RAAL tweeters - Page 17 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #481 of 554 Old 09-10-2019, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
Why don't you think I would believe his conclusions? .
Just a hunch is all.

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post #482 of 554 Old 09-10-2019, 10:46 AM
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I've had a crazy week, broke my clavicle on labor day (really feeling my age) - hope you are well!
Motorcycle, bicycle or horse get off??

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post #483 of 554 Old 09-10-2019, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ascend View Post
Right, his original complaint was RAAL's were laid back - now he is stating they are bright, without even hearing the speaker he assumes is bright. I'll lay out another fact for him, we have done quite well with Sierra-2EX so far, not a single customer has described them as bright with one customer wishing they had more energy in the mid treble range.

I've had a crazy week, broke my clavicle on labor day (really feeling my age) - hope you are well!
Dave, sorry to hear about that! I hope it heals quickly. As for this discussion...well, my head hurts!

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post #484 of 554 Old 09-10-2019, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Craig View Post
Here are a some measurements taken by a REW user with a 3-way I designed using the RAAL 70-10D. The first graph is 0-15-30-45-60-75 degrees off-axis horizontally. The lower graph is the average of those curves.

https://imgur.com/a/wuh1UBp
As i say in all my posts- I'm no expert. No smoothing? Am i missing something or is that bottom graph about as perfect as one can be?
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post #485 of 554 Old 09-10-2019, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
Really? You did just read that I don't own Revel speakers right? Also, I am one of the only ones with the guts to pit my speakers blind against what many consider one of Revel's best speakers in the M105. I recall you wanting to compare Ascend to the F206, why didn't you?
Cost: To order both, compare, then return the loser would cost extra because both are not sold through the same site. That said, I will happily take donations towards me buying a pair of F206s!

In seriousness, if I sold my Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2s, I almost certainly will buy some other set of towers (which probably would be F206's or F208's), since I'm sure no matter which speakers "win", both will be excellent either way.

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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
Why not order a pair of M106 and compare to your Sierra 2? I think you and others are afraid their favorite speakers will lose and I completely get it, I was afraid my LS50 were going to lose, I wouldn't care other than the fact that I really like how the LS50 look and are built.
Because I don't need/want any more bookshelf speakers, and can't justify the extra time and return shipping costs this would incur. I also don't believe it's honest to order something with the express intent of returning it, just so I can play around with it. Crutchfield has a good return policy deal when you order multiple speakers where you can return the ones you don't like, but this only works when you order them all from Crutchfield (and Ascend products aren't available on there, probably because their profit margins are too low).

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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
I also didn't say Ascend speakers are automatically excluded from the best speakers but Harman claims that no speaker has ever beat the Salon 2 in blind tests, even speakers well over $100,000 so if you believe that claim as I do, you then can dissect their measurements and see what makes them so good.
* You said "As I said to Dave, maybe this is preferred but it's not how any of the best speakers measure currently" regarding measurements of Ascend RAAL speakers, implying that they are excluded from any possibility of being among "the best", simply because they measure quite differently from (in some ways, better than) the speakers Harman found to be preferred. Keep in mind Harman has never tested any RAAL speakers as far as we know.

* You haven't actually explained what about Harman's speaker measurements make them better, except the circular argument that "Harman makes good speakers because they use measurements to design them" and "good measurements are defined by how Harman's speakers measure". Do you not see the circularity in that reasoning?

* You're effectively arguing that the common flaws of speakers using dome tweeters (off-axis treble roll-off that continuously worsens at higher frequencies) are preferred over the flaws of a two-way design using a RAAL ribbon tweeter (a brief off-axis attenuation around the crossover region which then quickly recovers to an amazingly good off-axis response matching the woofer almost perfectly), with no evidence to back this up. Again, you are claiming that recovering into a better matched dispersion pattern is somehow worse than never recovering, in favor of continuously increasing attenuation of the off-axis response. You need to actually explain why one is better than the other, without circular reasoning of referencing Harman speakers as a gold standard as you keep doing.

* Furthermore, Dave from Ascend continues to provide evidence that over thousands of listening tests and many customer testimonies, there empirically is something about RAAL tweeters that is preferred by many in comparisons with the same speakers with alternate dome tweeters installed.

