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  • Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

    So I'm now confused. Should the speaker have a flat response, it should it have some compensation due to the fact that most peoples ears are more sensitive and less at certain frequencies at lower volumes (ie fletcher munson curves). Say if most of the listening will be done at 70 - 80db.

    Or let me ask this, do most manufacturers build their speakers to measure flat with a Microphone or for it to sound flat to our ears...which means it may have slight peaks or dips in the design to make it feel like its flat.

    Thanks in advance for this topic thats probably already discussed somewhere....

  • #2
    Re: Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

    If you want to see how various manufacterers voice their speakers, have a look at the Stereophile reviews. They measure the speakers and show a frequency response graph.

    http://www.stereophile.com/category/...peaker-reviews

    http://www.stereophile.com/category/...eaker-reviews/


    It's interesting to note how many of them choose the 'Smiley face' response.

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    • #3
      Re: Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

      Thanks. That makes sense. I dont know why I didnt think about checking the reviews

      Originally posted by fatmarley View Post
      If you want to see how various manufacterers voice their speakers, have a look at the Stereophile reviews. They measure the speakers and show a frequency response graph.

      http://www.stereophile.com/category/...peaker-reviews

      http://www.stereophile.com/category/...eaker-reviews/


      It's interesting to note how many of them choose the 'Smiley face' response.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

        Flat is by definition accurate. If something is too bright or dull, well you have tone controls and I'd use them. Though I never do.

        Dan
        "guitar polygamy is a satisfying and socially acceptable alternative lifestyle."~Tony Woolley
        http://dtmblabber.blogspot.com/
        http://soundcloud.com/dantheman-10

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

          The response of the speaker should suit your own taste as that is what this is all about. It might be worth building both crossovers or setting up a board and comparing the sound of the two responses for yourself. You would want to do this over some time as most people (if they are not accustomed to listening to different sounds) lean towards the more "smiley" response but many find that over time, the more accurate response (flat) is less fatiguing. In the end, it is all a matter of personal taste. Just my two cents.

          I have come to really like the more flat response in most rooms. Some will even attempt to equalize the speaker to the room but this is tricky as small deviations in placement can lead to significant frequency response changes.

          Jay
          Jay
          Our greatest glory lies not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall.

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          • #6
            Re: Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

            Hmmm then maybe its possible I'm used to the sound from my small Usher S520 speakers. I'm not sure if that is very accurate or not but I was hoping to end up with something more revealing, more bass extension. Sometimes I do find what I built more revealing (more open midrange) but other times I find it sounding thin and bright compared to them even though its a much larger speaker. Bass extension and control are better on what I've built so I'm happy there.

            Originally posted by jmb View Post
            The response of the speaker should suit your own taste as that is what this is all about. It might be worth building both crossovers or setting up a board and comparing the sound of the two responses for yourself. You would want to do this over some time as most people (if they are not accustomed to listening to different sounds) lean towards the more "smiley" response but many find that over time, the more accurate response (flat) is less fatiguing. In the end, it is all a matter of personal taste. Just my two cents.

            I have come to really like the more flat response in most rooms. Some will even attempt to equalize the speaker to the room but this is tricky as small deviations in placement can lead to significant frequency response changes.

            Jay

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

              Originally posted by jmb View Post
              The response of the speaker should suit your own taste as that is what this is all about. It might be worth building both crossovers or setting up a board and comparing the sound of the two responses for yourself. You would want to do this over some time as most people (if they are not accustomed to listening to different sounds) lean towards the more "smiley" response but many find that over time, the more accurate response (flat) is less fatiguing. In the end, it is all a matter of personal taste. Just my two cents.

              I have come to really like the more flat response in most rooms. Some will even attempt to equalize the speaker to the room but this is tricky as small deviations in placement can lead to significant frequency response changes.

              Jay
              All good points....

              I have roughly a 13X13 foot room that's a bit bright with plaster walls, some hung pictures and a rug. I recently built two small, monitor speakers. One had a series xover and a flat response and the other, a 1st order xover similar to that used in the Sonus Faber Extrema. I tuned it during the breadboard xover phase to have a mild BBC type dip with a roughly 2 dB drop over the entire frequency band. Listened to both in the room for a few days and ended up with the latter. Others have heard it and agree, the speakers are very revealing and yet easy to listen to.

              As always with this audio hobby, YMMV....
              Live in Southern N.E.? check out the CT Audio Society web site.

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              • #8
                Re: Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

                Originally posted by dantheman View Post
                Flat is by definition accurate. If something is too bright or dull, well you have tone controls and I'd use them. Though I never do.
                I'm not sure, honestly.

                I think a good case can be made for shelved-down highs, at least in a very small room with short distances between speakers and the listening position.

