How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 45 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1321 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
I think it's going to depend on the design.

Because I have a feeling that a single Ohm Walsh, with its angled tweeter, would fare well in the spinorama. It's just not made for mono, forward-firing operation.

Same thing with one of my eight pairs that are not designed for straight-on on-axis listening. Not saying that they weren't an absolute muther to get positioned to do what I expect out of a pair of speakers and I'm not sure I would do it again if I still lived here.

I had Ohm As and Ohm Fs back in the mid 70s for a secondary system, but I'm mostly foggy as to my subjective impressions of them.
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post #1322 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
No, I think the evidence is being ignored. One of the sound reproduction aspects that is being debated, from what I can see, is imaging. The argument is that evaluating a single speaker and determining its sound quality is not accurate as it does not take into account the imaging of a pair of speakers. However, Dr. Toole has addressed this, clearly, by stating that there was no need to evaluate pairs of speakers, as the single speaker that measured the best, and was preferred subjectively, also imaged the best, subjectively when used as a pair. However, if someone believes that the only way you can accurately evaluate loudspeakers is by listening to a pair, with the only basis for this being purely their own limited opinion, and also believes that this opinion trumps decades of legitimate scientific research, theres a good chance someone is less likely to be right. I know who my money is on.
Imaging, soundstage organization, depth, width, height all are extremely important to overall fidelity, IMO. I obviously believe sound engineering practices go a long way to creating a quality speaker but there are things that just cannot be measured.
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post #1323 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by drewTT View Post
Imaging, soundstage organization, depth, width, height all are extremely important to overall fidelity, IMO. I obviously believe sound engineering practices go a long way to creating a quality speaker but there are things that just cannot be measured.
Those things have been measured and the factors that contribute to them identified. Dr. Toole has provided references in this thread and his books, as well as in other publications. Carefully designed studies that controlled reflection timing, intensity, and angle at the listening positions documented these qualities.

The inability of many to accept that their preconceptions are wrong is remarkable.
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post #1324 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 08:05 PM
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Even if we aren't measuring it now - doesn't mean it can not be measured. If it's a physical phenomenon, it can be measured. Some way, some day.
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post #1325 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bottlemech2 View Post
The only reason for this is due to bass becoming omni lower than 100hz. What you are hearing from the trumpet being 5 feet high in the sound field is only because your brain is telling you that's where it belongs.

Like any subject, the more you learn the more you realize the less you know....


Like almost everything, the answer is it depends and the explanation is...its complicated, and really is a case by case for some stuff.


Attributes that contribute to good sound, such as the spinorama are known, attributes that contribute to poor sound are also known and understood.





My friends say I am like Tattoo, from fantasy island, for all the kids reading, the plane the plane...…..my signature is "the room" the room



Something that has many many effects on what we hear...…...a video I like to post here below...… "Some" Room effects change with frequency, drastically......as you listen to the video below in 2.0 you will notice some frequencies are almost undetectable in the middle of the spectrum and others sound like they come from the ceiling, the corner and even behind you.


Frequency interaction with the room will make it sound like 2.0 is in Atmos due to the room interacting differently with each one of these frequency ranges.....give it listen below,...…..I think this has to account for some of what people claim they hear in a speaker, when it is a attribute of the room and not the speaker...it certainly comes in to play.



Keep in mind when listening to the video below in 2.0, the shift in soundstage is not baked into the mix, it is the room interacting with the different frequencies giving the illusion that sound is coming from different locations all over the room...…… the soundstage is centered in the mix, the shifts are your room and will be different in different sized rooms and reflectivity of the different rooms.



Once you listen to the video and understand what is happening, it will give insight in to how complex reproduction really is.....it extends well beyond the speaker or recording...….as mentioned before, its complicated, a good speaker will mitigate instead of compound, but some effects of the room can not be mitigated or escaped.


Just listen to the video and keep in mind the soundstage should stay centered thru the entire sweep...…..make sure you are in 2.0.



