Topic: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

I am thinking seriously about getting the new line of Adam monitors, the S2V series.

Currently I have the A7X, which I like a lot, but am interested in upgrading to the S2V series.

A possible sticking point for me is that the S2V series uses internal DSP on ALL signals, including analog input from XLRs.


In other words (I use the ADI2 Dac with XLR output), the analog signal from the ADI2 Dac will be re-processed (AD and then DA conversion) by the speakers themselves.

I'm concerned about spending all this money/time to get a great analog signal out from the ADI2 Dac, just to have it go through AD/DA conversion again by the speakers.

Any thoughts (MC? RME? Others?)

Any other recommendations for powered speakers (that sound good too) in the $3k range that would be a step up from the Adam A7X?

2 (edited by ramses 2019-04-18 21:22:13)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Geithain RL906
https://www.me-geithain.de/en/rl-906.html

Review:
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/geithain-rl906

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Looking for something easily accessible in the US, but thank you.

Ramses, what do you think about the overall DSP AD/DA conversion question?

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

This is very interesting and exposes a problem with the concept of perfectionism. The ADI tries to be perfect and so do the s2V's. So if the result of the S2V is a better speaker then before how can it distract from the ADI. Or does a less perfect non digital speaker maybe distract even more. So maybe having a very good dac was not that useful on non perfect speakers.
Our minds play tricks with us. It will always do that. IMHO dac differences are already way in the inaudible, unless purposely coloured.
Getting popcorn...

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

5 (edited by ramses 2019-04-18 21:48:46)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

When I had my UFX years ago I bought my RL906D with AES and D/A converters to be able to directly connect it to the RayDAT which is a fully digital cards.
At that time I had the impression, the A/D converter of the RL906D sounded better than the UFX.

This changed after upgrading the UFX with an UFX+, which sounded better.
The ADI-2 Pro and Pro FS were again a game changer.

At the end I payed more money for the RL906D monitors, but am not using it anymore.

I think there is a tendency to keep good monitors for a very long time, maybe even 15 or 20 years.

But during this time AD/DA converters are developed further.

So there is a good chance that you keep your fantastic speakers for a long time, but upgrade the D/A converters a couple of times ...

I personally wouldn't spend the money anymore for having D/A converters fix in a monitor.
I prefer the flexibility to be able to upgrade D/A conversion quality by exchanging external converters.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Looking seriously at the Hedd Type 20s. An analog 3-way speaker (instead of a 2-way like the S2V) for only $250 more per speaker, designed by the former R&D guy at Adam Audio

On a related note, anyone feel I'm off base here by looking at studio monitors? What I want is a very transparent, accurate, but still pleasing sound (which I feel I get from the A7Xs), and I would prefer not to deal with external amplifiers and not pay extra for "hi fi"  looks. The goal I have is to get a high quality studio monitor that gives better sound than similarly priced hifi products, but still sounds pleasing.

7 (edited by ramses 2019-04-28 19:38:31)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

> I would prefer not to deal with external amplifiers and not pay extra for "hi fi"  looks.
> The goal I have is to get a high quality studio monitor that gives better sound than
> similarly priced hifi products, but still sounds pleasing.

Yeah, it's like that. You just have to make sure that the studio monitors are not too neutral.

Here my story, that I had to buy my monitor "brand new" at the end, because the previous owner wanted to keep it of all sudden after rehearsal.

When I wanted to buy the RL906 used at that time, I found an offer on eBay from a sound engineer who had just bought the Neumann KH 310 [deleted wrong info]. His goal was to finance the monitors by selling the RL906.

When he showed me both monitors, we noticed that each monitor had its own qualities and both complemented each other. That's why he didn't want to part with his RL906.

The point was simply this. The KH310 is very neutrally tuned for pure studio work. The RL906 is also analytical, but overall it sounds more musical from the tuning point of view and also has the advantage that the two 2-way loudspeakers are designed/positioned in such a way that they come closer to the ideal of a point source and can therefore draw a very nice stage.

Again to the RL906, you shouldn't underestimate it, you get a good pound. And I can assure you that the ADI-2 Pro / DAC sounds really excellent and conjures up a beautiful stage. In addition, you can also wish for different cabinet veneers. I liked "American Cherry Tree stained" very much. Geithain is also happy to send you veneer samples on request. You can choose out of 22 veneers.

The terms analytical / musical can only describe the sound of a system very inadequately and only convey an idea.

So if you are looking for studio monitors, you won't be able to avoid listening to them yourself, because tastes and rooms are different.

I would at least write to the company Geithain and ask if there is a dealer near you or whether they could do such an arrangement which might be interesting for them as well. You need to ask this question per mail, they do not maintain the list of dealers on their webpage.

Another advantage of the RL906 is, that it has a volume poti on the back.
For me this monitor is loud enough when I turn the poti down completely.
Then you have no issues when you listen between -20 and 0db.

While looking at Thomann the Event Opal is also a very impressive monitor, I heard it years ago at Mustic Store.
https://www.thomann.de/de/event_opal.htm

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

If you like the A7X, why not fill in the bottom octave with a good sub. Will make a dramatic difference imhe
And if you like them, what do you want to improve?
For your audio work or enjoyment?
Remember you need a problem, before fixing it....

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

9 (edited by vinark 2019-04-19 10:11:58)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

If we disregard faulty equipment and equipment with an inherent design flaw, we can say the following:
For the recording side almost all is determined by the instrument/player, room and microphone. Not mic cable preamp or AD converter (or DAW/software).
On the play back side all is determined by the speaker and the room, not DA Amp or cables.

When in the past I was building my own hifi speakers, I did not get the sound I wanted for the highs until I tried a metal dome tweeter. All silk tweeters I tried didn't cut it for me, whatever I tried with the filter. The metal dome tweeter sounded right right away even with the filter not properly set. Which still could mean my room needed metal domes and not that silk are inferior.
If you have ever been to a shop where you can remotely switch speakers you are auditioning, you will be aware the speakers sound very very different from one another, but you get used to a new pair pretty quickly.

The fact that you are aware that a dsp might negate the effect of the stellar ADI2, hides the fact that if that dsp is an improvement on analogue filters in a speaker design, that analogue filters of older speakers also negated the effect of the ADI2, even more so. Thinking that digital damage (from a dsp and its converters) is worse then analogue damage might be the cause of the confusion. The gains of the very good low jitter conversion are just less in regards to other losses in the chain. Funny thing is that since digtal recordings and playback are way beyond 99% accurate, in all regards. This was never the case with analogue and tape. Still now we obsess with the last 0.001%. Nobody could buy every new 24 track tape machine if it had 0.5db improvement, but getting new ADDA every few years is. That does not make it meaningful......
Sorry for rambling on!
Cheers
Vincent

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

10 (edited by ramses 2019-04-19 11:19:16)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Hi Vincent,

if I understood Rob correctly then doesn't require it for Studio work.