* Regarding the Revel Salon 2: Why hasn't Harman published the list of speakers they compared against? Otherwise, this is hardly scientific: I could just as easily honestly claim that no speaker has ever beaten my Ascend RAAL Sierra Towers in listening tests. Because you don't know how many or which speakers I've compared against (and what music tracks were used, for that matter), this claim is useless.

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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
You do realize the entire reason for the Spinorama and correlating measurements to preference is for them to build the best sounding speaker they can right? If you've never heard the Salon 2 you should really hear it, it might give you a bit of a reality check.
I'd love to hear a Salon 2 some time (and many other Revels), if I can ever find a place to listen to them. I wouldn't even be surprised if the Salon 2 sounds better than an F228Be, even though it seems widely regarded that the F228Be's and even F208's spinorama is better than that of the Salon 2

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post #486 of 554 Old 09-10-2019, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Craig View Post
Echopraxia - would you mind me commenting on your question to Floyd Toole about the spin-o-rama of the Ascend speaker?
Of course I don’t mind!

Ascend Sierra Towers (RAAL) + 2x Rythmik F18 | Ascend Sierra 2EX + JL Audio E112 | [Selling:] Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2 + REL T9i
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post #487 of 554 Old 09-10-2019, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by echopraxia View Post
* You said "As I said to Dave, maybe this is preferred but it's not how any of the best speakers measure currently" regarding measurements of Ascend RAAL speakers, implying that they are excluded from any possibility of being among "the best", simply because they measure quite differently from (in some ways, better than) the speakers Harman found to be preferred. Keep in mind Harman has never tested any RAAL speakers as far as we know.
Right, but you've got it backwards, Harman had to first do many blind listening tests to start seeing trends of the best speakers and then trying to find correlations in their measurements, which is where they started to see that speakers with neutral, flattish on-axis and smooth off-axis were consistently preferred. Then they developed the Spinorama and eventually were able to correlate certain parameters from the measurement to subjective preference. So the current "best" speakers that Harman sells are naturally going to be a benchmark for the best measurements. Now if people start consistently beating these speakers in double blind tests with Ascend Towers and/or the Sierra 2, then we could start looking at why that may be.

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Originally Posted by echopraxia View Post
* You haven't actually explained what about Harman's speaker measurements make them better, except the circular argument that "Harman makes good speakers because they use measurements to design them" and "good measurements are defined by how Harman's speakers measure". Do you not see the circularity in that reasoning?
Again, good measurements are a neutral on-axis response and smooth off-axis response. An off-axis response that declines and then jumps back up after the crossover is not what they claim to be ideal. Of course, that is Harman's philosophy, it seems Dave and others who use the RAAL may prefer a broad off-axis response.

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Originally Posted by echopraxia View Post
Again, you are claiming that recovering into a better matched dispersion pattern is somehow worse than never recovering, in favor of continuously increasing attenuation of the off-axis response. You need to actually explain why one is better than the other, without circular reasoning of referencing Harman speakers as a gold standard as you keep doing.
The proof can only come from blind listening tests to spot these differences, they are clearly different so 1 will be preferred. Of course, similar tests have been done because it's really no different than crossing a largish woofer over to a small tweeter, the effects are a large directivity mismatch and excess energy in the highs in the off-axis curves. I've also listened to the BMR, which many people have said are very similar to the Sierra 2 and even the towers, I know how they sound, I'm not relying on measurements. The only way you'll prove it to yourself is by comparing them to one of these designs, but if you can't do it blind I wouldn't bother, you'll choose the Ascends on brand bias alone in a sighted test.

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Originally Posted by echopraxia View Post
* Furthermore, Dave from Ascend continues to provide evidence that over thousands of listening tests and many customer testimonies, there empirically is something about RAAL tweeters that is preferred by many in comparisons with the same speakers with alternate dome tweeters installed.
Sighted tests are a joke so he hasn't provided any evidence actually. Also, most of the "comparisons" people do are an even bigger joke, there needs to be at least some kind of scientific rigor in comparing speakers.

