• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Klippel Question: Wharfedale Linton vs. Philharmonic BMR Monitor

Henryk

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2023
Messages
59
Likes
19
Hello everyone!

I'm unable to audition the speakers mentioned in the thread title, so I'm relying on some objective information to help me make a more informed purchase. I somewhat understand what a Klippel frequency response graph is saying, but I have a question about the portion of the graph where the curve begins to fall off near 20 Hz. Allow me to make this clearer by using Erin's graphs for the speakers I'm interested in:

Linton.jpg

BMR.jpg


Now, some detail as to my requirements. I live in an apartment and cannot listen to music at loud volumes. I don't have a decibel meter, but I can estimate that 70 dB will just about be the maximum that I could get away with during the day. Therefore - and, please correct me if I'm wrong - when I look at the bass section of the curve, I ignore the fact that neither can hit 30 Hz at 80 dB because I'd never be asking that of the speaker. So, are the graphs indicating that these speakers will both be able to reach as low as 30 Hz at 70 dB? I am, of course, taking theoretically; I'm fully aware that in my own room the frequency response would be different due to echo effects.


Other than this question I have, is there anyone reading this post who has experiences with either speaker? I've read a great deal about each but see many conflicting opinions. Some say the RAAL tweeter is fatiguing, others say the opposite and claim that the Linton is. Some say the Linton is "addicting to listen to" while many say the same about the BMR. If anyone has had direct experience with both I would absolutely LOVE to hear from them!


I hope everyone is having a lovely autumn :D
Cheers!
 

voodooless

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
10,068
Likes
17,446
Location
Netherlands
Both speakers have a very similar directivity. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sound quite alike. As for low volume listening: this is probably most enjoyable with some EQ applied to compensate for equal loudness (our hearing is loudness dependent). Usually that means some bass boost. EQ can also be used to further tweak the response for the room. Note that both speakers do not have stellar vertical polars, so stay within the correct height.
 

sweetchaos

Major Contributor
The Curator
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
3,837
Likes
11,427
Location
BC, Canada
Did you see Erin's response linearity tests? (from his written reviews)
Philharmonic%20BMR%20Monitor%20v2_Compression.png

Wharfedale%20Linton%2085%20%28Grille%20On%29_Compression.png


At 86db measurement level (which is measured at 1m anechoic, for a single speaker), as shown in the RED LINE in the graphs above, you can expect almost no compression of either speaker (just look at how close the RED LINE is to the baseline BLACK LINE of 0).
If you now take a pair of speakers, with moderate room reinforcement, you can convert that value into a 92db listening level at 1m listening distance (as shown in Erin's table below).

1697478324550.png


Wharfedale has LFX 38Hz, while Philharmonic has LFX 35Hz, which is only 3db difference and hence not noticeable.
LFX = Low Frequency Extension (in hz). This is the bass output at -6db point.

Remember, spinorama and Erin's response linearity graphs are anechoic, which means when you put these speakers into a room, room gain will add several dBs of output, especially in the lower frequencies.
 

voodooless

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
10,068
Likes
17,446
Location
Netherlands
Low Frequency Extension (in hz). This is the bass output at -6db point.
I don’t find the -6dB point that interesting. Better is the -10 dB point, because that’s where we perceive the sound only half as loud. Differences are often much “bigger down there”, and can still be audible. In this case though, the difference is also negligible. If anything the Wharfdale will possibly match better with general room gain, but the Philharmonic may have just the bit extra boost pleasant for lower volume listening.
 

poopy

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2020
Messages
349
Likes
270
Hello everyone!

I'm unable to audition the speakers mentioned in the thread title, so I'm relying on some objective information to help me make a more informed purchase. I somewhat understand what a Klippel frequency response graph is saying, but I have a question about the portion of the graph where the curve begins to fall off near 20 Hz. Allow me to make this clearer by using Erin's graphs for the speakers I'm interested in:

View attachment 319300
View attachment 319301

Now, some detail as to my requirements. I live in an apartment and cannot listen to music at loud volumes. I don't have a decibel meter, but I can estimate that 70 dB will just about be the maximum that I could get away with during the day. Therefore - and, please correct me if I'm wrong - when I look at the bass section of the curve, I ignore the fact that neither can hit 30 Hz at 80 dB because I'd never be asking that of the speaker. So, are the graphs indicating that these speakers will both be able to reach as low as 30 Hz at 70 dB? I am, of course, taking theoretically; I'm fully aware that in my own room the frequency response would be different due to echo effects.


Other than this question I have, is there anyone reading this post who has experiences with either speaker? I've read a great deal about each but see many conflicting opinions. Some say the RAAL tweeter is fatiguing, others say the opposite and claim that the Linton is. Some say the Linton is "addicting to listen to" while many say the same about the BMR. If anyone has had direct experience with both I would absolutely LOVE to hear from them!


