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  1. #301
    The off-axis of evil Muddy Funster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werner View Post
    The NRC project? Sounds like NRC had only one project.

    Wonder if they were the same? Sources please?

    No-one measures speakers completely, cost would be prohibitive. There will always remain things unmeasured, things that, once placed in a real listening room, will give rise to audible differences.
    No. The National Research Council of Canada runs lots of scientific projects, the audio division is just one section of that. It's part of the reason why there's been a whole lot of very sensible design coming out of Canada in recent years.

    As to the specifics, go look at the Energy C series, the Infinity Interlude and PSB Imagine entry-level two-way standmounts from about a decade ago. There should still be details on them at Stereophile and Soundstage, although the latter does seem to randomly purge its archive from time to time.

    And I disagree that no-one measure speakers completely. Magazines tend not to because the cost would be prohibitive. Smaller speaker makers, ditto and ditto. The big names... they'll know everything right down to the resonant frequency of the packing tape. And they are still finding new aspects of speakers to measure. Perhaps that's gilding the lilly, but I think it's the only way we move forward. Especially in a world set on pushing things back by demanding ever smaller, ever cheaper.
    "Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." Albert Einstein

  2. #302
    Wammer Werner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muddy Funster View Post
    No. The National Research Council of Canada runs lots
    I know that, FCS.
    Then you wake up and realise your former classmates are ... running most of the TV shows.

  3. #303
    Too much time on my hands SergeAuckland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muddy Funster View Post
    Well no. That's not the case at all. As I said, the three derive from the NRC project. They measure functionally identically, close enough for variations in the measurements to be dismissed as batch variation. Close enough for measurement-led sites like Soundstage to wonder if they were the same loudspeakers. And yet, different sounding.

    How?
    I don't have an answer. Your post implies that the three manufacturers are effectively making the same loudspeaker, rather like the many versions of the LS3/5a. However, is this the case, or are there differences in the manufacturing methods, materials used or anything else?

    My own experience of measuring loudspeakers, which is nowhere near as comprehensive as a KEF or B&W can achieve, nor do I have their breadth of experience or knowledge, is that the results one gets depends very much on the measuring methods used. Just as an example, frequency response variations in terms of +- XdB depends on the smoothing used. No smoothing gives huge variations, some very narrow, whilst Octave smoothing just gives general trends. Probably (!) third-octave smoothing correlates best with what one hears, which is why it's most commonly used, or perhaps it's commonly used because it's what people like me were brought up with. Nevertheless, third-octave or whatever smoothing has to be a compromise, most of which will work most of the time, but I can envisage a sharp, narrow resonance being ignored by a third-octave plot and buried in a unsmoothed plot, but being audible.

    What my ramblings are trying to get across, is that loudspeaker measurements are amongst the least informative, certainly compared with electronics which can be pretty much totally characterised by measurements, and which can be thought of as transparent as many listening tests have shown. Loudspeakers are nowhere near that yet, or even perhaps ever, given the resonant nature of all materials.

    As to the measures good, sounds bad, I have heard some loudspeakers which however well regarded I just didn't like, so I accept that's perfectly possible. However, I also find some loudspeakers pretty unpleasant which stacks up with their measurements, generally a peaky treble.

    S.

  4. #304
    The off-axis of evil Muddy Funster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SergeAuckland View Post
    I don't have an answer. Your post implies that the three manufacturers are effectively making the same loudspeaker, rather like the many versions of the LS3/5a. However, is this the case, or are there differences in the manufacturing methods, materials used or anything else?

    My own experience of measuring loudspeakers, which is nowhere near as comprehensive as a KEF or B&W can achieve, nor do I have their breadth of experience or knowledge, is that the results one gets depends very much on the measuring methods used. Just as an example, frequency response variations in terms of +- XdB depends on the smoothing used. No smoothing gives huge variations, some very narrow, whilst Octave smoothing just gives general trends. Probably (!) third-octave smoothing correlates best with what one hears, which is why it's most commonly used, or perhaps it's commonly used because it's what people like me were brought up with. Nevertheless, third-octave or whatever smoothing has to be a compromise, most of which will work most of the time, but I can envisage a sharp, narrow resonance being ignored by a third-octave plot and buried in a unsmoothed plot, but being audible.

    What my ramblings are trying to get across, is that loudspeaker measurements are amongst the least informative, certainly compared with electronics which can be pretty much totally characterised by measurements, and which can be thought of as transparent as many listening tests have shown. Loudspeakers are nowhere near that yet, or even perhaps ever, given the resonant nature of all materials.

    As to the measures good, sounds bad, I have heard some loudspeakers which however well regarded I just didn't like, so I accept that's perfectly possible. However, I also find some loudspeakers pretty unpleasant which stacks up with their measurements, generally a peaky treble.

    S.
    In fairness, I'm probably overstating the problem, especially when it comes to end-result loudspeakers.

    Let's face it, if you make a product that doesn't sound acceptable to enough people (for whatever reasons), you'll lose sales. A company will selectively breed out the problems early on.

    And I also agree, in perhaps 90% of the time, there is a strong correlate between what is heard and what is measured. When there isn't, in perhaps 90% of the time, it's down to the nut behind the remote control. It's those very occasional ones that are interesting though.
    "Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." Albert Einstein

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