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Pioneer SP-C22 Review (Center Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 8 6.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 41 31.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 71 54.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 11 8.4%

  • Total voters
    131
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amirm

amirm

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Out of curiosity and with respect, why list the PIR 1st.
If you read my reviews carefully, you see that it is an integrated story to uncover the performance of the speaker. Yes, I always started with the spin but the order for the rest changes. This is due to investigative work/thinking I do prior to writing the review. It is not just a batch blind dump of the graphs. You are seeing how I thought about the measurements to paint a complete picture.

In this case, I had a quandary. This is the *in room* performance of the speaker:

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You see how flat and smooth the on-axis response is? I even zoomed in to same 50 dB scale and it was still much more flat than spin graph. I could not rationalize this. So I performed my listening tests and attempted to correct for on-axis response. There, I realized that it was hard to make a case that the on-axis response in the spin was more correct than above. Then I looked at the PIR. It absolutely told the truth with respect to what I was hearing, i.e., just a bit of boominess at 100 Hz.

This has happened in about 5% of the speakers I test. I correct based on on-axis response in spin and results is not good. Then I use PIR and results there are effective. This speaker is one of those cases.

Put all of these together and you can see now why I led with PIR. It was the most true assessment of the sound of this speaker based on objective measurements and listening tests.

The lesson here is that we are solving a puzzle. Most of the time the spin graph gives you bulk of the information you need. But in other cases, this is not so. As another example, horizontal directivity plays an outsized role here where it may not at all in other types of speakers.

I have explained the same thing about electronic measurements and why I dislike batch generation and dump of graphs. It is important to think through what the overall picture and evidence that backs it.
 
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amirm

amirm

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a few degrees off axis, and it changes DRASTICALLY?? :eek:
It does. The tonality change is dramatic with these MTM configurations as opposed to any normal 2-way speaker. Mind you, I play something with clear vocals and evaluate that but still, this effect is very obvious.
 
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amirm

amirm

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I'm also having trouble seeing the significance of the PIR. First off, it's virtually identical to the early reflections curve. Is this what you're supposed to hear when listening to the speaker? If so, then why all of grief over horizontal MTM designs?
??? Some ailments of the design only show up on-axis and disappear off-axis. To the extent the issue doesn't survive off-axis listening, then it is not as significant. As Dr. Toole rightly states, the issues you want to worry about are the ones that show up in all the graphs in the spin. Then you know that it has survived averaging effect and is still significant.

We have seen this similar effect in other speakers, like the Kali IN-8:

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See the very similar droop in on-axis around 10 kHz which according to Kali designer, is a diffraction effect of the waveguide edges. Listening window is not nearly as impacted and even less so in early window and sound power.

My general experience is that fixing these on-axis holes can be tricky per my last post. This is why it is important to apply PEQ and see if the hypothesis is correct or not.
 

Dennis Murphy

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??? Some ailments of the design only show up on-axis and disappear off-axis. To the extent the issue doesn't survive off-axis listening, then it is not as significant. As Dr. Toole rightly states, the issues you want to worry about are the ones that show up in all the graphs in the spin. Then you know that it has survived averaging effect and is still significant.

We have seen this similar effect in other speakers, like the Kali IN-8:

index.php


See the very similar droop in on-axis around 10 kHz which according to Kali designer, is a diffraction effect of the waveguide edges. Listening window is not nearly as impacted and even less so in early window and sound power.

My general experience is that fixing these on-axis holes can be tricky per my last post. This is why it is important to apply PEQ and see if the hypothesis is correct or not.
I would certainly agree that diffraction effects are not very important. In this case, I guess we are disagreeing on what we hear on axis. To me, the smearing is quite evident, and certainly obvious when comparing my modded version with the stock. And that has been the experience of everyone who has asked me to mod their C22's. Why this doesn't show up more clearly on the spins is not clear to me. For the record, here are on-axis plots of the stock center and the modded version.

1651868837158.png


1651868936541.png
 

TimW

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I am also confused about the significance of the PIR. Amir's comments about EQ based on the on-axis measurement suggest that the PIR is a better indication of performance than the on-axis response. I can understand how this would be true and I appreciate the PIR.

However if the PIR is such a good predictor of performance than this speaker should have a very good response in-room regardless of orientation shouldn't it? The PIR for this speaker looks very neutral, Amir noted that the speaker does sound very neutral, the PIR for this speaker is based on its measurements in the horizontal orientation which is supposedly not good. If the PIR told us most of what we need to know then shouldn't it be worse with the speaker in this horizontal orientation? Or is the horizontal vs vertical orientation not as important as we think?
 
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DMill

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As an ad guy for 25 years I can say it really has to suck when marketing comes in and says, “alright nerds, we need a center channel that measures flat, has great horizontal and vertical dispersion, completely free of distortion and looks killer in my girlfriend’s apartment. I’m thinking black ash… which is gonna eat up half your build $.” To me me it’s fine considering the compromises that had to happen making one of these. :)
 

beagleman

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As an ad guy for 25 years I can say it really has to suck when marketing comes in and says, “alright nerds, we need a center channel that measures flat, has great horizontal and vertical dispersion, completely free of distortion and looks killer in my girlfriend’s apartment. I’m thinking black ash… which is gonna eat up half your build $.” To me me it’s fine considering the compromises that had to happen making one of these. :)
I can not even IMAGINE making any money at that price, let alone 30 bucks more. The cost to box it and ship it and people/labor to build it and so on.....just unreal.
 

