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Donner Dyna 3 Powered Bookshelf Speaker || $89 Monitors

hardisj

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This is copy/pasted from my website. Therefore, there may be some formatting things that go awry when pasted here. Feel free to view the review natively on my site linked below. Otherwise, enjoy it here!
https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/loudspeakers/donner_dyna3/

Donner Dyna 3 Powered Bookshelf Speaker
  • Tuesday, May 18, 2021
DSC01921.JPG

Foreword / YouTube Video Review
The review on this website is a brief overview and summary of the objective performance of this speaker. It is not intended to be a deep dive. Moreso, this is information for those who prefer “just the facts” and prefer to have the data without the filler.
However, for those who want more - a detailed explanation of the objective performance, and my subjective evaluation (what I heard, what I liked, etc.) - please watch the below video where I go more in-depth.
<<coming soon, maybe>>


Information and Photos
The Donner Dyna 3 is a powered 2-way Studio Monitor featuring a 3-inch midwoofer and 1-inch dome tweeter. It comes with a variety of hookup options (Bluetooth, TRS, 1/8-inch and RCA connections). A pair of isolation pads are also included.
The following is from the manufacturer:
Dyna Series Dyna3/Dyna4 High-Definition Active Studio Monitors take the requirements of accurate frequency response, precise acoustic field, high-quality components, professional acoustic adjusters, and speakers for studio into an ultra-compact that can be placed in any context of use. With more than 1,000 times acoustical measurements and data in plenty of rooms and professionally design acoustic adjusters, Dyna series high-definition active studio monitors make sure that give you the accurate and correct sound of music.


Unfortunately, none of the above is really true. There is no accuracy in these speakers. They note the “1000 times acoustical measurements” but they failed to provide a response that is remotely neutral; something a studio monitor should logically be expected to possess.
MSRP is about $89 USD for a pair.
DSC01922.JPG





CTA-2034 (SPINORAMA) and Accompanying Data
All data collected using Klippel’s Near-Field Scanner. The Near-Field-Scanner 3D (NFS) offers a fully automated acoustic measurement of direct sound radiated from the source under test. The radiated sound is determined in any desired distance and angle in the 3D space outside the scanning surface. Directivity, sound power, SPL response and many more key figures are obtained for any kind of loudspeaker and audio system in near field applications (e.g. studio monitors, mobile devices) as well as far field applications (e.g. professional audio systems). Utilizing a minimum of measurement points, a comprehensive data set is generated containing the loudspeaker’s high resolution, free field sound radiation in the near and far field. For a detailed explanation of how the NFS works and the science behind it, please watch the below discussion with designer Christian Bellmann:

The reference plane in this test is at the tweeter, per the manufacturer. A single RCA input was used and the volume was set to 0.
Measurements are provided in a format in accordance with the Standard Method of Measurement for In-Home Loudspeakers (ANSI/CTA-2034-A R-2020). For more information, please see this link.
CTA-2034 / SPINORAMA:
CEA2034%20--%20Donner%20Dyna%203.png



Early Reflections Breakout:
Early%20Reflections.png


Estimated In-Room Response:
Estimated%20In-Room%20Response.png


Horizontal Frequency Response (0° to ±90°):
SPL%20Horizontal.png


Vertical Frequency Response (0° to ±40°):
SPL%20Vertical.png


Horizontal Contour Plot (not normalized):
Donner%20Dyna%203_Horizontal_Spectrogram_Full.png


Horizontal Contour Plot (normalized):
Donner%20Dyna%203%20Beamwidth_Horizontal.png


Vertical Contour Plot (not normalized):
Donner%20Dyna%203_Vertical_Spectrogram_Full.png


Vertical Contour Plot (normalized):
Donner%20Dyna%203%20Beamwidth_Vertical.png




Additional Measurements

On-Axis Response Linearity
Donner%20Dyna%203%20FR_Linearity.png

“Globe” Plots
These plots are generated from exporting the Klippel data to text files. I then process that data with my own MATLAB script to provide what you see. These are not part of any software packages and are unique to my tests.
Horizontal Polar (Globe) Plot:
This represents the sound field at 2 meters - above 200Hz - per the legend in the upper left.
Donner%20Dyna%203_360_Horizontal_Polar.png



