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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Help! Look at this frequency chart...

    I'm deciding between two different 5.1 systems. I'm not going to say what they are to eliminate bias. Attached is a frequency reponse chart that I quickly aligned for the two different satellites bundled with each system.

    In technical terms, which speaker is better? Black or pink?



    Of course I will listen to both before buying, but I have no idea how to interpret this chart. Seems to me like the pink line is mor promising since towards the low end, it has higher sensitivity. But the roll-off is much steeper than the black chart.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Facts? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    On the surface, the pink looks FAR superior...but FR graphs tell you a very small amount of the total speaker info...There's plenty of $200 speakers that measure as well as $2000 speakers, and yet the $2000 will sound much better. There's also many speakers that with questionable FR plots that sound much better than speakers with perfect FR plots.

    I'm reading a book now that points to FR plots being unreliable as speakers rarely emit only 1 frequency at a time, and the way a speaker responds with multiple frequencies being delivered is much different than its response to a sine wave or sweep.

    I wouldn't worry at all about the steep roll-off below 30 Hz...that's common in most speakers. The responce is likely to vary significantly in your room anyway.

    Do these plots include subwoofers or just satellites? The pink appears to have a sub grouped in there as well.

    Okay, now ya gotta tell us what models?

  3. #3
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Well said, Kex. Damn well said.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I thought the pink was a little too good to be true -- and then I found out that, yes, it was too good to be true.

    Both charts are from Aperion. The pink line is for their new "422" system, and the chart represents the ENTIRE system, not just one satellite like I imagined. It seemed quite amazing to me too, so after posting I called and they confirmed that the chart was mislabeled. Ooops.

    The black line, however, is for a single "522" bookshelf speaker. Pretty remarkable considering how closely it resembles the 422 system in its entirety. Unfortunately, a 5.1 setup with those is beyond my budget.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  5. #5
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    I like both charts. There's none of the god-awful midbass bump that's so common with smaller speakers. If the pink is an entire system then it's a a bit misleading. While not a lie, the testing has been done in a perfect enviroment (anechoic) that doesn't have any room interaction. It will NEVER look like that in your home without serious eq.
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  6. #6
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    Charts is Charts?

    The trouble with these kinds of charts is that you can set the bandwidth of the reciever (micropone) or the chart amplifier to an arbitrary number so that it neatly smooths out any bumps. Conversely you can set the sweep speed so high that the vertical axis can not follow the bumps.

    Both these tricks make the chart look much beter than the speaker is. Having worked around speakers it takes the very best speakers to achive a true +/-3 dB across the band and that speakers priced at mortal levels actually do well achieving +/- 5dB when swept slowly carefully.

    Please also realize that very few speakers and not even many subwoofers actually acheive any useful response below 25 Hz. Charts that show flat more or less to 20 Hz should be viewed with true suspicion.

    Waterfall plots and distortion plots are more useful in evaluating sound quality as opposed to frequency extension. One reason two way speakers are popular is that they have typically higher sound quality at a given price point but they tend to have poor extension i.e they usually don't go very low.

    Most audiophiles would not buy equipment by the numbers, nothing wrong with including numbers in the decision but relying on them is not very wise.

  7. #7
    DIYaudiophilehack
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    As mentioned, at a glance pink is the winner. Does the manufacturer indicate if that is anechoic or in room response? Too many variables and unknowns about measuring technique etc to make a decision based solely on the enclosed graphs.

  8. #8
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Hey, Toenail buddy, where ya been?

    How ya liking the SD-4960? I've just recently got one on loan now and I'm loving it...no problems yet, and the performance is every bit as good as the $400 Yamaha C-750 I have beside it!!!
    Think I'm gonna pull the trigger this weekend!
    You were a great guinea pig, I owe ya!

    Had the same problem you did figuring out how to select the 2-ch vs. multi-channel mode on DVD-A's...found out some DVD-A's don't have them though! What a lesson that was
    I just hit "Audio" on that crappy remote otherwise and seems to alternate between the tracks if available.

    Any projects on the go?

