Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #376
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    I've seen floor standing two way speaker systems. How good are these and wouldn't three way systems be better for such speakers? I've also been told that if you use a 5in driver, that's what you'll get. A 5in sound. Meaning, use bigger drivers for a more dynamic sound. Remember, these are not bookshelf speakers.
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  2. #377
    What about my member? rottersclub's Avatar
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    Staun, all things being equal (the exact same drivers and crossover in a monitor and a floor stander), the floor stander will produce more bass. That was certainly the case with one of my previous set of speakers - the EPOS M12i vs M16i. The M16i went down to 48Hz and the M12i went to 54Hz.
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  3. #378
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
    Staun, all things being equal (the exact same drivers and crossover in a monitor and a floor stander), the floor stander will produce more bass. That was certainly the case with one of my previous set of speakers - the EPOS M12i vs M16i. The M16i went down to 48Hz and the M12i went to 54Hz.
    I would think this is true as well. One more. Driver placement. I still see speaker drivers offset in the cabinets. Why is this done and is the vertical positioning best?
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  4. #379
    What about my member? rottersclub's Avatar
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    Not sure about the woofers and mid-range drivers, but the goal is to have the tweeter at listening (ear) level. Hence the need for the proper height stands depending on the height of the monitor. As far as vertical height of the other drivers, it may have to do with the cabinet design. Some have separate enclosures if there are more than one woofer/mid. You will find some floor standers with multiple (two or three) ports. If there are two ports in the back of the speaker, usually there are two separate enclosures within the cabinet.
    Think of a book as a vase, and a movie as the stained-glass window that the filmmaker has made out of the pieces after hes smashed it with a hammer.
    -- Russell Banks (paraphrased)

  5. #380
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    There is no theoretical reason why 3-speaker systems should be better than 2-speaker systems, or 4 over 3 or 5 over 4. The theoretical IDEAL is a single point source driver that covers all frequencies.

    Such an animal does not exist yet, unfortunately.

    The design features that make a good woofer are very different from design features of a good tweeter. It's very hard -- unless you're Bose -- to make one speaker do everything. That's why some specialization in drivers is a good thing, in our present imperfect world.

    The Ohm A and Ohm F speakers used a tall thin driver standing upright, like a big witches hat. This was supposed to provide excellent high frequency dispersion. What it actually provided was a kick ass bass.

    Go figure.

  6. #381
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    I've also been told that if you use a 5in driver, that's what you'll get. A 5in sound.
    Simple physics will dictate that a 5-inch driver can't move as much air as a 15". Bose chose to try to get around this by putting 16 of them in one box, but then you run up against the limitations in cone travel. A 5" driver cannot move as far as a 15", meaning when reproducing low frequencies they can only reproduce a smaller fraction of the wave (a 50 Hz signal has a 6 meter wavelength, so even a 15" isn't going to reproduce it all).

    Active electronics can overcome some driver limitations -- but not all.

  7. #382
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Simple physics will dictate that a 5-inch driver can't move as much air as a 15". Bose chose to try to get around this by putting 16 of them in one box, but then you run up against the limitations in cone travel. A 5" driver cannot move as far as a 15", meaning when reproducing low frequencies they can only reproduce a smaller fraction of the wave (a 50 Hz signal has a 6 meter wavelength, so even a 15" isn't going to reproduce it all).

    Active electronics can overcome some driver limitations -- but not all.
    Given technical is not my fort, email Adrian at Tetra; he has an answer that, while I cannot repeat it (too much went over my head), made good sense...and coupled with the remarkable bass I am getting out of my current on-loan 222s, pretty much disprove any assertions to the contrary.

    As I've said before, I know little about design and care less about specs. All I know is what my ears tell me, and my ears (and gut) tell me I'm feeling plenty of bass on these speakers.

  8. #383
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    There is no theoretical reason why 3-speaker systems should be better than 2-speaker systems, or 4 over 3 or 5 over 4. The theoretical IDEAL is a single point source driver that covers all frequencies.

    Such an animal does not exist yet, unfortunately.

    The design features that make a good woofer are very different from design features of a good tweeter. It's very hard -- unless you're Bose -- to make one speaker do everything. That's why some specialization in drivers is a good thing, in our present imperfect world.

    The Ohm A and Ohm F speakers used a tall thin driver standing upright, like a big witches hat. This was supposed to provide excellent high frequency dispersion. What it actually provided was a kick ass bass.

