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14 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

You are only ever listening to the  interpretation of the guy on the mixer in these situations.  You won't always like it the way he did either, and may even prefer it the way it happens to sound on your different system.   As it is artificial to begin with, there is no correct reality, so kick back and just enjoy it when it sounds good to you.

yeah agreed...the whole recording process through to reproduction has no standard "baseline" to work from - what Toole and Olive talk about as the audio "circle of confusion"...http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2009/10/audios-circle-of-confusion.html#:~:text=Audio's “Circle of Confusion” is,a standardized%2C calibrated monitoring environment.

 

The best we can do as "consumers" of music is to have "reasonable" reproduction - and some EQ available to tweak recordings doesn't hurt either :)

 

I have an interest in recording techniques/mixing - the gear nut in our band records lots of the stuff we play live, and he spends loads of time mixing our recorded stuff - I've sat with him tweaking many times...once he's done he'll go and listen in the car, then air pods, then someone else's system...and I watch him tear his hair out as they all sound different :(

 

Mike

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So we come down to objective versus subjective.   The LS3/5a is objectively not a very good speaker. Subjectively many swear by it.   Neither is necessarily right or wrong.   

If dynamics are a priority (to me they are the single most important aspect of a well engineered speaker) the more drivers the better. Every jaw dropping-ly realistic system I have heard has been a 3

mostly all said above, great examples exist for both. An important factor that was implied by @Tweaky in his post... ...is the way the drivers combine "off axis" in a multi driver speaker.

Didn’t want to quote the full response to my earlier  comment about good 3 ways being better than good 2 ways, but do want to mention that the response was nonsense.

 

The whole purpose of creating a good three wY is to overcome the dispersion issues of crossing a big woofer to a small tweeter.

 

Waveguides are a band-aid attempt to make two wrongs (woofer beaming/tweeter blooming) a right.

 

Far better for controlled directivity is to cross from a woofer to a midrange before the woofer starts beaming, and then from the midrange to the tweeter before the mid starts beaming.

 

Check the superb off-axis performance of 3 ways such as Revel, KEF, Neumann and Genelec.

 

And show us the two way with a big woofer and wave-guided tweeter that matches them.

 

 

 

 

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On 27/11/2020 at 11:55 PM, Steffen said:

 

I’ve heard this trope a million times over the last 30 years or so, alas, it is still nonsense to me. None of the “better bass” and “more full range” speakers I’ve heard could ever bring music to life like the Ls3/5a does. The lack of bass extension is commonly dealt with (if you desire) by subwoofers crossed over at 80Hz or bass extenders like the AB/1. 

 

Ls3/5a owners tend to keep this to themselves, after all, supplies are limited ;)

So we come down to objective versus subjective.

 

The LS3/5a is objectively not a very good speaker. Subjectively many swear by it.

 

Neither is necessarily right or wrong. 
 

It depends on what you are after.

 

I prize accuracy, and thus the LS3/5a is not a good speaker to me.

 

But It is very enjoyable, so I completely understand why so many love it.

 

It’s like my hypocritical love for my open baffles.

 

I know they are wrong. But they are so enjoyably wrong I forgive them.

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On 09/12/2020 at 8:39 PM, sfdoddsy said:

Didn’t want to quote the full response to my earlier  comment about good 3 ways being better than good 2 ways, but do want to mention that the response was nonsense.

 

you mean my response to your post below?

On 27/11/2020 at 9:36 PM, almikel said:

The dispersion/directivity control of a well designed 2 way with a waveguide loaded tweeter crossing to a large mid woofer (eg Econowave, Geddes, some of the Red Spade designs) will be superior to any box 3 way.

You're entitled to your opinion, but I didn't think my response was nonsense - the designs I mentioned specifically include "directivity control" as a design criteria for the speaker - and have reasonable (but variable) success in meeting that criteria.

 

On 09/12/2020 at 8:39 PM, sfdoddsy said:

The whole purpose of creating a good three wY is to overcome the dispersion issues of crossing a big woofer to a small tweeter.

I don't think many commercial 3 way box/flat baffle speaker manufacturers consider directivity/dispersion control much at all.

IMHO most commercial 3 way speaker manufacturers of box/flat baffle speakers would design their speakers for a reasonably flat "on axis" response, with reasonable bass extension, with low distortion, and reasonable power handling - rather than considering directivity/dispersion control "off-axis".

Most speaker manufacturers only publish their "on axis" speaker responses...they would publish their off-axis/polar response if they thought it was important and if their speaker's off-axis response wasn't rubbish.

