Soundstage Reproduction and Scale: Does Speaker Size Matter?

Ivo

Member
I think your analysis is interesting and probably a lot of truth…for box speakers. I don’t think it applies well to planar and dipole speakers.
You don't think applies, but maybe it might still very well do so. :) Let's take a look:

Planer speakers A, B, C, D:
A) Traditional full-size planar. Will have very good centre image thanks to no filter-multi-way-issues with good vertical dimensions. Will also glue al lot of the far right/left to its planars, with little in between. Will have a hard time keep up with deep/high dynamic bass. Images can be a bit diffuse.
B) Planer with lower bass driver. This bass driver is never full time-coherent (unless you see the box under the planner sticking out in front a fair bit,
will have typically smaller planners above, which helps a bit for the centre + LR/ sticking bit mentioned above, but does not solve it. Images can still be a bit diffuse.
C) concentric planar: will have higher frequencies in centre, and the rest in various degrees (depending the speaker product, and cost) around it. Imaging will now be more precise, less diffuse, but certain M/L/R distribution is still not ideal and bass issues unresolved.
D) Special (and whatsbest kind of) planars that are able to move a lot more air and are also clearly designed to have dedicated low/mid/high sections (there is a currently very popular brand offering a pair that does this, or even two-pair type of solution, with the most outside placed pair of planars being dedicated to bass). The benefit of this design is no direct dynamic restrictions (although it might suffer from compression effects at some point: the panel needs quite strict suspension around to not have it distort to much in form of harmonics) and in case of the double-pair solution this is hardly compromised at all, with also now adding the earlier missed sound-stage width (thanks to reflections of the inner-pair on-to the outward-pair). And even a single pair can play loud (as I last week experienced again when walking in (door was open, so literally walked in a wall of sound) at Emile playing some electronic music in his new mega-large listening room, very impressive!

Dipole:
Dipole means we have the same output at the rear, but in negative phase.
-This will eliminate reflections that are parallel to the driver/planar, so to floor, ceiling, and side walls. This can be helpful, especially in smaller rooms.
-It also means reflections from the wall behind the speakers (I see this in US-reviews often to be called the front wall).
-If there is sufficient room behind the dipole speaker, this can result in a variations of depth-reflections of both the bad and good kind.
-in case of many such audio systems, especially those using planar speakers, there is a increased amount of second other distortion, and increased negative-phase second order distortion in play that will give enhanced feeling of sound-stage depth.

Recording/Electronics matching:
Even if dipole speakers or planars are very neutral and do not distort much, additional sound-stage depth can be achieved by using tube/transformer coupled type of electronics in the audio system, or have been used at production/mastering, especially of the kind that:
-have phase distortion (all of them have some, even most transistor types inflict some), meaning that image get more spread around in the sound-stage in a very likeable way
-adding even harmonics for a more emotional and rounded sound, and with the usually also somewhat inflicted phase-shifting potentially increasing depth of the sound-stage to foot-ball fields if so in the recording and well executed (on the electronics/speaker combination.
-adding also uneven harmonics, but preferably more on far L/R to give sparkle and spectacle in the non-centre parts of the soundtage.

Still, I would argue that a pair of perfect-coherent multi-way speakers can do the same trick. If there is no multi-way-phase issue this does not have to depend on the size of the speaker. Sound-stage-dynamic-speaking we do have to apply a very big speaker. But then we might want to cover its baffle with wool-felt to take out the unwanted collateral damage (Chronosonic, and Arrakis come to mind). Another method, especially if using steeper crossover slopes, is making the baffle into being a diffuser, for having a rounded front (eg. mm7, utopia). A second bass tower can also here bring added width to the stage (think also Sonya XVi).

So now we come down to 5 points:
1-Is the speaker planer, dipole, or box plus rear drivers? How is it executed?;
2-is it depending on baffle size, or second towers, for vertical and far-width enhancement using reflections on its baffle?
3-is it big/powerful enough to dynamically create that air-flapper- and stomach-hitting type of sound-stage impact?
4-do we need phase/even -order type distortion to scale-up the stage? What does best fit taste, room and recordings?
5-do we experience all the indirect sound from speaker baffles as a bigger sound-stage, or is the speaker-disappearance-from-beyond-wall-sound-stage thing (with all sounds three-dimensionally shaped and placed in and beyond the room, with genuine proportions) the holy grail we are ultimately after, but can't find speakers that do so without being dynamically (and frequency) unconstrained?
 
Last edited:

Ivo

Member
I, personally, do not understand at all this comment that the tweeter in the XVX is located physically too high. In theory, at least, I like the D’Appolito (midrange-tweeter-midrange) design, but implementation trumps theory, in my opinion. At proper listening distance I hear no problem with the XVX tweeter.

On the small speaker discussion, the one thing that I cannot hear from a small speaker is “effortlessness.” To my ears it is suboptimal to be pushing the majority of the sound of an entire symphony orchestra out of a single 6 inch or an 8 inch cone.
Good point. So what is then the combined coherent acoustic centre of a pair of top-level-speakers? What is it's influence to the stage?

