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Diapason Emera Italian Speaker Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Diapason Emera 2-way speaker. It is on kind loan from a member. It is an older design dating back to 2002 from the bit of research I have done. I can't find the pricing.

The fit and finish is very good:

Diapason Emera Speaker Review Measurements.jpg


The grill is screwed in. I took that as a signal to use the speaker that way so I tested it with it. Just the same, the speaker is titled back good but and that is how I measured and listened to it.

The back panel is simple but further shows the elegance in the design:

Diapason Emera Speaker Back Panel Review Measurements.jpg


I believe the claim to fame on the design of this speaker is that the woofer is directly driven with no crossover. Reminds me of the same approach by Totem Acoustics. If so, this should present an interesting set of measurements.

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 800 measurement point which was enough to compute the sound field of the speaker within 1% error.

Temperature was 76 degrees. Measurement location is at sea level so you compute the pressure.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

For reference point, I used the tweeter axis. And per above, I let the speaker be raked back as designed.

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:

Diapason Emera Speaker Spinorama CEA-2034 Frequency Response Measurements.png


And flaws is what we have. Clearly this is a strong equalization applied to everything you play. Bass is attenuated and then we have peaking and dips everywhere.

Around the crossover point of 4.8 kHz directivity gets shot with on-axis response dipping even below reflected sounds although the listening window is better.

Strangely, the of-axis early reflections look more even:
Diapason Emera Speaker Spinorama CEA-2034 Early Window Frequency Response Measurements.png


That tames our predicted in-room response:

Diapason Emera Speaker Spinorama CEA-2034 Predicted In-room  Frequency Response Measurements.png


We want tilting down response which we don't have here so likely the sound will be bright especially given the lack of bass.

To investigate what is going on, I measured the individual drivers at close distance and this is the composite:

Diapason Emera Speaker THD Distortion Measurements.png


The woofer is breaking up/resonating around crossover frequencies. We also have peaking from the port around 800 Hz. The tweeter also is not linear showing a few peaks.

Horizontal beamwidth is chewed up:


Diapason Emera Speaker Horizontal Beamwidth Measurements.png


Same is true of full directivity map:

Diapason Emera Speaker Horizontal Directivity Measurements.png


Vertical directivity is interesting:

Diapason Emera Speaker Vertical Directivity Measurements.png


It seems that you are better off being above my measured axis (center of the tweeter). In which case, why tilt up the speaker by design? As you see the black reference line goes to through lower energy region around 2 to 6 kHz the way it is.

Distortion is reasonable at 86 dBSPL but gets bad at 96:

Diapason Emera Speaker Relative THD Distortion Measurements.png


Finally here is impedance and phase:

Diapason Emera Speaker Impedance and Phase Measurements.png


Speaker Subjective Listening Tests
The sound out of the box was disappointing. It was somewhat bright, with no bass and dull. The Genesis track I played as the first one was not listenable. Performance improved a bit with other content but was still problematic as described. So instead of continuing, I quickly threw in an EQ:

Diapason Emera Speaker Back Panel EQ.png


This made a dramatic difference. Bass was there now due to my inverse correction in the entire region sans the peaking around 1 kHz. Detail was much improved. It was still a bit too bright but a bit more effort would make a difference there. This clearly demonstrate that whatever idea there was behind that frequency response was not correct.

Conclusions
Objective measurements clearly show a flawed design which was then backed in subjective listening. The science here is quite intuitive and strong: we don't want the speaker to drastically vary the frequency response of the music we listen to. The lack of bass may have been perceived as having "lower distortion" but such was not the case. Distortion was there without sufficient bass energy which is highly desirable by listeners.

Fortunately Equalization was very effective to turn this speaker from terrible to usable.

Needless to say, I can't recommend the Diapason Emera speaker.

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

You all may remember be attempting to make raisins out of our overflow of red grapes. After 31 hours of being in the dehydrator and heaven knows how much in electricity cost this is what I was left with:

Raisins Dehydrated.jpg


They look like raisins alright but are very sour. Somehow I thought drying them would make them sweeter but it did not. Fortunately I like tart dried fruit and might go well with curries and such so won't go to waste.

