Flawed speaker design vs Sony ?

stereoman

Well-known member
Mar 22, 2016
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Hello to all. To the point. Many Hi Fi users have many gripes as to their sound. I believe that one of the most critical aspects are the quality of bass, punch and clarity. I am after a few hour listening session of one of the newest bluetooth Sony speakers with passive subwoofer. Now I am not trying to prove of course that all Hi Fi speakers are worse in comparison. But I have noticed a substantial difference. Many Hi Fi speakers are generally flawed in Design. I.E. they do not serve a good fluent tight bass response and are lacking in punch. Sony ( for example ) have long time ago focused on this critical thing. In almost every Sony speaker design they try to implement passive subwoofers or as said focus on bass response. On the other hand, many Hi Fi manufacturers omit this significant feature. Look at this. Many Hi Fi producers make small bookshelf speakers only with one woofer and a tweeter. Almost always ignoring extra features that support bass punch and bass quality. Again, Sony bass design makes music fluent, punchy and although they do not have high frequency clarity they offer great musicality that usual Hi Fi speakers do not have. Why is it so ? No clue.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
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They have churned out great products back to back, and what's not to like :)

I recently had a Sony HT system in my boat. And was really impressed with its ease of use and sound quality. Sony might not be a true hardcore hifi outfit, but their contributions to this hobby are difficult to ignore
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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Stereoman, I agree. The vast majority of modern speakers are highly compromised in the bass.

Main reasons are marketing and manufacturing and transportation costs.

The easiest route to good bass is large to huge bass cone area in a large rigid sealed cabinets or built into the wall for genuine infinite baffles. That type of speaker will have a far more limited market than slimline ported designs.
 

lpv

New member
Mar 14, 2013
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pair of high quality small monitors ( for excellent stereo image) with crystal clear mid and smooth top end + pair of sealed quality subs in the right room would be my choice.

most of 2 ways are only good for very small rooms.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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I've not come across any pairs of high quality small monitors with CRYSTAL CLEAR midranges. Do you know of any lpv?
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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lpv said:
don't give up. keep looking.
I will take that as a "no" in answer to my question then.

Please let me know if you ever come across any.

Let me know if you come across the Holy Grail, or the Fountain of Eternal Youth too.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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lpv said:
don't assume
Answer my question then, if you don't want me to assume.

It was a simple enough question.

In the absence of an answer, speculation is all that I can do.
 

lpv

New member
Mar 14, 2013
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my reference for crystal clear mids was always atc and now it's avi..

what's yours?
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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lpv said:
my reference for crystal clear mids was always atc and now it's avi..

what's yours?
This is like the Crocodile Dundee "Call that a knife?" scene.

Hah! AVI CRYSTAL CLEAR midrange??!!!

Call that a CRYSTAL CLEAR midrange? - pulls out a Quad Electrostatic or a classic USA (EV, Altec, JBL) or German (Klangfilm) horned midrange unit.
 

iceman16

Well-known member
Feb 8, 2011
126
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lindsayt said:
lpv said:
my reference for crystal clear mids was always atc and now it's avi..

what's yours?
This is like the Crocodile Dundee "Call that a knife?" scene.

Hah! AVI CRYSTAL CLEAR midrange??!!!

Call that a CRYSTAL CLEAR midrange? - pulls out a Quad Electrostatic or a classic USA (EV, Altec, JBL) or German (Klangfilm) horned midrange unit.
And some Martin Logan and Harbeth
 

lpv

New member
Mar 14, 2013
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lindsayt said:
lpv said:
my reference for crystal clear mids was always atc and now it's avi..

what's yours?
This is like the Crocodile Dundee "Call that a knife?" scene.

Hah! AVI CRYSTAL CLEAR midrange??!!!

Call that a CRYSTAL CLEAR midrange? - pulls out a Quad Electrostatic or a classic USA (EV, Altec, JBL) or German (Klangfilm) horned midrange unit.
I never heard the mentioned speakers ( apart from yours smelly coffins) so how could these be my reference?
 

lpv

New member
Mar 14, 2013
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I love cartoons and muppet show is my favourite..

however, I've lost my annual pass *crazy*
 

lpv

New member
Mar 14, 2013
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a short explanation of what happened.

lindsay asked me which speakers I think are crystal clear in mids.. I've answered

he run with this answer to another forum he is a long time member and cried to his mates.. then he post a long entry going into details of what I've done or said over the years..

lindsay, you are old vicious man that need help.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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IME speaker flaws or compromises are generally a consequence of poor matching and/or poor positioning. Of course there are going to be differences between speakers and systems but they are mostly quite subtle.

The amount of experimenting I've carried out over the years (few mms here or a few mms there), just to find the sweet spot -- or the sweetest position I can obtain within the limitations of my living room.

The one major flaw in modern speakers is the depth. They are called bookshelf but you'll have to have a ruddy deep shelf (and a reinforced wall) to stand them on. Gone are the days when speakers were shallow. A lot of the time compact floorstanders are a better option if you have a limited room.
 

stereoman

Well-known member
Mar 22, 2016
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plastic penguin said:
IME speaker flaws or compromises are generally a consequence of poor matching and/or poor positioning. Of course there are going to be differences between speakers and systems but they are mostly quite subtle.

