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Neumann KH 80 DSP Monitor Review

Krunok

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I have understood that the NFS system checks each of the about 300 measurements individually, and by some algorithm decides when short gating (like 4ms) is enough and when its starts doing that fancy Field Separation of reflections. That's why in the picture transition zone is 700-1000Hz
That is my understanding as well, but IMO that still means that all reflections are filtered out before calculating Listening window curve.
 

Juhazi

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That is my understanding as well, but IMO that still means that all reflections are filtered out before calculating Listening window curve.
This is semantics - "all - filtered out"
No, I wouldn't say all. even 4ms gating incudes interferences from reflections that happen very close to the source and the mic, but all room reflections are ruled out.
No, I wouldn't say that Field Separation Technique filteres out 100% of all room reflections. Every system has limited accuracy and tolerance, also processing time must me reasonable.

But it works really well! We need more experience with measurements to learn, what is the ideal measured response with NFS, that sounds "flat" or "right". Same applies to quasi-anechoic, low end is a guesstimation!

I was against of starting to measure and evaluate loudspeakers at ASR in the first place! But I lost and now "we" have all these worms from the box to eat, don't we, Amir? Enjoy!
 
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Blumlein 88

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This is semantics - "all - filtered out"
No, I wouldn't say all. even 4ms gating incudes interferences from reflections that happen very close to the source and the mic, but all room reflections are ruled out.
No, I wouldn't say that Field Separation Technique filteres out 100% of all reflections. Every system has limited accuracy and tolerance, also processing time must me reasonable.

But it works really well! We need more experience with measurements to learn, what is the ideal measured response with NFS, that sounds "flat" or "right". Same applies to quasi-anechoic on-axis, low end is a guesstimate!

I was against of starting to measure and evaluate loudspeakers at ASR in the first place! But I lost and now "we" have all these worms from the box to eat, don't we, Amir? Enjoy!
I know this is off topic, but why were you against measuring speakers on ASR?

I did vote against it myself. My reasons were I thought it too soon, and the logistics too big a hurdle to make it worthwhile considering the expense. So I wasn't against it, just against it so soon, and thought some donations and time to handle the expense made sense. Amir went ahead and made all that moot.

Now having gone full speed ahead, I think it is terrific. @Ron Texas As Ron Texas said, "this sure is a lot more interesting than testing DACs with SINAD of 120 db", or something similar. I agree with him. Lots more interesting, lots more directly pertinent to what people will hear.

I think the disagreement is good too. As long as everyone is respectful and rational explaining their view. I believe it will do much good to improve understanding, and is interesting as long as it doesn't devolve into hardened positions and repeated cat fats. And speakers are complex enough we don't need to all agree 100%. I don't know of any audio forum doing anything remotely this interesting, informative or what will ultimately be as helpful to regular audiophiles. This is just the beginning too. :)
 
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carlob

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These threads have always been a chance to ' review ' the data provided. Peer review if you like .

A separate thread addressing communalities of concern from multiple speaker reviews wrt Amirm's measurement setup would be nice.

Folks here don't like creating new threads , I ask and they ' like ' the request but just ignore it. They also ignore my request to provide post numbers so I can transfer content and create a new thread for new branches of discussion.

So I give up . I'm not going through hundreds of posts reading them all and trying to work out what thread to put them in. Take some responsibility for yourselves please! Create new bloody threads and if you make a mess in a thread give me the post numbers so I can create a appropriate place posthumously.

Examining data like this will never produce a choir of approval, it's a bit of a ball buster for @amirm.

Suck it up champ , everyone is valuing what your doing. We just need to build a form of consensus and shared understanding before we gallop off with loads more speaker reviews.

Short term pain long term gain imo .

