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  1. #51
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    By "large", do you mean long or wide? A wide panel will have a narrower horizontal dispersion than a narrower panel. Yes, its true! In this respect a panel obeys the same rule as a cone speaker. The height of the panel is irrelevant for horizontal dispersion.

    The 1.6's quasi-ribbon tweeter panel is about 2" wide; its horizontal dispersion is much narrower than the 3.6's true-ribbon tweeter that is about 0.5" wide.
    Feanor,
    This is what I thought. So I am somewhat confused at the direction this debate is taking. I also thought that how the panel was oriented(vertical for broad horizontal dispersion, and horizontal for broad vertical dispersion pattern) was also a factor.
    Sir Terrence

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  2. #52
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbrunswick
    I do not want to put myself in the position of defending the 901s, but, in a spirit of fairness, I must point out that the 901s are made nearly completely of wood, not plastic, weigh about the same as the 1.6s (35-40 pounds each) and do, indeed, reproduce high frequencies to the threshold of human hearing and beyond. As to how loud they play, my goal when I replaced my stacked Advents 20+ years ago was not to see how hard I could drive the 901's, but to be able to accurately reproduce the sound level I would perceive sitting in a concert hall listening to an orchestral crescendo without blowing a line fuse. Granted, the sound produced by my then amplifier, a Phase Linear 400, could have contributed to that particular problem. After graduating to the Hafler DH200 I have used for nearly 20 years, I was content. I have listened to Magneplaners at various points and was impressed, but not blown away. I never really knew whether the speakers or the exotic electronics that usually accompanied them was the reason for the improvement in sound. I now am improving my electronics to the point that an upgrade to my speakers would be logical. This is the reason I am soliciting the opinions of knowledgable people who are familiar with both technologies. Based upon the responses that you, Florian have provided, I feel it is necessary to ask about your level of familarity with the Bose 901s. I detect just the slightest amount of sarcasm in your responses, yet your grasp of the 901 listening experience seems to me to be, shall we say, a bit shallow. Forgive me if I am wrong about this.
    BBrunswick,
    With all due respect to you, the 901's are known to roll off rapidly above 12khz. They are also have a tendency for high distortion below 80hz if played even moderately loud. If you limited their ouput below 80hz, you could probably play them quite loud, but then you would have increased distortion above 12khz.While the external EQ can compensate for the speakers lack of deep bass and higher frequencies, it does so with the penalty of reducing a amps headroom, and increasing distortion from driver over excursion. It also suffers from the doppler effect of having the same drivers reproduce deep bass and high frequency simultaneously. There are some drawback to trying to reproduce concert hall like diffusion.

    These speakers were based on a premise that cannot successfully be done in the home. They smear fine detail, can produce very bloated images, and are known to not have a even frequency response due to comb filtering of all the drivers and the reflections they produce. It was also known to acerbate standing waves in most rooms that they are setup in. So while they have a broad concert hall like dispersion pattern that most owners of the speakers liked, they also had quite a few drawbacks that decreased their sound quality.
    Sir Terrence

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  3. #53
    Forum Regular royphil345's Avatar
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    "Feanor,
    This is what I thought. So I am somewhat confused at the direction this debate is taking. I also thought that how the panel was oriented(vertical for broad horizontal dispersion, and horizontal for broad vertical dispersion pattern) was also a factor."




    Yes, I have just learned that this is true. I'll admit I was wrong about that... I lose... I'll write on the board 500 times... The size of any driver, be it cone or ribbon, effects the dispertion pattern.

    The whole debate really started over if the size or shape of a driver was more important to the dispertion pattern though.

    I still say shape. Think he's overstating the effects of size. A dome will out-disperse any ribbon, any time. Vertically or horizontally...LOL

    And he said that Maggies were designed with a long ribbon to limit floor / ceiling reflections. In fact, if the ribbons were short, they'd hit nowhere near the floor or ceiling and you'd have to keep your head in a very small vertical space to not notice dropoffs in the highs. The short ribbons would have a slightly wider angle of dispertion, but not the coverage of the tall ribbon with a slightly narrower angle of dispertion.

    Basically, this is stuff I knew to be true from experience. Sure... the reasons I came up with to try and prove it were total crap!!!... oh well... LOL

    I have to call this one a draw... and I did learn things.... So... all is well!!!
    Last edited by royphil345; 01-04-2006 at 03:14 PM.

  4. #54
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    royphil345,
    All is well, indeed! My apologies for any of my replies that were testy. I'm in the middle of a database upgrade at work and am putting in long hours with a frustrating situation.

    I'm glad to see Terrence posting some more detailed info on the 901's. I agree with everything posted there re: doppler effect and comb filtering and standing waves. These are serious problems that would definitely stop me from ever purchasing 901's.

    The only quality measurements I've seen on the frequency response of the 901's had them rolling off sharply at 16Khz, not 12Khz, but that's splitting hairs; there are only a couple half-tones in between there. Besides, it's still not the 20Khz+ fidelity most of us like to see in a loudspeaker (even if we can't hear that high anymore). For what it's worth, on the bottom-end these measurements also reported the 901's dropping off sharply at 50Hz. I wish I still had the article, but I don't.

