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Why don't all speaker manufacturers design for flat on-axis and smooth off-axis?

Ron Texas

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There is actually a solution to this that Harman has used. You record the speaker in the room with binaural recording. You then play that back using headphones and compare it to listening tests of the actual room. If the two agree to high degree (which they have in Harman testing), then you can distribute the file to others who listen using the same headphone.

Harman used this to show that people in Asia do NOT have different taste in speakers than western listeners. Instead of replicating the entire setup, they just created the files and had the people overseas listen with headphones.

Other researchers use the same method in psychoacoustics research.
Isn't there some software/hardware system that does this without going through the actual speakers? In any case (I thought) with headphones you don't get the effect of things changing as one's head moves.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Isn't there some software/hardware system that does this without going through the actual speakers?
Not sure if this is what you mean but the Smyth system lets one hear the same music feed as transformed by a filter-set to sound like one of the 100 system/room/ear filters in its memory.
 
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For example, sacrificing flat frequency response on axis leads to speakers preferred by older listeners (who need high frequencies boost), budget-conscious dance music lovers (who desire low frequencies boost), and listeners preferring significantly sub-reference SPL levels (who adore smiley frequency response curves, reflecting the loudness compensation).
I don't know why people have any interest in doing EQ in the speaker. Buy a flat speaker, and then EQ it as you like. But I say this as a person who listens to a wide variety of music. In general, speakers that deviate substantially from flat response tend to do so because they have resonances and deviations that vary based on direction. Which means that not only do they sacrifice flatness, but they ALSO sacrifice the ability to easily use EQ to adjust their sound.
 

Sergei

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Sorry, not going to be much help. For one thing I'm not a car guy. I think of our cars as "the blue car, the gray car" etc. Second, I don't have that technical information on the sound system - I'm not one of you engineer-types who would keep track of that stuff. Third: "singer?" My boy likes Rap music ;-)

Not going to be helpful, but FWIW we have a Volkswagen Golf (I dunno...6 years old?), Volvo (I dunno...older...but with very nice Dynaudio soundsystem 'the upgraded package.') Also my son's Honda Civic 2018. In all cars my son will EQ to the "smiley" settings.


(Car information truly does not stick in my headl, it's not something that interests me at all. Whenever someone asks me which model car I drive, I'm honestly at a loss to remember. Can only really give the brand).

What were you getting at, with those questions?
Let's do an approximation.

According to https://www.auto-decibel-db.com/Honda_Civic_2014_1.8.html and https://www.civicx.com/threads/interior-noise-level.21426/, noise in 2018 Honda Civic measures between 67 and 70 dB at 70 MPH, depending on trim level, tires, road surface etc.

Dynamic range of modern rap appears to be in the 6 to 12 db range. That's why I asked about the favorite rap singer. Some of them put more emphasis on lyrics, and we can expect wider dynamic range, others are mostly about somehow mirroring the boom-boom vibe, and such music tends to be even more dynamically squashed.

I couldn't quickly find information about the range of bass/mid/treble adjustments of 2018 Civic's radio. It has six notches up and down (http://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/pubs/QS/AH/ATBA1818GW/enu/index.HTM#). Typically, a notch corresponds to 2 dB in Japanese factory radios, yet could be 3 dB or something different. Let's assume 2 dB. Then the adjustment range is 24 dB.

67+6+24 = 97 dB
70+12+24 = 106 dB

It appears your son is going after sound levels that excite vestibular sensors of inner ear in addition to auditory ones. I've seen this formulated either like 96/96 rule or 100/100 rule: measured SPL at a center of an electronic dance music hall ought to be higher than 100 dB at 100 Hz in order for the patrons to "feel the vibe".

Keeping the frequency response flat at such SPL for the duration of a typical car ride could result in accelerated hearing loss (https://www.shure.com/en-GB/support/find-an-answer/maximum-spl-listening-levels-and-time-limits). Younger people perceive such sound as too loud in the mid and high frequencies, which would explain why your son turns the mids down to safer levels of 73 to 82 dB.

Turning the highs up could be a reason for concern though. If the SPL goes up to about 100 dB, he may only have between one and two hours of listening before permanent hearing deterioration sets in. Relatively safe on short city trips, yet can be damaging on longer inter-city runs, especially over rough-surfaced highways and during high winds or heavy rains, which prompt turning up the volume of radio.
 

Blumlein 88

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I have recordings I made of my son practicing sax, and me playing my acoustic guitar.