    Go figure.
    As an owner of a Bose iPod dock box and QuietComfort headphones, let me just say they were the biggest waste of $$ I've ever made. Yes, they have surprising bass but it feels warm and mushy, with too little definition. And the top end suffers. ECM albums driven by Jon Christensen or Jack DeJohnette's ride cymbal are especially noticeable in this regard. Also, on Ralph Towner's Solstice, for example, Eberhard Weber's bass just sounds wrong, and Towner's normally pianistically massive-sounding 12-strinh acoustic guitar sounds small, by comparison, Things are warm, yes, but there's too little clarity or transparency.

  9. #384
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    Most real bass extends from about 40-45Hz upward to about 80-100Hz. The spec that a speaker goes down to 20Hz does give you some additional reinforcement, but only organ pedal tones and perhaps huge bass drums go down anywhere near that. That's why most speakers say they go down to 40Hz and are happy enough to be there.

    You can get 40Hz out of a smaller cone, mounting 2 or 3 six to eight inch drivers in a column. With sufficient cabinet reinforcement space for them it is possible. Smaller cones have faster, tighter bass, and you do get some thump from them. Bigger 12"-15" cones tend to be slower sounding, maybe mushy, but they do have the ability to more easily create those big bass waveforms. It is amazing how some smaller stand mount monitors can get some big-assed sounding bass from their diminutive size.

    The trend in floor standing speaker design over the last decade and more has been "lifestyle", meaning tall thin cabinets. Some use multiple small bass drivers, some use larger drivers mounted on the cabinet sides. some use transmission line and horn-like reinforcement. Many ways to skin a cat. But it all still comes down to how the speaker interacts with your room, and each one will be different.
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  10. #385
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Yep, and bass is all about "moving the air." Bookshelf speakers will never rattle your trunks.

  11. #386
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
    Not sure about the woofers and mid-range drivers, but the goal is to have the tweeter at listening (ear) level. Hence the need for the proper height stands depending on the height of the monitor. As far as vertical height of the other drivers, it may have to do with the cabinet design. Some have separate enclosures if there are more than one woofer/mid. You will find some floor standers with multiple (two or three) ports. If there are two ports in the back of the speaker, usually there are two separate enclosures within the cabinet.
    Which is why the tweeter is usually stacked on top of the other drivers. As for drivers being offset in the cabinet, I always thought this was done for the purpose of sound stage. Trying to get you to hear different instruments coming from different points in space. Would this not be a better method than the vertical alignment? Would you not get better sound stage from offset driver placement or does the vertical alignment have advantages?
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  12. #387
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    Recessing the tweeter is an attempt to align the voice coil of each speaker so the "timing" of the sounds emanating from each individual speaker are coming from the same plane. This is called "Time Alignment" and the argument is that it corrects transient response times (and inherent phase shift)that would otherwise not be correct.

    Some manufacturers slope their front baffle backwards to accomplish this (aka Thiel). Others mount their tweeters in a separate box or on top (aka B&W). Others recess the tweeter with a horn like surround, often with a resulting horn like sound though, and others try to adjust this via the crossover network.

    All with varying degrees of success, I might add.

    TM_lobe_time_aligned.jpg
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  13. #388
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    OK, I just looked at my floorstanding speakers and they're under four feet with single rear ports, a slightly recessed tweeter, two six inch drivers. Range of 35Hz-22KHz. I used to avoid ported speakers back in my college and twenties because though the ported speakers seemed more efficient the bass wasn't comparable to speakers without ports. I would have never owned a pair of speakers with less than a ten inch woofer back then. Speaker technology has come a long way since because these wipe the floor with any other speaker I've ever owned. I think the size and placement of drivers and tweeters are not nearly as important as the ability of the designer and manufacturer.
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  14. #389
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Which is why the tweeter is usually stacked on top of the other drivers. As for drivers being offset in the cabinet, I always thought this was done for the purpose of sound stage. Trying to get you to hear different instruments coming from different points in space. Would this not be a better method than the vertical alignment? Would you not get better sound stage from offset driver placement or does the vertical alignment have advantages?
    BobM has perfectly described the advantages and reasoning behind time alignment / voice coil alignment. Getting your drivers in a plane (voice coils, not surrounds) helps keep the drivers in phase with each other.

    As to vertical alignment -- putting all the drivers in a vertical line, as opposed to spreading them out in a cabinet -- the same principle applies. If your drivers are spread out left to right, your phase differences amplify as you move about in the listening space. You might have one "sweet spot" where everything's in alignment, but as soon as you move a little bit, the image is going to fall apart. Vertical alignment ensures that your whole listening room is "the sweet spot."

