Poll

Which 5 factors are the most important contributors to SQ in a loudspeaker

Imaging
9 (6.4%)
Soundstage depth
2 (1.4%)
Bass extension
5 (3.6%)
Tone
10 (7.1%)
Ability to play loud without stress
8 (5.7%)
Ability to sound good when listening at low volumes
6 (4.3%)
Detail
10 (7.1%)
High end extension and air
3 (2.1%)
Clarity and sparkle
4 (2.9%)
Laid back presentation(backrow seat)
2 (1.4%)
Soundstage width
2 (1.4%)
Naturalness
9 (6.4%)
Rhythm and tempo
3 (2.1%)
Transparancy
5 (3.6%)
Lack of electronic signature
2 (1.4%)
Size of soundstage
3 (2.1%)
Midrange detail
12 (8.6%)
Expressiveness
2 (1.4%)
Attack and macro dynamics
6 (4.3%)
Micro dynamics
4 (2.9%)
Ability to play all music, even bad recordings to a degree
5 (3.6%)
Deep bass(sub 30hz)
1 (0.7%)
Up-front projection of vocals (front row seat)
0 (0%)
Bass articulation and suppleness
4 (2.9%)
Mid way projection of vocals-just behind speaker( middle row)
0 (0%)
Ability to realistically present what recording is like, good or bad
1 (0.7%)
3-dimensionality portrayel of intruments
3 (2.1%)
Ability of speaker to dissapear
7 (5%)
Ability to sound good in many positions in room
1 (0.7%)
Wide sweetspot
4 (2.9%)
Ability to sound good in adjacent rooms or spaces
1 (0.7%)
Coherence (same voice throughout frequency band)
4 (2.9%)
Low distortion
1 (0.7%)
Accuracy
1 (0.7%)

Total Members Voted: 28

Voting closed: April 19, 2016, 03:18:36 PM

Author Topic: Let's probe what primary factors determine sound-quality of a loudspeaker  (Read 2574 times)

Offline Air

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I realise this can be tricky, but let's try and see what are the trends or commonalities in how we define sound-quality. The results of the previous poll were interesting and a big thank you to all who participated.   :groovy: Let's see if we get the same level of interest.

Like before, I would consider suggestions if they are not too far down the line in the process. I have tried to include as many factors as possible, and admit some are very subjective and perhaps not well defined, but let's avoid splitting hair as we are dealing with perceptions that are very personal.

I can't wait to see what transpire from this round.  :winkwink:

« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 03:49:33 PM by Air »

Offline vleisman

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Difficult to choose as my understanding of some of the terms is probably different to others. Also some of the terms are very similar in meaning to me. I would like less choices and more clarity in what the choices mean. Please don't ask me to do better, I can't.

Offline Hi-Phibian

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I think some of the best designers have shown that the drivers are but a fraction of the sum.
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Offline Air

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If I talk about a loudspeaker, my understanding is that it is the total system; drivers, cabinet or lack of it, and crossover. Obviously, all other elements in the sound chain have an influence, but to be pragmatic I would try to ringfence the loudspeaker for the moment.

Offline CAD

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Joh only 5...sheez that was really difficult and I did not find the all of the above box to tick  :thinking:
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Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Offline Air

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Agree it is tricky, no doubt, and I want to have it all as well!  :cool:

Offline kamikazi

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It has to be made in a first world country
It has to be expensive
It has contain at least one type of exotic material
It has to be a well known brand
It requires a beast of an amp to power

Offline Rotten Johnny

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Let's not.
Audiophile: There is almost no other group that prides themselves more on wasting good money on utterly worthless ****, and then trying to furiously blow smoke up their own ass to justify it.

Free your mind...and your ass will follow.

Offline Shonver

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I see you've invented a new audio term: imgaging!

What are you trying to achieve with this poll, though? You know that there's plenty of existing research on the subject, right?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 06:15:36 PM by Shonver »
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Offline mariusc

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Crucial ones missing: To mention only one or two:

- no distortion;
- driver integration over whole sound spectrum;
- accuracy

Offline Air

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Thanks for constructive criticism and input so far. Coherence deals with driver integration, but will add it if you still feel strong about it mariusc. Accuracy also a very difficult construct, as the norm against which it will be measured needs to clear and how will we determine if it is true to signal, but in the interest of being  inclusive and in line with other highly subjective constructs I am happy to include.

