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I posted this in the Ascend Axiom thread:


Here's an interesting fact. i spoke with Joe over at Axiom this morning and he said they did a survey of 100 owners asking if they thought they were "bright". Only 6 people said they thought they were. So...brightness is in the eyes and ears of the beholder. If you compare say an original Rocket 750 to say an Axiom M80, sure the Axiom will sound "brighter" since it's designed to be accurate (as in flat on axis), whereas the Rocket is designed to sound "lush". Which is better? Only your ears can decide.


Materials (what the woofers and tweeters are made of) have absolutely nothing to do with this brightness or lack thereof. This is an old husbands' tale (since the wives typically ain't in to audio).:)


Brightness normally refers to the amount of treble energy a speaker produces. If it is excessive, the speaker sounds bright (compared to speakers that are flat). If you are comparing a speaker with a reticent treble to a speaker with an accurate treble, the accurate speaker will sound "bright" or the reticent speaker "dull". It depends on your point of reference.
 

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jrock,

Very few owners of any speaker can tell you what those speakers don't do well as most only notice what they like about them. I know of plenty of people who own speakers that I would clearly consider to be bright and they never think they are. They always say they're "detailed" or "unforgiving". Both of those are euphemisms for bright or harsh. Surprisingly, brightness seems to be as often the result of a bright midrange, which is to say, too much upper midrange as that is what most people notice. If you hear someone say that a speaker is "too detailed", they generally means really bright. I would differ with Tony a bit in that some materials exacerbate brightness. Aluminum, kevlar, some carbon fiber and other materials that either ring or breakup can make a speaker pleasant at low volumes but shriek at others. Turning the treble down would dull the sound, but would make it even less accurate and less enjoyable. BTW, another point is that everyone seems to think their speakers are accurate, whether they measure flat or not. I've seen lots of reviewers claim accuracy for a speaker, but the measured response tells a completely different story. To make it more confusing, depending on dispersion, crossover design and driver material and room, a speaker could measure flat and sound bright or sound warm.
 

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Some people also find 'bright' speakers to be fatiguing to listen to.


Finding the right speakers for you is like finding the right mate for you. You will audition / date many of them. Take them home, listen to what they have to say, see if you are compatible. Really get to know them. If you like them and they like you then you are a good match for each other. :D
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DrSpike69
Some people also find 'bright' speakers to be fatiguing to listen to.


Finding the right speakers for you is like finding the right mate for you. You will audition / date many of them. Take them home, listen to what they have to say, see if you are compatible. Really get to know them. If you like them and they like you then you are a good match for each other. :D
So Dr Spike, if I were to use an analogy .... would mail order brides = mail order speakers? If you don't like 'em just return them ;)


Ok on a serious note, some gear especially the higher end gear eg seperates just don't have treble controls and if they do it would generally be for a specific frequency. And if you do use the treble controls you have the potential of messing up other freqs. The treble control can provide a quick fix howerver.


I would go one step further and compare the speakers in the same room with the same equipment. If one room is all concrete and the other one has wall to wall carpetting, one might misinterpret the harshness of the room for brightness. Similarly if one set of speakers are driven by a 7 watt triode and the other with some class B first generation transistor based amp, I'm sure those factors will affect the perceived brightness of the speaker. Even the source has an effect, one may be FM radio which rolls off the highs and the other source may be a first generation CD player.


Basically I'm saying make sure you are in the exact same environment so you are comparing the apples to the apples.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DrSpike69
Finding the right speakers for you is like finding the right mate for you. You will audition / date many of them. :D
And while we may all want those sleek sexy slim models, sometimes there is no replacement for those 'larger' models.


Some people belive that hard dome tweeters are 'brighter" than soft dome tweeters. Your results may vary.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by EC
So Dr Spike, if I were to use an analogy .... would mail order brides = mail order speakers? If you don't like 'em just return them ;)
LOL! You mean I CAN send her back? :D:D


I do agree, listen to them with the equipment you plan on using and in the room you will be using. Speakers will sound different in different rooms and different equipment.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JRace
And while we may all want those sleek sexy slim models, sometimes there is no replacement for those 'larger' models.
Oh, I probably shouldn't comment on this, I might get in trouble.
 

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To me brightness in the treble means the highs are causing too much attention to themselves, meaning they sound louder then the voices, etc. A bright tweeter sounds harsh and unnatural and like Dr. Spike said causes listener fatigue.
 

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Look at the frequency response graphs for Ascend CBM170 (considered neutral) and Axiom M3 (often considered bright) and you'll notice spikes in the higher frequencies of the Axiom and a reasonably flat graph for the Ascends. I think this shows what many (myself included)consider to be the bright sound of Axioms. Now this doesn't mean anything bad, it just means that they have a sound that won't fit everyone's tastes.
 

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I have learned that some people that considers a determinate set of speakers "bright" are just accustomed to the sound of "muddy" speakers.


If someone ONLY listens to recorded music, then maybe all that he needs to "discover" that real music can be very "bright" is to go to an acoustical live concert, and hear for himself.


I have done that, clearly showing that what they considered "bright" (my Klipsch speakers) where indeed only more detailed than their own speakers.


Of course, your mileage will vary, I have found also that there are recordings that are simply exaggerating the high frequencies and that doesn't have any bass information. This recordings will sound "bright" in almost every equipment... unless that equipment is designed to make those recordings sound good.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rick CH
Look at the frequency response graphs for Ascend CBM170 (considered neutral) and Axiom M3 (often considered bright) and you'll notice spikes in the higher frequencies of the Axiom and a reasonably flat graph for the Ascends. I think this shows what many (myself included)consider to be the bright sound of Axioms. Now this doesn't mean anything bad, it just means that they have a sound that won't fit everyone's tastes.
Actually, despite your speakers being more flat, they should sound brighter! I just compared the graphics putting one above the other, and your speakers high frequency response is about two or three dB's higher than the Axioms...
 

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Metal tweeters, tend to ring or resonate that can be heard as distortion when they are driven hard. Many companies are using different materials to control the tweeter from ringing, examples: ceramic coatings, gold, magnesium or other metals are just a few. Silk or fabric tweeter tend not to ring like metal tweeters but usually don't have the capability of handling as much power or the frequency extension.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Chronosphere
Actually, despite your speakers being more flat, they should sound brighter! I just compared the graphics putting one above the other, and your speakers high frequency response is about two or three dB's higher than the Axioms...
Yeah...but that is across the ENTIRE range, which just means the CBM-170 is more efficient. The M3 curve, in relation to itself, the treble is higher....which may make it sound bright.


So from looking at the graphs, the CBM-170 would seem more balanced, while the M3 has emphasis in the upper range.
 

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cschang


Are we looking at the same graph? In the one I see the Axiom have an emphasis in the 100Hz region (that can even be a room mode). If something, those speakers would sound a bit muddy.
 

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Chrono,


I think we are. And yes...I have actually read that the M3 can be a bit bloated in the mids.


But also look at the other end of the graph and see how that is tipped up.
 

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Sorry but the only peak I see is at 20Khz, and that frequency is inaudible for anyone beyond its 20's.


There is no way that, by the graph alone, anyone can say that it is "bright".
 

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Sorry Chrono,


You are right...I was getting mixed up with my thoughts. I have not heard/read the M3 being called bright...only the bloatedness that you pointed out. But those spikes I was referring to were before 20khz....and people can here those...right? After 20khz is where most people can not hear.


It is the M22 that has been called bright, which is a bit depressed in the 100-500hz region, and rises to a hump before 5khz, where hearing is the most sensitive. The graph for the M2 is also similar.
http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/me...xiom_m22ti_se/
 
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