  9. #9
    DIYaudiophilehack
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    Hey there Kex-

    4960 is treating me quite well. I've put multi-channel/hi-rez on hold until the format wars get sorted out. I continue to be amazed at the performance on RB 2channel CD's though. If the recording engineer had half a clue while creating the mix for a given disc the sound quality through the 4960 is fairly impressive, given it's price. Only project currently is fiddling with a Behringer Feedback Destroyer, a tweakers dream come true. I'm finalizing curves for audiophile, club, and HT. HT with good output to below 20hz is awe inspiring and somethinng I'd not previously experienced. I still can't believe this $100 gadget allows for that.

  10. #10
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Question

    You see,already confused and concerned over tech's and charts and worry and you havent even listened to anything. What happens if the chart tells you this speakers is better but the other one sounds better. Who do you belive? Well this sounded better but the graph shows this so i'm sure my ears lied and i'll go with the one that didnt sound as good but the chart liked it.
    Look & Listen

  11. #11
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toenail
    Hey there Kex-

    4960 is treating me quite well. I've put multi-channel/hi-rez on hold until the format wars get sorted out. I continue to be amazed at the performance on RB 2channel CD's though. If the recording engineer had half a clue while creating the mix for a given disc the sound quality through the 4960 is fairly impressive, given it's price. Only project currently is fiddling with a Behringer Feedback Destroyer, a tweakers dream come true. I'm finalizing curves for audiophile, club, and HT. HT with good output to below 20hz is awe inspiring and somethinng I'd not previously experienced. I still can't believe this $100 gadget allows for that.
    Sounds like you're quite content for now then...
    I'm sure you have this website at your disposal, but if not, a lot of good BFD info here:
    http://www.snapbug.ws/bfd.htm

    Mine's on hold at PE, waiting for another 15" Dayton Quatro and 240 watt plate amp so I can stuff them in a sealed cabinet.
    We just bought a 51" Toshiba HDTV (CRT) so I think the speaker projects will be on hold for a few more paychecks.
    I have bought the 4960, it is quite a steal (despite that goofy remote). Any ideas on some good spray paint to paint it black? (actually, the silver isn't bothering me so much anymore...matches the TV now.)
    Good luck with the BFD...I'd love to see an Excel plot of your frequency response before and after.

  12. #12
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    Kex- That link was bookmarked long ago and helped considerably with initial set-up. Plots will be forthcoming, just need to make the time to finish what I started. Congrats on the new toy(s). Don't forget to peel the shipping film from the front of the unit 4960. Helps aesthetics a bit.

  13. #13
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Yeah, I figured you'd find that website on your...I'd hate to try to figure out the BFD without it. Didn't know about the shipping film...thanks for the tip...
    I've got 2 nasty peaks in particular I can't wait to tame, 28 and 56Hz...they're wide peaks too...should help quite a bit.
    Any great SACD/DVD-A recommendations?

  14. #14
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    "Wide" is a relative word when tuning with the BFD. I found that all of my frequency settings woked best when set to the narrowest Q (2). Most of my problems stemmed from very narrow room spikes, some in the +20db range.

  15. #15
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    + 20 dB, wow...I don't feel so bad with the +14 dB's and the -10dB (which I've since found can be corrected by moving the sub over...shifting the node I guess). The +14's are horrible though, the rest of the bass became is pretty inaudible relative to the high SPL signals. Can't wait for it.

    So...how steep is the learning curve with the BFD? And did you at all try to boost any major dips as a result of room nodes? I'm under the impression this is a excercise in futility...

  16. #16
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russellarmand
    I'm deciding between two different 5.1 systems. I'm not going to say what they are to eliminate bias. Attached is a frequency reponse chart that I quickly aligned for the two different satellites bundled with each system.

    In technical terms, which speaker is better? Black or pink?



    Of course I will listen to both before buying, but I have no idea how to interpret this chart. Seems to me like the pink line is mor promising since towards the low end, it has higher sensitivity. But the roll-off is much steeper than the black chart.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Facts? Thanks!
    I do not think this graph has enough resolution to tell completely what is going on here. It appears this chart is in octave widths, which smooth over everything below that resolution. I think this would be MUCH more helpful if it was done in 1/6 octave resolution.
    Sir Terrence

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  17. #17
    DIYaudiophilehack
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    I've not tried to increase the output for any of my valleys. I went back and looked at the original curve. There were two spikes of +18db, one at 46hz and the other at 63hz. Trying to tune around those before the BFD was fruitless. I've only got the experimental (work in progress) HT curve saved on my computer right now. I'll see if I can post it.

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