Especially with a properly-setup-Wilson pair (it was mentioned) of the upper pedrigree, you can achieve a relatively lower coherent centre, and a quite good one. With YG Sonja this is a bit harder to achieve (time alignment) but with its tweeters you also add a lot of air and resolution to the stage (this is a very good tweeter indeed, not easily surpassed by any other) and the two tower system is impressive in stage-width..

On the other hand you can say that many of this type of speakers do indeed raise that same acoustic centre a bit, going up from low price models to their top ones. That could be seen as a draw-back to the type of double-vertical-symmetric (and often much higher) type of towers. But it does so with more 'disappearance-qualities' and often also with more finesse. A higher stage for me also has mixed feelings, but much depending on my mood: sometimes I want everything to be on my plain, and let me just be in the intimate bubble, on other occasions I can really enjoy the bit elevated stage (vertically up) for it make me feel more being at a rock concert, or at worst makes me feel in being a too-much front seat at the classical connect hall (that in terms of spectacle and dynamics also has its benefits). A bit between enjoying your random but so excellent jazz-bar performance of the intimate kind (small live jazz bar with hardly elevated podium) or that bigger venue with a high podium where you might enjoy it from a less-intimate point of view. And speaking of (all this) amplified live music, where did they put the speakers? Probably higher op then we would like. And yes, we can say quite confidently so that with our types of systems we are already far passed to what we hear blasting from PA shit. But, what do we then really want to reproduce/re-create? As for home systems, its a taste choice. But many proper whatsbest-material speakers can have a bit elevated centre-stage while still putting those strings in a well-recorded opera coming from below-floor directions, or reproduce that blues singer's foot tapping on that same floor as your chair is at. What do we want to further recreate here rather than reproduce?

And indeed: a single 6 or 8 inch cone has no way of impacting us in the way we like at top-tier...well as of today (tech is moving on). So dont quote me on this in a few years from now ;)
 
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treitz3

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Dec 25, 2011
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Yes.

Tom
 

morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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You don't think applies, but maybe it might still very well do so. :) Let's take a look:

Planer speakers A, B, C, D:
A) Traditional full-size planar. Will have very good centre image thanks to no filter-multi-way-issues with good vertical dimensions. Will also glue al lot of the far right/left to its planars, with little in between. Will have a hard time keep up with deep/high dynamic bass. Images can be a bit diffuse.
B) Planer with lower bass driver. This bass driver is never full time-coherent (unless you see the box under the planner sticking out in front a fair bit,
will have typically smaller planners above, which helps a bit for the centre + LR/ sticking bit mentioned above, but does not solve it. Images can still be a bit diffuse.
C) concentric planar: will have higher frequencies in centre, and the rest in various degrees (depending the speaker product, and cost) around it. Imaging will now be more precise, less diffuse, but certain M/L/R distribution is still not ideal and bass issues unresolved.
D) Special (and whatsbest kind of) planars that are able to move a lot more air and are also clearly designed to have dedicated low/mid/high sections (there is a currently very popular brand offering a pair that does this, or even two-pair type of solution, with the most outside placed pair of planars being dedicated to bass). The benefit of this design is no direct dynamic restrictions (although it might suffer from compression effects at some point: the panel needs quite strict suspension around to not have it distort to much in form of harmonics) and in case of the double-pair solution this is hardly compromised at all, with also now adding the earlier missed sound-stage width (thanks to reflections of the inner-pair on-to the outward-pair). And even a single pair can play loud (as I last week experienced again when walking in (door was open, so literally walked in a wall of sound) at Emile playing some electronic music in his new mega-large listening room, very impressive!

Dipole:
Dipole means we have the same output at the rear, but in negative phase.
-This will eliminate reflections that are parallel to the driver/planar, so to floor, ceiling, and side walls. This can be helpful, especially in smaller rooms.
-It also means reflections from the wall behind the speakers (I see this in US-reviews often to be called the front wall).
-If there is sufficient room behind the dipole speaker, this can result in a variations of depth-reflections of both the bad and good kind.
-in case of many such audio systems, especially those using planar speakers, there is a increased amount of second other distortion, and increased negative-phase second order distortion in play that will give enhanced feeling of sound-stage depth.

Recording/Electronics matching:
Even if dipole speakers or planars are very neutral and do not distort much, additional sound-stage depth can be achieved by using tube/transformer coupled type of electronics in the audio system, or have been used at production/mastering, especially of the kind that:
-have phase distortion (all of them have some, even most transistor types inflict some), meaning that image get more spread around in the sound-stage in a very likeable way
-adding even harmonics for a more emotional and rounded sound, and with the usually also somewhat inflicted phase-shifting potentially increasing depth of the sound-stage to foot-ball fields if so in the recording and well executed (on the electronics/speaker combination.
-adding also uneven harmonics, but preferably more on far L/R to give sparkle and spectacle in the non-centre parts of the soundtage.