    I haven't seen any measurements indicating high distortion below 80Hz. The 9 x 4.5" drivers on each 901 have roughly the same surface area of a 12" driver and in my experience can perform quite well (i.e. quite loud and free from distortion) down to their limits around 50Hz. Of course, you still get the doppler effect and intermodulation distortion inherent in any "full-range" driver. (notice full range in quotes)

    My understanding is that the original couple series of 901's were sealed instead of ported and rolled off much more gradually than the past few series.

    Anyhow, just a little more fuel for the 901 fire.

    -Adam

  5. #55
    Forum Regular royphil345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmb_fan
    royphil345,
    All is well, indeed! My apologies for any of my replies that were testy. I'm in the middle of a database upgrade at work and am putting in long hours with a frustrating situation.
    -Adam
    Good... my apologies as well... Had a rough day myself...

    Nothing wrong with a spirited debate from time to time anyhow... I can take it... I really try not to hold onto pigheaded opinions like many people on internet message boards and really do try to understand the other side of a debate, even if it gets a little heated. Not afraid to learn things and admit when I'm wrong. I even learned how to use the quote box thing finally... see?

  6. #56
    Forum Regular thepogue's Avatar
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    your words....

    my thoughts!!....nicely said.

    Pogue


    Quote Originally Posted by Resident Loser
    ...is to ignore him...unless your gear costs an arm and a leg or otherwise meets his "approval" parameters, it's just plain junk in his sagacious opinion...after all what do you expect from someone who uses the etymological nightmare and virtual non-word "irregardless".

    His remark that Bose 901s are "...light, small and made of plastic..." is simply an example of the depths of his vast puddle of knowledge.

    And, as someone poiinted out, he seems to be a "threadjacker" par excellence...IMO more of a high handed, ego-centric troll...

    jimHJJ(...but, that's just my opinion...)
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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmb_fan
    royphil345,
    All is well, indeed! My apologies for any of my replies that were testy. I'm in the middle of a database upgrade at work and am putting in long hours with a frustrating situation.

    I'm glad to see Terrence posting some more detailed info on the 901's. I agree with everything posted there re: doppler effect and comb filtering and standing waves. These are serious problems that would definitely stop me from ever purchasing 901's.

    The only quality measurements I've seen on the frequency response of the 901's had them rolling off sharply at 16Khz, not 12Khz, but that's splitting hairs; there are only a couple half-tones in between there. Besides, it's still not the 20Khz+ fidelity most of us like to see in a loudspeaker (even if we can't hear that high anymore). For what it's worth, on the bottom-end these measurements also reported the 901's dropping off sharply at 50Hz. I wish I still had the article, but I don't.

    I haven't seen any measurements indicating high distortion below 80Hz. The 9 x 4.5" drivers on each 901 have roughly the same surface area of a 12" driver and in my experience can perform quite well (i.e. quite loud and free from distortion) down to their limits around 50Hz. Of course, you still get the doppler effect and intermodulation distortion inherent in any "full-range" driver. (notice full range in quotes)

    My understanding is that the original couple series of 901's were sealed instead of ported and rolled off much more gradually than the past few series.

    Anyhow, just a little more fuel for the 901 fire.

    -Adam
    Thanks to both you and Terrance for the great responses to my question. I am beginning to understand the issues the have been expressed as opinions thus far. Of course, I would never use the 901s without the equalizer, and I can see the trade offs it presents. However, on the Stereophile forum, one of the rave reviews of the Magnepan 1.6s strongly recommends the use of the REL Storm III subwoofer to significantly enhance the sound quality of those speakers. Wouldn't a good subwoofer eliminate many of the problems you mention in the 901s?

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbrunswick
    Wouldn't a good subwoofer eliminate many of the problems you mention in the 901s?
    Yes. In fact, if you're looking for improved low frequency performance, an interesting place to start might be to add a decent subwoofer and cross the 901's over at 80Hz. This would greatly reduce intermodulation distortion, overexcursion, the doplar effect, some of the standing wave issues (below 80Hz) etc. But it wouldn't do anything about the comb filtering and the high-frequency roll-off.

    This might be the time to post another thread asking for replacement suggestions for the 901s. You'll get a ton of good suggestions for all sorts of speakers.

    I liked your comment earlier about only being able to be an audiophile from twenty years ago. That's the way to go! I recently bought a pair of top-of-the-line Thiels from circa 1990, and I think they're as good or better than anything on the market for less than several thousand dollars.

    Anyway, my point is, it might help to move the discussion to what sorts of music you listen to at what kinds of volumes in what kind of room and what speakers might be a good match for this.

    Likewise, adding a subwoofer is a specific decision that makes a lot of sense sometimes and a lot less sense in other situations. Whether to add a sub to your favorite speakers is a whole 'nother topic.

