The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Cardioid speakers
Old 23rd January 2020
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Cardioid speakers

I’m interested in getting some cardioid speakers such as Kii Three, Dutch & Dutch 8C or Geithain.

I have found a lot of marketing but not so much experience or measurements to show how effective they are in smaller rooms compared to normal speakers.

Any proper info/studies would be helpful!
Old 23rd January 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by explorer View Post
I’m interested in getting some cardioid speakers such as Kii Three, Dutch & Dutch 8C or Geithain.

I have found a lot of marketing but not so much experience or measurements to show how effective they are in smaller rooms compared to normal speakers.

Any proper info/studies would be helpful!
I never heard any of these speakers but they all are very reputable and I know the developer of the D&D and can only believe him to come up with something that is no less than perfect.
Cardiods can have advantages over conventionel speakers.... in more or less normal rooms.
As we are here most of the time talking about HQ listening rooms and if I consider the price of the speakers, I doubt if they would outperform a conventional top class monitor in an expensive top class critical listening room.

So maybe this is the wrong place to ask this or others might have a different opinion?
Old 23rd January 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
If i remember well, this subject has been treated on GS. May be by the search module, you could find it.
Old 23rd January 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Unfortunately I will probably never have an "expensive top class critical listening room". My studio is a relatively small room in a regular house. I have added as much treatment as possible (a large amount of thick porous absorbers), and optimised positioning etc. I can not do permanent construction.

Cardioid speakers therefore seem like a good idea, but I can find little data showing how well they really work vs. normal speakers. I have searched but mainly found theoretical discussion or anecdotes. I was hoping someone might be aware of some proper measurements or studies showing the real-life benefits in this sort of solution so I can decide if it's worth going down this path.
Old 23rd January 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
In Pa speakers, it seems than the cardioid sub is a common use.
May be go in this direction.
Old 23rd January 2020 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 

yep, big topic and daily business in live sr, mostly with subs - interestingly enough, d&b started implenting this into their newest/largest series of line array tops.

anyway, keep in mind that for steering low frequencies to some amount, you need enough space behind the cabinets so this may no work (efficiently) in a small room with speaker typically being positioned against the front wall.

instead you might want to consider using speakers with relatively large woofers (which are more directional than smaller woofers) and/or look into coaxial systems (for slightly different reasons though).

if you want to dig into the topic of steering lf, check for 'designing subwoofer arrays', 'gradient' and 'directional' sub arrays, 'beam steering' of sub arrays etc. and you'll find plenty of literature - ev has still one of the better papers out (guess i could dig it up).

___


p.s. i'm in this business for quite some time but have never heard the term 'cardioid speakers'?! cardioid (or hypercardioid) array beaviour - with lows, this gets achieved via arraying plus alignment and with tops via horns and of course the splay angles between line array elements (or angling of the speakers within a clusters in earlier days)...
Old 23rd January 2020 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
keep in mind that for steering low frequencies to some amount, you need enough space behind the cabinets so this may no work (efficiently) in a small room with speaker typically being positioned against the front wall.
As I understand it, the Kii Three and Dutch & Dutch 8c are recommended to be placed quite close to the front wall (+/- 10cm). Gaithain say only 20cm distance is required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
if you want to dig into the topic of steering lf, check for 'designing subwoofer arrays', 'gradient' and 'directional' sub arrays, 'beam steering' of sub arrays etc. and you'll find plenty of literature - ev has still one of the better papers out (guess i could dig it up).
Thanks, I'll take a look into that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
p.s. i'm in this business for quite some time but have never heard the term 'cardioid speakers'?!
Good point. Constant Directivity may be a more accurate term. A lot of reviews and articles seem to describe them as speakers with "cardioid dispersion".
Old 23rd January 2020 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by explorer View Post
As I understand it, the Kii Three and Dutch & Dutch 8c are recommended to be placed quite close to the front wall (+/- 10cm). Gaithain say only 20cm distance is required.