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post #1326 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
"as the single speaker that measured the best, and was preferred subjectively, also imaged the best"

Unsurprisingly, I disagree.
Are you disagreeing because you're stubborn; because you have some unknown research to support your objection, which you're about to reveal; because you believe you've thought of something that no one else has considered, ever; because you suspect the people at Harman are shills or the folks at Canadian National Research were naive, or sloppy, or shallow; or maybe you believe something else?

If something else, then it would be awesome if you could name it or articulate it in some meaningful way other than "Why hasn't someone else done the work to quantify or qualify this thing that I believe but can't define, thus validating my thing and negating their research?"

You've posted numerous times in this thread, and it's like I'm listening to Comfortably Numb: "Your lips move, but I can't hear what you're saying..."

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post #1327 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by unretarded View Post
Listening through my Macbook speakers, imaging was quite excellent! Haha. No sound whatsoever below 170Hz though...

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post #1328 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 08:51 PM
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Hmm, looks like my hearing cuts off right around 18Khz. Those frequencies are really beaming, though. You've gotta move your ear just right to catch them. Played on Mackie MR624s, -3dB at 20Khz.

Makes sense, since I have all sorts of capacitor whine from various devices around me driving me nuts: Uninterruptible Power Supplies included. It makes it seem like I have tinnitus, but it's not in my head

Maybe someday I won't hear them anymore.
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post #1329 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
Hmm, looks like my hearing cuts off right around 18Khz. Those frequencies are really beaming, though. You've gotta move your ear just right to catch them. Played on Mackie MR624s, -3dB at 20Khz.

Makes sense, since I have all sorts of capacitor whine from various devices around me driving me nuts: Uninterruptible Power Supplies included. It makes it seem like I have tinnitus, but it's not in my head

Maybe someday I won't hear them anymore.
Airplayed to my X14's was interesting:

1) I had audible rumble starting at ~38Hz but very low in level. I couldn't start to detect pitch changes until about 50-60Hz.

2) Things were very "up and down" from there all the way up to ~350Hz with a big hole between 80Hz and 100Hz, but very strong on either side.

3) Output from ~500Hz and above was pretty even but still lots of image shifting that only increased until about 5kHz where everything sounded like it was inside my head.

4) I found 7-8kHz to be highly annoying and fatiguing. I physically cringed in this range.

5) After about 10-11kHz, I could no longer hear pitch changes and the sound was purely inside my brain (between the ears).

6) No audible sound past 13.5kHz.

7) Same test on my Oppo PM3 headphones (didn't even bother with HD650's) had an audible range from low 20's to 17kHz. No sound at all (likely my own hearing at this point) above ~17.5kHz.

8) I would likely need to try my Shure or Westone IEMs to get a true hearing limit. I don't think speakers or full-size headphones are best for that.

Very interesting...
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post #1330 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
Airplayed to my X14's was interesting:

7) Same test on my Oppo PM3 headphones (didn't even bother with HD650's) had an audible range from low 20's to 17kHz. No sound at all (likely my own hearing at this point) above ~17.5kHz.

8) I would likely need to try my Shure or Westone IEMs to get a true hearing limit. I don't thing speakers or full-size headphones are best for that.
I should try this on my Periodic Audio Mgs. Response to 30Khz, 30dB passive attenuation of background level due to sealed design. That would be the real test, though I doubt the result would be much different as I would be shocked if I could hear any higher than 18Khz.
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post #1331 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
I should try this on my Periodic Audio Mgs. Response to 30Khz, 30dB passive attenuation of background level due to sealed design. That would be the real test, though I doubt the result would be much different as I would be shocked if I could hear any higher than 18Khz.
Same here. I believe 17kHz is very close to my true limit based on prior tests.
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post #1332 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 09:38 PM
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Holy smokes the difference a sub and woofer size makes!!

