How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 25 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #721 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 11:18 AM
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I like creating pseudo-quadratic diffusers with books on bookshelves along 1st and 2nd order reflection points.

When I move into a more permanent space again, I’ll buy some actual quadratic diffusers...
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post #722 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post

My research focussed on understanding the interactions of loudspeakers and rooms. It has turned out that, with well designed loudspeakers the room matters much less than many have believed. With flawed loudspeakers room treatments cannot salvage truly good sound. I have read that one may need 40 or more sound absorbing panels and bass traps in a room - not my room! There are better ways.

I'm with you on the room treatments thing. It's exceedingly rare to see any that look domestically acceptable to my eyes. I just tried to build my room to sound "good" overall, and to give a bit of flexibility in liveliness through use of movable curtains along the walls.


As to room reflections influence, it is still true that different materials can have different reflection effects, correct?


One of my stereo speakers had to be placed fairly close to a fireplace which has hard, reflective ceramic tiling surrounding the firebox, so the speaker's mid and tweeter are fairly close to this reflective surface. I've found it seems to produce a slightly harsher, brighter sound from that channel if I don't treat those tiles (I put a velvet cover on them and that does the trick very well).



The other speaker is near another wall, but it's just a standard wall, with a very thin wallpaper covering. I can slide a curtain along that wall to control reflections too, but I generally find I don't need to because the nature of those reflections seem fine, not harsh and whitened, like the reflections from the ceramic tiles.
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post #723 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by chikoo View Post
Wilson Audio’s take on a speakers linear frequency response vs its ability to play a dynamic range, and its actual performance in a listners home. This is what I have been talking about, and am glad this has been responded to in this thread. Great learnings!

Skip to 3:35

https://youtu.be/CBwSA0lcM-U
I heard a lot of flowery subjective statements in the video. But how does it measure? I've noticed there are no measurements on their site. I wonder why that is?

I will say, in my subjective opinion, that's a god awful looking speaker!! The video was extremely entertaining tho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-99 View Post
My favorite line: "It silently kisses the top of the midrange driver and blends flawlessly."

Thanks for posting. What a hoot!
What kills me is that the OP gets slaughtered and accused of only being here to market Revel speakers in this thread because he posted real, verifiable science but then this video gets posted as an example of a speaker to get excited about - a video comprised purely of emotionally filled marketing from the owner of the company with no measurements whatsoever to back up any of the made up statements. But who needs measurements when the sound kisses the top of the midrange driver (not the middle or bottom, just the top!) and then blends flawlessly. FLAWLESSLY I tell you!

Are you listening to the speaker or having sex with it?

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Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
My research focussed on understanding the interactions of loudspeakers and rooms. It has turned out that, with well designed loudspeakers the room matters much less than many have believed. With flawed loudspeakers room treatments cannot salvage truly good sound. I have read that one may need 40 or more sound absorbing panels and bass traps in a room - not my room! There are better ways.
I found your whole post to be fascinating. I've always planned on room treatments when I had a dedicated listening/HT room. Does this also apply to the subwoofer as well?

What are your thoughts on room eq? I've got Audyssey XT32, and I find very little difference with it on or off. With it on, vocals seems a little more centered than without, and the bass is noticeably more defined and smooth. Other than a preferred improvement in the bass tho, the overall tone doesn't change. I believe my speakers are fairly neutral to begin with tho.
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post #724 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
BTW, nobody gets rich selling technical books. For me, it buys some decent wines now and again - thanks in advance


Can you clarify this statement you made earlier as many of us with smaller rooms, (in my case my secondary room with two 8" subs), do this:

"...transitioning any sub at 80 Hz or so to a 5.25 inch main is definitely a stretch - at low sound levels maybe, but not for movies or lots of modern music."
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post #725 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 01:35 PM
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Ignoring rather than engaging those who we think seem more interested in disrupting the discussion than seriously participating is probably the best of many imperfect solutions.
The "ignore user" function is wonderful. Allows brevity when catching up and removes the drivel and temptation to respond.
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post #726 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post


Can you clarify this statement you made earlier as many of us with smaller rooms, (in my case my secondary room with two 8" subs), do this:

