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Sigberg Audio Manta Cardioid active speakers: Full measurements (Spinorama)

Svend P

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The Mantas are a simply stunning. I love the industrial look. Since they are more expensive than what I am willing to spend, I had to settle for the next best thing. So I am making a clone out of a pair of Revel M16's.

20231117_112757.jpg


All that is missing are the slots on the front and sides, but I have a plan for that:

drill-bit.jpg


Well, maybe not... :cool:
 
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sigbergaudio

sigbergaudio

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The Mantas are a simply stunning. I love the industrial look. Since they are more expensive than what I am willing to spend, I had to settle for the next best thing. So I am making a clone out of a pair of Revel M16's.

View attachment 329906

All that is missing are the slots on the front and sides, but I have a plan for that:

View attachment 329908

Well, maybe not... :cool:

Thank you, I appreciate the positive feedback! :D
 
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sigbergaudio

sigbergaudio

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Just realized these measurements aren't 100% perfect, as they have been made with the speakers placed in the anechoic room with no tilt, while in reality it's designed for a stand that tilts 4 degrees vertically. Simply didn't think of adding a small wedge or something to simulate that in the anechoic chamber. Will not be a night and day difference of course, but it might have been slightly smoother on-axis.
 

HooStat

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It would be interesting to hear your comparisons of finalizing the designs of the Manta vs the SBS.1. What effects did the cardioid behavior have on how well you were able to get the sound and the measurements to be where you wanted? In theory, I would think that the cardioid speaker would be easier since there are fewer "stray" effects to consider. However, I know from watching your posts, you spent a TON of time on the Manta -- I am guessing a lot more than the SBS.1 (but I don't know). If so, was that time spent on getting the cardioid behavior correct?

On a related note, do think the Manta's are easier to place or fit into "real world" rooms than the SBS.1? Have you had enough experience with both to have an opinion?

(Note, I am trying to compare "traditional" vs. cardioid speakers here and I thought your experiences in having done one of each would be illuminating. The discussion doesn't have to be limited to those two speakers.)
 
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sigbergaudio

sigbergaudio

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It would be interesting to hear your comparisons of finalizing the designs of the Manta vs the SBS.1. What effects did the cardioid behavior have on how well you were able to get the sound and the measurements to be where you wanted? In theory, I would think that the cardioid speaker would be easier since there are fewer "stray" effects to consider. However, I know from watching your posts, you spent a TON of time on the Manta -- I am guessing a lot more than the SBS.1 (but I don't know). If so, was that time spent on getting the cardioid behavior correct?

On a related note, do think the Manta's are easier to place or fit into "real world" rooms than the SBS.1? Have you had enough experience with both to have an opinion?

(Note, I am trying to compare "traditional" vs. cardioid speakers here and I thought your experiences in having done one of each would be illuminating. The discussion doesn't have to be limited to those two speakers.)

Thank you for an interesting (set of) questions! I have several threads oriented around the development of our products on ASR, which is mostly a good thing - but questions like this makes me want to crosspost. :D

I am also not sure how to make this a short answer. I'll try to break it up a bit:

Some context #1: Measurements
Some seem to think designing speakers is mostly about getting it to measure well. But it's a bit more complicated than that. So when you ask "how I am able to get the measurements to be where I wanted", that's sort of the wrong question. In isolation I don't want the measurements to be anywhere, I want it to sound right. Then we of course know that those are interconnected. But I can have a very good sounding speaker with measurements I know will cause some reaction here on ASR (the 1-2khz dip on the Manta is a good example). And then it sometimes is about looking if it's possible to improve the measurements mainly to improve the optics. So suddenly it's not "how can I make this measure and sound better", it's "how can I make this measure better without sounding worse?" - which is a weird side effect on the newfound focus on measurements.