Just ran this on my X18s with and without a sub. Without a sub (in a much bigger room) sound was audible in roughly the same frequency range (~35-40Hz) but detecting pitch changes was MUCH easier. In fact, bass quality and texture below ~200Hz dramatically improved going from a 5.5" woofer to a 6.7" woofer. It wasn't subtle.

With a sub, there was another exponential increase in bass quality. My 12" ported Hsu had strong output to just above 20Hz (~22-25Hz) and I could easily start to hear pitch changes around ~30-35Hz.

Putting in the X14's in place of my X18's wasn't bad overall, but there was a clear transition from sub to monitor (with an 80Hz crossover) starting at around ~90Hz whereas with the X18 it was completely undetectable until the tone became obviously localizable well above 100Hz.

Now I know this was very haphazard and the room is dominant in this area, but the incremental increases in bass quality was fun to hear and experience.

In this room, for instance, I can start to localize the sub at 90Hz, regardless of speaker. But there is a difference in the smoothness of transition between the sub different speakers. If that makes sense...

Without a sub, the bigger monitors had a clear advantage in the bigger room.
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post #1333 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
Even if we aren't measuring it now - doesn't mean it can not be measured. If it's a physical phenomenon, it can be measured. Some way, some day.
Exactly.
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post #1334 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by drewTT View Post
Imaging, soundstage organization, depth, width, height all are extremely important to overall fidelity, IMO. I obviously believe sound engineering practices go a long way to creating a quality speaker but there are things that just cannot be measured.

The two aspects that bother me most are 1) out of scale bloated center image, which is mostly due to speakers and placement in that a vocalist sounds to be a foot or several feet wide and 2) mostly due to a recording and a mastering decision when an object(s) is hard panned 100% right or left as we had on early Beatles albums so that the image sits on the face of the speaker instead of in the soundfield where it should be.

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post #1335 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post
Those things have been measured and the factors that contribute to them identified. Dr. Toole has provided references in this thread and his books, as well as in other publications. Carefully designed studies that controlled reflection timing, intensity, and angle at the listening positions documented these qualities.

The inability of many to accept that their preconceptions are wrong is remarkable.

How is detail retrieval measured? Separation of instruments? These things are pretty easy to hear among different speakers.
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post #1336 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 10:19 PM
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How is detail retrieval measured? Separation of instruments? These things are pretty easy to hear among different speakers.

And it appears that the easiest to hear are the most difficult to measure. Several folks in the know have said that there aren't metrics to measure, although there are factors that can be measured that lead to more or less.
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post #1337 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
Airplayed to my X14's was interesting:

1) I had audible rumble starting at ~38Hz but very low in level. I couldn't start to detect pitch changes until about 50-60Hz.

2) Things were very "up and down" from there all the way up to ~350Hz with a big hole between 80Hz and 100Hz, but very strong on either side.

3) Output from ~500Hz and above was pretty even but still lots of image shifting that only increased until about 5kHz where everything sounded like it was inside my head.

4) I found 7-8kHz to be highly annoying and fatiguing. I physically cringed in this range.

5) After about 10-11kHz, I could no longer hear pitch changes and the sound was purely inside my brain (between the ears).

6) No audible sound past 13.5kHz.

7) Same test on my Oppo PM3 headphones (didn't even bother with HD650's) had an audible range from low 20's to 17kHz. No sound at all (likely my own hearing at this point) above ~17.5kHz.

8) I would likely need to try my Shure or Westone IEMs to get a true hearing limit. I don't think speakers or full-size headphones are best for that.

Very interesting...




There are LOTS of interesting things happening with that sweep, which I am positive will vary for everyone.


One thing that stood out to me, is this is not a recording......it contains no mics, no instruments, no singers etc.

Yet it displays many of the attributes of imaging and soundstage that get linked to attributes of a recording or a speaker...…...yet none of that explanation exists......


There was no sounstage or imaging, no mic work, nothing to capture properly , no information whatsoever that would result in the image going from floor to ceiling in front and behind or even inside the head......


Due to the slow speed of this it really stands out...…

I have listened to it many times and still get new observations I did not notice in listening to it before...…..