Vertical Polar (Globe) Plot:
This represents the sound field at 2 meters - above 200Hz - per the legend in the upper left.
Donner%20Dyna%203_360_Vertical_Polar.png



Harmonic Distortion
Harmonic Distortion at 86dB @ 1m:
Donner%20Dyna%203%20Harmonic%20Distortion%20%2886dB%20%40%201m%29.png


Harmonic Distortion at 96dB @ 1m:
Donner%20Dyna%203%20Harmonic%20Distortion%20%2896dB%20%40%201m%29.png


Near-Field Response
Nearfield response of individual drive units:
Donner%20Dyna%203%20--%20Nearfield.png



Dynamic Range (Instantaneous Compression Test)
The below graphic indicates just how much SPL is lost (compression) or gained (enhancement; usually due to distortion) when the speaker is played at higher output volumes instantly via a 2.7 second logarithmic sine sweep referenced to 76dB at 1 meter. The signals are played consecutively without any additional stimulus applied. Then normalized against the 76dB result.
The tests are conducted in this fashion:
  1. 76dB at 1 meter (baseline; black)
  2. 86dB at 1 meter (red)
  3. 96dB at 1 meter (blue)
  4. 102dB at 1 meter (purple)
The purpose of this test is to illustrate how much (if at all) the output changes as a speaker’s components temperature increases (i.e., voice coils, crossover components) instantaneously.
Donner%20Dyna%203_Compression.png

Based on my results above, it is obvious the output is limited significantly above the 86dB @ 1m output level. These will obviously need to be listened at low-to-mid volume in the nearfield (which is reasonably expected with such a small monitor).
Long Term Compression Tests
The below graphics indicate how much SPL is lost or gained in the long-term as a speaker plays at the same output level for 2 minutes, in intervals. Each graphic represents a different SPL: 86dB and 96dB both at 1 meter.
The purpose of this test is to illustrate how much (if at all) the output changes as a speaker’s components temperature increases (i.e., voice coils, crossover components).
The tests are conducted in this fashion:
  1. “Cold” logarithmic sine sweep (no stimulus applied beforehand)
  2. Multitone stimulus played at desired SPL/distance for 2 minutes; intended to represent music signal
  3. Interim logarithmic sine sweep (no stimulus applied beforehand) (Red in graphic)
  4. Multitone stimulus played at desired SPL/distance for 2 minutes; intended to represent music signal
  5. Final logarithmic sine sweep (no stimulus applied beforehand) (Blue in graphic)
The red and blue lines represent changes in the output compared to the initial “cold” test.
Donner%20Dyna%203_Long_Term_86_Compression.png

Donner%20Dyna%203_Long_Term_96_Compression.png




Parting / Random Thoughts
These are the worst speakers I have tested in regard to linearity. Frankly, it aggravates me the manufacturer would make the claims they do about “accuracy” while putting out such a terrible product. The Mackie CR3-X and PreSonus Eris E3.5 I recently tested are better than this speaker and neither of those are really good, either. At this point, I’ll recommend the Neumi BS5P if you can fit them and follow my suggestion of sealing the ports.

Do not waste your money on these speakers.


Support / Donate
If you like what you see here and want to help me keep it going, please consider donating via the PayPal Contribute link here. Donations help me pay for new items to test, hardware, miscellaneous items and costs of the site’s server space and bandwidth. All of which I otherwise pay out of pocket. So, if you can help chip in a few bucks, know that it is very much appreciated. Alternatively, you can use the affiliate link on my site if you want to purchase these.


You can also join my Facebook and YouTube pages if you would like to follow along with updates.
 
Last edited:

restorer-john

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I do have to question why even bother testing such speakers. They are set up to fail before you even fire up the Klippel.

We know a 3" "mid-bass" (!) driver is going to be an utter joke. We also know they may be about as good as a cheap and nasty pair of computer speakers at $89. Is this even worth the Klippel/Erin time? I think not.

We also know that each speaker in the pair will not perform the same way, as one has the amplifier and internal volume taken up by the active circuitry, the other doesn't. You tested the amplified one "A single RCA input was used and the volume was set to 0.", what about the the other passively driven speaker in the pair?
 

