Development Thread: Sigberg Audio Saranna - active floorstander

Moved the Saranna to a new room, this one is around 18-20m^2. The avg level of this measurement is around 75dB, so this is basically flat to 20hz in-room.

This measurement is a stereo measurement at the listening position with zero smoothing and only one manual EQ point (reduced a peak at ~45hz with 4dB).

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Developing speakers is pretty labour intensive, and even most larger speaker companies don't have their own anechoic chamber (we certainly don't). That said, I am lucky enough to live 20 minutes drive from the Seas factory, and they DO have an anechoic chamber. So we use that extensively during our development.

In addition to that, measurements outside is another useful approach:
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Here is a groundplane measurement showing a pretty even bass response from the Saranna. The crossover to the coax is at 170hz, as one can see it's pretty seamless.
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I've also built a certainly-not-anechoic-but-still-reasonably-accurate corner in our workshop with quite a bit damping. Comparing it to measurements from Seas, it is probably around +/-2dB down to 100hz. From around 4-500hz and down to 100hz, it shows a level that is probably 1-2dB too low.

Here is the Saranna measured in that corner. The on-axis response is somewhat untidy, while at 15 degrees it is pretty okay.

On-axis:
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15 degrees:
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This week we visited the Seas Anechoic chamber for some measurements.


Also; Quick video showing excursion at relatively loud levels (averaging around 105dB@listening position). Healthy movement on the bass drivers, but perhaps more of note is the relative lack of moment of the coax, for those worried about distortion / problems related to what is essentially the waveguide of the tweeter moving back and forth.

The speaker is now essentially running in a 2.5-way configuration. The coax is allowed to roll off naturally, which it starts to do at around 200hz due to the small enclosure. To control the excursion there's also a 4th order high pass filter at 60hz.

 
Distortion measurements. Well under 1% at 96dB@1m basically everywhere except beyond 10khz and slightly over at 1500hz. The graph says 90dB at the Y-axis because this measurement is done at 2 meters.

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We're now moving on to third generation prototype, converting the speaker to a hybrid open baffle configuration. The coax (operating from around 200hz and up now has ported side walls and an enclosure that is fully open towards the rear. The hole will of course be covered in the final version, not open like in the bottom photo. :)

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We have reached the stage where I start inviting people over to listen, so that I get some independent feedback and "calibration" of my own experiences. Three people have shared their experiences publicly so far. Disclaimer: These are their subjective opinions and experience. These are also people that I know, and who are customers of Sigberg Audio already. So make of it what you will. :)

Two of these experiences were shared on a Norwegian forum where a similar thread to this one exists, the last one in a closed Sigberg Audio Enthusiast group on Facebook. I used ChatGPT to translate them + edited it a bit where the translations were weird + shortened the second that was very long. I am including a link to the original post on the two first for transparency.

Note that these are still prototypes, and will change both in appearance and probably to some extent in sound signature.

Feedback from person #1 (He refers to his own setup which is B&W 801D4+++ calibrated with Trinnov and Inkognito subwoofers):
A speaker that obviously doesn't need help from subwoofers. Very impressed with what the "young" promising Sigberg has achieved here.

In practice, it's a Manta with a built-in sub. Very open in the top, good punch in the low frequencies and mid-bass, and the midrange also seemed very well tuned. The sound was very close to my preferences. Naturally, it's a bit difficult to compare with my own setup; if I set the Trinnov here at home in bypass, the Saranna probably sounds better. It would be exciting to test these with the Trinnov Optimizer to "remove" the room. (
original post)
Feedback from person #2 (Another B&W owner, 800D3 also calibrated with Trinnov. He also has a second setup with SBS.1 + dual Inkognito):
Will there be internal competition within the portfolio? Or more accurately, who needs a sub? Because there is no lack of PUNCH here, to say the least. The bass lines hit both your hearing and your body with a really potent slam (sometimes a bit too much). It's impossible not to be impressed by the capacity. I cranked up a few tracks with some juicy synth bass tricks. These are also laid out at different frequencies throughout the song, and they hit perfectly. (Voodoo - by OZBEK/Rodez as an example).
After an hour of playing, Thorbjørn suggests closing the bass port to see what I think then.The enormous slam that set the entire construction in motion at festival level is toned down a bit. Now it plays a little closer to the setting I use at home, without saying it was wrong as it was, some people search for the purest bass transients that can be found. You get that here!

There's no problem hearing where Saranna comes from. The similarity in the presentation of sound is almost identical to its siblings. A very panoramic soundstage that stretches far beyond the "sisters'" physical placement on the floor, and the familiar depth/3D experience that is so easy to get used to. But there are differences...I possibly perceive this duo as more playful in their playing style.

The ability to reproduce the smallest details and the way it is presented with the new coax driver is quite different from what I've heard before... in a good way. At normal levels, the sound behaves silkily smooth, clear, open, and forward, and to my surprise, quite similar to how I experience it at home, or how I remember the demo in Horten with the Estelon setup worth millions.
Something very special happens when the dial is turned to the right.The silky smooth and playful playing style is still there, but now it seems to shift gears and goes into a mode similar to what you can expect capable horn rigs to perform. Dynamics and capacity are intact regardless of volume, the performance and reproduction are so convincing that at one point I thought "What the hell do I need some big 800s from B&W for, when this is AT LEAST as good" - And that's before the Trinnov is even connected.

Thanks for the demonstration, and congratulations on what will become yet another fantastic product in the portfolio. Folks! It's something to look forward to! (
original post)
Feedback from person #3 (This is a customer who currently has SBS.1 and 10D subwoofer):
Five seconds into the listening session, I had to blink, shake my head, and sit up straight, because what I was hearing gave me an experience I've never had before. Sigberg met me with his usual somewhat reserved expression as if everything was normal. My brain couldn't accept that the sound I was hearing came from speakers. My brain told me that a concentrated open point was created right in front of me in the room, from which a vocal was flowing with such clarity and separation from everything else in the room that it had to be fiction. This combined with a soundstage that was open and airy. This extreme experience came with the song "Kristoffer Robin" by Randi Oline, and at the same time set a standard for the rest of the session.

Larger B&W setups with Hegel, Krell, and other amplifiers I have experienced before have not matched this exact experience, even though the cable cost alone probably makes up a large part of the entire Saranna system. Geoff Castellucci's voice, which is said to go lower than some keyboards, gave immense listening pleasure in the song Sixteen Tons. With Saranna, you listened with both your ears and your skeleton. We tested the dynamics with, among other things, big band music. Here the system shone and showed explosive muscles combined with agility and great ability to separate the instruments. Wonderful!

After a journey through various tracks, we ended with Infected Mushroom. With that, any doubts about the capacity of these active powerhouses were eliminated. As long as you listen without ear protection in a normal living room, the pain threshold will politely ask you to lower the volume before the capacity is fully unleashed. Naturally without audible distortion or noise, in typical Sigberg style. Many thanks to Thorbjørn at Sigberg Audio for the opportunity. (original post not available as it was posted in a closed group)
 
Preliminary distortion measurements look good too. This is @2m, so 94-95dB@1m. 0.5-1% THD across the board.

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Contemplating moving the bass drivers to the rear to reduce SBIR effects (dips and cancellations) in the 100-300hz area.

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