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Old 7th December 2012, 09:27 AM   #21
SY is offline SY  United States
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As some one noted, Stereophile is a commercial concern and its basically designed to help manufacturers sell equipment to well heeled but non technical audiophiles.
Exactly, and it's quite successful at it, thanks to John. The late and sorely-missed Gordon Holt is the daddy of it all but could never make it the enormous commercial success that John did. Respect.

If you skip all the purple prose from the chimps who learned their craft writing Letters to Penthouse, you can pick up some valuable info from the Measurements section- it's not perfect (I'd like to see Heyser impedance plots for the speakers and Power Cube for the amps), but it's quite good, and it's easy for a knowledgeable consumer to get a pretty good idea of what something is going to sound like. If (as in this case) you have a speaker with huge frequency response variations and a wretched polar pattern, you know it's going to be highly colored (which may or may not appeal to you) and be extremely room and placement dependent without having to suffer going to a dealer to hear one.
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Old 7th December 2012, 11:49 AM   #22
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Another useful and educational thing JA did in that measurements section was to look at room interaction on FR, comparing his setup with Art Dudley's and discussing the resulting changes. General audiophiles can learn valuable lessons from reading that sort of analysis in the bathtub between all the cable ads.

I can't take all of JAs sonics vs. measurements analyses at face value because sometimes they strike me as a bit forced and hindsight-focused. However, he tries and he is really good at wringing the last explanatory drop out of a graph, even if it is not necessarily in there.

Yes, I feel a little bit out of my normal literary role defending Atkinson but credit where it is due.

I actually wrote some reviews for magazines at one point and I don't remember writing any about gear that I was totally wild about and I wrote a few about gear that I definitely didn't think was great. Everything has its ups and downs.

What I tried to do was to describe the item in such a way that people looking for something like a given item would recognize it and be encouraged to go check it out themselves.

I think the review in question and JAs commentary on it achieved that goal.

Many of us can see that speaker for what it is. I, for one, would not rule it out based on jumpy FR measurements or polar characteristics because I understand that the overall character of a speaker for musical enjoyment purposes reaches beyond these empirical measures.

I read the same message in Art and John's writeups. I think this is a valid position. A lot of listeners don't care about technical performance, all they care about is enjoyment.

But sadly for John DeVore and all other high end manufacturers, it is very unlikely that I will be paying $12k for anything! I'll be building my next few pairs of speakers just like I built the last few.
 
Old 7th December 2012, 02:58 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by SY View Post
If you skip all the purple prose from the chimps who learned their craft writing Letters to Penthouse, you can pick up some valuable info from the Measurements section-
In all fairness to Stereophile, the music reviews are worth a look too. As is Prof. Rubinson's "Music in the Round" column, because he's seemingly one of only two audio reviewer on the planet (the other being Dr. David Rich) who understands the value of modern room correction systems, and makes some attempt to evaluate them in his reviews. (MitR needs more measurements, though. It's really puzzling to me that one area of the magazine that discusses devices with actual performance differences goes without measurements.)

Now that I think about it, JA has pretty much the perfect (commercial) thing going: plenty of bizarre voodoo idiocy to attract the easily misled (and the ad dollars of the wire charlatans, etc.)...but also enough technical content to attract people with a clearer view of what matters and what doesn't in a given audio device. Can't think of any other source (US-based, at least) that throws a bone to both people who view this hobby through a faith-based prism, and those who have a more reality-based weltanschauung.

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Originally Posted by SY View Post
it's not perfect (I'd like to see Heyser impedance plots for the speakers and Power Cube for the amps), but it's quite good
Agreed about Powercubes. I'd especially like to see how some of the newer Class D amps do on a Powercube. Nobody, to my knowledge, has published such data.

The other thing I'd like to see is the current horizontal and vertical off-axis graphs replaced with Geddes-style polar maps.

But I'm curious, what would a current-based impedance plot (that's what I understand the Heyser plot to be by a cursory reading of this link provide us that the standard voltage-based one doesn't?) Is the current plot more of use to people who persist in using antiquated amplification, or is it useful to someone using modern, low-output-impedance amplification as well?
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Last edited by Pallas; 7th December 2012 at 03:06 PM.
 
Old 7th December 2012, 03:26 PM   #24
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Sad story. I would have expected more from JA.
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Old 7th December 2012, 03:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pallas View Post
But I'm curious, what would a current-based impedance plot (that's what I understand the Heyser plot to be by a cursory reading of this link provide us that the standard voltage-based one doesn't?) Is the current plot more of use to people who persist in using antiquated amplification, or is it useful to someone using modern, low-output-impedance amplification as well?
Part of the Heyser concept was plotting impedance on the complex plane. There's no actual information that doesn't exist on separate magnitude/phase plots, but the presentation on the Z plane makes crossover and resonance issues really stand out where they might be very subtle features on the separate plots. These plots were usually shown in speaker reviews in the now-defunct Audio magazine.
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Old 9th December 2012, 07:08 PM   #26
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Part of the Heyser concept was plotting impedance on the complex plane.
Thanks SY
Fig.1 here illustrates the concept

AV: A Matter Of Frequency: The Nyquist Plot Explained - Pro Sound Web

George
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Old 10th December 2012, 05:13 AM   #27
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Sad story. I would have expected more from JA.
I would not, after discussing here his method of "real life measurements" loading amps on a bumpy artificial curve of impedance dependent on frequency that looks scientifically-smart-impressive for amateurs, but meaningless for engineers.
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Old 10th December 2012, 11:08 AM   #28
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Now he's critical of class D amps Anthem Statement M1 monoblock power amplifier | Stereophile.com

See the comments below the article. I guess us "hobbyists" just don't know what we are doing.
 
Old 10th December 2012, 12:55 PM   #29
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A 10" woofer with a 1" silk dome tweeter?

I have to use a 7" woofer with a 1" compression driver for me to cross at 1,500Hz. For a 10", I'm looking at crossing between 1K-1.2K.

Are there actually buyers for speakers like these. And at $12K/pair (list price)?
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Old 10th December 2012, 12:59 PM   #30
SY is offline SY  United States
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I guess us "hobbyists" just don't know what we are doing.
To be fair, many don't.
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