How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3

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DBT AUDIO

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #40 on: 30 Aug 2022, 03:05 am »
Interesting discussion but the hanging issue is "more bass than what?"

I am very happy with the bass from the X5s I have. I haven't ever felt the need to add a subwoofer. Now I'm not a bass-head. I want the bass to be present but fast and defined and that's what I feel I get.

So I wouldn't be interested in changing from the X5s to the X4s simply in order to get more bass. To me, that's like more cowbell.

These discussions are interesting but probably more so for someone deciding between the two speakers. I like the fact that you can drive the X5s with a low powered SET amp.

I also think, as has been mentioned recently, that you can probably fine tune the bass by room treatment.

Interesting discussion but the hanging issue is "more bass than what?" Simple, more bass than the X5s.  Spatial Audio has different models for a reason and the active vs. passive bass woofers offer a different/desired sound for many.   Tyson eloquently explained the reasoning for the sound and operational differences between the two!

"Now I'm not a bass-head." Me neither, I just want to hear the bass in the recordings that I listen to as it was meant to be heard.  The X5s bass perform to my satisfaction on the majority of my music, but not everything I like.  Some of us hifi music lovers go nuts over cables, DACs, tubes, solid state, hifi accessories like cable lifters, room treatments, EQ, etc., but most importantly the speakers!  So, 'tis the speakers I am researching.

"So I wouldn't be interested in changing from the X5s to the X4s simply in order to get more bass. To me, that's like more cowbell." Of course not, you explained that you were happy with the bass performance of you're X5s!  It's not just the bass for me.  I like having the ability to control an entire passive speaker's sound quality using my solid state gear.  I like tubes, but I'm not a tube guy, although I respect the mission of a tube guy!   

"I also think, as has been mentioned recently, that you can probably fine tune the bass by room treatment."  My front wall is fully treated with room treatments and my sidewalls are no where near my X5s.  I've done all the tweeks that I can do in this room without being asked for a divorce. :lol:

My original post was to get feedback from Benginito in hopes that he had compared his X4s to the X5s.  That didn't happen because he's never auditioned the X5s.  Thanks all for the questions and feedback!

DBT AUDIO

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #41 on: 30 Aug 2022, 03:13 am »
I’m not sure how you can get more bass from passive drivers. They output bass in proportion to mids and treble per their design… probably with a slight downward slope from lows to highs. The X’s on the other hand have the ability to have the bass set higher or lower than what might be thought of as their design spec.

What am I missing?

What am I missing? Per Tyson, "The fully passive Spatials will almost always have more bass headroom than the powered ones.  Because the passives are usually running the midwoofer and the basswoofer in parallel so you get effectively 2 bass woofers per side."

Tyson, my apologies for not paying you a commission for using your comment in this post!  Lol...

Tyson

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #42 on: 30 Aug 2022, 03:21 am »
I sometimes listen to very bass heavy music (electronica and hip hop), and the X3's have never bottomed out on me. 

DBT AUDIO

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #43 on: 30 Aug 2022, 04:20 am »
I sometimes listen to very bass heavy music (electronica and hip hop), and the X3's have never bottomed out on me.
I was wondering if the X3's 15" active woofer would be the ticket and Clayton didn't seem to think the X3s bass edged out the X5s, so I didn't pursue it.  I was confused because the X3s use a 15" woofer, so how could it not go lower than the X5s 12" active woofer?  I've never heard the X3s.  My X5s have bottomed out on several R&B and contemporary jazz tunes.  I don't blast my music, but they clip on several tunes when turned up to reasonable listening levels.

Just a few tunes that caused my X5s to clip;

Artist: Fink
Album:Wheels turn Beneath My Feet
Songs: Perfect Darkness & Trouble's What You're In

Artist: H.E.R.
Album: H.E.R.
Song: Losing

Artist: Bob James Trio
Album: Rocket Man
Song: Rocket Man

At this point, I want to hand this forum back over to the original forum member who started his inquiry, "How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3".  My simple inquiry grew legs and I still never got an opinion of the X4s vs. X5s.  Lol....  Thanks all!

Bingenito

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #44 on: 30 Aug 2022, 10:25 am »
Sorry man there is probably only a handful of people who have heard both. That said I doubt the Luxman will drive an X4 to equal or greater levels of bass depth and impact than the Hypex 500 watt amp on the X3/X5.

So to get substantially more bass impact you are probably looking at more expense than a speaker swap.

RonN5

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #45 on: 30 Aug 2022, 12:31 pm »
Lets talk further about headroom and the X5s.  It doesn't seem logical to me that Clayton would design them in a way that a 12" woofer would clip/bottom out if the bass amp was set to the neutral position, meaning no boost...even with bass heavy music. 

