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08-30-2009, 12:33 PM
I think I'm starting to learn a few things about my system at home and others I'm looking at getting.

What I've learned.....

My room need conditioning, but I'm not sure I want to go there. Here is why. If I sit close enough to the the Monitor Audio RS6 speakers I hear the high from the top of the speaker and lows from the bottom. Which frankly is a little irritating. It splits the sound up into plains for existence. But conversely sitting that close allows for great detail and the music totally engulfs me as a listener. If I sit far away the sounds appear to be on one plain but the sound stage becomes confused because of echos in the room.

But here's something else, I'm starting to think, that even in an echo-less room 3-way or more speakers will still present this issue if I am sitting too close.

Recently I was able to go to hear some high end speakers (designed by a physicist) and I heard the same thing. The bass was low to the ground and the highs were up high. The high highs and the low lows never seemed to be able to penetrate the plain they were mounted on. And I KNOW that a stand up bass only has one chamber at one position and that as the sounds go lower or higher the chamber doesn't magically move. anyways...

So what is my point? Not sure, just pointing out things I'm noticing as I listen to more speakers I guess.

08-30-2009, 02:46 PM
As my avatar suggests I like small two way stand mount speakers. Those are my speakers and they have worked in my small living rooms. I listen in the nearfield and enjoy the clarity of the sound with less room interactions. A speaker with more drivers needs more distance for the drivers to integrate before reaching the listener. Sounds like your speakers can not integrate close enough for you to have the nearfield existance.

You might be happy with a speaker that is basically a two way with a built in woofer crossing over around 200 hz. There are a number of speakers wiith a midrange driver and tweeter on the front baffle and a side mounted woofer. Some of the Verity or Coincident speakers for example might work.

I have heard few mulitple driver speakers that I could ever hope to afford that I liked. The Dahlquist DQ 10's that some enjoy were terrible to my ears. I am not saying they were terrible but not to my taste. I may be sensitive to crossovers but one is enough for me. I have days where I would like more bass but not at the expense of losing other qualities.

Good luck in your search.

Oh and if you are feeling brave unscrew your tweeters and reverse their leads. This way the tweeters will be in phase with one another but out of phase with the woofers. This may help integrate them better.

JoeE SP9
08-30-2009, 03:34 PM
Any speaker with more than one transducer will give the multiple source effect.

Room treatment is your only real recourse for first order reflections, slap echo and other things. I don't understand your objection to them. They make the biggest difference for the least money. They don't have to look "agricultural".

If your room is such that you need/want to listen in the near field get some Quad ESL-57's. They approximate a point source and the discontinuity of sound coming from two different sources will not be an issue. A pair of single drivers like Lowthers will also have sound from only one spot. I'm just throwing these ideas out there.

IMO: Room treatment is your best option.

08-30-2009, 03:58 PM
Here are a few suggestions to help with the sound. Try increasing the toe in. Also, tilting them back and inch so they angle upward may help. Or try raising them up and inch or two. I would bet that adding a little tilt will markedly improve the sound.

08-30-2009, 04:01 PM
The ideal would be for all sound to be generated from a point source - a small single driver speaker. Problem is that in virtually all cases for feasible domestic purposes the speakers tend to suffer at both frequency extremes. Many try to get around the problems. Tannoy created the dual concentric which is having the tweeter at the center of the woofer. Bass and treble coming from as close to the same point as possible. It's a neat trick and it works on their better designs. Another alternative is the two way speaker. Both the tweeter and woofer however need to "match-up" at some point where both drivers are producing the same "crossover frequency" and I would argue one of the most difficult things to do properly - most don't do it properly. Often the woofer is not large enough to produce enough bass either which was one of the big reasons to bother with a two way in the first place. So they try and work that problem with a long throw woofer - to make up for a big woofer. But these designs need more power to operate and IMO all of them sound poor regardless of name brand or expense. And then even at the crossover point very little attention is paid to the sonic signature of the actual drivers. You need IMO to have the woofer material and tweeter material to be as similar as is possible. As you know a silk dome can produce 3khz and so too can a ribbon or metal tweeter - but they'll all sound different doing it. At the crossover you hear the signature of a type of woofer material, paper, kevelar, bextene whatever and it is producing frequencies over a given range and then some totally different material with it's signature steps in and carries the note through to the treble band. Having different sounding drivers crossover has not yielded the best results IME.