ROOSKIE

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I can not even IMAGINE making any money at that price, let alone 30 bucks more. The cost to box it and ship it and people/labor to build it and so on.....just unreal.
Sure, I also get amazed by how cheaply things are made these days.
I mean an IPhone SE is the price of a top of the line calculator in the 90's.

End user shipping is likely the biggest component with this particular speaker along with marketing and overall corporate employee costs. It is prolly $3-$4 in parts cost. Maybe $0.50 - $1 in ultra cheap labor. Maybe $1 for packaging. The benefits of ultra mass production. After that who knows.
Could be something like
$5 finished retail piece.
$3 shipping to USA per piece en' mass
$2 marketing
$2-5 corporate portion
$2misc
About $15 total manufacturer cost prior to final shipment to retailer or end user.
Hopefully the consumer buys a full HT set and a Pioneer receiver.
 

sarumbear

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amirm

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However if the PIR is such a good predictor of performance than this speaker should have a very good response in-room regardless of orientation shouldn't it? The PIR for this speaker looks very neutral, Amir noted that the speaker does sound very neutral, the PIR for this speaker is based on its measurements in the horizontal orientation which is supposedly not good.
??? I listened on-axis and there, there is nothing wrong with its horizontal directivity. Indeed, that is what makes it good. The problem directivity brings here is only if you sit off-axis.

In vast majority of cases, I find that the on-axis tells the truth and correcting what ails it, is super important. There are some exceptions and this is one. The tricky part is that rooms and different so the PIR may may predict my situation better than other's.
 

Newman

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MTM is d’Appolito.
d’Appolito is a specific subset of MTM, into which this speaker does not fit.

So, d’Appolito is MTM, but MTM is not d’Appolito.

cheers
 

TimW

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??? I listened on-axis and there, there is nothing wrong with its horizontal directivity. Indeed, that is what makes it good. The problem directivity brings here is only if you sit off-axis.

In vast majority of cases, I find that the on-axis tells the truth and correcting what ails it, is super important. There are some exceptions and this is one. The tricky part is that rooms and different so the PIR may may predict my situation better than other's.
So if you sit off-axis, the on-axis response is even less important right? Wouldn't that make PIR even more relevant? And the PIR shows no hint of the directivity issue. Is there a way of simulating the PIR for an off-axis position?
 

Beershaun

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But 9 foot wide.........you would have people sitting right in front of the Left and Right speakers.......How far apart are your left and right speakers from each other??

Would they not hear those far louder as a result?
In multi channel the voices are only coming out of the center so no the left and right would not be providing the same sounds louder. With dialog scenes the left and right are typically quiet, maybe background music or ambient sound effects. Then when action scenes kick in and the left and right are driving large amounts of sound then you end up having it too loud and turning it down.

I get the center channel packing problem is really hard. I do also know from personal experience you definitely don't want to be outside the directivity envelope for voices and vocals when trying to watch a movie.
 
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amirm

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So if you sit off-axis, the on-axis response is even less important right? Wouldn't that make PIR even more relevant? And the PIR shows no hint of the directivity issue. Is there a way of simulating the PIR for an off-axis position?
No, no. PIR is a simulation and is based on assumption that you sit on-axis and have a statistically averaged set of room reflections. It has no meaning in any other context.
 

Beershaun

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What @amirm said. PIR is the sum of the direct and reflection sounds AT the on axis listening position. It is not what you would hear at 10 or 20 degrees off axis. That is what the directivity graph shows you. The difference between on axis and off axis listening.
 

SMc

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It's instructive to see an investigation of a speaker I use. It replaced a more expensive speaker whose colorations got too noticeable in the close distance of the small room listening area. The Pioneer is more pleasant and easier on speech although it has its own color I'll compare to the measurements.

The original purchase was to add a center to four SP-BS22s with a Marantz slimline receiver in what I hoped would be a "good enough" system. In the meantime, I wait for Infinity to make that three-way center available again.
 

sarumbear

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d’Appolito is a specific subset of MTM, into which this speaker does not fit.

So, d’Appolito is MTM, but MTM is not d’Appolito.

cheers
Can you please eloborate?
 

TNT

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Turn it 90 deg, get 2 and you have your MTM - add sub. QED?

//
 

beagleman

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What @amirm said. PIR is the sum of the direct and reflection sounds AT the on axis listening position. It is not what you would hear at 10 or 20 degrees off axis. That is what the directivity graph shows you. The difference between on axis and off axis listening.
Yes and no.

Directivity graphs do not show what you actually "Hear", but show what a microphone would pick up, ignoring all the room interaction and reflections etc.

In Room actual sound is always a "Mixture" of the direct and off axis sounds AND room reflections.

No measurement actually shows what we hear at our ears, WITH the room contribution factored in.
It merely shows what a mic picks up at that location, to see how the speaker measures in a neutral setting IGNORING the room interactions.

Not just arguing with you, but listening with ears picking up sound from left AND right and wall reflections, is not the same as ONE mic pointed directly at a speaker with no left and right wall reflections.

Measurements tell a lot, about what the speaker itself is producing, but not what we hear at normal listening positions, as the room and our hearing process, with TWO ears, hear things differently than a Single mic will.

There will often be a homogenization of the direct, off axis and reflections, that can not be predicted by a single mic measuring.
 
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