Is a frequency respnse graph a good indication ofhow a speaker sounds?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gary Joe, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. Gary Joe

    Gary Joe Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 6, 2001
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    Looking at all of the kits available is confusing. Why does a $300 GR research kit have a similar frequency response plot to say a $600 Ellis audio 1801 kit or a $1500 Madisound thor kit or even the GR res. line array kit. Does this mean they sound similar even though there is a huge price diff. I'm confused by this not being able to listen to any of them and compare with my ears.

    Also, if I'm only planning on using say an Onkyo SR600 or Dennon 2802 to power my speaks, does it matter if I spend the extra money on the 1801's?
  2. you can have two speakers with IDENTICAL responces and have them sound totally different.

    Here are three of many reason why:

    1) different off-axis responce
    2) different waterfall plots
    3) different vertical/horizontal dispersions
  3. Greg Monfort

    Greg Monfort Supporting Actor

    May 30, 2000
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    Is a vehicle's published HP a good indicator of its overall performance? [​IMG]
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Aug 5, 1999
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    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    I think response charts are always a good place to start. However, other characteristics, like detail and imaging, can only be determined by listening.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
  5. Mark_E_Smith

    Mark_E_Smith Second Unit

    Jan 10, 2002
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    Well you probably couldnt sell a speaker that didnt have a flat plot. A speaker that doesnt have a flat response wouldnt sound good, but the opposite is not true. I have an MTM center that has the typical 1300Hz suck out at 1 m BUT it sounds great at 3 m. It has a flat plot on axis though. If you saw all the tricks and traps involved in testing a speaker you start to take every thing with a grain of salt. It really comes doen to how do they sound. Plots are used mainly to design crossovers.
  6. Mark....not always so. there are speakers that do not have a flat responce that for one reason or another sound good to people.
    Actually, take the BCC...without this dip in the responce, the speaker doesn't sound right.
  7. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

    Feb 1, 2002
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    Frequency response can be the same, but it says nothing about timbre (or quality) of the sound.

    My primary use for frequency response is to find the bass extension. All speakers have to drop off at a certain point and the freq. response graph can usually tell where.

    Think about it this way, I just read that a $10 PC multimedia speaker has a response from 80hz-20khz. Now think of the difference this speaker will sound in comparison to a $50,000 loudspeaker that's run through a bass filter to give it a response from 80-20khz.
  8. Dan Wesnor

    Dan Wesnor Second Unit

    Apr 28, 1999
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    An FR plot will point out problems, and that's about it. It won't say anything about distortion, dynamics, or compression, all of which have a big effect on sound.

    The 1801 (which is actually about $450, I think) and the Thor will have lower distortion than the GR speakers, due to the excellent distortion characteristics of the Seas Excel Mag cone woofers. Not that the GR speakers are slouches. I'm currently using the M16 in a 2.5-way. It's the best 6.5" woofer I've heard under $50, and it's probably the worst of the 3 woofers he's currently selling. Danny (of GR) also buys his speakers to his spec factory direct and in volume, so the mark-up on drivers is minimal, while the other 2 kits have profit for the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer added to the price.

    The Thor should have better dynamics and lower distortion at high volumes than the 1801 due to the 2-woofer design and the much stronger tweeter. On the other hand, the Thor will not have the sweetness of the 1801, because while the tweeter is stronger, it lacks the high-end extension and dispersion of the Hiquphon used in the 1801.

    The line arrays will be a whole different animal altogether, with little or no compression or driver-induced distortion even at high volumes.

    Overall, I find that most well-designed speakers sound pretty much the same, unless driver selection forced a compromise. More money generally buys down distortion and increases dynamics and high-volume performance.

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