 

On 09/12/2020 at 8:39 PM, sfdoddsy said:

Far better for controlled directivity is to cross from a woofer to a midrange before the woofer starts beaming, and then from the midrange to the tweeter before the mid starts beaming.

 

Dynamic drivers (woofers/mids/tweeters) don't "start" to beam - their directivity pattern starts wide at their lower frequency of operation and narrows as frequency increases from there in a predictable way based on their size.

Every dynamic driver will have the below pattern of directivity (sourced from Geddes: http://www.gedlee.com/Papers/directivity.pdf )

1819321328_geddespistondirectivity.png.4214eb97723ff9e918870c3a3e75f95e.png

 

In my posts above where I mention "box" speakers, maybe I should have been more specific - I meant box speakers with multiple drivers mounted on a flat rectangular baffle - ie the vast majority of commercial 3 way speakers.

Different sized drivers mounted on a flat rectangular baffle in a box can never have matching directivity between drivers - this is not nonsense - it's physics.

 

A "controlled directivity" speaker implies matching the directivity between drivers through the crossover region...

...a speaker with multiple different sized drivers mounted to a flat rectangular baffle can never be considered as a speaker that achieves "controlled directivity"

 

On 09/12/2020 at 8:39 PM, sfdoddsy said:

Check the superb off-axis performance of 3 ways such as Revel, KEF, Neumann and Genelec.

In one of my posts above in this thread I called out Revel as a manufacturer that cares about their "off axis" response...hence they tend to mount their tweeters in waveguides...

 

...from Revel's website on their F206 speaker ( https://www.revelspeakers.com/products/types/floorstanding/F206-.html?dwvar_F206-_color=Black-GLOBAL-Current ), "The tweeter’s integrated acoustic lens waveguide is based on a breakthrough mathematical approach that accurately matches the tweeter’s dispersion to that of the midrange transducer in the crossover region. This gives the loudspeaker very smooth sound far off-axis – an important contributor to overall sound quality, providing consistent sound over an exceptionally wide listening area."

 

On 09/12/2020 at 8:39 PM, sfdoddsy said:

And show us the two way with a big woofer and wave-guided tweeter that matches them.

In my post earlier in this thread (linked above in this post) I showed the polar pattern of the Geddes Abbey ( http://www.gedlee.com/Loudspeakers/Abbey.aspx ) - a big woofer crossed to a wave guided tweeter - shown again below:

401363298_geddesabbey.thumb.png.0ec811043d0997fbf36c667854f45ec9.png

 

Here's the polar pattern of the Redspade HE2 (http://www.redspade.com.au/audio/HE2.php), another example of a 2 way speaker with a woofer crossing to a tweeter in a waveguide.

HE2-dispersion.gif.91eae1919b8f764f05e111e2d28fc412.gif

 

 

On 09/12/2020 at 8:39 PM, sfdoddsy said:

Check the superb off-axis performance of 3 ways such as Revel, KEF, Neumann and Genelec.

 

Please post their "superb off-axis performance" in this thread so we can compare...

 

On 09/12/2020 at 8:49 PM, sfdoddsy said:

It’s like my hypocritical love for my open baffles.

Well designed open baffle speakers can achieve a very good "controlled directivity" speaker response (unlike flat baffle box speakers) - I've never headed down the path of open baffle, so I've no direct experience - but other members on SNA such as @gainphile have had great success with open baffle designs.

 

cheers

Mike

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This thread is full of waaay too many generalisations.

 

If you speaker has reasonable frequency response vs angle ... and low enough distortion for the SPL you want.... then it will be good.

 

You can do that with any number of drivers .....  it just depends on what is done to address the important things.

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Imagine a large 12 x 5 x 3m room with a 5 way Cinema grade JBL Screen  system with a curtain right across the room so as the behemoth beast resides out of plain site. In front of this place a pair of good stand mount 2 way Speakers.

 

Question I have for this thread is "Which system would be preferable to listen to, the behemoth Cinema 5 way active or the stand mounts ?"

 

Personally would have thought this was a doddle no brainer type thing. Would anyone pick the 2 way over the 5 way after a good afternoon of listening to both ? Get real :)

 

(This imagined room does actually exist) 

EDIT, yes it's a 2 way vrs 3 way thread, but the 5 way is something else altogether.

my 20c

 

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15 minutes ago, Dirkgerman said:

Personally would have thought this was a doddle no brainer type thing. Would anyone pick the 2 way over the 5 way after a good afternoon of listening to both ?

 

They'll sound very different due to the diffrence in coverage pattern (wide vs narrow).... this will persist no matter what (EQ, placement, etc.)

