SB Acoustics Satori MW16P-4 Measurements! - diyAudio
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Old 23rd December 2012, 02:42 PM   #1
gornir is offline gornir  Sweden
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Default SB Acoustics Satori MW16P-4 Measurements!

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I’ve completed the measurements for the Satori MW16P-4 mid-woofer. This is the new mid-woofer “flagship” driver from SB Acostics and is clearly targeted to compete with the very best mid-woofer drivers from e.g. ScanSpeak Revelator and Illuminator series and perhaps drivers from AudioTechnology and Accuton etc.

My tested drivers are the 4 Ohm version of the Satori mid-woofer.

For detailed measurements see: SB Acoustics “Satori” MW16P-4 Measurements!

How does it stack up against the competition?

If we first look at the price for this driver, it costs 288$ which isn’t exactly the cheapest driver out there. Here's a price comparison of similar drivers that compete in the same class:

Click the image to open in full size.

The Satori mid-woofer places it self somewhere in the middle of the price range, but to be honest it is also a slightly larger mid-woofer than the rest of the drivers on list. There aren’t many true 6.5” mid-woofers on the market today and on the list the Accuton driver is the closest match.

If we increase the size to about 7”, which is the most common size today the comparison fails a bit since with this driver size we seldom can use them up to about 3kHz, as in the case of the Satori.

If we look at the technical aspect of the Satori mid-woofer and to sum-up its key performance features, we have the following:
  • A low resonance frequency of 29Hz out of the box without any burn-in.
  • A largelinear excursion capability of +/- 6mm.
  • A very low inductance.
  • A very stiff cone without any severe cone break-ups.
  • An extreme linear and extended frequency response up to 15kHz, on-axis.
  • A low loss rubber surround with very low mechanical damping.
  • A low mechanical noise from surround at higher excursions
  • A high Qms and low Rms together with the properties of the surround, provides the possibility of a fast and dynamic bass response.
  • A very low distortion profile throughout the mid-woofers usable range.
  • A usable frequency range up to 3kHz and it allows the use of shallow sloped filters.
  • A high sensitivity of approximately 90dB 2.83V/1m
  • A low bass response from a relative small enclosure of 18-22 liters (34-35Hz @ -6dB)
  • A good consistency between the two tested driver unit samples.

Are there any cons? Yes, it has a modest spike of odd-order distortion and an elevated second-order distortion at the cone edge resonance.

I think this is an excellent top performer and worth its price compared to the competitors, but I haven’t yet subjectively listened to it in an actual loudspeaker design and I can’t tell if it is also high performer audibly, but it certainly has the potential to be a top sonic performer!

Right now I’m testing different tweeters to match the Satori and eventually there will be a “Satori Two – Monitor” design.

Merry Christmas & a Happy new Year!

/Göran
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File Type: jpg Price comp.jpg (57.2 KB, 1839 views)
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Old 27th December 2012, 04:46 PM   #2
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I missed this when you posted it, very nice performance from the Satori there, it's a shame about that small resonance, but as the driver is so linear anyway, the peak in the 3rd order doesn't reach up that high and the 2nd order peak should be inaudible.

The absolute level of 2nd order products tends not to worry me in general with respect to driver performance and I prefer to use the third order as a guide to the quality of the drivers motor. Certainly having nominal levels closer to 0.01% rather than 0.1% places it among the best. In this regard it reminds me of the B&W FST, having similarly low levels of 3rd harmonic throughout its useful range, that then varies only by a small amount when pushed.

It absolute terms the Satori is probably the best driver you've measured so far, it will be interesting to see what your subjective impressions of it are.
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Old 27th December 2012, 06:24 PM   #3
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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..yes, thank you!

-shame about the price increase. When it was first released it was less than 200 US.



(..btw, *very* nice and clean web page layout.)
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Old 27th December 2012, 06:34 PM   #4
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Originally I think SB wanted to make a statement with the Satori, very high performance but with a relatively attractive price, then the value of neo went up
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Old 27th December 2012, 06:46 PM   #5
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What i think is interesting is that the distortion profile does not change much over level.
I am working at the moment on power amps and found when the profile does not change much over level the amp sound better.
It seems to be that the ear is more sensitive to unmusical changes then in the absolute value of the distortion when it is under a certain percentage and low order.
I also like very much the low inductance over frequency of the Satori.
Inductive modulation is a very unpleasant type of distortion. It sound like "crrkk, crrk, crrk" in tact with the music. I know it because i can isolate that distortion on my Klippel.
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Old 27th December 2012, 07:20 PM   #6
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5th element View Post
Originally I think SB wanted to make a statement with the Satori, very high performance but with a relatively attractive price, then the value of neo went up
Actually the price increase was *after* neo went up in price and then down again (though not as low as before).

Personally I think they listened to Scan's marginal "Illuminator" line as their closest competitor and realized they had a better product - and therefor increased the price. (..might have had something to do with the new Wilson's as well.)
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Old 27th December 2012, 08:54 PM   #7
gornir is offline gornir  Sweden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5th element View Post
I missed this when you posted it, very nice performance from the Satori there, it's a shame about that small resonance, but as the driver is so linear anyway, the peak in the 3rd order doesn't reach up that high and the 2nd order peak should be inaudible.

The absolute level of 2nd order products tends not to worry me in general with respect to driver performance and I prefer to use the third order as a guide to the quality of the drivers motor. Certainly having nominal levels closer to 0.01% rather than 0.1% places it among the best. In this regard it reminds me of the B&W FST, having similarly low levels of 3rd harmonic throughout its useful range, that then varies only by a small amount when pushed.

It absolute terms the Satori is probably the best driver you've measured so far, it will be interesting to see what your subjective impressions of it are.
Yes, it has an incredible measurement performance. I have high hopes for this mid-woofer and I'm currently started some simulation and tweeter selection for a "Satori Two - Monitor" design.

Regards

/Göran
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Old 27th December 2012, 09:01 PM   #8
gornir is offline gornir  Sweden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottG View Post
(..btw, *very* nice and clean web page layout.)
Thanks!
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Old 20th March 2013, 03:42 PM   #9
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I can't wait for the "Satori Two - Monitor" !!! I dont doubt it will be wonderfull !!!
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Old 20th March 2013, 08:02 PM   #10
ra7 is offline ra7  United States
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Thanks for the measurements. It is absolutely brilliant that we have people reporting measurements.

I have a few questions regarding the measurements:
1. I see you are using STEPS for the measurements. Can you post your measurement setup in STEPS? I'm just curious to find out what people are using and compare it to what I use. Maybe I'll learn something.

2. Your mic position is close to the woofer, but when measuring indoors, STEPS will integrate the output over the integration time. Reflections may have an impact on the distortion result. It may be useful to look at the frequency response to see if it is smooth. I would be really happy if you could post comparable measurements taken outdoors.

3. Everyone is excited at the low distortion level. But remember that is at 1m. I find 2m to be a much better distance to judge the distortion. I'm not saying measure 2m away, just normalize for 2m. That will raise the output by 6db over the 1m level.

I typically listen at 8-10 ft away. I find small bookshelf two-ways to not have enough dynamic capability. I don't know what common average SPLs are, but let's assume 75 db at 1kHz as an average level. Good classical recordings can have more than 20db dynamic range. That means 95db on peaks. Normalize 95db at 2m back to 1m and you get 101 db. Now look at the distortion and it may be a different picture.

Lastly, low-order distortion is more difficult to hear. Keep an eye on the 5th and 6th-12th order distortion. This will not be masked as much by the fundamental, whereas the lower orders will be masked.

Last edited by ra7; 20th March 2013 at 08:05 PM.
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