Some context #2: Why I built the Manta
The Manta was intentionally built and designed to be an end state, over the top product. For most domestic, living room situations, the Manta is too much of everything. Designwise there's a lot going on, and from a capacity perspective it's just ridiculous. And it sounds fantastic. It was built to get attention to the brand, and to hopefully have a trickle down effect with regards to interest in the SBS.1, which looks very neutral in comparison. The SBS.1 has a bit of a problem: It looks like it should cost way less than it does, and it sounds like it should cost way more than it does.

Development time SBS.1 vs Manta:
The SBS.1 had a development time from the first prototype until it could be purchased by customers of around 8-9 months
The Manta had a development time from the first prototype until it could be purchased by customers of around 18 months.

Is it easier or harder to build a cardioid speaker, and why? What took so long with the Manta?
My speakers tend to sound very good very quick, and then it takes forever to make them perfect. It's also hard to leave good enough alone. The SBS.1 has had a couple of iterations in the tuning after they were released, but I doubt anyone but me could tell the difference in the sound. :p

With the Manta it was also supposed to be a statement speaker for the brand, so it was very important that it sounded awesome. And yes, getting the cardioid right takes a lot of time and experimentation. The Manta is also less "perfect" from a measurement standpoint, which means listening and experimenting with compromises from that standpoint took quite a while as well. Testing speakers in different rooms over time also takes time, to ensure that the tuning is general enough to work well across rooms (sizes, more or less damped, etc). This was of course also extra complicated with a cardioid approach, since good performance in-room was a key feature. But we're now at a point where I can recognize the general response (both when I look at the measurements and listen to the speaker) of the Manta across very different rooms, so that's a very good sign that it's right.

Finally, two of the signature qualities of the Manta are soundstage and envelopment, and these are qualities that cannot be measured directly, so that's also an added bit of complexity.

Was that (extra) time spent on getting the cardioid behavior correct?
The cardioid effect from the perspective of finalizing the cardioid system design (the actual enclosure) took about one year of iterations (calendar time, it could have been done faster). Most of that time was not spent just doing that of course, but that's when the design stabilized. This part is mostly about experimenting and measuring the effect, not so much listening.

In the regular listening and tuning sessions, my mind isn't going "Is the cardioid effect working", it's more "does it sound right", regardless of the cardioid feature as such.

Are the Mantas (or cardioid speakers in general) easier to place in rooms than traditional speakers?
Without a shred of doubt. Case in point, the new cardioid floorstanders I'm working on are currently in my living room, where I normally have the SBS.1. Those prototypes already have inherent qualities that the SBS.1 doesn't have. They sound larger, the soundstage is wider, clarity is improved. And the SBS.1 are GREAT sounding speakers in their own right. And it's a pretty good comparison since all these speakers use the same coax driver, which pretty much rules out that the difference is due to something other than the cardioid.

The floorstander prototypes are also interesting because they are only cardioid down to around 200hz. Most focus on cardioid behaviour in the upper bass / lower mid area, but I would argue it's an extremely satisfying effect in the midrange as well.

Through the development of the SBS.1 and the Manta I have fallen completely in love with coax drivers, and I have fallen completely in love with cardioid speakers.


I hope that answered some of what you were asking, please feel free to add follow up questions :)
 

Blockader

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What is the point of a cardioid construction for a speaker that appears to be bass limited, or did I misunderstand something?
less SBIR in midrange, low-midrange. potentially better clarity.
 
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Purité Audio

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It would be interesting to hear your comparisons of finalizing the designs of the Manta vs the SBS.1. What effects did the cardioid behavior have on how well you were able to get the sound and the measurements to be where you wanted? In theory, I would think that the cardioid speaker would be easier since there are fewer "stray" effects to consider. However, I know from watching your posts, you spent a TON of time on the Manta -- I am guessing a lot more than the SBS.1 (but I don't know). If so, was that time spent on getting the cardioid behavior correct?

On a related note, do think the Manta's are easier to place or fit into "real world" rooms than the SBS.1? Have you had enough experience with both to have an opinion?

