In search of my last great loudspeaker

microstrip

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Absolutely correct. Woofer placement behind the mains require compensation for sound arrival alignment at the listener position. (...)

I am too lazy to do the calculus and I do not have SPICE at hand - does anyone know what is the typical delay introduced by the low pass filter of the woofer in a three way speaker crossing around 300 Hz?
 

ddk

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The only way to align the impulse signal is use dsp and retard the time arrival of the mains.

And there you have it! What you lose to DSP is unrecoverable...

david
 

DaveC

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Nov 16, 2014
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I am too lazy to do the calculus and I do not have SPICE at hand - does anyone know what is the typical delay introduced by the low pass filter of the woofer in a three way speaker crossing around 300 Hz?

A 24 dB filter will be the same as the wavelength as xo... so a little over a meter at 300 Hz. Half that for a 12 dB 2nd order filter.

At that frequency you may find it's not a big deal... if you can physically move the woofer relative to the mids and highs do so and see what happens... ;)
 

LL21

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You've aroused me with all the System 6000 talk Francisco ;), I have to go to the storage and bring one of the sets I have home! I can drive them with two pairs of Lamm amps, M1.1 & M2.1, they're going to ROCK!!!

david

I forgot that you owned this system! Fantastic stuff...remember reading about it years ago. Celestion SL6si were my first speakers ever...fantastic speakers they were, particularly for the price! Would love to hear the full Celestion SL600/6000 system.
 

ddk

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I forgot that you owned this system! Fantastic stuff...remember reading about it years ago. Celestion SL6si were my first speakers ever...fantastic speakers they were, particularly for the price! Would love to hear the full Celestion SL600/6000 system.

It's been a long time since I fired up the System 6000, I'm hoping to get around swapping out the JBL M9500s with Celestions in the 2nd listening room sometime at the end of next month, too much traveling ahead for now.

david
 

Ron Resnick

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. . . I know there are plenty of knowledgable audiophiles that think bass is "non-directional". Frankly, I think that's nonsense. Anyone who has been to a symphonic concert with good visualization of the stage knows this isn't the case. When you hear tympanis or low brass or a big bass drum, or an upright bass, you can point to exactly where those sounds come from. They are not "in the ether". They come from a specific locus.


. . .

I agree!

And even if we stipulate that the lowest frequencies like 20Hz are non-directional, maybe it is overtones or something on a drum whack which allow us to identify the direction from which the sound emanated. Whatever it is you can discern from where on the orchestra stage the drum whack comes.
 

JackD201

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Well, we should since the transients and formants come in large part from the midrange drivers. Long Reverb tails however...... :D

In my experience, I decide what I want the subs to do. Do I want to catch and accent the initial event or am I after integrating the hall reverberation to simulate hall size and hence instrument scaling? Since I feel the main array does a good enough job with the former on all types of music, I tend to lean towards the latter hall/instrument space/scale thing. The result is typically achieved by running my subs close to or at 180 degree phase. Smoothing the transition has never really been an issue for me as I worked with actives in pro land for decades. Second nature at this point.
 

Folsom

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Vinyl is commonly mono bass. The range of cut of varies from 60-200hz. But that information doesnt help you locate the bass producing instruments anyway. Higher frequencies describe the location. So yes, low frequencies are still generally non-directional themselves.

Absolutely correct. Woofer placement behind the mains require compensation for sound arrival alignment at the listener position. The use of a phase control can effectively align phase response but the fact remains that the sub will always be delayed by at least a half cycle from the leading impulse signal from the mains. The only way to align the impulse signal is use dsp and retard the time arrival of the mains. These are uncontested facts. Barry Ober from JL Audio and others have discussed this ad nauseum. However David is correct that "at the end of the day (uh, how about the beginning of the day also?), it's only about good sound and not measurements". Barry would agree and feels that even without dsp, you can get very satisfactory sound with a good phase alignment control for the woofer. If this is done well, the slight offset in the impulse wave between sub and mains will not sonically detrimental to most listeners. Here once again, perfect can be the enemy of good. Many, if not most, audiophiles who use subwoofers do not use dsp and find their sound to be sonically pleasing with judicious set-up of their subs.

While the time alignment may be off, can we even hear it? Depending on the distance the answer can be yes or no. But for the average listening room? No. You will hear peaks & nodes if they are bad, and phase if it isnt close. The delay is going to average in listening rooms to a few miliseconds in a very long bass frequency. It isn't like midrange reflections that appear late so easily, that are much much shorter.