  15. #390
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Vertical alignment ensures that your whole listening room is "the sweet spot."
    My Image T's is a tower speaker and is in vertical alignment. I certainly don't have a problem with them but never knew the reason for the non vertical design. Amazing. However, I'm still having trouble getting my head around the idea of not needing the big 12in low freq driver and still get great tight bass.
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  16. #391
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Modern high-compliance long-throw driver designs (+ active electronics) go a long way toward providing great big sound from little teeny boxes. There are physical limitations of course, but I've heard some amazing compromises.

  17. #392
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    Wonder if all this talk is making everyone do new evaluations on their systems? Since I'm due for some upgrades, I know I am.
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  18. #393
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    Staun, If you want to make some new audiophile friends who will be happy to help you spend your money on this hobby, visit any of the following forums and lurk/participate in the activity there.

    www.audiocircle.com
    www.audionervosa.com
    www.audiogon.com
    www.audioasylum.com

    Now, for the real big bucks audiophiles, try these:

    www.audioshark.org
    www.whatsbestforum.com
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  19. #394
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    Staun, If you want to make some new audiophile friends who will be happy to help you spend your money on this hobby, visit any of the following forums and lurk/participate in the activity there.

    www.audiocircle.com
    www.audionervosa.com
    www.audiogon.com
    www.audioasylum.com

    Now, for the real big bucks audiophiles, try these:

    www.audioshark.org
    www.whatsbestforum.com
    Are you kidding? I can't even dream of having some of this stuff. Safer for me to stay here, ask questions and receive an education.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  20. #395
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Stay away from WalMart stereos, you'll be okay.

  21. #396
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Are you kidding? I can't even dream of having some of this stuff. Safer for me to stay here, ask questions and receive an education.
    Then I would suggest making upgrades in small bites. Give yourself a budget each year, and research/contemplate one piece of equipment to upgrade. Absolutely look in the used marketplace. In a few years you will accumulate some nice things, and it is a far better way to understand and educate yourself rather than trying to buy a whole system at once.

    But most of all, enjoy the journey.
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  22. #397
    What about my member? rottersclub's Avatar
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    I'm not running out to the store to buy anything as a result of this thread, in fact I just listed a pair of Grado headphones on the Canadian Audio Mart site. I have three sets of headphones and the Grados have the highest resale value. I'm perfectly happy with a $150 pair of AKGs I bought for my iPod listening at night. Having a dedicated listening room in the basement eliminated the need to listen with headphones on the big rig and if I don't want to use the speakers, I still have the AKGs and a crappy pair of Denons I've had for many years.

    However, as a result of my rekindled interest in vinyl, I decided to retry a platter mat I bought some time ago. I put it on again last night and the first thing I played was Ralph Towner's Solstice - Sound and Shadows. Not only was Eberhard Weber's bass much tighter than with the standard issue felt mat from Rega, but Jon Christensen's cymbal work was absolutely perfect both in terms of timbre and volume (not too soft and not too loud). It's funny that the folks at the audio shop dissed me for using it. To my ears, the sound is better focused with the mat. BTW, the mat set me back all of $60. I don't really go for the crazy expensive woo. Just the middle of the road stuff. Mmmm, woo.
    Think of a book as a vase, and a movie as the stained-glass window that the filmmaker has made out of the pieces after hes smashed it with a hammer.
    -- Russell Banks (paraphrased)

  23. #398
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Is the new mat thicker than the old felt mat? Or maybe thinner? Maybe it's not the mat, it's the VTA.

  24. #399
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Stay away from WalMart stereos, you'll be okay.
    Noted. Guess this means I'll have to scratch off Radio Shack too. Damn.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  25. #400
    What about my member? rottersclub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Is the new mat thicker than the old felt mat? Or maybe thinner? Maybe it's not the mat, it's the VTA.
    I bought the thinnest they make - 2mm. It's very close to the thickness of the felt. If anything, it's a titch thicker, which would adversely affect the HF. That's why it was sitting on the shelf until last night. Once I got the TT leveled, I thought I would try the mat again. And yes, I did compare them - side 1 was with the felt and side 2 was with the silicon mat.
    Think of a book as a vase, and a movie as the stained-glass window that the filmmaker has made out of the pieces after hes smashed it with a hammer.
    -- Russell Banks (paraphrased)

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