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A nearly "perfect" monitor speaker?
Old 24th January 2013
  #1
Raising Jake Studios
 
Nonlinear's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
A nearly "perfect" monitor speaker?

Why wouldn't something like this make for a nearly perfect monitor speaker: http://www.fostexinternational.com/d.../pdf/f200a.pdf

Fairly flat 0-20KHz response (!) and no port, passive radiator or crossover required!

How can this be? Why isn't anyone using THIS driver in a monitor?
Old 24th January 2013
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear ➑️
Fairly flat 0-20KHz response (!) and no port, passive radiator or crossover required!
Did you see the response chart?
Old 24th January 2013 | Show parent
  #3
Raising Jake Studios
 
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson ➑️
Did you see the response chart?
Yes - are you pointing out the off-axis deviation?

Is it bad enough that a little bit of head tilt while working at a console would make them unusable?

It just seems like it might a perfect "Auratone" - on-axis at least.
Old 24th January 2013
  #4
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I guess you could build a cabinet and see. Speakers are probably the hardest thing to do well in the whole audio biz.
Old 24th January 2013 | Show parent
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson ➑️
I guess you could build a cabinet and see. Speakers are probably the hardest thing to do well in the whole audio biz.

LABYRINTH - Gold
Old 24th January 2013
  #6
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There ya go! They don't give response tolerance and 80Hz seems pretty bass light. There are probably other TL designs that would work too. Worth playing with if you're into DIY.
Old 24th January 2013
  #7
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Am I missing something? That response graph isn't even almost flat.
Old 24th January 2013 | Show parent
  #8
Raising Jake Studios
 
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_allison ➑️
Am I missing something? That response graph isn't even almost flat.
There's a "presence bump" around 3.5K but otherwise it looks pretty good to me - better than some monitor specs I've seen. The low end roll off is very gradual.

The PLUS of a single speaker monitor is the lack of crossover phase shifts, driver alignment, resonances, etc. Gives a very "tight" sound.

BTW - The bare speaker driver itself is a $500 part!

I found this: T18-F200

Looks to me like it would make an ideal monitor. Virtually no resonances, no crossover phase or amplitude distortion, etc. The only "problem" is I guess it doesn't get very loud.
Old 24th January 2013 | Show parent
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear ➑️
Looks to me like it would make an ideal monitor. Virtually no resonances, no crossover phase or amplitude distortion, etc. The only "problem" is I guess it doesn't get very loud.
In this case, your username is a touch ironic!

Also, things don't need to be loud for mixing. ~85dB is ideal (so I hear).

I wonder what the ideal cabinet for these would be... I saw the other link posted. Wondering what other options are.

Is there an ideal "size" or "internal volume."? Would the whole cabinet be stuffed/dampened? Does having a flat front cause any kind of distortion/ringing/whatever?
Old 24th January 2013
  #10
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Full range single driver is more of a philosophy than a practical solution to a great sounding speaker. It's academically interesting but if it was a good design strategy you'd see them everywhere. And in most applications (the average listener's home), off axis response is really important.
Old 24th January 2013
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear ➑️
Why wouldn't something like this make for a nearly perfect monitor speaker: http://www.fostexinternational.com/d.../pdf/f200a.pdf

Fairly flat 0-20KHz response (!) and no port, passive radiator or crossover required!

How can this be? Why isn't anyone using THIS driver in a monitor?
Without knowing how much smoothing Fostex made to the response chart it's difficult to infer what it might sound like. Plenty of driver manufacturer's charts are, shall we say optimistic.

Typically in larger diameter drivers cone break up becomes a problem and almost certainly what the peak around 4kHz is caused by. The other thing that may or may not be a concern is with a cone that size it would become highly directional in the treble. I have a pair of 3 inch "full range" drivers that I use as an alternative mixing monitor and even with those you need to be squarely in the sweet spot to get the full high frequency response.