Rob: On a related note, anyone feel I'm off base here by looking at studio monitors? What I want is a very transparent, accurate, but still pleasing sound (which I feel I get from the A7Xs), and I would prefer not to deal with external amplifiers and not pay extra for "hi fi"  looks. The goal I have is to get a high quality studio monitor that gives better sound than similarly priced hifi products, but still sounds pleasing.

So we talk only about monitors that he might like.

All we can do is to make some proposals, rest is up to him to find it out in his own room.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Hi,
I have Adi-2 pro and Adam s3v. I have tried analog (XLR) and digital (AES) connections. Digital does not use RME D/A converter and Adam A/D converter. It plays better, not just me. I use RME as a DSP only. Adam is set to -10 dB to take advantage of the dynamic range of RME's digital volume control. In this case, RME cannot play DSD, but only PCM. I perform DSD to PCM conversion on the player (Foobar2000). I also had Adam A7X and the S3V sound much better for me.

12 (edited by Rodney_Ferguson_75 2019-04-19 17:20:31)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

There is only so much that can be achieved with DACs, speakers and correctional EQ to get a preferable sound.

Below is a good article about how to position speakers and how the room has a massive influence on what we hear.

http://arqen.com/acoustics-101/room-set … placement/

I use Sonarworks Ref 4, RME ADI-2 DAC and Genelec 8030b nearfield monitors.

There are somethings that audio hardware cannot fix. Next step is to understand the room. Not necessarily to a pro studio level but definitely to reduce early reflections.

Correctional EQ although an improvement will make no difference to early reflections, standing waves and flutter echo. These all appear very quickly and will distort the origin of the audio signal in one way or another.

All of these things make a difference to audio quality.

Kind regards

Rodders

Edited to add additional info : )

RME UCX w Blacklion Upgrade
R Neve Portico 5015 MicPre/Comp
RME ADI-2 DAC
Logic Pro X 10.4.4

13 (edited by Curt962 2019-04-21 21:16:18)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Rob,

Interesting Post.   As a 10yr ADAM Owner, I too am very much interested in remaining with the Brand in the Future, and the S2s have been loitering on my Radar for quite some time.   Like You, the DSP raised a few questions for me as well.

There are SO MANY insightful comments already in this Thread, that it is in BOTH of our Interests to re-read it again, and again.

So many things need to be considered, with the ROOM being an absolute priority.  The Room is the most Vandalous, SQ Sabotaging "component" any of us will ever own.  It is astonishingly easy for us to obsess over 0.1db variations in components, whilst the Room merrily "fine tunes" playback with the Finesse, and Tenderness of a Wild Rhinoceros. Huge
Variations.  10-20db Swings in FR are commonplace. Esp:  Lower Freqs

Vincent eloquently points out that here in 2019, we're beginning to Split Hairs, and "improve things" far outside the range of Audibility.    Consider that if the S2s (or the ADI-2) are SO Distortionless, etc on this Day...they'll still be like that 10yrs from now.  Only our Media-Inspired perceptions will have changed.

In 10yrs?  I'll probably need a Kidney replacement rather than a new Speaker. smile

Keep the S2s in mind, but I say again, Get after your Room!    Room Acoustic Measurements, Treatments, etc can yield a virtual Transformation!!

Good Luck

Curt

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Guys after some research and weighing the options, I've decided to go with the Hedd Type 20 over the S2V.

Advantages are:

-3 way speaker vs. 2 way (S2V) for only $250 more per speaker - I've wanted to move to a 3-way speaker.
-Analog only input with no conversion - Klaus Heinz, originally of Adam Audio, designed many of Adam's best monitors, and started Hedd. He states clearly that a big reason they stayed with an analog design is to avoid having to do reconversion on an analog signal from a high end dac.
-Hedd Type 20 gets some pretty strong reviews from multiple users/publications, including some users I talked to

15 (edited by ramses 2019-04-24 06:31:02)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

to 2- correlates to my post #5

to 3- especially for speakers, you need to listen to them with your own ears and finally in your own room.
You also need to rate the context of a review, the one that I saw make me think that this is more the type of workhorse for a studio. Neutral tuned and they said that its more the sound of the 60th with less treble compared to todays monitors for studio so that this guy had to accomodate his way of mixing / mastering to the way this box sounds, so that it brings good results to customer devices

900W per box are brutal. Yes I noticed the gain poti in the back. Be sure to turn it down to prevent ear damage at 0dB.

Reviews are nice to read, better listen, everybody writes a review with a certain intention in mind,
Reviews for this monitor one for sure, studio work.
And this doesn't mean that its nice to your ears for enjoing music.

You need a Monitors that also please your ear for listening, not only with neutral sound for studio work.

And in regards to this tastes (and ears) are so different.

3-4y ago I would have recommended to you to check out KS Digital C-55, but this design is not available anymore.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

16 (edited by xtrack 2019-04-24 23:17:36)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Robertm394 wrote:

I am thinking seriously about getting the new line of Adam monitors, the S2V series.

Hello!
I want to help you and share my experience.

At the moment in my room I have 3 pairs of monitors:
Adam S2V, Adam S3V, JBL 708p
All of them have DPS inside and AES/EBU digital inputs (as well as analog).

To play music, I use one Windows PC and 3 external audio interfaces:
1) RME ADI-2 DAC for Analog XLR output to Adam S2V
2) Singxer SU-1 for USB->AES digital transport to Adam S3V
3) Singxer SU-1 for USB->AES digital transport to JBL 708p
All 3 audio interfaces connected to my PC using USB.

AES/EBU digital connection a bit more practical because you need only one cable from interface to the first monitor, and if it's long - it sometimes nice to have one long cable than two long cables in terms of ergonomic and esthetic points of view.
AES digital connection is simple. One cable from interface to the first monitor, second cable from the first monitor to the second monitor. That's it. Very simple and nice.

If you connect monitors using AES EBU digital connection - all Digital to Analog conversation happens inside monitors. However, the quality of AES input is critical. That's why I chose quite cheap but good Singxer SU-1 digital USB transport.

Singxer SU-1 has galvanic isolated USB input and femtosecond clock. They use XMOS chip, and I bet they have asynchronous USB connection which is better for audio transfer than "normal" as I think after reading about it. This device has many good reviews from users.

After talking with one guy, he told me that I could not have good Digital to Analog conversion inside the monitor and a good external DAC (he recommend me ADI-2 DAC) should sound better. After that, for an experiment, I decided to buy RME ADI-2 DAC.

