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Get Rid Of This Speaker VS That!!!


derrickdj1
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This may just be me but, to often, I hear things like this speaker is better than that speaker  or, this speaker kills that one.  This type of info tells you nothing, did I say nothing.;)  Newbies are always asking for speaker selection help.  They will get the, this will kill that?  What should we be telling them?

 

First, a speaker is a transducer that converts an electrical signal to an acoustic one. This is no different than the job done by the CD player, BDP, amp or turn table.  That is not the whole story, how do we judge a speaker.  You need several pieces of info, room size, application and will it meet it's objective of accuracy and clarity.

 

Room size is a big factor.  To many blanket answers of buy the biggest you can get or afford.  If the speaker is to big for the room, namely the bass production of the speaker, it will create modal issues.  These problems can be difficult to overcome in a small 2 ch room or HT.  If the speaker is to small, poor bass attack and the thing sounds like it does not have enough gas.  How much low frequency energy can the room handle?  Getting a speaker to large for the space will take a lot of EQ and room treatments that would  not have been necessary.  No reason to make problems that can be avoided.

 

A speaker to tall will cause more reflections off the ceiling.  This will cause delay issues.  This also causes SBIE, speaker boundary interference effects.  This show up as comb filtering and create a phantom image.  Sometime you will hear a sound where it should not be or blurring of the  image.  For those with low ceilings, speaker height should not be greater than 50% of room height.

 

Now, how to evaluate the speaker in the room.  Look for accuracy and clarity.  Judge how  the speaker presentation is, things sound balance from top to bottom,  wide sound stage, tonal balance, strong bass, clear vocals and a sparkling treble region should be heard.  Do cymbals and triangles have air, slowly decay are signs of good treble.  How is the off axis performance?

 

Without some of this type of info, it is hard to say will one speaker be better in a given room.    

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Exactly, even my old Bose 901s sounded great suspended from the beams in my parents' large open great room.  The live Texaco Opera Theater broadcasts were amazing.  The Speakerlab SKhorns I used in my DJ business sounded very good in that space, but not as good as the 901s.  In most situations I would prefer the SKhorns -- or genuine Khorns -- over 901s, but not that one.

 

As you correctly point out, there are too many variables to make blanket statements regarding the superiority of one speaker over another.

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Room size (elongated) and surfaces (wood and glass) has been the biggest struggle getting my big Forte II's to work to my satisfaction.

 

I tried a lot of different amps and receivers thinking that I would find the "one"-I am happy to report that I am finally in place of joy.

 

This "hobby" can be frustrating and spendy.

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I brought my first RF 7 from a guy who wife pushed him to sell them.  His room was to small for the  RF 7.  The bass energy even at low volume would travel thru the whole house.  This made it difficult to use the speakers at night.  I came into my Forte speakers the same way.  A  better question is how will these speakers work in my room for newbies.

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On 4/29/2017 at 11:08 AM, derrickdj1 said:

I brought my first RF 7 from a guy who wife pushed him to sell them.  His room was to small for the  RF 7.  The bass energy even at low volume would travel thru the whole house.  

I'm not seeing the problem....

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Yes too small can generate a lot of bass.  When I was a kid I made a set of speakers with a set of RS 8" woofers.  In my space, not enough umph.  Sold them to a friend and they put them in a smaller room and they sounded huge with prodigious bass.  I was amazed at how much the room played a factor.  So much bass as to think he had to roll off the bass.

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On 5/3/2017 at 4:48 PM, russ69 said:
On 4/29/2017 at 2:08 PM, derrickdj1 said:

I brought my first RF 7 from a guy who wife pushed him to sell them.  His room was to small for the  RF 7.  The bass energy even at low volume would travel thru the whole house.  

I'm not seeing the problem....

:D

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On 4/28/2017 at 10:34 PM, derrickdj1 said:

Now, how to evaluate the speaker in the room.

I agree with everything you're saying. I have had some components, such as speakers, that sounded great hear, but terrible there, or great with this amp and terrible with that amp, but that amp with these speakers. 

 

Your write up is spot on. The whole package will be too much for someone who is new, or an old dog that still thinks that Bose is the best. :lol: 

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On 4/28/2017 at 9:34 PM, derrickdj1 said:

This may just be me but, to often, I hear things like this speaker is better than that speaker  or, this speaker kills that one.  This type of info tells you nothing, did I say nothing.;)  Newbies are always asking for speaker selection help.  They will get the, this will kill that?  What should we be telling them?


