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Speakers Playing "Big" when needed...

Wombat

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#21
All true, I'm sure, but that doesn't stop people from actually creating tiny speakers that produce lots of bass (even a DIY-er like Rod Elliott who explains it all in great detail). The Devialet Phantom is obviously an extreme(-ly silly) example.

Personally, I like big speakers and big boxes. My speaker with a 12" woofer and huge enclosure is just driven 'as-is' and allowed to roll off on its own. My smaller speakers with 8" drivers are augmented with some EQ to achieve a similar roll-off. They sound great, but the 12" speakers sound different because, I imagine:
  1. They are more linear in their cone displacement
  2. The baffles are wider
If I really, really wanted to, I could probably widen the baffles or do some Kii-style multiple driver stuff. And I could add some motion-sensing feedback or feedforward pre-distortion using neural nets or similar. It would work; I just don't think there's any mystery here.

No mystery. Just lots of opinions-seemingly subjective. Another topic that requires more knowledge than keyboard dancing time. It is not beyond the realm of possibility for the various opinions to be tested but more likely, not likely. :oops:
 

Cosmik

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#22
No mystery. Just lots of opinions-seemingly subjective. Another topic that requires more knowledge than keyboard dancing time. It is not beyond the realm of possibility for the various opinions to be tested but more likely, not likely. :oops:
You are starting from the wrong place. You are regarding an audio system as a natural phenomenon that needs observing with science otherwise, to you, it remains a mystery.

In fact an audio system is an entirely human-defined, human-designed, human-engineered thing. It has certain requirements, defined by humans, and it is built to fulfill those requirements. It may, or may not be successful, but the degree to which it is can be measured and verified.

You are clearly not an "ideas person"!
 

Wombat

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#23
You are starting from the wrong place. You are regarding an audio system as a natural phenomenon that needs observing with science otherwise, to you, it remains a mystery.

In fact an audio system is an entirely human-defined, human-designed, human-engineered thing. It has certain requirements, defined by humans, and it is built to fulfill those requirements. It may, or may not be successful, but the degree to which it is can be measured and verified.

You are clearly not an "ideas person"!
I am definitely an 'ideas' person - my career was based on it. I also am able to consider them(ideas) in practical terms. Education, practice and experience. Some things have been considered and rejected well before you give them your consideration. Too much speculation without understanding is problematic.

Again, I am not a suitable dance partner for some of your musings.
 
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Cosmik

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#24
I am definitely an 'ideas' person - my career was based on it. I also am able to consider them in practical terms. Education, practice and experience. Some things have been considered and rejected well before you give them your consideration. Too much speculation without understanding is problematic.

Again, I am not a suitable dance partner for some of your musings.
Very strange. It was you who started "dancing" with what I had said.

But that aside, an intellectual like yourself should not need to descend to the 'shop floor' and personality gossip stuff. You should be able to look at the maths and science and understand it without recourse to soldering irons and jigsaws.

Lowly practical people like myself do have to descend to those levels, of course, but there should be no need to relate tales of workshop trivia in order to construct an argument - which is why I try to avoid it.
 

Wombat

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#25
Very strange. It was you who started "dancing" with what I had said.

But that aside, an intellectual like yourself should not need to descend to the 'shop floor' and personality gossip stuff. You should be able to look at the maths and science and understand it without recourse to soldering irons and jigsaws.

Lowly practical people like myself do have to descend to those levels, of course, but there should be no need to relate tales of workshop trivia in order to construct an argument - which is why I try to avoid it.

Are you for real? You are the one who said I was not an 'ideas' person.
Let go and don't be so self conscious. 'Lowly practical people like myself' is unnecessary. I don't see you like that. I support some of your posts but not all. Vice-versa I would say. That's forums for you.

Cheers.
 
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Purité Audio

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#26
There are advantages and disadvantages for both large cones and multiple smaller drivers, it is the implementation as always which is key.
Keith
 

Cosmik

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#27
Are you for real? Let go.
In my earlier comments that you didn't have to comment on, I supplied ideas concerning:
  1. Box size and passive speaker driver behaviour
  2. Effects of baffle on dispersion
  3. Ways to reproduce those characteristics with physically smaller speakers
I supplied real commercial examples of small speakers that display the objective, measured characteristics of 'big'.

I supplied my own experience with speakers I built with my own hands, with DSP software I wrote.

