How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 39 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1141 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
I'm in Toronto and I listened to Revel speakers at Bay Bloor Radio (not sure if they still carry them, it was a year or two ago).


And I also listened to them at Audio Eden:


http://www.audioeden.com/brands/4593082605

Thanks for the suggestions, much appreciated! The first place I checked was the website for Bay Bloor Radio, but the only thing listed there was one set of bookshelves. I'm more interested in the towers. I haven't heard of Audio Eden but will be checking them out for sure. I live in Kitchener, so it's just a quick run up the 401 to visit these places.
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post #1142 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
Your first two pictures did not come up but I took a look at the MBL website to get an idea - unforunately no measurements on these speakers are provided so my guess is a good as yours. If there is a substantial difference in presentation, comprehensive measurements would provide us with a answer. The MBL website does not seem to offer any specs at all. I remain by my point however, that physical difference in size is not the reason for potential differences in terms of 'image size'.

I'm not suggesting or stuck on the idea mere physical size of a speaker - e.g. the cabinet - does account for, or is the only thing that accounts for the scale of sound (though it seems an open question as to how the nature of a cabinet's shape/size might have sonic effects - as they indeed do acoustically).


But there's also things like a hell of a lot more surface area producing sound in the big speakers vs the small, and likely other considerations.



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Spacial cues are attributed to the higher treble range and dispersion in this regard is what would make the most substantial difference. Already both are omni in this regard (at least in the horizontal plane). Bass accounts for a great deal of subjective impressions, and can have a profound influence on the entire experience. My first guess would be to look at what's happening below 200-300hz (in-room).



It's not like we are talking about controversial levels of sound difference - e.g. between cables. Speakers sound different and even very minor differences in speakers are well known to be audible.



The claim that the mere addition of a subwoofer to those tiny MBLs would produce the same believable scale of sound as that giant MBL set up seems more extraordinary than the claim they would sound different. And this simply isn't my experience in comparing many big and small speakers, with subs or not.
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post #1143 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
I'm not suggesting or stuck on the idea mere physical size of a speaker - e.g. the cabinet - does account for, or is the only thing that accounts for the scale of sound (though it seems an open question as to how the nature of a cabinet's shape/size might have sonic effects - as they indeed do acoustically).


But there's also things like a hell of a lot more surface area producing sound in the big speakers vs the small, and likely other considerations.








It's not like we are talking about controversial levels of sound difference - e.g. between cables. Speakers sound different and even very minor differences in speakers are well known to be audible.



The claim that the mere addition of a subwoofer to those tiny MBLs would produce the same believable scale of sound as that giant MBL set up seems more extraordinary than the claim they would sound different. And this simply isn't my experience in comparing many big and small speakers, with subs or not.
I was hoping to find out on the MBL website what range of frequencies those extra drivers were producing. I honestly don't know those standmounts or what they measure like. A good subwoofer (or two) may very be indeed all it takes. Scale of sound is not something one can engineer into a loudspeaker. It is a side effect of the dispersion characteristics of a loudspeaker, and the location of the radiating surfaces in relation to the adjacent boundaries.
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post #1144 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 10:14 AM
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I like to use this video to showcase an example of a speaker creating scale, an effortless presentation of dynamics, directionality, vocal clarity and the ability to do something that smaller speakers that don't have a horn as their foundation, more than likely couldn't do. This is a Diy Danley style tapped horn in action. Headphones if you got them.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rAI...&frags=pl%2Cwn
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post #1145 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
I was hoping to find out on the MBL website what range of frequencies those extra drivers were producing. I honestly don't know those standmounts or what they measure like. A good subwoofer (or two) may very be indeed all it takes.

Ok. I've actually done it (tried adding a sub to my small MBLs). It's not all it takes. The scale of the sound didn't remotely come close to that of the large speakers.





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Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
Scale of sound is not something one can engineer into a loudspeaker. It is a side effect of the dispersion characteristics of a loudspeaker, and the location of the radiating surfaces in relation to the adjacent boundaries.

Of course the scale of sound is something that can be engineered in to speakers.


