Audioholics review of SongTowers now available

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 3944 times.


R Swerdlow

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 322
Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #1 on: 12 Sep 2008, 07:16 pm »
Just read it and was going to post about it here.  You beat me to it.  You must be even less busy than I am this afternoon :green:.

It sounds like the reviewer needs to learn just what "mass-loaded quaterwave transmission line" means.  He thought it was a bass reflex cabinet.  At least he appreciated the bass sound they can produce.

I liked Frank Van Alstine's review of his new ribbon STs better.
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=59394.msg527979#msg527979

Paul K.

Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #2 on: 12 Sep 2008, 11:06 pm »
Before Andry published this review, he allowed Jim to comment on it, and Jim forwarded it to me for comments related to Andry's "confusion" on what is and is not a TL.  Jim had also prepared most of his response to the whole review.  I provided Jim with copious information on TLs and the obvious misperceptions Andry has regarding TLs (some of which are not at all atypical).  Jim incorporated some of my information quite excellently into his Manufacturer's Response but unfortunately, Andry never changed his review one iota on this issue.  I think it's rather amusing, in a sad way, that Andry said he didn't want to get too technical, yet he had no problem making technically incorrect assertions, then apparently completely ignoring information provided him that would have allowed him to correct his mistakes.  I guess when you're an audio reviewer, whatever you say must be true!  I just hate it when misinformation continues to be published about TLs.  Oh well, at least he gave the STs a very good rating and that's the most important issue.
Paul

Paul K.

Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #3 on: 12 Sep 2008, 11:53 pm »
I just finished reading the various responses to this review at the Audioholics site.  I was really pleased to see Richard, Nuance and especially Martin try to educate Tom and Gene.  I'm not sure they learned anything or would admit they're wrong.  It just seems that they (like many others and even myself one time long ago), simply won't believe a speaker system is a TL unless the first impedance peak is either much lower than the second or completely flattened, not realizing that the more it's flattened, the less bass reinforcement the TL is providing.  If that first peak is completely flat, they're ain't no bass help being provided, making building a TL in the first place all but useless!
Paul Kittinger

R Swerdlow

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 322
Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #4 on: 13 Sep 2008, 12:49 am »
I just finished reading the various responses to this review at the Audioholics site.  I was really pleased to see Richard, Nuance and especially Martin try to educate Tom and Gene.  I'm not sure they learned anything or would admit they're wrong.  It just seems that they (like many others and even myself one time long ago), simply won't believe a speaker system is a TL unless the first impedance peak is either much lower than the second or completely flattened, not realizing that the more it's flattened, the less bass reinforcement the TL is providing.  If that first peak is completely flat, they're ain't no bass help being provided, making building a TL in the first place all but useless!
Paul Kittinger

Thanks Paul.  I tried my best, but I felt a little out of my league trying to explain what Martin King's work is about.  I can read it and nod my head intelligently at it, but don't ask me to fly solo.  Just when I was wishing for reinforcements like you, Dennis, or Jim to join in, I was extremely glad to see Martin King himself speak up.

DMurphy

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1495
    • SalkSound
Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #5 on: 13 Sep 2008, 01:02 am »
In situations like this, it's always hard to separate trees from forests. Obviously there are some inacurracies and other irritants in the review, including some of the measurements, but what matters is that he liked the speaker.  I think that's what people will remember.  So I'm very grateful for the review and the serious effort he put into it. 

Nuance

Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #6 on: 13 Sep 2008, 04:22 am »
Overall it was good, but I am baffled why Andry decided to keep his comments regarding the TL design even though Paul and Jim talked to him about it. 

Oh well, I enjoyed it nonetheless. 

Rocket

Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #7 on: 13 Sep 2008, 12:16 pm »
Hi,

I thought the review was positive towards the Songtower speakers.

But why use a receiver to evaluate the speakers?  Surely the speakers would have sounded better if they were paired with audiophile components.  Hey, I use a nice Onkyo surround amp for my HT stuff but it isn't in the same league as my other gear.

If better components were used would the soundstage be wider?

Regards

Rod

zybar

Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #8 on: 13 Sep 2008, 12:25 pm »
Hi,

I thought the review was positive towards the Songtower speakers.

