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Which bookshelf crossover (non-DSP) provides highest performance under $2,500? Acoustic Energy AE1?

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mel

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Crossover design is an important part of audio performance. I am trying to compare speaker crossovers to determine their coloration effects.
  1. Which bookshelf crossover (non-DSP) provides highest performance under $2,500,
    • Acoustic Energy AE1?
    • ELAC Navis ARB-51s?
  2. What coloration does the crossover or speakers have?
    • A list of specific coloration terms are listed below.
  3. What sonic effects, beside coloration, does the crossover have?
    • For example, I suspect lower detail and/or transparency in the ELAC Navis ARB-51 might be a passive crossover effect?
    • Might the ELAC Navis ARB-51sound better at higher volumes due to the passive crossover?
Electronically, the AE1 Active is proudly an
  • all-analogue design focused on performance without compromise.
  • This includes wired analogue inputs, both balanced XLR and standard RCA,
  • the highest quality linear power supplies and
  • two pair-matched, high-performance 50Watt Class A/B amplifiers per speaker.
  • While the design team experimented with
    • wireless inputs,
    • switch mode power supplies,
    • Class D amplification and
    • DSP,
    • none delivered the audio performance befitting of a loudspeaker wearing the legendary AE1 badge.
Drive Unit: 125mm ceramic aluminium sandwich cone
Tweeter: 25mm aluminium dome
Frequency Range: 42Hz – 28kHz (+/-6dB)
Crossover Frequency: 3.5kHz 4th Order Linkwitz-Riley
Amplifier: Class A/B with linear power supply
Power: 100w
Dimensions (mm): 300 x 185 x 250 (HxWxD)

Background Information

I use the Tidal search list results for "Caravan", by Duke Ellington as my reference list. Over a dozen renditions by different artists are available. I find the "HiFi" recordings distort the cymbals because the the BPM is 136. Compare at least a dozen different recordings to observe the distortions. I do not hear distortion on the "Master" recordings. The terms at the bottom of this post articulate sounds.

I have a powered AudioEngine A3 desktop speaker attached to a RME ADI 2 DAC. I love the sound. I am looking for a larger speaker for my bedroom. Balanced XLR connections are important because the RME DAC has XLR outputs.

I also have a passive speaker system that I will abandon for active speakers. I connect the RME DAC from a M1 Mac laptop. I also have two REL T/Zero MKIII subwoofers that I connect from the AudioEngine A3 RCA line outputs.

I am looking for a crossover that slightly colors sound to make the speakers listenable all day long. My audio equipment generally plays continuously throughout the day.

I listen to acoustic music (jazz, classical) in near-field. I listen at distances between three and six feet. I listen in small spaces and at low volume.

DSP-based speakers are excluded from consideration. I want all electronics and digital processing to be exterior to the speakers, e.g., ELAC Navis B51, for upgradability and obsolescence reasons. I invest in audio equipment that I expect to keep for a decade, or longer.

I am not a measurement-oriented person. Low-cost, high performance studio monitors that cause listening fatigue are excluded from consideration.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_crossover#Active


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A passive crossover splits up an audio signal after it is amplified by a single power amplifier, so that the amplified signal can be sent to two or more driver types, each of which cover different frequency ranges. These crossover are made entirely of passive components and circuitry; the term "passive" means that no additional power source is needed for the circuitry. A passive crossover just needs to be connected by wiring to the power amplifier signal. Passive crossovers are usually arranged in a Cauer topology to achieve a Butterworth filter effect. Passive filters use resistorscombined with reactive components such as capacitors and inductors. Very high performance passive crossovers are likely to be more expensive than active crossovers, since individual components capable of good performance at the high currents and voltages at which speaker systems are driven are hard to make.
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TI active crossoverScreen Shot 2021-06-25 at 1.50.47 AM.png - is an old, well-written document. The document identifies important topics. The document is very useful as a conceptual guide.

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Circuit Description


This is an analog active crossover solution for two- way loudspeakers. The woofer signal pathway includes a low-pass shelving circuit for baffle step compensation and a


  • 4th-order Linkwitz-Riley low-pass filter. The tweeter signal pathway includes a
  • 4th-order Linkwitz-Riley high-pass filter,
  • 3rd-order all-pass filter for time alignment, output attenuation and buffering.
Theory of Operation


The primary purpose of the crossover circuit in a loudspeaker is to split an incoming audio signal into frequency bands that are passed to the speaker or “driver” best suited. For example, in a two-way system a crossover circuit will pass low frequencies to the woofer and high frequencies to the tweeter.


  • This is accomplished using passive or active filters to remove frequencies outside of the desired band for a driver.
  • A secondary purpose of crossover circuits is to correct the frequency or phase response of the system for errors introduced by the loudspeaker enclosure and listening environment.

Active crossover networks are commonly used in recording studios and some home high-fidelity systems.


  • In an active crossover system, the crossover network is placed before the power amplifiers in the audio signal chain.
  • The voltages at this point in the signal chain are much lower than those applied directly to the speaker, allowing the use of active filters which employ op-amps, capacitors, and resistors.
  • Expensive passive components which must maintain linearity at high voltage levels can be eliminated from active crossover circuits.
  • Furthermore, the filter circuits in an active crossover do not directly interact with the loudspeaker impedance, allowing them to more closely follow the desired transfer function without complicated analysis.
  • The tweeter portion includes
    • a high-pass filter,
    • an all-pass filter for time alignment, and
    • output level correction.
    • The design parameters are chosen to represent a typical two-way monitor speaker which may be employed in a small room such as a recording studio for near-field listening and sound mixing work.
  • The Linkwitz-Riley filter characteristic was selected because these filters sum acoustically flat in the crossover region [2].
  • A 4th-order Linkwitz-Riley filter has a steep roll-off (48 dB/octave, 80 dB/decade) which
    • limits high-frequency distortion from the woofer, and
    • protects the tweeter from low-frequency content which may damage it.




Although the desired corner frequency for the woofer transfer function is


  • 1.8kHz, this does not necessarily mean the corner frequency for the low-pass filter will be 1.8kHz. Examining the woofer frequency response with baffle step compensation in Figure 7 (blue curve), shows that the driver itself begins to attenuate signals above 2kHz. Therefore, the 1.8kHz corner frequency specifies the acoustic transfer function, which is the combination of the low-pass filter transfer function with the driver’s frequency response.

Again, using a numerical solver, it was found that a 4th-order low-pass filter with a


  • corner frequency of 2.145kHz provided the desired acoustic corner frequency of 1.8kHz. Figure 8 shows the predicted acoustic transfer function of the woofer produced by multiplying the woofer frequency response (with baffle step compensation) by the transfer function of the filter.
A 4th-order Linkwitz-Riley filter may be constructed by cascading two 2nd-order Butterworth low-pass filters as shown in Figure 9[2].


  • The Sallen-Key (SK) filter topology is used because the noise gain and signal gain for this topology are equal since the op amp is configured as a non-inverting amplifier. In the multiple feedback (MFB) topology, the op amp is configured as an inverting amplifier and its noise gain would be twice the signal gain for a unity gain filter, degrading the system signal to noise ratio.
  • Adding delay in an analog active crossover is accomplished using an all-pass filter. While the amplitude response of an all-pass filter is flat, the phase response varies with frequency. This behavior allows the filter to add a known delay to the signal without affecting the amplitude response.

  • The only capacitor types suitable for active filters are
    • C0G ceramic,
    • polypropylene film, or
    • silvered mica.
      • However, because silvered mica capacitors are not available in large capacitances they are not considered here.
    • When comparing C0G ceramic capacitors to polypropylene film types, it was found that for the same tolerance,
      • C0G ceramics were cheaper and occupied less board area than film types of the same capacitance.

Table 6: A Comparison of C0G ceramic to polypropylene film capacitors

Words to describe sound are listed below. If I could read measurement graphs like sheet music, I would hear the following.

https://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html
  • Onomatopoeia---words that sound like what they describe;
  • Imagery---words that evoke a mental image; and
  • Sensories---words that relate things we hear to more-familiar things we
    • see or
    • touch.
  • The experienced listener does not just hear the totality of reproduced sound.
  • He hears into it, observing how the component or system
    • handles a variety of sonic attributes which make up the whole.
    • Instead of simply "all the highs and all the lows," he may hear a
      • coloration that his experience has shown to indicate a treble peak.
      • Or he may hear a lengthening of normally brief bass notes which he has learned to equate with a
        • low-frequency resonance or a
        • lack of woofer damping.
      • Of course, both these problems would be revealed by measurements, but
        • equating their measured severity with their adverse effects on the sound is another matter.
        • To do that, we need words to attach to these effects.
        • Those words are what we call subjective terminology.
coloration An audible "signature" with which a reproducing system imbues all signals passing through it.
discontinuity A change of timbre or coloration due to the signal's transition, in a multi-way speaker system, from one driver to another having dissimilar coloration.
judgment A listener's assessment of how well
  • his perception of a sonic element measures up to
  • his concept of perfection.
  • The basic choices are "good," "not good," or "undecided."
element One of the constituent parts of a sonic characteristic.
  • Bass, midrange, and treble are elements of frequency response.
  • Depth and breadth are elements of soundstaging.
moderate A qualifier which describes a
  • sonic imperfection which is clearly audible through any decent system,
  • but not annoyingly so. See "audibility."
musical, musicality A personal judgment as to the
  • degree to which reproduced sound resembles live music.
  • Real musical sound is both accurate and euphonic,
  • consonant and dissonant.
qualifier An adjective which the listener attaches to an observed sonic imperfection (such as "peaky" or "muddy") in order
  • to convey a sense of its magnitude.
  • "Subtle" and "conspicuous" are qualifying adjectives. See "audibility."
quality The degree to which the reproduction of sound is judged to approach the goal of perfection.

subliminal Too faint or too subtle to be consciously perceived.
  1. bass The range of frequencies below 160Hz, characterized by low pitch.
    • "aw" (rhymes with "paw") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 450Hz.
      • An "aw" coloration tends to emphasize and glamorize the sound of large brass instruments (trombone, tuba).
    • dark A warm, mellow, excessively rich quality in reproduced sound.
      • The audible effect of a frequency response which is clockwise-tilted across the entire range,
      • so that output diminishes with increasing frequency. Compare "light.
    • heavy Excessively bassy.
    • heft Pertains to bass which has weight, solidity, and visceral power.
    • honky Pertaining to a severe "aw" coloration.
    • hooty
      • Pertaining to a severe "ooo" coloration.
      • Resonant colorations may cause some lower-midrange notes to jump forward or "hoot" at the listener
    • horn sound An "aw" coloration
      • characteristic of many loudspeakers that have a horn-loaded midrange
    • hum A continuous 60Hz or 120Hz noise,
      • caused by leakage of the household AC supply or
      • its second harmonic into the signal path.
    • hump A broad frequency-response peak.
    • humped Sound that is forward, soft, and lean.
      • The apparent listening distance is up-front and immediate,
      • yet the overall sound is dull and thin.
      • Caused by a broad midrange rise with
      • rolled-off lower and upper ranges. Compare "dished."
    • lean Very slightly bass-shy.
      • The effect of a very slight bass rolloff below around 500Hz.
      • Not quite "cool."
    • light Lean and tipped-up.
      • The audible effect of a frequency response which is tilted counterclockwise. Compare “dark."
    • loose Pertains to bass which is ill-defined and poorly controlled. Woolly.
    • lumpy Reproduced sound characterized by a number of audible response discontinuities through the
      • range below about 1kHz.
      • Certain frequency bands seem to predominate, while others sound weak.
    • lush Rich-sounding and sumptuous to the point of wretched excess.
    • "oh" (as in "toe") A vowel coloration caused by a broad frequency-response peak centered around 250Hz.

