The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event - Page 73 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #721 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

I can confirm that the SVS speakers in my room were anything but laid back. As a matter of fact, when I got them in (they were the first ones here the first week of October... couple of weeks early) and set them up for break-in, I was nervous because I could not get the brightness out of them, regardless of position or toe. I was using the Rogue Cronus Magnum, then switched to the Denon 4520 to see if it made a difference, and it did not. I did not hear this with these when I was at CAF. Then when I got to RMAF, again I did not notice them being bright, although not laid back either. I did not say anything to anyone at SVS at that time, as I wanted to get back and do some more listening after they were broke-in.

When I got back, I had more speakers here, the Anthem amp was here... and before I knew it, I had it hooked up, the Rogue packed up and several more speakers in the room playing. I just never thought much more about the SVS being bright... until we brought them into the room. Then I got worried again. Low and behold... they were not bright... at least nothing like they were when I first connected them. I can only assume the break-in toned them down a bit... and/or the Anthem helped soften them up a bit (?)... I am not really sure. Strangely enough, they were farther away from the listener and had more toe-in than any other speaker, minus the Maggies. I seriously cannot contribute the change in what I was hearing to any one thing. To me, they were NOT bright, but NOT laid back by any means. I can not answer for the other guys, they might have thought they were bright or laid back... we did not compare notes and I do not remember anyone saying anything about them being either or.

As far as the Dynaudio's... they sounded great to me... just right, but perhaps maybe a little more laid back than the SVS. Definitely not vegetative. The drop off with them doesn't really take any major hit until you get above 10kHz, and I am not sure how much information we are really missing up there.

I also do not remember it effecting the EP's or causing them to sound too soft, although you would think it would because it really starts falling off above 6kHz with those.

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post #722 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 09:04 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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Try pulling them out, but keep them narrow to begin with. Play a relatively short section of something that has excellent imaging that you can point out. Then begin moving them outward (toward the side walls) about 6" to 12" each time until that image starts to fall apart or gets confusing. Then move them back in to the previous spot where the image was its best, but the speakers are as far apart as possible. Experiment with toe-in... and at the same time on each toe, move your head forward and back while sitting in the PLP, so that you can determine where the best sound is... particularly depth acuity. You may have to experiment with the speaker distance from your front wall. You can move them closer to the front wall until you start to lose that depth, that is typically where you know you have hit that magic spot. Some speakers we have found have a larger area to work with than others, so YMMV.



So your room is 14' deep and you sit about 10' back from the front wall. Try the 4' and see how it sounds... but you could also try 5' and 6', which would put you 5' and 4' distance to plane. The Arx are 8' out and 5' to plane of PLP, but we found that 12-18" back did not make a drastic difference... and would be difficult to differentiate between listening sessions.



In my room, I have been finding that the bass is perhaps a bit too strong when nearer the front wall and gets more refined and tighter as the speakers moved out from the wall.

Sonnie, thank you for the directions!! That's always a big hurdle in making changes - knowing where to start, so thanks a lot for the guidelines!!
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post #723 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 09:18 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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?..
Low and behold... they were not bright... at least nothing like they were when I first connected them. I can only assume the break-in toned them down a bit... and/or the Anthem helped soften them up a bit (?)...
If I recall correctly there was some chat about trying different amp/AVRs ???
Did y'all have time to try this?
Just seems like it's improbable for a solid state amplifier to tone down a speaker when every electrical parameter of any commercial amplifier is orders of magnitude better than any speakers electrical parameters.
It certainly would be interesting to see what your group has to say about an amp/AVR listening session.
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post #724 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 09:32 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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My previous response kinda missed the mark.

Of course real-world constraints limit where we can place our speakers. In compiling the placement data from our listening events, it appears that the distance ratio is the thing to shoot for rather than the absolute distance from the wall. Meaning the ratio of LP-from-the-wall over speaker-from-the-wall, the average ideal from our experience being about 1.8:1. So for your room, if I interpret correctly, the LP is about 10 ft from front wall, and ideal speaker location might be (if our logic holds true) about 5-1/2 feet out from the wall. Your limitation at 4 feet might give good results with wide enough spacing.

Ah, ok, I'll play with that formula too. My room is 19' deep, LP is about 16' from the wall. I'll do the math after another cup of coffee
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post #725 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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If I recall correctly there was some chat about trying different amp/AVRs ???
Did y'all have time to try this?
Just seems like it's improbable for a solid state amplifier to tone down a speaker when every electrical parameter of any commercial amplifier is orders of magnitude better than any speakers electrical parameters.
It certainly would be interesting to see what your group has to say about an amp/AVR listening session.
Unfortunately no... we did not have time. That is pretty much going to have to be something we do on its own, as it is very time consuming to do it right. We also need someone that is not bias, as I think we are all in the relatively alike camp in that we have doubts we can hear a difference between amps (with some qualifiers of course - all better discussed elsewhere of course).

