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ribbon and ported speakers not good for mastering
Old 2nd February 2009
  #1
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ribbon and ported speakers not good for mastering

Why ribbon tweeters and ported speakers are not good for mastering?
It's possible the ribbon sounds more narrow?
Why ported speakers are not good, the room it will change the sound?
Speaker with a sealed enclosure not?
but if the mastering room has a perfect acoustic?
it will sound the same as the room?
Old 2nd February 2009
  #2
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staudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Says who?
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Addict
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by staudio ➑️
Says who?
I don't remember, but I have read that too!
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
I've never mastered with ribbon tweeters. There certainly can be a major difference between speakers with silk dome tweeters vs hard dome tweeters, the latter usually being more accurate (HF) and far less fatiguing, IME.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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JVFM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by staudio ➑️
Says who?
I find this post and others, most of them posted by ME Brian Lucey.
The reason is that I have a MTM bass ported with two kevlar and scan-Sp I used them for mixing and they sound great to me with the Pass lab and more natural and warm, than the lipinski but the L-505 are real detailing and I was thinking to buy a pair of Aurum Cantus Leisure 3SE with ribbon twtrs for close reference with hypex 180HD

Anyone has the same experience like the ME Brian Lucey said?

Posted by Brian Lucey:

I had the 3As a few years ago and they're great for mixing yet insufficient for mastering. A ported low end is no good in mastering as the low end mix issues that every record has you'll need to hear cleanly to adjust, and a port blurrs them. The ribbon is too unique both in it's narrow dispersion and other qualities for translation in mastering as it eliminates the room to a large degree and simply put, it's not paper whereas most playback is. Searching for an upgrade online I met Thomas Barefoot and his new company Barefoot Sound, with a 12" woofer 3-way called the Mini Main 12 that includes a hand-tuned amp-to-speaker set up in a small footprint and a damped paper midrange. They sound a little like a less clinical but similarly detailed PMC. This is perfect for my ear as a PMC for this level of monitor would be twice the money and the PMCs are a bit too dry for me at this time and in this room. Ordering from him takes months as he's still a start up, but the guy is a speaker master already IMO.


Brian Lucey
Magic Garden Mastering
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
So you did see \ hear the new mm12? lucky you Still saving some money to buy them... soon
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Audio Alchemist
 
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3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I don't like ribbons because they're just too different in sound, though I suppose you can get used to anything. I did have both ADAM S2.5A and S3A for mixing but the build quality isn't that good and with time they tend to go loose and vibrate and cause too much resonance and artifacts.

Ported speakers just tends to barf and cause resonance in the low end. So I don't like those either :-) Seriously, there are lots of great speakers out there with ports.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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24-96 Mastering's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
There's a principal point to ported speaker designs being less accurate in reproduction across the spectrum. By the laws of physics, that is undeniably so. However, what you lose in frequency response, you may gain in impulse accuracy. There are many pros and cons, so it's not a black and white, righ or wrong issue.

Personally, I have always preferred the sound of enclosed speakers. With most ported designs I heard, the port was quite obvious. A transmission line, as used in PMCs for example, to me always seems to result in a strangely hyped sub area.
That said, I'm convinced that my dislikes are about specific implementations and that it's not the principal design idea at fault. Yes, from many aspects, an infinite baffle design would be ideal, but since that's not an option, there may be many situations in which some sort of ported design may work better than an enclosed design.

With regards to ribbon speakers: All the ribons I've heard (and that's not many) have always sounded quite artificial to me. Maybe that's just because I'm used to dome tweeters. I certainly haven't heard enough to form an opinion on the technology itself.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 10 years
Robin,

what an excellent post!

Some people are way to fast to form dogmatic beliefsystems from limited experience and/or poor understanding of physics.