What should be noted however is the very small size of the driver to wavelength. There may be clearly audible advantages to a few feet extra distance that allow the longer wave lengths to propegate into a better pattern before reaching you - as a subwoofer is many factors worse at expelling a clean "ripple" wave form since the cone size is so small relativley.
 

caesar

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May 31, 2010
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+1111111
Best line of the entire thread thus far!

Elliot, I've had the Alexandrias for about 18 months. The title of the thread is "In search of my last great loudspeaker". Don't believe everything you read! I doubt the Alexandrias are it but they ain't too shabby and thus quite satisfactory for now. I mean honestly, there are always nits, but if you have a problem enjoying music through Wilson Alexandrias, then you really have a problem!

Marty,
Congrats on enjoying the speakers. As part of your search journey, you read reviews, show reports, and forum board opinions... You ignored the marketing BS. And you ignored the fan boys of the various brands...You visited manufacturers, owners, and dealers... And then you got the speakers into your room... and, if I am understanding correctly sounds like it's very good, but not a stairway up to heaven.

In essence, you are very experienced and have applied a very rigorous decision making process. So what are your lessons learned? What is the gap between reading about gear vs. auditioning it at someone else's house vs. auditioning at a dealer vs. setting it up and tweaking it in your own room and getting to know it? Is the target of your ideal changed along the way? Have you had good luck or bad luck?

Excellent thread. Thank you in advance and wishing best of luck in your search for excellence
 

GaryProtein

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The low bass from a woofer may well RADIATE from the driver in all directions and be non-directional but that doesn't mean you cannot locate the source.
 
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Priaptor

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I forgot that you owned this system! Fantastic stuff...remember reading about it years ago. Celestion SL6si were my first speakers ever...fantastic speakers they were, particularly for the price! Would love to hear the full Celestion SL600/6000 system.

I used to be a dealer for it. Had the whole thing with big sub. Still one of my favorites of all time. Really a seamless system with such fluidity and an amazing enclosure that I’m surprised designers aren’t using some variation of it in today’s designs.
 

LL21

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I used to be a dealer for it. Had the whole thing with big sub. Still one of my favorites of all time. Really a seamless system with such fluidity and an amazing enclosure that I’m surprised designers aren’t using some variation of it in today’s designs.

Fantastic...and do you think there are parts in the system that are in major need of replacement that are now difficult to find (like an Apogee speaker for example)...or was it really more an unusual speaker design with traditional parts? ie, crossover, woofer with cones back to back, etc

The reason of course is so that if one ever crosses our path someday (and we want a 2nd system at that time)...are we prepared to go for it providing we have access to good audiotechs.
 

marty

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Marty,
Congrats on enjoying the speakers. As part of your search journey, you read reviews, show reports, and forum board opinions... You ignored the marketing BS. And you ignored the fan boys of the various brands...You visited manufacturers, owners, and dealers... And then you got the speakers into your room... and, if I am understanding correctly sounds like it's very good, but not a stairway up to heaven.

In essence, you are very experienced and have applied a very rigorous decision making process. So what are your lessons learned? What is the gap between reading about gear vs. auditioning it at someone else's house vs. auditioning at a dealer vs. setting it up and tweaking it in your own room and getting to know it? Is the target of your ideal changed along the way? Have you had good luck or bad luck?

Excellent thread. Thank you in advance and wishing best of luck in your search for excellence

Caesar,
Although you raise good questions, I'm afraid my answers to "lessons learned" are not much different from those any audiophile might give and would thus be mostly boring. I can say that with respect to the Wilson Alexandria's, the thing that precluded my ability to assess them in a meaningful way was the number of times I had to hear them before my impression was favorable. This is because they are absolutely critical in their set-up with regard to the ear height of the listener. Their D'Appolito design offers no margin of error for listening height variance of greater than about 1". You are either correctly locked-in, or you're not, in which case the sound can be just awful with imaging that might come from way over your head, or with a top end that sounds bright and edgy (regardless of electronics). As we all know, it's best to listen to something in person rather than reading about it. But the listening experience has to involve a good set-up to be most meaningful. Of interest, the demanding requirement for correct ear height for any of the big Wilson's with a D'Appolito configuration is far more rigorous than for Wilson's that use a more "classic" design such as the Alexia's, Watt/Puppies etc, which can sound good over a wider range of listeners with varying ear heights.
Marty
 

Elliot G.

