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JBL HDI-1600 Speaker Review

Hexspa

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Without rugs and furniture, my living room sounds like a bathroom. After furnishing it, sounds good, something you can judge by conversing.
I put some sound proofing on the beam above the Voice2 that is mounted above the screen and that seems beneficial.

- Rich
Right. Ethan and even David Griesinger, in section 3-2 of the Lexicon 480L manual (with whom I largely otherwise disagree) both blame Listener Room spatial characteristics (your room) for ruining what David calls "spaciousness". Genelec outlines all the requirements for a reflection-controlled space and features them in their videos which is in concurrence; though the Finns don't come out and say "do this", they instead refer the audience to a professional (whose methods could a few different things). Indeed, even Klaus Rampelmann in his meta study conclude that absorption is at least sometimes important. Actually, I recall Amir putting red text on his measurement images which indicate minimizing ceiling or floor bounce; which effectively constitutes absorbing early reflections.

To call Early Reflections a "myth" is misleading and biased at best. If you dig deeper, Griesinger says that the "importance" is the myth. Well, now we're back to subjective and relative. For some cases they're more important than others, as in mixing pop music. Physically, they're certainly not on a myth on the order of aliens or big foot and they acknowledge as much. However, the publically-digestable controversy morsel is just wrong and I think it's better not to perpetuate the association with "myth" just as you wouldn't echo other misinformation.

Bottom line: early reflections and their absorption strategies, or the relative importance thereof, aren't myths and I think it's good to stop calling them that.
 
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RichB

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Right. Ethan and even David Griesinger, in section 3-2 of the Lexicon 480L manual (with whom I largely otherwise disagree) both blame Listener Room spatial characteristics (your room) for ruining what David calls "spaciousness". Genelec outlines all the requirements for a reflection-controlled space and features them in their videos which is in concurrence; though the Finns don't come out and say "do this", they instead refer the audience to a professional (whose methods could a few different things). Indeed, even Klaus Rampelmann in his meta study conclude that absorption is at least sometimes important. Actually, I recall Amir putting red text on his measurement images which indicate minimizing ceiling or floor bounce; which effectively constitutes absorbing early reflections.

To call Early Reflections a "myth" is misleading and biased at best. If you dig deeper, Griesinger says that the "importance" is the myth. Well, now we're back to subjective and relative. For some cases they're more important than others, as in mixing pop music. Physically, they're certainly not on a myth on the order of aliens or big foot and they acknowledge as much. However, the publically-digestable controversy morsel is just wrong and I think it's better not to perpetuate the association with "myth" just as you wouldn't echo other misinformation.

Bottom line: early reflections and their absorption strategies, or the relative importance thereof, aren't myths and I think it's good to stop calling them that.

I don't believe anyone is saying the earlier reflections are a myth, just that they room treatments are required because they are harmful is a myth.
I believe Dr. Toole stated that very often the normal furnishings rugs, couches, Windows treatments, cat pedestals (in my case) are sufficient.
That some reflectivity is desired by some and not by others.

I don't want a dead room nor a bathroom and find it pretty easy to tell the difference.

- Rich
 

Sal1950

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Are you totally sure that absorbing reflections is a myth? Ethan Winer makes reasonable counter points to Toole’s - and they know each other.
IMO, It's more about preference than right or wrong.
For stereo I've always preferred the side walls treated to be damped, specially in the area of first reflections.
Along with a speaker that has fairly narrow horizontal dispersion, horns are my personal fav.
This to me, offers the clearest reproduction of the source material.

If you want any supporting evidence, just listen to a good set of headphones.. MHO is that this "reflection free" attribute of cans
illustrates why headphones are so popular today. I'm not a big headphone guy, wearing them for long just annoys the hell out of me, but when I have a question about the sound of something I hear on my speakers, I'll pull out my Senn HD650's for a highly detailed view unmolested by room reflections.
Again I don't see any right or wrong, just preference, some like a very focused stereo soundstage, some a more defuse one such as presented by bi/di poles, and all of that.

I have also found a well damped room to be of even more importance with multich playback. If you want to hear the "3D Soundspace" as the production team intended, having blurring reflections bouncing all over the place from 5, 7, 11 or more
speakers is definitely to be avoided.
Going back to the 90s I experimented with a Paradigm 5.2 system using their bipolar surround speakers that had been highly reviewed by some HT magazine of the time. The Titan direct radiators were excellent stand mounts of the day but I could never get into what was going on in the surround presentation and was happy to sell them off before my move to FL after retirement.
All just IMHO and YMMV.
IMG_0912.JPG
 

Hexspa

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I don't believe anyone is saying the earlier reflections are a myth, just that they room treatments are required because they are harmful is a myth.
I believe Dr. Toole stated that very often the normal furnishings rugs, couches, Windows treatments, cat pedestals (in my case) are sufficient.
That some reflectivity is desired by some and not by others.

I don't want a dead room nor a bathroom and find it pretty easy to tell the difference.