    • one-note bass The exaggeration of a single bass note,
      • due to a sharp LF peak,
      • normally due to an underdamped woofer but
      • also caused by room resonances.
    • "oo" (as in "gloom") A vowel coloration caused by a broad frequency-response peak centered around 120Hz.
    • power range The frequency range about 200-500Hz that affects the reproduction of the power instruments of an orchestra—
      • the brass instruments.
    • thick Describes sodden or heavy bass.
    • thin Very deficient in bass.
      • The result of severe attenuation of the range below 500Hz.
    • tight
      • Bass reproduction that is well controlled, free from hangover, not slow.
      • Stereo imaging that is specific, stable, and of the correct width.
      • Describes a closely bunched image in A+B double-mono mode that occupies a very narrow space between the loudspeakers.
    • warm The same as dark, but less tilted. A certain amount of warmth is a normal part of musical sound.

      weight
      • The feeling of solidity and foundation contributed to music by extended, natural bass reproduction.
      • The emphasis assigned to a subjective term by a qualifier.
    • woolly Pertains to loose, ill-defined bass.

    • zippy A slight top-octave emphasis. See "toppy."
  2. low bass The range from 20-40Hz.
  3. deep bass Frequencies below 40Hz.
  4. midbass The range of frequencies from 40-80Hz.
  5. upper bass The range of frequencies from 80-160Hz.
  6. low frequency Any frequency lower than 160Hz.
  7. lower middles, lower midrange The range of frequencies from 160-320Hz.
    1. forward, forwardness A quality of reproduction which seems to
      • place sound sources closer than they were recorded.
      • Usually the result of a humped midrange,
        • plus a narrow horizontal dispersion pattern from the loudspeaker.
        • See "Row-A sound." Compare "laid-back."
  8. middles, midrange The range of frequencies from 160-1300Hz.
  9. upper middles, upper midrange The range of frequencies from 650-1300Hz.
  10. treble The frequency range above 1.3kHz.
    • aggressive Reproduced sound that is excessively forward and bright.
      • "ah" (rhymes with "rah") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 1000Hz.
    • airy Pertaining to treble which sounds light, delicate, open, and seemingly unrestricted in upper extension.
      • A quality of reproducing systems having very smooth and very extended HF response.
    • bright, brilliant The most often misused terms in audio, these describe the
      • degree to which reproduced sound has a hard, crisp edge to it.
      • Brightness relates to the energy content in the 4kHz-8kHz band.
        • It is not related to output in the extreme-high-frequency range.
        • All live sound has brightness; it is a problem only when it is excessive.
    • crisp In reproduced sound: sharply focused and detailed,
      • sometimes excessively so because of a peak in the mid-treble region.
    • "ee" (rhymes with "we") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 3.5kHz.
    • "eh" (as in "bed") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 2kHz.
    • hard Tending toward steeliness, but not quite shrill.
      • Often the result of a moderate frequency-response hump centered around 6kHz,
      • sometimes also caused by small amounts of distortion.
    • hot Very tipped-up high frequencies.
    • "ih" (as in "bit") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 3.5kHz.
    • muffled Very dull-sounding; having no apparent high frequencies at all.
      • The result of HF rolloff above about 2kHz.
    • nasal Reproduced sound having the quality of a person speaking with his/her nose blocked.
      • Like the vowel "eh" coloration.
      • In a loudspeaker, often due to a measured peak in the upper midrange followed by a complementary dip.
    • pinched
      • Very cold, with a
      • "nyeah" coloration.
      • Pertaining to soundstaging: Laterally compressed and lacking in spaciousness.
    • presence range The lower-treble part of the audio spectrum,
      • approximately 1-3kHz, which contributes to presence in reproduced sound.
    • sheen A rich-sounding overlay of velvety-smooth airiness or guttiness.
      • A quality of outstanding HF smoothness and ease.
    • sibilance A coloration that resembles or exaggerates the vocal s-sound.

    • silky Pertains to treble performance that is velvety-smooth, delicate, and open.

    • silvery Sound that is slightly hard or steely, but clean.

    • sizzly Emphasis of the frequency range above about 8kHz,
      • which adds sibilance to all sounds,
      • particularly those of cymbals and vocal esses (sibilants).
    • spitty An edgy "ts" coloration which
      • exaggerates musical overtones and
      • sibilants as well as LP surface noise.
      • Usually the result of a sharp response peak in the upper treble range.
    • steely Shrill. Like "hard," but more so.
    • tick A high-pitched pulse characterized by a very sharp attack
      • followed by a short "i" vowel sound.
      • The most common background noise from analog discs.
    • tizzy A "zz" or "ff" coloration of the sound of cymbals and vocal sibilants, caused by a
      • rising frequency response above 10kHz.
      • Similar to "wiry," but at a higher frequency
    • vowel coloration A form of
      • midrange or low-treble coloration which impresses
      • upon all program material a tonal "flavor" resembling a vowel in speech.
    • wiry Having an
      • edgy or distorted high end,
      • similar to the "tish" of brushed cymbals,
      • but coloring all sounds reproduced by the system.
  11. lower highs The range of frequencies from 1.3 to 2.6kHz.
  12. middle highs The range of frequencies from 2.6 to 5kHz.
  13. upper highs, upper treble The range of frequencies from 10-20kHz.
acoustical space
  • A large performing or recording hall.
  • All the spatial and reverberant characteristics of the performing hall or location in which a recording was made.
acuity
  • The sensitivity of the ears to very soft sounds
  • The acquired ability of an audiophile to hear and to assess the subtle qualitative attributes of reproduced sound.
aggressive Reproduced sound that is excessively forward and bright.
  • "ah" (rhymes with "rah") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 1000Hz.
airy Pertaining to treble which sounds light, delicate, open, and seemingly unrestricted in upper extension.
  • A quality of reproducing systems having very smooth and very extended HF response.
aliveness A quality of sound reproduction which gives an impression that the performers are:
  • present,
  • in person,
  • in the listening room.
analytical Very detailed, almost to the point of excess.

articulation
  • Clarity and intelligibility, usually of voice reproduction.
  • The reproduction of inner detail in complex sounds, which makes it easy to follow an individual musical voice among many.
attack
  • The buildup of sound when an instrument is bowed, blown, struck, or plucked.
  • The ability of a system to reproduce the attack transients in musical sound.
Poor attack makes a system sound slow.

attack transient The initial energy pulse of a percussive sound, such as from a
  • piano string
  • triangle
  • drum head.
"aw" (rhymes with "paw") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 450Hz.
  • An "aw" coloration tends to emphasize and glamorize the sound of large brass instruments (trombone, tuba).
balance
  • The subjective relationship between the relative loudness of the upper and lower halves of the audio spectrum; "tonal balance."
  • The relative loudness of the instruments in a performing group.
  • Equality of signal level between the left and right stereo channels, which centers the soundstage and allows mono program material to image at the center. Also called channel balance.
bass The range of frequencies below 160Hz, characterized by low pitch.

bloom A quality of expansive richness and warmth, like the live body sound of a cello.

body A quality of roundness and robustness in reproduced sound. “Gutsiness."

body sound Of a musical instrument: the characteristic sound of the material of which the instrument is made, due to resonances of that material.
  • The wooden quality of a viola,
  • the "signature" by which a brass flute is distinguishable from a wooden or platinum one.
bright, brilliant The most often misused terms in audio, these describe the
  • degree to which reproduced sound has a hard, crisp edge to it.
  • Brightness relates to the energy content in the 4kHz-8kHz band.
    • It is not related to output in the extreme-high-frequency range.
    • All live sound has brightness; it is a problem only when it is excessive.
circularity The paradox of subjectivity: "You can't judge a recording without reproducing it, and you can't judge a reproducer without listening to a recording.”

clean Free from audible distortion.

clinical Sound that is pristinely clean but wholly uninvolving.

coherent
  • Pertaining to a multi-way loudspeaker's sound: seamless from top to bottom;
    • showing no audible evidence of a crossover or of different driver colorations in different frequency ranges.
  • Pertaining to the soundstage: Phantom imaging that reproduces within the stereo stage the original lateral positions of the performers. See "bunching," "hole-in-the-middle."
coloration An audible "signature" with which a reproducing system imbues all signals passing through it.

comb filtering (NOT)
  • A hollow coloration that, once recognized, is unmistakable.
  • Caused by a regularly spaced series of frequency-response peaks and dips, most often due to
  • interference between two identical signals spaced in time.
  • If that time difference is continually changed, the comb-filter peaks and dips move accordingly, giving rise to the familiar
    • "phasing,"
    • "flanging," or
    • "jet plane" effect used in modern rock music.
crisp In reproduced sound: sharply focused and detailed,
  • sometimes excessively so because of a peak in the mid-treble region.
damping The amount of control an amplifier seems to impose on a woofer.
  • Underdamping causes loose, heavy bass;
  • overdamping yields very tight but lean bass
dark A warm, mellow, excessively rich quality in reproduced sound.
  • The audible effect of a frequency response which is clockwise-tilted across the entire range,
  • so that output diminishes with increasing frequency. Compare "light.
decay The reverberant fadeout of a musical sound after it has ceased. Compare “attack."

deep bass Frequencies below 40Hz.

definition (also resolution) That quality of sound reproduction which enables the listener to distinguish between, and follow the melodic lines of,
  • the individual voices or instruments comprising a large performing group. See "focus."
delicacy The reproduction of very subtle, very faint details of musical sound, such as the
  • fingertip-friction sounds produced when a guitar or a harp is played. See "low-level detail."
depth The illusion of acoustical distance receding behind the loudspeaker plane,
  • giving the impression of listening through the loudspeakers into the original performing space, rather than to them. See "layering," "transparency." Compare “flat."
detail The subtlest, most delicate parts of the original sound,
  • which are usually the first things lost by imperfect components.
  • See "low-level detail." Compare "haze," "smearing," "veiling."
diffuse (NOT) Reproduction which is severely deficient in detail and imaging specificity; confused, muddled.

direct sound A sound reaching the ears in a straight line from its source. The
  • direct sounds are always the first sounds heard.
  • The "critical distance" from a soundsource is when the
    • spl of the direct sound is equal to that of the
    • reverberant field.
    • See "far field," "near field," "precedence effect." Compare "reflected sound," “reverberation."
discontinuity A change of timbre or coloration due to the signal's transition, in a multi-way speaker system, from one driver to another having dissimilar coloration.

dynamic Giving an impression of wide dynamic range; punchy.
  • This is related to system speed as well as to volume contrast.
dynamic range
  • Pertaining to a signal: the ratio between the loudest and the quietest passages.
  • Pertaining to a component: the ratio between its no-signal noise and the loudest peak it will pass without distortion.
"ee" (rhymes with "we") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 3.5kHz.

effortless Unstrained; showing no signs of audible stress during loud passages. Compare "strained."