Matias

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Negative score! LOL :D
 

napilopez

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I do have to question why even bother testing such speakers. They are set up to fail before you even fire up the Klippel.

We know a 3" "mid-bass" (!) driver is going to be an utter joke. We also know they may be about as good as a cheap and nasty pair of computer speakers at $89. Is this even worth the Klippel/Erin time? I think not.

We also know that each speaker in the pair will not perform the same way, as one has the amplifier and internal volume taken up by the active circuitry, the other doesn't. You tested the amplified one "A single RCA input was used and the volume was set to 0.", what about the the other passively driven speaker in the pair?

Because that's how you find diamonds in the rough! Also in many cases directivity may be good as a bad pair of speakers can be transformed by EQ. I thought it might be a goofy idea to measure the Google Nest Audio back when I did, but that turned out to be a gem, even if it is SPL limited. It wasn't that long ago that spending $200 on a pair of speakers was more than I could afford, so I think the cheap stuff is definitely worth testing from time to time.
 

Matias

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I do have to question why even bother testing such speakers. They are set up to fail before you even fire up the Klippel.

We know a 3" "mid-bass" (!) driver is going to be an utter joke. We also know they may be about as good as a cheap and nasty pair of computer speakers at $89. Is this even worth the Klippel/Erin time? I think not.

We also know that each speaker in the pair will not perform the same way, as one has the amplifier and internal volume taken up by the active circuitry, the other doesn't. You tested the amplified one "A single RCA input was used and the volume was set to 0.", what about the the other passively driven speaker in the pair?
So that prospective buyers who google the product before purchasing know what they would get and stay the hell away from this.

And for the manufacturer to rethink their choices and design the thing right next time.
 

Matias

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This speaker should meet the hammer of truth as well (go to 8:33).
 
OP
hardisj

hardisj

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Because that's how you find diamonds in the rough! Also in many cases directivity may be good as a bad pair of speakers can be transformed by EQ.

Exactly. Had I not attempted measuring the Neumi BS5 last year, I wouldn't have found a very budget friendly speaker with pretty great performance for the price. And I wouldn't have made a connection with the company that put me in the position of them trusting me with their future product and working with me to improve them to make another great budget-friendly option.

Sometimes you just don't know until you know. I was willing to roll the dice. Unfortunately, it didn't roll in my favor (or anyone's favor, for that matter).
 

richard12511

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MZKM

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We also know that each speaker in the pair will not perform the same way, as one has the amplifier and internal volume taken up by the active circuitry, the other doesn't. You tested the amplified one "A single RCA input was used and the volume was set to 0.", what about the the other passively driven speaker in the pair?
This is something I would like to see tested once or twice in the future, though not on this disaster. I wonder what differences may arise, only thing I could think of is maybe differences in resonances.
 

restorer-john

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Because that's how you find diamonds in the rough!

Absolutely! What's next in the lineup? Shall we get @amirm to test this Barbie CD player? It's around the same price give or take. It might surprise you. :facepalm:
barbie.jpg



I mean seriously, what is the point in "reviewing" a POS amplified pair of obviously crap speakers that cost $89 and then eliciting a pile-on from the peanut gallery? It only makes ASR look more out of touch.

Certainly appreciate @hardisj reviewing serious attempts at high fidelity speakers. But there must have been 100 more worthy speakers that could have had all that time spent on them, over these things.
 

Maiky76

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This is copy/pasted from my website. Therefore, there may be some formatting things that go awry when pasted here. Feel free to view the review natively on my site linked below. Otherwise, enjoy it here!
https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/loudspeakers/donner_dyna3/

Donner Dyna 3 Powered Bookshelf Speaker
  • Tuesday, May 18, 2021
DSC01921.JPG

Foreword / YouTube Video Review
The review on this website is a brief overview and summary of the objective performance of this speaker. It is not intended to be a deep dive. Moreso, this is information for those who prefer “just the facts” and prefer to have the data without the filler.
However, for those who want more - a detailed explanation of the objective performance, and my subjective evaluation (what I heard, what I liked, etc.) - please watch the below video where I go more in-depth.
<<coming soon, maybe>>


