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BIC America DV62si Bookshelf Speaker Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the BIC Venturi DV62si bookshelf speaker. It is on kind loan from a local member and costs US $120 including free shipping on Amazon (for a pair). So definitely in the extreme budget category.

You certainly are not going to be impressed with fit and finish of this speaker:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf speaker review.jpg


There are reports of people getting the speaker with the tweeter rattling inside as it is glued apparently!

The woofer is large (good for bass) but with no waveguide and tweeter distanced from it, it is likely going to have directivity errors (direct sound not matching reflected ones).

The back panel is definitely utilitarian but does the job:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf back binding posts port speaker review.jpg


Peaking inside the port, there is no stuffing that I can see.

There are 429 ratings on Amazon with average of 4.5 with most raving about its sound. There are a few people with two stars though which complain about harsh highs that get to you after short listening. As a buyer, you would be confused as hell trying to integrated these wildly differing views and will likely believe the positives.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

I used over 700 measurement point which was sufficient to compute the sound field of the speaker. Measurement axis is the tweeter center.

Temperature was 78 degrees. Measurement location is at sea level so you compute the pressure.

Spinorama Audio Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf speaker CTA-2034 Spinorama frequency response measurement.png


This is not good. Response is uneven and much elevated high frequencies. Directivity also falls apart (distance between black and blue dashed line changes). This means the sound will be room dependent as you see from early reflection curve:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf speaker CTA-2034 Spinorama early reflections frequency response mea...png


So whether you have a thick carpet or not, will determine if you see a large or small dip around 3 kHz.

Predicted in-room response is not pretty as a result:
BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf speaker CTA-2034 Spinorama Predicted In-room frequency response mea...png


Some of the uneven frequency response is due to odd choice of crossover point:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf speaker Woofer Tweeter Frequency Response measurement.png


Notice that the woofer in red keeps going to some 7 kHz with its ups and downs after 3 kHz (I read some place that crossover point is 3.5 kHz). This may have been intentional to juice up the highs as much as they could as that adds to the tweeter energy.

Impedance is reasonably high which makes it an easier load on the amplifier:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf speaker phase and impedance measurement.png


We see a few kinks in the graphs which indicates resonances (parts of the speaker singing when those tones come at it).

I played with the waterfall graph to show more time and low level response:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf speaker CSD Waterfall measurement.png


Personally I think it shows too much stuff that offends the eye but perhaps not the ear. Let me know if you want this new format from here on. Not promising if I will listen to you though. :D

Directivity Speaker Response
What we hear is the sum of direct and reflected sounds. Ideally these would be similar but they clear are not here. Let's start with our beam width:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf speaker beamwidth measurement.png


Man, this is out of control. There is no attempt to get the off-axis response to be similar to on-axis. We see it more dramatically in our 3-D chart of the same:
BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf speaker horizontal directivity measurement.png


I think this is the worst horizontal directivity plot we have seen.

Vertically 2-way speakers are not usually good but this is worse yet:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf speaker Vertical directivity measurement.png


Speaker Distortion Measurements
Speaker tests have become very resource and time intensive as of late. So for this speaker I did not use my Audio Precision and am only going to show Klippel results:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf Roon Relative THD distortion measurement.png


Starting on the left, letting the woofer play too high is resulting in elevated distortions (my guess). At 96 dB, distortion is everywhere and at all frequencies more or less.

Here is the absolute level:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf Roon THD distortion measurement.png


Speaker Eye Candy Visualization
Haven't done this in quite a while but I thought I examine the sounfield around where woofer breaks up:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf speaker 5000 hz radiation measurement.png


We see a lot of sound sources interfering with each other. For grins, here is the phase response at the same frequency:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf speaker 5000 hz radiation phase measurement.png


With this phase salad, anyone who talks about phase mattering better put aside that argument.

Speaker Listening Tests
Let me tell you: there is marketing wisdom behind the sound of this speaker. At first listening, the highs are so distinct and stand out so well that you think you have world's highest resolution speaker! No wonder there are so many reviews about it sounding good. And the more deaf you are in the high-end, the more you will like it!

It did not take me long though as I played through my tracks that I realized how bright it can be. On some notes it is so sharp that the sound spears through one ear, hits my brain, and comes out the other ear!

Vocals generally sound OK but lisping can be pronounced both in level and distortion.

On the positive front, the larger than normal woofer brings warmth and ability to play really loud.

I suspect the preference score for this speaker will be poor but I bet many of you in blind tests will score it high.

It was not until I applied some EQ to fix its response that I realized how broken it sounded:

BIC DV62Si 2-way bookshelf Roon EQ Correction Speaker.png


The aggressive and blunt roll off in my low pass filter tames the highs very well. Turning it on and off showed the seductive aspects of elevated highs but also how bothersome they were getting.