"eh" (as in "bed") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 2kHz.

element One of the constituent parts of a sonic characteristic.
  • Bass, midrange, and treble are elements of frequency response.
  • Depth and breadth are elements of soundstaging.
error of commission Signal degradation due to the addition of sounds that were not present in the original signal.
  • Distortion and coloration are examples of errors of commission
error of omission Signal degradation due to the loss of information that was present in the original signal.
  • Smearing and treble loss are examples of errors of omission.
etched Very crisp and sharply outlined,
  • focused to an almost excessive degree.
euphonic Pleasing to the ear. In audio, "euphonic" has a connotation of exaggerated richness rather than literal accuracy.

far field Pertains to that range of listening distances in which the
  • predominant sounds reaching the ears are reflections from room boundaries.
fast Giving an impression of extremely rapid reaction time, which allows a reproducing system to "keep up with" the signal fed to it. (A "fast woofer" would seem to be an oxymoron, but this usage refers to a
  • woofer tuning that does not boom,
  • make the music sound "slow,"
  • obscure musical phrasing,
  • or lead to "one-note bass.")
  • Similar to "taut," but referring to the entire audio-frequency range instead of just the bass.
floating A positive attribute that pertains to soundstaging in which the phantom images seem to exist

independently of the loudspeaker positions,
  • giving the impression that the speakers are absent. See "beyond-the-speakers imaging," "depth," "layering." Compare "flat," "vagueness," "wander."
focus The quality of being clearly defined,
  • with sharply outlined phantom images. Focus has also been described as the
  • enhanced ability to hear the brief moments of silence between the musical impulses in reproduced sound.
forward, forwardness A quality of reproduction which seems to
  • place sound sources closer than they were recorded.
  • Usually the result of a humped midrange,
    • plus a narrow horizontal dispersion pattern from the loudspeaker.
    • See "Row-A sound." Compare "laid-back."
fuzz, fuzziness A coarse but soft-edged texturing of reproduced sound.
  • Like "hash," but with muffled-sounding spikes.
gestalt response The evocation of a complete memory recognition by an incomplete set of sensory cues.
  • A gestalt response to the few things
    • an audio system does outstandingly well can make imperfect reproduction seem more realistic than it actually is.
golden A euphonic coloration characterized by
  • roundness,
  • richness,
  • sweetness, and
  • liquidity.
grainy A moderate texturing of reproduced sound. The sonic equivalent of grain in a photograph. Coarser than dry but finer than gritty.

gritty A harsh, coarse-grained texturing of reproduced sound. The continuum of energy seems to be composed of discrete, sharp-edged particles.

hangover A tendency for reproduced sounds to last longer than they should.
  • Most noticeable at low frequencies, where it obscures detail.
hand-clap test The use of hand claps to assess the reverberant properties of a room. See "fluttery," "plastery," "slap."

hard Tending toward steeliness, but not quite shrill.
  • Often the result of a moderate frequency-response hump centered around 6kHz,
  • sometimes also caused by small amounts of distortion.
haze, haziness A moderate smearing of detail and focus.
  • The audible equivalent of viewing something through a gauzy veil or a dirty window.
heavy Excessively bassy.

heft Pertains to bass which has weight, solidity, and visceral power.

height The usually inadvertent production of vertical directional cues,
  • which make some instruments sound as if they are above or below the other performers. See "soundstaging."
honky Pertaining to a severe "aw" coloration.

hooty
  • Pertaining to a severe "ooo" coloration.
  • Resonant colorations may cause some lower-midrange notes to jump forward or "hoot" at the listener
horn sound An "aw" coloration
  • characteristic of many loudspeakers that have a horn-loaded midrange
hot Very tipped-up high frequencies.

hum A continuous 60Hz or 120Hz noise,
  • caused by leakage of the household AC supply or
  • its second harmonic into the signal path.
hump A broad frequency-response peak.

humped Sound that is forward, soft, and lean.
  • The apparent listening distance is up-front and immediate,
  • yet the overall sound is dull and thin.
  • Caused by a broad midrange rise with
  • rolled-off lower and upper ranges. Compare "dished."
"ih" (as in "bit") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 3.5kHz.

imagery Descriptive terminology intended to convey an impression or mental image of a subjective observation.
  • Imagery is usually employed to describe qualities in reproduced sound in terms of more familiar sensory responses like
    • vision,
    • taste, and
    • touch.
imaging The measure of a system's ability to float stable and specific phantom images,
  • reproducing the original sizes and locations of the instruments across the soundstage. See "stereo imaging."
impact A quality of concussive force, as from a deep, strong bass attack, which produces a brief sensation of visceral pressure.

impulse An abrupt, extremely brief burst of signal energy; a transient.

involvement The degree to which a reproduction
  • draws the listener in to the musical performance and
  • evokes an emotional response to it.
judgment A listener's assessment of how well
  • his perception of a sonic element measures up to
  • his concept of perfection.
  • The basic choices are "good," "not good," or "undecided."
laid-back
  • Recessed,
  • distant-sounding,
  • having exaggerated depth,
  • usually because of a dished midrange.
  • See "Row-M sound." Compare "forward."
layering The reproduction of depth and receding distance,
  • which audibly places the rows of performers one behind the other.
lean Very slightly bass-shy.
  • The effect of a very slight bass rolloff below around 500Hz.
  • Not quite "cool."
lifeless Sound that is dull, unfocused, unconvincing, and uninvolving.

light Lean and tipped-up.
  • The audible effect of a frequency response which is tilted counterclockwise. Compare “dark."
liquid Textureless sound.

listening distance The distance from the listener to the loudspeakers. See "critical distance," "far field," "near field."

listening fatigue A psychoacoustic phenomenon from prolonged listening to sound whose
  • distortion content is too low to be audible as such but is
  • high enough to be perceived subliminally.
  • The physical and psychological discomfort can induce headaches and nervous tension
live
  • Describes an acoustical space having a great deal of reverberation.
  • Pertains to the sound of actual instruments or voices in performance, as opposed to the sound of their reproduction.
localization In stereo reproduction, the placement of phantom images in specific lateral positions across the soundstage. Also, the specificity of those images.

loose Pertains to bass which is ill-defined and poorly controlled. Woolly.

low bass The range from 20-40Hz.

lower highs The range of frequencies from 1.3-2.6kHz.

lower middles, lower midrange The range of frequencies from 160-320Hz.

low frequency Any frequency lower than 160Hz.

low-level detail The subtlest elements of musical sound,
  • which include the delicate details of instrumental sounds and
  • the final tail of reverberation decay. See "delicacy."
lumpy Reproduced sound characterized by a number of audible response discontinuities through the
  • range below about 1kHz.
  • Certain frequency bands seem to predominate, while others sound weak.
lush Rich-sounding and sumptuous to the point of wretched excess.

meter man A person who believes that measurements tell all you need to know about a component's performance. An auronihilist. Compare "mystic," “subjectivist."

midbass The range of frequencies from 40-80Hz.

middle highs The range of frequencies from 2.6-5kHz.

middles, midrange The range of frequencies from 160-1300Hz.

moderate A qualifier which describes a
  • sonic imperfection which is clearly audible through any decent system,
  • but not annoyingly so. See "audibility."
modulation noise A hiss or other extraneous noise which
  • "rides on" the main signal,
  • varying in loudness according to the strength of that signal.
motorboating Low-frequency oscillation of an active device,
  • producing a continuous, rapid "bupupup" sound,
  • like a one-cylinder engine.
muddy Ill-defined, congested.

muffled Very dull-sounding; having no apparent high frequencies at all.
  • The result of HF rolloff above about 2kHz.
musical, musicality A personal judgment as to the
  • degree to which reproduced sound resembles live music.
  • Real musical sound is both accurate and euphonic,
  • consonant and dissonant.
muted Dark, lifeless, closed-in.

mystic An audiophile who attributes all currently unmeasurable sonic differences to forces beyond human understanding.

nasal Reproduced sound having the quality of a person speaking with his/her nose blocked.
  • Like the vowel "eh" coloration.
  • In a loudspeaker, often due to a measured peak in the upper midrange followed by a complementary dip.
naturalness Realism.

near field Pertains to that range of listening distances in which the sounds reaching the ears are predominantly direct. See "far field," "critical distance."

neutral Free from coloration.
noise Any spurious background sounds,
  • usually of a random or indeterminate pitch: hiss, crackles, ticks, pops, whooshes.
Noticeable In aural perception, any sonic quality which is clearly audible to most people.

objectivist A meter man. Compare "subjectivist."

observation The perceived attribute of a sonic element, on which a personal judgment about its quality is based.
  • Observations are described by subjective terms such as
  • "smooth,"
  • "woolly," or
  • "spacious."
obvious You'd have to be deaf not to hear it. See "audibility."

