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Speaker comparison after room correction software applied?

IPunchCholla

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Recently I have been reading a lot of reviews of studio monitors and reading threads comparing them. Particularly one where people are comparing less expensive monitors (like the Kali-IN8 v2) to more expensive ones like the Neumann KH120. Usually the more expensive ones are preferred. I don’t think this is just bias as the subjective description matches the FR plots. The Kali is noted for having better bass but less clarity in the minds and high. The Neumann is better at the high end of the spectrum. The Genelic has more forward mids. And if you look at the FR of each that makes sense.

But I run room correction software (ARC3) and usually use a profile that corrects pretty broad spectrum (50-10k or there about) which got me to wondering what these comparisons would be like if one compared the speakers after running room correction software. Does anyone know of any measurements of similar monitors in the same spaces after running room correction software?
 

fpitas

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I'm sure flattening the on-axis FR of all of them will tend to make them sound more alike. Then it's down to the off-axis performance.
 
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IPunchCholla

IPunchCholla

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I'm sure flattening the on-axis FR of all of them will tend to make them sound more alike. Then it's down to the off-axis performance.
I’m sure it would, I just wonder if they are getting flattened enough to eliminate the already subtle differences one can expect to hear based on the current measurements. Also, given these are for near-ish field listening, if problems in the off axis caused by the eq-ing would be audible.
 

DVDdoug

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I don't have proper monitors and I don't do audio production...

To me, an 8-inch woofer is the minimum (especially without a subwoofer) and there seem to be lots of decent 8-inch monitors in the ballpark of $500 per pair. (I'm a "JBL fan" from the old days but I have not heard the LSR308.)

Even with an 8-inch woofer you'll probably need a sub if you want to "get serious".

Note that acoustic bass cancelations can't be fixed with EQ. They have to be fixed with room treatment. And you can't EQ a 5-inch woofer to get bass you can feel in your body.

If you are using monitors as monitors (for audio production) they don't have to be "perfect" or "the best". (Of course you don't want terrible performance.) You just have to learn what a good mix/production sounds like on your monitors in your room. And if you later "upgrade", you have to re-learn.
 
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IPunchCholla

IPunchCholla

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I don't have proper monitors and I don't do audio production...

To me, an 8-inch woofer is the minimum (especially without a subwoofer) and there seem to be lots of decent 8-inch monitors in the ballpark of $500 per pair. (I'm a "JBL fan" from the old days but I have not heard the LSR308.)

Even with an 8-inch woofer you'll probably need a sub if you want to "get serious".

Note that acoustic bass cancelations can't be fixed with EQ. They have to be fixed with room treatment. And you can't EQ a 5-inch woofer to get bass you can feel in your body.

If you are using monitors as monitors (for audio production) they don't have to be "perfect" or "the best". (Of course you don't want terrible performance.) You just have to learn what a good mix/production sounds like on your monitors in your room. And if you later "upgrade", you have to re-learn.
I’ve got a good enough setup for now (Presonus Eris E66 with a sub) It’s mostly just intellectual curiosity on my part, with some upgrading is thrown in.
 

Sancus

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You can't really "room correct" above 500hz or so(some would say 300, depends on the room). The frequency response below this point is mainly a function of the room and speaker position(except for cardioid bass speakers which mitigate this somewhat).

To correct above this point you need anechoic measurements of the speaker. Which is why people post EQ profiles on every speaker review. The limitation of this is many cheaper speakers have significant unit variation especially in the tweeter, and using measurements from one source may not be correct for your speaker.

Companies like Neumann and Genelec measure each individual speaker at the factory and build correction into them. This is how they achieve such tight tolerances. If you EQ this you're second guessing the manufacturer's configuration and while sometimes this is OK other times you may just be making false corrections within margins of error or risk pushing a driver too hard.

The exception to the "above 300hz" rule is that, assuming your speaker has even off axis response, you can apply gentle filters to large portions of the frequency bands to change the sound to your preferences, or to adjust for recordings. Otherwise known as tone control. But since there are no standards for music recordings and preferred treble/bass varies by person there is no "right" frequency curve, it's down to your music and preference.