You don't think a concert PA system produces a bigger sound than a bookshelf speaker or that tiny MBL omni?
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post #1146 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
Ok. I've actually done it (tried adding a sub to my small MBLs). It's not all it takes. The scale of the sound didn't remotely come close to that of the large speakers.

You own both? You also managed to perfectly calibrate subwoofers to your system in less than 30 min?




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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Of course the scale of sound is something that can be engineered in to speakers.
Please identify for me if you will, the metric for 'scale'. Decibel would the metric for SPL, Hertz would be the metric for frequency. I would like to learn the metric for 'scale'


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You don't think a concert PA system produces a bigger sound than a bookshelf speaker or that tiny MBL omni?
The goal of a concert PA system is to provide a direct sound coverage to large groups of people and preferably, as little as possible outside of the intended coverage area. It has nothing to do with a living room HiFi or home theater setup. It is big because it needs to be. In fact Danley sounds offer (claimed) similar performances in much smaller packages. They have data to back that up. No mention of 'scale' of sound anywhere in the available literature.
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post #1147 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 10:52 AM
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Is that a speaker or the mother of all flux capacitors?

Yes
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post #1148 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
While I enjoy a good back and forth, a quick reminder: this thread is about what the science shows, as per the topic title.

Perhaps a seperate thread could be started about 'how to choose a loudspeaker based on opinions' - feel free to start one.



Feel free to disagree with me or anyone, but please bring some objective evidence to the table to support any claims made.
Dr. Toole (@Floyd Toole ) may have some insight on this subject. He may even have some data. So wait, please....

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post #1149 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
You own both? You also managed to perfectly calibrate subwoofers to your system in less than 30 min?

Years ago when I had an in store "private audience" listen to the MBL extreme speakers, I borrowed a sub from a friend to try with my smaller MBLs.
Admittedly I'm far from an expert with subwoofers, but in any case the sound didn't approach that of the big speakers. More recently I acquired two JL Audio 110 subs that I was playing with. Again, I have only tried a basic attempt (e.g. sharing the speaker line level with the subs and also outputting from my pre-amp) vs using an outboard crossover. Again...nothing like the big MBLs.


Years ago when I was very high on possibly buying the MBL 101 speakers, I heard the bigger model sans sub vs smaller models with subs. Again...the addition of subs did not reproduce the size of sound of the bigger speakers.


No, I don't have a lab to do Harmon-style blind testing. But, then again, I'm seeing from you some assertions but without specific evidence to back up what seem like extraordinary claims - e.g. that the tiny MBL speaker with an addition of a sub would sound as big as the giant model. Even slight modifications in a speaker produce audible consequences, and the sheer difference in size, scale, design, and amount of vibrating surface of the big MBL models vs the small ones would suggest audible sonic consequences.


If your response to my query is essentially "the phenomenon you are talking about doesn't exist" then, without very definitive objective data to make that case and why, I may have to hope someone else can answer the question.



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Please identify for me if you will, the metric for 'scale'. Decibel would the metric for SPL, Hertz would be the metric for frequency. I would like to learn the metric for 'scale'

Ah....one of those. In fact, I was looking for the metrics from an expert that would explain the perception of scale.


If the phenomenon of a piano being reproduced in a miniature form by tiny speakers vs a life-sized "It could be a real sized piano in front of me if I close my eyes" is alien to you, then I'm not talking to the right person. Virtually every other audiophile I'm aware of understands the experience of hearing large-scale sound from significantly bigger speakers vs tiny speakers (not always, but as a general phenomenon).



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The goal of a concert PA system is to provide a direct sound coverage to large groups of people and preferably, as little as possible outside of the intended coverage area. It has nothing to do with a living room HiFi or home theater setup. It is big because it needs to be.

Which is why you were incorrect to say that scale can not be engineered in to a speaker system. The exaggerated case of the PA system shows that to be incorrect on principle and in practice.


Around the corner from my house a major street closes down every year and several large PA/Stage set ups are created. I don't like to be blasted with loud sound these days, so when I listen to the bands it's from a distance where the sound is in the db range I can be comfortable with. Even "turning down" the volume by moving further away from the PA does not make the sound miniaturized. It still sounds like a massive sound. When I listen to any speakers I own at home at similar comfortable volume levels - be it stand mounted or by biggest floor stander - no matter what volume they do not sound massive in scale/size as the PA system. It's not ONLY about volume. If I blast my speakers or earbugs louder than I can stand, the impression doesn't suddenly become that the instruments or overall sound has increased twenty-fold in size. It mostly just sounds like the same thing...but louder.