I hope everyone is having a lovely autumn :D
Cheers!
I read and watched Erin's review regarding the Lintons a few months ago.

I knew a reseller close to where I live having the Lintons in demo. Went there out of curiosity. I had Linton vs Kef R3 Meta in the very same room next to each other.

The bass could be very boomy, even in semi-treated room. Their tonality is also quite special that struck me.

So be careful buying based on measurements only.... Anyway if you do so, make sure you can return the speakers at very little expense.
 
OP
H

Henryk

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2023
Messages
59
Likes
19
Both speakers have a very similar directivity. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sound quite alike. As for low volume listening: this is probably most enjoyable with some EQ applied to compensate for equal loudness (our hearing is loudness dependent). Usually that means some bass boost. EQ can also be used to further tweak the response for the room. Note that both speakers do not have stellar vertical polars, so stay within the correct height.

Thanks for the input!
Would getting miniDSP be a big help, especially since I'm listening at low volumes?
Any thoughts on using REW vs. Dirac Live?

Did you see Erin's response linearity tests? (from his written reviews)
Philharmonic%20BMR%20Monitor%20v2_Compression.png

Wharfedale%20Linton%2085%20%28Grille%20On%29_Compression.png


At 86db measurement level (which is measured at 1m anechoic, for a single speaker), as shown in the RED LINE in the graphs above, you can expect almost no compression of either speaker (just look at how close the RED LINE is to the baseline BLACK LINE of 0).
If you now take a pair of speakers, with moderate room reinforcement, you can convert that value into a 92db listening level at 1m listening distance (as shown in Erin's table below).

View attachment 319322

Wharfedale has LFX 38Hz, while Philharmonic has LFX 35Hz, which is only 3db difference and hence not noticeable.
LFX = Low Frequency Extension (in hz). This is the bass output at -6db point.

Remember, spinorama and Erin's response linearity graphs are anechoic, which means when you put these speakers into a room, room gain will add several dBs of output, especially in the lower frequencies.

Okay... I have to admit I'm a bit confused.
You mention other graphs, so does that mean I'm wrong in looking at the graph I mentioned in that particular way?

If I want to find out the lowest Hz that a speaker can play at moderate volumes, do I look to LFX as you mentioned?
Where exactly did you find the LFX values for those two speakers?
Does "-6db" mean at a level 6 dB before the driver would compress?

I read and watched Erin's review regarding the Lintons a few months ago.

I knew a reseller close to where I live having the Lintons in demo. Went there out of curiosity. I had Linton vs Kef R3 Meta in the very same room next to each other.

The bass could be very boomy, even in semi-treated room. Their tonality is also quite special that struck me.

So be careful buying based on measurements only.... Anyway if you do so, make sure you can return the speakers at very little expense.

I'm with you; I don't think it's a good idea to buy based on measurements only.
Unfortunately I live in a city without much of an audiophile market.

Would getting a miniDSP unit and running room correction remove the boomy bass you mentioned?
...or would I have to start applying acoustic dampening to the room itself?
 

voodooless

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
10,068
Likes
17,446
Location
Netherlands
Would getting miniDSP be a big help, especially since I'm listening at low volumes?
It might if you create special profiles for various volumes.
Any thoughts on using REW vs. Dirac Live?
Both can yield excellent results. Dirac Live is just much simpler to use, at the expense of… well, money, and a bit less flexibility.
Would getting a miniDSP unit and running room correction remove the boomy bass you mentioned?
Seeing the response, I would not necessarily expect a boomy bass. It may just be placement and the room. Room correction can definitely help here. Treatment for bass is usually very bulky and invasive, probably not something one should consider in a normal living environment.
 

sweetchaos

Major Contributor
The Curator
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
3,837
Likes
11,427
Location
BC, Canada
Okay... I have to admit I'm a bit confused.
You mention other graphs, so does that mean I'm wrong in looking at the graph I mentioned in that particular way?

If I want to find out the lowest Hz that a speaker can play at moderate volumes, do I look to LFX as you mentioned?
Where exactly did you find the LFX values for those two speakers?
Does "-6db" mean at a level 6 dB before the driver would compress?
I get all data from spinorama.org, including LFX.

Calculations are accurate, estimates are not.
You're looking at Erin's graphs and visually estimating where the drops off occurs.
I look at data instead.
Erin provides -3db and -10db points (he calls it F3 and F10) (written on the bottom left of his spinorama graphs), but I like to look at -6db point (or LFX) (which is calculated by Pierre from spinorama.org).
If you look at the posted table I showed above, you'll see how decibels are perceived in terms of loudness.
I consider -6db point as the point where the speaker stops producing any meaningful sound, but some people take the -10db point, which is fine as well.
-6db or -10db are both anechoic measurements, which means when you put the speaker in the room, room gain will add to the lower frequencies anyway.

