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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

The Preference for Direct Radiators
The Preference for Direct Radiators
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Old 3rd December 2018, 07:05 PM   #11
Brett is offline Brett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Bateman View Post
My 'hunch' is that the much wider directivity of the Vandersteens is 'lighting up' the room in a way that the SH50s can't. Basically the Vandy's can't extract all the information in a really good recording the way that the SH50s can, but the Vandy's are also 'glossing over' the bad qualities of many recordings.
I'd still rather have my Unitys and I listen to a vast range of genres except rap and some EDM.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 07:23 PM   #12
Patrick Bateman is offline Patrick Bateman  United States
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Originally Posted by bbutterfield View Post
It would be an interesting test to copy the directivity of a waveguide speaker system using direct radiators to see if they become subjectively very similar at that point. If someone wanted to pick something (A summa?) and commit to building a variant, I could help in the design process of that variant.
As I understand it, Harman has copied the power response and used it over and over and over again.

So it gives us some interesting data; if the power response of their speakers is nearly always the same, then why do the speakers sound different?

Some data:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Infinity PFR, designed by Andrew Jones, anechoic response on tweeter axis at 50", averaged across 30° horizontal window (1996)

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Revel Ultima Salon2, designed by Kevin Voecks, anechoic response without grille on listening axis at 50", averaged across 30° horizontal window (2008)

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

JBL 1400 Array, designed by Greg Timbers, anechoic response on tweeter axis at 50", averaged across 30° horizontal window

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
JBL LSR305 polars from JBL
Click the image to open in full size.
JBL LSR305, frequency response measurement from noaudiophile.com


If you look at the JBL, Infinity and Revel measurements, going back to the 90s, a clear pattern emerges:

1) directivity control on the tweeter

2) flat frequency response

3) The flagship models often have an exaggerated bass

The performance of the $129 JBL LSR 305 is particularly astonishing; above 300hz, it's measured performance isn't much different than speakers that cost almost 100 times as much! (WTF)

Last edited by Patrick Bateman; 3rd December 2018 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 07:45 PM   #13
youngho is offline youngho  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Bateman View Post
As I understand it, Harman has copied the power response and used it over and over and over again...
1) directivity control on the tweeter
2) flat frequency response
3) The flagship models often have an exaggerated bass
(WTF)
Patrick, I don't think that's quite right.

I have attached the image from page 399 of the previous edition of Floyd Toole's Sound Reproduction. I'm virtually positive that Speaker A is the Revel Salon 2 and Speaker B is the JBL Array 1400. The bottom dotted curves show the power response. I believe that it would be accurate to say that Harman seems to aim for a similar listening window curve for their speakers. Stereophile's measurements usually include a sentence like "the broad rise in output in the upper bass will be mainly due to the nearfield measurement technique" (from Salon 2).
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Old 3rd December 2018, 07:49 PM   #14
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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The Preference for Direct Radiators
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Bateman View Post
3) The flagship models often have an exaggerated bass
Doesn't that show up when listening and make them sound bass heavy?
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Old 3rd December 2018, 07:53 PM   #15
charlie2 is offline charlie2  England
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Just out of interest has anyone done a blind comparison between revel salon /danley or a danley designed meh and Klipsch k402 as in “Chris” design
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Old 3rd December 2018, 08:00 PM   #16
mark100 is offline mark100  United States
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I think there is way too much going on, in terms of room interaction complications, to try to make a case for direct radiator preference.

A 'for instance'.... before I'd try to compare two different radiation patterns, I would want a room with an even rt60 throughout the spectrum.
And I'd want a fairly symmetrical reflection/absorption pattern spread evenly around the room.
Otherwise I'm just hearing what given room anomalies suit which particular speaker....

And even with a "perfect room" for evaluation, I still think preference would probably come down to 'what song sounds best on what system'. Horses for courses.