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Originally Posted by echopraxia View Post
* Regarding the Revel Salon 2: Why hasn't Harman published the list of speakers they compared against? Otherwise, this is hardly scientific: I could just as easily honestly claim that no speaker has ever beaten my Ascend RAAL Sierra Towers in listening tests. Because you don't know how many or which speakers I've compared against (and what music tracks were used, for that matter), this claim is useless.
I agree and I wish they would release them, that was the original intention in the What Science shows thread but it appears that Kevin Voecks hit a corporate roadblock in releasing the Spins and listening tests that they have. Just because they haven't released them doesn't mean the tests weren't done in a scientific way, they use the Spins and listening tests to design their speakers, not as a marketing tool.

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Originally Posted by echopraxia View Post
I'd love to hear a Salon 2 some time (and many other Revels), if I can ever find a place to listen to them. I wouldn't even be surprised if the Salon 2 sounds better than an F228Be, even though it seems widely regarded that the F228Be's and even F208's spinorama is better than that of the Salon 2
They did show 1 listening test of the Salon 2, F228 and a Paradigm(or magico tower) and the Salon 2 was preferred but the F228 was right behind it. Since bass accounts for 30% in their preference algorithm, I could see them being extremely close when you add in subs but the Salon 2 is still technically the better speaker.
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post #488 of 554 Old 09-10-2019, 07:05 PM
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I posted this in another thread but I think it would also be additive to this discussion.

FWIW, I have owned all of the following stand-mount speakers:

Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference
Usher BE-718
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2
Dynaudio Special 40
Dynaudio Excite X18
Boenicke W5
Revel M106
Focal Aria 906
Sonus Faber Liuto

Best of the bunch? Sierra 2. And I am currently in the process of upgrading to the 2EX.
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post #489 of 554 Old 09-10-2019, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Vingard View Post
I posted this in another thread but I think it would also be additive to this discussion.

FWIW, I have owned all of the following stand-mount speakers:

Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference
Usher BE-718
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2
Dynaudio Special 40
Dynaudio Excite X18
Boenicke W5
Revel M106
Focal Aria 906
Sonus Faber Liuto

Best of the bunch? Sierra 2. And I am currently in the process of upgrading to the 2EX.
Is this in 2.0 only or with a sub(s)? How are you controlling for bass differences?

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post #490 of 554 Old 09-10-2019, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Vingard View Post
I posted this in another thread but I think it would also be additive to this discussion.

FWIW, I have owned all of the following stand-mount speakers:

Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference
Usher BE-718
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2
Dynaudio Special 40
Dynaudio Excite X18
Boenicke W5
Revel M106
Focal Aria 906
Sonus Faber Liuto

Best of the bunch? Sierra 2. And I am currently in the process of upgrading to the 2EX.
Care to elaborate some on this? I’d love to hear some characteristics of all of the speakers....good or bad, and why are the Sierra 2EXs better to you? Also how similar they are to the original sierra 2s and maybe what other speakers sounded best to you?
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post #491 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 04:46 AM
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Is this in 2.0 only or with a sub(s)? How are you controlling for bass differences?
Yes - this is a 2.0 setup with a REL T/5i. I initially attempted to use the miniDSP DDRC-22D for room EQ, and though it did smooth out my in-room FR curve, the DSP also introduced a "digital edge" to any music played through the system. It also narrowed the soundstage. So I dropped the DSP and simply tuned the sub and introduced a few acoustic treatments to my room. The result is a far more natural reproduction of music.

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post #492 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 07:41 AM
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Yes - this is a 2.0 setup with a REL T/5i. I initially attempted to use the miniDSP DDRC-22D for room EQ, and though it did smooth out my in-room FR curve, the DSP also introduced a "digital edge" to any music played through the system. It also narrowed the soundstage. So I dropped the DSP and simply tuned the sub and introduced a few acoustic treatments to my room. The result is a far more natural reproduction of music.
I agree about not using much EQ above the transition frequency. I'm curious, do you happen to still have measurements of the Sierra 2 without EQ or room treatments? If so would you mind sharing? If you can let us now how you measured that would be nice too, for example, is it just 1 position or a spatial average around your main listening position, each speaker measured separate, etc.
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post #493 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 11:41 AM
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Dave I have 4 different brands of speakers in my home and the Sierra 2 ex is definitely the best of the bunch.I love them.
Hey Dave, sorry I am late with my reply but its been a tough few days as we had to have our dog and my best friend put down yesterday.He was 15 years old and and huge part of our family. Tough is a understatement.