Still, I would argue that a pair of perfect-coherent multi-way speakers can do the same trick. If there is no multi-way-phase issue this does not have to depend on the size of the speaker. Sound-stage-dynamic-speaking we do have to apply a very big speaker. But then we might want to cover its baffle with wool-felt to take out the unwanted collateral damage (Chronosonic, and Arrakis come to mind). Another method, especially if using steeper crossover slopes, is making the baffle into being a diffuser, for having a rounded front (eg. mm7, utopia). A second bass tower can also here bring added width to the stage (think also Sonya XVi).

So now we come down to 5 points:
1-Is the speaker planer, dipole, or box plus rear drivers? How is it executed?;
2-is it depending on baffle size, or second towers, for vertical and far-width enhancement using reflections on its baffle?
3-is it big/powerful enough to dynamically create that air-flapper- and stomach-hitting type of sound-stage impact?
4-do we need phase/even -order type distortion to scale-up the stage? What does best fit taste, room and recordings?
5-do we experience all the indirect sound from speaker baffles as a bigger sound-stage, or is the speaker-disappearance-from-beyond-wall-sound-stage thing (with all sounds three-dimensionally shaped and placed in and beyond the room, with genuine proportions) the holy grail we are ultimately after, but can't find speakers that do so without being dynamically (and frequency) unconstrained?
With all due respect, your view on full range planars seems to be somewhat poorly informed. With appropriate electronics and power (yes the electronics and power have a big impact on whether sound "sticks" to a speaker or not) the strengths you mention are not offset with "gluing" the far left and right to the speakers. While I have horn speakers now, I have owned a large number of full range and hybrid planar speakers, including: Audiostatic ES100, Acoustat 1+1, Spectra 2200 and Spectra 4400, STAX ELS-F81, Apogee Caliper Signature, Infinity IRS Beta, DIY BG ribbon + woofer. Close friends also owned: Apogee Diva, Apogee Grand, Apogee Studio Grand, Apogee Scintilla, Apogee Centaur Major, Apogee Duetta Signature, Many different Magnepans etc.

If the sound "glued" to these speakers it was when the electronics were not good enough usually or particularly poor rooms but it had nothing to do with the speakers themselves. While the hybrid speakers were relatively coherent at least through the mids and highs (my BG hybrid was a single driver from 300 hz and up) the Spectra series Acoustats were the most coherent and overall best sounding, IMO. They could completely disappear sonically even though visually imposing.

AFAIK, the Acoustat Spectras were unique in that the panels where electrically segmented, which they could do because the stators were wires and not mesh, so the highs only came from a narrow part of the panel and the mids a larger part and the bass from all. Very creative way to get a wider sweet spot from a wide panel...much more effective than curving the panel.


It is obvious that you need space behind a dipole, whether planar or otherwise...this is just a requirement of the design and neither a positive or negative.

"Still, I would argue that a pair of perfect-coherent multi-way speakers can do the same trick. If there is no multi-way-phase issue this does not have to depend on the size of the speaker. Sound-stage-dynamic-speaking we do have to apply a very big speaker. But then we might want to cover its baffle with wool-felt to take out the unwanted collateral damage (Chronosonic, and Arrakis come to mind). Another method, especially if using steeper crossover slopes, is making the baffle into being a diffuser, for having a rounded front (eg. mm7, utopia). A second bass tower can also here bring added width to the stage (think also Sonya XVi)."

I have heard at length perfectly (or nearly so) coherent multi-way speakers as a friend had Thiel CS3.7s for many years. They could soundstage amazingly but only if driven with suitable electronics. Put an inferior SS or even tube amp on them and the sound would be flat and images gravitating towards the speakers themselves and not set free. You will get this effect with any speaker, no matter how good the design.

I agree with you that you don't need a large speaker to get a great soundstage, I also owned the rare and lauded Reference 3a Master Control MMC monitors, which were also time-coherent, and they could make an amazingly good soundstage and image palpability...but only when driven properly.

If you want to talk about amplifier distortion then that is a BIG topic with me. One of the biggest misunderstandings is harmonic distortion and the psychoacoustic impact. It is not about the distortion per se that is important but the type and amount that is AUDIBLE. I don't believe that there is "enhancing" distortion, only destructive distortion; however, the type and amount is very critical in determining the relative destructiveness of that distortion. I have done many experiments that have confirmed that you don't enhance soundstage with electronics but that you do varying degrees of damage and the very best electronics do the least damage...to the listener...not necessarily to the oscilloscope or FFT analyzer. There is a weighting of importance in distortion that is highly non-linear and as such sometimes seemingly small things become large and seemingly large things become small in psychoacoustic importance. Low order harmonic distortion...in the right pattern (Jean Hiraga was one of the first to write about the importance of the pattern) will be nearly inaudible even up to several % while odd and high order harmonics in the wrong pattern will stand out like a sore thumb, even at extremely low levels, and destroy realism. I could go on but will leave it there for now. Those who want to make everything active with Class D amps and DSP to correct all time-phase don't get this and it is why there is still a synthetic quality to the sound that many of us reject.
 

