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JBL 4309 Review (Speaker)

Chromatischism

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Probably why I find Jambi by Tool to be such a good speaker test. You need density (and production quality).
 

Blumlein 88

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It is the other way around. We are not talking about music enjoyment. We are talking about what makes good content for testing speakers. Such content needs to be broadband and have constant spectrum. These then enable you to make changes and notice their effect immediately. With music that varies a lot, you have to rewind to the same point which is not as practical. And lack of full spectrum reduces the effectiveness of such content.

All of this has been researched. Read this article of mine: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...sic-tracks-for-speaker-and-room-eq-testing.6/

And pay attention to this graph:

Program+Influence+on+Listener+Performance.png


Notice how piano is forth from the bottom. The top music track is Female Pop Rock and hence the reason I start all of my testing with female tracks.

Piano can be great in hearing speed variations but we are past that in digital domain.
Why is female pop rock also 5th, and male pop rock 4th and 6th? Different test sessions?
 
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amirm

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Why is female pop rock also 5th, and male pop rock 4th and 6th? Different test sessions?
No, just different tracks in the same category:

1634353092652.png
 

rebbiputzmaker

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It is the other way around. We are not talking about music enjoyment. We are talking about what makes good content for testing speakers. Such content needs to be broadband and have constant spectrum. These then enable you to make changes and notice their effect immediately. With music that varies a lot, you have to rewind to the same point which is not as practical. And lack of full spectrum reduces the effectiveness of such content.

All of this has been researched. Read this article of mine: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...sic-tracks-for-speaker-and-room-eq-testing.6/

And pay attention to this graph:

Program+Influence+on+Listener+Performance.png


Notice how piano is forth from the bottom. The top music track is Female Pop Rock and hence the reason I start all of my testing with female tracks.

Piano can be great in hearing speed variations but we are past that in digital domain.
Have all of those tracks and listen to them as well. Nothing really special or breakthrough with them when it comes to listening and/or testing imo. Of course vocal are important because humans are most familiar with the human voice. But imo there is much more. I never found replaying tracks an issue for personal evaluation. We are not performing group studies when we evaluate our systems.

There was allot of audio/science research before current Samsung/Harman group.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Have all of those tracks and listen to them as well. Nothing really special or breakthrough with them when it comes to listening and/or testing imo. Of course vocal are important because humans are most familiar with the human voice. But imo there is much more. I never found replaying tracks an issue for personal evaluation. We are not performing group studies when we evaluate our systems.
Apparently you are interested in confusing yourself than relying on proper research in audio. I suggest keeping these opinions to yourself. Last thing we need is random Joe operating from point of authority here.....
 

rebbiputzmaker

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Apparently you are interested in confusing yourself than relying on proper research in audio. I suggest keeping these opinions to yourself. Last thing we need is random Joe operating from point of authority here.....
Sorry I did not know that Western Electric and Olson were random joes.
 

pozz

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There is obviously much truth to this. The most recent research that I've seen, however, does not indicate that adaptation is "complete": Some quality differences between loudspeakers and rooms seem to remain, even after adaptation. There is just no way that a small and tinny mono speaker will sound as good as a SOTA multichannel rig in an acoustically pleasant room, no matter how long we adapt to the small mono speaker. So it does make sense to get good loudspeakers, and to work towards room acoustics that are not horrible. But our brain luckily makes it much easier for us to live with whatever imperfections which remain!
The link is broken BTW.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Sorry I did not know that Western Electric and Olson were random joes.
Oh? They published controlled testing of different music tracks with statistical analysis of which produced best speaker differentiation? I think not.
 

rebbiputzmaker

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Oh? They published controlled testing of different music tracks with statistical analysis of which produced best speaker differentiation? I think not.
I believe not also. I guess they were kind of busy pioneering the engineering that modern engineers have built upon and taken further. Forgive me for my appreciation of the past and the world before computers. We are very lucky today but we tend take it for granted.
 

Tom C

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Referring to an interview that @hardisj had with Earl Geddes where he concluded that playing music above a certain SPL masks distortion/resonances that would be more apparent in low volume listening. In other words listening to music above 80db may be a problem in and of itself if you hope to capture the audible nuances of these measurements. On the one hand, one needs to play loud enough to observe SPL related distortion but on the other hand one must also play at a low enough volume for subtle resonances to be apparent. Or, in practical terms, play something loud enough and all speakers sound better.
??? It’s when you turn the volume down that everything sounds better, I think because both distortion and compression decrease. Turn anything low enough, and it will sound better. When things get louder, if the system starts to unravel, I want to turn it off.
This phenomenon is what leads to the conclusion that distortion is less important than frequency response. Because everyone listens at levels below which distortion is out of control, right? Well, it turns out, not everyone. In practice, for those of us that like it loud, distortion rises to the point where I’ll gladly take some lumpiness in FR, if I get less harshness and less compression along with it.
Please understand, I realize I don’t know what I’m talking about. I just know what makes me smile and brings joy.
 

rebbiputzmaker

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A review with some good observations regarding cone material, speaker positioning and how horn imaging differs from non-horn systems.
 

mcdn

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“Fast car”, “Bird on a wire”, ”Graceland“, and “hangin’ on to the good times” have a lot more in common than their categorisations as male/female vocal pop/rock suggests. They are all bass-driven, very sparsely arranged tracks. Fast car and Graceland in particular have very interesting bass lines with lots of bent notes. All the songs have super clear vocals.