Two times I compared two audio output setups:
1)
PC -> usb -> ADI-2 DAC -> analog xlr -> Adam S2V
2)
PC -> usb -> Singxer SU-1 -> digital aes -> Adam S2V

ADI-2 DAC has no USB galvanic isolation, but somehow I didn't hear any bus/power noise using it.

First time I detect no differences by hearing and decided to use a microphone to record and listen.
After listening to recorded files I liked RME a bit better in vocals, but after all, I realized that Terrible EQ on ADI was +0.5dB and I think total volume level was not calibrated to have the same volume from both setups.
After 1 week of using ADI-2 analog outputs, I compared again.

The problem in comparing is that Adam S2V monitors need some time to reboot if you make changes thru ADAM S Control software. It takes me about 20-30 seconds to switch between Analog and AES inputs in Adam.
Btw, Adam's software is terrible.
Because of that 20-30 seconds pause even while listening to the same part in the same song it's very different to hear any differences.
I could not notice any differences, and finally, I decided again to use a mic, but the second time I used UMic2 miniDSP USB microphone to record both setups and listen to them with an ability to change between two records immediately.

I verified that Terrible and Bass EQ in ADI-2 DAC set to 0. Also after volume level compare (by hearing) I set ADI to -1dB to match sound output.
After recording and comparing of wav files, during my second test, I noticed no differences at all.

Today I'm going to test it again in the third time, but this time I'm going to calibrate volume levels of both setups using the software measurement. Calibration microphone sounds terrible and I'm not sure it's valid to compare sounds recorded by calibration mic. Also, I have Shure CVG18D-B/C mic and Tascam UH-7000 for it and I have another USB mic - Blue Yeti. Maybe I should use it. Don't know. But again, by hearing only, I could not notice ANY differences in both of my tests.

Honestly now I think that if the sound from Singxer SU-1 using AES is the same - it is more practical to have SU-1 and use AES cables.
However, SU-1 has no mic preamp and no volume control.

RME have much better support, website, drivers location than Singxer. You even cannot download any drivers from Singxer cheap looking website.
However, the device itself looks ok and sounds ok as well.

Regarding monitor suggestion - also, I want to buy Dynaudio Core 59 (they also have AES EBU digital input), they have smaller Core 7 version. I want to experiment again. I have no idea how they sound. Also, I never listen to Tedd.

I think Adam S2V is a good choice. I compared them in one studio with Amphion two18 and noticed almost no differences in details/sound etc. Despite Adam has terrible Windows software, S2V is very cool looking and very good sounding monitor.

I use my monitors for music listening and I don't think they sound "monitor" - they sound amazing and "musical". I like the sound of Adam S3V better in the nearfield and JBL 708p better for midfield. But it's in my room, only for my room acoustics. Your room is different and you will hear sound in a different way remember it.

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

> ADI-2 DAC has no USB galvanic isolation, but somehow I didn't hear any bus/power noise using it.
Not surprising, the normal case is that it simply works.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

18 (edited by knatterton 2019-04-25 20:30:34)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Hi Rob, I strongly recommend that you search for all articles written by Prof. Dr. Anselm Goertz. Even if you can only find german articles, he conducts standardized and neutral measurements of all recent products like KH310, KH420, RL944, Hedd 30, Genelec 8531 and many others (KSD A300 eg). The published figures/measurements are universally comparable.

Besides a ruler flat FR (which gets crummy in most real rooms anyway) a perfect horizontal and vertical directivity as well as a smooth spectrogram are much more important (to me) as they are independent of the room acoustics.

The spectrogram reveals resonances/distortions of the speaker/cabinet that are added to the music signal.
A steady and continuously increasing directivity and even fall off beyond 30/60 degrees is important as it especially in untreated rooms will increase the reverberation circle by reducing early reflections supporting an improved and more neutral stereo image. Of course the lower RT60 comes the more you gain out of a good directivity.

MEG, KH and Genelec are very good in this regard, just compare the figures/diagrams. Hedd 30 has certain resonances in the range around 500 Hz and a mediocre dispersion (like the good old O198 from way back with constrictions at the take over frequencies:)

I had the chance to hear Hedd next to KH310, 8531, SM9 multiple times in Thomanns main control room and I must say that I liked the Genelecs and KHs most. On other occasions I auditioned some of the Geithains (921, 901, 811, 944, 934 and 906 with Sub).
Geithain is a safe bet, you can't go wrong with either of them, just choose by listening distance and 2 or 3way. Because of that they charge you a premium.
Hedd 20 is positioned as a competitor to KH310. Even if they have the same tonality, to me there is no doubt which one to choose out of the two...

+2ct.

Your gut feeling, listening preferences, taste etc. are paramount;)

19 (edited by ramses 2019-04-25 20:35:56)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

@knatterton:

I heard Rob has no optimized room and please remember he is consumer not producer.

All these fine grained details of such a measuring which you cited, have surely been performed in an optimzed room and might be interesting for review for sound engineers. But even those guys would finally judge monitors by their own ears and also in their environment. Technical data is really not everything.

For Rob with an untreated room and who simply consumes music I think that all these details have simply no relevance and only lead to confusion.

At the end it's important that Rob is pleased by the sound that he hears in his room and with his own ears.
Nothing else matters.

His initial q: was, whether to buy speaker with internal DSP or not.

D/A converter evolve in their performance over year. I would therefore recommend to keep those parts out of the monitors not having to pay for it now and at the end of the day there will be better D/A converters on the market in a couple of years and then you most likely won't use the internal ones anymore.

Most important is to visit different shops with different gear to get an idea, whats available for the money.
Don't be shy and cross check with the more and even most expensive monitors to get an idea, what possible
and which direction you want to go and then to look whats affordable and delivers the most bang for the buck for YOU.

Then check a couple of models in your own room.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

20 (edited by knatterton 2019-04-25 20:57:32)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

ramses wrote:

@knatterton:

I heard Rob has no optimized room and please remember he is consumer not producer.

All these fine grained details of such a measuring which you cited, have surely been performed in an optimzed room and might be interesting for review for sound engineers. But even those guys would finally judge monitors by their own ears and also in their environment. Technical data is really not everything.

`
For Rob with an untreated room and who simply consumes music I think that all these details have simply no relevance and only lead to confusion.

We should leave this to Rob if he gets confused or not. It doesn't matter what is role is (consumer or producer). Sharing some insights may lead to a better and informed purchase decision. Especially for an untreated room a good constant directivity *is* so much more important then for a treated room as it helps to increase the listening distance and helps maintaining a good and neutral stereo image. Guess why MEGs cardioid dispersion is so successful and now driven forward by Kii and D&D?

ramses wrote:

At the end it's important that Rob is pleased by the sound that he hears in his room and with his own ears.
Nothing else matters.