    Happy hunting!
    -Adam

  9. #59
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbrunswick
    Listen, I wish I was smart enough to take you guys on. After a discussion about a certain Bach Cantata with the musical director of my local church, he asked me what instraments I played. I informed him that I have no musical talent at all. "Well, he said, we need good listeners too." So, I will continue in my roll as a good listener and pick up as much knowledge as I can, along the way, from experts like you.

    Wow...this is such great advice! (with exception to the last part...where you make reference to listening to the experts here. It would be good practice to take the rest of your advice though...and use guidence from the other opinions you may find here...at other websites and in magazines. )

    If your able...take your time...and have fun!

    dan
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    enjoy the music!

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmb_fan
    Yes. In fact, if you're looking for improved low frequency performance, an interesting place to start might be to add a decent subwoofer and cross the 901's over at 80Hz. This would greatly reduce intermodulation distortion, overexcursion, the doplar effect, some of the standing wave issues (below 80Hz) etc. But it wouldn't do anything about the comb filtering and the high-frequency roll-off.

    This might be the time to post another thread asking for replacement suggestions for the 901s. You'll get a ton of good suggestions for all sorts of speakers.

    I liked your comment earlier about only being able to be an audiophile from twenty years ago. That's the way to go! I recently bought a pair of top-of-the-line Thiels from circa 1990, and I think they're as good or better than anything on the market for less than several thousand dollars.

    Anyway, my point is, it might help to move the discussion to what sorts of music you listen to at what kinds of volumes in what kind of room and what speakers might be a good match for this.

    Likewise, adding a subwoofer is a specific decision that makes a lot of sense sometimes and a lot less sense in other situations. Whether to add a sub to your favorite speakers is a whole 'nother topic.

    Happy hunting!
    -Adam
    My choices in music are part of my problem. I am something of a musical omnivour in that I enjoy virtually all music types (with the possible exception of country) ranging from jazz (DBT), to funk (Prince), to fusion (DMB), to orchestral, to boroque, to choral, to classical, to rock, to Broadway, to disco, to the jam bands, to hip hop, to blue grass, etc. I do not want to engineer a system to the exclusion of any music type. The speakers will live in a 20x20 room with reasonably good acoustics and will not be part of a home theater setup. As to volume, I am looking to approach the sound level I might encounter in a live performance. This does not mean a big box venue sitting 20 feet from a monster speaker tower while someone sets fire to his guitar. More like standing 20 feet from Ramsey Lewis playing the piano. I do, however want to cry when I hear the cannon report during the 1812 Overture. By the way, I assume we are talking about the same DMB.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbrunswick
    By the way, I assume we are talking about the same DMB.
    Been to 40 shows and still going strong! I'm the only one in the office at 10:40pm, which means I'm trying to blow my computer speakers with a little live "Jimi Thing" from Worcester Mass. in 1998.

    More speaker suggestions tomorrow...

    Best,
    Adam

  12. #62
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    Adam, I'm wondering …

    … if the reduced overexcursion would improve the treble as well as the bass.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbrunswick
    I do not want to put myself in the position of defending the 901s, but, in a spirit of fairness, I must point out that the 901s are made nearly completely of wood, not plastic, weigh about the same as the 1.6s (35-40 pounds each) and do, indeed, reproduce high frequencies to the threshold of human hearing and beyond. As to how loud they play, my goal when I replaced my stacked Advents 20+ years ago was not to see how hard I could drive the 901's, but to be able to accurately reproduce the sound level I would perceive sitting in a concert hall listening to an orchestral crescendo without blowing a line fuse. Granted, the sound produced by my then amplifier, a Phase Linear 400, could have contributed to that particular problem. After graduating to the Hafler DH200 I have used for nearly 20 years, I was content. I have listened to Magneplaners at various points and was impressed, but not blown away. I never really knew whether the speakers or the exotic electronics that usually accompanied them was the reason for the improvement in sound. I now am improving my electronics to the point that an upgrade to my speakers would be logical. This is the reason I am soliciting the opinions of knowledgable people who are familiar with both technologies. Based upon the responses that you, Florian have provided, I feel it is necessary to ask about your level of familarity with the Bose 901s. I detect just the slightest amount of sarcasm in your responses, yet your grasp of the 901 listening experience seems to me to be, shall we say, a bit shallow. Forgive me if I am wrong about this.
    I can help you on many fronts here. I've driven Maggies with a LARGE variety of electronics from a small high quality receiver (20w), to tubes, to BIG solid state power amps. They are enjoyable with all of the above. I enjoyed mine.

    Later model 901s (IV series onward) are indeed mostly plastic with veneered particle board top and bottom. Unfortunately the plastic is highly resonant.
    Space

    The preceding comments have not been subjected to double blind testing, and so must just be taken as casual observations and not given the weight of actual scientific data to be used to prove a case in a court of law or scientific journal. The comments represent my humble opinion which will range in the readers perspective to vary from Gospel to heresy. So let it be.

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