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Frequency responses of popular monitors (Mackies, Events, ADAMs, Dynaudio, etc)
Old 27th March 2006
  #1
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Frequency responses of popular monitors (Mackies, Events, ADAMs, Dynaudio, etc)

For those who haven't seen these yet... some interesting frequency responses measured from a selection of popular monitors (it was linked from another forum).

http://dmfrench2.iweb.bsu.edu/quasi_anechoic/index.html
Old 27th March 2006
  #2
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Follow your ears and not the charts. The Mackies look great here but better than the ADAMs?
Old 27th March 2006
  #3
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Bogus bull****.
Old 27th March 2006
  #4
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How can that be bogus bull****? The real bogus bull**** is the charts and the spin devised by the marketing departments that give the impression that these monitors have anything resembling a 'flat response'.

This guy is actually exposing a big legal can of worms. We are lied to on a daily basis by practically everyone about practically everything. But when a marketer puts lies in print, which can be demonstrated to be false, that gives laywers a chance to hurt them ...

Second only to mic response charts.
Old 27th March 2006
  #5
Gear Nut
 

These curves smooth out if you use ecotic cables like Kimber.














Old 27th March 2006
  #6
11413
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not hard to see the NS-10's 2k peak from hell....
Old 27th March 2006
  #7
Gear Head
 

The problem that I see is the max dB levels and other "scientific method" flaws.

Nearfield Monitors are designed for sustained listening and peak performance at 80-90 dB's (usually 82-86 dB's) at 1-2 yards max. They also recommend a break-in period of 20-40 hours!!

How many hours of use were on each monitor tested?
Where was the measurement taken? At what distance from the monitor?
Was the measurement taken at the optimal listening height (ear level just slightly below tweeter) at 1-2 yards?
Was the measurement taken individually, single monitor or dual monitor?
What did the raw control curve look like at the source? At the monitor end of the monitor connection/patch cable?
Which cables were used and what were their lengths? Was the same exact setup used for every monitor?
Which converters were used?
Was the air flow in the room disrupted by HVAC, human entry or exit to the room during any test?
What were the default tweak settings used on the switches and dials on the rear of those monitors?
Why was a peak set 100 dB's, more than 15 dB's above the monitors' optimal level?








s
Old 27th March 2006
  #8
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Marky,

> some interesting frequency responses measured from a selection of popular monitors <

Yeah, I saw that and commented in one of the other forums. As far as I can tell David's results are valid. You can see in the photos that the speakers and microphone are in the clear, away from any reflecting surfaces. One of the comments I made elsewhere is that most of the speakers clearly have a dip in the "irritating" range between 2 and 4 KHz. This implies to me that many loudspeakers are intentionally designed to have a sound smooth that is not fatiguing to listen to. But they are not accurate!

Measuring speakers is really tricky, and getting people to understand that just because a speaker sounds "good" doesn't mean it's accurate is even more difficult. Me, I'll take accurate over flattering every time. Of course, there's more to accuracy than just frequency response! There's also distortion (both THD and IM), off-axis response, ringing caused by cabinet and other resonances, and so forth. I've suggested to David that he should also post waterfall plots from those tests, because that can be done after the fact using the data he already has and it will show each speaker's inherent ringing. Unfortunately, he has not done that so far.

--Ethan
Old 27th March 2006
  #9
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I have a pair of M1 Mk 2 and they seem to be among the most acccurate in this example.
i also have a pair of the events, and they are 3 times more detailed than the m1 mk 2.
Old 27th March 2006
  #10
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This test makes all the speakers seem ****e.

So are all of these speakers **** and the alesis the least ****.
Old 27th March 2006
  #11
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Frankly I think the tests are irrelevant from a purchasing or shootout perspective, unless you want to strut around bragging about some engineering spec that was met. I do admire the effort involved but any conclusions other than an engineering bar that has been made does not equate to real world use or experience.

The human ear has to be pleased across many speaker types from cars, homes stereos and MP3 players. Design specs do not equate to transferability or pleasurable experience.

Now if we all agree that absolutely flat monitors equate to a desirable listening experience which helps create music, then I stand down. These tests and years (ears) of experience tell me otherwise.
Old 27th March 2006
  #12
Rep
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I guess this test Makes the Mackie HR824 the KING of all Monitors...

