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Worst measuring loudspeaker?

Purité Audio

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Frank Dernie

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The worst I have seen are some "cute" CNC machined from plywood speakers designed by a non-engineer "by ear".
The name escapes me but they got a good review in HiFi News despite the appalling FR and I heard a pair at Scalford and was not horrified by what I heard!
Horns and panel speakers always show loads of resonance-like ripples in the FR in single microphone type measurements. Whether they are real or an artefact of the measurement method I don't know but since I have much enjoyed several panels and horns I suspect it may well be, although I may just be cloth eared.
 
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Purité Audio

Purité Audio

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Zu, are up there, DeVore and Audio Note UK too, anything that thrums, single driver with a whizzer cone of course.
Horns needn’t be that bad but when they are...
Were those small speakers you heard at Scalford Boenickes?
The most in sensitive loudspeakers ever measured by Sound Stage?
Keith
 
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Purité Audio

Purité Audio

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Thanks J , JA don’t measure distortion does he,


I didn’t make this measurement , the speakers are sensitive and efficient.
Keith
 
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Purité Audio

Purité Audio

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I suppose my question is, what are the factors/difficulties in producing distortion measurements for loudspeakers?
The microphones own distortion, the types of distortion, IMD perhaps more important than THD?
Are there any figures for audibility at various frequencies?
Keith
 

GGroch

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Great Topic....particularly now that Amir is testing speakers. My nominees have for the most part not been measured, but Amir could easily acquire one of them to test through Craigslist or Yard sales:

1. Any speaker from the 80s/90s that was originally sold with a "rack" or shelf system. Nearly all of them sounded bad...but the budget brand systems by Soundesign, Craig, or department store brands took it to a new (lower) level. Primary design considerations were use of multiple drivers (the more the better) and cabinets with woodgrain and height that matched the accompanying rack.

2. Late 70s/80s speakers that were built to be sold as house brands for unscrupulous stereo stores. Most of these were local...but Ultralinear Speakers were a national brand that flourished for a few years using this economic model. They were sold exclusively by a single dealer in each market area and most of the material cost seemed to go towards large but very thin woodgrain cabinets, and aluminum speaker trim rings. The crossovers were for the most part just tweeter caps to prevent them from destruction during the 2-3 day return period. I confess to have sold some of these during my troubled youth. The stores that sold them had ingenious ways to make them sound better than the advertised loss leader brand name products during short demo sessions. Google bait and switch.

3. White Van speakers, multiple brands include Acoustic Response and Acoustic Image. Like #2, they are designed to look impressive...but as they are generally never demoed in the sales process (and have no return option)..they could measure, I suspect, even worse.

Science almost demands tests on one of these examples to establish a baseline ;)
 
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Juhazi

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Thanks J , JA don’t measure distortion does he,


I didn’t make this measurement , the speakers are sensitive and efficient.
Keith
This measurement has too low SPL, we see only room noise. At 1m 95dB or 100dB works. There is no good standard so we need to know exact parameters. Nearfield works only for a single driver, and most mics distort at 135dB.
 
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Purité Audio

Purité Audio

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Thanks J, are there any recognised audible levels of distortion in loudspeakers?
Are there just too many variables to achieve a consensus?
Keith
 

jtwrace

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Juhazi

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Interesting that the accompanying subjective listening review rates them as almost perfect.
Yes. I have always wondered that too. Are measurements misleading or has the reviewer bad ears? However they use most wonderful adjectives and can hear differences between power cables...
 

jtwrace

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Interesting that the accompanying subjective listening review rates them as almost perfect.
I have heard them in person many times and as recent as this past weekend and I'd call them far from "perfect" as far as loudspeakers go.
 

JohnBooty

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Zu Essence give the Klipschhorns a run for their money :p
I heard some Zu Audio... Dirty Weekends, I think?... at Capital Audiofest and they were really, really bad sounding.

I think the room may have been too large for the speakers, so perhaps that exacerbated things, but oooooooof. The tonality was all wrong. It sounded like bizarre EQ was being applied. Like a kid had played around with the sliders on one of those big old 1970s 31-band equalizers.
 

jtwrace

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I heard some Zu Audio... Dirty Weekends, I think?... at Capital Audiofest and they were really, really bad sounding.

I think the room may have been too large for the speakers, so perhaps that exacerbated things, but oooooooof. The tonality was all wrong. It sounded like bizarre EQ was being applied. Like a kid had played around with the sliders on one of those big old 1970s 31-band equalizers.
I've never heard a Zu that I thought was remotely what a proper loudspeaker should sound like. Yet they have a cult following. Sean is a super nice guy though.
 
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