What's up with Def Tech speakers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Allan_Tee, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. Allan_Tee

    Allan_Tee Auditioning

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    I'm new to many of the brands of speakers out there. I've been trying to educate myself reading posts in the forums and by reading magazines. It appears that Definitive Technology is reviewed well in the mags, but people in the forums don't appear impressed. I know I really should let my ears be the judge, but why is Def Tech not well regarded? Can someone please recommend good speakers in the $2500 range? Also, up to what size room will bookshelves be appropriate? Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Jason_Me

    Jason_Me Stunt Coordinator

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    A lot of people dislike Def Tech because they're bipolar. That means an equal number of drivers are firing on the back side of the speaker, along with the drivers facing you on the front of the speaker. This creates a huge sweet-spot, but it also throws off imaging. A lot of people consider this to be a gimmick, and not true Hi-Fi.

    Other speakers to consider for around $2500

    Energy Veritas V2.3
    PSB Stratus Goldi
    B&W Nautilus 805
    B&W CDM 9
    Dynaudio Audience 82
    Polk LSi 25 (or the cheaper LSi15 if you dont like powered subs)
    Klipsch RF7
    AAD Q50
    AAD 2001
    Soliloquy 5.3
    Soliloquy 6.2

    There are many more I'm forgetting, but you get the picture (lots of options).
     
  3. Holger

    Holger Stunt Coordinator

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    hi allen,


    i think jason is right on his statement, a lot of people dislike bipolar speakers. personally i wouldn't call the bipolar design a *gimmick*, i rather call it a step in the right direction. IMO a sound of an instrument (say in a live orchestra concert) doesn't come pinpointed from a direction, rather then SOMEWHERE from a direction and this is almost exactly what a bipol speaker is trying to achieve.

    nevertheless, if you like it or not is all alone up to you and your taste. if you looking for great mono polar radiating speakers, i'd like to add boston acoustics (especially for ht IMO) to jason's list.



    regards, holger
     
  4. John Doran

    John Doran Screenwriter

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    allen,

    a (large?) group of people also object to the fact that deftech has a line of speakers with built-in powered subwoofers.

    there have been some blow-out threads on that particular topic, but the gist of the no-powered-towers argument is that (A) the ideal location for sub-placement is often not in the same place as your mains, and (B) the subs in powered-towers are inevitably going to underperform relative to their stand-alone counterparts.

    on the other hand, the deftech'ers point out that not everyone has either the desire or room for a separate subwoofer, and that having a speaker and sub designed and implemented as a single unit allows for a much more seamless integration of bass with the mids and highs (this last point is not uncontroversial).

    anyway. i have deftech powered-towers like them a lot. perhaps i've been lucky, but i experience none of the problems commonly associated with the placement of mutliple subs (i have, at the listening position, neither destructive or constructive interference), and despite the fact that the subs in the towers are, in fact, not as good as some of the better stand-alone subs, they still manage to perform really well, and provide fast, tight, musical bass that actually does integrate very well into the soundstage.

    but let your ears decide for you.

    good luck.

    - jd
     
  5. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Allen:

    I have been using Def Tech speakers for over 12 years now and I have never been happier with a set of speakers. I have them all the way around and love how they handle everything from music to HT. You deserve it to yourself to go audition some of them and let your own ears decide if you like them or not.

    Parker
     
  6. David Nash

    David Nash Agent

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    I'm also new to the HT arena and was looking for several months for the speakers that best fit my needs(and wife's)combined with what sounded best to my ears. I wanted towers with built in subs due to room design and I liked the bipolar sound. I went with the following setup for $2400.00.
    Mains: BP2004TL
    Center: CLR2002
    Rears: BP2X
    So far I'm very happy with the two 10" built in subs. I've listened to LOTR, U-571, Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor,
    Gladiator, matrix most of which are known for deep bass. They performed great as far as I'm concerned. While I'm sure there are better speakers and subs out there, I could not imagine for the money how much of an improvement in bass and sound quality you could achieve.
    However let you ears decide for you because that is all that matters when choosing speakers and not what someone tells you.
    Good Luck,
    David
     
  7. Doug_NHT

    Doug_NHT Stunt Coordinator

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    I run NHT VT2.4s and they have a switch for video/audio. In video mode they are bi-polar and that sounds great for watching movies. Flip the switch and great imaging for 2 channel listening is there for ya. It seems, from what I've read on this board, that the DefTechs will be great for ya if you mainly plan on using them for HT purposes.
     
