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Depth of soundstage - controlled directivity or in-wall?
Depth of soundstage - controlled directivity or in-wall?
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Old 25th June 2018, 12:19 PM   #1
stretchneck is offline stretchneck  United Kingdom
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Default Depth of soundstage - controlled directivity or in-wall?

So, listened to an LX Mini correctly placed in a room and the soundstage depth was huge compared to my existing DIY transmission lines in the same position.

I understand the basics as to why the LX Mini (and other dipoles I assume) and cardioid speakers (such as Kii Three) with controlled directivity will provide a good depth of soundstage. BUT...

I only have a small room, so wouldn't in-wall speakers be technically superior to an LX Mini or Kii three because there would be no reflections from behind the speaker? Assuming all other factors remained the same (as per this article)

Do I need to keep researching freestanding speakers such as the LX Mini / Kii Three, or is in-wall the solution?

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Old 25th June 2018, 12:55 PM   #2
krivium is offline krivium  France
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Hi,
controlled directivity AND inwall!

In wall speakers solve issues in the low end (there is no backwave to mess the low end), improve the headroom or max spl for the low frequency (depend the way you look at it, you can expect up to +6db shelving from around 200hz), make the diffraction issues more or less vanishing (depend on implementation). There is even much more benefits to be in wall if the room is on the small side and could help to deal with early reflection too.

It could be implemented using a waveguide a la seos and you'll have a constant directivity inwall.But you may not play with toe in... Except if you go with some corner position (a la Pi speaker) and make the cabinet to integrate into the corner.

That being said there is a difference related to Early Reflection and the projected 'image' the system will render:
some like the feeling of 'enveloppement' that Early reflection can bring, other prefer the pinpoint imaging the lack of them or the tentative to make them to be as unobstrusive as possible bring.

I'm on the second camp and ideally prefer an RFZ (and this is not a theorical point of view as i already heard multiple application of RFZ as well as inwall installation in studios).
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Old 25th June 2018, 01:22 PM   #3
stretchneck is offline stretchneck  United Kingdom
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Thanks Krivium - this is what I was thinking too. Constant directivity inwall might be great for my small room.

Of course plenty of reviews of Linkwitz designs, but I haven't found reference to anyone saying that the soundstage from in wall speakers has good depth... anyone out there?

I have tried other speakers, such as Audio Note AN-J in corner placement, and soundstage depth did not approach that of the Linkwitz LX Mini. I guess I could always go and find a place to demo some in-wall speakers and post my findings here.
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Old 25th June 2018, 01:43 PM   #4
krivium is offline krivium  France
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Quote:
soundstage depth did not approach that of the Linkwitz LX Mini.
You may be in the first camp i described: 'soundstage depth' may be interpreted diferently.

I do enjoy listening to what is recorded in the media. Soundstage depth is dependent on the recorded material, not of what the room where it is played bring (positive or negative).

About corner placement not all system accept this without correction as you probably already know. You'll enhance low end in doing such thing and this may mess the whole frequency range and so rendering of image including 'soundstage'.
Was this compensated when you listened to this?
There is some interesting paper from W. Payrham about his own implementatio and philosophy about that.
They are located at Pispeaker site maybe this could be an interesting read for you.

Quote:
but I haven't found reference to anyone saying that the soundstage from in wall speakers has good depth... anyone out there?
Well most big recording studio do use MAIN inwall monitor for good reasons.
Reason not nescessarely related to soundstage but if you consider that diffraction can mess things then maybe...

There is difference between domestic and studio situation but soundstage won't suffer from inwall mounting i can guaranty you.

Controlled Image Design: The management of stereophonic image quality - BBC R&D

Last edited by krivium; 25th June 2018 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 25th June 2018, 02:07 PM   #5
Juhazi is offline Juhazi  Finland
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I must give a second opinion here!

LX mini is omni in bass and sort of dipole above xo, cardioid in-between. The depth of soundstage is very much based on the omni/dipole radiation - specially backwards to create lots of late reflections that are responsible of the "deep soundstage". To be really good radiation pattern and power response must be harmonous, which is the difficult task.

Purely monopole (inwall) or sort of omni (cardioid) have totally different radiation pattern and thus give different reflections and sound image in a room. Which is better, depends on the listener and perhaps on the music - classical is typically happiest with dipoles and omnis.
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Old 25th June 2018, 02:27 PM   #6
stretchneck is offline stretchneck  United Kingdom
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Thanks Juhazi - you're comments also make sense. I had wondered if the late reflections from the LX Mini where contributing to the "deep soundstage".

Would other dipoles provide similar depth of soundstage? I include the AINO Gradient in this question.

I think I need to demo some in-wall speakers.

p.s. we did not spend a great deal of time optimizing the AN-J for soundstage, however the LX mini had the same time spend on setup - we just followed the basic rules - and the soundstage was large in all directions, but it was depth of soundstage that I have never experienced before.
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Old 25th June 2018, 02:36 PM   #7
krivium is offline krivium  France
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Ok you should define what depth mean to you.
In the link i gave about CID acoustic there is an evaluation done by engineers and this is interesting in that it define what subjective terms means to the evaluation.
This relate to what i think about being "depth" in a system rendering.

Juahzi comment does make sense because we both say same things! Just we have different personnal preference in what we like.
I do consider that relying in Early Reflection to introduce a sense of space is an artifact in the playback chain. As the use of an eq for a loudness kind of effect could be.
However i do understand this is something one may prefer for his own personal preference.

Last edited by krivium; 25th June 2018 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 25th June 2018, 05:43 PM   #8
bwaslo is offline bwaslo  United States
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Depth of soundstage - controlled directivity or in-wall?
I agree with Juhazi, I think the late reflections are what make the depth illusion with a dipole. If you can get those late reflections to come from behind you (one way is controlled directivity waveguides angled to direct a large part of the energy past you and off the wall behind you) you can get a pretty good illusion that way, too, which also seems to move your listening position into the apparent depth (rather than it all being in front of as if you're just listening through a doorway).
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Old 25th June 2018, 06:00 PM   #9
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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I agree with Juhazi too. I don't get what bwaslo is saying about late reflections from the back wall though?
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Old 25th June 2018, 06:55 PM   #10
bwaslo is offline bwaslo  United States
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Depth of soundstage - controlled directivity or in-wall?
Just that reflections from the back wall both help the illusion of depth and the illusion that you're in the same room the music is being played in (not like you're on the stage, but not outside an open door either). Hearing is pretty well adapted to hearing direction and sensing the area around you, good evolutionary reasons for developing that (as opposed to audiophile darling parameters such as small phase response, whatever cable lifters are supposed to do, etc.).
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