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About Newman

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    Newman speaks


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    Adelaide SA
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  1. The new Nikon D750

    I predicted the above post... I gave you 24 hours...
  2. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    Psychoacoustics and the general psychology of perception. Think of it as an overlay. Blind listening preferences for one speaker over another (usually based on, not so much on what type of speaker it is, but how balanced, smooth and extended its axial response is that reaches the ear plus how tonally consistent is the off axis sound that is reflected off the walls and reaches the ear) establishes a solid grounding of facts about how we are responding to the sound waves themselves from a speaker. Then overlay this with a 'crazy man' layer that is unique for every individual and we think is rational but is irrational and subconscious, and convinces us that we are hearing attributes of incoming sound waves when in fact hidden biases are at play in unknowable combinations and effect. Some of these are simple and make sense, like being influenced (knowingly or unknowingly) by the writings of a favourite audio writer. Some biases are well known to marketing students, like being larger, heavier, shinier, deluxe appearance, simpler, traditional, brand names, latest tech, etc. (Or the exact opposite biases for a minority - you can't predict for one individual). And some are utterly utterly personal from some deep shiiite and we won't go there okay? Not to mention the good old mood. Stir well and out pops the sum total of this overlay -- which might stay the same for years or might be different tomorrow morning. And yes, the overlay will routinely dictate the overall sighted listening preference.
  3. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    Hi SSZ, your second dot, my understanding is that modern audio research uses a standardized room, possibly BS.1116 spec. This spec is meant to be 'real world', both the size and proportions and treatment are meant to be not unlike a good home listening situation with carpets and curtains and reasonably well furnished. That is why it is recommended for mastering rooms, not just for audio research, the intent being to be relevant to the home experience. A room at one's home with hard floor and minimal soft furnishings is basically a really poor room for audio -- and picking speakers that sound 'least worst' in it is not a high-performance pursuit. Your third dot, they have tested rigorously for this and the truth is that a single speaker allows much greater discernment and ability to identify the pros and cons of a speaker. It doesn't change which one they prefer but it makes it much easier to pick the differences. Experimentally, it reduces the error estimate. In two channel the speakers are harder to assess. In multi channel harder still. Again, our intuition wants to object based on stereo-specific attributes like imaging being ignored, but they actually don't change the results just muddy them. Your first dot point I can't recall and needs researching that I can't do right now. Apologies.
  4. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    @frankn I don't doubt it. The question was once openly asked here but the discussion was muddling. And I am a personal friend to a senior, bleeding-edge commercial horn loudspeaker designer, whose home speakers are Quads, and have been for many years. I am at the point where I don't see these examples as relevant endorsements of any particular products or speaker types, but I do see them as evidence of the power of the sighted listening illusion, how unique and personal it is for each of us, how we can't escape it and need to pay attention to it in making our choices, and how we need to completely disregard the choices (and proclamations/ discoveries/ epiphanies) others make based on sighted listening as irrelevant to anyone but themselves as individuals. Personally I would prefer that it didn't happen (panel speakers turning up in mastering rooms), and that there was better standardization of the recording process (and equipment performance parameters) so that audio's circle of confusion wasn't so badly broken. I don't mind if speakers with unconventional attributes (certain Yamaha monitors come to mind) turn up in control rooms, where engineers often need to forensically delve into certain sonic events while putting a mix together. That's different to putting them in the mastering room where they present the final totality of the finished product. cheers
  5. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    Hyper detail is almost invariably the result of an unbalanced frequency response. Nothing to do with innate material or design properties. It's a flaw. A well balanced speaker has a correct amount of detail. It is not a scale that runs to infinity where infinite detail is perfection. Well done SSZ, you seem to know me! Steve's claim in bold above has actually been tested by Sean Olive and found to be nothing more than a sighted listening illusion. The same people who rate electrostatic as more preferred than boxes when sighted, rate it less preferred when blind. Surely that is instructive! The challenge for us, when presented with test results like the above, is to not get all defensive and try to invalidate the test, purely because it contradicts our sighted listening impressions -- which are so definitive that they can't possibly be wrong, right?
  6. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    Hi Frank, I think I covered the topic of unguided domes in the edited version of my post to you. More and more domestic boxes are getting the shallow treble waveguide treatment. The answer is the same as any equipment survey: there are plenty of bad ones that are bad, and the good ones are good, and yes they are available. Revel, for example, would be low-hanging fruit.