"...transitioning any sub at 80 Hz or so to a 5.25 inch main is definitely a stretch - at low sound levels maybe, but not for movies or lots of modern music."
It all depends on the sound level and the size of the room. Movies played at "realistic" levels may be more than 5.25 inch main woofer/mids are able to handle even if designated "small" (80 Hz high pass filtered). At moderate levels there should be no problems. The consequences of overdriving will be non-linear distortion, or, in the extreme, an expensive silence. As a secondary system in a small room, it may work very well. Just exercise your desire for loudness in your principal listening room
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post #727 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
It all depends on the sound level and the size of the room. Movies played at "realistic" levels may be more than 5.25 inch main woofer/mids are able to handle even if designated "small" (80 Hz high pass filtered). At moderate levels there should be no problems. The consequences of overdriving will be non-linear distortion, or, in the extreme, an expensive silence. As a secondary system in a small room, it may work very well. Just exercise your desire for loudness in your principal listening room
Got it.

Yes, in my main home theater I have a single 15" sealed servo Velodyne that works well with the 7" mains in my Left Right and Center.

In my secondary room the volume demands are far lower.

Thank you for taking the time to clarify.

Sadly Velodyne has lost the plot on customer service which used to be exemplary.

They are concentrating now on Lidar for self driving cars.

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post #728 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf7002 View Post
I found your whole post to be fascinating. I've always planned on room treatments when I had a dedicated listening/HT room. Does this also apply to the subwoofer as well?

What are your thoughts on room eq? I've got Audyssey XT32, and I find very little difference with it on or off. With it on, vocals seems a little more centered than without, and the bass is noticeably more defined and smooth. Other than a preferred improvement in the bass tho, the overall tone doesn't change. I believe my speakers are fairly neutral to begin with tho.
Folks who sell room treatments talk as though good sound is impossible without it, sometimes a lot of it. If you start with an empty room, as in a dedicated home theater, there is no doubt that treatment is necessary to bring the room acoustics to a desirable level. If the room is carpeted, furnished with chairs, sofas, paraphernalia of life, including some drapes, nothing further may be necessary. So, it depends . . . I discuss some of this in the companion website to my book, which is open access: www.routledge.com/cw/toole.

My book is full of commentary on room EQ, much of it negative, except for the bass, where it I almost essential. Full bandwidth EQ, as frequently practised, is capable of degrading the sound from well designed loudspeakers. When I was teaching acoustics to CEDIA classes of installers I would ask the question about room acoustics. In those days, up to 2 years ago, the answer was predominantly "off". I still claim that EQ is useful at low frequencies, especially when combined with the proper use of multiple subs - no bass traps necessary, although they do no harm, except to the visual environment. See Chapter 8 in my book for full details. This paper has most of the "technical" arguments: Toole, F. E. (2015). “The Measurement and Calibration of Sound Reproducing Systems”, J. Audio Eng. Soc., vol. 63, pp.512-541. This is an open-access paper available to non-members at www.aes.org. http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=17839
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post #729 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 05:04 PM
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How does multi channel music fit into this? Is there a preference toward wide or highly directive speakers? I was thinking that maybe more directional speakers could be preferred because the spaciouslnous contained in the recording would be more apparent over the room’s acoustics compared to wide dispersion speakers.
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post #730 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 06:09 PM
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How does multi channel music fit into this? Is there a preference toward wide or highly directive speakers? I was thinking that maybe more directional speakers could be preferred because the spaciouslnous contained in the recording would be more apparent over the room’s acoustics compared to wide dispersion speakers.
Good question.

I could assume that you will never play "raw" stereo - no upmixing. If you do you might want at least the L & R fronts to have moderately wide relatively uniform dispersion. Beyond that the directivities of the surround and height loudspeakers matter mainly in that one wants the direct sound from all of them to be as flat and smooth as possible. If you use speakers that can be aimed at the listeners all is well. If you use in-ceiling or in-wall speakers and you find that important listeners are far off axis, no amount of EQ can fix the problem.