"oh" (as in "toe") A vowel coloration caused by a broad frequency-response peak centered around 250Hz.

one-note bass The exaggeration of a single bass note,
  • due to a sharp LF peak,
  • normally due to an underdamped woofer but
  • also caused by room resonances.
"oo" (as in "gloom") A vowel coloration caused by a broad frequency-response peak centered around 120Hz.

opaque Lacking detail and transparency.

open Exhibiting qualities of delicacy, air, and fine detail. Giving an impression of having no upper-frequency limit.

pace The apparent tempo of a musical performance, which can be different from its actual beats-per-minute tempo. Pace is affected by phrasing in performance and speed in reproduction.

palpable Describes reproduction that is so realistic you feel you could reach out and touch the instruments or singers.

perceptible At or above the threshold of audibility of a trained listener.

perspective The soundstage depth information that is conveyed by layering.

phantom image The re-creation by a stereo system of an apparent sound source at a location other than that of either loudspeaker.

phasey A quality of reproduced sound which creates a
  • sensation of pressure in the ears, unrelated to the intensity of the sound.
  • Phasiness is experienced by many people when listening to two loudspeakers which are connected out of phase with each other.
picket-fencing (Also called vertical-venetian-blind effect.) A tendency for stereo channel balance to vacillate from left to right as the listener moves laterally with respect to the loudspeakers.

pinched
  • Very cold, with a
  • "nyeah" coloration.
  • Pertaining to soundstaging: Laterally compressed and lacking in spaciousness.
pinpoint imaging Stereo imaging that is precise, stable, and focused.

pitch resolution The clarity with which the pitch of (generally) bass notes is perceived.
  • Poor pitch resolution makes all notes sound similar;
  • good pitch resolution gives an impression that you "can almost count the cycles.
plastery A hard-sounding reverberation
  • having an "a" (as in "cat") coloration,
  • characteristic of bare, plaster-walled rooms. Compare "fluttery," "slap."
polite Laid-back.

pop A midrange pulse characterized by
  • a very sharp attack followed by a short "o" or "aw" vowel sound.
  • Usually the result of a severe LP blemish.
power range The frequency range about 200-500Hz that affects the reproduction of the power instruments of an orchestra—
  • the brass instruments.
precedence effect The tendency for the ears to identify the source of a sound as being in the direction from which it is first heard. See "direct sound."

presence A quality of realism and aliveness.

presence range The lower-treble part of the audio spectrum,
  • approximately 1-3kHz, which contributes to presence in reproduced sound.
pristine Very clean-sounding, very transparent.

pumping
  • The exaggeration of abrupt signal-amplitude changes,
  • often due to the malfunctioning of a companding (compressing/expanding) noise-reduction system.
  • Audible fluctuations of background noise in the playback phase of compansion.
  • Large, spurious subsonic motions of a woofer cone, usually due to analog-disc warps or marginal LF stability in the power amplifier.
qualifier An adjective which the listener attaches to an observed sonic imperfection (such as "peaky" or "muddy") in order
  • to convey a sense of its magnitude.
  • "Subtle" and "conspicuous" are qualifying adjectives. See "audibility."
quality The degree to which the reproduction of sound is judged to approach the goal of perfection.

reaction A counterforce imparted to a speaker enclosure in response to the air resistance to the motion of a moving diaphragm or cone.
  • On a thick carpet, a reacting enclosure will rock slightly back and forth, impairing LF quality and overall detail. See "spike.
realism A subjective assessment of the degree to which the sound from an audio system
  • approaches that of live music.
  • This has meaning only when the recording purports to reproduce an acoustical event taking place in a real acoustical space. See "quality."
recessed Very laid-back.

reflected sound A sound which reaches the ears after being reflected from at least one boundary surface. See "critical distance," "far field," "near field," "precedence effect." Compare "direct sound."

resolution See "definition."

reticent Moderately laid-back.
  • Describes the sound of a system whose frequency response is dished-down through the midrange.
  • The opposite of forward.
revealing Pertaining to a loudspeaker or a system as a whole:
  • Outstandingly detailed and focused; analytical.
  • Compare "pristine."
reverberation A diminishing series of echoes
  • spaced sufficiently closely in time that they
  • merge into a smooth decay.
rhythm See "timing."

ringing The audible effect of a resonance:
  • coloration,
  • smear,
  • shrillness, or
  • boominess.
rolloff (also rollout) A frequency response which
  • falls gradually above or below a certain frequency limit.
  • By comparison, the term cutoff (often abbreviated to "cut," as in "bass cut") implies an
  • abrupt loss of level above or below the frequency limit.
rosinous (or resinous) Describes the
  • "zizzy" quality of bowed strings,
  • particularly of cellos or violas.
rotated The sound of a frequency response that is linear but tilted. See "tilt."

rough A quality of moderate grittiness, often caused by LP mistracking.

rounding, rounding-off The shearing-off of sharp attack transients,
  • due to poor transient response or restricted HF range. See "slow," "speed."
row-A sound Sound which is up-front, forward.
row-M sound Sound which is laid-back, distant.

rumble An extraneous low-frequency noise, often of indeterminate pitch, caused by physical vibration of a turntable or of the room in which a recording was made.

scrape flutter Roughness and veiling of analog tape sound due to discontinuous movement of the tape across the head ("violining").

screechy The ultimate stridency, akin to chalk on a blackboard or a razor blade being scraped across a windowpane.

seamless Having no perceptible discontinuities throughout the audio range.

severe Very annoyingly audible. See "audibility."

sheen A rich-sounding overlay of velvety-smooth airiness or guttiness.
  • A quality of outstanding HF smoothness and ease.
sibilance A coloration that resembles or exaggerates the vocal s-sound.

silky Pertains to treble performance that is velvety-smooth, delicate, and open.

silvery Sound that is slightly hard or steely, but clean.

sizzly Emphasis of the frequency range above about 8kHz,
  • which adds sibilance to all sounds,
  • particularly those of cymbals and vocal esses (sibilants).
slap In an acoustical space, a repeated echo recurring at a
  • rate of about 3 per second,
  • common to moderate-sized, bare-walled acoustical spaces. See "hand-clap test." Compare "fluttery," "plastery."
smearing Severe lack of detail and focus.

smooth Sound reproduction having no irritating qualities;
  • free from HF peaks,
  • easy and relaxing to listen to.
  • Effortless.
  • Not necessarily a positive system attribute if accompanied by a slow, uninvolving character
snap A quality of sound reproduction giving an impression of great speed and detail.

sock A quality of sound reproduction giving a sensation of concussive impact.

solid-state sound That combination of sonic attributes common to most solid-state amplifying devices:
  • deep,
  • tight bass,
  • a slightly withdrawn brightness range, and
  • crisply detailed highs.
soundstaging, soundstage presentation The accuracy with which a reproducing system conveys
  • audible information about the
    • size,
    • shape, and
    • acoustical characteristics of the original recording space and the
    • placement of the performers within it.
soundstage shift Apparent lateral movement of the soundstage when listening from either side of the sweet spot.

spacious Presenting a broad panorama of ambience, which may be wider than the distance between the loudspeakers.

sparse Less cold than "pinched" but more than "thin."

spatiality The quality of spaciousness.

specific, specificity The degree to which a phantom image exhibits a definite and unambiguous lateral position, without wander or excessive width.

spike
  • The "tick" sound of a pulse.
  • A sharp-tipped, conical supporting foot which allows the weight of a loudspeaker to be passed through carpeting to rest firmly on the underlying floor. Used to minimize speaker-enclosure reaction.
spiky Pertains to a coarse texturing of sound characterized by the presence of
  • many rapidly recurring sharp clicks.
  • Like the sound of tearing cloth, only crisper.
spitty An edgy "ts" coloration which
  • exaggerates musical overtones and
  • sibilants as well as LP surface noise.
  • Usually the result of a sharp response peak in the upper treble range.
steely Shrill. Like "hard," but more so.

stereo imaging The production of stable, specific phantom images of correct localization and width. See "soundstaging," "vagueness," "wander."

stereo spread The apparent width of the soundstage and the placement of phantom images within it.
  • Generally, a group of instruments or voices should uniformly occupy the space between the loudspeakers.
  • Compare "beyond-the-speakers imaging," "bunching," "hole-in-the-middle."
stereo stage The area between and behind the loudspeakers, from which most phantom images are heard.

sterile Pristinely clean but uninvolving.

strained Showing signs of audible distress during loud passages, as though the system is verging on overload. Compare "ease," "effortless."

strident Unpleasantly shrill, piercing.

subjectivist A person who has found that
  • measurements don't tell the whole story about reproduced sound.
  • Compare "mystic," "meter man," "objectivist."
subliminal Too faint or too subtle to be consciously perceived.

sweet Having a smooth, softly delicate high end.

sweet spot That listening seat from which the best soundstage presentation is heard. Usually a center seat equidistant from the loudspeakers.

syrupy Excessively sweet and rich, like maple syrup.

tail The reverberant decay of a sound in an acoustical space.

taut In bass reproduction, under tight control of the electrical signal;
  • detailed and free from "hangover."
tempo The actual number of beats per minute in a musical performance. Compare "pace."

texture, texturing A perceptible pattern or
  • structure in reproduced sound, even if random in nature.
  • Texturing gives the impression that the energy continuum of the sound is composed of discrete particles,
  • like the grain of a photograph
thick Describes sodden or heavy bass.

thin Very deficient in bass.
  • The result of severe attenuation of the range below 500Hz.
tick A high-pitched pulse characterized by a very sharp attack
  • followed by a short "i" vowel sound.
  • The most common background noise from analog discs.
tight
  • Bass reproduction that is well controlled, free from hangover, not slow.
  • Stereo imaging that is specific, stable, and of the correct width.
  • Describes a closely bunched image in A+B double-mono mode that occupies a very narrow space between the loudspeakers.
tilt
  • To aim the axis of a loudspeaker upward or downward.
  • Across-the-board rotation of an otherwise flat frequency response, so that the device's output increases or decreases at a uniform rate with increasing frequency.
    • A linear frequency-response curve that is not horizontal.
timbre The recognizable characteristic sound "signature" of a musical instrument,
  • by which it is possible to tell an oboe, for example, from a flute when both are sounding the same note.
timing The apparent instrumental ensemble (synchronism) of a performance, which is affected by system speed. See "articulation," "rhythm," "pace."

tizzy A "zz" or "ff" coloration of the sound of cymbals and vocal sibilants, caused by a
  • rising frequency response above 10kHz.
  • Similar to "wiry," but at a higher frequency
tonality In music, the quality of an instrument's tone,
  • often related to the key in which the music is written.
  • In audio, mistakenly used in place of "tonal quality."
tonal quality The accuracy (correctness) with which reproduced sound replicates the timbres of the original instruments. Compare "tonality."

top The high treble, the range of audio frequencies
  • above about 8kHz.
tracking The degree to which a component responds to the dictates of the audio signal, without lag or overshoot.

transparency, transparent
  • A quality of sound reproduction that gives the impression of listening through the system to the original sounds,
  • rather than to a pair of loudspeakers.
  • Freedom from
    • veiling,
    • texturing, or any other quality which tends to
    • obscure the signal. A quality of crystalline clarity.
treble The frequency range above 1.3kHz.

tubby Having an exaggerated deep-bass range.

tube sound, tubey That combination of audible qualities which typifies components that use tubes for amplification:
  • Richness and warmth,
  • an excess of midbass,
  • a deficiency of deep bass,
  • outstanding rendition of depth,
  • forward and bright, with a
  • softly sweet high end.
upper bass The range of frequencies from 80-160Hz.

upper highs, upper treble The range of frequencies from 10-20kHz.

upper middles, upper midrange The range of frequencies from 650-1300Hz.

uninvolving Ho-hum sound.
  • Reproduction which evokes boredom and
  • indifference.
upper bass The range of frequencies from 80-160Hz.

upper highs, upper treble The range of frequencies from 10-20kHz.

upper middles, upper midrange The range of frequencies from 650-1300Hz.

vague, vagueness Having poor specificity, confused.

veiled, veiling Pertaining to a deficiency of detail and focus, due to moderate amounts of distortion, treble-range restriction, or attack rounding.

violining See "scrape flutter."

visceral Producing a bodily sensation of pressure or concussion.

vowel coloration A form of
  • midrange or low-treble coloration which impresses
  • upon all program material a tonal "flavor" resembling a vowel in speech.
wander Side-to-side vacillation of the apparent position of a stereo image as the instrument plays different notes. Poor imaging stability.

warm The same as dark, but less tilted. A certain amount of warmth is a normal part of musical sound.

weight
  • The feeling of solidity and foundation contributed to music by extended, natural bass reproduction.
  • The emphasis assigned to a subjective term by a qualifier.
width The apparent lateral spread of a stereo image. If appropriately miked when recorded, a reproduced instrument should sound no wider or narrower than it would have sounded originally. See "stereo spread."

wiry Having an
  • edgy or distorted high end,
  • similar to the "tish" of brushed cymbals,
  • but coloring all sounds reproduced by the system.
withdrawn Very laid-back.

woolly Pertains to loose, ill-defined bass.

zippy A slight top-octave emphasis. See "toppy."
 
