How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 78 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #2311 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 03:26 AM
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Up until the early 80's.
Do you still have family here in FW? A lot has changed since you left, even downtown. The Anthony Wayne building was turned into condos several years ago, for example.
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post #2312 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 10:16 AM
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Question for Dr. Toole etal.
Buying 2 subs for my living room 2-channel.
Currently have Studio2s driven by Emotiva XPA1 gen2 amps. Will be using the Audyssey SubEq for initial sub setup and then Anthem ARC for the system.

Is there any textbook reason to place the subs behind the listening area vs the front wall when using 2 subs?
Obviously we will place them where ever they sound best but it would be great to have them behind us.

Room dims are 23' long 16'wide 9' ceiling, speakers will be place along the long wall.
Thanks!

 

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post #2313 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Milt99 View Post
Question for Dr. Toole etal.
Buying 2 subs for my living room 2-channel.
Currently have Studio2s driven by Emotiva XPA1 gen2 amps. Will be using the Audyssey SubEq for initial sub setup and then Anthem ARC for the system.

Is there any textbook reason to place the subs behind the listening area vs the front wall when using 2 subs?
Obviously we will place them where ever they sound best but it would be great to have them behind us.
Room dims are 23' long 16'wide 9' ceiling, speakers will be place along the long wall. Thanks!
Have you looked at Dr. Toole's book or website? (My copy is in a storage unit now, sorry).

https://www.routledgetextbooks.com/t...9781138921368/

There is also this information: https://www.harman.com/sites/default...multsubs_0.pdf

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/00d...e976a1a72e.pdf
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post #2314 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 01:08 PM
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Since so much of the science discussed in this thread is based on the work of Dr. Floyd Toole, it was requested that I post the following article Floyd wrote about how he designed his own personal system here in this thread. This way more people can read it, quote from it and comment. There is much to learn here! It's also a great opportunity to share Dr. Toole's awards and credentials, so people can see he's not just a guy with an opinion . Here goes, along with the introduction I wrote included in italics:

So, if you are literally one of the world's foremost authorities on loudspeakers, rooms, and acoustics - and have literally written the industry accepted book on the subject -- what components and speakers do you chose for your own personal home theater and listening room? And how do you address the acoustical requirements and challenges of what is very much a "real world" (vs. custom designed) listening space?

That's the question I recently had some first hand experience getting answers to, as I had the unique honor and privilege of providing some projection system advice and guidance for Dr. Floyd Toole's recent home theater "makeover." For anyone not familiar, Dr. Toole is as close as one can get to a celebrity or legend in sound reproduction circles, and for good reason. Dr. Toole was the one to spearhead the first scientifically-controlled study of sound / acoustics at the National Research Council in Canada, starting back in the 1970s - research that continues to this day at Harman labs, which is still the largest and best-equipped acoustics R&D facility in the world. Though Dr. Toole is now partially retired, his research program continues at Harman under the guidance of Floyd's colleague and protege, Dr. Sean Olive. And the results of this research are published and peer reviewed by the entire audio industry in the true spirit of science.

It cannot be overstated how much the work of Dr. Floyd Toole has advanced the legitimate state-of-the-art in accurate sound reproduction. Dr. Toole has published numerous papers in the journals of the Audio Engineering Society and the Acoustical Society of America, as well as the aforementioned "industry textbook" on acoustics, loudspeakers and rooms. A measurement technique based on his research in the 1980s and further developed in the Harman research group is now a core component in ANSI/CTA-2034-A (2015). “Standard Method of Measurement for In-Home Loudspeakers”, Consumer Technology Association, Technology and Standards Dept., www.CTA.tech. For his scientific contributions to the audio industry he has been recognized with:

· Two Audio Engineering Society (AES) Publications awards (1988, 1990)
· The AES Silver Medal award (1996) and the Gold Medal award (2013).
· CEDIA Lifetime Achievement award (2008)
· Beryllium Driver Lifetime Achievement award from ALMA (Association of Loudspeaker Manufacturing & Acoustics International) (2011)
· Inducted into the Consumer Technology Association Hall of Fame (2015)
· The Peter Barnett Award from the Institute of Acoustics (UK) (2017)

He is a Life Fellow and Past President of the AES, a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and a Fellow of CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association).