Information and Photos
The Donner Dyna 3 is a powered 2-way Studio Monitor featuring a 3-inch midwoofer and 1-inch dome tweeter. It comes with a variety of hookup options (Bluetooth, TRS, 1/8-inch and RCA connections). A pair of isolation pads are also included.
The following is from the manufacturer:
Dyna Series Dyna3/Dyna4 High-Definition Active Studio Monitors take the requirements of accurate frequency response, precise acoustic field, high-quality components, professional acoustic adjusters, and speakers for studio into an ultra-compact that can be placed in any context of use. With more than 1,000 times acoustical measurements and data in plenty of rooms and professionally design acoustic adjusters, Dyna series high-definition active studio monitors make sure that give you the accurate and correct sound of music.


Unfortunately, none of the above is really true. There is no accuracy in these speakers. They note the “1000 times acoustical measurements” but they failed to provide a response that is remotely neutral; something a studio monitor should logically be expected to possess.
MSRP is about $89 USD for a pair.
DSC01922.JPG





CTA-2034 (SPINORAMA) and Accompanying Data
All data collected using Klippel’s Near-Field Scanner. The Near-Field-Scanner 3D (NFS) offers a fully automated acoustic measurement of direct sound radiated from the source under test. The radiated sound is determined in any desired distance and angle in the 3D space outside the scanning surface. Directivity, sound power, SPL response and many more key figures are obtained for any kind of loudspeaker and audio system in near field applications (e.g. studio monitors, mobile devices) as well as far field applications (e.g. professional audio systems). Utilizing a minimum of measurement points, a comprehensive data set is generated containing the loudspeaker’s high resolution, free field sound radiation in the near and far field. For a detailed explanation of how the NFS works and the science behind it, please watch the below discussion with designer Christian Bellmann:

The reference plane in this test is at the tweeter, per the manufacturer. A single RCA input was used and the volume was set to 0.
Measurements are provided in a format in accordance with the Standard Method of Measurement for In-Home Loudspeakers (ANSI/CTA-2034-A R-2020). For more information, please see this link.
CTA-2034 / SPINORAMA:
CEA2034%20--%20Donner%20Dyna%203.png



Early Reflections Breakout:
Early%20Reflections.png


Estimated In-Room Response:
Estimated%20In-Room%20Response.png


Horizontal Frequency Response (0° to ±90°):
SPL%20Horizontal.png


Vertical Frequency Response (0° to ±40°):
SPL%20Vertical.png


Horizontal Contour Plot (not normalized):
Donner%20Dyna%203_Horizontal_Spectrogram_Full.png


Horizontal Contour Plot (normalized):
Donner%20Dyna%203%20Beamwidth_Horizontal.png


Vertical Contour Plot (not normalized):
Donner%20Dyna%203_Vertical_Spectrogram_Full.png


Vertical Contour Plot (normalized):
Donner%20Dyna%203%20Beamwidth_Vertical.png




Additional Measurements

On-Axis Response Linearity
Donner%20Dyna%203%20FR_Linearity.png

“Globe” Plots
These plots are generated from exporting the Klippel data to text files. I then process that data with my own MATLAB script to provide what you see. These are not part of any software packages and are unique to my tests.
Horizontal Polar (Globe) Plot:
This represents the sound field at 2 meters - above 200Hz - per the legend in the upper left.
Donner%20Dyna%203_360_Horizontal_Polar.png



Vertical Polar (Globe) Plot:
This represents the sound field at 2 meters - above 200Hz - per the legend in the upper left.
Donner%20Dyna%203_360_Vertical_Polar.png



Harmonic Distortion
Harmonic Distortion at 86dB @ 1m:
Donner%20Dyna%203%20Harmonic%20Distortion%20%2886dB%20%40%201m%29.png


Harmonic Distortion at 96dB @ 1m:
Donner%20Dyna%203%20Harmonic%20Distortion%20%2896dB%20%40%201m%29.png


Near-Field Response
Nearfield response of individual drive units:
Donner%20Dyna%203%20--%20Nearfield.png