/Peter
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 10 years
Ported speakers have a frequency where the port resonates. http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar0...s/qa0308_2.htm


Plus lots of them put it in back so it bounces of the wall ( if the speaker is close enough)
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
ported v.s. closed

Very good thread -

The issue of ported v.s. closed box for bass has been discussed forever -
The reason is that there is really no clear answer as both has serious compromizes.
SPL - an 18" woofer with xmax of 10mm p-p will barely put out 100dBSPL at 20Hz while the same driver in a properly ported box can output at least 10dB more with much less power at the port frequency. Closed boxes will always require a lot of power and this again has its consequences when it comes to high voice coil temperatures and so on. Rule of thumb is that you need to quadruple the volume displacement (diam * excursion) to maintain the same SPL at one octave lower frequency with a closed box.
Tuning - There are many way of tuning both types of cabinets. Closed box woofers can easily sound slow and "one-note" as a poorly designed bass-relex if it's not properly tuned. One additional issue in a BR is the port - not making the port big enough will have one set of issues (the system will behave like a closed box at larger excursions and port noise) and making it too big might mean a very long port and pipe-resonanses in the audio range.

Also remember that a closed box with a 12dB/oct high-pass filter (for protection) will get a 4th order group delay. If you have a 4th order (bass reflex) with a 12dB/oct filter this makes it a 6th order system - and so on...

The audibility of group delay is also up for discussion but it is generally agreed that it is less audible at lower frequencies. I personally prefer to keep port tuning below 30 Hz because then most of bass quitar and so on will not be affected that much (not far from that of a closed box actually). I have heard many systems of both kinds and in my opinion they can be very close in perceived audio quality. The max output you require will be a significant factor - and this is why most speakers for pro-audio are bass reflex.

Another factor that can not be overlooked is ROOM TREATMENT.

this also goes for the ribbon tweeter issue mentioned earlier - if the control room is designed properly with minimal early reflections the limited off-axis response really has no significance (as the off-axis signals of the dome would be absorbed anyway). There are also many different ribbon tweeters out there - do we expect them all to sound the same? - we have AMT types (ADAM, beyma), Iso-planar (ALcons Audio, Stage Accompany SLS to name a few) and "real" ribbons that require a huge transformer - these are used in hi-fi but I have never seen a pro-speaker with them - mainly because of the transformer and limited SPL capabilities. The iso-planar are my favorite tweeter type but there are some very good AMT's coming to the market (beyma). In my opinion only the very best hard domes (titanium/ceramics/diamond) can compete when it comes to sound quality.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by flatfinger ➑️
Ported speakers have a frequency where the port resonates.
Every speaker has a fundamental resonance, this is nothing unique with helmholtz resonators. The interesting thing (as Hybrid mentions) is frequency response and group delay.


Quote:
Plus lots of them put it in back so it bounces of the wall ( if the speaker is close enough)
At low frequencies the sound from a small speaker is omnipolar. This means that all sounds from the driver/cone and a port will radiate in all directions.


/Peter
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid ➑️
Very good thread -
Yes, and as you mention, it's about compromises like most engineering.

For a given driver the helmholts tuning (bass reflex) will give less distortion due to reduced cone travel around the tuning and also less thermal compression due to increased efficiency.

Quote:
Closed box woofers can easily sound slow and "one-note" as a poorly designed bass-relex if it's not properly tuned.


Absolutely! What we are listenig to first and foremost is frequency response.


Quote:

The audibility of group delay is also up for discussion but it is generally agreed that it is less audible at lower frequencies.


I think several studies has shown that GD at or below 1/F is generally inaudibly with the exception around 100-250Hz where we are more sensitive (according to one study).



Quote:
In my opinion only the very best hard domes (titanium/ceramics/diamond) can compete when it comes to sound quality.
And at sensible levels those may be the best option.


/Peter
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Barefoot Sound
 
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🎧 15 years
Here is an easy way to think about how a ported speaker works. Imagine the speaker response itself is like a sealed box system with a relatively high cutoff frequency. Then that speaker is coupled to a box/port system that acts like an acoustic resonator. This resonator is very similar to a long neck beer bottle that rings at a specific frequency when you blow across the lip. Only in this case the resonator is tuned to a very low frequency, lower than the speaker cutoff frequency. When the speaker response starts to drop off it also begins exciting the upper tail end of the port resonance. As the speaker output drops even more with lower frequencies, it gets closer to the peak of the port resonance. So, assuming everything is well tuned, the whole speaker/port/box system maintains a flat response. Below the port resonance the system rolls off at 24 dB/octave compared to 12 dB/octave for a sealed system.



There are many more details to how it all works. But I think this gives a good thumbnail sketch of the principle.

Hope this helps!
Thomas
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