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DrWho

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  1. Othorn...

    I have an Othorn with the original B&C driver that it was designed for....it's been so long I've forgotten the model number. While the extreme output capabilities of this sub are undoubtedly impressive, it's the low signal level performance that has me intrigued. It doesn't sound like an SPL Monster at normal listening levels....and that's a good thing. I had given up on tapped horns until I saw the measurements of the Othorn - it doesn't have that characteristic ringing that all other tapped horns have. Being gone in the measurements is one thing, but I wanted to see if it was gone in real life too....which it totally was. The tapped horns have always been impressive form a bang for the buck and SPL perspective, but the quality has always left me lacking.....until the Othorn came around. In the upper octaves (like 40Hz to 80Hz or even up to 150Hz), it is comparable (better in my opinion) to the Khorn/Jubilee/Lascala.....but even better is that it adds an extra octave of depth that the big Klipsch designs don't do. It's totally effortless and unexaggerated - when there's bass in the material, then it's there like you've never heard before. And when it's not there, then it struts along all refined like without introducing any sloppiness. I think some movie buffs and a few dubstep fanatics might feel the 10Hz region is a bit lacking, but I'm not willing to give up audible 20Hz to 80Hz performance in exchange for pressurization of my room. Don't get me wrong, I love to jam out to loud music and make my vision blur from insane SPL (which you can get with the Othorn), but chest crushing loud SPL gets old after a while....so I find myself settling back into more sane listening levels. And it's just reality that you can't hear/perceive ultra low frequency information unless it's loud. All that to say, there is some preference involved, but if terms like fidelity and accuracy end up in your decision criteria, then I don't think you can do better than an Othorn. I also don't want to imply the low frequency performance is lacking either....the dance parties I've held in my basement have been insane, and I've only ever had about 800W available on the amplifier side of things.
  2. I was referring to your constant listing of some arbitrary "dynamic range" number as if it had any meaning. The quote to which I referenced had a long list of music with <20dB of "dynamic range" numbers, but the reality is the true dynamic range is much much larger than that. If you want to keep your head in the sand, then by all means keep it there. But you're obsessing over something that isn't important to the actual art of music. The rest of us don't listen to 3 minute averages. We listen to individual instruments popping in and out as melodies and harmonies move around the sonic space, often listening through things to hear deeper inner details that an "average level" doesn't notice. That stuff is happening on timescales of tens of milliseconds (not minutes), and the cool thing is we're able to hear it because our ears are multidimensional across frequency and time. I can still hear the high frequency decay of a flute at 50dB SPL even though there's a huge 90dB low frequency drone coming from the cello section. The average SPL is still 90dB, but we're still hearing the >> 20dB dynamic range of the flute (probably closer to 50dB). What's more obnoxious is that stuff like this even need to be attempted to be described with numbers. Every musician in the world is tune with these effects - and it's the reason they keep playing even though they're drowned out by other sections of the musical group. That's the whole audiophile pursuit....getting every last little bit of nuance from the brilliance of the musicians..... You aren't going to get there if you're focused on 3 minute averages of musical content. Such discussions totally derail the real audiophiles from exploring the truly meaningful aspects of music reproduction. This isn't arrogance on my part - it's experience being shared in a rude way because I'm frustrated by the ignorance of it all. Who gives a flying monkey about the loudness wars? Go listen to music you enjoy and don't condescend on the music you don't understand.
  3. Here is a scenario for anyone to explore....go build a system with only 40dB of dynamic range and listen to your <20dB dynamic range recordings. Then playback on a system with 90dB of dynamic range. You will measure the same <20dB of dynamic range in both scenarios, but if you don't hear a difference, then you probably have a hearing problem. It would be quite unfortunate for an audiophile to have hearing problems, but unfortunately that seems to be the norm.... Conclusion? A track wide average doesn't reveal the dynamic frequency changing aspects of music. Just perhaps there is a more complicated understanding of how the numbers correlate to our hearing, but far be it for an audio industry expert to suggest such a thing. We have internet experts on the forums to confuse us! The problem with audio myths and human perception in the audiophile world is that people are looking for reasons to justify their preferences....and they'll draw on any misunderstanding as long as it involves some kind of numbers. And there may very likely be some partial truths behind the numbers - and that really muddies the waters with guys like Chris that get so hung up on the one variable they think they understand. The reason I presented him with Nightwish all those years ago is because metal is a genre that is supposed to have a steady state drone to it - which raises the average signal (thus decreasing the peak to average ratio). However, the individual instruments popping in and out of that drone are pushing well over 60dB (measured) - but you'd never see that happening with a track wide average. The whole heavy metal genre is built on this principal....detail beneath the mash of noise. There is no other way to sonically express those simultaneous emotions of sadness, anger, love, and beauty at the same time. Arrogantly dismissing a genre of music because it doesn't fit some arrogantly defined mold is frankly disgusting to me, and that's why I get so direct on this subject.
  4. I stopped reading after this point: The transducers in an audio system are by far the limiting factor for performance. Why in the world would we limit the speaker design to something that is compatible with the SET amp? That's like saying...."I like square wheels, so let's design all the roads so that my square wheels give me a smooth ride" I have no problem with square wheels and funny roads, just as I have no problem with SET amps and have even appreciated some of the incredible midrange detail. I just think the thought process for preferring SET is a bit odd. Why not just embrace it for what it is, rather than call on some odd nostalgia philosophy thing?
  5. Class D Crown vs. Hypex nCore

