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imispgh
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Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

My comment is only for speakers with conventional drivers

I have spent a lot of time listening and measuring speakers in many different size rooms lately. I have even been in one room that was a converted 3 car garage with a double ceiling. (Built in room treatments - it sounded very neutral)

Most speakers that are flat below 40hz or so (anechoic) wind up being tipped up in the bass when in room (assuming the set up doesn't kill the bass). Every conventional speaker that I have heard recently is tipped up in the bass - and by a good margin. (I know this from running enougn RTA samples to be able to hear it).

Is this happening because people assume anechoic mesurements equate to in room measurements and they don't know what is happening? Do people just like more bass? Do people listen at a lower volume than me? (bass/treble perception increase with volume). Do most of the purchasers of these speakers listen to small ensemble classical or jazz music where this effect can be less noticible or even a small plus (I understand there is a wide range of recordings in these genre. I am generalizing). Seems to me that if people went for tonally accurate speakers the market for large floorstanders and subs would plummit (excusing home theater or electronic or organ music lovers)

(I have noticed the same problem at high end shows. Most use average size hotel rooms and bring in their medium or large floor standers. More often than not they sound horrible. Dealers -and some do- should choose the right size speaker for the room and have others there on display)

I heard the QUAD 988s today for the first time. I have read some belive this are lightweight in the bass. They sounded extremly accurate in the bass. (Now they do have a volume limitation - so I can see whay they make a 989).

So am I nuts? What's going on here?

garthr2
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

Greetings,

To be direct ..... no two of us hear the same ..... nor want to hear the same things in their music . There just is no perfect speaker for everyone in every enviroment.

One's passion is another's poison .

All that matters is what sounds good to --you-- .

Maybe that seems too simple ...... maybe not ..... everyone's different

- Garth

imispgh
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

I understand hearing differences,subjectivity and personal preference. I am saying these speakers measure bass heavt in room. Again - this means people - have hearing problems in the bass, don't know it isn't flat and assume in room=anechoic or like an unbalanced tipped up bass. I think in most cases people do not know how their speakers measure in room and don't know how far from neutral they are. I thought tonal accuracy was important to those in this hobby?

Yiangos
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

Actually,i'd say quite the opposite.From what i hear and read,it is actually "too much treble".

imispgh
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

Yiangos - does your response mean you do not think there is too much bass? if so is that through listening, measuring or both?

Interesting you brought up the treble issue. I find that most speakers sound too laid back for me but I love my Triangles (with tubes). Having said that they do measue a bit tipped up-in room-in the treble. I assumed this compensated for my hearing

Yiangos
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

Through listening actually.Look,what i am going to say,is based on personal experiences.I remember in the late seventies and up through the late nineties,loudspeakers were more "musical",more "rounded" i'd say.Nowadays , manufacturers tend to lend a more "analytical" sound to their speakers.One of the usual,shall i say mistake, they do , especially on the less expensive speakers (i really do not want to say this as i am no expert)is to tip up the high frequencies so people would mistake this as more "clean" or "analytical" sounding. Speaking of this , i would like to point out that the industry is not as it used to be.Everyone has jumped on the "high-end" wagon.Back in the eighties we all had 2-3 brands or pieces of gear we used to dream of owning one day.Today,everything seems to be the same.You throw a few thousand dollars on an amp,only to find out by the time you ordered it and untill you got it in your living room,they discontinued it ! Cd player manufacturers are trying to mimic analoque sound.Cartridge manufacturers are trying to mimic digital sound !GAWD , this hobby is really F...up ! no wander some are complaining
hi-fi is slowing dying. back to our original subject. yes . most loudspeaker have tipped up trebble , are too forward sounding and a few,too clinical sounding. This is the difference between listening to music with your mouth wide open and tapping your foot on the floor

imispgh
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

I'm not sure that just listening is enough. It's too subjective. How does one know their reference is objective without something objective to compare it to? I am not talking about liking or disliking here - I am talking about knowing what you are talking about objectively. For instance I have used a digital parametric EQ to get things flat then bumped up or lowered frequencies 3 to 6 db every octave (and some in between) to learn what those changes would sound like (using music and pink noise). Without doing something like this - utilizing a standard repeatable reference you cannot know what is accurate (again not what you like). (Those who constantly listen to live unamplified music - they have a qualified opinion because they trained their ear a different way. Just as or more acceptable).
It is for this reason I think review magiazines should publish the in room response curves for every review. With that we would have insight in to the reviewers biases, competancy and some more data on the speakers (assuming we know the room measurements - characteristics and setup).

CECE
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

Reference to what sounds correct www.legacyaudio.com Can you hear a WHISPER....it's real, it's alive, it's correct....your presumptions about mfgs tipping up this or that, doesn't apply here. These things are meant to sound REAL, and they do

Monty
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

Anachoic measurements give a level playing field for measuring frequency response and are about as neutral and unbiased as things get in this hobby.

I think what you are hearing is directly a result of the room loading that occurs to different degrees in each room. However, I have no doubts that there are marketing surveys that suggest which frequency colorations make the cash register ring.

Personally, I think the biggest mistake a speaker can commit is in the 3-6K range.

imispgh
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

I agree anechoic measurements assure there is a level playing field. However no one listens on that field.

On the 3-6k thing. How many high end speakers get this wrong? I would bet that well over 70% of people's systems differ from neutral to a significant degree - and most below 300hz - not between 3 and 6k (not that I don't think it happens but it's less likely due to physics)

jazzfan
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

A quick question for you?

When you say "too much bass" what exactly are you referring to? Very low bass or a the type of one note bass commonly produced by a ported speaker, which far too many floor standing speakers happen to be.

After seeing your other post "Why are so many floor standing speakers too short?", I was going to post something along the lines of "Why are so many floor standing speakers ported?" but then I came across this thread and figured that it's close enough, especially if the exaggerated bass you're referring to is the result of ported designs.

The main speakers I own and listen to at home are floor standing, not ported and of the right height. The bass response is smooth, flat and well balanced. When I go to audio shows I'm amazed by the vast number of floor standing speakers which are rather small and ported. The one thing that jumps out at me about the sound of most of these speakers is bumpy bass response, which I take to be a direct result of the poorly executed port design.

Therefore, could you please clarify just what "too much bass" means?

imispgh
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

Too much being to high in volume - in most rooms - below 50hz or so.
I was trying to make the point that in most trooms the speaker/room interface is ignored and most people wind up with too much speaker. I say this both from listening and measuring.

Yiangos
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

You got it all wrong my friend.it is the "room interface" that is ignored by most users,hence,the excessive bass

Monty
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

You know when you have too much bass because your windows will start becoming point sources for the music.

Editor
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass


Quote:
it is the "room interface" that is ignored by most users,hence,the excessive bass

That is my feeling, that large speakers that are designed to be maximally flat down to their LF tuning frequency will produce shelved-up bass in smaller rooms, due to the "room gain" in this region. The speaker's bass rolloff should be tuned to the size of the room, which means the speaker producing the best quality bass in a specific room may well not the be the largest.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

imispgh
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Re: Most conventional floor standing speakers-too much bass

Thanks John - that was my point. One can try to set them up properly, use room treatments and parametric DSPs etc - but you can't compensate enough. As you stated - picking the right speaker for your room - is the first and best thing you can do to avoid problems. The rest of it should be considered tweeking

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