If you want blind approval there's always your dog's ha ha
I don't think that is correct, if you are the moderator it's up to you moderate this thread. We have people here going on and on and on for pages to measure their audio dick, which is bigger, and continuing to post pages of stuff that does not belong to this thread ( and frankly who the fuck is interested to that besides them) in patent disrespect of members who have asked to move their discussion elsewhere. I totally disagree as that kind of behavior makes this thread totally unreadable for people interested in the actual subject of the thread.
 

Thomas savage

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I know this is off topic, but why were you against measuring speakers on ASR?

I did vote against it myself. My reasons were I thought it too soon, and the logistics too big a hurdle to make it worthwhile considering the expense. So I wasn't against it, just against it so soon, and thought some donations and time to handle the expense made sense. Amir went ahead and made all that moot.

Now having gone full speed ahead, I think it is terrific. As Ron Texas said, "this sure is a lot more interesting than testing DACs with SINAD of 120 db", or something similar. I agree with him. Lots more interesting, lots more directly pertinent to what people will hear.

I think the disagreement is good too. As long as everyone is respectful and rational explaining their view. I believe it will do much good to improve understanding, and is interesting as long as it doesn't devolve into hardened positions and repeated cat fats. And speakers are complex enough we don't need to all agree 100%. I don't know of any audio forum doing anything remotely this interesting, informative or what will ultimately be as helpful to regular audiophiles. This is just the beginning too. :)
I agree, finally something interesting and relevant to discuss.

We are not here to serve jarheads ( though maybe that's what some want) , there will be involved debate and diverging opinions.

What dose one expect from a bunch of over educated obsessives with too much free time lol
 

Thomas savage

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I don't think that is correct, if you are the moderator it's up to you moderate this thread. We have people here going on and on and on for pages to measure their audio dick, which is bigger, and continuing to post pages of stuff that does not belong to this thread ( and frankly who the fuck is interested to that besides them) in patent disrespect of members who have asked to move their discussion elsewhere. I totally disagree as that kind of behavior makes this thread totally unreadable for people interested in the actual subject of the thread.
I don't see that. I see interested people butting up against the limits of this communication medium trying to engage and further their understanding , asking questions.

If all you want is the review, that's on the first page. Nothing that comes after changes that.
 

Juhazi

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I know this is off topic, but why were you against measuring speakers on ASR?
---This is just the beginning too. :)
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...eadphones-or-speakers.7910/page-3#post-191646
I voted for headphones testing. Mostly because of logistic and economical issues with loudspeaker testing. Both have also technical challenges and one must learn to analyze test findings, how they correlate with listening impressions.

Bolds added now. I gave more arguments later on. My opinion is/was founded on that ASR has only one person performing measurements of all gadgets and writing reports. I don't think it is wise to expand the task too much, and especially loudspeakers are such an incredibly wide area of technical and design choices, variations and issues that even magazines with better resources can't handle the whole area well. Then add readers with inadequate level of understanding and stupid questions at an open website and forum, interfering with the poor host's effort.
 

edechamps

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We have people here going on and on and on for pages to measure their audio dick, which is bigger, and continuing to post pages of stuff that does not belong to this thread ( and frankly who the fuck is interested to that besides them) in patent disrespect of members who have asked to move their discussion elsewhere.
I really fail to see how our discussion was off-topic. This thread is specifically about the Neumann KH 80. We were discussing the measurements from this specific review, comparing it to other measurements, and trying to understand discrepancies that are specific to the measurements in this review and specific to the peculiarities of the KH 80 (specifically its bass compression behaviour and the position of its acoustic axis). In other words, the entire discussion was about the KH 80 itself and the measurements that are part of the review. If this is not the best thread to discuss the KH 80 and its review, then what is?
 

bobbooo

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Seems like we have lost the plot here.

Folks, we are talking about mechanical devices here. This is not some precision measurements of electronics. Heck even there I see variations. You guys are honestly debating one or two dB here and there???

As I said before, the most likely outcome of these measurements will be the speakers to avoid. They will show large deviation from what is considered "good." We are spoiled so far measuring speakers that are designed to measure well so far so differences are small. But this is no ticket to think that we have to have ultra accuracy to know what to do with the measurements.