I now have Ascend S2-EX.two pairs of WHARFEDALE,220s and Reva 1.Two pair of Dali zensors 1 and 3,
M.A. RX6,S ( towers),Revel F36(towers).I have also heard Goldenear Triton 7,s and M.L. Motion,s ( folded ribbon,s) but its been a few years.All of the speakers I own have at one time or other got great reviews,and most are entry level except the Reva1,M.A.Rs6s, and the S 2 EX,S.

Wharfedale 220s- great speaker for the money, you can get these dirt cheap. Great mid range, laid back on the top end,easy to drive play loud and good if you have a bright room.They make great desktop set up because the are down ported.

Wharfedale Reva-1, a step up from the 220s, in almost every way except they don't handle high vol. well with only a 4 1/2 inch woofer.Mid range is to die for with these and these are built like a tank, and they look great.They match either my Revels or the S-2 EX,S.They may be a little more detailed than the Revels but nowhere close to the EX,S.I would say these are still laid back as far as speakers go.

Dali Zensor 1,s and 3,s- I was surprised by these, got the 1,s first.For a dome tweeter these are very detailed, they remind me of the two folded tweeter in the Goldenear and M.L. I demoed a few years back.Good mid range, and a lot of bass but they can get sort of boomy, or sloppy on the low end.Overall a very good speaker I have the 3,s set up on my desktop they have a lot of bass 7 inch woofer, but like I said they can get a little boomy.

M.A RS6 Towers-I had these for about 10 yrs paired with a Onkyo 805 and a Hsu 10 inch sub, and then added a second sub.The best thing about these speakers was the bass very good controlled and tight. They were lacking in mid range, Top end had a lot of detail but they could be downright harsh.

Revel F36s- I set a budget of around 2000 bucks, and I really considered both Ascend ( towers) and Salk Songtowers but with either of these to upgrade to ribbons almost another thousand.We have a small audio install company near by and they carry some higher end stuff so I went to check them out.He had the Revels and I was looking at the F 35,s but he made me a very good deal on a pair of demo F36,I took them home without even hearing them.He told me that to get the best from these that I needed a ext. amp, but I had just upgraded to a Marantz 7008 so I kind of blew him off.

The F36,s are really big speakers,They look great and are pretty heavy, but if you rap on them they sound a little hollow,they aren't nearly as solid as either the Reva-1,s or the S-2EX,S.If they were it would take a fork truck to move them.These are the first speakers that my wife really noticed and said that they sounded like a big upgrade over the M.A.,S.Overall these are the second best speakers in the house but by not a huge margin.They are more demanding to drive but the Marantz had no problem getting them to really high vol.Very good mid,s pretty good highs a little laid back, and really good bass.I thought these would last me, I am retired so I have a lot of free time and that really might not be a good thing.

I upgraded to a 15 inch sealed sub(HSU) and it really does great with music.I control audio stuff from the kitchen computer desktop set up.Stream music and can control the A.V.R.S over the network, or can use the IPAD with the apps.I had the Dali,s setup for surrounds in the family room along with the Revels,and I am all over the house listening to music most days when the wife is at work.Most of the time I do 2.1. for music but one day I changed tp 5.1. and the old saying of its like I took a blanket off my speakers.The change in detail was really big.

That got me thinking about trying out a true ribbon.I ordered The S-2 EXS. along with a ext. 2 chan. amp Emotiva a-300 because I really did not know where the S-2 EX,s would fit end.Best case they would be a little better than the Revels,worst case they would either be used a surrounds or at the computer.The amp came about a week before the speakers and I know this may raise some eyebrows but I could really here a diff. on the Revels Highs had better detail mids improved and bass tighten up. Not a huge diff. but to me a least it was noticeable.No way that a cheap 150 w. amp should sound any better than the 125 w. Marantz. Oh well.

The S-2 EX,S are here and set up in the family room.One word Outstanding.The biggest dif. is the ribbon tweeter, super detail with no harshness at all.Shines with female vocals,on well recorded stuff, Fleetwood Mac,Eagles,James Taylor, any singersongwriter it is like you are setting 10 ft. away from the singer.Mids are very good, and really have not ran them without a sub, but they blend very well with my 15 inch sealed sub.Hard to describe, but a few that come to mind are refined,great separation on diff. things that you here on stage.The only thing that would be better would be two pairs.These really sound like a tower when you are in another room.

