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Worst measuring loudspeaker?

thewas

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You would think they could find a competent designer. Maybe the new one works cheap.
Joking aside of course they could hire some competent designers and am sure they have some but their market success shows that different sounding loudspeakers sell well in the degenerated high end audio market. I can imagine the disappointment of the target audience when they compare them to a good Revel, KEF, Canton, etc. and they would sound so similar.
 
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PKAudio

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That may be, but it's awful above 1kHz, too.
Yes, I agree, I just suggest that those measurements are not comparable so one has to be careful.... It is similar to Stereophile measurements in bass region where they do not apply bafflestep to NF measurement and just do hard stitching, which creates large error depending on baffle width and woofer arrangement..
 

thewas

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Are the Nautilus a flagship, I feel they are more of a conversation piece , not unlike KEF’s ‘Muon’.
Keith
From their status they are still the top in the hierarchy which can be seen when visiting their website

1698232940878.png


which is impressive considering they are now 30 years old.

I agree though that these and the Muons are mainly status flagships, there is a difference though between them, the Nautilus still measures better than the newer B&Ws while the Muon is more a design flagship which didn't measure as well as the Blades and didn't also get a Meta upgrade.
 
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fpitas

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I could not stand looking at those as I listen. Obviously I am not the target demographic.
 

garyrc

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Rather that the one of the main designers of their good old loudspeakers (Lawernce Dickie) left B&W in the 90s (after he luckily designed also the Nautilus which is after 30 years still the B&W flagship) and made his own company with loudspeakers which measure similarly well. https://vividaudio.com/
Anechoic for Dickie designed Vivid Audio GIYA G1 Spirit; from Stereophile:
1698270203670.jpeg
In Room:
1698270295473.jpeg

Fig.5 Vivid Giya G1 Spirit (red) and MartinLogan Masterpiece Renaissance ESL 15A with Anthem Room Correction (blue); spatially averaged, 1/6-octave response in JI's listening room. Again, from Stereophile.

Atikinson's comment: Allowing for the difference in level of the two plots, the two speakers offer a very similar balance at the listening position from the middle of the midrange through to 14kHz or so. Above that frequency, the panel speaker offers a little more output. The Vivids have a slight lack of midrange energy where the MartinLogans had an excess, but there is then a large peak in the upper bass and a generally high level in the mid- and low-bass regions, extending down to below 20Hz. Jon's room is definitely conducive to powerful low frequencies! As the blue trace in this graph shows, the 'Logans' built-in ARC allowed their low-frequency output to be brought into a much better balance with the mids compared with the uncorrected Vivids. But when I listened to the Spirits in Jon's room, playing familiar recordings, the extended, powerful low frequencies were not accompanied by boom or blurring, just added magnificence. The sweetness of the speaker's balance, especially when played loudly, was very appealing. One thing I should note: The responses at the listening position of the left and right Vivids were very closely matched, with a difference in level of no more than 1dB between 100Hz and 9kHz.
 
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thewas

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Anechoic for Dickie designed Vivid Audio GIYA G1 Spirit; from Stereophile:View attachment 321197In Room:View attachment 321199
Fig.5 Vivid Giya G1 Spirit (red) and MartinLogan Masterpiece Renaissance ESL 15A with Anthem Room Correction (blue); spatially averaged, 1/6-octave response in JI's listening room. Again, from Stereophile.

Atikinson's comment: Allowing for the difference in level of the two plots, the two speakers offer a very similar balance at the listening position from the middle of the midrange through to 14kHz or so. Above that frequency, the panel speaker offers a little more output. The Vivids have a slight lack of midrange energy where the MartinLogans had an excess, but there is then a large peak in the upper bass and a generally high level in the mid- and low-bass regions, extending down to below 20Hz. Jon's room is definitely conducive to powerful low frequencies! As the blue trace in this graph shows, the 'Logans' built-in ARC allowed their low-frequency output to be brought into a much better balance with the mids compared with the uncorrected Vivids. But when I listened to the Spirits in Jon's room, playing familiar recordings, the extended, powerful low frequencies were not accompanied by boom or blurring, just added magnificence. The sweetness of the speaker's balance, especially when played loudly, was very appealing. One thing I should note: The responses at the listening position of the left and right Vivids were very closely matched, with a difference in level of no more than 1dB between 100Hz and 9kHz.
Unfortunately there wasn't a full set of anechoic measurements performed at that Stereophile review but as some later reviewed ones which show their decent engineering:

120vivid.VivK45fig3.jpg

120vivid.VivK45fig5.jpg

Source: https://www.stereophile.com/content/vivid-kaya-45-loudspeaker-measurements

322vivd.VivS12fig3.jpg

322vivd.VivS12fig4.jpg

Source: https://www.stereophile.com/content/vivid-kaya-s12-loudspeaker-measurements
 
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benanders

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I could not stand looking at those as I listen. Obviously I am not the target demographic.