Is the real issue that the 12" woofer in the unboosted position doesn't provide enough bass...but when boosted to provide more bass it can't handle some of the bass heavy music? 

If so, I would think that since the unboosted 15" X3 would put out more bass by virtue of the larger driver, if it needed to be boosted, it would not need as much boost as the 12" woofer, hence it wouldn't clip/bottom out?

morganc

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #46 on: 30 Aug 2022, 03:36 pm »
Ron what / where is the neutral position vs “boosted” on the amp setting? 
TiA

jnschneyer

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #47 on: 30 Aug 2022, 05:02 pm »
I'm a little surprised at anyone experiencing clipping or bottoming out with their X5 or X3.  I don't typically listen to crazy deep bass, but on occasion I'll play something that digs pretty deep, for example Macklemore's Downtown, Tyler the Creator's Earfquake, Mussorgsky's Pictures at An Exhibition, or Stravinsky's Three Dances from Petrouchka, and I've had no issues with my own X5s bottoming out, and that's with the active woofers only about half-way up.

I test drove the X5, X4, and M3 when I was deciding which to get, and (though I'm now more remembering what I thought at the time than what I actually heard, aural memory being what it is (then again, if what Nietzsche says about memory is true - "If memory says I did but conscience says I couldn't have, memory loses!" - who knows if I'm not remembering things in a way to feel good about my choice)), Nietzsche notwithstanding, I thought the M3's bass the biggest, but I also thought it a bit bloated and overdone compared to both the Xs, at least in the relatively small Spatial listening room.  I didn't find the difference between the X4's and X5's bass significant enough to choose one or the other because of it, so I went with the X5 for its greater sensitivity and consequently wider selection of amplification possibilities.  As I say, I've yet to exceed or even reach the limits of how low the X5's bass can go.  No doubt someone out there has a recording in mind that will make the X5s tap out, but, if I have to go that far out of my way to find something that will make them hit rock bottom, it's not going to trouble my hifi slumber.

On a related subject, I thought clipping was a product of either mismatched impedance of amp and speaker or of an amp simply lacking the power necessary to drive the speaker at high volume.  It's the amp that does the actual clipping, no?  Or have I got that confused?  Also, is bottoming a speaker out - getting distortion at the low end - a form of clipping?  I ask because I flat out don't know.

   

Mr. Big

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #48 on: 30 Aug 2022, 08:34 pm »
I'm a little surprised at anyone experiencing clipping or bottoming out with their X5 or X3.  I don't typically listen to crazy deep bass, but on occasion I'll play something that digs pretty deep, for example Macklemore's Downtown, Tyler the Creator's Earfquake, Mussorgsky's Pictures at An Exhibition, or Stravinsky's Three Dances from Petrouchka, and I've had no issues with my own X5s bottoming out, and that's with the active woofers only about half-way up.

I test drove the X5, X4, and M3 when I was deciding which to get, and (though I'm now more remembering what I thought at the time than what I actually heard, aural memory being what it is (then again, if what Nietzsche says about memory is true - "If memory says I did but conscience says I couldn't have, memory loses!" - who knows if I'm not remembering things in a way to feel good about my choice)), Nietzsche notwithstanding, I thought the M3's bass the biggest, but I also thought it a bit bloated and overdone compared to both the Xs, at least in the relatively small Spatial listening room.  I didn't find the difference between the X4's and X5's bass significant enough to choose one or the other because of it, so I went with the X5 for its greater sensitivity and consequently wider selection of amplification possibilities.  As I say, I've yet to exceed or even reach the limits of how low the X5's bass can go.  No doubt someone out there has a recording in mind that will make the X5s tap out, but, if I have to go that far out of my way to find something that will make them hit rock bottom, it's not going to trouble my hifi slumber.

On a related subject, I thought clipping was a product of either mismatched impedance of amp and speaker or of an amp simply lacking the power necessary to drive the speaker at high volume.  It's the amp that does the actual clipping, no?  Or have I got that confused?  Also, is bottoming a speaker out - getting distortion at the low end - a form of clipping?  I ask because I flat-out don't know.

