• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Speakers that produce astonishing soundstaging/imaging?

Madjalapeno

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 13, 2021
Messages
427
Likes
974
Location
NH, USA
What does he listen to? What shape/size is the room? Where are the speakers in the room? What sort of volume does he listen?

Best imaging I've heard (in my very limited experience) is the LXMini. But they don't go loud, and might have a low spouse approval.
 

DanielT

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
2,656
Likes
2,079
Location
Sweden - Слава Україні
  • Dipole/Open Baffle - tons of reflections (will sound different in a live room or a treated room)
  • 8-12" dual cone/parasitic cone - will beam like lazers, forget reflections - if you get any they will be of a completely different tonality
  • Modern design - both direct and reflected sound of uniform tonality
A little about the same theme: :)
(mostly about the history of Snell, if you are interested in that)

 

skymusic20

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
47
Likes
26
I'm assuming it goes without saying that we're comparing apples to apples. Like in testing with the same recordings.
My guess is that speakers won't do much to make a difference on soundstage/imaging. (Recordings will)
But Im probably wrong and I hope Im wrong.
 
OP
G

gn77b

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
72
Likes
61
My guess is that speakers won't do much to make a difference on soundstage/imaging. (Recordings will)
But Im probably wrong and I hope Im wrong.
Yeah, sources don't do much, amps don't do much, speakers don't do much. As a matter of fact, my phone can be DSP'd to perfection. Distortion doesn't matter, directivity doesn't matter, frequency response is but an audiofool's dream.
 

skymusic20

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
47
Likes
26
Now that I remember, I have listened to side-firing-woofer speakers and it seems to me those speakers might really make a difference on soundstage.
The owner had such side-firing-woofer speakers with woofers firing outward... woofers were pointing at the walls, and very close to those walls.
That was probably subjective experience, an illusion of my brain as it was a sighted experience.
Anyone here owns side-firing-woofer speakers that can comment?
 

Purité Audio

Master Contributor
Industry Insider
Barrowmaster
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
5,238
Likes
4,717
Location
London
I love it how some of you guys here on ASR like to feel superior to the audiofools, while you're pretty much identical to them, without realizing it.
Gullible and easily parted from our cash?
Keith
 

polmuaddib

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
322
Likes
457
Would be very interested to see FR measurments of the speaker that you percieve images well and the one that doesn't. Spinorama would be even better.
 

ROOSKIE

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
1,246
Likes
2,194
Location
Minneapolis
Come on guys.
While this an aspect of the production and recording, the presentation of soundstaging and Imaging do vary greatly in speakers and in different rooms and with different arrangement of the speakers in the room.
It is interesting topic and not one that has been neatly ironed out by anyone.

If the OP wants some help it isn't going to help him to knock him off the site.

I have never met a single person who started their hifi journey with Toole's book or by interviewing Sean Olive or by getting a master's in psychoacoustics.
100% of us started out in some capacity as an audiophile nut fooled by some thing or another.(or many things)

OP what gear are you using and what is your friend using? What about the amps you tested?
 

Purité Audio

Master Contributor
Industry Insider
Barrowmaster
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
5,238
Likes
4,717
Location
London
Subjectivists aren’t stupid, well.. but they have realised that ‘soundstage’ can’t be measured ergo
Keith
 

McFly

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
727
Likes
1,415
Location
NZ
I mostly end up with box speakers, and have determined that the biggest difference in imaging with most comes down to the whether they have a waveguide or not. I really like how non-waveguide or very shallow waveguided tweeters sound.
In my experience - omni or wide dispersion speakers have a nice wide soundstage but imaging not so pinpoint. Use of waveguides and horns to control directivity and narrow it up, you get pinpoint imaging but the soundstage tends to stay within the speakers.

Find you directivity to room balance and you get a healthy dose of both imaging and soundstage, like a waveguided tweeter to a 5" mid/midbass. Beamwidth target +/- 45 degrees.
 

ZolaIII

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
1,900
Likes
1,098
It's really less present and possible to achieve high separation on stereo (55~60 dB I think correct me if I am wrong) loudspeaker sistem to the extent that lows will overlap and that's why single sub is usually enough (not that its bad idea to have a pair for simple reason of relaxing them).
 

mightycicadalord

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
542
Likes
499
In my experience - omni or wide dispersion speakers have a nice wide soundstage but imaging not so pinpoint. Use of waveguides and horns to control directivity and narrow it up, you get pinpoint imaging but the soundstage tends to stay within the speakers.

