The $2000 challenge

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Boybees

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #20 on: 14 Mar 2008, 11:48 pm »
I've never measured anything. I also have almost no classical. I would imagine that yes, any recording I have, if you were able to have a dial that moved that response curve of the HT3's, F3 of 29hz-F10 of 22hz, up 10hz to 39 and 32, it would have quite an effect on the presentation. And the better the recording, the more dramatic the effect would be. I'm not basing this on those numbers because I have measured them, I'm using the speaker makers numbers and then comparing what I do or do not hear with the speakers.

I guess I have somewhat of a different view: that bass below 40 Hz is a factor on some but not all recordings. And knowing a bit about Funkmonkey's musical tastes, it seemed that most of the recordings he wanted to listen to were among those without much information below 40 Hz. And perhaps, then, that his emphasis on that 30-40 hz was leading him away from speakers that could ultimately be very satisfying for him, in search of an elusive capability that might not mean much for most of the music he likes to listen to.

DMurphy

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #21 on: 14 Mar 2008, 11:49 pm »
There are only 3 orchestral instruments that reach below 40 Hz--Double Bassoon (25 Hz), Piano (28 Hz), and organ (20 Hz).  See http://www.listenhear.co.uk/general_acoustics.htm

But my listening experience track's Martyo's. I listen mostly to classical, and the HT3's bass is definitely deeper on my recordings, most of which don't have any double bassoons or organs.   There's a lot going on here, and I don't claim to understand all of it.  There's a question of whether smaller drivers pressurize the room as much as larger ones, there's harmonic distortion, and probably a lot more.  

Boybees

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #22 on: 14 Mar 2008, 11:53 pm »
I heard it at RMAF. One time we came in the room the Songtowers were playing. WONDERFUL sound, very nice. And the imagining to my ears might even be a little better than the HT3's, I didn't hear them for that long. But when Jim switched back to the HT3's it was obvious in the low end. My non audiophile wife commented on the bass right away. Fuller more complete sound. I had the Dahlquist DQ10's for many years, manufactures spec of F3 @ 37hz. I was never satisfied. But you have to pay a lot for it if you want to keep the kind of qualities the Songtower already has. For some folks it doesn't matter, for others it does. And until recently in would not have been in my budget.  :D

Again, I would argue that there is a difference between whether one speaker can go lower than another, and whether one speaker can move more air and thus perform with more authority, power, and fullness throughout the bass range. The HT3s, with their much larger bass drivers, are simply moving more air than the STs, within the 40 hz plus range where both speakers put out sound. And that latter phenomenon could be responsible for the difference you heard, in addition to the fact that the HT3s go lower.

martyo

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #23 on: 15 Mar 2008, 12:11 am »
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Again, I would argue that there is a difference between whether one speaker can go lower than another, and whether one speaker can move more air and thus perform with more authority, power, and fullness throughout the bass range. The HT3s, with their much larger bass drivers, are simply moving more air than the STs, within the 40 hz plus range where both speakers put out sound. And that latter phenomenon could be responsible for the difference you heard, in addition to the fact that the HT3s go lower.
That makes sense to me, "in addition to the fact that the HT3's go lower". Those DQ10's I mentioned had 10" woofers too, but they certainly weren't the driver the TC Sounds is.

cdorval1

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #24 on: 15 Mar 2008, 12:42 am »
Jim,

Thanks for sharing the e-mail.  It's a very clear and objective explanation, which is very hard to find in this field.  It's also publishable.  Do you think any magazine or newsletter would take it?

In any case, thanks a lot for taking the time.  You and Dennis not only build top-notch speakers, you pass along great information about the design process.  What a gift!

Craig

Russell Dawkins

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #25 on: 15 Mar 2008, 01:02 am »
BTW, I hosted funkmonkey to listen to my SongTowers, and he's a sophisticated guy (not at all the audio bumpkin that some of the replies in this thread make him out to be). But I essentially asked him the same question: why the focus on 30 hz (The way I put it was: "Do you listen to a lot of pipe organ music?"). I told him that what I feel as "bass" in the music I love (electric bass and kick drum) is well above 30 hz in tone. His response was that he feels there are essential elements of stand-up acoustic bass tone that dip down to 30 hz. That didn't seem right to me, but I didn't argue the point any further.

I agree completely with funkeymonkey on this. There is a transient at the beginning of a plucked note, whether bass fiddle or electric bass that requires response down to 20 Hz to be properly reproduced.

