How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 163 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4861 of 4962 Old 09-11-2019, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
I personally find it a bit comical that anyone is questioning that setup, it appears to measure better than most of our "Hifi" setups. I think for the cost and size of the room you've done a superb job and I'm sure no one is going to complain about that sound during gym class...
Instead, they may end up wanting to spend more time in there.

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post #4862 of 4962 Old 09-11-2019, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
I personally find it a bit comical that anyone is questioning that setup,
Hopefully you understand the difference between "asking questions" and "questioning"...



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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
...it appears to measure better than most of our "Hifi" setups. I think for the cost and size of the room you've done a superb job and I'm sure no one is going to complain about that sound during gym class...
Yes, the measurements are quite good. I was "asking questions" to try to understand why the measurements are so good.
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post #4863 of 4962 Old 09-11-2019, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post
Hopefully you understand the difference between "asking questions" and "questioning"...
Of course and I wasn't referring to you but when you have that good of measurements in a large gym and someone questions the "dip" it's a bit comical. I just can't imagine kids in a gym class noticing a slight dip in the gym sound system...most of us probably had much worse sound systems in the gym and couldn't have cared less.
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post #4864 of 4962 Old 09-11-2019, 11:02 PM
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That dip is a classic example of something that shouldn't be corrected. Even with spinorama measurements, it seems it can be sometimes difficult for people to grasp 'cause and effect'.

With any vertically oriented multi-driver system, at some point (especially as the frequency goes up - and the wavelengths get shorter) under specific vertical angles, drivers in a system, optimised for listening 'on-axis' will simply no longer be in phase, causing a suckout where they overlap. The good news as explained by F. Toole, is that we are simply less sensitive to these vertical reflections, as our ears are in the wrong plane to perceive them very well. So as long as the direct sound field is flat, and the early horizontal reflections are of similarly good quality, it would quite literally degrade a loudspeaker by correcting such 'anomalies'.
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post #4865 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
So, above the transition frequency, small details in steady-state room curves should be ignored because unless you have comprehensive anechoic data on the loudspeakers you don't know what caused them.
The smoothing out of the frequency response I was talking about was below the transition frequency (where EQ can be used effectively). My point was that I would rather leave the pulling down of peaks to an automated system instead of doing that chore manually. YMMV.
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Better to have easily accessible tone controls that can be instantly adapted to your personal preference - for any program.
I do, along with a separate tilt function. But those features don't take away the need to set some sort of initial target curve. What to choose?

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post #4866 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 10:01 AM
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But those features don't take away the need to set some sort of initial target curve. What to choose?
Leave as-is above the transition frequency and start with the bass flat(tish). If you use subs with the recommended 80Hz crossover, you can play around with gain on that (those?) if you prefer a little more low-end. What kind of setup do you have?
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post #4867 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 10:56 AM
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It really depends. These systems are designed for the masses - who don't have speakers that measure that great, and non-optimal rooms - so they perceive very audible benefits. Black and white rules need not apply.

The game is different if you have really good speakers in a well-thought out room.
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post #4868 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
It really depends. These systems are designed for the masses - who don't have speakers that measure that great, and non-optimal rooms - so they perceive very audible benefits. Black and white rules need not apply.

The game is different if you have really good speakers in a well-thought out room.

Sadly that is true. For the sake of argument I was assuming sdurani has a set of good loudspeakers.
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post #4869 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 11:34 AM
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Maybe "What to choose?" was rhetorical.

I might type 2K for 1080p.
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post #4870 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
For the sake of argument I was assuming sdurani has a set of good loudspeakers.
Changes from time to time. Currently have old Kef speakers (Andrew Jones design), which replaced some Starke Sound bookshelf speakers.

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post #4871 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 11:53 AM
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Maybe "What to choose?" was rhetorical.
Was asking what kind of target curve to choose if not basing it on personal preference.

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post #4872 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 01:16 PM
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*snip*
but it can it be distracting to listen thinking everything else is to scale, but damn man does that drummer have long arms.
I think it's awesome when the drum-set takes the entire width of my soundstage. Every drum has it's own little spot in the stage and if I drum along (poorly, I'm not a drummer, lol) then I can pretty much put every drum at the location of my arm extended to the speaker-line. If that's what you meant by "long arms" (from the seat to the drum-kit, where the drum-kit would need to be wider to accommodate the arc), then I'm totally cool with it, lol.
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post #4873 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 01:37 PM
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I think it's awesome when the drum-set takes the entire width of my soundstage. Every drum has it's own little spot in the stage and if I drum along (poorly, I'm not a drummer, lol) then I can pretty much put every drum at the location of my arm extended to the speaker-line. If that's what you meant by "long arms" (from the seat to the drum-kit, where the drum-kit would need to be wider to accommodate the arc), then I'm totally cool with it, lol.

