The $2000 challenge

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ecramer

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #40 on: 17 Mar 2008, 02:59 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.

I have been reading this post from the start and i was wondering from the start what was the purpose of the first post from Jsalk. was? Was  the whole post just a long answer to he question of can you buy a speaker that goes down to 30hrz for less then$2000 or is Mr Salk going to let us determine that there is no speaker in the price range that will fit the bill then introduce a new speaker that will? To tell you the truth i thought maybe that Mr Salk was asking if anyone knew of a speaker that would fit the bill to help the guy get what he wanted in which case recommending other speakers is ok.

ED

Kevin Haskins

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #41 on: 17 Mar 2008, 03:02 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.

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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.

Well... it shouldn't take anything more than an email to have them take that review down if that is the case.    Why in the world would they send a mock-up speaker to a reviewer and let them run a set of measurements in the NRC?   

In terms of Jim, hey.... its his forum.    I'm feeling like I shouldn't be posting on here now!   :)


Danny Richie

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #42 on: 17 Mar 2008, 03:13 pm »
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Well... it shouldn't take anything more than an email to have them take that review down if that is the case.    Why in the world would they send a mock-up speaker to a reviewer and let them run a set of measurements in the NRC?
   

The review was made on a pre-production pair. I think it was the very first review. The review pair was fine. A separate single speaker was sent elsewhere for the photos and it was the one that was inadvertently sent to or used for the measurements. I think it was all covered somewhere on the AV123 forum and was old news.

Some complete measurements can be seen here: http://www.stereomojo.com/REVIEWS.htm#av123MINIPRELIM

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In terms of Jim, hey.... its his forum.    I'm feeling like I shouldn't be posting on here now!
   

Yea, sorry guys. Just straightening out a little misunderstanding.

Kevin Haskins

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #43 on: 17 Mar 2008, 03:23 pm »
Ok.... I don't understand why it would be an issue to ask them to take it down if it wasn't representative of the speaker.  It would be easy to send them another pair and say hey.... this is the production unit.

Did you design that speaker Danny? 

If so, pointing to your own measurements is hardly convincing.   The point of a review is that it SHOULD be unbiased.    When your involved in evaluating your own product, even when its something objective like measurements, it destroys the credibility of the review.
 


randybessinger

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #44 on: 17 Mar 2008, 03:37 pm »
Did you get any calls from Curtis Chang yet to listen?

Not yet, but did notice he was quite active in funkmonkey's AVS thread.
I got an email from him today that said he had tried to contact you as he was interested in listening to the Songtowers.  Not sure how he tried to contact you-probably PM on AVS forum.

Danny Richie

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #45 on: 17 Mar 2008, 03:40 pm »
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Ok.... I don't understand why it would be an issue to ask them to take it down if it wasn't representative of the speaker.  It would be easy to send them another pair and say hey.... this is the production unit.


That's not my department.

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Did you design that speaker Danny?


Only the crossover.

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If so, pointing to your own measurements is hardly convincing.   The point of a review is that it SHOULD be unbiased.    When your involved in evaluating your own product, even when its something objective like measurements, it destroys the credibility of the review.

I was not involved in the review. I only measured them. My measurements are objective. They do not lie or have bias.

You can take the measurements of the designer for whatever they are worth, but I really don't think that one on line reviewer adding the measured responses of the speaker to the review is going to detract from his, or anyone else's, subjective evaluation regardless of who took them. His review was not unlike the eight other glowing reviews and industry awards.

Kevin Haskins

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #46 on: 17 Mar 2008, 04:05 pm »
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Ok.... I don't understand why it would be an issue to ask them to take it down if it wasn't representative of the speaker.  It would be easy to send them another pair and say hey.... this is the production unit.


That's not my department.

 :lol:

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Did you design that speaker Danny?


Only the crossover.


So... you did the crossover design but didn't have any input into the drivers used?


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If so, pointing to your own measurements is hardly convincing.   The point of a review is that it SHOULD be unbiased.    When your involved in evaluating your own product, even when its something objective like measurements, it destroys the credibility of the review.
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I was not involved in the review. I only measured them. My measurements are objective. They do not lie or have bias.

You can take the measurements of the designer for whatever they are worth, but I really don't think that one on line reviewer adding the measured responses of the speaker to the review is going to detract from his, or anyone else's, subjective evaluation regardless of who took them. His review was not unlike the eight other glowing reviews and industry awards.