The amount of experimenting I've carried out over the years (few mms here or a few mms there), just to find the sweet spot -- or the sweetest position I can obtain within the limitations of my living room.

The one major flaw in modern speakers is the depth. They are called bookshelf but you'll have to have a ruddy deep shelf (and a reinforced wall) to stand them on. Gone are the days when speakers were shallow. A lot of the time compact floorstanders are a better option if you have a limited room.
Hi Plastic. Very interesting post. I totally agree. First thing - positioning. A painstaking job to find the sweet spot sometimes really a matter of few mm. Secondly, the glass and room sizes. But there is more to this. For example a constant trend to make speakers less sensitive because the amps are more powerful - this is bad. Secondly, the engineering of the speakers. Small woofers, bass reflex ports etc. Actually I came to the point where I started to wonder what we are paying for so much money ? And whether really expensive Hi Fi systems are a kind of "ripping of". That is why I gave the example of Sony. You buy sth. from them for a 100$ and it blows you musically. Our systems should be 1000 times more musical and without issues - but this is not the case. So, either Sony employs thousands of good sound engineers who are planning the good sounding products for a great price / performance ratio or simply we pay much too much for what we get. And I have been many years into Hi Fi rarely to be totally satisifed. Actually I really come to this nasty conclusion that maybe the best sound is the one that is being ignored the most ? Also, yesterday I came to a blues concert in a medium sized pub. There were a 5 piece band playing good blues rock. I quickly realized how far away we are from the cool great sound of live band and our systems. Secondly, the acoustics played enormous role there. After the band stopped playing, they put on music on simple 4 speakers in corners of the pub that had an excellent sound played from a CD and an generic amp. So I am a bit baffled by this. Either we do not have proper acoustics at our homes and our systems are giving us 50% of what they can or simply, it is impossible to satisfy the customers with Hi Fi systems at their homes and that is why Sony are trying to focus on bass response to compromise things that in sequence compromise the real Hi Fi systems making them too much overpriced.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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I think that perhaps the Sony Bluetooth speakers are possibly less fussy than conventional designs when it comes to positioning. Therefore the sound possibly comes across as a little more taut and punchy.

I've carried out an experiement with positioning the speakers a few years ago, with a surprising outcome: It's often recommended toe-in and out. When I had the PMCs facing straight (no toe-in) I found the presentation to be more airy and open. Also playing DVDs I found them to have more vitual surround sound.

Toe the speakers in to the recommended angle and I lost a little of the openess and surround sound. In return, the presentation was a little more coherent, the imaging sounded a little more precise and the bass was ever so slightly deeper. Currently I only have a smidgen of toe-in and I get the best of both worlds... up to a point. But again, it's a compromise.

Either way, the diffrences are pretty subtle.

I do believe that regardless of design and technology, domestic hi-fi isn't an exact science, hamstrung in the main by our respective environments... and several other aspects, such as room size, shape, what type of furniture, carpet/wooden floor, curtains and even wallpaper that make up a whole.

We are all guilty at some point of over analysing the sound. That's why I don't scrutinize the sound anymore. The Holy Grail of the ideal set-up, IME, doesn't exist. If it did all the speaker/hi-fi companies would be tapping into whatever technology that makes the perfect sound.

Instead, i just sit back and listen to the beautiful music. *wink*
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
220
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10,820
plastic penguin said:
I think that perhaps the Sony Bluetooth speakers are possibly less fussy than conventional designs when it comes to positioning. Therefore the sound possibly comes across as a little more taut and punchy. 

I've carried out an experiement with positioning the speakers a few years ago, with a surprising outcome: It's often recommended toe-in and out. When I had the PMCs facing straight (no toe-in) I found the presentation to be more airy and open. Also playing DVDs I found them to have more vitual surround sound.

Toe the speakers in to the recommended angle and I lost a little of the openess and surround sound. In return, the presentation was a little more coherent, the imaging sounded a little more precise and the bass was ever so slightly deeper. Currently I only have a smidgen of toe-in and I get the best of both worlds... up to a point. But again, it's a compromise.

Either way, the diffrences are pretty subtle.

I do believe that regardless of design and technology, domestic hi-fi isn't an exact science, hamstrung in the main by our respective environments... and several other aspects, such as room size, shape, what type of furniture, carpet/wooden floor, curtains and even wallpaper that make up a whole.

We are all guilty at some point of over analysing the sound. That's why I don't scrutinize the sound anymore. The Holy Grail of the ideal set-up, IME, doesn't exist. If it did all the speaker/hi-fi companies would be tapping into whatever technology that makes the perfect sound.

Instead, i just sit back and listen to the beautiful music. *wink*

 
Experience with my pmc's too. Even I sit in a equilateral triangle of exactly 8 feet with the speakers firing dead straight. I enjoy the sound and ambience this way, though the centre image for vocals gets a little smudged :)
 

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