SeagoatLeo

Well-Known Member
Feb 24, 2015
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With all due respect, your view on full range planars seems to be somewhat poorly informed. With appropriate electronics and power (yes the electronics and power have a big impact on whether sound "sticks" to a speaker or not) the strengths you mention are not offset with "gluing" the far left and right to the speakers. While I have horn speakers now, I have owned a large number of full range and hybrid planar speakers, including: Audiostatic ES100, Acoustat 1+1, Spectra 2200 and Spectra 4400, STAX ELS-F81, Apogee Caliper Signature, Infinity IRS Beta, DIY BG ribbon + woofer. Close friends also owned: Apogee Diva, Apogee Grand, Apogee Studio Grand, Apogee Scintilla, Apogee Centaur Major, Apogee Duetta Signature, Many different Magnepans etc.

If the sound "glued" to these speakers it was when the electronics were not good enough usually or particularly poor rooms but it had nothing to do with the speakers themselves. While the hybrid speakers were relatively coherent at least through the mids and highs (my BG hybrid was a single driver from 300 hz and up) the Spectra series Acoustats were the most coherent and overall best sounding, IMO. They could completely disappear sonically even though visually imposing.

AFAIK, the Acoustat Spectras were unique in that the panels where electrically segmented, which they could do because the stators were wires and not mesh, so the highs only came from a narrow part of the panel and the mids a larger part and the bass from all. Very creative way to get a wider sweet spot from a wide panel...much more effective than curving the panel.


It is obvious that you need space behind a dipole, whether planar or otherwise...this is just a requirement of the design and neither a positive or negative.

"Still, I would argue that a pair of perfect-coherent multi-way speakers can do the same trick. If there is no multi-way-phase issue this does not have to depend on the size of the speaker. Sound-stage-dynamic-speaking we do have to apply a very big speaker. But then we might want to cover its baffle with wool-felt to take out the unwanted collateral damage (Chronosonic, and Arrakis come to mind). Another method, especially if using steeper crossover slopes, is making the baffle into being a diffuser, for having a rounded front (eg. mm7, utopia). A second bass tower can also here bring added width to the stage (think also Sonya XVi)."

I have heard at length perfectly (or nearly so) coherent multi-way speakers as a friend had Thiel CS3.7s for many years. They could soundstage amazingly but only if driven with suitable electronics. Put an inferior SS or even tube amp on them and the sound would be flat and images gravitating towards the speakers themselves and not set free. You will get this effect with any speaker, no matter how good the design.

I agree with you that you don't need a large speaker to get a great soundstage, I also owned the rare and lauded Reference 3a Master Control MMC monitors, which were also time-coherent, and they could make an amazingly good soundstage and image palpability...but only when driven properly.

If you want to talk about amplifier distortion then that is a BIG topic with me. One of the biggest misunderstandings is harmonic distortion and the psychoacoustic impact. It is not about the distortion per se that is important but the type and amount that is AUDIBLE. I don't believe that there is "enhancing" distortion, only destructive distortion; however, the type and amount is very critical in determining the relative destructiveness of that distortion. I have done many experiments that have confirmed that you don't enhance soundstage with electronics but that you do varying degrees of damage and the very best electronics do the least damage...to the listener...not necessarily to the oscilloscope or FFT analyzer. There is a weighting of importance in distortion that is highly non-linear and as such sometimes seemingly small things become large and seemingly large things become small in psychoacoustic importance. Low order harmonic distortion...in the right pattern (Jean Hiraga was one of the first to write about the importance of the pattern) will be nearly inaudible even up to several % while odd and high order harmonics in the wrong pattern will stand out like a sore thumb, even at extremely low levels, and destroy realism. I could go on but will leave it there for now. Those who want to make everything active with Class D amps and DSP to correct all time-phase don't get this and it is why there is still a synthetic quality to the sound that many of us reject.
I owned Acoustat X, Acoustat 1+1 and 2+2, ML Monolith IIIs and reQuests. I should not have sold the 2+2s as they were the most coherent and best of the 5 stats I owned. It's not just power but the ability to provide the right power. I remember hearing Monolith IIIs with big SS McIntosh and Levinson amps in two audio salons. They sounded terrible, scrawny, in the box no dynamics, no body (why they hooked up this combo I don't understand). I used a Counterpoint NPS400 modified which drove the Monolith beautifully despite my criticism of them I've heard the Alsyvox speakers and the sound was suspended in the air out of the box with great dynamics (I only heard small combo though). I still prefer the Von Schweikert Ultra 9 and 11.
 