In addition to all of that, Floyd is a man with means and impeccable taste. This is all reflected in his component selection as well as the overall aesthetic of the room (all well documented below). In creating this system, Floyd did not spare expense, nor did he waste money on "snake oil" components that often clutter up so many other supposed "state-of-the-art" or "reference" systems. As a result, the system described below can very well be described as "scientifically justified high end" -- which also sums up the approach we have when it comes to designing audio and video systems. I am proud to say that a great many of the same exact components and speakers are being utilized in our Reference Showroom (which also happily doubles as my own personal home theater ).

It is with tremendous honor I share with you the following article, courtesy of Dr. Floyd Toole himself. It was a true privilege to spend four solid days at Floyd's home, getting to know him and his lovely wife Noreen. The fact that I played even a small part in helping enhance the performance of Floyd's system makes this an even more unique and treasured memory.

Floyd, take it away!


The Toole’s Entertainment Room: 2019
By Dr. Floyd Toole

A room for lovers of good sound and loudspeakers


Those who have read my new book will have learned that much of what has motivated my research over my 50 year career has been the challenge of delivering good sound in rooms - any room. Dedicated listening spaces like recording control rooms, custom home theaters and stereo installations are able to employ acoustical treatments and methods that are not friendly to décor in typical domestic rooms. In those spaces it is routine to compromise visual aesthetics for real or imagined acoustical benefits. The decision of whether to create a dedicated custom room or to adapt an existing room is a choice driven by one’s chosen lifestyle, family needs, available space and, of course, budget.

In my case, it was lifestyle. We had no need for a dedicated “escape”room, but instead wanted a multipurpose room that was relatively normal in appearance, usable for reading, conversation, casual TV viewing, background or foreground music, and, with room darkening shades, suitable for engaging big-screen movie experiences at any time of day. Ekornes Stressless seating fits human bodies and is easily moved into arrangements suiting different needs at different times. Small movable tables replace cupholders, which are not optimum for our preferred beverage: wine. Four subwoofers in a Sound Field Managed configuration eliminate the need for massive bass traps, which is a major advantage.

The following is a panoramic photo of the room (geometric distortion included) showing seating in the conversational mode. The equipment racks are on the right, under the projector opening - in what was a fireplace space in the original house.



The room was configured in 2000, as a 7.1 system. The front wall was deliberately constructed as a low-mid frequency sound scattering surface using display niches and other depth variations (including spaces behind the fabric covered doors) to alleviate the boundary effect for that wall. Two of the subwoofers are hidden in those cavities.

This became a huge advantage when I recently decided to wall mount the inverted Revel Salon2s to reduce their visual dominance - the huge loudspeakers retreat into the background visually, but remain firmly in place acoustically. The other loudspeakers in the room are clearly visible, which would be a deal breaker in many households. In this one, I am fortunate to have a wife who has long tolerated my hobby/profession, admitting that the audible rewards are enough to offset a certain amount of visual loudspeaker clutter. This system may have exceeded even those generous limits :-)

An in-ceiling loudspeaker is used as the Voice of God. Others could have replaced some or all of the elevation speakers. But, knowing that the direct sound has a dominant effect on timbre/sound quality I decided not to compromise, and used high quality bookshelf loudspeakers in custom mounts, aiming them at the prime listening location as shown in the following floor plan.



The prime listener is close to on-axis of most loudspeakers and within the listening window (±30° hor. ±10° vert.) of all loudspeakers. The base level surround loudspeakers are Revel Gem2s for unquestioned timbre matching to the Salon2s and Voice2 L, C, R array. With flexible seating it was important that bass quality not be location dependent so Sound Field Management (SFM) was employed. Subwoofers in the rear corners of the room complete the array of four. They are all closed box 1 kW units. All loudspeakers are bass managed; high-pass filtered at 80 Hz. This was a challenge for the Salon2s, which are truly full range, requiring additional high-pass filter slope to be added in the SDP-75 processor.

The large opening to the rest of the house eliminated the first sidewall reflection on that side, so heavy velour drapes were used on the opposite wall to provide balance by absorbing much of that sound. Opaque lining provided room darkening at the same time. There is much discussion of the importance of side wall reflections in my book. They have a significant effect in stereo listening, but are unimportant in multi-channel or up-mixed stereo listening. I choose to add moderate up-mixing to most of my stereo music, finding the adjustable Auro-3D implementation in the SDP-75 to be quite pleasant. This is where timbre matching of fronts and surrounds is most critical. Movie surround effects are more tolerant.