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Originally Posted by TimVG View Post


In fact Danley sounds offer (claimed) similar performances in much smaller packages. They have data to back that up. No mention of 'scale' of sound anywhere in the available literature.

Similar. Not the same. There must be some reason they made big speakers, not just small ones, right?


Anyway, I can see we are at an impasse.
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post #1150 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
Years ago when I had an in store "private audience" listen to the MBL extreme speakers, I borrowed a sub from a friend to try with my smaller MBLs.
Admittedly I'm far from an expert with subwoofers, but in any case the sound didn't approach that of the big speakers. More recently I acquired two JL Audio 110 subs that I was playing with. Again, I have only tried a basic attempt (e.g. sharing the speaker line level with the subs and also outputting from my pre-amp) vs using an outboard crossover. Again...nothing like the big MBLs.

Years ago when I was very high on possibly buying the MBL 101 speakers, I heard the bigger model sans sub vs smaller models with subs. Again...the addition of subs did not reproduce the size of sound of the bigger speakers.

No, I don't have a lab to do Harmon-style blind testing. But, then again, I'm seeing from you some assertions but without specific evidence to back up what seem like extraordinary claims - e.g. that the tiny MBL speaker with an addition of a sub would sound as big as the giant model. Even slight modifications in a speaker produce audible consequences, and the sheer difference in size, scale, design, and amount of vibrating surface of the big MBL models vs the small ones would suggest audible sonic consequences.

If your response to my query is essentially "the phenomenon you are talking about doesn't exist" then, without very definitive objective data to make that case and why, I may have to hope someone else can answer the question.

Ah....one of those. In fact, I was looking for the metrics from an expert that would explain the perception of scale.

If the phenomenon of a piano being reproduced in a miniature form by tiny speakers vs a life-sized "It could be a real sized piano in front of me if I close my eyes" is alien to you, then I'm not talking to the right person. Virtually every other audiophile I'm aware of understands the experience of hearing large-scale sound from significantly bigger speakers vs tiny speakers (not always, but as a general phenomenon).

Which is why you were incorrect to say that scale can not be engineered in to a speaker system. The exaggerated case of the PA system shows that to be incorrect on principle and in practice.

Around the corner from my house a major street closes down every year and several large PA/Stage set ups are created. I don't like to be blasted with loud sound these days, so when I listen to the bands it's from a distance where the sound is in the db range I can be comfortable with. Even "turning down" the volume by moving further away from the PA does not make the sound miniaturized. It still sounds like a massive sound. When I listen to any speakers I own at home at similar comfortable volume levels - be it stand mounted or by biggest floor stander - no matter what volume they do not sound massive in scale/size as the PA system. It's not ONLY about volume. If I blast my speakers or earbugs louder than I can stand, the impression doesn't suddenly become that the instruments or overall sound has increased twenty-fold in size. It mostly just sounds like the same thing...but louder.

Similar. Not the same. There must be some reason they made big speakers, not just small ones, right?

Anyway, I can see we are at an impasse.

"Virtually every other audiophile I'm aware of understands the experience of hearing large-scale sound from significantly bigger speakers vs tiny speakers (not always, but as a general phenomenon)."

Yes
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post #1151 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 11:57 AM
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Yes I feel we should simply agree to disagree. To summarize what the science says: scale or largeness of image (if that is what you mean) is simply the result of what is already in the recording, combined with the dispersion capabilities of a loudspeaker system that interact with the boundaries of a given room, from a given position. A small system can provide such an experience since directional cues are related to the higher treble (direct sound, with early reflections giving a sense of spaciousness).

If Dr. Toole decides to chime in, I'm sure he can explain this better than I ever could and point out any errors I may have stated.