Just wondering if the interesting and clear bass lines might be a particular factor in making them good tracks for assessing speakers.
 

Jim Shaw

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I have some but not in my standard playlist. I could never get into the "piano is revealing" thing. It may be me, or maybe it is not revealing. :)
Thanks for the prompt answer. Well, of course, a personal test track should be of what you know best (and don't dislike, for sure). I try to 'calibrate' my trusted subjective reviewers, often to their breaking point. I really was just interested to know if YOU use solo piano source* test track material, and you answered my question to my satisfaction. A piano is revealing only because the listener might find it so.
....
*As I'm sure readers know, many recording engineers consider the solo piano to be a terribly difficult instrument to record and reproduce. Frequency range (especially harmonics), dynamic range, and nuance of transients make it hard. And importantly, a piano always 'plays' the room. A solo grand piano can create sound levels of 100+ dB (fortissimo) at 3 feet and as low as about 35 dB (pianissimo), a dynamic range of over 65 dB. And the transients generated are a vital part of the piano's timbre. As to frequencies, and without any enhancement, a grand piano can produce fundamentals of (A0) 28 Hz to ~4200 Hz (C8). With important 2nd and 3rd harmonics, there's going to be 16 kHz bandwidth content that's important to piano timbre. (And that's just steady-state -- the piano is also a percussive instrument, with all that implicates.) But I digress.
Attached is one good example of well-recorded solo piano from 1989.
81U-sMhdTXL._SS500_.jpg
 
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oivavoi

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....
*As I'm sure readers know, many recording engineers consider the solo piano to be a terribly difficult instrument to record and reproduce. Frequency range (especially harmonics), dynamic range, and nuance of transients make it hard. And importantly, a piano always 'plays' the room. A solo grand piano can create sound levels of 100+ dB (fortissimo) at 3 feet and as low as about 35 dB (pianissimo), a dynamic range of over 65 dB. And the transients generated are a vital part of the piano's timbre. As to frequencies, and without any enhancement, a grand piano can produce fundamentals of (A0) 28 Hz to ~4200 Hz (C8). With important 2nd and 3rd harmonics, there's going to be 16 kHz bandwidth content that's important to piano timbre. (And that's just steady-state -- the piano is also a percussive instrument, with all that implicates.) But I digress.
Attached is one good example of well-recorded solo piano from 1989.

Very good points! I'm still agnostic as to whether piano pieces function well as test tracks. The simple reason is that all pianos sound different, for the reasons you outline, and the inherently physical/analog/living nature of the piano as a wooden instrument. This makes it a challenge to transfer the sound of an individual piano to a recording. But then it also becomes difficult to know how the recording of a piano should sound like. If I hear something which seems slightly off, how do I know whether it's the loudspeaker or the recorded piano itself which was off? Some defaults may be obvious, but when it comes to timbre and attack etc, it may be harder to say.

If I recorded my own piano in my own living room (a concert upright from Schimmel I bought from a retired opera singer, if anyone's curious), and became well-acquainted with this recording and how it related to the actual non-recorded sound of my piano in my room, I think that could function well as a test track for me. But would it be a good test track for other people?
 

abdo123

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I think piano works great for detecting intermodular distortion just because of the huge frequency range a piano has.

If you hear 'thumping' with the piano strings, well that is basically intermodular distortion.

but for regular harmonic distortion it's not really that great because the tones piano produces have a fair amount of harmonics on its own.
 
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Spkrdctr

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A review with some good observations regarding cone material, speaker positioning and how horn imaging differs from non-horn systems.

I don't want to be seen as being negative or "know it all", but that video review was worthless. There is so much wrong with ANY and ALL subjective reviews and "listening impressions" that we could write a book on it or at the very least a good pamphlet! The problem is that he (plus everyone) listens in their own room. This is huge. Every room will make the speakers sound different. What if they have a highly reflective room that makes the speakers sound screeching? So his impression and listening tests are really not valid for a consumer unless there is a real serious problem that stands out above everything else.

I say that to say that there is a reason that Amir gives his subjective reviews the way he does. We get full and fairly exhaustive testing. Then he throws in a quick and SHORT listening review as he knows that what he hears at home is different than what others will hear at home. He also is usually addressing some findings in the testing. There is no need for him to go on and on about his listening. He will some times say he really enjoyed the speakers and they sounded fantastic, or he might say they were shrill or lacked bass etc. This just lets the consumers on ASR know what he heard but again, they then have to see if the test in its entirety makes it a speaker that they want to listen to or buy. It is like a very rough guide. The testing is not rough as it is exact but the subjective listening is a rough guide and only that. Amir does a tremendous job at giving buyers today more information than has EVER been available in the history of home audio. He is out front and giving us information that used to unavailable, even to the manufacturers (years ago). So, do not be too swayed with "online" reviews' 98% of them are useless. Other than a very rough idea, they are not worth a nickel. I hope I explained why people on this site do not get swayed over subjective reviews as much as most people. If you have read this far, thank you and if I made it as clear as mud I apologize!
 

Xyrium

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Interesting review. Spinorama looks not so good(especially for $2,000), but directivity is great, and subjectively it does well, even without EQ. Wouldn't have expected a 5/5 tbh(especially without EQ), but it seems JBL has found a way to make the most of things here.

Agreed 100%. Something isn't quite right. I'd like to hear what that hump does to vocals, and honestly, at the price, distortion isn't so great. Neat speaker though....
 
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