• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Neumann KH 80 DSP Monitor Review

Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
33
Likes
31
I think he would go on just fine without this site, i think he had a well paying job before this. And i dont think he feels any responsibility to provide this service to anyone that neither pays him or appreciate the job he is putting in.
No one quits a well paying job unless there’s something lucrative. I’m sure Amirm loves attention. This forum is gaining in popularity. There will eventually be ads, etc. Free toys to play with. Making friends in the industry. Donations. Nobody does something for nothing. Don’t be so naive.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
23
Likes
20
Hi,

from my point of view everything is way to heated up. I want to defend Amir here and hope that everyone rethinks his opinion (which is very unlikely but none of the less…).

All in all Amir did a great job here and I think everyone agrees with this statement. Whoever likes to see some new or other measurements can ask for it nicely and explain his point of view but in the end it is Amirs page being to persistent is kind of rude.

Amir has given a lot of details of his measurements including the files. It is much more than other entities have done and everyone can draw his own conclusion.

My point of view is the following:

The Axis:

The discussion concerning the measurement axis is kind of ridicules. The presumably straight line in the Frequency response at some special axis (as given by Neumann) is in the end of no interest. Even if the head is fixed at one position the wave front which hits the head and torso is important and this wave front has to be described by multiple measurement points and not only one. The tweeter axis is very close to the axis in the middle of the box so what is the point?

The Bass

The slightly lower Bass level might by the limiter. If it doesn’t indicate limiting during the whole measurement process Neumann is to blame. If it has, Amir should have used a lower level. It might also be a mismatch of the speaker since it is very difficult to measurement Bass level correctly. None of the less the one dB is irrelevant for almost any use case, since the influence of the room is orders of magnitude greater.

Best
Thomas
 

dukanvadet

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Messages
40
Likes
38
No one quits a well paying job unless there’s something lucrative. I’m sure Amirm loves attention. This forum is gaining in popularity. There will eventually be ads, etc. Don’t be so naive.
What is this really about to you? It sure as hell doesnt seem to be about loudspeaker measurements anymore..

I dont know about Amirs motivations but it seems to me that he cares alot about his independence and even if you would be doing anything more valuable to him than leech bandwidth to his server and shittalk his project i dont think he would let you buy his time. The least you could do is ask nicely or make him a serious offer, you are not helping anyone with this bullshit.
 

napilopez

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
1,166
Likes
3,475
Location
NYC
@Thunderlips I think we can disagree with Amir's methodology and philosophy without disagreeing with his intentions and the value of what he's doing here. Come on folks. That's not going to get us anywhere. Evidence and discussion might.

It should be obvious that Neumann's measurement is self referent.
It looks flat because they made it flat, not necessarily because the KH-80 is flat in itself.

If their measurement microphone was broken and had a +3 dB peak at 3000 Hz, for example, they would still trust it, and make their speaker flat, creating a -3 dB dip in its frequency response. And they would publish a completely flat frequency response for it.
The frequency responses that they publish about their own products are flat by design.
This is still a weak argument mr Pio.

Fist of all, the response they publish is not 100 percent flat. It is flat within 0.7dB from 100 10Khz. Forget the "interpolated" graph, which appears to be an average of several measurements. Look at this one instead, which appears to be of a single measurement:

1579993175361.png

It's fantastic, but not perfect. I'd say just about +/- 0.7dB without needing any smoothing. If they were just going for perfectly flat, why not go all the way?

Second: Two independent measurements show broad agreement with Neumann's own measurements, the ones in this thread are the outlier. (And we know the likely reasons why!).

I don't know how Neumann and S&R are doing their measurements, but unless they are both using a cheapo Umik-1 calibrated by the same lab, there is absolutely no reason for our measurements to agree as closely as they do(especially in the highs where my gated technique has more resolution). Other than that the speakers are just that flat.

You underestimate how repeatable measurements can be with different gear. Want more proof?

Well, the KH80s are packaged separately. I've measured both of my speakers. So here is the measurement of my KH80's I've shared before in white , next to a measurement of my other KH80 80 in blue, measured two months earlier when I was just starting out, measured on a different stand, measured with a different microprone with different calibration.