But why use a receiver to evaluate the speakers?  Surely the speakers would have sounded better if they were paired with audiophile components.  Hey, I use a nice Onkyo surround amp for my HT stuff but it isn't in the same league as my other gear.

If better components were used would the soundstage be wider?

Regards

Rod

Don't all amps sound the same?   aa

George

ThorsHammer

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 34
Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #9 on: 13 Sep 2008, 12:54 pm »
Richard...I recently ordered the SongTower RTs and a SongCenter...I'm thinking of getting the exact same finish yours have. Have they darkened significantly or do they still look pretty much like the pictures of yours in the gallery? I really like the clean look and the grain exposure in this natural cherry.

Paul K.

Re: Dennis, you're quite correct...
« Reply #10 on: 13 Sep 2008, 02:23 pm »
Tom Andry did put serious effort into his review both in what he did and what he said, and the most important outcome is he really liked the ST's sound.
Paul

In situations like this, it's always hard to separate trees from forests. Obviously there are some inacurracies and other irritants in the review, including some of the measurements, but what matters is that he liked the speaker.  I think that's what people will remember.  So I'm very grateful for the review and the serious effort he put into it. 

R Swerdlow

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 322
Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #11 on: 13 Sep 2008, 02:37 pm »
Richard...I recently ordered the SongTower RTs and a SongCenter...I'm thinking of getting the exact same finish yours have. Have they darkened significantly or do they still look pretty much like the pictures of yours in the gallery? I really like the clean look and the grain exposure in this natural cherry.

Congrats on your new speakers!  My unstained cherry SongTowers have darkened a bit during the year since I first got them.  They are not as dark as the ribbon STs look in this recent photo in which Jim dyed the cherry to medium dark.  On a darkness scale of 1-5, where this photo is a 3, my speakers were originally a 1 and now are a 2.  Below that is one of my photos from a year ago.  The rest can be found here http://www.photoshop.com/user/RSwerdlow/?wf=share&galleryid=f07a92e50ac9491f89c860203a1e4514&trackingid=BTAGC  I hope that helps.  It might be better if I took some recent photos so you could compare them.  I'll try that soon.

.

« Last Edit: 13 Sep 2008, 06:39 pm by R Swerdlow »

ThorsHammer

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 34
Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #12 on: 14 Sep 2008, 12:20 pm »
Thanks...that helps a lot. Took me about 5 seconds to decide what speakers I wanted but have been agonizing about the wood and the finish for a week, lol.

sts9fan

Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #13 on: 14 Sep 2008, 12:50 pm »
That site is a joke. Mostly all they do is shill the same five or six brands.  Then they label everything else as snake oil. 

satfrat

  • Restricted
  • Posts: 10855
  • Boston Red Sox!! 2004 / 2007 / 2013
Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #14 on: 14 Sep 2008, 05:54 pm »
That site is a joke. Mostly all they do is shill the same five or six brands.  Then they label everything else as snake oil. 

I totally agree with you,,,,,, and that's a first! :lol:


Cheers,
Robin

Toka

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 850
Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #15 on: 14 Sep 2008, 07:25 pm »
That site is a joke. Mostly all they do is shill the same five or six brands.  Then they label everything else as snake oil. 

I actually like Audioholics. They have a different approach compared to most other sites, and they are more in-depth on the technical side. Sure, they have their idiosyncrasies (they can be a bit TOO absolutist, as the SongTower review showed with the "definition" of a TL design) but they are on the money more often than not (and most people who don't like them can't refute what they say on technical merit, they simply attack them personally, which is amusing).

And they seem to review quite a bit of different products...some of the writers have their favorites, and they promote them, but that is no different than what happens around here. A lot of what they "shill" they don't even sell, so that argument holds no merit.

jsalk

Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #16 on: 14 Sep 2008, 09:28 pm »
For those who have not been following the dicussion thread related to this review, there has been some discussion of whether or not the SongTower cabinet is a "true" tansmission line design.  I thought I'd post my reply to this discussion here for those who do not care to wade through the audioholics thread.  Here it is...

First of all, I would like to thank Gene for making this review possible and Tom for a thorough, well thought out and well written review.

I would also like to publicly thank Dennis Murphy for another spectacular crossover design and Paul Kittinger for his great work on the cabinet design. And, of course, thanks to Martin King for developing the software that made the cabinet design possible. Without the efforts of these individuals, the SongTowers would not exist.