You could have said "Hmm. Could be, but aren't you forgetting...?". Or you could say "I disagree because...". Heaven forfend you might even say "Yes, that sounds convincing".

Instead, you keep repeating "You are just keyboard dancing. I am not your partner" or some such.

What is your constructive contribution to the discussion?
 

Wombat

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#28
In my earlier comments that you didn't have to comment on, I supplied ideas concerning:
  1. Box size and passive speaker driver behaviour
  2. Effects of baffle on dispersion
  3. Ways to reproduce those characteristics with physically smaller speakers
I supplied real commercial examples of small speakers that display the objective, measured characteristics of 'big'.

I supplied my own experience with speakers I built with my own hands, with DSP software I wrote.

You could have said "Hmm. Could be, but aren't you forgetting...?". Or you could say "I disagree because...". Heaven forfend you might even say "Yes, that sounds convincing".

Instead, you keep repeating "You are just keyboard dancing. I am not your partner" or some such.

What is your constructive contribution to the discussion?

I posted on 1.and 3. 2. is just Google away.

Elaborate on the 'big' measurements with credible support. Is the discussion constructive or an extension of your suppositions?

I don't spend much time on 'maybe' unless it is accompanied by some practical consideration. That is just me. There are others on this forum who are more inclined toward your less tangible sometime thinking.

I have a more grounded approach to audio than some. So be it.

I exit this exchange. o_O

P.S. I don't apologise for having a science and engineering education, knowledge and experience. Nor can I quickly fill in the gaps for those who don't. If I am seen to be wrong in my posts, please correct me but not with vague personal opinions.
 
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FrantzM

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#29
No one has shown that you can't have 'big' size from a small box. If they imply it, it is because they are talking about:
(a) their experience over the years with passive speakers where undoubtedly a big box means more and deeper bass, and less cone displacement giving better linearity
(b) the wide baffle gives a lower baffle step frequency
So there are genuine reasons for 'bigness' of sound in the passive world.

But, a small box can give prodigious amounts of deep bass if driven with enough power:


And the dispersion effects of extra baffle width can be synthesised from multiple drivers and/or acoustic vents. DSP can give you perfectly aligned phase and timing. Motion feedback can give you perfect linearity.

If measurements/simulations show that the Kii Three et al. achieve the same bass output and dispersion characteristics as a large speaker then surely that is all the science you need? Unless there is something magical that measurements can't capture but audiophiles can hear..?
Not sure I understand what you mean by
the wide baffle gives a lower baffle step frequency
??\
Also it is not an issue of bass. Small speakers with adequate subwoofing continue to sound "small" to my ears. Small horns (relatively speaking) do not seem to have this problem.
You take a speaker with truly limited bass (and midbass) such as the Martin Logan CLS (I or II) and they never sound "small" in spite of their anemic and IMO inaccurate bass ...

It could be something that has to do with the baffle area. We are in conjectures here and yes, multiple drivers may simulate this ..somewhere , somehow you are back to square one if baffle area is the issue ... multiple driver occupy a larger area thus a larger baffle or at any rate a radiating surface... err. baffle :)
I have no doubt that the effect is measurable but have yet to see something that correlates to it. What parameters at this juncture explain unequivocally why a bass-shy but large panel speaker such as the Martin Logan CLS sounds big?

We are not getting into audiophile la-la land and invoking magic and organic and "natural" and all those over-used and senseless audiophile cliches, trying to say this can't be measured...
Again an anecdote :
I got the same impression from the Devialet Phantom .. The bass from this small speakers can be shocking and loud ... Do they sound like large speakers even some with less bass capabilities say a Magnepan MMG? No. They sound smaller.. Granted the Maggie is a different technology/design and would lend credence to the theory or suggestion that it has to do with baffle area but the fact remains: The Phantom while reproducing incredible bass at substantial SPL..ultimately sound like small speakers .... with big speaker bass ...
 
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Cosmik

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#30
This is

Not sure I understand what you mean by ??\
Also it is not an issue of bass. Small speakers with adequate subwoofing continue to sound "small" to my ears. Small horns (relatively speaking) do not seem to have this problem.
You take a speaker with truly limited bass (and midbass) such as the Martin Logan CLS (I or II) and they never sound "small" in spite of their anemic and IMO inaccurate bass ...

