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

@rankaudio / @mahgister 

“This is why i criticized Amir about hearing theory and he had no idea of what i spoke about ...

Ignorance rule...”

rankaudio/magister, in a thread with similar posted outcomes last year, I asked amir about the value of a particular test for listening ability, a very accessible test on the internet to gauge listening ability over different resolutions of tests files. In reply, Amir said it was not a good test for its purpose, and referred me instead to a site purposed for those wanting to learn how to listen, oblivious to the fact that the test I had referred him to was one on testing inherent listening ability, and nothing to do with learning. He brushed away his misstep upon my pointing it out, but nonetheless acknowledged my listening abilities to have identified all resolutions accurately, only to lead on to a more conclusive but inaccessible test he had performed, in dismissing my result as being ‘undocumented’. He then proceeded to deride me when I called him out for not having even performed the said test I referred him to, accusing me of having ‘tricked’ him into believing I wanted to ‘learn’ from him, when all  I wanted was to prove him wrong.

mahgister, there are moments like this littered through all of Amir’s exchanges with others, especially the ones he has with you. He often fails to read the substance of the posts of others, conflates issues under discussion with either his credentials, or measurements of singularities as the end all, prevaricates when he has no answer, and never acknowledges his mistakes when made, which we all make as the imperfect beings we are. Everything about his behaviour in his posts point to cognitive dissonance, a vital cornerstone of narcissism.

The WebMD summarises well…

‘People who show signs of narcissism can often be very charming and charismatic. They often don’t show negative behavior right away, especially in relationships. People who show narcissism often like to surround themselves with people who feed into their ego. They build relationships to reinforce their ideas about themselves, even if these relationships are superficial.’

It goes on to add that narcissists have ‘a preoccupation with fantasies of success, power, or brilliance’ and are insisting of the fact ‘they have the best of everything’, which in amir’s case, are the instruments he measures with.

What the WebMD fails to state is that narcissists are of belief they are right about everything they stand for, which, for amir, is the half science of measurements.

Even you, mahgister, label him as ignorant, while deflecting all attention from your statement by accusing others of insulting and calling him names. The fact is, a reasonable diagnosis based on evidence of engagement, in your case ‘ignorance’, and in rankaudio’s case ‘narcissism’, does in no way constitute insult or childish name calling.

The simple fact is that Amir engages his important, and yet half science of measurements as a singularity, in ignorance of all other vital relationships, and does so with narcissistic tendencies of arrogance; and neither you nor rankaudio, are incorrect in your statements.

 

in friendship, kevin 

 

kevn

 

Thank you for sharing all that. Absolutely sums Amir up really well in my opinion. Appreciate all the details. 😁

Thanks for your interesting opinion and personal experience..

He stay polite with me but never understood in good faith any of the scientific text i suggested the last time i dicussed with him...He could not anyway because it demolished his fragile ideology about his small set of measurements he put over hearing and even over hearing theory...

Probably  i am a very bad judge of people character and perhaps i am wrong about my objection concerning  the accusation of narcissism...

I cannot debate this in either way.... I will trust your judgment over mine in this...

😊

@rankaudio / @mahgister 

“This is why i criticized Amir about hearing theory and he had no idea of what i spoke about ...

Ignorance rule...”

rankaudio/magister, in a thread with similar posted outcomes last year, I asked amir about the value of a particular test for listening ability, a very accessible test on the internet to gauge listening ability over different resolutions of tests files. In reply, Amir said it was not a good test for its purpose, and referred me instead to a site purposed for those wanting to learn how to listen, oblivious to the fact that the test I had referred him to was one on testing inherent listening ability, and nothing to do with learning. He brushed away his misstep upon my pointing it out, but nonetheless acknowledged my listening abilities to have identified all resolutions accurately, only to lead on to a more conclusive but inaccessible test he had performed, in dismissing my result as being ‘undocumented’. He then proceeded to deride me when I called him out for not having even performed the said test I referred him to, accusing me of having ‘tricked’ him into believing I wanted to ‘learn’ from him, when all  I wanted was to prove him wrong.

mahgister, there are moments like this littered through all of Amir’s exchanges with others, especially the ones he has with you. He often fails to read the substance of the posts of others, conflates issues under discussion with either his credentials, or measurements of singularities as the end all, prevaricates when he has no answer, and never acknowledges his mistakes when made, which we all make as the imperfect beings we are. Everything about his behaviour in his posts point to cognitive dissonance, a vital cornerstone of narcissism.

The WebMD summarises well…

‘People who show signs of narcissism can often be very charming and charismatic. They often don’t show negative behavior right away, especially in relationships. People who show narcissism often like to surround themselves with people who feed into their ego. They build relationships to reinforce their ideas about themselves, even if these relationships are superficial.’

It goes on to add that narcissists have ‘a preoccupation with fantasies of success, power, or brilliance’ and are insisting of the fact ‘they have the best of everything’, which in amir’s case, are the instruments he measures with.

What the WebMD fails to state is that narcissists are of belief they are right about everything they stand for, which, for amir, is the half science of measurements.

Even you, mahgister, label him as ignorant, while deflecting all attention from your statement by accusing others of insulting and calling him names. The fact is, a reasonable diagnosis based on evidence of engagement, in your case ‘ignorance’, and in rankaudio’s case ‘narcissism’, does in no way constitute insult or childish name calling.

The simple fact is that Amir engages his important, and yet half science of measurements as a singularity, in ignorance of all other vital relationships, and does so with narcissistic tendencies of arrogance; and neither you nor rankaudio, are incorrect in your statements.

 

in friendship, kevin 

 

Also, Mahgister, thank you for the link you posted earlier to that study regarding human hearing and the Fourier uncertainty principle - https://phys.org/news/2013-02-human-fourier-uncertainty-principle.html

It helps explain a lot about what many of us have suspected/felt for as long as we have been in the hobby, in noticing both subtle and more obvious differences with each change of our systems. The way the article has been written is both simple to understand in form, and profound in critical content. ; )

 

Thanks for your kind words...

Now try to read this one , i even bought the book of this writer :

The Body-Image Theory of Sound: An Ecological Approach to Speech and Music

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267327268_The_Body-Image_Theory_of_Sound_An_Ecological_Approach_to_Speech_and_Music

Then relate this article to this one which confirmed that the acoustician above is right :

Pythagoras was wrong: There are no universal musical harmonies, study finds

https://phys.org/news/2024-02-pythagoras-wrong-universal-musical-harmonies.html

This second article synthetize the research in this one :

Timbral effects on consonance disentangle psychoacoustic mechanisms and suggest perceptual origins for musical scales

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-024-45812-z

 

This last one is very important too and confirm alll the others:

Bodily maps of musical sensations across cultures

 

https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2308859121

 

Also, Mahgister, thank you for the link you posted earlier to that study regarding human hearing and the Fourier uncertainty principle - https://phys.org/news/2013-02-human-fourier-uncertainty-principle.html

It helps explain a lot about what many of us have suspected/felt for as long as we have been in the hobby, in noticing both subtle and more obvious differences with each change of our systems. The way the article has been written is both simple to understand in form, and profound in critical content. ; )