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General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

Bessel alignment

Wilson Benesch has been using Bessel alignment for many years, since the early 2000s I think. The Totem Element design has several things in common with Wilson Benesch. There is the in-house designed mid-bass driver running near-full range up to 5 KHz with no external crossover parts, with a first order acoustic roll-off above that, a soft dome tweeter with a somewhat higher than usual fs and a single cap to roll it off below 5 KHz, and a BE4 bass-reflex alignment. All of these design choices are made in the name of transient performance.

I used to own Wilson Benesch speakers and they were subjectively fast sounding, with notes starting and stopping very quickly and cleanly. They were also very good at soundstaging and had unusually good dynamics for their size. I hear some of the same characteristics in the Totem Element Fire, with the exception that the top octave of the W-B speakers is a bit dark whereas the Totems are a bit bright.

But this design approach sacrifices frequency response for the sake of better transient response. And to my ears, the sacrifice is too great. There are two obvious audible problems with the two-ways. First, the high crossover frequency results in mismatched dispersion, and I couldn't find a toe-in angle that gets the treble balance at the listening position right. Second, there's no baffle step compensation, so either the lower midrange is too weak (W-B) or the upper midrange is too strong (Totem).

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  • Bessel alignment - Dave_K 07:53:37 07/10/17 (0)


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