Pop/rock drum mixing and use of wide panning is sometimes cool, sometimes kinda weird. When I was mixing records for a living, I usually kept the stereo panning contained from left center to right center and didn't use hard left and hard right. That left those spaces open for other instruments. Where to place everything in the mix is a decision for the artist/producer.

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post #4874 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamWarrior View Post
I think it's awesome when the drum-set takes the entire width of my soundstage. Every drum has it's own little spot in the stage and if I drum along (poorly, I'm not a drummer, lol) then I can pretty much put every drum at the location of my arm extended to the speaker-line. If that's what you meant by "long arms" (from the seat to the drum-kit, where the drum-kit would need to be wider to accommodate the arc), then I'm totally cool with it, lol.
Yep, If you have arms five or six feet long this would be possible, otherwise, not real.

There's another pretty cool recording other than that the recording engineer did the same with the acoustic bass. Now it's 2/3rds of the way across the soundstage whereas the voice is properly scaled. urrrrggg !!

https://tidal.com/browse/album/4523608
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post #4875 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
Pop/rock drum mixing and use of wide panning is sometimes cool, sometimes kinda weird. When I was mixing records for a living, I usually kept the stereo panning contained from left center to right center and didn't use hard left and hard right. That left those spaces open for other instruments. Where to place everything in the mix is a decision for the artist/producer.
Indeed, it's certainly an artistic decision. I just enjoy when every little thing has it's own little place in the recording. Oddly, I find a lot of modern electronic music does this more often -- I suppose because it's so much easier when every single "sample" can be put "anywhere" in the stage. I guess this is probably harder with drums since, I'd suppose, no matter how you mic them, you'll always get some bleed from other drums in the mic focused on its drum. I recall my brother (who studied audio at WCU) telling me something about a drummer (I believe Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters) recording himself playing a single drum at a time for every drum on the track so they could have completely separate tracks for every drum with only the desired drum. I'd guess this is a difficult task for a drummer, though. I'm also unsure how true it is. But, I'd guess it'd provide the best-case for mixing drums this way (outside electronic drum-kits).
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Yep, If you have arms five or six feet long this would be possible, otherwise, not real.

There's another pretty cool recording other than that the recording engineer did the same with the acoustic bass. Now it's 2/3rds of the way across the soundstage whereas the voice is properly scaled. urrrrggg !!

https://tidal.com/browse/album/4523608
Have to check that out.

But, I don't care about "real". For me, putting each drum in its spot helps me "follow along" with the drummer. That's why I enjoy it, I feel like I can "drum along" because I just have to "follow the dots" which are spread wide enough that it's easy to track. When they collapse the whole drum set into a "tiny" spot somewhere in the soundstage, the spacing between drums is too little (at least in my system for my ears) to hear movement. So, I have to rely on knowing what every drum in the kit sounds like to discriminate, and my ears aren't that discerning. It's even more annoying when just the cymbals are panned and everything else is stuck in a smaller spot.

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post #4876 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 03:31 PM
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Indeed, it's certainly an artistic decision. I just enjoy when every little thing has it's own little place in the recording. Oddly, I find a lot of modern electronic music does this more often -- I suppose because it's so much easier when every single "sample" can be put "anywhere" in the stage. I guess this is probably harder with drums since, I'd suppose, no matter how you mic them, you'll always get some bleed from other drums in the mic focused on its drum. I recall my brother (who studied audio at WCU) telling me something about a drummer (I believe Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters) recording himself playing a single drum at a time for every drum on the track so they could have completely separate tracks for every drum with only the desired drum. I'd guess this is a difficult task for a drummer, though. I'm also unsure how true it is. But, I'd guess it'd provide the best-case for mixing drums this way (outside electronic drum-kits).

Have to check that out.