I have a wide range system - SP Tech Timepiece 2.1s that are good down to 30 Hz plus stereo Hsu subs that take it further down to 18Hz at -3 dB, 13 Hz -6 dB. I also have the ability to shelf low frequencies with the dsp in my digital audio workstation, so I can create a high pass shelf and slide it from 20 Hz up to whatever and listen to the results. Those "pops" at the beginning of notes from any instrument that has a percussive component - and that includes bass fiddle, acoustic guitar when slapped, electric bass and kick drum - seem to need bandwidth down to 20 Hz to be properly reproduced.

BrianM

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #26 on: 15 Mar 2008, 03:37 pm »
I've owned speakers with an F10 of 20 Hz so I'm as acquainted as anyone with the difference between that and a less low-reaching 2 -way.  I have to disagree with Marty about the crucial nature of sub-40 Hz for music other than classical.  What I usually hear on rock & other amplified music using larger woofers is just MORE bass, not an added sense of realism.  I don't think there is very much information at all below 40 Hz on rock recordings -- barring of course some R&B and gangsta that's meant to rumble the entire neighborhood.  Bass guitars extend to about 41 Hz, and room gain can handle a lot of the rest of what one might want in the bass impact dept.  On classical i.e. acoustic recordings however there is some tradeoff using a not-as-low speaker, because some room ambience extends way below 40 Hz.  A big woofer can therefore add a sense of depth and space.  For many people, though, the tradeoff of ridding oneself of too much bas in an average sized room is worth it for the better tonal balance achieved in the frequency range that is responsible for 99% of the music.

BrianM

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #27 on: 15 Mar 2008, 03:40 pm »
BTW, I hosted funkmonkey to listen to my SongTowers, and he's a sophisticated guy (not at all the audio bumpkin that some of the replies in this thread make him out to be). But I essentially asked him the same question: why the focus on 30 hz (The way I put it was: "Do you listen to a lot of pipe organ music?"). I told him that what I feel as "bass" in the music I love (electric bass and kick drum) is well above 30 hz in tone. His response was that he feels there are essential elements of stand-up acoustic bass tone that dip down to 30 hz. That didn't seem right to me, but I didn't argue the point any further.

I agree completely with funkeymonkey on this. There is a transient at the beginning of a plucked note, whether bass fiddle or electric bass that requires response down to 20 Hz to be properly reproduced.

I have a wide range system - SP Tech Timepiece 2.1s that are good down to 30 Hz plus stereo Hsu subs that take it further down to 18Hz at -3 dB, 13 Hz -6 dB. I also have the ability to shelf low frequencies with the dsp in my digital audio workstation, so I can create a high pass shelf and slide it from 20 Hz up to whatever and listen to the results. Those "pops" at the beginning of notes from any instrument that has a percussive component - and that includes bass fiddle, acoustic guitar when slapped, electric bass and kick drum - seem to need bandwidth down to 20 Hz to be properly reproduced.

I'm sure that's true if one's goal is the ultimate in realism, but for most that's not obtainable in their rooms regardless of what speakers and subs are on hand.  A speaker reaching into the 30s will provide a more than satisfying reproduction of the bass guitar/ upright bass/kick drum IMO.

Russell Dawkins

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #28 on: 15 Mar 2008, 05:35 pm »
In reality I could probably live happily ever after with a speaker that was flat from 40Hz to 10kHz and rolled off at 6 dB per octave above and below those frequencies, so it was 6 dB down at 20 and 20k. The HF characteristic is easy, the LF part might be attainable from a sealed, equalized (?) box.

Note that, ideally, this applies not only to the axial response but to the room response.


avahifi

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #29 on: 16 Mar 2008, 03:33 pm »
My years of experience at this tells me that far too many people are searching for deeper bass in their loudspeakers while overlooking the fact that the equipment ahead of the speakers simply is not reproducing the last two octaves down cleanly or transparently.  If you get everything ahead of the speakers really working well, almost always you will hear significantly cleaner and deeper bass than you did before from the same old speakers, assuming they were good ones in the first place and that the listening room is decent.

For example, a great speaker like the HT3 will not play clean musical bass if driven by an inadequate source system.  The Songtower will go deeper and cleaner than you would believe if the electronics give it a chance.

I invite you all to Jim and my shared display room at the upcoming AudioKarma show the weekend of May 3-4 and I will have something new to say about this that I suspect all will enjoy.

