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Buchardt S400 Speaker Review

hardisj

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#41
The woofer looks like the woofer used on the Performa3 series from Revel? Its only 6" though?
Definitely an SB Acoustics woofer. I have tested a few of their various models, including the line you're referencing. I imagine the drivers are not "off the shelf" but rather tweaked for the manufacturer's spec. But they are definitely SB made judging from the magnet, the spider and the cone (the spider looks like the same type used in their Satori line). I just got mine in for review and cracked open the case. Even the passive radiator looks like this SB made PR.

Not that any of this is bad. Just saying, it's pretty clear the woofers are SB. Not sure about the tweeter (didn't get that far; will later).

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digicidal

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#42
I believe engines are tested and run to make sure they perform before being installed in a new car . They use a special viscosity oil different from conventional oil for that . Then in most new car manuals they give recomendations on how to break in your engine for a set amount of miles .
And if speaker manufacturers were citing pistonic action and friction of mating surfaces in the transducers as the cause... I'd almost buy that argument. If it takes 100 hours for a rubber, butyl, etc. surround to allow full motion... then I'd be more worried about longevity due to incorrect material selection/preparation than I would about "opening up the full sound potential" of the speaker. Especially at room temperature, a few minutes should be enough for all but the most subtle (and likely inaudible) variations IMO.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #43
I have another speaker (there are two in a box). But I hate to blow another evening testing that rather than another speaker.
 

gr-e

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#45
Definitely an SB Acoustics woofer. I have tested a few of their various models, including the line you're referencing. I imagine the drivers are not "off the shelf" but rather tweaked for the manufacturer's spec. But they are definitely SB made judging from the magnet, the spider and the cone (the spider looks like the same type used in their Satori line). I just got mine in for review and cracked open the case. Even the passive radiator looks like this SB made PR.

Not that any of this is bad. Just saying, it's pretty clear the woofers are SB. Not sure about the tweeter (didn't get that far; will later).

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I wonder what does "passive" on the woofer sticker mean
 

hardisj

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#47
Don't shoot me but...

Are we making too big a deal of the ~ 500hz peak? Toole's book covers threshold of audibility with various peaks but I'll reference this article for now:
https://audioxpress.com/article/testing-loudspeakers-which-measurements-matter-part-1


Particularly, this section:
1587773962060.png


Figure 4 shows the detection threshold for resonances of various Qs in the presence of typical program music. You see that very narrow resonances (high Q) must be about 10dB above the average level to be heard, whereas very broad resonances need only be 1 to 2dB higher to be detected. This is fortunate because the limited resolution of quasi-anechoic responses may prevent you from seeing high Q peaks, but still allow you to find the lower Q resonances. The best way to identify resonances is via the cumulative spectral decay (CSD) discussed in the next section.


I pulled up my DSP software with Fo=520hz, Gain = + 3.55dB and Q = 5 and then Q = 15 and got this:


So you can see it would be a very high Q to match what the data shows.

s400 520hz.png


s400 520hz Q15.png
 

Doodski

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#48
And if speaker manufacturers were citing pistonic action and friction of mating surfaces in the transducers as the cause... I'd almost buy that argument. If it takes 100 hours for a rubber, butyl, etc. surround to allow full motion... then I'd be more worried about longevity due to incorrect material selection/preparation than I would about "opening up the full sound potential" of the speaker. Especially at room temperature, a few minutes should be enough for all but the most subtle (and likely inaudible) variations IMO.
My sentiments exactly. Electronics conform to spec and that specification is as new.
 

digicidal

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#50
Its a passive radiator membrane (thus with no active voice coil) instead of a bass reflex port.
I think he's referring to the "ALU Passive 145mm" on the bass driver (which does have a voice coil). Maybe it's just to say "for use in a box with a PR not a port" ? Dunno... unless there's a form of active aluminum I'm not aware of. ;)
 

gr-e

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#51

napilopez

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#52
Don't shoot me but...

Are we making too big a deal of the ~ 500hz peak? Toole's book covers threshold of audibility with various peaks but I'll reference this article for now:
https://audioxpress.com/article/testing-loudspeakers-which-measurements-matter-part-1


Particularly, this section:




I pulled up my DSP software with Fo=520hz, Gain = + 3.55dB and Q = 5 and then Q = 15 and got this:


So you can see it would be a very high Q to match what the data shows.

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I definitely do not consider it to be a big concern and did not notice anything in that region during my listening, was just interesting :). Some oddities here but Speaker looks relatively free of bad resonances overall.
 

q3cpma

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#54
Don't shoot me but...

Are we making too big a deal of the ~ 500hz peak? Toole's book covers threshold of audibility with various peaks but I'll reference this article for now:
https://audioxpress.com/article/testing-loudspeakers-which-measurements-matter-part-1


Particularly, this section:




I pulled up my DSP software with Fo=520hz, Gain = + 3.55dB and Q = 5 and then Q = 15 and got this:


So you can see it would be a very high Q to match what the data shows.

View attachment 60252

View attachment 60251
Toole's book also relates an anecdote where a singer was unluckily and audibly exciting a very high Q resonance. Really, there are no excuses for resonances that important at that price point.
 

napilopez

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#55
I believe buchardt also uses same the klippel setup, so I'd be curious as to the cause of some of the discrepancies, especially in the overall bass shape and that little resonance. While you could say its a manufacturer trying to hide it's flaws, I don't get that impression - the DI curve looks worse in buchardt's own measurement than Amir's or my own, for instance.

I do also want to put things in perspective and note that the S400 roughly matches or beats every Harman group speaker so far by their own preference score... And IMO aesthetically looks better than the lot too.

Toole's book also relates an anecdote where a singer was unluckily and audibly exciting a very high Q resonance. Really, there are no excuses for resonances that important at that price point.
Nonetheless, the consensus seems to be that high Q resonances are usually not as bad as low Q resonances.
 
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Bamyasi

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#56
Don't shoot me but...

Are we making too big a deal of the ~ 500hz peak? Toole's book covers threshold of audibility with various peaks but I'll reference this article for now: <...>
The only reason I am interested in discussing this is possibility to have an estimate of relative magnitude of the measurement error as performed by Klippel NFS method (done here or elsewhere).
 
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#57
Thanks as always Amir! I'll be curious to hear from @Mads Buchardt.

As some including @napilopez have mentioned, the write up seems to be a little harsher than the charts seem to imply. Looking at the preference rating from @MZKM for example, the S400s do better than the recommended Adam S2V and at a lower price point. Likewise with the Revel C52.

Price-wise, I think they've changed it somewhat. Used to retail for EUR 1,610 with the occasional EUR 200 pre-order discount for EUR 1,410. At EUR 1,410, the price discussion changes up a little I suspect.

That being said, having auditioned both speakers, Revel M16 is still a clear winner for me in the bang for buck department. I still ended up with the S400s because I absolutely loved that upper bass.
 

bunkbail

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#58
Looks like SB19 dome tweeter and SB17 aluminium woofer are being used here. Don't know which passive radiator though, but it's from SB Acoustics as well for sure.
 

napilopez

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#59
By the way, always fun to see how well the PIR match in room measurement. Didn't measure from my usual LP, but here's how the S400 fares against a single sweep I'd done at 2M in the center of my room. (I normally measure at 1M, but run a few sweeps at 2M to confirm driver integration, usually not an issue with bookshelves):

2M PIR.png
 
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