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RoA

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Jun 24, 2021
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I listened to the AE1 Active before purchasing my Kef Active Metas.

I have no idea about their Xover configuration but found them to sound too bright to me. They also have only around 50 Watts to the woofer. Nice veneer though.
 
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mel

Senior Member
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Jun 13, 2021
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I listened to the AE1 Active before purchasing my Kef Active Metas.

I have no idea about their Xover configuration but found them to sound too bright to me. They also have only around 50 Watts to the woofer. Nice veneer though.

  • How did you gain access to the AE1s?
    • My understanding is that AE does not distribute through retailers in USA.
  • Were subwoofers attached to the configuration?
  • Is the 3.5kHz crossover wrong for you?

  1. low bass The range from 20-40Hz.
  2. midbass The range of frequencies from 40-80Hz.
  3. upper bass The range of frequencies from 80-160Hz.
  4. low frequency Any frequency lower than 160Hz.
  5. lower middles, lower midrange The range of frequencies from 160-320Hz.
  6. middles, midrange The range of frequencies from 160-1300Hz.
  7. upper middles, upper midrange The range of frequencies from 650-1300Hz.
  8. lower highs The range of frequencies from 1.3 to 2.6kHz.
  9. middle highs The range of frequencies from 2.6 to 5kHz.
  10. upper highs, upper treble The range of frequencies from 10-20kHz.

The TI example graph crosses over at 1.2kHz:

index.php

Drive Unit: 125mm ceramic aluminium sandwich cone
Tweeter: 25mm aluminium dome
Frequency Range: 42Hz – 28kHz (+/-6dB)
Crossover Frequency: 3.5kHz 4th Order Linkwitz-Riley
Amplifier: Class A/B with linear power supply
Power: 100w
Dimensions (mm): 300 x 185 x 250 (HxWxD)

ELAC Navis ARB-51 crossed much lower and more powerful:

Speaker type: 3-Way Powered

Tweeter: 1″ Soft Dome Concentrically Mounted
Midrange: 4″ Aluminum
Woofer: 5-1/4″ Aluminum

Frequency Response: 44Hz – 28kHz

Crossover Frequency: 2.2kHz / 260Hz

Total Amplifier Power: 300 Watts Total

Bass Amplifier: 160 Watt Bash Amplifier
Midrange Amplifier: 100 Watt Bash Amplifier
Tweeter Amplifier: 40 Watt Class AB Amplifier

Inputs: RCA / XLR / AirX² Wireless
Cabinet finishes: Gloss Black, Gloss White, Gloss Ebony Emara

Height: 13.58″
Width: 7.44″
Depth: 9.45″
Net weight (each): 17.85lbs
 
Last edited:

RoA

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Jun 24, 2021
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I am in the UK where the speakers are available through retailers. No subwoofer was connected.

I have not heard the Elac Navis.
 
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mel

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Jun 13, 2021
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I am in the UK where the speakers are available through retailers. No subwoofer was connected.

I have not heard the Elac Navis.
Lucky you.

Comparing analog to DSP is difficult. I am coming to realization that subjective comparisons are the only valid type of comparison between DSP and analog crossovers. The precise language is the of coloration and other speaker properties. A list of specific terms appears in the first post.
  • KEF DSP-based is generally considered a very "neutral" coloration.
  • ELAC Navis ARB-51 have been described as a warm coloration.

  • I wonder how you might describe the KEF about the following.
  • Has changing any EQ properties from the KEF app colored the sound in specific ranges listed below?
  1. bass The range of frequencies below 160Hz, characterized by low pitch.
  2. low bass The range from 20-40Hz.
  3. midbass The range of frequencies from 40-80Hz.
  4. upper bass The range of frequencies from 80-160Hz.
  5. low frequency Any frequency lower than 160Hz.
  6. lower middles, lower midrange The range of frequencies from 160-320Hz.
  7. middles, midrange The range of frequencies from 160-1300Hz.
  8. upper middles, upper midrange The range of frequencies from 650-1300Hz.
  9. treble The frequency range above 1.3kHz.
  10. lower highs The range of frequencies from 1.3 to 2.6kHz.
  11. middle highs The range of frequencies from 2.6 to 5kHz.
  12. upper highs, upper treble The range of frequencies from 10-20kHz.

dark A warm, mellow, excessively rich quality in reproduced sound.
  • The audible effect of a frequency response which is clockwise-tilted across the entire range,
  • so that output diminishes with increasing frequency. Compare "light.
warm The same as dark, but less tilted. A certain amount of warmth is a normal part of musical sound.

neutral Free from coloration.

tilt
  • Across-the-board rotation of an otherwise flat frequency response, so that the device's output increases or decreases at a uniform rate with increasing frequency.
    • A linear frequency-response curve that is not horizontal.
Other subjective properties used to describe what are NOT characteristic of the ELAC Navis ARB-51 are:

transparency, transparent
  • A quality of sound reproduction that gives the impression of listening through the system to the original sounds,
  • rather than to a pair of loudspeakers.
  • Freedom from
    • veiling,
    • texturing, or any other quality which tends to
    • obscure the signal. A quality of crystalline clarity.
detail The subtlest, most delicate parts of the original sound,
  • which are usually the first things lost by imperfect components.
  • See "low-level detail." Compare "haze," "smearing," "veiling."

https://us.kef.com/pub/media/wysiwyg/documents/ls50w/KEF_LS50Wireless_brochure_path_preview.pdf

Screen Shot 2021-06-25 at 7.50.52 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-06-25 at 7.50.52 AM.png
 
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mel

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I wanna know why they chose that. They are using a 27mm tweeter instead of a 25mm one, that’s usually done to lower the crossover region (or for sensitivity or whatnot), and it’s in a waveguide.
I also can’t imagine a 5” woofer giving sufficient bass

I agree. I find it difficult to reconcile. I think the answer is very complicated.

The impedance between the crossover and voice coil changes with usage pattern. Voice coils can reach temperatures up to 500F when you push the speaker to its limit.

DSP might have a significant advantage. I hate to have technology dependencies in expensive speakers. I want to understand crossover and DSP-based solutions clearly. Active analog crossovers (Acoustic Energy AE1) generate much heat than passive analog crossovers (ELAC Navis ARB-51), because they are powered electronics. Navis is a "powered", rather than "active" speaker. The terminology is confusing a huge physical and performance difference.

Comparing analog to DSP is difficult. I am coming to realization that subjective comparisons are the only valid type of comparison between DSP and analog crossovers. The precise language is of coloration and other speaker properties. A list of specific terms appears in the first post.
  • KEF DSP-based is generally considered a very "neutral" coloration.
  • ELAC Navis ARB-51 have been described as a warm coloration.

I wonder to what extent the sound can be colored from the KEF app EQ properties? I mean coloring the specific ranges below. A list of specific coloration terms appears in the first post.

coloration An audible "signature" with which a reproducing system imbues all signals passing through it.

discontinuity A change of timbre or coloration due to the signal's transition, in a multi-way speaker system, from one driver to another having dissimilar coloration.

gestalt response
  • The evocation of a complete memory recognition by an incomplete set of sensory cues.
  • A gestalt response to the few things an audio system does outstandingly well can make imperfect reproduction seem more realistic than it actually is.
judgment A listener's assessment of how well
  • his perception of a sonic element measures up to
  • his concept of perfection.
  • The basic choices are "good," "not good," or "undecided."
element One of the constituent parts of a sonic characteristic.
  • Bass, midrange, and treble are elements of frequency response.
  • Depth and breadth are elements of soundstaging.
moderate A qualifier which describes a
  • sonic imperfection which is clearly audible through any decent system,
  • but not annoyingly so. See "audibility."
musical, musicality A personal judgment as to the
  • degree to which reproduced sound resembles live music.
  • Real musical sound is both accurate and euphonic,
  • consonant and dissonant.
qualifier An adjective which the listener attaches to an observed sonic imperfection (such as "peaky" or "muddy") in order
  • to convey a sense of its magnitude.
  • "Subtle" and "conspicuous" are qualifying adjectives. See "audibility."
quality The degree to which the reproduction of sound is judged to approach the goal of perfection.