As far as I know, there is really nothing magical about it. Your own experiences, which I don't doubt you feel strongly about, are moot since they were done sighted, in different venues, over different time periods. Your subwoofer setup procedure leaves much to be desired (and I don't mean any disrespect) and without proper in-room measurements it's simply a guess as to what is actually going on. I would sugges tyou try to attend a blind test if the opportunity ever arises. I've participated in several, and they are very humbling.
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post #1152 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 12:47 PM
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Although this has little to do with what I was saying about being to scale appropriately within the sound field, I have compared larger speakers with smaller speakers both with and without the sub in my budget system. One on speakers selector A and one set on B. Big speakers did sound bigger even with the subs so really not a surpise. Still has little to do with my point of scaling between an equally large double bass and a contrabass sax.

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post #1153 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 01:31 PM
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I'm probably going to regret posting, as I am unwilling to engage in any prolonged discussion, but I think that there is a difference in scale between larger and smaller speakers that subwoofers can't entirely resolve. Someone suggested earlier that clues to the difference might be in the upper bass frequencies. If we take a small speaker and add a subwoofer to it, crossed at about 80 or 100Hz, there is still relatively less bass at 120Hz and 150Hz, and 200Hz, than there might be with a much larger tower speaker. I suspect that the bass we hear above the subwoofer's roll-off contributes to the impression of more three-dimensional presence.

I also wouldn't entirely discount cabinet volume and cabinet height. We can put a smaller speaker on a stand, so that the tweeter is at ear level, but some of the lower mid-range frequencies and all of the bass frequencies, from that speaker, will be radiating outward through the cabinet walls and not just coming directly from the driver. As with a planar speaker, the impression of greater height and depth could very well be conveyed from taller speakers with cabinets that go all the way down to the floor, and which therefore present a taller wall of sound for some frequencies.

I'm not going to take a black or white position on this issue. But, I do believe that there are some plausible explanations for why we might hear a heavier, more three-dimensional presence from some large tower speakers, that we would have trouble reproducing with smaller speakers and subwoofers. For whatever it may be worth, I have all of the above: very large speakers, medium size speakers, very small speakers, and multiple subwoofers. I use them in different locations for different applications. I do not believe that all of the differences I hear are attributable to sighted bias.

This post is directed primarily to R Harkness since he was looking for some potential explanations for the differences he has heard, even if I am not exactly sure how someone might go about quantifying these subjective impressions.

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post #1154 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 02:01 PM
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My personal anecdote about "scale" is that it is all about the bass. I've been using LS50's for about a year now, certainly not big speakers and a bit bass shy with only 5" woofers. Last summer I was part of the BMR roadshow so I had a few to audition them. The biggest surprise once I hooked back up the LS50's was that they sounded "bigger", with my subs hooked up of course. To me, the dispersion is really the thing that makes a speaker sound big, open or broad. When I correct for the bass and ensure a similar response, I don't notice a difference in "scale". Now if you were to throw a tower in a room and not correct for the huge bass peaks that will inevitably be there, towers will sound "big" because they excite the room modes much more than a bookshelf will.

Wanted to edit to also say that towers and/or multi driver speakers in general will definitely play louder and with less distortion at the same SPL, which may also explain "scale" somewhat, but that depends on how loud one listens.

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My personal anecdote about "scale" is that it is all about the bass. I've been using LS50's for about a year now, certainly not big speakers and a bit bass shy with only 5" woofers. Last summer I was part of the BMR roadshow so I had a few to audition them. The biggest surprise once I hooked back up the LS50's was that they sounded "bigger", with my subs hooked up of course. To me, the dispersion is really the thing that makes a speaker sound big, open or broad. When I correct for the bass and ensure a similar response, I don't notice a difference in "scale". Now if you were to throw a tower in a room and not correct for the huge bass peaks that will inevitably be there, towers will sound "big" because they excite the room modes much more than a bookshelf will.

Wanted to edit to also say that towers and/or multi driver speakers in general will definitely play louder and with less distortion at the same SPL, which may also explain "scale" somewhat, but that depends on how loud one listens.

Cincinnati? Feel free if you're ever up this way to the neighborhood, to give me a shout and stop on by. I'd be happy to show you what I meant by 'scale'. It's a bit of a different paradigm than the size of the soundfield as I meant the relative sizes of objects within that soundfield.

