How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 64 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1891 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
You are basically right -

--From a single loudspeaker phase response does not matter; we don't hear it.

--From a stereo pair, for amplitude panned phantom images to be well perceived the amplitude and phase responses of L & R speakers must be the same, but what it is does not matter. Of course, the phantom images are only properly perceived from the symmetrical sweet spot.

--In multichannel, the only amplitude panned images likely to be presented are in the L,C.R plane. There, in theory, all three speakers should be identical. In practice a slight mismatch in the center may or may not be noticed - it depends on the program. In my observation, high precision is not a requirement for the majority of movies where the center channel operates substantially independently of the L & R most of the time (done so that editing is simpler). Some music videos deliver the featured artist through all three fronts (dumb!) and in this case it may matter for the listener in the sweet spot. However, I cannot recall hearing any "panned" images among the other base or immersion channels. Movement, yes, but deliberate panning with credible intermediate stable locations, no. In any case, all such panning can only work for a single listener in the sweet spot (the mixer's seat), for all other listeners in the room there is no reliable amplitude panning. Consequently closely matched transfer functions (amplitude and phase) for all speakers in a surround system would not appear to be a requirement.
For processors that upscale a two channel audio to 5 channel surround, I am assuming that largely the same sound is fed to all speakers.

Do you think in that case the relative phase differences among the five speakers will be more important and detectable by the listener?

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post #1892 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 01:04 PM
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After 64 pages, I've finally caught up and read it all! Fantastic info, really appreciate the collection of knowledge in this thread and for Dr. Toole to take so much time answering questions.

One thought with respect to measurements, but does anyone have any insight on how Devialet is measuring speakers for their SAM program: https://www.devialet.com/en-us/exper...eady-speakers/ ?

Given they have 901 speakers "measured" (quotes since I have no idea what their measurements entail), if there was any way to get that data public, it sure would be nice and vastly expand the data set. Probably just wishful thinking though...

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post #1893 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 01:18 PM
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… One thought with respect to measurements, but does anyone have any insight on how Devialet is measuring speakers for their SAM program: https://www.devialet.com/en-us/exper...eady-speakers/ ?

Given they have 901 speakers "measured" (quotes since I have no idea what their measurements entail), if there was any way to get that data public, it sure would be nice and vastly expand the data set. Probably just wishful thinking though...
I suspect from the wording Devialet uses that they are doing nothing more than using published manufacturer specs for all those speakers. The time and expense of comprehensively testing 901 different speakers would be prohibitive for a small niche company. I doubt an industry giant like Harman would even try to take on a project of that magnitude.
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post #1894 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 01:39 PM
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I would like to get everyone's comment on if this is a real business opportunity. Not sure how they do it, the opportunity I am thinking about is to have an amplifier that includes a DSP that is customized to correct for the speaker using anechoic chamber data. The company will need to measure the speaker in an anechoic or quasi anechoic chamber to get the profile and input the correcting filters in the DSP.

It would be similar to what KEF does with the LS50W active speakers.

Will this improve the speaker performance susbtantially?

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post #1895 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
I suspect from the wording Devialet uses that they are doing nothing more than using published manufacturer specs for all those speakers. The time and expense of comprehensively testing 901 different speakers would be prohibitive for a small niche company. I doubt an industry giant like Harman would even try to take on a project of that magnitude.
Data purchased from SoundStageNetwork may be good enough to create correction filters. Maybe that is what they are doing.

The question is: "will that improve the speaker quality substantially?"
@Floyd Toole is there any research at Harman that supports this.?

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post #1896 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 01:48 PM
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Data purchased from SoundStageNetwork may be good enough to create correction filters. Maybe that is what they are doing. ...
SoundStateNetwork lists fewer than 250 speakers.
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post #1897 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
I would like to get everyone's comment on if this is a real business opportunity. Not sure how they do it, the opportunity I am thinking about is to have an amplifier that includes a DSP that is customized to correct for the speaker using anechoic chamber data. The company will need to measure the speaker in an anechoic or quasi anechoic chamber to get the profile and input the correcting filters in the DSP.

It would be similar to what KEF does with the LS50W active speakers.

Will this improve the speaker performance substantially?