As I have said before, other measurements have potential errors in them as well. Anechoic measurements is the gold standard relative to in-room measurements. But they are only an approximation to true, free-field response of a speaker. Heck, we don't even know if our microphones match to the degree you all are fighting over.

I reported that based on my measurements, this speaker has very flat on-axis response. That is all we need to know. Not, "oh wait, why is there a 1 dB dip at 200 Hz relative to this other person's measurements."

The list of speakers to measure has grown to nearly 25 now. I can't keep chasing these little differences when they have no value at all in overall assessment of a speaker. Please learn to allow variances here.
I don’t think unavoidable random error in the measurements is a good reason to ignore potential avoidable systematic errors, or settle with lower precision of measurements. In fact, it’s a good reason to identify and minimise systematic errors as much as possible, and maximise precision, so the final total error in the measurements is not unduly increased even more than the random error. That’s all people are suggesting – to identify whether suspected systematic errors like the SPL and mic placement you’re using do in fact affect the measurements (and rectify these if they do), and to run your measurements at the highest precision you can (by e.g. continuing with 20 data points per octave, which Sean Olive’s preference formula was developed for, as well as reprocessing previous measurements at this resolution).
 
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LTig

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I really fail to see how our discussion was off-topic. This thread is specifically about the Neumann KH 80. We were discussing the measurements from this specific review, comparing it to other measurements, and trying to understand discrepancies that are specific to the measurements in this review and specific to the peculiarities of the KH 80 (specifically its bass compression behaviour and the position of its acoustic axis). In other words, the entire discussion was about the KH 80 itself and the measurements that are part of the review. If this is not the best thread to discuss the KH 80 and its review, then what is?
And I think if @amirm had repeated the test with correct axis and reduced SPL in bass which several knowledgable people are asking for there would have been much less posts in this thread, and he had more time to do other stuff.
 

dukanvadet

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There are some real concerns embedded in this critique, for example i agree that we should use the manufacturers listening axis going forward even if the effect in this case was miniscule.
However if your golden standard is always the manufacturers measurements and any deviation from that points to something being wrong with Amirs measurements as i think is the case with these "comb filter effects" i think you should just go to the manufacturers web page read their marketing and be happy. This is a page for independent measurements and i think we will see many cases where it doesnt match the marketing claims.

I also want to emphasize that the measurements of this speaker looks great regardless of wich you look at. I want to encourage everyone thats reading this to take any comments in this thread as mostly academic inquieries about the measurement tecnique that doesnt reflect much on absolute performance. The extreme focus on minute details might look like the discussion is about if this is a good or bad speaker to a less experienced reader.
 
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MZKM

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There are some real concerns embedded in this critique, for example i agree that we should use the manufacturers listening axis going forward even if the effect in this case was miniscule.
However if your golden standard is always the manufacturers measurements and any deviation from that points to something being wrong with Amirs measurements as i think is the case with these "comb filter effects" i think you should just go to the manufacturers web page read their marketing and be happy. This is a page for independent measurements and i think we will see many cases where it doesnt match the marketing claims.

I also want to emphasize that the measurements of this speaker looks great regardless of wich you look at. I want to encourage everyone thats reading this to take any comments in this thread as mostly academic inquieries about the measurement tecnique that doesnt reflect much on absolute performance. The extreme focus on minute details might look like the discussion is about if this is a good or bad speaker to a less experienced reader.
Agree.

One thing I wonder is what about measuring speakers that the manufacturer recommends using with no toe-in? This is not un-common, especially for budget speakers where the designer knows the buyers won’t use toe-in, Andrew Jones for instance has stated that he does this.
 

napilopez

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As everyone else, at the end of the day I really appreciate the effort you're putting here Amir, despite some disagreements. If we complain, it's because we care. I guess some of us will continue to debate, I'll try to keep you out of it directly though. I can understand how it can get tiresome if I were in your position.