I would dispute that.  Would you trust a politician if he counted his own ballot boxes?   He/she could say "my counting is objective and doesn't LIE" and nobody would give him the time of day.   

For the same reason, being involved in taking your own measurements for your own review is not objective.   

Your measurements also have no distortion data.   That is what I was looking at and your telling me that the speaker in question was not representative of the actual product.    Why in the world would you sit around and let them publish something like that if it wasn't the speaker they reviewed?   

I'm not trying to be an A-hole.   The only reason I even saw the review is because one of my speakers was just reviewed by Soundstage and I was browsing through their measurements of other speaker designs for some comparisons.    If the data is bad you would have every right in the world to ask that they remove it.






Marbles

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #47 on: 17 Mar 2008, 04:33 pm »
Kevin and Danny,hate to break up this
match, but I can't help but think that whatever Jim meant by his post, your exchange isn't what he had in mind..


HT cOz

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #48 on: 17 Mar 2008, 04:48 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.

I have been reading this post from the start and i was wondering from the start what was the purpose of the first post from Jsalk. was? Was  the whole post just a long answer to he question of can you buy a speaker that goes down to 30hrz for less then$2000 or is Mr Salk going to let us determine that there is no speaker in the price range that will fit the bill then introduce a new speaker that will? To tell you the truth i thought maybe that Mr Salk was asking if anyone knew of a speaker that would fit the bill to help the guy get what he wanted in which case recommending other speakers is ok.

ED

I agree.  What is the purpose of the challenge and what are the parameters?  Is it an academic exercise to determine if it is theoretically possible?  Is it an exercise to summarize the current market to determine if such a beast exists?  Does the speaker have to be a passive design?  Does it have to be a full range tower or can you have monitors with a subwoofer?  What kind of Amp will be available to power it?  Does it have to be pretty?  What kind of room is it going to be in and what is the seating arrangement.  Finally, if any challenger that is mentioned is determined to be good and not great then the whole exercise seems pretty ridiculous.

I feel the goal could be meet with a two way bookshelf and subwoofer, but I don’t know if that is an acceptable format.  I also feel that many people would think that a single driver design with a subwoofer could reach the goal.

Cheers,
Robert

Danny Richie

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #49 on: 17 Mar 2008, 04:50 pm »
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but I can't help but think that whatever Jim meant by his post, this isn't it.

I agree and if Jim or anyone else would like to split the thread and move part of it elsewhere then that is perfectly fine. As of right now I have no other place to respond.

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So... you did the crossover design but didn't have any input into the drivers used?


Correct. This was Mark's baby.

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For the same reason, being involved in taking your own measurements for your own review is not objective.


It wasn't my review for one. The review was on an AV123 product.

Measurements were provided by request of a pair of those speakers. Several sets were sent out for review and they were reviewed by four different reviewers for the same on line magazine. One of the pairs reviewed was the pair that was measured by me (I think).

Whether they decide to post any manufacturers measurements has no bearing the subjective evaluation of all of those reviewers. It is simply additional information.

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Your measurements also have no distortion data.   That is what I was looking at and your telling me that the speaker in question was not representative of the actual product.    Why in the world would you sit around and let them publish something like that if it wasn't the speaker they reviewed?


Kevin, I agree, but none of that is within my control nor is it my place to intervene.

Kevin Haskins

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #50 on: 17 Mar 2008, 04:53 pm »
Kevin and Danny,hate to break up this
match, but I can't help but think that whatever Jim meant by his post, your exchange isn't what he had in mind..



I certainly didn't intend to create an issue.   Feel free to nuke my post if you or Jim feel its disruptive.   

Danny and I can argue about it in private.   



Marbles

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #51 on: 17 Mar 2008, 04:55 pm »
Actually, I'm powerless here...I just wanted to post that gif  :lol:

Cacophonix

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #52 on: 17 Mar 2008, 05:22 pm »
Yup .. it's a good idea to split this thread, and throw this challenge to the wider AC community.

I'm sure there are several designers who will be willing to take a crack at this.

jsalk

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #53 on: 17 Mar 2008, 05:24 pm »
A few comments...

First, I do not mind posts on any topic since open discussions shed light on alternative points of view and can help people sort fact from fiction.

Second, the word "challenge" in the topic referred to the challenge any speaker designer would face meeting ALL of funkmonkey's criteria.  He originally emailed me asking for recommendations and I responded by saying I doubted he would find what he was looking for.  When he mentioned my email response on his thread, a request was made to post it, which I did.