 

 

You pick an extreme example.... (narrow(er) vs wide).     You could have a 5 way which was also wide.... and then would sound much more like a similarly EQed 2-way, assuming a fair SPL (not too high for the 2 way).

 

 

 

 

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Hey @davewantsmoore very true. 

Coverage pattern becomes a thing if the system being listened to caters for and that plays to a multi seat listening area. The 5 way Cinema system will better in all practicality any 2 way, no matter what way you look (listen to) this scenario and from all listening positions in the room including being well off axis. 

Interestingly though from a sweet spot listening seat front and center (90% of all audiophile systems)  both systems should sound very similar (and do) until the actual dynamic limit of the 2 way were linear distortion, dynamic range and actual frequency response differences become audible.

I would have suggested that the 2 way system would have to be of an extreme and excellent design for mainly 2 attributes,   actual frequency response and lowest frequency crossover point to be anywhere close to the listening quality of a good 3 way.

 

3 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

 You could have a 5 way which was also wide

I do and it's an insane thing the novelty has never worn off, even after many years of operation, never fails to please unlike the  2 way.

It's all about compromise and some may only  have the room for a midget 2 way, but should never think or attempt to justify it'll sound better a 3 or more way unless there is something dramatically wrong with the 3 or more way system. The 2 way may sound better, may on particular types of music, but there is a suggestion that the more than 2 way will sound better for many more types of media, not locked down to particular genres.

A Mate of mine reckoned his  unicorn poo pulp wizzer coned alnico motored  horn loaded speaker system was the absolute best until a really nice 2 way speaker system was connected in the same room and we were playing highly dynamic classical, I think you get the rest of the story.

 

2 ways have their place, like on a table with a PC :)

Have a nice day Dave, sun would burn your eyes out here today up NW 

 

 

 

IMG_0373.JPG

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I love music and have owned many different configurations of stereo equipment over the years. 
Ive spent many hours in hifi shops  listening to the latest gear and of course  hifi shows.

I was considering downsizing to two way and auditioned all of the prize winning, big reputation two way speakers on the current market ($1000-$4000).
None of them come close to a well made three way or 4 way. 
Most have a unique, nice sound but don’t kid yourself, they are inferior (when comparing apples to apples).
I’d put my three ways up against any two way speaker out there and it wouldn’t even be close. 

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5 hours ago, Satanica said:

I've just finished reading the review in the link - a very very impressive speaker, with loads of engineering.

  • Their own take on a custom waveguide as the "old school" oblate spheroid wasn't good enough (oblate spheroid waveguides are known for their dip in the on-axis response - one of the reasons Geddes recommends large toe-in on his speakers
  • Cardioid pattern for the mids to reduce SBIR - that's ingenious

 

Somewhere on a hard disk I've got a bunch of old scanned PDF papers written by Roy Allison - he designed speakers with woofers on multiple angled baffles to deliberately engage room boundary effects...which these days we mostly try to ameliorate...I need to dig them out to review Allison's work.

 

I'd be very happy with a pair of these...but unfortunately way above my pay grade :( ...and very clearly a 3 way speaker well beyond a flat baffle 3 way box speaker...

...I'd love to hear them...

 

cheers,

Mike

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On 12/12/2020 at 6:48 AM, davewantsmoore said:

This thread is full of waaay too many generalisations.

 

If you speaker has reasonable frequency response vs angle ... and low enough distortion for the SPL you want.... then it will be good.

 

You can do that with any number of drivers .....  it just depends on what is done to address the important things.

Hi Dave - OK I'll bite - what do you regard as the "important things"?

 

Mike

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18 hours ago, almikel said:

I'd be very happy with a pair of these...but unfortunately way above my pay grade :( ...and very clearly a 3 way speaker well beyond a flat baffle 3 way box speaker...

...I'd love to hear them...

 

For sure, certainly something progressed well beyond the ordinary design.

I heard them at the 2018 HiFi show as demonstrated by Bill Mclean (http://www.mcleans.info/home-entertainment/home.do) and they sounded truly excellent.

The highs might be thought of by some as lacking "sparkle" and\or "air" and I think that's because with them there is less of it bouncing around the room like normal speakers produce.

This trait and the way they generally remove so much of the normal "cluttered" sound in room made the sound so appealing and non-fatiguing.
I would still want to use sub-woofer(s) with them though for at least the last octave (< 40Hz), maybe the last two (< 80Hz).
 

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On 12/12/2020 at 7:48 AM, davewantsmoore said:

This thread is full of waaay too many generalisations.