As far as the acoustics of the listening room are concerned, relative to the recorded environment, the recording wins. Small rooms can be made to sound large. Large rooms cannot sound small. Cinemas have problems with "intimacy".
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post #731 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 06:29 PM
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About 9 years ago I spent almost 3 grand on bass traps and the free consulting from a frequently used vendor. It actually made the bass measure worse in my room, didn't fix anything, and made the room too dead.

Now I've experimented with multiple subs and it's a huge improvement even with limited placement and a room that's not great for bass.

Maybe some others have had good luck with traps, but I didn't. The money you spend along the way...

Not to mention it's near impossible to sell the bass traps.
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post #732 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
Movies played at "realistic" levels may be more than 5.25 inch main woofer/mids are able to handle even if designated "small" (80 Hz high pass filtered).
Big movies deserve big woofers.
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Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
Folks who sell room treatments talk as though good sound is impossible without it, sometimes a lot of it. If you start with an empty room, as in a dedicated home theater, there is no doubt that treatment is necessary to bring the room acoustics to a desirable level. If the room is carpeted, furnished with chairs, sofas, paraphernalia of life, including some drapes, nothing further may be necessary. So, it depends . . . I discuss some of this in the companion website to my book, which is open access: www.routledge.com/cw/toole.

My book is full of commentary on room EQ, much of it negative, except for the bass, where it I almost essential. Full bandwidth EQ, as frequently practised, is capable of degrading the sound from well designed loudspeakers. When I was teaching acoustics to CEDIA classes of installers I would ask the question about room acoustics. In those days, up to 2 years ago, the answer was predominantly "off". I still claim that EQ is useful at low frequencies, especially when combined with the proper use of multiple subs - no bass traps necessary, although they do no harm, except to the visual environment. See Chapter 8 in my book for full details. This paper has most of the "technical" arguments: Toole, F. E. (2015). “The Measurement and Calibration of Sound Reproducing Systems”, J. Audio Eng. Soc., vol. 63, pp.512-541. This is an open-access paper available to non-members at www.aes.org. http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=17839
Amen! I wish more people understood this as I hear the tired mantra that "the room is the most important component in your system" and you're "listening to your room". This is only true when your room is the bottleneck and for that to be the case you would have to be listening in a shoebox, a warehouse, a room comprised entirely of hard surfaces, or the worst, a room filled with sound dampening foam.

Anything in between, and you're cueing into the direct sound of the loudspeakers and the recording with minimal room interference if your speakers are positioned correctly.
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post #734 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tin_Can View Post
How does multi channel music fit into this? Is there a preference toward wide or highly directive speakers? I was thinking that maybe more directional speakers could be preferred because the spaciouslnous contained in the recording would be more apparent over the room’s acoustics compared to wide dispersion speakers.
I have wide dispersion as well as directional speakers and I love the directional speakers.
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post #735 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill-99 View Post
My favorite line: "It silently kisses the top of the midrange driver and blends flawlessly."

Thanks for posting. What a hoot!
The Wilson reminds me of Stadium speakers such as these



https://www.electrovoice.com/news-details.php?id=1533
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post #736 of 5319 Old 01-15-2019, 08:24 PM
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It silently kisses the top of the midrange driver and blends flawlessly
Reminded me of the poem at the end of this:

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post #737 of 5319 Old 01-16-2019, 06:19 AM
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For the record, my drivers talked about this and decided to just be friends.

Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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post #738 of 5319 Old 01-16-2019, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
Folks who sell room treatments talk as though good sound is impossible without it, sometimes a lot of it. If you start with an empty room, as in a dedicated home theater, there is no doubt that treatment is necessary to bring the room acoustics to a desirable level. If the room is carpeted, furnished with chairs, sofas, paraphernalia of life, including some drapes, nothing further may be necessary. So, it depends . . . I discuss some of this in the companion website to my book, which is open access: www.routledge.com/cw/toole.

