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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 21st August 2013, 10:16 PM   #9231
Lynn Olson is offline Lynn Olson  United States
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Well, it's entirely possible to design loudspeakers that measure well and sound unnatural. The large WMTMW's fall in this category ... every one I've heard sounds disjointed, with a very strange and weirdly unnatural spectral balance. The big woofer perched in mid-air has a lot to do with it; it just doesn't sound right, no matter how it measures. I sometimes wonder if the designers of these speakers have ever heard live acoustic music, or if they are using stadium rock PA systems as a reference. This isn't meant to be a snide comment; it's just that some modern high-dollar high-end speakers have some of the most bizarre colorations I've ever heard.

The problem with a MMT array is much more subtle, a sort of blurred bass that has a noticeable level dependence. I don't think the level dependence is actually there, but is a perceptual-threshold effect, where you start noticing the problems in the time domain if the playback level is high enough. The MMT "sound" is most noticeable if there's a version of the speaker (from the same manufacturer) that uses a single woofer instead of two; the single-woofer version almost always sounds crisper and more coherent. That tells me there's something wrong with how the MMT interacts with the room.

It's easy to forget that although the floor reflection is annoying when measuring a loudspeaker, we expect to hear it with real-life sound sources ... at all times. The only way to avoid a floor or ground bounce is to sit in a tree, or at the edge of a balcony ... neither is a common way of listening to music, singing, or speech.

Close miking, which is pretty much universal practice for pop music and classical soloists, effectively removes the floor bounce by swamping it out with the much louder direct sound from the singer (who is only a few inches from the microphone). The floor bounce is re-created in the listener's living room ... in a way, it is an essential part of the recording, even though it is re-constituted on replay, and is not actually on the original recording.

The essential nature of the floor bounce suggests driver locations that are close to ear level, with the bass radiator below ear level (as it would be in real life), and the HF radiator at or slightly above ear level (again, as it would be in real life).

When I say "real life", by the way, I mean where the sound would come from if real instruments and singers were actually in your living room. The sound from the vocalist would not come from the floor, and the sound from the drums would not come from above ear level (except for the cymbals, which are reproduced by the HF radiator). A grand piano, as it does in real life, should sound physically large and solid, with a noticeable floor component to the sound.

Although I've always loved electrostats, I have to admit they don't do piano very well; the sound is too insubstantial, too airy and wispy, to suggest a real-life grand piano. Really large electrostatic arrays just stretch out the sound, over a whole wall sometimes, while not adding much in the way of weight or solidity.

This is where large direct-radiators and horns rule; getting the big, powerful instruments right. When you hear a Bosendorfer played quietly, it's still very obvious it's a grand piano, and is just a moment away from a startling crescendo. This slight sense of tension is lost with many speakers that miniaturize the instrument.

Last edited by Lynn Olson; 21st August 2013 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 22nd August 2013, 01:01 AM   #9232
Joshua_G is offline Joshua_G  Israel
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Originally Posted by Lynn Olson View Post
When you hear a Bosendorfer played quietly…
There are Bosendorfer pianos, and there are Bosendorfer speakers… (which I own).
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Old 22nd August 2013, 01:27 AM   #9233
Russell Dawkins is offline Russell Dawkins  Canada
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Originally Posted by Joshua_G View Post
There are Bosendorfer pianos, and there are Bosendorfer speakers… (which I own).
Ditto with Steinway: Steinway Lyngdorf - Model D Speaker
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Old 22nd August 2013, 12:43 PM   #9234
Truetone is offline Truetone  Australia
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Piano should be monstrous - but recordings are often polite. Go and buy 'Night Kitchen' by Ross Bolleter on ruined pianos "inspired by Goya’s Black Paintings; others by the desert country of Central Australia, especially the area round Ngayurru (Lake Mackay)"


I recorded these pianos to reel to reel tape. Think of a saloon bar Jefferson hauled from Chicago in the gold rush and deconstructed by the western Australian desert - bass string pulls that will make your double woofers cry. Ross tells me the horns bring it to life like nothing else. Seriously, this music will test your perceptions and bass reproducers.

Lynn, I sent you a copy - did you try it?

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Old 22nd August 2013, 08:35 PM   #9235
POOH is offline POOH  United States
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Hello Martin,

I'm going to order your piano recording to try out on my horns Are there any other recordings from that website you recommend that are spectacular in performance or sound?
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Old 23rd August 2013, 02:07 AM   #9236
Truetone is offline Truetone  Australia
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I recommend Secret Sandhills - watch out for the first chord...

Secret Sandhills and Satellites - Ross Bolleter | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic

Emanem CDs 2005-2006
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Old 29th August 2013, 08:27 PM   #9237
LineSource is offline LineSource  United States
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The Elephant in the Room.

IF _for the love of tube amplifiers_ someone decides to use a 40" wide bass cabinet with two 16" side-by-side woofers, they would probably also consider a larger horn.

JMLC 270 is about 28" in diameter and setup for 1.4" compression drivers. JMLC 200T is about 38" in diameter and is setup for 2" compression drivers, and is available with a 1.4" reducer.

I have not heard these horns.
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Old 29th August 2013, 08:51 PM   #9238
Scott L is offline Scott L  United States
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Default BMS 4592

Impressive, but to be honest I am at a loss to see the connection to
The Elephant in the Room?
Using the 4592 co-ax (anyone have experience with this unit?) in a large horn like that, with the 2 16's (Altec?) and a true dedicated subwoofer below 60Hz,
well, this looks like the Ultimate 4 way. I mean, the end all, be all !!
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Old 29th August 2013, 09:14 PM   #9239
ra7 is offline ra7  United States
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Umm... not quite. Well, not for me anyway. I have a similarly large tractrix horn and I've tried it with a BMS4592. Sure, there is extension, and yes, it is point source. But the horn still determines the dispersion. In other words, it beams like a laser in the HF, and gives unstable imaging.
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Old 29th August 2013, 10:51 PM   #9240
angeloitacare is offline angeloitacare  Brazil
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Originally Posted by ra7 View Post
But the horn still determines the dispersion. In other words, it beams like a laser in the HF, and gives unstable imaging.
I fully agree. I made the same experirence with the Orphean Horn of BD design, using the same driver, and a 34" horn.
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