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I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

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  • I know flat FR isn't everything, but...



    B&W 805

    $14,500 gets you this B&W home theater package. Let's assume since B&W is generallyInfinity Classia

    This system was measured under the same conditions but does not exhibit the smoking hot top end of the 3x more expensive B&W. In fact, it is flat within 3db all the way across.

    The skeptic in me has decided since this B&W system is touting the use of a "diamond" tweeter, the designer made the treble smoking hot to convince people they are hearing detail they have just never heard before thank god for diamond tweeters and I am now a B&W customer for life.

    The snob in me has decided that a deep budget and a world renowned reputation does not mean their designers have a clue what they are doing.

    The inquisitive side of me wonders if they know exactly what they are doing because people like it, and if their approach is something I might try.

    The pragmatic side of me tells me it doesn't matter because I don't have $14,500 and if I did, I would more than likely fall in love with what I am hearing.

    I am leaning heavily towards the skeptical side of things. Mostly because I am skeptical by nature, but also because that answer seems to make the most sense.

    I have noticed most B&W speakers feature the depression in the upper mids/lower treble - and I find I kind of like that. That big peak at 10K though... Might drive even me and my "smilie curve EQ" listening habits crazy.

    I guess this is why I like building my own.
    Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

  • #2
    Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

    I've demoed those speakers, that explains why I thought they were awful.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

    http://www.diy-ny.com/

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    • #3
      Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

      Originally posted by johnnyrichards View Post

      FWIW, I am getting a simlilar on-axis FR from the $3, 2-1/2-inch paper cone tweeter I've been testing and it does sound hot, splashy, and exciting, but after a few minutes I have to turn the volume down to keep listening.

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      • #4

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        • #5
          Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

          it seem most of the reviews i read in stereophile mag speak highly of and the show graphs like that. the general population must think thats the best they can do. we know better.
          " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

          Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
          Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??

          http://www.midwestaudioclub.com/spot...owell-simpson/
          http://s413.photobucket.com/albums/pp216/arlis/

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          • #6
            Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

            In the ancient times speaker designers talked about tonal balance, octave to octave balance, and extended low to balance extended high, etc. Now with the computer-aided-design I have seldom heard any discussion about them any more. Could we miss something that the measurements have fail to reveal?

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            • #7
              Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

              It's not a matter doing better, think different. Some OEM's voice to speakers to have a specific house sound.

              For example, I looked at a few other B&W measurements and it appears the BBC dip is pretty popular.

              I'm not defending them, just giving a possible reason why they measure so poorly. :D
              "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

              http://www.diy-ny.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

                Originally posted by ligs View Post
                In the ancient times speaker designers talked about tonal balance, octave to octave balance, and extended low to balance extended high, etc. Now with the computer-aided-design I have seldom heard any discussion about them any more. Could we miss something that the measurements have fail to reveal?
                No. We measure it now, is all.

                Best I have been able to fathom, Kloss's "octave to octave balance" merely expressed flat frequency response as opposed to the flat power response objective which dominated AR design at the time he left, pink noise vs. white, if you will:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_noise

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                • #9
                  Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

                  Hmmmm.....it might keep me from turning the treble control up to +3 or +6

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                  • #10
                    Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

                    Originally posted by Zilch View Post
                    No. We measure it now, is all.

                    Best I have been able to fathom, Kloss's "octave to octave balance" merely expressed flat frequency response as opposed to the flat power response objective which dominated AR design at the time he left, pink noise vs. white, if you will:

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_noise
                    How does Henry Kloss's Advent speaker compare to today' speaker? Here is the FR of Advent. How would you improve it?
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

                      Originally posted by johnnyrichards View Post


                      $14,500 gets you this B&W home theater package.

                      The skeptic in me has decided since this B&W system is touting the use of a "diamond" tweeter, the designer made the treble smoking hot to convince people they are hearing detail they have just never heard before thank god for diamond tweeters and I am now a B&W customer for life.
                      Johnny, have you heard them? Did you listen to/experience them yourself firsthand???
                      If not, then how dare you criticize them?
                      Just by looking at those wiggles? Measurements don't tell the whole story and science doesn't know everything. It's absurd for you to pretend to know what these sound like without experiencing them firsthand.
                      Next thing you're going to tell us is that you can tell a spoon full of manure tastes like isht based solely on your knowledge base and common sense. Hah. Nonsense! You must taste it - "experience it firsthand" to know. Silly you, making assumptions based on a foundation of accumulated knowledge.

