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Old 02-05-2014, 01:45 PM   #61
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OK. Cool! The magneplanars work similarly to the electrostatic by using a film with relatively large surface area as the drive, but using magnetic force rather than electrostatic.

Looks like the magneplanars would have the same advantage as the electrostatic speakers, but more practical and reliable. I can imagine that the electrostatic speakers would attract dust and zap insects like crazy!
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:17 PM   #62
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Here is a picture of the Magneplanars from just behind the listening throne
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:41 PM   #63
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Here is a picture of the Magneplanars from just behind the listening throne
Beautiful, and they do 'like' to be far from the walls like that. For others, the light colored part is the panel showing through the cloth - you only see that at certain angles and lighting.

When DW mentions how large they are, I always point out that from the side, they are only about 1" deep. So the total volume is probably smaller than any other high quality speaker.

They don't do deep bass, and I keep toying with adding a sub (or pair). Maybe someday.

If anyone is interested, the reason they don't do deep bass is that there is no 'enclosure'. That panel is mounted in that frame, and the back is completely open. So a low frequency sound wave 'flows' from front to back, and will start cancelling out . This is easy to demonstrate by moving your hand back and forth in water. Move slow and the water just flows around your hand and waves do not project out. Move faster and you start the waves moving out.

Traditional speakers are mounted in a box to isolate the front/back of the speaker. But a box does other things to the sound. Like anything, there are trade-offs, but I prefer the open, transparent sound of these panel speakers.

-ERD50
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:46 PM   #64
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Here is a picture of the Magneplanars from just behind the listening throne
Very impressive. I'm always wondering what audiophiles hear that I don't. I like music but generally have to listen multiple times before I get the melody. Some people seem to pick up on melody immediately. Then there are those that create melody and that is something I will never be able do.

Nice hobby horse you have there too.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:23 PM   #65
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Very impressive. I'm always wondering what audiophiles hear that I don't. I like music but generally have to listen multiple times before I get the melody. Some people seem to pick up on melody immediately. Then there are those that create melody and that is something I will never be able do.

Nice hobby horse you have there too.
Thanks, the rocking horse is for my grandson (3 1/2) but we are working on this other hobby horse too.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:26 PM   #66
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Beautiful, and they do 'like' to be far from the walls like that. For others, the light colored part is the panel showing through the cloth - you only see that at certain angles and lighting.

When DW mentions how large they are, I always point out that from the side, they are only about 1" deep. So the total volume is probably smaller than any other high quality speaker.

They don't do deep bass, and I keep toying with adding a sub (or pair). Maybe someday.

If anyone is interested, the reason they don't do deep bass is that there is no 'enclosure'. That panel is mounted in that frame, and the back is completely open. So a low frequency sound wave 'flows' from front to back, and will start cancelling out . This is easy to demonstrate by moving your hand back and forth in water. Move slow and the water just flows around your hand and waves do not project out. Move faster and you start the waves moving out.

Traditional speakers are mounted in a box to isolate the front/back of the speaker. But a box does other things to the sound. Like anything, there are trade-offs, but I prefer the open, transparent sound of these panel speakers.

-ERD50
Thank you. They are wonderful indeed. I do generally use a sub ( HSU) but depending on the type of music it is really not necessary. ( The sub is that cylindrical looking table under the lava lamp)
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:45 AM   #67
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Nice planar speakers!

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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
...
They don't do deep bass, and I keep toying with adding a sub (or pair). Maybe someday.

If anyone is interested, the reason they don't do deep bass is that there is no 'enclosure'. That panel is mounted in that frame, and the back is completely open. So a low frequency sound wave 'flows' from front to back, and will start cancelling out . This is easy to demonstrate by moving your hand back and forth in water. Move slow and the water just flows around your hand and waves do not project out. Move faster and you start the waves moving out.
...
-ERD50
The roll-off characteristic in the bass response of the magnetic planar speakers is shared with the electrostatic speakers, which have a similar construction. I guess one gives up something to get the clarity of the higher frequencies. The roll-off in bass would be dependent on the half-width of the speaker as a percentage of the acoustic wavelength of the bass note.