This was before I'd gotten another Umik-1 from CSL labs, so this is just the regular Umik-1 with the standard MiniDSP calibration, which leaves a dip above 16K and some unnecessary squiggles. At the bottom is the Klippel's results. Despite the bargain-bin eqipment, mine still show broad agreement with Neumann's and S&Rs up to 16K.

KH80 repeatability.png


Third and more importantly, almost nobody here cares about the speaker being 100 percent flat in the sense of being free of squiggles. Such squiggles are likely not audible. The bass tilt, slight crossover dip, and tilt in the treble in the OP are. Remember, we are more sensitive to wide low Q deviations than narrow ones.

I know measurements aren't perfect, even with a state of the art system. I'm okay with variations. The deviations shown are significantly larger than necessary and could have readily been avoided, but I'm even mostly okay with that too.

Ultimately my biggest personal issue is that the when you open this thread and just read the original review, as most people will do in the months and years to come, you see broad deviations from flat -small ones, but certainly audible ones - without an acknowledgment of why. When we almost certainly know why. The speaker was measured too loud, the stated SPL scaling is incorrect, the microphone calibartion was not used, and the speaker was not measured from the intended acoustical axis. But when people read this review, they won't see that information - they'll see performance that's not fully representative of a speaker.

Yet again, I very much appreciate all the work Amir is doing - it's an incredible effort and potentially industry-changing - but I do think these are fair criticisms. I think I'll mostly recuse myself from this thread as my evidence and arguments are out there. Luckily Amir has taken more care with level setting and I know the speaker measurements will only get better as we go - they are an invaluable contribution to the audio community.
 
Last edited:

aarons915

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
308
Likes
453
Location
Cincinnati, OH
The Axis:

The discussion concerning the measurement axis is kind of ridicules. The presumably straight line in the Frequency response at some special axis (as given by Neumann) is in the end of no interest. Even if the head is fixed at one position the wave front which hits the head and torso is important and this wave front has to be described by multiple measurement points and not only one. The tweeter axis is very close to the axis in the middle of the box so what is the point?
Agreed. People seem to be more worried about producing the ideal graph rather than a realistic listening experience. I also wonder how many people actually make sure their seated position is as close to this "reference axis" as people seem to want the measurements taken at.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
33
Likes
31
Agreed. People seem to be more worried about producing the ideal graph rather than a realistic listening experience. I also wonder how many people actually make sure their seated position is as close to this "reference axis" as people seem to want the measurements taken at.
Most people have speakers sitting inside of cabinets, on top of shelves or fireplaces, with furniture in between, etc. Maybe that’s how they should be measured? I find this completely irrelevant. Speakers should be properly measured under the best conditions and then it’s up to end users to use them properly.
 

napilopez

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
1,166
Likes
3,475
Location
NYC
Agreed. People seem to be more worried about producing the ideal graph rather than a realistic listening experience. I also wonder how many people actually make sure their seated position is as close to this "reference axis" as people seem to want the measurements taken at.
@aarons915. It's the same as horizontal toe-in, and arguably more important, especially in the nearfield. The listening window is taken from a center point. The better your center point, the better your sound when you move too! If you move your head 10 degrees - totally feasible in a nearfield setup - you'll only be 10 degrees off-axis instead of 20.

Aiming your speaker correctly has a bigger impact than switching amps, yet we care about those too on ASR.

Anyway, a lot of us do take care with positioning. I don't care about that much in my living room setup where small movement lead to small changes in angle. I do when I'm listening in the nearfield because small variations are more audible.

Okay okay, recusing.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
23
Likes
20
@Thunderlips
You don't get the point. We as humans have head related transfer functions! Therefore at least some variations in both axis are always relevant for what a human hears since the head and torso cause reflections which in the end hit the ear.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
33
Likes
31
@Thunderlips
You don't get the point. We as humans have a head related transfer function! Therefore at least some variations in both axis are always relevant for what a human hears since the head and torso cause reflections which in the end hit the ear.
What does that have to do with measuring speakers properly?
 

aarons915

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
308
Likes
453
Location
Cincinnati, OH
@aarons915. It's the same as horizontal toe-in, and arguably more important, especially in the nearfield. The listening window is taken from a center point. The better your center point, the better your sound when you move too! If you move your head 10 degrees - totally feasible in a nearfield setup - you'll only be 10 degrees off-axis instead of 20.

