Some thoughts on ASR and the reviews


I’ve briefly taken a look at some online reviews for budget Tekton speakers from ASR and Youtube. Both are based on Klippel quasi-anechoic measurements to achieve "in-room" simulations.

As an amateur speaker designer, and lover of graphs and data I have some thoughts. I mostly hope this helps the entire A’gon community get a little more perspective into how a speaker builder would think about the data.

Of course, I’ve only skimmed the data I’ve seen, I’m no expert, and have no eyes or ears on actual Tekton speakers. Please take this as purely an academic exercise based on limited and incomplete knowledge.

1. Speaker pricing.

One ASR review spends an amazing amount of time and effort analyzing the ~$800 US Tekton M-Lore. That price compares very favorably with a full Seas A26 kit from Madisound, around $1,700. I mean, not sure these inexpensive speakers deserve quite the nit-picking done here.

2. Measuring mid-woofers is hard.

The standard practice for analyzing speakers is called "quasi-anechoic." That is, we pretend to do so in a room free of reflections or boundaries. You do this with very close measurements (within 1/2") of the components, blended together. There are a couple of ways this can be incomplete though.

a - Midwoofers measure much worse this way than in a truly anechoic room. The 7" Scanspeak Revelators are good examples of this. The close mic response is deceptively bad but the 1m in-room measurements smooth out a lot of problems. If you took the close-mic measurements (as seen in the spec sheet) as correct you’d make the wrong crossover.

b - Baffle step - As popularized and researched by the late, great Jeff Bagby, the effects of the baffle on the output need to be included in any whole speaker/room simulation, which of course also means the speaker should have this built in when it is not a near-wall speaker. I don’t know enough about the Klippel simulation, but if this is not included you’ll get a bass-lite expereinced compared to real life. The effects of baffle compensation is to have more bass, but an overall lower sensitivity rating.

For both of those reasons, an actual in-room measurement is critical to assessing actual speaker behavior. We may not all have the same room, but this is a great way to see the actual mid-woofer response as well as the effects of any baffle step compensation.

Looking at the quasi anechoic measurements done by ASR and Erin it _seems_ that these speakers are not compensated, which may be OK if close-wall placement is expected.

In either event, you really want to see the actual in-room response, not just the simulated response before passing judgement. If I had to critique based strictly on the measurements and simulations, I’d 100% wonder if a better design wouldn’t be to trade sensitivity for more bass, and the in-room response would tell me that.

3. Crossover point and dispersion

One of the most important choices a speaker designer has is picking the -3 or -6 dB point for the high and low pass filters. A lot of things have to be balanced and traded off, including cost of crossover parts.

Both of the reviews, above, seem to imply a crossover point that is too high for a smooth transition from the woofer to the tweeters. No speaker can avoid rolling off the treble as you go off-axis, but the best at this do so very evenly. This gives the best off-axis performance and offers up great imaging and wide sweet spots. You’d think this was a budget speaker problem, but it is not. Look at reviews for B&W’s D series speakers, and many Focal models as examples of expensive, well received speakers that don’t excel at this.

Speakers which DO typically excel here include Revel and Magico. This is by no means a story that you should buy Revel because B&W sucks, at all. Buy what you like. I’m just pointing out that this limited dispersion problem is not at all unique to Tekton. And in fact many other Tekton speakers don’t suffer this particular set of challenges.

In the case of the M-Lore, the tweeter has really amazingly good dynamic range. If I was the designer I’d definitely want to ask if I could lower the crossover 1 kHz, which would give up a little power handling but improve the off-axis response.  One big reason not to is crossover costs.  I may have to add more parts to flatten the tweeter response well enough to extend it's useful range.  In other words, a higher crossover point may hide tweeter deficiencies.  Again, Tekton is NOT alone if they did this calculus.

I’ve probably made a lot of omissions here, but I hope this helps readers think about speaker performance and costs in a more complete manner. The listening tests always matter more than the measurements, so finding reviewers with trustworthy ears is really more important than taste-makers who let the tools, which may not be properly used, judge the experience.

erik_squires

This thread makes me lose faith in audiogon lol. 
 

It is always worthwhile to use and understand the measurements we have. I think we are missing some still though. Our ears are the best tools still.  
 

On a side note I do a lot of double blind testing for taste (food and beverage manufacturing industry) and those scores are measured againts a standard and a team of testers. I will tell you double blind testing of senses is extremely hard but as a group panel the group is almost always aligned with the standard. audio should be no different. For those that don’t trust measurements I would encourage you to try gear that measures different and see if you can correlate the differences to the measurements.
 

now I will not disagree that some preferences may differ from standard, and there is not “correct” dispersion angle. For example I like about 3db bass (60hz and under) above “flat” for extra kick drum impact. I just tune that in with subs and measurements rather than chasing super speakers. 

in ROON you can adjust the sound to the "Harmon Curve" via filters? Thanks

Harman curve doesn't sound good dude. It might sound good to the Revel/Harman dealer though.

All audio empty deadlock discussion between objectivists and subjectivists are rooted in acoustic ignorance and with a common focus on gear design specific curves (Harman or not) or gear design branded names revendicated subjective taste and choices.Gear fetichism in the two "political" parties so opposed they are.😁

Acoustic principles exist by themselves and had nothing to do with the gear. It is the gear that must obey acoustics and psychoacoustics principles and serve them.😎

As anything in society right now in audio experience most walk on their head instead of their feet.

If i am wrong , how can i upgrade my listening experience with a straw of the right size located at the right place ?

Do i need an ABX double blind test to prove the reality of acoustics principles already written in science book?

Do i need to pay a big amount of money to prove that my (straw) upgrade if well placed may have a big acoustic value?

 

Asking the right question is already most of the answer.😊

 

 

 

1971gto455ho

And the winner is …ASR !  9+ pages of text, there’s truth to numbers

Yes, that's how ASR would evaluate this thread:

  • conversation must have a clear and decisive winner and loser
  • deciding factor will be a number (9+ pages!)
  • the number won't reflect the value of the content
  • the number will be hailed as The Truth

 

1971gto455ho

did not read my posts arguments and the link (hearing theory) between the articles i posted here and i doubt he could even understand my point as i used it to point out how Amir is "not even wrong".

😊