(Note, I am trying to compare "traditional" vs. cardioid speakers here and I thought your experiences in having done one of each would be illuminating. The discussion doesn't have to be limited to those two speakers.)
We have/had Kii, D&D, GGNTKT, and now Sigberg Mantas and all of their in room measurements have much tidier compared to customers ( generally passive) existing systems and this is true even when the cardioid have been placed in less than optimum positions.
I always encourage potential customers to leave their existing systems in place so they can easily compare .
The ‘clarity’ benefit of cardioid designs was really made evident when D&D used to make their 8M model, identical enclosure but not cardioid.
The 8Cs were just that bit clearer .
Keith
 

Tachyon88

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Are these plug and play with 2 svs sb16 ? I eventually plan on getting two of those regardless, but I'm considering your speakers for my future room.
 

Purité Audio

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Yes they are, Thorbjørn includes some presets for Sigberg subs and other manufacturers equipment.
Keith
 
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sigbergaudio

sigbergaudio

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Are these plug and play with 2 svs sb16 ? I eventually plan on getting two of those regardless, but I'm considering your speakers for my future room.

True plug and play would be Sigberg Audio subwoofers :)

But even with other competent subwoofers they will work well and typically be easier to integrate than many other speakers since they are essentially high passed by design.

The default recommendation for subwoofer crossover when using other subs is 24db/octave crossover at 100hz. Experimenting with 80-120hz may be worth a try.
 
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sigbergaudio

sigbergaudio

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sigbergaudio

sigbergaudio

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apprently both pictures and link to spinorama failed in the initial post somehow, fixed that now. Thanks for notifying me @FrantzM
 

YSC

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quite nice looking and designed speaker, well done man, I understand the dip in 1-2khz is intentional, but may I ask in the first place why didn't you design the speaker to be flatter on axis without the directivity error on that region? or is that inherit due to the vertical driver separation?
 
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sigbergaudio

sigbergaudio

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quite nice looking and designed speaker, well done man, I understand the dip in 1-2khz is intentional, but may I ask in the first place why didn't you design the speaker to be flatter on axis without the directivity error on that region? or is that inherit due to the vertical driver separation?

It's probably more about the width of the baffle (a necessity given the 12" midbass driver) and how it all comes together. In practice this works very well, so then I am more concerned with the sound than perfect measurements from every angle. :)
 
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sigbergaudio

sigbergaudio

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quite nice looking and designed speaker, well done man, I understand the dip in 1-2khz is intentional, but may I ask in the first place why didn't you design the speaker to be flatter on axis without the directivity error on that region? or is that inherit due to the vertical driver separation?

As mentioned earlier as well, it's also important to understand what happens when you put two speakers in a room, the Mantas are completely balanced in-room in the 1-2khz area:

1703087007812.png
 

YSC

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It's probably more about the width of the baffle (a necessity given the 12" midbass driver) and how it all comes together. In practice this works very well, so then I am more concerned with the sound than perfect measurements from every angle. :)
ah right, I am not familiar to the design and resulting FR effects it could get. Just curious with what will happen if it goes non-cardiod design with better on and off axis FR
 

YSC

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As mentioned earlier as well, it's also important to understand what happens when you put two speakers in a room, the Mantas are completely balanced in-room in the 1-2khz area:

View attachment 335759
Yea I get that part, just as I recall some other brands did similar to have an on axis dip just to be balanced out in the off axis reflections.
 

phoenixdogfan

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Prices from Google today in Switzerland / Germany:

- Mantas + 2 big subs : 16k CHF (ref)
- KII 3: 15-16 k euros (ref)
- KII 3 + BXT : ~32k euros
- D&D 8C: 13k (ref)
- Genelec 8361A + 2 big subs: 14.5k CHF (Thomann)



So I would say Mantas or Genelec are cheaper (and/or have more output for the same cost). Another way to look at it is that KII and to some extent D&D are over priced

There is another.

there.jpg



 
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