Here is his thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=995082

When people read it, they recommended I share it here as well (which I also did).

As I indicated in the original post, there are many good speakers on the market for $2000, some of which may meet his requirement for bass extension to a solid 30Hz. At the same time, they may fall short in other areas.  I tried to explain why I thought this would be the case.

I have not heard the mini Stratas.   I'm sure Danny did his usual great job of crossover design and they may well be the speaker that funkmonkey was originally looking for (if so, I would be the first to admit I was wrong).  If so, they would certainly dominate the speaker world and put a lot of high end companies out of business.  But not having heard them, I can't comment further (and wouldn't anyway).

As to whether or not I posted the original thread as a lead-up to the introduction of a speaker that would meet funkmonkey's requirements, the answer is no.  As I indicated, I just do not believe it is possible.  A "great" speaker that does everything EXTREMELY well and covers the frequency range down to 30Hz requires, among other things, great drivers.  The cost of these drivers alone will prevent hitting the $2000 target price in a commercial product, especially one selling at retail.

If it were possible, there would be no point in designing a speaker that exceeds that price.  Yet there are a myriad of designs on the market at ten times that price and more.  Some of them may be a tad over-priced.  But many of them tout performance and quality that fully justifies their price.

In short, speaker design is all about balancing trade-offs.  In this case, the $2000 price point will impose trade-offs that I believe will prevent any talented speaker designer from meeting funkmonkey's total criteria.

In the end, after reading a new post on his thread this morning, it appears that funkmonkey may have found what he was looking for.  He just had to make a trade-off of his own and spend a little more than he originally wanted.  But all is well that ends well.

- Jim






BrianM

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #54 on: 17 Mar 2008, 05:41 pm »
Wow, that was a great response Jim.

Nick V

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #55 on: 17 Mar 2008, 06:14 pm »
Well said, I didn't mean to start a war.

Kevin Haskins

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #56 on: 17 Mar 2008, 06:35 pm »
Good form Jim.

And Danny... I'm sorry for making a stink out of this.    I certainly disagree about some things I mentioned but I had no business bringing it into this forum.

In terms of the original post, I don't think there is any magic involved getting to 30Hz but I'll stay out of this.   I'm a numbers guy and would want a more tightly defined goal.   It would be more meaningful to say  30Hz, anechoic, with <5% THD @ 100dB/1M.     Otherwise we could be talking apples/oranges all day long.

 


buzzy

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Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #57 on: 17 Mar 2008, 08:38 pm »
Pinning it down that way might open up a branch of discussion.

But for most, I'd suggest not losing track of the bigger picture elements in the original discussion; and remembering the context that created it.

To some degree it was meant as broad and practical advice for someone auditioning speakers, to broadly explain some tradeoffs and point out a few hazards.  For example, how it's all too easy to focus on the few things that are quantified, such as frequency response numbers, and lose track of the real but not quantified differences in the midrange. 

AliG

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #58 on: 17 Mar 2008, 08:46 pm »
Indeed, I don't think there's any magic getting down to 30Hz, I can find a driver that cost $50 and go down to 30Hz, but it's a poor quality 30Hz we're talking about.. :lol: :lol:

Jim's words should not be taken as saying that "it is not possible to get down to 30Hz with $2000 budget".

Rather it's about can you get down to good quality 30Hz without sacrificing other parts of speaker design, and yet keep the budget to below $2000?

If there are such speakers, why on earth are we spending more than $2000 buying speakers? :lol:




In terms of the original post, I don't think there is any magic involved getting to 30Hz but I'll stay out of this.   

Kevin Haskins

Re: The $2000 challenge
« Reply #59 on: 17 Mar 2008, 08:51 pm »
Indeed, I don't think there's any magic getting down to 30Hz, I can find a driver that cost $50 and go down to 30Hz, but it's a poor quality 30Hz we're talking about.. :lol: :lol:

Jim's words should not be taken as saying that "it is not possible to get down to 30Hz with $2000 budget".

Rather it's about can you get down to good quality 30Hz without sacrificing other parts of speaker design, and yet keep the budget to below $2000?

If there are such speakers, why on earth are we spending more than $2000 buying speakers? :lol:




In terms of the original post, I don't think there is any magic involved getting to 30Hz but I'll stay out of this.   

Define good quality.