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 Post subject: Bookshelf vs Floorstand
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:53 am 
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I sense that bookshelf speakers on stands of course image and create a soundstage that I’ve not heard from a floorstand speaker. If I’m hearing these different effects correctly,why ? Is this topic worthy of a discussion? Cheers.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:42 am 
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Imaging is linked to the loudspeaker functioning as a point source. If the driver were tiny and there were only one of them, that would be the ideal imager.

Driver choice and placement, crossover design and resonance control can work together to compensate for the size and position of multiple drivers and approach point-source imaging better than one would expect. It's just that the more drivers there are, the harder it is to accomplish.

There is a conflict involved in producing bass and the upper frequencies from one enclosure. The HF needs little in the way of a box, the mids a small one. The big box is there to handle the woofer's rear wave, but HF and MF drivers need to be protected from that wave. If this can be done well, fine, but if not, and the smaller drivers are moved by the woofer's energy, their output will smear and imaging will suffer. One way to improve the imaging of a floorstander is to separate the big LF driver from the upper-frequency ones. Put it in its own box. Verity Audio, Reference 3A, Capriccio Continuo...

Good design can make a lot of the inevitable tradeoffs work together and approach the ideal of a 20Hz – 20KHz +/- 0dB speaker in an invisible box. So sure it's worth talking about.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:26 am 
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Hi,

++ to Toby's comments above.

Imagine two points in space about eight feet in front of you, about five or six feet apart and at ear level or just a tad above while sitting. Imagine these points are about about the size of golf-balls and that by some magic they can emit full range audio (20-20K) forward. There is your Star Trek stereo system. If a performance you are listening to on this magic system was recorded in stereo, which means recording a live performance using a matched pair of coincident microphones placed in a certain way, then the playback should mirror image the recording.

Now, of course, this is all theoretical and whether we are talking about the physics of speakers or the vagaries of today's studio recordings there are a lot of slips between the fingers and the lips. But bookshelf speakers can (but certainly not always) image like champs because they are closer to that ideal point source golf-ball.

I say sometimes: Lots of people have heard sound coming from two speakers, but only a few have heard the full stereo effect.

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:48 am 
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+++ on Toby,s comment.

Cheers Videonut


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:57 am 
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++++ on Toby’s comment


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:01 am 
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buybye88 wrote:
I say sometimes: Lots of people have heard sound coming from two speakers, but only a few have heard the full stereo effect.

So true, even at TAVES in Toronto last fall ...


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:15 am 
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In my experience (YMMV) this is more design, component and application specific. The best imaging I've heard In my own room has been from 2 totally different designs but both were large speakers. There is always a pair of quality bookshelf speakers present for comparison. Omni designs can image like crazy and create a very convincing soundstage.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:14 pm 
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The best imaging I have ever heard has come from designs where each driver has its own box. My current audio system are built that way (mezzo Utopias). It means a more expensive cabinet design, but really helps cut down or eliminate driver / cabinet interactions. Course that may be why some swaer by single driver, horn loaded designs...

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:29 pm 
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James_W wrote:
In my experience (YMMV) this is more design, component and application specific. The best imaging I've heard In my own room has been from 2 totally different designs but both were large speakers. There is always a pair of quality bookshelf speakers present for comparison. Omni designs can image like crazy and create a very convincing soundstage.


I would be curious to know which brands thee were James. Always appreciate your extensive experience.

IME yes a good little one images better than larger ones of the same brand. But some brands just do it better - Proac, Linn and Dynaudio are some names that come to mind.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:45 pm 
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also depends if we talking about "3D" image or the more like "real" image of actual acoustical space/hall.....


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:38 pm 
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I think that it has to do more with cabinet, driver and crossover design and implementation more than whether it’s a floor stander or a stand-mount. It’s the same as saying that stand mounts cannot be as dynamic as floor standers.
The devil is in the details. I heard great imaging from floor standing speakers and poor imaging from stand mounts but it is true that when not all design aspects have been addressed and not all corrction network have been implemented properly, that “less is more”.
Less drivers, simpler crossovers, etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:29 am 
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There is no reason why a large speaker system cannot image as well as a small one for the reasons already written. However, with woofers, frequency response dispersion, that is, how widely frequencies are spread in front of the woofer, decreases as frequency rises. Therefore, smaller woofers are better suited at higher frequencies. This is important because the total radiated power of the system, its power response, determines how well it is liked both on and off axis.

That said, I prefer smaller speakers on stands because they are easier to move around to find the sweet spot (I try not to think of myself as the proverbial 97 lb. weakling, but merely lazy). I also employ subs to do the low bass.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:22 pm 
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I think it's a mistake to think stand mounted speakers image/soundstage better than floor standing speakers. If anything it's the opposite: a great floor standing speaker can produce larger, more realistic image sizes, scale and depth, owing at least partially to producing lower frequencies which contain more imaging/acoustic information.

I love good imaging and have had many floor standing speakers and monitors. The best imaging has come from larger speakers. (I still have Waveform Mach MC monitors that image like crazy, but my Thiel 3.7 floor standers smack them around when it comes to image precision, density, depth, image size etc. The only stand mounted speaker that is tough to beat is my MBL 120 omni-directionals, which are just spooky 3D, but that's due more to their omni design than their being a stand mounted speaker. The big MBLs image even more impressively).

I was reminded again why I like floor standing speakers over stand mounts when I auditioned some expensive, top of the line speakers in England recently - Kudos Titan speakers. Kudos has just come out with a stand mounted version of their Titan speakers (the others are floor standing). It's a fairly big stand mounted speaker. It sounded very nice, but I was immediately aware as I often am with monitor speakers that the imaging seems shortened, cut off at the knees, so for instance a stand up bass seems to hover above the floor, mostly limited to the height of the monitor on the stand. As soon as we substituted the floor standing version, in the exact same position, the imaging and over all sound was much more convincing - bigger, more vast, but also the stand up bass now seemed to lengthen giving the impression it was a tall instrument anchored to the floor.

These are some of the reasons why, though I love "visiting" stand mounted speakers, I always go back to floor standing speakers as the most satisfying. (All this is without talk of using subs with stand mounted speakers...another discussion).


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:53 pm 
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Soundstage is the picture.
Imaging is the elements within that picture.

Would that be an accurate definition?

Gary


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:44 pm 
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Well said Gary.
Enjoy the music.

Cheers Videounut


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