Feel free to discuss the methodology for another 20 pages, or 200 or 2000. I am just suggesting to do it elsewhere and not in this thread. I for one am interested in the review but unfortunately couldn't care less about obsessing on the methodology details. Is the parquet in the room red oak, what's the relative humidity of @amirm ears during measurements? Did he drink red or white wine before measuring?

You can discuss it at will (in another thread please) and when you guys decide that the methodology is good enough let us know :)
Our issue isn't with the general methodology or the klippel, it was for the specific methodology used for this specific speaker, which I would consider not representative of real world use. Ive often emphasized that people take ruler flat frequency response too seriously, but I just feel it's a bit different when there is a big disagreement with known measurements. To use an exaggeration, it'd be kind of like buying a ruler than being okay when you you trace a line that looks like a banana.

To answer some of Amir's questions earlier in the thread without tagging him, a lot of the informationc an be foundon Neumann's site . It's one of the things I like about them, more data than almost anyone else.

The tolerances were provided earlierin this thread and awware on the Neumann site: 100 percent of speakers produced hit - +/-0.26dB from 100-10Khz, q50 percent 0.17dB. Each speaker is checked for calibration as one of the final steps.
Snag_218e22e3.png


The frequency response linearity is given as +/-0.7dB from 100 to 10KHz.

Max Bass SPL is given at 92.1dB which again, explains the bass droop at the tested volume of 95.5dB @1m, which is too loud =]

'Interpolated' I'm 90 percent sure is an average of several measurements. If you look at this other graph detailing the low-mid controls, it gives what appears to be a bit more variation for the basic on-axis curve from a single measurement session. Just a bit more jagged than the interpolated one.

I think people are making a mountain out of a molehill here, changing the drive level to be the recommended 2.83V for passive and 79db @ 2m for active is a simple adjustment that I think should be made but it shouldn't change the measurements that much.

My bigger disagreement is about the manufacturer's "suggested" axis, or in other words the axis that will create the prettiest graph. Revel suggests 7" above the tweeter axis for the M126be, my question is why? Most people place bookshelf speakers with the tweeter axis close to ear level so why wouldn't we measure that way? I say Amir picks either the tweeter axis or half-way between the tweeter and midrange and sticks with that for consistency. I think most of us want honest, accurate results more than pretty graphs.
Firstly, I don't think a studio monitors are the same as home speakers. When you set up a studio monitors, you're going for accuracy. You read the manual. And in the nearfield, the direct sound has a much larger impact than in the living room.

Seriously, Neumann even gives you a little printout you can use to angle your speakers correctly. They even precisely define the acoustical axis for each speaker (PDF):

"The acoustical axis is a line normal to the loudspeaker’s front panel along which the microphone was placed when tuning the loudspeaker’s crossover during design. Pointing the acoustical axis, in the horizontal and vertical planes, towards the listening position or center of the listening area will give the best measured and perceived sound quality. "

I'm fine with someone not caring about it, but I would disagree that it's not important to optimize the correct acoustical axis.

Most important: you use the reference axis because it's supposed to sound the best. The "prettiest" graph, given good directivity, *is* the best sounding graph. Mind you, it's not always the case the reference axis is the best axis, but I do find it bizarre that this is in contention.

Following this logic we should also not measure speakers at the symmetrical horizontal axis either, because according to studies, the average listener listens off axis :). I've seen anywhere from 10-20 quoted. The average was 10 degrees off axis in devantier, 2002. 20 degrees off axis was almost as common as on axis =].
 

aarons915

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Most important: you use the reference axis because it's supposed to sound the best. The "prettiest" graph, given good directivity, *is* the best sounding graph. Mind you, it's not always the case the reference axis is the best axis, but I do find it bizarre that this is in contention.

