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Old 6th September 2013, 06:22 AM   #21
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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Originally Posted by peteleoni View Post
Scott than you very much for that frame of reference. FWIW I am a mixing and mastering guy. Therefore I know that the very best direct radiating speakers that I use daily are in no way competitive with horn loaded speakers and they never will be. Too much dynamic compression or too many divers spaced too far. What do I think is almost the perfect speaker? The Khorn of course. If the KHorn exhibits the problems you have outlined for the Synergy then to me they are not problems at all. Here are the real tangible problems of the KHorn: Somewhat ragged FR due to cross from woof to mid, it's *not* a point source, some throat coloration in the mid. If the Khorn and Synergy horn have the same problems you listed in common, but the Synergy horn solves the problems I have listed for the Khorn without adding new ones, game over because I believe the Khorn warts and all, is still at the pinnacle of approaching realism even today. Fix the issues I have listed' All else is probably all academic. I wonder if the Synergy or Unity horn does exactly that, because if it does that and leaves only the other smaller issues and directivity "problems" of a Khorn, well..................
Your welcome! (..as always - treat my ramblings as worth a "grain of salt". )


Yup, the same problems will be present for the khorn. Of course you aren't going to get the virtues of good horn design with a traditional either.

..and the Synergy has virtues you aren't going to find in other designs. Plus, Tom has several designs - some may prove to be more preferable (to you) than others. Also, consider the wider designs oriented vertically - some really liked a JBL model that did this a couple of years ago, and that didn't have the superior attributes of the Synergy.


If you prefer DIY then have a look at this:

DIY Synergy horn

or perhaps drool at the newer planed project:

Red Spade Audio: Something very cool is coming ...

Of course both are Unity-types, not having the woofers - but then again in the small room context (at least as far as limiting dispersion is concerned), any benefit is largely "lost" by the room's interaction. In that respect the k-horn can be better (by coupling to the room's corners).



Or, maybe you should ask Pano. for a visit?


I'm mean, why does it have to be either or?



Though again - there are flaws in any design (some minor, some not).. (..and that's not even taking about the format itself.. )
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Old 6th September 2013, 06:40 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Tom Danley View Post
Gainphile, the directivity needed for larger room is only possible with large size in fact we make much larger speakers than the SH-50 plot shown here (which has a 28 inch square mouth).

Tom
I'm fully aware of that and with the chosen "horn" topology it's a given.

But there are other ways to obtain directivity control, like cardioids or dipole which have smaller footprint.
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Old 6th September 2013, 11:51 AM   #23
JLH is offline JLH  United States
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Originally Posted by ScottG View Post
Caveat: this is entirely limited to what I've seen measured, and certainly doesn't characterize all (or perhaps even most) of Tom's extensive line of Synergy's..

1. As mentioned - the most obvious is the not great freq. linearity - and not only on-axis, but any given axis. From what I remember deviations are "coarse" when compared to more uniform designs (that are within +/-1.5 db), particularly in the upper mid and lower treble where only .5db deviations are easily audible.
I have no idea what kind of bionic ears you have, but even +/- 1dB is not audiable to the vast majority of people. Look up the definition for a dB in regards to the audibility threshold.



Quote:
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2. The directivity isn't "uniform".
Direct radiators have a narrowing of directivity as frequency increases. That's not uniform either. I guess direct radiators get a free pass.


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Originally Posted by ScottG View Post
3. The design relies on compression.
Compressing the polar response (or increased directivity by means of a bounding waveguide) as freq.s increase usually generates two subjective artifacts: reproduced sources or "images" usually move forward and venue effects tend to become less pronounced (relative to those images). The former isn't necessarily something that is "bad", in fact it can be "good". If most images are "pushed into your lap" it's certainly bad, but in the case of comparison with the lower freq. compression, (driver not polar), found in many traditional loudspeakers (that ONLY push lower freq. images forward - like drum kits), the result *may* be better - by maintaining a better depth distance between lower freq. images and upper freq. images. I'm guessing that Tom's designs are in this case "good" - even if somewhat forward overall, and as a matter of preference may be "better" (in that some prefer a closer "auditory scene"). However.. a reduction in venue effects relative to images as they relate to upper freq. effects almost always occurs to some degree (..literally in this case). Additionally, it's not uncommon to have a reduction in lateral image placement (or horizontal image "squashing" - as if sources moved closer together laterally). Typically however this is compensated for by moving the speakers further apart, but this has a further negative effect of lowering the impression of lateral venue effects. (i.e the images have a wider spacing between them, but the venue's side-walls become less apparent and often move closer together). Of course most of this does NOT apply with ambiophonics - where the synergy's would be moved very close together with some minor "toe-out". Additionally Tom has some wider dispersion designs that would likely have less of an effect (..though as a practical matter the wider the better - but with a 110-120 deg. horizontal waveguide often being sufficient enough).