It could be something that has to do with the baffle area. We are in conjectures here and yes, multiple drivers may simulate this ..somewhere , somehow you are back to square one if baffle area is the issue ... multiple driver occupy a larger area thus a larger baffle or at any rate a radiating surface... err. baffle :)
I have no doubt that the effect is measurable but have yet to see something that correlates to it. What parameters at this juncture explain unequivocally why a bass-shy but large panel speaker such as the Martin Logan CLS sounds big?

We are not getting into audiophile la-la land and invoking magic and organic and "natural" and all those over-used and senseless audiophile cliches, trying to say this can't be measured...
Again an anecdote :
I got the same impression from the Devialet Phantom .. The bass from this small speakers can be shocking and loud ... Do they sound like large speakers even some with less bass capabilities say a Magnepan MMG? No. They sound smaller.. Granted the Maggie is a different technology/design and would lend credence to the theory or suggestion that it has to do with baffle area but the fact remains: The Phantom while reproducing incredible bass at substantial SPL..ultimately sound like small speakers .... with big speaker bass ...
The Kii Three web site talks about it (whether you believe it is a different matter!):
The Secret of Big Speakers

Kii’s mission for the THREE was to break the sonic mould of compact speakers. Powerful small speakers with deep bass have been around for a while now but none so far sounded like a big speaker. The THREE is built to fix that.

Basic acoustics tells us that a classic box speaker only directs sound towards the listeners from the midrange up while bass frequencies are radiated all around. The frequency where this change happens (a.k.a. 'baffle step'- Cosmik) depends on the size of the box front (the “baffle”). The smaller the baffle, the higher the frequency at which bass is still radiated all around instead of directed towards the listener.

That in short is why big speakers have so far delivered much more precise timing and detail in the bass and low mids than small speakers: the room gets less chance to interfere. And that is what Kii has now managed to make a compact speaker do.
....
A loop hole in acoustics says that small directive speakers are possible - if you have enough drivers and you feed them the exact right signal. The THREE has a total of 6 (six) ways, front, side and rear, working together to throw the sound in one direction only without relying on a baffle. The THREE’s ability to direct bass is comparable to, but much better controlled than that of a traditional speaker several meters wide.
They also have an animation to show the result.

I am not a deliberate cheerleader for the Kiis and I haven't even heard them, but I have noticed many common descriptions in the reviews, typified by this one:
The whole time though, you’re thinking; ‘how do those tiny little speakers make all that sound?!’. With eyes closed and a good-sounding track playing, the room is absolutely full of sound. When you open your eyes, it’s almost as if the illusion is destroyed – there’s simply no way those little things can produce all that sound. But they do, and they do it easily and effortlessly.
Our own @Kal Rubinson says:
Let's first dispense with issues of bass. I've long prized a recording of Mendelssohn's Organ Sonatas, performed by Thomas Murray on the E. & G.G. Hook instrument in the sanctuary of the First Religious Society, in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts (CD, Raven OAR-390). The fourth movement of the Sonata in F is my go-to for low-frequency articulation and extension. You may be incredulous to hear—I was—that the Kii was entirely satisfying in delineating the descending pedal notes. In fact, I found the Kii's ability to convey the sensation of a single throbbing column of air rather than a seemingly louder but more diffuse and indiscriminant growl to be almost unique. It was the kind of performance not ordinarily possible in a typical listening room, and for which one usually turns to a well-placed, well-equalized subwoofer.
...
But could the Kii Three deal with the really big stuff? Yes, the Threes proved perfect for impressing my friends with Rimsky-Korsakov's Dance of the Tumblers, in the recording by Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra (SACD/CD, Reference RR-71SACD). The dynamic range was huge, the explosions of brass and percussion had almost palpable impact, and the soundstage was spacious. Did you notice that almost? I chose the word not to imply a limitation, but to acknowledge that many listeners will not have heard this recording of a bass drum without a room boom that conveys the physical impact while blurring the sound. Through the Threes, it sounded like a real bass drum.
It all does seem to corroborate the claims in the sales blurb.
 
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stunta

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#31
There is a lot of noise on this thread, so sorry if this is already answered. Leaving aside the new gen speakers like Kii/D&D etc., is it generally accepted that larger speakers have more dynamics than smaller ones? It does seem so. The more important question I have is, what does "large" mean? Is it the size of the cabinet, the drivers or both or something else?
 