Dynamic Range (Instantaneous Compression Test)
The below graphic indicates just how much SPL is lost (compression) or gained (enhancement; usually due to distortion) when the speaker is played at higher output volumes instantly via a 2.7 second logarithmic sine sweep referenced to 76dB at 1 meter. The signals are played consecutively without any additional stimulus applied. Then normalized against the 76dB result.
The tests are conducted in this fashion:
  1. 76dB at 1 meter (baseline; black)
  2. 86dB at 1 meter (red)
  3. 96dB at 1 meter (blue)
  4. 102dB at 1 meter (purple)
The purpose of this test is to illustrate how much (if at all) the output changes as a speaker’s components temperature increases (i.e., voice coils, crossover components) instantaneously.
Donner%20Dyna%203_Compression.png

Based on my results above, it is obvious the output is limited significantly above the 86dB @ 1m output level. These will obviously need to be listened at low-to-mid volume in the nearfield (which is reasonably expected with such a small monitor).
Long Term Compression Tests
The below graphics indicate how much SPL is lost or gained in the long-term as a speaker plays at the same output level for 2 minutes, in intervals. Each graphic represents a different SPL: 86dB and 96dB both at 1 meter.
The purpose of this test is to illustrate how much (if at all) the output changes as a speaker’s components temperature increases (i.e., voice coils, crossover components).
The tests are conducted in this fashion:
  1. “Cold” logarithmic sine sweep (no stimulus applied beforehand)
  2. Multitone stimulus played at desired SPL/distance for 2 minutes; intended to represent music signal
  3. Interim logarithmic sine sweep (no stimulus applied beforehand) (Red in graphic)
  4. Multitone stimulus played at desired SPL/distance for 2 minutes; intended to represent music signal
  5. Final logarithmic sine sweep (no stimulus applied beforehand) (Blue in graphic)
The red and blue lines represent changes in the output compared to the initial “cold” test.
Donner%20Dyna%203_Long_Term_86_Compression.png

Donner%20Dyna%203_Long_Term_96_Compression.png




Parting / Random Thoughts
These are the worst speakers I have tested in regard to linearity. Frankly, it aggravates me the manufacturer would make the claims they do about “accuracy” while putting out such a terrible product. The Mackie CR3-X and PreSonus Eris E3.5 I recently tested are better than this speaker and neither of those are really good, either. At this point, I’ll recommend the Neumi BS5P if you can fit them and follow my suggestion of sealing the ports.

Do not waste your money on these speakers.


Support / Donate
If you like what you see here and want to help me keep it going, please consider donating via the PayPal Contribute link here. Donations help me pay for new items to test, hardware, miscellaneous items and costs of the site’s server space and bandwidth. All of which I otherwise pay out of pocket. So, if you can help chip in a few bucks, know that it is very much appreciated. Alternatively, you can use the affiliate link on my site if you want to purchase these.


You can also join my Facebook and YouTube pages if you would like to follow along with updates.

Hi,

The effort you made measuring these speakers is probably much more that was spent during their acoustic design...

Score no EQ: -0.6
Score sub no EQ: 2.7
Donner Dyna 3 No EQ Spinorama.png


EQ:

Score no EQ: 4.1
Score sub no EQ: 7.0

Code:
Donner Dyna 3 APO EQ LW-Score 96000Hz
May242021-141620

Preamp: -0 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 63 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 1.09
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 158 Hz Gain -7.75 dB Q 1.21
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 836 Hz Gain -4.33 dB Q 7.5
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1376 Hz Gain -2.72 dB Q 6.37
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1695 Hz Gain -3.25 dB Q 3.14
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2597 Hz Gain -6.32 dB Q 1.59
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3205 Hz Gain 5.4 dB Q 2.44
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 5832 Hz Gain -2.54 dB Q 3.84
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 8610 Hz Gain -7.39 dB Q 0.92
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 14430 Hz Gain -6.9 dB Q 2.39