subliminal Too faint or too subtle to be consciously perceived.
  1. bass The range of frequencies below 160Hz, characterized by low pitch.
    • "aw" (rhymes with "paw") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 450Hz.
      • An "aw" coloration tends to emphasize and glamorize the sound of large brass instruments (trombone, tuba).
    • dark A warm, mellow, excessively rich quality in reproduced sound.
      • The audible effect of a frequency response which is clockwise-tilted across the entire range,
      • so that output diminishes with increasing frequency. Compare "light.
    • heavy Excessively bassy.
    • heft Pertains to bass which has weight, solidity, and visceral power.
    • honky Pertaining to a severe "aw" coloration.
    • hooty
      • Pertaining to a severe "ooo" coloration.
      • Resonant colorations may cause some lower-midrange notes to jump forward or "hoot" at the listener
    • horn sound An "aw" coloration
      • characteristic of many loudspeakers that have a horn-loaded midrange
    • hum A continuous 60Hz or 120Hz noise,
      • caused by leakage of the household AC supply or
      • its second harmonic into the signal path.
    • hump A broad frequency-response peak.
    • humped Sound that is forward, soft, and lean.
      • The apparent listening distance is up-front and immediate,
      • yet the overall sound is dull and thin.
      • Caused by a broad midrange rise with
      • rolled-off lower and upper ranges. Compare "dished."
    • lean Very slightly bass-shy.
      • The effect of a very slight bass rolloff below around 500Hz.
      • Not quite "cool."
    • light Lean and tipped-up.
      • The audible effect of a frequency response which is tilted counterclockwise. Compare “dark."
    • loose Pertains to bass which is ill-defined and poorly controlled. Woolly.
    • lumpy Reproduced sound characterized by a number of audible response discontinuities through the
      • range below about 1kHz.
      • Certain frequency bands seem to predominate, while others sound weak.
    • lush Rich-sounding and sumptuous to the point of wretched excess.
    • "oh" (as in "toe") A vowel coloration caused by a broad frequency-response peak centered around 250Hz.
    • one-note bass The exaggeration of a single bass note,
      • due to a sharp LF peak,
      • normally due to an underdamped woofer but
      • also caused by room resonances.
    • "oo" (as in "gloom") A vowel coloration caused by a broad frequency-response peak centered around 120Hz.
    • power range The frequency range about 200-500Hz that affects the reproduction of the power instruments of an orchestra—
      • the brass instruments.
    • thick Describes sodden or heavy bass.
    • thin Very deficient in bass.
      • The result of severe attenuation of the range below 500Hz.
    • tight
      • Bass reproduction that is well controlled, free from hangover, not slow.
      • Stereo imaging that is specific, stable, and of the correct width.
      • Describes a closely bunched image in A+B double-mono mode that occupies a very narrow space between the loudspeakers.
    • warm The same as dark, but less tilted. A certain amount of warmth is a normal part of musical sound.
    • weight
      • The feeling of solidity and foundation contributed to music by extended, natural bass reproduction.
      • The emphasis assigned to a subjective term by a qualifier.
    • woolly Pertains to loose, ill-defined bass.
    • zippy A slight top-octave emphasis. See "toppy."
  2. low bass The range from 20-40Hz.
  3. deep bass Frequencies below 40Hz.
  4. midbass The range of frequencies from 40-80Hz.
  5. upper bass The range of frequencies from 80-160Hz.
  6. low frequency Any frequency lower than 160Hz.
  7. lower middles, lower midrange The range of frequencies from 160-320Hz.
    1. forward, forwardness A quality of reproduction which seems to
      • place sound sources closer than they were recorded.
      • Usually the result of a humped midrange,
        • plus a narrow horizontal dispersion pattern from the loudspeaker.
        • See "Row-A sound." Compare "laid-back."
  8. middles, midrange The range of frequencies from 160-1300Hz.
  9. upper middles, upper midrange The range of frequencies from 650-1300Hz.
  10. treble The frequency range above 1.3kHz.
    • aggressive Reproduced sound that is excessively forward and bright.
      • "ah" (rhymes with "rah") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 1000Hz.
    • airy Pertaining to treble which sounds light, delicate, open, and seemingly unrestricted in upper extension.
      • A quality of reproducing systems having very smooth and very extended HF response.
    • bright, brilliant The most often misused terms in audio, these describe the
      • degree to which reproduced sound has a hard, crisp edge to it.
      • Brightness relates to the energy content in the 4kHz-8kHz band.
        • It is not related to output in the extreme-high-frequency range.
        • All live sound has brightness; it is a problem only when it is excessive.
    • crisp In reproduced sound: sharply focused and detailed,
      • sometimes excessively so because of a peak in the mid-treble region.
    • "ee" (rhymes with "we") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 3.5kHz.
    • "eh" (as in "bed") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 2kHz.
    • hard Tending toward steeliness, but not quite shrill.
      • Often the result of a moderate frequency-response hump centered around 6kHz,
      • sometimes also caused by small amounts of distortion.
    • hot Very tipped-up high frequencies.
    • "ih" (as in "bit") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 3.5kHz.
    • muffled Very dull-sounding; having no apparent high frequencies at all.
      • The result of HF rolloff above about 2kHz.
    • nasal Reproduced sound having the quality of a person speaking with his/her nose blocked.
      • Like the vowel "eh" coloration.
      • In a loudspeaker, often due to a measured peak in the upper midrange followed by a complementary dip.
    • pinched
      • Very cold, with a
      • "nyeah" coloration.
      • Pertaining to soundstaging: Laterally compressed and lacking in spaciousness.
    • presence range The lower-treble part of the audio spectrum,
      • approximately 1-3kHz, which contributes to presence in reproduced sound.
    • sheen A rich-sounding overlay of velvety-smooth airiness or guttiness.
      • A quality of outstanding HF smoothness and ease.
    • sibilance A coloration that resembles or exaggerates the vocal s-sound.
    • silky Pertains to treble performance that is velvety-smooth, delicate, and open.
    • silvery Sound that is slightly hard or steely, but clean.
    • sizzly Emphasis of the frequency range above about 8kHz,
      • which adds sibilance to all sounds,
      • particularly those of cymbals and vocal esses (sibilants).
    • spitty An edgy "ts" coloration which
      • exaggerates musical overtones and
      • sibilants as well as LP surface noise.
      • Usually the result of a sharp response peak in the upper treble range.
    • steely Shrill. Like "hard," but more so.
    • tick A high-pitched pulse characterized by a very sharp attack
      • followed by a short "i" vowel sound.
      • The most common background noise from analog discs.
    • tizzy A "zz" or "ff" coloration of the sound of cymbals and vocal sibilants, caused by a
      • rising frequency response above 10kHz.
      • Similar to "wiry," but at a higher frequency
    • vowel coloration A form of
      • midrange or low-treble coloration which impresses
      • upon all program material a tonal "flavor" resembling a vowel in speech.
    • wiry Having an
      • edgy or distorted high end,
      • similar to the "tish" of brushed cymbals,
      • but coloring all sounds reproduced by the system.
  11. lower highs The range of frequencies from 1.3 to 2.6kHz.
  12. middle highs The range of frequencies from 2.6 to 5kHz.
  13. upper highs, upper treble The range of frequencies from 10-20kHz.
 
Last edited:

RoA

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DSP (incl Room correction) can be incredibly useful as I have found out with the Kef's (and the B&W Formation Duo's but to a lesser extent).

Why do you want an active speaker without it?
 
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mel

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DSP (incl Room correction) can be incredibly useful as I have found out with the Kef's (and the B&W Formation Duo's but to a lesser extent).

Why do you want an active speaker without it?

I am trying to figure out where to draw the line between great digital functionality and potential obsolesce. DACs, as part of the DSP system, introduce their own noise, e.g., pre-ringing and digital data conversion rounding. I am a software developer with some college physics acoustics classes. I look at audio equipment as an investment that pays off over a decade, rather than a regular update every other year.

MQA is a technology feature that some might feel obsoletes existing equipment. MQA might be important to some people. MQA is not important to me, because I don't have any MQA files.

The analog crossovers (ELAC Navis and Acoustic Energy AE1) keep the electronics outside the speaker. I have a studio quality RME DAC that I made a big investment in. Passive crossovers are problematic, because they filter frequencies by converting into heat. About 40% of the amplifier energy can be converted to heat.

I do need room correction. I live near a train stop. USA train horns are 330Hz.
  • lower midrange The range of frequencies from 160-320Hz.
  • upper midrange The range of frequencies from 650-1300Hz.
The horn sounds just as loud in my bedroom, that is roughly cubed shaped (10' x 10' x 9'), like a subwoofer, as near the window in another room. The cube echo a real problem!

My understanding is crude room correction can also be done by toggling EQ switches on the back of the speaker.

To what degree can you color the sound?
  1. bass The range of frequencies below 160Hz, characterized by low pitch.
    • "aw" (rhymes with "paw") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 450Hz.
      • An "aw" coloration tends to emphasize and glamorize the sound of large brass instruments (trombone, tuba).
    • dark A warm, mellow, excessively rich quality in reproduced sound.
      • The audible effect of a frequency response which is clockwise-tilted across the entire range,
      • so that output diminishes with increasing frequency. Compare "light.
    • heavy Excessively bassy.
    • heft Pertains to bass which has weight, solidity, and visceral power.
    • honky Pertaining to a severe "aw" coloration.
    • hooty
      • Pertaining to a severe "ooo" coloration.
      • Resonant colorations may cause some lower-midrange notes to jump forward or "hoot" at the listener
    • horn sound An "aw" coloration
      • characteristic of many loudspeakers that have a horn-loaded midrange
    • hum A continuous 60Hz or 120Hz noise,
      • caused by leakage of the household AC supply or
      • its second harmonic into the signal path.
    • hump A broad frequency-response peak.
    • humped Sound that is forward, soft, and lean.
      • The apparent listening distance is up-front and immediate,
      • yet the overall sound is dull and thin.
      • Caused by a broad midrange rise with
      • rolled-off lower and upper ranges. Compare "dished."
    • lean Very slightly bass-shy.
      • The effect of a very slight bass rolloff below around 500Hz.
      • Not quite "cool."
    • light Lean and tipped-up.
      • The audible effect of a frequency response which is tilted counterclockwise. Compare “dark."
    • loose Pertains to bass which is ill-defined and poorly controlled. Woolly.
    • lumpy Reproduced sound characterized by a number of audible response discontinuities through the
      • range below about 1kHz.
      • Certain frequency bands seem to predominate, while others sound weak.
    • lush Rich-sounding and sumptuous to the point of wretched excess.
    • "oh" (as in "toe") A vowel coloration caused by a broad frequency-response peak centered around 250Hz.
    • one-note bass The exaggeration of a single bass note,
      • due to a sharp LF peak,
      • normally due to an underdamped woofer but
      • also caused by room resonances.
    • "oo" (as in "gloom") A vowel coloration caused by a broad frequency-response peak centered around 120Hz.
    • power range The frequency range about 200-500Hz that affects the reproduction of the power instruments of an orchestra—
      • the brass instruments.
    • thick Describes sodden or heavy bass.
    • thin Very deficient in bass.
      • The result of severe attenuation of the range below 500Hz.
    • tight
      • Bass reproduction that is well controlled, free from hangover, not slow.
      • Stereo imaging that is specific, stable, and of the correct width.
      • Describes a closely bunched image in A+B double-mono mode that occupies a very narrow space between the loudspeakers.
    • warm The same as dark, but less tilted. A certain amount of warmth is a normal part of musical sound.
    • weight
      • The feeling of solidity and foundation contributed to music by extended, natural bass reproduction.
      • The emphasis assigned to a subjective term by a qualifier.
    • woolly Pertains to loose, ill-defined bass.
    • zippy A slight top-octave emphasis. See "toppy."
  2. low bass The range from 20-40Hz.
  3. deep bass Frequencies below 40Hz.
  4. midbass The range of frequencies from 40-80Hz.
  5. upper bass The range of frequencies from 80-160Hz.
  6. low frequency Any frequency lower than 160Hz.
  7. lower middles, lower midrange The range of frequencies from 160-320Hz.
    1. forward, forwardness A quality of reproduction which seems to
      • place sound sources closer than they were recorded.
      • Usually the result of a humped midrange,
        • plus a narrow horizontal dispersion pattern from the loudspeaker.
        • See "Row-A sound." Compare "laid-back."
  8. middles, midrange The range of frequencies from 160-1300Hz.
  9. upper middles, upper midrange The range of frequencies from 650-1300Hz.
  10. treble The frequency range above 1.3kHz.
    • aggressive Reproduced sound that is excessively forward and bright.
      • "ah" (rhymes with "rah") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 1000Hz.
    • airy Pertaining to treble which sounds light, delicate, open, and seemingly unrestricted in upper extension.
      • A quality of reproducing systems having very smooth and very extended HF response.
    • bright, brilliant The most often misused terms in audio, these describe the
      • degree to which reproduced sound has a hard, crisp edge to it.
      • Brightness relates to the energy content in the 4kHz-8kHz band.
        • It is not related to output in the extreme-high-frequency range.
        • All live sound has brightness; it is a problem only when it is excessive.
    • crisp In reproduced sound: sharply focused and detailed,
      • sometimes excessively so because of a peak in the mid-treble region.
    • "ee" (rhymes with "we") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 3.5kHz.
    • "eh" (as in "bed") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 2kHz.
    • hard Tending toward steeliness, but not quite shrill.
      • Often the result of a moderate frequency-response hump centered around 6kHz,
      • sometimes also caused by small amounts of distortion.
    • hot Very tipped-up high frequencies.
    • "ih" (as in "bit") A vowel coloration caused by a frequency-response peak centered around 3.5kHz.
    • muffled Very dull-sounding; having no apparent high frequencies at all.
      • The result of HF rolloff above about 2kHz.
    • nasal Reproduced sound having the quality of a person speaking with his/her nose blocked.
      • Like the vowel "eh" coloration.
      • In a loudspeaker, often due to a measured peak in the upper midrange followed by a complementary dip.
    • pinched
      • Very cold, with a
      • "nyeah" coloration.
      • Pertaining to soundstaging: Laterally compressed and lacking in spaciousness.
    • presence range The lower-treble part of the audio spectrum,
      • approximately 1-3kHz, which contributes to presence in reproduced sound.
    • sheen A rich-sounding overlay of velvety-smooth airiness or guttiness.
      • A quality of outstanding HF smoothness and ease.
    • sibilance A coloration that resembles or exaggerates the vocal s-sound.
    • silky Pertains to treble performance that is velvety-smooth, delicate, and open.
    • silvery Sound that is slightly hard or steely, but clean.
    • sizzly Emphasis of the frequency range above about 8kHz,
      • which adds sibilance to all sounds,
      • particularly those of cymbals and vocal esses (sibilants).
    • spitty An edgy "ts" coloration which
      • exaggerates musical overtones and
      • sibilants as well as LP surface noise.
      • Usually the result of a sharp response peak in the upper treble range.
    • steely Shrill. Like "hard," but more so.
    • tick A high-pitched pulse characterized by a very sharp attack
      • followed by a short "i" vowel sound.
      • The most common background noise from analog discs.
    • tizzy A "zz" or "ff" coloration of the sound of cymbals and vocal sibilants, caused by a
      • rising frequency response above 10kHz.
      • Similar to "wiry," but at a higher frequency
    • vowel coloration A form of
      • midrange or low-treble coloration which impresses
      • upon all program material a tonal "flavor" resembling a vowel in speech.
    • wiry Having an
      • edgy or distorted high end,
      • similar to the "tish" of brushed cymbals,
      • but coloring all sounds reproduced by the system.
  11. lower highs The range of frequencies from 1.3 to 2.6kHz.
  12. middle highs The range of frequencies from 2.6 to 5kHz.
  13. upper highs, upper treble The range of frequencies from 10-20kHz.