With the speed of sound being 1,100 ft/s and the half-width of the speaker being between 1 or 2 ft, it seems to be the roll-off frequency would be rather high, in the few 100s Hz. Am I missing something here?
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:17 PM   #68
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Nice planar speakers!

The roll-off characteristic in the bass response of the magnetic planar speakers is shared with the electrostatic speakers, which have a similar construction.
More generally, any open baffle (also called a 'di-pole') speaker arrangement will do the same - a speaker just sitting in open air is the most minimalist example of this. Us tinkerers have probably all done this at one time or another, and noticed how weak the bass is.

And you could put a planar speaker in a baffle, and I just came across a web page of someone who did some experimenting with this. I guess it's not common, as the large size of a panel would require a very large enclosure, and they need to be well braced (heavy, lots of materials) to avoid resonance. But since some audiophiles seem to think more $$$$$$ must be better, I'm a bit surprised that I haven't seen any like that (maybe I missed them).


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I guess one gives up something to get the clarity of the higher frequencies. The roll-off in bass would be dependent on the half-width of the speaker as a percentage of the acoustic wavelength of the bass note.

With the speed of sound being 1,100 ft/s and the half-width of the speaker being between 1 or 2 ft, it seems to be the roll-off frequency would be rather high, in the few 100s Hz. Am I missing something here?
I was thinking the effect was much lower, but I can't dispute your calculation. So I was curious, so off to google, and basically, it's more complicated than that (though it's pretty close for a round, open speaker in free air like I described earlier).

Some of the secondary effects are: the panel is much taller than wide, so the bass cancellation is spread out over a range of frequencies; the panel sits on the floor, so the floor blocks the wave on that side; room corners tend to re-enforce the bass, so the two effects could actually produce a smoother frequency response. By the time you add those all up, I guess it just isn't a clear cut drop in bass at 6db/octave as the math might indicate. There was also something about the whole dispersion pattern representing a 'flower petal' shape, which softens some of this I guess.

I've done some 'by ear' frequency testing on mine, using my music synth as a test tone. Maybe I have my notes somewhere, but as I recall there was a very sharp drop at around 30~40~50 hz (I really can't recall exactly), but this isn't a very well controlled test, and it includes room effects. I'm not even sure if the output of my synth is flat - I think I created some test CDs using Audacity sound program to generate the tones, but I prefer my music synth cause it's faster/easier to control the signal than with a remote - and test tones can blow your equipment/speakers if you are not careful. But bottom line, I do get a pretty nice smooth bass, just not that lower octave of room shaking bass. Which is why I've wanted to add a sub, but not motivated enough to actually do it yet. For reference, the low-E of a bass guitar (the common tuning) is 41 hertz.

You might also be amazed at how the brain fills in missing info, if it expects it to be there. I remember ages ago, I was doing a rough test of frequency response in my townhouse, using a good mic and the meters on my tape deck, and a cheap little music synth I had (and still have - a Korg MS-20). I kept thinking something was wrong, because in the space of just a few notes, the meters would drop almost 20 db, then back up again. Then when I listened carefully, I realized that fundamental freq really had been 'sucked out' in that range, but my brain seemed to fill it in based on hearing the harmonics, and apparently expecting it to be there.

A little like, if I said " Knock, Knock ...... there?", your brain will likely fill in the missing "who's"

Here's a decent link:

Designing Loudspeakers - Part 15 Open Baffles and Bass

Quote:
Now we are getting somewhere, and it starts to all make sense when we look at panel loudspeakers like the Quad Electrostatic where the baffle width clearly isn’t over 2 metres! By increasing just one dimension, say height, and allowing the speaker to couple to the floor and, possibly, the side wall, strong bass output can be achieved to satisfy even the organ enthusiast!