The Toole’s entertainment room: 2019 - the “nuts and bolts”

Starting with an existing room that is used for everyday living as well as quality audio and video entertainment presents challenges. However, there are solutions. In this case there was the advantage that loudspeakers could be visible - in this household they have long ago been accepted as necessary to deliver the highly rewarding sounds. I have attempted to “soften”the technical appearance, but obviously not completely. The equipment/projector space used to be a traditional fireplace which architects persist in putting in the wrong locations for modern entertainment. I had the room rotated 180° and a new fireplace constructed.

I concluded that there was no single speaker arrangement that can perfectly satisfy all playback modes, so this is a compromise, a Trinnov suggestion. Time and experience will tell how well it all works.

The locations of the ± 60° loudspeakers required some visual compromises: a table stand on the right counter-top and an inverted, elevated location on the left to avoid head banging. The sound is fine, but I would have wished for less obtrusive visuals. These locations are perceptually advantageous and I will be experimenting with arraying the ± 60° and ± 110° speakers using various levels and delays.

From the acoustical perspective, there are abundant absorbing and scattering surfaces and objects to bring the reverberation time down to a broadband 0.4 s - a widely accepted norm for listening spaces. Much of this is not obvious — a "stealth” acoustical treatment. Large areas of heavy velour drapes and an upper rear wall that has about 5 inches of fiberglass behind acoustically transparent fabric help. Large areas of books both absorb and scatter sound. Clipped pile carpet on thick felt underlay is also effective.

Suspending the elevation speakers in earthquake territory (California) required some serious custom metalwork and sturdy attachments to the speakers. Multiple screws into the pristine piano-black finish hurt, but the existing tie-downs to speaker stands were simply not strong enough.



The powerful projector generated noise, so a hush enclosure was designed, lined with human-friendly cotton “denim” absorbing material and ventilated to the attic using a quiet Panasonic FV-40NLF1 exhaust fan. Just as I dislike putting perforated screens in front of loudspeakers, I disliked the idea of putting even coated glass in front of the superb optics of the JVC projector.

A little investigation and some lateral thinking resulted in the solution shown below - an 8-inch PVC pipe coupler, cut on one side of the central ridge fits perfectly with a bit of sanding. It allows air to flow inside the box without leaking noise. The projector is inaudible in the room.



Equipment List and Photo Gallery (text continues below pics)











Left & Right Speakers: Revel Salon2 inverted

Center Speaker: Voice2

Above powered by 3 Mark Levinson 536s

Six surrounds: Revel Gem2s

Front and rear elevation: Revel M106s

Front center elevation: Revel C205

VOG: Revel C783

Power: JBL Synthesis SDA-7200 and Lexicon LX-7 (both 200 w/ch)

Audio processor: JBL Synthesis/Trinnov SDP75-24 set up to do Sound Field Management employing four JBL Synthesis HTPS-400s

Projector: JVC DLA-RS4500 4k laser

Screen: Stewart 127-inch Firehawk (selected for its ability to reject lateral light leakage during daytime viewing)

Video switching and processing: Lumagen Radiance Pro

Oppo UDP-203

Kaleidescape Strato

Roon Nucleus

Apple TV 4k, DirecTV

Assorted objets d’art - apparently bronze sculptures of the female form have special acoustical scattering abiities :-)

Room: 19 x 22.5 x 8-11 ft high. Listening distance 11 ft for stereo and for ideal immersive movie viewing, 14 to 16 ft for casual listening and viewing.

The original construction in 2000 and this upgrade in 2018 were possible because of my exceptional omni-talented builder Matt Fesler who did it all: rough carpentry, drywall and finish cabinetry, floor tile, granite fireplace, metal fabrication and welding, household electrical modifications, wire pulling and hookup, hush enclosure, extractor fan, etc. I did the drawings - he made it.

Component installation and basic configuration by Toole. Video calibration by Kris Deering. Lumagen guidance from Jim Peterson. SDP75 setup and acoustical calibration by Kevin Voecks (Harman). Sound Field Management optimization by Todd Welti (Harman). System advice and guidance from John Schuermann (The Screening Room) and Steve Silberman (Roon).

Thanks to all for services rendered, equipment supplied and jobs well done! Needless to say, the images and sound are very impressive. I am more than pleased!