Didn't you read my last sentence? ;-)

I didn't write anything about DPSs as this is a controversial topic. Some say its the future some say classic analog crossovers with standard amplifiers are bullet proof and serviceable even in decades and independent of the development in the digital domain. Protocols may change, hardware will improve over time, so why not replace the front end if required without changing the speakers characteristics?

21 (edited by Rodney_Ferguson_75 2019-04-25 21:12:25)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Consumer or professional it is important to know how sound is affected by the many variables both in hardware and the room.

Looking for a massive improvement in sound based on one or two pieces of new equipment is not going to happen.

It is important to remove this illusion and open people up to the whole picture.

If someone thought that it was all about the file typed, DAC and speakers then that person is going to spend an awful lot of money on relatively minor sound  improvements. This is probably an audiophile’s cardinal sin.

Let pro audio people chip in and may be enlighten some people.

Even if your environment is a homely one, there are lots of stylish acoustic panels that will fit any environment. This is the main source of sound improvement.

Pro Audio Advice

1. Determine your main listening spot. Then have your tweeters positioned toward each corresponding ear. This should form a triangle where the apex of the triangle is a few inches behind your head.

https://sonarworks.com/blog/studio-moni … 5f21cb1e8a

2. The triangulation of the speakers should not be too wide where you are sitting in the middle of the room. In the middle of the room there is usually a 10-20db drop in bass.

3. Get some treatment directly behind the speakers, to soak up the reflections coming off the wall. This alone will muddy the sound. The sound bouncing off the wall will only be delayed by a millisecond or two so you will not be able to differentiate it from the main source.

There is of course a lot more, but I think these steps alone will improve your sound towards the authentic analog source you may be looking for to a much greater degree than a moderate speaker upgrade.

Kind regards

Rodders

RME UCX w Blacklion Upgrade
R Neve Portico 5015 MicPre/Comp
RME ADI-2 DAC
Logic Pro X 10.4.4

22 (edited by knatterton 2019-04-25 21:21:29)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

absolutely, getting room reverberation time down is *the* most effective measure as this will will automatically flatten the frequency response by itself. But as we all know especially below 100..150Hz for average rooms this is almost not achievable as room modes kick in and absorption of low frequencies becomes hard. And for sure the 38% rule applies as you said, applying treatment aims to optimize for a specific listening position.

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

I fully agree that room treatment is a nice thing to have if you can do it in your room.
But in a living room this is not always possible.

Therefore I have to live with compromises and I know it and accomodate to it.

But the difference is .. I am not running a professional studio.

Better D/A converters and speakers bring advantages in sound even if the room is not optimized.
The resolution and detail is simply better.

How much room modes kick in also depends on your listening levels, I tend to have lower listening levens and thus I am not so much impacted by this.

I assume Rob simply wants better monitors no matter how his level of room optimization is.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

ramses wrote:

How much room modes kick in also depends on your listening levels, I tend to have lower listening levens and thus I am not so much impacted by this.

you are, modes are a function of frequency and independent of the amplitude. Cheers wink

25

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Even dispersion is particularly important in untreated, reverberant spaces. This is due to the strong early reflections (within 5ms of first arrival IIRC) being integrated with the direct sound. Strong early reflections that are spectrally dissimilar from the direct sound cause timbral shifts, poorer imaging and decreased soundstage size. Also, most likely the reverberant field will be closer to the direct sound.

Further, the similarity between direct sound and reflected sound also exists off-axis, even if to a lesser degree, making listening on axis less critical.

Anyone interested in what makes a good loudspeaker, should make themselves familiar with the research done at the Harman group by Floyd Toole and Sean Olive, among others. They find that the most important characteristics are a flat frequency response for direct sound and even dispersion (see eg. here https://seanolive.blogspot.com/2008/12/ … eaker.html).

Of course, obtaining the relevant measurement data for a speaker one is interested in, is not always easy and far from all manufacturers publish all the relevant measurement data themselves. Outstanding exceptions being among others Genelec and Neumann.

Also, as mentioned by knatterton, Prof. Dr. Anselm Goertz' reviews of loudspeakers available eg. at https://www.soundandrecording.de/thema/studiomonitore, even if only available in german, contain most if not all relevant measurements (done in the anechoic chamber of Aalborg University in Denmark) to determine the quality of a loudspeaker shown in graphs and often in a table unfortunately needing a bit of translation.

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

This loudspeaker review is detailed, but I fear it will not be much of help. Too many details.
The only practical use will be to exclude monitors with not so good technical data.

BUT .. the maybe perfect studio monitor is not necessarily perfect for listening.

My proposal: give Rob a good recommendation for that what he might be out for and thats it, the rest he has to test on his own. Before debating room acoustic, ask Rob whether he has any intention to optimize his room.

At the end it it might come back to the quick formula, that there are better monitors which sound also better compared to not so good monitors even in an untreated room. And they need to please Robs ears.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Yes, we should probably stop it here, as Rob is over at GS looking for confirmation on his preferred choice.

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

bought the Sonodyne SM 100AK (used) and they are perfect with the adi 2 pro!

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

All monitors sound great with the ADI-2 Pro wink

BTW .. Rob is looking for monitors in the range of 1500+ per unit.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

30 (edited by Rodney_Ferguson_75 2019-04-26 13:35:14)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

There are two main concepts going on here, the hardware and the room. Perhaps the room concept is a bit too much for some. But let me try to explain the room concept and why DAC’s, Speakers and EQ correction are limited, even if they are of superb quality.

Lets say we are sending a 100dB signal to the speakers at a frequency of 50HZ.

When this is measured by a mic the level picked up is 110dB. An extra 10db or an extra 10% because of room reflections.

So we use room correction EQ and reduce the 50HZ frequency by 10dB to try and balance the signal back to 100dB.

However, the new signal still has 10% of its signal coming from reflections in the room, so the quality has not really changed at all.

The signal from the speaker will be 90dB and the reflection will be 9dB. The new signal level will be 99dB. Still 1dB less than the target.

Now imagine this scenario across frequencies 20HZ to 20Khz.

Hopefully you can see why hardware is limited and even if you were to spend 3k on speakers, they are still going to be masked by the room.

So the aim of having an authentic analog sound does not come from putting on the blinkers and putting all of your money into hardware alone.

It is far too naive to think that it can be achieved solely on Prosumer levels of understanding audio.