Driver compression is another issue. Driver compression is complex and the subjective results aren't altogether predictable. However, it's often the case that the field of depth is reduced (images moving closer together in the depth plane), and the venue's front wall (or rear depending on your perspective) - also moving forward - further foreshortening the perception of depth. Just the use of a particular (size & construction) compression driver (AND its age and prior use), can make a rather large difference in the overall presentation. This really is a sort of "black art", BUT chances are very high that any of the Synergy's are not providing quite as much depth as they other-wise might with a *very* cherry-picked selection of compression driver, and by comparison less depth to a good traditional design. (..ask Pano more about this..) And that's just the compression driver - then there are the other drivers and their loading (both frontal and enclosure). Ex. closed-back (traditional) drivers *tend* to have exactly this sort of problem (reduced depth perspective), specifically as you go lower in freq.. Of course you can have this problem in even objectively excellent traditional designs - Ex. many of the Revel loudspeakers (that I've auditioned over the years) have this problem, not *badly* - but not particularly good either. Paradigm - dido. Any overstuffed cabinet on a diy design - dido. (..all pretty much relating to mechanical compliance inhibiting movement at exceedingly low excursions, which is ironic when you consider that a smaller rear chamber for the driver increases the value of Qms. )
Compression provides higher sensitivity and dynamics and a well defined coverage area. It also translates into lower individual driver power compression due to less power being need to achieve the same level SPL.

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Originally Posted by ScottG View Post
While there are many other areas I could also write about.. I'll leave it with these "3".

I don't know for sure, but from the way you write about the Synergy horn design it appears you have never listened to one before. Your "issues" with the design in regards to the actual listening experience and their real world results are completely disproportioned. Every speaker makes compromises. However you appear to be extreme in your assessment of those compromises. My Grandfather had a saying for instances like this. He would say, "That's like trying to pick fly sh!t out of pepper". Your nitpicking comes off as if you have an axe to grind. This is very reminiscent of the kind of response Tom got way back when he first presented the Unity horn concept. Those that had an open mind and a thirst for advancement and innovation stayed and learned a lot. The things you try to point out as issues are well managed in the Synergy horn and insignificant when it comes to actually listening to them.
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Old 6th September 2013, 02:49 PM   #24
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Hi Scott, all
Scott, I don’t think you understand what’s going on in the Synergy horn and clearly you have not heard them. What one hears at the LP is both the direct sound and the reflected sound, if you measure a point source direct radiator side by side with a synergy horn at the LP, one sees the direct radiator may measure + - 10-15dB or more variation where you listen while a Large synergy horn is more like + - 3 or 4dB.
If you measure the ETC of the two systems in the same locations within the room, one sees a much larger amount of late energy from reflections from the direct radiator as well.

Your assertion about in pattern deviations is not correct, in the map plot I included, the “Red” zone the response variation is within + - 1.5dB (and was measured at 7 meters) while the SPL at say 90 degrees off axis is -21 dB or more all the way down to about 800 Hz (the white part of the plot) .

Thus with such a large portion of the total energy contained by constant directivity, the reverberant field has essentially the same spectrum as the on axis sound and the level out of pattern greatly suppressed which produces an unusually large direct field which in stereo helps preserve the stereo image in the recording.

You assertion in 3 is also incorrect, by having all the sources radiate as if they were a single driver at the apex, there is much less spatial identity form the loudspeaker itself, the result is that the location in physical depth is much less pronounced, that is to say, it is harder to hear the loudspeakers depth and instead it sounds like what the recording sounds like (dry or reverberant etc).
In stereo this is most pronounced when you produce a mono signal because you hear a strong mono phantom but do not hear the right and left source that produces the sound. Loudspeakers with multiple drivers usually radiate an interference pattern and so with a mono signal, one hears a phantom image plus the right and left source. While this aspect is not measurable, it is quite audible and sadly, like a great deal of the rest of your speculation, something you would need to hear to firsthand.