While I do not understand all the science behind it, it does confirm to me it is very complex stuff and some of what is attributed to a speaker or recording is not the speaker or recording at all.

It is interesting to think of how much of the image might not be the recording or the speaker when I hear location shifts like that.....which brings me back to my little minute piece of the puzzle which I have been fixated on...."The Room"....."The Room"....LOL


Its is not the only one and might not be largest one, but I am fairly certain nothing will sound proper or good in a Racquetball court. No matter what...….



I know in live presentations the venue location is everything to some...…….the best orchestra or singer draws few people in certain locations due to the effect that location has on sound and some locations always draw people because of the way that location sounds.


Here is a quick best sounding concert halls search.....no matter the source, several always rate at the top...…...many agree we still do not know exactly why these sound the best.....but it is all about the room or hall in this case. From the frequency sweep video you can see the room certainly has attributes that are inescapable and contribute to many aspects of what is heard.


I can`t help but believe this accounts for some of what people hear in a speaker, that maybe is not heard in another speaker that has nothing to do with the speaker at all, but the room.

https://www.bing.com/search?q=best+s...d4ba50f9ef3a66


This is one take on why...…… The hall radius is the distance out in the hall where the power of the direct sound is equal to the power of the reflected sound.



I know in my room, I took over 100 REW sweeps moving the sub in a 6 inch grid pattern thru the entire usable room......a couple inches and also a couple DB had a very measurable difference based on the location and room...…….I did not investigate how minute of change was measurable, but I can easily see where listening to a speaker in room side by side could be enough to make a huge difference in what was heard in imaging, factor in non standardized sensitivity ratings and a simple side by side in room test of 2 speakers with the same avr level could produce crazy differences.


Which not only is the room the room, it depends and its complicated come in to play again.


Level matched blind tests which place the speaker in the same location in mono are about the only way to reduce the its complicated to a manageable level.


I have been nose to the grindstone for 2 years now and all I know is the rabbit hole is DEEP and I am barely educated enough to even understand part of what I hear and a small portion of why. Much less shed my biases and preconceived notions which is even harder.
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post #1338 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 10:35 PM
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Same here. I believe 17kHz is very close to my true limit based on prior tests.
You must be a youngster. I start rolling off at 13k and am gone by 15k.
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post #1339 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
Holy smokes the difference a sub and woofer size makes!!

Just ran this on my X18s with and without a sub. Without a sub (in a much bigger room) sound was audible in roughly the same frequency range (~35-40Hz) but detecting pitch changes was MUCH easier. In fact, bass quality and texture below ~200Hz dramatically improved going from a 5.5" woofer to a 6.7" woofer. It wasn't subtle.

With a sub, there was another exponential increase in bass quality. My 12" ported Hsu had strong output to just above 20Hz (~22-25Hz) and I could easily start to hear pitch changes around ~30-35Hz.

Putting in the X14's in place of my X18's wasn't bad overall, but there was a clear transition from sub to monitor (with an 80Hz crossover) starting at around ~90Hz whereas with the X18 it was completely undetectable until the tone became obviously localizable well above 100Hz.

Now I know this was very haphazard and the room is dominant in this area, but the incremental increases in bass quality was fun to hear and experience.

In this room, for instance, I can start to localize the sub at 90Hz, regardless of speaker. But there is a difference in the smoothness of transition between the sub different speakers. If that makes sense...

Without a sub, the bigger monitors had a clear advantage in the bigger room.

Nice !

There are soo many things to be observed from that sweep.....I had not keyed in on that yet, but have keyed in on it thru different listening and I agree it makes many differences....both sonic and tactile for that transition.

Observations are great and thanks to the hard work by many in this field they can be quantified thru science.


Just because I lack the education and equipment for science, I can still learn and understand thru observation....mostly using the science to understand my observations.


Just a note as I have posted that video many times...be careful, its hard on the speakers, so use low volume and it is also hard on the ears, so use low volume. Most OSHA data on ear damage shows volume and duration...the lower the duration the more volume without damage, same with the speakers....so use caution.