My answer is that I agree with your last statement, and we should be telling them specifics that explains this.  That the voicing is correct and accurate while another isn't as good, that one sounds shouty compared to the other, that the blending of the two drivers is seamless, that one is fatiguing while another one isn't comparatively, that the attack from the woofer(s) from one seems much more powerful than the other, that one digs deeper or another has more upper bass output, that crossover points of the treble / midrange on one is lower than the other which is evident on cymbal crashes, etc., etc., etc., etc.  It may fly over their head but all you can do is try to educate.  

 

I don't necessarily agree with your room size ideas though.  I've seen your statements on other threads as if guys with rooms smaller than your big basement shouldn't be looking at the pro line.  It's just a misled idea.  Jubilees sound _good_.  KI-396's sound _good_.  396's are accurate, they're punchy, they're defined.  I've heard them side by side against the 7's that you have in a smaller room than yours and they just sound better in multiple ways.  Having a smaller room than yours and having that professional label doesn't change this.  Jubilees are tall yet do well in small rooms due to that big horn.  You're generalizing in the same way that your'e ranting about.  

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1 hour ago, MetropolisLakeOutfitters said:

My answer is that I agree with your last statement, and we should be telling them specifics that explains this.  That the voicing is correct and accurate while another isn't as good

 

1 hour ago, MetropolisLakeOutfitters said:

I don't necessarily agree with your room size ideas though.  I've seen your statements on other threads as if guys with rooms smaller than your big basement shouldn't be looking at the pro line.

You have made some very insightful statement.  The point of the thread was to hopefully get us to step back for a moment before recommending one speaker over another without more info.  The room size thing is an old debate and others don't have to agree on A, B, and C.  The point is that the room size is a consideration and just including that in the equation will go a long way.

 

I am not for or against the Cinema line.  They are just additional speakers in the arsenal to use.  I do think room size applies in the thread you mentioned.  The room is less than 2000 cu. ft.  Post calibration the speakers may all be -12 and need attenuators, size and fit may be possible with smaller speaker and not compromise on SQ.  The small room will be problematic in dialing in the bass.  Sure traps and treatments can be used but, these things may not be needed with a different selection of speakers.

 

I know you have heard a wider range of Klipsch various offering than I have.  That is one reason I leave it to you and some of the other guys to tell people what the differences are between various speaker.  My comment are usually along general guidelines and not specific in regard to one speaker on another.  For the most part, I like them all for a certain application.  I don't think anyone can easily find a post where I am putting down a particular speaker as sounding bad, poorly built, etc.

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22 hours ago, pauln said:

Even the professionals evaluate the sound of speakers up for review by comparing their sound to the reviewer's "reference speakers"... instead of the sound of real live music.

 

Which partially explains the crappy quality of recordings these days, if you are referring to studio engineers.

 

If you are talking about FOH engineers and touring sound providers, then speaker system comparisons are perfectly valid because the PA is the original sound that one hears at a large concert.

 

If you are talking about hifi magazine reviewers, I can't consider any of these to be any more than professional shills and literary prostitutes who should be ignored.

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Many good points here and nothing really sounds like bad advice, but yes you have to be careful with blanket statements, it's so easy to think what works for one person is good for all. Between the room and the recording alone this can throw in so many variances it's not funny. 

 

I think the general blanket habits of different models is ok as long as it's clear it's just some peoples opinion. Like a khorn doesn't really work correctly not tight in a corner or have sealed backs, a Cornwall seems to have more bass than a LaScala or Heresy but the latter appears tighter, the Rf line does have a slightly different sound than heritage, not better or worse, just different. Things like this does really help people decide what they want, we just have to be sure it's not one person's opinion which is out of line with general thinking. I have received help and advice with many things over the years which led me in the right direction and saved me from wasting money.

 

I will say one thing that bothers me more than anything is when someone buys set of, let's say forte's and gets them home and ask about how to clean them up. No problem, until you get the post..........well after you clean them up you might as well change out all the diaphragms to titanium and get a new updated crossovers, plus tape some weights to the passive radiator to tune it lower and brace the inside of the cabinet more since your wiping them off. :o

 

REALLY is something wrong with you, the guy never even plugged them in yet and has no idea what they sound like never hearing a forte before, and your going to suggest these things. It's just crazy, I feel like choking people when things like this are said...but I have to control myself.     I know they mean well but give them a chance to know what they even have before sending them down that road.