I posted the compression graphs to show you how a speaker will behave at low listening levels...that is to say, in both of these speakers, there's not much compression by the drivers, so you wouldn't experience much difference between the 2 speakers.

Since the -6db point is similar to both speakers, you wouldn't notice a huge difference in bass output beween the 2 speakers either.

All that's to say, these 2 speakers are very much alike.
 

poopy

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2020
Messages
349
Likes
270
I'm with you; I don't think it's a good idea to buy based on measurements only.
Unfortunately I live in a city without much of an audiophile market.

Would getting a miniDSP unit and running room correction remove the boomy bass you mentioned?
...or would I have to start applying acoustic dampening to the room itself?
You could get some decent results with speaker placement along with port bungs for the bass I’d say.
 

poopy

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2020
Messages
349
Likes
270
Just did a quick search, the ‘bass heaviness’ (or rather boominess) is also discussed in this thread, and I’m sure elsewhere


They need to be away from the front wall, that’s for sure….
 
OP
H

Henryk

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2023
Messages
59
Likes
19
I get all data from spinorama.org, including LFX.

Calculations are accurate, estimates are not.
You're looking at Erin's graphs and visually estimating where the drops off occurs.
I look at data instead.
Erin provides -3db and -10db points (he calls it F3 and F10) (written on the bottom left of his spinorama graphs), but I like to look at -6db point (or LFX) (which is calculated by Pierre from spinorama.org).
If you look at the posted table I showed above, you'll see how decibels are perceived in terms of loudness.
I consider -6db point as the point where the speaker stops producing any meaningful sound, but some people take the -10db point, which is fine as well.
-6db or -10db are both anechoic measurements, which means when you put the speaker in the room, room gain will add to the lower frequencies anyway.

I posted the compression graphs to show you how a speaker will behave at low listening levels...that is to say, in both of these speakers, there's not much compression by the drivers, so you wouldn't experience much difference between the 2 speakers.

Since the -6db point is similar to both speakers, you wouldn't notice a huge difference in bass output beween the 2 speakers either.

All that's to say, these 2 speakers are very much alike.

How much will room gain add to the lower frequencies?
Is that quantifiable in any way?

Sounds then like a speaker will actually play deeper in a room compared to the measurements made by the manufacturer for frequency response.
 

sweetchaos

Major Contributor
The Curator
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
3,837
Likes
11,427
Location
BC, Canada
How much will room gain add to the lower frequencies?
Is that quantifiable in any way?

Sounds then like a speaker will actually play deeper in a room compared to the measurements made by the manufacturer for frequency response.
It's not an exact science.

SVS says this:
How Much Does Room Gain Affect Bass Output?
SPL vs Freq graph
Room gain typically adds 7 to 9 dB per octave below the starting frequency, depending on the precise characteristics of the room—for example, how much the walls absorb bass energy, small openings in the room, etc. Let's say the room's longest dimension is 16 feet, so room gain begins at 35 Hz; one octave below that (17 Hz) will be 7 to 9 dB louder than the subwoofer produces by itself, and two octaves below the starting frequency (9 Hz) will be 14 to 18 dB louder than the subwoofer can manage on its own.

As you probably know, most consumer subwoofers start rolling off output below a certain point, but room gain can recover much of that lost bass response, in particular with sealed subwoofers. SVS designs its sealed subwoofers to roll off below 32-35 Hz or so with a slope of 7 to 9 dB/octave specifically to take advantage of room gain. As the subwoofer's output drops, room gain brings it back up. If you look at the subwoofer's quasi-anechoic response, it might be down 18 dB at 8 Hz relative to the nominal level, but in a small room, it can actually be flat to 8 Hz!

This roll-off does not occur in ported subwoofers; they remain fairly flat to 20 Hz or even lower in a quasi-anechoic environment. But when you put a ported subwoofer in a small room, the low-end response increases because of room gain, leading to a bottom-heavy, unbalanced sound. So, SVS ported subwoofers include a room gain compensation control that reduces the low-end energy coming from the subwoofer to restore a flat frequency response in a room.

You can also use this website to calculate the room modes for your size of room. First enter width, length, width. Assuming you have a normal rectangular room.
1697504868995.png

It shows you at certain frequencies, there's a room mode that needs to be tamed.
Room with openings to other rooms create havoc to such a calculator, and can't be modelled without an advanced mathematical 3D simulation.