Once there I played electronic bass heavy tracks and was turned off by the tubbiness and unpleasant nature of them. So I decided to put in the filter in yellow to bring their levels down as predicted in the measurements. That improved them fair bit but the end result still was not great.

I tried my high pass filter but even at 30 Hz, it took away "good bass" so I left it there.

When all was done, the result was much more pleasant but I could still hear unnatural grittiness and distortion in vocal high frequencies.

Conclusions
I tell you: this is such a battle of correct design, response, and hi-fi listener wanting to hear "detail, resolution, etc." I would love to blind test this speaker against our reference ones to see how well it does.

The large woofer and ability to play loud is a strong plus. Too often we are getting these tiny woofers in budget speaker which may measure well but don't produce loud, good bass.

Anyway, I can't recommend the BIC DV62si even though I understand why the popular vote is so strongly in its favor.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

I tell you, this speaker review business is tough. Seemingly every review includes a bunch of protests which takes time to deal with . I guess that is the nature of the people we have drawn to this site. What can be dealt with is cheering me up with more money in my pocket as usual. So please donate what you can using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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zermak

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#3
Thanks for the review as always and yes, those customers review are mostly useless and just confuses you :)

And you may have missed something here... You can't have a warm sounding speaker here considering the ferrofuild cooled tweeter ;P
 

MZKM

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#4
A ~3.5kHz crossover for a 6.5" woofer, that is just asking for directivity problems.
The protruding tweeter faceplate also likely isn't doing this speaker any favors, the step response also must be pretty poor as the tweeter should arrive before the woofer more than normal.

It is on kind loan from a local member and costs US $120 including free shipping on Amazon (for a pair). So definitely in the extreme budget category.
MSRP is $275, so even worse performance for the money back when it first came out.
 
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MZKM

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#6
I played with the waterfall graph to show more time and low level response:



Personally I think it shows too much stuff that offends the eye but perhaps not the ear. Let me know if you want this new format from here on. Not promising if I will listen to you though. :D
Is it at all possible to normalize the response to time 0? This will make it much easier to see resonances, because as-is a peak at time 0 will look like a resonance, as even if it decays at the same time, it will have higher SPL.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #8
Is it at all possible to normalize the response to time 0? This will make it much easier to see resonances, because as-is a peak at time 0 will look like a resonance, as even if it decays at the same time, it will have higher SPL.
Can you give me an example?
 

Alexanderc

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#9
“With this phase salad, anyone who talks about phase mattering better put aside that argument.”
I assume you mean phase not mattering?
Thanks again for another great review.

Edit: I stand corrected. Sorry ‘bout that.
 
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MZKM

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#11
Can you give me an example?
I can't quickly find good examples, but waterfall plots show SPL decay overtime, if the initial SPL is higher at a given frequency, decay can be at the same rate as other frequencies, but will exist for more time on the graph. If you are able to normalize time 0, any lingering response compared to other frequencies has to be ringing (like how the off-axis graphs I post have a normalized version which shows difference compared to on-axis, whereas the normal graphs show the actual response).

On this speaker, it looks like 300Hz has a resonance, as it has lingering response but the initial response has no peak, whereas ~1.1kHz has lingering response but has a peak in response, so it likely is not a resonance.
 
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Arnandsway

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#12
Shame about the highs and crossover.
The amount of distortion at 96dB for the woofer is one of the best I've seen in the reviews, though.
 

daftcombo

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#14
“With this phase salad, anyone who talks about phase mattering better put aside that argument.”
I assume you mean phase not mattering?
Thanks again for another great review.
No. The phase changes are very big but it still sounds ok.
 

edechamps

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#15
I have added the BIC Venturi DV62si to Loudspeaker Explorer where it can be compared to other speakers.

Listening window consistency is spectacularly bad, perhaps the worst among all ASR reviews thus far. Just moving from -30° horizontal to +10° vertical will result in a mind-boggling +17 dB difference at 4 kHz:

Loudspeaker Explorer chart(16).png


Good luck trying to EQ this! Any correction you come up with will require you put your head in a vice.
 
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flipflop

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#18
Haha these speakers, combined with the matching center and towers, were my first HiFi system back in the day right after college. I could never understand why my ears got so tired after listening even moderately loudly for an extended period of time.

Even with that I still look back fondly on these, as they introduced me to this hobby. I'm very glad I've moved on however.
 

Dmitri

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#19
There used to be “a guy” who used to modify these speakers for a small fee who had quite a following. I’m not sure of the details, but the sizzling highs were apparently tamed. Not sure there would have been much hope for directivity issues. If anyone out there has a pair of the modded ones, it would make for an interesting comparison.
I might be wrong, but I believe it was Bic Venturi that had a pair of speakers back in the 70’s that lit up leds to corresponding comparative volumes...with the loudest being something like “Jet Engine at 50 ft.”

Now that’s some serious engineering.
 
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