Following this logic we should also not measure speakers at the symmetrical horizontal axis either, because according to studies, the average listener listens off axis :). I've seen anywhere from 10-20 quoted. The average was 10 degrees off axis in devantier, 2002. 20 degrees off axis was almost as common as on axis =].
Studio monitors might be a slight exception since the direct sound is very important and I could see someone wanting to place them perfectly for that situation. I'm referring more to home setups where most of us place speakers somewhere close to tweeter height at ear level. Now as long as the reference axis is specified to be somewhere between the midrange and tweeter axis then sure go ahead and use the manufacturer's recommendation, my problem is specifying something that isn't a normal use case just to produce a better graph. My example of the M126 be is the only speaker I've seen that deviates from somewhere close to the tweeter axis and in that case I would measure along the tweeter's axis because that is more accurate to how people will be using them. Revel also specifies that they be placed with the tweeter near ear height in the manual, so it's odd that they want them measured 7" above the tweeter. So I say if a manufacturer specifies a reference axis then use it, otherwise just pick something like the tweeter axis to be consistent.

And no we should be measuring all around the speaker but people who don't listen on-axis can safely disregard the On-axis curve and focus on the listening window, which is much more useful for most of us.
 

BYRTT

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Had KH 80 been prefered/won in "Informal Listening Tests/Conclusions" would probably had helped some or had acoustic analyze at least been smoother, regarding vertical listening window VituixCAD print below spin in steps of 10º from a +/-10º window up to a +/-60º window, +/-10º is the top one and probably standard because it then overlay nicely with NFS graphs, to get that flat as pancake on axis so far needs some correction and polars below is what VituixCAD plots for none verse EQed.

Vertical_LW.png

3.png
 

bobbooo

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I already know what it is capable of. It produced the flattest response of any speaker I have tested with this sample. That is what the manufacturer promotes, and that is what the results are. There is just no way anyone should try to focus so minutely on speaker measurements. The spin data for example sums many graphs as to get rid of such nuances.

If you all want to dig in, you are welcome but please don't involve me. I have spent more time dealing with protests on the measurements than remotely measuring speakers. It is not fun and promotes a strategy that is just wrong with it comes to evaluating speakers based on measurements.

If you want to dig in, how about asking the manufacturer what "interpolated" means on their graph? What samples were used and whether customer units are tested to comply with that spec and if not, they accept returns. Ask them what the frequency resolution is. What lab and technique was used to make those measurements.

Collectively, you all are taking what started as a fun hobby to measure speakers into a miserable back and forth over things that don't matter. You are welcome to keep going but know the costs as you do so....
Ok, lets look at the big picture here. It seems to me that you can take one of two paths for the future of this project and ASR in general. Either it’s just a fun hobby in which your measurements give some useful general guidelines on which speakers (and other audio equipment) are good and which are bad, or you can strive to produce the most accurate audio product measurement and ratings database currently available for the benefit of consumers, and even future academic research.

The problem with the first option is it will likely alienate your core audience (as can be seen from many comments in this thread), who are technically minded and above all else want the full unadulterated truth about audio products’ performance and sound reproduction, in as much detail as possible (which both the Klippel NFS and the Audio Precision analyzer are more than capable of).

The problem with the second option (as you said), is repeated discussions about methodology, and repeating tests, are not necessarily fun things to do (for you at least). But the fact is, science is not always fun or exciting. In actuality, it’s often laborious and frustrating, but for good reason – in order to minimise errors and make certain you are uncovering as close to the full truth as possible, instead of just rough truths.

I think part of the beauty of this site is it’s real-time ‘peer review’ nature as @Thomas savage mentioned – hundreds of people get to instantly sift through all the data, many of whom are highly knowledgeable scientists, engineers, mathematicians, product designers and hobbyists, in order to flag up potential issues that will enable iterative improvement to the methodology and ultimately get us closer to truth, which I think everyone on here is ultimately aiming for. This offers an incredibly exciting opportunity to do transparent, crowd-sourced science. Frankly, I haven’t seen anything else quite like it, on either internet forums or in science in general. Yes, some people might not be so knowledgeable and ask ‘stupid questions’, but they will over time learn from the other more experienced members, furthering their understanding. The more people who can learn about audio reproduction through this site, the better it will be for the industry as a whole, as fewer people will be seduced by snake-oil and pseudoscience, hopefully eventually killing off these practices entirely.