 

...

Well, the OP was asking "...what do members prefer" in regards to " 2 way and 3 way speakers". I'm a bit confused as to how you can respond without generalising, let alone how you could have waaay too many.

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I am Mr Generalisation.

 

While I’m here I’d like to say what I think are the ‘important things’. 
Pretty simple really, good filtering. Eliminating the noise in between vocals, instruments etc.  

Generally speaking the better the gear the less you hear. 
 

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6 hours ago, Tony Martello said:

I am Mr Generalisation.

 

While I’m here I’d like to say what I think are the ‘important things’. 
Pretty simple really, good filtering. Eliminating the noise in between vocals, instruments etc.  

Generally speaking the better the gear the less you hear. 
 

I can see why you regard yourself as Mr Generalisation

 

6 hours ago, Tony Martello said:

Pretty simple really, good filtering. Eliminating the noise in between vocals, instruments etc.

What is "good filtering"?

  • steep crossovers that reduce "out of band" content for drivers?
  • sensible parametric EQ that doesn't make the room sound worse at different listening positions?

What do you mean by eliminating the noise in between vocals, instruments etc.?

  • I completely accept that reducing distortion is a worthwhile goal in any playback system
  • and that when the "off-axis" response of speakers bounces off walls to combine with the direct sound at the listening position, if the "off-axis" sound is different to the "on-axis" sound then they won't combine very well at the listening position - but this wouldn't be regarded as noise
6 hours ago, Tony Martello said:

Generally speaking the better the gear the less you hear. 

Generally I would agree - better gear sounds better - but with audio the $ spent doesn't always equate with "better" gear.

And there's areas where money is best spent...IMHO the priority should be:

  1. the room
  2. the speakers
  3. everything else

Mike

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History of the 3 way

The 3 way appears to first commercially available  with the Acoustic Research AR3 in 1958, it featured the worlds first dome midrange, and still stands up today, ( subsequently revised as the AR3a in 1969) ,   as a very good loudspeaker. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_Research

 

 

"In 1958, AR once again pioneered loudspeaker technology with the introduction of the landmark model AR-3, which used the AR-1’s acoustic-suspension woofer in conjunction with the first commercially available hemispherical (“dome”) mid-frequency midrange unit (squawker) and high-frequency tweeter.

 

For nearly ten years after its introduction, the AR-3 was widely regarded as the most accurate loudspeaker available at any cost, and was used in many professional installations, recording studios, and concert halls. Many well-known professional musicians used AR-3 loudspeakers because of their excellent sound reproduction. In the early 1960s, AR conducted a series of over 75 live vs. recorded demonstrations throughout the United States in which the sound of a live string quartet was alternated with echo-free recorded music played through a pair of AR-3s. In this “ultimate” subjective test of audio quality, the listeners were largely unable to detect the switch from live to recorded, a strong testament to Acoustic Research's audio quality.[5]

 

The company also established music demonstration rooms on the mezzanine of Grand Central Terminal in New York City and on a street corner of Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the public could stop by and listen to its products, but no sales were made there. This low-key marketing innovation caused a major increase in the company's business.

 

The AR-3 was subsequently replaced by the AR-3a in 1969, with a new dome midrange and tweeter reduced in dimensions, for even better mid and high frequency dispersion. On September 13, 1993, an AR-3 was placed on permanent display in the Information Age Exhibit of National Museum of American History at The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

 

The AR-3a was subsequently replaced by the AR-11 and AR-10pi in 1977, which both shared the same improved tweeter and midrange domes. The 10pi even had woofer/bass response adjustment switches to allow for a variety of room placements. The new tweeter used in the AR-11/10pi had notably brighter high-frequency response partly to compensate for less dispersion than the tweeter of the AR3a.

 

AR went on to introduce many other notable designs, and by 1966 the company had grown to hold 32.2% of the U.S. domestic loudspeaker market, based on the IHFM and High Fidelity surveys statistics for that year. This was the largest product market share ever held by a loudspeaker manufacturer since statistics have been kept in the industry."

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On 17/12/2020 at 12:05 AM, almikel said:

I can see why you regard yourself as Mr Generalisation

 

What is "good filtering"?

  • steep crossovers that reduce "out of band" content for drivers?
  • sensible parametric EQ that doesn't make the room sound worse at different listening positions?

What do you mean by eliminating the noise in between vocals, instruments etc.?