    The dead time has zero effect at low signal levels if you design your modulation properly.
  6. Class D Crown vs. Hypex nCore

    The Rdson specs aren't the limiting factor when it comes to MOSFETs....switching losses typically dominate the heat generation. I just wanted to mention that Class D designs that maximize efficiency 'usually' aren't maximizing the distortion capability of the system. It's a nice benefit that we don't need massive heatsinks, but the real benefit of Class D is that it has incredibly good performance at low signal levels. I think talking about the heat generation distracts from the true benefit of Class D, which sonically speaking, when implemented well, is going to be superior to Class A. I know some engineering friends that would cringe at that, but I think the numbers are defensible. The characteristics of a delta-sigma encoding are far better than a voltage encoding, but you have to be willing to accept a paradigm shift. We can encode signals in voltage, current, and time. Classical audio uses the voltage encoding because it's easy to wrap your head around, but is it the best medium? Why not encode in the current or time domains? Or why not encode across multiple domains? Delta-sigma encodes in the time/voltage domain, which is the easiest encoding to minimize errors in - especially for bandwidth limited signals. Class A is voltage domain only, and all of its distortions are related to the time domain, which require making tradeoffs. You can keep making delta-sigma better until you run out of electrons, and the parasitic effects of real parts can be designed in such a way that they just cancel themselves out entirely....
  7. Class D Crown vs. Hypex nCore

    Oh, I almost forgot. Crown is getting left in the dust these days. Those DriveCore amplifiers are simply not audiophile quality. I don't like them for prosound applications either. You'd be better off going with Behringer or Peavey (two of the lowest end pro audio brands). In a blind ABX you should be able to tell the difference between the Crown and the nCore. You should even be able to pick them out from an adjacent room.
  8. Class D Crown vs. Hypex nCore

    In college we set out to make our own Class D amplifier. We researched all the options on the market at that time and UcD was definitely the best. Those cheap T amps were close to the worst and limited by the power supply quality. We sat down to understand the limitations of the UcD architecture and came up with a design of our own (sitting on the shoulders of giants). A few years later the nCore series was announced, and it implemented all of the same things (and more) that we had identified in college. That's not to say we were doing anything incredible in college, but to say that the improvements of the nCore are quite dramatic and rather straightforward. I've never met Bruno, but based on his writings we see eye to eye on just about everything. I have the utmost respect for his engineering acuity, and yet he still respects the audiophile phenomenon and cranks out crazy stuff. All that to say, the nCore amplifiers are without a doubt the best amps on the market. They're so good that you have to build special measurement equipment to even quantify the improvement. That's just crazy. Or rather, that's just testament to Bruno's quest for perfection. I too am quite interested by the nCore powered products that Klipsch is coming out with. Are they available yet? Anyone heard one yet?
  9. K-402 in wood!

    I think one of the enlightening things about the KP600 is the focus on musical energy/bandwidths.... I think it's mentioned in the crossover literature, but I remember reading it many years ago and a ton of things suddenly clicked into focus. Ideally the system is faithful to all input sources, but the reality is that music isn't an equal distribution of energy across all frequencies. I'd love to see (hear?) the fruits of your experiments some day.
  10. K-402 in wood!