Screw getting the, BareFoot MicroMains 27 ... Viva la Mackie HR824


.
Old 27th March 2006
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pingu
This test makes all the speakers seem ****e.

So are all of these speakers **** and the alesis the least ****.
There's a lot of truth in that first statement. Transducers in general, and speakers in particular, are always the weak link in the accuracy of a system. We can make electronics that are flat to within a fraction of a decibel, but speakers and microphones can't come anywhere near that.

I'm not sure what it is that you seem to like about the Alesis, though. That bass peak would render them pretty much useless in my world.

The Mackies appear to have come out looking best overall in this test. Mackie does test each individual speaker and packs a response graph with it when shipped. So it's easy to see that the HR824s are somewhat flatter than others on the market - both based on the company's own tests and those presented here. But flat response doesn't always guarantee that a monitor will meet your needs.

And while the Mackies may produce the best graphs here, several others come pretty close. The Tannoys look great except for the roll-off at the top and bottom. The Genelec 1031As and Event Precision 8s don't look too bad either.
Old 27th March 2006
  #14
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I hate the ALesis as i have them and i have the Events and Dyn aduios.

The alesis are unuseable.
Old 27th March 2006
  #15
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Monitors are not suppose to be flat. Thats a myth..a wives tale. Its something repeated over and over again so many times that people think its the truth. Do a little research
Old 28th March 2006
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolute
Monitors are not suppose to be flat.
Why do you believe that?

In my view, monitors should be reasonably flat. Frequency response is not the only issue, though, and the best monitor for a given application will probably be best judged on a balance of a number of characteristics: frequency response, transient response, distortion characteristics, refraction/reflection characteristics, etc. Then add in other factors like controls that allow you to adjust for room placement, plus things like price, warranty, build quality. There's a lot that goes into selecting a monitor.

But even with all of that taken into account, I would not want my main monitors to have a glaring (as in extreme) peak or dip in their response curve.
Old 28th March 2006
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer
Marky,

ors <

Yeah, I saw that and commented in one of the other forums. As far as I can tell David's results are valid. You can see in the photos that the speakers and microphone are in the clear, away from any reflecting surfaces.

--Ethan
Well I can confirm that the Event ASP8 pretty much seems to match what I hear, with my "calibrated ears" in my room.

The interesting one for me is the Dynaudio BM15a because I had these side by side with the ASP8 in my room as I was trying to choose between the two.

I heard a huge dip in the midrange of the BM15a and no matter how I altered the positioning, I could not get rid of it.

It's kind of uncanny how David's graph depicts pretty much what I was hearing with the BM15a...

I find the Mackies to sound pretty *flat* if there is such a thing, but I hear some funny stuff going on around the xover point..

BTW my partner thinks I am crazy so there you go
Old 28th March 2006
  #18


Remember that this measurement is done "free field". Nearly all nearfield monitors end up on top of console or desk - where there is a multi-path issue with the tweeter.

This is interesting, but it doesn't really give you a good indication of how accurate the monitors are once installed in your control room.



-tINY

Old 28th March 2006
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY


Remember that this measurement is done "free field". Nearly all nearfield monitors end up on top of console or desk - where there is a multi-path issue with the tweeter.

This is interesting, but it doesn't really give you a good indication of how accurate the monitors are once installed in your control room.



-tINY


Yes this is true, but a free field measurement is really the only way to compare equally because your room is not like mine etc.

However, there is one big monkey wrench in the whole thing.
What if a manufacturer assumes the monitors will be put on top of the console and thus designs this situation into the monitor?
Said monitor might not measure too well in the free field, but would measure good sitting on the console because that is the way it was designed.

Personally, I think some of those monitors are more midfield monitors anyhow.
The Events ASP8 and the Dynaudio BM15a are really more of a midfield monitor imho.
I know both of them sounded like crap when positioned on the corners of my desk where my Mackies used to be.
Five feet seems to be the sweet spot in my room.