  • I completely accept that reducing distortion is a worthwhile goal in any playback system
  • and that when the "off-axis" response of speakers bounces off walls to combine with the direct sound at the listening position, if the "off-axis" sound is different to the "on-axis" sound then they won't combine very well at the listening position - but this wouldn't be regarded as noise

Generally I would agree - better gear sounds better - but with audio the $ spent doesn't always equate with "better" gear.

And there's areas where money is best spent...IMHO the priority should be:

  1. the room
  2. the speakers
  3. everything else

Mike

Hey Mike. 
Im not capable of talking tech about how components filter out noise to create a blank background, I don’t even understand how caps work.
All I know is the better the gear, the blanker the background. It’s as if you pay up to eliminate unnecessary sound. it’s what you don’t hear that makes music beautiful.

I have a Belcanto Dac2.5 going into a Michi RHB-10 that feeds my ATC scm40 speakers. I’ve never heard the music I like presented better.

Tony

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On 15/12/2020 at 2:31 PM, Cloth Ears said:

Well, the OP was asking "...what do members prefer" in regards to " 2 way and 3 way speakers".

Indeed.   People can say "I prefer X" without generalising.

 

OTOH... when they say "all 2 ways are like this.... and all 4 ways are like that.... etc."   Then that's often not helpful for peoples understanding ('cos they're wrong).

 

Eg.  I like 3 ways because they have lower distortion ... or more bass.... or more even coverage pattern.... (or whatever) ...... than a 2-way (or single driver) speaker.

 

That is a generalisation, which isn't always true.

 

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On 14/12/2020 at 9:01 PM, almikel said:

Hi Dave - OK I'll bite - what do you regard as the "important things"?

 

Mike

 

reasonable frequency response vs angle ... and low enough distortion for the SPL 

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On 12/12/2020 at 12:18 PM, Dirkgerman said:

Coverage pattern becomes a thing if the system being listened to caters for and that plays to a multi seat

listening area.

 

uh uh  ;)   People often say this, and it is quite wrong.

 

The coverage pattern is the most important thing, even for a single seat.

 

Sound which doesn't hit you directly from the speaker (ie. sound ejected at some other angle) .... reaches you with a delay, vs the directly arriving sound.

 

Your brain compares this delayed sound with the sound which arrived milliseconds prior (directly from the speaker).   If they are not of the same frequency balance  (eg. it has more of less bass, mid, treble, etc.)  then your hearing interpret the sound differently than it otherwise would..... resulting in a large loss of clarity.  Essentially jumbling up the auditory cues which were part of the recording.

 

On 12/12/2020 at 12:18 PM, Dirkgerman said:

The 5 way Cinema system will better in all practicality any 2 way

Probably, but not necessarily.

 

On 12/12/2020 at 12:18 PM, Dirkgerman said:

Interestingly though from a sweet spot listening seat front and center (90% of all audiophile systems)  both systems should sound very similar (and do)

That depends on their coverage pattern.

 

If they have wildly different coverage patterns.... either in level, or in frequency response flatness..... then they'll sound quite different.

 

Using a larger number of drivers is an opportunity to get a narrower and/or more even coverage pattern.... but you could also do the reverse with a 5 way (wider, and/or more lumpy)

 

 

 

On 12/12/2020 at 12:18 PM, Dirkgerman said:

Have a nice day Dave, sun would burn your eyes out here today up NW 

😁😎

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2 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

Indeed.   People can say "I prefer X" without generalising.

 

OTOH... when they say "all 2 ways are like this.... and all 4 ways are like that.... etc."   Then that's often not helpful for peoples understanding ('cos they're wrong).

 

Eg.  I like 3 ways because they have lower distortion ... or more bass.... or more even coverage pattern.... (or whatever) ...... than a 2-way (or single driver) speaker.

 

That is a generalisation, which isn't always true.

 

Sooo... only responses indicating preference are acceptable, but no reasons are allowed to be given?

My current L/R have 3 drivers, a midbass that covers ~50Hz to 2+kHz, a ribbon that does above that and a bassbox that does a reasonable job for below. All have their own amplifier channel. From experience, active speakers are the way to go - which obviates the 1/2/3/4/5-way argument.

And have a Merry Nondenominational Winter Solstice Holiday and a Happy Gregorian New Year!

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On 18/12/2020 at 2:51 PM, Cloth Ears said:

Sooo... only responses indicating preference are acceptable, but no reasons are allowed to be given?

 

That's not at all what I meant.

 

I mean if you're going to give a reason which is a giant generalisation (ie. if you say "2way are always like this") ... then you might (ahem) be misleading people.

 

On 18/12/2020 at 2:51 PM, Cloth Ears said:

From experience, active speakers are the way to go

Yes, they offer a lot of opportunities for advantage..

