What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

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sunbeamgls
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by sunbeamgls »

Sure, you can hear the difference a good source makes, it doesn't mean a good overall result.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by sunbeamgls »

When you tunedem a system, the room is a key part of the system being tunedemmed. When you find the least worst position you've only achieved it for that particular complete system (which includes the room).
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Rutger »

sunbeamgls wrote: 2023-11-20 08:36 Sure, you can hear the difference a good source makes, it doesn't mean a good overall result.
”the sound of the music” can be bettered using very good loudspeakers , agree. But the intentions of the musicians will be perceived in a better way with a good source , even If the loudspeakers are very simple.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Rutger »

sunbeamgls wrote: 2023-11-20 08:42 When you tunedem a system, the room is a key part of the system being tunedemmed. When you find the least worst position you've only achieved it for that particular complete system (which includes the room).
I agree that setting up a pair of loudspeakers correctly in a room only apply to that specific room.
However, I really dont like roomcorrection programes like space optimisation . I think it sounds better turned off.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Spannko »

Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 08:06 I guess it comes down with how music works. Its ordered frequencies in the time domain. Less order, worse sound. If energy is lost somewhere in the system it cant be recovered later in the chain. If one hifi system makes you tap your feet more than another - its a better system and most probably more pitch accurate. Those products can ofcourse also be found outside the Linn brand.

Each and every step in loudspeaker construction can, in my opinion , be evaluated using tunemethod , - the crossover, the drivers, the cabinet and the internal cables and the terminals.

I dont agree that source first cant be used in loudspeaker building . The crossover is always before the drivers , ie its more important for the sound than the driver itself . A bad crossover with the best loudspeakerdriver in the world will sound bad. A good crossover with a bad driver but with a good source will always sound good.
For me, it’s not possible to prevent energy loss, so it’s not if energy is lost, it’s how energy is lost that’s really important. As you say, maintaining the time order is possibly the most important design task and contributes significantly to a speakers ability to play tunes.

Also, I’m now thinking that the crossover, particularly when series connected, forms an electro-mechanical system with the drive units which can’t really be thought of hierarchically: they’re too intertwined.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by sunbeamgls »

Intertwined.
A good word to use. Add the cabinets too, as discussed further up, they all have to work harmoniously and the cabinet is mechanically intertwined with the driver and alters its electrical behaviour.
Imagine also having a bespoke design built only to work in your room, given the room is part of the acoustic system. Very expensive, I imagine!
Last edited by sunbeamgls on 2023-11-20 11:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by sunbeamgls »

Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 08:47
sunbeamgls wrote: 2023-11-20 08:42 When you tunedem a system, the room is a key part of the system being tunedemmed. When you find the least worst position you've only achieved it for that particular complete system (which includes the room).
I agree that setting up a pair of loudspeakers correctly in a room only apply to that specific room.
However, I really dont like roomcorrection programes like space optimisation . I think it sounds better turned off.
I didn't refer to room optimisation at all.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Rutger »

Spannko wrote: 2023-11-20 09:59
Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 08:06 I guess it comes down with how music works. Its ordered frequencies in the time domain. Less order, worse sound. If energy is lost somewhere in the system it cant be recovered later in the chain. If one hifi system makes you tap your feet more than another - its a better system and most probably more pitch accurate. Those products can ofcourse also be found outside the Linn brand.

Each and every step in loudspeaker construction can, in my opinion , be evaluated using tunemethod , - the crossover, the drivers, the cabinet and the internal cables and the terminals.

I dont agree that source first cant be used in loudspeaker building . The crossover is always before the drivers , ie its more important for the sound than the driver itself . A bad crossover with the best loudspeakerdriver in the world will sound bad. A good crossover with a bad driver but with a good source will always sound good.
For me, it’s not possible to prevent energy loss, so it’s not if energy is lost, it’s how energy is lost that’s really important. As you say, maintaining the time order is possibly the most important design task and contributes significantly to a speakers ability to play tunes.