Since you are learning both about audio and preserving food, how about reaching deep into your pocket and donating money using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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#2
Thanks Amir. What was there basis for driving the woofer wide open and having a time aligned design I wonder? There must be no baffle step compensation as no woofer cross over so no wonder the bass is light with the small cabinet. Also less need to time align if there is no real cross over to create lobing problems?
 

richard12511

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#4
That beamwidth graph is the weirdest yet.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #7
OH, the owner just told me there is a foot that you screw in the back to make it upright! So the directivity would be better than shown. Sorry about that.
 

Herbert

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#10
Would be interesing to see a “Reference 3A”
speaker rested. A company first located in France, later in Canada.Same design, 2-Way, tilted front and a capacitor as crossover. Best sounding speakers to my ears. Without any cynism -as Amir does the best job in reviewing probably worldwide- I would like to know which flaws make them sound good.
 

Vuki

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#11
@amirm would it be possible for you to do lp in-room measurement when doing listening test? IMHO that would help to better correlate your listening impressions and objective acoustic performance of tested loudspeaker.
Regarding tested loudspeaker - do you think it would sound better with the wall behind it's back?
 
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#15
OH, the owner just told me there is a foot that you screw in the back to make it upright! So the directivity would be better than shown. Sorry about that.
Can you offset the ON within the NFS and re-export the data?
Diapason Emera LW data.png


I am not sure if Diapason is measurement driven but the axis seems 10deg up.
 

DSJR

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#18
If you eq to take close-to-wall mounting into account, does this help the bass-mid balance? Not everyone can have speakers well out into the room...

So many speakers measured here and elsewhere have a dip at the crossover region. Do you think it's by deliberate design (listeners prefer it), or maybe a deliberate fudge to mask issues, or (heaven forbit) just inadequate designer skills? I'm not baiting here, but so many speakers seem to have a dip in the lower kHz region, despite what goes on below and above that area (I am aware of Fletcher Munson, but still).
 

mhardy6647

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#19
(Really) nice to see some data on an off-the-beaten path, (semi) boutique loudspeaker; thanks!

Couple-three comments.
1. Hard to see for sure, but that looks (to me) like the absolute wrong kind of woofer to run "wide open" (fullrange). Looks like some sort of synthetic cone material. Most of those strong/light/stiff cones have horrible out-of-band breakup modes (IME or IMO, as it were) and require steep XOs to make sure they're well behaved.
2. Good old fashioned paper cones (again IME/IMO) are the best substrate for "fullrange" use -- a classic example was Winslow Burhoe's "EPI" (Epicure) loudspeaker line. In Burhoe's case, the woofers were purpose built to be well behaved, enabling their use sans XO. Indeed, my ears (sorry!) told me - and still do tell me - that the classic EPIs (which used a concave dome tweeter and a simple 1st order XO on the tweeter only) sounded quite good. They were also quite popular -- at least on the East Coast (EPI was in Newburyport, MA).
I mean, I have a nice pair of EPI 100V here :) -- if shipping costs ever return to anything like normal, I could send one out West for the test. Or, if things ever get back to normal, maybe I could send it out via Mrs. H if she ever gets to go back to her birding junkets on the west coast (she was supposed to be co-leading a trip in Washington state two weeks ago... but needless to say that trip didn't happen).

102
by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

3. There's a cult ;) of fans of moderately esoteric Italian loudspeakers that are utterly unfamiliar to me: names like Rosso Fiorentino Elba and Fiesole. Folks seem to love 'em -- but I wonder whether it's their aesthetics, or what I like to call "the cult of the arcane", or if they've really got it goin' on. ;)
They're fairly expensive :( but it would be very cool to see how they compare to, e.g., the titular Diapasons and/or to other loudspeakers head-to-head (apples to apples, so to speak).

:)
 
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BYRTT

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#20
Can you offset the ON within the NFS and re-export the data?
View attachment 84584

I am not sure if Diapason is measurement driven but the axis seems 10deg up.
I have added the Diapason Emera to Loudspeaker Explorer where it can be compared to other speakers.

@Maiky76 beat me to it when it comes to the… surprising listening window consistency:

View attachment 84587
If software is happy read one txt-file per 10º step find Amir's spindata tilted vertical -5º attached in below attached zip-folder :)..
Tilt_-5deg_x1x2_1000mS.gif
 

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