Floyd Toole
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post #2315 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 01:53 PM
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That doesn’t seem to exactly be practical advice for a question from a consumer. How many stores are set up to do double blind speaker comparisons? Or would go to such lengths at the request of a consumer?

I’d suggest exactly: None.
Actually, we have the ability to do EXACTLY what you are suggesting. We still have the rig left over from our big "Revel Salon2 vs. JBL M2" shootout. Anyone who wants to bring in a speaker for a blind, level matched shootout is welcome to do so
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post #2316 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 02:28 PM
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Blush . . . It has been a while since I last read John's introduction. My ego is suitably inflated. Thanks for the kind words.

As might be anticipated, I am deeply gratified that all of my awards come from international professional industry organizations populated by people representing a who's who of audio manufacturers. These are people who have examined the published science, almost certainly evaluated it in their own facilities with their own products and found it useful. That is the highest reward for a research scientist.

It should be obvious that this is likely to be my last shot at creating a satisfying entertainment system - "you can't take it with you" and "enjoy it while you can (still hear)" were the folkloric thoughts in my mind. My previous system lasted 18 years. If this one does the same I'll be 98 years old, and may not care any more, or even be here. But, my father is now 106.5, so who knows . . .

In the meantime I am absolutely enjoying my new toy - with my wife's approval
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106.5...incredible and very cool.
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Yeah it is! Nice HTS Dr. Toole!

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Actually, we have the ability to do EXACTLY what you are suggesting. We still have the rig left over from our big "Revel Salon2 vs. JBL M2" shootout. Anyone who wants to bring in a speaker for a blind, level matched shootout is welcome to do so

First of all, that is awesome John! Your store has to be one-of-a-kind or close to it.


Still, that doesn't really get to the problem I was highlighting - the sense in which it remains impractical for the average consumer/audiophile to be able to double-blind test speakers. Given there is often a range of speakers one may be interested in for any number reasons (including sound/size/aesthetics/design/engineering, etc) how many other manufacturers or competing audio stores will lend speakers so you can go blind test them against the competition? Not many I'm sure you'd agree. Not to mention the fact that one store even offering blind test conditions doesn't resolve the practicality issues for most of us (who, even if we could get a hold of competing speakers, are likely to live quite far from your store).


So I throw every plaudit possible your way for that offer. Boy it would be great if my local audio stores offered the same! It's unfortunate for us that you are likely to remain essentially alone in that respect, leaving my main issue still unresolved.


Cheers.

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First of all, that is awesome John! Your store has to be one-of-a-kind or close to it.


Still, that doesn't really get to the problem I was highlighting - the sense in which it remains impractical for the average consumer/audiophile to be able to double-blind test speakers. Given there is often a range of speakers one may be interested in for any number reasons (including sound/size/aesthetics/design/engineering, etc) how many manufacturers or audio stores will lend speakers so you can go blind test them against the competition? Not many I'm sure you'd agree. Not to mention the fact that one store even offering blind test conditions doesn't resolve the practicality issues for most of us (who, even if we could get a hold of competing speakers, are likely to live quite far from your store).


So I throw every plaudit possible at what YOU are offering people in your business. Boy it would be great if my local audio stores offered the same! It's unfortunate for us that you are likely to remain essentially alone in that respect, leaving my main issue still unresolved.


Cheers.
I understand, and one of the main reasons we did our big double blind speaker shootout was to illustrate how speaker comparisons SHOULD be done, and to prove it is not impossible to do even in a generic home environment. I realize that is a practical challenge, but the idea was to get people to think critically about how to compare speakers, and about why going in to listen to various speakers in differing locales with differing audition material is a highly flawed method for doing so.

It was a (noble, I think) attempt to raise the bar on this particular topic, to get people to at least think about how they might start controlling the variables so that a listening comparison has greater validity. Even matching volume levels between speakers and blindfolding the listener would go a long way toward improving the situation, and hopefully the approaches outlined here and in my shootout thread get people thinking critically about such things. Who knows - the effort to raise this bar might encourage other dealers to try the same, or influence consumers to request these kinds of listening tests. I used to level match speaker comparisons back in the early 90s when I worked retail, so it can be done (!).