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post #1156 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 02:51 PM
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Scale cannot be designed into a loudspeaker. You can design a loudspeaker that has very good on- and off-axis performance. You can design a loudspeaker that extends deep and has excellent power handling. One cannot design 'scale' or 'imaging' into a loudspeaker system. It is the result of the recording and how the loudspeaker interacts with the adjacent boundaries (reflections). Scale cannot be quantified, there is no metric for it. A small system aided by one or preferably several subwoofers can 'image' the same as a large floorstander. It may not play as loud as the floorstander, but if the sub is well integrated with a smooth response through the crossover, I see no reason why the floorstander would 'image' larger or different if all the other factors remain the same.

I keep being told I'm wrong here in that regard, without any actual objective evidence to the contrary. Perhaps @avkv or @Floyd Toole could enlighten me. Am I wrong in what I've been typing here for the last few pages?
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post #1157 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 03:01 PM
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Cincinnati? Feel free if you're ever up this way to the neighborhood, to give me a shout and stop on by. I'd be happy to show you what I meant by 'scale'. It's a bit of a different paradigm than the size of the soundfield as I meant the relative sizes of objects within that soundfield.
Thanks for the offer, I'm actually very curious about Elacs since I've been enjoying coaxials lately. Do you happen to have any in room measurements of those 2 speakers by chance? Those 2 speakers are a great example of what I'm talking about by the way, they use the same mid/tweeter driver crossed over at 270Hz, the only difference is the number of bass drivers. So in that case, I think the "scale" you're hearing is clean output or just more output in the bass, period. Since it's crossed at 270 with an identical driver, it can't be anything above that range.

I did the identical test like 5 years ago with the Chane ARX A1 and A5 towers I found used, when I corrected for the bass(the towers obviously excited the room modes much more) I didn't notice much of a difference but at first the towers did sound much bigger, it was mostly just excess bass. I kept the bookshelf speakers because at my listening levels (75-85db) the towers didn't really add anything.

By the way, I'm about to down a brew from a brewery in Columbus, Brewdog Elvis juice, one my favorites!
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post #1158 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
To summarize what the science says: scale or largeness of image (if that is what you mean) is simply the result of what is already in the recording, combined with the dispersion capabilities of a loudspeaker system that interact with the boundaries of a given room, from a given position.

I've seen the assertion; I'm not seeing the science.



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As far as I know, there is really nothing magical about it.

No magic implied. Small changes in loudspeaker design are well known to produce audible consequences. I'm not talking about anti-scientific ideas like sonic differences between AC cables or something.






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I would sugges tyou try to attend a blind test if the opportunity ever arises. I've participated in several, and they are very humbling.

I've done blind testing and have experienced that educational humbling. I'm not suggesting at all that I couldn't be "fooled" by certain comparisons of smaller and bigger speakers in blind testing situations. But there will be a good technical explanation for why, and also, it stretches credulity that, though there are some cases in which one would be fooled, that in all cases one would be fooled. The scenario you have staked out is to move beyond, say, comparison of a couple of fairly similar speakers to the idea that, if one could put those giant MBL speakers and the tiny ones behind a screen, one could not distinguish them if you add a sub to the small one. In fact, your position does not seem to discriminate much between the idea that one could put a whole rock concert PA system behind a screen and then taking a stand mounted speaker and just adding a sub would make them indistinguishable if they were played at the same volume. As in one could not tell which was the bigger system. That approaches an extraordinary claim in of itself that seems to me to fly in the face of the fact subtle differences between speakers are often audible.





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Scale cannot be designed into a loudspeaker.

The PA system example already shows that to be false. Unless, again, you are committed to the idea a rock concert PA could not be distinguished as sounding any larger than a bookshelf speaker with a sub, in blind conditions?


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Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
I keep being told I'm wrong here in that regard, without any actual objective evidence to the contrary.