(...) Constant Directivity may be a more accurate term. A lot of reviews and articles seem to describe them as speakers with "cardioid dispersion".
well, depends on what frequency area we're talking and how much more directional we'll want the speakers to behave (without using horns) compared to 'normal' speakers - also, a speaker can be quite directional (in a specific frequency areas) yet overall doesn't show a cardioid pattern (it'd be a discussion about averaging): could be hypercardioid.

anyway, by theory and by practical experience (a couple of thousand shows), i know for fact that the lower in frequency you go, the less directional behaviour you get and the closer to a wall you get, the more you affect the (directional) pattern so the speakers behaves more or less omnidirectional or you get partial cancellation...

...all of which doesn't need to be an issue as you'll get it from any conventional (and freestanding) speaker too; i was just mentioning a few things trying to demystify some of the marketing bs.


(one of the very best speakers imo are still the old passive, hornloaded augspurger/tad/kino****a/pioneer 2-way systems: pretty far from current dsp assisted über-designs... - needs to be in-wall-mounted though)
Old 28th January 2020 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by explorer View Post
Unfortunately I will probably never have an "expensive top class critical listening room". My studio is a relatively small room in a regular house. I have added as much treatment as possible (a large amount of thick porous absorbers), and optimised positioning etc. I can not do permanent construction.

Cardioid speakers therefore seem like a good idea, but I can find little data showing how well they really work vs. normal speakers. I have searched but mainly found theoretical discussion or anecdotes. I was hoping someone might be aware of some proper measurements or studies showing the real-life benefits in this sort of solution so I can decide if it's worth going down this path.
I've built and used a number of cardioid and even tighter pattern (half-fig8) speakers. The last ones I went from were LSR32's to these-

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...oid-boxes.html

I also am just finishing up a more top class listening room (then using the SEOS24 and half fig 8 setup)...

I don't have pre/post measurements along the way, but I can say that the cardioid and then half fig 8 both offered incremental improvements to the frequency response and ETC, but no real improvement to decay times or obviously noise floor etc.

Having now moved that same gear into the properly built room, I think it's safe to say that this setup is helping to reduce early reflections in there as well (ETC shows -30dB max ER's), especially with desk, gear etc. But the improvements to decay times and having the much quieter room are more significant IME than the improvements gained by the directivity...

TL:DR, cardioid (or narrower ideally) is good and offers some incremental gains, but I wouldn't view it as a replacement or substitute for a proper room. My 'old' room, was actually reasonably well treated as well.
Old 29th January 2020
  #10
@ RyanC Your pics in the thread on avsforum don't load for me.
Old 29th January 2020 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
@ RyanC Your pics in the thread on avsforum don't load for me.
Ah bummer, it looks like AVS doesn't host the images forever (not surprising though either)

These images were still cached on google images. The box with the holes cut in was then lined with ultratouch type insulation (I think I ended up with 2 layers of .5"). And painted.

The measurement shows polar measured outside and gated to remove ground reflections. 10 degree increments

And then the last one shows how it was setup, I eventually took those wood slats out, but they didn't' make much difference there.

My current setup is using an AE TD15M as a naked driver (no baffle or box at all). It's natural polar response is fig-8 of course. Then the rear lobe of the fig 8 fires into a very deep absorber (via both actual depth at ~20" and geometry to where reflections go through more). If you look at a polar of fig8 vs cardioid, fig8 is quite a bit tighter- so even less issues with SBIR, desk, side wall etc. My new rooms are only 2300 cubic feet, so I'm very pleased to get early reflections down to -30dB. I haven't had time yet to tweak the room either, but I think I can optimize it even further.
Attached Thumbnails
Cardioid speakers-card-box.jpg   Cardioid speakers-card-box-10-degree.jpg   Cardioid speakers-setup.jpg  
Old 29th January 2020
  #12
Lives for gear
My full journey into constant directivity -

LSR32's (limited wide controlled directivity) ->
1) SEOS 18+ quad 6.5" horizontal array (limited constant directivity on horizontal plane)-
2) SEOS 24 + quad 6.5" horizontal array (limited constant directivity on horizontal plane)->
3) SEOS 24 + Cardioid mid/bass (the pics here)->
4) SEOS 24 + Half fig-8 (similiarish to how hard soffit/flush mounted are half omni, but tighter with fig8)

All that in a more domestic type space with heavy treatment. I did take a lot of measurements along the way but don't have them saved and organized. I would figure MEG, D&D and Kii to be similar to the 3rd iteration here directivity wise. If you read the AVS forum I had issues with that iteration and port noise. I assume the real manufactures don't(ish), but also have my doubts there. I had port noise only with certain types of signals.