Still, having made all that speculation, I'd love to hear them and see what they can actually do. In my opinion a single full range driver if possible would be the holy grail of loud speakers.
Old 24th January 2013 | Show parent
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allstar ➑️
In my opinion a single full range driver if possible would be the holy grail of loud speakers.
I would add omnidirectional to that
Old 25th January 2013 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
DSPaudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson ➑️
I would add omnidirectional to that
Like an Ohm Walsh F?

Ohm Speakers

or modern German Physiks version:

German Physiks - High End Technology Loudspeaker Manufactur - DDD Driver - THE HRS 120


I just wanted to point out that full range drivers do have phase shift, it's based on the geometry of the speaker and way different wavelengths leave the surface (breakup mode, transverse, pistonic)...

This means that a single driver full range solution isn't necessarily more phase linear than a 3 way... And as you pointed out the lack of any real off-axis response makes them kinda difficult to listen to with others in the room. I think full range drivers are typically used by males, alone... While 2 ways and three ways have members of the other sex or the same sex present..

Being a bit of a fan of audio reproduction I've lived with horns, 3 way partial open baffles, single driver full rangers, co-axials and have had ESLs. They're all cool in different ways but each one of these design principles includes more than a few compromises. So when any fan or maker of one of these classes or ideologies suggests it is scientifically better than the others, it's an unrealistic statement except in a few very extreme cases... The Ohm Walsh *might* be one of those examples? (but I haven't heard it and expect most rooms to be horrible dance partners).. I know of only 2 or 3 other speakers where the design might have gotten enough right to be considered a no-compromises system. They are very hard to build, very expensive and have profiles that most people don't have space for.

FR drivers do imaging like nothing else and aggravate the posture given that your head is in a vice.
Old 25th January 2013 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson ➑️
Speakers are probably the hardest thing to do well in the whole audio biz.
This.
Old 25th January 2013
  #15
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Then there was the Fujitsu Ten Eclipse:

FUJITSU TEN ECLIPSE

I reviewed these around the same time (can't find a pdf of my review, sadly) and came to similar conclusions as Sound On Sound - interesting idea though. The thing is, there have been a lot of interesting ideas in the loudspeaker world, but only a relative few become successful. There's good reason for that, partly because there are often flaws to be overcome, and that takes proper development and cash. A case in point would be John Watkinson's now discontinued Cabar close-field stereo loudspeaker -

The Art of Sound Reproduction - John Watkinson - Google Books

- a tube about a metre long which had the most incredible bass response for its size: John's company, Celtic Audio, kindly lent me one to play with. Although it had some major plus points, as it stood at the time it was let down by lack of smoothness across the audible range, sounding somewhat gutless to me in the lower mids.

Could the Cabar be improved to the point of best-sellerdom? - after all, a personal monitor with more independence of room acoustics than most would surely be attractive to all those bedroom mix heroes out there. The answer is 'very possibly', but there's a world of difference between a bright idea and one which is commercially successful, as any episode of Dragons' Den demonstrates.
Old 26th January 2013
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear ➑️
Why wouldn't something like this make for a nearly perfect monitor speaker: http://www.fostexinternational.com/d.../pdf/f200a.pdf
The most critical reason is probably the mysterious thing called "intermodulation-distortion" which - no wonder - isn't mentioned in these "perfect specs".

IM is what happens when harmonic distortion meets a "real" music signal (i.e. one with more than one frequency): Severe non-harmonic sum and difference side-products appear. The reduction of this ugly effect is the main reason why n-way speakers are built.

So, no, this thing is miles away from the perfect "speaker". It just looks like that because ad brochures simply ignore all the bad looking measurements.
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowland ➑️
- a tube about a metre long which had the most incredible bass response for its size: John's company, Celtic Audio, kindly lent me one to play with. Although it had some major plus points, as it stood at the time it was let down by lack of smoothness across the audible range, sounding somewhat gutless to me in the lower mids.
We tried the Cabar as well. Quite a nice design, I thought. A bit impractical physically but sounded pretty good. I wonder whatever happened to it?

