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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


i've seen countless reviews of speakers where the reviewer states that the midrange was colored.What are they referring to?


Thanks,

Shawn
 

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Shawn,


It means the speaker imparted some of its own characteristics to the sound.


Ideally, a speaker should be "transparent" - it should reproduce its input signal - no more - no less.


"Colored" here means that the speaker added some characteristic - which I gather the reviewer didn't specify.


There are many characteristics that the speaker could impart - or they may say the sound is "veiled". If the midrange

sounds like someone hung a big carpet between you and the speaker - it's colored.


Dr. Gregory Greenman

Physicist
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Morbius,


I usually here people saying that the midrange on some Klipsch speakers are colored.What characteristic do you think they are referring to?I know that Klipsch can sound overly bright in the top end but I've never noticed anything bad about the mids.


thanks
 

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Shawn, "colored" is used so frequently it almost loses meaning. As defined by Gregory (and well stated), the Klipsch don't have colored midrange. If you have one of the horn models, you might be able to detect it's unique sound, but that's not coloration, it's a characteristic of horn speakers. That may be what some people refer to -- or maybe it's just a comment they heard and are repeating without really knowing.


I have had Klipsch Forte II for 12 years and haven't heard any coloration yet. They have their shortcomings, but their fidelity is quite satisfying.


Regards, Michael
 

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A big (an somehow unnoticed) problem arises when this "color" is only describable in subjective terms. What is "colored" for some is "liquid transparency" for others. What is a "honk" sound is "clear and dynamic" for others.


There seems to be no right answer


Even if we talk about really expensive ultra high end speakers, we will discover that they sound quite different from brand to brand... why? because every one have its own personal idea of what is "colored" and what is "accurated".


Im learning not to play by those rules :D
 

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So coloring, coloration, colored and such variants are annoying ways to refer to speaker induced distortions? Can someone tell me what blue sounds like? I think I can assert that my TV speakers sound very "red" to me. :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
So coloring, coloration, colored and such variants are annoying ways to refer to speaker induced distortions? Can someone tell me what blue sounds like? I think I can assert that my TV speakers sound very "red" to me. :)
I thought they sounded like "cr*p"...so wouldn't that also count as "brown" ;) :D
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mbpg
Shawn, "colored" is used so frequently it almost loses meaning. As defined by Gregory (and well stated), the Klipsch don't have colored midrange. If you have one of the horn models, you might be able to detect it's unique sound, but that's not coloration, it's a characteristic of horn speakers. That may be what some people refer to -- or maybe it's just a comment they heard and are repeating without really knowing.
When a speaker honks, then it is colored.



Easiest way to tell a colored midrange is to hear the piano. The tone would sound carmel like (for the lack of a better term.) Easier way would to put to next to a pair of speaker that is known for its accuracy. Usually it would become easily apparent.
 

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Quote:
When a speaker honks, then it is colored.
Something specific in mind?

Quote:
Easiest way to tell a colored midrange is to hear the piano. The tone would sound carmel like (for the lack of a better term.) Easier way would to put to next to a pair of speaker that is known for its accuracy. Usually it would become easily apparent.
Speaker next to a piano -- that would be one way to judge accuracy, although I suspect the speaker would lose every time :). Next to another speaker -- who's to say? No such thing as a perfect speaker.


There is a reasonable discussion on which speakers give a better performance at a given price -- with the clear understanding that all speakers have shortcomings. Let's call that price - performance. My point; Klipsch also have shortcomings but they have competitive price - performance. Thats all.


Michael
 

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Sorry guys but I have to insist in my point. If we could detect what is "colored" and what is not, then we should say that we know what sounds accurate.


But I guess most will think that the manufacturers, the engineers, knows this better. Following this one can conclude that the best speakers in the world should sound equal.


They do not.


They all color the sound.


So it is absurd to stand up and say "this is less colored than anything else for me, ergo, it should be less colored for all".


Every speaker has advantages and disadvantages. That's the way things are. No matter the price, no matter the technology.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys,


All very good points.