                No data, but it just sounds more natural to me that way.
                --
                "Based on my library and laboratory research, I have concluded, as have others, that the best measures of speaker quality are frequency response and dispersion pattern. I have not found any credible research showing that most of the differences we hear among loudspeakers cannot be explained by examining these two variables." -Alvin Foster, 22 BAS Speaker 2 (May, 1999)

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                • #9
                  Re: Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

                  I'm begining to think so myself. Maybe if the room is very damped but most are not and my room is only 10x12 with speakers about 5 to 6 feet apart and me sitting about 6 feet back. I'm almost nearfield

                  Originally posted by Pallas View Post
                  I'm not sure, honestly.

                  I think a good case can be made for shelved-down highs, at least in a very small room with short distances between speakers and the listening position.

                  No data, but it just sounds more natural to me that way.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

                    Originally posted by Pallas View Post
                    I'm not sure, honestly.

                    I think a good case can be made for shelved-down highs, at least in a very small room with short distances between speakers and the listening position.

                    No data, but it just sounds more natural to me that way.
                    I could see the argument in those circumstances.

                    In room, the highs will be knocked down with a typical flat speaker. Without reflections and modes-flat is by definition accurate and not really something that can be argued (logically) since we listen to manipulated recordings. I'll not try to write in all the ad infinitums here like until you start approaching headphone distances. IOW, any typical/normal set up, flat speaker response is accurate. When you get extremely nearfield, I could see the argument for shelving of the speaker. Even nearfield studio monitors are flat for the most part. Every sample I've measured anyway and I've only seen a few that deviated. They also typically have a switch for a 2dB shelf. Individual preference may vary from statistically derived preference, but the latter is accuracy.

                    As individuals, we probably don't all get the same mileage. Otherwise no one would buy B&W speakers(joke).

                    Dan
                    "guitar polygamy is a satisfying and socially acceptable alternative lifestyle."~Tony Woolley
                    http://dtmblabber.blogspot.com/
                    http://soundcloud.com/dantheman-10

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

                      Originally posted by dantheman View Post
                      Flat is by definition accurate. If something is too bright or dull, well you have tone controls and I'd use them. Though I never do.

                      Dan
                      I agree.

                      I've tried a lot of contours in my car setup... I haven't really done much with the home because I simply have never had the tools or motivation. I find it hard to strike a perfect balance between preference and 'true'. Of course, by definition, a variant of true is no longer true, so really... how can you achieve true without it?
                      I think the simplest case is: a "true" system doesn't alter the reproduction. On its face, the reality is in order for this to happen you need a flat FR and phase. (flame suit on) Any deviation from flat is a deviation from the original sound. If you add something to that, you're altering the reproduction from itself.

                      That said, I'm NOT saying deviating from flat is 'wrong', per se. I place more brunt in to what the listener wants. I think the hardest thing for people to grasp is there is certainly a level of user preference. The reason you see so many damn 'audio arguments' is because people either refuse to acknowledge this or they just don't believe it's true and try to force people to their way of thinking.
                      I'm tired of chasing my tail and expecting others will do as is prescribed by the audio doctrine of flat FR. Though, there is a whole lot of merit to Toole's findings regarding this and the descending power response.

                      So, I walk away with two thoughts:

                      1. You want to make the most accurate representation of the CD (recreating a live event is nebulous to me) the way the engineer intended is to make sure there are NO deviations in the reproduction of it. That means amps should be flat, speakers should be flat, etc, etc, etc. Distortion is so low it's moot, etc, etc, etc.
                      2. You want to be the 'engineer'. And, of course, your ears' geometry will influence what you hear and want to 'fix'. No two ears are created equally (this could be false ).


                      Both are fine. There is nothing wrong with either because it's your choice. The sooner we all accept this, the better off we are.
                      It's just like going to meets and hearing/demo'ing systems. You don't have to make all the changes someone suggests nor do you have to even listen to the advice. But, that's what you get: advice based on what they hear and what they hear isn't what you hear... by design (human makeup). Roll with it or don't. And understand that the advice you've obtained is in some shape or form a miscalculation (unless, of course, you have a judge who sets the National Standard for Hearing in the truest sense of the phrase).



                      I just realized I got waaaaaaaaaaaaay OT. Sorry, guys.

                      - Erin
                      ErinsAudioCorner.com

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                      • #12
                        Re: Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

                        Originally posted by ErinH View Post
                        No two ears are created equally (this could be false ).
                        Identical twins, triplets, quadruplets :D
                        "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                        “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
                        "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

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                        • #13
                          Re: Building speakers for small room - flat or with a dip

                          Originally posted by Sydney View Post
                          Identical twins, triplets, quadruplets :D
                          Doh! Lol. Hey, if they can't have the same fingerprint, maybe I have a chance. :D
                          ErinsAudioCorner.com

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