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  1. #1
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    Talking Speakers designed without a sweet spot?

    Hey folks! Any speaker companies that design speakers for wide dispersion? I am looking for a main speaker that does not really have a center sweet spot. I have seen some rear speakers that look as if they projected differently. Any companies to look up? Thanks

  2. #2
    My custom user title This Guy's Avatar
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    a lot of the planar and electrostat panel speakers have a very wide dispersion...also are usually on the more expensive side. You could try out Magnepan, their cheapest two way speaker is the MMG, last time i checked it was $500, but they're online only. Generally, the speakers with the wider dispersion will not go as loud as lower dispersion speakers (obviously efficiency and power handling are variables). I dont really know of any others, havent been paying a lot of attention to audio lately.

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    You might want to look into the Mirage Omni series. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    The inexpensive Magnepan speakers actually have very narrow dispersion of high frequencies and a small "sweet spot". I agree that the Mirage Omni or OmniSat series would be good bets. Another alternative would be using dipolar or bipolar surround speakers as mains as well as surrounds.

  5. #5
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    Wide dispersion = Ohm Walsh series.

    http://www.sixmoons.com/audioreviews/ohm/ohm.html

    http://www.sixmoons.com/audioreviews/walsh/micro.html

    Although I'm not a review nut, John Potis gives a good idea of what to expect with the Ohms. They sound really good.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by This Guy
    a lot of the planar and electrostat panel speakers have a very wide dispersion...also are usually on the more expensive side. You could try out Magnepan, their cheapest two way speaker is the MMG, last time i checked it was $500, but they're online only. Generally, the speakers with the wider dispersion will not go as loud as lower dispersion speakers (obviously efficiency and power handling are variables). I dont really know of any others, havent been paying a lot of attention to audio lately.
    Planar speakers have narrow dispersion. It has to do with the large driving surfaces. Generally, the larger the driver, the lower the frequency it starts to bean. Here are links to the Stereophile measurements for a couple of them:

    http://stereophile.com/loudspeakerre...95/index6.html

    http://stereophile.com/loudspeakerre...20/index7.html

    Here's a link to Stereophile measurements for a well-designed 2 way box speaker:

    http://stereophile.com/loudspeakerre...30/index4.html

    Which will work better for someone depends on their taste, their listening room and the set up. I have owned both planar speakers and forward radiating box speakers.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  7. #7
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    Every Maggie I've ever heard, including their best models requires your head to be locked into a vise otherwise you lose the center image and soundstaging...not exactly what I'd call "wide dispersion".
    Now, if you can sit yourself into the sweet spot, a good planar can sound phenomenal.

  8. #8
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    A hybrid planer with very wide dispersion.


  9. #9
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Not in generally

    Quote Originally Posted by This Guy
    a lot of the planar and electrostat panel speakers have a very wide dispersion...also are usually on the more expensive side. ...
    As Pat D points out, it depends on the width of the driver panel. Magneplanars and the majorityt of electrostatics have relatively wide panels and have very restricted sweet spots.

    On the other hand narrow drivers, i.e. most ribbons, quasi-ribbons (like Newform Research), and narrow planars (such as Bohlender-Graebener), have pretty wide lateral dispersion which is sometimes accompanied by restricted vertical dispersion, especially when the driver is quite tall. Arguably, for typical seated listening, you'll be best off with the wider lateral but narrow vertical dispersion.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRiTiKaL
    Hey folks! Any speaker companies that design speakers for wide dispersion? I am looking for a main speaker that does not really have a center sweet spot. I have seen some rear speakers that look as if they projected differently. Any companies to look up? Thanks
    Quite a number of speakers nowadays have an even frequency response over a wide horizontal dispersion and at least a reasonable vertical dispersion. I have often cited an interview that John Atkinson of Stereophile did with Paul Barton of PSB. It's very clear about the basics and here is a good quote:

    "Take a speaker that has smooth sound, power, good off-axis response, good on-axis response. When you think about it, it's probably the most forgiving speaker in any kind of environment. Because when the room is dead, all you hear is the on-axis sound, and it's okay! And when it's in a live room, you hear the sound power, or the reverberant energy, and that's okay!"

    http://stereophile.com/interviews/231/index3.html

    The link is to the particular page but you can easily go the Page 1 of the interview.