I’m not going to claim that you’ll achieve the same bass power in the room from an open baffle speaker as you can from, say, a transmission line speaker of similar overall dimensions. As my wife pointed out when hearing the reproduction of a Bach organ work on the radio “organ music sounds better in a church where you can feel the power of the low notes”.

I know what she means. That ability to really move the air, so that it has visceral as well as audible impact, is something lacking in most hi-fi systems, box speakers or not. But you do need large speakers to really make it happen.

THE BOX IS MISSING!
So, considering that most people like small speakers in their living rooms, what is the point of pursuing the open baffle? I’ll tell you – it is that the box is missing!

Despite the best intentions of the loudspeaker designer in providing bracing, damping, internal absorption, adding a port, a horn or a quarter wave pipe, there is no getting away from the fact that putting a box behind a speaker just encourages resonance.

Now most of us grow up hearing these box resonances from every loudspeaker we listen to. So we are used to it. In fact I formulated a theory many years ago that we are so used to hearing box resonances that the sound seems ‘wrong’ when you take them away.

That might partially explain why panel speakers are often described as ‘thin’ or ‘lightweight’ by some listeners on first hearing an electrostatic. But when you talk to panel loudspeaker adherents they will be the first to describe box speakers as sounding plummy and coloured.
-ERD50
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:53 PM   #69
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Stopped driving the kids' old Toyota - sold it to the yard guy for a grand - and splurged on something much more enjoyable to drive. (Kudos to Toyota though, that old beast is on the fourth family and about the 8th kid and I still going strong with more than 120,000 on the clock.)
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:09 PM   #70
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Stopped driving the kids' old Toyota - sold it to the yard guy for a grand - and splurged on something much more enjoyable to drive. (Kudos to Toyota though, that old beast is on the fourth family and about the 8th kid and I still going strong with more than 120,000 on the clock.)
Very nice but what is it?

EDIT: Oops, saw the BMW sign in the distance.

Living dangerously without a roll bar?
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:18 PM   #71
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Very nice but what is it?

EDIT: Oops, saw the BMW sign in the distance.

Living dangerously without a roll bar?
The roll bar is a combination of a reinforced windshield frame and two pop-ups behind the rear set head rests.

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Old 02-14-2014, 06:28 PM   #72
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Cool, always wondered about that.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:08 PM   #73
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Enjoy your BMW's and such... but as for me, I spent $1.99 on a used video game from Amazon. Well, with shipping it came to five dollars and something.

I can hardly wait. If I love it, then what a bargain! Hours of fun for nearly nothing. And if I don't love it, I am hardly out any money at all.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:17 PM   #74
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Enjoy your BMW's and such... but as for me, I spent $1.99 on a used video game from Amazon. Well, with shipping it came to five dollars and something.

I can hardly wait. If I love it, then what a bargain! Hours of fun for nearly nothing. And if I don't love it, I am hardly out any money at all.
Have you tried Steam? They have game downloads. They have some nice game sales around the holidays.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:25 PM   #75
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Have you tried Steam? They have game downloads. They have some nice game sales around the holidays.
Yes I have, although I really only play one game on Steam. I didn't know about the sales, so thanks for the tip!
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:39 PM   #76
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Nice planar speakers!



The roll-off characteristic in the bass response of the magnetic planar speakers is shared with the electrostatic speakers, which have a similar construction. I guess one gives up something to get the clarity of the higher frequencies. The roll-off in bass would be dependent on the half-width of the speaker as a percentage of the acoustic wavelength of the bass note.