Playing those recordings through my MBL speakers has fooled a few people in to thinking a real instrument was being played in the house (when listened to down the hall in another room. (It was a combination of both the clarity and nature of the sound, and also the squonky "sounds like a kid practicing saxophone" nature of the recording, no doubt).
I also bet some of it was you didn't process the heck out of the recording. The music I was playing that enticed the lady to come in was from Water Lilly acoustics which don't process their recordings.
 

MattHooper

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I also bet some of it was you didn't process the heck out of the recording. The music I was playing that enticed the lady to come in was from Water Lilly acoustics which don't process their recordings.

True!

Just a raw recording. It really does have a sense of life that most commercial recordings don't have. (And frankly, not even that great a recording, actually).
 

Sergei

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Once again no. See this recent post on why this research was funded by non-profit government funded Canadian research: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-on-axis-and-smooth-off-axis.8090/post-203005
The Web page describing the NRC Institute for Microstructural Sciences, the first entity affiliated with the study you referred to (https://www.itbusiness.ca/directory/nrc-institute-for-microstructural-sciences), says:

"The centre provides professional advice, value added support and education to maximize the success of Canadian technology companies. At affordable rates."

"Revolving door policy allows multiple companies at a time to occupy space and collaborate with researchers on the campus of Canada’s leading scientific organization. We promote and nurture emerging ICT technology companies to become independent and self-sustaining."

The second entity affiliated with the study you referred to is Canadian Audio Research Corporation. Couldn't find definitive information about it, yet "Corporation" in its name implies its for-profit nature.
That is on top of the research being peer reviewed, winning numerous awards for its authors and the papers themselves.
I don't doubt this.
Harman's belief is that by building what customers prefer in controlled testing, then their business will expand. That business by the way, has been the multi-billion dollar automotive business, no hi-fi audio although that benefits too.
What a coincidence! One of my audio projects was completely removing Mark Levinson system from a Lexus, and replacing it with a system I assembled from boutique parts. Perceived distortion level went down significantly.

The Mark Levinson system was decent, yet its tradeoff was to cram as many channels of amplification and as much fancy DSP as it was feasible at the time. Mark Levinson brand was already owned by Harman when the vehicle was made.

Good commercial decision at the time. Reviews were gloving. Sales were brisk. I remember first auditioning this system at an auto show, and being very impressed, especially with the smoothly enveloping sound field.

However, I'm one of the people highly sensitive to distortions, and could find alternatives better suiting my preferences.
As to your general comment, the assumption is that most people like ice cream. Can you find people who do not, sure. But if you are going to make something tasty for people, ice cream would be a much better bet than Durian fruit. :)
Really? Setting up a new ice cream parlor in a neighborhood already having Ben & Jerry's and other usual icy-creamy suspects doesn't strike me as a sure-bet recipe for success.

Here in San Francisco Bay Area, Boba Guys (http://www.bobaguys.com/) and other iced bubble tea vendors suppressed traditional ice cream business big time over the past decade.

Another example: fast and inexpensive Hawaiian Poke places are now doing a good job of providing an alternative to Sushi restaurants in California.

Well, not all upstarts in food space were as wildly successful. Sushirrito comes to mind (https://www.sushirrito.com/). Unlike Boba and Poke, which at some time were only available in Taiwan and Hawaii correspondingly, the idea of combining Sushi with Burrito hasn't taken the global markets by storm, initial consumer enthusiasm notwithstanding: https://www.mysanantonio.com/techno...ushi-burrito-the-mutant-food-San-10859033.php.

Speakers made by some smaller manufacturers do remind me of Sushirritos :)

1564351926782.jpeg
 

Sergei

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I don't know why people have any interest in doing EQ in the speaker. Buy a flat speaker, and then EQ it as you like. But I say this as a person who listens to a wide variety of music. In general, speakers that deviate substantially from flat response tend to do so because they have resonances and deviations that vary based on direction. Which means that not only do they sacrifice flatness, but they ALSO sacrifice the ability to easily use EQ to adjust their sound.
Precisely my point in one of earlier posts on another thread! I wasn't saying that what some of the smaller speakers manufacturers do are the only possible ways to satisfy real customer needs. I did say that there are niche needs that mainstream manufacturers choose not to address in a simple way, which creates openings for smaller companies.
 

amirm

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The second entity affiliated with the study you referred to is Canadian Audio Research Corporation.
Corporation? What corporation? It is National Research Council of Canada or NRCC. Here is their website: https://nrc.canada.ca/en#

1564357276603.png


Dr. Toole worked for NRCC. He was not going there on behalf of another company. But yes, Canadian companies were encouraged to use their services. Companies like PSB did and still do.

