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General lack of acoustics adjustment in speakers

stereoman

Well-known member
Mar 22, 2016
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Hi. Actually I wondered about it a some time ago. Some JBL and similar monitor speakers offer you this bass / treble treaming control on their speakers which I believe serves as a good control for speaker positioning. Many High End speakers have this inbuilt too but majority lack this substantial control. If the loudspeakers were equipped with such things ( frequency control etc. ) that would open many possibilities to adjust them in a home environment instead of reselling etc. Is this too expensive to implement or simply does not help so much...?
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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I think the 'pure' approach that removed tone controls from amplifiers did much the same for speakers, I am struggling to remember a proper speaker that had any controls at all.

Studio speakers have often had adjustment, mostly for mid and treble levels but modern active 'near field monitors' usually have wide ranging controls including the bass.

Bass adjustment, is to me, a real boon, it helps tremendously with room placement. My active Adam speakers are not ideally placed and probably, for practical reasons, too close to the wall but a little bass cut solves the problem completely, the treble controls can then be used to balance the sound.

A few hi-fi manufactures are using dsp to tailor bass response to room position but these too are active designs like the Dynaudio XEOs.

I certainly would not like to be without adjustments, like so... (identical to my speakers apart from usb socket)

 

Al ears

Moderator
Many speakers such as hi end Tannoys are still equipped to tweak in this way. Most normal speakers are not because the whole pointy is you buy speakers to suit your listening room. Any additional work would mean a price increase for the speakers themselves making them pretty much unsaleable. Most just offer tweaking via port-brings. Surely that's enough.

Or have I missed the point here?
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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The reason these are mostly found on pro gear is that there is much less flexibility in terms of where monitors will go. And absolutely no flexibility where an engineer sits. Also much easier to do on an active speaker.

For home use you can affect bass with positioning in relation to walls but also moving your listening position. Highs will roll off differently depending upon whether you're listening on or off axis. Even midrange will be different depending on the toe in. Not to mention vertical dispersion and the fact you can have a higher or lower armchair or speaker stands.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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I think they are great, particularly at the bass end. So many setups, my own included, have to compromise to some extent on speaker positioning and a little bass cut works wonders, less than a foot from the wall but the bass is very tight and controlled.

That is important to me and the bass quality, along with the fantastic folded ribbon tweeter gives a rare sense of transparency. I am not sure why, but this sort of eq seems different and rather superior to 'normal' eq such as tone controls or whatever but perhaps that is just wishful thinking on my part.

Putting adjustments on passive speakers is quite different and I think I can understand why it is rarely done, the Tannoy controls are I think primarily for historical reasons and although I can recall a few american speakers with hi frequency controls they were very rare in the uk market.
 

jonathanRD

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2011
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18,670
Wharfedale Mach 3 speakers - Save for going into my roof to check, I recall them having a treble adjustment, not that I recall using the adjustment much either. Seems like only yesterday I purchased them from Raidiocraft - in 1986!
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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My speakers have little screw-in metal caps which allow you to alter both Bass (by -2dB, for placement closer to walls); and Treble (-1.5dB / -0.75dB and +0.75dB)

The new Refs have different length Port Tubes for tailoring the Bass.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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davedotco said:
I think the 'pure' approach that removed tone controls from amplifiers did much the same for speakers, I am struggling to remember a proper speaker that had any controls at all...
What, like the JBL 43xx series of speakers that had them?

http://www.audio-heritage.jp/JBL/speaker/index.html

I thought you said you worked for JBL in the 1970's?

A lot of higher end American and Japanese speakers had this feature in the 1960's and 1970's.
 

stereoman

Well-known member
Mar 22, 2016
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4,595
I have no clue how many JBL monitors this company produced but it looks like hundreds. Actually they look really nice, I do not know much about the sound ( although I love their sound in shops that use them for their own music playing ) but it seems they are pretty popular...The 4312SX is lovely looking.