    Ya, we are in full agreement here. However, that "smaller and smaller" needs to be considered relative to wavelength. Nobody said each element in the array needs to be reproducing the same frequency content. Nor did we say we need more than one element reproducing the highest frequencies. We also don't need to target a plane wave either (I can think of a lot of reasons why we wouldn't want to anyway). When I think of arrays, I think of them as k factor radiators with a very intentional polar shape (that isn't a plane wave). I think the Anya DSP algorithms are taking a similar approach, but if they're not, then I guess I'm off doing my own thing. My only point is that the classic line array design pushes themselves into a corner that they don't need to be in. They're too obsessed with max SPL. The absence of vertical horn flares in the Anya system lets you have any vertical polar shape that you want. I don't need a hundred drivers reproducing 20kHz - that's way too much k factor. Maybe one is enough. But I definitely want a hundred of those same drivers reproducing 200Hz. It's just how the k factor works out, and unfortunately we can't do anything to change the size of our wavelengths. Thankfully inter-driver spacing matters a lot less at 200Hz. Anyways, that's way off on a tangent and it's not possible to discuss some of the nuances without a real system. At the rate my ideas materialize it will be several years, but I'm confident in this vision. There's some low hanging fruit that's been ignored....likely because everyone in the audio industry is so focused on individual boxes performing specific functions - and that's about all I'm going to say on this subject until I roll out the entire package. Proof is in the pudding, but I'm still trying to figure out how to get milk from a rock first.
  11. K-402 in wood!

    A buddy of mine and I are working on exactly the same thing....once we can get our schedules aligned. We won't be doing a K402 though - we'll start with something more K510'ish, but with my own horn recipe, a 1" throat and 900Hz xover target. Once we get the recipe figured out, then we'll try to tackle something larger than a K402 with 2" throat and a multiple entry design like what Chris did with his K402's. This would probably end up flown in the sanctuary at my church. The smaller K510 inspired version is for my 15" 2-ways at home. I've also considered going an alternate route like the EAW Anya system - where they do a vertical line array with horizontal only "horns". This solves the vertical center-to-center spacing problem, and is by far the best sounding PA I've ever heard. In a home setting, it would allow one to completely address all vertical reflections and create a true planar wave through the room. Go with identical rear speakers for a surround setup, add some signal processing, and you can completely null all room modes in all seating locations. You can't get there with the single point source'ish type speakers, but it's also a different type of sound.
  12. Forte III

    They make one - it's called a Forte III, Jubilee, Lascala, Heresy, Cornwall, etc.... Three Forte III's across the front would be awesome, and certainly not too high for the display to be above them.
  13. Forte III

    That's a good point, but I think that's blurring the water a bit. That small little horn on the Palladium line couldn't be loading that 4.5" driver much below ~1.5kHz. That last octave and a half (550Hz to 1.5kHz) is being generated by a 4.5" driver. A 12" driver will do that range a lot better than a 4.5" one. A single 12" driver has roughly 95 sq in of effective radiating area. Three 7" drivers will have closer to 85 sq in. The extra bandwidth required of that 12" driver is almost offset by the difference in radiating area. Also, the MF of the Forte III is going to do the range of 650Hz and up a lot better than the Palladium too. Btw, both speakers sound good....I'm just saying I wouldn't be surprised if the Forte III was perceived as sounding better.
  14. Forte III

    Woah....all these years I though the 396 was a 3-way design? When did that change? No wonder Roy kept recommending the 396. Doh! That's a 2" throat on that horn though, right?
  15. Forte III

    When it comes to the Klipsch speakers....the ones with the bigger horns sound better. The whole story of Klipsch is based on the idea of using horns to lower distortion and control polar response. Because physics is physics and the wavelengths of sound are fixed, bigger horns will load over a wider frequency range. The bigger it is, the lower it will go. The Forte III midrange is a lot larger than the P37F. The P37F needs to use all those small drivers to try and cover the bandwidth that the horn isn't covering. The Forte III design doesn't need the 12" driver to go as high. I think one thing a lot of people forget is that heavier cones are required to do better at lower frequencies. So if you don't need to go as high, then the low frequency improves - and the mids are improving because a horn is doing it instead of a direct radiator.
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