My book is full of commentary on room EQ, much of it negative, except for the bass, where it I almost essential. Full bandwidth EQ, as frequently practised, is capable of degrading the sound from well designed loudspeakers. When I was teaching acoustics to CEDIA classes of installers I would ask the question about room acoustics. In those days, up to 2 years ago, the answer was predominantly "off". I still claim that EQ is useful at low frequencies, especially when combined with the proper use of multiple subs - no bass traps necessary, although they do no harm, except to the visual environment. See Chapter 8 in my book for full details. This paper has most of the "technical" arguments: Toole, F. E. (2015). “The Measurement and Calibration of Sound Reproducing Systems”, J. Audio Eng. Soc., vol. 63, pp.512-541. This is an open-access paper available to non-members at www.aes.org. http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=17839

Since I don't have a dedicated home theater, my living room is my theater. So I didn't have current plans for room treatments except maybe in the first reflection points as due to the shape of the room I can't easily put any furniture there. It's quite possible I just don't need it.



I've downloaded the paper and will read through it, thanks! I'll pick up your book soon as well, it sounds like a lot of my questions are already answered there.

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post #739 of 5319 Old 01-16-2019, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf7002 View Post
Since I don't have a dedicated home theater, my living room is my theater. So I didn't have current plans for room treatments except maybe in the first reflection points as due to the shape of the room I can't easily put any furniture there. It's quite possible I just don't need it.



I've downloaded the paper and will read through it, thanks! I'll pick up your book soon as well, it sounds like a lot of my questions are already answered there.
I found this doc very useful in how much room treatment to use when setting up my media room:

http://www.acousticfrontiers.com/wp-..._standards.pdf

I don't know if it has a study behind it, but it at least has some standards and target to aim for instead of being completely subjective in how much to use. And their goal isn't just to kill all reflections. For mine, when measuring with REW I found that back wall reflections were actually as loud as the direct sound which can't be a good thing, so I added treatment behind each speaker, but then skipped any side wall first reflections as they seemed fairly well behaved just naturally.
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Its awesome having Doc Floyd on these forums sharing his wealth of experience and knowledge. In the process of adjusting my setup I got lazy and bought some diy materials for panels/traps to only have them sitting in my garage taking up space as I managed to fix a few issues just by tweaking speaker positioning.

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post #741 of 5319 Old 01-16-2019, 01:27 PM
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The Wilson reminds me of Stadium speakers such as these



https://www.electrovoice.com/news-details.php?id=1533
Yes there is a superficial resemblance. However each of the modules in that professional audio array has had the transfer function (amplitude and phase) measured anechoically at probably 5 deg. increments over a sphere. The data for the units in the array are combined in an elaborate computer program to yield a predictable 3D sound radiation pattern, tailored for the venue and the audience disposition. This is serious engineering. Good sound can be delivered to vast audiences, if the FOH (front of house) engineer doesn't screw it up during the performance.

The first time I heard one of the monster Wilsons several years ago I was amazed at how much the sound quality changed as I sat up straight or slumped in the "reference" chair - a vertical ear movement of a couple of inches. I asked the owner how he dealt with this, and he had not noticed. The system had been breathed on by an audio "god" - the placebo effect was fully engaged. Large vertical arrays have the risk of very narrow vertical listening windows, especially if they use low-slope crossovers. Maybe they have improved . . . good engineering can help.
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post #742 of 5319 Old 01-16-2019, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
Yes there is a superficial resemblance. However each of the modules in that professional audio array has had the transfer function (amplitude and phase) measured anechoically at probably 5 deg. increments over a sphere. The data for the units in the array are combined in an elaborate computer program to yield a predictable 3D sound radiation pattern, tailored for the venue and the audience disposition. This is serious engineering. Good sound can be delivered to vast audiences, if the FOH (front of house) engineer doesn't screw it up during the performance.



The first time I heard one of the monster Wilsons several years ago I was amazed at how much the sound quality changed as I sat up straight or slumped in the "reference" chair - a vertical ear movement of a couple of inches. I asked the owner how he dealt with this, and he had not noticed. The system had been breathed on by an audio "god" - the placebo effect was fully engaged. Large vertical arrays have the risk of very narrow vertical listening windows, especially if they use low-slope crossovers. Maybe they have improved . . . good engineering can help.


Indeed. I was fortunate enough to mix FOH using a large format JBL VERTEC curvilinear line array in a previous career. IIRC, a Midas XL8 sound console was used and the array was fed via a Lake precessor.