                      Originally posted by johnnyrichards View Post
                      Let's assume since B&W is generally well regarded within the industry as well as by many consumers that their designer knows what he is doing.
                      Yes, they do get a lot of "accolades", from those with excellent self assessed hearing/non-meter-reading-robot types.
                      ....Oooops

                      Originally posted by johnnyrichards View Post
                      This system was measured under the same conditions but does not exhibit the smoking hot top end of the 3x more expensive B&W. In fact, it is flat within 3db all the way across.
                      Yawn.
                      Don't you know that "flat response" doesn't guarantee the speaker won't "sound mediocre"?
                      Don't you also know that a full moon or eating cheesecake is no guarantee against mediocre sound?
                      So why would I keep mentioning full moons and cheesecake in the same sentence with mediocre sound even though there is no correlation or tie-in between them and the mediocre sound that one hears? I don't know.

                      Originally posted by johnnyrichards View Post
                      1. What is the designer trying to achieve here?
                      Sales?

                      cheers,

                      AJ

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                      • #12
                        Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

                        Originally posted by Face View Post
                        I've demoed those speakers, that explains why I thought they were awful.
                        Note to self. Face believes in direct correlation between physical reality soundwave measurement and perceived sound.
                        Keep note for next inevitable cap thread (and Face inevitable link to Claritycap measurement/sound "paper" removed from manufacturers website).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

                          Originally posted by ajinfla View Post
                          Johnny, have you heard them? Did you listen to/experience them yourself firsthand???
                          If not, then how dare you criticize them?
                          Just by looking at those wiggles? Measurements don't tell the whole story and science doesn't know everything. It's absurd for you to pretend to know what these sound like without experiencing them firsthand.
                          Next thing you're going to tell us is that you can tell a spoon full of manure tastes like isht based solely on your knowledge base and common sense. Hah. Nonsense! You must taste it - "experience it firsthand" to know. Silly you, making assumptions based on a foundation of accumulated knowledge.


                          Yes, they do get a lot of "accolades", from those with excellent self assessed hearing/non-meter-reading-robot types.
                          ....Oooops


                          Yawn.
                          Don't you know that "flat response" doesn't guarantee the speaker won't "sound mediocre"?
                          Don't you also know that a full moon or eating cheesecake is no guarantee against mediocre sound?
                          So why would I keep mentioning full moons and cheesecake in the same sentence with mediocre sound even though there is no correlation or tie-in between them and the mediocre sound that one hears? I don't know.


                          Sales?

                          cheers,

                          AJ
                          *Yawn*. I know what you are doing AJ, but you don't have to quote my post to make a point to someone else :-P

                          For example, I never implied, criticized or even speculated how they would sound except to say they are "smoking hot" on the treble, and that would be audible as such no matter how anti-measurement a guy is.
                          Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

                            One thing that isn't mentioned is what room those speakers were measured in, and it's possible that the tweeter level of the B&W is designed to provide enough level to sound somewhat bright in a heavily-treated listening room, while the Infinity is designed for flat anechoic response. If the treble level of the B&W were just 1dB lower, it would be within the range of +/-3dB that seems to be the generally-accepted tolerance range for 'flat' response. Within that range, however, there's still quite a bit of room for the designer to 'voice' the speaker, as the above graphs show. It could be that from the diamond tweeter, a +4dB tweeter level doesn't sound as fatiguing as another driver might.
                            Best Regards,

                            Rory Buszka

                            Taterworks Audio

                            "The work of the individual still remains the spark which moves mankind ahead, even more than teamwork." - Igor I. Sikorsky

                            If it works, but you don't know why it works, then you haven't done any engineering.

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                            • #15
                              Re: I know flat FR isn't everything, but...

                              Originally posted by Taterworks View Post
                              One thing that isn't mentioned is what room those speakers were measured in, and it's possible that the tweeter level of the B&W is designed to provide enough level to sound somewhat bright in a heavily-treated listening room, while the Infinity is designed for flat anechoic response. If the treble level of the B&W were just 1dB lower, it would be within the range of +/-3dB that seems to be the generally-accepted tolerance range for 'flat' response. Within that range, however, there's still quite a bit of room for the designer to 'voice' the speaker. It could be that from the diamond tweeter, a +4dB tweeter level doesn't sound as fatiguing as another driver might.
                              Yes, it would be - except I think the exaggerated BBC dip prior to the peak at 10K (very bad region to have your tweeter energy focused in, sadly I discovered that a little too late on one project) will probably accentuate it even more. Here comes this nice, mellow BBC curve and BAM! From dip to spike it is more like seven or eight decibels and that is pretty severe.

                              The HT Labs guys measure in the same room under the same conditions.

                              B&W is selling a speaker with exaggerated treble because it is selling a speaker with an exaggerated tweeter.
                              Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

                              Comment

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