  8. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

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    I currently have an all Def Tech setup, with BP10 fronts, BP8 sides, BP1 rears, and a CLR 1000 center. I've had Def Tech for about 8 or 9 years now, and I've always liked them. My equipment has gotten better over time, though, and I think I want a change. The next $2400 I spend on speakers will be for a pair of VMPS RM2's. Of course, you will need a good amp to get the most from them, but I was impressed with my limited audition of the VMPS ribbon monitors.
     
  9. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Well, my brother has the big boys in the Def Tech lineup. The BP3000s, the CLR3000, and BP2002s in the rear. I love them. He loves them. Def Tech makes incredible speakers, and for a reasonable price. Of course the high-end line is pricey, but well worth it. Awesome for movies and very good for music too. Only you can decide if you like them. I don't have bipolars, but I do love his. One thing they can do as good as any speaker I've heard, and that's play excrutiatingly loud with no strain whatsoever. Yet they still maintain their detail and resolution while never sounding harsh.
     
  10. John H

    John H Second Unit

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    Allan,

    I have been using Def Tech speakers in my HT setup for several years now. I have been very pleased with their sound.

    Over the years I have used at one time or another these models. Original BP2000, BP2000TL, BP30 C/L/R 2000,C/L/R 3000, BP2X, BPX, BPVX, BPVX/P, PF18TL (before installing my Velodynes)

    I am still using Def Techs all around. My current speaker a configuration can be seen at my site.

    John
     
  11. IraSWeiss

    IraSWeiss Stunt Coordinator

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    The thing about Def Tech is that you can get series that are bipolar power towers (with built-in powered sub), bipolar towers, power monitor series (front firing speakers and powered sub), studio monitors (smaller bookshelf with powered subs), pro cinema (small sats with a sub), protower400 (front firing towers with no sub), powered subwoofers and bipolar surrounds. Plus, in-wall and outdoor speakers.

    They have all the bases covered. If you don't like the bipolar sound, try one of the other styles.

    It's the overall quality that counts and if you like what you hear from any of the models than buy it.
     
  12. ShanonS

    ShanonS Stunt Coordinator

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    I couldn't be happier with my DefTech set up. Like many have said, they may not be ideal for music, but I think they're great for home theater. I don't have quite as high end of a setup as the others mentioned. I'm using the CLR2000, 2 BP8B's, and 4 PM200's for surround.
     
  13. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Holger said this:
     
  14. Holger

    Holger Stunt Coordinator

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    hi john,


    if i understand you correctly, you are saying a dipolar speaker (out of phase) would come closer to the live performance then a bipolar speaker (in phase)?

    to my understanding a bipol is more accurate in it's performance, because the speaker itself doesn't diffuse the sound (like a dipol) but the sound gets diffused trough the reflections of the listening room. i think this reflected sound is out of phase anyway somewhere between 0 and 180 degrees. in my opinion the diffusion of a sound shouldn't be up to the speakers, but rather to the room and/or to the sound-mix itself.



    regards, holger
     
  15. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Holger,

    Consider how an instrument produces sound. There is but one transducer per frequency emitted. Since that's the case, when pressure increases towards the "front", pressure must decrease towards the "back". This is dipolar characteristic.

    When you think about it, a dipole radiator does not in and of itself cause a diffuse presentation. It is the placement of the loudspeaker, combined with room interactions which would cause a diffuse presentation.

    Further, if we're talking about planar dipole radiators (ala Magnepan, Soundline Audio, Eminent Technology, Martin Logan, Bohlender-Graebener et al) then they are capable of superb, non-diffuse imaging. In the case of a planar radiator, you also have little to no side radiation or vertical radiation. The sides of the driver are effectively nulls as the panel oscillates to reproduce the sound.

    I'm curious if you've listened to any of the speakers I've mentioned above? I've found that the level of imaging they produce is dependent on placement.

