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It’s that time audio enthusiasts! Registration for the 2019 Speaker Design Competition is now open! Visit midwestaudiofest.com for details and to list your speaker project. We are excited to see all returning participants, and look forward to meeting some new designers this year, as well! Be sure your plans include a visit to the Parts Express Tent Sale for the lowest prices of the year, and the Audio Swap Meet where you can buy and trade with other audio fans. We hope to see you this summer! Vivian and Jill
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A tale of three speakers...

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  • Brian Steele
    started a topic A tale of three speakers...

    A tale of three speakers...

    The EVID 4.2, the EVID 6.2 and my Blastoramas, to be precise. The EVIDs are produced by EV, and I purchased them to use in a small bar that I'm helping to equip with a sound system for background music.

    While I have them on hand, I thought I'd do a few measurements. From the impedance curves, it looks like the 4.2s (which consist of two 4.5" drivers and a 1" tweeter in a waveguide) are vented at 80 Hz and the 6.2s, which consist of two 6" drivers and are vented at 53 Hz. The Blastoramas, my DIY design, consists of a 8" driver and a 2x5 piezo tweeter.

    For the FR tests, all three speakers were mounted on a 4 foot stand in the center of the room, with the measuring mic located 1m away. The two EVIDs were measured about 45 degrees off horizontal axis, to partly simulate real-world conditions. The Blastorama was measured on-axis. The default smoothing option in HolmImpulse was used on all graphs.

    Here are the FR curves:
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    Listening impressions? My youngest daughter said that the EVIDs sounded like "radio speakers" (e.g. the kind of sound you'd expect from a large table-top radio). To me, I was impressed at how well the Blastorama held its own against them and I preferred how it sounded at the low end - the EVIDs with their bit of a bump at the low end had a bit more bass (when compared to the rest of the spectrum), but it sounded more "commercial" (if you know what I mean) than the clear and lean bass I prefer to hear, which basically means I will not be designing such bumps at the low end of the spectrum into any of my designs, boombox or otherwise .

    The measurements were a bit unfair to the EVIDs though, as they are designed to be mounted high up on the wall. I repeated the measurements, this time approximating how they'd actually be used in real life, and I got the following results:

    Click image for larger version

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    They sounded quite a bit better in that location. However the bass got even more peaky at the low end. I'm going to put that down to room effects for now (note the 200 Hz dip in both measurements). Luckily the bar they're going to be installed in is open to one side, so room effects should be minimized. I still preferred the clearer sound of my Blastoramas, but hey, those are almost twice the size of the 6.2s. The EVIDs did seem brighter at the top end though. I've noticed that "lift" around 5kHz in the EVID speakers that's likely causing that brighter sound in a few other commercial speakers I've tested. Assuming it's on purpose, I'm going to try incorporating it in my next DIY build. Maybe those old speaker builders were onto something, including level switches or controls for the tweeters into the design...

  • Brian Steele
    replied
    Re: A tale of three speakers...

    Originally posted by SirNickity View Post
    Interesting that the EVs sounded like a table-top radio. The curve is vaguely smiley-face, which should sound subjectively "better" than flat to most people. At least at first. I would expect the flat profile to be the one that sounded weaker on first listen. Of course, this particular crowd is going to prefer the natural EQ profile, but we're not the type to hang Bose cubes and shove Beats in our ears, and they seem to be the consumer darlings...
    Oh, by saying they sounded like "radio speakers", I don't think she meant that hey had no highs or lows, LOL. Just that from the sound you KNEW you were listening to a plastic box with speakers in it, while with the Blastoramas they're a bit more open and transparent.

    I suspect the bump at either end of the spectrum will appeal to many people, and considering the purpose these speakers are going to be put to, it likely makes them better fit for the purpose. To me however the bass sounded a bit unnatural, so I won't be taking that approach with my designs (or if I do, the bump won't be anywhere near as pronounced).

    The Blastoramas actually don't sound weaker, just more laid back. All the FR measurements were taken at the same input level with the speakers and mic in the same positions, and the Blastoramas measured and sounded more efficient across the board. They are however also a bit bigger

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  • SirNickity
    replied
    Re: A tale of three speakers...

    Interesting that the EVs sounded like a table-top radio. The curve is vaguely smiley-face, which should sound subjectively "better" than flat to most people. At least at first. I would expect the flat profile to be the one that sounded weaker on first listen. Of course, this particular crowd is going to prefer the natural EQ profile, but we're not the type to hang Bose cubes and shove Beats in our ears, and they seem to be the consumer darlings...

    Leave a comment:


  • Brian Steele
    replied
    Re: A tale of three speakers...

    Originally posted by jclin4 View Post
    Yay, DIY! Thanks for sharing the measurements
    No probs. BTW, EV also publishes measurements for its EVID speakers on its website (under the engineering data). My measurements are pretty close those published ones (both frequency measurements and impedance measurements). It's really nice too see such a great match between published and actual, even though it's not "flat". Certainly better than the "1kW power handling!" type of spec you see from other sources. I'm looking forward to hearing what they sound like when installed on-site. Their bass reproduction may not be my cup of tea, but then again I'm not doing this for me, LOL.

    EV does provide a separate subwoofer that's designed for use with the EVIDs, but the cost of shipping that here is prohibitive and quite likely budget-breaking, and it may not be required. If they do want to get down lower than 100 Hz these things can do, I'll design and build a subwoofer for them. I have some ideas around that already...

    Leave a comment:


  • jclin4
    replied
    Re: A tale of three speakers...

    Yay, DIY! Thanks for sharing the measurements

    Leave a comment:

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