 

On 18/12/2020 at 2:51 PM, Cloth Ears said:

- which obviates the 1/2/3/4/5-way argument.

You couldn't be more wrong about that.

 

The size, shape, number and position of the drivers is of exactly the same importance in an active and a "passive" speaker.  (ie. critical).

 

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On 18/12/2020 at 2:51 PM, Cloth Ears said:

Sooo... only responses indicating preference are acceptable, but no reasons are allowed to be given?

My current L/R have 3 drivers, a midbass that covers ~50Hz to 2+kHz, a ribbon that does above that and a bassbox that does a reasonable job for below. All have their own amplifier channel. From experience, active speakers are the way to go - which obviates the 1/2/3/4/5-way argument.

And have a Merry Nondenominational Winter Solstice Holiday and a Happy Gregorian New Year!

 

Whilst I am definitely a proponent of active spkrs ... I have to say that I consider your chosen XO frequencies are not optimal.  :|

 

3-way spkrs generally have one big advantage over 2-ways ... in that you can keep an XO out of the vital 300-3kHz range.  But in your case, whilst your woofer/mid XO is admirable at 50Hz (you could increase this quite happily to, say, 250Hz) - the XO to the ribbon, at 2kHz ... is too low.  250Hz and 3,500 or 4kHz would be more desirable.

 

Andy

 

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8 hours ago, andyr said:

 

Whilst I am definitely a proponent of active spkrs ... I have to say that I consider your chosen XO frequencies are not optimal.  :|

 

3-way spkrs generally have one big advantage over 2-ways ... in that you can keep an XO out of the vital 300-3kHz range.  But in your case, whilst your woofer/mid XO is admirable at 50Hz (you could increase this quite happily to, say, 250Hz) - the XO to the ribbon, at 2kHz ... is too low.  250Hz and 3,500 or 4kHz would be more desirable.

 

Andy

 

OK. 2+kHz is 2.8 kHz - is that close enough? And having a crossover in the 80-300Hz range is what makes a lot of speakers sound weird in the lower areas of both voice and other instruments. The old telephones used to emphasise 300-3000Hz for intelligibility, but I am not necessarily looking at that. I'd prefer to have most of a male vocal or a cello come from the same 'place' or it starts to spoil the imagination. I mean, middle C being played by the woofer?

 

8 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

You couldn't be more wrong about that.

 

The size, shape, number and position of the drivers is of exactly the same importance in an active and a "passive" speaker.  (ie. critical).

And I'd agree here. But by "same importance" I would indicate "very little". I choose to have one driver do most of the work. The others are great, they are icing on the cake, but not as important as the one ('there can be only one' - Highlander). And while I'd like to have a pair of Apogees, I have neither the room, nor the money to do so. So the mid-bass (because I don't like a crossover in the lower mid) is important and the rest are 'nice to have'.

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2 hours ago, Cloth Ears said:

 

OK. 2+kHz is 2.8 kHz - is that close enough?

 

 

Better - but no cigar, as the great man said.  :)

 

3500Hz (minimum!) would be better, IMO.

 

My current Maggie setup has XOs (which I define as the frequency that the low pass slope & the high pass slope intersect) @ about 330Hz & 3300Hz.  (So, yes - higher than ideal for the lower XO.)

 

I'm planning some new dipoles which will have these XO frequencies set @ 80Hz & 4kHz.

 

2 hours ago, Cloth Ears said:

 

And having a crossover in the 80-300Hz range is what makes a lot of speakers sound weird in the lower areas of both voice and other instruments. The old telephones used to emphasise 300-3000Hz for intelligibility, but I am not necessarily looking at that. I'd prefer to have most of a male vocal or a cello come from the same 'place' or it starts to spoil the imagination. I mean, middle C being played by the woofer?

 

 

'Middle C' - 262Hz - indeed comes from my Maggie bass panels.  As does the C an octave lower.  But the C an octave higher comes from the mid panels.  I'd be very interested if you would come and have a listen ... and tell me whether you think it sounds 'weird'.  :)

 

Andy

 

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2 hours ago, andyr said:

Better - but no cigar, as the great man said.  :)

 

3500Hz (minimum!) would be better, IMO.

We will have to disagree, then. 2000, 2800, 3500, still less than an octave. And almost irrelevant from the major notes point of view. Definitely relevant to the feel of some of the sounds and their (I don't really know the words) attack, structure, like the point where the stick hits the cymbal, rather than the actual sound of the cymbal.

