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Loudspeaker suggestions

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Wooguy, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. OneMoreBunchOfAtoms

    OneMoreBunchOfAtoms Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lahti
    "Speakers would need to be narrow and not very obtrusive." Why not design your own ultra-narrow speakers? I have a very good book about speaker design,why not buy that one or buy my copy. Unfortunately it's in German. So you'd better learn some German, then just get the necessary components, hire a carpenter and do the rest yourself. Like in Star Trek, why not go where no man has gone before?
     
    Mr.Sign likes this.
  2. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I would agree with you that 3-ways in this price range (and often higher), lack coherencey.

    But that has to do with the crossovers more than any other factor.

    That is why you see so many good 2-way speaker designs. It is much easier to make a coherent 2-way speaker than it is a 3-way speaker.

    I don't think that having good midrange required a high SPL.

    The reason that the have the 200 is that it works.

    I'm also not convinced that the design purpose of the 300 is to necessarily give you better midrange, as I am that its design is to reproduce better bass and any improvement in midrange is more of a secondary consideration.

    Monitor Audio is not known for its midrange, the way your Splendors would be.
     
  3. cliff_forster

    cliff_forster Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore Hon
    I don't know if it's always the crossover as much as it's driver matching and alignment. I think the biggest challenge is in super resolving modern tweeter designs, so many of them scream LOOK AT ME!!! I'm playing super crisp high notes!!! WORSHIP THIS TWEETER!!!

    That's alright if every other driver is consistent and can keep up and the tweeter has some kind of reasonable dispersion pattern but I think that's often become the trade-off, to get the most detailed, efficient, extended highs the twetter usually becomes highly directional and as a result you have this problem of hearing the separate drivers play vs. one sound-field. KEF has tried to solve this by placing the twetter in the center of a two way array, and you have ELAC doing something similar with a three way design separating a less directional bass driver. That helps with coherency but it also has a pretty narrow sweet spot.

    I mean it's like anything, more parts, more expensive to build. If you are a manufacturer and you can put one less driver and one less crossover point in a system and sell it for the same amount of money, you are going to aim to do that. I think since the advent of reasonably priced powered subs as well, that three ways have fallen out of favor, but it's not because they inherently lack coherency any more than a two way design where the tweeter is calling itself out.
     
    RockAddict likes this.
  4. Helom

    Helom DavidR’s man crush

    Location:
    U.S.
    The pattern I’ve experienced is a lack of coherency where manufacturers use a small cone for a dedicated midrange and place the crossover point somewhere around 2kHz. It may produce ideal measurements for many designs but I’m not convinced it translates to a better listening experience, all else being equal. Large cones beam at higher frequencies on paper but I haven’t noticed off-axis detriments in my listening experience. I sometimes suspect B&W uses large midrange cones because the small ones tend to result in small-sounding/ recessed midrange.
    One case in point is the Vandy 1Cis vs 2CE Sig IIs. The former have the far better midrange despite lacking the dedicated midrange driver of the latter.

    Oddly though, when a speaker’s tweeter doubles for midrange duty, I don’t notice this effect, maybe because it’s a dome as opposed to a cone.

    As you noted, powered subs can change the game, especially if one can high-pass their 2 or 2.5 way speakers with an active crossover or DSP. I now high-pass my 2-ways with an active crossover, effectively resulting in a 3-way system with my stereo subs. I’ve achieved far superior performance to most 3-way speakers I’ve heard in recent memory, and my subs are fairly inexpensive.
     
    bgiliberti likes this.
  5. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Most direct radiator designs all have their drivers attached to the front baffle, so there is no driver alignment.

    The purpose of a crossover design is to match drivers. This involves setting not only the crossover frequency but the degree of attenuation that is required to properly match the output of each driver.

    Crossover designs must take into consideration phase and impedance.

    The more drivers, the more complex is the crossover design required, the more complex these issues are to address.

    Three way dedigns have not fallen out of favor. Most higher end tower designs are at least 3-way, while the more entry level designs tend to be two way and lower cost.