I now need to listen again and observe what you are pointing out...…..such a useful video for many things !

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post #1340 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 10:39 PM
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There are LOTS of interesting things happening with that sweep, which I am positive will vary for everyone.
Very nice observations.

One thing that really stood out for me, as well, was that from ~500Hz to 5000Hz the image shifting and "soundstaging" was all over the place and seemingly quite random. Up, down, left, right, coming the sides, behind(!), from above (never from below oddly or not).

I have a fairly reflective room so none of this is surprising. I've had all sorts of speaker's in this room in all price ranges and sizes but the highest (above $1800 for a pair of standmounts and some cheaper floorstanders like polk and infinity.)

In none of these cases, has the room prevented me from enjoying and accurately hearing the speakers. I'm a big believer in Toole's overall conclusions and I have pretty much always preferred the flatter, more accurate speaker. But, I also have no doubt that a better room would sound...well....better, like you say.

If the statistical analysis says that 99.9% of listeners prefer flat and smooth on-axis, and smooth or at least constant DI (not necessarily flat) off-axis then I am not ashamed to admit that I firmly fall in that 99.9%.

Where bass is concerned, I might take the less accurate speaker if it provides a more satisfying amount of bass since for pure music and movie enjoyment, I still find there to be a "minimum" amount of bass that I deem acceptable to get the head noddin' and the foot tappin'.

For instance, i've never heard a 4 inch woofer that has satisfied on any level, period. 5 inch woofers are more hit or miss, and then 6-7 inch woofers almost always work fine. Three-ways take it up yet another notch (never heard a 4-way.) Add a sub, and now you've reached endgame, assuming you can reach the desired SPLs, lol.

Rambling aside, again, those are some nice observations!
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post #1341 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 10:43 PM
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You must be a youngster. I start rolling off at 13k and am gone by 15k.
Born in '82. 15kHz is still quite good and nothing to sneeze at.

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post #1342 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 10:46 PM
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I could hear it until about the 17-18kHz range, although I’d say it was a very unpleasant sound by then. I’ve never done anything like that, it was definitely a cool experience.
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post #1343 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 10:46 PM
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Born in '82. 15kHz is still quite good and nothing to sneeze at.
Just turned 35. I'm sure it will all be downhill from here
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post #1344 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 10:51 PM
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Just turned 35. I'm sure it will all be downhill from here
What??? Speak up, I can't hear you!!!



^^Me in 5 years...
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post #1345 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 11:02 PM
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Born in '82. 15kHz is still quite good and nothing to sneeze at.

There's a local 19 year old kid that's hugely interested in old cars and also interested in audio who helps me out from time to time and I'll take him to car shows. We need about five million more just like him to pick up the cars as we oldsters kick the bucket or they're going to rot in some field somewhere.

Regarding his hearing, he's all gone by 16K … at age 19. His redneck tractor pulls and monster trucks, etc., took its toll and quickly. True, I drag raced since 1960, but in NHRA Pure Stock or Stock classes, which meant mufflers or I'd be a lot worse off than I am. I can still hear well enough that I can enjoy music.
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post #1346 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 11:03 PM
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What??? Speak up, I can't hear you!!!



^^Me in 5 years...

The reason old geezers' ears grow so big.
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post #1347 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 11:09 PM
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There's a local 19 year old kid that's hugely interested in old cars and also interested in audio who helps me out from time to time and I'll take him to car shows. We need about five million more just like him to pick up the cars as we oldsters kick the bucket or they're going to rot in some field somewhere.

Regarding his hearing, he's all gone by 16K … at age 19. His redneck tractor pulls and monster trucks, etc., took its toll and quickly. True, I drag raced since 1960, but in NHRA Pure Stock or Stock classes, which meant mufflers or I'd be a lot worse off than I am. I can still hear well enough that I can enjoy music.
Hearing protection is so important.