Find you directivity to room balance and you get a healthy dose of both imaging and soundstage, like a waveguided tweeter to a 5" mid/midbass. Beamwidth target +/- 45 degrees.

I've already used 8030c and kh120 and just didn't not like the imaging, no real center, sound never expanded out like I felt it should like you mention.
 

HammerSandwich

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
1,115
Likes
1,404
@gn77b, in addition to earlier comments about directivity et al., good pair matching & acoustical symmetry in speaker location matter. IOW, you're not likely to get great imaging (or consistent timbre) if one speaker is near a wall while the other's in free space.

Okay, so how to proceed? Buy 4+, 100+mm thick, absorbers (bare insulation's fine), then experiment with different speaker & absorber locations. Think short-term configurations, appearance be damned. Use some chairs or whatever to hold the panels flanking the speakers, so that you can test narrower directivity. Adjust the angles. Place the panels against the walls to kill early reflections. Both you & your friend will learn more about your preferences - particularly your preferences in his room - from this than from auditioning different speakers in stores. The cost is nice, too. If you get really lucky, you'll find that your friend has an easily treated acoustical problem, not lousy speakers.
 

eddantes

Senior Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
389
Likes
649
I love it how some of you guys here on ASR like to feel superior to the audiofools, while you're pretty much identical to them, without realizing it.
Listen, no need to take offense. Some people can tactfully disagree, some can't.

As for your perceptions, your anecdote - theres no reason not to think that you perceived what you perceived.

But, I (for one) am very suspicious of my perceptions, or anyone perceptions - theres just too much plasticity in our senses, memory, and analysis. So - for things that are hard to measure - like staging and imaging - I would want a DBT to prove to myself that things really ARE as I perceive them. I've simply fooled myself far too many times.
 

LTig

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
4,251
Likes
6,852
Location
Europe
In my experience - omni or wide dispersion speakers have a nice wide soundstage but imaging not so pinpoint. Use of waveguides and horns to control directivity and narrow it up, you get pinpoint imaging but the soundstage tends to stay within the speakers.
Yes and no.

In a room with lots of reflections and a speaker with wide dispersion you'll get a wide soundstage but with diffuse imaging, more or less regardless of the recording. If one owns many recordings without real soundstage information such a system can be a pleasure to listen to. My ex-neighbor has such a system.

In a rather dry room and speakers with less wide dispersion and smooth off axis frequency resonse you'll get a very good phantom center and pinpoint imaging. Width and depth of the soundstage depend on the recording, and 3D effects like Q-Sound can create a convincing effect of being enveloped by sound. If one owns recordings with great soundstage information they will be preferred on this system because it delivers both width, depth and precise imaging. I have such a system. For recordings with a rather narrow soundstage I use an old analog processor to increase stereo width.
 

JRS

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
824
Likes
714
Location
Albuquerque, NM USA
While you are out about, I would suggest listening to some large panel speakers. They may come across to you as a "wall of sound' because they are. But they are distinctly different in the way they present music--instead of small diaphragms moving back and forth relatively long distances, they have vastly larger diaphragms moving a much smaller distance. They are visually overwhelming in some cases, like the larger Magneplanars and so users tend to be very serious about audio, and in some cases to maintain domestic harmony, must find a location other than the living room to stash their audio treasures.

But for many of us die hard audiophiles, they are the most appealing of the various approaches, given the very large soundscape they produce, and the sense of effortlessness with which they convey sound. The very good ones tend to be expensive, require serious amplification and may be beyond what your friend wishes to spend, but you at least owe yourself a listen. Magneplanar is one brand that is available in Europe, there are several others here in the states, the very best of which are names like Sound Labs and Sanders.
 

Attachments

  • sanders.jpg
    sanders.jpg
    10.8 KB · Views: 120
  • maggies.jpg
    maggies.jpg
    8.1 KB · Views: 120

mightycicadalord

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
542
Likes
499
I wanted to chime in on wide dispersion typical box speakers. For me it's like there's two kinds, those that keep it wide at the top of the tweeter, and those that narrow. I prefer the ones that narrow at the top.
 

Axo1989

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
485
Likes
399
Subjectivists aren’t stupid, well.. but they have realised that ‘soundstage’ can’t be measured ergo
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, so I'll disagree and suggest that I'd expect the various contributors to 'good' soundstage ultimately can be characterised and quantified. It's basically what stereo is for, after all.
 
Top Bottom