    Manufacturers do not deliberately design tower type speaker designs as two way in the hope that someone will use a subwoofer with them.

    Two way speakers are not designed that way because they are bass shy. A two way design is simply incorporating the bass driver and the midrange driver into a single driver.

    Speakers with smaller cabinets might be two way because of cabinet space considerations.

    Speakers with smaller cabinet designs, like bookshelves will not play as low as a speaker with the same drivers that is placed in a larger cabinet.

    Most of your audiophile monkey coffin speaker designs are two way because they eliminate the additional driver and crossover for reasons of coherence.

    They do in fact often lack in coherencey, as specially if they are cheaper designs with inferior crossovers.
     
  6. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Will You Be My Neighbor?

    Location:
    USA
    I think there is a lot to what you say. Taking it a step further, I think there's a lot of potential in a system using high quality 2-way satellites designed from the outset to work with an optimally tuned, dedicated sub. Years ago, the late, great Irving M. "Bud" Fried of IMF and then his eponymous Fried company, did just that. The the satellite was basically an LS3/5. However, the key was that he eliminated the usual bass tip up of LS3/5's intended for use without subs. That way he didn't have to do a fancy high/low pass filter, because there was minimal bass response to filter out on the LS3/5. He could then optimize the LS3/5 to do what it does best, fantastic imaging, voices, and the mid range and above. The dedicated subs used large KEF woofers. You sort of got the best of the LS3/5 sound and the full range of a 3-way. It's unfortunate that the all-in-one satellite sub systems are now relegated to the budget category. Fried's system was one of the best I've ever heard.
     
    Helom and cliff_forster like this.
  7. Kal Rubinson

    Kal Rubinson Forum Resident

    How can you know what was in the mind of the designers unless they tell us? Even then, we may question their statement. OTOH, I think it is definitely for the midrange. The 300 already has the larger woofers (6" vs. 5.35") and cabinet than the 200 to serve the bass and they are dedicated to bass without having to encompass the higher frequencies. If they just wanted more better bass, why not just add a third woofer?
    So here's the bottom line: You can listen and judge and/or you can measure and judge. Designer's intent is no longer relevant.
    Most of your audiophile monkey coffin speaker designs are two way because they eliminate the additional driver and crossover for reasons of simplicity and economy.
     
    Agitater likes this.
  8. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Will You Be My Neighbor?

    Location:
    USA
    Would you accept a distinction between simplicity employed in the service of better sound, as opposed to cost cutting alone?
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  9. Helom

    Helom DavidR’s man crush

    Location:
    U.S.
    The problem with 3-ways is the advantage isn’t realized within the affordable marketplace. At least not in any speakers I’ve owned or auditioned. Around $5K/pair^ is where they become relevant. But at that price one can get a Seas A26 kit, have better midrange and still have remaining dough for other components, such as a couple REL subs and an active crossover. The Seas A26 and some RELs will spank the $9K Audio Physic Avantis for example.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  10. Kal Rubinson

    Kal Rubinson Forum Resident

    Please note that I said "simplicity and economy" and not "simplicity in the service of economy." Simplicity can serve both and probably does.
     
    Agitater and bgiliberti like this.
  11. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Depends...

    In case of the smaller primate coffins and bookshelves, it is a question of having only so much available space.

    Also, in smaller cabinets a 4" or 5 1/4" size speaker, which is optimum for midrange, must also be called upon to service the bass.

    Simplicity and economy are one of the few fortunate traits that go hand in hand.

    Given an enclosure of sufficient size to hold three drivers, a manufacture may opt for two drivers of higher quality than the cost of three lesser quality drivers and their crossovers.

    In audio, there has always been the belief that simple is better and often it is.

    Going from a two way to a three way system does add both complexity and cost.

    Designing a good three way system is more costly to implement for cohesive sound and that is chiefly due to the demands of the crossover.