Aiming your speaker correctly has a bigger impact than switching amps, yet we care about those too on ASR.

Anyway, a lot of us do take care with positioning. I don't care about that much in my living room setup where small movement lead to small changes in angle. I do when I'm listening in the nearfield because small variations are more audible.

Okay okay, recusing.
I actually think your logic is the perfect reason for doing every measurement consistently on the tweeter axis. As you know, I use KEF LS50s as my mains, which are not that great on-axis and much better off-axis. KEF mentions in the whitepaper that the LS50 are smoother about 10 deg off-axis but if we didn't know that it's obvious from the Spin that the listening window measures better than directly on-axis so we can use that information when we position them. I've seen a few Revel speakers, The F228be most recently, that measures most flat on-axis and tapers off a bit off-axis, this is a great benefit of the CTA-2034 measurement in my opinion, it allows you to place it where it sounds best.
 

tomissoawesome

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
12
Likes
32
How does amirm benefit from remeasuring? it might make Neumann fans or perfectionists feel better, but how does it benefit him? If this review is pushed down by a couple dozen more speaker reviews, will it even matter?

One might say: But they could be better! You can build trust in your protocol! Don’t leave it like this, it’s unfair to the manufacturer!
  • He has produced arguably good enough measurements of the KH80 while clearly still developing his protocol. No one disagrees that they are accurate measurements taking into account his idiosyncratic test conditions. (Which may not show the speaker in the best light but probably can’t be deemed “wrong” per se.) Even still, they have been amply discussed in this thread.
  • The best way to establish trust in his measurements is by measuring more speakers, adjusting the test protocol to conform to independent measurements and based on methodology input from readers. Seems that’s already happening.
  • And even if Neumann is “one of the good ones,” they don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. The existence of a set of conditions under which the speaker graph is a straight line doesn’t obligate Amirm to chase that measurement. Since this review was good faith attempt to measure and review and the tested use case represents a fairly normal use case, the burden to rebut is on the manufacturer. Otherwise, good enough.
 

aarons915

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
308
Likes
453
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Most people have speakers sitting inside of cabinets, on top of shelves or fireplaces, with furniture in between, etc. Maybe that’s how they should be measured? I find this completely irrelevant. Speakers should be properly measured under the best conditions and then it’s up to end users to use them properly.
Who decides if a speaker is "properly measured under the best conditions"? How you define the "best conditions? Do you see the problem? Amir is in Seattle, we better make sure the humidity isn't too high inside his garage....
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
33
Likes
31
Who decides if a speaker is "properly measured under the best conditions"? How you define the "best conditions? Do you see the problem? Amir is in Seattle, we better make sure the humidity isn't too high inside his garage....
Well... 57 degrees is not the best temperature. And not breaking speakers in is also no bueno.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
33
Likes
31
Aww so you believe in speaker break-in as well... any other fairy tales we should know about so Amir can properly pacify you?
Speaker break-in is a fairy tale? T/S parameters change quite a bit after break-in. This has been documented countless times over the past half a century. :rolleyes:
 

aarons915

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
308
Likes
453
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Speaker break-in is a fairy tale? T/S parameters change quite a bit after break-in. This has been documented countless times over the past half a century. :rolleyes:
Slightly but has the frequency response changed considerably? That seems like a very easy thing to prove yet I'm not aware of anyone who has done so.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
33
Likes
31
Slightly but has the frequency response changed considerably? That seems like a very easy thing to prove yet I'm not aware of anyone who has done so.
Maybe Amirm can show us before and after results? What’s going on with F3, etc. T/S changes can be 10%, 15%, 20%. That’s not that small.
 

LTig

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,996
Likes
2,935
Location
Europe
No one quits a well paying job unless there’s something lucrative. I’m sure Amirm loves attention. This forum is gaining in popularity. There will eventually be ads, etc. Free toys to play with. Making friends in the industry. Donations. Nobody does something for nothing. Don’t be so naive.
For me this posting is the final nail to close this thread.:mad: All arguments have been said multiple times and it just gets downhill now.
 
Top Bottom