Short of hearing them, your best bet to get the effect is a small / good full range driver mounted on a large flat baffle, over much of the range, these also radiate like a simple source. They would have much more room effects / smaller direct field so listening in the near field is how to reduce that problem.
That close listing distance relative to reflections is the point of using small point source speakers on the mix bridge in recording studios.
If you wish to maximally preserve the recorded stereo image you DO NOT want reflected sound from the walls etc, you cannot preserve the recorded information by adding reflected sound related to your room, you do not want to provide multiple arrivals generated by the loudspeakers (or multiple arrivals from multiple drivers in different locations).
You mention Pano who has heard the SH-50’s (albeit a larger situation than a living room), perhaps he can comment on all the flaws you outlined relative to what he heard from them.
Best,
Tom
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Old 6th September 2013, 04:01 PM   #25
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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Originally Posted by JLH View Post
I have no idea what kind of bionic ears you have, but even +/- 1dB is not audiable to the vast majority of people. Look up the definition for a dB in regards to the audibility threshold.





Direct radiators have a narrowing of directivity as frequency increases. That's not uniform either. I guess direct radiators get a free pass.




Compression provides higher sensitivity and dynamics and a well defined coverage area. It also translates into lower individual driver power compression due to less power being need to achieve the same level SPL.




I don't know for sure, but from the way you write about the Synergy horn design it appears you have never listened to one before. Your "issues" with the design in regards to the actual listening experience and their real world results are completely disproportioned. Every speaker makes compromises. However you appear to be extreme in your assessment of those compromises. My Grandfather had a saying for instances like this. He would say, "That's like trying to pick fly sh!t out of pepper". Your nitpicking comes off as if you have an axe to grind. This is very reminiscent of the kind of response Tom got way back when he first presented the Unity horn concept. Those that had an open mind and a thirst for advancement and innovation stayed and learned a lot. The things you try to point out as issues are well managed in the Synergy horn and insignificant when it comes to actually listening to them.
I've no axe to grind.. and nitpicking was actually ASKED FOR. i.e. "NO drawbacks or issues."

In fact I even tried to start and end (with my first post), with a positive comment DESPITE what was asked for. Plus, I really didn't want to spend the time writing anything more - but was asked to do so.

Finally I even applied caveats.


As for the rest - it's not worth the time to respond..
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Old 6th September 2013, 04:42 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by JLH View Post
I have no idea what kind of bionic ears you have, but even +/- 1dB is not audiable to the vast majority of people. Look up the definition for a dB in regards to the audibility threshold.

I do not know about you or others but i can easily gear 0.1dB
As can most others when demonstrated correctly.
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Old 6th September 2013, 04:45 PM   #27
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I do not think these are the best possible horns.
I do think they are among the best to date.

Tom, you do hope to improve them one day don't you?
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Old 6th September 2013, 04:54 PM   #28
ra7 is offline ra7  United States
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People probably don't realize the scale of achievement in Tom's design. Horns and horn technology is pretty old. To develop something unique and new in this field is to be applauded.

myhrrhleine,
I've read literature stating broad, very broad peaks of 0.5 db can be heard. 0.1 db? Not so sure. Besides, please tell us which speakers you have that are more linear than Tom's design and your measurement gear and measurement technique that allows you verify that response has been changed by 0.1 db.

Finally, what according to you are the best possible horns?

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Old 6th September 2013, 05:30 PM   #29
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The “just noticeable” change in level one can detect in auditory testing for many is about 1dB or a little less under ideal conditions, for most people it’s more like 2dB.

In any case, this is nearly irrelevant since a detectable change in loudness is not a measure of what variation in frequency response amplitude is detectable with a broad band signal, It also ignores the fact that where one listens in room, the raw response can easily be altered by + - 10 or 15 or more dB .

A 20 or even 30dB alteration in response at the LP doesn’t stop people from listening to those systems, it is the only reference most have.
Those variations are what people live with, not how a loudspeaker measures at 1 meter. If you have any doubt, please measure your loudspeakers response from the listening position and evaluate how much it has changed.

Here is where directivity is a huge advantage, what arrives at the LP is much more like the original than a wide dispersion loudspeaker.

We also hear “time” related effects, the amount of late energy that arrives after the direct sound is much larger in the wide dispersion loudspeaker in room AND unless one has DSP correction of time, all traditional crossovers spread out a single impulse in time, delaying the lower part by 90 degrees times the order once past a first order.

The Synergy design on the other hand preserves time, an SH-50 can reproduce a square wave over more than a decade wide bandwidth without any DSP correction, spanning both crossover points.
The latter aspect is why there are people that prefer a single full range driver over a multiway system even including the other limitations of the single driver.

The Synergy horn is a way to create a powerful source that acts like a single driver in time and space while providing the directivity recognized as needed in large scale sound..In a living room, that directivity produces a much flatter response at the LP than the wide dispersion speaker and has much less “late” energy from reflected sound.
Tom
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Old 6th September 2013, 06:11 PM   #30
freddi is offline freddi  United States
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from what I could tell with the Unity mid-high section, the concept applied correctly sounds more coherent than most - maybe all single drivers
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