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Old 1st June 2010, 11:27 PM   #91
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Well speaking from practical experience I think the answer to does it matter is a yes and no. The discussion seems to be diverging into two dogmatic views that mostly seem to be based on theory. My experience tells me that it depends. It depends on the listening environment, and how tolerant you are of beaming. Quad 53's in my room I could not tolerate because of strong beaming of the trebles. My current ESL's do beam, but no where near as bad as the Quads, and I find they are a very acceptable compromise. The beaming doesn't bother me much at all, so with these ESL's it doesn't really matter. It is all about making compromises because nothing will ever be perfect.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 12:51 AM   #92
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It should be obvious: beaming just doesn't matter when you are in the beam, eh.

People do not experience beaming. They experience loudness.

If a system whether ESL, constant directivity, horns in an anechoic chamber, whatever, produces rising treble at your ears, it is experienced as too much treble. If you are a person with a bit of engineering training, you might call it "beaming" because you read about it in an engineering textbook. But beaming is not a perceptual experience. If you don't understand that, you need to find a textbook of elementary human perception.

You'd be mistaken in thinking so some of the time. There's no way your ears can tell beaming from any other perturbation of tones while sitting still and enjoying the music or for that matter, with any sort of test tones and analytic listening, with your head in one spot (and anybody who has tested a music room with a mic, knows that all bets are off when you move a mic or a head a few inches). And that's, once again, my point. If you set up your system with final results melding the speaker, the room, and how you point stuff towards your sitting position, that's all you know... loudness.

In some rooms and with the best set-ups, constant directivity would be a disaster. In other rooms, beaming would be.
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Last edited by bentoronto; 2nd June 2010 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 02:14 AM   #93
Loren42 is offline Loren42  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentoronto View Post
It should be obvious: beaming just doesn't matter when you are in the beam, eh.

People do not experience beaming. They experience loudness.
People experience the effects of beaming.

They also experience time and phase when you include the room with the mix; you receive both incidental waves as well as direct on axis response.

The total sum includes multiple sources of different amplitudes and different times of arrival of the wave to the listener.

When a loudspeaker beams it directivity changes over frequency and so does the sum of the on-axis and off-axis incidental power response.

Having constant directivity throughout the spectrum just makes it easier to integrate the loudspeakers to the room or adjust and correct room deficiencies.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 12:46 PM   #94
doug20 is offline doug20  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentoronto View Post
It should be obvious: beaming just doesn't matter when you are in the beam, eh.

People do not experience beaming. They experience loudness.

They actually experience bad power response but since they know nothing different they think it sounds fine.
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Old 4th June 2010, 07:46 PM   #95
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In Holland there is a famous home designer called Jan des Bouvrie. My wife bought one of his books some time ago. In this book there are photos of several living rooms; one photo shows the situation before, the other after the re-design of Jan des Bouvrie. So you will see new curtains, furniture (less than before ofcourse) Several times you will see some big bold (but presumeably high quality) boxes being replaced by some very small fancy speakers, preferably placed at either sides of a flat screen TV. The message to all women reading those magazines is clear: (very) big speakes do not belong in a popular, modern room. Now talk about 1,5 m high esls (or longer) with serious room (at least 1 meter) behind them, so even worse than the speakers removed by Jan des Bouvrie...........good luck!
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Old 4th June 2010, 11:34 PM   #96
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Ha Ha, my point exactly.
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Old 5th June 2010, 12:38 AM   #97
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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i have been saying for a long time that the WAf problem is a "macho" thing among men. Men seem to have this need to have big ugly speakers VISIBLE!! There is simply no reason for that. My speakers have not been visible for more than a decade and I have no problems with WAF as long as that is the case. This whole issue is clear evidence of that fact that few audiophiles buy speakers because of how they sound - if that weren't the case then hiding them would not be an issue.
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Old 8th June 2010, 01:21 AM   #98
kevinh is offline kevinh  United States
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Electrostatics are difficult to get right, almost impossible to do as diy and get good results. In order to do them right and avoid the big problems beaming and good dynamic range, you need to make them segmented, break up the LF resonance modes of the panels and you need a LOT of radiating area.

The Sound Labs are by far the best electrostatic I have heard. Here is a link to some of their technical principles:

Sound Lab Technology: Advanced electrostatic technologies in our speakers


The larger panels have over >3000 sq in of radiating area each. Some users have 4 panels of this size. They also need a good deal of voltage. OTL Amps like the Atma Spheres tend to work best. In the case of the SOund LAbs it is a capacitive load the impedance can go up to 50 ohms at the low freq and <4 ohms at HF.

So Electrostats can sound great, but not for DIY. Earl has a great solution for DIY folks with his Abby kits.
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Old 8th June 2010, 02:04 AM   #99
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinh View Post
So Electrostats can sound great, but not for DIY. Earl has a great solution for DIY folks with his Abby kits.
I've heard many different electrostats as well and I went the route I went not because it was cheaper or easier, but because it right. I would put my speakers up agaisnt any electrostats. Where electrostats excel the waveguides are as good, but where mine excel the electrostats just can't do it - high levels with high dynamics (and cost!!).
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Old 8th June 2010, 03:00 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by gedlee View Post
I've heard many different electrostats as well and I went the route I went not because it was cheaper or easier, but because it right. I would put my speakers up agaisnt any electrostats. Where electrostats excel the waveguides are as good, but where mine excel the electrostats just can't do it - high levels with high dynamics (and cost!!).
It is not uncommon to hear that kind of praise - in reverse if not in specific features - from ESL owners. I am not exactly sure what it is that I and many ESL devotees find so compelling about them (clarity, precision, cleanliness, purity....???) and despite their practical shortcomings. But my guess is that few fans willingly or gladly take the road back.

I suppose there are high-performance cone speakers, just as there's a high-performance Chevrolet called the Corvette. But as a former Lotus owner and ESL fan, I can only shake my head puzzled at the lure of Corvettes, let alone Chevrolets.
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