Also, I’m now thinking that the crossover, particularly when series connected, forms an electro-mechanical system with the drive units which can’t really be thought of hierarchically: they’re too intertwined.
We can conclude that for best sound , we want to preserve as much of the energy from the source as possible coming to the speaker. This will have consequences how we construct our speakers. The room is least important because its the last in the chain. The source is most important. Music information coming before the drive units are more important than the cabinet.

We want as much music energy as possible coming from the source to the driveunit. And we dont want that energy to be trapped inside the speaker colouring the sound with time smearing - its energy must be tranfered as fast as possible from the loudspeaker cabinet to the floor. How do we manage to do this in the best possible way ?

You could always try connecting a single driver speaker directly to your amplifier and compare this with a multiway loudspeaker of choice. The energy from the musicians gonna be perceived as better from the crossover-free single driver speaker, but the timbre of instruments will be colored, maybe in an unacceptable way. But it might be a good way to recognise how much damage a crossover does to the sound.

One could also argue that a preamplifier should be considered the same as a poweramplifier because they are so closely intertwined. But as you know, the preamplifier is much more important than the power amplifier - so source first rules. The same is true in loudspeakers.

Its true though that a passive crossover are more intertwined with the driveunits in a passive speaker, but not in a good way. It looses the direct amplifier connection with passive components that can only do damping of the energy coming to the drivers. It makes the amplifier loose the control of lower frequencies - those frequencies are very important to maintain the rythm element in the music.

An active or dsp crossover is definitely placed before the poweramplifiers and driveunits and believe me - they are never transparent sounding. It seems like a dsp crossover is more vunerable to loose quality than a good active crossover in the analog domain.
Last edited by Rutger on 2023-11-20 13:18, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Spannko »

Here’s a first order series connected crossover and drive unit system. Please explain how a hierarchy of components works in this instance.
IMG_0990.jpeg
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by lejonklou »

Interesting discussion!

Can I just point out one detail that seems to be missing (likely by mistake, as I’m sure you all know this): Active crossovers are placed before the power amplifiers, while passive crossovers are placed after the power amplifiers. This makes their respective negative impact on the music different in character.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by matthias »

Spannko wrote: 2023-11-20 12:10
I would consider this as the best of all crossovers. Here is no hierarchy between crossover parts and drive units.
Last edited by matthias on 2023-11-20 17:05, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by matthias »

Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 11:38
Not true for a first order series crossover without resistors.
Last edited by matthias on 2023-11-20 17:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Spannko »

sunbeamgls wrote: 2023-11-20 11:00 ……… the cabinet is mechanically intertwined with the driver and alters its electrical behaviour……
This isn’t something I’ve considered previously, but I suppose it must do. Can you expand on this, or provide a link to further information please?
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Rutger »

Spannko wrote: 2023-11-20 12:10 Here’s a first order series connected crossover and drive unit system. Please explain how a hierarchy of components works in this instance.

IMG_0990.jpeg
You have a very , by nature, unlinear coil in series with the bass driver and a capacitor in series with the tweeter.
The coil has a small resistance making the amplifier loose some control over the lower frequencies, and the tweeter will loose its connection to the amplifier at lower frequencies , below the crossoverpoint. We gonna loose a lot of control and energy here, because we can hear the music below and above the crossover frequency, because this crossover is very shallow. The control from the amplifier gonna be less good. This is the reason why a good active crossover can be better than a first order passive crossover.