That's mostly because I was asking for objective evidence, not providing it. I was starting with subjective impressions shared by every person I've ever known - that large speaker systems sound larger for the most part than small ones. If it's your position that this is delusion or error, sure I and everyone else who ever had this experience could be wrong. But it would take a more persuasive, detailed technical reply to overturn this than what I've seen so far.
Do you have links to any objective evidence in the forms of blind tests, that would suggest a speaker as small as the MBL 121s could not be distinguished in terms of sounding smaller compared to a speaker as large as the MBL Extreme speakers? Even by adding a sub to a speaker the size of the 121s?
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post #1159 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 03:23 PM
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That is not at all what I said. I said the differences are the result of matters that can be quantified such as a set of comprehensive measurements. Image and size thereoff cannot be quantified for reasons stated above. There is no metric for it. You keep bringing up PA line array systems without an apparent understanding of the intended application and workings of such a system. Here's a hint: when attending a concert in a large venue or out in the open, you don't hear the 'line' in a line array.

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post #1160 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
Scale cannot be designed into a loudspeaker. You can design a loudspeaker that has very good on- and off-axis performance. You can design a loudspeaker that extends deep and has excellent power handling. One cannot design 'scale' or 'imaging' into a loudspeaker system. It is the result of the recording and how the loudspeaker interacts with the adjacent boundaries (reflections). Scale cannot be quantified, there is no metric for it. A small system aided by one or preferably several subwoofers can 'image' the same as a large floorstander. It may not play as loud as the floorstander, but if the sub is well integrated with a smooth response through the crossover, I see no reason why the floorstander would 'image' larger or different if all the other factors remain the same.

I keep being told I'm wrong here in that regard, without any actual objective evidence to the contrary. Perhaps @avkv or @Floyd Toole could enlighten me. Am I wrong in what I've been typing here for the last few pages?
In reference to scale, consider the size of a voice. If one is sitting in a movie theater watching a movie and someone is speaking or even singing. The voices coming from the screen have a definite large presence to them, as well as any other sound. A quality of how sound is launched from a decent sized horn design. I don't think that is a difficult thing to notice, objectively. It sounds big to ones ears. I would call that a form of scale. Conversely, if there were little 1" tweeters behind the screen trying to do the job, the opposite might be experienced just as clearly and voices would sound shrunken in comparison.
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post #1161 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 03:45 PM
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Speaking of size, is there more to say about the perception science for line sources such as this circular arc line array speaker? I see a section about its ability to achieve constant directivity in Dr Toole's book but there's no mention of how it sounds compared to traditional designs in a domestic room.
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post #1162 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
Scale cannot be designed into a loudspeaker. You can design a loudspeaker that has very good on- and off-axis performance. You can design a loudspeaker that extends deep and has excellent power handling. One cannot design 'scale' or 'imaging' into a loudspeaker system. It is the result of the recording and how the loudspeaker interacts with the adjacent boundaries (reflections). Scale cannot be quantified, there is no metric for it. A small system aided by one or preferably several subwoofers can 'image' the same as a large floorstander. It may not play as loud as the floorstander, but if the sub is well integrated with a smooth response through the crossover, I see no reason why the floorstander would 'image' larger or different if all the other factors remain the same.

I keep being told I'm wrong here in that regard, without any actual objective evidence to the contrary. Perhaps @avkv or @Floyd Toole could enlighten me. Am I wrong in what I've been typing here for the last few pages?
Your comments are very much on target, and in line with things I might have said. "Scale" is a subjectivist term with no definition.

Some studies many years ago associated bass with perceived "size". I think it is definitely a factor, but with provisos. In terms of sound quality ratings, bass extension - the lowest useful frequency - is a correlate. But in all cases the room resonances are in the propagation path between the speaker(s) and listener. These can cause huge variations in perceived bass because some frequencies are emphasized and others attenuated. The specific frequencies and the amount of energy communicated are determined by room size and shape, loudspeaker location, listener location, and even the configuration of bass drivers in the enclosure and whether it is a closed box or reflex design. In "real life" it is almost impossible to do meaningful comparisons, although opinions are arrived at with great regularity.

An elevated bass level is a common attribute of larger loudspeakers, and that is good. However the resulting perceptions are very likely different depending on the frequencies of the dominant room modes involved in the transfer of energy. Resonant peaks in the 80-100 Hz range generate "punchy" bass, with those at lower frequencies add "body" and can generate tactile impressions. Identifying those modes would be a good place to look for evidence of "scale" and controlling them a good way to potentially manipulate it.