 

Your right about amps clipping, I found once my preamp had so much gain that my woofers would distort, another time I underpowered my speakers, and when good dynamics hit either the high or low range I hear distortion from time to time, miss match speakers and the amps ability to drive some independence which as zipping to do with watts. This is why tube amps and SS amps have different impedance taps try them no matter what the speaker says its nominal impedance is. My Dynaudio Confidence speakers were rated 8ohm, speaking the Ron of McIntosh he told me try the 4ohm tap for your speakers you might be surprised, and said how would I know he said it will be easy to hear, and he was right, it like I had a new speaker, bass now was tight shook the room, noise levels dropped, grayness went away, midrange had details and more body and resolution, and highs were extended and sweet sounding, along with more details. That was a teachable moment in this hobby, what I thought sounded good, was in no way showing just how good my speakers were and my system reproduction of recordings.

RonN5

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #49 on: 31 Aug 2022, 01:25 am »
The zero position is where Clayton designed the speaker to be flat… or whatever curve he intended to be his version of flat…. with the ability to increase or reduce bass to taste.

morganc

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #50 on: 31 Aug 2022, 01:43 am »
Cool.  The idea makes sense.  Practically speaking what does it mean as glade as positioning of the gain knob?  Mine has no zero, just a lot of dots. 

Tyson

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #51 on: 31 Aug 2022, 03:35 am »
Cool.  The idea makes sense.  Practically speaking what does it mean as glade as positioning of the gain knob?  Mine has no zero, just a lot of dots. 

On mine, the bass is flat when I have the volume knob turned up to about 90%.

Desertpilot

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #52 on: 3 Sep 2022, 04:40 pm »
I've looked at this conversation several times and thought it was time for me to chime in.  I have three X3s up front.  They each have the 250 watt amp.  Recent room measurements showed uneven bass volume which I corrected by using additional measurements and changing the volume knob on each speaker.  Once they were equal, they all measured flat down to 30 Hz.  We placed a 30 Hz crossover to my subwoofers (SVS SB13 Ultra).  Never any clipping or other distortions.

The big difference is X3/X5 powered subwoofer vs. X4 not powered.  I would think great care must be placed on amplifier selection to power the X4.  But, in my opinion, the subwoofer is not necessarily the determining factor in bass response.  The X3 crossover between subwoofer and the mid range driver is 90 Hz.  The mid range driver would have a lot of involvement in bass reproduction.

The Schroeder frequency:  From Sound & Vision https://www.soundandvision.com/content/schroeder-frequency-show-and-tell-part-1.  "In a typical residential listening environment, the Schroeder frequency falls between 100 and 200 Hz."  (edit:  some say as high as 300 Hz).  "The human ear can localize sounds (i.e., hear where they're coming from) at frequencies above about 80 Hz. Thus, if you route everything below 200 Hz to the subwoofer, you'll have localization problems with your sub."  Thus, the mid range driver handles a lot of bass.  Every room is different which makes determining bass response between the X4 and X5/X3 problematic.

I love my X3s.  Bass has never been a problem for me.  I hear double bass instruments cleanly and clearly.  I am attaching a frequency chart that shows which instruments actually get below the 90 Hz subwoofer crossover.




RonN5

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #53 on: 3 Sep 2022, 04:52 pm »
Desertpilot…. Great explanation. I wonder if the 250W or the 500W is now the standard for new orders?

I suspect another thing happens… it’s not uncommon for people to want more bass.  And turning up the knob doesn’t help if you speakers vs LP are in a room mode that is sucking out all the bass.

Also, as you show, since most of the bass tone is above 90 hz… an amp that can provide the proper tone is required for all X’s and M’s.

Desertpilot

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #54 on: 3 Sep 2022, 10:25 pm »
Desertpilot…. Great explanation. I wonder if the 250W or the 500W is now the standard for new orders?

Thank you.  I don't know which amp is standard.  I do know supply chain issues forced Clayton to switch amp models.  I was very nervous with the lower powered amp.  But, I have had zero issues.  It all sounds great to me so I'm happy.

I suspect another thing happens… it’s not uncommon for people to want more bass.  And turning up the knob doesn’t help if you speakers vs LP are in a room mode that is sucking out all the bass.

Correct.  The room dominates for frequency reproduction below the Schroeder frequency.  Comparisons in different rooms is really impossible.

Also, as you show, since most of the bass tone is above 90 hz… an amp that can provide the proper tone is required for all X’s and M’s.

When I looks at that chart, a tuba, double bass, kickdrum and lowest notes of a piano get down below 90 Hz.  That's about it.  Since we can't really localize a subwoofer, it is difficult to say the sub is not producing enough bass.  It could be the mid-range driver.  I've never felt the need for more subwoofer output.  I do have the SVS Subwoofers but mostly for movies (crash, bang, boom) and organ notes if they get below 30 Hz.

I'm not an engineer.  I'm just a consumer who, like everyone, wants the best sound possible.  But, I also want to be realistic about what's possible.

Marcus