Kind regards

Rodders : )

RME UCX w Blacklion Upgrade
R Neve Portico 5015 MicPre/Comp
RME ADI-2 DAC
Logic Pro X 10.4.4

31 (edited by scriptease 2019-04-26 14:46:29)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

All monitors sound great with the ADI-2 Pro wink

BTW .. Rob is looking for monitors in the range of 1500+ per unit.

A Speaker for 1500 € per Unit doesnt sound any better...thats what i was trying to say :-)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

scriptease wrote:

All monitors sound great with the ADI-2 Pro wink

BTW .. Rob is looking for monitors in the range of 1500+ per unit.

A Speaker for 1500 € per Unit doesnt sound any better...thats what i was trying to say :-)

Ever listened to Dr Gauder Berlina RC3 or others in that range ?

Very good speakers can really create a superb spatiality.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

33

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Rodney_Ferguson_75 wrote:

[...] An extra 10db or an extra 10% because of room reflections.[...]

This is wrong and your argument hinges on it being right (but I still agree with your conclusion). Decibels are logarithmic units for ratios and percentages are linear units for ratios. They are not comparable although they each can be converted to the other. See here for more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decibel.

Also changing the level of a signal going to the speaker by a given amount, does not necessarily affect the sound field in the room in the same way. It is dependant on the cause of the distortion: modal behaviour or boundary interference.

In case of the latter, the reflected sound will always (at a given frequency) have the same relative phase and amplitude to the direct sound and the resulting comb filter (relative to the direct sound) will always be the same. Thus, a 10 dB peak may be flattened by a 10 dB cut and a 10 dB dip may be filled by a 10 dB boost. However, the steepness of the filter required to accomplish this can be quite high in that their bandwidth is only half an octave relative to 0 gain (technically, this would require infinite steepness, so to be realistic, one may use +-1 dB gain as the reference for bandwidth), and the boosts required to fill the dips are likely so high that the equipment would not be able to handle such signal levels without severe distortion at any moderately loud listening level, particularly the transducers.
Further, moving either the speakers or moving as the listener changes the relative phase and amplitude between the direct and the reflected sound. This creates a different comb filter and the previous cancellation filter no longer cancels the effects of the boundary interference. High peaks and dips exacerbate the inadequacy of the previous cancellation filter. Thus, boundary interference can only certainly be cancelled for one combination of speaker placement and listening position.
If a cancellation (or at least amelioration) via EQ is desirable depends on the difference in arrival time between the direct and the reflected sound. If the arrival time difference is within 5 ms (~1.7 m path length difference), reflected sound will be integrated with the direct sound by the listener.

In case of the former, i.e. modal behaviour, the distortion is caused by resonances particular to the room dimensions. Like boundary interference, the distortion is dependant on where the listener and speakers are in the room. However, the modes take longer to decay and using EQ does not change this. Changing the signal will also change the amount of energy stimulating the resonances and thus EQ can be used to ameliorate the negative effects. However similar to boundary interference, the improvement is optimal in only one configuration of speakers and listener.

Both the distortions from boundary interference and modal behaviour can be reduced much more effectively (although maybe not satisfactorily) by speaker and listener placement and while EQ can most likely not compensate for poor placement, it may very well improve on good placement. However, nothing is as effective at minimising the distortions from boundary interference and modal behaviour as the listening space having good acoustic properties.

34 (edited by jiw 2019-04-26 18:36:33)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

ramses wrote:

This loudspeaker review is detailed, but I fear it will not be much of help. Too many details.
The only practical use will be to exclude monitors with not so good technical data.

Are you talking about one of Prof. Dr. Goertz' reviews in Sound&Recording or the test conducted at Harman by Sean Olive?

Also, the amount of details sufficient to characterise the perfomance of a loudspeaker may well overwhelm the reader. Is anything better available (besides experiencing the speakers)?

ramses wrote:

BUT .. the maybe perfect studio monitor is not necessarily perfect for listening.

Is the purpose of listening primarily hearing the recorded material with the highest fidelity or pleasure?
In case of the former, the desirable characteristics of the loudspeaker are determined by the goal to achieve the greatest amount of accuracy given the listening environment.

However, consumers may prefer different compromises made by the manufacturers relative to audio professionals but according to research done at Harman, audio engineers have the same preference for the sound of speakers as the general population and also the highly trained listeners Harman utilises in their loudspeaker preference tests.
Of course, there are factors apart from sound that consumers may have less tolerance for than audio professionals such as residual noise or utilitarian aesthetics. Further, the shape of the speaker may be more practical in one environment than the other.

ramses wrote:

My proposal: give Rob a good recommendation for that what he might be out for and thats it, the rest he has to test on his own.

If Rob wants to avoid additional AD/DA-conversion, I would recommend he take a look at the Genelec 8040B and 8050B. The Neumann KH310A is likely to expensive and the dispersion of the midrange unit is also wider than optimal.
If Rob is fine with additional AD/DA-conversion, the ADAM S2V look good enough to me but I would recommend he also look at the Genelec 8330A or 8340A both with GLM (sold separately) and JBL 705p/708p.

ramses wrote:

Before debating room acoustic, ask Rob whether he has any intention to optimize his room.

I was not debating room acoustics but rather psychoacoustics and the relation between perceived sound and anechoic speaker measurements. Rob's desire to improve his listening environment is no not necessary for this.

ramses wrote:

At the end it it might come back to the quick formula, that there are better monitors which sound also better compared to not so good monitors even in an untreated room. And they need to please Robs ears.

The sound of speakers with even dispersion is going to be more consistent across listening environments. Thus, speakers that sound good in an untreated home are very likely to sound similarly good in a treated studio or exhibition room. The contrary does not hold, however. Thus, I would be more inclined to turn your formula on its head.

Further, if a speaker with poor dispersion has had its on-axis frequency response altered from flat to make the speaker neutral in a chosen listening environment, changing the acoustics of the listening environment may change the perceived sound of the speaker to be less accurate. Room treatment may actually have perverse effects for speakers with poor dispersion and room treatment for a speaker with poor dispersion may over- or underdamp the room depending on the dispersion to get a neutral perceived sound. In the latter case, more accurate speakers may actually sound worse.

35 (edited by ramses 2019-04-26 19:04:00)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

> Are you talking about one of Prof. Dr. Goertz' reviews in Sound&Recording or the test conducted at Harman by Sean Olive?

I followed the link above and found a commercial PDF from sound & recording which contains the comparison of ~82 studio monitors which they tested in the past. It's a 296MB PDF.

https://www.soundandrecording.de/thema/studiomonitore ->
https://www.soundandrecording.de/equipm … tor-kaufen

I understood it this way that Rob should look at the reviews of all the monitors that have been tested to check which are best from technical data and test diagrams. Therefore I said, too many details, better to check with own ears.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

36

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

The link I shared allows you to access recent measurements and reviews without having to buy the pdf.

