Swan 4.1, 5.1 vs Mirage Omni 250s!

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Donald B, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. Donald B

    Donald B Auditioning

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    My budget is $1k or less for a pair of mains. I am days away from purchasing the 250s/and center. I have been able to listen to the Mirage Omni 250's and I just love the sound they put out. I may even consider the 260, but I am not sure the change in woofers from 5 1/4 to 6 1/2 are really worth $300 more. Now the Swans were up on my list, but of course I cannot hear them. [​IMG] I just sold my Ascend Acoustics becaues the center channel was too bright and I want to move up.

    So guys, please share your experiences and opinions on these speakers. All input is appreciated. [​IMG]
     
  2. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    Swans vs Mirage: Apples vs Oranges. If you like the Mirage, and consider them an upgrade to the Ascend (I don't necessarily, but it's your ears and your system) then get them. Nothing like finding some speakers you like.

    Good luck.
     
  3. David Bikeman

    David Bikeman Stunt Coordinator

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    " I just sold my Ascend Acoustics becaues the center channel was too bright and I want to move up."

    I'm curious as to which Ascend center you had.

    David
     
  4. Donald B

    Donald B Auditioning

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    It was the 340c, and some might say it's my room... others may say since the tweeter is different then the 170's its not as smoothe, and a little off axis.
     
  5. David Bikeman

    David Bikeman Stunt Coordinator

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    It was the 340c, and some might say it's my room...

    If it's the room, then it's best to try and fix that instead of trying to get the speakers to cover up the problem. That's not always possible, just preferable.

    "others may say since the tweeter is different then the 170's its not as smoothe, and a little off axis."

    This is Dave Fabrikant's response on the tweeter issue. Dave is the owner/designer of the Ascends.


    The tweeter we used in the CMT-340 is a better performing tweeter (not that the tweeter in the 170 is any slouch ). The 340 tweeter uses the exact some diaphragm as the tweeter used in the 170 (thus optimizing tonal/timbre balance between the two) with a few optimizations. The optimizations worth noting are:

    1. A much more powerful and larger motor assembly (ferrite magnet vs. small neo). The stronger magnetic field allows greater high frequency extension while it also allows higher power handling due to much better heat dissipation (think less compression at louder levels). Extremely important for a center channel where the demands on the speaker are far greater than any other speaker in the system.

    2. This tweeter uses a metal alloy faceplate which almost completely eliminates resonance (lowering distortion, think clear and articulate, natural sounding vocals).

    3. The 340 tweeter uses what is sometimes referred to as a “dispersion lens”. This “lens”, which you can physically see on the tweeter, is used to help disperse the smaller wavelengths, which tend to beam straight out like a laser. These are broken up and dispersed thus offering wider dispersion (perfect for center channel usage). Try this; in a quiet room gently rub your fingers together on one hand directly in front of your face. Listen carefully… now move your hand to the side of your head and do the same and listen carefully. Hear the difference in high frequencies? The differences are because the smaller wavelengths (higher frequencies) beam straight forward. Using the dispersion lens on this tweeter helps keep the tweeter response linear both on- and off-axis.

    This tweeter has lower distortion, higher power handling, extended frequency response and wider dispersion and you are calling it “less accurate”?

    The very slight rise you see in the response of the 340 center is not due to the tweeter at all, it is by my design, and is carefully controlled by a circuit in the crossover known as a Zobel Network (an impedance compensation network). If you were to place the on-axis graph of the 340 on top of the 170, you would see 1 dB more output at approximately 14 kHz and 3dB more output at 18 Khz. Most adults can not even hear past 14 kHz.

    In hundreds of hours of measuring, I found that this very slight rise in the response helps compensate for all the various high frequency reflections that a center channel is subjected too (sound bouncing off your TV, your entertainment center etc.) that a left/right speaker is generally not subjected too. Again, that slight rise you see is there by design.

    The most critical of loudspeaker measurements is known as the sound power response. It is an extremely complicated measurement and can take a few hours to accomplish (also requiring the right equipment). It is computed by measuring the speaker’s response at 144 different horizontal and vertical angles (5 degree increments). These measurements are then combined using a complex weighted average formula, thus resulting in the “sound power” response. These measurements take into account 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order reflections and are considered to be an accurate representation of how a loudspeaker actually sounds in a room. The sound power response of our CMT-340 center (when used as a center) very (and I mean VERY) closely matches the sound power response of a CBM-170 when used as a left/right… Even closer in response then when a CBM-170 is used as center (on top of a TV)!

    This is what the 340 center was designed for….. And we took designing and optimizing this center to far greater levels than simply “using the same drivers”. That would have been easy and we could have released it perhaps a year or two earlier, not to mention the cost savings involved by this far more common method, which I like to call the easy way out...

    that 2-3dB more output on-axis in a very limited (and often unheard) frequency band is more than just acceptable, it is quite remarkable considering the completely different cabinet shape, different driver configuration and different placement.

    Take ANY loudspeaker, measure it as a left/right speaker than place it on top of a TV and you will see a MUCH greater difference in frequency response than 2-3dB. In fact, I have measured loudspeakers from many “high-end” manufacturers whereby one speaker in the pair will measure 2-3dB off (and even greater) from the other.

    This is one of the problems of posting response measurements as we do (and why most manufacturers don’t even bother to post them) They are seldom understood and most average consumers do not know how to interpret the information. We are proud of our loudspeakers’ measurements; these are some of the most linear measurements you will ever see for a loudspeaker AT ANY PRICE POINT.

    -or-

    We could simply not post measurements and just say “this is the timbre matched matching center”, but then we would be like everyone else….. And as many of you know, we are not


    Kind Regards,
    ASCEND ACOUSTICS, Inc.

    David Fabrikant
    [email protected]
     

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