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morricab

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I owned Acoustat X, Acoustat 1+1 and 2+2, ML Monolith IIIs and reQuests. I should not have sold the 2+2s as they were the most coherent and best of the 5 stats I owned. It's not just power but the ability to provide the right power. I remember hearing Monolith IIIs with big SS McIntosh and Levinson amps in two audio salons. They sounded terrible, scrawny, in the box no dynamics, no body (why they hooked up this combo I don't understand). I used a Counterpoint NPS400 modified which drove the Monolith beautifully despite my criticism of them I've heard the Alsyvox speakers and the sound was suspended in the air out of the box with great dynamics (I only heard small combo though). I still prefer the Von Schweikert Ultra 9 and 11.
Spectras were even better sounding than the 1+1 and 2+2. More transparent and better dynamics. The Acoustat X were with the direct drive amp? You still preferred the 2+2?
 

SeagoatLeo

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Feb 24, 2015
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First, I purchased the Acoustat X for my birthday in 1981 from a dealer who I was friends with. My late wife called them coffins (yes, that's what my black cloth/oak cabinet Xs looked like). Yes, they had a built-in great amp; however, there was nothing above 1K(?) when standing up and the amps blew twice in a year (giant caps and tubes). Couldn't live with it's problems. Yes, best dispersion and out of the box sound of the five stats. I had no repairs or difficulty with any of my future stats and they were not terrible looking (ML went into dedicated listening rooms). I upgraded though when I bought the Xs from Audionic M-33 transmission line speakers which were only 81db efficient (the sound never came out of the boxes). Below photos of Audionics and Acoustat X 1667509212840.png 1667509438427.png
 
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treitz3

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I have gone from the Tyler Acoustic Linbrooks to the Woodmere's. The sense of scale as well as the presentation are completely different.

1667671217230.png

Tom
 

SeagoatLeo

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I have gone from the Tyler Acoustic Linbrooks to the Woodmere's. The sense of scale as well as the presentation are completely different.

View attachment 99943

Tom
Can I assume the Woodmere speakers are the large, totally immersive sound for a medium-large room versus what are you preferring from the smaller speakers pictured (super Linbrooks)? I am astonished at the relatively low prices for these speakers and have never heard them. Is the Woodmere similar in sound quality to a poor man's version of the Von Schweikert E-5.
 

Folsom

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I have gone from the Tyler Acoustic Linbrooks to the Woodmere's. The sense of scale as well as the presentation are completely different.

View attachment 99943

Tom

That's kinda weird. They have the same drivers it looks like for most of the range. Maybe the crossovers are very different?
 

treitz3

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Hello and good afternoon to you, gentlemen. My apologies about the delay, I have been very busy since I got them.

SeagoatLeo said:
Can I assume the Woodmere speakers are the large, totally immersive sound for a medium-large room versus what are you preferring from the smaller speakers pictured (super Linbrooks)?

The sound difference between the Linbrook Signature Series one piece towers and the Woodmere's is a completely different presentation. I have had the Linbrooks for about 11 years and am intimately familiar with what they can and cannot do. Both can throw out a rather impressive and immersive sound stage but the Woodmere's have a much better implementation between the MTM network and the bass/lowest of frequencies. They also dig MUCH lower. I am also able to increase the distance between the speakers with the Woodmere's much more than I could with the Linbrooks, with no loss of informational cues from in between the two speakers.

SeagoatLeo said:
I am astonished at the relatively low prices for these speakers and have never heard them. Is the Woodmere similar in sound quality to a poor man's version of the Von Schweikert E-5.

Unfortunately, while I have heard a handful of VS speakers, I cannot comment on the comparison because I have not heard the VS E-5 yet. Stock, the Linbrooks are a decent speaker but nowhere near what I would consider audiophile worthy. Stock, the Woodmere's are what I would consider borderline audiophile (holding speakers to a very high standard) but have the potential to be an outstanding speaker. Two things I have to mention here...

I literally just got the Woodmere's after a long trek up to Long Island NY (from SC) to go pick them up. I have owned them for a little bit more than a week and they are bone stock at the moment. I haven't even had a chance yet to find the "proper" placement within the room.

As far as the Linbrooks, these were part of a 3 and a half year, 14K project that took the speakers down to the shell, I had the speakers reconditioned, sealed, added hurricane nuts for all of the drivers, removed the crossovers from within the speakers, upgraded all components within the speaker (without changing any of the values) and made sure they were all as close to spec values (original components weren't as close to spec as they should have been), created an external crossover housing (those are the large, black boxes on the floor, flanking the rack), spiked with 3 independently supported and isolated shelves to hold the original crossover, the MTM network and the bass network. We then took off the original speaker connection brackets, custom made new ones and added NL-4 connections and a custom umbilical cord from the external crossover units to the speakers. I added custom spikes and custom tuned these speakers to the room after all of this was completed.

After all of this work was done, the speakers sounded nothing like they did when they were stock and have offered me and others countless hours of extremely pleasurable sound that were on par or very similar to (let's say) the VS Endeavor SE that had an appropriate front end.

Folsom said:
That's kinda weird. They have the same drivers it looks like for most of the range. Maybe the crossovers are very different?