I will add that I have observed great perceptual benefits when room modes are attenuated by multiple sub strategies. It no longer sounds like listening in a small room when the modes are attenuated or eliminated. The bass simply fills the room, as it does in large performance venues. To me, that is a persuasive factor in achieving "scale". The equivalent phenomenon at higher frequencies is that speakers with no audible resonances can "disappear", not drawing attention to themselves. That is another contributor to "scale".
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post #1163 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 04:27 PM
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Thanks for the offer, I'm actually very curious about Elacs since I've been enjoying coaxials lately. Do you happen to have any in room measurements of those 2 speakers by chance? Those 2 speakers are a great example of what I'm talking about by the way, they use the same mid/tweeter driver crossed over at 270Hz, the only difference is the number of bass drivers. So in that case, I think the "scale" you're hearing is clean output or just more output in the bass, period. Since it's crossed at 270 with an identical driver, it can't be anything above that range.

I did the identical test like 5 years ago with the Chane ARX A1 and A5 towers I found used, when I corrected for the bass(the towers obviously excited the room modes much more) I didn't notice much of a difference but at first the towers did sound much bigger, it was mostly just excess bass. I kept the bookshelf speakers because at my listening levels (75-85db) the towers didn't really add anything.

By the way, I'm about to down a brew from a brewery in Columbus, Brewdog Elvis juice, one my favorites!

What I have currently are B6s (office) and F6.2s (living room). My lil brother has B6s and B6.2s We've tried a direct comparison with the B6.2s and F6.2s here. The extra 'meat' is in the mid and upper bass as the .2 series isn't that great on lower bass, but the F6.2s sound a bit bigger even with the sub. It's still pretty obvious which is which even the sub on if you're playing the 'right' material such as that Till Bronner that I reference in a post a couple of pages ago. And neither of these really scale as I was using the term in posts 1114 and 1116.

"Brewdog Elvis juice"

Yep, I know what that is. I seldom drink anymore because of the diabetes and space out my 'cheat' nights. Last night was our old dewd collector car guys meetup for dinner and I indeed did cheat so I have to stay really careful for about a week or so before I can do it again.

But yeah, if you're ever up in this area, please look me up. Maybe we can ever listen to some music and you can report back to the thread.

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post #1164 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
Scale cannot be designed into a loudspeaker. You can design a loudspeaker that has very good on- and off-axis performance. You can design a loudspeaker that extends deep and has excellent power handling. One cannot design 'scale' or 'imaging' into a loudspeaker system. It is the result of the recording and how the loudspeaker interacts with the adjacent boundaries (reflections). Scale cannot be quantified, there is no metric for it. A small system aided by one or preferably several subwoofers can 'image' the same as a large floorstander. It may not play as loud as the floorstander, but if the sub is well integrated with a smooth response through the crossover, I see no reason why the floorstander would 'image' larger or different if all the other factors remain the same.

I keep being told I'm wrong here in that regard, without any actual objective evidence to the contrary. Perhaps @avkv or @Floyd Toole could enlighten me. Am I wrong in what I've been typing here for the last few pages?

Of course it's in the recording or it won't be anywhere else in the food chain.
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post #1165 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 04:36 PM
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Im gonna try out some jbl powered monitors for my new home office/gaming setup. I believe the 305's got recommended earlier. anyone got a deal/coupon code on them? I noticed they have limited edition ones with graphics that look cool. https://www.amazon.com/JBL-Professio...5p%2Bmkii&th=1


will be using sealed velodyne hgs 12 sub...anything else to consider via science? they will be on my desk just a couple feet away so dont think I need or want any large monitors...

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post #1166 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
I've seen the assertion; I'm not seeing the science.

No magic implied. Small changes in loudspeaker design are well known to produce audible consequences. I'm not talking about anti-scientific ideas like sonic differences between AC cables or something.