That comment exemplifies [one side of sentimentality’s range] why current speaker measurements will remain conflicted in real world applications.

Only when the day comes that physical speakers are (1) just swanky optional “skins” to select independently and pair with whichever sound someone wants in-situ or (2) invisible, will analyses of measurements x blind listening test results mean as much as they should for speaker selection.

Once many ( most? ) folks are looking at a given set of speakers, they simply won’t sound the same as were they visually “ideal” or invisible, be that for better or worse!
Can’t help being human, whether more or less. :)

This has me thinking to maybe drum up a related survey…
 

mwmkravchenko

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1698287067565.png


Imported via Vituix and scaled as we would normally scale our measurements. A little more flat, but for this being a flagship loudspeaker this is kind of sad. Midrange and top end is way to hot. A trained ear will hear the notch around 600 hertz. It is too broad covering nearly half an octave and in the range of voice and most midrange and even midbass instruments.
 
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thewas

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B&W 801 ‘signature’ £45k,
View attachment 321076


Keith
It make me sad to see the original low budget Wharfedale Diamond from 1981 costing probably closer to £45 measured by the same magazine flatter:

518wharfdalevintage.response.jpg

Source: https://www.hifinews.com/content/wharfedale-diamond-speaker-lab-report
 

fpitas

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will analyses of measurements x blind listening test results mean as much as they should for speaker selection
Should they? I mean I'm all for accuracy. But if I can't stand the sight of them, they don't do me much good.
 

benanders

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…will analyses of measurements x blind listening test results mean as much as they should for speaker selection.

Should they? I mean I'm all for accuracy. But if I can't stand the sight of them, they don't do me much good.

No, they should not. The only exceptions I can conceive are if you’re
(1) blind and don’t touch your speakers ( form / tactile bias? ), or
(2) truly without opinion on the “look” of speakers, and being 100% honest.
Both of those are fundamentally non-options for sighted people.

And the trouble with double-blind test results in speaker (sound) preference? They might not hold up: the implications can be altered by listeners subsequently mating visuals with performances. That’s not the same as me saying it’s necessarily negative - confounding factors go both ways. I’m speculative that’s not independent of why flagship models, love ‘em or hate ‘em, tend to look “impressive” in one way or another.
 

fpitas

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flagship models, love ‘em or hate ‘em, tend to look “impressive” in one way or another.
Well, sure. It's a market where you're paying for conspicuous consumption, so they better look expensive. The counterpoint to that is the pro market, where even the expensive ones just look utilitarian.
 

benanders

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Well, sure. It's a market where you're paying for conspicuous consumption, so they better look expensive. The counterpoint to that is the pro market, where even the expensive ones just look utilitarian.

Well, sure. Because the pro-audio examples, even the expensive ones, are utilitarian. ;)
I agree it’s no coincidence that the principle of “form-fits-function” also applies to personal / in-home audio.
But design for eclectic visual preference is harder to nail than design for durability, and there don’t seem to be industry-level metrics on visual preference at any meaningful scale, which is curious.
“Why don’t they care what we care what speakers look like…?” It could be measured, and perhaps it has been, on limited scales. I wonder how well the Nautilus would measure on that scale, even if you weighted results for annual income etc.
 

fpitas

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Well, sure. Because the pro-audio examples, even the expensive ones, are utilitarian. ;)
I agree it’s no coincidence that the principle of “form-fits-function” also applies to personal / in-home audio.
But design for eclectic visual preference is harder to nail than design for durability, and there don’t seem to be industry-level metrics on visual preference at any meaningful scale, which is curious.
“Why don’t they care what we care what speakers look like…?” It could be measured, and perhaps it has been, on limited scales. I wonder how well the Nautilus would measure on that scale, even if you weighted results for annual income etc.
I'm not sure how to measure a thing like that. That gets so deep into aesthetic preference. Maybe if I stared at the Nautilus long enough I could pretend I had a large pet snail :D
 

fpitas

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thewas

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B&W 801 ‘signature’ £45k,
View attachment 321076


Keith
Some more angles measured here:

74295-bowers-and-wilkins-801d4signature-lab1.jpg

Source and more measurements: https://audio.com.pl/testy/stereo/kolumny-glosnikowe/3780-bowers-wilkins-801-d4-signature#laboratory
 
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fpitas

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Martin Logan ‘motion’ courtesy of Hi-Fi News, £1400, not so bad I suppose, not outrageously expensive …
IMG_3228.jpeg


Keith
 
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