A Danley technique I always find fascinating...listening to a system through headphones, from a measurement mic set up at listening position...
It really helps hear what the room is doing, and the interplay with radiation patterns.
Try it with stereo, and then each side mono....often big differences..
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Old 3rd December 2018, 08:18 PM   #17
Patrick Bateman is offline Patrick Bateman  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngho View Post
Patrick, I don't think that's quite right.

I have attached the image from page 399 of the previous edition of Floyd Toole's Sound Reproduction. I'm virtually positive that Speaker A is the Revel Salon 2 and Speaker B is the JBL Array 1400. The bottom dotted curves show the power response. I believe that it would be accurate to say that Harman seems to aim for a similar listening window curve for their speakers. Stereophile's measurements usually include a sentence like "the broad rise in output in the upper bass will be mainly due to the nearfield measurement technique" (from Salon 2).
Interesting, thank you!

According to Stereophile:

"When JBL's chief systems designer, Greg Timbers—see —applied vertical horns to the design of speakers for the home, he found that they increased the three-dimensionality of the speakers' soundstaging. However, as Japanese audio critics dislike the appearance of vertical horns, the horns were arrayed horizontally in the flagship K2 models. But, as JBL's Synthesis line was designed for the US market, Timbers was free to stand the midrange horn up again: it stands atop the 1400 Array BG, though the tweeter is still loaded by a horizontal horn."

The Preference for Direct Radiators-page-399-png

You can see the effect in the measurement you posted; there's a 'blip' in the directivity index at 8khz.

If I recall correctly, the midrange compression driver in the JBL is around 2" in diameter. So that 'blip' happens as the midrange compression driver loses pattern control due to the width of the compression driver throat.


I have a hunch that the loss of "air" isn't just due to the directivity index, but may also be related to the width of the cabinet. For instance, I listened to the Summas back-to-back with the Danley SH50s, and though their directivity index differs, their baffle width is similar. The two speakers sound completely different, so clearly the crossover and cabinet construction is playing a part here too. And to clarify that comment - the "air" of the two speakers is similar, but the soundstage sounds different, and percussion sounds different. IMHO, percussion is a litmus test for phase coherent speakers. My Yamahas use FIR filters to fix the phase, and percussion is noticeably clear on them.

It's too bad I never listened to Sheldon's Unities back-to-back with my Summas; IIRC, both use the same compression driver and a similar woofer, so it might be a closer comparison than the SH50 vs Summa.

Click the image to open in full size.

Obviously, narrow cabinets have long been known to image well.

Last edited by Patrick Bateman; 3rd December 2018 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 09:58 PM   #18
kipman725 is offline kipman725  United Kingdom
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I long ago came to the conclusion that sofit mounting or in wall speakers are the way forward if you can have them.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 10:06 PM   #19
olsond3 is offline olsond3  United States
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I have read Toole and Linkwitz and lately the white paper on The Beo 90. I built some nearly omni directional speakers, some narrow baffle and wide baffle speakers for comparison. All to conclude that wide dispersion pattern speakers, or those tending towards omni pattern, bounce lots of sound off your room walls and those reflections give the listener lots of information to really precisely locate the speakers in the room. So it creates a new performance into the room. Really dead, no reverb, dual mono stuff like a few early Beatles, sounds like the performer is sitting there where the speaker is. If there is recorded ambient information, it gets mixed with and confused with the room ambient information. The Beo paper says the image exists almost on a line between the speakers for omnis. Narrow controlled dispersion speakers, however the radiation pattern is achieved, minimize room interaction and sort of open a window into the original performance space, as the recorded ambient sound can dominate. So the performance seems to be back through the window. So depending on what you are listening to, it would be great to have both wide and narrow available.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 10:17 PM   #20
mark100 is offline mark100  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kipman725 View Post
I long ago came to the conclusion that sofit mounting or in wall speakers are the way forward if you can have them.
In room,..... I strongly agree...and it seems many studios do too.

best sound of all though, is outdoors...
And another Danley technique, for finding best sound there....
generation-loss recordings ....highly recommended...
see how many recordings the speaker can survive outdoors,
then move it inside
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