Although these don't blow away the Revel,s by any means they do give you that 10 to 20% improvement without having to double the amount you spend.Both speakers cost was very close.It allows me to have the Revels set up 5.1 in my master bed room.I have a big master.Thats where me and the grandbabies watch movies.It is really the man cave, and the wifes got her she shed in the family room to watch Hallmark.

Might be a little more than what you asked.By the way I talked to Dina as I had a question about stands she was super nice and down to earth.I can already tell that your customer service sets you apart, that and you make some really nice speakers.
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post #494 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 12:21 PM
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Happy to hear this and thanks for putting your confidence in us! I am curious, what are the other speakers and how would you characterize the treble response of the 2EX in comparison?
Sorry I quoted my own post I reply above.
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post #495 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 12:51 PM
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Hey Dave, sorry I am late with my reply but its been a tough few days as we had to have our dog and my best friend put down yesterday.He was 15 years old and and huge part of our family. Tough is a understatement.


Might be a little more than what you asked.By the way I talked to Dina as I had a question about stands she was super nice and down to earth.I can already tell that your customer service sets you apart, that and you make some really nice speakers.
Sorry to hear about the family dog, I had to put my dog down this year as well.

haven't your heard? Ribbon tweeters aren't no good....

Set up #1: EMP e5Ti, e5Ci, and EMP e5Bi surrounds, Outlaw LFM1 Plus sub, SVS NSD SB12 sub, Marantz Slimeline 1504 AV receiver
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
Ribbon tweeters aren't no good....

So, this is a true statement......."aren't" = are not, so......they are not "no good", meaning.....they ARE good!


Good thing you did not say they aren't good!

HT - 5.2.2 ATMOS With: Klipsch DS Series In-wall/In-ceiling Speakers|2x Rythmik LV12F|Denon AVR-X3300W|Sony UBP-X800|Sony XBR-85X900F|AppleTV 4K
Music - 2.1: Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2|Rythmik 12" Sealed Direct Servo Sub|Adcom GFA-5500 With LX-Elite mod by Musical Concepts|Parasound Halo P5|Cambridge Audio ID100 Digital Dock|Audio by Van Alstine Humdinger
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post #497 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 01:56 PM
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Sorry to hear about the family dog, I had to put my dog down this year as well.

haven't your heard? Ribbon tweeters aren't no good....
Thanks for the kind words,They may not be good but for what I can afford they are the best I have heard.
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post #498 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
Sighted tests are a joke so he hasn't provided any evidence actually. Also, most of the "comparisons" people do are an even bigger joke, there needs to be at least some kind of scientific rigor in comparing speakers.
Disagree with you here. Yes, sighted tests can introduce bias, but I don’t see any way you can prove that this bias always exists. If that was true, how can you explain someone buying a new set of speakers to replace their current ones and finding they prefer their older ones. One would expect the ‘bias’ to favor the new speakers because that is what the person wants…..right?

I also disagree that there HAS to be some kind of scientific rigor in comparing speakers. As is often said around here to someone asking about speakers, “choose what sounds best to you.” You don’t have to have scientific studies to tell you what speaker you like. Sure, those studies can be quite useful in helping guide you towards your choices, but in the end it is about your ears.

In the years I have spent on this forum, I have found the comparisons that you consider a joke to often be most helpful to me. The way people describe the sounds and differences between speakers helps paint a picture. It is especially useful when a speaker I own or have owned/listened to is in the comparison, because I am familiar with its sound, and I can better understand the descriptions. As I have listened to more different speakers over the years, I also have noticed that more of those descriptions make more and more sense (although not always).

Your mind seems to be set on mostly graphs and blind tests. The reality is that most people are not going to or cannot run blind tests, nor do they have the ability to truly read and understand the graphs on speakers, and I am definitely one of those. There is a lot to qualitative analysis too, and many of these comparisons provide much of that. When you read enough of people’s descriptions of speakers, you often find patterns in what they are describing, and those patterns can help give confidence into knowing that the speaker sounds as being described.