While I could certainly quibble about this point or that, I only have one comment I'd like to share on the review and subsequent discussion. I am somewhat amused by the discussion of TL or not TL. I have had this discussion with a couple of speaker designers in the past and it is purely a matter of semantics.

If you adopt a very tight definition of what constitutes a TL cabinet, the SongTower cabinet may not qualify. But to say that it is simply a standard bass reflex cabinet is certainly not an accurate statement either. If you compare the bass quality and extension of the CA15 in a properly designed bass reflex cabinet with the same driver in the SongTower cabinet, it is quite obvious that there is something very special taking place with the ST cabinet.

Technically, the ST cabinet is a "mass-loaded quarter wave tube." Just as with a more traditional TL cabinet, this design takes advantage of quarter wavelength resonance.

As Gene accurately stated, a classic TL design would require a line length of roughly 7 feet to achieve a tuning of 40 Hz. But as Martin so eloquently pointed out, you can achieve the exact same tuning by using a shorter line length coupled with a mass loading port.

In this case, the line length is tuned to a quarter wavelength resonance of just under 80Hz. The mass loading port then lowers the system tuning to 40Hz.

If you simply change the dimensions of the cabinet by making it shorter and deeper for example, while maintaining the current internal volume, you could certainly end up with a classic bass reflex cabinet.

In this case, the cabinet's physical appearance does closely resemble a standard bass reflex cabinet. But from a performance perspective, it more closely resembles a classic TL cabinet.

For me, there is a simple question that resolves the issue. Is the performance based on helmholtz resonance (bass reflex) or quarter-wavelength resonance (TL)?

Since this design takes advantage of quarter-wavelength resonance just as the most tightly-defined TL design, but accomplishes it in a different manner, I (and many others) feel it is more accurate to define it as a TL variant. But if it makes you happy, simply call it a pseudo bass reflex cabinet on steroids. No matter what you call it, I think we can all agree on one thing - it works.

Thanks again to audioholics for making this discussion possible.

- Jim

ArthurDent

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 11435
  • Don't Panic / Mostly Harmless
Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #17 on: 14 Sep 2008, 10:48 pm »
Clearly & eloquently stated Jim, as (I think) all who know and/or have done business with you would expect.  :thumb:

And Congratulations  to the Salk family on another well deserved recognition.  :beer:  :drums:

JD

Dave Littel

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #18 on: 17 Sep 2008, 01:37 am »
I can add something to this.  The very first "proto-Songtower" was actually a T/L designed with more classic T/L parameters including an aperture of equal dimensions of the throat area of the line; i.e. the bottom was open.  This yielded a flawlessly-damped classic T/L impedance profile.  Let me say that this was a beautiful sounding speaker with remarkable bass.  Nonetheless, on the recommendation of Paul Kittenger, a box was modified to something very close to the current box design with mass loading. I had a chance to listen side by side between the two for a couple of hours.  This, and subsequent measurement, all confirmed that the mass loaded design is superior in every way.  The jaw-dropping, uncolored midrange was present in equal measure in both versions.  Paul's design results in more extended and more overall bass output, better overall efficiency and hence a more dynamic sound.  The improved mass loaded T/L took what was already something special into the performance stratosphere it now so happily occupies.

DMurphy

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1495
    • SalkSound
Re: Audioholics review of SongTowers now available
« Reply #19 on: 17 Sep 2008, 02:13 am »
It's great to have Dave chime in.  Dave was the real inspiration for the Song Towers.  I'm a little fuzzy on the exact sequence of events, but I believe he dropped off a prototype of the original TL cabinet for me to work with.  He brought a pair of the resulting speakers to a DIY event at my house, and everyone was amazed at the midrange reproduction, as well as the bass response.  As it turned out, there was some confusion about which tweeter my crossover was intended for, and when I measured Dave's prototypes, they were kind of ugly.   But the midrange quality was still very apparent.   Paul Kittinger saw the discussion that the DIY session had generated, and insisted that he could improve on the bass response.  Dave and I were very skeptical, but Paul persisted, and he was certainly right.  So, the Song Tower is Dave's original idea with my crossover corrected for the right tweeter, and with Paul's mass loaded TL cabinet tuning.
« Last Edit: 17 Sep 2008, 05:14 pm by DMurphy »