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Here is what the website says about how Devialet does this processing:

SAM® analyzes transducer characteristics using laser technology. These include displacement, deformation, maximum displacement, speed, and acceleration. By measuring passive filters, we can determine resonance (event bass-reflex and passive radiators) while factoring in the overall impact of casing and damping. Once this data is compiled, SAM® is able to produce a full physical behavioral model. The collected data also allows us to calculate the transducer SOA (Safe Operating Area). By doing so, SAM® offers permanent protection from overload, letting users reach higher volumes than ever before.
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post #1898 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
I would like to get everyone's comment on if this is a real business opportunity. Not sure how they do it, the opportunity I am thinking about is to have an amplifier that includes a DSP that is customized to correct for the speaker using anechoic chamber data. The company will need to measure the speaker in an anechoic or quasi anechoic chamber to get the profile and input the correcting filters in the DSP.

It would be similar to what KEF does with the LS50W active speakers.

Will this improve the speaker performance susbtantially?

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Euhm, its marginally effective. Basically you can flatten (or modify otherwise) each drivers response, you might be able to notch out some bad resonances, but other then that, you can't really do much about poor quality driver or poor crossover implementation. Its easier just to bypass the crossover completely and go active.

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post #1899 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
Here is what the website says about how Devialet does this processing:

SAM® analyzes transducer characteristics using laser technology. These include displacement, deformation, maximum displacement, speed, and acceleration. By measuring passive filters, we can determine resonance (event bass-reflex and passive radiators) while factoring in the overall impact of casing and damping. Once this data is compiled, SAM® is able to produce a full physical behavioral model. The collected data also allows us to calculate the transducer SOA (Safe Operating Area). By doing so, SAM® offers permanent protection from overload, letting users reach higher volumes than ever before.
Fancy words are fancy. You can do nearly all of that with measurement microphone on a budget.

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post #1900 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 02:40 PM
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Such as my trip a few years back from C-bus to Charleston, West by gawd Virginia to see the Moody Blues at the beautiful Clay Center https://www.theclaycenter.org/

9th row seats with fellow oldsters, and the sound engineer thinks he needs to turn it into EDM. And so bad that you couldn't hear the lyrics. I read the warnings in reviews of prior performances in the tour.
During the intermission I ended in a big argument with him and thankfully a several fellow geezers joined in. It pretty well ruined the event for me.
Over time the number of live performances I attend has dwindled due to this kind of thing, and considering the cost of tickets these days it's particularly disappointing. It's not clear that there's much a consumer can do about this except to spend differently. These days, money that I'd have spent on a concert goes to better gear and better media. That's worked out pretty well but it's just not the same as live performances.

Back in the day, concerts were Important. Today, they're usually something to avoid. Really hate that but walking out of concerts gets old, too.

Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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post #1901 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
I would like to get everyone's comment on if this is a real business opportunity. Not sure how they do it, the opportunity I am thinking about is to have an amplifier that includes a DSP that is customized to correct for the speaker using anechoic chamber data. The company will need to measure the speaker in an anechoic or quasi anechoic chamber to get the profile and input the correcting filters in the DSP. It would be similar to what KEF does with the LS50W active speakers. Will this improve the speaker performance susbtantially? Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
That's what some Crown amps do for JBL M2 and LSR708i/705i.

It's a great idea. Somebody beat you to it....

Look at the M2 and LSR 708 threads.
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post #1902 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 03:46 PM
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Personal anecdote...I saw many concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden in the 1970s and 1980s, when it was notorious for bad sound, despite bands paying lots of money to companies like Clair Bros. to provide state-of-the-art PA rigs. The venue itself, like many sports arenas serving double duty as concert venues, was just a bear, acoustically.

Fast forward to last year, my first MSG concert in awhile, Radiohead. Even sitting on the *side* (not facing the stage directly) the sound was astonishingly good and detailed. The venue itself had certainly upgraded, but it's still a big oval sports arena, and I suspect modern DSP and PA technology has just gotten that good now.
Digital technology has indeed made a massive impact on live concert sound. Between modern concert speakers, DSP, in ear monitors and digital mixing consoles, the potential for good sound in marginal acoustic spaces has increased exponentially. That said, there are still a lot of obstacles to be overcome in large concert venues. Very long decay times in arenas are a major one. Adequate time to properly time align and tune these large scale systems is also an issue. Remember, these systems are set up and torn down on an almost daily basis. As the sound, lighting, staging and video systems become more and more sophisticated at large shows, it takes a small army of people and a lot of time to put it all together. The idea that audio techs get adequate time to calibrate a sound system in a quiet environment has become rare at best. All of this is simply a fact of life and there’s not much to do about it, other than make the best of it. Ironically, the venues that can generate the revenue necessary to keep really big productions profitable are also the ones that degrade the quality of the audio the most.