Don’t think I am completely discounting the science that is out there, because I am not. What I am trying to convey is that just because a comparison does not test double blind and follow all of the scientific methods does not mean it is a complete joke. While less than ideal, there is certainly a good amount of information to be obtained.
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post #499 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 03:23 PM
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Considering the amount of damping for the system, as expressed by qtc, affects the shape of the low end response, it's not surprising you can hear a difference between settings. Like most things in audio, there are trade-offs in the usable range of qtc from the overdamped .5 with the best transient response but lower output, to the other extreme around 1.0, which has a peakier response, but higher output and degraded transients. Many consider .707 an ideal balance of flat response and good transient performance. Of course, application and personal preference are factors.



Yes but unless I'm misunderstanding (entirely possible) my original comment was in response to people suggesting (insisting?) that the differences in transient response were inaudible... that all I'm hearing is a change in output. I don't disagree that the output is changing (much moreso from High <--> Mid than from Mid <--> Low), but I'm suggesting that the experience of hearing "quicker, tighter bass" has more to it than just "hearing less bass".
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post #500 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 03:55 PM
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As i say in all my posts- I'm no expert. No smoothing? Am i missing something or is that bottom graph about as perfect as one can be?
1/12 octave smoothing but there are some reflections affecting the curves that are further off-axis. The bottom graph - well I am biased.

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post #501 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 04:01 PM
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Disagree with you here. Yes, sighted tests can introduce bias, but I don’t see any way you can prove that this bias always exists. If that was true, how can you explain someone buying a new set of speakers to replace their current ones and finding they prefer their older ones. One would expect the ‘bias’ to favor the new speakers because that is what the person wants…..right?
I agree you can't prove that bias always exists but blind tests ensure that bias doesn't exist, or at least is minimized. I can explain your scenario with my own experience. I didn't want the Revel M105 to be "better" than my LS50's because I like how they look and love the coincident design so you could say I was biased to like them. It turns out that because of the near perfect measurement of the M105, I actually had an expectation bias toward the M105 and didn't realize it. Before that comparison I never felt like I needed to do blind comparisons because most of them were obvious, it's only when 2 speakers are very close that it's necessary in my opinion. It really is revelatory how easy it is to spot differences when doing comparisons blind, for that reason alone I'll probably do all future comparisons blind.

Check out Sean Olive's blog on the subject: http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2009/0...o-product.html

In one of Olives's studys I actually read that Brand bias is a larger variable than the loudspeaker itself...yes you read that right...that is crazy.

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In the years I have spent on this forum, I have found the comparisons that you consider a joke to often be most helpful to me. The way people describe the sounds and differences between speakers helps paint a picture. It is especially useful when a speaker I own or have owned/listened to is in the comparison, because I am familiar with its sound, and I can better understand the descriptions. As I have listened to more different speakers over the years, I also have noticed that more of those descriptions make more and more sense (although not always)
When you find someone that seems to be unbiased and has similar opinions of speakers that you've had I agree, but that is not very common. I personally think it's more useful to equate certain measurements with speakers you've heard so that you can narrow down future speaker choices based on objective measurements.
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post #502 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 04:04 PM
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1/12 octave smoothing but there are some reflections affecting the curves that are further off-axis. The bottom graph - well I am biased.
Rick is being a bit modest but that measurement shows that maybe we should be talking about his designs a bit more considering how well they measure.
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post #503 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 04:56 PM
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Disagree with you here. Yes, sighted tests can introduce bias, but I don’t see any way you can prove that this bias always exists. If that was true, how can you explain someone buying a new set of speakers to replace their current ones and finding they prefer their older ones. One would expect the ‘bias’ to favor the new speakers because that is what the person wants…..right?
We get very used to the sound we've had for a long time. It is not uncommon to be disappointed at first. People need to give it quite some "break in" time.

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I also disagree that there HAS to be some kind of scientific rigor in comparing speakers. As is often said around here to someone asking about speakers, “choose what sounds best to you.” You don’t have to have scientific studies to tell you what speaker you like. Sure, those studies can be quite useful in helping guide you towards your choices, but in the end it is about your ears.