I have an AV receiver with sophisticated DSP processing. I never found it made a significant difference. I am more likely to fool myself, by forgetting about some obscure setting.

My guess is DSP-based crossover wins, by a slight margin, given the lack of information available to me.

What's your opinion of the Dynaudio Xeo 10?

I listen in near-field, three to six feet away. I listen to acoustic music (jazz, classical) at low volumes, in small spaces. My tiny AudioEngine A3 with two REL subwoofers works awesome for my desk purposes. I would like speakers for my bedroom. The A3 sounds very different at three feet, than at twice the distance.
 
Last edited:

YSC

Major Contributor
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952
I personally think you do too much assumptions and guessworks here, to be simple, why don’t you get a measurement mic to do some in room calibration to counter your room modes? The train horn is annoying but hey, it don’t sound continuously at constant frequency, so no point to really do some EQ to cancel that out! Especially when you are listening to music, not constant single tone, so the best you can do is either get a dsp speaker and tune using built in dsp, or use your RME dac and do the listening position measurement and EQ according to that to your room
 
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mel

Senior Member
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Jun 13, 2021
Messages
411
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I personally think you do too much assumptions and guessworks here, to be simple, why don’t you get a measurement mic to do some in room calibration to counter your room modes? The train horn is annoying but hey, it don’t sound continuously at constant frequency, so no point to really do some EQ to cancel that out! Especially when you are listening to music, not constant single tone, so the best you can do is either get a dsp speaker and tune using built in dsp, or use your RME dac and do the listening position measurement and EQ according to that to your room

Getting a microphone is a good idea.

I only have speakers at my desk, which suffices, because I spend most of my time at my desk. Almost all of my listening is in the background. I am not like an audiophile, who "actively listens" to music.

I am considering buying speakers for my bedroom, but the added value is questionable. I usually fall asleep as soon as I lay down.

My interest in audio is primarily learning about the technology. This is a way to motivate myself to learn the details. I can't quite convince myself that spending thousands on speakers to "listen" to music in my bedroom is something that is worth the cost. I almost always fall asleep quickly.

A big problem is actually realizing the difference in sound from specifications or reviews. Spending over 15 minutes in any store is unappealing to me, despite vaccination. 15 minutes is certainly not enough time to compare speakers. My tiny A3s and subwoofers sound amazing to me when connected to Tidal "Master" lossless quality through the RME DAC.

This is partly an exercise to train myself to hear more deeply into the music, too. I find when I can articulate what I hear, that I hear more deeply into the music. It also applies to my bike rides, too. I like to hear ambient sounds, like flowing water, birds, wind, bike, trains and other natural sounds.

I can very accurately gauge my bike speed above 12mph, at 3 mph increments, by the sound of wind. Wind makes a "woosh" sound. Articulating the sound at different speeds is fun for me. I am not exactly sure what I hear. Loudness, certainly. But also different nonsense syllables (not nonwords). Some vowels or consonants become more prominent at different wind speeds. Sound carries more information than just tone, for example spatiotemporal (where, when, etc...) information. Much of that information is unaccessible to the conscious mind. The sound information is locked up in specific regions of the brain. Some music memory regions are explicit or conscious. The trick is moving that information from implicit to explicit memory. The regions are near the neural networks that process speech.

Nonsense syllables can vary in structure. The most used are the so-called CVC syllables, composed of a consonant, a vowel, and a consonant. These have the advantage that nearly all are pronounceable, that is, they fit the phonotactics of any language that uses closed syllables, such as English and German. They are often described as "CVC trigrams", reflecting their three-letter structure. Obviously many other structures are possible, and can be described on the same principles, e.g. VC, VCV, CVCV. But the CVC trigrams have been studied most intensively; for example, Glaze determined association values for 2019 of them.[16]

The term nonsense syllable is widely used to describe non-lexical vocables used in music, most notably in scat singing but also in many other forms of vocal music. Although such usages do not invoke the technical issues about structure and associability that are of concern in psychology, the essential meaning of the term is the same.

In vocal jazz, scat singing is vocal improvisation with wordless vocables, nonsense syllables or without words at all.[2][3] In scat singing, the singer improvises melodies and rhythms using the voice as an instrument rather than a speaking medium.

Use in hip hop[edit]
Many hip hop artists and rappers use scat singing to come up with the rhythms of their raps.[38] Tajai of the group Souls of Mischief states the following in the book How to Rap: "Sometimes my rhythms come from scatting. I usually make a scat kind of skeleton and then fill in the words. I make a skeleton of the flow first, and then I put words into it."[38] The group Lifesavas describe a similar process.[38] Rapper Tech N9ne has been recorded demonstrating exactly how this method works,[39] and gangsta rapper Eazy-E uses it extensively in his song "Eazy Street."

The deliberate choice of scat syllables is also a key element in vocal jazz improvisation. Syllable choice influences the pitch articulation, coloration, and resonance of the performance.[5] Syllable choice also differentiated jazz singers' personal styles: Betty Carter was inclined to use sounds like "louie-ooie-la-la-la" (soft-tongued sounds or liquids) while Sarah Vaughan would prefer "shoo-doo-shoo-bee-ooo-bee" (fricatives, plosives, and open vowels).[6] The choice of scat syllables can also be used to reflect the sounds of different instruments. The comparison of the scatting styles of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan reveals that Fitzgerald's improvisation mimics[a] the sounds of swing-era big bands with which she performed, while Vaughan's mimicshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scat_singing#cite_note-Vaughan-11 that of her accompanying bop-era small combos.[10]

Vocal bass[edit]
Vocal bass is a form of scat singing that is intended to vocally simulate instrumental basslines that are typically performed by bass players. A technique most commonly used by bass singers in a cappella groups is to simulate an instrumental rhythm section, often alongside a vocal percussionist or beatboxer. Some notable vocal bass artists are Tim Foust, Adam Chance, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Reggie Watts, Alvin Chea, Joe Santoni, Avi Kaplan, Scott Hoying, Matt Sallee and Geoff Castellucci.

The point I am getting at is:


    • What sounds does DSP enable me to hear, that passive and active analog crossovers do not? Alternatively, are the differences subliminal and imperceptible to the untrained ear?
      • One answer is expressed as colorations at specific frequency ranges.
      • We do know that passive crossovers filter frequencies by converting sound energy to heat.
        • That must be a very inefficient loss of sound information, because it can amount to 40% of the amplification.
      • We do know that temperatures radically change inductance in crossovers and voice coils, which has an obviously very undesirable effect on music, under certain conditions.
        • I suspect a loss of detail and transparency, at least in the case of Navis ARB-51.
        • I don't know if the noise is within human hearing range.
      • Once these properties are made explicit, I can both measure with instruments and test using standardized music and my ears.

The wind itself generates sound. The typical background sound level in a 20 – 25 mph wind is 50dB.

In the course of our daily lives, we commonly encounter sounds in the 40 – 90 dB range. Distributed wind turbines might add 1 – 3 dB to existing background sound under normal conditions, or less than a residential air conditioner. It is more appropriate to think of noise as “unwanted” sound than “excessive” sound. “Noise” is typically perceived of as being offensive, but sound is what we measure and sound is not necessarily or always offensive. “Noise” is a subset of sound, but sound is not necessarily noise.

https://distributedwind.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/DWEA_Sound.pdf




 
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mel

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I can make at least one case for DSP.

I played some ancient (think 78RPM) Louie Armstrong recordings that contained prominent static. I was able to tone down the static slightly. I connected my RME DAC to my AV pre-amp to simulate a DSP speaker, like KEF LS-50W.

I filtered the input through various DSP programs. I couldn't entirely mask the static. However, I could subtly color the music. Some DSP programs made the recording sound significantly less scratchy. Equalizing the speakers was a significant improvement. The recording still sounds like mono through two speakers.

