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

Amir offers simple explanations to complex problems.

That is exactly what we are talking here. 

Because these simple answers are correct or because they are fringe, easily defended and a gross oversimplification? Seems like it is about time for Amir to chime in, get everyone energized and upset and then disappear. He could be an evil genius.

Ideological techno cultism propaganda suggested as THE "science" nowadays is so pervasive , that it ask for courage to simply communicate interesting acoustics "tweaks" as mechanical room equalization with a grid of resonators , or the use of mechanical crossfeed of stereo speakers for the ears/brain as i did as experiments in my room with a success exceeding most possible upgrade of gear at no cost.

imagine suggesting simple but more controversial experiments as shungite/quartz on interconnect cable or gear piece for the fun of verifying something ...I was classed as "tin foil hat" by people who do not understand with their own ears basic acoustics ... 😊

The objectivist crowd call people as myself "audiophile" meaning Ignorant...

But i demonstrated with the last science article discoveries in acoustics about hearing theory that many of the so called objectivist crowd had no idea of what they spoke about, software engineer or not...😊

 

Spotting digital artefacts on digital formats  has nothing to do with spotting system/room/ears qualitative parameters and acting on them as a whole. This is the difference between Amir and me. He need ear acuity, i need more acoustics concepts interaction concrete  understanding . 😊

 

"Because we know its not true"......says classicrockfan.  The "we" are the 15%? of audiophiles that think that the only thing that matters is measurements.  The "they" are the 85%? of audiophiles that KNOW that things sound different.....because they have evidence....they heard it.  The only thing that is true in audio is what we hear.  You cannot say something is NOT TRUE when you do no listening tests.  You simply have your head in the sand and want to be right.  There are NO tests that prove what Amir and the 15% claim.....none whatsoever......because you cannot prove that things sound the same.......when, in fact, to those that listen.....they sound different. 

Amir's game is simply made up.....fantasy......And as I said before, if you base your ideas of sound on theory and not listening....then you have no real knowledge or truth.......and something stated as truth, when there has never been any proof of that statement......is therefore a big fat LIE.  All DACs and amps and preamps sound the same......big fat lie.  All cables sound the same.....big fat lie.  Amir is lying.....plain and simple......and in his soul.....he knows it.  His ego thinks he is right.  Those of us that listen do not need to do tests to prove we hear differences......because the truth is self evident.  But those that claim to know how something sounds by measurements.....they need to PROVE IT.......because those of us that listen....KNOW it is BS.  Should be A-MAGA.....Amir's Make Audio Great Again.....site.  He will banish forever all those high priced snake oil products and save us from those greedy bastards.........yes, that is how they think.  He is the Messiah......coming to our rescue.  Please save me Amir.....Please.  I cannot read one more review of $5000 ethernet cables.  This is all so funny.  But we need some drama.  So, here we are.  The ego knows no limits to drama. 

What is true is what we experience......More and more I experience divine love and joy.....for that is what I put my mind and attention on......more and more of the time and deeper and deeper.  This is the path of every soul on this planet......to evolve in truth and love.  How much more love can we feel today?.......there is always more.....divine love is infinite.....there are many mansions there.......it never ends.  Fighting Amir will end......when you stop fighting.  Love never ends.....like the Sun.....it shines on and on and on and on......we are that Sun....we are that light.

Please get out in the Sun and feel the blessings of life in every cell of your body and soul (70 trillion cells in your body.....what a miracle we are!)

I have a few different violins and i’ve recorded the same pieces on them. If i ask this garage monster to point out which violin is which (between 2 of them specifically), i can guarantee 1000%, he couldn’t tell them apart (the trained listener/joker that he is who did some listening training on harman’s website for an hour, wow!!). I could pick out which one is which like night and day (what an anomaly that is to be "scientifically" discarded i must be!!)...It is the type of adaptation that happens when you spent 40 years with such an instrument. But, you couldn’t explain any of it to a low IQ garage monster.

Years ago, when i was visiting Technics HQ, they were demonstrating/showing me circuits with identical measurements that sound drastically different. Can ya explain that to this garage monster undergrad (Circuits 101 moron)? Ya can’t...

Cover his garage (listening room) with glass panels, remove the glass panels and cover with wood. You can be rest assured that the garage monster will measure the same in each case and start jumping up and down about how brilliant he is. But, for anyone with a half a noodle in his head, it will be obvious that the materials which makes up the reflective surfaces in your room drastically affect what you hear. The materials used in drivers themselves affects what you hear...He would measure diddly for you though.

All is lost with the fanatical garage monster.

Later boys....