In the years I have spent on this forum, I have found the comparisons that you consider a joke to often be most helpful to me. The way people describe the sounds and differences between speakers helps paint a picture. It is especially useful when a speaker I own or have owned/listened to is in the comparison, because I am familiar with its sound, and I can better understand the descriptions. As I have listened to more different speakers over the years, I also have noticed that more of those descriptions make more and more sense (although not always).

Your mind seems to be set on mostly graphs and blind tests. The reality is that most people are not going to or cannot run blind tests, nor do they have the ability to truly read and understand the graphs on speakers, and I am definitely one of those. There is a lot to qualitative analysis too, and many of these comparisons provide much of that. When you read enough of people’s descriptions of speakers, you often find patterns in what they are describing, and those patterns can help give confidence into knowing that the speaker sounds as being described.
For me, it's both. I agree about compiling user's descriptions and looking for patterns. Those traits can then be correlated (or not) with measurements. If anything, this has helped me learn how to read measurements and form ideas of what to look for.

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I agree you can't prove that bias always exists but blind tests ensure that bias doesn't exist, or at least is minimized. I can explain your scenario with my own experience. I didn't want the Revel M105 to be "better" than my LS50's because I like how they look and love the coincident design so you could say I was biased to like them. It turns out that because of the near perfect measurement of the M105, I actually had an expectation bias toward the M105 and didn't realize it. Before that comparison I never felt like I needed to do blind comparisons because most of them were obvious, it's only when 2 speakers are very close that it's necessary in my opinion. It really is revelatory how easy it is to spot differences when doing comparisons blind, for that reason alone I'll probably do all future comparisons blind.

Check out Sean Olive's blog on the subject: http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2009/0...o-product.html

In one of Olives's studys I actually read that Brand bias is a larger variable than the loudspeaker itself...yes you read that right...that is crazy.



When you find someone that seems to be unbiased and has similar opinions of speakers that you've had I agree, but that is not very common. I personally think it's more useful to equate certain measurements with speakers you've heard so that you can narrow down future speaker choices based on objective measurements.
I agree with most of what you are saying, and I do think that blind testing is probably the best way of testing. I just don't think it is likely going to happen for most. For me, I just don't have anyone to humor me by sitting back and changing out speakers. My wife puts up with my buying and listening, but that is about as far as it goes. She could care less about the sound itself and tells me she doesn't ever notice any difference of any speakers. Anyways, my main counterpoint was more that I don't think that comparisons where no blind testing were done should be completely ignored. There can still be some very valuable information.


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We get very used to the sound we've had for a long time. It is not uncommon to be disappointed at first. People need to give it quite some "break in" time.


For me, it's both. I agree about compiling user's descriptions and looking for patterns. Those traits can then be correlated (or not) with measurements. If anything, this has helped me learn how to read measurements and form ideas of what to look for.

Agree with you as well, and I must say that ove rthe years I have bought in more and more to the idea of taking that 'break-in' time with a set of speakers as well. I did this with the kef q150s by buying from Crutchfield, and spent the entire 60days with them. I did keep them, but in the end still prefer the q100s that I already had. In this case I felt I was more biased to the q150s and expected them to be better, but they just weren't to my ears. This is a scenario in contrast to the biases Aaron described. I also realize that just because it went that way this time, doesn't mean I wouldn't have a bigger bias next time....each scenario is different.

I guess if I am learning those traits now as you have, maybe my next step would be to learn how to read the measurement graphs, since now I am quite clueless.
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post #505 of 554 Old 09-11-2019, 08:34 PM
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Yes but unless I'm misunderstanding (entirely possible) my original comment was in response to people suggesting (insisting?) that the differences in transient response were inaudible...
Welcome to one of the contentious issues in audio. Even the experts disagree, so where does that leave the humble hobbyist? I think the "frequency response is king" crowd is in the majority, and the scientific studies done to date seem to support that position, but just in this thread Dave, Alex, and Jon have provided some things to think about (I didn't catch Dennis and Rick's thoughts on the matter).

I'm like Fox Mulder--I want to believe. It seems intuitive. In Evolutionary Biology the time domain information of sounds was very important to our early survival, but I don't know how well that ports over to music reproduction by loudspeakers in semi-reverberant rooms.