Let's say,for argument sake, that we found a speaker that is tonally transparent but has a 3db dip between say 50 and 100hz.The instruments sound as they should but lose amplitude through that frequency range.I assume this would also be considered colored then since it's a characteristic introduced by the speaker??
 

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I think a colored midrange is synonymous with describing the midrange as being humped. A midrange is humped when it puts the midrange frequencies more up front (more prominent) than the other frequencies. While this might initially sound good the overall sound of such a speaker is thin. Eventually the listener will come to realize they are missing something in the music and the speakers are inadequate.


A speaker is colored if it does something across all frequencies. Not all speakers are colored. Probably few quality speakers are. However, all speakers are to some degree inaccurate. The type of errors a listener finds most palatable determines the speaker they prefer. I believe this is the same thing Chronosphere is saying without using the term colored.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Pete Hul
I think a colored midrange is synonymous with describing the midrange as being humped. A midrange is humped when it puts the midrange frequencies more up front (more prominent) than the other frequencies.


A speaker is colored if it does something across all frequencies. Not all speakers are colored. Probably few quality speakers are. However, all speakers are to some degree inaccurate. The type of errors a listener finds most palatable determines the speaker they prefer.
This sort of thing highlights the need for proper definitions. If everyone has a different understanding of what "coloration" is and what it does, then we are screwed, but understandably, a lot of this is subjective.


I figured coloration not be necessarily in the frequency response but a bit more particularly in the harmonics introduced by the speaker, whether it be in the enclosure or the drivers.
 

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Quote:
Speaker next to a piano -- that would be one way to judge accuracy, although I suspect the speaker would lose every time . Next to another speaker -- who's to say? No such thing as a perfect speaker.
This definitely would not be accurate, especially if you are doing it at home. Since most natural piano recordings are from the mid to far-field, placing the speaker next to the piano would have the speaker produce a hall sound from the position of the piano, while the piano would produce a near-field sound.
 

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Then of course, everything in our chain colors, one way or another. Well, I can't really complain because I think, paraphrasing Jeff: "that the type of colors a listener finds most palatable determines the speakers they prefer."


For me it is simple. There is no right answer. There are just personal answers.
 

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I agree with Chronosphere and Jeff that all speakers add there own 'slant' to the music produced and what you like is what is best for you. This type of discussion is hard because everybody has their own definition of what they think is good and conversely bad.


I was reading the December and November Stereophile magazines and came away with the opinion they only really really seem to like expensive speakers (10 to 40K range). They seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on speakers like Wilson Watt Puppies, etc and not what most people can afford. I cannot even think of spending that much money on speakers. I wouldn't spend that much money on a car!!!


I think the problem is there is too much low end junk and the middle ground, as far as price, is being eroded away with all the money going into high end gear - by these companies.


I do prefer a forward midrange in a speaker. Our Royd Doublets have that character without loosing the rest of the music. Midrange is important for vocals and most instruments. Our ears are more attuned to listening to this region of sound also.


Just my $0.10 - inflation you know!


Dave
 

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Quote:
I agree with Chronosphere and Jeff that all speakers add there own 'slant' to the music produced and what you like is what is best for you. This type of discussion is hard because everybody has their own definition of what they think is good and conversely bad.
What makes it even more difficult is the absence of a "reference point" or standard everyone can point toward of what the "correct" sound should be.

Quote:
I think the problem is there is too much low end junk and the middle ground, as far as price, is being eroded away with all the money going into high end gear - by these companies.
Funny -- I thought that the low to mid $$ range was getting lots of attention. Certainly over the last decade there are many new decent offerings for 5.1 speaker systems around $750-$1K total cost, and around $1-2k for mains, manufacturers like PSB and Paradigm have really set a high standard for price/performance.


Your point on mega high-end getting too much attention is right on, of course. Maybe now that easy money is not so easy, manufacturers and retailers will start focusing on more value oriented consumers -- although my recent visit to a high-end NYC shop shows otherwise.


Michael
 
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