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post #1 of 9 Old 02-02-2019, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Someone who has heard both...

This is mostly a curiosity at this point, but I want to know the sound differences between two classes of speakers.

A) 3-way high fidelity designs such as the BMR Philharmonitor, Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower w/RAAL, Selah Tempesta

B) High efficiency designs such as those from PSA and JTR

I'm looking for someone who has heard both types. Say you got one of the speakers in Group B, so you're running a compression driver, and you're listening to music at not crazy levels, maybe 75-85dB. You have subs crossed at 80Hz. Do you miss the RAAL ribbons? Do you miss the wide dispersion and smooth on and off-axis response of the speakers in Group A? How would you describe the differences in sound?
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-02-2019, 11:39 PM
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Great question. Following.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-06-2019, 02:09 PM
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I have DIYSG 1099's in my theater and I have owned BMR's and currently own KEF R300's in my two channel setup. This isnt an easy to answer question but I think the biggest differences are directivity and dynamics.

The 1099's use a waveguide and are 99db efficient. They sound big, dynamic and focused. They are amazing with movies and music but their sound with music, to me, is more like your at a concert hearing the artist through concert speakers. Really great concert speakers though!

The R300's are smaller but still have a good soundstage. Less directivity means the upper mids and treble have more "air?" to it, I guess? The sound in comparison is more like you're just in the room hearing the artist as opposed to hearing them amplified through the concert speakers.

I like to watch a lot of concert blurays so the 1099's are perfect for that. When I listen to mostly recorded music like when Im streaming Tidal, I prefer the KEF's or the BMR's.

As for the RAAL. The 1099's cannot match the RAAL's extension, Do I miss it? not really because Im usually doing a different kind of listening on each setup.

Hope that helps.

Im going to tag @VicTorious1 since I know he also has experience with both "High Efficiency" and "HiFi" setups.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-06-2019, 02:43 PM
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Old thread (sure there are more) that may provide some help.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...r-psa-etc.html

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...zon-tower.html

You are comparing two dramatically different speaker styles. I haven't listened to PSA or JTR but other high efficiency compressed drivers I found very fatiguing. Hopefully you find a better answer in the threads above.

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post #5 of 9 Old 02-06-2019, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post
I have DIYSG 1099's in my theater and I have owned BMR's and currently own KEF R300's in my two channel setup. This isnt an easy to answer question but I think the biggest differences are directivity and dynamics.

The 1099's use a waveguide and are 99db efficient. They sound big, dynamic and focused. They are amazing with movies and music but their sound with music, to me, is more like your at a concert hearing the artist through concert speakers. Really great concert speakers though!

The R300's are smaller but still have a good soundstage. Less directivity means the upper mids and treble have more "air?" to it, I guess? The sound in comparison is more like you're just in the room hearing the artist as opposed to hearing them amplified through the concert speakers.

I like to watch a lot of concert blurays so the 1099's are perfect for that. When I listen to mostly recorded music like when Im streaming Tidal, I prefer the KEF's or the BMR's.

As for the RAAL. The 1099's cannot match the RAAL's extension, Do I miss it? not really because Im usually doing a different kind of listening on each setup.

Hope that helps.

Im going to tag @VicTorious1 since I know he also has experience with both "High Efficiency" and "HiFi" setups.
This is helpful, thanks.

I think when I asked if you miss the ribbon, it might only apply to those who have one system and have to make a choice. Of course if you can have both, then have both! I unfortunately only have one room with which to perform all of my pressure wave generation.

I know exactly what you mean about the sound of the 1099s - different speaker, but when I first got my 10" coaxials I thought they sounded more like a live rock band than any other speaker I've heard.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-06-2019, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
This is helpful, thanks.

I think when I asked if you miss the ribbon, it might only apply to those who have one system and have to make a choice. Of course if you can have both, then have both! I unfortunately only have one room with which to perform all of my pressure wave generation.

I know exactly what you mean about the sound of the 1099s - different speaker, but when I first got my 10" coaxials I thought they sounded more like a live rock band than any other speaker I've heard.
Ah ok. If I could only have one setup?...........man, thats a tough one! I think the answer depends totally on the listener. Although I do like to crank things up now and then, I think I would ultimately trade higher spl's for what I consider "higher fidelity" and stay with my KEF's or the BMR's. The biggest factor being that I love listening to music be it vinyl, streaming, or bluray concerts, I watch and listen to a lot more music than I do feature films and the music I listen to runs from Lee Ritenour to ZZ Top to Slipknot, to Chris Stapleton.... Im all over the place.

