The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event - Page 13 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #121 of 267 Old 03-05-14, 03:58 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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I also want to take a minute out to say a big thanks to Wayne - the amount of work and effort he puts into these really makes it all happen. I applaud you sir!
Same here! These sessions and reviews are much more the work of Wayne and Sonnie than Joe and I. It is a team effort, but Wayne does far more of the work, the thinking, the writing, and the testing. We just support what he does and get to listen and comment. Pretty good deal for Joe and me.

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post #122 of 267 Old 03-05-14, 04:04 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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I don't know what you mean by "quasi-anechoic on/off- axix data" nor how that would tell us anything about whether a speaker is adding or removing something from the music. There are many assumptions implicit in that kind of determination and an infinite number of variables in collecting and interpreting such response. I don't see where there is much to be gained beyond the measurements that we already have published, on both the speakers and the room.

I appreciate constructive criticism, but I really do not understand why you think we could gain anything like this.

There really are no assumptions implicit or explicit. It simply is what it is. Quasi-anechoic would give you the speaker response itself, removed of any room effect. In all things electronic, distortion is described by anything that alters the signal. think of it as simply "signal in = signal out". In a real world, this isn't possible. But, that's the ultimate goal of a true reference system; to not alter the source media. The best way for us hobbyists to determine this is a simple quasi-anechoic measurement. You are able to then capture what the speaker itself is doing to the signal source. The on & off-axis measurements would go further to show you how well the polar response of said speaker behaves. ie; is there a lobing issue at the crossover between the mid and tweeter? this would be apparenty in any axis. Providing this data would tell us what the speaker is doing. Without the effect of the room in a single space. This is important if you want to determine what the speaker is contributing and just how it contributes to what you hear. In other words, what shows up in one axis may not show up in another. Multiple measurements are needed.

If mesuring the speaker quasi-anechoically via a gated impulse response isn't possible (though, it shouldn't be impossible) then another option is to measure the respons with the mic placed in various locations and then average them. ie; spatial averaging. What you guys have presented, I can only assume by the lack of mention and by the lack of multiple data indicating otherwise in your REW screenshots, is a single-point response at the seated position. This really tells us nothing more than what you hear if you head is in a vice. It doesn't capture the culmination of sound over a listening area which is essentially now the standard in measurement technique for evaluating a speaker in a given room (ie; John Atkinson of Stereophile, Earl Geddes, Linkwitz, et al). A good spatial average will provide more information as to the power response of a speaker which also is a means of getting to the root of what the speaker is doing. The reason why a single point axis measurement doesn't work is pretty simple: loudspeakers radiate different depending on their design. Some artifacts may be heard differently than others depending on the placement of your head/mic (even as much as one inch can alter what you hear and/or measure above 6khz thanks to combing).

IF you have that data, then the discussion of "well, the Salk speaker sounded sibiliant" would be much easier to nail down because you'd have a measurement of what the speaker itself does over a broad range of listening space or axes. You can directly compare an average or look at it's polar response vs another speaker to see why it may sound sibilant (or why another speaker doesn't). You see a bump around 6-8khz? Probably explains it. You think the soundstage presentedby speaker A is better than the rest? A set of polars showing lobing between the mid/tweeter is present by an off-axis drop in response in the 2-3khz range would likely explain this. A single response measurement isn't going to do that for you. There are a whole lot of objective reasons for why speaker A performs "better" than speaker B. You just need the data to show it.

It may seem like I'm being nitpicky and I am not. Nor am I trying to stir anything up. Simply put, I'm posting what is really widely known in most audio circles and has been adopted by hundreds of companies/magazines/reviewers/etc. I'm just relaying the info so you guys can consider doing this next time. I believe I mentioned/asked for this information before you guys kicked off the testing. Just so you don't think I'm making this stuff up, here's a good link that summarizes most testing methods and explains the importance if you'd like some better info:
http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...asurements-101

I'm not at all trying to diminish your efforts. I'm just trying to help you guys. Maybe in a future test I can join you fellas. I do appreciate all that was done here. Really and truly am just trying to help.

- Erin
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post #123 of 267 Old 03-05-14, 04:22 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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There really are no assumptions implicit or explicit. - Erin
To say there are no assumptions is simply not correct, nor possible, in any set of measurements or evaluations. This, however, is a subject for another thread. This one is for discussion of this group of evaluations, and since we did not use this technique for measuring the speakers we should stick to discussing what we did measure and what we reported. Please start another thread where we can discuss this in detail and not distract from the reviews as conducted.