    Anyway, such speakers maintain a good stereo image over a fairly wide angle.

    You don't mention a price range but quite a number of manufacturers make good, wide dispersion speakers, such as Paradigm, PSB, Energy, Mirage, Totem, Axiom, B & W, Kef, Dynaudio, Boston Acoustics, and many others. I gave a link to the Stereophile site, which has a lot of speaker reviews on it, so I will link to Soundstage.com here:

    http://www.soundstageav.com/speakermeasurements.html
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    On the other hand narrow drivers, i.e. most ribbons, quasi-ribbons (like Newform Research), and narrow planars (such as Bohlender-Graebener), have pretty wide lateral dispersion which is sometimes accompanied by restricted vertical dispersion, especially when the driver is quite tall. Arguably, for typical seated listening, you'll be best off with the wider lateral but narrow vertical dispersion.
    Your comment reminded me of a loudspeaker I came across while browsing the Swans website. The Swans F3F uses a ribbon midrange as well as a ribbon tweeter. Take a look at the measurements of the F3F. In particular, notice the horizontal response plot. Now there is a speaker without a sweet spot. Apparently these can be special ordered in the U.S. for around $2000 per pair.

  12. #12
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    I had a pair of psb floorstanders and I really thought they had an even-keel tonal balance and wide listening area until I brought home a pair of Ohm Microwalshes. Suddenly all of those traits were gone. I really thought I was going to hold on to them for a second system, but I could not continue listening to them. The more I listened to other floorstanders (under $2500), 99% of them had the same problems as the psbs. Now keep in mind that the Ohms aren't perfect, nothing is at the $1K price range, but considering what you are looking for, they are a choice to consider. Also, keep in mind that I'm a/bing speakers at home, not from store to store. Oh, and stay away from Stereophile reviews.

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    All is true so far, however if you use Distributed Mode Panel (DML), the driver excites panel resonance as opposed to ordinary pistonic motion, DML panels have a wide dispersion pattern and wider sweetspot, they are are dipoles but in almost all commercial implementations the backwave energy is damped, so that energy above 250Hz does not overpower the traditional woofer driver.

  14. #14
    dba
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    Von Schweikert use a unique home-made crossover for this very reason,speakers with na narrow sweet spot are a waste of time in my opnion hence why i use their VR-1s

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by theaudiohobby
    All is true so far, however if you use Distributed Mode Panel (DML), the driver excites panel resonance as opposed to ordinary pistonic motion, DML panels have a wide dispersion pattern and wider sweetspot, they are are dipoles but in almost all commercial implementations the backwave energy is damped, so that energy above 250Hz does not overpower the traditional woofer driver.
    Do we have actual measurements to verify the wide dispersion of NXT speakers?
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  16. #16
    My custom user title This Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    Planar speakers have narrow dispersion. It has to do with the large driving surfaces. Generally, the larger the driver, the lower the frequency it starts to bean. Here are links to the Stereophile measurements for a couple of them:

    http://stereophile.com/loudspeakerre...95/index6.html

    http://stereophile.com/loudspeakerre...20/index7.html

    Here's a link to Stereophile measurements for a well-designed 2 way box speaker:

    http://stereophile.com/loudspeakerre...30/index4.html

    Which will work better for someone depends on their taste, their listening room and the set up. I have owned both planar speakers and forward radiating box speakers.
    my bad, been a little rusty lately

  17. #17
    RGA
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    One thing I liked about the B&W CDM 1NT was that you could sit without your head in a vice and get a similar presentation - if the 705 wasn't so annyoingly banal I would have bothered to check - but I assume it too would have no sweetspot or a bigger listening area. But then I have horns which supposedly should be bad for this and they are not.

