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Technical and scientific discussion of amps, cables and other topics.

We've

become apologists for speaker performance, in my opinion. Crossover distortion for an AB amp is nothing compared to crossover distortion for speaker designs.

I have posted over on Tweaks about placing mu metal strips between multiple drivers in a speaker system. The increase in clarity is astounding as the mu metal cuts the magnetic interference between the drivers (properly installed of course). I see no manufacturer implementing such a tweak. I have posted on the simple changing out of black iron screws to nonmagnetic ones, either brass or stainless. Very few manufacturers follow suit, although you can actually hear the soundstage changing if you play music while replacing the screws one by one.

I find that the typical designer hops on his computer and simply downloads an appropriate crossover design, sticks in speaker parameters and is pretty much done with the model. They seem to take the computer's word as being sacred and do very little independent investigation on their own (believe me, I have spoken to a myriad of designers over the years and while I do not claim any special knowledge about speaker designs, I am still shocked by the relative ignorance, in general, by many lauded designers).

As for speaker volume, what normal listener can ever have playback at 125 dB? Your neighbors, let alone your significant other, would can the system almost immediately. That being said, I see many "audiophiles" preferring to play extremely loud because loudness actually conceals many sins. If the system is truly neutral and coherent, woofers and tweeters are in proportion no matter what the volume is. Midrange is appropriately balanced, too. Too many systems are not balanced at all except at very loud levels.

I hear this all the time when I attended CES and many audio stores. In fact serving an "apprenticeship" at an automotive audio shop taught me one thing: crank up the volume of whatever product you want to sell, and you pretty much have it sold. Guy could come in looking for a pair of speakers but you could sell an equalizer that way..... Unfortunately, the same sales approach pervades even home stereo. And unfortunately home theater hasn't helped any: exaggerated bass and treble are the typical norm and many have come to expect the same "sound" from their stereo.


Stu


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