I meant that it was a good resource to check if the speakers one is interested perform well technically. This should follow from the previous paragraph in that post of mine.

Of course, the other way around, i.e. the way you seem to have read it, would also work but might be overwhelming.

37 (edited by ramses 2019-04-26 19:59:19)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

I got it out of interest, for studio work Neumann would be the way to go, Genelec also looks interesting.

But I know from listening, that the Neumann KH 310 is not for listening music. It's too neutral / analytic.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

38

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

If by neutral/analytic do you mean accurate (true to the source)? If not, what do you mean by neutral/analytic?

Further, what is for you the purpose of speakers for listening to music? Pleasure, accurate reproduction of the source material or something third?

Also, how is your experience of the KH310 (without the above answered) a better indicator of whether it is good for listening to music or for listening to music at all than scientific research of the relationship between listener preference and loudspeaker measurements to make such an absolute statement?

As I have written previously, accurate speakers (in technical terms) are preferred by listeners in properly controlled tests, particularly by trained listeners (to add to previous link: http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2008/12/l … ained.html). Of course, these are averaged data, so individual preferences might vary but the error bars indicate that this variation still allows for the above conclusion (by not being overlapping for all tested speakers).

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Thanks guys for all the interesting commentary. I've spoken through PM with several Hedd Type 20 owners on GS and the feedback has been pretty universally positive for my intended use.

I'm always open to other options as well - I came to Type 20 from looking at the S2V's as my planned purchase.

As far as Genelec, I'm looking for a 3-way speaker for this amount of money ... additionally, I heard the 8030 at Guitar Center and was honestly really underwhelmed.

The KH310 is interesting but a bit more expensive and older technology - and I've also heard the Type 20 was better from other user feedback.

If there is a better speaker option I'm not considering that fits the following:

-3 way speaker
-$4000 or less per pair
-Analog input with no extra AD/DA
-Newer technology
-Would work well for both music AND movies (Genelec too small IMO for home theater and only 2-way)
-Extremely revealing and accurate
-But fun and enjoyable to listen to

So far the Type 20 seems to fit all the above specifications, and actually gets some pretty enthusiastic reviews from a variety of sources to boot.

That's why I'm leaning very strongly towards them as the best option. But I am still open to other suggestions as well!

40 (edited by ramses 2019-04-27 14:19:58)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

> The KH310 is interesting but a bit more expensive and older technology

"Older technology" .. shaking my head, your selection criterias need review/correction.

To be very honest, it is one of the best and most linear monitors.

A good design is a good design. The design of my RL906 is ~12 year old and as of today it's still excellent for the near field and nicely presenting a 3D stage. Monitors do not become simply better, because every one or two years there are new technologies being invented.

Except D/A converters, for them I would still recommend to save the money for this and better get a dedicated unit for that like ADI-2 Pro FS or whatever you prefer.


The point with the KH310 is simply, they are too neutral / analytic / dry, as if it would make fun to listen/enjoy music through them. They are simply designed for mixing and mastering work .. with emphasis on "work".

You need to find monitors which support you in having fun listening to music.

A good active studio monitor (but for me oversized for the desk) was also the  KS Digital C55 (sadly not being produced anymore): https://www.amazona.de/test-ksdigital-c … iomonitor/

Very precise for studio work, but still good sounding. Let me say "musical" enough.
And with a real fabulous "stage" (3D feeling of sound / room presentation).

You need to find those "good sounding orbs" which deliver to you not only the best out of "technical data heaven",
but something that pleases your ears in your own room.

Having D/A converters and other "toys" in the box is not so important for the already mentioned reasons.

It can also become dangerous because digital monitors simply deliver full power at 0dB.
You need to be able to turn them down, so that they do not blow your ears at 0dB on your recording interface.
This is another advice .. to get a monitor where you can turn down the volume in an analog fashion.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

:-) don't agree with Ramses, KH310 is perfectly usable for recreational listening as any of the MEGs are. There is just something special about these MEGs that is hard to describe. However, a direct contender to the KH310 would be RL934k, but pricewise fully out of range. It's just about which product performs best and has the least flaws at a given price point.

My first encounter with Joachim Kiesler was almost 20 years ago when he demoed his speakers (can't remember which model) with a classical recording. It was mindblowing, never have I experienced such a depth of stage, image clarity and realism before. Last year I had the chance to see him again and listen to some of his anectotes. Originally he built electric organs but had no adequate speakers. That started it all way back in the 60s. As no good enough drivers were available they reused paper membranes from other drivers, rewelded the baskets and cut ping pong balls in halfs to produce the dust covers. Because the PP balls and the membranes were to heavy they grinded them down by hand and went through many failures. A lot of creativity and genius was put into their products and he stated that he wouldn't have been able to develop his designs in a free country but only under the economic restrictions of Eastern Germany.

42

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Robertm394 wrote:

Thanks guys for all the interesting commentary. I've spoken through PM with several Hedd Type 20 owners on GS and the feedback has been pretty universally positive for my intended use.

I'm always open to other options as well - I came to Type 20 from looking at the S2V's as my planned purchase.

As far as Genelec, I'm looking for a 3-way speaker for this amount of money ... additionally, I heard the 8030 at Guitar Center and was honestly really underwhelmed.

The KH310 is interesting but a bit more expensive and older technology - and I've also heard the Type 20 was better from other user feedback.

If there is a better speaker option I'm not considering that fits the following:

-3 way speaker
-$4000 or less per pair
-Analog input with no extra AD/DA
-Newer technology
-Would work well for both music AND movies (Genelec too small IMO for home theater and only 2-way)
-Extremely revealing and accurate
-But fun and enjoyable to listen to

So far the Type 20 seems to fit all the above specifications, and actually gets some pretty enthusiastic reviews from a variety of sources to boot.

That's why I'm leaning very strongly towards them as the best option. But I am still open to other suggestions as well!

What made you experience the Genelec 8030 as underwhelming?

Also, for 2-way vs. 3-way for the same price, the gains in lower distortion (important mostly at high SPL), may be outweighed by poorer integration of the drivers (important at any SPL), e.g. poorer directivity and/or worse crossovers.

Further, asking for a speaker that is 'Extremely revealing and accurate' but also 'fun and enjoyable to listen to' seems to me like you want to have it both ways. Given the former criterion, the latter criterion is much too dependant on the source material you will be using to evaluate the speaker as to qualify the general desirability of a speaker.