Hi, Folsom. These speakers are nowhere near each other in terms of sonics, frequencies, imaging and especially the scale. Ty Lashbrook upgraded some of the crossover parts on the Woodmere's (not done to the Linbrooks) and the crossovers are different. We haven't gotten to the point of looking at what values or changes between the two yet but I would venture to say that both the MTM network and the bass network are dramatically different. I do know that (just like the Linbrooks) the MTM drivers are in a sealed enclosure within the speaker itself and the Linbrooks have a much deeper internal cabinet than the Woodmere's have. That will naturally change the crossover points.

Stock, the Woodmere's presented Chris Jones', "No sanctuary here" in a way I have never heard before and sounded phenomenal on these speakers.

What I plan on doing with these is exactly what I did to the Linbrooks. They are a wonderful speaker "as is" but after what we did to the Linbrooks, the potential is far greater than what the Linbrooks could ever offer.....and this is due to the difference in driver/speaker size and I am sure, part of this is speaker weight and driver location(s). Each Woodmere speaker weighs in at 250 pounds and they are taller than I am.

On a completely different note, our friend, Ron Cook came over the other day and brought a Novum PMR. That, I must say, is intriguing!

Tom

 
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SeagoatLeo

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Feb 24, 2015
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Hello and good afternoon to you, gentlemen. My apologies about the delay, I have been very busy since I got them.



The sound difference between the Linbrook Signature Series one piece towers and the Woodmere's is a completely different presentation. I have had the Linbrooks for about 11 years and am intimately familiar with what they can and cannot do. Both can throw out a rather impressive and immersive sound stage but the Woodmere's have a much better implementation between the MTM network and the bass/lowest of frequencies. They also dig MUCH lower. I am also able to increase the distance between the speakers with the Woodmere's much more than I could with the Linbrooks, with no loss of informational cues from in between the two speakers.



Unfortunately, while I have heard a handful of VS speakers, I cannot comment on the comparison because I have not heard the VS E-5 yet. Stock, the Linbrooks are a decent speaker but nowhere near what I would consider audiophile worthy. Stock, the Woodmere's are what I would consider borderline audiophile (holding speakers to a very high standard) but have the potential to be an outstanding speaker. Two things I have to mention here...

I literally just got the Woodmere's after a long trek up to Long Island NY (from SC) to go pick them up. I have owned them for a little bit more than a week and they are bone stock at the moment. I haven't even had a chance yet to find the "proper" placement within the room.

As far as the Linbrooks, these were part of a 3 and a half year, 14K project that took the speakers down to the shell, I had the speakers reconditioned, sealed, added hurricane nuts for all of the drivers, removed the crossovers from within the speakers, upgraded all components within the speaker (without changing any of the values) and made sure they were all as close to spec values (original components weren't as close to spec as they should have been), created an external crossover housing (those are the large, black boxes on the floor, flanking the rack), spiked with 3 independently supported and isolated shelves to hold the original crossover, the MTM network and the bass network. We then took off the original speaker connection brackets, custom made new ones and added NL-4 connections and a custom umbilical cord from the external crossover units to the speakers. I added custom spikes and custom tuned these speakers to the room after all of this was completed.

After all of this work was done, the speakers sounded nothing like they did when they were stock and have offered me and others countless hours of extremely pleasurable sound that were on par or very similar to (let's say) the VS Endeavor SE that had an appropriate front end.



Hi, Folsom. These speakers are nowhere near each other in terms of sonics, frequencies, imaging and especially the scale. Ty Lashbrook upgraded some of the crossover parts on the Woodmere's (not done to the Linbrooks) and the crossovers are different. We haven't gotten to the point of looking at what values or changes between the two yet but I would venture to say that both the MTM network and the bass network are dramatically different. I do know that (just like the Linbrooks) the MTM drivers are in a sealed enclosure within the speaker itself and the Linbrooks have a much deeper internal cabinet than the Woodmere's have. That will naturally change the crossover points.

Stock, the Woodmere's presented Chris Jones', "No sanctuary here" in a way I have never heard before and sounded phenomenal on these speakers.

What I plan on doing with these is exactly what I did to the Linbrooks. They are a wonderful speaker "as is" but after what we did to the Linbrooks, the potential is far greater than what the Linbrooks could ever offer.....and this is due to the difference in driver/speaker size and I am sure, part of this is speaker weight and driver location(s). Each Woodmere speaker weighs in at 250 pounds and they are taller than I am.

On a completely different note, our friend, Ron Cook came over the other day and brought a Novum PMR. That, I must say, is intriguing!

Tom
Thank you Tom. So often when people state that their speakers are the best (in the world) I have to discount them. However, in your assessment, you actually heard some VS speakers and denote that they are probably better overall but at a very high cost. Your Woodmere's could be comparable after you modify them as you have the Linbrooks.

Another speaker, Evolution Acoustics, is also lower priced than VS such as the MM2 and MM3 which have a similar stacked design like the Woodmere, but also higher priced. I have not heard them. I have heard the VS VR35 Export, Ultra 9 and Ultra 11. I don't know what an E-5 or Endeavor sound like either.
 

