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Testing room/speaker acoustics

A.S.

Administrator
Staff member
Correction:

I have misread the original question. The SHL5 and SHL5 are being compared, not SHL5plus and Anniversary Edition.

The core SHL5 design is some 30 years old as a design. There have been numerous improvements in the design over that period which may or may not be obvious and audible.
 
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MikeM

Active member
On the other hand, for my smaller room where I’m listening to the P3ESR’s in near field conditions, I recently got QUAD 34 preamplifier (or control unit as QUAD calls it) to pair it with my 909 power amp. Before I had some problems with boomy bass in that room on bass rich records, but now I’m very happy with tilt and bass controls on my QUAD 34. Small adjustment and bass isn’t boomy anymore, top end has little more air and sound suddenly becomes very satisfying even though perceptible change of the overall sound balance is subtle. Tilt controls are easy to use, convenient and so very useful. Should be standard equipment and every audiophile’s best friend!
I have to say that, having recently purchased the quite superb Quad Artera Play+ and Stereo power amp (a product like my Harbeth that will be a long term investment) I am a little disappointed that they no longer, presumably for a while now with their range, have the effective tilt control. However, they do offer a choice of 4 filter settings for the CD and this has been quite useful for me.
 

chirhonix

Member
One should not try to correct dips through dsp. These suck outs have been produced by the room and therefore it is fruitless to put very much power onto those frequencies.
 

Milosz

Active member
I have to say that, having recently purchased the quite superb Quad Artera Play+ and Stereo power amp (a product like my Harbeth that will be a long term investment) I am a little disappointed that they no longer, presumably for a while now with their range, have the effective tilt control. However, they do offer a choice of 4 filter settings for the CD and this has been quite useful for me.
99 and Elite preamps have also been equipped with tilt controls but otherwise their filter system and bass adjustments have become much simplified with less available settings than on the 34 and only controlled from the remote or complex combinations of the buttons on the front panel. In effect fewer settings than on the 34 but more awkward to control. Wrong direction in my opinion. No wonder that the 34, not those later QUAD preamps, is being cloned in spades by the Chinese these days.
 
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kholuap

New member
Still on the bass issue, I'm still curious to know more about the effect of the foam on the port, Mr. Allan. I once had a pair of speakers that came with a pair of foam plugs to be inserted into the reflex port to tight the bass and tame some booming if the user deemed it necessary.
In the case of the SHL5+ 40thAE, which originally had the foam line on the port and currently no longer, would it be right to think that the presence or absence of the foam, in no way affects the design and balance of the crossover?
 

A.S.

Administrator
Staff member
99 and Elite preamps also had tilt controls but otherwise their filters and bass adjustments have become much simplified with less settings, only controlled from the remote and complex combinations of the buttons on the front panel. In effect fewer settings than on the 34 and more awkward to control. Wrong direction in my opinion. No wonder that the 34 is being cloned in spades by the Chinese but not the later QUAD preamps.
Absolutely wrong direction, and can only mean one thing: marketing over engineering.
 

Milosz

Active member
Absolutely wrong direction, and can only mean one thing: marketing over engineering.
For my Hi-Fi I want a well designed filter system with easy to operate tone controls at my fingertips. Depending on the recording, loudness and mood of the day I want to be able to quickly and easily change available settings without spending too much time on the action itself since I want to return to listening to music as quickly as possible with my mind free from thinking about technicalities as soon as I sit back on the chair. So tone controls shouldn’t be exceedingly versatile; they rather should be made as simple as possible, but of course not simpler.

It takes a brilliant and thoughtful engineer to design such a filter system that has all settings that are required to comfortably listen to music at home, but doesn’t have any more features than absolutely necessary, and at the same time is as easy to operate as snapping your fingers. Most filter systems are either too inadequate and simplified (traditional bass and treble controls), too versatile with high built-in redundancy (traditional graphic equalizers) or take too much time, effort and knowledge to be operated by the casual listener (modern digital dsp systems).

I admit I don’t have much experience with dsp correction systems but I think they also have somewhat different purpose than tone or tilt controls because dsp is aimed more at correcting room acoustics, rather than adjusting exaggerated or pale recordings or satisfying many different listener’s moods and tastes. As a result, it may be that after applying all those dsp corrections in order to achieve flat in-room frequency response for the sake of technical perfection, some listeners will still say “I don’t like the final effect” or “it doesn’t suit this record” or “I’d like more bass”.

That being so, I wonder if Peter J. Walker was the only one who took all those different aspects into consideration and got tone controls perfectly right. The more I think about it the more I admire his engineering skills and intelligence.
 
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willem

Well-known member
I think you put it very precisely: there is a world of difference between the indeed sometimes complex dsp equalization systems needed for room equalization, and something as simple as a tilt control to subtly tweak the flavour of a particular recording. For the latter you really want some rotating knob or similar, and that is it, just like the old Quad Tilt Control. However, room equalization is more complex, and inevitably requires more complex (and now digital) controls if you have to do it manually. In principle, however, you only do this once. And if you do not want to roll up your own sleeves for this, there are automatic systems like the various DSPeaker Antimode models, or those built into AV receivers.
 
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