Regarding movies, depending on the genre, if you want to listen at reference level (85 dBC average, 105 dB peaks, LFE 10 dB higher, all at listening position), I cannot think of a 2-way or 3-way speaker at your price point that can deliver the required SPL for the LFE content, e.g. 115 dB SPL below 50 Hz, even with severe distortion. For that you should look at acquiring a (big) subwoofer (or several).

43 (edited by Robertm394 2019-04-27 18:07:37)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

ramses wrote:

> The KH310 is interesting but a bit more expensive and older technology

"Older technology" .. shaking my head, your selection criterias need review/correction.

To be very honest, it is one of the best and most linear monitors.

A good design is a good design. The design of my RL906 is ~12 year old and as of today it's still excellent for the near field and nicely presenting a 3D stage. Monitors do not become simply better, because every one or two years there are new technologies being invented.

Except D/A converters, for them I would still recommend to save the money for this and better get a dedicated unit for that like ADI-2 Pro FS or whatever you prefer.


The point with the KH310 is simply, they are too neutral / analytic / dry, as if it would make fun to listen/enjoy music through them. They are simply designed for mixing and mastering work .. with emphasis on "work".

You need to find monitors which support you in having fun listening to music.

A good active studio monitor (but for me oversized for the desk) was also the  KS Digital C55 (sadly not being produced anymore): https://www.amazona.de/test-ksdigital-c … iomonitor/

Very precise for studio work, but still good sounding. Let me say "musical" enough.
And with a real fabulous "stage" (3D feeling of sound / room presentation).

You need to find those "good sounding orbs" which deliver to you not only the best out of "technical data heaven",
but something that pleases your ears in your own room.

Having D/A converters and other "toys" in the box is not so important for the already mentioned reasons.

It can also become dangerous because digital monitors simply deliver full power at 0dB.
You need to be able to turn them down, so that they do not blow your ears at 0dB on your recording interface.
This is another advice .. to get a monitor where you can turn down the volume in an analog fashion.

Thanks, the Type 20s are analog and I'll be careful with the gain to be sure.

My selection criteria doesn't need review or approval by anyone, they're my criteria. While I appreciate the input, I already said I am looking for not just "technical data heaven" but something that pleases my ears.

I'm open to other recommendations but feedback I've gotten from the Type 20s as well as reviews indicates they are still the best choice so far.

44 (edited by Robertm394 2019-04-27 18:12:53)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

jiw wrote:
Robertm394 wrote:

Thanks guys for all the interesting commentary. I've spoken through PM with several Hedd Type 20 owners on GS and the feedback has been pretty universally positive for my intended use.

I'm always open to other options as well - I came to Type 20 from looking at the S2V's as my planned purchase.

As far as Genelec, I'm looking for a 3-way speaker for this amount of money ... additionally, I heard the 8030 at Guitar Center and was honestly really underwhelmed.

The KH310 is interesting but a bit more expensive and older technology - and I've also heard the Type 20 was better from other user feedback.

If there is a better speaker option I'm not considering that fits the following:

-3 way speaker
-$4000 or less per pair
-Analog input with no extra AD/DA
-Newer technology
-Would work well for both music AND movies (Genelec too small IMO for home theater and only 2-way)
-Extremely revealing and accurate
-But fun and enjoyable to listen to

So far the Type 20 seems to fit all the above specifications, and actually gets some pretty enthusiastic reviews from a variety of sources to boot.

That's why I'm leaning very strongly towards them as the best option. But I am still open to other suggestions as well!

What made you experience the Genelec 8030 as underwhelming?

Also, for 2-way vs. 3-way for the same price, the gains in lower distortion (important mostly at high SPL), may be outweighed by poorer integration of the drivers (important at any SPL), e.g. poorer directivity and/or worse crossovers.

Further, asking for a speaker that is 'Extremely revealing and accurate' but also 'fun and enjoyable to listen to' seems to me like you want to have it both ways. Given the former criterion, the latter criterion is much too dependant on the source material you will be using to evaluate the speaker as to qualify the general desirability of a speaker.

Regarding movies, depending on the genre, if you want to listen at reference level (85 dBC average, 105 dB peaks, LFE 10 dB higher, all at listening position), I cannot think of a 2-way or 3-way speaker at your price point that can deliver the required SPL for the LFE content, e.g. 115 dB SPL below 50 Hz, even with severe distortion. For that you should look at acquiring a (big) subwoofer (or several).

The soundstage was worse than the Adams, they sounded boxy or compressed to me, sound was not as clear or enjoyable either. Granted the environment was suboptimal but the same was true for the Adams.

I have the Adam Sub8 now which I will use with the new speakers I get.

"Further, asking for a speaker that is 'Extremely revealing and accurate' but also 'fun and enjoyable to listen to' seems to me like you want to have it both ways."

Maybe, but certain monitors can be revealing yet harsh or fatiguing, and others can be revealing and smooth, and non-fatiguing for example.

What's your speaker recommendation then?

45 (edited by jiw 2019-04-27 19:03:07)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Robertm394 wrote:

The soundstage was worse than the Adams, they sounded boxy or compressed to me, sound was not as clear or enjoyable either. Granted the environment was suboptimal but the same was true for the Adams.

If they were compared against the A7X, keep in mind that the 8030 is only half the size and has a significantly smaller woofer (130 mm vs. 165 mm, about 40% less radiating surface). The Genelec will likely distort audibly in the low frequencies at lower SPL than the ADAM and also not play as low. From the specs, the 8030's -6dB point is at 47 Hz whereas the ADAM's is at 42 Hz. On top of that, the Genelec rolls of significantly: 40 Hz is down 15 dB. This can lead to the 8030 sounding boxy or compressed at elevated levels. Also, at those levels the high excursion of the woofer will cause significant intermodulation distortion on top of harmonic distortion which reduces clarity and likely also enjoyability. 

How do you evaluate the quality (not to say accuracy) of the soundstage?

Robertm394 wrote:

I have the Adam Sub8 now which I will use with the new speakers I get.

"Further, asking for a speaker that is 'Extremely revealing and accurate' but also 'fun and enjoyable to listen to' seems to me like you want to have it both ways."

Maybe, but certain monitors can be revealing yet harsh or fatiguing, and others can be revealing and smooth, and non-fatiguing for example.

You said 'accurate and revealing'. Speakers can be revealing by boosting frequency bands which is something accurate speakers do not. This can be fatiguing and lead to a sense of harshness depending on the emphasised area. A further way in which a speaker can be seemingly revealing yet fatiguing and harsh is through distortion accentuating the high frequencies. This isn't accurate either.

Robertm394 wrote:

What's your speaker recommendation then?

Unfortunately, I cannot think of any speakers I have not mentioned already. If you can afford it, I recommend that you try the KH310A (since your budget has crept up $1000).