- Rich
Amir said:

”So don't go chasing myths on the Internet to absorb reflections.” in this review. This is vague and contradictory to his own advice in other reviews advising to absorb reflections. It’d be one thing if he simply said, “There’s no particular directivity issue so special attention to absoption is not needed.”

No, instead he wielded the hammer and made a needlessly biased point when absorption may be the best approach in a given case. I haven’t read Toole yet but if he’s acknowledging that some absorption is useful then it’s just a matter of degree how useful it is; besides preference.

You acknowledge that you don’t want to listen to music in a bathroom which is just an extreme example. Still, it’s on the same continuum. After all, the only reason bathrooms - or any room - sound like they do is because of reflected and absorbed energy and their proportion to direct.

Often, I have a hard time finding speech intelligible in a very ‘live’ room. Why wouldn’t this apply to speakers? Both are sources pointed at a listener with directivity patterns, frequency response, etc.

There’s a severe lack of logic here. The furthest anyone has taken me is that some prefer live spaces. I can’t argue with preference but there’s no arguing that rooms influence measurements and what you hear. If you want the utmost in accuracy, you need to sit closer, absorb reflections or get into a bigger room.

If absorbing reflections are an “internet myth” (it isn’t) then set up your stereo in a closet and tell me how good it sounds.
 
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Hexspa

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IMO, It's more about preference than right or wrong.
For stereo I've always preferred the side walls treated to be damped, specially in the area of first reflections.
Along with a speaker that has fairly narrow horizontal dispersion, horns are my personal fav.
This to me, offers the clearest reproduction of the source material.

If you want any supporting evidence, just listen to a good set of headphones.. MHO is that this "reflection free" attribute of cans
illustrates why headphones are so popular today. I'm not a big headphone guy, wearing them for long just annoys the hell out of me, but when I have a question about the sound of something I hear on my speakers, I'll pull out my Senn HD650's for a highly detailed view unmolested by room reflections.
Again I don't see any right or wrong, just preference, some like a very focused stereo soundstage, some a more defuse one such as presented by bi/di poles, and all of that.

I have also found a well damped room to be of even more importance with multich playback. If you want to hear the "3D Soundspace" as the production team intended, having blurring reflections bouncing all over the place from 5, 7, 11 or more
speakers is definitely to be avoided.
Going back to the 90s I experimented with a Paradigm 5.2 system using their bipolar surround speakers that had been highly reviewed by some HT magazine of the time. The Titan direct radiators were excellent stand mounts of the day but I could never get into what was going on in the surround presentation and was happy to sell them off before my move to FL after retirement.
All just IMHO and YMMV.
View attachment 235455
I’m 100% on board with absorption. With it, my room measures better and I can hear more detail over a greater range of frequencies.

I used to be a headphone hater until I got a software room emulation. The fact that I can monitor low end with low distortion without bothering neighbors at 2am has been a life changer for me. Still, nothing like the tight snappy bass from a well-dampened room.
 

RichB

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Amir said:

”So don't go chasing myths on the Internet to absorb reflections.” in this review. This is vague and contradictory to his own advice in other reviews advising to absorb reflections. It’d be one thing if he simply said, “There’s no particular directivity issue so special attention to absoption is not needed.”

No, instead he wielded the hammer and made a needlessly biased point when absorption may be the best approach in a given case. I haven’t read Toole yet but if he’s acknowledging that some absorption is useful then it’s just a matter of degree how useful it is; besides preference.

You acknowledge that you don’t want to listen to music in a bathroom which is just an extreme example. Still, it’s on the same continuum. After all, the only reason bathrooms - or any room - sound like they do is because of reflected and absorbed energy and their proportion to direct.

Often, I have a hard time finding speech intelligible in a very ‘live’ room. Why wouldn’t this apply to speakers? Both are sources pointed at a listener with directivity patterns, frequency response, etc.

There’s a severe lack of logic here. The furthest anyone has taken me is that some prefer live spaces. I can’t argue with preference but there’s no arguing that rooms influence measurements and what you hear. If you want the utmost in accuracy, you need to sit closer, absorb reflections or get into a bigger room.

If absorbing reflections are an “internet myth” (it isn’t) then set up your stereo in a closet and tell me how good it sounds.

I think everyone has an issue hearing people in a very reflective room, especially as you get older.
My home office has suspended ceilings, is partially rugged, and has furnishings. It does not need treatment.

The myth is that you must treat early reflections. This is a one-size fits all solution, like prescription before diagnosis.
If the argument is that first reflection treatment is a Must, then I'll call that a Myth.

- Rich
 
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Hexspa

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I think everyone has an issue hearing people in a very reflective room, especially as you get older.
My home office has suspended ceilings, is partially rugged, and has furnishings. It does not need treatment.

The myth is that you must treat early reflections. This is a one-size fits all solution, like prescription before diagnosis.
If the argument is that first reflection treatment is a Must, then I'll call that a Myth.

- Rich
I think that's a fair qualification and I'm glad we could bring nuance to what seemed, to me, like just that: a blanket prescription.
 
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