Ivo

Member
With all due respect, your view on full range planars seems to be somewhat poorly informed. With appropriate electronics and power (yes the electronics and power have a big impact on whether sound "sticks" to a speaker or not) the strengths you mention are not offset with "gluing" the far left and right to the speakers. While I have horn speakers now, I have owned a large number of full range and hybrid planar speakers, including: Audiostatic ES100, Acoustat 1+1, Spectra 2200 and Spectra 4400, STAX ELS-F81, Apogee Caliper Signature, Infinity IRS Beta, DIY BG ribbon + woofer. Close friends also owned: Apogee Diva, Apogee Grand, Apogee Studio Grand, Apogee Scintilla, Apogee Centaur Major, Apogee Duetta Signature, Many different Magnepans etc.
I think we are speaking both from experience and insight, although a slightly different nuance of view perhaps. Something often encountered when putting sound in simple words. I think you actually nail it when saying it depends on the electronics. To put it simply: we need a certain amount of space and spaciousness volume in all directions (phase, harmonics+phase) as a quality brought in by the paired electronics, to enable to fill the space between the panels amd centre, and beyond the span of the panels. Then all can work very well. Hence, ontopic, we are solving an “problem’ here rather than benefitting from the sheer size of those panels. But pairing well is a nice part of our quest.
If the sound "glued" to these speakers it was when the electronics were not good enough usually or particularly poor rooms but it had nothing to do with the speakers themselves. While the hybrid speakers were relatively coherent at least through the mids and highs (my BG hybrid was a single driver from 300 hz and up) the Spectra series Acoustats were the most coherent and overall best sounding, IMO. They could completely disappear sonically even though visually imposing.

AFAIK, the Acoustat Spectras were unique in that the panels where electrically segmented, which they could do because the stators were wires and not mesh, so the highs only came from a narrow part of the panel and the mids a larger part and the bass from all. Very creative way to get a wider sweet spot from a wide panel...much more effective than curving the panel.
segmenting is a good way of panel implementation. And yes, i prefer it.
It is obvious that you need space behind a dipole, whether planar or otherwise...this is just a requirement of the design and neither a positive or negative.

"Still, I would argue that a pair of perfect-coherent multi-way speakers can do the same trick. If there is no multi-way-phase issue this does not have to depend on the size of the speaker. Sound-stage-dynamic-speaking we do have to apply a very big speaker. But then we might want to cover its baffle with wool-felt to take out the unwanted collateral damage (Chronosonic, and Arrakis come to mind). Another method, especially if using steeper crossover slopes, is making the baffle into being a diffuser, for having a rounded front (eg. mm7, utopia). A second bass tower can also here bring added width to the stage (think also Sonya XVi)."

I have heard at length perfectly (or nearly so) coherent multi-way speakers as a friend had Thiel CS3.7s for many years. They could soundstage amazingly but only if driven with suitable electronics. Put an inferior SS or even tube amp on them and the sound would be flat and images gravitating towards the speakers themselves and not set free. You will get this effect with any speaker, no matter how good the design.

I have much respect for that design. It was very good and even stood out among its peers of that era.
I agree with you that you don't need a large speaker to get a great soundstage, I also owned the rare and lauded Reference 3a Master Control MMC monitors, which were also time-coherent, and they could make an amazingly good soundstage and image palpability...but only when driven properly.
Here we come to the same conclusion. I totally agree.
If you want to talk about amplifier distortion then that is a BIG topic with me. One of the biggest misunderstandings is harmonic distortion and the psychoacoustic impact. It is not about the distortion per se that is important but the type and amount that is AUDIBLE. I don't believe that there is "enhancing" distortion, only destructive distortion; however, the type and amount is very critical in determining the relative destructiveness of that distortion. I have done many experiments that have confirmed that you don't enhance soundstage with electronics but that you do varying degrees of damage and the very best electronics do the least damage...to the listener...not necessarily to the oscilloscope or FFT analyzer. There is a weighting of importance in distortion that is highly non-linear and as such sometimes seemingly small things become large and seemingly large things become small in psychoacoustic importance. Low order harmonic distortion...in the right pattern (Jean Hiraga was one of the first to write about the importance of the pattern) will be nearly inaudible even up to several % while odd and high order harmonics in the wrong pattern will stand out like a sore thumb, even at extremely low levels, and destroy realism. I could go on but will leave it there for now. Those who want to make everything active with Class D amps and DSP to correct all time-phase don't get this and it is why there is still a synthetic quality to the sound that many of us reject.
This is where we touch onto my daily work. It’s maybe not the right topic to go too much into it (off topic), but what I like to say is that I agree with your notion that it’s is not to be put too easily in black and white statements. It’s a complicated but very interesting and important part of our mutual audio interests.
 