As to first entity, there were other authors and affiliations there. But Dr. Toole worked for NRCC.
 

Xulonn

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MZKM

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Once again no. See this recent post on why this research was funded by non-profit government funded Canadian research: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-on-axis-and-smooth-off-axis.8090/post-203005

That is on top of the research being peer reviewed, winning numerous awards for its authors and the papers themselves.

Harman's belief is that by building what customers prefer in controlled testing, then their business will expand. That business by the way, has been the multi-billion dollar automotive business, no hi-fi audio although that benefits too.

As to your general comment, the assumption is that most people like ice cream. Can you find people who do not, sure. But if you are going to make something tasty for people, ice cream would be a much better bet than Durian fruit. :)

Warning: R-rated language:

P.S. I actually like the taste of Durian fruit. It is the smell that is the problem...
I find people trying Durian hilarious due to the range of reactions and reported tastes:

 
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Once again no. See this recent post on why this research was funded by non-profit government funded Canadian research: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-on-axis-and-smooth-off-axis.8090/post-203005

That is on top of the research being peer reviewed, winning numerous awards for its authors and the papers themselves.

Harman's belief is that by building what customers prefer in controlled testing, then their business will expand. That business by the way, has been the multi-billion dollar automotive business, no hi-fi audio although that benefits too.

As to your general comment, the assumption is that most people like ice cream. Can you find people who do not, sure. But if you are going to make something tasty for people, ice cream would be a much better bet than Durian fruit. :)

Warning: R-rated language:

P.S. I actually like the taste of Durian fruit. It is the smell that is the problem...
C’mon durian doesn’t smell that bad. Try some steamed stinky tofu. There’s a place in Taipei called house of stink that makes a version that I can only describe as smelling like fermented seafev
Once again no. See this recent post on why this research was funded by non-profit government funded Canadian research: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-on-axis-and-smooth-off-axis.8090/post-203005

That is on top of the research being peer reviewed, winning numerous awards for its authors and the papers themselves.

Harman's belief is that by building what customers prefer in controlled testing, then their business will expand. That business by the way, has been the multi-billion dollar automotive business, no hi-fi audio although that benefits too.

As to your general comment, the assumption is that most people like ice cream. Can you find people who do not, sure. But if you are going to make something tasty for people, ice cream would be a much better bet than Durian fruit. :)

Warning: R-rated language:

P.S. I actually like the taste of Durian fruit. It is the smell that is the problem...
actually durian ice cream is quite excellent. :pReally, in the hierarchy of stinky foods, I’d say durian comes in pretty far below shiokara or stinky tofu, or even some of the stinkier cheeses.


And I bet in parts of the world, durian would be more popular than ice cream (certainly Southeast Asia and probably China too).

Sorry for the off topic comment, I couldn’t resist :oops:
 

amirm

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C’mon durian doesn’t smell that bad. Try some steamed stinky tofu. There’s a place in Taipei called house of stink that makes a version that I can only describe as smelling like fermented seafev
I eat just about everything but that stinky tofu is something else.... Tried to have it in Taipei but just couldn't handle it.
 
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I eat just about everything but that stinky tofu is something else.... Tried to have it in Taipei but just couldn't handle it.
Yeah I actually went to house of stink and ordered the extra smelly and just couldn’t eat more than a few bites. There was a scandal in China a couple years ago that involved people adulterating stinky tofu with rotten pig’s blood and feces and other horrible stuff. They went to prison, but the fact that they could add that and people would buy it is pretty amazing.
 
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Just for the fun of it: I have reached out to several speaker manufacturers recently and asked them to provide spinorama data of their speakers..... surprise... surprise... Everyone provided bunch of excuses and no data.
 

Krunok

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Just for the fun of it: I have reached out to several speaker manufacturers recently and asked them to provide spinorama data of their speakers..... surprise... surprise... Everyone provided bunch of excuses and no data.
Interesting.. Can you name them?
 
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Just for the fun of it: I have reached out to several speaker manufacturers recently and asked them to provide spinorama data of their speakers..... surprise... surprise... Everyone provided bunch of excuses and no data.
Most manufacturers don't have spinorama data. "Spinorama" is the nickname of a particular measurement setup owned by Harman Corporation. (JBL, Infinity and Revel)
 

amirm

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