 

2 hours ago, andyr said:

'Middle C' - 262Hz - indeed comes from my Maggie bass panels.  As does the C an octave lower.  But the C an octave higher comes from the mid panels.  I'd be very interested if you would come and have a listen ... and tell me whether you think it sounds 'weird'.  :)

Possibly not, as your Maggies have the same type of driver for bass and midrange. And, they're probably right next to each other. But often the sound of a pistonic midrange and a pistonic bass driver are not only a bit different, but they're also located in different places. And we're talking more than two octaves of difference where you prefer your crossover to where I prefer mine. We may also have to agree to disagree on this point.

If I had the room (and the wife) than I might be able to have Magnaplanars or Apogees...

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52 minutes ago, Cloth Ears said:

 

We will have to disagree, then. 2000, 2800, 3500, still less than an octave. And almost irrelevant from the major notes point of view. Definitely relevant to the feel of some of the sounds and their (I don't really know the words) attack, structure, like the point where the stick hits the cymbal, rather than the actual sound of the cymbal.

 

 

I find it a vexing question, CE - what are the optimal frequencies to cross over at?  You stated earlier that you wanted to "have most of a male vocal or a cello come from the same 'place' ".

 

According to a well known frequency chart:

  • the male voice's fundamental range is 100Hz to 900Hz.  So a driver whose high pass filter's '@ frequency' is 80Hz - and which crosses over to the tweeter @ 4kHz ... will be fine (except for the highest voice harmonics).  And a 4kHz XO is better than a 2800Hz XO, when we take harmonics (which are important in that they make up the unique tone of an instrument) into account.
  • the female voice's fundamental range is 240Hz to 1100Hz.  So the above mid-range driver will again be fine ... except for the higher voice harmonics.
  • the cello's fundamental range is 60Hz to 500Hz.  So a 50Hz XO is required to keep the one driver producing its full (fundamental) range.
  • however, when we look at the bass ... an XO between woofer & mid @ 50Hz is not low enough to cover all its range!
  • and for a standard 88-key piano ... you need a range of 25Hz to 4500Hz, to cover its fundamentals with a single driver.  Which is pretty much impossible to achieve!

So it seems that, both:

  • a 50Hz - 2800Hz range, and
  • an 80Hz - 4kHz range

... are inadequate!  :(

 

52 minutes ago, Cloth Ears said:

 

If I had the room (and the wife) than I might be able to have Magnaplanars or Apogees...

 

 

If you come and listen to some Maggies ... you might dispell that lingering regret - and be entirely happy with what you have!  (You may find you simply don't like the way Maggies present the music.)  xD

 

Andy

 

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4 minutes ago, andyr said:

If you come and listen to some Maggies ... you might dispell that lingering regret - and be entirely happy with what you have!  (You may find you simply don't like the way Maggies present the music.)  xD

 

I do like the way that 'panel speakers' present music. Electrostatic, ribbon and magnetostatic are the examples I know fairly well. The afore mentioned Apogees, some large Metaxas Emporer electrostatics and some smaller Magnepans all are nice to listen to. And I'm definitely interested in Tectonics DML speakers - I still haven't heard them yet...

 

But I'll take an opportunity to listen to a new set-up anytime (maybe next year).

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On 17/12/2020 at 3:43 AM, stereo coffee said:

For nearly ten years after its introduction, the AR-3 was widely regarded as the most accurate loudspeaker available at any cost

that's a good bit of history there...

At least any speaker made in the USA :) - I'm sure Peter Walker (founder of Quad and inventor of the ESL57) would have disagreed that the AR-3 was better than the ESL57

 

What's amazing is the AR-3's came out before Theile/Small's work for modelling woofers in boxes.

It must have been hard to design speakers back then.

 

Mike

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33 minutes ago, almikel said:

that's a good bit of history there...

At least any speaker made in the USA :) - I'm sure Peter Walker (founder of Quad and inventor of the ESL57) would have disagreed that the AR-3 was better than the ESL57

 

What's amazing is the AR-3's came out before Theile/Small's work for modelling woofers in boxes.

It must have been hard to design speakers back then.

 

Mike

Peter's  words were :   On no. No, we think our loudspeaker very poor, but we think that the others are even poorer! But not all of them, no. the others have really unproved their loudspeakers a tremendous amount in the last 21 vents. When we first brought out ours people said, "It's a dreadful thing, it shows up all the buzzes on [lie records, the sensitivity's way below anything else, and it has no bass." We don't get these complaints now because all the others have become low sensitivity: all the others have got extended frequency range that shows up tile tracing distortion and the buzzes. And all the others now sound more like ours! That sounds awfully arrogant, but they've got very much closer. You can now put a good moving coil loudspeaker and an electrostatic side by side and there's much less difference now than there was 20 years ago. Our ESL's are thought more of now than they were 20 years ago.     http://quadesl.org/index.php/home/interviews/audio-amateur-1978

 

The AR3 approached audio reproduction as full range, with outstanding bass and upper frequency reproduction,   so has very different approach to the ESL57, which arguably has the best mid-range of any loudspeaker.