I’m with Rex Anderson. My favorite rooms to mix in are smaller theaters around 500 - 1000 seats.
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post #1903 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
For processors that upscale a two channel audio to 5 channel surround, I am assuming that largely the same sound is fed to all speakers.

Do you think in that case the relative phase differences among the five speakers will be more important and detectable by the listener?

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Depending on which upmixing algorithm you are using, the signals sent to the surround loudspeakers are at least delayed, and are very likely to be poorly correlated with the signals in the front channels. It is absolutely not the same signal in all channels - or at least it should not be. So called "party" mode is a possible exception.
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post #1904 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
That's what some Crown amps do for JBL M2 and LSR708i/705i.

It's a great idea. Somebody beat you to it....

Look at the M2 and LSR 708 threads.
Not sure if crown amps have profiles and correction filters for many speakers.

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Ironically, the venues that can generate the revenue necessary to keep really big productions profitable are also the ones that degrade the quality of the audio the most.

The School of Music where I worked for 32 years had several fantastic venues. Unfortunately, they chose to put many inappropriate events in the large concert hall that seated 2,100 and had a reverb time of 2.2 seconds. It was ideal for Romantic era orchestral works of music. Far from ideal for bands that needed big PA systems. I dreaded mixing those shows.
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post #1906 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 07:14 PM
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yes i understand but you also praised the B&W D3 wich also is a poor performing speaker!
Have you heard it in my room? Since the Performas have left, I was prepared to really dislike the B&Ws but, to my surprise, I did not. They were different. Am I considering making a change in view of recent experience? Definitely but I'm not rushing to defenestrate the B&Ws while I make a difficult and important decision.

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like i said before the Revel Concerta2 M16 for 900 bucks is a better speaker. I wonder if you would say that if you would review those speakers
Perhaps. Dunno.
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post #1907 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 08:11 PM
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Over time the number of live performances I attend has dwindled due to this kind of thing, and considering the cost of tickets these days it's particularly disappointing. It's not clear that there's much a consumer can do about this except to spend differently. These days, money that I'd have spent on a concert goes to better gear and better media. That's worked out pretty well but it's just not the same as live performances.

Back in the day, concerts were Important. Today, they're usually something to avoid. Really hate that but walking out of concerts gets old, too.

Even the local stuff, which could easily be improved, isn't. Thinking of Brother Drakes down near campus and Natalie's Coal Fire Pizza in Worthington. I've quit going to both. At Natalie's you have to get the table directly in front of the band because of the obnoxious PA speakers that sound like schiit and are too loud. You get some direct sound from the band (good) versus the entire thing summed to mono through the PA speakers (bad). What a confused mess. Plus, the last two times I've gone, they've had a blown rattling driver in the PA speaker on the left. We used to have some good jazz bars on campus back in the day when I went to school. Sure they were filled with smoke and I was mostly lit like a rocket. Now what. All sounds far better at home.

I see that a bunch of acts are now at the Woodlands at 1200 W 3rd. I haven't tried that one. Probably will give that one a shot.

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A couple of comments then I'll leave it to the experts...

Phase shift is not the same thing as a pure time delay introduced by moving the speaker. The phase shift at different frequencies will be different if you move the speaker x distance compared to a fixed phase delay at all frequencies. Group delay is the negative of the slope (rate of change) of phase with respect to frequency. A linear-phase phase system thus has a constant group delay. That is very important in preserving pulse integrity for things like radar/lidar and various other systems; I am not sure it matters as much with audio systems (an interesting question; the answer is probably in the book ).

Adding speakers with different phase response due to whatever reason (placement, crossover, driver and port response, etc.) in general means altering the frequency response at the MLP when they are all playing together. If you sweep frequency with all speakers playing you will get peaks and valleys as they add and subtract from the sound due to the differences in phase across frequency. One of the things room correction, or careful placement and time alignment, attempts to do is to get the phase of all speakers aligned such that the same signal arrives at the MLP at the same time (in phase). I believe that in practice, something Dr. Toole can speak to, with real source content, it becomes less noticeable since the signal is so "busy".

IME/IMO - Don

p.s. Concerts, yah, I am playing one this weekend, but the sound from the back row of the orchestra is not the same as in the audience...
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post #1909 of 5318 Old 02-21-2019, 09:57 PM
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Ok, time for a five minute music break


Very nice. Hope you enjoyed the little break.
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
Have you heard it in my room? Since the Performas have left, I was prepared to really dislike the B&Ws but, to my surprise, I did not. They were different. Am I considering making a change in view of recent experience? Definitely but I'm not rushing to defenestrate the B&Ws while I make a difficult and important decision.