At lower frequencies, room takes over and room modes add to the lower frequencies.
Here's an example of low frequency variance of 20db.
image9.thumb.png.c197910dac421e1f1d5ca9d0700a7076.png


The only way you're going to know this, is if you measure your own frequency response using REW free software (or similar).
 

rynberg

Active Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
201
Likes
301
Location
Bay Area, California
I don’t find the -6dB point that interesting. Better is the -10 dB point, because that’s where we perceive the sound only half as loud. Differences are often much “bigger down there”, and can still be audible. In this case though, the difference is also negligible. If anything the Wharfdale will possibly match better with general room gain, but the Philharmonic may have just the bit extra boost pleasant for lower volume listening.
The 10 dB rule of thumb is really only for overall dBA levels. Below 100 Hz, and especially below 60 Hz, we hear a change of 5-6 dB as a doubling/halving. Our hearing is really not linear. :)
 

rynberg

Active Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
201
Likes
301
Location
Bay Area, California
Therefore - and, please correct me if I'm wrong - when I look at the bass section of the curve, I ignore the fact that neither can hit 30 Hz at 80 dB because I'd never be asking that of the speaker.
You are wrong... :p These are frequency response graphs, not maximum output graphs -- these graphs do not tell you how loudly the speaker can play at any particular frequency. If you are limited to low volumes, you won't really be able to hear below about 40 Hz because our hearing is non-linear and poor at low frequencies -- for example, the threshold of audibility at 30 Hz is 60 dB. In other words, you can't even hear 30 Hz until it has reached a level of 60 dB.
 

Kachda

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
887
Likes
1,559
Location
NY
I have tried both speakers as well the KEF R3s. They are all very good speakers. Personally I preferred the Linton the most, the BMR a close second and the R3 a close third. You can search for threads here comparing BMR with R3 and also R3 vs Linton. I managed to snag the Linton at a good price so went with that (and sold my R3s for about the same price I paid for an *open box* Linton).

I do not think I’m letting go of the Lintons anytime soon.

Having said that, you definitely need to use peq to cut out room modes. I used DIRAC for all 3, without which get bass can get boomy
 
OP
H

Henryk

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2023
Messages
59
Likes
19
You are wrong... :p These are frequency response graphs, not maximum output graphs -- these graphs do not tell you how loudly the speaker can play at any particular frequency. If you are limited to low volumes, you won't really be able to hear below about 40 Hz because our hearing is non-linear and poor at low frequencies -- for example, the threshold of audibility at 30 Hz is 60 dB. In other words, you can't even hear 30 Hz until it has reached a level of 60 dB.

Oh! I didn't know that volume affected frequency like that; That's helpful to know!
So, when trying to determine whether or not a speaker will be able to reach 30-40 dB at low volumes, what specification should I be looking at?
Would you be able to give me an example of a speaker which can, and one which cannot be called "full range"?

I have tried both speakers as well the KEF R3s. They are all very good speakers. Personally I preferred the Linton the most, the BMR a close second and the R3 a close third. You can search for threads here comparing BMR with R3 and also R3 vs Linton. I managed to snag the Linton at a good price so went with that (and sold my R3s for about the same price I paid for an *open box* Linton).

I do not think I’m letting go of the Lintons anytime soon.

Having said that, you definitely need to use peq to cut out room modes. I used DIRAC for all 3, without which get bass can get boomy

Thanks for sharing your experience!
Yeah, many others spoke about needing to use EQ.

From how people rave about using even entry level room correction, it is something I'd certainly like to try!
Is DIRAC somewhat easy to learn for a novice?
 

ahofer

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
4,865
Likes
8,559
Location
New York City
Would getting miniDSP be a big help, especially since I'm listening at low volumes?
I’d recommend the RME ADI DAC, which has volume-dependent (and adjustable) loudness contour. So it rolls off as you increase the volume.

There’s one for sale here on ASR.
 

MarkS

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
1,047
Likes
1,484
what specification should I be looking at?
None. They are not sufficiently determinative.

I would buy the speakers that are easiest/cheapest to return (likely the Lintons), buy a MiniDSP with Dirac (or some other device with automated room-EQ capability), set it all up. If it sounds good to you, stop. You are done.

But if you're still in a maybe-the-grass-is-greener mood, buy the other speakers while you still have return privileges on the first set. Set them up side-by-side and compare. Keep the set you like better.

The room EQ is the most imporant, far more important than the specfic speaker choice.
 
OP
H

Henryk

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2023
Messages
59
Likes
19
The room EQ is the most imporant, far more important than the specfic speaker choice.

Really?!
So, by extension, would acoustic room treatment yield a more drastic sound quality improvement than going one step-up in speaker quality?
 
Top Bottom