Lots of fun hobbies and professions out there that aren't exactly conducive to prolonged hearing. Sounds like you did a good job mitigating your circumstances. I work with some ex-military folk that have permanent tinnitus that is quite bothersome and actually keeps them awake at night.

Live venues, heavy machinery, cars, military and so many other activities are tough on the ears. Be sure to show those whipper snappers how to preserve their hearing if you can (ear plugs.)
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post #1348 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 11:12 PM
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Very nice observations.

One thing that really stood out for me, as well, was that from ~500Hz to 5000Hz the image shifting and "soundstaging" was all over the place and seemingly quite random. Up, down, left, right, coming the sides, behind(!), from above (never from below oddly or not).

I have a fairly reflective room so none of this is surprising. I've had all sorts of speaker's in this room in all price ranges and sizes but the highest (above $1800 for a pair of standmounts and some cheaper floorstanders like polk and infinity.)

In none of these cases, has the room prevented me from enjoying and accurately hearing the speakers. I'm a big believer in Toole's overall conclusions and I have pretty much always preferred the flatter, more accurate speaker.

If the statistical science says that 99.9% of listeners prefer flat and smooth on-axis, and smooth or at least constant DI (not necessarily flat) off-axis then I am not ashamed to admit that I firmly fall in that 99.9%.

Where bass is concerned, I might take the less accurate speaker if it provides a more satisfying amount of bass since for pure music and movie enjoyment, I still find there to be a "minimum" amount of bass that I deem acceptable to get the head noddin' and the foot tappin'.

For instance, i've never heard a 4 inch woofer that has satisfied on any level, period. 5 inch woofers are more hit or miss, and then 6-7 inch woofers almost always work fine. Three-ways take it up yet another notch (never heard a 4-way.) Add a sub, and now you've reached endgame, assuming you can reach the desired SPLs, lol.

Rambling aside, again, those are some nice observations!

Although its manufactured or created, electronica can image in very interesting ways in huge soundfields. I hadn't listened to much of that genre since the old Kraftwerk days of the 70s, but since I've subscribed to Tidal, I have been listening to a bunch and very loud. It's quite fun with schiit swirling all over the place in the soundfield. Give me dance house, dubstep, Jamaican dub, even some ambient dub, jungle, etc. Sure found that I have a thermal shutoff in the amp a few times.

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post #1349 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 11:15 PM
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Although its manufactured or created, electronica can image in very interesting ways in huge soundfields. I hadn't listened to much of that genre since the old Kraftwerk days of the 70s, but since I've subscribed to Tidal, I have ben listing to a bunch and very loud. It's quite fun with schiit swirling all over the place in the soundfield. Give me dance house, dubstep, Jamaican dub, even some ambient dub, jungle, etc. Sure found that I have a thermal shutoff in the amp a few times.
Ok you might be the coolest "geezer" (your words I hope you take no offense ) on this forum, lol. The thought of even my parents listening to dubstep, house, or anything even dub-adjacent would be hilarious.

But yes, I agree that computer generated sounds can be quite impressive, immersive, and mesmerizing in how the sound can ping pong around you.

Grab a pair of nice cans for an even better effect. Maybe look into some binaural recordings too. Lots of fun ones on ye olde youtube.
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post #1350 of 5318 Old 02-04-2019, 11:24 PM
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Ok you might be the coolest "geezer" (your words I hope you take no offense ) on this forum, lol. The thought of even my parents listening to dubstep, house, or anything even dub-adjacent would be hilarious.

Competer generated sounds can be quite impressive, immersive, and mesmerizing. Grab a pair of nice cans for an even better effect.
I wear it with pride. On, oh Gawd, a Buick.



It helps though as when I'm late and driving like an a$$hole, I figure the highway patrol will figure I'm just have a cardiac arrest or seizure and let me go.

Headphones will be saved for the nursing home as it's just too easy to play way too loud.

I wish there was a way to post a Tidal playlist as I think I've discovered some really cool stuff I'd love to share.

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