46 (edited by Robertm394 2019-04-27 19:52:16)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

jiw wrote:
Robertm394 wrote:

The soundstage was worse than the Adams, they sounded boxy or compressed to me, sound was not as clear or enjoyable either. Granted the environment was suboptimal but the same was true for the Adams.

If they were compared against the A7X, keep in mind that the 8030 is only half the size and has a significantly smaller woofer (130 mm vs. 165 mm, about 40% less radiating surface). The Genelec will likely distort audibly in the low frequencies at lower SPL than the ADAM and also not play as low. From the specs, the 8030's -6dB point is at 47 Hz whereas the ADAM's is at 42 Hz. On top of that, the Genelec rolls of significantly: 40 Hz is down 15 dB. This can lead to the 8030 sounding boxy or compressed at elevated levels. Also, at those levels the high excursion of the woofer will cause significant intermodulation distortion on top of harmonic distortion which reduces clarity and likely also enjoyability. 

How do you evaluate the quality (not to say accuracy) of the soundstage?

Robertm394 wrote:

I have the Adam Sub8 now which I will use with the new speakers I get.

"Further, asking for a speaker that is 'Extremely revealing and accurate' but also 'fun and enjoyable to listen to' seems to me like you want to have it both ways."

Maybe, but certain monitors can be revealing yet harsh or fatiguing, and others can be revealing and smooth, and non-fatiguing for example.

You said 'accurate and revealing'. Speakers can be revealing by boosting frequency bands which is something accurate speakers do not. This can be fatiguing and lead to a sense of harshness depending on the emphasised area. A further way in which a speaker can be seemingly revealing yet fatiguing and harsh is through distortion accentuating the high frequencies. This isn't accurate either.

Robertm394 wrote:

What's your speaker recommendation then?

Unfortunately, I cannot think of any speakers I have not mentioned already. If you can afford it, I recommend that you try the KH310A (since your budget has crept up $1000).

Thanks. I wish I had a chance to compare them both without purchasing them both.

47 (edited by ramses 2019-04-27 20:06:07)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Isnt it the same in your country that you can purchase online and have a 2-4 weeks money back guarantee for articles which do not meet your expectation ?

Check i.e. with Thomann in germany .. maybe they sell to your country .. 30 days money back.

You can also make arrangements with them by phone to get 3 or 4 pair of speakers for test.

Of course you need to pay 1st but then you can send the stuff back that you do not intend to purchase.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

48

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Guys, just a quick thank you from me personally for everyone who wrote here for sharing his time with this thread. I wish we would have more discussions like this. It's a prime example on how a civilised exchange of opinions, facts, knowledge and experience can look like. Thanks again!

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

49 (edited by ramses 2019-04-28 19:41:03)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

[deleted wrong info, KH310 A is simply analog version of this monitor, not an upgrade model, sry ]

My personal opineon on this monitor is, that you get best value for the money with it and I would take it if my goal would be to perform professional studio work.

Another advice, especially as you said you PM'd HED owners and they were so satisfied. The general problem is, if you ask owner of monitors, of course they will tell you they like it. Otherwise they wouldn't have bought it.

More interesting is the background of the persons who tell you this and the reasons why they choosed this model over some other models and for what purpose they bought them (pure listening or for studio work).

But even then you know only their reasons based on soundchecks with "their ears" in "their room" and the results may be completely different for "your ears" in "your room".

You also need to consider that some people simply buy something expensive to be admired by other people, but have otherwise no clue about anything.

Salesmen also have their interest.

So when I recall this discussion then I think the best for you is

a) to check out really required features

b) inform yourself whether products deliver real quality based on measurements, perhaps it would be good to really read the Sound & Recording reviews which have been done with care. They interpret the measurement results you can learn something from reading the diagrams and their comments. Some are easier to understand, some other some harder. At the end they tell you whether its good or bad. But remember, their focus is studio work. The question is, whether the sound of the active monitors please your ears or not.

c) the only thing which counts is, whether you are satisfied with the sound. The spectrum of oponions is usually manyfold.

d) ideal would be room treatment if this is an option for you in your living room.

If you want to become stunned how much spatiality speaker can deliver you should also check Dr. Gauder speakers (former company name Isophon). I would recommend the smallest model Berlina RC3. They are with €9000 pair price beyond on price, I know. But they could show you what a real good speaker can perform. Then you can benchmark any other active monitor better when you know what speaker are able to perform. With the Berlina RC3 you even hear differences between amplifiers in the range between €3000 and €7000 (from memory) clearly. I performed this comparison about 2y ago.

I recommend you to listen especially to those passive speakers for the simple reason that then you can not tell, that I recommend you the speakers for HiFi that my wife and me finally bought wink

We simply wanted to have speakers of that quality, which better support lower frequencies and please us more in terms of design, so we ended up with B&W 803D3. But these small looking Dr. Gauder speakers had really a stunning spatiality.

And I can tell you that it will be difficult for you to find speakers with similar properties in terms of "3D sound stage".
In the near field when really sitting close to them at my desk I am very pleased with the spatiality of RL906.

Really my advice .. check properly, take your time and test test test.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

50 (edited by knatterton 2019-04-28 10:14:19)

Re: How big of a problem is buying a speaker with its own internal DSP?

Robertm394 wrote:

Maybe, but certain monitors can be revealing yet harsh or fatiguing, and others can be revealing and smooth, and non-fatiguing for example. What's your speaker recommendation then?

Rob, all of the discussed models are revealing, even the A7X is. Stepping up to a three way system is a huge improvement because in general midrange resolution and tonality (brightness) are improved. Purchasing your HEDDs isn't a mistake at all. All we're saying is that there are other options that may be better suited for your installation. However, we all don't know nothing about your situation, preferences, room, tastes (could be that you simply dislike some products for their looks or that you prefer the AMT over a dome tweeter and thats ok) and so on.

Just to be clear, we're talking nearfield speakers, that is a listening distance of 2m or less if RT60 is not in perfect shape (hifi listening rooms recommendation ~1sec down to 0.6sec from 125Hz onwards falling continuously, control rooms demand a much lower RT60). Products with a well designed directivity will deliver more energy to the listenting position as 'not so good' ones do. In the end it's about minimising lost energy that falsifies the original signal (as jjw has explained perfectly).

Even the best speaker can become harsh or fatiguing (what ever that means, I'd say listening to Gn'R for more then 5 minutes is fatiguing) if it is not setup properly.

And my final word of anonymous internet wisdom: Check the spectrogram of the Type 30. As the resosonance are around 500 Hz and the crossover frequency of the Type20 is at 250Hz it is very likely that the Type20 has the same resonances.
https://www.soundandrecording.de/equipm … r-im-test/