Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Mark Davis, Jun 16, 2018.
A spec sheet is 20times more usefull if you know how to read it and understand it.
Dude, I'm an electrical engineer. I know how to read those things. The problem is that specifications for speakers aren't really useful because real music isn't a sine wave of increasing frequency and the spec sheets conceal a lot of shortcuts and bad design factors. Every speaker is rated 20 to 20k, but that doesn't mean it really is linear across that range or actually hits the targets.
Many speakers lack impedance compensation and poorly reproduce music but the frequency response chart looks sort of ok because it's been re-jiggered for that. Change the scale and all that.
Then there are the issues of cored inductors vs. air core, and electrolytics vs. film. Or bypassed film vs. unbypassed film. Not present on the chart.
Or a reversed midrange because someone didn't understand the difference between phase shift and polarity. (Yeah, who but an engineer would understand that. Ok, maybe someone with ears that worked?) Again, not present on the chart, but certainly audible.
Plus cabinet resonance.
The biggest issue is phase shifts and group delay from higher-order crossovers and poorly designed baffles. Doesn't show up on the chart, but this is audible. Higher-order crossovers have more phase shift than Elvis doing his shimmy on The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show.
None of that shows up in the printed specifications. Which is a problem. Because it makes the speakers sound bad.
Ok, it doesn't show up in the reviews either, because the reviewers are cargo cultists who probably couldn't tell any the difference between the speakers being reviewed and a pair of ear buds.
You missed the qualifier. But that's ok. I know reading is hard.
And has been proven over and over again that many speakers sound identical to the human ear in an anechoic chamber, which many of those readings come from, which tells you exactly nothing about how they will sound in your space.
The specs also won't tell you how they sound with your equipment, nor anything about how they will sound listening to your music.
I'd be interested in how you would do in a blind test to tell the difference between an MB Quart aluminum and titanium tweeter (I happen to have in hand both). I might be able to tell the difference.
Now a soft dome, to a metal, to an AMT, I'm pretty sure I can tell the difference. Maybe. I've never tried but once and I was much younger and had much less tinnitus than I do now.
Hah! There's a difference between reading for entertainment and using said material as gospel.
Wait, what? What?
You mean a bass reflex sounds the same as infinite baffle? Wow, that's some chamber, that anechoic chamber.
Spec sheets gives no indication as how the speaker performs (epescially around the crossover) and most manufacturers don't give honest results. You eluded to sensitivity but this spec only comes into play when one has anemic amplifiers in their audio chain. Sensitivity doesn't say much at how good a speaker is.
Here's a good article about speaker measurements, whats good, whats bad..
These 58 year old ears happen to enjoy speakers that have some cab resonance higher up. Thick walled speakers sound dull at my listening volumes. I do appreciate being in the minority with this preference. It's easier to sell these dull sounding speakers into a market, that mostly agrees with the above statement.
Well now there's a completely clueless and clownish remark if I've ever seen one.
That sound more alike than you think compared to when they are in the corner of your living room.
They tell me more about how they sound in my space with my gear and my music than a review does.
Secondly, that info tells me things about build quality, power handling etc. which I am also interested in.
I think it is time for me to take a vacation. My arms were already tiring from swimming against the current, anyway. And now this roughshod riding?
Indeed! One could as easily say that amplifier power spec only comes into play if one is using obese speakers.
And I'm out.
Please enlighten us with your wisdom. Please tell us the virtues of sensitivity.
Lets take as an example of 2 speakers, one measures flat across the audio spectrum, one measures with an upward tilt in the treble... all this measured in an anoechic chamber. Take these same speakers into a room where its considered lively and reflective. Which speaker would sound worse? The one whose response his flat or the one whose response has the tilt in the frequency?
For my space, what I listen to and how I listen to it, FLAT is bad.
I'll take a "tilted" response.
Late getting to this, but I have to disagree with this statement. Kef used computers to design the Kef 105, and I believe that was in 1977.
OK, so i have to choose between spec sheets and reviews, both of which are useless. I'll take spec sheets.
If you look at it your way, only having the speakers in your house for a demo will provide usefull info as to wether or not they will perform up to expectation. Totally impractical most of the time.
So I choose to stick to manufacturers I trust, look at spec sheets and hope for the best. So far, so good.
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