FWIW, we had over 40 people show up for the listening tests, spread out over two days, with several traveling great distances to attend

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I understand, and one of the main reasons we did our big double blind speaker shootout was to illustrate how speaker comparisons SHOULD be done, and to prove it is not impossible to do even in a generic home environment. I realize that is a practical challenge, but the idea was to get people to think critically about how to compare speakers, and about why going in to listen to various speakers in differing locales with differing audition material is a highly flawed method for doing so.
I actually have a relatively simple idea for interesting speaker switching "machine" I want to build one day but I have one obstacle that bothers me. Basically it would be a round plate on which speakers stand with servo motor that rotates the plate around. It would fit 3-4 speakers and when someone would switch between them they would simply rotate to a specific position. Now my question is, how far do you think I should space speakers apart to minimize any (significant) negative impact reflections from other speaker cabinets would cause? In other words, how big would my round baseplate have to be to properly accomodate a variety of typical bookshelf and floorstanding designs? (no big monstrosities for now )

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Still, that doesn't really get to the problem I was highlighting - the sense in which it remains impractical for the average consumer/audiophile to be able to double-blind test speakers. Given there is often a range of speakers one may be interested in for any number reasons (including sound/size/aesthetics/design/engineering, etc) how many other manufacturers or competing audio stores will lend speakers so you can go blind test them against the competition? Not many I'm sure you'd agree. Not to mention the fact that one store even offering blind test conditions doesn't resolve the practicality issues for most of us (who, even if we could get a hold of competing speakers, are likely to live quite far from your store).
Read with movie trailers guy voice:
"In a dystopian future, where double blind testing of speakers got legalized, one speaker took over the world, with its utmost accuracy and neutrality. The world of speaker building lies in ruins! Other brands don't exist any more. Renegade audiophiles hide their precious and poorly built speakers in mediocre acoustic spaces! Cable selling has been banned! But! Cybernetic speaker designer has been dispatched from future! A living tissue over wooden cabinet! Model Bosenator 901. And he is going to Harman laboratories to rig the scientific research and change the future! Timbre! Distortion! Resonances! This summer..."

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I actually have a relatively simple idea for interesting speaker switching "machine" I want to build one day but I have one obstacle that bothers me. Basically it would be a round plate on which speakers stand with servo motor that rotates the plate around. It would fit 3-4 speakers and when someone would switch between them they would simply rotate to a specific position. Now my question is, how far do you think I should space speakers apart to minimize any (significant) negative impact reflections from other speaker cabinets would cause? In other words, how big would my round baseplate have to be to properly accomodate a variety of typical bookshelf and floorstanding designs? (no big monstrosities for now )
If you have my book, I describe, with drawings (Figure 7.11), the turntable scheme I used in 1985. It allowed stereo or mono comparisons of three loudspeakers that were double blind (the program selection and speaker presentation sequences were predetermined by a random number scheme - a phonebook.

As I recall it was 4 ft in diameter, and it was manually rotated during brief pauses in the music by slave labor (sometimes a student intern, and sometimes me). Now we do it with digital stepping motors. Both Harman and Samsung labs have these modern versions.
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If you have my book, I describe, with drawings (Figure 7.11), the turntable scheme I used in 1985. It allowed stereo or mono comparisons of three loudspeakers that were double blind (the program selection and speaker presentation sequences were predetermined by a random number scheme - a phonebook.

As I recall it was 4 ft in diameter, and it was manually rotated during brief pauses in the music by slave labor (sometimes a student intern, and sometimes me). Now we do it with digital stepping motors. Both Harman and Samsung labs have these modern versions.
Thanks. 4 feet seems reasonable. I think cable clutter might be the biggest challenge though haha.
Well, I think it would be about time I get the book instead of scraping bits and pieces of internet.
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With us it was a flat piece of particle board, covered with aluminum tape and a lot of lube. Two guys behind the acoustically transparent screen moved the heavy speakers into the proper positions in under 3 seconds.

It was fun hearing two guys maneuvering in the darkness behind a black screen constantly asking for more lube
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
I understand, and one of the main reasons we did our big double blind speaker shootout was to illustrate how speaker comparisons SHOULD be done, and to prove it is not impossible to do even in a generic home environment. I realize that is a practical challenge, but the idea was to get people to think critically about how to compare speakers, and about why going in to listen to various speakers in differing locales with differing audition material is a highly flawed method for doing so.