Best regards,

Frank Van Alstine

P.S. The AudioKarma show is in a much nicer venue this year, the Embassy Suites in Livonia, Michigan.

spons

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #30 on: 16 Mar 2008, 04:32 pm »
There are only 3 orchestral instruments that reach below 40 Hz--Double Bassoon (25 Hz), Piano (28 Hz), and organ (20 Hz).  See http://www.listenhear.co.uk/general_acoustics.htm

This assumes the standard four-string string bass is tuned in fourths (E-A-D-G) with E=41hz, but many jazz and classical string bass players tune in fifths (C-G-B-A), making the lowest string C=33hz.

Also, five-string basses add a lower string and are tuned in fourths (B-E-A-D-G), making the lowest string B=31hz.

There is alot of classical music that uses this lowest register, and I know jazz bassist Red Mitchell used it, too.

BrianM

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #31 on: 16 Mar 2008, 07:04 pm »
The point about alternate double bass tunings is good and valid.  To be clear, I don't think anyone ever suggested that bass in the 30s and beyond is not desirable or that nothing is being missed by a higher cutoff.  If you can get it, and get it clearly, obviously no reason not to.    I don't know about "a lot" of classical using sub-40 Hz, all depends on how you define a lot.  But Jim's point stands: $2000 probably won't cut it.  If funkmonkey knows exactly what he wants from those low bass transients Russell brought up, and won't stop till he gets it, he's going to have to shop used or save up.

Nick V

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #32 on: 17 Mar 2008, 04:04 am »
The only speaker I can think of that might fit the bill is the AV123 Stata Mini with a claimed -3dB point of 27Hz @ $1995.00. I have not had the pleasure of listening to them, but by all accounts they might be a good fit.

mdfoy

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #33 on: 17 Mar 2008, 01:22 pm »
I second Nick V on the Strata Mini.  I have them and they are as advertised, and the bass can be tuned by frequency, and amplitude.  :thumb:

BrianM

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #34 on: 17 Mar 2008, 01:48 pm »
So we're recommending another mfr's speaker in the Salk Circle?  Not exactly cool...anyway based on what I've read about both of them I'd be surprised if the Stratas image as well as the Songtowers.

Kevin Haskins

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #35 on: 17 Mar 2008, 01:58 pm »
I agree its in bad taste to come onto someone else's forum and recommend another companies loudspeaker.   


I don't like to throw stones and I'd say most of Mark's products are good ones, but have you seen the measurements of the Strata Mini?

The response curve looks pretty ragged, as I'd expect with the drivers & layout but what is most troubling is that distortion measurement.   Yikes....

http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/measurements/speakers/av123_strata_mini/

martyo

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #36 on: 17 Mar 2008, 02:20 pm »
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So we're recommending another mfr's speaker in the Salk Circle?  Not exactly cool...anyway based on what I've read about both of them I'd be surprised if the Stratas image as well as the Songtowers.

Met some of the AV123 people and listened to the products they had at RMAF. Nice people and "good" products.  If you go back to Jim's original post where he talks about "good" and "great", here's a perfect example, you have to pay for "great". Only so much bang for the buck.

mdfoy

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #37 on: 17 Mar 2008, 02:48 pm »
My bad on the comment about the Strata Mini :duh:  My intention was not to "recommend" them in the Salk thread, but only to comment on the bass performance of a speaker in the price range.

DMurphy

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #38 on: 17 Mar 2008, 02:51 pm »
No problem.  I suspect Jim believes in the first amendment.  More information is generally better than less.  (We also got to see those measurements.)

Danny Richie

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #39 on: 17 Mar 2008, 02:53 pm »
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I agree its in bad taste to come onto someone else's forum and recommend another companies loudspeaker.


Yea, but Jim did post this topic as if it were a challenge. So it was inevitable that someone eventually suggested a response to the challenge.

Quote
I don't like to throw stones and I'd say most of Mark's products are good ones, but have you seen the measurements of the Strata Mini?

The response curve looks pretty ragged, as I'd expect with the drivers & layout but what is most troubling is that distortion measurement.   Yikes....

http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/measurements/speakers/av123_strata_mini/

FYI, on that one: If I remember correctly, that speaker was only sent up for photos. It was a single unit that was assembled at AV123 with whatever drivers were at hand. The tweeter was out of spec and was only used for mock up. It wasn't even a production unit.

Neither the prototype nor any of the many samples from production that I have measured ever looked like that.

Nine great reviews and three industry awards suggests it must not be too bad.