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Buchardt S400 *MKII* Spinorama and measurements

napilopez

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Hi all! Been a while since I posted new measurements. Unfortunately, it's likely I won't be measuring speakers very often anymore due to some changes at work and life stuff. Plus most of my time devoted to audio these days are going towards me learning the piano and music theory. My current apartment also makes measurement setups much harder than my old one, and indeed, it took me months just to find the time to get to these speakers (kudos to Buchardt for being patient). But I'm glad to have contributed a small bit to the current revolution in speaker measurement availability. You'll see me here and there for sure, just a bit less than before.

Anyway, Buchardt S400 MKII. I'll keep it short. Here's the quasi-anechoic spin. The reference axis is between the woofer trim ring and waveguide edge.

S400 MKII Spin.png


Some of the squiggles are likely from my measurement setup, but I tried my best!

I did not create a full spinorama for the original (plus my measurements were of an early batch with a slightly different crossover), but here was Amir's, scaled to match mine
1642993087268.png


I could not find any evidence of the sharp resonance at 500Hz, but of course, quasi-anechoic measurements just don't have the same resolution. Still, even with a 9ms gate and nearfield measurements at various distances, I could not see a resonance there. Will have to wait for an NFS or anechoic measurement to be sure. That said, there's a broader hump, but as it doesn't rise much above the overall response it doesn't strike me as highly audible.

My impression of the measurements is that Buchardt made a slightly worse direct sound and vertical directivity for a better in-room response. Subjectively, prior to the measurements, the main difference I picked up on was less recession in the mids. But I'm in a different apartment without the original to compare, and I do not trust my audio memory nearly enough. But overall timbral presentation strikes me as great.

0-90 Horizontal:
S400 MKII Horizontal 90.png


Horizontal ER:
S400 MKII Horizontal.png


Horizontal Polar unormalized:
1642997171729.png

Normalized:
1642997230345.png

Vertical ER Data:

S400 MKII Vertical.png

Pretty well controlled for a non-coaxial, and the lobing happens right where there is a bump on the on-axis. So it should balance out a bit.

That said, as before, the speaker is very sensitive to vertical height within the listening window. It's not something I notice from my listening position. This is not a speaker for the nearfield, although it's better to be above than below.

0-15 degrees above reference axis:

S400 vertical above.png


Below:
S400 vertical below.png


Vertical Polar Unnormalized:
1642997274075.png

Normalized:
1642997340394.png

That's it for now =]
 
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RosalieTheDog

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Thank you. Are you preparing a review for thenextweb? I find very few reviews of this mk ii edition, apart from the Youtubers.
 
OP
N

napilopez

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Oh, I should mention that I made these measurements in quite cold temperatures, just bout 32 degrees. I don't think they should substantially impact the measurements as I did not bring the speaker out until after everything was mostly set up, so the speaker was out in the cold for less than 30 minutes. but just covering for myself since we have seen measurement differences with cold temperatures before...

Thank you. Are you preparing a review for thenextweb? I find very few reviews of this mk ii edition, apart from the Youtubers.
That's the plan! My impressions are not too different from the original though, and as noted, I don't trust my audio memory enough for a comparison. I just note that I don't find the mids recessed on the MKII as I did with the original in my old apartment. Meanwhile with the Focal Chora which are my usual reference, I do feel a slight mids recession in both places, so I think that's the main difference -- timbre seems just right to me.
 

Chromatischism

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Subjectively, prior to the measurements, the main difference I picked up on was less recession in the mids. But I'm in a different apartment without the original to compare, and I do not trust my audio memory nearly enough. But overall timbral presentation strikes me as great.
I own both and concur that the new model will portray a little more output in the 2 kHz range. This will sound more "open* and "detailed". I would say it's not like "night and day" like swapping a Wharfedale for a Klipsch, but it is noticeable and is sure to please critics of the original design.

The second difference is in the bass. It sounds less aggressive or less meaty. Again the magnitude of the difference is small but immediately noticeable to someone who owns both speakers. I have not dug in to find out why, but the new model sounds cleaner. To me this is not a positive change but for some it will be. I think the speaker has less of what some reviewers used to attribute to the S400 "sounding like a tower" speaker in the bass.

I would classify the speaker as being extremely neutral sounding.
 

wein07

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Hi all! Been a while since I posted new measurements. Unfortunately, it's likely I won't be measuring speakers very often anymore due to some changes at work and life stuff. Plus most of my time devoted to audio these days are going towards me learning the piano and music theory. My current apartment also makes measurement setups much harder than my old one, and indeed, it took me months just to find the time to get to these speakers (kudos to Buchardt for being patient). But I'm glad to have contributed a small bit to the current revolution in speaker measurement availability. You'll see me here and there for sure, just a bit less than before.

