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A speaker review for the listeners and the measurers


RoHo
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Recently came across this speaker review from Stereophile.  Their speaker reviews, with John Atkinson's measurements, are one of the few hifi reviews I find actually illuminating.  This one is particularly so as the speaker in question had a prominent "feature" in the frequency response.  My two take aways were 1) the measurements were striking and 2) an experienced, thoughtful, skilled reviewer is worth their weight in gold.

If the review was just the measurements or just the listening it would be possible to argue around the fact that this is a seriously flawed design.  But with the two parts together, objective and subjective,  it just punches you right in the face.

https://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/197vienna/index.html

 

 

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17 hours ago, zenikoy said:

Interesting comparison review here.

Very measurement focused.  [Like a lot of amateur YouTube videos, the presentation is very slow. What took 9 minutes to present could have been presented in half that time in my opinion. Perhaps I'm too impatient.]  I was hoping to hear comparison audio recordings of the two models in use in a listening room, but I was disappointed.

Some actual comments on the subjective experience of listening to the speakers before any work was done on them, wouldn't have gone astray! But apparently that lack of subjective comment is the norm for this presenter.  As one of the people commenting on the video states: -

 

11 days ago
Love this series but bugs me there is never any talk about how the things actually sound.

 

Edited by MLXXX
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Just now, davewantsmoore said:

He's a professional speakerer... not YouTuber  😅

 

I didn't research his background.

 

Well let me put it this way then: like many professional speakers, he can spin out what we wants to say, rather than being concise!

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29 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

no... he's a professional "speaker-er".

 

A speaker designer / upgrader / repairer.

I missed that play on words. When reading posts on this forum I generally scan broadly and do not notice typos and grammatical errors. My brain "autocorrects" them.


So I read the word in your post as speaker.  Had you used a hyphen, I probably would have picked up on the pun.

Edit:  I was not implying he was poorly skilled with speakers, or didn't "know his stuff".  It was just that his presentation approach seemed a bit long-winded to me.

Edited by MLXXX
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On 28/11/2021 at 2:23 PM, RoHo said:

Recently came across this speaker review from Stereophile.  Their speaker reviews, with John Atkinson's measurements, are one of the few hifi reviews I find actually illuminating.  This one is particularly so as the speaker in question had a prominent "feature" in the frequency response.  My two take aways were 1) the measurements were striking and 2) an experienced, thoughtful, skilled reviewer is worth their weight in gold.

If the review was just the measurements or just the listening it would be possible to argue around the fact that this is a seriously flawed design.  But with the two parts together, objective and subjective,  it just punches you right in the face.

https://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/197vienna/index.html

 

 

i think the production people forgot to invert the wiring....

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6 hours ago, henry218 said:

i think the production people forgot to invert the wiring....

The most likely reason........but JA noted both speakers had the same issue so the you have to conclude that either a) this is the intended design or b) some glitch in their process means the tweeters are being wired out of phase.

Either way it is very "interesting".   And I still get the giggles picturing the rep and the reviewer trying to "optimise" the speaker placement in the room. 😁

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15 hours ago, MLXXX said:

I missed that play on words.

Yes.

 

15 hours ago, MLXXX said:

It was just that his presentation approach seemed a bit long-winded to me.

Yep.  They do a lot of slow talking in that part of the world.

If you watched him on 1.75x you might complain less.

 

8 hours ago, henry218 said:

i think the production people forgot to invert the wiring....

 

Apparently not.   See other reviews.

 

Also the manufacturer would have got their "right of reply" to have that clarified in the article.

 

12 hours ago, afa said:

for some reason or other, the manufacturer doesn't have that above review on their own website

LOL  👍

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2 hours ago, RoHo said:

The most likely reason........but JA noted both speakers had the same issue so the you have to conclude that either a) this is the intended design or b) some glitch in their process means the tweeters are being wired out of phase.

Either way it is very "interesting".   And I still get the giggles picturing the rep and the reviewer trying to "optimise" the speaker placement in the room. 😁

haha, then there's something wrong with their measurement equipment and "ears"....

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9 minutes ago, henry218 said:

haha, then there's something wrong with their measurement equipment and "ears"....

It's so easy to joke about because it just seems so dumb but.....what does it actually say about this company?  And others with similaly "special" speakers.  I mean you would never release a speaker like this under your name, would you?

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3 minutes ago, RoHo said:

It's so easy to joke about because it just seems so dumb but.....what does it actually say about this company?  And others with similaly "special" speakers.  I mean you would never release a speaker like this under your name, would you?

never seen such from respectable and well known company, however quirky and "special" kind of freq resp measurements are often appeared in stereophile. 

 

not to mention that nowadays, multiway speakers with 2 ohm impedance is quite common....

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4 minutes ago, henry218 said:

 

 

not to mention that nowadays, multiway speakers with 2 ohm impedance is quite common....

Apparently we "solved" amplifier design a while ago so its no problem.

The real cynic in me thinks maybe these super-expensive speakers that drop down to 2 ohms are designed precisely this way so that they will have to be used with a prestigous, mega powerful and expensive amplifier.  Thus they will be seen as "more special" and above the mainstream.  Marketing is a funny, powerful thing.

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8 minutes ago, RoHo said:

 

The real cynic in me thinks maybe these super-expensive speakers that drop down to 2 ohms are designed precisely this way so that they will have to be used with a prestigous, mega powerful and expensive amplifier.  Thus they will be seen as "more special" and above the mainstream.  Marketing is a funny, powerful thing.

 

 

Agree and I'm not falling for it.  I have found multiple times, that you can get great sound from easy to drive efficient speakers.  This means it is so much easier to use them with a wider range of lower power amplifiers.  Has to be the better choice for those who like tweaking and improving their systems too. It opens up more possibilities.

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22 minutes ago, RoHo said:

Apparently we "solved" amplifier design a while ago so its no problem.

It's not at all so simple as that.

 

We need to look at "what is the cause of the impedance drop" to understand what it actually is ion both the electric and mechanical system that we are looking at...... before we can say that just "brute force" give it as much juice as it wants.... will actually result in good sound.

 

You can easily make a driver with very low impedance .... and put it in a box/system, which makes it quite "easy" to drive.....  OTOH you can have a system where the impedance curve is bent all over the place, which in itself is not necessarily a problem, it depends on why it is bending.

 

22 minutes ago, RoHo said:

The real cynic in me thinks maybe these super-expensive speakers that drop down to 2 ohms are designed precisely this way so that they will have to be used with a prestigous, mega powerful and expensive amplifier.

 

Let's say for example, that they took one of those speakers, and just just trippled the impedance.... but kept the efficincy the same.    The speaker would require the same amount of power..... the impedance dips would be just as "dippy", and it would be just as (electromechanical) difficult load to drive.... and provide just as much "trouble" to an amplifier that was designed to drive 6ohms (instead of 2).

 

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18 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

great sound from easy to drive efficient speakers

Yes, but it depends.

 

Why are they high/low efficincy, is more important than whether they are..... becuase at the end of the day:

 

31 minutes ago, RoHo said:

we solved amplifier design a while ago so its no problem

 

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6 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

 

Agree and I'm not falling for it.  I have found multiple times, that you can get great sound from easy to drive efficient speakers.  This means it is so much easier to use them with a wider range of lower power amplifiers.  Has to be the better choice for those who like tweaking and improving their systems too. It opens up more possibilities.

if your preference lower powered tube amp (as i do), then yes higher sensitivity speaker with easy to drive impedance plot is the way to go.

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