled about this, as well, after mentally accounting for the differences in scale which exaggerate the Salon 2 and measurement techniques which were referenced in https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...l#post57359530, but are much more obvious in figure 12.1 in the the book), but some of the factors I came up with included:

1. The curved baffles on the Salon 2 reduce diffraction, which I wondered might at least partially explain the MUCH more similar on-axis and listening window responses for the Salon 2, as opposed to the F228Be which show more differences between 700-800 Hz and 1-10 kHz between the two response curves.
2. Both of the Olive models use smoothness and/or flatness of on-axis but NOT listening window response as dominant factors. The on-axis smoothness (narrow band or not) actually outweighs the bass extension in both models, so whether the bass or the on-axis response gives "the edge" could be a matter of contention
3. Although the F228Be initially appears smoother overall, the two significant deviations in the on-axis curves are bumps around 700-800 Hz (broader) and 5 kHz (narrower). These are of similar magnitude and width in the sound power curve, which is also a direct factor in one of the Olive models and indirectly (though the predicted in-room response) in the other. The Salon 2 bumps are generally of less magnitude in the on-axis curves, also less magnitude and/or width in the sound power curves, so one tends to smooth out compared with the other. I didn't know whether the F228Be bumps could represent some sort of resonance.
4. Dips in the on-axis or sound power curves are less audible compared with bumps.
5. The Salon 2 does have a larger dip in the sound power curve (above 2 kHz, almost reminiscent of the BBC dip but likely due to the crossover and directivity of the drivers), but the sound power curve is a significantly smaller factor in both Olive models compared with the on-axis curve, plus less audible as above in 4
6. Wider bumps or dips are more audible than narrow ones.
7. The F228Be's 700-800 Hz bump is relatively wider and higher than any of the Salon 2's, using a broader baseline, like 500 Hz-10 kHz

TL;DR The F228Be may look smoother but isn't, may not be as smooth when and where it counts, may have flaws of commission that are more audible rather than omission, and may have less bass?

Young-Ho
Almost strange that a 4" mid would have issues at 2KHz considering Performa range uses 5 1/4" mids.
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post #472 of 3755 Old 01-05-2019, 01:19 AM
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Having heard them both, I'm not sure the Salon 2 plays lower. The effective area of the woofers is 14" (read that somewhere, not calculated) for the Salon2 versus 15 for the M2. They're both ported.

How did you reach this conclusion?
I believe th M2 is tuned to around 35Hz, while the Salon is tuned closer to 20-25. The Salon also appears to be a slightly underdamped allignment in the low bass which in reality will couple well to a lot of rooms. Woofer size is no direct indication of extension. For the M2 it makes sense, as the system can be required to play much louder than the Salon2 in dub stages and what not, and the bass driver also needs to play well into the mids. This is a calculated guess and we’d need it confirmed or corrected by someone from Harman.
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post #473 of 3755 Old 01-05-2019, 01:33 AM
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Almost strange that a 4" mid would have issues at 2KHz considering Performa range uses 5 1/4" mids.
The spinorama method also takes into account vertical sound radiation. The dip is therefore practically unavoidable in a multi-transducer system. I’m very curious how the F228Be manages to avoid this dip in the directivity index curve while maintaining a flat on axis response.
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post #474 of 3755 Old 01-05-2019, 01:47 AM
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I wish one would be able round up the best options in various types of speakers : 2-way waveguide ( M2, NS15, modded 4722N), multiways ( salon and maybe one more competitor), coax( Kef blade/reference), cardiod ( Dutch 8c), OB (Orion), maybe a Danley too !!! and a very cheap option like LSR series . And do DBT in Harman lab with AVS members. 😀

Thats some wish isn’t it 😀

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post #475 of 3755 Old 01-05-2019, 02:07 AM
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The spinorama method also takes into account vertical sound radiation. The dip is therefore practically unavoidable in a multi-transducer system. I’m very curious how the F228Be manages to avoid this dip in the directivity index curve while maintaining a flat on axis response.
I suspect it's due to the latest generation waveguide. As you say, almost all multiway speaker systems have vertical dips in the crossover range, but it's not just the F228Be, the standard Performa3 range does not suffer much of an output drop on the vertical plane either, whereas Ultima2 line speakers do have vertical suckout near the crossover frequency.

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post #476 of 3755 Old 01-05-2019, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by astrallite View Post
I suspect it's due to the latest generation waveguide. As you say, almost all multiway speaker systems have vertical dips in the crossover range, but it's not just the F228Be, the standard Performa3 range does not suffer much of an output drop on the vertical plane either, whereas Ultima2 line speakers do have vertical suckout near the crossover frequency.
The real giveaway is in the directivity index curves. Even the performa series feature a 'bump' around the crossover. Some even have a 'small' bump in the on-axis response (my M105 does, so does the F206) which makes the first reflection and power response curves 'smoother' on first sight.

A handy feature would of course be something as the Data-bass website uses

https://data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=68&mset=73

Allowing one to overlay certain measurements to allow a better visual representation when comparing models. As I understand there are currently spinorama's from at least 3 different measurement systems circling the internet, with different scales and (screen) resolution. A unified system would be incredibly convenient.
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post #477 of 3755 Old 01-05-2019, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
No. I stated in an earlier post I have lobbied for it. Kevin is working on getting more info posted in this thread.
Thanks Rex. Yeah, now that you mention it I do remember that.

Say, if this hasn't already been considered, it might be of help to have an index to the spins right up near the first post. We're up to 479 posts now and it's beginning to get difficult to find things. Or if there's going to be a lot of spins, perhaps a separate thread that describes what a spin is, how to interpret the data, and an index by manufacturer and model. But that may be way ahead of the game.

Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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post #478 of 3755 Old 01-05-2019, 07:06 AM
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It won't be long before the audiophile gang shows up to reject and dismiss applied science in lieu of their subjective techno-babble. Rest assured - it's coming.
Most of those folks moved to another forum (www/WhatsBestForum.com). And they still get in urinating contests with one another.
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post #479 of 3755 Old 01-05-2019, 07:33 AM
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Thanks Rex. Yeah, now that you mention it I do remember that.

Say, if this hasn't already been considered, it might be of help to have an index to the spins right up near the first post. We're up to 479 posts now and it's beginning to get difficult to find things. Or if there's going to be a lot of spins, perhaps a separate thread that describes what a spin is, how to interpret the data, and an index by manufacturer and model. But that may be way ahead of the game.

Kevin is working on it. John and I sent him boatloads of info at his request and of course he has the entire Harman resources to catalog. It's a monumental undertaking. I'm sure he will post again when time allows. He let me know he is making every effort to do as much as he can here.


I am glad to see things have settled down and folks are being more cordial here. Thanks to all who have contributed helpful and useful information related to the thread!
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post #480 of 3755 Old 01-05-2019, 07:55 AM
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I am glad to see things have settled down and folks are being more cordial here.
And if things get out of hand, the mods need to step in and IMMEDIATELY ban (not warn) the offenders. Disagreement is great for furthering discussion. Rudeness of any kind should not be tolerated - at all!!
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