I seriously have no answer for the differences in what I heard. There is no doubt they were indeed bright and I even privately made a statement about it to Tonto (he can confirm). They were so bright that I could not continue to listen to them for any length of time with any volume on them. After hearing them at CAF, I was scratching my head trying to figure out how my room, which no doubt quieter with less reflections than those rooms at CAF, could cause the speaker to be so bright. I have never really been a big believer in speaker break-in, but I want to respect the manufacturers recommendations and thus do as they recommend. I generally want to give every speaker the same break-in time (150-200 hours) so that no one cries foul, if you know what I mean. So my next thought was break-in. Maybe speakers really do need break-in and perhaps they will mellow out with time, yet this was pretty drastic. So drastic that I would have boxed them back up and sent them back to SVS if they had been speakers I had ordered for myself. The only other speakers I have ever had that sounded that bright were the Boston Acoustics (older models) and the JBL Northridge series. Those were the worst speakers I have ever heard ... they literally hurt my ears.

Ultimately, there are only two things that changed that I can think of... break-in time and the amplifier. I did try them within an few inches of the final placement we found for them, but they sounded completely different. Okay... now it just hit me... there was one more thing, and it could have made a difference I suppose, I placed very large and soft plush blankets, folded several times, over the tops of the three leather reclining seats on the front row to try to help knock down the minor reflections we were getting off of the seat backs. I did not get those until right before the event. It is hard to imagine them making that much difference in one set of speakers though. Anyway... I am puzzled, short of accepting it was due to speaker break-in.

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post #726 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 09:47 AM
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I hate to take this thread even further away from its original intent, but this is a great discussion of 2ch speaker positioning. It was mentioned earlier in the thread that ideal 2ch is difficult to incorporate in most HTs, but how about the reverse? If I set the speakers in the best location for 2ch listening, set the Center between them on arc to maintain distance to MLP, and drop an AT screen in front. This could leave space to walk around the sides of the screen and have a mostly hidden area for media storage, sound treatments that would not need visual appeal, and in my case wide open access to the home electrical panel which would otherwise be awkward in the front right corner. Any thoughts?

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post #727 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

I think there are those that do exactly what you are suggestion... and there is really no reason it could not work.

I think Wayne plans to start a thread as soon as we get done with the eval write-ups. Or perhaps if it is not too terribly long, he might get to it between write-ups. Hopefully we can get a lot more discussion on speaker placement, as it seems to almost be a semi-mystery from what I can tell.

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post #728 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 09:59 AM
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I'm a diehard Martin Logan fan boy and I have no regrets about it. The nature if ESL and ribbon drivers lends itself to a sharper sound. The incorporation of a woofer gives respectable low end though not as dynamic as some other design or a subwoofer. Since there is only an ESL and a woofer the Logan's are actually a two-way speaker. This reduces the influence of a crossover on the sound quality of the speakers and since the woofer is only handling lower frequencies we don't hear a crossovers affects on the audible frequencies that language resides in... unless you're listening to Barry White.

The trick with any di-pole speaker, really any speaker at all, is placement. You'll get the best sound if the speakers are properly toed in and are at least 2' away from walls. There's a "flashlight" trick to get the speakers set up in the ideal location. Listener is about 1.5x back from the speakers as they are apart from each other. IE. speakers are 10' apart and listener is 15' back. A flashlight is used to toe in the speakers. When you shine a light at the ESL panel it will reflect as a stripe running top to bottom in the grill. You simply toe in the speaker till the reflection is about 1/3 of the way out from the inside edge of the grill.

Another nice aspect of ribbons and ESL designs is that they are nearly impossible to blow, sure the sound can clip and the stator can slap against the housing, but it won't blow.
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post #729 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
In compiling the placement data from our listening events, it appears that the distance ratio is the thing to shoot for rather than the absolute distance from the wall. Meaning the ratio of LP-from-the-wall over speaker-from-the-wall, the average ideal from our experience being about 1.8:1. S
That is a great tip. Is there a similar rule of thumb for width?

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post #730 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 10:07 AM
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Listener is about 1.5x back from the speakers as they are apart from each other. IE. speakers are 10' apart and listener is 15' back. A flashlight is used to toe in the speakers. When you shine a light at the ESL panel it will reflect as a stripe running top to bottom in the grill.
Does this geometry work well for box speakers? Is it dependant on where listeners and speakers are relative to walls? Is this toe in guide specific to ESL with a specific panel curvature?

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