Of course the argument the I propose is that the woofer needs to be larger - but in order for that to work both the tweeter and woofer need to be robust enough to operate at their crossover points requiring a woofer to be nimble enough to handle the higher frequencies as well as being able to put out bass at power all at the same time. It's quite impressive to me that any of these companies manage to get it all to work as well as it does. IMO a three way or more has even more hurdles - and so far I have not really heard a three way+ design that really works when it comes to sounding "of a piece" or truly coherent. The work around is for a subwoofer but a single subwoofer based system eliminates "stereo" and because the box design and sonic goal of the subwoofer (in a mix and match system) has not been tailored to the sound of the front standmount speakers the results for me musically have been very disappointing - there is more to it than merely finding the "crossover point." The tonality and timbre produced by my speakers in the bass range are completely different when produced by a subwoofer (and not for the better) even with the better music subs. Though I have not tried Genesis.

Still floorstanders do bring other things to the table which some would argue are just as important if not more important than spot on coherence. A big floorstander may not be as coherent as something like a Totem Model one but they provide an easier sense of dynamic scale and realism that no Model One like speaker will ever even remotely hint at - and certainly not at good volume levels.

I prefer a speaker that can sound as close to a single driver as is possible while still having big deep bass and robust dynamics (micro and macro) and an open vibrant clear (not harsh) treble band.

I always start with Piano - listening to acoustic Piano as I type this and to have full body rich tonality and transient and decay sound as if a piano is in the room - without room treatments - is not common.

08-31-2009, 03:19 PM
Here is why. If I sit close enough to the the Monitor Audio RS6 speakers I hear the high from the top of the speaker and lows from the bottom. Which frankly is a little irritating.
Which is why guys like Joe SP9 and I favor full range electrostats - there are no blending issues with single driver systems regardless of listening distance. Indeed you need some room treatments to minimize the first reflections. And get the speakers away from the walls.


08-31-2009, 07:21 PM
Have to agree with E-stat - on the panels the coherence tends to be excellent because the sound is uniform top to bottom. But it should be noted that so are lowthar single driver speakers and they meet more of the theoretical ideal of a point source. Again the compromises sneak in. In order to get acceptable bass response (and in many instances treble response) requires either a dynamic driver (a big ol woofer), corner loading to use the wall as part of the cabinet, or a freaking massive panel.

Bottom line here is that to get it all it's going to cost some coin - and if you can live without much bass and dynamics and volume level then The Quad 2905 is a very good option - but $14k for me is too much to live without those three things - in other words even at $14k you make big big compromises - and there is no way to fix it later or add things to fix it. Adding subwoofers does not change the dynamic ability of the speaker (dynamics are not just located in subwoofer below 100hz region - they're everywhere - on brass and strings. When you listen to big band jazz on big ol horns the Quad 2905 is incredibly polite and distant experience in every way. It's beautiful mind you - elegant and posh and clear as a beautiful day looking out the window at the majesty of it all. A big dynamic system however may sound a tad untidy but you'll feel the wind of that big beautiful day because you'll be on the porch breathing it in not looking at it through the windows. And that is on acoustic jazz or classical I make that statement. On amplified music with bass, kick and snare drums the 2905 folds up its tents and dissapears. But the speed and nimbleness on light orchestral works and lack of colouration and spot on cohesion is very tough to beat - and for some listeners impossible to beat.

And depsite the fact that Dynamics and timbre and tone are my priorities and the fact that I don't think the Quads are really up to it - they STILL manage to be in my top 3 or 4 loudspeakers (under 20k) because what they do so well like sounding of a piece and holographically present if not viscerally present is something that is very much worth considering. Definitely worth an audition - listen to classical and llight jazz first - and be amazed. But then for the reality check - put on Black on Black by AC/DC or Aerosmith Pump or some such albums or just some basic Pop - Madonna's Immaculate Collection Vogue or something and then the reality of compromise will really hit hard.