The coil and the capacitor connected in series has the signal traveling through them before it reaches the driveunits.
Last edited by Rutger on 2023-11-20 13:49, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Spannko »

matthias wrote: 2023-11-20 12:52
Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 11:38 Its true though that a passive crossover are more intertwined with the driveunits in a passive speaker, but not in a good way. It looses the direct amplifier connection with passive components that can only do damping of the energy coming to the drivers. It makes the amplifier loose the control of lower frequencies - those frequencies are very important to maintain the rythm element in the music.
Not true for a first order series crossover without resistors.
I wondered whether this was the case too.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Rutger »

matthias wrote: 2023-11-20 12:52
Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 11:38 Its true though that a passive crossover are more intertwined with the driveunits in a passive speaker, but not in a good way. It looses the direct amplifier connection with passive components that can only do damping of the energy coming to the drivers. It makes the amplifier loose the control of lower frequencies - those frequencies are very important to maintain the rythm element in the music.
Not true for a first order series crossover without resistors.
The coil in series with the bass driver always has some resistance, enough to make the amplifier connection to the driver worse at low frequencies where they are needed the most . This is where active crossovers has their biggest advantage because of the directly coupled power amplifier.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by matthias »

Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 13:01
Sorry, also this is not correct.
Last edited by matthias on 2023-11-20 17:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Rutger »

lejonklou wrote: 2023-11-20 12:20 Interesting discussion!

Can I just point out one detail that seems to be missing (likely by mistake, as I’m sure you all know this): Active crossovers are placed before the power amplifiers, while passive crossovers are placed after the power amplifiers. This makes their respective negative impact on the music different in character.
Yes, very true. The demands of first class quality for the active crossover is higher than for the passive crossover because of the source first hierarcy. And a dsp crossover is very vunerable , more than most active analog crossovers, If not constructed accurate.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by matthias »

Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 13:04
These are theoretical considerations. You get coils with very low resistance. An active crossover is always a parallel crossover so you never get the musical aspects of a series crossover.
Last edited by matthias on 2023-11-20 17:08, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Rutger »

matthias wrote: 2023-11-20 13:13
Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 13:04 The coil in series with the bass driver always has some resistance, enough to make the amplifier connection to the driver worse at low frequencies where they are needed the most . This is where active crossovers has their biggest advantage because of the directly coupled power amplifier.
These are theorical considerations. You get coils with very low resistance. An active crossover is always a parallel crossover so you never get the musical aspects of a series crossover.
True, but even If one uses a thick wire coil with very low resistance of, maybe 0.3 ohms its still more than 0 ohms that you get from a directly coupled amplifier. Using a thin wire coil can make the series resistance as high as 1 ohm .
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by matthias »

Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 13:24
A good series crossover gives you greater musicality than a slightly lower resistance of a directly coupled amp.
Last edited by matthias on 2023-11-20 17:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Rutger »

matthias wrote: 2023-11-20 13:32
Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 13:24 True, but even If one uses a thick wire coil with very low resistance of, maybe 0.3 ohms its still more than 0 ohms that you get from a directly coupled amplifier. Using a thin wire coil can make the series resistance as high as 1 ohm .
A good series crossover gives you greater musicality than a slightly lower resistance of a directly coupled amp.
That can probably be the case - I havent heard every loudspeaker out there. I guess that the Klångedang loudspeaker has such a crossover, and they say the sound is very good ?

In most speakers theres a need for a crossover of some kind. I just wanted to asure everyone that the crossover always makes the input music signal slightly worse at the output.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by matthias »

Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 13:45
Yes, Klangedang but there are some others:

https://www.evolutionacoustics.com/support/faq/
https://www.thehereticspeaker.com/ad612

Even from a source first POV I don't like active speakers since you need for every driver a power amp. This extra money you can spend on upgrading the source for example with passive speakers.
Last edited by matthias on 2023-11-20 17:09, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by Spannko »

Rutger wrote: 2023-11-20 13:01 The coil and the capacitor connected in series has the signal traveling through them before it reaches the driveunits.
Here’s the same circuit, but rearranged slightly.
IMG_0990.jpeg
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Re: What Makes a Loudspeaker Musical?

Post by matthias »

Spannko wrote: 2023-11-20 14:02
Haha, the same:
The HF are blocked by the coil and go straight to the tweeter, the LF are blocked by the tweeter, go through the coil and are blocked by the cap.
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