It was a (noble, I think) attempt to raise the bar on this particular topic, to get people to at least think about how they might start controlling the variables so that a listening comparison has greater validity. Even matching volume levels between speakers and blindfolding the listener would go a long way toward improving the situation, and hopefully the approaches outlined here and in my shootout thread get people thinking critically about such things. Who knows - the effort to raise this bar might encourage other dealers to try the same, or influence consumers to request these kinds of listening tests. I used to level match speaker comparisons back in the early 90s when I worked retail, so it can be done (!).
I agree, after reading Sound Reproduction, especially Sean Olive's study on sighted vs unsighted test biases and the M2 vs Salon 2 thread, I realized just how biased we can be. I just did a single blind test that was level-matched and in mono(left channel for both speakers) and it was revelatory how different it was blind. Sighted, I couldn't tell enough of a difference to declare a winner but blind it was unanimous.

I don't really agree that it's that hard for a consumer to do either, what you did was hard because it involved many listeners, scoring, swapping positions, keeping everyone quiet, etc. But the average person is going to be comparing just 2 speakers and will be in the main listening position, with just 1 person required to switch which speaker is playing and switch songs. The only real challenge is coming up with a way to quickly swap back and forth, preferably within a second or so. I achieved this with a Mini DSP by hooking the left front output to the input on the minidsp, which then split to 2 outputs for the 2 speakers I was comparing. The mini dsp software allowed me to cut the volume on each speaker to level-match and I could mute each individually to easily swap back and forth in under a second. I don't know if receivers have the A/B speaker outputs like in the past but I'm sure there are other cheap ways of A/Bing them on receivers.

I'll always audition speakers blind from now on, not only does it remove many of our natural biases but I didn't realize how much easier it is to spot differences blind. I listened to the 2 speakers for 4-6 hours swapping back and forth and was ready to call it a stalemate when I thought about doing it blind. I only needed 6 songs blind because it was pretty obvious and unanimous for me and another listener.
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post #2327 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 05:32 PM
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Read with movie trailers guy voice:
"In a dystopian future, where double blind testing of speakers got legalized, one speaker took over the world, with its utmost accuracy and neutrality. The world of speaker building lies in ruins! Other brands don't exist any more. Renegade audiophiles hide their precious and poorly built speakers in mediocre acoustic spaces! Cable selling has been banned! But! Cybernetic speaker designer has been dispatched from future! A living tissue over wooden cabinet! Model Bosenator 901. And he is going to Harman laboratories to rig the scientific research and change the future! Timbre! Distortion! Resonances! This summer..."
Very clever and funny. Thanks.

Sadly, I think the truth is truly mundane - not all dealers have access to the most "neutral" brands, and not all brands, even "neutral" ones, deliver the most attractive profit margins and dealer service. So bias is permanently built into the product delivery system and it does not favor the customer.

That is precisely why I ended my book with a (hopeless) plea for manufacturers to reveal trustworthy technical data on their products. Not in my lifetime - or any???

Wasn't this the original topic of this thread?
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post #2328 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 05:44 PM
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Thanks. 4 feet seems reasonable. I think cable clutter might be the biggest challenge though haha.
Well, I think it would be about time I get the book instead of scraping bits and pieces of internet.
Drop the cables from above to the rotational center of the turntable and discipline the operator (human or digital) not to go through several rotations in the same direction.
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post #2329 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 06:01 PM
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Very clever and funny. Thanks.

Sadly, I think the truth is truly mundane - not all dealers have access to the most "neutral" brands, and not all brands, even "neutral" ones, deliver the most attractive profit margins and dealer service. So bias is permanently built into the product delivery system and it does not favor the customer.

That is precisely why I ended my book with a (hopeless) plea for manufacturers to reveal trustworthy technical data on their products. Not in my lifetime - or any???

Wasn't this the original topic of this thread?
FWIW, the big emphasis in retail was not so much pushing one brand of speaker over another (though it happened), but to push extended warranties and Monster Cable (or its equivalent). Most speaker brands had roughly the same profit margin, so it did not matter much. The big profit margins were in the "accessories."

Most of the time it came down to salesperson ennui, and taking the path of least resistance. "Oh, you want Bose / B&W / Klipsch? Those are right over here..."

As a case in point, we recently set up a showroom at a co-working, office space, and one of the other tenants - a guy who sells high end real estate - asked me "so, Bose is the best, right?" It's amazing how effective marketing campaigns can be.