The 4th iteration there requires the room to be at least treated to get the most from the directivity (rear lobe must be absorbed at least at the level of other ERs).

Then moving the last iteration into a bespoke room.

Sometime in the next year or so I can do some comparisons with some normal monitors (IE LSR308's or similar), but this will take some work, the speakers won't be positioned the same and isn't a priority for me...

I have my doubts that most/many manufactures have solved ALL issues with passive cardioid, but those are very subjective doubts. D&D ports for example look very small to me, but they likely did A LOT more RnD than I did (my educated guess is that these drivers should have a low VAS). Still I wouldn't be surprised if chuffing was a possibility at higher SPL's and certain signals.

Bruno (Kii) doesn't overlook anything IMO/E, but he's the first to admit that he's too technical to make speakers that people like...I've only heard MEG's in a mediocre room, Kii at a noisy convention and haven't heard D&D. So full disclosure and most of it subjective.

I never posted about any of this stuff in the past on GS because nobody cared about it in the studio until recently.
Old 29th January 2020
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing.
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by explorer View Post
Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing.
Sure man. There is a lot here. I could write more about it if you want, but it would have to be a bit of a novel.

The short version is that there are 2 main benefits for constant directivity. One is the obvious one of reducing early reflections. The other is that as you move off axis, say left to right, you get further from the left speaker (less spl due to inverse square) and more off axis to the right. If the toe in is correct, this will mean that you maintain decent tonal balance off the centerline of the room. Obviously the centerline of the room is still best due to timing differences left to right. But you do still get a good image off axis in the 'large format' constant directivity, and it works really well moving forward and back on the centerline...

I have my doubts that anything that isn't more in the large format compression driver range will achieve this. JBL M2 yup, for sure. Kii, D&D, MEG...maybeish? But M2 doesn't maintain that directivity down to Schroeder in most rooms (which means the others will likely measure better in terms of early reflections from Schroeder to crossover or where the diaphragm size limits directivity, which is around 800hz for a 15"= and 1600hz for a 7.5!)

You have to toe in your speakers more aggressively than the equilateral triangle for this to work.

This a good article on the latter-

http://www.pispeakers.com/Pi_Speakers_Info.pdf

starting on pg 7.

It's a fairly deep topic and I notice that while genelec, D&D, kii, Meg have all moved into this space, nobody wants to cross boundaries into breaking established studio norms like the equilateral triangle...Also they don't want to use compression drivers because old horn designs left some bad tastes in some mouths...

If you get a chance to demo some of these in any way, definitely check out the M2 as well.
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 

btw: it was quite unnecessary for the manufacturer of these new über-speakers shown at namm to stomp on you in the other thread - keep rocking!
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
It's a fairly deep topic and I notice that while genelec, D&D, kii, Meg have all moved into this space, nobody wants to cross boundaries into breaking established studio norms like the equilateral triangle...Also they don't want to use compression drivers because old horn designs left some bad tastes in some mouths...
Genelec are using compression drivers:

https://www.genelec.com/1236a#sectio...specifications

There’s really no alternative if you want to be able to reach playback levels of 100 dB for uncompressed/unlimited program material without compression/clipping/distortion (since the transients of unprocessed/unlimited music can easily be 25 dB above RMS level, so the speaker needs to be able to handle at least 125 dB without sweating).