SeagoatLeo

Well-Known Member
Feb 24, 2015
157
82
158
I think we are speaking both from experience and insight, although a slightly different nuance of view perhaps. Something often encountered when putting sound in simple words. I think you actually nail it when saying it depends on the electronics. To put it simply: we need a certain amount of space and spaciousness volume in all directions (phase, harmonics+phase) as a quality brought in by the paired electronics, to enable to fill the space between the panels amd centre, and beyond the span of the panels. Then all can work very well. Hence, ontopic, we are solving an “problem’ here rather than benefitting from the sheer size of those panels. But pairing well is a nice part of our quest.

segmenting is a good way of panel implementation. And yes, i prefer it.


I have much respect for that design. It was very good and even stood out among its peers of that era.

Here we come to the same conclusion. I totally agree.

This is where we touch onto my daily work. It’s maybe not the right topic to go too much into it (off topic), but what I like to say is that I agree with your notion that it’s is not to be put too easily in black and white statements. It’s a complicated but very interesting and important part of our mutual audio interests.
I think we are speaking both from experience and insight, although a slightly different nuance of view perhaps. Something often encountered when putting sound in simple words. I think you actually nail it when saying it depends on the electronics. To put it simply: we need a certain amount of space and spaciousness volume in all directions (phase, harmonics+phase) as a quality brought in by the paired electronics, to enable to fill the space between the panels amd centre, and beyond the span of the panels. Then all can work very well. Hence, ontopic, we are solving an “problem’ here rather than benefitting from the sheer size of those panels. But pairing well is a nice part of our quest.

segmenting is a good way of panel implementation. And yes, i prefer it.


I have much respect for that design. It was very good and even stood out among its peers of that era.

Here we come to the same conclusion. I totally agree.

This is where we touch onto my daily work. It’s maybe not the right topic to go too much into it (off topic), but what I like to say is that I agree with your notion that it’s is not to be put too easily in black and white statements. It’s a complicated but very interesting and important part of our mutual audio interests.
Love your speaker design but short of hearing them for myself, I can't buy either one. I live in Los Angeles, CA, USA
 

gleeds

Industry Expert
May 29, 2018
372
528
180
Hi Seagoat. My name is Gary Leeds and I am the US importer for AEquo speakers. We are based in nearby Newport Beach. Please DM me and I'll be happy to discuss current and future models with you and arrange for a demo as available.
 

treitz3

Well-Known Member
Dec 25, 2011
5,152
467
610
The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
Based on my auditioning experience I have found that I like tall loudspeakers, because I find that height contributes to realistic soundstage scale and a more authentic reproduction of the size and grandeur of a classical symphony orchestra. This is why I like tall systems like Evolution Acoustics MM7 and Rockport Arrakis and Wilson XVX and Gryphon Pendragon/Kodo and Von Schweikert Ultra 11 and YG Sonja XV, etc.

Kedar disagrees, and argues that tall speakers artificially generate a sense of size and scale regardless of whether such ambient information is actually encoded on the recording. In his view – – and, Kedar, you should correct me straightaway if I am mis-stating your view here – – a small speaker, such as the wonderfully musical DeVore O96, more accurately channels the actual ambient acoustic soundstage information, if any, which is in the recording. He feels that the small speaker is more accurate in the sense that it will generate or not generate only the ambient information which is actually encoded in the recording, and not automatically scale up to large size every recording.

This contrasts with the tall speaker which automatically scales up and homogenizes every recording, whether there is authentic ambient large soundstage information encoded in the recording or not.

What do you think?

Hello, Ron and good evening to you. I'd like to take the time tonight to revisit this subject.

I have had my new speakers for a small stint now and have listened to just about every genre that there is, paying particular attention to this aspect of the reproductive effort. It seems, that no matter whether it is a small ensemble, an a cappella ensemble, an orchestra, 3 guys up on stage with acoustic guitars or a full fledged jazz/orchestral setup (Think "Backrow Politics" by Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band)....

....The scale of the reproductive effort is greatly enhanced by larger, taller speakers. I have a local cat who also has larger speakers (Grand Utopia's) and my observations remain the same with his. I do not, at all, think that this is artificial. The spatial locationality cues are the same (or can be depending on gear/resolution of said system) , whether the speaker is tall, large, fat, skinny, have multiple drivers or even drivers of different sizes.

Within my observations, the size of the venue remains the same. The reflections within said venue remain the same but the scale of the music is enhanced to (sometimes, recording dependent) a great degree without any sense of exaggeration, bloating or otherwise artificial means. It simply offers a greater sense of scale.

I agree with many others on this thread that a smaller speaker will never do what larger, taller speaker can do. I based this on my experience listening to many speakers in my travels but I can now say this with full certainty because these type of speakers now reside in my system. There would be no way I could ever go back at this point. It simply draws you into the music that much more.

The only line source that I truly liked was the Genesis big boy's. These are the most wonderful sounding speakers I have heard (with a very, very nice front end). The rest that I have heard, fell flat on their feet with many aspects. One more thing.....there have been comments that seem to confuse "sound stage" with "sense of scale". To me, there is a big difference. YMMV but to me, they are two distinguishable aspects of the reproduction.

Tom
 

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