Donner Dyna 3 EQ Design.png


Spinorama with EQ
Donner Dyna 3 EQ Spinorama.png


Zoom
Donner Dyna 3 Zoom.png
 

Attachments

  • Donner Dyna 3 LW better data.png
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  • Donner Dyna 3 Vertical 3D Directivity data.png
    Donner Dyna 3 Vertical 3D Directivity data.png
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  • Donner Dyna 3 Horizontal 3D Directivity data.png
    Donner Dyna 3 Horizontal 3D Directivity data.png
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  • Donner Dyna 3 Normalized Directivity data.png
    Donner Dyna 3 Normalized Directivity data.png
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  • Donner Dyna 3 Raw Directivity data.png
    Donner Dyna 3 Raw Directivity data.png
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  • Donner Dyna 3 Reflexion data.png
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  • Donner Dyna 3 LW data.png
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  • Donner Dyna 3 2D surface Directivity Contour Only Data.png
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  • Donner Dyna 3 2D surface Directivity Contour Data.png
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  • Donner Dyna 3 3D surface Vertical Directivity Data.png
    Donner Dyna 3 3D surface Vertical Directivity Data.png
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  • Donner Dyna 3 3D surface Horizontal Directivity Data.png
    Donner Dyna 3 3D surface Horizontal Directivity Data.png
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Vladimir Filevski

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It is a common practice for manufacturer of these kind of (very) small loudspeaker to choose referent axis to be appreciable higher than tweeter height when listening (or measuring), because these loudspeakers are designed to perform their best sitting on the desk, while the ear of the listener, naturally, is placed much higher ... or I am very optimistic about the engineering knowledge of those manufacturers.
Huge dip just above 3 kHz in the on-axis frequency response (the first diagram) nicely fills-up at the axis 20 degrees above tweeter, as can be seen on the +20 degrees plot of Vertical Frequency Response, and also on the +20 deg. Vertical Polar (Globe) Plot.
Another common practice, which don't make sense for me, is boosting tweeter output much higher than midbass - also seen here.

Here is another example. Very cheap powered loudspeaker Genius SP-HF 1250B measured on-axis (tweeter axis) at 2.83V/1m (passive box):

Genius SP-HF 1250B original.gif


When measured at +25 degrees vertical, the huge dip between 3 kHz and 7 kHz fills-up, but with excessive output above 5 kHz (not presented here).
Then I reverse the tweeter polarity and put one series resistor for tweeter attenuation (measured at tweeter axis, 30 degrees horizontal):

Genius SP-HF 1250B modified.gif


Much better! Peak and dip at 9 kHz is due to interference from midbass peaking here (there is no low-pass filter!). I cheated a little bit here - this is measured at 30 degrees horizontal (at tweeter axis), to ameliorate midbass peak at 9 kHz because it is directional at this high frequency.
These graphs are taken from my article published 7 years ago in the magazine EMITER: https://emiter.com.mk/napis/11659
 
Last edited:

dorirod

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I appreciate all the reviews @hardisj ! In line with @restorer-john 's thinking, for finding the "diamond in the rough", wouldn't it be better to first do a quick sweep and see if it's even worth going the NFS route? Should be a quicker way of culling speakers that wouldn't really have a chance anyway. On the other hand, some speakers that get touted a lot, I'm always happy to see put through the grinder just to put away all the hype.

Thanks for all the effort @hardisj !
 

abdo123

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I appreciate all the reviews @hardisj ! In line with @restorer-john 's thinking, for finding the "diamond in the rough", wouldn't it be better to first do a quick sweep and see if it's even worth going the NFS route? Should be a quicker way of culling speakers that wouldn't really have a chance anyway. On the other hand, some speakers that get touted a lot, I'm always happy to see put through the grinder just to put away all the hype.

Thanks for all the effort @hardisj !

the NFS is a robot, so once it's up there the difference between one sweep and 1000 sweep is just waiting a few hours.

it doesn't make sense at all to go through all the phyiscal (and monetary) labor just to half ass it at the last second.
 
OP
hardisj

hardisj

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I appreciate all the reviews @hardisj ! In line with @restorer-john 's thinking, for finding the "diamond in the rough", wouldn't it be better to first do a quick sweep and see if it's even worth going the NFS route? Should be a quicker way of culling speakers that wouldn't really have a chance anyway. On the other hand, some speakers that get touted a lot, I'm always happy to see put through the grinder just to put away all the hype.

So that prospective buyers who google the product before purchasing know what they would get and stay the hell away from this.
 
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