With the speed of sound being 1,100 ft/s and the half-width of the speaker being between 1 or 2 ft, it seems to be the roll-off frequency would be rather high, in the few 100s Hz. Am I missing something here?
I have the small MartinLogan electrostatics (Mosaic), bought at 50% of retail at a closeout. Paired with a 12" Infinity wireless subwoofer (bought at 20% of retail), the combination is eyeopening, despite the fact that one of the Mosaics is free standing in the den without a wall in back. The "open" quality of the upper range of the electrostatics is indeed superlative. The subwoofer is only used at below 100 hz, but it does add punch for jazz or movies, although you only notice the difference when you switch the light off and it loses power.
Some of the best money I ever spent, along with the Yamaha receiver driving them. I read about Magneplanars in the old Stereo Review when they first came out and always wanted some planar speakers, although I was skeptical I could "hear" the difference. It is noticeable and sounds much more "natural"--at least to me.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:54 PM   #77
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If I'd realized this thread had veered into discussion of obscure loudspeaker technologies, I would've been here sooner. Probably doesn't happen every day on E-R, does it!?

The reason most planar speakers don't make much bass isn't because of backwave interference, it's because they simply don't move their drivers (the sheet of mylar or whatever) enough to be able to push enough air to create a big bass wave in the first place. Most planars have only a few millimeters of excursion and a few square feet of panel to work with.

However, you can get electrostatic and magnetoplanar loudspeakers that produce plenty of deep bass, with good response all the way down to 20Hz or even lower. These so-called "full range" planars make it happen simply by being much larger. They have a bigger sheet of plastic to move back and forth and push lots more air around. (In practice, most big planars also allow for a bit more excursion, too.) They tend to take over a room, necessitating dedicated listening caverns or at least loving and tolerant spouses.

If you like planar sound but haven't ever heard a full-range setup, with no traditional subwoofer in there muddying up the low stuff, you should seek one out for a listen. Just leave your credit ca-- er, checkbook, at home.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:57 PM   #78
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:13 PM   #79
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If I'd realized this thread had veered into discussion of obscure loudspeaker technologies, I would've been here sooner. Probably doesn't happen every day on E-R, does it!?
Well, it still ties tenuously to the OP's premise that we need to spend for "fun" stuff while we still care about and enjoy it. Fancy audio equipment is just one of the things one can blow a lot of money on.

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The reason most planar speakers don't make much bass isn't because of backwave interference, it's because they simply don't move their drivers (the sheet of mylar or whatever) enough to be able to push enough air to create a big bass wave in the first place. Most planars have only a few millimeters of excursion and a few square feet of panel to work with.
It's true that planar speaker's elements have limited motion. Still, my 15" woofer do not have to move that much to create thunderous bass. It's the little bookshelf speakers of 6" diameter that need the motion range of a good fraction of an inch to create any bass note.

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However, you can get electrostatic and magnetoplanar loudspeakers that produce plenty of deep bass, with good response all the way down to 20Hz or even lower. These so-called "full range" planars make it happen simply by being much larger. They have a bigger sheet of plastic to move back and forth and push lots more air around. (In practice, most big planars also allow for a bit more excursion, too.)
The larger these speakers are relative to the wave length of the bass note, the less deleterious effects that ERD50 talked about.

If I take the 15" woofer out of its enclosure, its bass response becomes weaker than that of a puny 2" inside a proper enclosure.

Now, a way to enhance the bass of the planars would be to use a wall as an infinite baffle. One simply cuts a rectangular hole in the wall for the speaker to fit in. Now, the back side would radiate just as well as the front, so you can enjoy music on both sides of the wall. Nice!

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They tend to take over a room, necessitating dedicated listening caverns or at least loving and tolerant spouses.
Dynamic speakers can be big and expensive too. Just yesterday, I saw a JBL Hartsfield in good condition on eBay. The asking price is $32K. I guess a JBL Paragon would fetch the same or more.

PS. Well, there's a Paragon on eBay with an asking price of $75K. For me, the true price of these speakers would be in the 7-figure; I would need to move to a mansion with a large enough living room for these speakers.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:14 PM   #80
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Stopped driving the kids' old Toyota - sold it to the yard guy for a grand - and splurged on something much more enjoyable to drive. (Kudos to Toyota though, that old beast is on the fourth family and about the 8th kid and I still going strong with more than 120,000 on the clock.)
Gorgeous car !
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