Now obviously the path you want to take for this site is up to you, as it’s your time and equipment being used, and we’re all incredibly appreciative of how much time and effort you’ve put in so far to make this project work. I think that’s partly also why people are so passionate about it fulfilling its potential, as it’s already so close to being the indispensable resource of highly accurate, scientifically sound measurements and ratings it could be.
 
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amirm

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The problem with the second option (as you said), is repeated discussions about methodology, and repeating tests, are not necessarily fun things to do (for you at least). But the fact is, science is not always fun or exciting. In actuality, it’s often laborious and frustrating, but for good reason – in order to minimise errors and make certain you are uncovering as close to the full truth as possible, instead of just half- or rough truths.
"Science" says objective measurements of speakers approximate what we hear from a speaker as far as preference. No way does this require, or encourages the level of "accuracy" you are asking about.

And it is not like we have a gold standard where we "know" it is the precise response or the truth as you call it. You all guessing and putting trust in other measurements which you have had zero input to, or opportunity to criticise or analyse. Where is the proof that the acoustic center is where the company says it is? You have a fluid-dynamics simulation of it or other instrumentation that proves that? You don't. As it is, the most suspect thing is a frequency response that is dead flat from manufacturer.

All of this is beside the point. Not one thing I have read here has anything to do with increasing the precision of instrumentation. You all keep saying if I had done X and Y for this speaker, its measurement could match what others have published. What the heck does that have to do with making the system more accurate? There is no knob I will be tuning that will be used for other speakers.

We will learn far more about capability of the system by testing more products, than staying in one place measurbating.

As to what my work is about, I do know what it is, thank you very much. I know the acoutsic and psychoacoutsic science and know what the high and low order bits are. If you want to get a file and round off the corners of the wedges in an anechoic chambers are, you are welcome to do it. Don't encourage me to go do the same when I know what matters, and what doesn't.

Half-truths? Did you really say that? Good grief. :(
 
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amirm

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I think part of the beauty of this site is it’s real-time ‘peer review’ nature as @Thomas savage mentioned – hundreds of people get to instantly sift through all the data, many of whom are highly knowledgeable scientists, engineers, mathematicians, product designers and hobbyists, in order to flag up potential issues that will enable iterative improvement to the methodology and ultimately get us closer to truth, which I think everyone on here is ultimately aiming for. This offers an incredibly exciting opportunity to do transparent, crowd-sourced science. Frankly, I haven’t seen anything else quite like it, on either internet forums or in science in general. Yes, some people might not be so knowledgeable and ask ‘stupid questions’, but they will over time learn from the other more experienced members, furthering their understanding. The more people who can learn about audio reproduction through this site, the better it will be for the industry as a whole, as fewer people will be seduced by snake-oil and pseudoscience, hopefully eventually killing off these practices entirely.
There is goodness in that. And we are benefitting from it. A good bug was found in the early reflection directivity index and is already fixed by Klippel. Good work is being done on Olive preference metric. Other good work is pointing to other measurements so we can compare. Or explaining based on design of the speaker that the measurements can be explained or not. And the various plotting work.

It is my job to find the above gems and encourage it. It is also my job to not let the crowd drag us into a ditch that limits the amount of good work that can be done. And importantly mislead people into thinking there is some need for high precision in these electro-acoustic measurements. I will not lead you into that ditch by following along with you.

There is a ton of discovery waiting for us in weeks ahead instead of focusing on whether this one speaker compressed the bass or not. Or that its acoustic point is one inch higher or lower.

All is not lost. I have taken the level issue at heart and I am calibrating the loudness better per CEA-2034 recommendation.
 
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