Anyway, Buchardt S400 MKII. I'll keep it short. Here's the quasi-anechoic spin. The reference axis is between the woofer trim ring and waveguide edge.

View attachment 181399

Some of the squiggles are likely from my measurement setup, but I tried my best!

I did not create a full spinorama for the original (plus my measurements were of an early batch with a slightly different crossover), but here was Amir's, scaled to match mine
View attachment 181408

I could not find any evidence of the sharp resonance at 500Hz, but of course, quasi-anechoic measurements just don't have the same resolution. Still, even with a 9ms gate and nearfield measurements at various distances, I could not see a resonance there. Will have to wait for an NFS or anechoic measurement to be sure. That said, there's a broader hump, but as it doesn't rise much above the overall response it doesn't strike me as highly audible.

My impression of the measurements is that Buchardt made a slightly worse direct sound and vertical directivity for a better in-room response. Subjectively, prior to the measurements, the main difference I picked up on was less recession in the mids. But I'm in a different apartment without the original to compare, and I do not trust my audio memory nearly enough. But overall timbral presentation strikes me as great.

0-90 Horizontal:
View attachment 181410

Horizontal ER:
View attachment 181411

Horizontal Polar unormalized:
View attachment 181422

Normalized:
View attachment 181423

Vertical ER Data:

View attachment 181412
Pretty well controlled for a non-coaxial, and the lobing happens right where there is a bump on the on-axis. So it should balance out a bit.

That said, as before, the speaker is very sensitive to vertical height within the listening window. It's not something I notice from my listening position. This is not a speaker for the nearfield, although it's better to be above than below.

0-15 degrees above reference axis:

View attachment 181414

Below:
View attachment 181415

Vertical Polar Unnormalized:
View attachment 181424

Normalized:
View attachment 181425

That's it for now =]
Hi Napi, thks for your work!

When u say this is not a speaker for the nearfield, are u referring to on the desktop, or 1.2-1.5m away, or more?
 

Paweł L

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I wonder how the SB17NRXC2 used in mk.ll compares to the SB17NBAC. I have the alu coned midbass used in mk.l and first generation version of 17NRXC. The alu cone is much cleaner, more detailed, but again has the typical for aluminum cone midwoofers timbre. As for the old 17NRXC, it's nothing special soundwise IMO, and the rising freq resp above 3.5k and cone break-ups mean more complicated crossover. And yes, the alu cone has more distinct bass.
 

Chromatischism

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Here is a gif toggle I made of the two drivers.

SB CAC vs NRX2.gif


The one with the lifted output in the 1500-3000 Hz range is the new SB17NRX2C35-4 paper woofer. Notice how the ceramic starts rolling off sooner.

Blue is on-axis
Green is 30°
Red is 60°

The blue and green lines will be the most important.

The goal that Buchardt had was to greatly lower the crossover of the woofer to the tweeter from 2670 Hz to 1800 Hz. I don't know that the woofer change was necessary to achieve that. I would think not, but the NRX2 has better output (flatter) at and above the crossover, so maybe they achieved a better crossover with it. It is an LR4 crossover.

I don't think I would agree that the MKI sounds cleaner or more detailed. I think it is the opposite. In fact it was one of their goals for the MKII.

I do sometimes wish the S400 MKII still had the ceramic. I don't know if it's the driver or if it's just their crossover tuning, but the low bass is less impactful in the new version.
 

Novak

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Hey guys, hope you are fine.
I am hesitating between S400 MKII and SE versions. Is there any objective and/or subjective reason to prefer one over the other? (not talking about the price)
Thanks for your help
 

Chromatischism

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Hey guys, hope you are fine.
I am hesitating between S400 MKII and SE versions. Is there any objective and/or subjective reason to prefer one over the other? (not talking about the price)
Thanks for your help
The SE has a crossover of 2000 Hz vs the standard 2670 Hz.

The MKII is at 1800 Hz and the crossover was designed from scratch by someone they hired to improve the speaker. The time between them is about 2 years.

I'm not sure on the details of the MKI SE crossover or how they differ.

The MKI retains the ceramic aluminum woofer and has a unique graphite oak finish.

The MKII has the NRX2 paper cone.

How deep have you gone searching the internet for comparisons?

You can also shoot Mads an email. He responds.
 

Novak

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How deep have you gone searching the internet for comparisons?
Thanks for your post.
I came across the same technical aspects as mentioned above. I dont really know how to interpret that.
I also read so user feedback on forum (and some reviews...).
 
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