Offline Air

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The initial trends are interesting but the sample size is very, very small still and the margin of error therefore immensely large so trends could be purely random and not significant, but still some things are striking for me. I hesitate to comment as influence those who might still decide tp participate. Someone might just have an oppositional personality style and try to proof the interpretation wrong. :)

I wonder if there are any other speaker builders or designers out there who can chip in let us know if they design certain of these elements in or out of their designs. I think most of the parameters can be dealt with intentionally, sometimes at the expense of others. Striking a balance is another approach.

As I have said before, I realise having so many dimensions makes it difficult, and the fact that most of them are not operationally defined, nor discreet constructs make it even more difficult, but reading through posts and comments I do see many value judgement on loudspeakers, and also find the same confidence in opinion when I have people over to listen to systems.  This poll requires some prioritisation  based on a bit more analytical thinking about what matters and what don't.

Still hoping more people participate and a big thank you to those who made the effort.
Stefan
 

Offline Shonver

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Still hoping more people participate and a big thank you to those who made the effort.

I did ask you what the objective of this poll was, but you did not respond.
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Offline Air

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Hi Shonver

I am trying to establish what people use as criteria to judge loudspeakers with, and how they rank the various criteria. It is a straight- forward objective. Call it market research or a mere intellectual pursuit. I am aware of the research done in the field by the Harman group, think it was lead by Kevin Voecks who also build on the results or collaborated with  by Dr. Toole, If recall correctly these results is embodied in the Revel design philosophy amongst others.   Also the various comments by Stereophile's staff on how measurements relate to sound quality etc.

I have a few hypothesis of my own, and in a low-keyed manner, I hope to either support or disprove them, if not for the scientific community, but for myself. With a captured universe of interested people in SQ and a light touch without being too serious, I thought it would be interesting to many. The results are open for all to see once you have voted and perhaps think with me about it.  It might even help some to clarify what they are actually looking for when searching for the ultimate loudspeaker.

I am not only interested in the engineering and design of loudspeakers but also with psycho-acoustics, consumer behavior and  the role that an intense involvement in a hobby plays within a personal and personality perspective.

I have however qualified many times that it does not pretend to be serious scientific research methodology, it is merely  a poll amongst people with a shared interest.

Offline Shonver

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I am aware of the research done in the field by the Harman group, think it was lead by Kevin Voecks who also build on the results or collaborated with  by Dr. Toole, If recall correctly these results is embodied in the Revel design philosophy amongst others.   Also the various comments by Stereophile's staff on how measurements relate to sound quality etc.

Also have a look at some of the videos over at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC74xmXx1NfeIIa44J1IU84w.

I respect that you want to discover on your own terms what people like about good-sounding systems and what makes it sound good, but I do feel this will at best give you clues with no definitive answer. Reasons: 1) small and highly diverse population 2) no standardisation regarding the definition of the various terms (categories) and no training to ensure consistency 3) some categories are abstract and not correlated to physical parameters.

My suggestion is that you rather invite listeners to a series of blind tests (perhaps over a few weeks) in the same listening environment, at which you can demonstrate 2 or 3 different products. You should see some trends emerging.

Alternatively (or additionally) you could select your best model and interrogate how that one speaker will sound in various environments. Answer the question as to what must you do to make them perform at a consistent level in various environments.

Your poll has a very retro flavour (circa 1980s). Loudspeaker design has moved on since then. There is a lot more science and a lot less speculation in the industry nowadays. Above all, a lot of the knowledge is freely available and no longer hidden. I say don't disregard the studies; it would be like trying to reinvent the wheel. Instead, embrace it; test it out. I suspect that the missing link for you is design experience. I am not implying that you don't have speaker building experience. However, if you take a scientific approach - building speakers with specific parameterised goals; testing various drivers and discovering why they perform differently - you will have a good basis against which to evaluate loudspeaker performance.

Good luck. You seem to have high ambitions, but I see you making things unnecessarily hard for yourself with this approach..
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