This is why (in combination with directivity control) I also use a compression driver in a 15” horn for my systems. In addition to this, I use four 8” mids (two above and two below the horn) in order to further increase directivity control in the vertical plane (but also horizontal to some degree), especially the 500-1500 range where the desk reflection is most problematic in my experience. Angle to desk is usually about 25-30 degrees off axis, so having the response down by 6 dB or more at this angle greatly improves the situation, especially for less than ideal desks (unfortunately very common …).



True that old/bad horns have severely damaged the reputation of compression drivers. If used in modern good horns in conjunction with DSP (done correctly …) ; they offer the best possible way of reproducing the mid/high range without artefacts and distortion at high playback levels (or any level for that matter). If using modern FIR filters, the measurements are starting to look so good in every aspect (FR, resonance/decay and also phase) that it looks like you just measured a loopback of the interface …

Cardioid speakers-fr-phase-response-olo-48.jpg

Attached Thumbnails
Cardioid speakers-burst-decay-olo-48.jpg   Cardioid speakers-vertical-directivity-olo-48.jpg   Cardioid speakers-fr-phase-response-olo-48.jpg  

Last edited by Jens Eklund; 30th January 2020 at 10:53 AM..
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
(...)I also use a compression driver in a 15” horn for my systems. In addition to this, I use four 8” mids (two above and two below the horn) in order to further increase directivity control in the vertical plane (but also horizontal to some degree), especially the 500-1500 range where the desk reflection is most problematic in my experience. Angle to desk is usually about 25-30 degrees off axis, so having the response down by 6 dB or more at this angle greatly improves the situation, especially for less than ideal desks (…)
i can clearly see the merits of such a design!

personally, i like mixing on speakers with very wide patterns in the mid/hf range (when mixing in stereo): to me, it seems as if they can more effortlessly picture ambient/room sound/efx (and the kino****at/tad/pioneer/augspurger horns for me do the trick).

for surround however, i favor more narrow dispersion/directional behaviour and would love to get to mix on a system of yours (still using tannoy coax speakers)...

my modest attempts of steering sound in the studio environment are limited to force my freestanding subs into a directional pattern by either arraying and/or by adding a small rear-firing woofer (both pretty much standard in live sound).
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i can clearly see the merits of such a design!

oersonally, i lik mixing on speakers with very wide patterns in the mid/hf range (when mixing in stereo): to me, it seems as if they can more effortlessly picture ambient/room sound/efx (and the kino****at/tad/pioneer/augspurger horns for me do the trick).

for surround however, i favor more narrow dispersion/directional behaviour and would love to get to mix on a system of yours (still using tannoy coax speakers)...
Do note that the directivity plot above is for the vertical plane. This is the plane I want to have tight control, especially in the lower mid, in order to avoid the desk reflection.

In the horizontal plane, and assuming well treated room; I also want a wide dispersion:

Cardioid speakers-horizontal-directivity-olo-48.jpg

Worst case (about 1600-2000 Hz or so); the response is only down 1 dB at about 12 degrees off axis. -3 dB is around 22 degrees in this range. Again; worst case. In the majority of the frequency range, the response is only down 0,5 dB or less at 10 degrees off axis or more in the horizontal plane.
Attached Thumbnails
Cardioid speakers-horizontal-directivity-olo-48.jpg  
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 

very nice!

and yes, i should have been more specific/differentiate between the horizontal and the verticale plane.

[guess i wasn't 'cause in live sound (which i'm more into these days) the vertical plane is a discussion in terms of how to angle speakers in a specific venue and less about the design of individual speakers (within an array): they all feed into horns which have very narrow vertical dispersion.]
Old 30th January 2020
  #20
@ Jens Eklund do you have photos of your speakers?