The sound was particularly good for an outdoor, live sound venue. Shockingly so. All of the audio guys and gals present were surprised at the fidelity.


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post #743 of 5319 Old 01-16-2019, 06:37 PM
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Indeed. I was fortunate enough to mix FOH using a large format JBL VERTEC curvilinear line array in a previous career. IIRC, a Midas XL8 sound console was used and the array was fed via a Lake precessor.

The sound was particularly good for an outdoor, live sound venue. Shockingly so. All of the audio guys and gals present were surprised at the fidelity.


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Good for you! In a much earlier post I show a Spinorama of a Vertec module. It would embarrass some audiophile speakers. I too have heard these arrays sounding remarkably like HiFi. I have also walked out of concerts using them where the sound was rendered intolerable by an injudicious (or in one case, deaf) FOH person.
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post #744 of 5319 Old 01-17-2019, 04:06 AM
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...if the FOH (front of house) engineer doesn't screw it up during the performance.
That's a very big if in my experience.

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post #745 of 5319 Old 01-17-2019, 06:45 AM
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Good for you! In a much earlier post I show a Spinorama of a Vertec module. It would embarrass some audiophile speakers. I too have heard these arrays sounding remarkably like HiFi. I have also walked out of concerts using them where the sound was rendered intolerable by an injudicious (or in one case, deaf) FOH person.
Speaking of pro sound gear, what has been your experience if any, with the point source designs from Danley, such as their Jericho model and SH50's.
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post #746 of 5319 Old 01-17-2019, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by shivaji View Post
Speaking of pro sound gear, what has been your experience if any, with the point source designs from Danley, such as their Jericho model and SH50's.
Sorry, but I have no experience with these products.
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post #747 of 5319 Old 01-17-2019, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by garygarrison View Post

Stereophile (November 21, 2004) had an interesting article by Keith Howard on modulation distortion in speakers, which he calls Doppler distortion. The meat of the article is on the third page, where he describes the harshness and other effects of spurious harmonically unrelated sidebands resulting from modulation. He says that after his experiments he sides with Klipsch in believing that modulation distortion can be a serious problem in speakers, especially 2 ways, with wide excursion in the woofer. Paul Klipsch believed that having excursion of 1/16 of an inch or less in a woofer was preferable.
https://www.stereophile.com/content/...e7G676SYg0g.99
And yet we have some designs today, such as the XBL2 Splitgap woofer, designed to have high excursion, but low distortion, used by Jon Lane in his Chane speakers. So there must be more to the story.

Regarding the discussion here in general: for those skeptical, the OP offered to test other speakers - I suggest we take them up on it. Let's start sending them speakers, and let the results do the talking.

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post #748 of 5319 Old 01-17-2019, 02:21 PM
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Thank you Gooddoc. We do not have the personnel available to put speakers through our testing by request. However, feel free to make requests, and if we have them available, I will add them. I will be adding both Revel and other competitors as time permits, so you might find your request fulfilled without even asking.
Thanks. I understand. It is not possible to test any speaker that we send. Could you let us know what speakers are in your list to be tested? Thanks in advance.

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post #749 of 5319 Old 01-17-2019, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
And yet we have some designs today, such as the XBL2 Splitgap woofer, designed to have high excursion, but low distortion, used by Jon Lane in his Chane speakers. So there must be more to the story. Regarding the discussion here in general: for those skeptical, the OP offered to test other speakers - I suggest we take them up on it. Let's start sending them speakers, and let the results do the talking.

I mentioned this before in the thread. Do not just start sending speakers to Harman. When Kevin has time to post again, I'll ask him to address the procedure for how this might be accomplished. The chamber is undergoing renovations, not sure when it will be back in service.
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post #750 of 5319 Old 01-17-2019, 04:23 PM
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I mentioned this before in the thread. Do not just start sending speakers to Harman. When Kevin has time to post again, I'll ask him to address the procedure for how this might be accomplished. The chamber is undergoing renovations, not sure when it will be back in service.
Thanks. I didn't have time to read all 25 pages that have accumulated in only a few weeks

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