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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ask because i was told that there is no way to "color" a speakers sound

and that characteristics such as "lush" or "silky" is not a trait of the driver or the speaker, that all there is accurate.
 

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There are plenty of ways to color a speaker. The simplest is with EQ.


There are no completely flat at all SPL in 360degree x 360degree speakers. They don't exist.

Speaker design is about choosing compromises.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u  /t/1498412/is-voicing-a-speaker-basically-the-frequency-response-of-the-speaker#post_23919497


I ask because i was told that there is no way to "color" a speakers sound

and that characteristics such as "lush" or "silky" is not a trait of the driver or the speaker, that all there is accurate.
All speakers add coloration to some extent, some more than others, some a lot more. Voicing is far more than just frequency response, though that would be the primary component.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i was told by Dennis Murphy that distortion is the only way to color a speaker and that just makes it a worse speaker. basically saying that two speakers even with different material drivers, if measured the same would sound the same
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u  /t/1498412/is-voicing-a-speaker-basically-the-frequency-response-of-the-speaker#post_23920068


i was told by Dennis Murphy that distortion is the only way to color a speaker and that just makes it a worse speaker. basically saying that two speakers even with different material drivers, if measured the same would sound the same
I suspect there's a good deal of equivocation happening here.


The factual claim is true: two drivers which in all ways measured the same would sound the same. Your ear is, in the end, just a measurement tool.


If "distortion" = "inaccurate" (as in "distorted from original"), then yes: all coloration is a form of distortion. The two words are synonyms.
 

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I believe when it comes to sources, pre-amps, amps, and etc, the goal to be as accurate as possible is a good one.


The same is true with speakers, but a big caveat is that there is no such thing as speakers that are so accurate that you cannot tell them apart in a blind test. Fact is, no two speakers sound exactly the same. They will all have variations in their performance that is greater than the threshold of human ability to detect. The present conclusion is therefore that the current state of the art in speakers means the listener has to accept an imperfect audio reproduction device.


From that conclusion two different thought processes emerge. First the purists feel that even if you can't be perfect, you should still strive to be perfect. The argument here is that a more accurate speaker is ultimately a superior speaker. But as you get to a certain level of performance, the degree of accuracy between different speakers become asymptotic - they get close to but never achieve perfect audible accuracy. Furthermore, even if different speakers have similar accuracy, they would be inaccurate for different reasons, rendering them to sound different. So even purists will have to confront the second through process, which is to embrace the fact that there will be differences, and simply to choose which ever inaccurate speaker that best suits one's tastes. Take this a step further, and you have speakers like Wilson Art that gives up entirely on trying to be accurate and simply goes after a certain sound signature.


So my conclusion is that yes speakers can be voiced. There are good reasons for them to be voiced, if not simply because there really is no other alternative.
 

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The term "voicing" is often used to describe what a designer does with the elements of a speaker system, most often with the crossover network, to get it to sound "right". After the drivers have been selected and the cabinet designed and built, the speaker designer needs to get everything working in a pleasant or accurate fashion and the tweaking is done with the crossover network which is at the heart of the speaker system's characteristic sound. Terms like "lush" or "silky" are nonsensical terms used by magazine reviewers to attempt to describe their personal perception of the sound of the speakers. Unfortunately, they may be terrible descriptions when you move the speakers from the reviewers listening room to your own.


I used to recommend listening to speakers in dealers showrooms. I don't think that is very useful any longer. You really need to hear them in your own room. So find a dealer that will let you do that or order from one of the online companies that do that. Ignore the review terminology and hook the speakers up at home and listen.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u  /t/1498412/is-voicing-a-speaker-basically-the-frequency-response-of-the-speaker#post_23920068


i was told by Dennis Murphy that distortion is the only way to color a speaker and that just makes it a worse speaker. basically saying that two speakers even with different material drivers, if measured the same would sound the same
High THD is one way by which a speaker can add coloration, but by no means is it the only one. Nor is high THD or even coloration necessarily a bad thing, many's the audiophile that will spend thousands on a tube amp to get the coloration they can give. Two speakers that measure the same will sound the same, providing all measurements are the same. That includes not only SPL but THD, maximum SPL, waterfall, group delay, polar response and more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So if lush or silky isn't a coloration then what is? This understanding that i'm going for was initially conceived because i heard some b&w cm9's that with female vocals and stringed orchestral instruments sounded very very smooth to me. now i don't know what it was about this speaker and i give up trying to guess or describe but i have yet to hear it from any other speaker but when i did try to describe it and ask this is what i got from Dennis murphy


"Having designed the Salks, and a lot of other speakers, I never know what to make of descriptions like yours. The midrange or highs shouldn't be sweet, or romantic, or lush, or even emotionally involving--they should just be accurate. That's what loudspeakers are all about. It sounds like you're asking for some kind of deliberate coloration that would be very difficult to target from a design standpoint."


So what is it about the voicing of this speaker that made me like it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u  /t/1498412/is-voicing-a-speaker-basically-the-frequency-response-of-the-speaker#post_23919497


I ask because i was told that there is no way to "color" a speakers sound

That's so wrong it must be a misunderstanding. All speakers are colored, many quite intentionally.
Quote:
and that characteristics such as "lush" or "silky" is not a trait of the driver or the speaker, that all there is accurate.

I would agree that "lush" or "silky" are not desirable traits of speakers, that the ideal is accurate.[/quote]


Note that accurate is not necessary synonymous with flat frequency response.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u  /t/1498412/is-voicing-a-speaker-basically-the-frequency-response-of-the-speaker#post_23921580



So what is it about the voicing of this speaker that made me like it.

It may not be just the voicing. Our relationships with speakers can be more complex - sometimes people like a certain sound because they have been educated to believe that is the sound they should like.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u  /t/1498412/is-voicing-a-speaker-basically-the-frequency-response-of-the-speaker#post_23921580


So if lush or silky isn't a coloration then what is?
'Lush' and 'silky' aren't technical terms that have any definition with respect to loudspeaker design, so no one can say what it is you like about those speakers. All one can say for sure is that if you like them, buy them.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u  /t/1498412/is-voicing-a-speaker-basically-the-frequency-response-of-the-speaker#post_23921708


so what is coloring of a speaker then? how do you describe it
Any deviation from ruler flat response, any audible THD and IMD, less than perfect transient response, and less than perfect dispersion. That pretty much covers every speaker made.
 

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Originally Posted by bthrb4u  /t/1498412/is-voicing-a-speaker-basically-the-frequency-response-of-the-speaker#post_23922369


so if companies "purposely color" speakers then this distortion is appealing to listeners? So where does that render a more accurate speaker? less appealing?
Some people don't like reality.


Happens in video all the time. Move to high frame-rate, high resolution, and accurate color reproduction and people sometimes just stop liking it. Lucas did a lot of work with the more recent StarWars trilogy to downgrade the video realism as he was having a problem that wigs looked like wigs and props looked like props.
 
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