    I think what you want concern yourself with is how they sound...the fact that they sound the same in a wider area doesn't help if it sounds boring or bad in a wider area. I'm puzzled by people who place huge emphasis on this - I personally listen in a listening chair or on a couch - assuming the speaker is respsectable in the off axis response it should be more than fine. Heck even average speakers like the Paradigm Monitor 5 seemed to do very well off axis - but a zingy treble and an overall artifical etchy sound doesn't make me want to buy em - give me head in a vice but great sound anyday,

  18. #18
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    RGA: I think you've got to find balance here. The worst thing to me is having to spend 38 seconds of a song fitting your head exactly in a small sweet spot in order to enjoy the music. Every slight deviation then disrupts the presentation. The Monitor 5's are actually a good example of this dilemma, IMO, as are most speakers in this price range I've heard. Off axis response is fine, and necessary to cool the Monitor 5's down a bit to my liking, but the I can't think of anything more articial than an intensesly focused center image that disappears when you move a bit. This sounds more fake to me than boom and sizzle speakers, not very musical at all. Good imaging, sure, but at the expense of a 3-D presentation. Real performances do not have the sound of pin point imaging.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz Roll
    I had a pair of psb floorstanders and I really thought they had an even-keel tonal balance and wide listening area until I brought home a pair of Ohm Microwalshes. Suddenly all of those traits were gone. I really thought I was going to hold on to them for a second system, but I could not continue listening to them. The more I listened to other floorstanders (under $2500), 99% of them had the same problems as the psbs. Now keep in mind that the Ohms aren't perfect, nothing is at the $1K price range, but considering what you are looking for, they are a choice to consider. Also, keep in mind that I'm a/bing speakers at home, not from store to store. Oh, and stay away from Stereophile reviews.
    I'm glad you like your speakers. A few years ago, I heard a pair of Ohm F speakers in my dealer't big listening area.

    Some friends of mine like the Mirage OM speakers, which are almost omnidirectional. I thought the tonal balance was a bit too laid back in the store but they were enjoyable. The balance was too laid back at home, too. As well, I just couldn't get them to sound right in our living room. My old Quads had worked better, though not perfectly.

    On the other hand, the PSB Stratus Minis work very well in our living room, and no doubt a number of other forward radiating speakers would, too.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  20. #20
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    NHT is comming out with a new speaker line called the XD series. Very expensive, but supposidly has a huge "sweet spot" that essentially makes all listening positions in the sweet spot. Tech TV awarded it best extreme audio product of CES.

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    Lightbulb Some objective measurements

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    Do we have actual measurements to verify the wide dispersion of NXT speakers?
    I do not have the dispersion pattern measurements for my specific implementation, but this AES paper gives peer-verified measurements for a typical DML panel alias NXT speaker implementation.

  22. #22
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Ohm F's

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    ... A few years ago, I heard a pair of Ohm F speakers in my dealer's big listening area.
    ...
    I owned a pair back around 1974-80. They were true omnidirectionals. They were large, inefficient, and 4 ohm; I had to buy a Phase Linear 400. Though their sound was imperfect in some ways, I have always regretted selling them. The Phase Linear, on the other hand, I still own though it is not in use at the moment.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate dog
    NHT is comming out with a new speaker line called the XD series. Very expensive, but supposidly has a huge "sweet spot" that essentially makes all listening positions in the sweet spot. Tech TV awarded it best extreme audio product of CES.
    This looks like a very interesting speaker, of course we'll see soon enough how it actually sounds. The concept behind the speaker is using an adaptive EQ system with a digital crossover that uses a very steep slope. They claim that it creates a speaker that can image nearly identically from the entire width between the L and R speaker. NHT apparently made a pretty big splash over at CES with this lineup. But, the editors who go to CES tend to get wowed by technology, so I think the verdict on how effective this design is will come out as more people hear the speakers for themselves.

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    Yeah, Pat D, the Ohms are treating me well. I would like to hear a pair of Fs. The newer take on the Walsh design is not true omni, and the addition of a tweeter and other improvements has helped with the inefficiency problem.

    I hear those Stratus Minis are great, I'd probably like them more than the floorstanders.

  25. #25
    dba
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    Speakers designed with a very narrow sweet spot/axis are a waste of time for most living rooms,imho

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