Someone who watches more films and/or whos music tastes are more along the lines of stuff usually listened to loudly may choose the other way.
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-07-2019, 11:34 AM
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Listening to compression drivers is like listening to compression drivers. Brian hits the nail on the head with his comment that it is like listening through concert speakers. If that is what you are after, the live concert sound, then that is where you should spend your $. If you prefer a more intimate experience, like she is in the room with you, singing just to you, then other means of reproduction would more suit your taste.

Me, it's the latter every time, YMMV.
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It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-07-2019, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
This is mostly a curiosity at this point, but I want to know the sound differences between two classes of speakers.

A) 3-way high fidelity designs such as the BMR Philharmonitor, Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower w/RAAL, Selah Tempesta

B) High efficiency designs such as those from PSA and JTR

I'm looking for someone who has heard both types. Say you got one of the speakers in Group B, so you're running a compression driver, and you're listening to music at not crazy levels, maybe 75-85dB. You have subs crossed at 80Hz. Do you miss the RAAL ribbons? Do you miss the wide dispersion and smooth on and off-axis response of the speakers in Group A? How would you describe the differences in sound?
I've heard and have both types. The basis for choosing either type typically boils down to your listening tastes and preferences.

Loudspeakers with Ribbon Tweeters

Do you desire clarity and detailed resolution in the higher frequencies? Ribbon tweeters, particularly the RAAL, are known for their rapid transient response. If you listen to DVD audio, SACDs or concert blurays, especially at the non-reference range, it's hard to beat a great ribbon tweeter.

It's important to note that good ribbons not only resolve high quality recordings, they can also reveal the lack of audio engineering craftsmanship in the poorer made recordings. The wide lateral dispersion coupled with the narrow vertical dispersion of, for example, the RAAL, expands placement options and yields a broader sweet spot. The limited vertical dispersion also obviates the need for absorbing or diffusing ceiling reflections. My Philharmonic Audio speakers sound great in multiple arrangements irrespective of the room.

As all of the ribbon based speakers you mentioned above are quality 3-way designs, there is less of a worry about the midrange driver dispersion being problematic the closer you get to the limits on the driver's higher frequency range. Otherwise, you run the risk of the midrange suffering from being directional (compared to the ribbon) and struggling in the frequency range that overlaps with the ribbon’s lower frequency output.

Loudspeakers with Waveguide and Compression Driver

JTR makes great loudspeakers and they use high quality parts in their construction. PSA offers great value with their offerings. Another option is DIYSG, which uses quality parts but farms out the labor to you, the end user. When designed properly, a waveguide allows for more natural integration with larger drivers/woofers, as the tweeters' low end output can be increased. This can facilitate successful two-way designs. Additionally, a compression driver can be used to achieve higher sensitivity and, as a consequence, higher output.

As I'm sure you're aware, no matter how great a set of speakers measures in an anechoic chamber, our rooms, and their various idiosyncrasies (i.e., reflections, shape, liveliness, etc.) ultimately determine the actual nature of the speaker's sound signature. If you're using speakers with a wide sound dispersion pattern (e.g., ribbons), then absorption or diffusion may be necessary. However, waveguides offer controlled directivity. Movies particularly take advantage of a strong direct sound field. I believe it was Toole who established that you can (especially for movies) minimize wall reflections and maximize clarity and intimacy by achieving narrow dispersion.

I love my waveguide speakers in my HT because they are effortlessly dynamic. They have no problems with the rapid dynamic changes in a movie's audio track. Additionally, the controlled directivity helps with resolution. I wouldn't use anything else for my HT.

TLDR

In sum, if you are primarily using these speakers for movies or a dedicated HT, you can't go wrong with a waveguide speaker (JTR, JBL, DIYSG, etc.). If you're primarily a music listener or you desire a broad sweet spot, real resolving power and clarity in the upper frequencies, I'd recommend a set of speakers from your first group. Lastly, to throw a wrench in your plans, you can always choose the option that includes both: a ribbon with a waveguide (e.g., SEOS-RAAL).

Last edited by VicTorious1; 02-07-2019 at 07:35 PM.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-08-2019, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Great post, @VicTorious1 . Thank you.

Your very last comment is interesting. I have never heard of putting a RAAL behind a waveguide - I will have to look into that. I'm initially skeptical, as I can see it potentially hurting more than it helps.

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