  7. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    I like Roger and his mindset about audio, and have read his material and his 'audio story' about how he came to form his views. But if one of his views completely contradicts the best available objective listening test results, I don't have much difficulty in going with the best test method. Also worth considering that Roger formed his views in the days when box speakers would have had more issues with directivity than an open baffle panel. In fact the audio research on directivity is probably more scathingly critical of how bad most box speakers are.
  8. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    Hi again, the Quad response I posted above would not be competitive with this speaker's directivity index (and explanation of 'how to read the graphs'). It's a pity the graphs, yours and mine and the linked graph, are all in different graphical presentations, but it is the same measure that is being graphed. Edit: I see you said 'cone', and the example I posted is a waveguided diaphragm. I agree: we aren't going to get it too great with a pure dome on a baffle. The trouble with a dome on a baffle is not too narrow (like a panel) but too wide a beam; that is why they are best with a guide. The below is for the little speakers you saw but didn't hear at my place. They have a 5" cone and a very flat waveguide on the dome, still not exactly what you asked. Curve 5 is the relevant one, and curve 6 needs to be close. cheers
  9. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    I hope it isn't patronising. You wrote as though it was third parties, not yourself, who could, and have in the past, argued that beaming is a desirable thing. I was responding to the idea that the internet (and audio scribes) are in favour of beaming. A lot of audio opinion comes from people following the standard audio analysis method: uncontrolled listening (which doesn't work, and which audio scribes love) leading to absolute conviction about something that isn't true, then coming up with a logical, rational-sounding argument why it is true (post-rationalisation). BTW I am specifically referring to the quality of panels where their beamwidth typically narrows dramatically as frequencies rise. Not necessarily to a speaker with a consistent but narrow beamwidth. I took your comment to be a specific response to the beaming that I was describing. If you meant consistent but narrow beamwidth, then I would comment differently. For example a 360 degree omni speaker is not all that good, so a specific amount of narrowness of beam is definitely desirable. The point is, there are requirements on beam pattern vs frequency that need to be met for a speaker to be very highly preferred in controlled listening tests. Reading on the internet that there are arguments to the contrary.... just doesn't deserve a high weighting. Sorry about giving you the wrong impression. I hope this follow-up is helpful and less patronising. Sometimes I write in shorthand, because the above is a lot to write as a preface to every claim that audiophiles make, or refer to others having made. There are so many!
  10. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    As you can see in my post above, the Quads do not. The 505's 35mm middle segment is too wide and if that is indicative of the other segments then it is not going to look good if anyone ever measures one.
  11. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    Thanks for the objective data, Frank, however, I wouldn't call it very good. Plotted another way shows what I mean: link cheers
  12. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    It wasn't meant to be a subjective term -- in fact it isn't. It is a highly objective term because directivity is an objectively defined, measurable parameter. What I think you meant to say is that I failed to precisely quantify the amount of beaming that means a speaker is entering the zone of 'less preferred', which would be an excessive amount. That is because it is not describable in a few handy words, better using graphs to compare speakers and talk about zones. To which I refer the reader to Toole. People who argue it's a good thing are basically out of their depth and not up with the science of what sonic performance is preferred with a very high confidence level.
  13. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    I appreciate you providing a rational argument, although incorrect in this case. Toole and others have shown that, above the bass frequencies, well designed forward firing loudspeakers can be made with sufficiently constant directivity to meet the perceptual needs of listeners for a reasonably consistent reflected sound with the direct sound from the loudspeakers. And in the bass frequencies, where you correctly described forward firing loudspeakers as becoming effectively omnidirectional, we do not have the same perceptual requirement. Therefore, many forward firing cone type loudspeakers are available that meet the requirements that you described to the degree that listeners actually require. However, the same cannot be said of large panel dipoles. The large panel dipoles that are most popular and therefore the subject of discussion, generally start beaming excessively and narrow in beam width as frequencies rise. And therefore their reflected sound components fail to meet the requirement of being sufficiently close in frequency response / tonal balance to the direct sound. So the reality is the opposite of your claim, concerning panel vs front-firing speakers.
  14. Panels vs Dynamic (cone) Speakers

    The other 'no brainer' (to use language you must understand but I wouldn't choose to use with someone who hadn't just used it on me) is that the 'speed' or 'transient responsiveness' or 'quick acceleration' of a driver only has to be sufficient for the frequencies it is reproducing, and any further 'speed' increases serve no purpose. And any decently designed multi-way cone-and-dome type speaker fully meets the acceleration requirements, so there is no issue in that realm, and attention turns to other factors like maximum SPL, distortion, and smooth response. Where large panels, like small cones, can be found out as the frequencies fall.
  15. It's good that he thinks you will live long enough to make the nursing home and not crushed by them falling on you while trying to get a Christmas decoration on top.