Cosmik

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#32
...is it generally accepted that larger speakers have more dynamics than smaller ones? It does seem so.
If the speaker is 'passive' then if all else remains equal, a larger speaker will roll off at a lower frequency than the smaller speaker. It will require less cone displacement -> higher linearity of output (it won't be compressed, distorted, 'run out of steam'). If its baffle is wider than the smaller speaker it will also remain more directional at lower frequencies. If the speaker is ported, the low frequency cutoff will be lower for the larger speaker, and the port's time-smearing resonance will engage at a lower frequency.

In other words, there are many reasons why a larger passive speaker should sound more dynamic - or at least different.

But for your statement to remain an 'iron law', it would have to be shown that there was 'something else' that could not be corrected with active electronics (e.g. EQ, very high power amplification, motion feedback) and/or extra drivers driven in the right way. This is what the Kii and 8C are aiming to do.
 

Wombat

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#33
Basic overview:

 

hvbias

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#34
I am one of thsoe who believes in Electronics.. Believe me :D ... Yet in order for electronics /DSP/Computer to act they need to knwo what to act on. On that I am not aware about the research on that factor: "Bigness" ...
I have yet to hear a small speaker with subwoofers who will make me believe that I am listening to a Duntech Sovereign or a Magico Q5 or a Revel Salon 2 or any big speaker you care to name.. if you are going in the way of horns , let's say an olf Altec Lansing Voice of the Theater or a Klipsch Jubilee .. all bets are off .. No small speakers need apply even with several 8 inchers (or so I think, i could be wrong ;0)
Now I don't want to think inside a box :) : It is not an issue or passive vs active... There is something else going one. Perhaps electronics can take care of "it" but "it" needs to be clearly and unequivocally identified. I don't know at this juncture
This question about sounding "big" has interested me as well, but these days I'm hesitant to start topics focused on subjective impressions give how aggressive some people can be.

I wrote about this briefly in the Klipsch K-402 thread I started here a couple of years ago. I've since heard that owners system two more times, each time left me just as impressed as the first. I have spent some time thinking about the why, I think it is a combination of extreme efficiency, constant directivity and the dispersion pattern of the horn combined with an excellent directivity match with the midbass horn. The dispersion pattern probably being the most important of all of them, though the extreme efficiency must have played some role in creating that sensation. These weren't driven by low power amps but instead with high power solid state. Given it was fully active even listening at concert levels I highly doubt we were hitting more than 2 watts even on the loudest peaks.

The Jubilee were an odd paradox. They remain the only set of speakers I've heard that can sound "big" when called for yet at the same time not when the recording is intimate like a closely mic'd solo piano or violin. Since classical is my main interest when it comes to music being able to reproduce symphony and concerto music was utmost importance. This is why I'm going down the active K-402 route, I just don't think I can find any commercial equivalent that will sound like that; like live music and at the same time reproducing what is on the disc. It was essentially my holy grail come to realization. So this is why I could never buy the expensive active DSP monitors blind, I would have to make sure they could truly capture the full scale of orchestra and concerto music.

I do hear this ability to reproduce "large scale" on lesser designed horns like old Altecs, Avant-Garde (my close friend owns these so I have heard them hundreds of times) Cessaro but they usually sound like a mess due to dreadful directivity control. The large panel electrostats like Sound Lab and ML are others that can reproduce the scale and usually have much more even frequency response than the mentioned horns, but they also sound "big" even on closely mic'd solo piano and violin recordings that I know are closely mic'd, basically creating huge larger than life size images of those instruments. Also dynamic compression means they've never sounded like live music. They can play loud, but that feeling of being live isn't there.
 
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#35
I've encountered many of the phenomena described here. With my current system which comprises of a pair of tall subs and 8" active monitors on top, I've been able to go from "small" speaker sound to "big". My subs use a pair of 12" SB drivers which can play to almost 700Hz, if allowed. The monitor handling the top part of the spectrum is the Genelec 8050, which is able to go down below 40Hz both on paper and reality.

By tuning the crossover between the sub and top to around 100Hz, I was able to get the "big" speaker sound. I guess, once my ears were able to locate the sound as coming from a whole column of drivers, rather than just pressurising the room, I got why bigger speakers sound like they do. On the other hand, proper crossing over at around 70Hz made the sound more precise with tighter imaging. I have a bad feeling that "big" sound isn't necessarily what's thought as acoustically correct.
 
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