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post #124 of 267 Old 03-05-14, 04:25 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
Earplugs. Even our beloved Zoo bar gets loud enough you need 'em. I catch a fair amount of live music in the Lincoln/Omaha area, and these are my choice. Yeah, they seem to make the music sound dull at first, but after a couple of songs of adjustment time for your ears, you will forget they are there. When the show is over - no ringing ears!
That brings up some questions, in what condition is the collective hearing of the testers?
Can they hear to 15,000Hz?
Are both ears of each tester equally sensitive?
Do the testers have any tinnitus?
Do they wear a baseball cap backwards? LOL

As my own hearing has declined in quality and perception over time, I can't judge speaker quality accurately enough to be a judge anymore. I'm limited to 8000Hz or less, left ear less sensitive than my right.
Some years ago I thought my own DIY speakers had a sibilance problem. No one else could hear it though. It turned out my tinnitus was reacting to certain frequencies at higher listening volume producing a sibilant type inner ear noise. I had to have an auditory ENT specialist identify my problem. Welcome to old age.
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post #125 of 267 Old 03-05-14, 04:32 PM
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True Pete - I have heard quite a few different Salk speakers, and this was the first I recall having difficulty with sibilance. Now, do note that the volume was at -4 at the time and when it was turned back to -10, it was better. To me, the Salk speaker is one that I never personally thought of as a speaker you crank up to loud volumes - it is one you want to sit, relax, look at that stunning finish , and just listen to some soothing tunes. That is the picture in my head when we start talking Salk speakers.
But just to be clear to potential Salk owners, if you wish , the soundscape 8'S can be cranked. 25 hz and up means fun. Certainly outside the price range/ discussion here.

2 channel: TRL Dude preamp, Lampizator L4/G4 dac, TRL Samson monoblocks, Salk Soundscape 8's, BPT Ultra 3.5, DIY power cords
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post #126 of 267 Old 03-05-14, 04:52 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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What? No classical music among the test tracks? For me this invalidates are subjective results.
Iím a big classical music fan as I play in an orchestra but the last thing I want is a guy that does not listen to classical music telling me which speakers sounds better for classical music. I want someone that has been to many symphony concerts and has heard things beyond movie soundtracks. Granted if I was a part of this I would add a few classical tracks and add a disclaimer about the rock stuff as I have never been to a rock concert.

I think want these guys are doing is great. Back to back listening to great speakersÖ wow My hat is off to you.
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post #127 of 267 Old 03-05-14, 06:01 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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To say there are no assumptions is simply not correct, nor possible, in any set of measurements or evaluations.
The data itself would be objective, which was what I was talking about regarding the no implied assumptinos. You perform it in X manner and you post it as such.

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This, however, is a subject for another thread. This one is for discussion of this group of evaluations, and since we did not use this technique for measuring the speakers we should stick to discussing what we did measure and what we reported. Please start another thread where we can discuss this in detail and not distract from the reviews as conducted.
Understood and agreed. You asked a question and I replied. I didn't intend to make this a full convo... just a point worth making. I've said what I felt was worthwhile on the matter. If you'd like to start another thread that's fine, but I don't see any reason to do so myself as I've said my piece; no sense in rehashing it for the sake of it.

I just ask that you guys consider my comments in the future tests. Maybe we can discuss it further before then.

- Erin
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post #128 of 267 Old 03-05-14, 06:43 PM
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. We all We report our experiences with music that we are familiar with and listen to. Certainly there are much better reference recordings than many of our test tracks. We try to select music that reveals something about the speaker and is fun for us to listen to. You are welcome to suggest some tracks for the next round of evaluations, if there is one. We will consider it.
Excellent!!!! If a person doesn't enjoy classical and it's not his or her reference, how can they rightly review a speaker by listening to classical? Listen to the music you enjoy when you review a speaker, because you know what you are listening for (and you guys do plenty of measurement test)! keep on truckin'!!!!

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post #129 of 267 Old 03-05-14, 08:00 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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Erin H wrote: View Post
The data itself would be objective, which was what I was talking about regarding the no implied assumptinos. You perform it in X manner and you post it as such.



Understood and agreed. You asked a question and I replied. I didn't intend to make this a full convo... just a point worth making. I've said what I felt was worthwhile on the matter. If you'd like to start another thread that's fine, but I don't see any reason to do so myself as I've said my piece; no sense in rehashing it for the sake of it.

I just ask that you guys consider my comments in the future tests. Maybe we can discuss it further before then.

- Erin
Please start a thread to discuss this further. There is merit in more extensive measurement, but I am not convinced that the gain is worth the cost, in terms of time and effort. Getting all the listening in is tough as it is.

How we interpret data, however, is always subject to assumptions. The data is the data as you say, but making it meaningful and informative requires much more. Interpretaion of what data means in terms of what we experience has many leaps that are not objective. What a speaker adds or fails to reveal is not just a matter of response, but other factors as well, such as distortion.

Again, I would love to discuss these ideas, so please do start a thread.

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post #130 of 267 Old 03-05-14, 10:01 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

Kudos to Wayne, Leonard and Joe for their hard work on this review.

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jsalk wrote: View Post
For example, the Supercharged SongTowers use Seas Excel W15's, a 5" woofer with magnesium cones. Magnesium is lighter and stiffer than paper. So these drivers can start and stop faster than a typical paper, kevlar or poly coned driver. The result is more detail and accuracy in the midrange.
I own a pair of Seas Excel W12's and I agree with your comments about its excellent midrange.
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