Perhaps. Dunno.
What do you mean kal with "have you heard them in my room"? do you mean you have some kind of room that make poor sounding/ measured speakers to sound good? think you have to explain.

//Mike
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post #1911 of 5318 Old 02-22-2019, 05:43 AM
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Over time the number of live performances I attend has dwindled due to this kind of thing, and considering the cost of tickets these days it's particularly disappointing. It's not clear that there's much a consumer can do about this except to spend differently. These days, money that I'd have spent on a concert goes to better gear and better media. That's worked out pretty well but it's just not the same as live performances.

Back in the day, concerts were Important. Today, they're usually something to avoid. Really hate that but walking out of concerts gets old, too.
My advice is to buy seats in the middle of the venue or the front of the balcony if one exists. Seats very close to the stage are almost always outside the direct coverage of the main PA system, so you end up hearing the show through small fill speakers and direct stage wash. If the fills are integrated poorly (which they often are), the sound will not be ideal. In many venues, you’ll likely be sitting too close to ground deployed subwoofers which will also ruin your night.
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post #1912 of 5318 Old 02-22-2019, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Even the local stuff, which could easily be improved, isn't. Thinking of Brother Drakes down near campus and Natalie's Coal Fire Pizza in Worthington. I've quit going to both. At Natalie's you have to get the table directly in front of the band because of the obnoxious PA speakers that sound like schiit and are too loud. You get some direct sound from the band (good) versus the entire thing summed to mono through the PA speakers (bad). What a confused mess. Plus, the last two times I've gone, they've had a blown rattling driver in the PA speaker on the left. We used to have some good jazz bars on campus back in the day when I went to school. Sure they were filled with smoke and I was mostly lit like a rocket. Now what. All sounds far better at home.

I see that a bunch of acts are now at the Woodlands at 1200 W 3rd. I haven't tried that one. Probably will give that one a shot.
Local clubs are always a crap shoot. Having spent way too much of my life playing and mixing in smoke filled dive bars,
I can attest to the fact that house PA systems are more often than not, poorly implemented “prosumer” rigs that are frequently in disrepair and often manned by inexperienced or just plain lousy sound techs. Club owners rarely spend money on proper sound systems. They care about selling drinks and food. I’ve mixed many a bar gig stuck in a corner somewhere because the club won’t give up a revenue generating table in order to place the mixing console in a spot where I could actually hear what’s happening where the audience is.
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post #1913 of 5318 Old 02-22-2019, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
The School of Music where I worked for 32 years had several fantastic venues. Unfortunately, they chose to put many inappropriate events in the large concert hall that seated 2,100 and had a reverb time of 2.2 seconds. It was ideal for Romantic era orchestral works of music. Far from ideal for bands that needed big PA systems. I dreaded mixing those shows.
A couple of years ago I toured the Royal Albert Hall, a venue that seats just over 5200 people. They used to have similar acoustic challenges with reverb times in the 2 to 3 second range. To fix it they hung fiberglass acoustic diffusers (nicknamed "mushrooms"). It's a curious look but it seems to work well. During the tour a horn player from, of all places, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, decided to get a feel for how the environment sounded. It was sensational.

Point is, it's often possible to have great sound in a wide range of venue sizes but the people have to care about it or it doesn't happen.

Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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post #1914 of 5318 Old 02-22-2019, 06:32 AM
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A couple of years ago I toured the Royal Albert Hall, a venue that seats just over 5200 people. They used to have similar acoustic challenges with reverb times in the 2 to 3 second range. To fix it they hung fiberglass acoustic diffusers (nicknamed "mushrooms"). It's a curious look but it seems to work well. During the tour a horn player from, of all places, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, decided to get a feel for how the environment sounded. It was sensational.