PS: Another speaker using horns and (FIR) correction is the Avantgarde Acoustic Zero 1 XD. Haven't heard them yet but would like to.
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
@ Jens Eklund do you have photos of your speakers?
Cardioid speakers-holonor-218-48.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Cardioid speakers-holonor-218-48.jpg  
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
PS: Another speaker using horns and (FIR) correction is the Avantgarde Acoustic Zero 1 XD. Haven't heard them yet but would like to.
Oure system can do both FIR and regular IIR filters. FIR has obvious advantages, but if the additional 3,5 ms latency is an issue (not for most since it´s the equivalent of backing off one additional meter or so away from your speakers), it´s good to also be able to do normal IIR filtering (no latency).
Old 30th January 2020
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
 

Here´s both horizontal and vertical directivity plots for easy comparison:

Cardioid speakers-horizontal-directivity-olo-48.jpg
Cardioid speakers-vertical-directivity-plot-olo-48.jpg

Apart from low distortion (even at high high levels) and obviously flat frequency response (not hard to achieve these days), the vertical directivity control is what I’m focusing on since the desk reflection is such a common issue.
Attached Thumbnails
Cardioid speakers-horizontal-directivity-olo-48.jpg   Cardioid speakers-vertical-directivity-plot-olo-48.jpg  
Old 30th January 2020
  #24
Thanks @ Jens Eklund . At what frequencies do you cross over?
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
Thanks @ Jens Eklund . At what frequencies do you cross over?
Depends on room/positioning/desk and if using FIR or IIR. When using FIR for instance, the mids and CD/horn overlap (since there’s no issues with phase wraps) in order to increase directivity control in the vertical plane. CD/horn operates down to about 800 Hz and mids up to about 1,7 kHz when in FIR mode.

If IIR mode, it´s a classic 4th order LR at anywhere from 900 to 1300 Hz, whichever provides the best results in terms of avoiding the desk reflection.

Bass modules x-over also depends entirely on how the room behaves. Again, if FIR; possibly overlapping to further increase directivity in vertical plane to further avoid the floor bounce related dip in the 100-150 Hz range.
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
Depends on room/positioning/desk and if using FIR or IIR. When using FIR for instance, the mids and CD/horn overlap (since there’s no issues with phase wraps) in order to increase directivity control in the vertical plane. CD/horn operates down to about 800 Hz and mids up to about 1,7 kHz when in FIR mode.

If IIR mode, it´s a classic 4th order LR at anywhere from 900 to 1300 Hz, whichever provides the best results in terms of avoiding the desk reflection.

Bass modules x-over also depends entirely on how the room behaves. Again, if FIR; possibly overlapping to further increase directivity in vertical plane to further avoid the floor bounce related dip in the 100-150 Hz range.
glad you mention this (use of different x-overs/filter designs/types/settings)!

(more often than not, one gets rather negative reactions just upon mentioning techniques outside of the scope of some other folks...)
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
Oure system can do both FIR and regular IIR filters. FIR has obvious advantages, but if the additional 3,5 ms latency is an issue (not for most since it´s the equivalent of backing off one additional meter or so away from your speakers), it´s good to also be able to do normal IIR filtering (no latency).
I'm doing the same with minidsp DA8, it has switchable presets. Are you willing/able to share what hardware you're using there? Curious what other options exist, but I completely understand if not.

I like the minidsp, but the dacs are a tad noisy...when you connect them up to CD's that make 118dB with 1w (I'm using Radian 951pb with beryllium diaphragms), the upstream components get exposed pretty quickly.

I'm still looking for that 5w amp with 0dB of gain!

Your speakers and measurements look great!
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
I'm doing the same with minidsp DA8, it has switchable presets. Are you willing/able to share what hardware you're using there? Curious what other options exist, but I completely understand if not.
We’re using a Marani LPP480A.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
Your speakers and measurements look great!

Thanks
Old 30th January 2020
  #29
Lives for gear
 

It even can get better than compression driver: https://www.alconsaudio.com/proribbon/
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bert stoltenborg View Post
It even can get better than compression driver: https://www.alconsaudio.com/proribbon/
I've used ribbons in two sets, one here:

Spot the gear : Avicii studio gear..

but now I've moved on ...
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 2342 views: 320122
Avatar for dinococcus
dinococcus 5 days ago
replies: 94 views: 22417
Avatar for RyanC
RyanC 15th September 2018
replies: 82 views: 13266
Avatar for Gringo Starr
Gringo Starr 18th October 2017
replies: 1948 views: 247728
Avatar for aremos
aremos 1 day ago
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump