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RCF AYRA PRO5 Review (Powered Monitor)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 13 7.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 80 43.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 86 46.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 7 3.8%

  • Total voters
    186

PeteL

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Because I’m an engineer, an acoustician and commercial speaker designer. I have the knowledge and experience on the frequency response expected and the limits of equalisation that can be applied on the speakers I see. +/-3dB extra as applied by @amirm is well within such limits.

If the DSP was only on the low level amplifier signal path then your objection is valid but who would limit a DSP like that? That will be stupid!
What DSP IC did they use? If we don't know that, we cannot possibly know there is no extra cost. We don't know the processing ressources, we don't know the number of FIR bands available, they also state phase correction, it takes ressources too. We don't know if having a mid dip may have been an engineering or marketing decision. I don't doubt your credential, but just looking at a speaker, not knowing the response of the individual drivers unprocessed or any other parameters and being able to state without doubt that DSP was only used to Extend the bass is beyond acoustical and engineering expertise, It's more akin to special power.
 

sarumbear

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What DSP IC did they use? If we don't know that, we cannot possibly know there is no extra cost. We don't know the processing ressources, we don't know the number of FIR bands available, they also state phase correction, it takes ressources too.
Show me a DSP IC that lacks power to make a pole-zero mover (bass equalisation), and the three simple single element equalisations that @amirm applied. Any DSP IC on the market has more than enough power for the job.

I don't doubt your credential, but just looking at a speaker, not knowing the response of the individual drivers unprocessed or any other parameters and being able to state without doubt that DSP was only used to Extend the bass is beyond acoustical and engineering expertise, It's more akin to special power.
I did say using the DSP only on the bass signal path is stupid. Not due to my special powers but my trust in engineering notion the designers will have.
 
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voodooless

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Even a super cheap adau1704 has more than enough resources to fix this speaker. From the white paper it seems they use FIR mostly for phase alignment, and do it with a low delay setup, so probably not very many taps.

One could still do EQ IIR though. If you fix phase, it will also fix that phase.. IIR is cheap or resources.
 
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mga2009

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Even a super cheap adau1704 has more than enough resources to fix this speaker. From the white paper it seems they use it mostly for phase alignment, and donut with a low delay setup, so probably not very many taps.

One could still do EQ IIR though. If you fix phase, it will also fix that phase.. IIR is cheap or resources.
What DSP IC did they use? If we don't know that, we cannot possibly know there is no extra cost. We don't know the processing ressources, we don't know the number of FIR bands available, they also state phase correction, it takes ressources too. We don't know if having a mid dip may have been an engineering or marketing decision. I don't doubt your credential, but just looking at a speaker, not knowing the response of the individual drivers unprocessed or any other parameters and being able to state without doubt that DSP was only used to Extend the bass is beyond acoustical and engineering expertise, It's more akin to special power.
This speaker uses the ADAU1701
 

PeteL

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Show me a DSP IC that lacks power to make a pole-zero mover (bass equalisation), and the three simple single element equalisations that @amirm applied. Any DSP IC on the market has more than enough power for the job.


I did say using the DSP only on the bass signal path is stupid. Not due to my special powers but my trust in engineering notion the designers will have.
Thanks for your reply. I was more wondering haw you know it only needed 3 elements of equalisation? My question was more how do you know that no equalisation was applied, not the elements that where left out, but that there was zero equalisation done. Again, it clearly states that they do phase correction, that it's FIR but you said DSP was used for bass extension only, my point is that those are two contradictory statement Phase correction is "using DSP", that's at least one thing they used DSP for that is not bass management, ADAU1701 looks like quite a rudimentory DSP FIR chip. It looks limited in it's number of taps somehow but I agree you know better, you confirm that they could have done all this? FIR for phase and IIR for EQ? FIR for both? How many taps and bands are necessary? Me the point I am trying to bring is i am 100% sure you are competent at designing speakers, but you did not design these. So many time we look at a measurment report and we hear comments in the line of, why didn't they do that, it's free. And then again, we get unperfect speakers all the time, but it have been so easy to make it perfect, and the next one is not any better. I admit that I really have difficulty buying that. Engineer don't function like that. I never could pictture an engineer going, hey all that's missing is spending 5 minutes dialing in 3 bands of EQ, but hey I'm lazy, I'm just gonna release it like that... It's a 150$ speaker and I am 100% certain that the flaws it has as been studied, that they've put the engineering where it mattered for them, according to budget, design goal, marketing, many different reason that we'll never knoow, but the flaws in the response of this speaker, there is a decision, a reason behind that and it's not because the designer didn't know how to use an EQ.
 
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sarumbear

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How many taps and bands are necessary?
I have no idea, it all depends on how you program the DSP. My point was that any DSP on the market has enough processing capability to correct the drivers and the enclosure we see. Hence, unless they failed to measure the unit correctly as @amirm says or the “errors” are intentional, correction can be done at no extra cost.
 

sarumbear

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(Little side note: RCF is most likely the largest audio company from Italy, rocking since 1949.)
18 Sound which is now part of B&C Speakers is much larger than RCF but they only produce speakers unlike RCF who also produce electronics.
 

voodooless

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RCF who also produce electronics.
Yeah, a 1400+700W peak DSP plate amp in a €499 speaker :oops:.You can’t even find them that cheap on AliExpress;). Would love to buy those separately.

@amirm, are these monitors quite? The adau1701 is not really known to be very low noise.
 

sarumbear

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There’s a white paper on the RCF product page on their website. It says the following.

The algorithm corrects phase and amplitude (if necessary) by taking into account the weak points of the transducers and the resonances or cancellations due to the cabinet of the loudspeaker. This technique permits to the designers a deep control of phase at mid-low frequency with relatively small filters, reaching a higher resolution than that one which theory suggests.

Those are exactly the issues @amirm found as not corrected properly. Which makes one to assume they are intentional. Otherwise, it’s difficult to think that a company like RCF not to have proper measuring facilities.
 
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sarumbear

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This company is getting quite the reputation for offering high value, low cost product.
They always did. Their value for money proposition had always been high.
 

mga2009

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Yeah, a 1400+700W peak DSP plate amp in a €499 speaker :oops:.You can’t even find them that cheap on AliExpress;). Would love to buy those separately.

@amirm, are these monitors quite? The adau1701 is not really known to be very low noise.
Link please!
 

Sancus

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The speaker is cheap, but the JBL 305p is basically the same price. And the Kali LP-6v2 is +$50 and much better in every way. Yes, it's the somewhat larger 6" size, but still.

I agree it doesn't seem to live up to the potential of the "FiRPHASE processing, paired with dedicated internal DSP, ensures neutrality" marketing for it.
 

voodooless

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Link please!
 

test1223

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Hello,

there a three most likely reasons why the speaker isn't perfectly equalized.

1. The tolerance of the chassis. In this price region there is typically no strict selection and no individual adjustment of the eq. Therefore you always should be a bit more skeptical if the company ships the box knowingly to the reviewer.

2. The other reason is the deviations of the frequency response if you change the distance to the speaker due to not perfectly spherical waves.

3. The third reason no proper engineering.

Best
Thomas
 

voodooless

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there a three most likely reasons why the speaker isn't perfectly equalized.

1. The tolerance of the chassis. In this price region there is typically no strict selection and no individual adjustment of the eq. Therefore you always should be a bit more skeptical if the company ships the box knowingly to the reviewer.

2. The other reason is the deviations of the frequency response if you change the distance to the speaker due to not perfectly spherical waves.

3. The third reason no proper engineering.
Seeing that the measurements match the data that RCF supplies themselves, we can exclude at least point 1. It probably also means that this was intentional, as I pointed out, all speakers in the series have roughly the same response shape, further strengthening the notion that this is by design. So that might mitigate point 3, depending on your definition of “proper”. That might leave point 2, which I think which such a small speaker is also unlikely. If so, RCF would show a better response in the datasheet.
 

mightycicadalord

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I find it curious that the cabinets appear to be wood, and the drivers are mounted on wood. Seems most budget stuff is mounting them onto plastic baffles, yes this show more resonances than anything I've seen in the plastic baffle speakers.
 

test1223

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Seeing that the measurements match the data that RCF supplies themselves, we can exclude at least point 1. It probably also means that this was intentional, as I pointed out, all speakers in the series have roughly the same response shape, further strengthening the notion that this is by design. So that might mitigate point 3, depending on your definition of “proper”. That might leave point 2, which I think which such a small speaker is also unlikely. If so, RCF would show a better response in the datasheet.
It isn't that easy to dismiss these points. Therefore I wrote my post ;)

You can see some deviations around 500Hz between the spec sheet and the measurements here. Chassie deviations and the distance is here both likely.

You can also see a dip at about 2kHz which seems to be intentional what makes sense if you have a look at the horizontal vs. vertical plots.

The dip at 200Hz is most likely also intentional due to desktop or mixing console placement.
 
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