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Old 24th February 2004
Barefoot Sound
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Originally posted by Brad Blackwood
Yeah, the tech stuff is nice, but how do they SOUND?
Personally I try to use that "tech stuff" to create speakers that SOUND as much like the source material as possible.

I know you make soffit mounted speakers, so it's understandable that you feel that way, but don't you think if it were that cut-n-dried that:
1] You'd see more mastering rooms using soffit mounted speakers, and
2] There would be more than a handful of speaker builders selling them?

Rhetorical questions, mind you. We've been through this before, and the best sounding rooms I have ever heard (and I've heard very many) were utilzing free standing monitors, with possibly one exception (GM's old room)...
Actually my speakers are designed to work either way. But I do think, if possible, soffit mounting is preferable. This is especially true in small rooms where early reflections are an even bigger concern.

The reason I think many people prefer the basic sound of freestanding speaker implimentaions is because soffit mounts have a flat power response. Like I explained earlier, freestanding speakers necessarily have a "hyped" bass power response in order flatten out the on-axis (anechoic) response. Many people (myself included) prefer this hyped bass response. In fact, one could reasonably argue that the freestanding power response is more "correct" because most consumer speakers are freestanding. Even so, soffit mounting is still superior. The room response can be tailored to provide the desired "correct" ambient (power) response. And the soffit mount still has the advantage of the ability to create an early reflection free zone - avoiding comb filter ripples. So, with soffit mounting you can still have the power response you want while gaining a more accurate and detailed midbass-midrange response.

So, I'm not completely disagreeing with the conventional wisdom. I'm saying, if properly implemented with the room reponse, soffit mounting can provide superior results - without sacrificing the overall "SOUND" of freestanding speakers.