Point is, it's often possible to have great sound in a wide range of venue sizes but the people have to care about it or it doesn't happen.
Someone also has to write an enormous check. Halls originally designed for acoustic music are generally too ”live” for today’s amplified music. Proper acoustic treatment in older venues is very expensive to engineer and implement. Most regional theaters / concert venues simply don’t have the resources to address this. The few that do are often reluctant because it usually has a negative impact on the visual aesthetic of the hall. The priorities of the board members are often at odds with the priorities of the technical staff. Guess who usually wins that battle.
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post #1915 of 5318 Old 02-22-2019, 06:38 AM
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Can anyone speak to how the SEOS waveguide speakers measure up? Let's say the HTM-10, for instance.
https://www.diysoundgroup.com/home-t...tm-10-kit.html
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post #1916 of 5318 Old 02-22-2019, 07:10 AM
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A couple of years ago I toured the Royal Albert Hall, a venue that seats just over 5200 people. They used to have similar acoustic challenges with reverb times in the 2 to 3 second range. To fix it they hung fiberglass acoustic diffusers (nicknamed "mushrooms"). It's a curious look but it seems to work well. During the tour a horn player from, of all places, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, decided to get a feel for how the environment sounded. It was sensational. Point is, it's often possible to have great sound in a wide range of venue sizes but the people have to care about it or it doesn't happen.
As garygreyh says, it would not make sense to ruin a concert hall's acoustics that were intended for acoustic concerts by adding acoustic treatment to lessen reverb time. Variable acoustics is an expensive option. In our case, the concert hall was built for large orchestral works and sounds phenomenal when used for it's intended purpose. It was built in the early 1970's before the advent of everything under the sun "needing" a PA system. It's much better to perform in venues that have the proper acoustics for the intended style of music and a permanently installed PA system that has been designed for and tuned in the venue.

The director of the jazz bands (big band jazz) when I started working there in 1976 eschewed the use of amplification until the day he retired and would not perform in the big concert hall. The next director of the jazz program insisted on PA systems the day he started and wanted to have his concerts in the big hall. Imagine big band jazz in a concert hall that seats 2,100 and has a 2.2 second reverb time. He was a sax player who had played in some very famous bands. The row of saxes sits in front of the trumpets. He had lost some hearing due to years of having trumpets blaring in his ears. He often played with the bands, doing solos in addition to conducting. He needed a stage monitor to hear himself and we had to turn it up so loud it was audible over the PA. Not a good thing, more sound bouncing off the walls.
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Last edited by Rex Anderson; 02-22-2019 at 07:13 AM.
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post #1917 of 5318 Old 02-22-2019, 07:31 AM
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Rex / garygreyh,

You both raise very good points. While investments of this size can work in places like London where demand is high, it's a hard sell in smaller cities such as those that dot the midWest (where I live). They are perhaps big cities for their state but probably not big enough to have the deep pockets required to fund this kind of change.

So, investing in better gear, better media, and fewer live events looks like the smart play unless one happens to be visiting places with great facilities like the Royal Albert Hall.

There you go. I've just rationalized my next set of upgrades.
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Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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post #1918 of 5318 Old 02-22-2019, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by miike88 View Post
What do you mean kal with "have you heard them in my room"? do you mean you have some kind of room that make poor sounding/ measured speakers to sound good? think you have to explain.//Mike
No, I really do not have to explain.

There is not an absolute dividing line between right and wrong here. You can see the results from the anechoic measurements and make a facile distinction decide how bad/good a FR/DI is acceptable to you but similar measurements in a real room might smear or exacerbate such distinctions. In fact, the on-axis broad hump around 10KHz in Harman's anechoic and JA's "quasi-anechoic" measurements is almost completely eliminated in my moderately damped room at a listening distance of about 10feet and the perceived balance is better characterized, as it should be, by listening window curve. Did the F228Be sound more open and balanced in direct comparison? Yes. Did the B&W sound wrong? No. Did you read what I wrote about the comparison in my review?

Heck, I don't apologize for enjoying the Altec A7s that I built decades ago, either.
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post #1919 of 5318 Old 02-22-2019, 08:13 AM
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No, I really do not have to explain.
According to the measurements, you're not supposed to be enjoying those speakers. So you're being asked to explain personal preference (as though you're not allowed to have one).

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post #1920 of 5318 Old 02-22-2019, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by miike88 View Post
What do you mean kal with "have you heard them in my room"? do you mean you have some kind of room that make poor sounding/ measured speakers to sound good? think you have to explain.//Mike
No, I really do not have to explain.

There is not an absolute dividing line between right and wrong here. You can see the results from the anechoic measurements and make a facile distinction decide how bad/good a FR/DI is acceptable to you but similar measurements in a real room might smear or exacerbate such distinctions. In fact, the on-axis broad hump around 10KHz in Harman's anechoic and JA's "quasi-anechoic" measurements is almost completely eliminated in my moderately damped room at a listening distance of about 10feet and the perceived balance is better characterized, as it should be, by listening window curve. Did the F228Be sound more open and balanced in direct comparison? Yes. Did the B&W sound wrong? No. Did you read what I wrote about the comparison in my review?

Heck, I don't apologize for enjoying the Altec A7s that I built decades ago, either.
But at 10khz, isn't it the direct sound that is the primary influence on how it sounds to our ears?
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