The only way to audition monitors is to try them out in your own room.
That's what I did, and although it was a PITA, I am very happy I did it because I learned quite a bit.
Old 28th March 2006
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer
Marky,
One of the comments I made elsewhere is that most of the speakers clearly have a dip in the "irritating" range between 2 and 4 KHz. This implies to me that many loudspeakers are intentionally designed to have a sound smooth that is not fatiguing to listen to. But they are not accurate!
i don't want to discuss whether these specific charts are somewhat relevant or not.
anyway - no offense, but i think your conclusion is wrong. in typical two way speaker systems the crossover frequency is somewhere between 1.5 and 4 khz. as far as i understand the construction of a speaker, this "dip in the irritating range" is not done by choice of the designers, it's much more an issue caused by the crossover between both speakers.
Old 28th March 2006
  #21
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Ahem ... the crossover point is major design decision. You could cross-over at any frequency you like - it just seems that the decision is made to make speakers more flattering on purpose.

Many monitors have active electronics, and the eq shape is fairly well engineered on purpose.

As far as marketing bull**** goes - all of the monitors in question claim to be accurate and relatively flat. Claims such as 20 to 20k plus/minus 3dB are common.

It amazes me how we can split hairs over almost inaudible differences in converters and stuff, and then calmly accept huge discrepancies in monitors and their published charts.

It's a ripoff. An understandable ripooff - who would buy these things if they published the truth?
Old 28th March 2006
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by airmate
- no offense, but i think your conclusion is wrong. in typical two way speaker systems the crossover frequency is somewhere between 1.5 and 4 khz. as far as i understand the construction of a speaker, this "dip in the irritating range" is not done by choice of the designers, it's much more an issue caused by the crossover between both speakers.


By offsetting the cross-over filters the right way, you can overlap the frequency ranges and create a bump instead of a dip. Or you could use Tchebychev filters and get the bump. Or, you could not compensate the inductance of the woofer and use the peaking to get a bump.....

Personally, I like 3-way designs that keep the crossover points out of the 500-5k range. But you end up with a bigger, more expensive speaker that way....



-tINY

Old 28th March 2006
  #23
Rep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger
It amazes me how we can split hairs over almost inaudible differences in converters and stuff, and then calmly accept huge discrepancies in monitors and their published charts.?


It is Because A Converter or Preamp company,
Can Not BLAME "Your ROOM,"...IF you get anything less then the ;
"Manufactures Advertised speck's"
Old 28th March 2006
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprocket.master
Well I can confirm that the Event ASP8 pretty much seems to match what I hear, with my "calibrated ears" in my room.

The interesting one for me is the Dynaudio BM15a because I had these side by side with the ASP8 in my room as I was trying to choose between the two.

I heard a huge dip in the midrange of the BM15a and no matter how I altered the positioning, I could not get rid of it.

It's kind of uncanny how David's graph depicts pretty much what I was hearing with the BM15a...

I find the Mackies to sound pretty *flat* if there is such a thing, but I hear some funny stuff going on around the xover point..

BTW my partner thinks I am crazy so there you go

Are you happy woth the Events?
Old 28th March 2006
  #25
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Quote:
The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.
Old 28th March 2006
  #26
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tINY,

> By offsetting the cross-over filters the right way, you can overlap the frequency ranges and create a bump instead of a dip. <

That's what I would have said if you hadn't beat me to it. Regardless of the cause of these dips, or what could or could not have been done, the bottom line is a lot of speakers do have some amount of dip in the "harshness" range, and many people perceive that as open and airy sounding, or less fatiguing, etc.

--Ethan
Old 28th March 2006
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pingu
Are you happy woth the Events?
I have been VERY happy with the Event ASP8s.
Old 28th March 2006
  #28
ILL
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What happened to the page ?
Old 28th March 2006
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprocket.master
I have been VERY happy with the Event ASP8s.

Me too
Old 28th March 2006
  #30
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The link doesn't seem to work. In any case, on-axis anechoic response is important, but it's not the whole story. Off-axis response is very important to translation. Furthermore, a typical frequency response curve doesn't reveal much about the distortion characteristics of a speaker. Here's an example:



The red curve is the overall speaker response and the blue peaks are distortion. The purple curve is the sum of the red and blue curves. Now, the blue distortion peaks are -20dB down, which corresponds to a whopping 10% distortion. Nobody would deny that these are clearly audible. Yet, they only create 1dB blips in the frequency response, well within typical response variations.

Thomas
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