But, I don't care about "real". For me, putting each drum in its spot helps me "follow along" with the drummer. That's why I enjoy it, I feel like I can "drum along" because I just have to "follow the dots" which are spread wide enough that it's easy to track. When they collapse the whole drum set into a "tiny" spot somewhere in the soundstage, the spacing between drums is too little (at least in my system for my ears) to hear movement. So, I have to rely on knowing what every drum in the kit sounds like to discriminate, and my ears aren't that discerning. It's even more annoying when just the cymbals are panned and everything else is stuck in a smaller spot.
True, a time or two I've stated my preference is 'real music in a real space played by real musicians on real musical instruments', BUT I do enjoy a lot of electronica except EDM (despise, hate loath) and have since the earliest Kraftwerk days. I'll take dub step, dancehall, dark ambient, Jamaican dub, even some hop hip plus others as some of the created spatial effects are quite cool. Much of the 'assembled' music using instruments is unlistenable and unfortunately that includes most pop. My music room is sadly in the basement and has 7 1/2' ceilings so I need to sit near the floor so I get some of the height and overhead effects that the system can do.
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post #4877 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 05:24 PM
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True, a time or two I've stated my preference is 'real music in a real space played by real musicians on real musical instruments', BUT I do enjoy a lot of electronica except EDM (despise, hate loath) and have since the earliest Kraftwerk days. I'll take dub step, dancehall, dark ambient, Jamaican dub, even some hop hip plus others as some of the created spatial effects are quite cool. Much of the 'assembled' music using instruments is unlistenable and unfortunately that includes most pop. My music room is sadly in the basement and has 7 1/2' ceilings so I need to sit near the floor so I get some of the height and overhead effects that the system can do.
I don't find the emphasized line true, but I grew up listening to it, so....maybe I am just used to it. Plus, I still find something redeeming in a lot of it, and, IMO at least, things seem to be getting better! For example, I put on the first few tracks off the new Post Malone album last night (before the clock ticked 2:30am and I had to hit the sack after getting about 12 hours total sleep for the past three days, lol) and it sounded fantastic on my system. So much so that I planned to go to bed after the first track and kept listening. I would have kept on listening past that, even, if my wife didn't text me to go to bed, lol. His previous album has been through my speakers many nights and it has many little details everywhere throughout the record, too. You could say it's all derivative, containing many of the "typical" samples from that genre, but...I don't mind.

I also have a 7'6" ceiling height (tiles) in my basement and occasionally I'll run across a recording that throws a wall-of-sound from floor to ceiling. It can be overwhelming, though, and I don't always like it. Heck, the first time I put on Radiohead's remastered version of OK Computer I felt like I was being washed over with sound. I had never heard stuff so big and tall and beside such little details, too; like the robot voice saying "I am a paranoid android" -- it was this little, tiny, thing in the right hand side surrounded by so much other stuff that it was perfectly clear to hear it there, but almost like I had to play it back dozens of times to convince myself I wasn't crazy. Oddly, it was the first time I'd ever heard the album on my system, and the first time in a long time I'd heard it at all, so I didn't even recollect that voice was there. Of course, on, say, my cellphone that robot voice is present and clear, but it has no...character. Rather, it's just splattered on top of everything else and you don't get any sense of space. On my basement system it seemed like it was this little gem hanging out within a massive wall of sound.

That said, I suppose on occasion all that sound makes it harder (for me at least) to pick everything out. It's like being in a crowded restaurant with everyone talking around me and trying to pick out a single voice. I just can't do it. My ears probably suck, though, from many years of abuse.

Anyway...too far off-topic, I suppose. But, I love my M2s! Whatever the science did for them, I'm super grateful. In my absurdly less-than-ideal room, they do ridiculous things! I'm sure if I put a bit more time and effort into treatments it'd be even crazier, but...I need to find the time. Funny how making the money to support my hobbies takes up much of the time I have to indulge in them .
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post #4878 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 05:59 PM
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I apologize if this question has already been answered but after reading the first 300 posts the thread had a lot of non-scientific posts.

Does speaker sensitivity impact preference assuming all other specifications are equal?

Why is there NO perfect equipment, only compromises?
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post #4879 of 4962 Old 09-12-2019, 06:38 PM
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I apologize if this question has already been answered but after reading the first 300 posts the thread had a lot of non-scientific posts.

Does speaker sensitivity impact preference assuming all other specifications are equal?
I'm not an expert, maybe this answer is too simple for what you're looking for, but all other things being equal, there's a preference for louder sound/speakers. That's why you have to take care to even out the volume when evaluating speakers, which may mean turning your amplifier up or down depending on the sensitivity of the particular speakers you're listening to. This is called level matching.
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post #4880 of 4962 Old 09-13-2019, 02:34 AM
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I'm not an expert, maybe this answer is too simple for what you're looking for, but all other things being equal, there's a preference for louder sound/speakers. That's why you have to take care to even out the volume when evaluating speakers, which may mean turning your amplifier up or down depending on the sensitivity of the particular speakers you're listening to. This is called level matching.
Yes, that is too simple. I’m aware of level matching. My question is concerning choosing a speaker, and if all other specifications are the same, does sensitivity matter. I would assume if using an amplifier of adequate power for the less sensitive speaker it wouldn’t, but I would like to know the research on that. Thanks.