Some DSP programs actually make Armstrong's voice sound different. Horns and other wind instruments don't sound bad. DSP helps the piano sound much better. The piano sounds less out of tune and clangy. The guitar sounds bad. DSP seems to help stringed instruments the most.

The very old New Orleans music is very engaging. Must have been great fun in New Orleans one hundred years ago. The music sounds like an outrageous party.
 
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YSC

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Getting a microphone is a good idea.

I only have speakers at my desk, which suffices, because I spend most of my time at my desk. Almost all of my listening is in the background. I am not like an audiophile, who "actively listens" to music.

I am considering buying speakers for my bedroom, but the added value is questionable. I usually fall asleep as soon as I lay down.

My interest in audio is primarily learning about the technology. This is a way to motivate myself to learn the details. I can't quite convince myself that spending thousands on speakers to "listen" to music in my bedroom is something that is worth the cost. I almost always fall asleep quickly.

A big problem is actually realizing the difference in sound from specifications or reviews. Spending over 15 minutes in any store is unappealing to me, despite vaccination. 15 minutes is certainly not enough time to compare speakers. My tiny A3s and subwoofers sound amazing to me when connected to Tidal "Master" lossless quality through the RME DAC.

This is partly an exercise to train myself to hear more deeply into the music, too. I find when I can articulate what I hear, that I hear more deeply into the music. It also applies to my bike rides, too. I like to hear ambient sounds, like flowing water, birds, wind, bike, trains and other natural sounds.

I can very accurately gauge my bike speed above 12mph, at 3 mph increments, by the sound of wind. Wind makes a "woosh" sound. Articulating the sound at different speeds is fun for me. I am not exactly sure what I hear. Loudness, certainly. But also different nonsense syllables (not nonwords). Some vowels or consonants become more prominent at different wind speeds. Sound carries more information than just tone, for example spatiotemporal (where, when, etc...) information. Much of that information is unaccessible to the conscious mind. The sound information is locked up in specific regions of the brain. Some music memory regions are explicit or conscious. The trick is moving that information from implicit to explicit memory. The regions are near the neural networks that process speech.



The point I am getting at is:


    • What sounds does DSP enable me to hear, that passive and active analog crossovers do not? Alternatively, are the differences subliminal and imperceptible to the untrained ear?
      • One answer is expressed as colorations at specific frequency ranges.
      • We do know that passive crossovers filter frequencies by converting sound energy to heat.
        • That must be a very inefficient loss of sound information, because it can amount to 40% of the amplification.
      • We do know that temperatures radically change inductance in crossovers and voice coils, which has an obviously very undesirable effect on music, under certain conditions.
        • I suspect a loss of detail and transparency, at least in the case of Navis ARB-51.
        • I don't know if the noise is within human hearing range.
      • Once these properties are made explicit, I can both measure with instruments and test using standardized music and my ears.
One thing I do really noticed in my short trip on playing around my own genelec with dip switches engaged, set aside all the technical assumptions you’ve listed or listening experience in store, the room mode plays a way more significant Effect, example being only using the desktop 150hz notch filter on my desk as computer speaker, without using that the very flat measuring 8030C sounded very boom box and muddy, with only that one to counteract the desktop reflection makes a huge effect! So no, as you’re not keep pouring current to blew up your ears and speakers you’re likely not letting the crossovers to make any sort of heat change induced effects, much like stating a car engine in a race car can get as hot as x degrees but in road you won’t remotely approaching that..

If you are likely walking around for casual listening you’d be better off to be buying coaxial like KEFs or even active 360 degrees like apple HomePod with its adaptive dsp in room, these sort of point source don’t require as precise acoustic center location as normal 2 or 3 way speakers, trust me in your use case of you randomly put a speaker you will have a much higher change in sound by walk sideways for 1m or even standing vs sitting down than the difference the cross over or voice coil could make from room temperature to almost melting
 
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mel

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One thing I do really noticed in my short trip on playing around my own genelec with dip switches engaged, set aside all the technical assumptions you’ve listed or listening experience in store, the room mode plays a way more significant Effect, example being only using the desktop 150hz notch filter on my desk as computer speaker, without using that the very flat measuring 8030C sounded very boom box and muddy, with only that one to counteract the desktop reflection makes a huge effect! So no, as you’re not keep pouring current to blew up your ears and speakers you’re likely not letting the crossovers to make any sort of heat change induced effects, much like stating a car engine in a race car can get as hot as x degrees but in road you won’t remotely approaching that..

If you are likely walking around for casual listening you’d be better off to be buying coaxial like KEFs or even active 360 degrees like apple HomePod with its adaptive dsp in room, these sort of point source don’t require as precise acoustic center location as normal 2 or 3 way speakers, trust me in your use case of you randomly put a speaker you will have a much higher change in sound by walk sideways for 1m or even standing vs sitting down than the difference the cross over or voice coil could make from room temperature to almost melting

Would you recommend an active speaker more like the Navis ARB-51 or KEF LS-50W for my purposes? I am more interested in the design differences, rather than the specific model. I listen to acoustic music (jazz, classical) at low volumes, in near field. By near field, I mean three to six foot distances in small spaces.

You have a good point about something like the HomePod, but they lack a RCA subwoofer output.

I connected my RME DAC to a lowly 21" soundbar in my small bedroom. My bedroom has cubed dimensions like a subwoofer, which are great dimensions to maximize resonance. The soundbar seemed sized appropriately for the room, but the soundbar did not sound clear enough.

Active speakers seem to project much greater sound for their size, than passives. Getting the proportions right for active versus passive requires a mental recalibration.

My AudioEngine A3s are tiny. I can almost palm one A3 with one hand. The RCA output jack makes an enormous difference for the A3s. I have two small REL T/Zero Mark III subwoofers, which make a profound sound difference.

The major drawback about the A3s is that they sound quite different at three feet, than at twice the distance.

I like to verbalize sounds in nature or music with pseudowords, like jazz scat singing. I hear deeper into the sound by articulating the sound.
Nonsense syllables can vary in structure. The most used are the so-called CVC syllables, composed of a consonant, a vowel, and a consonant.

Although my intent is not audiophile listening, I do insist on some degree of music intelligibility. My requirements are a clear separation of melody, rhythm and harmony. Specifically, I am referring to the cocktail party effect.

The cocktail party effect is the phenomenon of the brain's ability to focus one's auditory attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, as when a partygoer can focus on a single conversation in a noisy room.[1][2] Listeners have the ability to both segregate different stimuli into different streams, and subsequently decide which streams are most pertinent to them. Thus, it has been proposed that one's sensory memorysubconsciously parses all stimuli and identifies discrete pieces of information by classifying them by salience.[3] This effect is what allows most people to "tune into" a single voice and "tune out" all others. This phenomenon is often described in terms of "selective attention" or "selective hearing". It may also describe a similar phenomenon that occurs when one may immediately detect words of importance originating from unattended stimuli, for instance hearing one's name among a wide range of auditory input.[4][5]
...
The earliest work in exploring mechanisms of early selective attention was performed by Donald Broadbent, who proposed a theory that came to be known as the filter model.[22] This model was established using the dichotic listening task. His research showed that most participants were accurate in recalling information that they actively attended to, but were far less accurate in recalling information that they had not attended to. This led Broadbent to the conclusion that there must be a "filter" mechanism in the brain that could block out information that was not selectively attended to. The filter model was hypothesized to work in the following way: as information enters the brain through sensory organs (in this case, the ears) it is stored in sensory memory, a buffer memory system that hosts an incoming stream of information long enough for us to pay attention to it.[13] Before information is processed further, the filter mechanism allows only attended information to pass through. The selected attention is then passed into working memory, the set of mechanisms that underlies short-term memoryand communicates with long-term memory.[13] In this model, auditory information can be selectively attended to on the basis of its physical characteristics, such as location and volume.[22][23][24] Others suggest that information can be attended to on the basis of Gestalt features, including continuity and closure.[25] For Broadbent, this explained the mechanism by which people can choose to attend to only one source of information at a time while excluding others. However, Broadbent's model failed to account for the observation that words of semantic importance, for example the individual's own name, can be instantly attended to despite having been in an unattended channel.

Perhaps, my main issue with active or DSP speakers is not hardware functionality. My main issue seems to be the UI does not expose enough of the hardware functionality. The power is bottled up in all-in-one simplicity. I do not devote a great deal of conscious attention to music, but rather listen to music as a cocktail-effect. Music plays constantly so I want a high degree of precision to suit my unconscious, cocktail-effect enjoyment.

My RME DAC exposes quite a bit of DSP-like functionality. Perhaps, all I need is a speaker design like Navis ARB-51, rather than KEF LS-50W?
 
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YSC

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Would you recommend an active speaker more like the Navis ARB-51 or KEF LS-50W for my purposes? I am more interested in the design differences, rather than the specific model. I listen to acoustic music (jazz, classical) at low volumes, in near field. By near field, I mean three to six foot distances in small spaces.

You have a good point about something like the HomePod. I connected my RME DAC to a lowly 21" soundbar in my small bedroom, with cubed dimensions like a subwoofer. The soundbar seemed sized appropriately for the room, but it did not sound great.

Active speakers seem to project much greater sound for their size, than passives. Getting the proportions right for active versus passive requires a mental recalibration.

My AudioEngine A3s are tiny. I can almost palm one A3 with one hand. The RCA output jack makes an enormous difference for the A3s. I have two small REL T/Zero Mark III subwoofers, which make a profound sound difference.

The major drawback about the A3s is that they sound quite different at three feet, than at twice the distance.
Sorry that I am not remotely at the level of answering in any technical means, I am not even science major in college ;)

but long story short, I do think EQ isn’t the answer to your goal, any cheap processor nowadays should be way more powerful than enough for audio EQ, but for harshness or mono recording it comes from the technology used at the time of recording and all sort of information loss or noise can’t be removed by any post processing or guesswork. It’s much like asking how many processing power will be needed to recreate the real look and skin tone Mona Lisa from the painting
 

voodooless

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Why would a crappy record by a good baseline? DSP is for X-over and room correction, not te fix a
broken record. If you want it fixed, record it, load it into some audio software, and fix the issues.
 

Ultrasonic

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DSP use for two rather different things may be being conflated in this thread I think. EQ to tailor the sound to taste is unrelated to using DSP to provide a crossover in an active speaker design.

DSP to provide EQ that compensates for room resonances in the bass region can make a huge and very obvious difference/improvement to sound quality. How obvious the changes are for EQ in general will depend on how significant the changes are.

If part of your question is to try to understand the use of digital active crossovers compared to analogue then one advantage of the former is that it's easier to produce higher order filters which minimise the frequency range of the crossover region. For people making speakers another advantage is that it's very easy to make adjustments to optimise the performance, as opposed to having to make component changes in an analogue crossover.
 
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RoA

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Indeed. If you go active with DSP make sure that not only tone controls but also a decent Room Correction system is built in. It can go a long way towards preventing a lot of scratching head.
 
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