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Caesar,
Although you raise good questions, I'm afraid my answers to "lessons learned" are not much different from those any audiophile might give and would thus be mostly boring. I can say that with respect to the Wilson Alexandria's, the thing that precluded my ability to assess them in a meaningful way was the number of times I had to hear them before my impression was favorable. This is because they are absolutely critical in their set-up with regard to the ear height of the listener. Their D'Appolito design offers no margin of error for listening height variance of greater than about 1". You are either correctly locked-in, or you're not, in which case the sound can be just awful with imaging that might come from way over your head, or with a top end that sounds bright and edgy (regardless of electronics). As we all know, it's best to listen to something in person rather than reading about it. But the listening experience has to involve a good set-up to be most meaningful. Of interest, the demanding requirement for correct ear height for any of the big Wilson's with a D'Appolito configuration is far more rigorous than for Wilson's that use a more "classic" design such as the Alexia's, Watt/Puppies etc, which can sound good over a wider range of listeners with varying ear heights.
Marty

+1111
I agree with you on the set up point to the extreme degree. It does make me a little crazy that people just don't really understand that it takes a lot of effort to get a speaker/system really dialed in. I also believe that many either lack the expertise/experience and or the knowledge to the job correctly. I also have found that many are willing to buy every gadget possible to make their system "better" when in fact they never have it set up correctly and that is the real issue.
Before you buy all these expensive "things" you need to have the system dialed in so that you truly are not attempting to fix one issue by adding something else.
I seem to get in heated discussions all the time outside of this forum since I wont ever do it here LOL that show systems are there to give you a taste of a product. Period! Reviewing them or making intelligent final judgement that is just foolish IMO,
Although I don't own the speakers you purchased I have heard the brand sound from really awful to really good. So if you have the hots for something make sure you find a way to hear it properly set up or close to and are also willing to get the help you need to make yours work.
There are many pictures of high end systems posted every where and in most cases you can tell from the picture that there is almost no chance that it can sound good.
Last ramble
virtually no one will tune their own piano
do mechanical set up on their high performance car
are able to cook a 3 star Michelin dinner
but everyone can set up a state of the art audio system with little or no experience.......
 

ddk

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May 19, 2013
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...
virtually no one will tune their own piano
do mechanical set up on their high performance car
are able to cook a 3 star Michelin dinner
but everyone can set up a state of the art audio system with little or no experience.......

Just buy some very expensive wires, footers, connect the cat litter box and et voila! :cool:

david
 
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marty

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Just buy some very expensive wires, footers, connect the cat litter box and et voila! :cool:

david

Elliot and David are on a roll....love it. And as I told my son-in-law, don't forget to say a b'rucha (blessing) when you drop the needle. Sadly, he thought I was serious.
 
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ddk

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Elliot and David are on a roll....love it. And as I told my son-in-law, don't forget to say a b'rucha (blessing) when you drop the needle. Sadly, he thought I was serious.

Hopefully you meant the b'rucha :).

david
 

marty

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This thread died from natural causes (as a doc might say). But it was a slow day and for whatever reason, I just re-read it in it's entirety. What impressed me the most is that the input, thoughtfulness and contributions of this community were more meaningful to me in my audio journey than 90% of the stuff I read in the commercial publications. This is by no means a criticism of those publications, which I also value. But the familiarity and thinking of the members, many who I have been reading and respecting or years, is very different from the less personal side of those publications in which we generally read writings but can't engage in dialog or exchange ideas as easily (especially the critical and humorous ones). It's a testament to Steve and Ron that the WBF has grown into a mature site (along with accompanying advertising revenues that I hope will assure it's future success), but the level of cordiality, respect and kinship remains it's most admirable and welcome attributes (including even those pissing contests which many of us find so entertaining). Just my 2 cents...
 
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LL21

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Hear, hear...well said as usual, Marty.
 

microstrip

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Marty,

Very true about the forum praise, but I think you are comparing apples with oranges and forgetting the bananas.

If I was not prepared to read and digest the forum content from what I have read and read from magazines and books, for me this forum would be much less valuable. And , considering the bananas :) , when addressing sources of information I can't forget dealers, direct contact with manufacturers and other audio forums.
 

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