 

It is interesting to observe each loudspeakers position,  as reviewed here:   https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/the-12-most-significant-loudspeakers-of-all-time

 

 

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3 hours ago, stereo coffee said:

Peter's  words were :   On no. No, we think our loudspeaker very poor, but we think that the others are even poorer! But not all of them, no. the others have really unproved their loudspeakers a tremendous amount in the last 21 vents. When we first brought out ours people said, "It's a dreadful thing, it shows up all the buzzes on [lie records, the sensitivity's way below anything else, and it has no bass." We don't get these complaints now because all the others have become low sensitivity: all the others have got extended frequency range that shows up tile tracing distortion and the buzzes. And all the others now sound more like ours! That sounds awfully arrogant, but they've got very much closer. You can now put a good moving coil loudspeaker and an electrostatic side by side and there's much less difference now than there was 20 years ago. Our ESL's are thought more of now than they were 20 years ago.     http://quadesl.org/index.php/home/interviews/audio-amateur-1978

great link, but they should edit the transcription - it's a shocker...plenty of obvious errors...ie not what Peter actually said.

 

3 hours ago, stereo coffee said:

The AR3 approached audio reproduction as full range, with outstanding bass and upper frequency reproduction,   so has very different approach to the ESL57, which arguably has the best mid-range of any loudspeaker.

I would argue not a very different design goal to AR3s, but I accept the 57's lack low bass response (easily fixed with a well integrated sub) but obviously a very different approach.

These days most would want to add a sub underneath AR3's also.

 

I have a colleague that's a Quad nutter - he has at least 3 pairs of ESL57s, a pair of ESL63's, many Quad amps etc.

 

He has 1 room setup for 57's (with a well integrated sub) and another room with 63's.

 

I like the sound of the 57's best, but unfortunately the stereo image collapses remarkably quickly as you move laterally out of the sweet spot.

He also never let's me turn it up - they arc too easily...and he's way too much of a purist to tolerate "stacked" 57's.

 

I found the same very narrow sweet spot with Martin Logan electros.

 

Just amazing for solo listening (and let's face it, most of our serious listening is solo), but the sound is not great across the listening couch :(

 

Mike

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4 hours ago, stereo coffee said:

It is interesting to observe each loudspeakers position,  as reviewed here:   https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/the-12-most-significant-loudspeakers-of-all-time

 

That list ignores so many earlier important contributions such as Wester Electric, Klangfilm, Altec Lansing, etc.

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17 hours ago, almikel said:

one day I'd love to get down to Melbourne and listen to Andy's setup

 

You will be very welcome, Mike.  :)

 

('Xept that interstate travel is not advisable, at this stage.  :( )

 

Andy

 

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On 21/12/2020 at 7:05 AM, Cloth Ears said:

OK. 2+kHz is 2.8 kHz - is that close enough?

 

The idea to avoid a crossover in the "critical region" assumes that the crossover has problems which should b avoided.

 

Just another example of the "generalisations" ;) 

 

There's no inherent reason why your choice of crossover frequency at 2khz (or whatever it is) isn't the perfect choice.

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On 21/12/2020 at 7:05 AM, Cloth Ears said:

And I'd agree here. But by "same importance" I would indicate "very little".

No, the directivity of the drivers is the most critical thing by a country mile.... as it cannot be "EQed" out, as it is a property of the physical shape and position of the transducers.

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On 21/12/2020 at 3:00 PM, Cloth Ears said:

I do like the way that 'panel speakers' present music.

 

It is largely due to their much higher directivity index in the 300 to 3000 Hz range  (than other typical speakers which are comparatively very wide dispersion in that region)

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7 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

It is largely due to their much higher directivity index in the 300 to 3000 Hz range  (than other typical speakers which are comparatively very wide dispersion in that region)

So a good speaker has nothing to do with anything, except it's directivity?

 

 

 

11 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

The idea to avoid a crossover in the "critical region" assumes that the crossover has problems which should b avoided.

BTW. I wasn't worried about the crossover as such - it's the movement of the sound from one driver to another that is more the issue than the crossover itself.

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