I've done blind testing and have experienced that educational humbling. I'm not suggesting at all that I couldn't be "fooled" by certain comparisons of smaller and bigger speakers in blind testing situations. But there will be a good technical explanation for why, and also, it stretches credulity that, though there are some cases in which one would be fooled, that in all cases one would be fooled. The scenario you have staked out is to move beyond, say, comparison of a couple of fairly similar speakers to the idea that, if one could put those giant MBL speakers and the tiny ones behind a screen, one could not distinguish them if you add a sub to the small one. In fact, your position does not seem to discriminate much between the idea that one could put a whole rock concert PA system behind a screen and then taking a stand mounted speaker and just adding a sub would make them indistinguishable if they were played at the same volume. As in one could not tell which was the bigger system. That approaches an extraordinary claim in of itself that seems to me to fly in the face of the fact subtle differences between speakers are often audible.

The PA system example already shows that to be false. Unless, again, you are committed to the idea a rock concert PA could not be distinguished as sounding any larger than a bookshelf speaker with a sub, in blind conditions?

That's mostly because I was asking for objective evidence, not providing it. I was starting with subjective impressions shared by every person I've ever known - that large speaker systems sound larger for the most part than small ones. If it's your position that this is delusion or error, sure I and everyone else who ever had this experience could be wrong. But it would take a more persuasive, detailed technical reply to overturn this than what I've seen so far.
Do you have links to any objective evidence in the forms of blind tests, that would suggest a speaker as small as the MBL 121s could not be distinguished in terms of sounding smaller compared to a speaker as large as the MBL Extreme speakers? Even by adding a sub to a speaker the size of the 121s?
"I was starting with subjective impressions shared by every person I've ever known"

Ditto for me after 60 years in the hobby, but true, I'm the poster boi for the term 'subjectivist audiophile'.
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post #1167 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
That is not at all what I said. I said the differences are the result of matters that can be quantified such as a set of comprehensive measurements. Image and size thereoff cannot be quantified for reasons stated above. There is no metric for it. You keep bringing up PA line array systems without an apparent understanding of the intended application and workings of such a system. Here's a hint: when attending a concert in a large venue or out in the open, you don't hear the 'line' in a line array.

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"There is no metric for it"

Doesn't mean it doesn't exist simply because you (and others) at this time are unable to measure it.
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post #1168 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by shivaji View Post
In reference to scale, consider the size of a voice. If one is sitting in a movie theater watching a movie and someone is speaking or even singing. The voices coming from the screen have a definite large presence to them, as well as any other sound. A quality of how sound is launched from a decent sized horn design. I don't think that is a difficult thing to notice, objectively. It sounds big to ones ears. I would call that a form of scale. Conversely, if there were little 1" tweeters behind the screen trying to do the job, the opposite might be experienced just as clearly and voices would sound shrunken in comparison.
Just my intuition, but I think a lot of that has to do with 1) the height on the wall the voice is coming from and 2) the distance from speaker to listener. Combined with speaker design (especially the dispersion pattern), these physical attributes both tie in to how the room affects the sound as it travels that distance and from that location.

The same is true of the PA system discussed above, including the "room" (the ground plane and any other boundary or object, natural or man-made, in the sound's path that would reflect, absorb, or reverberate).
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post #1169 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by torii View Post
Im gonna try out some jbl powered monitors for my new home office/gaming setup. I believe the 305's got recommended earlier. anyone got a deal/coupon code on them? I noticed they have limited edition ones with graphics that look cool. https://www.amazon.com/JBL-Professio...5p%2Bmkii&th=1


will be using sealed velodyne hgs 12 sub...anything else to consider via science? they will be on my desk just a couple feet away so dont think I need or want any large monitors...

I had 308s for a weekend. They went back on Monday. Couldn't even do it for garage speakers. Powered speakers would have been very handy out there to save shelf space. Ended up being my old Dick Sequerra Metronome 7 Mk 2s from the late 70s or early 80s.
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post #1170 of 5320 Old 02-01-2019, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by neutralguy View Post
Speaking of size, is there more to say about the perception science for line sources such as this circular arc line array speaker? I see a section about its ability to achieve constant directivity in Dr Toole's book but there's no mention of how it sounds compared to traditional designs in a domestic room.

I've heard those at AXPONA a couple of times and they are pretty damn good along with these

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