    Regardless of whether we are talking about radiating the backwave in phase (bipole) or out of phase (dipole), the back waves will be some phase angle X, which is a function of the reflections from room surfaces.

    One of the things you do when you start treating your room acoustically for multi-channel sound reproduction is deaden the wall directly behind the front soundstage. This would then tend to obscure differences between a bipolar radiator and other speaker designs with respect to reflections.

    More stuff to ponder.

    Regards,
     
  16. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    In my opinion any speaker (electrostatics, magnaplanars, ribbons or bipole/dipole/omnipole....) that has information firing to the rear and bouncing off walls is going to give a more accurate representation of a live performance. In a live performance there is usually reflected sound and with conventional forward firing speakers your not getting that reflected sound. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

    The problem with bipolars is that they are a bitch to place properly. I have spent many hours moving my Mirage OM-10s in and out from the rear wall, away from the sides and how much of a degree to toe them in. Theres strips of duct tape all over the front of my living room for speaker placement and I know one day I'll get it *right*.

    Bipolars are not a gimmick but just a different way in presenting audio. A huge sweetspot is a bonus so more than just I can enjoy what's being played. There are differences in bipolars from speaker manufactures, Mirage (the original speaker company to come out with a bipolar in 1987, the legendary M-1 which was highly regarded) cabinets are wider at the front than the sides, DefTech has the front narrower with the sides being wider(longer). Its a matter of preference. I personally haven't heard def techs ( I would have given them a chance but the "veteren" snot nosed salesman had me out the door in less than 10 minutes) but I wonder about their advertizing tactics. After years of the same advertzing article(s) can they not make a change? I think it gives the make a bit of a generic "cheap" appeal but also they want to appeal the masses. I'm noticing too that the last couple of years Mirage seems to be advertizing a la' mass as well.
     
  17. Doug BW

    Doug BW Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    I suppose this would be true if the sound that projected from the rear of a performer at a live perfomance was the same as what projected from the front. And if the back wall of the stage was about the same distance behind the performer as the wall behind your speakers.
    But I don't believe either of these conditions hold. Think of a trumpet pointing towards the audience...equal sound is NOT projecting forward and backwards. Or a guitar with the strings open to the audience, but the body of the guitar player between the guitar and the back wall. Or a human singer facing the audience.
    It would seem that the reflected sound added by a bipolar/dipolar speaker could only be said to add "accuracy" if the reflected sound was same reflected sound you'd hear at the live event. (Of course, even if the speaker isn't adding accuracy, it still may be adding a general sense of spaciousness or adding enjoyment on the part of the listener. But that's different.)
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++============
    There is truth in this statement but having NO or much to little info going behind the speakers Can't hope to be better.....and aS for distances to walls and initial/secondary reflections, there again, direct radiators also are affected by room boundries/distances....
    As for musical instruments having in and out of phase sound...It is VERY problematic to compare possitive/negative phases of a PISTON to those of resonating musical instruments ........just 1 cent this time [​IMG]
     
  19. ShanonS

    ShanonS Stunt Coordinator

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    I can somewhat see the point for musical performance, but then again, what about percussion instruments, what if the guitar isn't facing straight forward... Now, for HT, isn't bi-polar more accurate? If someone is walking, doesn't sound travel equally in all directions, if a car blows up, doesn't the same hold?

    I can see arguments on both sides, but I'm happy with my Def-techs, only two of the 7 are bipoles. Give them a listen and make your own decision. They don't make bipoles exclusively.
     
  20. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Matt,
    Agreed.
    The other thing we haven't touched on is real world vs. recorded imaging.
    Assuming an orchestral performance here... If you sit very close to the stage, you do get some decent imaging with the layout of the performers.
    The farther back you get, the more homogenous becomes the sound. In this context I mean blended, non-localized sound.
    So depending on your location within a concert hall, you could get excellent left/right imaging or none at all.
    Then there's the recording, and the positioning of the microphones. Where are they placed in relation to the performers? The farther away they are, the less defined the imaging will be.
    Lots of variables here, and we haven't even talked about speaker radiation yet [​IMG]
    Regards,
     

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