That's the reality of the sales floor, and why I eventually started my own HT company. I was - and remain - a science guy:

"Don't just claim it, demonstrate it!"

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post #2330 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 06:14 PM
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With us it was a flat piece of particle board, covered with aluminum tape and a lot of lube. Two guys behind the acoustically transparent screen moved the heavy speakers into the proper positions in under 3 seconds.

It was fun hearing two guys maneuvering in the darkness behind a black screen constantly asking for more lube

Brutal. I can also think of a great music to compliment such dialogue.
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The Sabre Dance? That's what seemed to be most appropriate during the event


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post #2332 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 06:48 PM
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Good enough. But maybe something more funky.

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Music y'all say?

Oh goodie goodie, can I help pick the music?

Yes, Oh thanks.

Sorry Spotify and Pandora users. Tidal it is in this house.

Below, sumthin for everyone's taste (or no taste). Hopefully, no one has heard of any of these. And this is what I'll probably take to Axpona with me.

Edit: I fixed my playlist

https://tidal.com/playlist/2fbaf556-...4-e05cde917f63

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Kal, just play the last one, Peggy Lee and you're gold.
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post #2336 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
I agree, after reading Sound Reproduction, especially Sean Olive's study on sighted vs unsighted test biases and the M2 vs Salon 2 thread, I realized just how biased we can be. I just did a single blind test that was level-matched and in mono(left channel for both speakers) and it was revelatory how different it was blind. Sighted, I couldn't tell enough of a difference to declare a winner but blind it was unanimous.



I don't really agree that it's that hard for a consumer to do either, what you did was hard because it involved many listeners, scoring, swapping positions, keeping everyone quiet, etc. But the average person is going to be comparing just 2 speakers and will be in the main listening position, with just 1 person required to switch which speaker is playing and switch songs. The only real challenge is coming up with a way to quickly swap back and forth, preferably within a second or so. I achieved this with a Mini DSP by hooking the left front output to the input on the minidsp, which then split to 2 outputs for the 2 speakers I was comparing. The mini dsp software allowed me to cut the volume on each speaker to level-match and I could mute each individually to easily swap back and forth in under a second. I don't know if receivers have the A/B speaker outputs like in the past but I'm sure there are other cheap ways of A/Bing them on receivers.



I'll always audition speakers blind from now on, not only does it remove many of our natural biases but I didn't realize how much easier it is to spot differences blind. I listened to the 2 speakers for 4-6 hours swapping back and forth and was ready to call it a stalemate when I thought about doing it blind. I only needed 6 songs blind because it was pretty obvious and unanimous for me and another listener.
An easier method I use is to hook up two speakers to two channels of a stereo amp. Place both speakers close to each other. Most retailers already have everything that is needed for this set up. Get a mono recording and play. Now by moving the balance from one side to the other, I can audition one speaker at a time.

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post #2337 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 09:40 PM
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One can only guess.

One can only guess what? I thought you used Tidal long before I did.

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post #2338 of 2745 Old 03-13-2019, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
An easier method I use is to hook up two speakers to two channels of a stereo amp. Place both speakers close to each other. Most retailers already have everything that is needed for this set up. Get a mono recording and play. Now by moving the balance from one side to the other, I can audition one speaker at a time.

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That works too and is closer to what I used to do but there was some discussion earlier in the thread about downmixing to mono and possible weird effects of that so Kevin Voecks mentioned he's been using the left channel for a long time. I did notice some information missing when listening to only the left channel but since both speakers receive the same signal I don't think it matters. But yes if you can have someone swap speakers with the balance knob while you're blindfolded, it should be a good way of auditioning.
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That works too and is closer to what I used to do but there was some discussion earlier in the thread about downmixing to mono and possible weird effects of that so Kevin Voecks mentioned he's been using the left channel for a long time. I did notice some information missing when listening to only the left channel but since both speakers receive the same signal I don't think it matters. But yes if you can have someone swap speakers with the balance knob while you're blindfolded, it should be a good way of auditioning.
Another way would be to use software player with dsp allowing channel muting, swapping, redirecting etc. with single mouse click

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post #2340 of 2745 Old 03-14-2019, 04:01 AM
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Another way would be to use software player with dsp allowing channel muting, swapping, redirecting etc. with single mouse click

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Like JRiver Media Center. It's perfect for this sort of thing.
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