Quote:
The answer is 'very possibly', but there's a world of difference between a bright idea and one which is commercially successful, as any episode of Dragons' Den demonstrates.
Watkinson is my hero. Those last two pages have more facts per inch (centimeter) than any other in audio publication.


DC
Old 27th January 2013
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear ➑️
Why wouldn't something like this make for a nearly perfect monitor speaker: http://www.fostexinternational.com/d.../pdf/f200a.pdf

Fairly flat 0-20KHz response (!) and no port, passive radiator or crossover required!

How can this be? Why isn't anyone using THIS driver in a monitor?
Hi. 2 mm of X-Max means it will need a proper bass loading with a horn of some sort. ie rather complicated. And its gonna need a nice tube or current a amp to tame the treble

I havent heard this particular speaker but there seems to be potential. A monitor speaker however - it is not. Its gonna be anything but neutral

Personally I love full rangers. A properly designed one with a nice tube amp will add a dimension and quality to recorded music thats unparalleled

Regards /Bo
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #19
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear ➑️
There's a "presence bump" around 3.5K but otherwise it looks pretty good to me - better than some monitor specs I've seen. The low end roll off is very gradual.

The PLUS of a single speaker monitor is the lack of crossover phase shifts, driver alignment, resonances, etc. Gives a very "tight" sound.

BTW - The bare speaker driver itself is a $500 part!

I found this: T18-F200

Looks to me like it would make an ideal monitor. Virtually no resonances, no crossover phase or amplitude distortion, etc. The only "problem" is I guess it doesn't get very loud.
Where are the THD, power compression, phase, directivity, CSD and impedance measurements? When they rate 80w "music power" that is for what crest factor? From their specs about 4dB? Yikes. Not very loud is an understatement. Also for what it's worth driver tests are typically conducted on a 1m test baffle, not just the bare driver.

Certainly there is substantial IMD (intermodulation distortion also known as doppler distortion in speakers) @ 2mm xmax in the top octaves. Bearing in mind IMD nets both sum AND difference frequencies this is potentially a rather large concern.

When you say no resonances that is as a point of fact not true. 8" full rangers are actually using resonances (from an Al dust cap in this case, whizzer cones in others) to achieve the additional HF extension, if we had a CSD you could see them.

Also you need to consider the power response as a whole and not just the on-axis response relevant to the amount of perceived treble in a room, even while in the sweet spot. Currently the trend in monitor design is moving more toward constant directivity, not away from it.

Long story short, if the solution to great monitoring was that easy, somebody would have done it. As it is a full-range-woofer-speaker-design is something that has not balanced the compromises much at all. Instead, in order to achieve no crossover it sets most other desirable qualities of a speaker system aside.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Nut
 
Alexis_B's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_allison ➑️
Am I missing something? That response graph isn't even almost flat.
It's a very decent response

Most monitor manufacturers flatten their frequency curves to make it look nicer ... but you have to test one to see how much they lie lol

By the way frequency graphs tell only 1/12th of the story

There are other things like klippel graph, waterfall plot, impulse response and the best of all measuring instruments = trained ears :D
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis_B ➑️
It's a very decent response

Most monitor manufacturers flatten their frequency curves to make it look nicer ... but you have to test one to see how much they lie lol

By the way frequency graphs tell only 1/12th of the story

There are other things like klippel graph, waterfall plot, impulse response and the best of all measuring instruments = trained ears :D
on-axis might "look" fair , but predictably, the off axis of large speakers is terrible. But its starting to look like a typical guitar speaker response.
That 5db peak @ 4k could be annoying and probably require some smoothing with a "crossover"
Waterfall could be very telling - I'll bet it rings like a bell at that frequency.
- Also don't forget DISTORTION measurements
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