Speakers with off axis problems at certain frequencies cannot be fully corrected by EQ at all.
 
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IPunchCholla

IPunchCholla

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You can't really "room correct" above 500hz or so(some would say 300, depends on the room). The frequency response below this point is mainly a function of the room and speaker position(except for cardioid bass speakers which mitigate this somewhat).

To correct above this point you need anechoic measurements of the speaker. Which is why people post EQ profiles on every speaker review. The limitation of this is many cheaper speakers have significant unit variation especially in the tweeter, and using measurements from one source may not be correct for your speaker.

Companies like Neumann and Genelec measure each individual speaker at the factory and build correction into them. This is how they achieve such tight tolerances. If you EQ this you're second guessing the manufacturer's configuration and while sometimes this is OK other times you may just be making false corrections within margins of error or risk pushing a driver too hard.

The exception to the "above 300hz" rule is that, assuming your speaker has even off axis response, you can apply gentle filters to large portions of the frequency bands to change the sound to your preferences, or to adjust for recordings. Otherwise known as tone control. But since there are no standards for music recordings and preferred treble/bass varies by person there is no "right" frequency curve, it's down to your music and preference.

Speakers with off axis problems at certain frequencies cannot be fully corrected by EQ at all.
I think I used the wrong term, due to the name of the software. IKMultimedia‘s ARC3 (Automatic Room Correction v3) uses 21 points measured around a designated listening area (which can be a single person’s space or a larger area but assumes you are nearfield) and uses those samples to estimate correction for frequencies below the Schroeder value and also EQs above that. You can control (after it calculates the correction based on your measurements) the low and high frequency cutoffs, the Qs it is using (in a 3 choice manner), and create 5 point broad Q modifications of the FR target based on taste.

According to my before/after measurements using REW, the FR measured at tweeter height at the listening position is less variable after “correction”. I don’t have the ability to make good quasi-anechoic measurements at the moment.

What I am wondering are 2 things: Are there before and after Kipple measurements of this type of a system that allow us to visualize the off axis changes that come from using it? And, given the price difference between a less expensive but reasonably good monitor like the Kali IN8 v2, and the likes of the Neuman KH120, does software like this “close the gap”?
 

kemmler3D

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Are there before and after Kipple measurements of this type of a system that allow us to visualize the off axis changes that come from using it?
Changes to the off-axis will be the same as the on-axis FR. So if you do +3dB at 10khz, that +3dB is applied across the board. This is why speakers with very even directivity are said to be "EQ friendly".

If you have a situation where the FR on-axis dips, but increases off-axis, (i.e. uneven directivity) then adding EQ there will make one thing worse and one thing better.

If the FR goes rises or falls proportionally at all angles, then you can (to an extent) correct dips or peaks without causing new, worse problems.

Sometimes users will show predicted results from EQing the speakers in comments on Amir's reviews, you could check those out. They will tend to be fairly accurate.

And, given the price difference between a less expensive but reasonably good monitor like the Kali IN8 v2, and the likes of the Neuman KH120, does software like this “close the gap”?
Yes and no. EQ will rarely buy you any more bass extension without significant trade-offs. And, aside from very wide/low-Q tweaks above Schroeder, you generally cause more problems than you solve with EQ. In general the improvements will be fairly marginal.

In the case of the Kali IN8, you might be able to partly EQ out those wiggles at 5-6khz and MAYBE massage that dip at 1khz, but I think that's about all I would attempt given the directivity. It's overall pretty good, but not so good that I would try to correct any smaller variations. You will not be able to improve distortion or directivity with EQ, so the KH120 will still probably sound marginally better in a head-to-head.
 
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IPunchCholla

IPunchCholla

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Changes to the off-axis will be the same as the on-axis FR. So if you do +3dB at 10khz, that +3dB is applied across the board. This is why speakers with very even directivity are said to be "EQ friendly".
Thank you. This isn’t what I was sure about and couldn’t articulate the question properly.
 
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