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post #4881 of 4962 Old 09-13-2019, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Changes from time to time. Currently have old Kef speakers (Andrew Jones design), which replaced some Starke Sound bookshelf speakers.
What model?
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post #4882 of 4962 Old 09-13-2019, 03:14 AM
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well I guess so...most people know what they like and dont need science to tell them

True. And most folks operate within a rather strict price range, hence usually won't go much over available budget, if any higher at all.
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post #4883 of 4962 Old 09-13-2019, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SimpleTheater View Post
Yes, that is too simple. I’m aware of level matching. My question is concerning choosing a speaker, and if all other specifications are the same, does sensitivity matter. I would assume if using an amplifier of adequate power for the less sensitive speaker it wouldn’t, but I would like to know the research on that. Thanks.
If you are going to push too much power to a speaker it will thermal compress (not really a "sensitivity" more like "efficiency" of the driver, but usually there is correlation).
It can also affect distortion.
By itself it is meaningless, you need to look at what caused that increase in sensitivity and if your use case gets affected.


Level matching while sounds really important, but it never happens in "real life", and volume control is definitely part of the experience. If talking about very "linear" devices like amps and DACs that sound really good to match. But with speakers not really, level matching when comparing does not look right to me.

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post #4884 of 4962 Old 09-13-2019, 08:42 AM
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But with speakers not really, level matching when comparing does not look right to me.
Do you mean you don't think level matching should be part of the Harman preference measurement protocol?

I might type 2K for 1080p.
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Do you mean you don't think level matching should be part of the Harman preference measurement protocol?
They can do whatever they like.


But for the end user it feels very strange to "level match".
How well speaker handles higher SPL is a part of performance for sure.

"Louder is better sounding" people often say, so why remove this characteristic from comparisons? Obviously SPL should be limited to not inflict hearing damage, but giving a user volume control to set "comfortable level" with each speaker seems like a good idea to me
But I also think you can only evaluate a speaker over a long time rather than in a quick comparison.
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post #4886 of 4962 Old 09-13-2019, 10:13 AM
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T
But I also think you can only evaluate a speaker over a long time rather than in a quick comparison.
Then this thread, as described by thread starter, isn't a good fit for you -- unless you're sufficiently flexible to adapt to new facts.
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I might type 2K for 1080p.
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post #4887 of 4962 Old 09-13-2019, 10:27 AM
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Then this thread, as described by thread starter, isn't a good fit for you -- unless you're sufficiently flexible to adapt to new facts.
Hmm, I am not aware of any study of short term vs long term preference.
Are you?
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post #4888 of 4962 Old 09-13-2019, 11:22 AM
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...
"Louder is better sounding" people often say, so why remove this characteristic from comparisons? ...
Because people can turn the volume knob to whatever they want?

When comparing things, one of the most fundamental principles of science is to remove variables, i.e., only test the thing you're trying to test. If you want to test for sound quality, then test for that. A test of sound quality and loudness yields almost no useful information.
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
Because people can turn the volume knob to whatever they want?

When comparing things, one of the most fundamental principles of science is to remove variables, i.e., only test the thing you're trying to test. If you want to test for sound quality, then test for that. A test of sound quality and loudness yields almost no useful information.
That is true, but by doing so you might be crippling one of the speakers and lowering its possible performance.
Yes, people turn volume to whatever they want. And it is different level with different speakers. At least in my experience.
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post #4890 of 4962 Old 09-13-2019, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by aats View Post
That is true, but by doing so you might be crippling one of the speakers and lowering its possible performance.
Yes, people turn volume to whatever they want. And it is different level with different speakers. At least in my experience.
Just because a speaker has higher or lower sensitivity doesn't mean it performs better or worse at certain volumes, at least not to my knowledge.

What makes you think that a speaker with higher sensitivity would perform better at higher volumes, which is what it would be tested at in your world?

And does that mean that speakers with lower sensitivity should be super quiet and difficult to hear, in your ideal testing environment?

What you're saying doesn't make any sense.
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