 

Good thread, it's good that everyone cares, really good.  I say this because many here have helped me with good advice many times which stopped me from making mistakes and wasting money which I have none to waste.

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Yes, we care dtel.  For those that don't like or want to consider room size, here is another consideration.  Listening position vs speaker distance to the mains, 6-8 ft, 8-12 ft and 12 or more ft to MLP.  I have found that larger speakers don't image well if the MLP is to close, 6-8 ft., They may with a bit of work image well 8-12 ft. with careful setup and decent autocalibration.  Otherwise big towers get in the way of themselves.  The optmal position and speaker size is directly related to the MLP.

 

I am the first to say that my Mains could be better positioned but, due to room constraint, it is very hard to do better without busting down some wall and a major re-work of the listening space.  Thank goodness for auto EQ and great room correction that minimizes the imaging and sound stage short comings.  The equilateral triangle concept can't be watered down when setting up speakers.

 

Just as important are the two most prominent reflections.  It's not the side wall or back wall but, related to the MLP.  They are the floor and ceiling for most of us.  These are the two boundaries closes to us.  The floor is covered with some carpeting or elevating a sp.eaker.  Now the ceiling is another story.   A speaker to tall will have more problematic ceiling reflections.  A basement drop ceiling will act as a bass trap.  A cathedral  or high ceiling present it's own problems.  This can be addressed in two way, Tx the ceiling or get a shorter/taller speakers.

 

Hopefully by now some of what I am trying to get across has some credibility.  WHY have a 102 or 104 db speaker if you are sitting 6-10 ft away with a 200 watt amp. You are free to change the amp or speakers, your choice.  You will never need the wattage and sensitivity.  If these happen to be large towers the imaging may suffer without some serious setup and room work that could have be avoided.

 

Agree or disagree, hopefully this will makes us reflect a little longer on our choice with room size and MLP distance as consideration.  This is not about a particular speaker and is probably the reason the VF 35's have not come to the  upgrade bug in my family room.  They are not Reference, Heritage or some other higher regarded speaker, that are just right for the room and application.

 

 

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I'll play the devil's advocate. Some very broad statements have been made and I'm not willing to buy into all of them. Comparing speaker A to speaker B can easily be done if the differences between the two loudspeakers is great. A crappy loudspeaker is a crappy loudspeaker no matter what room you put it in. On the other side of the coin I have heard large systems in small rooms that sound fine. My rule is that a good loudspeaker will always sound better than a poor loudspeaker regardless of room size. Even if the large loudspeaker needs a bigger room to perform to it's potential.  

WHY have a 102 or 104 db speaker if you are sitting 5-10 ft away with a 200 watt amp.

Why not? No harm done. 

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On 5/7/2017 at 1:57 PM, derrickdj1 said:

I have found that larger speakers don't image well if the MLP is to close, 6-8 ft., They may with a bit of work image well 8-12 ft. with careful setup and decent autocalibration.  Otherwise big towers get in the way of themselves.  The optmal position and speaker size is directly related to the MLP.

 

 

Trent put Jubilees in a fairly small room and says his sweet spot is the size of his couch.  Something to think about.  

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11 minutes ago, MetropolisLakeOutfitters said:

 

Trent put Jubilees in a fairly small room and says his sweet spot is the size of his couch.  Something to think about.  

I believe it. 

This was a question I had for Roy a good while back, what he said surprised me a little but it did make sense.

What he said was in small rooms a larger horn is better, it can control the room better as far as the directivity of the sound. Now it's been a while and I don't remember exactly what he said but it made sense, If he see's this I am sure he would comment. I originally thought the opposite but was corrected. No problem with bigger speakers in a small room as far as the sound goes, as far as convenience and other things that's a different subject.

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On 5/7/2017 at 1:57 PM, derrickdj1 said:

WHY have a 102 or 104 db speaker if you are sitting 6-10 ft away with a 200 watt amp. You are free to change the amp or speakers, your choice.  You will never need the wattage and sensitivity.  If these happen to be large towers the imaging may suffer without some serious setup and room work that could have be avoided.

 

102 db sensitivity and 200 watts is unacceptable?  What about 108 db and a 50 watt amp, is that ok?  

 

 

"We recognize the FACT that distortion is approximately inversely proportional to efficiency and that high and uniform efficiency relates to "flatness" or uniformity of output with respect to frequency or so-called "flat response".  After making thousands of response and distortion measurements we realize the truth of these relationships.  So, contrary to "Carver's Law", we aver that quality is proportional to efficiency."  -- Paul

 

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