    Also keeping in mind that audiophile grade monkey coffins are not cheap but are mostly two way.
     
    Richard Austen likes this.
  12. Kal Rubinson

    Kal Rubinson Forum Resident

    Exactly and I do not think your broad generalizations are useful.
     
    Mr.Sign likes this.
  13. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I have found KEF speakers (especially the LS50 and R series) to have exceptional sweet spots. If you are experiencing too much treble energy then placement, room factors and system synergy could be opposed.
     
    Mr.Sign likes this.
  14. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Will You Be My Neighbor?

    Location:
    USA
    Backing up, is a "monkey coffin" limited to LS3/5 size, or can it be larger squarish/rectangular bookshelfer, like the Wharfdale Linton?
     
  15. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    If I had a $2.5K budget I would order a set of Falcon Acoustics LS3/5a. Pristine realism in a small form factor. I would then sprinkle in a REL subwoofer (s) as budget allowed.
     
  16. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    One good driver is better than three mediocre drivers - so a speaker that uses a high quality $200 single driver is likely better than a speaker that uses three $75 drivers.

    The theoretical ideal is that full range sound and dynamics would come from a single point in space. Large multi-wat speakers regardless of price run counter to this ideal. So maker try to strike balances.

    A monkey coffin is generally used by Electrostatic, open baffle, and planar speaker fans to denigrate people who buy any kind of boxed speaker. Although most owners of those three kinds of speakers wind up having to buy...gulp...a boxed dynamic driver subwoofer or two. Thus, admitting they need a box! See Martin Logan.
     
  17. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Listen to some PSB Imagine X2T ($1400 / pair). They have spooky good coherence and imaging for a 3-way. Possibly the best speaker value I have ever heard. They have some minor issues but coherency is not one of them!
    Must be all the acoustics work they do at the Canadian NRC labs.
     
  18. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Definitely a win/win if they can do it right.
    I would hope that storied brands known for their midrange like Spendor and Harbeth would not worry about the expense or complexity if they thought that adding a mid driver would improve the sound quality.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  19. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    IMHO it means a larger box. The Linton applies as does a Harbeth M 40.2, JBL L100, etc. 8" or larger woofers.
     
  20. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    On the topic of midrange driver coherence, possibly the worst potential case of incoherence is when a dome midrange is used. The reason is that they typically have a narrow bandwidth and as a result can have audible directional transitions between drivers.
    Put them in a larger cab and listening at close range you can hear the image jump around driver to driver during mid note. Yes, even the famed ATC monitors do this- and it is not good.

    ScanSpeak Discovery D7608/9200-10 3" Dome Midrange (D75MX41)
     
  21. Helom

    Helom DavidR’s man crush

    Location:
    U.S.
    I haven’t heard this model and I don’t doubt your assessment. I was only referring to the many 3-ways I have experienced. There will always be outliers. I’ve both enjoyed and disliked various models derived from the NRC labs.

    I’d take a gamble on the PSBs over the MAs.
     
    SandAndGlass and avanti1960 like this.
  22. cliff_forster

    cliff_forster Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore Hon
    I would not say that at all. That's
    I've always found the LS50 to be an exceptional imaging speaker if you get them placed perfectly. you need the center of the speaker driver ear level more than you might on many other designs. I've always found them to be touchy with space and tow in as well. Once you get them set they do one of the better stereo images I've ever heard but I've never found them to be particularly forgiving.
     
  23. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Of course they would be. They are a small point design. The more a speaker is a point source, the better it will image.
     
  24. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    You might find that others like myself don't use it to degenerate but to humorously describe box speakers in general of moderate size.

    Member @Helom who owns them, affectionally refers to them in the same way, referencing his avatar post comment.
     
    bgiliberti likes this.
  25. nabil98

    nabil98 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bahrain
    B&W 685 S2 is a narrow speaker that will fit your requirements. Had it for sometime, very nice speaker overall, eventually replaced with the B&W 702 S2 which is a superb but much more expensive
     

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