Ferstler on Equalizers & The Importance of Frequency Response

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Chu Gai, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Interesting writing by Howard Ferstler illustrating the importance of frequency response, its subjective effect on such cherished audiophile terms like microdynamics, and how an equalizer, judiciously used, can make what you have much better than you realize.

     
  2. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Amen. A flat FR is probably THE most underrated aspect of good sound.

    Thanks Chu for the great reference. I'm saving this one for the archives, including all the great hotlinks.

    Ed
     
  3. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Don't know how many times I've stated that when people post how "tight" their tiny sealed sub is compared to a sub which goes as deep as the program. Truly deep bass booms and blooms. Attributes that are frequently ascribed to different loading schemes are in fact a result of different frequency responses.
    I imagine a typical audiophile might describe a passing train as "too boomy", or a thunderstorm as "uncontrolled". If they ever dared venture from the sweet spot long enough.
     
  4. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    Jack - Good points, as usual. Last year, when Testing the Rocket UFW-10 subwoofer, I eq'ed an SVS PB2+ to roll off the bass below 28 Hz, roughly matching the UFW-10's response.

    In blind testing, Noone could tell the difference between the two subwoofers as long as the mains were running...

    The UFW-10 WAS more articulate with the mains turned off, using bass in the 40-80 Hz range (think Stanley Clarke) ... and, in this case, it DID have audibly superior transient response... but that is not what most people think of as "fast" bass.

    What most people think is "fast" is a roll off of the lowest octave...
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I posted it to hopefully strongly suggest that if you bought good speakers, then some work on your end, which is gonna mean having to spend some time with a software program and getting a decent mic, is likely going to lead to all those catch phrases you read about in the flowery reviews. One can always buy a different house. OTOH, fixing the leaks in your existing one just might do the same thing, dontcha think?
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Like Ed, I agree whole-heartedly. Smooth frequency response is what makes or breaks a speaker for me. I used to know a guy who was a high-end audiophile type who had some speakers that were renowned for their dynamics and imaging. Nice as they were, I personally I couldn’t get past the fact that they overemphasized the upper bass. Later I came across a review of the same speakers in Stereo Review and Julian Hirsch had noted the same quality in his tests.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    quote:

    __________________________________________________ ___

    What most people think is "fast" is a roll off of the lowest octave...
    __________________________________________________ ___

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    -THTS

    "...hi, my name is Frank...and am an SVS bassaholic..."
     
  8. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    >>>Don't know how many times I've stated that when people post how "tight" their tiny sealed sub is compared to a sub which goes as deep as the program. Truly deep bass booms and blooms. Attributes that are frequently ascribed to different loading schemes are in fact a result of different frequency responses.
    I imagine a typical audiophile might describe a passing train as "too boomy", or a thunderstorm as "uncontrolled". If they ever dared venture from the sweet spot long enough.
     
  9. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    What most people think is "fast" is a roll off of the lowest octave...
    __________________________________________________ _____

    Never really thought of it that way and worth remembering.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. dave alan

    dave alan Second Unit

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    ...wondering what music is below 30 Hz? And, please with the pipe organ comeback, already.
     
  11. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    Dave - Check out the DVD/A of Steely Dan's "Two Against Nature" ...
     
  12. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    There's actually quite a bit. A lot of alternative music (think M-Manson,Korn,NIN) and some newer Jazz and Blues all use synthed bass that reaches down to the 21-25hz range fairly regularly now. And a lot of soundtracks seem to have suprisingly deep bass too...often where its least expected. City of Angels for example.

    Tom V.
    SVS
     
  13. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I love Howard's writings, and am without question a devote of the EQ'ing crowd.

    But what I like most about Howard is how big his balls are. I think it was last year that he published in Sensible Sound the results of his hearing test, and as expected of a late middle aged male, it was pretty rolled off (don't recall the actual numbers).

    Wonder how certain other self proclaimed hi-end gurus would test? Probably pretty good, right? How else could they tell us that changing an AC socket improved the sound of their rig[​IMG]

    Side note...I think a recent SGHT (or whatever its called now) had one of their guys print the results of his test too, and it wasn't pretty.

    Bravo to them for doing it.

    BGL
     
  14. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Haven't measured it, but ELP's Brain Salad Surgery on DVD-A has some bass that must be below 30hz (check out Still...You Turn Me On or the bonus track of Lucky Man). Also, on Yes' Fragile, Cans and Brahms certainly plumbs the depths and not a pipe organ in sight (or within ear shot).
     
  15. dave alan

    dave alan Second Unit

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    I'm havin' a tough time associating 'Korn' with 'audiophile' as well as 'jazz' with 'synth bass'.

    Craig...what track(s)?
     
  16. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    boss...I am with you on that. Although, there are people that love that kind of music too.

    Do you guys think "attack" and "decay" are affected by the rolloff of a sub? Or are those terms associated with "articulation"?
     
  17. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    >>>I'm havin' a tough time associating 'Korn' with 'audiophile' as well as 'jazz' with 'synth bass'
     
  18. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    quote:
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________

    Don't know how many times I've stated that when people post how "tight" their tiny sealed sub is compared to a sub which goes as deep as the program. Truly deep bass booms and blooms.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________

    Music lovers who attend symphonic musical events already know that certain works contain passages that feature orchestral bass drum (as opposed to bass drums in drum sets or "kits") wacks produce bass sounds that literally "roll" beginning from the stage towards the audience and beyond, all the while causing a sensation on the listener of being hit right square in the solar plexus...an experience not unlike to listening to 32' long cathedral organs! Deep bass indeed does boom and bloom...

    quote:
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________

    I imagine a typical audiophile might describe a passing train as "too boomy", or a thunderstorm as "uncontrolled". If they ever dared venture from the sweet spot long enough.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________

    That's why they adore to listen to 8" or 6 1/2" "tight" and "fast" subwoofers...or even high-end speakers that lack bass altogether...like the original Quad electrostatics... [​IMG]

    -THTS

    "...hi, my name is Frank...and am an SVS bassaholic..."
     
  19. MingL

    MingL Stunt Coordinator

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    Audiophiles discussing how "fast and tight" their bass usually don't know what they are talking about.

    Recently had a chance to actually measure a REL Strata 5 that many claims does "tight" bass. Well, it measured out 20hz at 70+dB at almost 50-60% THD. THD was so bad I didn't bother anymore serious measurements.

    Talk about "tight" bass.
     
  20. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

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    Hi Craig,

    Do note that this was a practice we fight hard to dispel in the pro-audio world. If you listen to a subwoofer without the mains, the one with the most distortion and high frequency content will most certainly sound more "articulate" and better transients. Remember that any sharp transient MUST, again must include high freuqency energy. The problem is that this is what your MAIN speakers are supposed to be providing. A common problem with higher power subwoofers is that the mains simply cannot provide the midbass and upper bass energy to properly match that of the subwoofer. Quite often I have demonstrated where the additional subjective "attack" and excitement to a kick drum and other "bass" events lie in the main speakers, NOT the sub. You need capability in both. I hate to point this out, but you are highly unlikely do find any sealed or vented pair of 6.5" drivers which will match the dynamics of a truly capable subwoofer.
     

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