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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 8th March 2013, 06:32 PM   #1521
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Soundtrackmixer, you are so right i think.
We don’t hear like a pair of microphones, when recordings sound “real” it is usually more the skill of the mix engineer than a real “captured image”.

This makes evaluation of loudspeaker difficult as one is using the ‘believability” as a major criteria and that is the sum of the flaws in all the parts including the room and using source material that you have never heard first hand.

If one was willing to set stereo aside for a moment and go with one channel, that can be telling I think.
Many people have measurement microphones now days and have sound cards that outperform the tape recordings I grew up with.

I would urge people with both to make some for fun recordings around your house. Just record the noises all around you, These sounds are the ones you are most familiar with AND organic sounds are often harder to reproduce than music (as they are not usually harmonic in nature).

Unless you compress them or clip or are noise limited, they are full dynamic range.
The down side is a measurement mic while flat in response is omni directional which your ears are not so the recording has more “room sound” than what is experienced firsthand..

With one speaker, you can hear another aspect about loudspeakers that is not measured.
Here is how it is manifested. Imagine a black curtain, behind it are two loudspeakers. You play a soft dry voice through each and you can clearly tell where each speaker is and estimate how far behind the curtain each is.

Now, you play a soft voice with short and long reverb and rolled off highs through each. Like before it is easy to tell where each is but one still sounds like it’s right behind the curtain and the other now sounds farther away in an ambiguous location behind somewhere.

I ran into this odd effect working on some speakers for work some years ago. Like the MTF’s being some kind of an indicator of resolution at the listing position, I am sure this what I called spatial identity is part of stereo imaging too. The idea being we hear with two ears and could only localize the loudspeakers physical depth IF what was reaching each ear was enough different (a complex radiation pattern).

Two identical signals (like a single source in the distance or simulated by two identical equidistant sources)“sound like” straight ahead somewhere mono phantom (or floating in your head not having the clues your outer ears normally provide). When auditioned outdoors (no room) , when the loudspeakers depth location is easily localizable by ear, it is more likely to present a mono phantom as a right and left source with an image in the middle. When the speaker is less localizable in depth, it is less likely to be audible as a right and left source which can make the mono phantom image stronger.

Best,
Tom Danley
Danley Sound Labs
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Old 8th March 2013, 09:16 PM   #1522
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Tom's spatial identity is something that becomes dominant when the system overall is working well, even mono recordings lose all connection with the reproducing speakers and develop a great sense of depth, if the cues were picked up by the microphones.

At an optimum level it becomes impossible to localise the speakers in a directional or depth sense, even if you move up to and deliberately try to "hear" the speakers working ...

Frank
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Old 8th March 2013, 09:30 PM   #1523
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fas42,
I think you just described a pulsating sphere.... I have never seen a speaker that did not give some clues as to position if I walked up to it if it was a full range device. Even on omni speaker is going to have a source component to the sound. Perhaps outdoors from a distance you could achieve something like that.
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Old 8th March 2013, 09:42 PM   #1524
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This is a behaviour that can only occur if the sound is very, very clean. And possibly it will depend on how an individual's hearing apparatus is wired up inside, I haven't done any "rigorous testing" of such. I know it happens for me, and so I've made it the goal line when I working on improving a system.

As far as I can tell, what's happening is that the direct sound from the drivers, and reflected acoustic information in the room is sufficient to override the remaining acoustic clues that the driver is the source -- the brain is "convinced" that the sound is coming from where the illusion has "projected" it ...

Frank
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Old 8th March 2013, 10:10 PM   #1525
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Yeah, I've heard it on very clean horn systems. It's spooky - doesn't make sense.
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Old 8th March 2013, 10:25 PM   #1526
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Pano,
You are saying that while walking up to or around the horn with full range output you could not identify the position of the horn? Frank said he could walk around the device or up to it and not tell where it was.......
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Old 8th March 2013, 10:40 PM   #1527
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I could walk up to and around the whole speaker without the sound coming from the speaker at all. It was uncanny. Not 360 deg, but a fair amount. First time I heard it was a wooden Iwata horn on an Onken bass bin (don't remember the tweeter). It's one of those strange events you don't forget. The sound just didn't stick to the speaker at all. It always sounded like it was somewhere else. Have heard it since, but it's rare.
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Old 8th March 2013, 10:46 PM   #1528
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So Pano,
You are saying that a directional device, a horn lens was actually omnidirectional in its polar response. Sounds like a it was not directional at all, something smells funny here when you say that, if it doesn't follow any rules of a waveguide to begin with.
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Old 8th March 2013, 10:47 PM   #1529
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I didn't say that, did I?
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Old 8th March 2013, 10:54 PM   #1530
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That is what I would have to infer from what you are saying, that you could not localize the horn, I would love to see that......

Seriously, and not being hard on you or anything but to have the image not connected to the horn or compression driver and floating somewhere in space not attached to the horn and driver.

Last edited by Kindhornman; 8th March 2013 at 10:56 PM.
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