Ideally you could have two systems - one Quad/Soundlab based (the bigger ones) and then in another room big fat old Horns. I think Audio Note and Tannoy for me to this point strike the best balance between the two extremes.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
09-01-2009, 11:25 AM
Perhaps AA needs to treat his room so he can sit far enough away from them to allow the drivers to blend better. Every speaker has a driver fusion threshold. For nearfield listening, you need to sit right at that fusion threshold, which must be closer to you than you are from the nearest boundary, or that boundary will be apart of what you hear.

All speakers come with some sort of trade off. Panels may have better coherence, but they suffer in dynamics and low frequency extension.

09-01-2009, 06:19 PM
Room treatments really do help DRAMATICALLY. Everything from soundstage to detail to coloration to timing gets better. With the right amount of absorbers, diffusers, bass traps and proper positioning, your system will sound infinitely better than before.

09-01-2009, 07:33 PM
Room treatments really do help DRAMATICALLY. Everything from soundstage to detail to coloration to timing gets better. With the right amount of absorbers, diffusers, bass traps and proper positioning, your system will sound infinitely better than before.

I'm not saying I don't think room treatment works - it does - it just isn't a possibility in the room the speakers are in.

Part of the issue is that I thinking about the future here.

A couple things to note -

1) If I can find a set of two-ways that sound as good as three-ways(or more) or equals that I like, would it be smarter to get the two-ways because.....

2) I live in an apt and wifie and I like to move every so often to get a new apt so retreating rooms all the time is out and I'm not always going to be able to get a room of a size large enough for large floorstanders.

I guess I am thinking ahead. Over the next two years I plan to audition speakers to find a set (and new amp) that I want to have for a good long time. maybe i'm just thinking out loud too much.

09-02-2009, 10:28 AM
In my opinion, any serious setup should have treatments of some kind. Otherwise, your basically wasting your time and money. I have been in a similar living situation before and this is what I suggest:

1. Buy speakers that are designed to take advantage of reflections, such as Mirage, Shahinian, Ohm, Bose, etc...

2. get a good headphone rig (www.head-fi.org)

3. use electronic room correction

You can also buy or make treatments that are portable with wheels on them that you can bring out of the closet when the "wifey" isnt home.

09-02-2009, 11:16 AM
You'll have to find room friendly and position friendly loudspeakers that don't require room treatments and also can work in a fair number of room sizes.

So we're back to the Audio Note J and the Tannoys. The former works best in corners because of the way the port works - the first reflection follows the direct wave so fas that it can't be heard. I had to take down my room treatments because they were deadening the sound too much. The box design is such that overdampening is not a good idea. What you do want to control in room is "clap echo" Go to the end of the room and clap your hands - a good room will have no echo - poor rooms will have a long echo of your clap. If you get the latter you need to use some treatments to get rid of it the best you can - I use treatments in the upper corners of my room which handled the problem enough to be unnoticeable.

But you also need the speaker to work well away from corners (you sacrifice some bass) but the speakers will work very nicely free standing (and still have more bass than other stadmount speakers out there. Other advantages some reports have to do with soundstaging. I don't think they're ideally positioned there but again a speaker oughta be good even when not ideally positioned and that's where superior coherence and timbre and tone of the speaker drivers/cabinet enter the equation. This goes for the Tannoy Prestige line and earlier mentioned Kensington come into play - the speaker sounded good in the middle of the room or realtively near wall and kept the tonaility and dynamics and clarity intact. The AN J and I suspect the Tannoy speakers sound good in any room regardless of whether the room is empty with hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings or heavily furnished rooms with tons of furniture positioned in corners or not in corners. That is what I mean when I talk about room frindly and position friendly - they sound "good" - yes there is an "ideal" but I want the one that will sound good everywhere just in case I move into a home that does not allow an ideal set-up. Few speakers offer that imo.

The best advice is to get the dealer to let you take the speaker home - you have ar more Time to move them around - try them in 3 different rooms in different positions with a wide array of music. You'll know real fast which speakers are friendly and which are not.

Anyway - the next time you audition the E's get them to let you take them home. Here is their US distributor blogs - several pages discuss the positioning and you can see the rooms. At the very bottom left they have previous entires so click on that and it should bring up more info - but you have to dig. http://audiofederation.com/blog/categories/high-end-audio/audio-note/