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Technics SB-F1 Review (Vintage Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 12 8.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 61 41.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 63 43.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 10 6.8%

  • Total voters
    146

martijn86

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Vict0r

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Technics-SB-F1-baffle-met-speakers_thumb.jpg

Technics-SB-F1-achterkant-woofer_thumb-1.jpg

Technics-SB-F1-cross-over-filter_thumb.jpg

Technics-SB-F1-baffle_thumb.jpg
 

Rja4000

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No. Compression is not a problem. Distortion is.
Compression is not a problem, but it's an important information, a decision factor.

You have people wondering what makes the difference between a full size speaker and a bookshelf.
The difference may not be distortion, but only level capability.
The typical example is the Genelec small monitor. Its protection won't allow distortion to raise... but will prevent high bass levels.

This measurement would show, objectify, that fact
Genelec 8331A_Compression.png
(and other, less trivial, things)

Kef Q150_Compression.png
 

tktran303

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The distortion is typical of a 4-5” woofer in a sealed box of that era. And non linear distortion and compression are really just 2 sides of the same coin.

Anyway, this is what my fellow Australian @restorer-john has been saying all along. The hey day of audio was in the late the 20th century.

Ken Rockwell said it a decade ago:

All the clever engineers were done with audio by the 80s. Home theatre and Video was the next big thing. Simultaneously at the same time computers took off and captured the imagination of youngsters everywhere. And then software!

When I was in Engineering school in the 2000s all us younguns wanted to be be the next Bill Gates or work for Microsoft.

Not join Sony and build the next best speaker…

This speaker (apart from limited bass) measures well; has a waveguide; aluminium enclosures. All designed and made before I was born.

 
Last edited:

nickjkay

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These are pretty much perfect as rear speakers when you have the SB-F3 as the fronts and centres.

Just add a sub and we're probably talking about the smallest entries into HIFI
 

abdo123

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The typical example is the Genelec small monitor. Its protection won't allow distortion to raise... but will prevent high bass levels.


View attachment 199608
If you would read the whole review you quoted from you would see that for the Genelecs this behavior happens strictly with sine sweeps and Erin got the speaker louder than this test implies in real world applications.
 

thewas

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All the clever engineers were done with audio by the 80s. Home theatre and Video was the next big thing. Simultaneously at the same time computers took off and captured the imagination of youngsters everywhere. And then software!
Exactly, the Hifi craze started diminishing in the mid 80s, so the big innovation and research pushers, namely large serious companies like Sony, Matsushita, Philips etc. moved to the new rising fields like video, home cinema, PC, multimedia and left the audio market to small craft booths and the corresponding press which degenerated and hyped their (poor) engineering to ensure their survival.
 

YSC

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I am really impressed by how flat the FR and directivity is! With a subwoofer this likely sounded much better than a lot of modern speakers, shame on those measuring bad compared to 45 years old tech
 

Ra1zel

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I am really impressed by how flat the FR and directivity is! With a subwoofer this likely sounded much better than a lot of modern speakers, shame on those measuring bad compared to 45 years old tech
Probably the worst side effect of CEA 2034 is the sudden explosion of people who think you can hook up a pair of subs to bookshelves with 4 inch woofers and it's gonna be the same as multi driver tower since the preference score clearly show so :(
 

nickjkay

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I own the bigger "brother" SB-F3 and they really sound excellent!
I use a Denon AVR, X2 SB-F3 per side. Each tweeter sits in the middle with the top pair upside down. One SB-F3 for the centre and X2 Rel Q200e with a custom high level controller. The sound is incredible. I do cut the frequency on the F1s due to the distortion mentioned here. The F-3s are in a different league than the F-1s.
If you have enough speaker extension (ie subs) the dispersion from these all together is actually mind blowing.
I will quote the late John Bamford "an LS3 type of speaker does nothing for me". Being the SB-F3 is the Japanese version (and superior IMO) it comes alive when paired with a sealed sun. The sound becomes 1!
 

nickjkay

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I am really impressed by how flat the FR and directivity is! With a subwoofer this likely sounded much better than a lot of modern speakers, shame on those measuring bad compared to 45 years old tech
You're right, but the SB-F3 with a sub will be in a different league then the SB-F1. Using x5 F3s and X2 I can tell you that the F1s do show themselves up at high volumes and the F3s shine in a way that beggars believe - with a good sealed sub running on high level inputs.
There is abit too much missing from the lower end of the baby version for them to be any more than rear speakers and even then, no bass goes to them to stop the distortion.
 

YSC

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Probably the worst side effect of CEA 2034 is the sudden explosion of people who think you can hook up a pair of subs to bookshelves with 4 inch woofers and it's gonna be the same as multi driver tower since the preference score clearly show so :(
I think the thing is even with a sub, I am referring to using it nearfield, desktop type of situation where the SPL and distortion behaviour for multi driver towers, subs not necessary be those 15" huge boxes in a living room ones.
 

CedarX

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Are the multiple resonances noted by Amir a by product of the die cast aluminum cabinet or is it a “not necessarily” case? I’ve read countless times that metal is not a very good choice for speaker cabinets—not that it cannot work, but it’s a difficult design hurdle. Are small bookshelf speakers precisely the category where a die cast aluminum material is fine?
 

thewas

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Are the multiple resonances noted by Amir a by product of the die cast aluminum cabinet or is it a “not necessarily” case? I’ve read countless times that metal is not a very good choice for speaker cabinets—not that it cannot work, but it’s a difficult design hurdle. Are small bookshelf speakers precisely the category where a die cast aluminum material is fine?
Those SB-Fx enclosures are quite rigid and their resonances wouldn't be as pronounced on the FR measurements.
 

beagleman

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More of a satellite speaker, as it barely reaches 100hz. Interesting despite the limitations.
 

Chr1

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Using a pair of the SB-F3s with a Marantz M-CR610 and a wee B&W SW-608 sub in my kitchen. Sounds great using the Marantz's (great but limited) sub management and EQ.
 
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I own the bigger "brother" SB-F3 and they really sound excellent!

What's interesting is that I have the SB-F2 (as well as the F1 that Amir measured), and they are nearly unlistenable. Shrill and unpleasant. Its interesting that while the F1 is quite decent, the F2 is so different. Perhaps I have a bad pair. I'm curious about the F3 now....
 

Robbo99999

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I just had to vote this "Fine" as it's over 40yrs old for goodness sake! I wouldn't buy them today though, but I suppose these are not my kind of speaker (no bass). I thought the Horizontal Directivity was extremely impressive for such an old speaker as you tend to think of that kind of thing as a technical computer acoustic modelled endeavour (waveguide, etc).
 
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