 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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stereoman said:
I have no clue how many JBL monitors this company produced but it looks like hundreds. Actually they look really nice, I do not know much about the sound ( although I love their sound in shops that use them for their own music playing ) but it seems they are pretty popular...The 4312SX is lovely looking.
Classic JBL monitors, from the '60s onward all used level controls for their mid and high drivers (in the passive versions) until the end of the 4XXX series released in the mid 90s. This was considered normal in professional circles originally because JBL offered a choice of drivers in their full size systems and was included in their first 'integrated' system, the 4310, as a matter of course.

These speakers were never meant for domestic use though they became highly sought after by hi-fi enthusiasts wanting the 'professional' model. JBL produced several hi-fi speakers based on studio monitors and some had identical driver line ups, they also had the mid and high controls featured prominently on the front panels.

This kind of set a standard that was widely emulated by far easten manufacturers perhaps most famously by Yamaha with their NS1000 and NS1000m models and a few uk manufactures got in on the act, Wharfedale E Series for example.

From the early 1980s onwards the uk speaker market was dominated by british manufactures and these controls largely vanished, sure there have been a few exceptions but they are pretty rare. Check out any mainstream dealer to see what I mean.
 

Al ears

Moderator
davedotco said:
stereoman said:
I have no clue how many JBL monitors this company produced but it looks like hundreds. Actually they look really nice, I do not know much about the sound ( although I love their sound in shops that use them for their own music playing ) but it seems they are pretty popular...The 4312SX is lovely looking.
Classic JBL monitors, from the '60s onward all used level controls for their mid and high drivers (in the passive versions) until the end of the 4XXX series released in the mid 90s. This was considered normal in professional circles originally because JBL offered a choice of drivers in their full size systems and was included in their first 'integrated' system, the 4310, as a matter of course.

These speakers were never meant for domestic use though they became highly sought after by hi-fi enthusiasts wanting the 'professional' model. JBL produced several hi-fi speakers based on studio monitors and some had identical driver line ups, they also had the mid and high controls featured prominently on the front panels.

This kind of set a standard that was widely emulated by far easten manufacturers perhaps most famously by Yamaha with their NS1000 and NS1000m models and a few uk manufactures got in on the act, Wharfedale E Series for example.

From the early 1980s onwards the uk speaker market was dominated by british manufactures and these controls largely vanished, sure there have been a few exceptions but they are pretty rare. Check out any mainstream dealer to see what I mean.
A good summation by dave as usual.
 

stereoman

Well-known member
Mar 22, 2016
144
13
4,595
Al ears said:
davedotco said:
stereoman said:
I have no clue how many JBL monitors this company produced but it looks like hundreds. Actually they look really nice, I do not know much about the sound ( although I love their sound in shops that use them for their own music playing ) but it seems they are pretty popular...The 4312SX is lovely looking.
Classic JBL monitors, from the '60s onward all used level controls for their mid and high drivers (in the passive versions) until the end of the 4XXX series released in the mid 90s. This was considered normal in professional circles originally because JBL offered a choice of drivers in their full size systems and was included in their first 'integrated' system, the 4310, as a matter of course.

These speakers were never meant for domestic use though they became highly sought after by hi-fi enthusiasts wanting the 'professional' model. JBL produced several hi-fi speakers based on studio monitors and some had identical driver line ups, they also had the mid and high controls featured prominently on the front panels.

This kind of set a standard that was widely emulated by far easten manufacturers perhaps most famously by Yamaha with their NS1000 and NS1000m models and a few uk manufactures got in on the act, Wharfedale E Series for example.

From the early 1980s onwards the uk speaker market was dominated by british manufactures and these controls largely vanished, sure there have been a few exceptions but they are pretty rare. Check out any mainstream dealer to see what I mean.
A good summation by dave as usual.
*good*
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
Electro said:
The Passive PMC Fact range have high and low frequency controls on the back .
Hardly mainstream pricewise but it is good to see.

What is more interesting (to me anyway) is the kind of low end eq provided by Dynaudio in their XEO and FocusXD models. They do not just offer lift and cut in terms of level but, according to Dynaudio, actually alter the allignment of the bass driver with respect to bass loading to suit different positioning.

No idea how that is achieved but I have heard it work on the XEO 2 and it does seem effective.
 

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