In music reproduction there are certainly many sounds with transients, so it seems logical that accurately reproducing them would be important.

But...(and probably more to your point)

I've built a lot of subs over the years both ported and sealed and haven't heard anything that couldn't be attributed to frequency response variations.

The truth is out there.
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post #506 of 554 Old 09-12-2019, 11:22 AM
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After much discussion, I've come to think about it like this. You guys can be the judge of whether this makes sense or is completely off the mark.

Think of our ears, or the brain that interprets what is coming from the ears, as having a "frame rate" or a shutter speed, so to speak. Sounds that occur close enough together are heard as one - there is a sort of blurring effect. We simply don't have the resolution. There is a frequency-dependent point in time where two otherwise identical sounds can be perceived as separate from one another. Some research suggests that is somewhere around 2 ms, but increasing with frequency.

Otherwise, the ability of a transducer material to move "faster" means in literal terms it can oscillate more times per second, which results in playing a higher frequency. There is no such thing as moving faster while playing the same frequency - if you are finishing a waveform from start to stop in less time, that is the same as playing that sound more times per second, which results in shorter wavelengths or in other words a higher frequency. That is why you see these exotic lightweight tweeters capable of 30, 40, 50 kHz.

All of this is to say that as long as a tweeter (and the speaker as a whole) is capable of low-resonance performance up to 20 kHz, and it has the dispersion characteristics you desire, and can be mated well to a lower frequency driver, you're good.

It is mostly that dispersion pattern that makes these ribbons sound different. So, depending on the goal with regard to room reflections, driver matching, power handling, and size of listening area, choose your tweeter accordingly.
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post #507 of 554 Old 09-12-2019, 12:25 PM
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After much discussion, I've come to think about it like this. You guys can be the judge of whether this makes sense or is completely off the mark.

Think of our ears, or the brain that interprets what is coming from the ears, as having a "frame rate" or a shutter speed, so to speak. Sounds that occur close enough together are heard as one - there is a sort of blurring effect. We simply don't have the resolution. There is a frequency-dependent point in time where two otherwise identical sounds can be perceived as separate from one another. Some research suggests that is somewhere around 2 ms, but increasing with frequency.
In Sound Reproduction, Dr. Toole talks about the Precedence effect in 7.6.4 and it basically says that within the first 30ms is a "fusion zone" where the reflected sounds are perceived as coming from the first arrival (Direct Sound). He also mentions that the reflected sounds make their contributions to timbre and loudness, this is why the early reflections curve is so important to be similar to the direct sound. You might be talking about something a bit different than this but it still seems relevant to the discussion.

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All of this is to say that as long as a tweeter (and the speaker as a whole) is capable of low-resonance performance up to 20 kHz, and it has the dispersion characteristics you desire, and can be mated well to a lower frequency driver, you're good.

It is mostly that dispersion pattern that makes these ribbons sound different. So, depending on the goal with regard to room reflections, driver matching, power handling, and size of listening area, choose your tweeter accordingly.
That's been my stance for awhile now, it seems logical and backed by Science. Most speakers these days have flattish On-axis sound so it makes sense that the differences we hear are due to the Off-axis sound, which are quite a bit different from a dome to a ribbon.
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post #508 of 554 Old 09-12-2019, 12:44 PM
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The Precedence effect is important to understand, but I was referring to direct sound. Imagine a single tone coming from a speaker as a pulse rather than a steady stream. As you speed up the "beat", there is a point where the diminishing time gap between pulses starts to sound like a steady stream.

It's probably all related.
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Most speakers these days have flattish On-axis sound so it makes sense that the differences we hear are due to the Off-axis sound, which are quite a bit different from a dome to a ribbon
So when are your Sierra-2EX's shipping?
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post #510 of 554 Old 09-12-2019, 01:50 PM
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So when are your Sierra-2EX's shipping?
Ehh I don't know lol, the near universal praise makes me curious but I've read multiple comparisons between the BMR and the Sierra 2/EX, Sierra Towers RAAL, etc that say they are more similar than different or that the trade blows in certain areas so I don't know if it's worth the hassle. I actually think if I were to try a pair, the original Sierra 2 or even the Lunas would be fine for me since I usually use subs crossed around 100Hz anyway.
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